April 26, 2002

The Big Brother Files #37: Atrocities That Won't Go Away

Hello everyone

I've gotten way behind with all the material I've compiled for you and would need to send you several at once just to catch up. But this is not really possible of course. For those interested please note that there will be a big one-hour Wesak meditation today (Friday 26) beginning at 4:35 pm (West Coast Time) and culminating at 23:01 pm EDT - 03:01 GMT (27 April) - 04:01 CET (27 April) during the Wesak Festival in Mount Shasta.

You can read more on this at http://www.drjoshuadavidstone.com/00/iridescent.html AND at http://www.lucistrust.org/events/wesak.shtml (EXCELLENT!)

Love and Light must shine!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000


"In America, the arms industry, the oil industry, the major media networks, and, indeed, US foreign policy, are all controlled by the same business combines. Therefore, it would be foolish to expect this talk of guns and oil and defence deals to get any real play in the media. In any case, to a distraught, confused people whose pride has just been wounded, whose loved ones have been tragically killed, whose anger is fresh and sharp, the inanities about the "clash of civilisations" and the "good v evil" discourse home in unerringly. They are cynically doled out by government spokesmen like a daily dose of vitamins or anti-depressants. Regular medication ensures that mainland America continues to remain the enigma it has always been -- a curiously insular people, administered by a pathologically meddlesome, promiscuous government."

- Arundhati Roy, 10/23/01


CONTENTS

1. Holocaust In Reverse
2. Debunking Six Common Israeli Myths
3. Old Feedback about "Sharon Plan" for Mideast War
4. John Rappoport's Perspective on 9-11
5. Bush must answer Sept. 11 questions
6. Letter to the editor - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
7. Chemical coup d'etat


See also:

Kucinich Walks Out on Ridge Secret Meeting with House Committee
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.17G.Walks.Out.htm

Kucinich Is the One
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.21D.The.One.htm

WHICH AMERICA WILL WE BE NOW?
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20011119&s=moyers
(...) Even now the media elite, with occasional exceptions, remain indifferent to the hypocrisy of Washington's mercenary class as it goes about the dirty work of its paymasters.

The 9-11 bombings Are Crimes Against Humanity
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/

The September 11 "Grand Coup" - Serious allegations by French author
http://www.whatmatters.nu/wmemails/wmemails15.html#WM-80
I'll network this excellent one next week

Venezuela Coup Linked to Bush Team
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.22A.Bush.Coup.htm

America is Not United Behind Bush's War on Terrorism
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.22C.SG.America.htm

IMPORTANT CORRECTION

From: Ben Swift <benswift@pacific.net.sg>
Subject: RE: The Nazification of Israel
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002

Jean, you are doing great work but you must be VERY CAREFUL - the quotes you pass on as having been made by Ariel Sharon are not his - Amos Oz himself has said in a letter to I think the Jerusalem Post that he has never met nor interviewed Ariel Sharon!

Please research the correct position and send out a correction asap to preserve your valuable credibility.

As a general point, politics is a much more murky business than spirituality (obviously!) and there are all sorts of hidden agendas which you cannot be aware of simply by being *a very spiritually aware person* (which you obviously are). You also have to be *a very politically aware person* (which you may not be to the same extent). My advice is, play to your strengths, and don't let this put you off your valuable work.

Blessings,

Ben




1.

From: "Hans Noll" <hansnoll1@attbi.com>
Subject: Holocaust In Reverse
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002

Dear Jean,

Any analysis is only as good as its predictions confirmed by future events. An analysis without predictions is meaningless. My predictions in the unpublished letter to the Seattle daily newspaper have been confirmed very quickly, and the reasons given explain why it was not published. If they published it now, it would look like hindsight. Your letter from Jacob JG confirms the vicious power of the Jewish lobby when he writes "we'd close this country down!"

The Israeli army is now running bulldozers over the hundreds of Palestinian corpses killed by airstrikes and then loading the earth with their remains onto trucks to erase any trace of their crimes. The Israeli Supreme Court's stop typically came too late. In the meantime terrorized children who have lost speech from shock are erring around unable to tell their names or finding their killed or deported parents. Please distribute.

Thanks for your good work.

Hans Noll

P.S. Growing up in the Swiss city of Basel, I watched the rise of Hitler and Nazism. The events taking place in this country are almost indistinguishable from the developments I witnessed across the border in Germany. It is ironic that while my family was active in the Swiss underground and at high risk helped smuggle Jews across the border into the safety of Switzerland (some of them stayed in our family during the war), we now have to witness the Jews doing the same to the Palestinians as the Nazis did to them. Sibyl Walski's comparison with the Warshaw getto is very accurate and exactly reflects my thoughts.

--- Original Message ---

From: Hans Noll
To: senator_lieberman@lieberman.senate.gov
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2002
Subject: Sharon Seattle Post.doc

April 14, 2002: A prediction come true

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Letter to the Editor

Seattle, April 10, 2002

Several letter writers in the past weeks have suggested that withholding the billions of US support for Israel would force Sharon to stop the destruction of Palestine, as he was requested by Bush. In a letter, published by the P.-I. more than a year ago, I predicted that if the US stopped the flow of money and arms to Israel, there would be peace tomorrow. The administration's refusal to do that is a clear invitation to Sharon to continue his murderous rampage. Why this charade?

There are three reasons, the military-industrial complex, the Jewish lobby, and oil. Bush needs both the war and the Jewish lobby for reelection. Since the members of Congress are equally afraid of not being reelected without the Jewish votes, they are not going to take any effective measures to stop Sharon. This fear of our elected officials to stop the genocide by means other than words, is not unreasonable in view of the potential blackmail by the Jewish lobby and its control of the US media which continue to blame Arafat. For these reasons, it is easy to predict that Powell will not stop Sharon.

Third, the US uses Israel, an illegal nuclear power, as a military bridgehead in the Middle East for controlling the access to oil fields all the way up to the Russian border. If, as a result of Israeli actions, the region becomes destabilized, Israel could be used as a reliable US base from which to move out and seize the oil fields by force of arms. This is not likely to happen because the Arab leaders, in contrast to their subjects, derive their power and wealth from selling their people's oil. More likely is the continued destruction of Palestinian land and people accompanied by self-sacrificial resistance of desperate individuals preferring death to the living hell under Israeli occupation.

See also:

Report From Jenin: Voices Heard Under the Rubble
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.17C.Jenin.Voices.htm




2.

From: "Sibyl Walski" <antakarana@snowcrest.net>
Subject: Debunking Six Common Israeli Myths
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002

Dear Jean,

This piece just appeared in my e-mail. It is very germane to the subject of the Ramallah piece.

Add to this the Israeli Human Rights organization site:

http://www.btselem.org/

Perhaps Mr. Goren needs to hear it from Israelis, since he believes that the testimony of thousands of Palestinians and dozens of international humanitarian workers are "lies" and "propaganda".

Also containing valuable testimony by objective sources:
http://www.amnesty.org/

And this from the Human Rights Watch site.

http://www.hrw.org/press/2002/04/israel041802.htm

I understand that certain sectors of the European Community are calling for an investigation of the Israeli leadership re: accountability for acts suspiciously akin to those of any other war criminal. I hope this is pursued.

Sibyl Walski

---

Debunking Six Common Israeli Myths

Myth 1: There is no moral equivalence between suicide bombings on the one hand, and Israel's killing of Palestinians on the other.

"... Suicide bombing is a reprehensible and unacceptable tactic. These attacks should stop immediately. What needs to be added, and what is almost always missing in American media commentary is a similar condemnation of Israel's deliberate targeting of Palestinian civilians..."

Myth 2: Israel's invasion of Palestinian cities and refugee camps is self-defence against suicide bombings

Myth 3: Arafat Refuses to Condemn Suicide Bombings in Arabic

Myth 4: Arafat has not done enough to stop terrorism

Myth 5: Arafat Spurned Barak's generous offer at Camp David and broke off negotiations with Israel

Myth 6: Arafat started the Intifada

Go read them at http://electronicintifada.net/coveragetrends/6myths.shtml

Interesting website:
http://electronicintifada.net/new.html




3.

AS SOME OF YOU MAY RECALL THAT WHAT JUST HAPPENED IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES HAD BEEN CAREFULLY PLANNED BY THE ISRAELI ARMY AS INDICATED IN MATERIAL I CIRCULATED LAST NOVEMBER IN the Miscellaneous Subjects #97 compilation -- WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN THE ERN ARCHIVES AT http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/MiscelSubjects97.htm
HERE IS A COMMENT I HAD RECEIVED AT THAT TIME WHICH IS STILL RELEVANT TODAY FOR THE LIGHT IT SHINES ON WHO ACTUALLY HELPED CREATE HAMAS AND ON HOW THE SUICIDAL BOMBINGS ARE VIEWED FROM AN ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE

From: "Dr Rae HBFB man" <rayfish@cc.huji.ac.il>
Subject: Re: Miscellaneous Subjects 97 - "Sharon Plan" for Mideast War Exposed by EIR + Light needed on Israeli Generals plan to "smash Palestinians" by military invasion.
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001

Hello Jean,

While scanning for another email, this/below came up, and I just had to note that here we have again another case of the light shining, right into the eyes.

I will not bother to ply you with the heartrending stories about maimed children, and orphaned families, caused by the almost cavalier/justified (SIC) use of suicide bombers and mass murderers who infiltrate/sneak into Israel's crowded population centers dressed as orthodox Jews or soldiers, who have succeeded in killing and maiming hundreds of innocent victims -- the latest, shooting up a bus full of school girls in broad daylight -- {{now that's the way to make a statement for loving neighborly peace}}. whatever.

But this/below distortion of reality had to be addressed:

"In the 1970s, Hamas was built up by Israeli occupying forces as a "countergang" to the PLO of Yasser Arafat. Hamas leaders were granted licenses by Israeli authorities to set up food kitchens, clinics, schools and daycare centers, to create a governing structure alternative to Arafat's Fatah."

Perhaps you would want to interview any of the people who made and implemented the decision to allow a grassroots, religious infrastructure to flourish in the Palestinian population? Broadly, at that time, Hamas appeared (aha!) to be the parallel to Israel's own haredi [ultraorthodox] population which has also established a network of "food kitchens, clinics, schools and daycare centers" to create an [governing structure] alternative to the secular network that dominates Israel. The pity is that 30 years later, the Muslim radical Hamas network, still using the guise of religious and charitable institutions to raise/launder money, and employs and nurtures its very youthful, vulnerable, captive audiences on hate and anger, cultivating a population grown to die, ultimately as suicide-killers. While Hate colours everything red - with rage and ultimately with blood shed, people around the world will still look upon Hamas as justified because of its so-called good works. Ironic isn't it?

Now, how would you stop the stream of incursions? And please do not say by stopping the occupation (sic): Chairman Arafat reignited this war of terror a year ago when 95% of the Palestinian population had been under the control and governance of the PA for 6 yrs. The worst plea was that Israel was 'depriving' the Arab population of their 'right to work', to their occupations, inside Israel proper.

Working for real peace through peaceful means,

Rae Man




4.

From: NCEpanacea@aol.com
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002
Subject: John Rappoport's Perspective on 9-11

http://www.nomorefakenews.com

MONDAY, APRIL 8

As I and many others pointed out after 9/11, the OP against the Trade Towers and the Pentagon provided a hyped-up justification for Sharon to make war against the Palestinians. Since then, at least a few of the suicide bombings carried out against Israel have been add-ons to this OP. The bombings were carried out by people whose handlers were Israelis. Israel then proceeded to launch its war against the Palestinians. It's called provocation.

But of course there is more. Certain Israelis who ARE part of this overall OP are not leading the way. They are not the bosses. Much heavier players on the power ladder are in charge. And it must be inferred that THEY, the ones in charge, are willing to risk EVERYTHING. Including a massive war which will take place in the Middle East, drawing in a number of nations. Part of the fallout will be a choking off of oil supplies to the West. But these high-level planners are not, in their own eyes, risking anything more than they want to. The kind of chaos and destruction that may occur is right up their alley. This is not an OP which has gone off the rails. Understand this.

At the level of Bush and Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell and Dick Cheney, there is massive anxiety, there is terrible risk. Because they are down the ladder of power from the real planners, the real bosses.

For several years, I have been writing about what I call the PLAN B people. These are high-level ice-cold fascists who have always thought that chaos was the proper end-game, which in turn would become a prelude to a world run by a de facto government bent on erasing freedom on every front. Swiftly. I have spelled this out in as much detail as possible in my newsletter. And we are now seeing the results of their handiwork spread out before us. Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat are strategic pawns on the chessboard. Nothing more.

Among the cartels which run this planet, the PLAN A people, who have the same goal of a slave world--but want it to happen gradually, by the drip-method--are attempting to wrest control of the current OP away from their PLAN B brethren.

The key here is this. If 9/11 and its aftermath were planned from a very high position (and they were), it is silly to assume that the current spreading chaos in the Middle East was an unforeseen consequence. These PLAN B men may be crazy, but they aren't stupid. They knew and know exactly what kind of blood-drenched carpet is unrolling on the world stage.

For those citizens of many countries who have preferred to take their news from the trough of major media--well, that is now completely untenable. On that corrupted level, nothing makes sense. Nothing adds up. You have to go higher. You have to comprehend major segments of history as a series of rigged provocations, designed to create what appears to be the necessity of "the stronger ones" stepping in to take charge. To stop the chaos. This has always been the way. Put such fantastic pressure on the citizenry that it finally sits up and cries uncle. "Do what you want to. Give us any excuses, we don't care. Just stop the madness. We give you our souls, our lives, our futures. Take over. Run the whole show. Kill the scapegoats. Bring in the peace with chains, and we will wear them." This is the real OP. Which only adds to the urgency of decentralizing the power of the cartels which envelop this world.

SUNDAY, APRIL 7

Very little media coverage accompanies the opening of a major conference today in Washington. I'm talking about the annual meeting of the Trilateral Commission, that group founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller. Terrorism is at the top of the agenda. Globalism will be emphasized as the solution.

This "modest organization" will number among its conference attendees Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld, Alan Greenspan, Henry Kissinger, and Paul Volcker. Quite a list for a private non-governmental meeting. If you happen to be part of a private group, try to get these men to show up at the same time and place.

The Trilateral Commission had two dozen people in top posts in the Carter administration. Carter was a creation of the Commission, which, in effect, ran his foreign policy. That is, America's foreign policy. Hamilton Jordan, Carter's top aide, said just after Carter's victory in the 1976 presidential election, "If after the inauguration you find Cy Vance as Secretary of State and Zbigniew Brzezinski as head of national security, then I would say we failed. And I'd quit." Jordan's prediction about Carter's appointment of these Trilateralists came true. And he didn't quit.

Jordan was saying that turning over the major functions of the federal government to a private group was imminent. David Rockefeller is fond of making modest statements about Trilateral power. He says these men just sit around and try to come up with good ideas, like the Kiwanis Club. Well, men like Cheney and Powell and Rumsfeld--and movers and shakers from industry, media, the military, and the great banks of the world--aren't used to vapid speculation. They intend to get the job done, and the job is forming up the planet under the control of a few people--who happen to include themselves.

The meeting in Washington will be closed to the public. A few reporters have been invited to sit in. Members of the Club will be expected to read between the lines when chosen speakers make their reports. And, of course, more private conversations will take place.

We won't be hearing about any of these.




5.

Sent by Larry Morningstar <mana7@wave.net>

From: http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/opinion/0402/0415equal.html

Bush must answer Sept. 11 questions

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 4/15/02

By U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney

The need for an investigation of the events surrounding Sept. 11 is as obvious as the need for an investigation of the Enron debacle. Certainly, if the American people deserve answers about what went wrong with Enron and why (and we do), then we deserve to know what went wrong on Sept. 11 and why.

Are we squandering our goodwill around the world with what many believe to be incoherent, warmongering policies that alienate our friends and antagonize our allies? How much of a role does our reliance on imported oil play in the military policies put forward by the Bush administration? And what role does the close relationship between the Bush administration and the oil and defense industries play, if any, in the policies being pursued by this administration?

We deserve to know what went wrong on Sept. 11 and why. After all, we hold thorough public inquiries into rail disasters, plane crashes and even natural disasters in order to understand what happened and to prevent them from happening again or minimizing the tragic effects when they do. Why, then, does the administration remain steadfast in its opposition to an investigation into the biggest terrorism attack upon our nation?

News reports from Der Spiegel to the London Observer, from the Los Angeles Times to MSNBC to CNN, indicate that many different warnings were received by the administration. In addition, it has even been reported that the United States government broke Osama bin Laden's secure communications before Sept. 11. Sadly, the United States government is being sued today by survivors of the U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa because, from court reports, it appears clear that the United States had received warnings, but did little to secure and protect the staff at our embassies.

Did the same thing happen to us again?

I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of Sept. 11. A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case. For example, it is known that President Bush's father, through the Carlyle Group, had -- at the time of the attacks -- joint business interests with the bin Laden family's construction company and many defense industry holdings, the stocks of which have soared since Sept. 11.

On the other hand, what is undeniable is that corporations close to the administration have directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the aftermath of Sept. 11. The Carlyle Group, DynCorp and Halliburton certainly stand out as companies close to this administration.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld maintained in a hearing before Congress that we can afford the new spending, even though the request for more defense spending is the highest increase in 20 years.

All the American people are being asked to make sacrifices. Our young men and women in the military are being asked to risk their lives in our war against terrorism while our president's first act was to sign an executive order denying them high deployment overtime pay.

The American people are being asked to make sacrifices by bearing massive budget cuts in the social welfare of our country, in the areas of health care, Social Security and civil liberties for our enhanced military and security needs arising from the events of Sept. 11. It is imperative that they know fully why we make the sacrifices. If the secretary of defense tells us that his new military objectives must be to occupy foreign capital cities and overthrow regimes, then the American people must know why.

It should be easy for this administration to explain fully to the American people in a thorough and methodical way why we are being asked to make these sacrifices and if, indeed, these sacrifices will make us more secure. If the administration cannot articulate these answers to the American people, then the Congress must.

This is not a time for closed-door meetings and secrecy. America's credibility, both with the world and with her own people, rests upon securing credible answers to these questions. The world is teetering on the brink of conflicts while the administration's policies are vague, wavering and unclear.

Major financial conflicts of interest involving the president, the attorney general, the vice president and others in the administration have been and continue to be exposed.

This is a time for leadership and judgment that is not compromised in any fashion. This is a time for transparency and a thorough investigation.

U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney is a Democrat representing Georgia's 4th




6.

From: C2saint@aol.com
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002
Subject: Letter to the editor - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
To: letters@ajc.com

Responding to your "nutty" editorial about Congresswoman McKinney's outspokeness on the need for hearings on 9/11, it was only a matter of time before the usual press attacks would tar and feather anyone in public office questioning the Bush administration as a "conspiracy theorist." Yet Bush's administration is full of Iran-Contragate conspirators like Richard Armitage who, in America's name, already showed that they could run a covert war and undermine other nations in secret for years. Theories become fact or fantasy depending on the honest search for truth. But if there is no honest search, if high-profile people are censured, if even Congress is denied the opportunity to question the President, then the facts will remain hidden and the American people will grow ever more angry with their dictator, the federal government and the corporate controlled media. There have been several suspicious instances of planted evidence since day one, like the phony passport of one of the terrorists that somehow miracu lously floated out of an exploding jet and avoided the inferno at the World Trade Center. Also, no major media outlet in the U.S. has dared to get to the bottom of the Vreeland case (a U.S. military intel agent still being jailed in Canada), when that could reveal the truth suggesting some of our intelligence agency operatives knew in advance that the attack would occur where and when it did.

In the Vietnam era there was a popular slogan -- Question authority. Since the mainstream American press doesn't seem to want to do that anymore I think its way out of line for you to slur those who still regard that duty as a Jeffersonian right we the People will never relinquish.

Here's a new slogan for our time: We don't have a democracy, we have a hypocrisy.

Christopher Toussaint




7.

Sent by Bill Derau <tanchu@olypen.com>

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4394862,00.html

Chemical coup d'etat: The US wants to depose the diplomat who could take away its pretext for war with Iraq

George Monbiot

Guardian

Tuesday April 16, 2002

On Sunday, the US government will launch an international coup. It has been planned for a month. It will be executed quietly, and most of us won't know what is happening until it's too late. It is seeking to overthrow 60 years of multilateralism in favour of a global regime built on force.

The coup begins with its attempt, in five days' time, to unseat the man in charge of ridding the world of chemical weapons. If it succeeds, this will be the first time that the head of a multilateral agency will have been deposed in this manner. Every other international body will then become vulnerable to attack. The coup will also shut down the peaceful options for dealing with the chemical weapons Iraq may possess, helping to ensure that war then becomes the only means of destroying them.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) enforces the chemical weapons convention. It inspects labs and factories and arsenals and oversees the destruction of the weapons they contain. Its director-general is a workaholic Brazilian diplomat called Jose Bustani. He has, arguably, done more in the past five years to promote world peace than anyone else on earth. His inspectors have overseen the destruction of 2 million chemical weapons and two-thirds of the world's chemical weapon facilities. He has so successfully cajoled reluctant nations that the number of signatories to the convention has risen from 87 to 145 in the past five years: the fastest growth rate of any multilateral body in recent times.

In May 2000, as a tribute to his extraordinary record, Bustani was re-elected unanimously by the member states for a second five-year term, even though he had yet to complete his first one. Last year Colin Powell wrote to him to thank him for his "very impressive" work. But now everything has changed. The man celebrated for his achievements has been denounced as an enemy of the people. In January, with no prior warning or explanation, the US state department asked the Brazilian government to recall him, on the grounds that it did not like his "management style". This request directly contravenes the chemical weapons convention, which states "the director-general ... shall not seek or receive instructions from any government". Brazil refused. In March the US government accused Bustani of "financial mismanagement", "demoralisation" of his staff, "bias" and "ill-considered initiatives". It warned that if he wanted to avoid damage to his reputation, he must resign.

Again, the US was trampling the convention, which insists that member states shall "not seek to influence" the staff. He refused to go. On March 19 the US proposed a vote of no confidence in Bustani. It lost. So it then did something unprecedented in the history of multi lateral diplomacy. It called a "special session" of the member states to oust him. The session begins on Sunday. And this time the US is likely to get what it wants.

Since losing the vote last month, the United States, which is supposed to be the organisation's biggest donor, has been twisting the arms of weaker nations, refusing to pay its dues unless they support it, with the result that the OPCW could go under. Last week Bustani told me, "the Europeans are so afraid that the US will abandon the convention that they are prepared to sacrifice my post to keep it on board". His last hope is that the United Kingdom, whose record of support for the organisation has so far been exemplary, will make a stand. The meeting on Sunday will present Tony Blair's government with one of the clearest choices it has yet faced between multilateralism and the "special relationship".

The US has not sought to substantiate the charges it has made against Bustani. The OPCW is certainly suffering from a financial crisis, but that is largely because the US unilaterally capped its budget and then failed to pay what it owed. The organisation's accounts have just been audited and found to be perfectly sound. Staff morale is higher than any organisation as underfunded as the OPCW could reasonably expect. Bustani's real crimes are contained in the last two charges, of "bias" and "ill-considered initiatives".

The charge of bias arises precisely because the OPCW is not biased. It has sought to examine facilities in the United States with the same rigour with which it examines facilities anywhere else. But, just like Iraq, the US has refused to accept weapons inspectors from countries it regards as hostile to its interests, and has told those who have been allowed in which parts of a site they may and may not inspect. It has also passed special legislation permitting the president to block unannounced inspections, and banning inspectors from removing samples of its chemicals.

"Ill-considered initiatives" is code for the attempts Bustani has made, in line with his mandate, to persuade Saddam Hussein to sign the chemical weapons convention. If Iraq agrees, it will then be subject to the same inspections - both routine and unannounced - as any other member state (with the exception, of course, of the United States). Bustani has so far been unsuccessful, but only because, he believes, he has not yet received the backing of the UN security council, with the result that Saddam knows he would have little to gain from signing.

Bustani has suggested that if the security council were to support the OPCW's bid to persuade Iraq to sign, this would provide the US with an alternative to war. It is hard to see why Saddam Hussein would accept weapons inspectors from Unmovic - the organisation backed by the security council - after its predecessor, Unscom, was found to be stuffed with spies planted by the US government. It is much easier to see why he might accept inspectors from an organisation which has remained scrupulously even-handed. Indeed, when Unscom was thrown out of Iraq in 1998, the OPCW was allowed in to complete the destruction of the weapons it had found. Bustani has to go because he has proposed the solution to a problem the US does not want solved.

"What the Americans are doing". Bustani says, "is a coup d'etat. They are using brute force to amend the convention and unseat the director-general." As the chemical weapons convention has no provisions permitting these measures, the US is simply ripping up the rules. If it wins, then the OPCW, like Unscom, will be fatally compromised. Success for the United States on Sunday would threaten the independence of every multilateral body.

This is, then, one of those rare occasions on which our government could make a massive difference to the way the world is run. It could choose to support its closest ally, wrecking multilateralism and shutting down the alternatives to war. Or it could defy the United States in defence of world peace and international law. It will take that principled stand only if we, the people from whom it draws its power, make so much noise that it must listen. We have five days in which to stop the US from bullying its way to war.







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