Vol. 4 Num 142 Thu. October 16, 2003  

Spotlight on Middle East
Only possesion of nuclear weapon can stop unilateral attacks!

Prime Minister Tony Blair told the members attending the Labour Party's last Annual Conference that "I can only go one way. I've not got a reverse gear". "Going one way" means he has only fixed steering and that also is guided by "remote control". It seems that he does not have even a brake. One feels sorry for the democratic and conscientious British people who are in a state "vehicle" which goes "only one way" and one day may land the British people in a dangerous situation. Time has come to change such a dangerous "vehicle". He also said he would "take the same decision again" -- sounding like a dictator vowing to continue to bulldoze the British opinion on the issue. The leader with such a one track mind may prove himself really dangerous to the world as he already has the finger on the weapons of mass destruction that Britain possesses. The danger is real and could be devastating particularly when such one track mind is under a unilateralist "remote control" across the Atlantic.

After the unilateral attack against a sovereign country -- Iraq, it is difficult to find any difference between "rogue" states and so called "sane" states. Therefore, the argument that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a "rouge" state is dangerous turns out to be meaningless. Now it seems that unilaterism is the real enemy of world peace and only the possession of nuclear weapons by a state is the only safeguard against unilateral attack!

The proof is already there. Only a dream or ambition to have weapons of mass destruction led to the fall of Saddam and his country lost sovereignty. The situation is quite different with N. Korea which allegedly has the capability to produce nuclear weapon. Only the news that North Korea has some 6 to 12 nuclear bombs has so far prevented military action from America. America knows any preemptive attack against North Korea will put America's ally South Korea and Japan under nuclear attack from North Korea. It's true that North Korea cannot feed its people, but it knows how to defend its sovereignty. After what has happened to Iraqi people, it's no good arguing any more that food is more important than sovereignty. As the world is now facing the real threat of unilateral military attack, the only option for a state is to go nuclear in order to defend its sovereignty; there is no other option. As every state has, under the UN Charter, right to defend itself, the development of nuclear weapons, a real deterrent, does not seem to be against the basic common law and justice. Indeed (!) the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NNPT) today, in the face of unilateralism, stands unjustified, as it is a one-sided treaty that favours the right of some states to have nuclear weapons.

Such a treaty (NPT) appears to have gone against the fundamental provision of the UN Charter and has indeed taken away the rights of sovereign states to defend themselves. If Iraq, like North Korea and other nuclear states, had nuclear weapons, the US would have never dared to attack it. Because such an attack would have forced Iraq to release its nuclear weapons against Israel. As NPT is a one-sided treaty, several countries did not sign this and some had withdrawn from NPT. Today nine countries have nuclear weapons. These are five permanent members of the UNSC and India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. If nine countries can have nuclear weapons, what is the harm if 90 other countries have them provided they can afford? Such a situation will stop unilaterism and make the world safer.

As stated before, the "rogue" states, "evil empire" (former Soviet Union) "axis of evil" are the inventions of American Administration. Iran being a member of so-called "axis of evil" is being pursued by the IAEA on the basis of nuclear traces found there, but neither the UNSC members nor the IAEA have ever raised the issue of Israel -- whether it is necessary to look into the Israeli nuclear arsenal. Why the USA and the UNSC members are not asking Israel to declare its nuclear assets? Israel would obviously say it does not have any, but IAEA should be allowed unrestricted access into Israeli military arsenal. Otherwise, IAEA does not have any moral justification and indeed the right to go after other countries on the basis of so-called intelligence reports. It has become necessary to know why there is not even a single intelligence report from USA and UK on such matters against Israel. Of course, today even such intelligence reports are under severe criticism by their own politicians and law makers as these are often based on second hand reports or even pure guesswork. The worst is the reports by the dissidents (e.g. Iraqi and Iranian dissidents), which are taken as "truth" and placed before the politicians and lawmakers for their policy decisions. This is nothing but cheating in order to pursue a particular regime's own agenda.

It is encouraging that the people and many of the lawmakers of those countries have started expressing grave doubts over their Administration's intentions. Inquiries over these issues have shaken both Bush and Blair regimes. It is so unfortunate that these two regimes have destroyed a country in the name of liberating the people. What has happened is one dictator Saddam -- has been replaced by three Bush, Blair and Bremer, undoubtedly, some form of democracy. Only problem is they don't have the Iraqi citizenship. Apparently they don't need it as Iraq does not have any sovereign status. However, in the process many Americans and Britons sacrificed their lives for no good reason. The poor American soldiers are dying everyday and Rumsfeld was reportedly comparing their deaths with those dying in New York and elsewhere in America.

Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld have done greatest harm to the people of America. The Americans who were loved around the world for their achievements in scores of areas including education, research, medicine, law, democracy etc. are now not only hated, they are unsafe in many parts of the world and particularly in the Middle East. This means that the ordinary Americans are now paying the price for their administration's disastrous unilateral actions that defied the UN Charter. The UN has not only been marginalised, it has been made irrelevant by such unilateral action. If a man like Blair, so educated and intelligent, certainly much different from his good friend from the other side of the Atlantic can "go only one way" which was, of course, a wrong way, anybody at the helm of affairs of a state can decide to "go one way" -- the way of his choice. The choice could be what Bush-Blair have shown -- unilateral action.

This type of crazy unilateral action must be reversed by the UN heavy weights like France, Russia, China, Germany and some others. Their actions so far in the UNSC have shown good results; America is bending gradually towards their position. All efforts must be made to bring the UN back to the driving seat. The UN must take over full control of Iraq and deploy peace keeping forces which practically all countries will contribute. The US and the UK forces must leave. This will automatically bring confidence among the Iraqis and restore calm in Iraq. This would also be good for America as there will be no more American causalities and for America this will be an honourable exit from the veritable desert hell.

Muslehuddin Ahmad, a former Secretary and Ambassador, is Vice Chancellor (Designate) of Presidency University.