Post by Cristiano Bianchi
Just to add another not very popular opinion...
I'm concerned about this war as well and not at all in
favour, but I've seen very little effort to try to
understand or explain why would the happy couple
Bush/Blair want to fight it. Call me naive, but I
cannot imagine people in that position (and I'm
referring to Blair in particular) would want to
initiate such a disaster for no reason. But Blair is
right on one thing: when in the 30s only a few stood
up against fascism, they went against public opinion.
It was more comfortable to just "do nothing" and wait,
it took courage to react. Saddam is by no mean someone
who deserve the kind of strenuous defense that the
western world has indicated. The Iraqi people do, but
Saddam is keeping the nation in a prehistorical state.
I believe it is clear why Bush and Blair want this war (although I suspect
that Bush's motives are more complex than Blair's, Blair not being a Texas
oil man). Was it mere coincidence in this regard that Bush's first warning
to the Iraqi defenders, in his address on Monday night, was not that they
should avoid chemical warfare (which was only second on his list)? Was it
by chance that he first told the Iraqi people that those who blow up the
oil fields will be punished as war criminals?
Bush and Blair have made their reasons for engaging in this dangerous and
callous action perfectly clear, even though they have yet to share with the
world (and apparently also with the weapons inspectors!) the evidence of
weapons of mass destruction that they claim justifies their war, Let's
hope they're not correct about these weapons that will make the rush into
an unnecessary war all the more dangerous for the underprivileged soldiers
who will be fighting. If they exist, more time might have permitted them
to have been discovered and destroyed by the Inspectors, which also would
have resulted in added international pressure for Saddam's withdrawal).
Yes, this is a very complicated scenario just as it is potentially as
ethically irresponsible on the American side as it has been on the side of
It seems that the many players on the UN Security Council are on pretty
much the same page when it comes to a condemnation of Saddam's fascism.
What's been abandoned is a patient effort to make the weapons inspections
work in a timely fashion that could could help address this fascism and
avert the violence of war. Yesterday even The New York Times editorial
took the unprecedented action on the eve of war to condemn the Bush
administration for its diplomatic failure, what the Times called a
disgrace. The failure is that Bush's people have abandoned the worldwide
dialogue possible within the halls of the UN, have until just this week
turned its back on the Palestinean people and similarly alienated a large
majority of the Arab League, have endorsed unilateral military action that
could lead to aggressive terrorist responses against US, British,
Australian, Spanish, and Italian targets, etc. Bush and his people also
have shattered the European alliance; it's shocking to hear news reporters
in this country tell their listeners to cancel French vacations, not to
purchase French products (but curiously, they've yet to tell people to stop
buying German luxury autos), all because the leaders of those countries
(and Chirac is no leftist) have insisted on maintaining the authority of
the Security Council.
What's more Bush and his advisors are taking on an inredibly expensive war
at a time when national and state budgets are being slashed in the US,
hitting health care, social services, and education particularly hard, to
support a second tax cut that will benefit the wealthiest 1% of the
American population--and this is without adding in the additional
extravagant costs of this war and the subsequent necessary reparations (if
reparations are adequately undertaken as they've yet to be in Afghanistan).
My state, New York, has never recovered from the economic hit it took from
9/11, has never received the money promised to it by Bush for redevelopment
and "homeland security," and now must spend even more money it's never
received from the federal government to beef up security to ward off
terrorists attacks that our government is telling us are "certain" to
happen once war begins. As a result, New York is closing psychiatric
hospitals and treatment centers, slashing health care and social services,
devastating the school budgets, jeapordizing retirement accounts, not to
mention closing libraries and museums and slashing arts support all to
cover indirect costs of a war that has yet to happen.
Your concern for the Iraqi people is understandable, which is why so many
of us do not want them subjected to a rain of missiles comprised of
materials that will subject the survivors to radiating residu for years to
come. Surely there have to be saner and more internationally responsible
ways to proceed.
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Video
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Co-Curator, CTHEORY Multimedia: http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu
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Ithaca, New York 14853