Abid Ullah Jan
The New York Times came out with a very fine editorial this morning (Oct 07, 2004), “The verdict is in.” However, unlike its tradition of doing right assessments and giving wrong conclusions, this time it came with no conclusion at all.
Instead it gave a bottom-line to the conclusion of Bush’s hand picked investigator’s report on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. What the New York Times calls a verdict is not a verdict at all.
It says: “Sanctions worked. Weapons inspectors worked.” Then what? Here we find something of value missing. It is not less than an attempt to avoid the actual verdict in the name of verdict.
The so-called verdict is simply continuation of the same crime against humanity that started with Bush and his team’s lies with full backing of the US media up to the time when Bush and his allies were knee deep in innocent blood.
The whole world knew all along that Bush and his team are lying to their nation, to the United Nations and to the whole world. The whole world knows that the same team has been justifying the decision to invade and occupy Iraq by agreeing with Bush that Saddam Hussein was “a gathering threat” to the United States.
Like the New York Times’ earlier belated apology for its incorrect reporting on Iraq’s WMD, it matters little that a report which took 18 months to get prepared — when most of the irreversible damage has already done — has now confirmed that Iraq had no chemical, nuclear or biological weapons. We all knew this all along.
Similarly the New York Times verdict is nothing new. The real verdict is: Bush and his allies were wrong and Saddam Hussain was right on the WMD issue.
As the report issued yesterday goes further to say that Iraq had no factories to produce illicit weapons and that its ability to resume production was growing more feeble every year, it makes Bush administration and his political and intellectual allies even more guilty for the death and destruction of thousands of innocent lives.
Both the report and the New York Times editorial are still coming from the war infected, biased and brainwashed mentality. That’s why both say that the genocidal international sanctions that Mr. Bush dismissed and demeaned before the war - and still does - were astonishingly effective.
Of course they were effective but only in killing 1.8 million Iraqis, not eliminating WMD which did not exist in the first place. How can one call them effective against WMD when they did not exist in the first place? How can one call the genocidal sanctions effective when the same report concedes that the Iraqis lacked even a formal strategy or a plan to reconstitute their weapons programs if — repeat if — it did?
Now that it has been proved without any reasonable doubt that administration officials in Washington lied and then kept on lying to try to deflect the reality that they invaded Iraq under false pretenses and have urged critics to wait for Mr. Duelfer’s verdict on the weapons search, the verdict should be totally different than what the New York Times is presenting as a verdict.
“Sanctions worked. Weapons inspectors worked.” These are partial facts. Yes, sanctions worked for wiping out 1.8 million Iraqis. Yes, weapons inspectors worked but when the damage was already done. The total facts are: the basic premise for imposing sanctions was wrong because there was no WMD program at all. The invasion and occupation was wrong because there were no weapons of mass destruction at all.
The actual verdict should come now as the authoritative findings of Iraq Survey Group have now left the administration’s rationale for war more tattered than ever. It is not sufficient for the New York Times to repeat that stories of “looming mushroom cloud conjured by the administration to stampede Congress into authorizing an invasion - was a phantom.”
The verdict is Bush and all those who supported in his decision to invade and occupy Iraq are guilty of mass destruction and continued massacre in Iraq. The crisis will go on and on unless immediate steps are taken to punish the guilty and make a course correction to clean up the mess.
This is the way to fairness and justice. This is the blueprint to real freedom. Anything less than this will simply perpetuate and intensify the global tyranny we are facing at the hands of the United States today.