>isns of the “CiMSrn”All the News Unfit to Print”rnThe Rockets’ Red GlarernWhile the Bush administrahon is still inrnits early days, commentators of reputernabroad and at home —never wavering orrnunsound in the old Cold War days —arerncomplaining (sometimes bitterly) thatrnthe new administration’s foreign policyrndefies reason and experience.rnWriting in the Toronto Star (Februaryrn18), Richard Gwyn imagined whatrnwould happen if the dictator of “LowerrnVolta” acquired a nuclear missile byrnsmuggling diamonds, despite the U.N.rnsanctions imposed because of the ethnicrncleansing that brought him to power:rnThe U.N. is only an irritant. . .rnYour real object of anger is thernUnited States, which insisted onrnthe sanctions despite Russian andrnChinese concerns about state sovereignty-.rnSo you set up your missilernin the jungle and get your scientistsrnto aim it at Washington,rnThen you push the button. Aboutrn20 minutes later, half of Washingtonrnis devastated. About 15 minutesrnafter that, all of Lower Volta,rnincluding you, disappears from thernmap.rnSubstitute a “rogue state” like NorthrnKorea, Libya, Iran, or Iraq, says Cwyn,rnand you have the entire intellectual andrngeopolitical justification for the NMDrnssteni tliat President Bush intends tornbuild:rnIt’s absurd. It’s laughable. It’s surreal.rnWliy would the leader of anyrnof these backward, near-bankrupt,rnstates commit suicide, even if, as isrnhighly improbable, any of themrncould ever actually lob a missilernacross the Atlantic or Pacific? YetrnBush and his highly praised cabinetrnteam (they are capable; they are experienced)rnall take this seriously.rnThe only question about NMD,rnthey insist, is not whether, butrnwhen.rn”It’s not certain that Bush’s foreign policyrnwiii be less activist than Clinton’s,”rnGwyn concludes. “Keep your seat beltsrnbuckled.” Robert Fisk agrees. Writing inrnthe London Independent (February 18),rnhe compared the recently renewed Anglo-rnAnierican war against Iraq to “AirstriprnOne” and its perpetual war with Eastasia:rnAs in 1984, the characters in 2001rndo not change. In 1991, defencernsecretary Dick Cheney and chairmanrnof the Joint Chiefs of StaffrnColin Powell were urging thernbombers on to Baghdad with thernbacking of President George Bush.rnIn 2001, Vice President DickrnCheney and secretar)’ of state ColinrnPowell are urging the bombersrnon to Baghdad with the backing ofrnPresident George Bush Jr. In 1991,rnthe Beast of Baghdad was SaddamrnHussein. In 2001, the Beast ofrnBaghdad is Saddam Hussein. Andrnwoe betide us if we feel like WinstonrnSmith, eternally feeding oldrnnewspaper cuttings into the oven.rnBin those clippings about how wern’defanged’ Saddam in 1991. Forgetrnthe UN arms inspectors v’ho wouldrneliminate forever Iraq’s “weapons ofrnmass destruction’. Make no complaintrnabout the half-million Iraqirnchildren who have died under UNrnsanctions. Destroy all reference tornthe New World Order. We are engagingrn—an Orwellian cracker this,rnfrom the Pentagon —in ‘protectivernretaliation’.rnFisk ends with a note to Winston Smith:rnBurn at once all references to GeorgernBush, Sr.’s 1991 call to the people of Iraqrnto overthrow Saddam and his subsequentrnwillingness to let Saddam massacre thernlot.rnThe thinking Tories’ in-house rag, thernSalisbury Review, provides a final thought.rnAndrew Fear reminds us that the story ofrnthe emperor’s new clothes warns us that itrnpays to look beyond the “facts” of the day,rnas the) often prove illusory. Take, for example,rnNATO, whose raison d’etre hasrncollapsed:rnOne solution to this dilemmarnwould haye been to hold a celebrationrnpart}- and then to disband thernorganisation amid hearteningrnthoughts of a job well done . . . Inrnthe eyent, as we all know, this wasrnnot the road chosen . . . A new NATOrn(a phrase found in NATO publications)rnwas invented. This new-rnNATO has performed an astounding[rnly] successful sleight of handrnon the general public. W-Tiile retainingrnthe ouhvard trappings of itsrnpredecessor, it has undergone anrnastonishing transformation to thernextent that its underlying thinkingrnis now far more like its old rial, thernWarsaw Pact, than that of its previousrnincarnation . . . NATO has decidedrnto take for itself a global role.rnGone are the strict limits onrnspheres of operation. Gone too isrnthe notion of a defensive alliance asrnhas been seen in the Kosovo debacle.rnThese changes are sinister enough.rnFear admonishes, but beneath them liesrnan een greater problem. Cold War NATOrnwas an organization dedicated to thernpreseryation of national sovereignty,rnwhile the new NATO is deepK’ hostile tornit:rnThe Cold War was fought to preser’rne our right to choose our ownrnform of goyernment. NATO was arnmeans to that end, not an end in itself,rnand that end has been fulfilledrn. . . [N]ew NATO’s globalist aspirationsrnare an aspect of Americanrngeopolitics espoused by both rightrnand left in that coimtr)’ . . . Surelyrnnow is time to formulate a new defencernpolicy, or rather restate thatrnBritain w ishes to have a defencernpolicy—a policy which looks to defendrnthe nation from others and tornfurther the national interestrnabroad—and not an offense policyrnwhose aim is to attack others whornhave done us no harm in the interestsrnof a third party.rnThis salient point is deemed not sornmuch “unfit to print” as unfit even to acknowledgern(let alone respond to), byrnMessrs. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Armitage,rnet al. crnMAY 2001/41rnrnrn