“Wild, dark times are rumbling towards us, and the prophet who wishes to write a new apocalypse will have to invent entirely new beasts, (Heinrich Heine, 1797 – 1856)”
It’s hard to be optimistic about the literal bloodbath that has become commonplace in the middle east, or about the way President Bush is inflaming world war.
Palestinians strap explosives to themselves and become human shrapnel in Israeli restaurants. Israelis tanks rumble through the streets of the West Bank, cannons blowing Palestinians to bits as they sit watching television in their living rooms.
The hawkish Israeli premier Sharon is all to eager to apply the biblical admonishment of an eye-for-an-eye. Chairman Arafat nods away while Palestinian aspirations of a homeland evaporate.
President Bush throws gasoline on the fire. His hang-’em-high style of frontier justice is happily applied by both sides of the conflict. Bush’s rhetoric is a license for any state with a real or perceived grievance to come out with guns blazing. The only justification needed is to declare your enemies as terrorists.
Bush’s style is that of the schoolyard bully –you are wrong if I say you are wrong and if you disagree, I will unleash all the power at my disposal to demonstrate how wrong you are.
“Instead of looking for a solution to the Palestinian problem, Bush gave the green light to Sharon, so that he could run berserk in the Palestinian territories, re-conquer, kill, destroy, uproot, besiege, surround and cut off,” says Uri Avnery of Israel’s peace movement Gush Shalom.
Bush’s macho style of foreign policy is popular in the U.S. because it is easily understood. But he keeps upping the stakes. First he wants his allies to support his retaliation for the barbaric crimes committed on September 11. That’s something that Canadians are prepared to do.
But then Bush expects us to follow him into his misadventure into Iraq. He expects his amigos to help him settle a family feud. Bush’s daddy, George Bush sr., couldn’t finish off the tyrant Saddam Hussein and now he wants us to help settle the score.
If Iraq were completely destroyed, it will break in three: a Shiite protectorate of Iran the South, a Kurdish state in the north and a small Sunni state in the middle. That would completely destabilize the whole region, inflaming more conflict.
Like Chairman Arafat, Saddam Hussein is the lesser of evils. Without them in place as heads of state, things get worse. President Bush has more diabolical schemes in mind than the destabilisation of the middle east. The leader of free world has declared that under some circumstances, he would consider using nuclear weapons against enemies he calls “the axis of evil (Iraq, Iran and North Korea).” This latest revelation into the inner workings of Bush’s psyche has potential allies reeling.
Scott Taylor, editor a Canadian military magazine called Esprit de Corps, says “By threatening to visit retaliatory annihilation upon millions of innocent civilians, the United States has itself become what it purports to be fighting: a global terrorist.” “The European community has become increasingly alarmed over Bush’s haste to widen the war even as military operations in Afghanistan continue to escalate,” says Taylor.
George Bush jr. has not learned the most elementary fact of nuclear weapon use –nobody wins a nuclear war. Almost every other world leader figured out the nuclear riddle decades ago.
One of two things happen when any nation deploys nuclear weapons, both of them bad. Either the attacked nation or one of its allies fire their nuclear weapons in retaliation or the nuclear fallout drifts back to the aggressors, poisoning those who fired the weapons.
When you look at a globe, president Bush, those lines that you see around countries are an artificial political construct. They have no protective function. Seen from outer space, the lines disappear and it becomes clear that we share the same land masses, oceans, and air. As with global warming, everyone suffers the consequences of global radioactivity.
Canadians will go to the ends of the earth, even to the improbable county of Afghanistan, to avenge the horror of September 11. But we will not follow you down the road to Baghdad to your inventions of evil.
And we certainly will not link arms and march with you towards the resurrection of the rough beasts of nuclear destruction.