Letters on US war against Iraq
28 February 2003
Below we post a selection of letters on the US war preparations against Iraq.
Thanks for mentioning the possibility of trial for US or British officials for the crime of waging aggressive war, should they attack Iraq without UN sanction. This was in today’s valuable article on the mendacity of the New York Times as it joins the media chorus baying for war [See “The New York Times’ brief for war against Iraq”]
I know many comrades have well-justified doubts as to the efficacy of bourgeois law or institutions in dealing with such criminals. But who can dispute that for many centuries, even in these institutions there has been an historical current toward holding even the King to the law.
Let us not throw away any stick we may have at hand to beat these dogs, the dogs of war.
Thanks for all your hard work.
25 February 2003* * *
I could not agree more with your perceptive analysis of the hypocrisy of the New York Times. We are living in increasing Orwellian times. Prime Minister Tony Blair has called the proposed second UN Resolution, which is going to be a vaguely worded excuse for slaughter, part of a “push for peace”. The sanctimonious Mr. Blair has the further impudence to set out the “moral” case for war, which even establishment religious leaders cannot stomach. War will be the wrong word for the one-sided slaughter that is about to befall humanity. And as for morality, a man who accepts money from pornographers and dresses up brutal conflicts as “humanitarian interventions” does not know the meaning of the word. The war to come, as the World Socialist Web Site has correctly maintained, calls our whole economic and political system into question. Thank you for your commitment to truth, a commodity rare in these times.
25 February 2003* * *
Thank you for this article. I forwarded it to my friends. I recently cancelled my subscription to the New York Times, because I am disgusted by their pro-war articles. Bush will go to war against Iraq. It has been decided long ago. He makes me sick when he says that war is the last option. Thanks to the US president, I believe that we are on the eve of World War III. We will be lucky if the SOB doesn’t cause a global nuclear holocaust. In 1985 there were already enough nuclear warheads between powers to blow up the whole planet. I am afraid to think about how many are there now.... Unfortunately, Bush ignores the ones who wish for peace; he will go on with his sick plans no matter how many protests and marches around the globe. He is a very mentally disturbed individual and should not be in this position. Rather, he should be in a psychiatric hospital; this is where he belongs. God bless you for having the courage to say things as they really are. Most of the media are not to be trusted because they mislead people. Thank you for enlightening the public on this subject.
25 February 2003* * *
Although I agree with everything that WSWS has to say about the insubstantiality of the so-called case against Iraq, I would take the objection further. I suggest that the right of a sovereign state to self-defense, which is explicit in the UN Charter, makes any resolution demanding the disarmament of Iraq or any other state a nullity.
A web of treaty obligations exists to limit development and use of the ABC weapons commonly and partially mistakenly called weapons of mass destruction. But the United Nations is not the enforcer of these treaties. States abide by them out of self-interest. The UN has no authority to strip a sovereign state of its means of defending itself, and that is what the 17 resolutions and the recent demands for destruction of the al-Samoud missiles amount to.
I agree that the United Nations could become irrelevant, but not through resisting the Bush cabal’s reach for empire. The UN would become irrelevant if it licensed a war against a member state. More than irrelevant, it would be remembered as thoroughly dishonorable if the licensing agency, like a corrupt court house body in some rural American backwater, were bought and paid for.
My conservative and libertarian acquaintances have no truck with the UN and never have. They would not be sorry to see it destroyed by the rage of the Bush cabal. But I recall its founding and the naive hopes we had for this effort to stop the scourge of war, and I would be sad if the UN were to vanish. But the world keeps on turning, and the days of the American Imperium are, I believe, numbered. Whether as a result of a massing of other states against it or as a consequence of something more profound and more popular I cannot say. But I see the signs of decay and I sense a great restiveness in my country, the United States—portents of transcendent change.
27 February 2003* * *
Keeping in mind the usual strictures against trying to find parallels between contemporary and historical events, it occurred to me some time ago that the spirit of appeasement lives today in those political persons who would deliver Iraq into the hands of the US War Party. In the one instance Czechoslovakia is made responsible for its own fate when Europe’s most powerful countries—after Germany—let the bully have his way. In the present case national leaders call for more time for inspections, but sternly warn Iraq that it must disarm.
I had thought that a purpose of inspections—not necessarily “the” purpose—was to ascertain whether or not arms existed. Evidently it is not. And now that inspections have failed to produce anything that could explode, asphyxiate, or infect an invading army, not to speak of the people of a country 6,000 miles distant, the issue has become missiles which may or may not be able to deliver a load of conventional explosives 20 or 30 miles farther than a Security Council resolution says is permissible.
Thus we come to the memory of the Sudetenland: well fortified, studded with munitions and the workshops to make more. Czechoslovakia’s main hope of defending itself against Germany is taken away. And today Hans Blix is telling the Iraqis that they must divest themselves of a defensive weapon that might slow the American rush to Baghdad. Am I right? Is the spirit of Munich alive?
24 February 2003* * *
On NBC this evening I saw that the FBI has issued another terror alert. This one says to watch for “individuals acting alone with or without the sanctions of terrorist groups, no other information was available.”
I thought I was watching “Saturday Night Live.” Do these people think we are all imbeciles like they are? I guess the reason they have gotten as far as they have is that many of us are imbeciles or just don’t care.
This quote from Bush last Thursday is a classic violation of logic, not to mention the obvious underlying untruth that we are being forced into war by Iraq: “If war is forced upon us, we will liberate the people of Iraq from a cruel and violent dictator”—George W. Bush.
I would amend the quote this way: If war is forced upon us by the current heartless sociopaths who illegally run our country, we will liberate the United States from these corrupt, vile, cruel and violent thugs by any peaceful means possible.
I will certainly do all in my power to facilitate a regime change in this country ASAP, and to make sure that these kind of seedy men never come to power in this country again.
23 February 2003* * *
Very well constructed and thought-out article. It deserves wide circulation. Things appear down to the wire, with war a seeming certainty, but since the size of contemporary military power, the doctrine of preemptive strikes anywhere, and the reaction of people worldwide are new forces on the world scene, popular protest should not be written off just yet. While agreeing with everything you say, the Bushies cannot be expected to give any hint to the extent of their dismay of German intransigence or worldwide protest.
26 February 2003* * *
The indicators of a conflagration between the nations of the world are ominously palpable. Your incisive analyses from a Marxist perspective only confirm the point. However, it is not only the maneuvers of the ruling tycoons that are so nakedly evident of the forthcoming imperialist war.
Academe, an agency of the capitalist state, has presented its version of the imminent reality, inviting students to the prospect of unprovoked aggression with the concept of saving pennies. Such is revealed in the electronic letter “Refund Policy for Military Activated Via Presidential Order” (see below) from the Office of the Registrar at East Carolina University, a state institution in North Carolina, USA.
In the reprehensibly ironic words of Shakespeare’s Falstaff, “‘Faith, for their poverty, / I know not where they had / that; and for their bareness, I am sure they never / learned that of me.” Our working class students, who account for the greatest constituency of the armed forces, become “such pitiful rascals,” though it is quite clear they are good for two things: they are good enough to get shot, and they are good enough to fill a grave.
While I attempt to discuss and distribute your materials amongst friends, colleagues, and professors, usually with the anxiety of jeopardizing my postgraduate prospects, it is my earnest hope that the WSWS addresses the issue herein, the very strange, unsettling marriage between academe and imperialism. Please make the message known to your readership, to the youth, and to the workers of the world.
26 February 2003* * *
The following is the text of “Refund Policy for Military Activated Via Presidential Order” as submitted by our reader:
Given the current world events, the potential for mobilization of some of our students may be unavoidable. The withdrawal and refund procedures listed below apply to any student that is called up for active military duty in any of the following branches of uniformed services:
* Armed Forces and the Reserve Components (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army and Air National Guard)
* Any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or national emergency.
In cases where students are involuntarily recalled to military services in response to President Bush’s executive order authorizing the call-up of reservists, and when those students are thereby prevented from receiving credit for the courses in which they are enrolled, it is the policy of the institution that such students are to be issued a full refund of tuition and required fees paid by the student for that semester. Any housing or dining charges associated with the activation of a student will be refunded based on the pro-rated portion of unused funds.
If you should be called to serve your country as noted above, please contact one of these offices. Staff will assist you through the process.
University Cashier* * *
I am a 40-year-old male with two girls and three boys. You know it’s a shame to be raised up in a world where there’s nothing but fighting. My eight-year-old son asked me the other day what our president was really fighting for. The only thing I could tell him was that this man got in office by being a sneaky businessman and that this whole thing we’re going through is over something greedy that his daddy started many years ago. They don’t care as long as the Bushes don’t have to pay for it. This man and his cabinet are taking what they need to support Bush’s business.
26 February 2003* * *
I think the US government wants to attack Iraq because of oil, so there is no justice. Also, suppose Iraq has got chemical weapons, the US already has got them, so who is going to investigate US chemical weapons?
Well, I want to say that war isn’t the only answer. There are a lot of ways to solve the problems. The US government is so wrong.
That is my opinion, so thanks for reading my email.
26 February 2003