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[casi] Analysis from the Phillippines

Moral blindness



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

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

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


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