Friday, March 28, 2003

'The Security Council, holding its first debate on Iraq since hostilities began on 19 March, was called on to end the illegal aggression and demand the immediate withdrawal of invading forces, by an overwhelming majority of this afternoon's 45 speakers. Expressing regret that diplomacy had failed to resolve the question of Iraq's disarmament, speakers emphasized that the current war, carried out without Council authorization, was a violation of international law and the United Nations Charter. Many stressed they could not understand how the Council could remain silent in the face of the aggression by two of its permanent members against another United Nations Member State.'

'Iraq’s representative called on the Council to act to ensure that the rules of international law were observed.  While the aggressors said that their goal was the disarmament of Iraq, everybody knew that they were not the ones tasked with that mandate.  The inspections during several months had found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction or proscribed activities within Iraq.  The real reason for the attack was occupation of the country, its recolonization and control of its oil wealth. He hoped the Council would stand up to the aggressors, he added.  It was peculiar that, instead of considering the aggression itself, the Council had been busy discussing the humanitarian aspects of the problem.  Shouldn’t the Council pay attention to the cessation of the aggression first?'

'The United States and the United Kingdom had waged war, stated the Observer for the League of Arab States, at a time when Iraq was positively cooperating with United Nations inspectors, who had stated that they only needed a few more months to discharge their tasks.  The only party authorized to disarm Iraq was the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).'

'At a time when there was hope for the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he was stunned to see the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Instead of one occupation, there were now two to deal with.'

This UN press release carries the text of the debate. Speeches by the Iraqi and Malaysian representatives among others are remarkably effective and eloquent statements against the war which deserve more attention than they currently receive. Australia, however, has shamed itself by regurgitating the discredited UKUSA (United to Kill Us All) line, making the Australian accent an ugly, jarring imposition on the decency of the world.

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