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).

July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science – Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail