was followed by "War Crimes Ambassador" David Scheffer,
who set a world record for condensing a maximum amount of
hypocrisy into a minimum number of words, declaring: "You
and the Iraqi people you represent often have firsthand information
of what Saddam is doing. It is important for the world to
hear accurate and reliable reports of ongoing crimes Saddam
is continuing to commit against the Iraqi people. The truth
is our ally, and Saddam's enemy." What about the accurate
and reliable reports of the UN, and private humanitarian organizations,
which document the humanitarian catastrophe inflicted on the
Iraqi people by draconian US sanctions? These inhuman sanctions
forbid the importation of baby food no doubt
classified as a "weapon of mass destruction" by
Mad Madeleine Albright and the pinstriped crowd. The truth
is that the US and its allies are systematically annihilating
two generations of Iraqis: the very young and the very old.
And that truth is the mortal enemy of the US and its Iraqi
proxies, no matter how much they try to shift the blame to
AMBASSADOR FROM HELL
What's up with the "War Crimes Ambassador"
stuff? Now there is a truly Orwellian title for a government
bureaucrat to put on his office door. For a nation that has
committed so many war crimes of late in Yugoslavia,
where thousands of civilians were wantonly bombed from high
altitudes; in Iraq; and in the Sudan the sheer arrogance
of this office and its occupant is nothing less than demonic.
WAR CRIMES, AND OURS
crimes Saddam has committed against his people will be for
them alone to judge. As Iraqi children drop like flies in
winter, starved to death or felled by easily preventable diseases,
Scheffer should be investigating his own government
the real war criminals in this case. In an important
sense, the chief function of the "War Crimes Ambassador"
is not to merely denounce the alleged "war crimes"
of others, it is to divert attention away from our own. This
can never work inside Iraq, of course, but then it is not
intended to: this conference was put on for public consumption
in the US, as part of an ongoing effort to build a political
consensus for renewed military action in the Gulf. And it
may be coming sooner than you think, but we'll get to that
in a minute. Meanwhile . . .
someone please write and tell me where oh where in
the Constitution is the President empowered to appoint a "War
Crimes Ambassador"? Good God, the whole world already
knows that the American government's hypocrisy knows
no bounds do we have to flaunt it so brazenly? With
all this brouhaha about the allegedly massive numbers of "isolationists"
in Congress, one would think that at least a few of
them could be rounded up to rid us of this insufferably pretentious
and inherently imperial office. But that, I suppose, is asking
conference was sponsored by the Iraqi
National Congress, an organization entirely funded by
the US taxpayers and with no known support inside Iraq. Although
all Iraqi opposition groups were invited, 11 boycotted the
event, including the Iranian-backed Supreme
Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, with offices
in London, Kurdistan and Teheran. With less than 10,000
guerrillas based in Iran, the Islamic Resistance claims to
represent millions of Shi'ite Muslims in southern Iraq, and
has received not only sanctuary but also weapons and other
assistance by the Iranian government. In extending this invitation,
the US government was letting it be known, through its proxies,
that it was up for a de facto U.S.-Iranian alliance against
Saddam a move with important geopolitical implications
for the region.
much-heralded U.S.-Iranian rapprochement which
started with secret arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims
facilitated by the US, and culminated in the Islamization
of Kosovo by the KLA and its American-piloted air force
is proceeding apace. Although Iranian "moderates"
can only go so far in openly allying with the hated Americans,
simple geography may win out over ideology: for the US is
also targeting the Taliban, in nearby Afghanistan, which is
contesting with the mullahs of Teheran for the loyalties of
Islamic radicals around the world.
GLOBALIZERS VERSUS THE TALIBAN
fiery radicals of the Taliban, originally a student movement
born in the religious schools of Pakistan, look with disdain
at the Iranian satellite dishes that allow Western decadence
to flow into the country unchecked: if you remember, one of
the first acts of the Taliban, upon taking power, was to organize
a mass smashing of the nation's television sets, a kind of
electronic Kristallnacht (or "Night of Broken
Glass"), in which Afghanistan was purged of the pernicious
influence of CNN, Baywatch, and the coming out of Ellen.
EAST AND WEST
that moment on, the American media began to zero in on the
Taliban as the number one enemy of human rights in the world:
their religious beliefs regarding the role of women were particularly
held up to critical scrutiny, and various feminist groups
called for "humanitarian intervention" and even
UN-sponsored economic sanctions. And there you have the ultimate
trans-national trans-ideological coalition: the heirs of the
Ayatollah Khomeini and the heiresses of Betty Friedan.
BUT NO THANKS
the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then the Iranians may
have yet another reason to throw in their lot with the Americans.
Their reward: a piece of Iraq, probably in the south, where
a Shi'ite "Islamic Republic" could be declared as
soon as the invasion starts. That the Islamic Resistance refused
the invitation to the conference is the equivalent of saying
to the Americans: we can do it without you. For what is to
stop the Iranians from moving in just as soon as the Gulf
War begins anew?
YEAR IN BAGHDAD?
in attendance at this propaganda gabfest was Senator Bob Kerrey
(D-Nebraska), who pledged to the delegates that the US remains
"fully committed to providing the opposition both inside
and outside of Iraq the tools needed to bring democracy to
the Iraqi people." Kerrey is the author of the "Iraq
Liberation Act," which shovels millions of your tax dollars
into the rathole inhabited by the perpetually squabbling and
far-from-democratic Iraqi opposition. The following few lines
of Senator Kerrey's speech ought to make the hairs on the
back of your head stand at attention: "I believe that
this historic gathering of Iraqi leaders can take place in
Baghdad next year," the Senator said. "I will pray
for that to happen."
PRAYS FOR WAR
Kerrey is praying for war with Iraq, perhaps before the year
is out and there is every reason to believe that his
prayers may very well be answered. The low-level escalation
of the bombing raids over Iraqi cities has been so continuous
that the news media have practically ceased reporting it,
and it wouldn't take much to ratchet it up. The US is building
a new base in Qatar, right on the Gulf, and expanding existing
facilities, although not without complaints from the Arab
sheiks who maintain their shaky rule against growing fundamentalist
opposition. The capability to wage another war in the Gulf
is being openly assembled, and this gathering of the Iraqi
Fifth Column in New York, combined with the vagaries of the
American political calendar, is an ominous portent.
I write this, we have exactly 1 year, 81 days, 14 hours and
43 minutes until William Jefferson Clinton is safely out of
the White House: the closer we get to Zero Hour, the closer,
I believe, we get to war. Will his legacy be a sperm-stained
dress, or the "liberation" of Iraq? This is the
question Clinton faces as the countdown to the end of his
term continues. The question is, where will the most warlike
President of modern times strike next? But we are already
striking at Iraq, practically every week, and this proposed
alliance with Iranian-trained fundamentalist warriors
as in Bosnia could well be the prelude to a new regional
militant Islamic groups, as well as the
were contemptuous of the INC's
pretensions: "The Americans deal with the Iraqi issue
according to their goals," he said. "They called
for the meeting because they could not do anything on the
ground," sniffed Bayan Jabr, the Syria representative
of the Iran-based Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution
in Iraq. "Real opposition should be in the field. Overthrowing
Saddam cannot be done miles away." Oh, but it can
miles above the ground, that is, in the skies
over Iraq, as American bombers drop their "payloads"
on the heads of a martyred people. As a warrior, Bayan Jabr
assumes that the New York convocation was the gathering of
an army, meant to fight and overthrow Saddam. But this was
an army of administrators, the functionaries of a government
that has not yet taken power. If they ever do make it to Baghdad,
it will be on the backs of US Army tanks, and not as the result
of a popular uprising.
I argued in a
recent column reporting on a similar conference involving
the Serbian opposition, the US uses its bought-and-paid-for
"opposition" groups much as the old Soviet Union
treated the member parties of the Communist International
as potential fifth columnists rather than aspiring
revolutionaries, more akin to East Germany's Walter Ulbright
and Poland's General Jaruzelski (or, if you prefer, the Nazi
analogy, Vidkung Quisling and Field Marshall Petain) than
George Washington and the Founding Fathers.
US troops occupy Baghdad, Washington is going to need native
satraps to carry out its orders under the guise of
"democracy," what else? Thus, although the Iraqis
are due to receive some military training, eventually, the
bulk of the money is going to give the Iraqis lessons in "democracy."
According to news reports, "beginning Monday, four Iraqi
opposition leaders are expected to begin classes on democracy
in Florida, with more to follow." While the future leaders
of Iraq loll about on the beach, listening to audiotapes of
Madeleine Albright's speeches, reading the complete works
of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and undergoing what Pentagon spokesman
Kenneth Bacon described as "non-lethal training,"
sanctions squeeze the very life out of the Iraqi people, and
the noose around their nation's neck draws ever tighter.