WASHINGTON, DC -- Once again the United States and Iraq are headed toward a military confrontation that is neither reasonable nor necessary. Furthermore, US insistence on asking United Nations inspectors and/or Iraq to do the impossible reveals US bias, and continues to discredit and undermine the UN.
A diplomat in Baghdad reports that "Iraq today turned away in a polite way three Americans who were with a United Nations arms-inspection team arriving from Bahrain." However, Iraq emphasizes that its quarrel is with the US, not the UN.
The US and UK, on the contrary, have repeatedly said that the Iraqi challenge is to the UN as a whole. They do not rule out military action. "US forces are always ready," said General Anthony Zinni, who commands US forces in most of the Middle East. He added: "The situation in the Gulf is tense even now. The possibility that operations could be conducted in our region is very real."
UN inspectors and/or Iraq are being asked to prove that all weapons of mass destruction have been eliminated. As every competent science student knows the nonexistence of something, in this case Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, cannot be proven. In any case, the dispute is between Iraq and the UN. Unilateral US military action being urged by US Congressmen is indicative of the extent to which the UN has become a mere pawn of the US
According to former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, about 10,000 Iraqis die each month as a direct result of UN sanctions. In a letter last year to the UN Mr. Clark stated, "The history of this violent century does not reveal a more deadly, cruel, inhumane and degrading torture of the whole population of an entire nation inflicted by foreign power for so long a period of time. That the deed is done in the name of the United Nations Security Council demonstrates its cowardly surrender to the will of the United States and defeats hope that the United Nations will fulfill its promise of faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and save succeeding generations from the scourge of war."
US courts of law permit the accused to have some say in the selection of judge and jury. Iraq should be accorded the same right.