Shock and Awe
And so it has begun, the cartoon caricatures
are locked in: the cowboy and the tyrant
his father created, locked in an endgame
that will trash more than the infrastructure
As we get our nightly fix of the war,
more like a video game if you can get
past the fact that people die when the
fireworks hit their target, an overwhelmingly
sense of doom descends.
It comes from the witnessing of the juggernaut
in action: all the divisions of the US
Empire combined - the military, the media,
the government - to smash the rogue tyrant
and give the world a taste of The Way
Things Will Be From Now On.
The doctrine of pre-emption, risk assessed
and addressed by one nation's leaders,
will take our world into a new era of
domination and subjugation.
There are two scenarios that can now
unfold and neither of them is very pretty.
In the first, the USA and its conscripts
do not have the quick and decisive victory
they expect. Ground fighting leads to
casualties among the soldiers and the
civilian Iraqis they purport to liberate.
Refugees starve on the Iraqi borders;
those that remain are cannon fodder.
In the second, the war does go according
to the Pentagon's script, Saddam's army
is overwhelmed, casualties are kept to
minimum and Iraq is "liberated".
A US regent is put in place and American
companies flood in to rebuild the nation's
For those who detest bloodshed this is
probably the preferred outcome - but the
long-term consequences could be just as
A quick victory would leave George Dubya
vindicated and ready to spread his doctrine
of pre-emption to promote American interests
In the long run, this scenario scares
me more than the current war. A world
with one power exerting its will is a
recipe for excess.
The United Nations is compromised, perhaps
fatally, trampled over by its strongest
member,leaving a void in mediating the
differences based on culture, affluence
and creed that all global conflicts boil
In its absence, it will be American values
and American interests that will define
what is right and wrong; power will become
its own morality. Who will then be the
next target: North Korea? Iran? Pakistan?
The only certainty is that it will be
for Bush's advisers to decide.
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