No US war, no UN war
As The Guardian goes to press, the UN Security Council is considering reports from the weapons inspectors. Regardless of the outcome of that discussion, war against Iraq should be opposed. Whether launched by a US pre-emptive strike or endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, such a war has no justification and would result in the most horrendous outcomes for the people of Iraq. The time has come when war must be eliminated from the affairs of humanity and all disputes resolved by peaceful means, in accordance with the UN's Charter. Weapons of mass destruction, the most powerful of which are held by the US military, have become so horrendous in their destructive power and in their ability to kill that entire nations could be obliterated. The Voice of America has threatened the "annihilation" of Iraq. The Chief of US armed forces, Myers has declared that on the first day of action against Iraq weapons with a destructive power more than those used in the two months of the 1991 Gulf War would be unleashed. There is absolutely no case for war on Iraq, even if it were endorsed by the UN Security Council. Here are nine reasons why a UN Security Council war resolution should also be opposed: 1. A war on Iraq will cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians — men, women and children. It would further destroy Iraq's health system, water supplies, electric power and other facilities necessary for life. More territory will be poisoned by the use of uranium enriched weapons. The Voice of America warned that "war plans are laid out for complete annihilation of Iraq via conventional weapons, or if needed, via nuclear weapons". 2. The Charter of the United Nations gives the Security Council the obligation to settle disputes without recourse to war. Millions around the world expect the Security Council to carry out its obligations. It should support the majority of the world's people and decisively reject any war resolution. If members of the Security Council are bribed or pressured into supporting a war resolution, it would be a violation of the UN Charter and their obligations. Despite its weaknesses the Security Council must act to prevent war, uphold peace and its humanitarian obligations. 3. In the present period, Iraq has not invaded or threatened any neighbouring state. Iraq certainly poses no threat to the US, Britain or Australia. 4. There is no proof that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction following the destruction of such weapons in previous years. 5. A "regime change" which has been repeatedly claimed as the objective of the United States, is the responsibility of the Iraqi people and not any outside power. This would also be a violation of the UN Charter and is a violation of the sovereign independence of nations. A UN-authorised war would, in fact, hand over operations to the United States and would make the UN Security Council an agent of the violation of its own Charter. The UN would become the virtual prisoner of the United States and subservient to it. 6. Iraq would become an occupied country with a government imposed by the United States as has already happened in Afghanistan. Far from bringing genuine democracy, an imposed government would serve the interests of the US. 7. If the UN Security Council endorsed a war against Iraq it would set a precedent for similar action against any other country against which was alleged to have weapons of mass destruction or named as being a "rogue state" by the US and its few supporters. 8. Any war against Iraq would have devastating economic consequences, not only for Middle East countries but also for the whole world. It would give the United States control of the main supplies of oil and result in the economies of most countries being placed under the control of the US corporations. 9. A vote for war would be a vote leading to the virtual destruction of the UN and would show its inability to enforce the UN Charter and its responsibilities to the people of the world to uphold peace. The only principled stand is to oppose any war, whether authorised by the UN Security Council or not. The world's people want peace.