by danjo

The following is a text I wrote just a few days before the Iraq war broke out. It was for an earlier incarnation of this site and I post it here for archiving purposes.

On matters of war and peace

Now to the real reason I created this page. I feel I need to write some things down for the interested reader.

Sometimes things you read in the newspaper echoes your mind in a powerful way. Today’s editorial in The New York Times [dead link unfortunately] uses this short time before the fighting begins in Iraq, to once again point out how badly this whole mess has been handled. I would like to do something similar.

Let me begin by saying that all we can do now is hope for a swift victory for the US and its few allies, with few casualties on both sides. The world will surely be a better place without Saddam Hussein in charge in Iraq, and I think that there is a real chance that Iraq can come out of this a better place as well in the end.

But some things in the way things have developed are really terrifying. I feel that the way the present US administration have handled things really have made the world a more insecure place. The obvious thing is of course that Saddam Hussein will have no reason not to lash out at the world with terrorism now that his back is up against a wall. But this is perhaps not something that could have been avoided, so I’ll not go into it further. The second is that a US occupation of an Arab country is probably much less likely to be accepted in region than a joint UN force doing the rebuilding. This is also obvious and have been pointed out by others, so I’ll leave it at that.

For all us non US citizens of the world it is a real lose-lose situation we’ve been handed. No decent person can do otherwise than what I said earlier: Hope for a swift war, with few casualties. But if that happens it also will mean a situation with a US president that firmly believes that the United States not only can, but also has the right to, go to war with anyone, anywhere, as long as it serves US interests. There is no longer the necessity of imminent danger. And the better this war goes, the more likely it becomes that the US will use war as a means to their ends again.

But, say you, what does that matter if the ends are good? Well for starters I like to have a say in who decides these things for me. The thought of an American government not asking other democratically elected governments what they think on matters that affect us all is just appalling to me. It has become very obvious that the current administration does not care one whit about what the rest of the world thinks. Isn’t it in that light equally obvious why we don’t trust them to make the decisions for us?

Another reason is the firm belief that the US way is superior to all other systems. We Swedes often have the same belief about Sweden, by the way. The big difference is that we do not have the power to force our way down the throat of others. The United States have had that power for while, but until now it has not been inclined to use it like that. It seems this has just changed. It makes us in small countries wonder, who’s next?


Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 13:53