Bush and Blair effectively held the UN to ransom yesterday. The effective message was we're going to war anyway, back us or be irrelevant. The way Bush blamed the French for the move to war was typically cynical of the American Administration, shifting blame away from themselves to the only country willing to speak out for a peaceful solution. They're giving the Security Council 24 hours to reach an agreement to go to war, and there's no way in hell that the French, Russians and the Chinese will go for it. Bush and Blair have sounded the death knell of the Security Council and of the authority of the UN.
Bush has paved the way for America to get involved in any conflict it likes, without the authorisation of the UN. The US administration is no longer the world's policeman, it's a corporate thug, pursuing the interests of it's paymasters. Bush's friends in the oil industry have decreed that Iraq's oil needs liberating, and Bush has resolved to liberate it, under the pretense of disarming Saddam Hussein. The truth is under the UN, Saddam is disarming. But the US and the UK are declaring war anyway.
I can't see this as anything other than a play for economic resources, and I fully expect Saddam to employ the scorched earth policy he did in the last Gulf War. This conflict will not be restricted to Iraq - it will not be clean and it will not be quick - it will widen and potentially engulf the Middle East. If Saddam Hussein does possess any weapons of mass destruction, they will be used, probably against Iran, Kuwait and Israel.
Hussein knows that this is a war he cannot win, miltarily at least - his aim will be to inflame tensions and become a martyr. And I think he stands every chance of succeeding.
We will be at war by the end of this week - as I write the first shots are already being fired by Allied airplanes in the Iraqi no-fly zones, it's just not officially a war yet. We're going to see a country devestated on a political whim, not in the interests of world peace. The Arabs will not take this lying down either, and I expect that terrorist attacks on the UK and the US by Islamic extremist groups will increase, and some will be successful. This, of course, plays into the hands of Bush's administration, vindicating the need for their War On Terror, paving the way for intervention after intervention, until we're all waving Stars and Stripes.
Our only hope is that the peoples of Britain and America will recognise the political expediency of this action, and it's illegality under the UN Charter, and get Bush and Blair out on their ear. Though I believe that the chances of either of them being prosecuted for war crimes are remote at best. What is more likely is that the UK government might actually have a fit of conscience, and several key member's Tony Blair's cabinet will walk out. Provided they have the balls to do so - not exactly a sure bet where politicians are concerned. If there aren't severak high line resignations by the end of week, it will simply confirm my worst fears - that we've stopped living in a democracy.