Give peace a chance

November 15, 2002

Opinion

Bush’s Iraq stance is not groovy

by HEBAH AMIN

By definition, pacifism is, “opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes.” A pacifist, therefore, is someone who holds these ideals.
Yes, I’m a pacifist. Unfortunately, our blindly chauvinistic culture has deemed this a bad thing. It isn’t. It simply means that I have faith in other, nonviolent means of resolving conflict, methods that preferably won’t take (as many) innocent lives in the process.
The U.N. has threatened “serious consequences” if Saddam Hussein does not comply with inspections guidelines. Obviously, the consequences are so terrible that nobody can bring themselves to elaborate for the general public. This hard-lined stance leaves little room for compromise.
Needless to say, I am against launching a war on Iraq for several reasons. One of these reasons is that I think the government is acting on some shaky premises. First, the Al-Qaeda connection. Officials have blustered on about the link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. When pressed for details, they cannot offer anything firm to back their stance. A few questioning political experts have suggested that the link is nonexistent. In the post-September 11 atmosphere, however, Osama bin Laden acts as a master code for permission to go to war.
Except that this time, Bush isn’t getting the backing that he wants. Why? Maybe we’re ready to move out of victim mode. Maybe people are realizing that, hey, the rest of the world doesn’t hate us as much as Bush would like us to think. People are beginning to see through the demagoguery.
One method of eliciting an emotional, knee-jerk reaction is the mention of nuclear and biological weapons—weapons of mass destruction. People are afraid of devastation similar to that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and with good reason. Allow me to point out something most people are unaware of: the two countries with the most WMDs are the United States and Russia, neither of which has a squeaky clean record regarding the use of such facilities.

By definition, pacifism is, “opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes.” A pacifist, therefore, is someone who holds these ideals.
Yes, I’m a pacifist. Unfortunately, our blindly chauvinistic culture has deemed this a bad thing. It isn’t. It simply means that I have faith in other, nonviolent means of resolving conflict, methods that preferably won’t take (as many) innocent lives in the process.
The U.N. has threatened “serious consequences” if Saddam Hussein does not comply with inspections guidelines. Obviously, the consequences are so terrible that nobody can bring themselves to elaborate for the general public. This hard-lined stance leaves little room for compromise.
Needless to say, I am against launching a war on Iraq for several reasons. One of these reasons is that I think the government is acting on some shaky premises. First, the Al-Qaeda connection. Officials have blustered on about the link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. When pressed for details, they cannot offer anything firm to back their stance. A few questioning political experts have suggested that the link is nonexistent. In the post-September 11 atmosphere, however, Osama bin Laden acts as a master code for permission to go to war.
Except that this time, Bush isn’t getting the backing that he wants. Why? Maybe we’re ready to move out of victim mode. Maybe people are realizing that, hey, the rest of the world doesn’t hate us as much as Bush would like us to think. People are beginning to see through the demagoguery.
One method of eliciting an emotional, knee-jerk reaction is the mention of nuclear and biological weapons—weapons of mass destruction. People are afraid of devastation similar to that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and with good reason. Allow me to point out something most people are unaware of: the two countries with the most WMDs are the United States and Russia, neither of which has a squeaky clean record regarding the use of such facilities.

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