War in Iraq: in Singapore’s Interest?

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Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pointed to three reasons for Singapore’s support for a US-led war against Iraq. Firstly, Singapore’s interests are for international law and order to take place. Secondly, for non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And finally, the countering of global terrorism. He also said that, “Iraq presents problems there, and this is something which we have to take a clear stand on.”

I am saddened to see Singapore’s vocal support of a US-led war. Going by the three given criterias, I fail to see how Singapore would come out such an enthusiastic supporter of a potential war led by the US. Firstly, it’s greatly debatable whether international law would provide support for such a war, or if such a war would violate it. Most people will probably say the latter is true. As regards non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, America’s hypocrisy is well known in this area. They have not carried out their promises to work towards nuclear disarmament (an issue intertwined with the issue of nuclear non-proliferation and an obligation of nuclear states in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) but have instead gone in the opposite direction. Shall we not be concerned about the U.S. and speak out against them too? Shall we not take a clear stand against their hypocrisy. If our interests are truly in nuclear non-proliferation, then we need to also address what America has done to prevent other nations from falling in line with such a goal. Finally, i find it quite incredible imagining how a war against Iraq would in any way reduce threats of global terrorism, rather than creating many thousands more dissatisfied people most willing to become a terrorist!

I certainly do not see how it is in Singapore’s interest to be such an avid supporter of the U.S. in this area. For one thing, I would be quite afraid to be in a country that most unwittingly supports the U.S. in their current endeavour. Not only do many people find it unlawful and arrogant, but it is also a sure way to attract terrorists by yelling out to them that “I’m supporting a nation that has done much to oppress many Muslims and people around the world – and one that is about to do so yet again. Come and get me!”

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