March 7th, 2003


i interrupted reading a novel last night... listen on pbs radio to the bushtalk (i find it much easier to concentrate on the words when i'm not distracted by a talking head)...i listened all the way through...maybe i missed something, but i believe i've heard that speech before somewhere (as a matter of fact, with the areas of repetition last night, i was, in fact hearing some things again right there in the same speech--but perhaps that was an oratorical technique of repetition for emphasis)

so here's the thing...there was a time, not so very long ago, when i thought i saw the wisdom of a preemptive strike--i mean a madman, really, preparing to set forth evil bugs and atoms on a peace-loving world? only makes sense to stop him first and in light of the attacks on the u s by just a handful of loonies, it seemed evident that the world needed some policing and who else was there to take on the job?

i recall reflecting some months ago:
looking back on both distant and recent history (without mentioning any specifics), provides the perspective to think, "how brazen country x was to attack another, not even boardering, state"; so is this really a special case (ie attacking iraq)? but i kind of shelved that thought because i know the u s is not a war mongering state; at least none of the folks i've ever met have expressed the desire to go off and kill others, leaving behind a trail of dead burnt bodies, husbandless wives, father/motherless children, maimed and crippled people of all ages and sexes--actually, i haven't met or talked with folks from any part of the world who held such hideous thoughts -- but i believe there are the deranged of society, psychos and megalomaniacs, the wanton theives, thugs, and killers; and i have no reason to think that they cannot occur at all strata of humankind; throughout history, it seems evident that examples of such disorders can be found in some figures who have risen to positions of great power--BUT, i didn't, and still don't, believe that the elected leaders of the u s are in that select group of the criminally deranged -- so...i trusted in the u s government's collective wisdom to know to best course to follow

however, events have transpired:
globe trotting diplomacy, with depictions of the mutual benefits to be gained by various states in the event of toppling the government of iraq, have failed to convince leaders in many countries, both large and small, of the wisdom in such a plan--i mean, a hell of a lot of countries, speaking through their heads of state, say: this is a bad idea--understandably, each is looking out for hir own country's interest (and why wouldn't they?)--maybe, just maybe, what appears to be the u s plan of action (i say appears, because, what the hell do i really know) is neither the only nor the best course -- and then too, what of the millions of folks, worldwide, who have also expressed their belief that war is not the way to bring peace? ok, i've witnessed and have some understanding of mob psychology, the need of people to have a sense of belonging, the ease of some folks to be turned on to a cause simply for something to do, the power of a charismatic speaker; also, i don't discount governmental power in some states to drum up crowds for political purposes of their own--BUT, i also believe there are a great number of ordinary people in the u s and around the world who see the "apparent plan" of the u s to invade iraq as ill conceived, wrong, powered by oil interests or hopes for world domination and they are making their voices heard--maybe they're right

i don't think there's any one reason why the u s finds itself in it's current position of having hundreds of thousands of military personnel poised and ready for action against iraq--i do think there are those in the u s government who truely believe the reasons which have been articulated: imminent danger, wmd, cooperation with terrorists etc, however i also find it fairly easy to accept there might be other unarticulated agendas; these i can only surmise: perhaps there is a desire for a u s presence in the middle east which an occupation force would yield, some might see new world markets and sources for material, others may invision great financial rewards in supplying a war machine; there's possibly a very lengthy list of what can only be called selfish agendas--and these less than honorable agendas no doubt ride the coattails in even the most "just war," but should never be considered as a reason for undertaking military action, never!

assuming only honorable intentions on the part of the u s and accepting that waving the 200k strong big stick has failed to push out saddam, but that action by the u n is producing some results in disarmament, could a further extension of time to continue the forced (through the u n) destruction of disallowed weapons, not only achieve that end, but also give the u s a face saving way to withdraw, claiming the world is now a safer place, the strength of the u n has been demonstrated (which in and of itself would further indicate the increasing value of the u n) -- the sons and daughters of the u s could return to their families, there would be no trail of dead, burnt bodies, the strength and wisdom of the u s might even rise in the eyes of the world (well, that would be icing on the cake, wouldn't it -- we the people don't want war -- perhaps that's too much to hope for and surely not the important thing at this point) -- would this really be an impossible scenario? i hope not...i want to be able to look forward to a time when only sane minds govern, when only peaceful means are used to settle disagreements, when the children of no country see it as their duty or are forced to go forth and give their life, a time when the collective effort and produce of no country has to be flushed down the toilet of war...