Key Move Made Quietly in 2002
Stage for War with Iraq
received the below two articles in April of 2002, a year before the start of the Iraq war, yet they are
incredibly revealing of how the U.S. government manipulated the stage to create
the proper climate for a war. The first article, from the respected
British newspaper The Guardian, describes how the highly successful
U.N. WMD inspector had his position threatened, and the shady reasons behind
it. The following article, from the New York Times, gives the final
result - the inspector was removed by a UN vote with almost as many
abstentions as votes in favor. Notice how the Times article avoids
going into any depth about what really happened. The American media is
clearly part of the war propaganda machine. Thanks for caring, and
have a great day!
With best wishes,
Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Former language interpreter for Presidents Bush and Clinton
Chemical Coup d'etat
The US wants to depose the diplomat who could take away its pretext for
war with Iraq
Tuesday April 16, 2002
Sunday, the US government will launch an international coup. It has been
planned for a month. It will be executed quietly, and most of us won't know
what is happening until it's too late. It is seeking to overthrow 60 years of
multilateralism in favour of a global regime built on force.
coup begins with its attempt, in five days' time, to unseat the man in charge
of ridding the world of chemical weapons. If it succeeds, this will be the
first time that the head of a multilateral agency will have been deposed in
this manner. Every other international body will then become vulnerable to
attack. The coup will also shut down the peaceful options for dealing with
the chemical weapons Iraq may possess, helping to ensure that war then
becomes the only means of destroying them.
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) enforces the
chemical weapons convention. It inspects labs and factories and arsenals and
oversees the destruction of the weapons they contain. Its director-general is
a workaholic Brazilian diplomat called Jose Bustani. He has, arguably, done
more in the past five years to promote world peace than anyone else on earth.
His inspectors have overseen the destruction of 2 million chemical weapons
and two-thirds of the world's chemical weapon facilities. He has so
successfully cajoled reluctant nations that the number of signatories to the
convention has risen from 87 to 145 in the past five years: the fastest
growth rate of any multilateral body in recent times.
May 2000, as a tribute to his extraordinary record, Bustani was re-elected
unanimously by the member states for a second five-year term, even though he
had yet to complete his first one. Last year Colin Powell wrote to him to
thank him for his "very impressive" work. But now everything has
changed. The man celebrated for his achievements has been denounced as an
enemy of the people.
January, with no prior warning or explanation, the US state department asked
the Brazilian government to recall him, on the grounds that it did not like
his "management style". This request directly contravenes the
chemical weapons convention, which states "the director-general ...
shall not seek or receive instructions from any government". Brazil
refused. In March the US government accused Bustani of "financial
mismanagement", "demoralisation" of his staff,
"bias" and "ill-considered initiatives". It warned that
if he wanted to avoid damage to his reputation, he must resign.
the US was trampling the convention, which insists that member states shall
"not seek to influence" the staff. He refused to go. On March 19
the US proposed a vote of no confidence in Bustani. It lost. So it then did
something unprecedented in the history of multi lateral diplomacy. It called
a "special session" of the member states to oust him. The session
begins on Sunday. And this time the US is likely to get what it wants.
losing the vote last month, the United States, which is supposed to be the
organisation's biggest donor, has been twisting the arms of weaker nations,
refusing to pay its dues unless they support it, with the result that the
OPCW could go under. Last week Bustani told me, "the Europeans are so
afraid that the US will abandon the convention that they are prepared to
sacrifice my post to keep it on board". His last hope is that the United
Kingdom, whose record of support for the organisation has so far been exemplary,
will make a stand. The meeting on Sunday will present Tony Blair's government
with one of the clearest choices it has yet faced between multilateralism and
the "special relationship".
US has not sought to substantiate the charges it has made against Bustani.
The OPCW is certainly suffering from a financial crisis, but that is largely
because the US unilaterally capped its budget and then failed to pay what it
owed. The organisation's accounts have just been audited and found to be
perfectly sound. Staff morale is higher than any organisation as underfunded
as the OPCW could reasonably expect. Bustani's real crimes are contained in
the last two charges, of "bias" and "ill-considered
charge of bias arises precisely because the OPCW is not biased. It has sought
to examine facilities in the United States with the same rigour with which it
examines facilities anywhere else. But, just like Iraq, the US has refused to
accept weapons inspectors from countries it regards as hostile to its interests,
and has told those who have been allowed in which parts of a site they may
and may not inspect. It has also passed special legislation permitting the
president to block unannounced inspections, and banning inspectors from
removing samples of its chemicals.
initiatives" is code for the attempts Bustani has made, in line with his
mandate, to persuade Saddam Hussein to sign the chemical weapons convention.
If Iraq agrees, it will then be subject to the same inspections - both
routine and unannounced - as any other member state (with the exception, of
course, of the United States). Bustani has so far been unsuccessful, but only
because, he believes, he has not yet received the backing of the UN security
council, with the result that Saddam knows he would have little to gain from
has suggested that if the security council were to support the OPCW's bid to
persuade Iraq to sign, this would provide the US with an alternative to war.
It is hard to see why Saddam Hussein would accept weapons inspectors from
Unmovic - the organisation backed by the security council - after its
predecessor, Unscom, was found to be stuffed with spies planted by the US
government. It is much easier to see why he might accept inspectors from an organisation
which has remained scrupulously even-handed. Indeed, when Unscom was thrown
out of Iraq in 1998, the OPCW was allowed in to complete the destruction of
the weapons it had found. Bustani has to go because he has proposed the
solution to a problem the US does not want solved.
the Americans are doing," Bustani says, "is a coup d'etat. They are
using brute force to amend the convention and unseat the
director-general." As the chemical weapons convention has no provisions
permitting these measures, the US is simply ripping up the rules. If it wins,
then the OPCW, like Unscom, will be fatally compromised. Success for the
United States on Sunday would threaten the independence of every multilateral
This is, then, one of those rare occasions on which
our government could make a massive difference to the way the world is run.
It could choose to support its closest ally, wrecking multilateralism and
shutting down the alternatives to war. Or it could defy the United States in
defence of world peace and international law. It will take that principled
stand only if we, the people from whom it draws its power, make so much noise
that it must listen. We have five days in which to stop the US from bullying
its way to war.
(free access to article below)
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00B11F8355B0C708EDDAD0894DA404482 or click here
($4.95 charge for access to the article on the New York Times website)
Published on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 in the New
U.S. Forces Out Head of Chemical
by Marlise Simons
THE HAGUE, April 22 — The United States succeeded today in ousting the
director of the global agency charged with ridding the world of chemical
weapons after an intense diplomatic campaign that made a number of countries
José M. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat who was
unanimously re-elected last year as the director general of the 145-nation
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was voted out of office
today after refusing repeated demands by the United States that he step down
because of his "management style." No successor has been selected.
clearly made some people in Washington very uncomfortable because I was too
independent," Mr. Bustani said afterward. "They want somebody more
American motion to fire Mr. Bustani was approved by 48 nations, while 7 voted
against and 43 abstained. Most European nations voted with the United States,
except for France, which abstained. Mexico, one of the countries that voted
no, called the maneuver "illegal" because there was no provision in
the rules to dismiss the director general.
said the many abstentions reflected the unease of a number of countries over
the action. They said it had opened the door further for other international
bodies to come under attack.
United States, which is responsible for 22 percent of the agency's budget,
had threatened to cut off funding until Mr. Bustani left.
think a lot of people swallowed this because they thought it was better for
Bustani to be removed than have the U.S. pull out and see the organization
collapse," said one European diplomat at the meeting.
firing of Mr. Bustani follows the removal last week of Robert Watson, a
British-born climatologist who had been outspoken on the threat of global
warming, as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He
was removed after pressure from Washington and at least one American oil
Bustani said that American officials approached him in late February, asking
him to resign, but not to make the request public. "They said they did
not like my management style, but they said they were not prepare to
elaborate," he said in an interview.
weeks later, the State Department circulated a lengthy paper among members of
the group and dispatched envoys to a number of capitals to secure enough
votes to fire Mr. Bustani. The paper accuses him of confrontational and
abrasive conduct and poor administrative and financial management. American
officials also said Mr. Bustani had taken some "ill-considered
initiatives," without consulting with the United States and others.
effective director general needs to consult with member states, instead of
launching initiatives," said an American official.
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