Rhetoric alone is not reason enough for war | PostIndependent.com

Rhetoric alone is not reason enough for war

Dear Editor,

Re: Scott McInnis’ “My Side” column, Sept. 12, 2002:

Yes, enough has been written and said about Saddam Hussein that you can call him a cancer. He has waged war (with our backing) in his area and murdered dissenters in his own inner circle. He shores up his internal support by pumping the lives of his army and people with propaganda and maintaining a high level of fear in his accomplices. Not entirely different than the statements you and the administration are making about Saddam’s development of weapons of mass destruction. You must believe it yourself. However, there’s an assumption you place on us: that your saying it is so makes it so. Where’s the beef, congressman? The intelligence? The whole world is asking that question.

In Britain, opponents of war “feel it is a war about oil and they are unconvinced of the arguments that there is a credible threat from Iraq.” (Jerry Corbyn). Labor Party politicians, trade unions, religious leaders and members of Tony Blair’s cabinet have said they had not seen enough evidence to support a war. In a recent pole, 51 percent of the British public thought the American president a threat to world peace, coming in third after Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. (The above example is from ABC news.)

“Unique opportunity” you call this war on Saddam? I believe “blind opportunism” is the operative qualifier with an oil pipeline through Kurdish Iraq a much-preferred route for newly discovered Central Asian oil than one through Afghanistan. And with no clue of the instability a war will cause to the world or how long it will take, if ever, to repair the damages. Knee-jerk planning is better than none though I suppose.

The war on drugs that we engage in eliminated some highly placed powerful drug lords in Colombia, as a cure for drug trafficking problems. Only to leave in their wake a fractious group of even more violent, malignant war lords and did nothing to change the flow of drugs into this country. Assuming an Iraqi war takes place, how will the intellect of American political leadership deal with Iraq in chaos after curing the world of Saddam? Shrug and say “oops,” like in Colombia? Aside from rousting the Taliban, have we settled political issues in Afghanistan in one year?

I like Ralph Nader’s statement when asked how he would deal with 9/11. He replied that if he were president it would not have happened because he would have required the FAA to mandate a secure pilot’s compartment in all airliners. That’s called prevention instead of cure (at which point something has progressed into a traumatic situation).

Clear and present danger? Wasn’t that the name of some movie? Where is the proof? Rhetoric alone is not reason enough to go to war. That is an assumption that you saying it is so makes it so. “Diplomacy with Iraq has failed.” Why should they negotiate? Why do we have the Fifth Amendment? Negotiate instead with the rest of the world. Truly cut off his power sources. No one is going to make bombs out of food and medicine, let that in. Arms, money, strategic material, keep that out. In the body, all systems work together to support, feed and nurture cancers – to use your analogy – as much as supporting the rest of the body. Iraq still has trading partners for support, so.? The Nazis were extremely dependent upon Swiss bankers financing their tyranny it has been discovered. With out the Swiss, World War II in Europe may have ended in bankruptcy court (so to speak). Put in and keep in place an effective immune system – effective, mutually beneficial international policies – and prevent political cancers in the first place.

Revisit history and realize that the wrong action leads down the wrong road, not inaction. Appeasement was the action taken for Nazi aggression. To insure their own security, self-important leaders of observing countries were willing to accept forceful annexation by the Nazis of territory in adjoining, maybe less-important countries. Germany itself left to its own devices after WWI was in the midst of tremendous struggle with inflation and collapse. Prime feeding ground in which lunatic leadership will grow. The Japanese were envious of Western colonialism and started an expansion movement of their own. If we must blame, who is to blame for that? Is some form of capitalistic colonization going on now? Then there were invasions, deaths, and a spreading menace to call a clear and present danger, not just an “I said so.” History also shows that rebuilding these two countries generated good friends. Go negotiate. On every front. Just don’t give away the store. Negotiate as long as you have breath. Political hot air may eventually bring something good rather than the loss of breath of those fighting or fleeing another war.

The task you assume is to keep all Americans safe and secure, keeping food readily available, the TV on, and gasoline flowing so we can all do it “our way.” Result: TV is numbing our minds, we develop cancer more than any other nation or culture (from food – agricultural manipulation methods perhaps?) and we are destroying our planet with emissions from fossil fuels, not to mention local landscapes. But things roll on. It’s so nice to keep our heads in a dark, warm place. Being awake carries so much responsibility and call to action that heading up becomes commonplace. The ultimate addiction. Other than the current addiction to foreign oil.

I have a challenge for you. There is a Department of Energy report from their own study that says 100 square miles, that is ten by ten miles, of solar panels placed in the Nevada desert would produce all the electrical needs for the entire United States. PUT IT INTO OPERATION! There is even some land between Grand Junction and Delta that gets a lot of sun. Put Colorado in the forefront of cleaner living standards with a renewable source of energy. Use our resources to promote the growth and development of a peaceful world rather than enriching and empowering a few people and places that have oil to sell. I know the President owes a lot to big oil/energy business, which financed his eventual strangely won election, but that’s his and Dick’s problem. Don’t let it become more of ours. You are our representative currently. Letting history judge you for action, going to war, will likely earn you no statue. Helping develop renewable energy sources at home and negotiating for peace in the world just may.


James Belling

Glenwood Springs

P.S. By the way. Why haven’t you been howling at the White House about the fact that our own government, the GSA, had to sue Dick Cheney for information relating to the current energy policy to see just how much of it was written by and for the benefit big business?

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