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Howard's End: Why The UN Debate’s a Farce


Howard's End: Why The UN Debate’s a Farce

By Maree Howard

A "diplomatic blunder" is how the The Wall Street Journal has declared the drive for a second UN resolution over Iraq and of Guinea it says; " The spectacle of the US Government begging that African nation for permission to sacrifice American blood and treasure to save the world from Saddam Hussein exposes the farce that the UN Security Council's debate has become." Save the world? Maree Howard writes.

Sitting here in New Zealand, do I feel an overwhelming need to be saved from Saddam Hussein? No!

Apart from what appears to be a paranoid and religiously fanatical US administration, neither do too many others. In fact, even the Iraqi's themselves are now fleeing Iraq, not because of Saddam Hussein, but because of the fear of US bombs and missiles which are about to rain down on them. Twice the number of packed buses have left for Jordan over the past few days as normal, according to The Times newspaper.

Those Iraqi's who can afford it are also hiring large vehicles and packing their families and possessions for either a ten-hour drive across the desert to Jordan, or an eight-hour drive northwest along the River Euphrates to Syria.

Are these mum and dad Iraqi's with their frightened kids in tow stopped by this tyrant, Saddam Hussein, from leaving? No!

Have Iraqi's ever been stopped by Saddam Hussein from leaving their country. I can't recall that. So, why the need for this war? Sure, he's done some horrific things when he has been threatened by political and religious foes.

Around 25 million people live in Iraq and, for the most part, they seem happy enough otherwise they would all be leaving if they felt threatened - wouldn't they? The fact that they have stayed at all under the harsh living conditions caused by the disproportionately severe punishment and treatment of the UN sanctions is a miracle in itself.

Can we say the same about many other countries who actually forbid their citizens from leaving their country and commit enormous human rights violations? - China comes to mind, and yet, are we going to war with that regime? No!

And another question. We've all been focusing on the war as a huge grab for Iraq's oil resource by the US to maintain its lifestyle. But what's in it for Britain?

Why has Tony Blair almost destroyed his political career by taking such a dogmatic approach in providing a military contribution and will not back down? There's got to be a reason that's being kept from us and I'm going to paint a scenario which is being raised within the global intelligence community.

After the war, Britain will be restored with a measure of power and influence in the Middle East through the establishment of military zones.

Already Britain has its own command in Kuwait over southern and south-eastern Iraq under which US troops are to serve. Although that command is subordinate to the supreme command of US General Tommy Franks, it will have complete autonomy in the field. For the first time since World War II a British officer will be in direct command of US troops.

The Turks will operate similarly in northern Iraq, also with field autonomy, but under the supreme command.

Britain lost its power and influence in the Middle East in 1956/57 when it was forced by then US President Dwight D Eisenhower to abandon all British holdings "East of Suez" and pull up its stakes in Jordan - and Tony Blair and his business friends, like BP oil, want it back.

This scenario means that if Iraq is split-up into three military zones after the war, the British will have control over the strategic oil fields of southern Iraq at Basra, the Khozistan regions and Al Qurnah as well as the Iraq-Iran border. This is also significant in itself, because any designs Iran has on Iraq's territory will mean Tehran will have to deal with the military might of both Washington and London.

This scenario means that while all of the oil of Iraq will be under the control of the US, some of the revenue will go to both Britain controlling the south and south-east and to the Turkish government controlling the north, to off-set their war-costs and to maintaining troops in their respective zones after the war.

It makes sense because the US will simply be unable to control the total of Iraq on its own after any war and prevent all the in-fighting and power plays by Iraq's religious and various ethnic communities.

Meanwhile, The Times reports that near the al-Rasheed bridge a group of Iraqi boys and girls who usually play together after school are frantically making sandbags by shovelling earth into plastic sacks and stacking them into a makeshift bunker for their families to try and avoid the blasts of the coming American bombs and missiles. Unlike some others, they simply cannot afford the money to leave the country and they are saying goodbye to many friends.

"Tell me where to go, where can I run to," they begged.

Others say they are terrified for their babies. "We don't know if we will ever see each other again, we don't know if the next time will be in heaven," The Times reports.

For me, this war has no validity, no legitimacy and as a Kiwi, I am deeply ashamed that our country has not taken a stronger position to try and prevent it. It seems in this life, the strong will always be allowed to dominate the weak.

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