T Nation

Peace is patriotic, too

"America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War.

The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams. As in McCarthy times, the freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded. The combination of compliant US media and vested corporate interests is once more ensuring that a debate that should be ringing out in every town square is confined to the loftier columns of the East Coast press.

But bin Laden conveniently swept all that under the carpet. The Bushies are riding high. Now 88 per cent of Americans want the war (we are told.) The US defence budget has been raised by another $60 billion to around $360 billion. A splendid new generation of nuclear weapons is in the pipeline, so we can all breathe easy. Quite what war 88 per cent of Americans think they are supporting is a lot less clear. A war for how long, please? At what cost in American lives? At what cost to the American taxpayer’s pocket? At what cost - because most of those 88 per cent are thoroughly decent and humane people - in Iraqi lives?

How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America's anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history. But they swung it. A recent poll tells us that one in two Americans now believe Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. But the American public is not merely being misled. It is being browbeaten and kept in a state of ignorance and fear. The carefully orchestrated neurosis should carry Bush and his fellow conspirators nicely into the next election.

Those who are not with Mr Bush are against him. Worse, they are with the enemy. Which is odd, because I’m dead against Bush, but I would love to see Saddam’s downfall - just not on Bush’s terms and not by his methods. And not under the banner of such outrageous hypocrisy."

John Le Carre

Who has said that Hussein is responsible for 9/11? No educated person can say they do. These statements are playing off of emotion. Saddam has been building a chemical, biological, and nuclear arsenal for the last twelve years. Can you imagine the economic state the world would be in if he were to use it to control or destroy the powerful oil countries in the Middle East. Bush is only finishing what the prior two administrations couldnt do. Its not like we are rushing off to war. Saddam has been doing this for over a decade. I believe he is more a threat economically that militarily because of the oil. The world runs on oil. period. He is jeopardizing it. And besides that hes a nut. He shot someone in their government in front of everyone his first day in office because they guy disagreed with him.

Hey John, have you done any research into the atrocities committed on a regular basis by Saddam to his own people? Check it out sometime, as it’s really pretty frightening. He’s a power-hungry freak who would like nothing more than to see the destruction of the United States. I personally have nothing against the Iraqi people, but Saddam and his governmemt must be removed. And as far as defense spending, I’m all for that, too, especially in light of all Bill Clinton did to emasculate out military.

BK, do you really believe the shit this asshole is spewing forth? He throws out numbers that I have never heard before. If you don’t like the way the US is run. Get the fuck out.

Fellas, I posted the excerpt from one of Le Carres articles, so I’ll try my best to “defend” what he’s saying. Goldie, it’s interesting that you and Le Carre are in a way saying the exact same thing, except from opposing sides. You are both right, this whole shit storm is 100% about oil and playing off emotion. But I believe it is the Bush administrators & their favourite vehicle CNN that are doing most of the manipulating. (“He shot someone in their government in front of everyone his first day in office because they guy disagreed with him.”) I don’t deny that Saddam is an obvious tyrant, but come on fellas! Reports like that are anecdotal at best!

By the way, if you guys ever get the chance, check out the BBC for international news coverage. Like CNN, they are not impartial either- but as they say, the truth will lie somewhere in the middle.

Bottom line: you either trust your government or you don’t. What we hear in the media should be taken with not only a grain, but a barrell of salt. Realistically, propaganda does exist and it has been used by every administration to demonize the enemy and drum up public support for war efforts. I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know everything. The U.S. government has thousands of agents and billions of dollars of technology dedicated to intelligence gathering. Certainly more information than I’m privy to. What makes us think we can decide, as citizens, whether there should a war or not? We just don’t have the hard facts and experience it takes to make that call. We elected a president and he appointed advisors. Let them do their jobs. If Bush says war, then I’m with him. Based on what we have seen in the media and if any of it is to be believed, I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t agree that we are dealing with a very evil, cunning dictator who makes his contempt for the U.S. anything but secret. Don’t think for one second that if he had the military might, he wouldn’t launch a full scale attack on the U.S. As far as how many casualties? how much money? how long a war? Its ridiculous to even ask such questions. No one can say exactly how long the war will last and consequently, cannot say how much the effort will cost either monetarily or in terms of human life. War is expensive on all fronts.

Avoids, I didn’t say what I believed or didn’t believe. This is just a discussion of ideas. I found Le Carres article to be thought provoking, nothing more. I found your reply to be just provoking. Nothing more.

Come on, I’m losing all faith I might have in the American nation evertime I read a fucking post regarding Iraq.

I find it hard to believe you people really have a such a idealistic notion of the motivations behind an eventual attack on Iraq. It is obvious that this is all about the oil. There are plenty of countries with mass destruction weapons, a lot of them violate human rights to a much larger extent than Iraq, and were are the nights in the shinning armour coming for them? If there’s no oil nothing gets done.

An oil barrel is up to 14 times cheaper in Iraq than in Texas.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Saddam is a bastard an should by all means go down, but some honesty would be nice for a change. The ONU inspectors can’t find anything, and although Saddam allowing them in the country was one of the conditions demanded by Bush government the results of this search are proven to be completely irrelevant.

Forgive me for questioning the morals of “the greatest nation of the world” but not everyone has been brainwashed by the American media, here in Europe we have access to information that’s a little more unbiased and thus we make a much different judgement of the situation.

Enough said. Flame on.

As an American, I don’t feel my freedom has been limited in any way since September 11, 2001. I understand the fear of it happening, but I really don’t think it has happened yet.

To Restless: Do you really believe the information you have access to in Europe is not totally biased against America?

Please read my post, I said " a little more unbiased".

I would suggest anyone who doubts why we need to kill tyrants and terrorists ,before they strike ,drive up to NYC and look at the hole in the ground where the WTC used to be. We need to make war on the enemies ground not ours. When we are ready, not when we have the permission of our “paper army” allies.

Peace is very patriotic but we need to dictate the terms, not the terrorists. Imagine what NYC or your hometown would have looked like if those fanatics had gotten hold of a nuke instead of a plane. If you don’t think Sadaam would support these idiots and further thier cause then I would suggest your view of the world may be a touch optomistic. War is war and soldiers know what they are in for. Nobody has the right to make war on the innocent and noncombatants. When they do that then they forfit all rights to be treated fairly.

“If you don’t like the way the US is run. Get the fuck out.”

Nothing pisses me off more than people who say this. No, it is our duty as responsible citizens of this country to question EVERYDAY how this country is run. How can it be a country “for the people, by the people” if the people just sit around getting spoon-fed their opinions. I refuse to accept everything the government does because it’s MY GOVERNMENT.

Bush is not the boss of this country. I pay his damn salary. We’re his boss.

If you believe this war isn’t about weapons you are fooling yourself. The reason we are not attacking other nations that have nuclear weapons is because they admit that they have them. Nations that admit top having such weapons don’t do so because they intentd to attack others, they admit they have nukes so that they can use them as negotiating tool and a deterrent. Iraq is building weapons in secret! What does that tell you? They plan to use them! Wake up and smell the coffee.

I am relieved to hear voices of reason on this board with regard to the absolute necessity of disarming Sodomy Ho’ Slain.

There is no connection between the 9-11 terrorists and Iraq. They haven’t been able to draw a single connection. Bush has been pushing for this war since BEFORE the UN inspectors even landed. Also, there are many other countries who pose a greater threat to our security than Iraq, such as China and Korea. The idea of “defending ourselves by attacking first” is stupid and barbarric.

If we don’t want Iraq to have weapons, we shouldn’t have sold them the arms in the first place. The Republicans are the big winners here… their buddies in the weapons contracting business (where many Republican officials go after leaving office) make a ton of money, as well as the pumped up military budget and graft at the Pentagon. What a great scam!!! First, you sell them the weapons. Then a few years later, you confiscate them all, and blow a bunch of shit up. Brilliant!

The USA is the ONLY country in the history of civilization to use nuclear weapons. Bush campaigned on a platform of “no nation building” and less involvement in foreign wars. Yet he is now engaged in the most expensive sabre-rattling of all time. And we the taxpayers will be responsible for paying for this show of force, and to get Iraq back up and running again.

Here’s a little joke for the forum: What did the guy with three American flag stickers on his pickup truck say to the guy with two American flags on his pickup truck?

“Go back to Arabia!”

The whole notion that if you aren’t “with Bush” you are somehow “for Saddam” is insulting and stupid.

Some people on this thread do not have any understanding of how the “game” is played This year these people will be our friends, and next year they will be our enemies. Thats how it is and thats how it is always gonna be. Everyone always says “yeah saddam is crazy, but we can’t just invade him”. Why not? Its interesting in the sense that, when the down trodden of the world want money or food we are supposed to “give till it hurts”, but when it comes time to clean someone clock we are always wrong

Uh, what you are referring to as “cleaning a nations clock” may be better described as: “using a massive miltary force to attack, invade, and occupy another country that is a flea in comparison to America and overthrow its government; putting the lives of countless thousands of innocent Iraqi civilains and US servicemen at great risk; a country that is smack dab in the middle of a populous region already teaming with anti-US/anti-west sentiments; all in the name of regime change?”

Please forgive my ignorance here as my brother is the economist and I am the artist of our family. Assuming a war with Iraq that brings down Saddam and his government followed by unlimited sale of Iraqi oil on foreign markets: Would that not bring the price of oil down significantly? Granted, OPEC would certainly scale back output to keep their own pockets lined, but overall when the dust settles, wouldn’t the lower prices mean less money for Bush’s oil buddies? Furthermore, any attempts to give oil contracts to his buddies would be busted before it even got of the table as it is illegal to use a public office for personal economic gain–hence, many politicians resign their corporate positions when they take office. I’m curious as to people’s opinions since if what I’ve mentioned is accurate, does that not suggest that perhaps Bush’s motives are more noble? Thanks.

Liberal propaganda. I’ll leave it at that. If I rant on this, I may get a headache. ;[

Lumpy, we sold weapons to Saddam during Iraq’s war with Iran, because at that time we viewed Iraq as the lesser of two evils and wanted to see Iran go down. And any conflict with Korea will definitely draw China in, increasing the chance of a far more dangerous, drawn out and convoluted war. And you’re saying that the bomb shouldn’t have been dropped to put an end to the world war? Hmmm…I wonder what language we’d all be speaking now if it hadn’t?