A Rant by way of Response

March 23rd, 2003

Now the war is started we’re supposed to support it? Because we didn’t “offer any viable alternatives” its okay? We’re all going to look foolish when this war works out wonderful well?

Somehow I’m not worried about that.

We have the weight of history behind us, US military interventions leave behind destruction and death, prolonging the period of rebuilding, and healing for decades or indefinitely. Saddam was put in power by the US, stayed in power because of the US, and hopes of building a new Iraq were crushed by isolation and sanctions. If at this late stage we succeed in making things a little better while killing hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people, and damaging an already largely destroyed civilan infastructure (not to mention civilian sphere) we don’t get credit for “saving Iraq”. Its just one more self serving act of hostility. Some alternative that come to mind stretch back 30 years. How about our suggested alternative 30 years ago, in 1973, to convict Kissinger as a war criminal rather then awarding him the Nobel Peace prize, and thereby head off the modern era of military/CIA intervention as diplomacy? Or when people were screaming in the late 70s and 80s that reviving, and arming fundamentalist Islam for own petty geopolitical aims at the expense of sacraficing secular Islam might not be such a good idea? Or all those protests against a succession of US sponosored strong men including Pinochet, Noreiga, Somoza, and Saddam? Or when our man in the Middle East Saddam invaded Kuwait because he thought he had our okay, and we suggested that there might be a more diplomatic solution then war? Or once Kuwait had been “liberated” we suggested that now might be the time for a diplomatic solution rather then one of the more criminal military attacks of all time aimed specifically at crippling Iraq’s civilian infastructure in direction contradiction to the Geneva Convention on Human Rights? Or through out the 90s when we said that the sanctions were killing the Iraq people, isolating them from the world, while keeping Saddam strong? At any point, some basic diplomacy, some basic human decency, a little fore thought, a little historical knowledge, and we could have had a freer, stabler Iraq, not the damaged, decrepit warlord run state we have now. That said, this current war doesn’t really hold up even to proposing an alternative. We’ve been given no real answer as to why this war should be waged, and without an honest and clear objective its impossible to suggest an altnerative. Its not becausing we’re scared of Iraq (thats silly), its not because we feel for the Iraq people (there are better ways to help them, but as James Earl Jones once said, “We’re the American government, we don’t do that”), its ridiculous to suggest its because of our vaunted respect for the UN’s process and resolution which we just trampled. So an alternative to what? To accomplish what?

We didn’t create this problem, the men who have been in power for the last 30 years did, and they did it intentionally. On the left we’ve organized, opposed, protested, and tried to educate people about it for what seems like forever. Now a the situation is fucked beyond belief, the troops are deployed, the international system of law is in smoking ruins, the US is being driven into debt by an unelected president waging an unlawful war, you tell us we’ve never suggested an alternative? That our pathetic “hippy”, “raghead”, “faggot”, “spoiled” protest is unconstructive, and this is the way its got to be so “shut up”, and “be thankful for your free speach”, “get a job”, or “I’m going to come over there and kill you”.

So don’t tell me we never suggested any alternatives, and this war was unavoidable, or that somehow a flower of democracy is going to bloom in the desert tended ever so lovingly by Uncle Sam’s finest.

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