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Tanbou Says No to the imperialist war plans against Iraq

Tanbou joins its voice with millions in the US and abroad to oppose the Bush administration’s contemplated war against Iraq. Of all the imperialist wars of the last three centuries, this one would be among the most unprovoked, the most cynically determined, and perhaps the most immoral, on a par with the US’s genocidal offensive against the Native Americans, and later against Vietnam; Napoléon Bonaparte’s invasion to reimpose slavery in Haiti; Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union; and Russia’s crushing of the Chechnyan national liberation aspirations.

Protestors in Paris demonstrating against George W. Bush.

Protesters in a demonstration against American war agitations on pont de Sully, February 15th, in Paris. —photo by David Henry

As much as we are exposed to the threats and possibilities of terrorist-caused mayhem, we nevertheless refuse to accept or internalize the ideology of fear that the current US administration wants to instill into our consciousness. The history of the Iraq war—if the currently contemplated war were to be declared—would be the history of a fabricated and exaggerated international threat to achieve geo-strategic goals through the use of overwhelming superior force. Essentially, the classic conception of might creating right for powerful imperialist states.

We join our voice with the hundreds of cities all around the US that vote resolutions or hold rallies denouncing the war plans, demanding that the resources that have been used to support the war efforts instead be utilized to alleviate existing human plagues like malnutrition, illiteracy, AIDS, homelessness, death-by-lack-of-proper-medical-coverage, etc.

We join our voice with Nelson Mandela when he condemns George Bush’s use of US power “to plunge the world into a holocaust.” Asks Mandela, as reported by The New York Times: “Why does the United States behave so arrogantly? Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction, but because it’s their ally they won’t ask the UN to get rid of it. They just want the [Iraqi] oil.” Yes, it’s indeed concerning when arrogance, greed, religious intolerance and mere possession of political and military power dictate international conduct in matters of war and peace. The doctrine of preemptive military aggression complete with unmatched military might in the context of US’s global economic dominance is indeed dangerous, to the point where many countries (France, Belgium, Germany, Russia, India, South Africa, Brazil, China, Argentina, Venezuela, among others) are now in the process of conceiving ways to form alliances to counterbalance the US’s overwhelming power.

If anything, the current war preparation by the Bush administration demonstrates the determination of the neo-conservatives—a fringe political ideology with tremendous influence within the Republican party now in power—to use all means necessary to impose its vision of life and for life, at whatever human costs.

In spite of the discourse of inevitability of war promoted by most US media, which portray Iraq as a menace against world security that ought to be eliminated (insinuating for example the untrue notion that Saddam Hussein’s regime is worse than any other one in the Middle East, or even the world), war can still be aborted, and if started, stopped. We who oppose the war must educate people about its illegitimacy, and the need to fight against its absurd premise: that the Iraq war is necessary for world peace. The usual US right wing’s epistemological ploy to confound everyone. We must always remember that this war preparation is supported by only two small groups: those who have a political, ideological and economic stake in its anticipated victory, and those who are misinformed or brainwashed as to its justification and necessity.

The warmonger camp is composed of a strategic partnership of three: Major oil company executives speculating on Middle East oil control, production and profits; right wing Christian Evangelists and their non-critical devotees who believe Islam is a greater danger than Communism or Judaism; and the pro-Israel lobby supported by pro-Israel American intellectuals in and outside of the administration. A small minority, in effect, opposed by virtually most of the US mainstream politicians in both parties. One may wonder how they have managed to get thus far…

Despite the US media’s portrayal of the world’s anti-war dissent as confined to the French and the Germans, the vast majority of countries and people all over the world are against a US war against Iraq. They find this war preparation totally uncalled for, and, to their consternation, revealing of the narrowness of the US administration’s imperialist outlook and vision of world politics. The US has bullied its way around the world capitals, forcing the pro-war consent of countries like Turkey composing Bush’s “coalition of the willing.” Given US power, many countries in the Security Council that now oppose the war may end up voting for a resolution supporting it. However, make no mistake, that would indicate not a change of heart as to the wisdom of the war, but simply, as Dominique de Villepin, France’s foreign minister says, “the victory of the right of the most powerful.” For war, as de Villepin has correctly added, “is always a defeat.”

The Bush administration’s bellicose fixation with Saddam Hussein, mixed with its goal of geo-strategic, consolidated control of the Middle East’s oil fields, will only bring disaster both inside and outside the US if it is not sobered by a more tempered, multilateralist appraisal of US’s real interests. A foreign policy based solely on military threat to everyone will most probably produce a reaction of mistrust and self-protective hostility from most countries. Seen in the context of Attorney General Ashcroft’s unrelenting attacks against civil liberties, one can only be afraid of the advancing fascism in the US.

We are against the war not only because of its immoral and destructive character, but equally for its appropriation of tremendous human resources, energies and emotions, and applying them to the uses of violence, hatred and destruction—at the expense of the fight for full housing, full employment, equal and qualitative education for everyone, universal medical coverage, and respect for human integrity and dignity.

We are against the war because we believe in life and peace; we are against the war because we believe it is possible to create a human community based on generosity and solidarity among nations.

We oppose the war because we believe that human relations mediated by empathy and mutual respect are best capable of providing and sustaining well-being than those mediated by religious fanaticism, imperialist arrogance and merely economic interests. We oppose the war because we want to affirm, support and celebrate life through practices and endeavors that directly benefit it. We oppose the war because we believe in a community joining together in laughter and also in mourning to achieve transcendence through the never-ending process of giving and caring in human existential adventures. We oppose the war because we believe in peace and justice.

—Tanbou February 10, 2003

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