End Evil

War on Iraq

The war on Iraq cannot be justified. Iraq has suffered terrible hardships at the hands of the US and their allies. Over the last ten years, in association with the Americans, Britain has bombed the country on and off, for this or that perceived transgression, with impunity. Every time we bomb, despite the propaganda about 'smart' weapons (which is a contradiction in terms, like 'military intelligence'), we are bombing innocent people. The government claims to be accurate, they claim their intelligence is thoroughly unshakable, but they have never proved any of these things to my satisfaction.

Troops in Iraq

We've all seen the footage of severely wounded children lying in awful conditions in dirty hospital beds. It was estimated that the first Gulf War claimed the lives of 250,000 Iraqi's. Remind me again what was achieved by the first Gulf War? It's just that, and stop me if I'm wrong here, but we seem to be back in exactly the same position as we were before the war. Anyway 'war' is a misnomer, as Bill Hicks said, you need two sides for a war, this is just a one-sided slaughter fest.

Not content with the death and destruction caused by war, severe trade restrictions were also imposed upon Iraq. It was estimated that these imposed sanctions resulted in the death of over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5, half a million completely innocent children dead. Clinton's Secretary of State at the time, Madeleine Allbright, claimed that it was 'a price worth paying' to ensure that Western powers kept control of the country. The sanctions have apparently achieved nothing so you have to wonder what the hell this woman was talking about, what could be worth the lives of that many children?

These sanctions were supposedly put in place to stop Saddam from building up more weaponry. However the only reason he originally had high-tech weaponry, and the same reason that the US knew about it, is because they sold it to him in the first place. All this rhetoric about removing the dangerous dictator to protect the Iraqi people is shame-faced propaganda. Up until 1990 when he invaded oil-rich Kuwait, Saddam was an accepted leader, the US ignored his war on Iran and in fact in 1984, the year the US restored diplomatic relations with Iraq, Saddam was using chemical weapons on the Iranians.

Since the first Gulf War the United States and Britain have prevented Iraq from selling their oil on the open market and have periodically bombed what they said were military installations in Iraq. In spite of the "oil-for-food" plan initiated in 1996, the once prosperous and technologically sophisticated nation of Iraq has become a country where malnutrition, disease, and appalling living conditions are causing severe physiological and psychological damage to future generations. The extensive damage to the civilian infrastructure (electricity, water, and sanitation systems), has resulted in contaminated drinking water and increased exposure to infections that cannot be resisted due to malnutrition; devastation of the overall economy, has led to unemployment of more than 50 percent; family income has declined, with a consequent decline in both quality and quantity of diet. What threat does this country pose to us?

There is no doubt that Saddam is not a very nice guy and it would be better for the Iraqi people if he was not the President. However don't be fooled by the media machine, the US government is clearly not interested in the welfare of the Iraqi people. If the US was committed to removing evil regimes then they might have a bit of bother explaining their relationships to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Sudan. I would also argue that war always results in the death's of mostly innocent people and judging by the first Gulf War is not an effective way of removing a dictator.

A burning tank

Saudi Arabia has the largest known oil reserves in the world and it is the largest oil exporter. It is run by the Saudi royal family. There are no elections in Saudi Arabia and no political parties. The current king has been ailing for years. The governing royal family is known to be extremely corrupt. As a result the Saudi government, previously wealthy enough to pay for much of the 1991 war on Iraq, now runs at a deficit. Dissidents or protesters are either exiled (for instance, Osama Bin Laden) or executed. The U.S. is a firm ally of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the top customer for U.S. weapons. Since 1989, the U.S. government has delivered over $40.6 billion in foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia, and U.S. arms manufacturers exported an additional $500 million worth of arms to the Saudi regime during that same period. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is a cash-paying customer. It receives no U.S. military assistance to finance these purchases.

Ultimately this rush towards war led by the US is about funding the military, it is about stealing oil, it is about killing innocent people because they just won't lie down and let Uncle Sam stick it to them. I am incredulous about this panic reaction to terrorism, this pretence, assisted heavily by the media, that we are somehow in danger. How many British civilians have been murdered by Iraqi's? None. The government is allowed to tie together unrelated issues in order to create a smokescreen, there is no link between Al Q'aeda and Iraq, Islamic fundamentalists don't fit well with secular dictators.

The illusion that we are in danger is what allows the governments to rush off to war in our name. The only potential threat is terrorist attack and you are still more likely to be run over by a bus. I feel I must point out that terrorists for some people can be freedom fighters for others. What do you think would drive you to such extreme actions that you would lay down your life to make a point? I don't believe it is a decision taken lightly, these people have suffered and will often have a genuine, justifiable grievance. Imagine the situation, growing up in a poor war-torn country, watching your friends and family die around you, swept away by some distant and untouchable power. Many people around the world struggling for existence while hordes of fat Americans sit in Starbucks drinking coffee that cost more than the average weekly wage in their country. If western states are to enjoy this ludicrous lifestyle, this pampered existence of waste, then how can we have the barefaced cheek to deny those very same privileges to others?

Americans use a huge percentage of the world's resources, they have more than they need of just about everything and they will kill mercilessly to defend this position. The fact that they enjoy such enormous wealth and yet have such disparity in the distribution of that wealth says a lot about their society. It is a culture of greed, of stepping on those below you to elevate yourself and the situation in Iraq is an extension of that same principle.

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