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Tony Grist

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Out of my depth- but aren't we all? [Apr. 18th, 2004|09:57 am]
Tony Grist
The War on Terror. I hate that phrase. It's a no-brainer. Terror isn't an entity that can be fought; it's a strategy. A War on Terror is like a war on cavalry charges.

But worse than that, the phrase simplifies the extremely complicated mess we're in. I don't pretend to understand the mess, but then I don't think our leaders do either. Bush, Cheyney, Rumsfeld, Blair, Sharon, Arafat, Bin Laden- they all live in these closed off little enclaves of wishful thinking. They have simple minds. They want the world to conform to their simplicity. Bush wants the whole world to be Texas and Bin Laden wants it to be Afghanistan under the Taliban and Blair wants it to be Islington. Well, dudes, it just ain't gonna happen that way. The quality of these men shocks me. They aren't fit to rule. But who in the history of human affairs has ever been fit to rule? Scum rises to the top. When I try to think of a great leader- anytime, anywhere- who was also a great human being I all but draw a blank. I've got one name for you- Abraham Lincoln. And a second- Pericles. And a possible third- Elizabeth I. Otherwise- bleeagh!

War on Terror. No. It's a lot of little wars. The issues are local. Iraq has NOTHING to do with El Quaeda. But I can't help noticing that on the one hand you have a bunch of white guys with enormous weapons and on the other a bunch of brown guys with much smaller weapons. Two words spring to mind: racist and colonial.

I hate religious fundamentalism. But killing and killing and killing is not the way to douse it. What the U.S. did in Fallujah was a massacre, a war crime. If the occupying forces in Iraq ever held the moral high ground (which I doubt) they have lost it now.

Blair and Bush stand shoulder to shoulder and talk that sub-Churchillian rhetoric about good and evil and courage and perseverance and all that dulce et decorum shite and I cannot express just how disgusting I find it.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-04-18 07:01 am (UTC)
Fundamentally good? Maybe that's the problem: two well-meaning, self-righteous, intellectually incurious men.

I agree entirely about Bush Snr. He should have made that extra push and toppled Saddam at the end the first Gulf War.

But Fallujah? I think I understand what you're saying, but it's too harsh for me. I don't see a huge moral difference between targeting civilians and being careless of their lives in pursuit of military objectives. Either way the women and kids are just as dead.

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From: archyena
2004-04-18 07:34 am (UTC)
I don't think of it as careless, really. I think the portrayal of the American military's power and capabilities is fundamentally absurd. For all the smart weaponry in the world it remains a blunt instrument of force. The myth of "surgical strikes" sustains an apetite for military "zero-casualty" adventures in the US and a sense abroad that we are being careless when a civilian dies. It also sustains the idea that we don't need allies, etc. But with carelessness I liken it to doing surgery in the field in the 19th century. You could be as careful as you are capable to be but there will still be damage done by the nature of the tools in use. Why I think it is most important to set about creating a police power to systematically disarm the population, reverse the tendency in the Middle East to have a neighborhood arms war. That will accomplish much that other options won't, but I fear that window of opportunity was missed because of bungling on the part of Bush.
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