WMD: Where’s the missing dictator?

Yawar Herekar

Two weeks back, President Bush told the UN General Assembly that the invasion of Iraq, based upon the newly founded doctrine of preemptive strike, was to rid the world of an intolerable threat. The threat was of a dictator who was a menace to the international community and who could at any time unleash havoc upon the world with his supposed weapons of mass destruction.

This assertion, made by the U.S. president and as of yet not having any substantial evidence to support it, was shot down not only by the head honcho at the United Nations, Kofi Annan, but also by the presidents of France and Venezuela.

This widespread disapproval by the leaders of many nations showed that there seemed to be many unanswered questions.

Would the use of force, unapproved by a majority of the international community, result in lawlessness, throwing the world back into the age where “survival of the fittest” was the law of the land? Who would be preemptively struck next in Bush’s effort to protect the United States?

Was the protection of the United States the real reason for the invasion or was it the economy, stupid? Would the U.S. ever find the weapons of mass destruction to give substance to its reason for invasion?

Would Saddam ever be found? Would he vanish into the mountains like bin Laden, or this time would the hunted disappear in the desert?

The number of lies from the White House in an attempt to answer such questions is breathtaking in sheer scale and audacity. The events of 9/11 put the propaganda machine into overdrive and set the war drums beating feverishly, creating the atmosphere that inevitably led first to the war on Afghanistan, and then to the invasion of Iraq.

The propaganda machine has lost momentum as memories of 9/11 slowly fade away; the sound of the drumbeats is drowned out as the crippling economy takes center stage.

The creation of an international body to assist the Iraqi government in its fledgling state has forced the U.S. to beg other countries for their soldiers. Diplomatic pressure is mounting on countries like Pakistan, India, and Turkey, to name a few.

Their contribution of troops to join a multilateral peacekeeping force would give credibility to the myopic decision that has been made. But would public opinion in these countries let their leaders do such a thing? Negative.

The Iraq mess is not an international disaster; rather, it’s a disaster that the U.S. is solely responsible for. Not to take the comparison too far, but it’s getting to be another Vietnam, and in a compressed timeframe.

The almost daily toll of American lives and the 87 billion dollars that the U.S. Congress is being asked to cough up to sustain this mess now threaten Bush’s reelection bid. If this mess continues, there is a high probability that the next U.S. president will not have the initials G.W.B.

The recommendation in last week’s editorial to attack Iran next because it is the “home base for terrorism” is a ridiculous proposal. As of this moment, the U.S. is knee-deep in troubled waters. An attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran would leave the U.S. gasping for air and in the process create more enemies than friends.

If such an event were to happen, it would not come as a surprise if it spawned numerous bin Laden clones and produced many more Islamic militant organizations.

To sum it all up, the U.S. policymakers need to get their acts together, keep their fingers crossed, and hope to God that Saddam and bin Laden decide to give themselves up.