long overdue non-copyright writings

Phil Gengler
2003-07-03 04:52:50

It's been more than 2 months since I last made any mention of Iraq, and closer to 3 since I've had any substantial writing on the subject. I definitely feel the issue needs to be mentioned here again, especially with the way that there's been so much of it in the news lately.

One of Bush's primary motives for starting a pre-emptive war against Iraq was the 'clear' threat that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, had the capability to launch an attack in a short amount of time, and was planning to do so. Since the end of major combat operations in Iraq, US military forces have been scouring Iraq looking for any signs of WMD, or even of programs to build these weapons. In the 2 months since Bush declared an end to "major combat operations" in Iraq, not a single piece of evidence has been produced that would give any credibility to the idea that Iraq was a "dire threat." The closest thing that has been found so far has been plans for centrifuges found buried in the garden of a former Iraqi weapons scientist. These plans have been buried since the end of the first Gulf War, and this scientist was never asked to dig up these plans for any purpose, even during periods when there were no UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. The age of the plans, and the fact that they were never called upon, really limits the potential threat of these.

One of the benefits of being a superpower, it seems, is the ability to extort other countries to grant yours immunity from prosecutions in an international war crimes court. This is exactly what the US is doing by threatening to (and carrying through on) withholding military aid from countries that do not sign immunity deals with the US. What possible reason could there be for seeking such immunity, unless you were planning to take part in some of the acts that would be prosecuted in the court? The hypocrisy of the US is too much for words, with the government seeking immunity from war crimes prosecutions on one hand, and on the other threatening maximum justice for others who commit war crimes.

The Feb. 15 anti-war rally in NYC is back in the news, with a class-action lawsuit being filed on behalf of everyone involved in the rally. The lawsuit alleges that the NYPD created a "hostile climate" through their methods of blockading streets and restraining protestors. I agree, as this was certianly the case, but I'm not sure that a lawsuit is really necessary. I'll have to watch it closely, and when I know more about it, I'll form more of an opinion.