Thursday, January 15, 2004

Another case for war?: "Imagine that President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell had made a case for the invasion of Iraq along the following lines: 'Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator who has long oppressed the Iraqi people and threatened Iraq's neighbors. It is U.S. policy to seek regime change in Iraq, and we propose to do that now, by military force. Saddam does not pose a risk to the United States now, and any threat he eventually may pose is years or decades away. His programs for developing weapons of mass destruction have been dormant since the end of the Gulf War. We have no evidence of links between Saddam and the terrorists of Al-Qaida or other groups capable of attacking the United States. Any invasion of Iraq is not related to the war on terrorism.

"'Nevertheless, removing Saddam and creating a free, democratic Iraq is a worthy goal, though it will not come cheap. It will cost tens upon tens of billions of dollars raised from American taxpayers. International assistance will be minimal. Hundreds of fine young Americans will be killed in the process, and thousands will suffer debilitating wounds that will alter their lives forever. We call upon the American people to willingly shoulder those costs in the name of a free Iraq.'

"That, of course, isn't the case Bush and Powell made. The American people would have rejected it, and properly so."

And that, of course, is the reason why such a case was not made. The famous remark of Goering at Nuremburg is relevant: "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

The case of 'humanitarian war' can only be made after the war is started and the earlier pretexts have been discredited. Of course, the post-facto 'humanitarian motive' is every bit as false as the pre-war 'threat of WMDs'. The real reason for the war is imperialistic and hegemonic: control of oil, military bases etc.

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