July 07, 2005
This must end
Had there been any humanity left in this world, the carnage in Iraq would have ended the reign of the American Empire long ago. There would have been such an outcry of morally outraged humanity the like of which would never have been heard before. Yet, there is hardly a peep from anyone. Even the daily toll of the dead has disappeared from newscasts.
Today, 37 people died in bomb blasts in London. 700 others were injured. There has been nothing else in the news today. Is the blood of these 37 people any redder than the blood of the quarter million Iraqi dead? Hotlines have been set up for Canadians and others to call to find out if anyone they knew is among the casualties. Where are the hotlines for Iraqis to call to find out the fate of their loved ones? Am I being unsympathetic to the plight of the British dead and injured? Are you being sympathetic to the plight of the Iraqi dead and injured?
All that a sane and rational person can hope for is that this attack will have the same kind of effect on the British people as the similar series of bombings in Madrid last year had on the Spanish people. The Madrid bombings incited the Spanish people to throw out the Bushite government of Aznar, and elect a new government that put a quick end to Spain’s complicity in the Iraqi genocide. Will the British people finally say a loud and clear No to the government of the ignominy whose name is Blair?
This 'war' is never going to end. And only deaths Americans care about are Americans (with a 50 percent discount on Canadians, Mexicans and Brits). It's disturbing.
We all seem to realize the sad hypocrisy of war, but media anchors seem to report everything like a sporting event. It's as if London were a major league player, and Iraq is just some kid on a junior varsity team unworthy of coverage. We don't know that kid... so why do we care what happens to him?
I´m from Mexico and almost all the english speaking blogs I visit are all outraged with the events in London and don´t even think about what happens in the Middle esatern countries everyday.
I feel outraged that there are people who still think Saddam Hussein was behind all of this, and that imposing their way of life without asking is the right thing to do. (I´m not in favor of stoning women, I´m not in favor of rape rooms)
I hate it when people think they have the absolute truth about something.
This is, by far, the best blog I´ve visited.
The present Blair government is (ostensibly) left wing. The present Conservative Party (which is supposed to form the foundation stone of the right in Britain) could not find the paper bag it was supposed to fight its way out of in the last elections.
That in itself holds little hope for a change soon in British politics.
I confess to being two-faced about Iraq.
There is no question that Saddam was ripe for removal. The big problem is, has always been, that it was done for all of the wrong reasons. It was (in my mind at least) a job that should have been finished in Iraq1 but history has this strange way of not being easy to change.
No, what concerns me the most and far greater than Iraq, is the response that comes from the combination of "Christians" and fundamentalist "political far right".
"Overall, because of the American invasion of Iraq, a quarter of a million Iraqis have been killed. Millions of Iraqis have been injured, maimed, or incapacitated. Millions of other Iraqis have suffered unspeakable deprivations and horrors of various kinds, not to mention outright torture, all because of and only because of the invasion."
"Haliburton has receieved more money than the Iraqi government. That's not the way to build an autonomous government."
Where did these numbers come from? Where might I go to verify them? I ask, assuming you found them somewhere and could direct me to them quicker. I honestly want to know.
I don't think anyone would deny that collateral damage from warfare is nonexistent. Of course it will happen, and each casualty should be considered tragic in and of itself. But to say anything thats happened collaterally as part of an effort to liberate and democratize a country that at the very least was providing safe haven to terrorists is no better than purposeful killing in the form of beheadings and multiple bombings of innocent people is untenable at best. I have yet to see anything on the net anywhere that shows Americans or Brits beheading innocent people and putting out video to boot. If you do, get back with me.
To me, it is a matter of perspective. If one assumes that countries like America and England are inherently evil and wrong, then I guess the discussion ends here. If we can criticize the wrong things (and there's plenty to go around) without elevating cold blooded killers to the level of civilized societies, then maybe we can talk.
You, however, want to string up Tony Blair, who, at the time of the bombings, was committing the crime of fighting for more first world aid to the poor of Africa.
You are perfectly correct that the radical fusion of religion and politics within the world’s only superpower is a far greater danger than Islamist terrorism. During the 2004 US Presidential Election campaign, the Bush camp reversed the meaning of John Kerry’s promise to reduce terrorism to the point where it is a mere nuisance, and they used that promise as a propaganda weapon against him. But terrorism is a mere nuisance even now. I believe that I, living in Canada’s largest metropolis, am far less likely to be injured by a terrorist attack than I am by lightning. And, despite the multi-coloured alerts, I have no doubt that this is true of every major metropolis in North America. Yet terrorism has provided a perfect pretext for the extreme Right/Christian fundamentalist monstrosity to implement every aspect of its agenda to the full, from environmental destruction to the gutting of civil and even human rights, from the promotion of military over civilian spending to the rollback of every sort of social progress achieved over the last hundred years.
For surely, if the end that I think we both see does happen it will be the end of the "common man" as we have known him.
How sad that is.
How sad that we have witnessed the end of the promise of humanity.
I can understand the argument that London is more of a target because of our involvement in Iraq, but what I don't understand is the apparent confusion as to who is behind the atrocities in Iraq. Lone Primate talks about the "thousands and thousands of Iraqis killed by the officially sanctioned terrorism of the western world". Who exactly are you talking about? The same ideology fuels the attacks in Iraq as those in London (and Madrid, Bali, New York, etc.) That ideology is against democracy, against reason. The UK and the US have done some unsavoury things in the conduct of this war, but the rationale behind it is the installation of democracy in Iraq, something which is, at the very least, a damn sight better than the alternative.
I am no cheerleader for the war in Iraq, but I think that when the decision was made, the choice was between letting Saddam get away with flouting the UN yet again (and giving the green light for any other despot to do the same), due to the UN's inability to take tough decisions, and the paradox of undermining the UN by taking action to enforce its resolutions. I have heard many and cogent arguments against the war from people on the left (of whom I count myself one), but I have not heard a convincing argument as to what the international community would have done to enforce UN resolutions and making the UN anything more than a talking shop. Convince me!
PS: In your blog intro, u had mentioned about non english speakin ppl, well i donno if u'll include me in that bracket. I'm from India... Happy to be here, first time at ur blog. Pls overlook any mistakes in language! :)
The left (or at least the anti-war majority on the left) has been consistent in saying it is about oil, but consistency is not the same as persuasiveness. Yes Iraq has loads of oil, yes the west needs lots of oil to sate its greedy appetite, but that doesn;t add up to prrof that we went to war for oil. Surely if that was our only interest in Iraq it would have been immensely cheaper to cut a deal with Saddam and keep the oil flowing?
I read somewhere once that world leaders should have codes hidden in compartments next to the hearts of their loved ones. Whenever they desired to start a war resulting in "collateral damage" they would have to kill the loved ones themselves in order to get the codes to do so. Maybe then they'd take it seriously enough?
I think you're out of luck, Al, regarding US troops landing in Israel until they become an OPEC member and then exile themselves under the direction of a narcicistic & ultra violent sadistic lunatic. As bad as that situation seems the Israelis still have plently of international support. Maybe if Hitler slowly moved Germans into Poland and put up a big cement wall instead of marching in noone would have complained?
I don't think you need to point to their lies for proof that the Americans are in Iraq for selfish reasons. According to Bush's beliefs the US is on the verge of huge energy price increases in the next 10 years, giving OPEC the power to hold the American economy for randsom. Having a physical & political foothold in the Middle Eastern oil fields is an important strategic move economically in order to secure American autonomy/dominance. It amazes me sometimes that these "Muslim fundamentalists" (no more Muslim than "Christian fundamentalists" are Christian) are undermining the very silent economic Jihad that is being staged by middle eastern countries as we speak.
25,000 inocent Iraqi's killed so far .. not soldiers not insurgents , not "terrorists" just inocent people going about their lives ..
I often wonder .. where is the "war on terror" 3d logo's for them . where is the hour long special's on Fox or the BBC
48 inocent's killed in iraq yesterday . only a little below the horrific attack in london
why doesnt that get the same coverage ?
I get on those trains everyday in london .. and often pray thanks that I dont have to work in baghdad
is your country of birth really what count's as to the value of your life ??
H in London
Your mention of "collateral damage" reminded me of people who have condemned the Spanish government for pulling out of Iraq. According to this logic, it would have been quite acceptable for Spanish troops to stay in Iraq, and to continue killing Iraqi people just because Dubya said so. The thousands of Iraqi bodies would have been just "collateral damage." But it is not acceptable for Spain to have exposed white people to the risk that the pullout may in some way encourage the terrorists. As if the terrorists were sitting there waiting for encouragement, anyway!
Your mention of officially-sanctioned terrorism is, of course, reminiscent of Israeli state terrorism against the Palestinian people that has been going on for more years that I want to think of, with the wholehearted sanction of Washington.
Simply put. Information is lacking in your posts. Before you begin to yell, attack and rant about foreign issues I suggest you first do your research. The invasion of Iraq was done rightfully so. Many of you mention hatred for Bush. I myself am not fond of the man. But, what you lack to mention is that Clinton also tried to do this and failed. Moving away from the presidential issue and onto the moral views...People have been freed by an oppressive dictator who allowed none of these people to think for themselves. In his country, you wouldn't have been able to make a post like this one without you and your family being dead the next morning. Certainly there are deaths on both sides. However, you must remember this is war. Its America fighting to help free the people of Iraq from those there that still support Saddam. Secondly, many of these Iraqi casualties you mention came from Saddam's supporters killing other Iraqis. Why are the death tolls slowly dissapearing from the news? Because the deaths are decreasing and because people are sick of hearing one sided news which does not explain the deaths clearly. Should the war end soon. Absolutely. But it should not end until we're sure the Iraqi people are safe.
I good point is made when one ask another of your political standing..Why are you outraged at iraqis dieing now but not then?? Its a really good question. People are going to die for freedom, during our own revolutionary war hundreds of thousands of people died. But for a cause you can not deny iraqis the same opportunity that you hold so dear. Are they not worthy of freedom as well?? And dont say we had to ask. THey wanted to be free of saddam, look back to the uprisings that failed so misserably.
War is hard and it will never be pretty, but it is a nessesity when overthrowing dictators. Soon Iraq will have a republican govt much like the rest of the world and they will be very thankful for it. It will take time and sacrafice. When it is all said and done millions of muslims in iraq and afganistan will have freedom and be much better off, and because of that it is a worthy cause!
"The invasion of Iraq was done rightfully so."
Funny last I heard it was illegal according to International Law. Guess your a better researcher then the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith...
Or maybe "Rightfully so" now means Illegal.
Get your facts straight before you criticize others.
If only the Soviet Union had thought up this term back in the cold war... they could have "liberated" so many poor capitalist countries and brought them around to their "freedom" under communist rule. We would have been powerless to stop them since everyone thinks "regime change" is such a good thing!
Wake up people, fancy words don't change whats being done. You can dress things up anyway you like but the fact remains that a country has been invaded and our values (Western Capitalism and Deomocracy) are now being forced onto people in said country.
Think about this from a different perspective... what if China decided that the US would be better off as a communist state. They then invade and crush the American Military, then happily begin reeducating the American population about the wonders of communism.
I guess the bottom line is that "Regime Change" is good when its not happening to you.
Because deep down, aren't these Iraqi soldiers just like animals?
We associate our life style with cheap energy, dependable electricity, clean water, a standard of living higher than the rest of most countries.
If any one of those items were missing in my city of Dallas , Texas we would express extreme reactions. Even know with all of those things and a 'free' society we have very violent crime. Only the most gruesome make the news.
Pardon my rant. To sum up we are not the only ones to decide what is good for another country. The military is a very poor option and only delays real progress. It will take at least as long as as most past historical re-construction efforts (50 years+). Armed soldiers can easily form resentment among those they occupy and are not a valid substitue for policemen.
Publicly admitting mistakes may be a political stength, rather than making exucses for invading Iraq for WMD's, violating a UN section of a rule, removing their government,imposing our version of government, 'saving' them , or what ever political dribble comes from one who chose not to experience conflict reminiscent to Iraq.
Yeah, and tens of thousands have been "freed" from their bodies in the process, and hundreds of thousands can now think for themselves how horrible life is in the absence of their loved ones. Instead of an overlord who largely preyed on political opponents and separatists, they now have an overlord who largely preys on anything that moves in a land where electricty and clean water are now scarce commodities. Things are so much better now. Oh, thank you, America! Thank you so bloody much!
On this point - please put yourselves in the shoes of the poor iraqi people that deal with this on an every day basis. They say goodbye to their loved ones sending them out to earn a living so they can live and survive and each day they face death. Not by choice, but by force. Since we don't see English speaking people getting hurt, that doesn't mean these people are any less human than we are.
While we are living in our comfortable homes and are afforded a comfortable life, the iraqi's don't have this. As a result, this creates more hatred between the muslims and non-muslims. Therefore, this may result in more attacks in more cities all around the world.
Please be aware that for each person's life being lost in an arab country, there is a new family that becomes a martyr's family there and what we are doing will cause further harm to ourselves. The reprecautions we will see in decades to come.
From a muslim woman that lived through war...
I disagree that there's a definable line between "us" and "them".
I think the root of this entire problem is the systematic despiritualization of Western society. I'm not saying we all have to be christian or muslim, but that we'd lessen the risk of alienating people who disagree with uber-capitalism (that western society has seemingly transformed into) if we placed some limits on the capitalism in our society. Historically these limits were based on religious beliefs and now I fear the "progressives" (your words, not mine) have stripped society of these limits. I don't necessarily disagree personally with, for example, the platform of the NDP. However I do see that imposing it on a population that hasn't naturally evolved to that point will cause many people stress, often more people than will be benefitted by the changes.
A good recent example I think is the Gay Marriage Bill by the Canadian government. Polls clearly show that ~ 40% to 50% of Canadians feel at odds with this policy. You or I might be on the other side of that statistic because we're aware that gays love just like we do and have existed throughout history, aren't paedophiles, etc. etc. , but the fact is that 40% of the population will be alientated by this change. We benefit 2%-10% of the population that is gay, at the cost of 40% of Canadians becoming alienated. Maybe if the government had waited a few more years the general public view would have changed in its own time and that alientation wouldn't exist.
It's not just Coke, McDonald's, and Shell that's offending people, it's our whole neo-capitalist society in which spirituality is shoved aside for the diversion of watching some hot chick sell us a burger on television or conditioning us to want an ipod.
I'm a centrist, I think in order for peace to exist you have got to consider everyone, not just those that are sure they're right, neo-conservative, or neo-liberal. I don't think any solution exists wherein everybody agrees to anything, everything's a comprimise.
The American arguments about Iraqis being kept warm by the warm blanket of freedom whilst being constantly bombed really worries me as I live in Vancouver, and having someone that ignorant with access to guns & ammo just a few miles from me is scary. I hope to god they don't get the idea to come & liberate me & my family.
what's worse, after the attack, muslims are reportedly being attacked; as far as being murdered. these hate crimes is especially serious for muslim women, as women are more visible as muslims in the public eye because we wear the head scarves.
so please, as a muslim, i'm telling you, i don't know anything about the terrorists. i hope people can see that, muslims are as much affected. if we're on the same bus to be hit, we'll be bombed as well. & the worse part is, we're more likely to might be accused as the perpetrator, the suicide bomber itself. because it fits the alqaeda image. true?
i do hope people will understand our situation.
as for the iraqis etc, i pray for them peace & safety. May God Help them, amen.
These facts about home-grown terrorism, by the way, debunk the Right’s knee-jerk association of terrorism with immigration policy. Terrorism arises from the way that some Western governments treat some of their own people, and the way they act in the world at large. It has nothing to do with immigration policy.
I would more readily believe that they were more affected by the juxtaposition of Muslim suffering there against the relatively trivial and meaningless lives in the western world (that shows clear support for & turns a blind eye to Israel) than he was by the consiracy theories of the US & UK invading Iraq. Wasn't it a British plan to create the state of Israel there in the first place?
I don't think the effect of neo-liberal & neo-capitalist policies can be discounted as it moulds our perception in Western cultures so that we have difficulty seeing things from the perspective of these people who have been raised in a society whose laws are based in religious faith. It's bad enough going there with western liberal ideas that they find offensive, but then imposing them with violence? We've truly made our own bed when it comes to terrorism. It makes me wonder if the only way to solve the problem is to give them a pile of money or resources and let the Islamic countries deal with it themselves, then leave them alone unless absolutlely necessary. However that's not an option until they run out of oil is it?
With regard to immigration, I don't get it either. My views are definitley to the right of yours but believe me I have no idea where these arguments come from, and frankly I haven't heard any lately, but to me it stinks of racism.
I think it is very important to keep perspective here. I personally have very big problems when taking an oppinion to the Iraq conflict. Blood always run during wars. Also during liberation wars, etc. This does not however give USA carte blanche to start a revolution everywhere they feel like, or profit from. I would undoubtly be a strong supporter of an uprising against Saddam started by rebelis from Iraq. It might even be acceptable for the world to intervene the Saddam opposition requested aid in their fight for freedom...
On the other hand, we are rid of Saddam now anyway...
I think this boils down to the question: Does the end justify the means?(assuming the end is democracy and peace)
The great point is unfortunately that we are not worth the same, in practice... do anyone care about all children dying of hunger each day, for example? Almost no one... That´s why we have to get some sort of perspective to what´s going on in the world. Of course it is terrible with a suicide attack in the middle of Europe, ok, I agree on that, but it is nevertheless unacceptable that we aren´t doing anything to stop the war that is the main cause of the attack...
The only thing we can do is write articles, try to create conscience about this...
Thats odd. I assume you enjoy freedoms here in America. But yet, you agree with international laws? International laws are a violation of our freedoms and rights. The UN no longer protects individual nations. Its simply attempting to establish a globalist nation and we're one of its pawns.
Attempting to refuse a nation from helping another (as the UN was supposed to be doing) is an immoral act and a violation of what America stands for. You say get my facts straight. I say open your eyes and see the truth.
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