Rush to war must stop!
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Contrast the above with this assessment of
our current foreign policy. "David Armstrong argued in a recent Harper's
piece that the White House plan is 'for the United States to rule the world,'
and to do so without having to answer to the rule of law” (“A Gangster Nation?”, US Catholic, December 2002, p 43).
There is much evidence to support this view
of our current foreign policy. Since George Bush has become our President, he
has withdrawn from serious peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East and severed
conversations with North
Korea. He has rejected the Kyoto Protocols,
the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the Biological Weapons Convention. He
has resisted signing an agreement with Russia to reduce deployed nuclear
President Bush refused to treat Taliban and
Al-Queda captives as prisoners of war and subject to international law. In May,
he unsigned the treaty creating the International Criminal Court and told the
world that American troops were not subject to this court.
President Bush appears to have decided to
wage war against Iraq
without UN or allied support. He dismisses every statement that comes from
Hussein or Iraq.
He dismissed the 12,000 page report from Iraq before he had a chance to see
what was in it! He is minimizing the
work of the inspection team in Iraq
before their work is done. He refuses to give the UN inspectors the evidence he
has supporting Iraq's
possession of weapons of mass destruction so they can verify his claims. (Colin
Powell seemed to indicate in late December that the US is now giving this information
to the UN.) His plans to invade Iraq
probably violate articles 41, 42, and 51 of the UN Charter. He keeps telling us
that it is up to Hussein to avoid war. He insists that those who oppose him are
unpatriotic. At the same time he is amassing troops in the Middle
East for invasion in 2003.
President Bush has repeatedly declared that
the most dangerous rogue nations are those that:
1) have massive
stockpiles of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons;
2) ignore due process at the United Nations;
3) refuse to sign and honor international treaties; and
4) have come to power through illegitimate means.
Except for item
4, doesn't this describe the United
States as well? Given the dubious resolution
of the Presidential election in 2000, even item 4 could be argued favorably
about President Bush. Why is there so little outrage about what our President
Is Saddam Hussein a peace-loving friendly ruler of the US? Of course
not! Has he violated the UN Charter himself? Of course! Has he committed
atrocities against his own people? Without a doubt! Are those reasons enough
for our President to wage a war against him? Absolutely not!
The US is already
waging war against Iraq.
"Through the first four months of the year, U.S. and British forces struck
Iraqi sites in the northern and southern no-fly zones just six times, while in
the past four months they have launched about four dozen air raids…. Iraq and
several major powers do not recognize the legitimacy of the zones." In
other words, they are not part of any U.N. agreement. The war also includes a
propaganda campaign. Seven times in the last three months aircraft dropped
hundreds of thousands of leaflets in areas where planes struck warning Iraqis
that "rebuilding defensive facilities would put their lives in
danger." The leaflets also directed Iraqis to listen to U.S. broadcasts
beamed into the country (The Washington Post , "Casualties of an
Undeclared War", (12/22/02), A25).
Chris Hedges spent 15 years as a foreign correspondent, covering
conflicts in Central America, the Middle East,
and the Balkans. Hedges says that, "Anybody who gets caught up in combat,
even noncombatants, can get addicted to that rush, that sense of purpose that
allows you to step outside the small daily concerns of your life and live for a
great cause, to endow yourself with a kind of nobility. War is a drug - perhaps
the most potent narcotic known to humankind." It is a "myth of glory,
heroism, nobility" that is "sustained by the state, the entertainment
industry, the press…. The biggest thing I understood is that war as it's portrayed
in society is a lie" (Sojourners Magazine, "An Enticing
Elixir", January-February 2003, 48).
That lie is perpetuated by a language of patriotism, of exalting the United States
and demeaning the enemy. When that happens, it becomes very difficult to find
peaceful solutions. Have we gone too far down this road of patriotic excess and
What further evidence is needed to oppose the President's call for war?
Please oppose the war in Iraq.
Call Rep. Dave Camp at (989) 631-2552, Sen. Carl Levin at (202) 224-6221, Sen.
Debbie Stabenow at (202) 224-4822, and the President at (202) 456-1111. We must
stop this mad rush to war!