Peace on Earth?
By Ashley Wheeland
Peace on Earth. I read this line on many holiday greeting cards I sifted through last week on the shelves from one of our local retailers. In the past, this statement has made an impact on me. This year, I laughed, and pictured what the Christmas cards of George Bush and what they would have on them. Imagine the picture: George, Laura, the infamous twins, and “Peace on Earth” on the outside of the card. On the inside, I can only picture an American flag, and the line “only in America.”
The world is more complex than the old idea of “nation states.” Most of the world believes that there are international norms and rules that apply to actions. The United States, as much as it would like not to, must also concede to this. Take for example the UN resolution to send inspectors to Iraq. Bush was compelled to go to the UN before he just stepped up and attacked Iraq. However, Bush is not impressed with what the UN decided or the actions it has taken so far.
The outcome that I anticipate is the UN will fail to come up with weapons, because of Iraq’s ability to move them, and in we will go. According to the news, it will start with 250,000 troops (not to mention the soldiers already in the Middle East.) If the outcome follows precedent, and Hussein is not found, many more soldiers will be sent. George Bush Sr. dug himself a hole in dealing with Middle East problems and hatred of the United States in the same way before. It seems that this past mistake has not left a mark on his son.
While I agree that Hussein is bad leader and evil man, I shudder at the thought of more war in the Middle East. The people that are already angry at the United States will have another rope to hang more reasons to hate our country. Rather than trying to change the beliefs in the Middle East, as we have seen in terrorist attacks, our administration is willing to push a wedge in further. As in the past wars in Iraq, more people will die in the country. Hussein has shown that he is willing to hurt his own people, and he will do more to show the United States and the world his power. He has gassed the Kurds and dried up the marshes of the people of the South for speaking out against him in Iraq.
The people of Iraq do not love Hussein, so why should they be punished for his actions? Once again, they will be the ones to be hurt, by both the United States and the Iraqi government. That is a true case of double jeopardy.
So what do we do? We start a campaign in the Middle East that does actually promote what our holiday cards claim. We start dealing with the issues in the Middle East, by helping the people there. We start providing alternative ideas for the Iraqi people to kick Hussein out themselves. If they cannot, we help them.
Our own Secretary of State has been dealing with this issue firsthand, wavering, and only coming to back the “preemptive” measures when the Bush administration put on the pressure. Powell sees that merely covering the infected wound and pain in the Middle East, and not dealing with the real problems, as something that will lead to losing the limb.
Iraq is only a piece of the Middle East problems, the people who live there, and condemn our country, have most certainly considered the actions of the United States in dealing with Iraq. We do not understand their hate, as they do not understand our actions. The first attempt should be to find a bridge between these and stop both of them. Then maybe leaders like Hussein, who promote these antagonisms, can be kept from making the decisions and dooming the holiday cards.