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Back Jose Bustani

by David Wilson

The Bush administration is staffed by those who made their reputations in the dirty wars under President Reagan: Otto Reich (policy-maker for Latin America whose boss was Oliver North), John Negroponte (US Ambassador to the UN who was US Ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985 when US-trained death squad Battalion 3-16 tortured and murdered union activists, peasant leaders and journalists) and Elliot Abrams (Senior Director of the National Security Council and leading theoretician of “Hemispherism”, read as removing radical movements in the Americas).

They are a specialist team in the worldwide organisation of state terrorism. So what have been up to in the last one week? The answer is three coups that we know of. This within the context of the Boss himself who described Ariel Sharon as a “man of peace” which is a bit like calling Prince Phillip a Trotskyist.

First there was an unsuccesful coup in Venezuela where evidence is growing that President Hugo Chavez was the victim of a CIA / State Department plot. SD boss, Ari Fleischer, presumptively but imperially informed the US media that Chavez was “losing his job”. How quickly Bush and our own government welcomed it all. Ha! Pedro Carmona Estanga, representing Big Business and “democratic stability”, didn”t last 48 hours thanks to the people who took to the streets and constitutional elements in the military.

This was followed by a successful coup; the removal on 20 April of Robert Watson, the head of the International Scientific Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) , and who has called for urgent action to curb global warming. Bush, Exxon-Mobil and other energy companies had been out to get him removed for some time. They succeeded.

The third coup is in process as I write; the attempt to remove Jose Bustani, Director General of the Organisation for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons. His conduct is deemed unprofessional after he succeeded in encouraging Saddam Hussein to sign the chemical weapons convention. He also had the nerve to request access to US chemical weapons facilities.

Enter the music Biz in the form of Brian Eno who last got politically involved at the time of the Balkan wars. He encouraged Robbie Williams, Damien Hirst, Salman Rushdie, Peter Gabriel, Dave Stewart, Thom Yorke, Joe Strummer, Annie Lennox, Bianca Jagger, Jonathan Ross, Marc Quinn, Robert Wyatt, Robert Fripp, Holly Johnson, Andy Kershaw, Bonnie Greer, Charlie Gillettand amongst others to co-sign a letter to the UK Press

This letter was published on the same day that over 200,000 marched through the centre of Washington with slogans such as “Sharon, Hitler, they”re the same. The only difference is the name” and “Peace is Patriotic”.

On that latter theme and much unreported during this one week has been the brave and continuing presence of Israeli Jews and Americans, French, Italians, Brits and others on the West Bank bearing witness to the rampant fascism of the Israeli army.

With all this going on thank you Brian and friends for joining a growing movement. All aboard the Freedom Train. This is their letter.

Back Jose Bustani

Saturday April 20, 2002

Tomorrow, the US government will attempt to remove the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons from his post (Chemical coup d’etat, April 16). By encouraging Saddam Hussein to sign the chemical weapons convention, Jose Bustani appears to have become an obstacle to the American intention to engage in military action in Iraq. If the US succeeds, it will be a victory for unilateralism and a blow to international law. The OPCW is the first global regime aimed at abolishing an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. With the backing of the UN security council, Bustani believes he can persuade Iraq to join the convention, offering the most realistic peaceful means of eliminating its chemical weapons. At stake is the independence of the OPCW and of all the multilateral organisations. After seeking unsuccessfully, in defiance of international law, to force Bustani to resign, the US government has called a special meeting, beginning tomorrow, to sack him. It has threatened to withdraw OPCW’s funding if it does not get its way, which would cripple the organisation. This action is unprecedented. If the other signatories to the convention give in, the entire system of international treaties and organisations could become endangered, as powerful nations see that they can challenge their independence. The UK’s record of support for the chemical weapons convention has so far been exemplary. We call upon the government to put world peace ahead of the special relationship by defending the OPCW against US unilateralism.

David Wilson lives in London. He can be reached at:


David Wilson is a co-founder of War Child and author of ‘Left Field‘ – published by Unbound and distributed by Penguin Books. He can be reached at:    

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