Will someone remind me
why we went to
I still regularly wake up thinking about the war with
Iraq and feeling sick in my stomach.
It's been a new experience for me and for all of us in
Australia. Never before have we launched an attack on a nation that hasn't
declared war on us first. Never before has an Australian Prime Minister
committed the country to a course of action so diametrically opposed to
the will of the majority. Never before have I had to live with the feeling
of having blood on my hands. I find all of this quite hard to live with.
Personally I don't know what has been more sickening - the way in which
the politicians have tried to sell the war, or the way in which the media
have packaged it. In both cases they seem to be taking us for fools.
Wasn't it an American president who said 'you can fool all of the
people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you
can't make fools of all of us forever' (something like that)? Surely
these tactics must eventually backfire.
I'll restrain myself from carrying on with a general rant here, as such
rants on the war are a dime a dozen at the moment. I will though make one
specific observation that arises out of my friendship with Morde
Morde, as you'll remember, has been imprisoned in Israel since
September 1986 when he spilled the beans on Israel's nuclear armament
stockpile. Morde spent the first eleven and a half years of his
eighteen-year sentence in solitary confinement, all because he made public
something that should never have been kept secret - Israel's massive
stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Morde was due for parole this year, but amazingly enough this seems to
have been completely overlooked by the authorities. The reasoning behind
this apparent glitch in the judicial process is obvious enough. It is a
very inexpedient time to be drawing attention to the fact that Israel has
more weapons of mass destruction than all the rest of the Middle East put
This is where the moralistic rhetoric of the pro-war politicians really
sticks in my gullet. Those who have been preaching so passionately about
the need to rid the Middle East of these abominable weapons are fully
aware of what is going on in neighbouring Israel and are happily turning a
blind eye to it. It does fill me with shame to have been part of the team
that waged war on the basis of this sort of hypocrisy.
So where do we go from here? This is the question we are all facing
now. Personally I cannot see any way forward. As far as forming a new Iraq
goes, it seems to me that the Americans have two choices. Either they
install a pro-American puppet or they allow the people of Iraq to install
a leader of their own choice. If they sincerely do the latter they will
surely get another Islamic fundamentalist anti-American government. If
they install a puppet, the people of Iraq will hate the new government and
anti-American sentiment will continue to grow and fester throughout the
Muslim world. It appears to be a no-win situation. Am I missing
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