Friday, March 21, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 6: Nefarious Aggression Segment 13/14
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The New York Times did, however, report on the same day that Yasser Arafat, after consultations with Saddam Hussein, indicated that neither of them "insisted that the Palestinian problem be solved before Iraqi troops get out of Kuwait."58 According to Arafat, the report continues, "Mr. Hussein's statement Aug. 12, linking an Iraqi withdrawal to an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, was no longer operative as a negotiating demand." All that is necessary is "a strong link to be guaranteed by the five permanent members of the Security Council that we have to solve all the problems in the Gulf, in the Middle East and especially the Palestinian cause."

Two weeks before the deadline for Iraqi withdrawal, then, it seemed that war might be avoided on these terms: Iraq would withdraw completely from Kuwait with a U.S. pledge not to attack withdrawing forces; foreign troops leave the region; the Security Council indicates a serious commitment to settle other major regional problems. Disputed border issues would be left for later consideration. The possibility was flatly rejected by Washington, and scarcely entered the media or public awareness. The U.S. and Britain maintained their commitment to force alone.

The strength of that commitment was again exhibited when France made a last-minute effort to avoid war on January 14, proposing that the Security Council call for "a rapid and massive withdrawal" from Kuwait along with a statement that Council members would bring their "active contribution" to a settlement of other problems of the region, "in particular, of the Arab-Israeli conflict and in particular to the Palestinian problem by convening, at an appropriate moment, an international conference" to assure "the security, stability and development of this region of the world." The French proposal was supported by Belgium, a Council member, and Germany, Spain, Italy, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and several non-aligned nations. The U.S. and Britain rejected it (along with the Soviet Union, irrelevantly). U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering stated that the proposal was unacceptable, because it went beyond previous U.N. resolutions on the Iraqi invasion.59

The Ambassador's statement was technically correct. The wording of the proposal is drawn from a different source, namely, a Security Council decision of December 20, adjoined to Resolution 681, which calls on Israel to observe the Geneva Conventions in the occupied territories. In that statement the members of the Security Council called for "an international conference, at an appropriate time, properly structured," to help "achieve a negotiated settlement and lasting peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict." The statement was excluded from the Resolution itself to prevent a U.S. veto, and left as a codicil. Note that there was no "linkage" to the Iraqi invasion, which was unmentioned.

We cannot know whether the French initiative might have succeeded in averting war. The U.S. feared that it might, and therefore blocked it, in accord with its zealous opposition to any form of diplomacy, and, in this case, its equally strong opposition to an international conference. In this rejectionism, George Bush was joined by Saddam Hussein, who gave no public indication of any interest in the French proposal, though doing so might possibly have averted war.

The unwavering U.S. position was expressed with great clarity by President Bush in the letter that he wrote to Saddam Hussein on January 5, rejected by Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz when it was presented to him by Secretary of State James Baker, on the grounds that its language was inappropriate for correspondence between heads of state. In this letter, Bush stated: "There can be no reward for aggression. Nor will there by any negotiation. Principle cannot be compromised." He merely "informed" Saddam Hussein that his choice was to capitulate without negotiation, or be crushed by force.60 Diplomacy is not an option.

One might fairly question how serious or promising these options were. To ignore them or dismiss them as "baloney" is to demand a resolution through the threat or use of military force, whatever the consequences, which could be horrendous. The significance and longer-term import of these facts should not be obscured.

Given the current U.S. concern to ensure that Iraq's non-conventional weapons capacity be destroyed, it is worth recalling another rejected Iraqi offer. On April 12, 1990, Saddam Hussein, then still a friend and ally, offered to destroy his arsenal of chemical and other non-conventional weapons if Israel agreed to eliminate its chemical and nuclear weapons. Again in December, the Iraqi Ambassador to France stated that "Iraq would scrap chemical and mass destruction weapons if Israel was also prepared to do so," Reuters reported. Responding to the April offer, transmitted by a group of U.S. Senators, the State Department said it welcomes Iraq's willingness to destroy its arsenals but opposes the link "to other issues or weapons systems" (State Department spokesman Richard Boucher).61 Note that the other weapons systems are left unmentioned; the phrase "Israeli nuclear weapons" cannot be pronounced by any U.S. official, because acknowledgement of their existence would raise the question why all U.S. aid to Israel is not illegal under amendments to the foreign aid act from the 1970s barring aid to any country engaged in clandestine nuclear weapons development.

It is not the threat of mass destruction and the capacity to coerce that disturbs us; rather, it is important that it be wielded by the proper hands, ours or our client's.

Go to the next segment.

58 Patrick Tyler, NYT, Jan. 3.

59 Trevor Rowe, Boston Globe, Jan. 15; Paul Lewis, NYT, Jan. 15; AP, Jan 15, 1991.

60 AP, Jan. 14, 1990.

61 AP, April 13, 1990. Reuters, BG, April 14; Financial Times, Dec. 18, 1990. KEYWORDS terrorist democracy elections cia mossad bnd nsa covert operation 911 mi6 inside job what really happened wtc pentagon joint chiefs of staff jcs centcom laser hologram usa mi5 undercover agent female sex exploitation perception deception power anarchy green social democratic participation japanese spy black-op false flag gladio terror.

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