WASHINGTON, DC -- While Israel manuafactures weapons of mass destruction, occupies land by force for over 30 years, and has been condemned by the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly in several dozen resolutions, Israel's willing executioners are preparing to bomb Iraq, and to put Americans unnecessarilly at risk.
"Israel has repeatedly accused Arab and Islamic countries hostile to it of manufacturing [weapons of mass destruction] on a large scale," says the The Times of London (Sep. 25), "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."
For over 30 years Israel has illegally occupied portions of the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, passed November 22, 1967, emphasized "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war," and contained the underlying formula for all Midlle East peace initiatives since then -- land for peace. During this period Israel has brutalized the Palestinians, instigated the massacre of refugees in Lebanon, and bombed the UN supervised refugee camp at Qana. Palestinians have retaliated with suicide bombings.
Iraqi charges of UNSCOM -- the organization charged with finding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- being a U.S.-Israel operation cannot be dismissed.
"According to three officials with direct knowledge of the relationship," says The Washington Post (September 29), "Israel had become by July 1995 the most important single contributor among the dozens of U.N. member states that have supplied information to UNSCOM since its creation in April 1991. . . Israel and UNSCOM have protected the operation among their most sensitive secrets."
The BBC reported (November 3) that a British Member of Parliament has said that "four members of the United Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq are Israeli spies. Labour's George Galloway, who has campaigned against air strikes on Iraq, named four people he alleged were agents of Mossad, the Israeli secret service, working under false names and papers with the UNSCOM team."
Peter J. Boyer's article in the The New Yorker (November 9) confirms that UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter began exchanging information with Israeli intelligence in 1994. Ritter provided Israel U-2 spy plane photos, which could be used to target Iraq, and Ritter's inspections were guided by Israel.
Brian Jenkins of CNBC reported (November 11, 9pm CST) that NBC has confirmed through their own sources that UNSCOM inspectors have indeed been providing intelligence information, including targeting intelligence information, to the U.S. government.
Meanwhile sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf War have devastated the Iraqi people. According to the International Action Center, "The sanctions have already killed 1.5 million Iraqis over the past eight years. 8,000 more die each month. Sanctions are genocidal weapons of mass destruction and they must be lifted immediately. The weapons inspection process proved itself to be an endless farce. It is incredibly hypocritical for the U.S. -- with more weapons than all other countries combined -- to be leading the way."
With no end to U.N. sanctions in sight, Iraq halted cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors on October 31, but said it wants a peaceful solution, and has permitted the International Atomic Energy Agency, accompanied by UNSCOM inspectors, to continue inspections unimpeded. Iraq says it has destroyed its weapons of mass destruction, and that "it is the U.S. that is not complying with U.N. resolutions."
President Clinton chose the anniversary of the armistice ending World War I to further threaten Iraq. He charges that failure to act "would permanently damage the credibility of the U.N. Security Council to act as a force for promoting international peace." It is a phrase reminiscent of Plato's unnamed Athenian Stranger who favored "seeking peace by making war," says former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Defense Secretary William S. Cohen warned that U.S. credibility is on the line, and "time is running out for Iraq to avert a military strike."
To understand the U.S. rush to war one has only to look as far as those advising President Clinton. While Arabs and Muslims are excluded from high-level policy making, "Jewish Americans," says Graham E. Fuller, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, "occupy nearly every single senior position relating to U.S. Arab-Israeli policy." One might say the same about U.S. media. Israel is leading the U.S. to war, and Americans may die protecting Israel's hegemony over the Middle East.
President Clinton is known for his close ties to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. "AlPAC's former president, David Steiner, resigned in the fall of 1992," wrote The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (February/March 1994), "after publication of a tape recording in which he was heard boasting that he was 'negotiating' with the Clinton campaign over who would be the new administration's secretary of state."
The U.N. lost credibility during the Gulf War when it hastily passed Resolution 678 authorizing the use of force against Iraq, but failed to prevent Serb massacres in Bosnia and Kosova. President Clinton's credibility has, to put it charitably, been severely compromised. What is on the line now are American lives, and American values. Israel's willing executioners are sacrificing both, as they lead us to the genocide of a decimated people.
[Tim Weiner of The New York Times wrote ("U.S. Spied on Iraq Under U.N. Cover, Officials Now Say," January 7, 1999): "United States officials said on Wednesday that American spies had worked undercover on teams of United Nations arms inspectors ferreting out secret Iraqi weapons programs."]