Nuadha's Tale

Ignorance can be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -Thomas Jefferson

Friday, September 06, 2002

Warning: long rambling rant ahead

There are moments in every man's life, in the life of a nation, when, under the excitement of passion, the simple truths which in common times are the foundation upon which the right order and conduct of life depend are apt to be forgotten and disregarded. I shall venture tonight to recall to you some of the commonplace truths, which in these days of war need more than ever to be kept in mind.
Charles Eliot Norton, "True Patriotism" 1898

Last year, Bush and the media were able to whip the American people into a blood frenzy to start a war that, I believe, was senseless. The Taliban were no saints, but they were willing to work with us to find Osama bin Laden. They just asked to see the secret evidence against Osama bin Laden Bush said he had. Our government refused and instead invaded them to set up a more US-friendly regime (that would of course allow US oil companies to drill in Afghanistan, one of the last big deposits of oil). We didn't get Osama, but we did manage to kill a bunch of civilians. The majority of Americans have ignored the fact that this "secret evidence" was promised to be released last year but still hasn't been. While the "Patriot Act", a blatant attack on American liberties and the system of checks and balances our founding fathers created, was passed most Americans were too busy putting flags on their cars to notice.

Now, it is almost one year since 9/11 and I am relieved to see that more level heads are looking at the proposed Iraq invasion. Bush is having a tough time finding support for this war. He's tried claiming that he has secret evidence again, but we fell for that one before.

Of course, Bush is hungry for war. He knows that Americans are getting wise to him. If he's going to send our boys off to die in the desert, he'd better do it quick before people realize that he really just wants to help his big oil buddies. So, he's trying to say that he can legally start the war without approval from Congress. It's a grand American tradition. Our founding fathers wanted Presidents to have to get congress to declare war for a reason. They did not want that much power in the hands of one man. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for presidents to start ignoring that. In the 1800's, we invaded Mexico without declaring war and ever since, presidents have felt they could conveniently ignore the idea. Well, this time it looks like congress is going to fight him.

I have seen that we do not intend to free but to subjugate the Phillipines. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons in any other land...I have a strong aversion to sending our bright boys out there to fight with a disgraced musket under a polluted flag.
-Mark Twain speaking against the American invasion of the Phillipines in 1900. He was declared a traitor for exercising his freedom of speech and conscience.

Here's the way I see it. Bush's interest is oil. He got where he is with the help of his friends in "big oil" and now he's working hard for them. He's trying to open up Alaska for them as well as the middle east. The problem with the middle east is that we don't control it and the Arabic nations aren't always willing to play ball with greedy American companies. 9/11 was too good of a chance for Bush to pass up. If he said, I want to invade some countries and risk our men's lives for oil, we would never have allowed it but with the spectre of terrorism, he could easily fool a fearful and angry populace into supporting an invasion. To make it better, he also said we would improve the lives of the Afghans. The Taliban were bad (on this we could all agree) and we would remove them. From what I've been hearing, life hasn't improved that much and from what I'm seeing "big oil" isn't full. Iraq has a lot of oil just waiting for Mobil or Exxon to move in.

There's one other thing I wanted to mention about the flight of the intellectuals to support of the current war. Were seeing it today in regard to women's rights. Women under the Taliban had a terrible life. I have news for Laura Bush. I opposed the Taliban before she knew what they were. I opposed the Taliban before George Bush could find Afghanistan on a map. Yes, the life of women was terrible. When was it better? It was better under the regime the US had helped to overthrow over a decade ago. What are the two countries in the Islamic world where women have equal rights? One is Iraq, which has a despicable regime. I oppose the sanctions on Iraq, but its a horrible regime. The other is Libya, which is not such a bad regime. In those two countries, women don't have to wear the veil. And in what countries do they have to wear the veil? Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where they cannot even drive a car, but which are U.S. allies.

- David McReynolds, Non-violent Alternatives to Bush's War on Terrorism


Post a Comment

<< Home