includes the idea of a proper role for the military and a proper use of military force. Yes. There’s a personal and an organizational position. What we’re saying organizationally is that the United States could declare victory in the Persian Gulf at this point. Initially, President Bush went there to defend Saudi Arabia from a possible attack from Iraq. Historians are going to have to do a whole lot of analysis to determine whether there was a real threat or intention on the-part of Iraq to go into Saudi Arabia. I personally don’t think it was a real possibility. Holding that aside, there is certainly no threat at this point that Saddam Hussein is going to go into Saudi Arabia. So President Bush could easily declare victory and go home. He could stop sending more troops over there and start drawing down U.S. military presence, seek a U.N. peacekeeping force and leave that deployed on the border. Then let the economic sanctions run their course. Every indication is that they are working. In fact, there was a recent statement out of the Pentagon that they are strangling Iraq. It’s not going to happen by January 1. But Hussein can’t sell any of his oil in the international marketplace, so he doesn’t have revenues coming in to do anything on foreign trade. He’s dependent on foreign trade for spare parts for his military equipment. The same report was saying that clearly his hightechnology military capability erodes every month. So you’ve got an embargo that is basically strangling that economy. We even have an embargo still in place on food, which is pretty questionable from amoral perspective. I don’t think you’re going to have everybody actually starve there. But you’ve got a country that’s under severe economic pressure. And over time, either Saddam Hussein pulls out or he’s so weakened as a leader that he’s replaced. That’s much closer to the mainstream position of the American people than this selfimposed deadline of January 1. It’s not clear to me why there’s a deadline. We’re afraid popular support for military deployment will decline if we wait too long? Well, so what? How the hell would you feel if you had a son or a daughter who was killed in an invasion and the reason for the invasion was that you thought that the public wouldn’t think it would be good to invade two or three months from now? In The Nation last week, Paul Savoy wrote that the majority of the American public is opposed to starting a war in the Persian Gulf And that message hasn’t gotten through to Congress, or the public just hasn’t been able to articulate that message. Is that the way you perceive it, having traveled and spoken on the issue as you have? Not only that. Alan Kay, who’s a friend and a supporter his belief is that if you could just let the average person speak on foreign policy that there really is a kind of a consistency and understanding there that should be relied on. So he did a survey in September and it indicated that only 10 percent of the people in the United States were willing to use military force to get rid of Saddam Hussein, absent some provocation, some other condition. You had months where the questions the pollsters were asking of people were, “Do you support the President?” Well, support him in doing what? Clearly, Saddam Hussein needed to be stopped. Obviously, it’s important that it be a multi-national, international coalition that stopped him. If the President chose to deploy some military force over there as a part of that overall package, I think people in the United States approved. I think that’s where we support the President. It did not mean we support the idea of an invasion or military attack to get rid of Saddam Hussein. How about the question that has been raised recently, and was raised again when “What you’re talking about is the working families of the United States having their sons and daughters die.” you were speaking on the radio today. The argument that Iraq is developing a nuclear capacity. What sort of factor is that in the equation of the use of force? It’s a smokescreen. It’s at least the seventh reason that the President has brought forth to justify an invasion. I quit my job as a professor at MIT in 1982 to work full-time stopping the nuclear arms race. And the question of how you keep nuclear weapons from being spread is a complicated one and one in which the Bush and Reagan Administration has been arguably the worst influence in the international community. There’s going to be a review conference in January under the Partial Test Ban Treaty and the United States and Britain have already indicated that they will veto a proposal that comes from most of the nations of the world which are signatories to that treaty, calling for a comprehensive test-ban treaty to do away with nuclear testing altogether. The United States and Britain have announced they’re going to oppose that. If you want to keep Saddam Hussein from getting nuclear weapons, then what you have to do is take seriously the idea of nuclear nonproliferation. Companies from West Germany and France have been providing nuclear technology to Saddam Hussein. All the evidence I’ve seen indicates that he has the nuclear materials to make one dirty bomb within two years. Can’t test it. So you’ve got a bomb. Does it work? Don’t know. So do you build your military strategy around a bomb that may or may not work? This notion that we should adopt the Israeli arms-control strategy, which is whenever somebody gets close to nuclear capability, you go in and launch a military attack to destroy their facility, is not the way the United States should go. So, yes, I think it’s a problem. I think his chemical warfare capability is a problem. The fact that he can get biological warfare capability. The fact that he’s pushing to get nuclear. But the way to deal with that is not to have 20,000 to 50,000 people die. The usual secret sources in the Pentagon and the CIA being alluded to by President Bush, are saying, “if you knew what I knew,” which as you know from the Vietnam era is a very familiar message. Find out what the nuclear capability is. Look at the people providing supplies for it. Make sure there’s a very tight embargo on it. And make one of the conditions if you’re going to go further with it look at making some kind of condition on the continuation of the embargo, in addition to the withdrawal from Kuwait, something to do with the acquisition of additional technology. A whole range of ways by which you can deal with it other than a military attack. Of course, had the Israelis not destroyed the French-built reactor ,what seven, 10 years ago, Hussein could have been much farther along. Yes. How much further, I don’t know. That’s a question for another expert. But this obsession with the kind of Rambo/Israeli the same kind of mentality that says what we really need to do is have somebody go in and assassinate Saddam Hussein I mean, those things work occasionally, but it’s a heck of a way to run a country. I don’t want a country that runs that way. It’s certainly not a nuclear arms control policy. I mean, how would you apply that to South Africa? South Africa’s got the nuclear capability. Is there no justification for attempting to restore the sovereignty of Kuwait? Well, I think that the sovereignty of that nation was illegally interfered with. There are a series of questions. One is the legitimacy of that government to begin with. So if you get into the business of like we used to do in Vietnam, destroy the village in order to save it if we go in and destroy what’s left of Kuwait in order to save it, and therefore take upon ourselves the decision about THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7
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