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Moral blindness BISHOP'S MOVE By TEODORO BACANI JR., DD Consider the pretext for attacking Iraq -- that it has weapons of mass destruction. But the US itself has more than enough of these weapons to blow up the whole world! Barring a major change of heart on the part of Bush and Blair or their enemy, Saddam Hussein, we may hear today of the beginning of a long-threatened war. The overwhelming majority of the world's people who have expressed their views on the matter do not want war. They believe it is wrong for the United States and the "coalition of the willing" to wage war against Iraq, although they have no sympathy for the tyrant Saddam Hussein. But both Bush and Blair are so sure that they are right in attacking Iraq if their ultimatum is not heeded. This to me is an example of moral blindness. Consider the claim of Bush that the United Nations has failed. After all of the debate in which the United States failed to convince the Security Council members to authorize military action against Iraq, Bush says it is not the US and its allies who have failed but the UN! Consider the astonishing claim of Blair in the House of Commons that had it not been for the French threat of a veto, the US and Britain would have won the vote in the UN Security Council for their second resolution. In fact, they did not submit that resolution to a vote anymore because it was sure to suffer a disastrous defeat anyway, and not simply because of a French veto but because of a likely majority of adverse votes. Consider the pretext for attacking Iraq -- that it has weapons of mass destruction. But North Korea has them too, and the United States has not threatened any attack against that country. And, worse, the US itself has more than enough of these weapons to blow up the whole world to kingdom come. The US and UK think that Saddam is an especially dangerous person, because he has used chemical weapons in the past against Iran and his own people. But the US is the only country that has so far used nuclear weapons. Iraq is perceived by the US to be a threat because of its alleged links with the dreaded al-Qaeda that is accused of launching the deadly attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Says Bush of the Iraq government: "It has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al-Qaeda." But none of the perpetrators are known to be Iraqis, and some have been verified to have come from Saudi Arabia, which has not even been declared an object of suspicion. Then there is the US justification of a preemptive strike, But Iraq is far from being on the verge of striking the United States. It is rather the US which is now on the verge of attacking Iraq. Using the US doctrine, Iraq would be justified in attacking the US and the UK if it had a real chance at all of forestalling an attack. Bush claims in his ultimatum speech that the US has taken all measures to avoid a war. Blair also says that the war to be waged is the last resort. But the majority of countries think otherwise. Nothing and no one can make the terrible twin B's see that they are wrong. Not the repeated pleas of Pope John Paul II, not the bishops of the US and the UK, not the theologians of these countries, not world opinion, and not the disagreement of key allies like France and Germany, as well as China and Russia. With chilling self-righteousness, Bush declares: "The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours." This is moral blindness at high noon. The world will do well to express opposition to this decision, which will harm especially the developing countries and bodes ill for the future of the UN and of civilization itself. Moral blindness is especially dangerous when it afflicts the powerful. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," said the English Lord Action. This corruption is now manifest in the moral blindness of these two powerful nations. It is true that Saddam Hussein is morally blind also and cannot be exonerated of blame. But that does not justify an immoral response on the part of the two proponents of war and their allies. It only makes the situation more dangerous. Blind leaders leading their countries to war against each other are like blind raging bulls in a china shop. After this war, it is not only Iraq which will have to be rebuilt. The US and the UK and their allies have to be morally rebuilt also. And most of all, the United Nations. What will now become of this world organization, whose task is to prevent war as far as possible, after this unauthorized aggression by two of its most prominent members and their allies? The terrorists succeeded in making the World Trade Center towers collapse. The US and the UK may do an even worse feat -- making the United Nations collapse. I hope and pray this is an exaggerated fear. Please send your comments or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org TEODORO BACANI JR., DD/TODAY _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk