Fri, Feb 07, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Work for peace, prepare for war

Ever since the world economy became overshadowed by the specter of a US-Iraq war last year, stock markets across the world have been falling sharply and the economic prospects of various regions have been slow to recover. Meanwhile, unemployment is on the rise in most countries. The looming US-Iraq war will cause a chain reaction that will have great impact on the multitudes residing in this global village.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell's briefing to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, during which he showed concrete evidence such as audiotapes and satellite photos to prove that the Iraqi military had been hiding banned weapons and trying to deceive UN weapons inspectors, was convincing. There are various signs indicating that Iraq has not been seriously abiding by the UN General Assembly's Resolution No. 1441. Nor has it fully cooperated with the weapons inspectors. This has led to an increased possibility of war. The global economy has also been fluctuating, along with the media war being waged by the two countries.

However, if we look at history, "fighting a war to stop a war" has never really resolved any problem. The after-effects of war are even more difficult to handle. The Israeli-Arab conflict should serve as a bloody lesson. For this reason, it is to be hoped that the US and Iraq will be able to resolve the issue peacefully within the UN framework. Iraq certainly needs to make further efforts to avert a war. It should quickly tell the world that it is willing to cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors, provide them with full information and prove to the world beyond doubt that it is not developing weapons of mass destruction that are banned by international conventions.

If Iraq is willing to make such an effort, it will be based on a true love for world peace and on the biggest respect for the peaceful coexistence of humanity, instead of being merely based on Iraq's national interests. All UN members are obliged to abide by UN resolutions in order to jointly safeguard world peace and eliminate the causes of war so as to provide the greatest guarantee for the security of all humanity.

At the same time, the US and the UK must calm down and listen more to the opinions of their major allies, instead of dealing more blows to the UN's diplomatic efforts by making threats of war. After all, once a war breaks out, it will affect many countries and their peoples. Unilateral military action will make the aftermath of war even more difficult to handle. It will also increase the price of war.

This newspaper would like to call on Iraq to quickly express its unconditional acceptance of further weapons inspections. If the inspectors discover illegal activities that Powell accused Iraq of having committed, then Baghdad must surrender these deadly weapons of mass destruction. Otherwise, Iraq can hardly win the understanding and support of the international community.

Yesterday, the government set up a task force to handle the possible financial and economic impact of a war on Taiwan. We hope all government departments will seriously prepare for the possible effects, including the effect of a war on the import of oil and other staple commodities, so as to minimize the impact of Taiwan's economy and the livelihoods of its people.

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