[shniad at sfu.ca: [R-G] A PREDATORY AND DISHONEST WAR - John le Carré]
ehrbar at econ.utah.edu
Mon Jan 13 17:12:09 MST 2003
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A PREDATORY AND DISHONEST WAR
John le Carré - English novelist
This is High Noon for American democracy. The rights and freedoms that have
made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded. A new
McCarthyism is abroad. Bush tells us that those who are not with him are
against him. I am not with him.
The American over-reaction is beyond everything Osama could have hoped for
in his nastiest dreams. But this war was planned long before Osama struck,
and it is Osama who made it possible. Without him, the Bush junta would have
been mired in Enron, electoral scandal and taxation sleeze. Thanks to Osama,
Americans are instead being daily misled by their leaders and by their
compliant corporate media.
There is a stink of religious self-righteousness in the air that reminds me
of the British Empire at its worst. I cringe when I hear my Prime Minister
lend his head prefects sophistries to this patently self-interested
adventure to secure our oil supplies.
But will we win, Daddy?
Of course we will, child, and quickly, while you are still in bed.
But will people be killed, Daddy?
There will be a few Western casualties. Very few. Go to sleep.
And after that, will everything be normal? Nobody will strike back? The
terrorists will all be dead?
Wait till youre older, dear. Goodnight.
And is it really true that last time round Iraq lost twice as many dead as
America lost in the entire Vietnam war?
Hush child. Thats called history.
Wheres the hurry? Iraq is a vile dictatorship, and Saddam is a monster who
sits on the worlds second largest oil reserves. But there is ample time to
consider how to unseat him before we plunge into this predatory and
dishonest war. Leave the UN inspectors there. Convene Iraqs neighbours. And
consider for a moment where the will came from to make this war in the first
Americans can still awake to the shame of what is being done in their name.
Britain is half way there. The French and Russians have been bribed and
browbeaten into submission. Only the good Germans have so far succeeded in
sticking to their silent guns. I wish profoundly that the rest of us
Europeans, in the spirit of a nobler President, would declare ourselves to
be citizens of Berlin.
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