/web cafe /talk of the best
We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves.
Chomsky on the war
HAS Saddam ever posed a threat to the US? The idea verges on absurdity. Up to 1990, when he was committed by far his worst crimes, he was a friend and ally of those running the show in Washington today. Far from seeing him as a threat, they even provided him with means to develop weapons of mass destruction. The Gulf war and the sanctions reduced Iraq to the weakest military force in the region. Even the countries Saddam invaded don't regard him as a threat, and have been trying for years to reintegrate Iraq into the region, over strong US objections. The US is alone in the world, to my knowledge, in regarding Iraq as a threat, either military or terrorist. By "US" here I mean the image portrayed by government-media since September, primarily, which has had its effects on popular attitudes. 
Note that the US government is teaching the world a very ugly lesson: if you want to keep us from attacking you, you'd better have a credible deterrent. That's one reason why so much of the mainstream establishment opposes Bush administration adventurism, including the Iraq war, only a special case. They can see that it is likely to increase proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terror, and other pretty awful outcomes, if only as a deterrent to a rogue superpower -- as the US is regarded in much of the world, maybe most. 
There are a great many horrible regimes in the world. To take just one, the world's longest military occupation. There's litttle doubt that those under the military occupation would be much better off if the occupation were terminated. Does it follow that we should bomb Tel Aviv?
It's easy to continue. Such questions can, perhaps, be raised by those who regard themselves as God-like, entitled to determine how to use violence to "rid the world of evil," as in fairy tales and ancient epics. Are we so exalted that we have the right to make such decisions? 
If there had been any interest in allowing Iraqis to determine their own fate, these considerations point the way. But there wasn't. Hence the call that their torturers must use violence to "liberate them." An intelligent Martian watching this would be bemused, to put it mildly.
At some ideas you stand perplexed, especially at the sight of human sins, uncertain whether to combat it by force or by human love. Always decide, "I will combat it with human love." If you make up your mind about that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force; it is the strongest of all things and there is nothing like it.
Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Your fasting, and rest from work, your new moons also, and your feasts my soul hates: you have become loathsome to me; I will no more pardon your sins. When you stretch forth your hands, I will turn away mine eyes from you: and though you make many supplications, I will not hearken to you; for your hands are full of blood.
USA vs IRAQ
Questions and answers
Is this for freedom?
According to the 'principles' USA overtly support, the liberation-argument is not valid, because liberation, being autonomy, should come out of an act of autonomy, it should start from inside, as an internal revolution against the tyrannical regime of Bagdat.
Interfering, without even having been invited, contrary to the will of almost all the world, USA ask to impose liberation, which is unthinkable and impossible, just as much as a necessary freedom is unthinkable and impossible.
Is this for justice?
If such were the case, USA would first think and explain how this mistake happened, why supporting a cruel and authoritarian regime, its arming and its murders and tortures, seemed just and good sometime, and why it looks differently now. What is it that changed?
If the USA had been following the demands of reason, if justice were of any concern here, then the attack against Iraq wouldn't be an attack of history's supposed innocent and innocuous People, but an attack of someone who made a grave mistake, admitting this mistake and explaining how all present activity, warlike or other, really heals the internal wounds. This means, USA would attack like someone who attacks and corrects himself, not an external threat.
Not having faced truth, not seeing into the USA the criminal, and not having made first of all against themselves an attack of thinking and criticism, USA, as regards justice, most probably replaces the first mistake with a second one, continuing thus their criminal activity and not at all correcting it.
Is this for the Western way of life?
Representative and electoral democracy presupposes the social body as the primary and ultimate spring of all political decisions. Who decides this presupposition? In order to have indeed the ultimate authority in the society, this supposition should emerge inside the society itself, therefore: not in some other society, not coming from elsewhere, whether by means of war or peace.
Can I transmit a will for autonomy, and how? If I can not, or if I don't know how, whatever else I do, I don't transmit the Western way and the democratic principles, but only an external covering and likeness of them (in the best case), an imitation of autonomy and democracy, so that, as much as I succeed in doing this, I don't support citizens, I create monkeys. But by creating monkeys I don't expand: I undermine the Western way.
Is this for financial interest?
A gang of thieves as such, may have some profit, but not finance, because loot is not finance. Therefore, however great the profit might be, since it is not based on work, economy and the relevant institutional framework, it will bring dissapointment rather than joy, being a contribution to the corruption of economical thinking. The war is useless and deeply damaging to the USA even from the financial point of view, no matter what profits should ensure temporarily.
Is this for strategic gains?
Is this for religion?
It is obvious that the name of God has become something like magic, in order for the society and its warriors to gain strength, to believe in and support the war. And yet it is not a real power that is being strengthened here, there can not be a real power inside lies, falsifications and self-deception, but only a blind stubbornness, the demand of the American society to destroy itself completely.
Words are nothing and priceless. If you honor them, they are nothing, if you despise them the cost you are going to suffer will be immeasurable.
This is not a war, this is just an act of what seems to prove the USA suicidal play.
Nat Gerrs, April 2003
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