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Preemptive play: Will the wolf survive?

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
February 13, 2003


"There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience." — French proverb

Last week while watching Colin Powell do his thing in front of the United Nations Security Council, I felt the people of Baghdad needed to know not all Americans are out for blood and oil. But since I have no access to the Iraqi media and do not speak Kurdi or Arabic, in any of its six forms, I figured my usual observation would suffice.

It has been so beautiful here in Leucadia, one could easily forget we are a world at war. Unseasonably warm, the false spring only adds to sense of foreboding, as if this were the beginning of a Twilight Zone episode. Outside my window all I see is a peaceful Southern California morning, blue skies and humming birds. Turn on the television, and all you can do is watch the world as it unravels. It's weird.

I do not support either regime involved in the Iraq-U.S. conflict. Saddam Hussein is a thug with absolutely no ethically redeeming character. Yes, he is a cruel aggressor, petty tyrant, and despoiler of the environment. That was why the U.S recruited him to help wage war on Iran twenty years ago. Saddam is just a pawn folks. Dutifully playing his part, for a worldwide television audience.

Although the American media is quick to cast Saddam as the arch villain in need of vanquishing, it failed to point out the Bush Administration has made it quite clear that they, and they alone, are calling the shots. ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, you name it and all of the paragons of journalism fail to find fault with corporate criminals waging war in the name of the U.S. citizens.

Western interests want control of Iraqi oil, plain and simple. Israel is a done deal, the Saudis and the family running Kuwait are already on board, and so with Afghanistan in ruin, only Iraq stands in the way of American dominance in the Middle East. In the clear light of hindsight, September 11th has become an excuse to advance corporate control over what lies beneath Al Basrah. Got oil? Iraq does.

This is a war about oil and corporate imperialism. Mr. Powell can whine about Iraq being in violation of United Nations regulations all he wants, but the truth remains America has been in violation of the same regulation for more than a decade. Yet I don't hear Spain or Turkey calling for the bombing of the Washington D.C. Who now doubts American soldiers will be in Baghdad until the oil runs out.

I guess might does make right.

By adopting a policy of preemption nothing will be allowed to stand in the way of corporate interests. Not historical facts. Remember, the Reagan Administration made it possible for Saddam to get his hands on weapons of mass destruction. Not the truth. Remember Dick Cheney's Office of Strategic Influence? And certainly not world opinion, remember George's " Either you're with us or you're against us" speech?

The Bush Doctrine, otherwise known as "the National Security Strategy of the United States of America" allows for an American President to respond to a perceived threat, real, imagined, or expertly arranged, in way he, or his inner circle, sees fit. By eradicating threats before they are able to manifest, is not only a policy of paranoia, it is also equates with painting a bulls-eye on the back of every American. Which is hardly what we signed up for when we elected Al Gore President.

If I could write a letter to the people of Iraq, it would be to say I'm sorry. Just as they have little or no control over Saddam Hussein, we the American people have no control over George W. Bush. I didn't vote for him. Most of my friends didn't vote for him. And most telling, the majority of Californians didn't vote for him. George W. Bush doesn't care about Californians any more than Saddam Hussein cares about the Kurds in Northern Iraq or the Madan of the Southern marshes. I would also apologize for the "bombs bursting in air."

I would also tell the people of Iraq, like them the American people would love to live in peace, free to live a life that's free of violence. And how we too seek a place sufficient for raising a family, in health, to a comfortable old age. I doubt my olive branch would do much good. Once the dust settles, the hatred for Americans will be so ingrained, the only thing to do will be to sit back, and wait for the backlash.

At least the weather is nice.

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