Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament/
Feachtas um D'-arm¦il Eithneach
P.O. Box 6327, Dublin 6, Ireland
F-n: +353 -1-454 0194
The threatened War against Iraq
"Bombs kill before ever they explode", wrote Bishop
Cassidy over ten
years ago in his preface to the Irish Roman Catholic bishopsâ document,
"War and Peace in a Nuclear Age". The bishops claimed a causal link
between the arms expenditure and world hunger and death. In that context
it was good to hear Minister of State Tom Kitt recently decrying the
shame of the enormous military expenditure for the Iraqi "war effort"
while vast areas of Africa were on the brink of unprecedented famine.
But what of Minister Brian Cowan himself? We are now on the
eve of one
of the most contrived wars waged by Western powers since the height of
the colonial era. There are no known links between Iraq and September
11. The US and Britain seem unable to supply UN arms inspectors with
their "incontrovertible" evidence of the continued presence of weapons
of mass destruction there. On the other hand, a report entitled
"Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century" which was
recently unearthed in the US shows that the Bush administration has been
planning to attack Iraq since April 2001.
By all accounts, therefore, this threatened war is a "resource
first of the 21st century, and the UN is being shamefully used and
misused to this end. When Norway and a number of other non-permanent
members of the Security Council protested at being "treated as second
class members" by the US and Britain when denied access to the full arms
inspectorsâ report, we expected Mr Cowan might finally break his silence
and support them. We were mistaken.
Why is Minister Cowan not speaking out? What is he waiting
for? A major
Irish Times/ MRBI poll published last October showed the Irish people
oppose any war against Iraq even with UN Security Council approval.
Furthermore, the UN and a growing body of international observers -
among them a number of former US presidents - have stated that this
threatened war could have catastrophic consequences not just for the
Middle East but for Africa, Europe and the world at large.
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