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October 31, 2002

The West Duped: Iraq, Korea, “Palestine”

The case of Iraq is straightforward: using deception and obstruction, Iraq has violated the conditions under which the 1991 War was halted. Even though the events of 1991-1998 (when the UN inspectors were compelled to leave Iraq) are well known, the following brief review may be useful for documentation purposes; the review is extracted from the GlobalSecurity site.

Under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 687 (April 1991), which set out the cease-fire terms for ending the Gulf War, Iraq is obliged to: (a) accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless of all its - nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and ballistic missiles with a range over 150 kilometers; and - research, development, and manufacturing facilities associated with the above; and (b) undertake not to develop such weapons in the future. The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) oversees these processes. Iraq must give full cooperation, in particular immediate, unrestricted access to any site UNSCOM needs to inspect.

Iraq has consistently tried to evade its responsibilities. Its required full disclosure document on missiles was not produced until July 1996, five years after it was demanded. It has so far produced three versions on chemical weapons and four on biological weapons, all shown to be seriously inaccurate.

Iraq consistently denied UNSCOM inspectors the access they need to follow up these and other concerns and locate both WMD capabilities and documentation which might reveal more about Iraq's WMD programmes. Documents and material have been removed from and destroyed inside sites while UNSCOM inspectors have been held outside prevented from entering. The pattern of defiance worsened over time.

1998 -- The tensions that began in October 1997 continue. In February, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan works out an agreement with Iraq that resumes weapons inspections. In turn, Iraq receives promises the United Nations will consider removing its economic sanctions. Inspections continue into August, when Iraq cuts ties with weapons inspectors, claiming it has seen no U.N. move toward lifting sanctions.
October 31, 1998 -- Iraq cuts off all work by U.N. monitors. The United States and Great Britain warn of possible military strikes to force compliance. A renewed military build-up in the Persian Gulf begins.
November 5, 1998 -- The U.N. Security Council condemns Iraq for violating agreements signed after the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
November 11, 1998 -- The United Nations withdraws most of its staff from Iraq.
November 14, 1998 -- With B-52 bombers in the air and within about 20 minutes of attack, Saddam Hussein agrees to allow U.N. monitors back in. The bombers are recalled before an attack occurs. Weapons inspectors return to Iraq a few days later.
December 8, 1998 -- Chief U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler reports that Iraq is still impeding inspections. U.N. teams begin departing Iraq.
December 15, 1998 – A formal U.N. report accuses Iraq of a repeated pattern of obstructing weapons inspections by not allowing access to records and inspections sites, and by moving equipment records and equipment from one to site another.
December 16, 1998 -- The United States and Great Britain begin a massive air campaign against key military targets in Iraq.
There have been no inspectors in Iraq since then. In retrospect, having ever assumed that Iraq would abide by the cease fire agreement was utterly naive; Iraq has deceived the UN inspectors all along.

By now, anyone who is not hopelessly naive also knows that North Korea pulled the wool over the eyes of the US administration for many a year.

The story broke on October 17, with news stories such as the following one, cited from the BBC:

American officials said the North Koreans told a visiting US delegation earlier this month that they no longer felt bound by a 1994 accord, under which they agreed to halt their suspected weapons programme in return for American aid.

The North Korean confession made the US administration conclude that negotiations with Pyongyang were impossible for the moment, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.
The awakening was immediate. For example, a National Review article by Victor Davis Hansen, entitled, A Funny Morality - North Korea as metaphor of the times and dated October 25, 2002, opens with the lines,

The disclosures of North Korean duplicity in acquiring nuclear weapons were disturbing for a variety of reasons, involving more than our national security. That Pyongyang had been lying and cheating all along since President Clinton's accords of summer 1994 was most galling because it seemed to discredit a number of the comfortable American assumptions that lay behind our past bewildering trust in compliance, inspections, dialogue, and safeguard agreements. The current efforts to spin the frightening revelations — perhaps the accords prevented even more nukes being produced, perhaps otherwise we would have had a million dead in a war in 1994, perhaps President Bush knew about this for months, perhaps we should now try the same diplomatic means with Saddam Hussein that we are using to salvage the situation in Korea — only show that we have learned nothing from the past.
James Baker III wrote in a Washington Post editorial:

North Korea signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1985. That treaty required Pyongyang within 18 months to sign a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and allow inspection of its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. Instead, North Korea secretly escalated its nuclear weapons development program.

Little-noticed but intensive diplomacy by the first Bush administration forced the North Koreans on Dec. 26, 1991, to end six years of intransigence on signing the safeguards agreement and allowing inspections. In a follow-up meeting in January, the United States bluntly warned Pyongyang that it either had to live up to the international agreements it had just signed or face further isolation and economic deprivation.

Pyongyang then refused to live up to the agreements it had signed and -- after a change of U.S. administrations -- threatened to withdraw from the nonproliferation treaty and, worse, to turn Seoul into a "sea of fire." That's when the Clinton administration signed the 1994 Framework Agreement. "This agreement will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective," President Clinton said at the time, "an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula."

But in reality, our policy of carrots and sticks had given way overnight to one of carrots only -- fuel oil to help run North Korea's beleaguered economy, two new nuclear reactors and diplomatic ties. Moreover, Pyongyang was given another five years to do what it had already agreed to do in 1991 -- allow a full inspection of its nuclear facilities.

This agreement was an abrupt policy flip-flop, and in the end has, in my view, proved to be a mistake that has made stability on the Korean peninsula less, not more, likely.

Given their track record before 1994, there was substantial reason to question whether the North Koreans would ever keep their side of the Framework Agreement. The worst part is that it sent this dangerous message to other would-be proliferators in capitals such as Tehran and Baghdad: "Sometimes crime pays."
With these comments in mind, consider the attempts by the Quartet to impose on Israel a second Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”). The history of the PA since the Oslo Accords is the history of deception and violating agreements in the best tradition of Iraq and North Korea. The Accords called for disarming terrorists and keeping the “legal” armed Palestinian police to an agreed-upon level. Instead, the PA has been smuggling heavy arms, as the case of the arms ship Karine A proved. As to terrorism, the PA used the terrorist gangs affiliated with it (Force 17, Al Aqsa Brigades, etc) to augment the terrorism of the PA rivals (Hamas and Islamic Jihad). The deception and agreement violation of Iraq and North Korea are at least met with a measure of verbal opposition on the part of the West, even if action is a wee difficult to discern. But in the equivalent case of the PA, the Quartet, with US support, wishes to reward the rogue regime with a sovereign state, and one that is sure to spell the demise of the one democracy in the entire region. Not only have we not learnt a thing from the past, we don’t even learn a lesson from the present: even as our hands are getting burnt, we still shove them into the oven!

How can we possibly teach our children that we live in a rational world?

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland