Tuesday, October 22, 2002

A Short Note on Iraq

1) It's sad how Bush has frittered away the goodwill generated by the war against terror in his desire to get rid of the guy who daddy didn't get rid of. If this was really a war against terror and an attempt to strike against the network of terror, then the frontlines of the battle are not in Iraq, and in fact, not even in Iran, They are in saudi arabia and pakistan, the great american allies in this war, along with palestine (where of course, they really need to supporting israel blindly when there are issues and faults on both sides), and even states like Indonesia, East Timor, Somalia and Libya.

2) The absurdity and hypocrisy of a government that is about to wage war on Iraq for unproven proliferation in weapons of mass destruction is unbelievable when North Korea has admitted to a nuclear programme that American operatives themselves say was supported by Pakistan (since the Benazir Bhutto government in 1988) and China. Why not bomb Musharraf?

3) Speaking of whom, why is Saddam's referendum a sham, while Musharraf's referendum and elections (unequivocally panned by the EU) are allowed to pass by without comment?

4) Saddam is despotic, dictatorial and ruthless. Agreed. However, Iraq is probably the most tolerant and secular state in the Arab world today. There is very little religious fanaticism, no madrasas, and women dress as they choose to, are free to go out and work, to have and to express opinions. Despite Saddam's recent attempts to portray himself as a modern day Saladin (probably a desperate attempt to shore up arab support among its neighbours), Iraq has never had a history of persecution towards its
minorities, except after the gulf war, towards the Kurds. And even then the persecution that the Kurds suffered in the hands of Iraq is not a drop in the ocean compared to what they have suffered in the hands of Turkey). It's amazing that America is about to wage a war that is ostensibly a war against religious terrorism, by attacking the most tolerant, progressive and secular arab country in the world, a role model for american allies like Saudi Arabia that may be oil rich, but are primitive in their attitudes
towards women and towards individual freedom, who are the breeding ground for religious fundamentalism and intolerance. What bets on an Iran style Islamic Revolution in Saudi Arabia within 20 years?

5) To close on a good note, while we all feel that America's whole attitude and lone ranger in the wild west attitude is pissing off. It's good to see France, most of Europe, and a lot of the rest of the world, stand up against american hegemony. And although no one in India seems to give a shit about what i see as cataclysmic changes in the global geo-political environment, changes that directly affect a country that finds itself at the crossroads of religious tolerance and fundamentalism, it's reassuring that every nation isn't like ours, and that other peoples are not as apathetic as us.

Until next time...
The Blah

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