Thursday, September 26, 2002

Do you get the feeling that the Bush and Blair administrations are getting desperate in their propaganda campaign? Experts have disputed their claim about the dangers of Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons. They also tried to make claims about nuclear weapons but scientists disputed those claims.

Next Blair released his dossier. One paper says the dossier is full of “marshmallow facts” (also check out the Guardian detailed analysis of the dossier claims).

Yesterday the Bush administration again tried to link Iraq to to al-Qaeda. But some European politicians are skeptical about the “evidence.” Germany's defense minister said there was nothing new in the CIA report, adding he had no information of links between al-Qaeda and Iraq. And another journalist points out in the Guardian that there still isn’t any hard evidence of such a link.

Meanwhile nonviolent occupations of congressional offices have occurred in Seattle, Minnesota, Illinois, New Mexico and Michigan.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

The local paper has a front page article about peace activists going to Iraq to act as witnesses to the possible war. The article describes the activists as "naive."

But isn't also naive to believe that U.S. bombing will somehow miraculously bring democracy to Iraq? Isn’t it also naïve to believe that the U.S. bombing will mostly target military objectives and not kill thousands of innocent civilians? Isn’t it also naïve to believe that everything the White House is saying about the war is accurate?

The article also quotes a retired U.S. Air Force Col. as saying that “…Americans going to protect one of the evilest guys …” Of course, the activists are not going to protect Saddam but rather the civilians.
Yesterday the headlines proclaimed that Tony Blair had a dossier that demonstrated why we need to go to war with Iraq. It turns out this was not so much compeling evidence as it was propaganda.

Some are calling the report dishonest and that Blair has falied to make a case for war. In a Washington Post article Gary Milhollin, executive editor of Iraq Watch, a Washington-based nonprofit institution that tracks developments in Iraq's weapons program, is quoted as saying, "Given the high priority for knowing what is going on in Iraq, I'm stunned by the lack of evidence of fresh intelligence." Within two hours and 10 minutes after the release of the report Baghdad authorities were taking a group of British journalists to see the sites of alleged manufacture and storage named in the document.

The report describes some of Saddam Hussein's human rights abuses. But an investigation by British journalist's reveals that the "leaders" that the Bush government is considering to replace Saddam may be just as bad if not worse.

TomPaine.com has an excellent collection of articles from various political viewpoints discussing why the war is wrong - including one from the CATO Institute.

It appears that the drive to war with Iraq may be a "Runaway Train."

Monday, September 23, 2002

We keep hearing over and over again that one reason for a military attack against Iraq it that it will help establish democracy in Iraq. But is military intervention the best way to achieve democracy?

The U.S. has intervened militarily (either directly or indirectly) in foreign nations 42 times since WWII. Have any of these interventions resulted in greater democracy in those nations? In some cases it actually resulted in a democracy being replaced by a military dictatorship (take Chile for example).

On the other hand, many nations have made the transition to democracy during the same time period without military intervention (South Africa, Serbia, all of Eastern Europe). Most of these transitions occurred through mainly non-violent, citizen movements. Why not work to create such a movement in Iraq? An article in Sojourners magazine makes this argument in more detail.

Because I am a peace activist I am sometimes accused of being “unrealistic” or an “idealist.” But I think that it is those who make the claim that military intervention improves the chance of democracy that are being “idealistic” and “unrealistic.” We only have to look to history to learn that.
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