Okay, Hitchens has officially
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The "Last Option":
When Bush says an invasion is the "last option" it might as well read "it is the only option we have considered". Invasion has been administration hawks' intentions since before they were elected: this month marks the one year anniversary of the first report that the administration had already decided to invade Iraq, as well as Debka reports that US special forces were already on Iraqi soil.
This goes without mentioning that we've been taking
illegal military action against Iraq once every
three days for the past 12 years - offering Iraq a firm "incentive" to comply with UN resolutions.
Internal, popular opposition to Saddam seems to be almost non-existent,
failure of the 1995 attempt
to instigate a rebellion, and support for popular rebellion is likewise almost non-existent inside
the US establishment, as demonstrated by
dry, demonstrated further by the administration's
for the exiled opposition -
a number of groups within which, under the heading
Iraqi National Forces,
are dedicated to overthrowing Saddam without foreign intervention.
Surely ambivalence to Saddam's regime has grown as a
result of the unilateral pushes for invasion by the US government and the dubious and undefined
future it would entail for Iraq.
that there is internal dissent against Saddam within the Ba'ath party, which suggests
that this plan is worth considering.
This plan is not.
But none of this has to do with
or terrorism except that these
are the only arguments made that can legally justify a UN resolution authorizing force.
This has to do with what Blair calls the "humanitarian case"
for overthrowing Saddam, which is the only argument that has any credibility behind it.
If the concern is disarmament then there is no case for war. If the
concern is international terrorism the war itself may amount to as much, and as Jerry Springer
so pithily said, invading
Iraq "is like taking a baseball bat to a hornet's nest".
If the goal is not actually disarmament but external assistance for democratic revolution against a
dictatoral regime guilty of crimes against humanity then a legal case should be made within the UN - and it
would probably require an ammendment to the UN charter that specifies the conditions for such
interventions. In this case it comes over a decade after the worst atrocities have already been committed.
The justification that internal disputes resulting in crimes against humanity present a security risk
cannot be applied, in which case the US would also - to end a stance long filled with hypocrasy and to allow for the forceful
extradition of mass murderers - need to support the
International Criminal Court and subject
Kissinger to its authority.
Presumably it would mean that the US would not establish a post-invasion
US military government inside Iraq without the consent of the Iraqi people - or at least
that such a "government" would be strictly limited in its powers, with UN supervision in
the interim of foreign access and control of Iraqi resources until an Iraqi democracy is established
and is capable of managing trade itself. Needless to say a UN or US managed Iraq will quite likely have it's hands
full preventing civil war in the south between Sunni and Shi'ah factions
or Turkish incursions in the north should PUK/KDP oppose US dedication to
"territorial integrity", which
is a likelihood if the US or Turkey oppose Kurdish autonomy and is further complicated by
recent activy of the PKK. Bothering to mention the
Turkmans amid all this
would surely just confuse matters. Where and while we're unrealistically
mutilating the UN charter in order to justify an invasion we might as well provide for a more democratic
institution by revoking the veto power of the permanent members of the UN security council.
It also means that the administration drop
its blueprint for the New American
Imperialism, what has essentially been adopted, with a few soft touches and a lot
of new rhetorical flares, as the US
National Security Strategy
from any consideration for US policy in the future, which realistically
would require dropping the bulk of Bush's cabinet, not bombs.