File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 77


Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 15:42:37 +1000
Subject: Molly, who called GWB  "shrub", favors Peace


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--Boundary_(ID_VHIP1i2/8v/bm2UzWO7I4w)

Small Favors by Molly Ivins

Quel Crétin!
So far, it's not shaping up as a glorious year. We really are heading in the wrong direction here, with damn few people pointing it out with any clarity. The justification for war against Iraq was obscure to begin with--Saddam Hussein may be an evil son of a bitch, but he never had no truck with Al Qaeda--and now looks absolutely ludicrous given the situation in North Korea, a country run by a really evil son of a bitch who does have weapons of mass destruction and is threatening to use them. So of course we're not even thinking about preemptive war there. You know what? We look like complete dipshits. I hate to mention it, but the rest of the world thinks we're out of our tiny minds.

Among other accomplishments of the Bush Administration, W. has taken the worldwide sympathy we had after September 11 and tossed it into the garbage. I was in France on September 11, when the headline in Le Monde said the next day, "We Are All Americans Now." Try French public opinion today, or anywhere else in Europe.

I don't know why the Bushies think we're entitled to start "preemptive wars" whenever we feel like it--with, mind you, no evidence of aggressive intent--but I guarantee you this one never got voted on by the American people. Bush's dotty hubris is such monumental folly it's hard to get a grip on it.

Look at the world. How many problems in it can be solved by bombs? AIDS, looming water shortages, global warming--that's what we have to deal with. Why this insane insistence on war? Why would anyone ever fight a war they didn't absolutely have to? As Mr. Churchill said, "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war."

And if you want to see a perfect example of how using bombs to solve terrorism doesn't work, you don't have to look hard. Israel has been pounding the shit out of the Palestinians for two years now: Notice how well that's working? Yep, sure has stopped those terrorist attacks in Israel, hasn't it? Why has it not occurred to the Israelis that sending tanks against kids throwing rocks is Real Bad Publicity--in fact, the very kind of thing that promotes terrorism? If you want to get public opinion on your side--which is the only way we'll ever track down Al Qaeda--this is not the way to do it.

The problem with criticizing Israel is that we've gotten to this sorry pass where pointing out the most stupid and repellent aspects of that country's policy is considered tantamount to endorsing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Well, screw that. Israelis themselves have terrific and ferocious political debates about what they're doing: We get at least as much leeway.

But we're not even having serious debates about our own policies. As Joan Didion points out in a brilliant essay in the January 16 issue of The New York Review of Books, there are suddenly a lot of things people think they can't say around here. Screw that, too. Nobody signed us up for perpetual preemptive war. We didn't vote for anybody who said he wanted a New American Empire.

The wisest thing I have read lately is a poem by Mary Oliver called "Wage Peace" in which she urges that we simultaneously--literally by breathing in and out--both have a life and do something. We do need to maximize our voices as citizens--and we have the power to do so. You all know the basic tools as well as I do--write, phone, fax, e-mail, march, sing, make up funny and poignant signs. This needs to be a peace movement far more positive than negative--not anti-Bush, but pro-peace. There are better ways. Let's make it clear that the people of this country want to find them.


--Boundary_(ID_VHIP1i2/8v/bm2UzWO7I4w)

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Small Favors by Molly Ivins

Quel Crétin!

So far, it's not shaping up as a glorious year. We really are heading in the wrong direction here, with damn few people pointing it out with any clarity. The justification for war against Iraq was obscure to begin with--Saddam Hussein may be an evil son of a bitch, but he never had no truck with Al Qaeda--and now looks absolutely ludicrous given the situation in North Korea, a country run by a really evil son of a bitch who does have weapons of mass destruction and is threatening to use them. So of course we're not even thinking about preemptive war there. You know what? We look like complete dipshits. I hate to mention it, but the rest of the world thinks we're out of our tiny minds.

Among other accomplishments of the Bush Administration, W. has taken the worldwide sympathy we had after September 11 and tossed it into the garbage. I was in France on September 11, when the headline in Le Monde said the next day, "We Are All Americans Now." Try French public opinion today, or anywhere else in Europe.

I don't know why the Bushies think we're entitled to start "preemptive wars" whenever we feel like it--with, mind you, no evidence of aggressive intent--but I guarantee you this one never got voted on by the American people. Bush's dotty hubris is such monumental folly it's hard to get a grip on it.

Look at the world. How many problems in it can be solved by bombs? AIDS, looming water shortages, global warming--that's what we have to deal with. Why this insane insistence on war? Why would anyone ever fight a war they didn't absolutely have to? As Mr. Churchill said, "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war."

And if you want to see a perfect example of how using bombs to solve terrorism doesn't work, you don't have to look hard. Israel has been pounding the shit out of the Palestinians for two years now: Notice how well that's working? Yep, sure has stopped those terrorist attacks in Israel, hasn't it? Why has it not occurred to the Israelis that sending tanks against kids throwing rocks is Real Bad Publicity--in fact, the very kind of thing that promotes terrorism? If you want to get public opinion on your side--which is the only way we'll ever track down Al Qaeda--this is not the way to do it.

The problem with criticizing Israel is that we've gotten to this sorry pass where pointing out the most stupid and repellent aspects of that country's policy is considered tantamount to endorsing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Well, screw that. Israelis themselves have terrific and ferocious political debates about what they're doing: We get at least as much leeway.

But we're not even having serious debates about our own policies. As Joan Didion points out in a brilliant essay in the January 16 issue of The New York Review of Books, there are suddenly a lot of things people think they can't say around here. Screw that, too. Nobody signed us up for perpetual preemptive war. We didn't vote for anybody who said he wanted a New American Empire.

The wisest thing I have read lately is a poem by Mary Oliver called "Wage Peace" in which she urges that we simultaneously--literally by breathing in and out--both have a life and do something. We do need to maximize our voices as citizens--and we have the power to do so. You all know the basic tools as well as I do--write, phone, fax, e-mail, march, sing, make up funny and poignant signs. This needs to be a peace movement far more positive than negative--not anti-Bush, but pro-peace. There are better ways. Let's make it clear that the people of this country want to find them.

 
--Boundary_(ID_VHIP1i2/8v/bm2UzWO7I4w)--

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