March 31, 2007

Beyond Munich

The UN Security Council helps disarm a prospective victim of U.S. aggression

by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

Imagine that when Hitler was threatening to invade Poland, after having swallowed Czechoslovakia - with the help of the Western European powers' appeasement of Hitler at Munich in September 1938 - the League of Nations imposed an arms embargo on Poland, making it more difficult for the imminent victim to defend itself, and at the same time suggested that Poland was the villainous party. That didn't happen back in 1939, but in a regression from that notorious era of appeasement something quite analogous is happening now.

Here is the United States, still fighting a brutal war of conquest in Iraq, which it is now doing with UN Security Council approval, with open plans and threats to attack Iran and engage in "regime change," gathering aircraft carriers off the coast of Iran, already engaging in subversive and probing attacks on the prospective target, and the UN Security Council, instead of warning and threatening the aggressor warns, threatens and imposes sanctions on the prospective victim!

The way it works is that the United States stirs up a big fuss, proclaiming a serious threat to its own national security, and expressing its deep concern over another state's flaunting of Security Council resolutions or dragging its feet on some point of order such as weapons inspections - we know how devoted the United States and its Israeli client are to the rule of law!

In the Iraq case, this noise was echoed and amplified in the media, often splashed across headlines and drummed up in editorial commentary. In turn, elite opinion in the United States and Britain coalesced around the beliefs (a) that a WMD-related crisis really existed in Baghdad and (b) that it required the Security Council's special attention. Straight through March 19-20 2003, Iraq, the prospective target of a full-scale attack, decried the absurdity of this U.S.-U.K. noise, and filed regular communiques with the Security Council and Secretary-General documenting the U.S.-U.K. aerial strikes on its territory, . . .


[Edward S. Herman is an economist and media analyst, co-author with Noam Chomsky of Manufacturing Consent; David Peterson is a Chicago-based researcher and journalist.]

John Pilger, "Iran: The War Begins," New Statesman, February 5, 2007

[Iran, in a confidential letter posted Friday on an internal Web site of the U.N. nuclear monitor, said its fear of attack from the U.S. and Israel prompted its decision to withhold information from the agency. In the letter, Iran said the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency had repeatedly allowed confidential information crucial to the country's security to be leaked.--George Jahn, "Iran: Attack fears spurred nuclear block," Associated Press, March 30, 2007]

[All 15 members of the Security Council adopted the sanctions, Resolution 1747, which focuses on constraining Iranian arms exports, the state-owned Bank Sepah - which is already under Treasury Department sanctions - and the Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite military organization separate from the nation's conventional armed forces.--Thom Shanker, "Security Council raises sanctions on nuclear Iran," International Herald Tribune, March 24, 2007]

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