Issue Number 21 - December 19, 2002

 

 

 

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The writer is the founding President of the W. E. B. Du Bois Foundation, Inc., honoring his stepfather, and a retired Professor in Journalism and African-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The unprecedented victory for the party in power in the recent midterm elections means war with Iraq is now inevitable - unless an effective, global no-war-with-Iraq movement emerges. The unexpected unanimity in the United Nations Security Council vote on the resolution on Iraq will merely delay that war. The war hawks were not expecting such unity. People of Color in the Americas and around the world, understanding better than most the true hegemonic objectives of the U.S. and the UK and their "war against terrorism," have a sacred duty and special responsibility. We must join with and strengthen the already developing European and domestic movement against war with Iraq. We must be in the front ranks of that struggle, and we must be prepared to take over the reins of leadership of that struggle when the full force of modern day, corporate imperialism is unleashed on that anti-war movement. It is not a position many cherish. But, it is the only hope for peace in our time.

The pro-Bush/Republican Party results of the midterm elections together with the passage of the Congressional bi-partisan resolution giving the Administration the right to wage war with Iraq if it so chooses, has provided the U.S. Administration with all the authority it believes it needs. It does not matter that well less than half of the eligible voters in the country bothered to vote in the midterm elections. It does not matter what the Europeans or anyone else thinks. It does not matter that the President was compelled to go before the United Nations by a justifiable domestic fear of the possibility of "going it alone". Having decided, under pressure, to take the matter to the United Nations, President Bush proceeded to scold the world body for failing in its responsibility to force implementation of a long list of UN resolutions initially formulated to punish Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait.

In a demonstration of supreme arrogance Bush insulted UN Secretary General Kofi Anan and the leadership of the United Nations Organizations for "not doing their job." Thus, he ended up having to agree to a resolution far removed from that demanded in his original presentation. While his address was applauded by U.S. pundits and government officials alike, the world leaders understood that because of his threat of U.S. military action made before the United Nations Organization, whose very reason for being is to maintain peace in the world, they must act together to stop him.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was given the impossible task of selling the US/UK position to the other thirteen members of the Security Council. After long and what must have been for Powell torturous meetings and discussions with the Heads of Delegations of the rotating members of the Security Council (Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Guinea, Ireland, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Singapore and Syria) and with France, the Russian Federation, China, and the U.K, the nations with veto power, they all firmly agreed; they would vote for a resolution that 1) removed any threat of or automatic military action in the event of Iraqi resistance and 2) guaranteed that Hans Blitz, leader of UNMOVIC (the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) and Mohammed El Baradei, of the International Atomic Energy Agency, co-leaders of the inspection teams, would report back to the UN Security Council in case of a "material breach" to allow the Security Council to review the alleged breach and decide on action.

The composition of the UN Security Council at this juncture is significant: nine developing (third world) countries of peoples of color, four developed countries and Singapore (a city-state) and Ireland. In other words a Security Council overwhelmingly representative of peoples of color. They must have made it very clear to Colin Powell that no matter what the US could offer them in the way of money, arms, diplomatic favor and other bribes in return for their support, they would vote for peace. So, it was not all just a matter of what France, China or the Russian Federation would do. Although one would never know it from the coverage provided by the U.S. media.

As the inspections take their course without major problems and the threatening rhetoric continues from the White House, the Pentagon, and in the media, more and more nations and leaders are clarifying their position. That position is - any military action against Iraq must be approved by the United Nations Security Council. While in the US more and more militaristic news and information of every variety daily fills the TV, the newspapers and even the National Public Radio, to prepare the American people for war. This only reveals the determination of the war hawks to press ahead, regardless of the United Nations action or what the inspectors find and regardless of the growing anti-war sentiment domestically and throughout the world.

At the same time President Bush repeats over and over that the inspectors don't have to actually find Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. "We know that they are there. It is the responsibility of Iraq to prove to us it has no such weapons or programs to build them." In other words, Saddam must prove a negative! Despite repeated claims by the US and the UK that they have concrete evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction within Iraq, that evidence has not been turned over to the inspection teams as requested. Instead, with great fanfare, Britain releases a report on and much used video material of
repression in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, most of which Amnesty International released to the world months and months and months ago.

A great challenge faces the American people. An even greater challenge faces America's peoples of Color, throughout North America, Central and South America, and the islands of the Seas. We have an opportunity to join with and help build a peoples, global peace movement. Such a peoples movement would encourage leaders from around the world, many of whom have already expressed their opposition to a war with Iraq, to openly oppose that war, and thus isolate and defeat the enemies of peace.

David Graham Du Bois
dubois@afroam.umass.edu

www.blackcommentator.com

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