Eheu !

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Tue Jul 15 19:38:33 MDT 2003


Gary,

That was a punchy post. You wrote:

We are approaching a World War scenario and the peace movement seems unable
to get its act together.

Why is the peace movement unable to get its act together ? Why is it that
the international peace movement was able to play a significant role in
bring the Vietnam war to an end, but was unable to stop the war against Iraq
? Is the answer human gullibility, the fact that governments simply ignore
peace activists so long as they don't get in the way, media artistry which
hides the true intentions of the elites and successfully depicted Hussein as
Hitler, lack of belief in the capacity for political success, the specific
politics and methods of the peace movement, the number of people involved,
people going soft in the head, or what ?

In Holland, the armed forces have their own trade unions (because soldiers
are workers earning a salary like anyone else, therefore have a right to
soldier's trade unions), and they are sometimes able to at least moderate
the more crazy schemes for military operations (not all, witness how Kok's
cabinet formally stepped down over the Srebrenica massacre). It got me
thinking... The best thing that can happen, is if some of the more
intelligent military people in the West revolt against the madness of
starting new wars in response to perceived threats which do not even exist,
or which are vastly exaggerated, or which can be resolved by diplomatic
means and negotiations. Australasia is regarded as part of the "West", but
what historical stake do they have in such a campaign against what used to
be called, with delightful sensitivity, the "gooks" ? Fact is, there are far
more "gooks" than Australians, and nations have long memories. How would a
war with North Korea affect Australian foreign trade and employment ?

Frankly, I don't know what the Western Alliance is talking about as regards
North Korea, since, even in their own terms, if they provided economic
assistance, instead of threatening war, they would be in a far stronger
position to influence political developments in North Korea, and it would
cost the taxpayer less allround. Somebody ought to post a checklist of all
the countries in the world which possess nuclear weapons. Why this hostility
against North Korea, specifically ? Because Bush ran them down in a speech
as evil ? Should it really be seen as part of a pincer movement against the
PRC ? Or is it a question of keeping people on their toes with a bit of
sabre-rattling ?

Presumably, most Koreans would like to see their respective governments work
towards the reunification of the North and the South, in some kind of
federal state, but on their own terms, not on terms dictated by a foreign
power. But if the West starts a war in North Korea, Koreans will be killing
Koreans again. As if Koreans are looking forward to that !

The most frightening thing about the American military machine is the fact
that it is a hierarchy controlled from the top by people who in many
important cases lack solid experience in international politics and
diplomacy. Once these people decide it's all go, the apparatus swings into
motion, and once it is in motion, it becomes exceedingly difficult to stop,
because the investments are huge, the prestige stakes are high, and the
execution of the campaign passes to the Generals.

I have Hilary Clinton's biography here, and she says in it, that she visited
78 foreign countries, which is impressive. But how many of these US
Republican warmongers have that kind of experience ? How do they judge these
things anyway ? I am not suggesting they just type something into Google,
but how can they make a balanced judgement for afar, when the CIA is not
even in a position to provide reliable data ? It's cookey if you ask me.

I have to think again of the story Les told about meeting a war veteran, the
guy went to war with a certain bravado, only to discover that all the
reasons for fighting in it were wrong, quite apart from his personal
suffering. I sympathise with that.  I'm against all military wars, but if
you are going to fight a war, it stands to reason that you must at least
have a damn good ground for doing it, and the people who have to do the
fighting (rather than sit on the pluche in Washington or Sydney playing a
game of Risk) have to be crystal clear that this is truly a campaign worth
dying for. But how can this happen, if people cannot even get a true picture
of the real situation, beyond rhetoric about "evil" regimes ?

As if the Australian armed forces have a stake in getting themselves killed
in a war against a country they don't even understand, have no particular
relations with, and maybe haven't even visited !

Regards

Jurriaan









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