The Guardian November 13, 2002


UN resolution a step towards war

The question of peace or war hangs in the balance following the 
resolution unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council last Friday, 
November 8. American and British leaders have deliberately drafted a 
resolution which they expect will prove impossible to implement and provide 
them with the excuse for launching an aggressive, illegitimate war against 
Iraq to be followed by war against a number of other countries.

These two aggressive, warmongering governments were forced to take the 
matter to the UN Security Council by the opposition coming from many 
governments and from the mass demonstrations against war that have erupted 
around the world.

However, the UN resolution can be seen as no more than a temporary respite. 
The extreme danger of war remains.

The US and British march to war has nothing to do with the alleged 
possession of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq. Even if any exist and, 
so far, no evidence has been produced to prove it, they could not possibly 
threaten the US or Britain.

The real reasons for war are to be found in the severe economic crisis that 
is overtaking the US economy, the steady decline of the real position of 
the US in world affairs, the worldwide opposition to its war policies, its 
objective of controlling the oil resources of Iraq and, thereby, the major 
oil resources of the Middle East, its drive for world domination and the 
imposition of a new colonialism over all countries.

These are the compelling reasons why the US and Britain want a war. They 
believe that the deep crisis of capitalism can be resolved by war as they 
have attempted to do in the past.

The UN resolution does not provide for a "preemptive strike" by the US and 
Britain, and reaffirms "the commitment of all member states to the 
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, Kuwait and the neighbouring 
states".

While imposing staggeringly harsh conditions on Iraq, such have never been 
imposed on any sovereign country before, and laying down a specific 
timetable, the resolution provides for further meetings of the UN Security 
Council "to consider the situation in order to secure international peace 
and security". (emphasis added)

The resolution makes no mention of "preemptive strike" or of "regime 
change"  phrases often repeated by US President Bush.

However, the resolution retains the wording demanded by the US and Britain 
that Iraq face "series consequences" if it continues "in violation of its 
obligations".

A comment in The New York Times gives away the real designs of the 
Bush administration. It says: "Despite the administration's professed 
confidence in the inspectors, there is a deep-seated unstated fear that 
President Saddam Hussein will only seem to cooperate and the inspectors 
will find little or nothing incriminating. That would leave the 
administration with insufficient evidence to persuade the Security Council, 
its potential allies  or even Americans  that a war is necessary." 
(emphasis added). "THAT A WAR IS NECESSARY"!

Despite the assertions of the US Ambassador to the UN that the resolution 
does not contain any "hidden triggers" and no "automaticity" with respect 
to the use of force, the continued warmongering statements by President 
Bush and the even more bellicose statements by Tony Blair raise doubts that 
the Ambassador's assurances can be believed.

Following the Security Council vote the French Ambassador to the UN said 
the resolution strengthens the role and authority of the Security Council.

The Security Council's objective was for a "two-stage approach" to ensure 
that it maintains control of the process at each stage.

France welcomes the fact that all ambiguity and all elements of 
automaticity have disappeared from the resolution. France's objective is to 
work tirelessly for the stability of the region. War can be only a last 
recourse, the French Ambassador said.

The Russian UN Ambassador said that as a result of intensive negotiations 
the resolution does not contain any provisions about automatic use of 
force. It is important that the sponsors of the resolution (US and Britain) 
officially confirmed that that was their understanding.

It is of fundamental importance that there is clear confirmation in the 
resolution that all members of the UN respected the sovereignty and 
territorial integrity of Iraq and of all states in the region.

The Chinese Ambassador said that China stands firmly for a peaceful 
solution to the question of Iraq through political and diplomatic means and 
within the framework of the United Nations.

China, he said, has consistently held that the sovereignty and territorial 
integrity as well as the legitimate concerns of Iraq should be respected 
and that the Security Council should, depending on Iraq's implementation of 
relevant resolutions, consider suspending and eventually lifting the 12-
year-long sanctions against Iraq".

The Syrian Ambassador said that Syria voted for the resolution having 
received reassurances from the US and Britain as well as France and Russia, 
that the resolution would not be used as a pretext to strike Iraq and that 
it did not constitute a basis for any automatic strikes against Iraq.

The problems which now face Security Council were created when Security 
Council members fell into the trap of supporting US military action against 
Iraq in 1990 and voted for a monstrous resolution which imposed 
unparallelled sanctions and demanded Iraq's complete disarmament  a 
demand not imposed on other countries that have refused to comply with UN 
resolutions such as the US and Israel.

In this respect, the UN resolution reeks of hypocrisy and double standards. 
It is unfair and discriminatory. It is naove to believe that Britain and 
the US have any intention of respecting the sovereignty of Iraq when they 
have been bombing Iraq continuously for the last 10 years without any UN 
authority.

The UN resolution has not ended the crisis either for Iraq or for any of 
the countries concerned. It has not settled the question of peace or war. 
The resolution does not firmly uphold the UN charter. It ignores the fact 
that several big countries systematically ignore the resolutions of the UN 
when they do not suit their imperial interests.

Is Iraq to become today's Czechoslovakia, to be sacrificed on the altar of 
imperialist war? In the lead up to WW 2, the "Munich Agreement" made by 
Britain and France with Hitler sacrificed Czechoslovakia in an attempt to 
appease Hitler. Are some nations today, attempting to appease the 
militarist and aggressive US and Britain?

In the 1930s and '40s the nations failed to prevent war and are responsible 
for more than 50 million dead. Will the firmness of principle and a new 
collective of nations come into existence to prevent war in this century? 
It is not just Iraq that faces its last chance.

If the United Nations Organisation fails to prevent war it will also become 
a casualty. Together with it will go the trust of millions of people in 
those governments that voted for a resolution full of holes sufficient to 
allow, yet again, the jackals of war to be unleashed in a conflict leading 
to the deaths of many more millions.

The guarantee for peace remains in the hands of millions upon millions of 
the world's people, all of whom will become casualties in one way or 
another if today's warmongers get their way. There can be no relaxation.

The peace marches and demonstrations and the peace organisations must be 
supported in every way possible. Those behind the war drive must be exposed 
and isolated and finally put in straitjackets, which are the only suitable 
clothes for today's criminal madmen.

The world's people are facing the most critical time in the whole of 
history. Act now, not only for peace, but also for survival.

Back to index page