Skip to comments.Tell Saddam, not Bush, to stop this war
Posted on 03/16/2003 4:42:59 AM PST by MadIvan
IT'S not easy to watch a generation being torn apart by this war. But any foreign war like this, a war which involves unequivocal moral questions, becomes of necessity a civil war. We are all finding ourselves in disagreement with people whose opinions we largely respect.
Some of this generation are confused and wavering. If we were the first generation to grow up free of the shackles of civil war politics, now we have found our own civil war to divide us. This is our Vietnam. While it has politicised and galvanised us, it has created deep divisions that will last far longer than this war.
Writing about the last Vietnam in American Pastoral, which makes for telling reading right now, Philip Roth talks about how "history broke helter-skelter into the orderly household and left the place in a shambles. People think of history in the long term, but history, in fact, is a very sudden thing".
For a nation accustomed to history happening around us with the suddenness of an explosion, history has again burst into our lives with what Roth calls "predictable unforeseeness". It has torn apart a new generation in the way the North did a previous one.
The initial realigning of the country over the war has been rather confusing. The left has done itself incredible damage in the last few months. The Green party, which had looked for a while like a growth industry set to mop up votes from the otherwise disaffected, has lost all credibility among reasonable people, and Sinn Fein has become a laughing stock with its peacenik posturing. A significant number of people in this country have shown themselves to be anti-war, but they have been manipulated by socialist revolutionary elements with other, more sinister, agendas.
Here's a simple suggestion that could heal some of these wounds. This suggestion is not aimed at the likes of the Irish Anti-War Movement/the Socialist Workers Party who have shown themselves in the course of all this to be little more than thugs.
'If Saddam Hussein were to step down, there would be no war'
This suggestion is aimed more at moderate groups like PANA who seem genuinely to want to see an end to Saddam Hussein's reign of terror but who genuinely do not want a war.
These groups must know by now that there is little hope of stopping this war by putting pressure on the Irish Government or indeed the American Government. The Irish have no say in this and no vote on the UN Security Council. Due to the lack of a common European Defence Policy, something about which advocates of our neutrality are pleased, neither do we have any influence over Tony Blair. Nor is marching against the use of Shannon by American planes or making Bertie Ahern the bad guy important at this point. In fact, it is the worst kind of hand-washing.
The crowing of the supporters of Direct Action, who claim they have scared some airlines out of Shannon, is the worst kind of me feinism. What these people are effectively saying is that the important thing about this war is that we feel no guilt, that we take no side. They ignore the fact that washing our hands of this has no real effect; planes that would have flown through Ireland simply fly through Frankfurt instead. Apparently, that is not important so long as we can sleep easy at night, secure in the knowledge that there's no Iraqi blood on our hands.
Michael D Higgins's hysteria in the Dail last Wednesday was similarly selfish. Higgins screeched that he did not want this war fought in his name, as if his central concern was his reputation and his international good standing. He followed this up with more America bashing on the next day's Morning Ireland. Last week Michael D Higgins was more concerned with scoring points off Bertie Ahern and the US than he was about ending this war.
Because if Michael D and the peace movement at large are really interested in stopping this war and if they believe that Bush is determined to go to war as long as Saddam remains in situ and armed, then they must accept that there is only one way this war can be avoided.
George Bush and Tony Blair have said repeatedly over the past while that if Saddam Hussein were to step down, there would be no war. Tony Blair spelt out on Wednesday exactly what Saddam Hussein had to do to stop this war. And yet, astonishingly, we have had no marches in this country encouraging Saddam to step down, no impassioned speeches from Michael D encouraging Saddam to do so.
Saddam is now the only man who can realistically prevent this war, or end it if and when it goes ahead. Given this situation, it falls to anyone who is truly anti-war to march against Saddam and not George Bush. PANA and the NGO Peace Alliance should now do this. Not only would I participate in such a march, I would give of my time and energy in any way I could to support it. If the so-called Irish Anti-War Movement/Socialist Workers Party are truly against this war, they would organise such a demonstration too.
Let me tell you now that they won't. Though the IAWM had no qualms about marching against America and though it claims its members are against Saddam Hussein, I guarantee it won't march against Saddam, even though it is the only logical way to prevent this war. This failure on its part proves beyond a doubt that for the IAWM, this war was pure opportunism, an opportunity to march against America and to mobilise public opinion against what it sees as the great Satan.
The problem with the hard left throughout this has been the moral equivalence they have made between a democratic leader of a free country and a vicious dictator. Not only have they made a moral equivalence between George Bush and Saddam Hussein but they have, in fact, reserved most of their bile for Bush. Their typical strategy has been to say that, "Yes, but of course we're all against Saddam. But now that we've got that out of the way, let me tell you at length what a bastard George Bush is".
If moderate groups like PANA and the NGO Peace Alliance truly are not anti-American and truly are against war and against Saddam, then they should prove this now by marching against him. When the first bombs are dropped, they should not march on the American Embassy, as is planned, but should participate in a worldwide demonstration against the horrific regime of Saddam Hussein.
We know for a fact that Saddam Hussein has taken great solace in watching worldwide anti-American demonstrations. He has taken comfort in the fact that the peace movement worldwide has been fighting his battles for him, perhaps buying him time and dividing his enemies. The 100,000 Irish people who marched on February 15, people who are against tyranny and against war but not anti-American, would not want this. The people of Britain do not want to lose a principled leader over this division while Saddam gains strength from it.
The peace movement owes it to all these decent people to offer them a march that is against war and against Saddam. The vast majority of ordinary people would find then a march with which they could be in complete sympathy. It might also offer some much-needed healing in this country and it would serve to marginalise the sinister revolutionary elements who promote themselves as the Irish Anti-War Movement.
P.S. Saw y'all on FoxNews yesterday.
You know, this is an excellent point. What is never considered from the irrational mindset is Truth. It does not ever draw the connection between what is true and what is false, there is no line.
This is why truth will always prevail in the end because it defines the reality.
Since when does the "Buthcer of Baghdad" rate his first name in the titlew of this thread while the President of the United States only has his last name in the title?
How about this title wording?
"Tell Saddam, Not George,to stop this war"
Just a bit a levity to break the tension, this is not a serious question.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.