Monday, September 24, 2007

The eerie familiarity of these preparations for war

Déja vu all over agian? Nah. You're just paranoid.
Have we learnt nothing from the shameful and shameless run-up to the invasion of Iraq? Then, Mohammed ElBaradei, the Nobel prize-winning Egyptian head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, quietly but firmly said that as far as he and his UN agency were concerned, there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons or the materials to make them.

His conclusion was simply swept aside as the US and the British tore into the UN inspector, Hans Blix, determined to show that their worst warnings about Saddam were based on fact. ElBaradei and Blix proved right in their denial. Jack Straw and the hapless (in this case) Colin Powell were wrong.

So here we are, nearly five years later, and exactly the same is happening over Iran. Once again the UN process of inspection is in the firing line. Once again it is the figure of ElBaradei being roundly abused and told, more or less openly by the US and British, that his work is worthless, his opinions are of no consequence and that his proper place is sitting quietly by while the European Union and the UN Security Council got on with punishing Iran through sanctions.

And what has the poor man done to deserve this abuse? He had simply concluded that, while there was evidence that Iran had hidden some of its nuclear activities from the Agency, there was no firm evidence that it was in fact developing nuclear weapons or diverting materials from its civilian nuclear programme.

Via Mathaba.

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