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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

War In Our Time But Not In Our Name

I support our troops not having to carry out orders from Commander in Chief George Bush and then having to live the rest of their lives wondering why they obeyed such a barbaric buffoon rather than resisting his illegitimate, immoral authority ... And for the same reason, I support the Pope and the Dalai Lama going to Iraq in the place of our troops, as human shields and also to aid those Iraqis who have already suffered under our sanctions and bombs as well as under the violence of Hussein who was, of course, previously the recipient of U.S. military aid and even U.S. guidance in his horrible undertakings
- Michael Albert.

Anthony McIntyre • March 20, 2003

Iraq has just been bombed. What Michael Albert has called an assault on tenth rate troops is commencing. Their usefulness alone as the guarantors of a new post-Saddam regime may save them. If not they will be incinerated like their colleagues on the Basra Highway last time Uncle Sam came their way. With luck they will refuse to fight for the thug who happens to be their supreme commander. With more luck they will refuse to swear allegiance to the new Saddam - a thug without a moustache - and police the new state in the interests of the West and its profiteers.

Those hopeful of a more benign outcome should consider Nick Cohen's observation that Colin Powell at the State Department wants to replace Saddam with a more compliant dictator and is seemingly backed by Blair on this. 'Ever since Britain created Iraq in the 1920s, the Foreign Office has wanted a kind of apartheid rule by a monarch or dictator from the Arab Sunni minority.'

Coming at it from a different angle Slavoj Zizek dismisses as nonsense the wishful thinking that conceives of a repetition of 'Japan in 1945' by democratising Iraq, which shall then serve as a model for the entire Arab world, heralding the end of the regime corruption which is seemingly so endemic to the region. He poses the following question: 'what about Saudi Arabia where it is in the vital US interest that the country does not turn into democracy?'

Earlier today schoolchildren marched through Belfast to express their opposition to the war. Good natured but determined, their smiling demeanour is hardly being replicated on the faces of Iraqi schoolchildren who were absent from school today for vastly different reasons. Then Caoimhe Butterly appeared on television to tell us that we in Ireland should have no part of it. And she is right. If only our political class had one fibre of her integrity. Hard to imagine her dancing like a prize poodle for Bomber Bill or any other American president. Brian Feeney had elsewhere pointed out that 'St Patrick's Day in the USA came early this year to accommodate George Dubya's plans to begin redesigning the Middle East'. Our political class couldn't care less. Our ridiculous pantomime the limit of their global view, they stampeded over each other to make the Shamrock party and give the warmonger a good send off. 'The luck of the Irish be with you Georgie Boy - Love, Bertie, Brian, Mark, Gerry and Martin - and Davy too.'

The US have tried the quick kill approach and get rid of the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein through pre-emptive assassination. Meanwhile, having escaped unscathed Saddam has appeared on TV to talk the type of nonsense we thought only our politicians talked. He urges people to use the sword and promises that the invaders will be repelled. Guff, the lot of it. Just as it was last time around. Threatening that the enemies of the Iraqi people will go to hell but forgetting to mention that he will be well up that queue. And if the devil is as intellectually challenged as the US president, Saddam may find himself greeted with a 'welcome George Hussein.'

War on Iraq but no war on poverty or inequality; nor on the genocidists leading the Israeli government. Hound Saddam and play host to Kissinger. Demand to sit in judgement of others in the Hague but refuse to join the International Criminal Court and then contemplate legislation permitting you to storm the Hague and free any of your own suspected war criminals being held there. I don't really know what this war about. The interpretations and spin are endless. But it is hardly about justice. And It shall be prosecuted with a ferocity matched only by the hypocrisy that drives it. We are, after all, reminded by John Le Carre who knows a thing or two about matters of intrigue that 'If Saddam didn't have the oil, he could torture his citizens to his hearts content. Other leaders do it every day.' He cited Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria and Egypt. None of those five were bombed today.

Rahul Mahajan has claimed that Bush's twin ultimata, to Iraq and to the United Nations, constituted the final and ultimate
declaration of the New World Order. 'It is a frontal assault on the concept of democracy worldwide.' What is the point of a United Nations or international law if the most powerful subvert it and use it only as a tool to legitimise their own ends?

Writing last year Richard Falk claimed that if the 'If the White House defiantly goes ahead with its war plans, the United States would find itself cast in the role of being a menace to world order, an enemy of humanity, as well as being guilty of Crimes Against the Peace in a Nuremberg sense.'

Ultimately, this is what stares humanity in the face. Few would care if every US bomb dropped only on the head of Saddam. But this is never the way of these things. Watching a frightened and injured Iraqi child in a hospital bed minutes ago underscores that the plight of Iraqi civilians will be crucial to how opposition to this war is conducted. Those of us opposed to it from the start should avoid the fatalism produced by despondency. There is an imperative to now build on what has already been achieved and work towards limiting the effects of a war we failed to stop.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
- Thomas J. Watson

Index: Current Articles

21 March 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


War In Our Time But Not In Our Name
Anthony McIntyre


Belfast Schools Against War
Davy Carlin


Not Your Father's Socialism

Kevin Donegan


Disturbing Secrets
Liam O Ruairc


17 March 2003

Death of an IRA Volunteer
Anthony McIntyre


Sinn Fein @ The Bush Party
John Meehan


Not In Our Name, Bertie and Gerry

Brendan Young


Republicans' Big Risk
Paul Fitzsimmons


The Good Friday Agreement? What About the St. Patrick's Day War?
Eamonn McCann


St. Patrick's Day Message
Jimmy Sands

Only Another Eleven Palestinians
Margaret Quinn




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