The Political Page
The Iraq Conflict
On Monday, 27.01.03, Hans Blix, the Head Weapons Inspector in Iraq, will be giving his report to the UN Security Council. Up to now, no mass destruction potential has been discovered. Blix stressed, however, in an interim report that this does not mean they do not exist - they only have not yet been found. Blix and others emphasize that the inspectors need quite a lot more time for a thorough investigation - Iraq being almost as large as Germany. The first, and most important ground for war, would not apply if nothing were found, namely the moral justification for the USA, through a war with Iraq, to save the world from the threat of ABC-weapons. Do the Americans have Secret Service information or information from imprisoned Al-Qaida fighters that they have not made public in order to protect someone or further investigations? If so, this should have at least been shown to the members of the Security Council, or Hans Blix and his inspectors.
The second main reason for war for the USA is the danger that the person Saddam Hussein as dictator presents. It is well known what cold-blooded, criminal energy this man possesses. As dictator, he has complete power in his hands. Should weapons of mass destruction be available to him, a man such as Saddam Hussein might put them to use. He could blackmail an unprepared world with apocalyptic threats. It is actually the duty of the UN to avoid such danger to the people of the world. The USA has reminded the UN of this.
However, since the UN can call for peace and pass resolutions but dictators only bow to concrete military pressure, the members of the Security Council have agreed up till now to the build-up of the US Army - which proved to have an effect in September, as S. H. allowed the UN inspectors entry without limitations and presented a 12,000 page report in November.
A further ground for a war against Iraq is therefore the deposition / abdication / toppling of the dictator. Saudi Arabia has openly called for Iraq’s elite to overthrow the regime. The USA has also let it be known that exile for Saddam Hussein would be grounds not to begin a war. Since then, efforts are being made behind the scenes, which are heard of now and then through an indiscretion: Libya (Gadaffi) tried; at the moment, Russia seems to be working hard, with express American approval. Iraq denies, though, any speculation in this direction: Saddam would rather shoot himself than play at hobbies as a sacked ruler. His heroes are Nebucadnezar, Alexander the Great and Hitler. Saddam is fighting for his political and, perhaps, physical survival.
Another reason for a war, which is only mentioned covertly, is the control over Iraqi oil. For certain, since the stop on oil from Venezuela, the rise in oil prices has been felt. What would happen if war broke out?
These are America’s three reasons for war
· The destruction of all of Iraq’s mass weapons and possibilities for destruction.
· Removal of Saddam Hussein
· Control of Iraq’s oil
The American military build-up continues. The danger of war is coming closer. The question is whether the increase in such threats develops its own dynamic, so that after a certain point, the only possible consequence becomes war....
Possible consequences of a war
1. The people of Iraq, especially of Baghdad would suffer terribly. A flood of refugees would roll over the land. The UN Refugee Committee, the UNHCR, already has ca. 40 million Dollars on hand. Syria, Iran and Turkey have already stated that they will not take in any refugees.
2. The political balance in the Near-East would be destabilized. As early as August 2000, President Mubarak of Egypt and his followers warned President Bush in moving words of a war and its consequences. If the Americans, “because of one or two individuals” attacked this country and leave the problem of Palestine unresolved, no Arabian government leader would be able to contain the anger of their people. “We fear that anarchy and chaos would prevail.”
3. The number of Islamic Fundamentalists would probably grow rapidly. This would mean:
· danger to Arab governments that are considered moderate;
· an increase in tension for Moslems to the West:
· this could lead to renewed persecution of Christians in Islamic countries;
· justification in the eyes of Moslems of the terrorist attacks of Al Qaida in their fight against the (Christian/Jewish) West;
· a weakening of the recent development of resistance in the Evangelical Church against the growing Islamic influence in Germany, leading to an inevitable solidarity with Moslems here against the Americans and their war.
4. The results for the world economy would not be predictable, since oil prices, on which the world economy depends, would surely go up. Bankruptcies, higher unemployment, an increase in social problems and the collapse of weaker national economies could occur, depending on the rate of increase. A worldwide stock market crash could result. The stability agreement for the Euro, whose criteria is already being questioned, could be blown apart under the pressure from the national economies.
5. The role of the USA will be defined in the future, depending on whether the USA acts only with approval of the UN Security Council or on its own. The question is: is there a super power and the rest of the world or is there a world community with game rules which the USA must obey. The role of the USA as well as the significance of the UN for world peace will be decided according to how America proceeds in the next weeks.
6. Germany’s role is extremely problematic. After the Chancellor’s clear no to the war on Iraq by the Americans, there is little negotiating room left in German politics. Although 71% of the Germans are against a war on Iraq - that is why, among other reasons Schröder won the election with this statement - he has strained Germany’s essential friendship with the USA to the point that future negative results in the case of a reverse situation are possible. After the USA sent its GI’s to Germany for many decades as protection against the Eastblock, America cannot understand the reaction of the Germans now. On 1. February 2003, Germany must take over as Head of the UN Security Council - at exactly the time in which the committee must decide on war or peace. German politics is in a bind! Especially since it must be noted that Germany agreed to using its troops in Kosovo without a UN mandate and involved its military. What should Germany do if - as it seems - the other committee members agree, when a UN mandate is presented for using weapons against Iraq? Of course, Germany’s “No” strengthens its position in the Arabian world, which could perhaps have great significance at some time to play a mediator’s role in the Near East conflict.
Up till now, Schröder’s constant no carries the risk of the isolating German politics, but also the
chance to demonstrate a European standpoint independent of the Americans, something
which has so often been urged to do, but so seldom done so tenaciously.
7. The role of the four other members of the Security Council with a right to vote need hardly be
questioned. England has already agreed; France still hesitates;
8. Russia and China feel so upgraded by their newly intimate relations with the super power
and have agreed. Should Putin actually manage that Saddam Hussein voluntarily go into
exile, his image would rise inestimably worldwide.
9. Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians has almost disappeared from the headlines of the
world press due to the Iraq conflict. At the same time, because of the conflict with Iraq,
tension in Israel is high again because during the 1990 Iraqi war, Saddam Hussein tried to
bombard Israel with Scud rockets.
1. The German Chancellor and his Foreign Minister have repeatedly stated good grounds against war. They believe the government of S.H. hold “human rights in contempt” and are all for disarmament in Iraq but think this is possible without a war. Above all, they point out that there has been no proof that there are weapons of mass destruction; thus there are no grounds for a war. On 20.01., Fischer warned the Security Council of “unpredictable consequences” of a war. The majority of the Security Council is even striving for a peaceful solution, which means more time for the inspectors.
2. The majority of Americans views the war skeptically. There is general agreement to depose Saddam; but 2/3 demand proof of a threat and support from their allies before a military attack (demonstration on 19.01.)
3. During a diplomatic gathering on 13.01, the Pope, in an unusually clear manner, took a stand: “ War is never an unavoidable fate; war always means defeat for humanity.” According to the UN Charter, war is only under certain conditions to be considered as a final option. The Vatican wants to send high-ranking representatives on a peace mission to Baghdad and Washington.
4. The Evang. Church in Germany has clearly taken position against military action in Iraq through its leader, President Kock. Also, the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference called a “preventive war based on suspicion”, morally reprehensible.
The idea that Saddam Hussein would voluntarily go into exile, is considered by Iraqis as referring to psychological warfare and evidently is also not held to be a probability by the neighboring Arabian states who, having more insight into the internal situation in Iraq, are thus encouraging the Iraqis to topple the dictator, promising amnesty afterwards. Unfortunately, no one except those in the inner circle get anywhere near S.H., and they are not included in the amnesty. So the probability is very small that S.H. would leave his people to save them from a war. He will do and is even doing just
the opposite by riling the masses to war and fanaticism. Sure the masses are screaming, but the people have suffered under the embargo and more and the dictatorship - so it cannot be known beforehand and not from the outside just how high the potential for opposition is (compare Afghanistan).
There was an initiative from America to move 1 million people by the end of 2002 to pray for the exile of S. H. Since then, as already stated, there have been attempts from several sides in this direction - that was certainly a result of this intercession. If they have not yet completely
succeeded, then an imminent and fast imprisonment or removal of S.H. should be prayed for so that an outbreak or, in case of war, further spreading of the war can be avoided.
It is all about the person Saddam Hussein.
Why did President Bush, Sen. not overthrow S.H. in the 1. Iraq war, but ended the war instead? The “dragon” was wounded but managed with his last bit of strength to crawl to his cave. Now he is strong and again dangerous. Now, President Bush, Jun. wants to “hunt him down”.
Why does General Secretary Kofi-Anan interfere so noticeably little? He merely requests more time for his inspectors. Has he given up hoping to avoid a war and is leaving the Americans free reign? Is he himself possibly interested in the downfall of S.H. to finally bring peace to the region?
The why it looks now (20.01.) it is more likely to be a war than not. Who the winner will be is hardly doubtful but at what cost. And that could be very different from what Bush imagines. Afterwards, a new Iraq leadership will be installed with as much democracy as possible, which will be dependent upon America’s mercy for years to come. This way, America will be well-established in the region, will build up the area, let money rain on the citizens who will be able to breathe again, and by the way control the Iraqi oil market one hundred percent.
Thus ends the dependence of the super power on the goodwill of a mini-emirate on the Golf. Post-war Iraq is in American hands.
It remains to be seen whether the Arabian states in the area quietly accept this. However, since lack of unity is one characteristic of the Arab world, no open fight can be expected since American dominance would be hidden behind a new Iraqi government.
More dangerous than the Arabian states as an opponent is the Islam as a unifying band. Guerrilla warfare and new terrorist networks could develop which, as we know, are very hard to fight against. In extreme cases, it could lead to fundamentalist coup attempts against Arabian governments that cooperate with the “great Satan” USA.
1. Proclamation of the world reign of our God who leads His World even through huge judgments to His goal. Worship of Him who sits on the throne and rules.
2. War has not yet broken out! It can still be avoided. Let us pray for God to speak clearly to President Bush - because he is someone who asks about God’s way. Let us pray for wise advisers in the White House who will not be guided by America’s power but by justice. Let us pray that the USA will remain a part of the world community and not work against it. Let us pray for the success of all appeals.
3. Let us pray for time for the inspectors in Iraq and quick discovery, if weapons of mass destruction are there, and their complete demolition. Let us pray for a bloodless toppling of Saddam Hussein and liberation of the land from dictatorship and better living for the people of Iraq. As a biblical guideline, Luke 1: 52f says: “ He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry (Iraqis) with good things....remembering to be merciful.”
4. If war does come, let us pray for a quick ending of battle; for the least possible loss of lives on either side; that no chemical or biological weapons are used. It is also not clear what happened to the old stockpile of B and C weapons. The Iraq generals only haltingly give information which, according to the UN resolution 14.4.1 is required.
5. Plead for mercy for the soldiers on both sides and their families, who fear for them; mercy for the innocent civilians who must flee and suffer. The misery will be great.
6. Let us pray for the Arabian countries and the Islamic world.
7. Pray for protection for Israel during and after this time.
8. Intercessory prayer for the German ambassador to the UN for wisdom when he takes over as Leader of the Security Council on 1. February for one month, the time in which these great decisions will be made.
9. Prayer for protection for all Christians, our brother and sisters, in Moslem countries.
10. Pray that it will not come to a global stock market crash with results that always effect
the poor first.