The U.S. imperialists are becoming increasingly vicious in their preparations to launch a military strike against Iraq even though their "allies", with the exception of Britain, are not on board. Their only concern is to show the entire world what will happen to any nation or people which does not submit to their dictate.
The U.S. has already demanded that a United Nations weapons inspection team have unlimited access to any site in Iraq. Iraq has raised serious concerns about both the composition of the team - nine of the 16 members are Americans and the Iraqis have accused both the American and British members of the team of spying - as well as its insistence that it have total access to any site, including official residences. The U.S. and its agents repeat the assertion that there is sufficient evidence Iraq is producing biological and chemical weapons - an assertion Canada is willing to repeat - but no such evidence is made public. Further, the Iraqis have pointed out that the team consisted almost entirely of military personnel and diplomats, who are not necessarily qualified to ask detailed questions regarding biological and chemical weaponry.
To resolve the crisis, Russia has offered a team of up to 60 specialists in chemical and biological weaponry who could conduct the investigations, which the U.S. has refused to consider.
In the meantime, Iraq has called on the United Nations to cease any further inspections and await the result of the preliminary reports of the inspection teams which have gone to Iraq under the auspices of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM).
These requests are well within the norms of international diplomacy. The U.S. has responded by intensifying its war preparations against Iraq and issuing threat after threat.
On January 24, U.S. imperialist chieftain Bill Clinton told a television news program that the U.S. was "not ruling out any options" in dealing with Iraq, including military strikes. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and UN Ambassador Bill Richardson are making similar threats.
The media is fuelling this warmongering by repeating U.S. assertions and sowing doubt about Iraq's demands. The norms of international diplomacy are lost in the sea of propaganda.
Despite the attempts of the U.S. imperialists to create a 'united front' in support of the option of military strikes, both Russia and China have come out against any use of military force to resolve the situation and Arab nations are also opposed to a military strike. Russia's UN ambassador Sergei Lavrov said Jan. 23 that there has been progress in sorting out contentious issues with Iraq in the last few months, and said "of course we would be relying entirely on diplomatic means to achieve the full cooperation of Iraq on the issue of access" to certain sites. Chinese Ambassador Qin Huasun said that China believed Iraq must comply with Security Council resolutions, but that "as a sovereign state, Iraq's dignity and legitimate security concerns should be taken into due consideration." Qin also called on the UN to shut the 'nuclear file' on Iraq, pointing out that repeated inspections carried out by the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) had come up with the same results - Iraq is not engaged in developing nuclear weapons. France is also said to be opposed to any military strikes.
An extremely dangerous situation is being created by the U.S. position. It's sole aim is to establish its superpower status on the basis of the fascist logic that Might Makes Right and the entire world has to submit. TML Weekly calls on the Canadian workers, youth and women to vigorously oppose any military strike against Iraq. Canadian forces must not participate in any capacity.
(From The Marxist-Leninist Weekly, January 25, 1998)