watched in disbelief at the giant, American, media propaganda machine at
work as this war unfolded; the unbridled arrogance of the US networks
calling American soldiers “our people” and Iraqi civilians
“casualties”; at the cool manner with which buildings, homes, streets
and parks of a city are being bombed and destroyed in the ridiculous
ostensible mission to “take out” one evil man. (As absurd as the
prospect of terrorists bombing all of New York to “take out” Bush.)
look at the teenaged, fresh-faced boys facing off with middle-aged, barely
armed men. There will be deaths of both, equally mourned.
Bush’s words, “If you are not for us, you are against us,” have
sealed the mouths of poorer, smaller, dependent countries that can’t
afford American wrath (never mind the hundreds of thousands against it —
this cowboy has the last word.) Now that’s power.
sent an e-mail asking for people’s response to this war mounted by US
President George W Bush. They wrote back from France, the UK, India,
Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, Canada and the USA with varying opinions, but
also with unwavering humanity, which convinces me even more that stupidity
in the all-powerful such as men like Bush is a lethal weapon.
sent around jokes of him holding children’s books upside down and
looking seriously through binoculars with the covers on, but he’s shown
us in the end the damage he can do. Here are some responses:
was in Iraq last month, and I met officials spouting propaganda, and
simple people who officially said what was expected of them.
unofficially, they showed the warmth of their hearts, their anger, pride
and dismay. They carry so many scars and have learned to live under
tyranny; now they are told to die under the strikes of yet another tyrant.
do not have any sympathy for Saddam. I am scandalised by Bush. Here in
France, teenagers demonstrate and say in French, “Stop the
‘busherie’ (butchery)!” On this side of the world, we are supposed
to live under the auspices of democracy and the rule of law, yet the
people’s voices are completely discarded by obscure economic interests.
months ago, I interviewed a young, Muslim extremist who was on a crusade
to eliminate anything Western or Israeli. He talked about a war of
religions, of civilisations. Bush is giving this kind of person credit.
this stage, I do not see much difference between him (Bush) and Saddam. In
the meantime, hundreds of thousands are dying — of misery, of wars —
and that is not considered a worthy cause while billions are spent in
much more will war cost the world?
callous, official response that the war will be good for T&T displays
a dearth of ethical and spiritual values, in the face of the almost
certain death of innocent civilians and young people, who will be forced
to participate as a result of orders from politicians, who themselves will
not be facing the firing lines.
displays also an equally mind-numbing ignorance of the long-term
consequences of the drop in the price of oil that will result from the
“freeing-up” of Iraqi oil supplies, and the subsequent intended push
by the “Liberators” for Saudi reserves as well.
economists soberly say the USA needs to have a cheap source of energy, ie
oil, at US$14 to $15 per barrel. The US economy is in a worse mess than it
has been in since 1929, and the cost of this war is being regarded as an
investment in attaining the essential cheap oil prices on which their
economy depends for recovery.
is perhaps starting a wildfire that may boomerang on him.
quest for oil in Iraq, since no weapons of so-called mass destruction
could be found there by the UN team, may polarise the world, leading to
deadly strikes on soft targets. Innocent people will lose their limbs or
lives through no fault of their own.
man’s lunacy may destroy this world for times to come.
poor decision, but one Bush had no choice but to take. Once he massed the
troops in Kuwait, there was no other action than invasion, with or without
abject failure of American diplomacy and the resulting fragmentation of
many of the world’s institutions (NATO, UN, EU) will be the only
tangible result of the USA/UK action.
USA has already won the battle, but has lost the war. It has become a
nation of paranoids who believe that to safeguard their way of life, all
who oppose them must be eliminated — no matter what the rest of the
only result of such a policy will be the rise of nuclear proliferation
(Korea, Iran), and an increase in terror attacks against targets of
Bush scares me far more than Saddam Hussein.
is a religious zealot surrounded by right-wing advisors who are on a
mission to reshape the world. If they are successful in Iraq, and the odds
are that they will be, given their overwhelmingly superior weaponry, who
knows to where they will turn next?
run-up to war has been conducted with a breath-taking cynicism. The USA
was always on a timetable to attack now; the negotiations, the inspectors
have all been a sham.
so far include the United Nations, European unity, and the reputation of
the USA in the world. And far from defeating terrorism, it is unleashing a
new generation that will hate the USA and all that it stands for.