President Bush's obsession with separating Saddam Hussein from his reign over Iraq is chilling, particularly now, when people all over the world are reflecting on the attacks on New York and Washington D.C. and remembering the thousands of lives lost.
When lots of us are recalling where we were when we learned of the attacks and-mindful of the constant, terrible violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian areas-wishing the world were not in such a horrible state, Bush and his hawkish cohorts are desperately trying to convince all of us that more violence is imperative.
They want us to believe that Hussein is getting ready to attack us with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. So far, all they've given us in the way of evidence is news that Iraq has tried to buy some aluminum tubing. Perhaps they think that if they fill us with fear, we'll have no alternative but to go along with a plan to wage another violent attack on Iraq. Maybe Bush thought that as the Sept. 11 anniversary drew near, the collective grief that we've been dealing with during the past year could easily be turned into anger toward the bogie man that the Bush family loves to hate.
Well, most of the world is not cooperating. The U.S. Congress has demanded to debate the idea, and the only other foreign head of state to stand behind Bush is Tony Blair, prime minister of Great Britain, a country that doesn't oppose much of anything the United States does.
Nor have the American public taken to the streets to call for Hussein's head. No, they're too concerned about real problems right here at home. They want affordable access to health care and prescription drugs. They want the administration to tend to the sagging economy. They want to know someone's watching over their 401Ks. They want corporate America to stop sucking them dry.
Bush must think we're ignorant enough to think Hussein's alleged stockpiling of weaponry is a direct attack on the United States. No, sir, we understand that if Hussein is doing what you saying he's doing, it's a violation of United Nations resolutions. We know, apparently better than you do, that a response must be coordinated by the United Nations. Even hard-line conservative Congressman Dick Armey has said that an unprovoked attack on Iraq-or “regime change,” has Bush euphemistically calls it-may be a violation of international law.
Yes, Saddam Hussein is a world-class lunatic who should be brought to justice in world court for his crimes against humanity, but a unilateral attack on Iraq would likely provoke further violence on Israel and result in mass Iraqi civilian deaths. We'd lose whatever tenuous alliances we share with the Arab world, which would weaken international efforts to thwart terrorism and bring terrorists to justice. It would throw an entire region into even worse chaos. If Hussein is ousted from power, what happens to Iraq? Does Bush think the U.S. can simply prop up a new democratic, capitalist government and everyone will live happily ever after?
Bush and his friends with the itchy trigger fingers must understand the realities of what prompted last year's attacks on the United States-this country is seen in many parts of the world as a clinched-fisted imperialist superpower bent on global domination by Western, corporate interests. Does he not think an attack on Iraq will solidify those sentiments?
Please, Mr. President, try to be rational. ©