Girgenti: Unite against the violent

R. Colin Fly

“Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent,” President Bushsaid last Monday as he issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein. In the ultimatum, he demanded that Saddam Hussein go into voluntary exile in order to avoid a war. Even if Hussein had gone into exile, there is no question that the United States would have gone to war. Without Hussein in Iraq to provide some kind of stability, there would be a civil war between his various generals, and President Bush could use that as an excuse to intervene. So an invasion of Iraq was a foregone conclusion.

Now, let’s return to those words spoken by the president last Monday. As of this moment, I can only think of two countries that are threatening to use weapons of mass destruction on any other country. At the moment, there are two countries that are being aggressive on the world stage. Both these countries have expressed a willingness to use nuclear weapons if they feel it is necessary. One of these countries is threatening to attack its neighbors, while the other one has invaded a nation far away from it. It would seem that there are two very violent countries in the world right now, and the rest of the “free nations” must do something to stop their violence. These two nations are North Korea and the United States.

Since when have American values been about aggression and violence? When did that happen? Officially, American values have always been “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” to quote that old piece of paper, the Constitution. Let me quote that tattered parchment again: “all treaties made … under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land.” To paraphrase the treaty under which the United Nations was formed, no nation may undertake military action except with a mandate from the United Nations or when that nation is engaging in self defense when it has been invaded.

Is Iraq about to invade the United States? Iraq’s missiles can barely make it across its borders, let alone halfway around world. If Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, why is it that the CIA can’t find them? Much of the information given by the CIA to the inspectors turned out to be inaccurate. If there is such a wealth of evidence that Iraq must be invaded, why did Colin Powell’s last address to the United Nations relied on evidence that has been proven to be fraudulent? Is not, then, this invasion of Iraq illegal under both international law and domestic law?

President Bush also talked about bringing democracy to Iraq, creating a domino effect, thus bringing democracy to the region. According to a March 14 article in the Los Angeles Times, a report leaked from the State Department indicates that the department highly doubts that democracies will spread throughout the Middle East in the manner the president suggests. In fact, the report suggests that bringing about a truly democratic government in Iraq would likely result in a government run by extremist Muslims who hate the United States. According to Jonathan Granoff, the president of Global Securities Institute who spoke at Villanova Tuesday night, the best way to deal with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would have been to bring more weapons inspectors in to the point that Hussein could not possibly deceive them all. The result would be that the most dangerous weapons would be found and destroyed, forcing Hussein to comply with the UN resolutions. Granoff also talked about the Project for the New American Century, a group that has been trying to push the United States into a war with Iraq for the last 10 years in order to bring about American hegemony in the region.

Finally, let us consider the accusation most often pointed at the Bush administration, that this war is for oil. This war isn’t just about oil though, it’s also about making a lot of CEOs very wealthy. A plan has been drawn up for the rebuilding of Iraq-after the United States drops more bombs on the country than were dropped in all of World War II-that calls for American corporations to use American tax dollars to create a new infrastructure. Interestingly enough, Dick Cheney’s own company, Halliburton, is one of those companies.

Halliburton has been buying oil from Iraq since the end of the Persian Gulf War, helping to prop up Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.

So we are now at war, illegally and unconstitutionally, with a third-world nation, of which half the population is under the age of 15; we are dropping more bombs than ever before, yet the administration insists that civilian casualties will magically be minimal; the vice president is profiteering, and the whole world hates us. That’s pretty impressive for a first term. Who wants to see what the president can manage in a second term?