The UN Security Council Vote on Iraq


The inspections recently voted on by the United Nations Security Council are not what they are advertised to be. Instead of being a step towards peaceful disarmament, they are a pretext for war. Plainly and simply, they create a scenario where Iraq not only has to prove that it has destroyed all of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD), it also has to prove that it never possessed certain WMD. It is the latter condition that makes the resolution a sham. After all, if Iraq never possessed said WMD, how can it prove that it never possessed them? That would be like a police officer asking you to prove you didn’t own a Panasonic CD player when you never did. How would you prove that you never owned that CD player? You couldn’t. Even if Iraq somehow managed to convince the inspectors that they had never possessed certain WMD, the United States (or any other member of the Security Council) could merely say that they didn’t believe Iraq and use their disbelief as a reason to launch an attack on the Iraqi people. If Iraq couldn’t prove that they never possessed those WMD, that, too, would be a pretext for war.

More fundamentally, the recent resolution goes further to substantiate that the UN Security Council is not a body composed of independent minded nations. For starters, this resolution recognizes the “no-fly” zones created without any legal grounds by the US and Great Britain back in 1991. It accomplishes this by making any Iraqi military defense of its territory in these zones (say by firing at the US/UK aircraft) an excuse for an all-out attack on Iraq by US and British forces. These zones have never been recognized by any other nations besides Britain and the United States until now. Their recognition by the Security Council provides the US and Britain with the legal grounds for their existence and “defense.” In addition, the haggling and tradeoffs that had to occur to get this resolution (especially in light of Russia and France’s early opposition to any resolution which called for force) gives credence to those who insist that the Security Council is merely a tool of the United States government. Time and time again, from Korea to Iraq, the Security Council has provided a cover for Washington’s war plans, even when such plans defy internationally accepted norms and laws. Also, time and time again, the Security Council has allowed resolutions that oppose Washington’s designs for the planet (especially as regards Israel) to fade into memory without any serious attempt to enforce those resolutions.

In short, the UN Security Council on Iraq that was passed November 8, 2002 changes nothing. It still allows the US and UK to wage war on the Iraqi people EVEN if the Iraqis meet all of the resolution’s demands. Should this happen, all the US has to do is state it does not believe Iraq or the inspectors and begin an attack anyway. Those of us who oppose war on Iraq must continue to do so and reach out to the millions of Americans and others who are still on the fence over this question. It is essential that people around the world understand that this resolution is not a means toward a peaceful solution, but is, in reality, another step in Washington’s march towards war.

Does this mean that we oppose the elimination of weapons of mass destruction? No!. Not only do we support the elimination of WMD in Iraq, we support their elimination around the world. Not only should Iraq be subject to arms inspections, so should every other country that possesses such weapons, beginning with the United States, Great Britain, and Israel.

RON JACOBS lives in Burlington, VT. He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu


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Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

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