March 6, 2003
By Dennis Rahkonen
The UN weapons inspectors in Iraq are highly competent at
their specialized job.
They come from several countries, drawing on expertise from
around the world, and they work with unified purpose that
rises above petty nationalism and associated political biases.
After many weeks of looking, they've yet to find anything
that would support the intensely prejudiced claims against
No evidence of weapons of mass destruction has been discovered.
In a very important story in Newsweek, published just days
ago, it was reported that a key Iraqi defector had disclosed
to Washington that Baghdad had destroyed its remaining WMD
in the mid '90s.
Thus, we must ask a straightforward question:
Is the sensational, constant contention by the White House
that Iraq has terrible weapons that pose an "imminent" threat
to everyone (including the far-off United States) simply a
deception designed to create a frenzied pretext for an aggressive
oil grab by the energy interests that Bush, Cheney, Rice,
etc., have a long history of dutifully serving?
If so, why should any of us assent to this looming folly?
Hawkish backers of Bush's invasion try to portray themselves
as "patriots" while castigating doves as "traitors". Many
of those hardliners profess a great devotion to the Constitution
of the United States when it comes to the Second Amendment,
fighting fiercely for our "right to bear arms".
So why are they totally silent about the massive transgression
against the Constitution that an arbitrary war launched by
President Bush alone would entail? Nothing could be clearer.
Article 1, Section 8: “Congress shall have the Power…to declare
Additionally, forty-three top Australian legal scholars recently
announced that Bush's war would be a definite, blatant violation
of both international law and the UN Charter, which we, as
signatories, are obligated to abide by with all the Constitutional
force of "the law of the land".
Moreover, such a war - especially as envisioned with its
devastating "shock and awe" firepower - would include criminal
illegalities for which Nazis were tried at Nuremberg. There's
nothing patriotic about supporting policies that blend with
such preemptive aggressions as those of Hitler against Poland,
or the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Our Founding fathers were acutely aware of the misuse and
routine unwarrantedness of war, which had been such a scourge
for centuries in Europe.
John Adams wrote: "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war."
James Madison stated: "War...should only be declared by the
authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to
support its burdens, instead of the government which is to
reap its fruits."
As evidenced by opinion polls and widespread, growing protest,
the American people have not authorized a war which millions
believe is needless, and for which they rightly feel peaceful,
diplomatic alternatives exist.
Bush and his belligerent cohorts have abysmally failed to
prove exactly what Iraq has done to the United States that
would justify returned aluminum caskets piling up on American
airport tarmac - or the world being giving shocking basis
for calling our nation a mass-murdering war criminal in the
cradle of civilization.
Real patriotism demands that we question and resist when
so much grievous, lasting harm would befall our country from
rash, wrong choices made in the partisan politics and special-interest
pandering of today.
Feel confident that your opposition to war with Iraq is authentically
patriotic, fully moral, and completely consistent with our
nation’s finest ideals, and its unequivocal best interest.
Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, WI, has written commentary
and verse for various progressive publications since the '60s.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org