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Don’t Ask For Evidence, Just Nuke Baghdad


The American military has become like one of these couples that always goes on holiday to the same resort. They’re sat in the Pentagon muttering: “We always bomb the same place, every year. This year we looked through the brochures and thought of bombing somewhere new, like Yemen or North Korea, but in the end we thought we’d play safe and stick with Iraq as usual.”

Because Saddam has acquired “weapons of mass destruction”. Just now, at exactly the same time as the American military is on a roll and can justify anything it wants by pointing to Ground Zero. What a coincidence. And we know this is true because “there is evidence”. Well that pretty much wraps the case up, then.

Some politically correct types might ask what the evidence is, but that’s the sort of bureaucracy that snarls up any legal system. The evidence is bound to be as damning as that produced by Nato chief George Robertson when he held up an Iraqi canister and announced it would be lethal if Saddam filled it with deadly anthrax. Just as a bottle of lemonade would be lethal if you filled it with deadly anthrax, which is why the axis of evil should include Iraq, Iran and the Schweppes bottling plant in Sidcup.

What slightly confuses me is this. In 1991, following a 10-year war in which Saddam had been allowed, indeed encouraged, by the Americans to build up his military strength, the most destructive weapon he came up with was the Scud. Which is probably safe to let off in your garden as long as you make sure it stays upright and don’t light it while it’s in your hand. But since then Iraq has been observed day and night, pelted with cruise missiles and subjected to sanctions that prevent almost all imports. Even ping-pong balls are banned, presumably in case they’re filled up with deadly anthrax.

Yet despite this, the place has got itself a pile of weapons of mass destruction. Saddam doesn’t need to rule Iraq, he could play Las Vegas as the greatest magician in history. The climax of his show would be to invite someone on to the stage and say: “We’ve never met before, have we? Now I’d just like you to tell the audience if there’s anything destructive here, anything at all.” Then – kazoom – and out of a puff of smoke pops a beautiful assistant astride a silo full of nuclear warheads. Then David Blaine and Uri Geller say: “How the bloody hell has he managed that?”

It’s also claimed that Iraq may have been connected to the attack on New York. For this is now the excuse for every act of American aggression. There will probably be an announcement soon that the British steel industry was harbouring al-Qa’ida terrorists.

Each new stage of the war against terrorism makes it clearer that the real aim has little to do with the twin towers and is a bid for what the American military describes as “full spectrum dominance”. Partly, this entails revenge against anyone who’s caused the US embarrassment, starting with the most recent and going back, making the named targets so far Iraq, Somalia, Iran and North Korea. Blair ought to be careful. Historically speaking, after that it goes Japan, Spain, the Confederacy, Mexico and then Britain.

But still Americans write in to newspapers such as this one, whining about any criticism of their government’s warmongering. They’re like a superpower version of Harry Enfield’s Kevin the Teenager. Someone only has to suggest that maybe they shouldn’t threaten to frazzle half the planet and they’re screaming: “Oh it’s so unfair. We’re not allowed to do anything.”

Almost every week sees a new “post 11/9 film” in which American soldiers blast their way heroically through a sinister land to deliver democracy to ungrateful savages. Mel Gibson’s next effort will be to play Henry Kissinger parachuting into Santiago to help General Pinochet to stop the Chilean parliament drowning a litter of kittens.

In a typical article in one Sunday paper, an American writer lamented how he had “thought twice” about becoming a father in this “post September 11th world”. Funny how it didn’t bother him that he was bringing a child into a post-napalming-Cambodia world or a post-Chile-coup world or a post-Contra world. To the inevitable accusation that this makes me “anti-American”, I would point out that three of my greatest living heroes are Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor and Bart Simpson. To suggest that anyone who questions the American military is “anti-American” is like suggesting that someone who voices concerns about the techniques of Harold Shipman holds an “instinctive hatred of doctors”.

But no matter how barmy they get, there will be Tony Blair, shoulder to shoulder. Some people are suggesting that, by remaining faithful to George Bush, our Prime Minister has won some influence over him. This is true. Blair licks his arse so thoroughly that George now listens to Tony’s opinion as to whether he should lick his right buttock first or his left.

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