|On your marks, get set ..|
George (I-love-oil) Dubya, has pretty much committed his troops to war in his
State of the Union address.
"We will consult but let there be no misunderstanding - if
Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the
peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him."
This is not actually a declaration of war - just a declaration of a
declaration of war, but there's no turning back now. The most formidable war
machine in history is about to be taken out for a test-drive.
He's also promised the UN extra information
about weapons programs next week. This supports theories that the US has known where the WMDs are
all along, but didn't want to risk their sources by telling the UN. Dubya
presumably overestimated the competence of the UN inspectors and thought they
might be able to find some themselves. Finding WMDs at the
eleventh hour would fit in nicely with Dubya's diplomatic agenda, and the US
could still come out of this smelling like a rose.
Of course the US is not the only organization with an agenda here - the UN
is doing pretty well too. The long-awaited WMD inspection report didn't really
contain much - it was a compromise document. It compromised between the
inspector's agenda of extending their project, and the UN's agenda of trying to
look relevant. The inspectors apparently get paid in 'UN dollars' (tax-free US
dollars), and who wouldn't want their commission extended? They have said they
may need a year to complete the task. The UN is terrified that the US will
simply go in without their consent, and the rest of the world will simply see
the UN as the planet's most expensive debating club.
And on the subject of debating, the battle positions taken by Australian parties have been
leader Johhny (I-have-guns-and-you-dont)
Howard has pretty much said that war is justified if Saddam doesn't lay
down his arms, and stressed the importance of our alliance with the US
(translation: "the war is just, and after the recent fires we have to regain
Canberra's title of 'Bush Capital'").
leader .. um .. (what's his name?) has said "no war" - even if the UN approves
it. He doesn't think Australia should go, and at least his position is
consistent and moral. There are intelligent people who agree with him - even if
they are wrong.
Simon Crean is totally opposed to the war, but has said that he
will change his mind completely if the UN tells him to. So if the US diplomats
are manipulative enough, can pull enough strings, grease the right palms, and
get a resolution through the UN, then it will suddenly war will become right,
moral and just. What judgment! What leadership!
We have a little time to go. Strategists are saying Dubya needs one more
carrier in the gulf, and he'll be set. Other troops are still settling in while
waiting for the word to roll and the smart money seems to be on the third week
of February. The US war machine will do a few laps around the block before
getting an oil top-up and it will all be shown to those who have pay TV. Don't
miss out! If you don't have pay TV - ring up your cable guy now and say "Let's
Roll ... out some cabling".