Bad boy Bush
To the Editor:
Before President George W. Bush is praised for his sudden respect for international law and his rejection of unilateral, narrow-minded action, the facts must be presented in order to smell our way through his United Nations speech on Sept. 12.
First, the weapons inspectors were not thrown out by Saddam Hussein in December 1998. Rather, they were ordered to leave with advance warning of the subsequent 18-month bombing campaign that former president Bill Clinton ordered on the eve of his impeachment vote. This assault was a violation of international law since it lacked the authorization of the UN Security Council.
So, American violations of international law led to the cessation of weapons inspections. Today, Bush vilifies Iraq for both violating the same international law that his predecessor did, as well as developing weapons of mass destruction that have gone unaccounted for because AClinton virtually kicked the inspectors out in 1998.
Secondly, Bush's speech failed to deliver the promised evidence that Hussein has amassed weapons of mass destruction. After grossly misrepresenting both UN reports and satellite photos that explicitly stated that there was no evidence of such amassment, the administration discovered the sinister truth Iraq had acquired aluminum tubes, which could be used to develop nuclear weapons.
In other words, on the basis of sheer speculation and without any concrete evidence, Iraq will be invaded even without UN endorsement, which would make the invasion a violation of the same international laws that Bush now claims to hold in such esteem.
These are important points that help to put this tragic affair in proper historical context. This is not an isolated incident, but rather another example in a longline of instances in which the U.S. has flouted international law, either by preventing its implementation or flagrantly violating its application.