Three Myths Ripe for Deconstruction

(London Times) - Michael Gove Britain and America armed Saddam's tyranny. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, between 1973 and 2002, Russia supplied 57% of Saddam's arms imports, France 13%, and China 12%. The U.S. supplied at most just 1% and Britain significantly less than that. Brazil supplied more weaponry to Saddam than the U.S. and Britain combined. No wonder France, Russia, and China declined to support action to disarm one of their best customers. Targeting Baghdad is a "diversion" from the war on terrorism. The "secular" Iraqi regime played host to a variety of Islamist terrorists from across the Arab world, training them on its territory, supplying them with its weapons, and sending them abroad on missions to kill its enemies. During this war, Saddam's most determined defenders have not been the Iraqi Army but Islamist fanatics. Far from this campaign having been a distraction from the wider war on terror, it has been a hammer blow against a regime which sponsored, succored, and exported terrorism. We must now show "evenhandedness" by enforcing UN resolutions against Israel, just as we have against Iraq. The attempt to imply some parity of guilt between Iraq and Israel is morally shameful and a willfully blind misreading of the relevant UN resolutions. Iraq was in breach of Chapter 7 resolutions, which provide for military action to deal with threats to international peace and security. The resolutions which concern Israel are based on Chapter 6 of the UN Charter and they are non-binding recommendations for settling disputes. To bracket Iraq and Israel in the way that Robin Cook did is to suggest that there is a moral equivalence between a murderer and someone who is having difficulty with marriage counseling. In arguing that, after Iraq, Israel must abide by UN resolutions, Jack Straw is placing terrorism's biggest victim, rather than its perpetrators, in the dock.

2003-04-08 00:00:00

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