The War By Eduardo Galeano Just think. In the middle of last year, when this war was still only gestating, George W. Bush stated that 'we have to be ready to attack in any obscure corner of the world'; ergo, Iraq is an obscure corner of the world. Does Bush believe that civilization began in Texas and his fellow Texans invented writing? Has he really never heard of the library of Niniveh, the tower of Babel or the hanging gardens of Babylon? Has he really never heard even one of the tales in the thousand and one nights of Baghdad?
* * * Who elected him president of this planet anyway? I was never asked to vote in any such elections. Were you? Would we elect a president who was deaf to the population? Would we elect a man incapable of hearing any but the echoes of his own voice? A man deaf to the ceaseless thunder of millions of voices in the streets declaring peace on war? He has not even heeded a word of friendly advice from the German writer Günter Grass. Realising that Bush felt driven to demonstrate something very important to his daddy, Grass suggested that he see a psychoanalyst rather than bombing Iraq. * * * In 1898, president William McKinley declared that God had commanded him to seize the Philippines in order to civilize and christianize their inhabitants. McKinley said that he had spoken with God at midnight as he roamed the corridors of the White House. Over a century later, president Bush assures us that God is on his side in the conquest of Iraq. What time was it and where was he, we wonder, when he got the divine message? We might also ask why the messages to Bush and to the Pope at Rome were so contradictory. * * * War has been declared in the name of the international community, which is sick of wars. And as per usual, war has been declared in the name of peace. It's not about oil, they say. And yet, if Iraq produced radishes rather than oil, would anyone seriously suggest invading? Have Bush, Dick Cheney and sweet Condoleeza Rice really all given up their top jobs in the oil industry? Why is Tony Blair so obsessed with the Iraqi dictator? Could it be because 30 years ago Saddam Hussein nationalized the British Iraq Petroleum Company? And how many oil wells is José María Aznar expecting to get when the spoils are divvied up? The oil-drunk consumer society is deathly afraid of withdrawal symptoms. And Iraq is where the black elixir is cheapest, and possibly most plentiful. In a peace demonstration in New York, one placard read: "Why is our oil beneath their sands?". * * * The United States says it expects a lengthy military occupation following its victory. US generals will be in charge of setting up democracy in Iraq. Will this be a democracy like in Haiti, the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua? They occupied Haiti for 19 years and set up a military power base that eventually became the dictatorship of Francois Duvalier. They occupied the Dominican Republic for nine years and laid the foundations for the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. They occupied Nicaragua for 21 years and founded the dictatorship of the Somoza family. * * * --------------------------------------------------------------------- -- PHP Database Mailing List (http://www.php.net/) To unsubscribe, visit: http://www.php.net/unsub.php