Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
--George Orwell, 1984
Whatever the outcome of the Bush administration’s bribery and arm-twisting of United Nations Security Council members, the war against Iraq is well underway. In the so-called “no-fly” zones, US and British jets are now conducting up to 1,000 sorties a day. This is approximately the same number of combat flights as in the opening days of the 1991 Gulf War.
In the latest attack Sunday, war planes bombed five underground communication sites near An Numinayah, approximately 100 kilometres southeast of Baghdad, according to the US Central Command. It was the fourth successive day of bombing in southern and western Iraq, the main directions from which ground troops will invade.
Without waiting for a new war resolution to be approved by the Security Council, the two allies are themselves flagrantly violating the UN Charter, launching an air war to pave the way for an all-out assault within days. There is barely any pretense that the stepped-up bombing is limited to enforcing the no-fly zones in the north and south of the country, which were, in any event, declared by the US, Britain and France in the aftermath of the 1991 war without the benefit of UN sanction.
Iraq has condemned the bombing as the opening of an illegal war of aggression, but its protests have fallen on deaf ears at the UN.