Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Calling for war is an easy option, too

Bugger them then... I submitted the following as a letter to the editor of The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia) in response to an article by Pamela Bone on October 5, headed “Calling for peace is the easy option”. Well, okay, maybe there were other responses to Ms Bone's piece that had merit. And, sure, it’s possible those responses were more meritorious than my effort. But bugger them, I’ll post it here anyway. That’s one of the empowering aspects of blogging (even if no-one ever actually reads the thing). By the way, I have enormous respect for Ms Bone, despite differences with her on this and other matters.

The anti-war left has not explained how tyrants should be stopped, writes Pamela Bone. Rather, it may be that war proponents on the left and right have failed to convincingly explain why this war should have been prosecuted at all.

Francis Fukuyama wrote recently that, rather than pursue war, the US “could instead have chosen to create a true alliance of democracies to fight illiberal currents coming out of the Middle East. It could also have tightened economic sanctions and secured the return of arms inspectors to Iraq without going to war. It could have had a go at a new international regime to battle proliferation. All of these paths would have been in keeping with American foreign policy traditions.”

Thus Fukuyama hints at a spectrum of alternatives to a bloody and wasteful war that, one can only suspect, were not pursued because the decision had been made to assert US supremacy and credibility – sadly through the usual means by which a mafia don asserts his credibility.

Pursuing strategies such as those sketched by Fukuyama likely would not have delivered an ideal outcome. But has the war option? “You can only hold your breath and hope,” Ms Bone concludes. For what it’s worth, I will hope along with Ms Bone and everyone. But what a predictably pathetic outcome for such a savage, blunt instrument, whose legacy of trauma and animosities may be generational.


Post a Comment

<< Home