Triumphalism is an ugly trait. Triumphalism, when there is nothing to be triumphal about, is a stupid ugly trait.
Thus, us anti-war types are faced with a barrage of ‘we told you so’ taunts. I am at a total loss as to the logic of this argument.
I never doubted for a second that America would win the war or that the Iraqis would be glad to be rid of Saddam.
The point that 100,000 marchers were trying to make was that one country cannot be allowed to attack another country simply because it wants to.
Make no mistake about this. The US decision to attack Iraq was taken by the leadership of the American Republican Party probably even before it took office.
September 11 empowered them to put the interests of the US before any pretence at international order.
This is bad news.
The next time I meet an old woman coming from the post office after signing for her pension I’m going to hit her over the head and relieve her of her cash. Then I will justify this course of action by saying that, after all, it was in my interest.
It will help if the old woman is a nasty old woman, one who refused to give the local kids back their ball from her garden. This will make me feel better and gain me support from the right. ‘Enterprising chap, that Gormley’, they will say.
See what I’m getting at?
I don’t give a damn about nation states. George Bush is as entitled to run Iraq as Saddam (which is – not at all). I believe that people should have sovereignty not territories.
But this was a war without principle. A war purely based on US short-term interests. And a war that may justify many other wars. There is at least a dozen countries that the US could attack if this precedent is accepted.
And remember. The bodies in Iraq have not yet been counted. The assault on the Iraqi soldiers was reminiscent of the guns against spears battles in Africa in the 1800’s.
This wasn’t a war – it was a massacre.
The UN – bad but better than nothing
THERE is not a whit of democracy in the way the UN goes about its business.
Of the five veto members of the Security Council, one (China) is a dictatorship and the other four represent about 600 million of the world’s other 5,000 million people.
The UN is based on nation states, regardless of whether or not these states are democratic. Until recent events, Saddam Hussein was able to cast the vote of the Iraqi people.
Other peoples who don’t have a nation-state (like the Kurds, the Basques, the Welsh) don’t have even a dictator’s vote.
It is, however, the only international system there is. And if it is going to be jettisoned then there should be a Plan B.
The US doesn’t care about a Plan B. Their plan is to bomb or blacklist anyone that gets in their way.
Our plan (lick ass) isn’t a bad one but we need some semblance of international law and order or, as they say, tiocfaidh ar lá too.