March 21, 2003

Cry for Iraq;
Cry for America

The evil Rumsfeld, beside himself with bloodlust and puffed up nearly to bursting with self-importance, told reporters at a press conference, "What will follow will not be a repeat of any other conflict. It will be of a force and scope and scale... beyond what has been seen before." (See USA Today, OutlookIndia.)

Somehow to a twisted creature like Rumsfeld, it is a source of great pride to be able to be the one to unleash the greatest destruction ever known on one's fellow human beings.

Today, as the destruction of Iraq has begun in earnest, as Rumsfeld and the gang prepare to unleash a massive display of power for no purpose other than to show their might, all Americans whose minds and souls have not been totally burned away by toxic TV propaganda, should be crying over the depths to which their country has fallen.

The mass murder of Iraqis is a profound tragedy for Iraqis and for the world at large. The loss of the principles of justice and humanitarianism from the conduct of world affairs is an incalculable loss, the consequences of which remain to be seen.

Innocent Iraqi civilians who have had to endure living under Saddam Hussein, who was hoisted to power and armed by the US in the first place, now have to suffer again as the most powerful and brutal military machine in history trains the maximum capability of its unrestrained destructive force on the people of Iraq.

But as innocent victims, at least they may retain some dignity, knowing they have done nothing to deserve such barbaric treatment. For Americans, however, the bloodstains will never really go away. Americans are to some degree or another all complicit in unprovoked aggression and mass murder of civilians, war crimes plain and simple. If you ever wondered what it was like to be a rank-and-file German while the holocaust was going on, if you are an American you now know.

For Tony Blair to say that Allied forces are fighting Iraq by land, air and sea -- for him to evoke the heroic, Churchillian phrases in this sordid affair is a disgrace. When Churchill gave those grandly eloquent speeches, the country was defending against aggression, aggression very near in character to what Blair is now engaged in. It dishonors all the people who gave their lives for the cause of fighting the Nazis.

Those who experienced the World Trade Center bombing know all about shock and awe. I don't know how many of them want to inflict that on other innocent civilians. But obviously there are enough people who do, because now it is happening. Clearly the "war on terror" is a "war OF terror," because what else is "shock and awe" if not terror?

When the US bombed Afghanistan, there was a pretext that Al Qaida operatives had camps in the mountains. Al Qaida were called the perpetrators of the WTC bombing, though of course we never knew because the White House suppressed any attempt to hold an investigation. And when congress conducted a mild inquiry, the results were mysteriously locked away from the public. So we don't really know who did it. But even if we believe the authorities that it was Al Qaida who bombed the WTC, there is still no way to justify this attack on Iraq. There are no reasons that make any sense except the ones that appear in the Bush cabal's own papers, saying they want to take over Iraq to gain "greater influence" in the Middle East, whether or not Saddam Hussein is even there.

It's a very very sad time to be an American, or a Brit.

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