March 19, 2003
Don't Mention the War
I often used to wonder how, in the 1930's, the German people managed to get on with their daily lives; how they could ignore the horrors going on all around them; how they did nothing while their government set the machinery of war and death in motion.
But here I am, playing a little music, playing some hockey, yawning and stretching in this lovely little spring thaw. Procrastinating, instead of making the slides for the talk I'm giving next week on Class::DBI. Just trying to get on with life, you know?
Meanwhile, the U.S. government is preparing to slaughter some 40,000-100,000 innocent civillians as part of a sickening revival of manifest destiny.
But I'm only one guy. What can I do? I get on with my life. I knit. I bake. I write sonatas. I suppose I should take comfort that the Canadian government has now officially opposed the war. Yay. Does it really matter at this point? Welcome to the century of the single-superpower.
The neocons in the U.S. government have been wanting to bomb the hell out of Iraq for years. They came to bomb Iraq, not disarm it. All this posturing with the U.N. was not about allowing the rest of the world to be involved in any decision making. It was about giving the rest of the world the chance to come along for the ride.
Check this article out.
It seems that well before the current Bush was in power, the hawks that now surround him (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, et al) were busy petitioning Bill Clinton to take steps to remove Saddam Hussein.
The group that they belong to is called Project for the New American Century. And well before September 11, 2001, this group lamented that the dream of regime change in Iraq would come about slowly unless there were "some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor." Jeepers.
So we've got a bunch of people in the White House who have a vision for the 21st century, and the power to carry it out. I'm really starting to miss the Cold War. Even George Bush Senior is telling his son to cool it.
The strange thing is that instead of talking about how outrageous it is to kill innocent people as part of this dangerous U.S. experiment in world domination, the Canadian media continually talks about how all this criticism of American foreign policy is really just part of a deep current of anti-Americanism in Canada.
And I'm not talking about that Canadian MP who slipped up and said in front of reporters that she hates those "damn Americans". Or about that aide who called G.W. Bush a "moron". No, I'm talking about articles like this one from the Globe this morning.
Somehow criticism of the war machine is due to an "entrenched resentment of American values and culture". Oh wow. We're with the terrorists now, lumped in with all those people who are motivated by a simple hatred of freedom and prosperity. Or wait a second - maybe he means we just resent Happy Meals and Fear Factor? Either way, this persistent effort to shift the public debate away from the war and over to anti-Americanism is simply irresponsible journalism.
Just now, Jack Layton was being interviewed on the CBC, and he was asked whether he thought that the NDP and other groups opposed to the war were being "too agressive" and "going too far in the direction of anti-Americanism".
Jack Layton rather calmly pointed out that there are millions of Americans who feel the same way about the Bush administration. Millions. This is not anti-Americanism.
But it's one of those lovely little Orwellian twists of language that being opposed to war is considered "aggressive".
I really get the feeling these days that it's just not polite to talk about the war.
So I floss. I mop. I play piano. The hockey playoffs started this past Sunday, and our team advanced to the second round after a real nail-biter of a first game (it was tied after overtime, and we won it in the shootout).
In short I just get on with my daily life. And learn a bit about history in the process.
Assuming that some day, all this madness will end and we'll eventually recover our governments and world back for our own...what will you tell your grand-children?Posted by michael at March 19, 2003 10:09 AM