This may be the last day of peace for the United States for some
time if President Bush has his way.
This may be the last day of peace for the United States for some time if President Bush has his way.

For the past months, he has been trying to whip the nation into a frenzy of belligerence against Iraq, and especially its dictator, Saddam Hussein. Hussein, he maintains, is an evil man who has foisted his will upon his people and those of neighboring countries.

Most Americans agree with that assessment because we saw him invade Kuwait with no more reason than he wanted its oil and other resources, and we know of the carnage he has inflicted upon his own people and those of Iran.

Yet, we are Americans, and are not supposed to begin a pre-emptive war against any country unless it becomes extremely clear that it is preparing to attack us, or unless a threatened neighbor of it appeals for our help,

That was the case when Bush’s father as president authorized bombing and invasion of Iraq during the Desert Storm war of 1991. In its aftermath, Hussein was instructed to destroy its missiles. It is clear that Iraq has not kept that promise, and has started belated compliance only during the last month with threat of war imminent.

Most Americans are powerless to stop or even slow the wheels of destiny, but we have the right – even the duty – to protest any governmental policy that we believe unwise or perilous. That belief has brought out protestors all across America and in many countries friendly to us and our policies.

Bush also points out the terrorism wrought by Osama bin Laden and says that Hussein supports terrorism. That is also true, but it was not Hussein who engineered the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 upon the United States in which thousands of civilians were killed. We have not yet been able to capture or kill bin Laden, but Bush may reason that Hussein will make a good scapegoat.

Some of Bush’s own party is opposed to pursuing war, and America is divided by it. Many of his critics say that oil is the real reason he demands a war that he knows we will win. It appears he will not get the backing of the United Nations on declaring war, but he is prepared to strike without it.

In the meantime, suspicion and even hatred of everything Muslim has raged through America, with physical attacks reported on Muslims in four states, and threats against them in many more. It is reminiscent of the United States in the weeks following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when similar outrages were inflicted upon Japanese-Americans.

If we do indeed go to war, thousands of civilians as innocent as those who died on Sept. 11 may be bombed into oblivion.

Shakespeare saw it best when he had King Henry V going incognito among his troops to gauge their mood on the eve of Agincourt. One of the characters says, “… If his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out of us.” Another replies, “But if the cause be not good, the king hath a heavy reckoning to make.”

History will judge if Bush’s cause is good or wrong. At this time, we know only that it is dubious.

Previous articleFaux walls and a floor
Next articleStudent arrested for terrorist threats
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here