Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


US Missile Tests Raise Chinese And Russian Ire

Russia and China are flexing their military muscles by warning the US that it would trigger a new arms race and undermine global security if it funds research into an anti-ballistic missile shield, meanwhile at the UN the debate over who should keep an eye on Iraq goes on…and on.. John Howard reports.

The United States wants to deploy a hi-tech missile system, which would be able to shoot down ballistic rockets in flight. The move is to counter the perceived threat from countries like Iraq, North Korea and Iran.

But the move would breach the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) which bans deployment of nationwide missile defence systems, although it allows signatories to protect one named site.

Such a system "will trigger a new arms race and that is dangerous for the world," said recent Russian visitor and Chinese Defence Minister, Chi Haotian.

"If the US decides to breach the 1972 ABM treaty the international situation will deteriorate," said Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev.

Chi also accused Washington of seeking to extend the project to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province.

Such a development would "represent a serious interference in China's domestic affairs and inevitably meet with resistance from the Chinese people," Chi said.

Meanwhile, Russia has also vetoed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's nomination of Rolf Ekeus as head of the UN weapons inspection agency to Iraq. It is a setback for Mr Annan.

Acceptance of Mr Ekeus required unanimous agreement in the UN Security Council and the UN must now go back to the drawing board to find another candidate.

Mr Annan had proposed 25 names during recent consultations with Security Council members without reaching agreement on a single one.

France, China, Malaysia and Russia want to see the sanctions lifted on Iraq as soon as possible with the choice of chief weapons inspector vital to lifting the nine-year-old sanctions. However, the US is insisting the UN continue to take a tough line.

Mr Annan had asked Ekeus to return to his former job as chief weapons inspector, a position he held from 1991 to 1997. But he is being desribed by Iraq as "old wine in a new bottle."

Inspectors have not set foot in Iraq since December 1998 when they were evacuated on the eve of US and UK bombing.

There are currently deep divisions within the Security Council members and a certain amount of exasperation over how to deal with Iraq. But if weapons inspectors were to return to Iraq, Saddam Hussein, who has a record of picking fights with inspectors, is likely to return to his old tactics of attacking them to draw attention to the sanctions.

Given the divisions within the Security Council over Iraq the status quo - no inspectors - may be the only possible policy. With the US in election year Washington is hardly likely to want to be drawn into another Iraq crisis.

Is there a New Zealander out there - perhaps Ed Hillary - who might want the job?

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news