I’ve come down on the side of being against this looming war in Iraq. Which should be no surprise to me, since I was also against the war in Yugoslavia and intervention in Haiti. To me, these are all the same in principle, and I oppose them all equally in principle as an isolationist and noninterventionist. I wonder what it is about Iraq that brings out the violent protesters that wasn’t there with previous American conflicts abroad?
Is it the possibility that rich oil barons will get richer? I got news for you, what do you think happened after WW2? It brought us out of the Depression, making the remaining rich industrialists richer as a result. The cost? Oh, just about 300,000 American lives (not to mention the people killed by American soldiers), mostly from the lower classes. Yet WW2 is the darling of all those who favor military interventionism, the one everyone points to and says “now there was a justified war.” The potential war against Iraq isn’t a patch on WW2 in terms of potential loss of life and potential acquisition of wealth by the ultra rich.
At least some of the radical socialists held the same opinion of the war in Yugoslavia as they do of the war in Iraq. The opinion of this socialist organization…
…was that the war was being waged over – you guessed it – oil. Apparently that region has large untouched deposits of oil and natural gas. Think the boys over at Exxon Mobil would like to get their hands on some contracts to extract that oil and gas? I bet they would. But where was the public outrage and violent protest over that war, where were the the “No War for Oil” sign-toters, the mass organized protests?
As with just about every war ever fought, certain people are going to benefit (mostly the rich) and certain others are going to suffer (mostly lower classes dying on the battlefield.) So why only now do we get the radicals coming out of the woodwork? Why do we have right now, before a single shot has been fired or the first casualty hits the tally board, the level of protest that wasn’t around even in Vietnam until the death toll there had already hit tens of thousands?? If it’s just a matter of trying to stop it before it gets rolling, where was the similiar outraged protest against the NATO action in Yugoslavia, which was much more analogous to Vietnam, as both involved intervention in a messy civil war?
Perhaps this latest wave of protest isn’t all idealism and ideology. Perhaps in part it’s just a seething hatred for President Bush. See the signs those protesters were holding? See how many of them were specifically Bush-oriented? Plenty.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t some protesters who have a consistent approach in opposing war, and I’m sure they might have been the silent few who opposed Yugoslavia and all our prior wars of imperialist intervention. But a big portion of this new group of radical protesters aren’t being honest with themselves. This potential war in Iraq isn’t a lick different than all the other wars in our history that occured on foreign soil. Questionable motives are part of every war. The death of innocent civillians is part of every war. The rich getting richer is part of every war. Iraq is nothing new, nothing we haven’t seen before. So why is this war getting people so agitated, when it’s just more of the same?