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Itching for a Fight

 

I’m not really big on fighting. Even as a kid, the only person I ever fought with was my brother who was barely eleven months younger than me. Even then, those matches were forgotten within a quarter-hour after they had ended. They stopped completely when we reached puberty and realized that we might actually injure each other permanently. Those battles always took place within the confines of our parents home. Once we were out in the street, we protected each other. I was the one with the mouth and ability talk our way out of any looming quarrel and he was the one who could kick anybodys ass if my words failed. Still, we never went looking for a fight. Most kids in the part of town we roamed were our friends. We left the others alone and they did the same. I wonder why the US cant do the same.

If it wasn’t apparent before, it certainly is now. The United States government is itching for a fight. In the past few days, Washington has expressed anger at the pace of UN weapons inspections in Iraq, stated that it doesn’t matter whether or not the inspectors find anything because it will go to war anyhow, and most recently, is, to quote the New York Times, reacting “positively” to the news that inspectors seem to have found 11 clean and empty warheads that may be capable of delivering chemical weapons. Note, they did not find chemical weapons or their precursors, they merely found some warheads that could be used to deliver such materials. It is unclear if these materials were overlooked during the series of inspections in the 1990s, if Iraq merely forgot about them, or if they were constructed since then. Either way, initial reactions from the warmakers in Washington seem to indicate that this could be enough of an excuse to attack the people and land of Iraq. This is what the Times means by reacting “positively”–Washington has an excuse to kill.

This type of reaction is overkill. Even if these warheads are of new construction, the most obvious answer to the problem they present for those intent on denying Iraq any access to weapons of mass destruction is to destroy the warheads, not the entire country. Of course, it’s clear to most of the world’s people by now that the true intent of the war makers is to regain unfettered access to the oil (and the profits it would create) underneath Iraq’s surface. Many of these people are also wondering why the U.S. is so concerned about other countrys WMD when it is the US that has the most and sells the most. It is quite obvious that the search for Iraqi WMD is merely a pretext that is perceived to be salable to those of us who don’t like war. By those of us, I mean most of the humans on the planet.

Protests are occurring (or may have occurred by the time you read this) in Washington, San Francisco, and hundreds of other places around the world this weekend. These protests have a simple demand: No war on Iraq ad and an end to the sanctions against the Iraqi people. I hope the protests are incredibly large and loud. I also hope that the men and women hiding in their palaces in London and Washington, DC (or Crawford, Texas), heed the call of the people in their streets. It would be nice to see a hint of sanity emanating from behind those palatial walls. Of course, I don’t expect my hopes to go anywhere. The people in charge of this country have continually shown their distaste for democracy. This has been even clearer ever since the current bunch in DC usurped the electoral process in November 2000. As time moves forward, their distaste for the remnants of the democratic process that do remain in our fair country has turned to blatant disrespect and an outright attack on that process.

I don’t want a war in Iraq or anywhere else, not to destroy their ability to make weapons, not for oil, not for global hegemony, not to cure Dubyas psychological problems regarding his daddys approval, not to contain an evil axis, and certainly not to make the masters of war wealthier than they already are.

RON JACOBS lives in Burlington, VT. He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu

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Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

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