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Points of Unity for a Peaceful World!

1. Condemning all forms of Imperialistic War which profits the ruling class.

2. Condemning all forms of Terrorism, including State-Sponsered Terroeism.

3. Against predomintly drafting poor people and minorities for the military.

4. Pecognizing True Constitutional Democracy.

5. Against the creation of a Police State and its attack on Civil Liberties.

6. Against the U.S. industrial military complex and economic policies.

7. Advocating for International Human Rights.

8. Demanding fair and responsible journalism.

9. Developing a progressive consciousness in the educaional system.

10. Demanding responsible use of our tax money.

Current Research on the U.S. War on Iraq by author,

Iraq: "The Longstanding U.S. War Against the People of Iraq."

The CIAs covert war would involve arming and training Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq and Shiite forces in Kuwait. [1]

(Operations) in the next few months, based at the Turkish air force base at Konya. Once upgraded, Konya could be used alongside Incirlik as a base for air strikes on northern Iraq. [2]

The significant risk that Saddam - aware that unlike during the Gulf war his own life is at stake this time - would use chemical and biological weapons against US troop concentrations and Israel. [3]

The generals remain deeply uneasy about the Iraqi chemical and biological retaliation against US troop concentrations or against Israel in the event of a conflict. [4]

US allies in the Middle East have been informed that a decision to attack Iraq has already been taken, and diplomats from the region said yesterday they were resigned to the inevitability of a war that may threaten the stability of a string of Arab regimes. [5]

France, Germany and others in the European Union have been queuing up to make clear to Mr Bush that they will not support him in military action against Iraq. The German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, this week joined the French foreign minister, Hubert Védrine, in expressing publicly his concern about US policy towards Iraq. [6]

The outset that the campaign would have two phases: the first focusing on Afghanistan and the second looking at different aspects of international terrorism. [7]

Internationally, Saddam invaded Iran (with Western support), and when that war was going badly turned to chemical weapons (also with Western support). He invaded Kuwait and was quickly driven out. [8]

Bush authorized loan guarantees and sale of advanced technology with clear applications for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) right up to the day of the Kuwait invasion, sometimes overriding congressional efforts to prevent what he was doing. Britain was still authorizing export of military equipment and radioactive materials a few days after the invasion. [9]

The US and Britain were supporting him, even providing him with dual-use technology that he could use for nuclear and chemical weapons development, as he presumably did. [10]

The Bush administration was granting licenses for dual use technology and "materials which were later utilized by the Iraq regime for nuclear missile and chemical purposes." [11]

Furthermore, since 1991 his regime has been constrained by "no fly zones," regular overflights and bombing, and very tight surveillance.

Saddam and bin Laden were bitter enemies, and there's no particular reason to suppose that there have been any changes in that regard. [12]

Saddam is probably less of a danger now than before 9-11, and far less of a threat than when he was enjoying substantial support from the US-UK (and many others). That raises a few questions. If Saddam is such a threat to the survival of civilization today that the global enforcer has to resort to war, why wasn't that true a year ago? And much more dramatically, in early 1990? [13]

One nation has armed itself, ostensibly, with stockpiles of nuclear weapons, perhaps numbering in the hundreds, and that inspires other nations to do so." [14]

Israel is virtually an offshore US military base. [15]

On self-designated "world policemen," we have plenty of historical evidence, and I don't think there can be much doubt what it reveals. Every murderous and violent action that I can call up in memory has been justified by the highest moral principles, from Yahweh's genocidal commands, to preserving civilization from the Jewish-Bolshevik threat,. [16]

An example, The official "world policeman" bitterly condemned Vietnam's criminal overthrow of Pol Pot and exploited it as an opportunity to intensify the punishment of Vietnamese (and to support Pol Pot). [17]

In the 1980s, when the "world policeman" eagerly supported him during his most horrendous crimes. [18]

It would have been better to leave Saddam alone by withdrawing US support for his crimesby far the worst he has so far committed. [19]

If "the Iraqi government's ability to create mayhem" is what "is behind much of the existing popular support for the US/UK military actions," then couldn't critics of US policy gain a wider audience "by addressing this concern directly"? [20]

If we want to understand what is happening, we cannot follow the consistent (and understandable) practice of the media and commentators and suppress the not-irrelevant fact that the US supported Saddam through his worst crimes, which were pre-August 1990, and returned to support for their old friend as he undertook another campaign of vast slaughter in March 1991 to suppress a popular rebellion to which the US was opposed. Nor can we overlook the fact that the media and intellectual opinion generally cooperated all the way. [21]

Impeding him would have been quite simple: stop supporting him and make public the facts. [22]

If "the Iraqi government's ability to create mayhem" is what "is behind much of the existing popular support for the US/UK military actions," then couldn't critics of US policy gain a wider audience "by addressing this concern directly"? [23]

If inspectors and bombers could eliminate every last pistol and bullet in Iraq, it would have essentially no effect on development of weapons of mass destruction, unless the country is near-totally destroyed. The US has to the capacity to do that, but won't use it, for one reason because it hopes to gain control of Iraq's extraordinary oil wealth when supplies begin to decline and prices begin to rise. [24]

August 1990 to January 1991, when the US was desperately seeking to avoid the "nightmare scenario" it envisaged, that Saddam would withdraw from Kuwait leaving a puppet regime in place, in essence duplicating what the US had just done in Panama. The press cooperated by suppressing the negotiations options, and they have now virtually been written out of history. But that was a specific situation, during that period. Since January 1991, the issues are different: not withdrawal from Kuwait, but termination of weapons programs. [25]

"A good place to start for addressing the current situation is with the UN and the UN Charter," and you add, again correctly, that "the latter can't be the only solution, because as I understand it, the murderous sanctions being imposed on the Iraqi people are warranted by the UN". [26]

How we contain Washington. Let me stress the obvious once again: unless we are willing to undertake that task, the rest of the talk is just diversion and deception, of ourselves and others. [27]

Unless we are willing to confront US policy, then we might as well admit that we are not willing to go beyond empty talk. [28]

The US and its increasingly pathetic British lieutenant want the world to understand -- and in particular want the people of the Middle East region to understand -- that "What We Say Goes," as Bush defined his New World Order while the missiles were raining on Baghdad in February 1991. [29]

Rather, the US and its client simply informed the world that they are criminal states, and that the structure of binding international law and conventions that has been laboriously constructed over many years is now terminated. [30]

Though the fact is carefully suppressed, we would do well to bear in mind that the US/UK were highly protective of their admired friend and trading partner Saddam Hussein right through the period of his worst crimes (gassing of Kurds, etc.), and returned to support for him right after the Gulf War, in March 1991, as he turned to crushing a Shi'ite rebellion in the South that might have overthrown his regime. [31]

At the end of 1998, the United States once again rained bombs on the people of Iraq. But even when the bombs stop falling, the U.S. war against the people of Iraq continues through the harsh economic sanctions. This is a call to action to end all the war. [32]

This month U.S. policy will kill 4,500 children under the age of 5 in Iraq, according to UN studies, just as it did last month and the month before that, all the way back to 1991. Since the end of the Gulf War, at least hundreds of thousands -- maybe more than 1 million -- Iraqis have died as a direct result of the UN sanctions on Iraq, which are a direct result of U.S. policy. [33]

This is not foreign policy -- it is sanctioned mass-murder that is nearing holocaust proportions. If we remain silent, we are condoning a genocide that is being perpetrated in the name of peace in the Middle East, a mass slaughter that is being perpetrated in our name. [34]

Just as Americans organized to stop the war in Vietnam, and to protest U.S. policies in Central America and South Africa. We need a national campaign to lift the sanctions.[35]

Individuals and groups have been delivering medicine and other supplies to Iraq in defiance of the U.S. blockade. Now, members of one of those groups, Voices in the Wilderness in Chicago, have been threatened with massive fines by the federal government for "exportation of donated goods, including medical supplies and toys, to Iraq absent specific prior authorization." Our government is harassing a peace group that takes medicine and toys to dying children; we owe these courageous activists our support. [36]

To oppose the sanctions is to support the Iraqi people. The people are suffering because of the actions of both the Iraqi and U.S. governments, but our moral responsibility lies here in the United States, to counter the hypocrisy and inhumanity of our leaders. [37]

The American people do not know what evil is being carried out in our name. We must continue to apply pressure on journalists at all levels -- from our local papers to the network news -- to cover this tragedy. We should overwhelm the major press with letters to the editor and put pressure on journalists to cover the story. [38]

Without action by us, the horrors will go on, the children will continue to die. We must appeal to the natural sympathies of the American people, who will respond if they know what is happening. We must therefore bring this issue, in every way we can, to national attention. The only way to avoid complicity in this crime is to do everything we can, and much more than we have been doing, to end the sanctions on Iraq. This issue must be discussed in every household and every public forum across the country. [39]

295 inspection operations out of a total of 300 were satisfactory. That's 98 per cent cooperation on Iraq's part! For that Iraq was barraged with hundreds of cruise missiles and hundreds of bombs. Over 400 cruise missiles were fired on Iraq from US ships in the Gulf and from B-52 bombers, in what was the biggest bombardment ever of cruise missiles. [40]

Iraq, today, is a country ruined by war and economic sanctions. Today, the inhabitants of that great nation, home to the world's second-largest oil reserves, are living on government handouts. As one parent of a sick child put it, "We are rich, we are sitting on a pool of oil, but our children are starving and people are dying". [41]

Economic sanctions were imposed on Iraq in August 1990, within hours of its invasion of Kuwait. Their effects have been devastating. According to the UN's own agencies (UNICEF, WHO, FAO, WFP) over 600,000 children under the age of five have died since sanctions were imposed. UNICEF reports that 6,000-7,000 children are dying each month, in Iraq, because of malnutrition (virtually unheard of before the sanctions) and curable diseases for which they have no treatment. The death rate for Iraqi children age five and under has almost tripled since sanctions were imposed in 1990, mainly due to diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. Pre-sanctions, child mortality in Iraq was on a par with much of the Western world. [42]

Less than a decade ago Iraq had a health care system comparable to the West, the most advanced and efficient in the region. Today that health care system is near total collapse. Before the trade embargo, the Iraqi Ministry of Health spent more than 500 million dollars on drugs and medical supplies; that budget has now been reduced by 90-95 per cent. [43]

Eight years of economic warfare have caused the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqi civilians. This is a crime against humanity. This is genocide. "Our quarrel is not with the Iraqi people", say those responsible, but it is the Iraqi people who are suffering.[44]

This is Iraq today. This is the 'real' Iraq - the Iraq our governments do not want us to know about, the hidden, unreported suffering - the 'silent war' of the Iraqi people. This picture of Iraq is carefully hidden from the public eye. [45]

Our leaders would have us believe that Iraq is a dangerous and powerful military threat, needing to be permanently 'kept in check' by means of crippling sanctions and regular bombardment. The reality is a devastated country with a shattered infrastructure, a health system near collapse and a destroyed economy.[46]

If, as he is so fond of reminding us, "our quarrel is not with the Iraqi people", then why should he expect the British public to be anti-Iraq? If, as he says, our "quarrel" is with the Iraqi leader - and him alone - then how does that justify being against the entire nation, the whole population? After all, Iraq is a country of 22 million people, not just one![47]

Why was he so opposed to the British people seeing for themselves the suffering of the Iraqi people? Why did he not want us to see what our country was doing to the lives of ordinary Iraqi civilians? Why did he not want us to see the wounded, the suffering, death and human misery, to learn the shameful truth of what was being done to this small third world country in our name?[48]

As the bombardment continued, the British Defence Secretary George Robertson appeared ever-more frequently on news bulletins, reminding us of the "bravery" of our armed forces and how proud we should feel as these "courageous" men and women carried out their dangerous "mission", thousands of miles from home. [49]

But what courage does it take to barrage a small, defenceless third world country with hundreds of cruise missiles, fired from warships stationed miles away from their targets in the Persian Gulf, or to rain down 2,000 pound 'smart' bombs from warplanes at 40,000 feet in the darkness of night? What risk was there to these pilots? Virtually none. The 'risk' to the Iraqi people, those on the receiving end of the assault, on the other hand, was significant.[50]

Our politicians are fond of accusing the Iraqi leader of lacking respect for human life, when, clearly, our so-called 'civilised' leaders here in the US and Britain have demonstrated that they themselves have no respect for the lives of Iraqis. They are hypocrites.[51]

This was not an act of bravery, carried out by courageous men and women, in the name of "world peace" and "international security". Rather, this was an illegal, unprovoked, unjustified and one-sided assault carried out by government-hired professional killers who will never be held to justice for their crimes, against a country unable to defend itself. It was an act of state-sponsored terrorism, unbefitting to two great nations that pride themselves as being 'civilised'. It is the Iraqi people who are brave. And it is to them, the victims of this atrocity - this crime against humanity - that our respect should rightfully go.[52]

Just as it did eight years ago during the Gulf War, the government has used and manipulated the media to serve their purposes. As the Iraqis tended their wounded and mourned their dead from the bombardment of the previous night, our politicians were out in force, spreading their propaganda and false information to the British public.[53]

How can a small country which has been battered and pounded so heavily as Iraq, which, at the height of its military might, and over a period of eight long years, was unable to defeat its neighbour, Iran, ...a country which, today, is unable to defend itself and which is now, itself, vulnerable to invasion - how can such a country seriously and realistically be considered a "threat" to its neighbours, much less the entire world? [54]

In addition to helping shore up public opinion, such tactics help overshadow any news of the sanctions, and serve as a useful distraction from the suffering of the Iraqi people. They are tools used by the government and its media allies to distract us from, and keep from the spotlight, the real issues at the heart of this continuing crisis.

But what kind of 'diplomacy' is this, where agreement can only be achieved while one party has the threat of "military action" hanging over them? That is akin to holding a gun to someone's head as a means of 'persuading' them to sign a document they would otherwise refuse to sign, and afterwards claiming 'diplomacy' had won the day.

This is not diplomacy. True diplomacy means discussion and freedom to negotiate, ending in an agreement which is acceptable to both parties. It is not one side being backed into a corner, "Agree to this....or else we will bomb you". [55]

So-called "containment" plan amounts to maintaining indefinitely their huge military presence in the Persian Gulf, continuing the oil embargo, a never-ending weapons inspection process, maintaining never-ending "no-fly zones" over the north and south of the country, interspersed with periodic bombings.[56]

Iraq has paid a heavy price for its invasion of Kuwait. It has lost a great deal, including part of its own soil. At the end of the Gulf War, the UN decided to redraw Iraq's border with Kuwait, giving Kuwait 400 sq miles of Iraqi territory, including Iraqi oil fields (from which it now reportedly extracts some 14,000 barrels of oil a day).[57]

As Iraq starves, many of its Arab neighbours continue to get richer; Iraq's loss is their gain. Saudi Arabia, in particular, has benefitted greatly from the huge reduction in the flow of Iraqi oil. Pre-Gulf War, the Saudis exported less than 5 million barrels of oil a day. Today, as a result of the sanctions against Iraq, they export more than 9 million barrels a day. Since the imposition of sanctions against Iraq in 1990, Saudi Arabia has made more than 200 billion dollars - most of which is spent in the US, buying billions of dollars of military hardware. [58]

Under Security Council Resolution 986 - the 'oil-for-food' deal - the UN allows Iraq to sell 5.26 billion dollars worth of oil every six months to purchase food and medicines. However, Iraq is unable to pump more than 3 billion dollars worth of oil due to the deterioration of oil field equipment under sanctions.[59]

In order to maintain the sanctions on Iraq, the US and Britain persist in demanding that the inspections prove a negative, which is impossible. [60]

Quite logically, Iraq has concluded that the US has no intention of lifting the sanctions - no matter what they do. Whether Iraq cooperates 100 per cent, or not at all, the outcome will be the same and sanctions will remain. With no hope, no end in sight, there is no incentive for Iraq to cooperate further. [61]

While the mighty US goes about "protecting its interests" in the Persian Gulf, the suffering masses in this besieged land are losing hope. [62]

Some 200,000 Iraqis lost their lives in the 1991 Gulf War. Families were devastated. Children lost their fathers, mothers lost their sons, and multitudes of young Iraqi women were made widows as their husbands were slaughtered by the thousand in the massacre. 90,000 tonnes of bombs - the equivalent of seven and a half Hiroshima bombs - were dropped on the people of Iraq in the 43 days of the Gulf War, the biggest bombardment since the Second World War. [63]

Eight years on and the people of Iraq are still burying their dead, [64]

[1] www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,649917,00.html
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.

[8] www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2002-09/05chomsky.cfm
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.

[16] www.zmag.org/forums/chomiraqfor.htm
[17] Ibid.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Ibid.
[27] Ibid.
[28] Ibid.

[29] www.zmag.org/forums/chomiraqb.htm
[30] Ibid.

[31] www.zmag.org/CrisesCurEvts/Iraq/callaction.htm
[32] Ibid.
[33] Ibid.
[34] Ibid.
[35] Ibid.
[36] Ibid.
[37] Ibid.
[38] Ibid.
[39] Ibid.

[40] www.nonviolence.org/commentary/messages/6051.htm
[41] Ibid.
[42] Ibid.
[43] Ibid.
[44] Ibid.
[45] Ibid.
[46] Ibid.
[47] Ibid.
[48] Ibid.
[49] Ibid.
[50] Ibid.
[51] Ibid.
[52] Ibid.
[53] Ibid.
[54] Ibid.
[55] Ibid.
[56] Ibid.
[57] Ibid.
[58] Ibid.
[59] Ibid.
[60] Ibid.
[61] Ibid.
[62] Ibid.
[63] Ibid.

References

1. Borger, Julian. MacAskill. U.S. Targets Saddam. The Guardian. 2/14/02.
2. Chomsky, Noam. Albert from Z-Mag. Interviews Chomsky on Iraq. 9/5/02.
3. Chomsky, Noam. Three ZNet Forum Messages form Noam Chomsky Regarding the Iraq Bombings and Subsequent Issues.
4. Chomsky, Noam. Chomsky Comment on Iraq Bombing.
5. Chomsky, Noam. Herman, Edward. Said, Edward. Zinn, Howard. A Call to Action on Sanctions and the U.S. War against the People of Iraq.
6. McDonald, Janice. Iraq: The War That Never Ended.
7. McReynolds, David. Iraqi Analysis.
8. Non-Violence. Org. Overview of Iraq Crisis. February 2002.
9. Kelley, Martin. American Spies and Blood for Oil.
10. Kelley, Martin. Why a Military.
11. Kelley, Martin. Why We Mourn and Protest.