Saturday, March 15, 2003

Washington's other little lap dog

This week Australian Prime Minister John Howard gave a speech outlining his reasons for supporting a war with Iraq and declaring his intention to fight even without UN approval. The man's willingness to toady up to America in the hope of getting a free trade deal, and to do his best to make Australia a target for terrorists is simply astonishing.

Today the lap dog barked. Howard joined his British and American allies in launching a stinging attack on the French accusing them of being "international spoilers destroying the last hopes for peaceful disarmament of Iraq and scoring cheap shots off the US." This seems a little bit obvious but if Howard paid a bit more attention to what his masters in Washington are saying he may notice that they have absolutely no desire to disarm Iraq They want war and they want it now.

They want war so much that they are prepared to launch pre-emptitive strikes against Iraq. They think that Saddam might do them first once he knows that a strike by America is iminent.

According to this ABC news report Saddam has moved artillery units that could potentially fire shells filled with poison gas close to the border with Kuwait and the 135,000 American troops stationed there. Inaddition, American intelligence thinks that Iraq has scud launchers hidden in the Western Desert able to strike Israel and they are also worried that many of Iraq's oil wells have been wired with explosive able to be triggered from a central command. There are a lot of "coulds", "maybes" and "probablys" in all this. ABC quoted unidentified officials (naturally) as saying that American pre-emptitive strikes "may" start a war...may? that makes it sound like it is a completely unintentional accident...there's no "may" about it. Pre-emptitive strikes "will" start a war and it "will" make America the weasel words blithely quoted by the tame American media will change that.

That said, does America now have legitimate reasons for going to war? Can they go to war on the basis that there "may" be scuds hidden out there "possibly" endangering Israel (as opposed to endangering America)? Well no.They haven't actually said anything like "we've found hidden scuds in the Western Desert which are targetted at Israel"...they just suspect they are there.

Can they go to war because Iraq might want to blow up its own (as opposed to any other country's) oil? I don't think so

What about the threat to the troops in Kuwait? They don't actually have any proof that Saddam still has poison gas...and we don't even know if the artillery pieces are even in range to hit the American troops...they are very vague on that point. Even if they are in range - I don't think the deliberate deployment of your own troops to a place where they are in danger is a legitimate reason to go to war. This is basically an attempt by America to avoid being thought of as the aggressor in this conflict...sorry guys its just not going to work.

In any case all of this implies that the two states aren't already at war...which is nonsense. America and Britain have been bombing Iraq for years and just yesterday America sent B1 bombers to take out an Iraqi radar site (story here). Getting back to John Howard. Australians have been given a wonderful insight into just how much of a slimy toad Howard is. Cast your mind back to August 2001 and Howard's treatment of the victims of Saddam Hussein and of the former Taleban regime in Afghanistan in the sea off Christmas Island...cast your mind back to how Howard used these poor people as electoral cannon fodder. unfortunately for Howard, the story refuses to lie down and die. Hopefully in the future, under another Government, the people responsible for this will be called to account for their actions.