September 25, 1998
The Wisdom Fund

Double Standard Targets Muslim Countries

by Enver Masud

WASHINGTON, DC -- Allegations of chemical and biological weapons production by countries with a majority Muslim population receive wide dissemination, media condemnation, a cruise missile assault, and even threats of a nuclear strike. CBW production by Israel, and treaty violations by the U.S. get barely a mention.

"Hours after they launched cruise missiles at the [Sudan] factory on Aug. 20," said the New York Times (Sep. 21), "senior national security advisers described Al Shifa as a secret chemical weapons factory financed by bin Laden. But now says the NYT, "State Department and C.I.A. officials argue that the government cannot justify its actions."

Others around the world were immediately suspicious of the official rationale for the U.S. assault; it coincided with the day that Monica Lewinsky was to testify before a grand jury against President Clinton. The NYT reported (Aug. 29): "The plant made both medicine and veterinary drugs, according to U.S. and European engineers and consultants who helped build, design and supply the plant." "The Al Shifa plant," said the International Action Center (Sep. 21), "raised Sudan's self-sufficiency in medicine from 3 percent to over 50 percent and produced enough veterinary medicine for all of Africa."

About two years ago, a pumping station at Tarhunah in Libya was described, according to The Washington Post, as a chemical plant at a Defense Department briefing on April 23, 1996 where a senior defense official stated that the United States would not exclude the use of nuclear weapons to destroy it. The then U.S. Secretary of Defense, William Perry, confirmed that the use of nuclear weapons to destroy this chemical weapons factory was not excluded.

The pumping station turned out to be part of what was labelled by the international press as the 8th Wonder of The World. A project which when completed will bring five million cubic meters per day of water from desert aquifers to Libya's coastal cities. It will eventually increase the size of Libya's arable land by over 70 percent.

And need we mention the suffering of the Iraqi people. The review of sanctions imposed by the United Nations has been delayed due to traces of VX allegedly found in weapons destroyed by Iraq under U.N. supervision.

"Before the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq had the Middle East's most advanced and comprehensive health care system," says former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. "Now Iraq lacks even basic medicines to treat preventable diseases because of the sanctions. More than 1.5 million have died as a result of the sanctions, and at least 5,000 continue to die every month. Most of the victims are children and elderly people."

While mainly Muslim countries are targeted for condemnation and military assault, the hypocrisy of the double standard regarding weapons of mass destruction is ignored by the media.

The Times of London reported (today, Sep. 25): "Israel's High Court yesterday suspended plans by the Government of Binyamin Netanyahu to expand a top-secret scientific facility south of Tel Aviv where residents fear biological weapons are being produced, according to the local mayor."

Further, said The Times, "the shadowy biological institute situated in the growing suburban community of Nes Ziona . . [is] believed by many foreign diplomats to be one of the most advanced germ warfare institutions in the Middle East. Israel has repeatedly accused Arab and Islamic countries hostile to it of manufacturing such weapons on a large scale, but has never admitted possessing biological or chemical weapons, just as it has never owned up to a nuclear capability, although it is an open secret that the country has at least 200 nuclear warheads."

And, according to The Washington Post (Sep. 17): "The United States has violated the Chemical Weapons Convention since it was ratified by the Senate 18 months ago . . ." According to the Washington based Stimson Center "To say that the United States has set a poor example under the CWC would be a vast understatement. . . For the past 18 months, the United States has been the malignancy in the midst of the CWC."

[Tests of Iraqi missile warheads conducted for the United Nations in Swiss and French laboratories have not found evidence of VX nerve gas.-- John M. Goshko, "New Tests of Iraqi Warheads Don't Find Nerve Gas," The Washington Post, September 28, 1998, p. A12]

[CWC prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It mandates their destruction. Earlier it called on all member states to do so by April 29, 2007. Russia and America requested a delay until April 2012.

Washington now wants it extended through 2020.--Stephen Lendman, "America's Illegal Chemical Weapons Stockpile,", December 1, 2011]

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