The Null Device

Arms inspectors not enough

Iraq invites back UN arms inspectors for talks aimed at resuming inspections. The US, though, says that a resumption of inspections is not enough. And Howard's eager for war.

(Aside: I suspect that we may see World War 3, replete with conscription, rationing and a full-scale war economy, within a few years at most. Even if the US, UK and Australia have enough troops and high-tech weapons to hold Afghanistan and Iraq, that will not be enough to invade Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Libya and put down the Saudi insurrection. And the invasion of Iraq is likely to add fuel to the fire.)

There are 11 comments on "Arms inspectors not enough":

Posted by: Ken http:// Fri Aug 2 14:36:12 2002

You're in a rather depressing mood today. I don't think WW3 is coming any time soon. Bush is just about stupid enough to use nuclear weapons to avoid that prospect. And remember Iraq is all about Bush's pride.

Posted by: acb Fri Aug 2 15:01:20 2002

If Bush invades Iraq (which virtually all other Arab states oppose, including Kuwait), many borderline allies will turn against the US (and UK and Australia). We may be at war with the entire Arab world, if not the entire Islamic world. Even if not, I doubt that the embattled Saudi dictatorship, under pressure from Islamic extremists of the Osama Bin Laden mould (there's a reason why it took a Saudi to found Al-Qaeda) will survive it. And the US, dependent as it is on Saudi oil, will have to put down the insurrection one way or another. Given that Saudi Arabia is home to Mecca, a mass invasion of US/puppet troops is likely to be met by volunteer mujahedin from all over the Islamic world, with or without their governments' backing. I.e., total war.

If Bush actually starts nuking Arab cities as a grim warning, then everything's even more fucked.

Posted by: acb Fri Aug 2 15:04:52 2002

And even if the invasion of Iraq went to plan, Bush wouldn't stop there. Given that (a) he's good at war, and it boosts his approval ratings to stellar levels, and (b) he's crap on domestic issues, he'd want to maintain perpetual war against one enemy or another. It would deflect attention, raise his popularity and help keep him in power (including possibly using powers to crush domestic dissent). If Iraq is conquered and Saudi Arabia remains intact, Cuba, Libya or North Korea is next.

Posted by: tony Fri Aug 2 15:11:45 2002

I don't think you're far wrong there acb. It doesn't take an idiot to see that events are compounding. There has to be a release sooner or later. I don't watch any free to air TV (I'm in Melbourne)The only channel watched in my household is BBC World. It gives a well rounded view of current events - and I get more worried every day. Everyone (governments that is...) is talking war. Which can only mean one thing - war.

Posted by: bzackey Fri Aug 2 20:00:48 2002

I don't buy the idea that armed conflict is somehow inevitable just because a few politicos start talking tough. Remember the recent standoff between India and Pakistan? Millions of troops mobilized on each other's borders, constant artillery fire traded back and forth, and aggressive rhetoric and propaganda up to your eyeballs. Nothing happened, the two bitter enemies backed down, and New Delhi and Islamabad weren't reduced to two smoking craters. It doesn't make sense to say that Bush, Blair, and Howard taking a hard line in their speeches = nuclear strikes across the Middle East and massed invasions of every regime that's ever thumbed its nose at the West. No matter how grim of a picture the BBC is painting, you probably shouldn't start crapping your pants just yet.

Posted by: bzackey Sat Aug 3 04:18:35 2002

Wow. You can tell that I was three times as enthusiastic about posting than I usually am. Me = dumb.

Posted by: Graham Sat Aug 3 07:24:55 2002

yeah, well, before you get into ultra-pessimistic mode, remember the US is still a democracy where the opposition doesn't get executed if they lose the election. You know how the stock market there is currently going down the chute? For whatever foreign affairs Bush decides to engage in, when people start seeing their retirement plans going to pot, they're not going to give a damn about the terrorists if they see their financial security threatened. Domestic issues make and break Presidents. People didn't give a shit about whatever Clinton did because at least the economy was booming. Bush came in as the US economy started going into a bear period, and if it continues until 2004, people will root him up the arse in the end. The first adventure in Iraq did Bush Snr any favours in the '92 runoff, there's every chance that history will repeat itself here.

Posted by: Graham Sat Aug 3 07:26:43 2002

Plus, you could use a preview feature here.

Posted by: Ben http:// Sat Aug 3 12:20:30 2002

I wouldn't worry. As the latest column points out, none of Iraq's neighbours are willing to let the US use it as a staging ground and the suicidal demands of politicians to try and capture Baghdad first via parachute assault isn't popular with the military who would have to do it.

Worth a read:

Posted by: acb Sat Aug 3 16:47:00 2002

Graham: remember that Bush stole the 2000 election, when he wasn't in power. How much easier will it be for him (or the people behind him) to retain power, especially now that they have all these nifty emergency powers and agencies?

Posted by: GJW Sun Aug 4 08:37:46 2002

I'm undecided about whether Bush will win a second term. I believe a lot of Americans are feigning support for him in public, but will be happy to get rid of him in the privacy of the voting booth (provided they can find the right button to press).

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