A war for Christmas

As we browse through catalogues and shop for gifts for friends and family for Christmas, Hans Blix and his team of UN Weapons Inspectors are browsing through factories, bunkers and palaces, shopping for Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction.

I find myself losing sleep over this whole Iraq thing, searching the newsstands and the Internet for alternative new stories, and periodically writing angry letters to those angry right-wing warhawk columnists from the National Post. I’m distressed that I can’t trust the mainstream media to provide an alternate voice, or to find the truth in all the rhetoric. I’m learning you can’t trust the big media conglomerates because they’re corporate and corporations are in favour of this war – cheaper oil, media, because it’s corporate, and corporations are in favour of this war – a conquered Iraq means cheaper oil, a boost for the economy, and a surge of advertising revenue as the public tunes in for the latest war stories, as reported by a general with political aspirations, and reporters who aren’t allowed anywhere near where the action is taking place.

Whatever the weapons inspectors find or the Iraqi’s admit, I don’t believe anything will turn the war machine around.

The U.S. is already actively discrediting the inspectors, inspections and Iraqi co-operation, and admit they have Saddam in a Catch-22 situation. If the Iraqi’s admit to illegal weapons programs, then they are acting in contravention of a UN resolution and the U.S. will attack. If Iraq does not admit to a weapons program, then the U.S. will claim they’re lying – based on intelligence documents that we’ll never be allowed to see or have verified – and attack.

It’s a frustrating situation.

It’s not that I don’t believe Saddam Hussein is evil, or that the world is better off without him. I just don’t believe that the forces that are assembling to remove him have the purest intentions either – George W. Bush is no humanitarian, he’s an oil man, like most of the warhawks in his inner circle.

Is Hussein linked to the terrorist group al Qaeda? Nobody has been able to prove that connection, and although the CIA has said there is no apparent connection, they have since changed their tune to a more moderate "maybe" under a director who is a political appointee. The only proof we have is the hearsay of Iraqi dissidents who would say anything to get Hussein out of power, and themselves set up in his place.

Yes, Iraq and al Qaeda are Middle Eastern and Muslim, but the similarities stop there. They are so completely and fundamentally at odds with one another socially, religiously and politically that its unlikely they would see eye to eye over anything.

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