Friday, March 14, 2003

Diplomacy's Last Gasp

The US seem to be ready to abandon the UN and go it alone with Blair pulling Britain's armed forces behind them, and is moving more firepower into the Gulf with which to reduce Iraq to smoking rubble. Bush has relented on calling a vote this week, in a last gasp of diplomatic brinksmanship, (as Saddam prepares to announce what has happened to all their VX nerve gas) but war seems inevitable at this point, and there's little the UN or the UK Parliament can do to stop it.
I fear the political fallout from this one will make Vietnam look like trivial.

The jingoism of The Sun reached fever pitch today - with a Spot the difference between Saddam Hussein and Jacques Chirac on the front cover, with the obvious and totally fatuous implication that Chirac is the greater threat to democracy and world peace. The real villain of the piece isn't even mentioned - George W. Bush. What's unfortunate is that the majority of brainless plebs that read the Sun will take it at face value.
The media have a responsibility to report matters as serious as this with an even hand, and papers like the Sun leaping onto the bandwagon as a mouthpiece for war, defies reason and logic.

The Bush administration are the ones forcing the pace, and insisting on quick action, when popular and reasoned opinion does not agree with the need for immediate and punitive action. Chirac, Putin and Schroeder are simply reflecting the majority of opinion in the world, by insisting that the UN Weapons Inspectorate are given sufficient freedom and power to do their job. For Jack Straw and Iain 'In Deep Shit' Duncan-Smith to say that the French are to blame for forcing war is complete bullshit. Resolution 1441 doesn't authorise or require military action to see it is enforced. The fact of the matter is that the US and UK governments have spent billions of taxpayer's money preparing their armed forces for war, and they don't want to see it wasted, and that they have to initiate a war in the next week, before the desert temperature makes armoured vehicular combat uncomfortably impractical.

Meanwhile, the Israelis continue to wreak havoc, not only killing more suspected members of Islamic Jihad in a Palestinian refugee camp, but slaughtering two entirely innocent Israelis in a clearly marked car, who worked as security guards at a local research establishment.
Check out the picture below to observe the Israeli Army's inherent restrained use of force.

The Guardian reports that not only were the two men not given much of a warning, but those warnings were shouted in Arabic, a language neither man spoke. Israeli soldiers being trigger-happy and having a casual disregard for human life? Surely not!

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