Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, March 27, 2003

On jaw-jaw and war-war.

JAW-jaw may indeed be preferable to war-war but the former can never – and should never – preclude the latter. Not when talking circumnavigates the issues to hand to the extent that a homicidal despot who commands the world's fourth largest war machine can rearm in open defiance of what can very loosely be described as the international community's "will". Not when a protracted epidemic of diplomatic logorrhoea on the legalities of any military action against a dictator who is a serial violator of international law are rightly viewed in Baghdad as signs of weakness and division and are exploited accordingly. Not when the entrenched see-hear-and-speak-no-evil stance of the United Nations makes a mockery of that international body and exposes its authority, deterrents and moral sway to be ineffective at best, wholly compromised – or wholly illusory – at worst.
Ever since the UN was abruptly woken from its 12-year reverie on Iraq six months ago and bluntly reminded by the US and Britain that Saddam Hussein remained in breach of its disarmament resolutions the world has gone through a period that might best be termed a phoney peace.

Saddam, after all, represents the sort of longstanding, well-nigh intractable problem that is not going to be solved by throwing more diplomatic resolutions at him – especially if there is a manifest lack of resolve on the part of the international community to enforce them.
While the US, UK and other allies patiently allowed the torturous diplomatic process to run its entirely predictable course nothing was achieved – nothing, that is, for the well-being of the international community.

The incessant jaw-jawing, however, provided Saddam with yet another UN-mandated postponement to his day of reckoning. It allowed the dictator in Baghdad more time to tighten his stranglehold on his martyred and plundered country, executing potential successors and sabotaging the post-liberation infrastructure; more time to place rush-orders for genocidal weaponry to his death factories and put his country on a war footing; more time to top up his network of foreign bank accounts with the blood money of those countries which have put profit ahead of principles and circumvented UN economic containment policies on Iraq.

< email | 3/27/2003 02:39:00 PM | link

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