If you were going to attack a country on the grounds that you were worried about an apparent stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, would you presume that they might actually use those weapons to defend from your attack? Apparently, that is news to some people. The mind boggles. Of course this does all presume that the weapons haven’t been destroyed by previous bombing raids, weapons inspections or natural deterioration, but let’s humour the administration in question for a while. Why does it take the CIA to point out that if Saddam Hussein has chemical and/or biological weapons and his country is invaded he might use them for defence or revenge? Perhaps reports like this will begin to strike home the message that removing Saddam Hussein can never be a surgical operation without side-effects. If it happens, it will be messy.
Last night I had to talk about the debt crisis and the debt campaign. For a short while Jubilee 2000 was my life, and it’s a campaign I still try to follow as best I can. I’m kinda wishing we could take some time and have another gathering outside the treasury, or something of that sort. It’s about time. It feels like the problem is a lack of clarity right now. I can’t quickly find figures about how much debt has been written off without wading through reports. And even if I did, it’s difficult to find out how much more now needs to be written off to achieve the same effect it would have done two or three years ago, before PRSPs and more interest and collapsing markets and food crises changed the situation. I was reminded of that last night as I spoke to the select number who showed up for our first speak meeting of the new academic year, and again as I read Ann’s latest article.
I’m totally with those who are working for a new debt cancellation system (and in that have been very encouraged by recent rumours of just such a thing from the IMF) as an overall goal, but I wonder if enough is being done to deal with the immediate crisis. A moratorium on debts for countries entering the HIPC programme would seem a good first step. I guess I have a lot of reading to do. I wish the information were more easily available these days.
I should be writing an essay right now. Time to seek out a soundtrack and then return to typing.