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Spies and Bribes -

Let there be Peace!




Susanne Sklar

Humanities Faculty, Shimar College, Waukegan, Illinois, USA

TFF Friend

September 27, 2002

Evil should not be tolerated. Acquiescing to mass destruction is wrong. Those who love America must speak out. If we the people of the United States bomb thousands of innocent people then we become guilty of the horrors we are trying to prevent. If we use creative intelligence and diplomatic channels to limit violence, if we hold fast to those Constitutional rights which our ancestors won with imagination and courage, if we act as an inspiring member of the community of nations, then we may have a marvelous future.

I do not understand why thousands of innocents should be slaughtered so that one tyrant may be removed. The goodness of one Kurdish grandmother is more precious than a thousand Husseins. Not one of my students should die! Should Charles or David or John die to satisfy George Bush's or Saddam Hussein's bellicosity?

Both George Bush and Saddam Hussein seem to have a craving for absolute power. I cannot understand how Congress has relinquished its responsibility and right to declare war. Have last year's terrorists succeeded in blasting the U.S. Constitution as well as our buildings? Why has the Legislative given to the Executive the right to initiate a "preventative war" which is really a war of aggression? This is not only unjust and immoral, it is unnecessary and stupid.

We created the enemies we're trying to destroy. Even naive poetry teachers like me know that U.S. tax dollars trained and funded Osama Bin-Laden and Saddam Hussein. You, dear reader, you know that America supported Hussein's invasion of Iran; you probably know that America supplied chemical and biological materials to Iraq during that war. Our unthinking bellicosity heightens the chances of our own deadly weapons being used against us!

Saddam Hussein doesn't have a big conventional army; he has no navy or air force. If attacked he will probably hurl every horrible thing he has at the United States or Israel. He might be very creative. Yet he doesn't seem to have a local Al-Qaeda branch. None of the 9/11 hijackers came from Iraq; most came from Saudi Arabia. The Taliban leaders escaped to Pakistan. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are supposedly America's allies?! I've been in dating situations that were as dumb as some of America's military liaisons but I knew to never get orgasmic with such incompatible characters.

You have to watch out for tricky characters. The 9/11 terrorists were as horrifically creative as they were fanatical. They had a horrifically clever plan. The best things about America have arisen because good people had clever plans. Are the American military and intelligence services entirely bereft of creative people with clever plans? Is that why organizations like Greenpeace can shut down the Nevada Nuclear Test Site for days at a time with less than forty people and only a few thousand dollars? Do our intelligence services know nothing about spying and bribing? Spies and bribes can be very effective, but they are less flashy than a war. Spies and bribes might be less profitable to the oil executives who support an attack on Iraq. Spies and bribes are also less immoral than killing innocent children and fathers and mothers; the people of Baghdad are HUMAN. They are human, just like you. They get hungry and cold and frightened. Right now little children in Baghdad are scared to death of Americans. They have reason to be. Is this what we want?

If we lived in a democracy we'd all be responsible for whatever damage our nation wreaks upon others. But we seem to be living in a "mediacracy." The mediacracy floods America with images of "the enemy." What if we were flooded with images of the people who live in Baghdad, who lived in Basra? What if we saw their eyes and knew their names, knew their birthdays, knew their mothers? Iraq holds the cradle of civilization. Writing was invented by Sumerian priestesses five thousand years ago living near what is now called Basra. They created poetry and irrigation, boating and hairdressing, music and architecture. What they made in peace shapes our world. If we make war we'll harm mostly ourselves. We cannot afford the sixty billion dollars this war will supposedly cost! Should we impoverish ourselves, materially and morally? Should we destroy our sense that all people, even those oppressed by faraway tyrants, are endowed with the right to life and the pursuit of happiness? If we act in vengeance and fear, destroying our liberties in the name of security, then the American dream will become a nightmare. Let us work with clever lovers of freedom and human happiness throughout the world to come up with a very clever plan. Imaginative intelligence can promote both freedom and security.


© TFF & the author 2002  


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