And so it begins
You’ve got to admire our George. Not content with abolishing democracy and the constitution in his own country, he’s now determined to fuck over the rest of the world. The latest (as I type) is a speech he’s just given onRTÉ (actually, I doubt he made it just for RTÉ ; TG4 probably chipped in afew euros too).
Anyway, here’s the text of the speech, and my own humble observations thereon.
My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honourable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all of its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
So ‘patient’ now means ‘bombing the shit out of them for ten years, destroying their water distribution infrastructure then denying them chlorine to purify what remains’. Or is that ‘honourable’?
Since then, the world has engaged in twelve years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned. The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament.
Remember that Georgie has spent the last couple of weeks trying to convince Turkey to let him attack Iraq from Turkish soil. ‘What,’ you say. ‘Not the Turkey that itself is violating at least three security council resolutions, one of which it’s been violating for twenty-nine years?’ Yeah, that Turkey.
Bonus points to Junior, though, for saying ‘used diplomacy as a ploy’ with a straight face.
Over the years, UN weapons inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraq regime have failed again and again because we are not dealing with peaceful men.
Maybe if he used ‘peaceful means’ that didn’t involve dropping ten tonnes of bombs a month for over a decade, he’d’ve gotten somewhere. You catch more flies with honey that with B-52s, y’know. You do have to wonder, though, what kind of dirty, low-down bastard would stoop to bugging diplomats.
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbours and against Iraq’s people.
It’s a fair point; 5,000 Kurds were gassed in Halabja, and the US has (officially) only killed 600 of its citizens since 1990. Some of them weren’t
even gassed. And he’s going to war because Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran? Wonder where they got ’em?
The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends and it has aided, trained and harboured terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.
Ooh, harboured terrorists, eh? Bastards. And ‘deep hatred for America’: you mean the country that provided chemical and biological stuff as well as heavy-duty armaments for over a decade, then changed its mind and spent the next ten years bombing it?
The danger is clear: Using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any other.
Actually, he said ‘nukular’, but you know what he meant. And if they want to kill ‘thousands or hundreds of thousands’, wouldn’t sanctions be cheaper?
The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it.
Seriously. He said this.
Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety.
Just don’t forget to turn left at shit creek. D’oh! Too late.
Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed. The United States of America has the sovereign
authority to use force in assuring its own national security. That duty falls to me as commander-in-chief by the oath I have sworn, by the oath I will keep.
Of course, this is the same oath where he swore to uphold the constitution of the United States, so you know what that’s
Recognising the threat to our country, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly last year to support the use of force against Iraq.
America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. We believe in the mission of the United Nations.
I’ve been saying for ages now we should change the UN mission from ‘do what America says’. The one silver lining about this whole fiasco is that they might actually get around to doing it, now.
One reason the UN was founded after the Second World War was to confront aggressive dictators actively and early, before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace.
D’you think he sees the irony, here?
In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687, both still in effect, the United States and our allies are authorised to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass
This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will. Last September, I went to the UN General Assembly and urged the nations of the world to unite and bring an end to this danger. On November 8th, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not fully and immediately disarm.
Of course, both the Russians and the French stated categorically at the time that ‘serious consequences’ didn’t mean a carte blanche for Bush and his minions. So it’s not a question of will – we know he will – it’s a question of authority.
Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed. And it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power.
No country, perhaps. But UNSCOM seem to think it’s possible.
For the last four and a half months, the United States and our allies have worked within the Security Council to enforce that council’s
long-standing demands. Yet some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced that they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq. These governments share our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve to meet it.
Lie or mistake? Let’s be generous and assume Bush is a major-league asshole, but an honest one. We’ll assume that he doesn’t realise that the French are quite happy to compel the disarmament of Iraq after the weapons inspectors have decided their work can’t be done. That the wacky French accent means he’s oblivious to the fact two weeks or two months isn’t the same as ‘indefinitely’. That the French – and the rest of the democratic nations – cling to the traditional version of democracy where the most votes wins. Perhaps he thinks France is in Florida, or something.
Many nations, however, do have the resolve and fortitude to act against this threat to peace, and a broad coalition is now gathering to enforce the just demands of the world. The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.
Oh, goody. Israel’s next, then?
In recent days, some governments in the Middle East have been doing their part. They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave Iraq so that disarmament can proceed peacefully. He has thus far refused.
These nations’ll be the UAE. Well, at least they’re united. The United Arab Emirates did indeed call for Saddam to bugger off into exile at a meeting of the Arab League; they joined Kuwait in this suggestion a few weeks ago. Anybody out there care to guess what the League’s unanimous decision on an invasion of Iraq was?
All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing. For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and inspectors, should leave Iraq immediately.
Especially journalists. Don’t want them around.
Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.
Just like we did in Afghanistan, when we dropped a few food parcels for the sake fo the cameras. It probably never ocurred to our humanitarian chums that it wasn’t a good idea making them look like cluster bombs. Iraq, we’ve been told, will be rebuilt in a couple of years. That’s what the said about Afghanistan, isn’t it?
In free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.
Unless your Kurdish, and the Turks do what we want. Then you’re screwed.
It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraq military to act with honor and protect your country, by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attack and destroyed.
I saw the marines practising this on TV. Apparently, they’re going to shout “step away from the gun” in English. If it doesn’t work, their options include shooting and shouting louder.
I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services: If war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life.
And maybe some day you can be more like us and less like al Quaeda. After all, “they don’t value life like we value life here in America.”
And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning: In any conflict, your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defence to say, “I was just following orders.”
The preferred defense is “I don’t recognise this court because any prosecution would be politically motivated.”
Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war and every measure will be taken to win it. Americans understand the costs of conflict because we have paid them in the past. War has no certainty except the certainty of sacrifice.
And half your casualties coming from friendly fire. And greedy arms contractors sowing weapons that’ve killed more than any WMD… And bureauracy-ridden armies more concerned about getting their way than in the lives of their troops. Or… ah, you get the point.
Yet the only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full force and might of our military, and we are prepared to do so. If Saddam Hussein attempts to cling to power, he will remain a deadly foe until the end.
In desperation, he and terrorist groups might try to conduct terrorist operations against the American people and our friends. These attacks are not inevitable. They are, however, possible. And this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of blackmail. The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed.
In other words: we’re attacking Iraq because, if we ever decide to attack Iraq they might fight back. Therefore we’re attacking Iraq in the hope of foretalling any fightback that would have resulted from our attacking Iraq had we not attacked Iraq.
Our government is on heightened watch against these dangers. Just as we are preparing to ensure victory in Iraq, we are taking further actions to protect our homeland.
Let no-one doubt our resolve! See as we change the colour of the panic flag!
n recent days, American authorities have expelled from the country certain individuals with ties to Iraqi intelligence services. Among other measures, I have directed additional security at our airports and increased Coast Guard patrols of major seaports.
Because there’s no way they’d use a minor one.
The Department of Homeland Security is working closely with the nation’s governors to increase armed security at critical facilities across
Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would
fail. No act of theirs can alter the course or shake the resolve of this country.
Except another twenty cents a gallon.
We are a peaceful people, yet we are not a fragile people. And we will not be intimidated by thugs and killers. If our enemies dare to strike us,they and all who have aided them will face fearful consequences.
So we’re recommending all diplomats and journalists leave the area of Washington, DC.
We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one year, or five years, the power of Iraq to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over. With these capabilities, Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies could choose the moment of deadly conflict when they are strongest. We choose to meet that threat now where it arises, before it can appear suddenly in our skies and cities.
The cause of peace requires all free nations to recognise new and undeniable realities. In the 20th century, some chose to appease murderous dictators whose threats were allowed to grow into genocide and global war.
In this century, when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this earth.
Of course, wen you do what we say, it’s not appeasement; it’s showing leadership.
Terrorists and terrorist states do not reveal these threats with fair notice in formal declarations. And responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self defense. It is suicide. The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now.
I’m not sure whether he’s just unaware of the obvious parallels everyone’ll draw, or if he’s asking to be assassinated, or just daring everyone to have a go if they think they’re hard enough.
As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honour the deepest commitments of our country.
What are those deepest commitments, these days? Certainly democracy and freedom are out the window; what’s left? The economy?
Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty, and when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.
As long as we get to approve their choice, of course.
The United States with other countries will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight, but it can come over time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land, and the greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace. That is the future we choose.
Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent, and tonight, as we have done before, America and our allies accept that responsibility.
Good night, and may God continue to bless America.