Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2003-03-20 Entry: "That Place With All The Oil"

We're about to start a war... and the apparent strategy is one of "shock and awe" which involves dropping as many bombs as the military can get their hands on. I'm not sure who they're planning to drop them on, especially as the Republican Guard are going to be dug-in in Baghdad awaiting a long drawn out siege, but they might be able to demoralize some of the troops out in desert, and they'll hopefully prevent the Turks, Kurds, and Iranians from mixing it up in the north.

The war appears to be based on a pack of lies. Dubya has managed to persuade the American public that Iraq is linked to September the 11th (which they aren't) and that they have or are extremely close to having nuclear weapons (which they haven't and aren't). Although, that'd be "nucular" weapons, which as far as I know, don't actually exist anyway.

Fozzie has stuck to his guns from the outset - amazing really when the majority of Brits are against a war (and even more are against without a UN resolution specifically authorising it). And then they had a debate in the House of Commons. First they lied about the French position (veto-ing anything, which wasn't what the French said), then the "official" opposition decided they quite liked the right-wing American plans and wanted to support war whatever happened. Finally, when the actual opposition tried to make a coherent argument against (Charles Kennedy), they were heckled so badly that I couldn't even follow what his argument was! I've no idea how he managed to get it out...

And of course, it wasn't a free vote - the majority of the payroll caved in and decided keeping their jobs was more important than finding a clean way out of this mess. And the amendment vote was lost - but not by much. It was the biggest rebellion ever, and they were only about twenty people from requiring Fozzie to rely on the Conservative party to pass his bill, which would have been more than a bit embarrassing.

So we've got no nuclear weapons, missiles that may barely go beyond the required range if you leave a warhead off them so they're light enough (and that were being destroyed by the inspectors... how's that for not working?!), and we can't find any credible evidence of all these chemical and biological weapons that they're supposed to have (although not according to at least one defector - one who's been heralded with the information that tells us what they did have... oh yes, and then destroyed in 1991). We've got the flimsiest of legal excuses to go to war... they invaded Kuwait, and then didn't do everything we asked them to for the ceasefire. Strangely though, there hasn't really been a ceasefire, considering the Americans and Brits have been bombing two thirds of the country with the no-fly-zones since then. No-one's yet managed to prove a breach of resolution 1441 (alright, there probably has been, but you can't invade on probable's and maybe's).

When you can't buy the United Nations, then you're really doing something wrong. Admittedly, the Americans did everything they possibly could to scupper diplomacy - changing the public reason for the war (when it's always been regime change), presenting flagrantly feeble evidence (either obvious falsehoods, major omissions, or plagiarised student reports from 10 years ago), getting caught bugging them, and not gagging Donald Rumsfeld six months ago. None of these helped matters, but it doesn't look like certain members of the American government actually wanted anything other than a war and subsequent occupation. I'm sorry, but if you can't get the United Nations to agree force, then you back off and let inspections continue until you've actually got proof.

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