proposed war on Iraq is not a good thing. In fact,
from a New York City point of view, it's a betrayal
of the many who died here on Sept. 11th. It signals
a retreat from the campaign against Al Qaeda, and
a return to the convoluted agenda of Mr. Bush and
his inner circle of right wing advisers.
question is why are we putting up with this? Why are
we allowing ourselves to be led like lambs to the
slaughter? Why are we squandering all the international
good will that was paid for so bloodily last September?
suppose, deep down, we're all afraid of being labeled
unpatriotic. But dissent is patriotic, especially
when we're betraying the heritage of our country by
allowing a small group of bellicose politicians to
browbeat us into an international escapade which,
for its sheer audacity, literally takes one's breath
course, Messrs. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, etc
will not be the first ones hopping out of a plane
over Iraq; no, that dubious pleasure will be reserved
for some working class kid from Woodside, Queens,
or Nob Noster, Missouri. And after we've killed thousands
of innocent people, lost some of our own, sent Saddam
to a nice retirement in Tripoli or Damascus, inflamed
the Muslim world even further, cleared many Palestinians
from the West Bank? What then?
we should have cheaper and more plentiful oil. Our
SUVs can continue to block up and pollute our streets;
our triumphant politicians can return to their cushy
positions in the oil industry - when the economy goes
down the tubes and they're finally voted out of office;
and we'll have supplied millions of uneducated, fundamentalist,
angry young men with another hero. Iraq's Shiites,
Kurds and Sunnis will have a whale of a time exacting
revenge and retribution, and Turkey, Iran and whatever
puppet regime/oil company that we set up will hover
like vultures over those vast and beautiful big pools
is, however, highly unlikely that we'll have the energy,
commitment or resources to police what's left of Iraq
while the tender seeds of democracy are being sown.
Look how we're already sliding out of Afghanistan.
Oh, but I forgot, Kabul has no oil and Baghdad does.
So, it's on the cards that we'll be opening Burger
Kings and Home Depots and staying quite some time
on the banks of the Tigris. Pardon me.
a time when we should be seeking to settle the Palestinian
crisis, we'll have slipped even closer into the marital/martial
bed with Mr. Sharon, and have even less influence
on that doughty old warrior. At a time when we should
be planting native speaking agents into every Muslim
country to rout Al Qaeda, we'll have fulfilled the
prophecy of the bazaar: the return of the ugly Americans
who have no sympathy or understanding for Muslim or
pan-Arab aspirations. At a time when we should be
demonstrating to the world the many wonderful aspects
of our constitution and economy, and the openness
and generosity of our lifestyle and people, we'll
be seen as the enemy - the jackboot from the sky.
love this country, and it hurts me to see it portrayed
as an unthinking, even stupid, aggressor. But the
world is a complicated place. Because of modern communications
and the meshing of economies, we're all linked in
a way that we have never been before. We may think
that we're getting rid of a dictator - to others we're
ejecting a co-religionist, even a misunderstood patriot.
Of course, Saddam is an evil man. To say so, at this
stage, is superfluous. But we've supported him against
Iran, when it suited our purposes. He's a monster,
but then again, we've supported and trained a whole
generation of South American and other monsters who
turned their training and US supplied guns against
their own people.
are we kidding? Saddam is going nowhere with his supposed
"weapons of destruction" - even if he has
them, and there seems to be little demonstrable proof
of that. One false move and he'll be obliterated.
He knows that. We know that. So, why this urge go
get rid of him now? Oil, the oedipal needs of the
Bushes, the longing of these nerdy DC cowboys to finally
flex their muscles? I don't know. To me, the whole
escapade seems ridiculous. Our job now is to protect
ourselves and democracy from a group of fundamentalist
thugs who slaughtered our people last September. I
supported the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan
- they were hiding and supporting a group who had
blatantly attacked us. By the same token, I know that
we should now be spending more time and resources
to build a democracy in that shattered country, instead
of running away from it, as we did previously when
we no longer needed them to mess with the USSR.
obvious that we're failing in our war against Al Qaeda.
No sign of Osama or Omar - and their blood money still
flows freely. The refusal to have an open, independent
investigation into the capabilities of the CIA/FBI
is playing a large part in that failure. The refusal
of both those agencies to recruit from the many patriotic
immigrant Muslim communities in the USA is criminal
and stupid to the extreme. While a Pashtun or Tajik
on Atlantic Avenue may have the language and knowledge
of local Afghan customs, obviously they didn't receive
the proper college education - on top of that, they
look a bit shifty, don't they? And, by the way, what
religion are they? Not real red-blooded, video-game
playing, monday night football, go to church on sunday
Americans, are they?
many of you know, I have little time for the Know-nothing
policies of the Republican Party, but I am deeply
ashamed that I'm a registered Democrat - given the
behavior of the current leaders of that organization.
In an effort to secure their own seats in the November
elections, they are handing this President a blank
check for war. I remember a time when the Democratic
Party had respect for itself, and was the representative
of the working classes; now it has become nothing
more than another wing of the all encompassing, get
as many donors as you can, Business Party. One need
not even dwell on their tepid resistance to the looting
of the budget surplus by Mr. Bush and his cronies.
Oh, by the way, what did you do with your piece of
the pie? Did you even get a crumb? Well, I can assure
you that 5% of the richest received nice big slices;
and, in one fell swoop, we returned to deficit land,
just when we could have used that surplus to educate
our poor and, perhaps, buy some influence and time
with the multitude of poverty-stricken people in Pakistan,
Afghanistan, who will be the next canon fodder for
those who hate us.
coming war will be tragic, even ridiculous. But then
again, are we not being ridiculous and ultimately
tragic by allowing this small cabal of cowboys down
in DC to have their bellicose way? Once upon a time,
we stopped a stupid war "to save the world from
communism" in Vietnam. Do we now have it within
us to stop the travesty that is just about to begin?
Or will we just lie down and accept what's coming
because of our deep and dismal fear of being thought
of as unpatriotic?
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives