American Government Hypocrisy and the Invasion of Iraq
(March 31, 2003)
I am completely opposed to the brutal and illegal American invasion of
Iraq, and am pleased that Canada will not participate.
In addition to the senseless slaughter of many thousands of innocent
people, the destabilising effect on the Middle East and the world, and
the undermining of international law and the United Nations, this invasion
is also notable for the blatant hypocrisy of the American government's
position and statements.
In conclusion, there is absolutely no justification (other than access
to oil resources) for the Americans to invade Iraq at this time.
Their comments and justifications are completely false, contradictory,
and hypocritical. This invasion will undermine international law and
order for decades to come. We must oppose this invasion with all our
energies. Click here for information
about anti-war activities in Toronto.
The Americans have claimed this invasion is to enforce the will of the
international community, but in fact they have blatantly ignored the
United Nation's Security Council's position that war is not called for
at this time.
The Americans say Iraq must be invaded because they possess weapons
of mass destruction (despite the fact that this has not been
demonstrated, nor found by all the U.N. inspectors, nor found so far by the
invading forces). But meanwhile, the Americans possess by far the most
weapons of mass destruction of any country on Earth (and are also the
only country ever to use nuclear weapons to kill people).
The Americans say Iraq is an outlaw regime because it does
not respect international norms. But the Americans themselves are
invading Iraq in direct violation of international law, plus last year
they unilaterally withdrew
from the ABM nuclear arms control
agreements they had previously signed, contemptuously dismissing this
important international agreement as "ancient history".
The Americans claim there are links between Iraq and the 9/11
terrorists, despite having absolutely no evidence of this. If
such claims are allowed to stand as justification for war, then any
country can invade any other country any time they like, simply by
making false claims about terrorist links.
The Americans say their bombs are precisely targeted, yet they are already
known to have landed in the wrong country (both Iran and Saudi Arabia),
killed their own allies
(British soldiers, causing one surviving British soldier to call the
U.S. pilot a "cowboy" with "no regard for human life"),
destroyed a busload of fleeing civilians, killed
fifteen residents in the Baghdad-area neighbourhood Al-Shaab, etc.
So much for precision.
In the 1991 war they made similar claims of precision, yet it is now
known that many thousands
of civilians were killed directly by their bombs. Not to mention
the "friendly fire incident" last year in Afghanastan, in which the
four Canadian soldiers on a routine, well-publicised training exercise.
When Iraq invaded and overthrew the (non-democratic) Kuwait government in
1990, the Americans and British rightly condemned the invasion as being
offensive and illegal. But now they themselves are
similarly invading a
The Americans have expressed (justifiable) outrage at the illegal
treatment of American prisoners of war (PoW) by the Iraqis. But the
Americans continue to hold hundreds of PoW's from Afghanistan
at their Guantanamo Bay prison, without charging them with a crime, and
without giving them protection
under international law. Furthermore,
at the time of capture, the Americans showed propaganda television images of
their prisoners (broadcast by every major American television network), a
tactic they now deplore in the Iraqis.
- The Americans and British have made so many false claims about
Iraq that they have lost all credibility. For example, they claimed
that Iraq was trying to buy nuclear materials in Africa, but this was
found to be completely fabricated. They claimed that Colin Powell would
present to the United Nations "proof" that Iraq was hiding weapons
of mass destruction, but in fact he presented no proof whatsoever.
They presented a recent British "intelligence report" about Iraqi
"concealment" of arms, that turned out to have been directly
copied (complete with spelling mistakes!), secretly, from a student's
thesis, based on out-of-date data.
They claimed back in 1990 that Iraq was brutally removing babies
from incubators, but were later forced to admit they had simply made that up.
Without clear proof, we should not believe anything they say.
A related comment: My provincial premier, Ernie Eves, has apparently
claimed that "it is important to support our American neighbours"
regardless of the lack of justification for their invasion of Iraq.
Premier Eves certainly does not speak for me, nor for most Ontarians.
The American invasion of Iraq is illegal and immoral.
Canadians oppose this invasion because it is WRONG -- and unlike Premier
Eves, we think right and wrong are important, too.
See also my letter to the U.S. ambassador.
I salute the Dixie Chicks
(and also the French
and German and
for their wise, brave anti-war position.
For clarity, I add the following. The American and British soldiers
actually conducting the invasion are indeed brave and heroic people.
They are risking their lives and enduring great hardships to carry out
the orders of their respective governments. Our objection is not to them,
but to the orders that they have been given, namely to invade Iraq without
justification. We do indeed "support the troops", and the best way to
"support" them is to bring all combatants home safely, right away.
Also, I do fully acknowledge that Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator,
and the world would be better off without him. However, if an invasion
is launched every time it is determined the the world would be better
off without some leader, then international anarchy will be the result.
For balance, let me also acknowledge that the United States is a great
country in many ways, and Canada does benefit greatly by having them
as a neighbour, ally, and friend, and we should support them wherever
possible. However, on the subject of the invasion of Iraq they are
wrong, dead wrong, and we should not support them when they are wrong.
(Also, it is the U.S. GOVERNMENT which is wrong, not U.S. citizens as a
whole -- many Americans do NOT support their government's actions,
and we salute them for this.)
Finally, I do realise that there are strong feelings on both sides of
these issues, and I'm sure some people will be offended by my opinions.
To them let me say that while I doubt we will convince each other, I do
respect their right to express their opinions, and I hope they respect
my right to express mine as well.