Jolo Mayor's Good Deeds Show Not All Muslims Are bad.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Manila Bulletin, September 16, 2002 | Go to article overview

Jolo Mayor's Good Deeds Show Not All Muslims Are bad.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)


UNTIL British Prime Minister Tony Blair could publicly release the dossier on September 24 containing evidence that the Saddam Hussein's regime trained lieutenants of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, as well as manufactured chemical and biological weapons, along with production of nuclear arms, Iraq cannot be tagged as an international terrorist. If the US attacks Iraq now, it is because no action has been taken against it for defying the UN mandate 16 times to open inspection of its war weapons. Iraq has not directly committed terrorism in any country. The US threatened war on Iraq would not be one against global terrorism. Let us wait for Blair's promised dossier.

***

President Arroyo was the first head of state who committed to Bush that the Philippines would be an ally and follow the US in its war on international terrorism. To follow is not merely to raise a fist, or wave an anti-terrorism banner, or shout "down with terrorism," or in short, just pay lipservice while the US begins that war. Once Iraq supplies those weapons or makes them available to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network or any similar terrorist group for their purpose, at that moment Iraq becomes an international terrorist. And when the US fires its missiles at Iraq, that starts the war on international terrorism.

***

When that happens, it would be strange for us to say that we are not, or should not be, involved in the war between the US and Iraq because it is their private war. That would be reneging our commitment to the US. In fact that would make it as one made in bad faith. What is there in our commitment to be clarified - that we would fight terrorism, as the Press Secretary rationalized, only "within our country or at the most within the region"? If that were the intention, it would have been spelled out when the commitment was made. If the other US allies would also withdraw from the US-led resolve to engage in that war for the same reason, the world might as well succumb to terrorism.

***

The UN giving its go-signal for US to attack Iraq if the latter continuous to defy the UN resolution by not allowing open inspection of its war arsenals is, in effect, the UN itself actually warring on Iraq. The US acts merely as UN's agent to implement its resolution. Here our country is not obliged to join the US. It is another matter if the US attacks Iraq after Blair discloses the dossier containing evidence that Iraq has been giving aid and comfort to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network on top of producing weapons of mass destruction. In which case, Iraq may be treated as an international terrorist. Our commitment to join the US-led war on international terrorism may include Iraq. …

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