Thursday, February 12, 1998

Going on the Record

It is apparent that the dominant forces in the political establishment and the media are fully endorsing plans by the United States to deal a decisive military blow to Iraq.Once again, the political atmosphere is dominated by a shallow type of “standarized thinking.” However, many Israelis, who are not motivated by a shred of sympathy for Sadaam and his regime, can clearly see that there are serious weak points in the U.S. argument.
The United States, in launching an armed attack on Iraq, cannot pretend to be acting in the name of the United Nations and the international community. Three out of five permanent members of the Security Council have expressed clear reservations regarding U.S. positions and motivations. Moreover, in contrast to the circumstances obtaining in 1991, most of Iraq’s neighbors and all the Arab countries have serious reservations regarding the U.S. plan to attack Iraq.
Even the war-aims of the United States are muddled: the strike cannot hope to achieve its desired goal: it cannot stop Iraq from producing unconventional weapons of mass destruction and almost eliminates any Iraqi interest in so doing.
Even if Iraqi behavior deserves full condemnation, the U.S. is acting immorally and according to a double standard. It is the people of Iraq who will pay a horrendous price for the execution of the U.S. plans. Moreover, the United States desires to prove that it, and it alone, can decide which UN Resolutions must be observed and who can and who cannot be permitted to produce and deploy non conventional weapons of mass destruction.
What is clear is the need of the United States to demonstrate its virtual monopoly on the use of force in international relations. Appearances to the contrary, Israel can gain nothing from increased tension and conflagrations in the Middle East.