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Monday, 17 February - link

Conversation about War

The people running the current American government have a history of ulterior motives and hidden agendas. An agenda is not necessarily evil, I just object to the "hidden" part of it. Tell the world more honestly why we should going to war with Iraq and let us decide. Instead, we have a publicity storm and a frenzy of international arm-twisting, bribery and negociations designed to create acceptance for a substitute excuse. This seems to mask their real intent, which if it becomes known after the fact, might fan the very flames of anger and terrorism we should strive to put out.

Much conversation about war these days, in all quarters. It undermines so many other discussions and creates conversation in the streets where there was none. That must be good in some ways, but I can't quite track the mood - I'm coughing hard, ill, so I'm staying home, watching the provocative and timely film Deterrence, as Jane suggested, and surveying all pro-and-con activity on the Internet.

My attention invariably drifts to the group in charge of the current American War effort. George W Bush and his crew - a crew ideologically inherited from his father. These are a group of people who have shown singular disregard for the American democratic process. Iran-Contra - a group of rogue Republicans decided on what they thought was the right thing, and against the wishes of congress, the elected representatives of the citizens of the United States, they funelled money and trafficked in drugs and arms to perpetuate war in Central America.

The last noticeable thing George H.W. Bush (Senior) did before leaving office was to pardon most of those men. So here is Bush Junior, growing up at his daddy's dinner table, learning that this kind of conduct: secret, covered-up, outside of the democratic system, this is noble, pardonable, commendable conduct. Maybe even necessary conduct.

I don't presume to judge the contours of the Iran-Contra affair now. But the trials made a big impression on me when I was young - these men who were running our government were caught lying about their policies, violating their trust with their citizens, and they didn't care.

Today Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice and Powell decry the evil regime of Saddam Hussein, as Saddam might next week contribute a weapon of mass destruction to global terrorists with a hatred for the U.S. Swagger. They're making a very public case, with remarkably little evidence. And I wonder, what else is going on here?

Considering Bush's past, and Cheney's past, and the Carlyle group, it has to be oil. Oil and weapons and ego - these men are invested in regime change. There is a history of inequality and human rights violations in this area, but I don't see this driving the war effort.

Today oil from the Middle East does ensure the smooth functioning of a global, petroleum-powered economy. Either way, regardless of their resources, the citizens of that region deserve more stability and equality and honest leadership than they have had to date.

If they wage war, and somehow more democracy emerges in that region, somehow there's more tolerance, more equality, then that will be wonderful. Maybe we can help Iraq, gracefully depose their leader and help support a local democratic alternative. I will be pleasantly surprised if that much good can come out of half-truths and a legacy of lies on both sides. I would be more likely to favor this "War in Iraq - Part Deux" if our oiled-up and rarin' to go leaders had some kind of a vision to share for what, or who might be left after the debris settle.

In the mean time, I will continue reading about Iraq from a friend of a friend posted on Bud.com - Ben in Baghdad. Ben maybe a strife junkie, but he is more honest about events and his agenda than the world leaders I'm hearing. Well, save France, because I think they might be right about one thing - if we push the wrong kind of war effort, we're likely to assist with Al Qaeda's recruiting.

Posted on 17 February 2003 : 10:10 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.