FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Attacking Iraq Brings Nuke Holocaust Closer

And still they talk of going on because he has “weapons of mass destruction”.

Even if he does, they’re useless if he can’t deliver them.

Economic sanctions have driven the population into misery. Before 1990 the country had a per capita GNP of over $3,000. Today it is under $500, making Iraq one of the poorest nations.

What justification is offered for this?

THAT Saddam’s regime is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. Thus the civilized world – read Israel – can never rest until Saddam is killed.

The argument is hollow.

The deadly threat from Iraqi weapons was never a problem as long as the regime in Baghdad was regarded as a friend in Washington and London.

As Iraq crushed Communists at home and fought Iranian mullahs abroad, few apprehensions about its weapons were expressed.

Once the Iraqi regime had turned against Western interests in the Gulf, of course, the possibility of it acquiring nuclear weapons suddenly became an apocalyptic danger.

But this is no longer a valid view. Today the nuclear monopoly of the big powers has collapsed with India and Pakistan getting the weapons.

And Iraq’s own nuclear programme has been thoroughly eradicated.

Even the super-hawk Scott Ritter, the UNSCOM inspector now says there is no chance of its reconstitution. He says the blockade should stop and a new war would be a disaster.

That the Ba’ath regime is a tyranny no one could doubt. That it is unique in its cruelties is an abject fiction.

Turkey, where the Kurdish language is not permitted in schools, has displaced 2 million Kurds from their homelands.

This is much worse than Iraq, where – whatever Saddam’s other crimes – there has never been any attempt at this kind of annihilation. Yet, as a valued member of NATO and candidate for the EU, Turkey suffers not the slightest measure against it.

And the Saudi kingdom makes not even a pretence of keeping human rights. Yet no state in the Arab world is more toasted in Washington.

In killing and torture, Saddam was never a match for President Suharto, whose massacres in Indonesia far exceeded Iraq’s.

But no Third World regime was more prized by the West.

Not a single part of the argument for war stands up.

So what? I’ve heard it said. Blair’s favourite foreign policy man, ex-diplomat Robert Cooper, has said: “We need to get used to double standards.”

The maxim underlying this view is that we will punish the crimes of our enemies and reward the crimes of our friends.

This moral blank cheque will increase terrorism.

If Iraq is attacked, the instability in the region will be accompanied by a desire to punish the US and its allies.

The worst-case scenario of a nuclear explosion in the US might well come true.

That’s why a political solution is needed. A war could end badly for all sides.

Tariq Ali is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch. His most recent book is The Clash of Fundamentalism, published by Verso.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Tariq Ali is the author of The Obama Syndrome (Verso).

September 20, 2018
Michael Hudson
Wasting the Lehman Crisis: What Was Not Saved Was the Economy
John Pilger
Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing
Kenn Orphan
The Power of Language in the Anthropocene
Paul Cox – Stan Cox
Puerto Rico’s Unnatural Disaster Rolls on Into Year Two
Rajan Menon
Yemen’s Descent Into Hell: a Saudi-American War of Terror
Russell Mokhiber
Nick Brana Says Dems Will Again Deny Sanders Presidential Nomination
Nicholas Levis
Three Lessons of Occupy Wall Street, With a Fair Dose of Memory
Steve Martinot
The Constitutionality of Homeless Encampments
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The Aftershocks of the Economic Collapse Are Still Being Felt
Jesse Jackson
By Enforcing Climate Change Denial, Trump Puts Us All in Peril
George Wuerthner
Coyote Killing is Counter Productive
Mel Gurtov
On Dealing with China
Dean Baker
How to Reduce Corruption in Medicine: Remove the Money
September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail