Took the kids for a trip into London on the train - a real treat for K*. Met my wife in Chinatown and we binged out on dim sum before doing some food shopping around Chinatown. Earlier in the day, there had been a large anti-war protest so there were still numerous people around with placards. Felt pretty sad seeing all the war images on the front pages of the newspapers.
This evening we watched the war coverage on the evening news with the children and talked about it with R*. Explaining international politics to a seven year old is an interesting exercise is distilling the issues down to the basics!
Personally, I'm against the war. A few key points for me are:
- What is the real agenda of it? I don't think it's really about fighting terrorism or the threat of Iraq. The process of disarming Iraq was making progress via the U.N weapons inspections. I seriously doubt Iraq has much in terms of "weapons of mass destruction", but at least an internationally supported framework was in place to find them. That process was working and needed more time.
- If the agenda is to get rid of Saddam, then of course that's problematic. There's no legitimate way to do it. I don't dispute that Iraq and the world would be better without his dictatorship but there is no legitimate framework for imposing the regime change. The idea of the U.S. overtly demanding and imposing regime changes on another sovereign state is repugnant and dangerous. In the past, it's always be covert. Now it's even worse when they masquerade this abuse of power under the "fight against terrorism" or the "fighting for freedom and democracy" banner. The U.S. is the largest terrorist state in the world (see Rogue States).
- Most power struggles in the world boil down to some economic benifit. Wars of ideology are dead with the end of the Cold War. Clearly the U.S. can gain regional influence and secure it's oil interests by invading Iraq. It will be interesting to see what the U.S. does in Iraq after the war. Even more interesting is how this effects the relationships between members of the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole.
- War is so incrediblely repugnant. It's the last, last, last, resort. It didn't seem justified to me. This moves U.S. foreign policy much closer to a strike first attitude. Now that's much more scary that anything Iraq seemed capable of. For really scary reading take a look at this website about the New American Century and the heavy-weight supporters of it. Welcome to the Empire of America!
No, these are not the points I made to R* after watching the news but we did go over the problem of what to do about Iraq and that she was not going to get bombed. I wish I could say the same for the people of Iraq.
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