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Thursday, March 27, 2003

A strong case for the war.

For long I resisted writing - I was afraid my frustration and irritation would have me spewing irrational thoughts. Thoughts that were conjured on ethics and idealism and less relevant to the world we live in; desperate cries from an urge for justice and fairness. All through I tried my best to rationalize. Maybe there was a bigger picture that I failed to see. Maybe I was, true to my nature, being stubborn with my point-of-view and being too judgmental on their point-of-view. Maybe the world would really benefit from this "war of liberation". Maybe this war is after all just and fair. A few days from now, we and the generations to come will be able to breathe more freely with the comforting knowledge that the nation with weapons of mass destruction has finally been subdued and a more responsible government is in place. The air, we will know, will not be polluted with the chemical or biological agents that had been amassed by the bastard regime. Citizens of a nation long subjected to living a life on the edge, will be able to live a life that the rest of us in the free world live. Agreed, it would cost a few thousand lives - but who has known peace without collateral damage?

Saddam is evil. His sons are the devil incarnate. With his evil forces, he has the potential to significantly affect the lives of millions of citizens of the free world. What more can you expect from a man termed "suicidal" by the expert American analysts. After all, he waged 2 wars in the course of a decade. One against Iran and another against Kuwait. So what if Iran was trying to sabotage his administration by inciting the Kurds against him. So what if they were trying to spread their flavor of the Islamic revolution through his nation. So what if Kuwait tried hard to pull down his economy by dropping oil prices and exceeding its intake of their shared oil resources. So what if he had US's clandestine tactical military support during his war with Iran. So what if the American administration had been informed of his plans for Kuwait by him and had shown their disinterest in the on-goings of the region. Every nation has its right to go back on its policies when it deems it necessary as did US when it reconsidered its position on the emerging Gulf crisis and realized that Saddam's invasion of Kuwait was unwarranted and illegal as per International protocols - a thought that it had overlooked when it gave him its sly nod. So what if his weaponry, including chemical and biological, were mostly funded and supplied by the American administration. Policies are meant to change with time. The global political scenario is extremely dynamic. And policies should quickly adapt to the fast changing scenarios. What finally emerged was that this "ally" could no longer be trusted. The weapons that the free world trusted him with were now very dangerous to leave in his cold-blooded hands. Here was a global menace that had to be dealt with and disabled immediately. 12 years of global sanctions, 12 years of continuous bombardment were not enough to soften his threat. He had to be taken out once and for all. American presence in the region would alone guarantee that the threat was not merely contained but entirely wiped out. Saddam and his clan of torturous villainous generals had to go.

It takes a nation of great stature and responsibility to rally together the forces to combat such an evil menace; a menace that threatened global peace. It takes a people of selfless ethics and global well-being at their top of their priorities to free the world. A nation with the power to stand up to what it proudly believes in. The one nation that has seen how such threats could manifest up close and personal. No other nation in the world has seen the kind of carnage that hatred can fuel more than the US. The September 11 tragedy was by far the worst act of terrorism in history. Agreed the sub-continent has been through years of violence - be it Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. But it was not to the scale that the Americans underwent. Neither has Ireland. Nor has the Koreas or Japan. Not Russia. Not Indonesia. Not Palestine or Israel. Not Panama or Nicaragua or Chile. Even when some of them did see large scales of death, it was most often, when they were collaborators with an evil regime that made them legitimate targets. This was definitely the case with Nagasaki and Hiroshima. As was with Vietnam. And Dresden. These may have been because of American policies gone wrong, but hey, those policies were meant for the well being of the respective regions. It was not expected to fail. That it did is of little consequence in the face of the intentions that went into making those policies.

When the US funded the Nicaraguan contras, it was meant to free them off an administration that didn't do them justice. So what if the US Congress forbade any support to the guerilla movement in Nicaragua. Some of the elite in the higher echelons of power saw it as their moral responsibility to provide whatever support they could through an illegal sale of arms to Iran and then diverting the sale proceeds to the Nicaraguan rebels. Sometimes, there is no moral high ground in the face of terror. To fight those violating the laws of the state, even if it is the state itself, we may have to resort to illegal means.

When the Americans strengthened Iraq’s arsenal through the Iran-Iraq war, it was meant to help them fight off Islamic fundamentalism from the heart of the Islamic revolution - even if it meant the usage of chemical or biological weapons to counter such insolent acts meant to fuel a nation's citizenry. A savage nation of fundamentalists deserved nothing better. If they were not contained, the world today would see fundamentalist zealots parading the streets and our womenfolk confined indoors. It is wiser to stop the fundamentalists with Mustard gas, Sarin and Tabun than to let their draconian laws guide our society.

Israel deserved to be well protected from the Islamic forces as well. A small nation created to accommodate a clan that had been dealt some of the cruelest blows by Nazi Germany needed all the protection and support to fend itself off from the uncivilized world around it. Even if it meant that its integrity had to be maintained through pre-emptive strikes and by gobbling up regions around it to help better fend itself. If nuclear weapons would enable it to deter the warmongering nations, so be it. It deserved nothing less. So what if the UN didn't see eye to eye on its many flagrant policies. The US would stand by Israel and help it face its woes pondering on paths to peace as it stood on occupied territory and a few thousand dead bodies.

When US placed its missiles in Turkey in 1958, it was merely to deter any ambitious plans that Khrushchev may have harbored against the US. But Khrushchev was way out of order when he decided to place some of his own missiles in Cuba in 1962. It was a direct threat and act of war against the US that violated all International laws and protocols. An embargo against Cuba was necessary. If not for the masterful American diplomacy, an irresponsible USSR would have triggered a nuclear war. So what if some American pilots threateningly over flew the missile positions in Cuba. That was not good enough reason for the Russian Generals to push the triggers on the missiles though they had the authority and approval from Moscow. Their exercising control in the face of a direct threat was a mere act of cowardice - fearful of the repercussions. What in reality warded off the nuclear war was American diplomacy. The Americans saved the day for humankind, as always.

When the US funded the fighters in Afghanistan, it was to ensure that the state of Afghanistan didn't come under the red boots. The Russians had caused enough grief to the Capitalist world as is. Invading Afghanistan was the last straw for the world. Their continued effort to dominate the world with their Communist ideologies had to be countered. And who better than the Mujahideen to counter them. So what if some of them were not an indigenous force and were mainly from the neighboring state of Pakistan. You did not have to be an Afghan to recognize the threat from the Commies. It is a different matter that some of these fighters metamorphosed into the Taliban.

"My enemy's enemy is my friend" policy was one of the preferred policies at that time. A time when precision weaponry and digital warfare were still part of fiction in Sci-Fi books. A time when serpentine clandestine policies would alone enable a "peace and worldly well-being" conscious America to appropriately set the tone for the world to comply with. Yes, sometimes policies gone wrong. Policies that cost a few thousand lives. Policies necessary as temporary measures while gadgets from the sci-fi world were brought to life. Gadgets that would no longer need consortiums to support and justify acts that have to be unilaterally taken based on the perspectives of the folks on the moral high ground.

All of the free world may not agree with the current scenario in Iraq. It could be because they lack the foresight to see the benefits in the not so distant future of such pre-emptive action. They may not agree because they lack the nerve to wage war or even participate in it. They may not agree because of the huge costs of war. They may not agree because of the lives they will have to throw at considerable risk. They may not agree because of their fear of looking bad in history. But in the end, with or without their participation, they will bask in the benefits of this pre-emptive war.

In the big picture, made so very crystal clear by our American friends, war is the price to pay for a better world - a world that we must leave for the generations yet to come - at the cost of a few generations of a nation ruled by an evil regime. Today, we need this war for a better tomorrow. Today, the world has to sacrifice a few thousand lives so the rest of us can live in liberty. And today, in this age of democracy and civil rights and liberty and freedom, whether we choose it or not, whether we want it or not, whether we like it or not, we have this war and the blood of a few thousand on our hands to ensure a peaceful tomorrow. Long live democracy. Long live peace. War today for peace tomorrow. In the name of peace, let us wash our hands with blood. And live on as hypocrites.


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