Monday, March 17, 2003
It appears the "other shoe" has finally begun its descent to the floor...UN inspectors have been issued a recall, and the only way we can avert war with Iraq now is if Saddam Hussein packs a suitcase or two, leaves behind his lavish palaces and ubiquitous portrait-posters, and goes into exile.
Fattest of chances.
Looks like war is a done deal, despite the rallies and prayer vigils, teach-outs and walk-outs and "Peace on Earth" T-shirts. War is bad enough, but what really turns my stomach are the jingoist reactionary attitudes that both anti-war advocates and moderates are encountering in these peribellum days. Like this report of a traveler finding a note in his luggage, allegedly placed by a government inspector who found two "NO WAR IN IRAQ!" flyers in the bag:
From CNN: Seth Goldberg, 41, of Cranbury, New Jersey...says that after a March 2 flight from Seattle to San Diego, California, he opened his bag and found a card notifying him that [Federal Transportation Security Administration] had opened and searched it. A handwritten note on the card said: "Don't appreciate your anti-American attitude!" He said it would have been hard for anyone else to have placed the note because when he claimed the bag in San Diego the zipper pulls were sealed with nylon straps that indicated a TSA inspection."That must have taken a lot of courage; putting an anonymous note in someone's bag. Perhaps the unnamed person should put their money where their cojones are (figuratively, of course. For all we know a woman could have written the note!) and sign up for a tour of duty in Baghdad.
Oh, for the folly of the blinder-eyed bar-brawler types who think we can blithely roll into Iraq with tanks and helicopters and missiles and fix the problem once and for all...the "problem" of terrorism is like a termite's nest, and even a "surgical strike" to take out the queen never seems to eradicate the colony, because the warrens and tunnels branch like a cancer for miles beyond the core. We'll hit Iraq, but even if Saddam gets carried out in a thousand tiny pieces, the grasping fingers of the terrorist ideological underground will tear at the heart of what we hold dear.
I predict that within days of the commencement of a military strike in Iraq we will see terrorist activity here in America, in what form is anyone's guess. This is the dark side of the concept of global unity; we are all so intertwined that even an attack thousands of miles distant will have repercussions in our back yards. "We have met the enemy, and he is us..." In a manner of speaking, those words could not be more true, for the seeds of our own fate are already living deep in our national flesh.
This isn't going to be your father's war, or your grandfather's war: unlike our isolated national reality in World War II or the Cold War, no one needs to lob ICBM's from across the poles to cause mass destruction.
9/11 did not arrive from the Middle East; at least not on the fateful day itself. The perpetrators were here, living as Americans in their bodies, but not in their hearts and minds when the attack occurred. Once the bombs start to fall halfway across the world, there are doubtless many who are only "waiting for the word" to start the retaliation, to wreak havoc here at home. There is an important point made by an unnamed Arab official, quoted on CNN/Reuters:
"It's a very grave day. This is the day that international law has been shoveled away. War will not solve this problem. Unfortunately those who are going to war will find it will be very difficult to get out of it."Save Our Souls; indeed.