February 26, 2003

2/27 addendum:
my new favorite thing
a discussion I've spent more time on than this work that's due tomorrow (starts out dumb, gets better)

I just caught Bush's speech at the American Enterprise Institute. More on them.

What struck me quite forcibly is how the rhetoric has crept. We cried for disarmament. We pressed for inspections. But the clear objective, no longer veiled, is regime change and reshaping the entire Middle East in the name of peace and liberty. Mr. Bush never used the word "war." He called Saddam's Iraq an "outlaw state." He said that the U.N.'s failure to pass the US/British new resolution would render it an irrelevant institution, not committed to fighting terrorism and global peace.

Resolution 1441 is for disarmament. It's very clearly been a bait-and-switch. We do not want to disarm Iraq and then leave it alone. We want to depose, preferably kill, Saddam, try his henchment for war crimes, and install a U.S.-approved regime. The United Nations charter forbids assassination, unprovoked invasions, and forcible occupation and regime change. The Bush administration is telling the U.N. it now must support our illegal actions in order to have the power of its convictions as expressed in the resolution to disarm Iraq. This is positively Orwellian. There was very little in the spech that wasn't Orwellian. War in the name of peace. Occupation in the name of self-determination. Reshaping a region to better suit our political and economic ends in the name of liberty and national security. The concepts are so conflated that Bush didn't even bother to detail why Saddam IS an urgent threat. It's now taken as a given that our game plan depends on his removal. And the game is revealed as global. There was vaguue talk of his support of terrorism, something that the administration has been unable to prove. But by mentioning Sept. 11, threat, and weapons of mass destruction along with evil, despot, repression, and totalitarian, he basically threw everything into a big stew and hoped anger and vengeance would override close questioning of any proof.

All of this is unprecedented. No smoking gun, no aggression, no crimes, and yet a righteous call for war. The U.S. and U.N'.s own stated principles prohibit preemptive war. Reshaping the global landscape for our own ends no longer even hidden, yet not debated or decried. And, above all, the speech made clear that *no disarmament will satisfy us.* Our plan requires war, which requires Saddam to be evil, which makes a truism of his non-cooperation. *There is NOTHING that Saddam or the inspectors can say or do that will avert this war, because our objective is not disarmament but occupation.*

This gigantic a change in American foreign policy, this broad and expensive and costly in terms of the world's good will and human lives an initiative, this amount of peace-and-democracy warmongering wrapped in the flag and gee-whiz look at those big guns news specials...should call forth the most intense, forceful, and sustained debate from real leaders. And yet, by creeping rhetoric and inexorable actions while paying lip service to a U.N. process, the administration seems to have sandbagged the opposition, to have presented a fait accompli which allows only for debate on "restructuring" and "length of occupation." I am having trouble forgiving Democratic politicians and the news media for looking to their own small fortunes when the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

This is a few mens' war, in the guise of world will. How can this happen? Look at the mood, the economy, the anxiety and rising tensions. This is all down to a few men. How dare they fuck with our lives this way? How dare they lie and lie and lie and lie? How dare they sit in their corporate-special-interest ballroom they call a "think tank" and congratulate themselves IN PUBLIC on their plan to take over the world? And have a multi-flag backdrop and never ever ever talk of war or cost or death, but only of peace and freedom and the United States' vision and moral leadership?

For shame. Shame! Shame! Shame!

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