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si-blog
the web log of Simon Jessey

Wednesday, January 8th, 2003

America's itchy trigger finger

One of the earliest concepts of law I learned as a child was the notion that someone should be regarded as innocent until proven otherwise. I have always considered this to be a reasonable and fair assumption. Most civilized nations of the world have built their legal systems upon it. One can reasonably assume that the concept can be expanded to encompass an organization or a government. In the case of Iraq, for some reason, this concept has been completely forgotten. The Iraqi leadership is assumed to be guilty, and the United Nations weapons inspectors (UNMOVIC) are in Iraq to find the proof of their treachery. Watching the news here in the US certainly gives me this impression. The Bush Administration seems positively desperate to hurl themselves into conflict, with the British Government apparently eager to follow suit. A cynical man might think that Messrs. Bush and Blair were thinking about re-election.

Don't get me wrong. I am no fan of Iraq. I think there is a good bet that Saddam Hussein has been directing his minions to create a modest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. This threat must be dealt with appropriately. I just feel that it is important to let the inspectors do their work without all the pointless rattling of sabers. If Iraq is found to have such weapons then it is the duty of the United Nations to bring diplomatic pressure to bear upon Saddam. If he fails to respond appropriately then it falls upon the UN to resort to a military solution. Then Messrs. Bush and Blair can seek re-election with my blessing.

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