Gunter Grass on the war

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Fri Apr 18 15:52:55 PDT 2003


Never saw this posted on FoRK, so, as worthy bits considering the source:

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0407-05.htm
The U.S. Betrays Its Core Values by Gunter Grass

  BEHLENDORF, Germany -- A war long sought and planned for is now
  underway. All deliberations and warnings of the United Nations
  notwithstanding, an overpowering military apparatus has attacked
  preemptively in violation of international law. No objections were
  heeded. The Security Council was disdained and scorned as irrelevant. As
  the bombs fall and the battle for Baghdad continues, the law of might
  prevails.

  And based on this injustice, the mighty have the power to buy and
  reward those who might be willing and to disdain and even punish the
  unwilling. The words of the current American president -- "Those not
  with us are against us" -- weighs on current events with the resonance of
  barbaric times. It is hardly surprising that the rhetoric of the aggressor
  increasingly resembles that of his enemy. Religious fundamentalism leads
  both sides to abuse what belongs to all religions, taking the notion of
  "God" hostage in accordance with their own fanatical understanding. Even
  the passionate warnings of the pope, who knows from experience how lasting
  and devastating the disasters wrought by the mentality and actions of
  Christian crusaders have been, were unsuccessful.


plus:

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0416-04.htm
Why The Anti-War Movement Was Right by Arianna Huffington

  .... In fact, almost everything about the invasion -- from the go-it-alone
  build-up to the mayhem the fall of Saddam has unleashed -- has played
  right into the hands of those intent on demonizing our country. Islamic
  extremists must be having a field day signing up recruits for the holy war
  they're preparing to wage against us. Instead of Uncle Sam wants you,
  their recruiting posters feature a different kind of patriotic image: an
  American soldier ill-advisedly draping the American flag over Saddam's
  face. ....

  It's important to remember that the Arab world has seen a very different
  war than we have. They are seeing babies with limbs blown off, children
  wailing beside their dead mothers, Arab journalists killed by American
  tanks and bombers, holy men hacked to death and dragged through the
  streets. They are seeing American forces leaving behind a wake of
  destruction, looting, hunger, humiliation, and chaos. 

  Who's been handling our war PR, Osama bin Laden? The language and
  imagery are all wrong. Having Tom DeLay gush about our "army of virtue"
  at the same time we're blowing up mosques is definitely not sending the
  right message to a Muslim world already suspicious that we're waging a
  war on Islam. 

  Neither is Ari Fleischer's claim that the administration can't do
  anything to keep Christian missionaries -- including those who have
  described the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a "demon-possessed pedophile"
  and a "terrorist" -- from going on a holy crusade to Baghdad. You think
  the Arab world might take that the wrong way? If there is one thing that
  could bring Sunnis and Shiites together, it's the common hatred of
  evangelical zealots who denigrate their prophet. 

  And it doesn't help to have the American media referring to Jay Garner,
  the retired general Don Rumsfeld picked to oversee the rebuilding of
  Iraq, as "viceroy." It reeks of colonial imperialism. Why not just call
  him "Head Bwana?" Or "Garner of Arabia?" I didn't realize the Supreme
  Court had handed Bush a scepter to go along with the Florida recount. 



--j.


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