Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 44 December 8 - 14, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Iraq possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, quite sad to say, it did so
with the knowledge of, and sometimes with materials from, the United States.
the Administration of Ronald Reagan, sixty helicopters were sold to Iraq. Later
reports said Iraq used U.S.-made helicopters to spray Kurds with chemical
weapons. According to The Washington Post, Iraq used mustard gas against Iran
with the help of intelligence from the CIA.
punishment? The United States reestablished full diplomatic ties around
Thanksgiving of 1984.
1989 and 1990, U.S. companies, with the permission of the first Bush
Administration, sent to the government of Saddam Hussein mustard gas precursors
and live cultures for bacteriological research. U.S. companies also helped to
build a chemical weapons factory and supplied the West Nile virus, fuel air
explosive technology, computers for weapons technology, hydrogen cyanide
precursors, computers for weapons research and development, and vacuum pumps and
bellows for nuclear weapons plants. "We have met the enemy," said Walt
Kelly's Pogo, "And he is us."
action on the part of the United States, or in partnership with Great Britain,
would for the first time set our nation on the bloodstained path of aggressive
war, a sacrilege upon the memory of those who fought to defend this country.
America's moral authority would be undermined throughout the world. It would
destabilize the entire Persian Gulf and Middle East region. And it would signal
for Russia to invade Georgia; China, Taiwan; North Korea, the South; India,
United States must recommit itself to the U.N. Charter, which is the framework
for international order. We have a right and a duty to defend ourselves. We also
have an obligation to defend international law. We can accomplish both without
going to war with Iraq.
is a way out.
must involve the United Nations. Inspections for weapons of mass destruction
should begin immediately. Inspectors must have free and unfettered access to all
time has come for us to end the sanctions against Iraq, because those sanctions
punish the people of Iraq for having Saddam Hussein as their leader. These
sanctions have been instrumental in causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands
of children. Emergency relief should be expedited. Free trade, except in arms,
must be permitted.
investments must be allowed. The assets of Iraq abroad must be restored.
a regional zone free of weapons of mass destruction should be established.
only weapon that can save the world is nonviolence, said Gandhi. We can begin
this practice today by calling upon the Administration in Washington to stop the
talk of war, and stop the planning for war.
their heart of hearts, the American people do not want war on Iraq. The American
people want peace.
is no reason for war against Iraq. Stop the drumbeat. Stop sending troops and
supplies to Kuwait and Qatar. Pull back from the abyss of unilateral action and
know that each day the Administration receives a daily threat assessment. But
Iraq is not an imminent threat to this nation. Forty million Americans suffering
from inadequate health care is an imminent threat. The high cost of prescription
drugs is an imminent threat. The ravages of unemployment is an imminent threat.
The slowdown of the economy is an imminent threat, and so, too, the devastating
effects of corporate fraud.
must drop the self-defeating policy of regime change. Policies of aggression and
assassination are not worthy of any nation with a democratic tradition, let
alone a nation of people who love liberty and whose sons and daughters sacrifice
to maintain that democracy.
question is not whether or not America has the military power to destroy Saddam
Hussein and Iraq. The question is whether we destroy something essential in this
nation by asserting that America has the right to do so anytime it pleases.
cannot and should not be the world's policeman. America cannot and should not
try to pick the leaders of other nations. Nor should America and the American
people be pressed into the service of international oil interests and arms
must work to bring Iraq back into the community of nations, not through
destruction, but through constructive action worldwide. We can help negotiate a
resolution with Iraq that encompasses unfettered inspections, the end of
sanctions, and the cessation of the regime-change policy.
have the power to do this. We must have the will to do this. It must be the will
of the American people expressed through the direct action of peaceful
the United States proceeds with a first strike policy, then we will have taken
upon our nation a historic burden of committing a violation of international
law, and we would then forfeit any moral high ground we could hope to hold.
Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, is head of the Progressive Caucus in