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This Looming Folly
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 Iraq.

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 War.”

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 dennisr@cp.duluth.mn.us

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