MAP Member Opinion "Peace"  

War's incomprehensible insanity
Sook Holdridge

sent to the editor, Star Tribune, 1-27-03

The passions for war on Iraq, now equated as an extension of the war on terrorism, have become so twisted and gruesome it boggles the mind. The administration's "shock-awe" strategy announced on Dan Rather's January 23rd nightly news would drop 300 to 400 missiles on Iraq in the opening minutes of the war. "No person in Bagdad will be safe," say the strategists. The plan is to demonstrate such "shock and awe" that no Iraqi soldier will want to fight, bringing the war to an end as soon as it starts. The insanity of it is so incomprehensible, the mind would rather not deal with it. Rather than squaring with the truth of war - the many thousands who will die, the Tribune's headline the next day read, "War worries depress the Dow". That we can handle. What is happening to this nation that we would even contemplate inflicting such horror to disarm a country the rest of the world doubts is a real threat to anyone.

In our dialogue group of about 15, not one person was in support of the war on Iraq. The kinds of thoughts and feelings expressed in opposition to the Iraq war are not heard on mainstream television. It's obvious we're being spoon-fed only one side. A controlled media is very scary. If this were a democracy, all viewpoints would be heard. It's another case clearly demonstrating we have a vanishing democracy. The public is out of the loop; what people are saying makes no difference to those in power. And our so-called representatives in congress have abdicated absolute power to declare war over to this administration.

The administration won't admit it, but they actually want war. And the strategists know that to justify a war, the populace must feel the threat of attack; of great harm. We've done it before. To justify the Viet Nam war we were made to think the communist takeover of South Viet Nam was a step in spreading communism to the shores of America. Now we're told Iraq intends to attack the United States; so we must attack them first.

This war is in our national interest - our national "security" interest we are told. But the real motive of this administration is to control Iraq's oil resources. It's not about "protecting the American people" from terrorism. In fact, we'll be less safe, not more safe if we move into Iraq. Terrorism will proliferate more than it has now.

I would urge for our next dialogues the topic be our national and global interest. What do we the people think it is; not what the people wanting to transfer wealth and resources from around the world to the top wealth holders in this country say it is. In my opinion, one element of our national and global interest ought to be renewable energy; not other countries' depleting oil resources.

Sook Holdridge, Edina

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