I am not in favor of this war against Iraq. I have been largely silent on this issue for the past few days, mostly out of sheer frustration and being depressed at the sight of the prevalence of blind allegiance and the lack of consideration most of the pro-war camp is giving the issue. I started asking myself, why am I one of the minority of Americans that feel that this war is not right? Why is opinion so highly skewed in favor of war in this country? Am I missing something? Was I wrong somehow?
I thought long and hard about this issue. I looked at all the facts. I tried to reason from opposing perspectives to try and discover what the true meaning of all this is, why this war has come upon us, and most of all, if it is right or wrong.
When you examine Saddam Hussein in a historical context, it is quite apparent that the guy is quite corrupt and has committed many heinous acts against his own people. This cannot be denied. He is, or was – if he’s really dead as the news suggests today – quite a bad little prick.
However, I don’t see how this guy could have launched a realistic attack upon American interests. His missiles had no chance of reaching American soil. To this date, I have seen no credible evidence of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in their possession. Even if he did – it is not the United States’ job to supersede the United Nations in order to disarm him as if we were doing the U.N. a favor.
What I do see is a country that has the world’s second largest oil reserves. I see a White House administration that has enormous energy ties, especially to the oil conglomerates, and I see their enormous corruption and greed. I see George Bush using the tragedies of 9/11 to justify this war, an event which has no credible ties to Saddam Hussein, as well as the rolling back of our own American rights and liberties in the process so as to solidify Bush’s enormous, dictatorship-like power. I see companies with ties to the White House fighting over who gets the rebuilding contracts before this war is even over.
I see Bush’s attempts to whip up the country in to a religious fervor, short-cutting the separation of church and state that is supposed to be guaranteed in the First Amendment, and which was put there to ensure that we, the United States of America, do not become another radical, violent, religious fundamentalist state that does whatever it wants because it thinks it is ‘on the side of god’. Which god? The Christian one of course – because let’s face it – all other religions in Bush’s eyes, no matter how he wants to seem like he is including them – are seen to him as inferior. And let’s not even begin to discuss how he feels about the scientists and atheists and freethinkers who would threaten to expose his religion as another tribal voodoo cult. I see the erosion of a secular, impartial United States of America that promotes religious – and non-religious – freedom and liberty. I see the rise of an America that favors the religious right-wing power base, with no concern for the freedoms, thoughts, or liberties of those who think otherwise. Because they are treated as outcasts, as inferiors, as infidels even. This seems to be where we are going.
I see an almost comical abuse and manipulation of the Bush administration towards the United Nations. The U.N. can only work if the participating nations respect it and agree to play by the rules. But when they didn’t play by Bush’s rules, he superseded them at every turn. Every time a demand was met, it wasn’t enough for Bush – and he seemed to come up with more and more demands to make it impossible for the weapons inspectors to finish their work. They were only back in Iraq for a short amount of time. It really seemed to me that Bush all along had no intention of ever letting them finish their work, and had every intention of going ahead with an invasion no matter what.
Don’t get me wrong. I think that Bush really does believe that he is helping the people of Iraq. I don’t know how he feels about all the women and children that have died because of our invasion, but I suspect that he feels it is all for the greater good. I am sure that he has told himself that we are doing the right thing over and over and over again in his head so that he is utterly convinced of it, no matter what.
But I cannot overlook the enormous oil ties in the White House. I cannot overlook the enormous oil reserves in Iraq. And I cannot overlook Bush’s imposition of religious doctrine into our daily government and not somehow suspect that when you put all these pieces together that he deep down believes that it is his holy duty to take that oil from the non-christians, and believes that he can get away with it because nobody liked Saddam anyway.
That and because it’d make his daddy proud.
I am against this war because I believe that Bush has other motives besides the weak half-assed argument that he is proactively protecting American interests.
I am against this war because I believe that Bush intends to use Iraq’s oil for American profit. I tend to judge a man by his deeds and not by his words, and despite all of Bush’s words to the contrary, I am not convinced that his actions have been for anything but an American invasion of Iraq, and it’s subsequent exploitation. Even if to pay for the cost of war, those weapons and munitions all need to be manufactured – by American companies. An unused bomb is inventory that isn’t moving, after all…
I am against this war because innocent men, women, and children are dying every day because of it. I think that we are causing more death overall than we are preventing.
I am against this war because our own dedicated American troops are out there fighting this war. I do not believe that Bush’s arguments warranted the loss of a single American life out there. I would hate to think that our own men and women of the armed forces were putting their lives on the line for anything but the most noble of causes. I don’t want anyone to lose a mother or father, but this is happening every day out there.
I am against this war because the world opinion has been overwhelmingly against this war. We look very very bad in this situation. We are the aggressors, the invaders, the bad guys – in the eyes of most of the rest of the world. Why is that – when we have fairly clear public opinion in favor of this invasion, why does almost every single other country in the world have public opinion polls that are so strongly against what we are doing?
Meanwhile, I am amazed at the violent opposition to the anti-war movement. We are branded as traitors for our efforts to uphold the constitution, the dignity of our nation, and our right to freedom of speech. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I see it as entirely un-American to disallow or discourage freedom of speech. I see it as entirely un-American to not uphold our Constitution, our rights, and our civil liberties. If we had towed the party line and stifled dissent back in 1776, would we have ever become an independent, free, and democratic nation? The absence of dissent is blind obedience. Blind obedience fosters fascism and totalitarianism – this path must be avoided at all costs or our nation will fall prey to the same fanatical allegiances that have risen in past decades and centuries. They say it can’t happen here – but it certainly can and certainly is happening right now.
It is my hope that this war will end soon. It is my hope that the Iraqis will find peace, that they will feel liberated, and they will be able to live in happiness. It is my hope for that matter that the Kurds will be able to live in sovereignty and peace. It is my hope that our troops will come home quickly. It is my hope that my country will work to uphold the United Nations, and that it will be a respected country again someday – that we are once again seen as “that wonderful, free, and just democracy” and not “that greed-stricken scourge tyrannical imperialist aggressor”. It is my sincerest hope that I have been wrong about this whole rant – that Bush is not in it for the money and the rush of his own crusade. I would love to admit that I am wrong about all of this, because that would mean that the world is a better place than it seems.