Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Iraq: The Failure of an Entire World

(Originally posted at The Motley Patriot)

In 2003, the United States under President Bush set a dangerous precedent; it invaded a foreign, sovereign nation based on lies. Why was this unprecedented? No, it wasn't the war itself; nations have warred for centuries. It wasn't that the war was based on lies or false rhetoric in the press; both of those have occurred before. It was unprecedented because the world had two responses to this action; part of the world yawned then turned their heads while the other part actually signed on to assist.

In 2003, the United States under President Bush set another dangerous precedent; it disbanded a government totally, told the native citizens it would live under new rules, new guidelines, and it would do so at the end of a gun. Why was this unprecedented? No, it wasn't the changing of governments after an invasion; that has occurred. No, it wasn't that the natives were forced to comply upon threat of violence; that, too, has occurred. No, this was unprecedented because, again, the world either yawned and turned their heads, or, actively participated.

The war in Iraq is not just the failure of President Bush, but, of the entire world.

In 1937, Japan invaded China. The world was neither silent nor complicit. Immediate embargos were put against Japan by the United States, Britain and the East Indies. It was, after four years of these sanctions, that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. It was December 7th, 1941, that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. It was December 8th, 1941, that America and Britain declared war on Japan.

It was September 1st, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. On September 2nd, 1939, Britain and France tell Germany that unless it withdraws its forces, Germany would face war with not only Poland, but, with Britain and France, as well. On September 3rd, 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany.

On March 20th, 2003, the United States invaded Iraq. On March 21st, 2003, the world was silent or complicit to this invasion.

Why would the world sit idle while America and its "allies" attacked, invaded, and occupied a sovereign country?

- United Nations resolutions

It was on February 5th, 2003, that Colin Powell made the case for war against Iraq to the United Nations; a case that has now been totally discredited. In 2003, a United Nations resolution authorizing war with Iraq was sought and subsequently withdrawn when France threatened to veto it. The United States then relied on earlier UN Resolution 1441 to "justify" the invasion of Iraq. UN Resolution 1441 had just been passed by the United Nations in November 2002. However, UN Resolution 1441 gave no specific authority to invade and occupy Iraq to other UN member states. In fact, by the United States seeking just a specific resolution through the United Nations that did authorize war, the United States was admitting that there were no previous authorizations given.

So, why did the United Nations then fail to act when the United States did invade Iraq?

- Blackmail

On February 26th, 2003, almost a full month prior to the United States assault on Iraq, the Institute for Policy Studies released a report on just how President Bush was applying "pressure" to countries to either join in the attack, or, look the other way. In fact, only six nations seemed to join the "coalition of the willing" in 2003... well... willingly; Spain, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Portugal, and Japan. The rest of the "coalition" was, in fact, coerced, bribed or bullied. While I would love to reprint this entire report in full, I cannot due to space, so, please take the time to read it.

- The wiretapping of United Nations officials

In February 2004, allegations surfaced that Prime Minister Blair had "bugged" United Nations Secretary General Annan's office. However, it was in March 2003 that the Observer wrote that the NSA was wiretapping United Nations officials.

- The United States withdraws from the International Criminal Court

On May 7th, 2002, President Bush withdrew the United States from recognizing the International Criminal Court. No doubt, this was done because of the torture memo's, the foreseeable debacle of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons, much less the invasion itself.

- The United States blackmails countries into signing Bi-Lateral Immunity Agreements

In June 2003, the United States blackmailed Croatia and Slovenia into signing the agreement. However, due to some countries resisting the pressure and the blackmailing being exposed by the press, President Bush took another tact; make the blackmail legal. In December 2004, the United States Congress sanctioned the blackmail by passing a bill that stated, in part, that: "None of the funds made available in this act ... may be used to provide assistance to the government of a country that is a party to the International Criminal Court and has not entered into an agreement with the United States."

This is only part of the history of how President Bush kept the United Nations silent or complicit. The fact remains; the United Nations, and countries in the world, allowed President Bush to blackmail them, allowed themselves to be bullied, and they share as much of the blame for Iraq as President Bush for doing so. As I write in this article, it appears that the Democrats in Congress share in the distinction of being blackmailed, or at least bullied, by President Bush, and as such, they too hold a measure of blame for Iraq.

That our country is run by a criminal and a bully is not news. That the nations of the world would sit idly by, or allow themselves to be blackmailed into complicity, shouldn't be either, but, it happened. There was a time when our Congress stood up to bullies and criminals. There was a time when the world did the same. Obviously, that time, it seems, has sadly passed.

If our own Congress will not stand up, if the leaders of the world will not stand up, who then, is left but the private citizens? We stood up. Citizens around the world stood up. We protested. We marched. As one collective voice we said "NO". We were, and have been, ignored by our politicians.

As possible war with Iran looms over the horizon, as it appears our own Congress will once again be cowed, or blackmailed, into complicity, but, what of the world? Will the nations of the world, once again, sit idly by, or worse, be blackmailed into complicity again? Or, is this to be World War II all over again, as one nation attacks another and the world stands tall issuing a firm demand, "remove your troops or face war." Time will tell.