gives ultimatum to the UN
apart no clear evidence that Iraq poses a threat to the US
Prime Minister Tony Blair's critics say he will probably never get
sunburnt because he perpetually lives in the shadow of President
George W. Bush.
Returning to London after a meeting with Bush in his Texas ranch,
Blair delivered a predictable message last week.
Bush's well-worn hymn book, Blair tried to bolster the American
president's proposed military adventure in Iraq even as British
public opinion poll remained "firmly against armed conflict
the powerful federation of British trade unions in Liverpool last
week, Blair laid out the case against Iraq but didn't win over sceptics
to justify an Anglo-American armed attack on that country.
Bob Crow, head
of the rail union, was quoted as saying: "He didn't convince
me. He talked about consultation but he is clearly hell-bent on
attacking Iraq. He does everything George Bush tells him to do."
few express sympathy towards Saddam Hussein and his style of government,
an overwhelming majority in the Western and Arab world say that
a military attack is not the answer to the problem in Iraq.
Even the 11
year old UN embargo against Iraq- described by some as "dumb
sanctions"- has devastated the country and its people but left
the political leadership virtually untouched.
But as Blair
and Bush begin to beat their war drums, the Iraqi President seems
to be getting renewed political and diplomatic support because he
is now perceived as an underdog challenging the world's only superpower:
the United States.
In the Arab
world, Saddam Hussein is no longer perceived as a tyrant but as
a hero who has defied the United States because it is seeking to
take control of his country's immense oil wealth.
As he addressed
the United Nation last week, Bush failed to even produce a "smoking
gun" to prove that Iraq is in possession of weapons of mass
destruction, namely nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. President
John F. Kennedy did a better job trying to provide evidence of long-range
Soviet missiles in Cuba, located dangerously close to the United
States, even though he did not go to war with that country.
After an intelligence
briefing in Washington DC last week, Robert Mendez, a Democratic
congressman, said: "What was described as new was not new.
It was not compelling enough. Did I see a clear and present danger
to the United States?. No."
Bush says that
Saddam Hussein deserves to be ousted from power for two reasons.
One is that
he is either developing or is in possession of weapons of mass destruction.
But so is Israel,
India and Pakistan. But then, all three are friends or allies of
the United States.
A second argument
for a military attack is that Iraq is in violation of UN Security
But so is Israel
which has violated virtually every single UN resolution against
it- even as it continues to openly defy the United Nations.
and British hypocrisy and double standards are so blatantly obvious
as to insult the intelligence of the international community.
and Bush are now using the United Nations as a fig-leaf to cover
any unilateral military action against Iraq.
the General Assembly last week, Bush gave the United Nations an
ultimatum. If it does not come up with a solution, the US will go
ahead with an attack on Iraq.
But when it
comes to war and peace, who really speaks for the United Nations?
is made just by five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security
Council, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia.
In the unlikely
event that the US and Britain succeed in pushing through a resolution,
they will try to convince the world at large that they have the
blessings of the "international community".But the real
international community is the 190-member General Assembly which
has virtually no political clout to pronounce its views either on
war or peace. The founders of the United Nations made sure that
real power in the world body is exercised only by five countries.
UN charter presumes that all countries are created equal, there
are some countries who are more equal than the others.
Britain nor the US will ever go before the General Assembly to test
the opinion of the international community on a war against Iraq.
If they do, they will be overwhelmingly defeated.