Ralph's essay on Iraq

AMERICA IS GOING TO WAR TO FOSTER DEMOCRACY, AND TO SAVE US ALL FROM A MADMAN POSSESSING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Weapons of mass destruction?
After four months the U.N inspectors have found no real evidence of them. Only some faked evidence that Nigeria was sending Iraq fissionable material; some plagiarized written material from a student in England, and some comical tapes of unidentified Iraqi soldiers attempting to move some unidentified materials before the inspectors arrived, offered by U.S. Sec. Colin Powell. As any "amateur rocket scientist" could attest, it would be impossible for any nation, particularly Iraq, to build deliverable atomic weapons without detection. On the contrary, we should, of course, realize that chemical and biological poisons could be produced in any small town in any country, at any time, anywhere in the world, without detection. Considering the level of worldwide animosity aroused by our preemptive war on Iraq, how many other places must we invade to insure our safety from chemical and biological weapons attacks? Or could it be that with our "terrorist attack" on Iraq that we are simply insuring the inevitability and proliferation of terrorist attacks upon ourselves?

Democracy?
Why don't we start at home? Less than half of Americans bother to vote in our elections. And perhaps, often with some reason! Plutocracy might best describe what passes for democracy in our country. Over ninety percent of the winners in our "elections" turn out to be the candidates that spent, or received the most money. The media generally considers the candidate's financial resources even before deciding to provide coverage. If we really cared much about true democracy, we might have avoided the abortive results of our last presidential election by choosing the kind of electoral reforms that could lead to democratic results rather than the usual plutocratic outcome. Why don't we have comprehensive public financing of elections, Instant Runoff Voting (second choice voting on ballots), Proportional Representation, an end to the "Electoral College", etc.? Apparently, to date, most Americans are too wrapped up in consumerism, and too morally bankrupt to stand up and fight for democracy at home. Yet ironically they're not beyond being sold a "bill of goods" to join a fight to provide it abroad!

Why Then The War?
It seems even more ironic that our administration would be posturing democracy as a reason for our incursion when the U.S. and the Western Powers have been obstructing it in the Arab countries for the past 80 years in order to obtain oil profits for themselves. Obviously if the people had their say a much greater share of the oil revenues would have been coming their way rather than to the ruling few and their Western collaborators. It's not simply accidental that there are no real democracies in any of the Arab nations today. Saddam Hussein was only the latest of a long line of Iraqi leaders installed by England and the U.S. only to be deposed or assassinated by B.I. or C.I.A. when they appeared to place their people's interests above those of their "benefactors" by calling for the reunification of Kuwait with Iraq. We aided, encouraged, and applauded Saddam when he brutally annihilated the Communists, Socialists, Unionists and all opposition in taking power. We helped supply him with the arms and technology, including poison gas, to help defeat the Iranians in the eighties, and subsequently congratulated him sending Donald Rumsfeld, and Sen. Simpson over to shake his hand and embrace him. Of course, our Administration now finds it expedient to excoriate Saddam as a mad man for the use of the very despicable methods of which we, ourselves, were supportive and compliant.

What's This Got To Do With Oil?
Both the President, and the Vice President are former oil executives. Our National Security Advisor, Condaleeza Rice, is a former Director of Chevron Oil. The Bush campaign received close to $2,000,000 in contributions from the oil industries in the 2,000 election. We must also consider the fact that U.S. oil interests have been to a great extent banned from Iraqi oil fields by Saddam since the end of the Gulf War, while such nations as France, Russia and China have received favorable treatment, and profits from Iraqi oil. Could it be only coincidental that these nations oppose the "regime change" that we so eagerly pursue at any cost?

Is It Only About Oil?
It was once said, "That if there was no God, man would invent one." I'm sure you know where this is going. If an economy were failing, would a politician seek a nice little war to restore his popularity?

What Might We Stand To Lose In This Reckless Gamble?
The greatest loss is perhaps the possible destruction of the United Nations as a force to resolve disputes and preserve peace in the future world. The law of the jungle will no longer suffice in the world of tomorrow. The cost of the war could be ruinous to our already declining economy. We desperately require the funds to support education, healthcare, and old age security to maintain any kind of decent society. When are we going to learn to value the lives of the innocents we destroy as much as our own. And, of course, how great will be the retaliation sought by the billion Muslims of the world?

Contacting Ralph Shroyer: