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2003-03-20 - 1:14 a.m.

I get angry whenever I read the papers, watch the news, when I sit in the tearoom at work and listen to people talk about war, when I read some of the bullshit on the mailing lists I am on.

I would rather not talk about it, not write about it, not hear about it. I don't know if that makes me selfish because there's no denying what's happening, but there's nothing I can do about it so I'll be damned if I'm going to let the politicians of the world make me live in fear.

Firstly, I'm not one of these "Green Left" people. I work for an oil company, I support the development of nuclear reactors for the production of medical isotopes, and incidentally think that nuclear power in itself would not be such a bad thing if there wasn't the potential for abuse (read terrorism), or environmental disaster (read Chernobyl). But I am a leftie, and I believe in humanity. I don't deny that Saddam Hussein is a murderous dictator, and that the people of Iraq and the world would be better off without him. But I don't believe that a simple minded Texan who sits behind a fucking desk and has people to write his speeches and probably dress him and will never have to get his hands dirty again has the right to justify the loss of a single life in his crusade. Unless of course he's willing to be in the front line. Yes removing Saddam now might prevent twenty more years of genocide and religious and racial persecution in the Middle East, but tell to the families of the inevitable casualties of this war. Plus the whole thing reeks of hypocrisy, Stalin was a murderous butcher and America decided it was in their best interests to make him an ally. Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Gadhafi, Idi Amin, Pinochet- all bloodthirsty leaders of persecuted people, but can you imagine the outcry if the US decided to invade Ethiopia? The last thing the people of these countries need is an international war on their soil- as if a "civil" one isn't bad enough. Previously all the conflicts that Big Brother has stuck its nose into have invloved an invasion by an aggressor, and I don't even believe in retaliation in that case, unless you are the country under attack.

Nothing justifies war, least of all hindsight. I'm fucking sick of people saying "well look what happened with Hitler- if Chamberlain had of struck first they could have stopped him". First strike policy is a load of shit. If all the people who have ever been gunned down in senseless acts of violence had adopted a first strike policy they might be alive today but they'd be in a prison or an asylum. If we could go back in time and shoot down those planes before they crashed into the Trade Centre, would the families of the 200 odd dead have rested easy in the fact that they might have saved 3000 lives. All these things are tragedies, and what the politicians say might be true- and the United States probably will win the war and drive Saddam out, or kill him, and free the Iraqi people from this oppressive regime- might- but who are these people to make that choice. They are not making the sacrifice, they are choosing it for hundreds of thousands with so much more of their lives ahead of them than these decrepid redneck right wing conservatives. I doubt John Howard even has an opinion on Iraq, his "policy" is simply keep the US close in case we ever need them. And Tony Blair, the so-called Labour Prime Minister of Britain should be ashamed of himself- he represents a political party and should make an attempt to stick to the ideals they were founded on. If the people wanted a conservative government they would have voted for one.

Jane woke up the other night saying she had been having bad dreams about war. This shook me up a lot. Maybe it's because she doesn't show a lot of emotion, maybe it's because I have been making a point of not letting it get to me and I didn't realise it was affecting her, but I think it's mostly because Jane is the most optimistic person I know. And she's scared. And that makes me angry.

"Why on Earth are we here? Surely not to live in fear"

This is for George, John and Tony- come you masters of war.

____________________________________________

MASTERS OF WAR- BOB DYLAN

Come you masters of war

You that build all the guns

You that build the death planes

You that build the big bombs

You that hide behind walls

You that hide behind desks

I just want you now

I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'

But build to destroy

You play with my world

Like it's your little toy

You put a gun in my hand

And you hide from my eyes

And you turn and run farther

When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old

You lie and deceive

A world war can be won

You want me to believe

But I see through your eyes

And I see through your brain

Like I see through the water

That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers

For the others to fire

Then you set back and watch

When the death count gets higher

You hide in your mansion

As young people's blood

Flows out of their bodies

And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear

That can ever be hurled

Fear to bring children

Into the world

For threatenin' my baby

Unborn and unnamed

You ain't worth the blood

That runs in your veins

How much do I know

To talk out of turn

You might say that I'm young

You might say I'm unlearned

But there's one thing I know

Though I'm younger than you

Even Jesus would never

Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question

Is your money that good

Will it buy you forgiveness

Do you think that it could

I think you will find

When your death takes it toll

All the money you made

Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die

And your death'll come soon

I will follow your casket

On a pale afternoon

And I'll watch while you're lowered

Down to your death bed

And I'll stand over your grave

Till I'm sure that you're dead.

 

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