Fall of Baghdad is a real blow to the idea of international law. The era of open American hegemony has started off and the will to empire building by military force and naked aggression is now more blatant than ever. At least the people if not all regimes call it a war of arrogant aggression. In a recent article in ‘The Times’ of London by Anatole Kaletsky the US assault on Iraq has been duly condemned as “irrational, self-indulgent rage” following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. With complete disregard to legality, morality, and democratic norms, or say by all standards, this war is absolutely wrong and unjustified. American invasion on Iraq is, however, inching towards its pre-planned end. The capital Baghdad is now under siege after a heavy fight that continued for three weeks. The Americans perhaps would not go in for a hand-to-hand fight. The city may put up valorous resistance or it may capitulate without further bloodshed. Either way the outcome would be the occupation of the coalition forces, although there are apprehensions that still the war may prolong; according to the recent statement of the US Defense Secretary, there are difficult and very dangerous days ahead and that the fighting will continue for some period.
War always entails defeat of one side and victory for the other. But this war has brought ignominious defeat for humanity and defeat for the peaceful solution of conflicts. An epoch of civilization has again collapsed. The lesson from the two world wars of the 20th century for the international community was to discard the concept of ‘might is right’ and give an organization of states the monopoly to use force. For that purpose UN charter was framed but alas! that was blown away by the first cruise missile that hit its “carefully selected” target in Baghdad just three weeks ago. These “carefully selected” targets killed and wounded hundreds of innocent children, men and women, squandered myriads of mansions and edifices and converted plenty of greenery into barren and infertile land. The US aerial attack killing thousands of innocent Afghans had shocked many people in the world and now the US attack against Iraq shocked even more people who want to know whether there will ever be an end to this shameful killing of innocent human beings. The war on Iraq is not just a war against a particular country; it is a war against ethical and legal standards. It is also a war against the American ideals. The US victory over Baghdad would hardly produce any positive results even for the Americans in the long run. It would further egg on the bizarre lot of Americans to wreak horror, havoc and agony on the world to attain their selfish motives and gain their special interests. No one will mourn the passing of Saddam but an easy American passage in Iraq will be condemned and mourned forever as being the death of morality, the demise of international law, and the destruction of global institutions. The stark fact is that it has opened a new chapter of American terrorism. As Martin Winter wrote recently in Germany’s ‘Frankfurter Rundschau’, Bush is not an accident of history but the front man of an imperial philosophy that has long been in the making and is now being pushed through by a powerful group in political Washington. Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice and Perle are the names of the principal pushers. The doctrine of the superpower that intervenes preventively and pre-emptively anywhere in the world whenever it chooses is the return of colonialism, wrapped up in the American flag”. He points out that this policy has nothing to do with democracy, freedom and human rights, but everything with power, natural resources and profit. One dare not venture to foresee the repercussions of the first massive act of aggression of the 21st century. But some conclusions can safely be drawn: Mr. Bush has succeeded in making the United States a pariah state which does not listen to reason and which wants to possess the wealth of the entire universe with an earnest desire to be the policeman of the world.
What we saw was a mismatch of gargantuan proportions. On one side was arrayed the largest and the most sophisticated war machine ever assembled on this planet, and on the other just a meek and modest collection of