The Guardian January 29, 2003


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.

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