Are you comfortably numb?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back in black (and white)

I'm aware it's been a while since I've posted, but here's a short comment to herald my renewed presence on the world that is internet blogging. I have 3 essays due in for next Monday and another for the following Friday, so I won't be that eloquent this week either I'm afraid. Anyway, here you go.

So, another day, yet another messy revelation about Iraq. Whatever you thought about the war, no one can deny that its gruesome aftermath continues to dominate our front pages and that each cringe-worthy headline rips another hole in the case for bombing Iraq. Not only does this enforce my long-held opinion that going to war was utterly wrong, it also bolsters my growing belief that Dubya is suffering from a severe case of Empiricitis.

We may like to think that we are centuries away from a time when colonial powers trampled over continents in a quest for the biggest slice of the world pie, but such thinking is wishful to say the least. George Bush may hide behind a smokescreen of pretence and say that he genuinely wishes to spread the blessing that is democracy (although surely even he can see the irony in forcing democracy on a country through military action?), but the truth is that America is stomping all over the globe in order to fleece it – and she's doing it in the name of justice.

We have come to accept that America can call the shots because she is bigger and stronger than anyone else. Iraq is only one example of the US flexing her military muscles in order to get what she wants (needless to say, that would be oil). Since 1945, America has carried out 26 covert and overt military actions against other countries. One political article states, 'the United States dominates the world through its military power… their government garrisons the globe… a vast network of American military bases on every continent but Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire' ( The American Empire: Pax Americana or Pox Americana? John Foster & Robert McChesney).

Not only is this empire military, America has the rest of the world by the throat economically. Dominating the WTO, causing 3 countries to leave the G20, twisting the frail arm of the Africa group, refusing to comply with pacts such as the 1995 Uruguayan Trade Agreement, swearing blind that global warming is, well, made up – America can throw her toys out of the pram and no one can stop her.

The latest Iraq-related revelations evidence this further. Sir Christopher Meyer's memoirs may have caused a stir, but what did we expect? The news that Blair loves Bush is about as shocking as finding out George Best liked a drink. However, a US spokesman admitting a few days ago that the US knowingly and illegally used white phosphorous against Iraqi insurgents in 2004 is not only shocking but disgusting. Chemical weapons? Now that's ironic.

And then the topic of the moment: George Bush's desire to bomb the headquarters of al-Jazeera, now passed off as 'a joke' by White House officials. Given it's a joke, George, I'm not laughing much. For a man who supposedly believes in free speech you're charging an awful lot for it.

The liberalist in me is trying desperately to find an optimistic note to end this on, some light at the end of the tunnel. Sadly, I search in vain and must conclude that Queen America has won, at least until the next Empire steps up… China, anyone?


  • The news that Blair loves Bush is about as shocking as finding out George Best liked a drink... bit soon methinks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:56 pm  

  • Disagree. His death wasn't exactly shocking. And political correctness is overrated.

    Please don't post anonymously people, it's boring...

    By Blogger Bec, at 9:31 pm  

  • I dunno Bec, perhaps the fact that Iraqis are about to vote in an election counts for something. A pinhole in the tunnel perhaps?

    How exactly is spreading democracy through military conflict 'ironic'? Lets ask some Germans and Japanese about this dreaded irony. Or some Timorese. Or your mate Orwell and the lefties who fought in Spain (remember when the left used to be internationalist? you sound like a paeleo-con)
    Was letting Saddam, the Taliban etc stay in power 'ironic' too? That wasnt a particularly good way of spreading democracy either.

    White Phosphorus isnt illegal, certainly not in the sense the Americans used it. That story has been pretty comprehensively debunked by Scott Burgess, amongst others. Don't believe everything the Indie tells you..

    Oh and as for the Blair loves Bush!!11 stuff, go google Blair's 'Chicago speech' in 1999. Dubya was still an isolationist Governor of Texas at the time Tony was talking liberal interventionism. Who led who here again?

    Of course, to you that would only serve to make Blair worse, right? Rather a poodle than a true-believer. Oh well.

    btw you should read Terror and Liberalism, by Paul Berman (2004). One of the best politics/intellectual history books I've ever read, certainly one of the most influential on me.

    Apologies for arrogant tone, I was like you at your age (bless) =)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 pm  

  • Is that Will? I hope so otherwise I'll be annoyed, I don't mind you taking an arrogant tone with me, seeing as you can't help it... ;)

    Spreading democracy through military conflict is different to what happened in World War 2. If we had thought Germany was just going to keep itself to itself and that Hitler's assault on democracy was going to stop there, we wouldn't have gone to war. Do you honestly think we would have intervened if he hadn't invaded Poland? In this case however, George Bush's motives in terms of oil, bombing a country in order to rebuild it etc., far outweigh his moral sensitivity and desire to bring the oh-so-wonderful blessing of democracy to the rest of the world.

    You're right - it's not illegal to use white phosphorous in some cases, but they used it in an illegal way, and that was admitted to by a Washington SPOKESMAN. I'm sorry, but how much more evidence do you need? And for future reference I don't read the Independent...

    That book sounds good, will keep an eye out for it. By the way, I may well change my views and I appreciate you challenging me, but at the same time there are many people who are older and wiser than you and still disagree with you... don't assume age breeds consensus!

    By Blogger Bec, at 3:43 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home