Let us demand that it be entrenched and absolute
so that no matter how wrong, or even mad,
our chosen leaders may reveal themselves to be,
the damage they are capable of inflicting
falls short of declaring war.
THIS ISN'T WAR, IT'S MURDER
(by political & industrial villains)
The latest diplomatic meeting in the Azores was followed, predictably, by further ultimatums from the U.S. president directed at the United Nations, and his decision to wage war on Iraq.
Though it is probably safe to say that 70 per cent, or more, of the world's population is radically opposed to war with Iraq, the inevitable has arrived.
It is not surprising. Bush is a man with no understanding of the word compromise. It is his way, or no way. But let us look at the meaning of that word war.
Society changes faster than its language. So, for example, "security" which used to mean the absence of the need for, or presence of, guards, police and dogs, now means its opposite.
War was originally used to describe the state where opposed groups of warriors, having exhausted diplomacy, lunged together mano-a-mano with a 50/50 chance of death attending every encounter.
There was true heroism attached to those acts and the high danger was a safeguard against frivolous combat. Technology has changed everything about that except the language.
Now war is used to describe devastating bombing by robotic killing devices such as cruise missiles (tested, by the way, in Canada, against this writer's protests), by smart weapons and by carpet bombing from 6,000 metres where a pilot, following a computer program, activates a drop trigger and unleashes a hideous holocaust of fire and devastation onto the ground below with absolutely no way of knowing whether or not that aiming program encompasses 1,000 schoolchildren, four Canadian peacekeepers or a bridge, military depot or whatever object was its ostensible target.
Even by the wildest imaginings or redefinitions of the spin-doctors these activities are not war. They are nothing less than murder by technological means.
The perpetrators -- those young men victimized by the state into becoming murderers, are not heroes or anything like them. They are amoral murderers. No more. No less. As amoral as the weapons they pilot.
What of the moral position? What moral template can we lay upon the intensely complicated international conspiracies of the protagonists except to say that, yes, Saddam Hussein is a man who has committed atrocious acts of murder.
And yes, he was aided and abetted in his acts by the British, the Russians, the French and the Americans who happily supplied him with poisons, gasses and guns.
And, if you are scrupulous about drawing in the complicated etiology of cause and blame, it will include most other Western powers and draw Israel into the limelight -- and its Washington supporters without whose support no U.S. president can come to power -- and its curious silence about this madness next door.
So, no good guys here. Just villains, political and industrial, and their inevitable victims -- civilian men, women and children.
What of the political position? If George Bush's "murderer's supermarket special" unleashes a technological killer-binge on a country cleansed of the possibility of defense by UN weapons inspectors, can Islam fail to regard the UN as the U.S. Judas goat leading Iraq to the slaughter?
Or, come to that, can anyone escape that conclusion or, at the kindest, that suspicion? And could the UN survive that accusation?
Let's leave speculation about post-action political stability -- and whether or not the Kurds, Turks, Shiites, Sunni and the Arab neighbours can all get into a furry, beneficient political entity wearing western democracy arm bands -- and get on with the business of dealing with western oil bargaining.
Further, if Islam sees this action as anti-Islam, and there is a high and already enunciated probability that it will, can America, "The Free," maintain its openness in a political atmosphere containing 1.2 billion alienated Islamists?
Or will it, like a scorpion ringed with fire, sting itself to death with a poison dart of alarmist paranoia, repression, state fascism, and, finally, civil insurrection? But here we are in the area of pure speculation, and anxiety can conjure up 1,000 demons. What can we learn?
Whatever the genesis, whatever the outcome, this thing we can agree on. Right or wrong George Bush has agitated the people of the world despite their utter disenfranchisement in the process.
The world's people, in their desire for peace is, to an overwhelming extent, frustrated by politicians and diplomats who have demonstrated their incapability of furthering the people's wishes in this decision -- and in the case of the British, Spanish and Portuguese have totally opposed the democratic majority's wishes -- about whether to invade Iraq or not.
That situation can, and must, be corrected at the earliest possibility by the peace-loving world population's demands that combat, warfare -- whatever it is called -- may only be initiated by referendum.
Let us make it the absolute necessity for our voting sanction that the next Canadian government shall amend our Constitution to banish forever such devious political protocols as those which, for example, under the Mulroney government, permitted Canada to be committed to the Gulf War while Parliament was prorogued, and transfer to the people the decisions of warfare.
And, let us demand that it be entrenched and absolute so that no matter how wrong, or even mad, our chosen leaders may reveal themselves to be, the damage they are capable of inflicting falls short of declaring war.
Let this be the sine qua non, the without-which-not, of the democratic mandate of our vote and hope to God we can come through the impending madness with as few deaths and maimings as possible.
No referendum permission: No fighting.
~ by Laurie Payne ~
email: Orwell Today