moved by appeals to either mercy or justicern—from the Vatican and the U.S.rnCouncil of Catholic Bishops, and punditsrnand political leaders spanning thernspectrum —our remorseless leaders haverncommitted what will one day rank asrnamong the most horrific war crimes inrnhistory.rnThe cruelt)’ of our policymakers is imderscoredrnb’ the proposed U.N. resolution,rnwhich is designed to delay the liftingrnof sanchons as long as possible. The newrnbureaucracx’ will take its sweet time to getrnup and running, with a chairman appointedrn30 das after passage of the resolution.rnThe commission then has 60rnmore das to draw up a “work plan” —rnthat is, set up the hoops the Iraqis are expectedrnto jump through before we agreernto stop star ing their children to death. Arndraft version of the resolution gives therncommission 180 days to make a decisionrnafter its report is issued, and there will bernfurther delav in actuallv reopening tradernroutes and getting Iraqi oil to market.rnMeanwhile, how many more childrenrnwill have died? At 4,000 dead babies arnweek, and with at least six months beforernthe commission will even consider liftingrnthe sanctions— well, you do the math.rnCompared to this, what SlobodanrnMilosevic did in Kosovo was a pinprick.rnIf what is happening in Iraq is not genocide,rnthen the word had best be retiredrnfrom the English language, since it nornlonger serves anv useful purpose.rnThe United States, Britain, and theirrnallies on the Securitv Council are demandingrna ote on a resolution Iraq isrncertain to reject. This would open uprnIraq to another wave of assaults —perhapsrna concerted and overwhelming attemptrnto solve the “Iraqi Question” once and forrnall. The two major Republican candidatesrnfor president have already weighedrnin, with George W. Bush strongly hintingrnthat militar}’ action would be in the offingrnif he were the Commander in Chief,rnwhile John McCain energetically outdoesrnhim in the warmongering departmentrnbv openlv declaring that we oughtrnto take Baghdad.rnThe Iraqis, for their part, hae declaredrnthat they will not endure one morernday of this criminal barbarit)’ and havernseveral times stopped the limited sales ofrntheir oil in protest, driving up the price ofrncrude oil on the world market justrnenough to remind evcr}’one of who profitsrnfrom the absence of Iraqi oil on thernmarket—the oil companies, naturallyrnenough. The same oil companies thatrnare sla-ering over the Caucasus andrnbacking the Republican heir presumptive.rnWhat a coincidence.rnA nameless diplomat cited in thernWashington Post put it this wa-: “We arernfinishing the chess game and beginningrnthe poker game. And everybody thinksrneverybody else is bluffing.” Wliile the ,AIliesrnare almost certainly not bluffing, thernRussians almost certainly dre —just askrnthe Serbs, who were sold down the riverrnfor considerably more than 30 pieces ofrnsilver, as the Swiss bank accounts of thernRussian gangster regime filled with Westernrn”aid.”rnThis time, it seems, the Russians arernbeing paid in a different coin. The kindrnof maneuvering that is now going on wasrnsummarized rather succinctly b) thernheadline of a New York Times article,rn”Russia Offers to Bargain on Chechnya,rnUsing Iraq as Its Bait,” by Judith Millerrn(November 19). Wliile in Istanbul, at thernbig OSCE summit, Yeltsin did ever-rnthing short of pulling a Khrushchev andrnpounding his shoe on the table. Butrnawa’ from the cameras, in vivid contrastrnto this ver’ public tantrum, the real stor)’rnwas Russian Eoreign Minister IgorrnIvanov making kissy-poo with MadeleinernAlbright. The sordid details of the romancernwere recorded in a Russian officialrndocument, submitted to Albright,rnwhich suggests that, in return for notrnbringing up Chechnya at the SecuritvrnCouncil (“which is unacceptable to us”),rnMoscow promised to be “ready to instructrnthe Russian representative to thernSecuritv Council to be flexible on Iraq.”rnA free hand for the Russians in Chechnyarnin exchange for the Allied dismembermentrnof Iraq —it is not hard to seernsuch a bargain being struck betweenrnClinton and Yeltsin.rnWithout Russia’s veto, the U.N. resolutionrnwould provide a “legal” pretext forrnrenewed U.S.-British military intervention.rnBy refusing to let in a new “inspection”rnteam, and declaring that the materialsrnrequested by the commission havernlong since been destroyed, the Iraqis arernsaving: better to die in battle than tornwatch your children and elderh parentsrnslowly waste away. May Cod be withrnthem.rnJustin Raimondo writes fromrnSan Francisco.rnfiSVOj