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Volume 68, Issue 112, Monday, March 17, 2003


Love train approaches last stop

Jonathan Bruder
Opinion Columnist

So youive seen what peace has to offer, and you still arenit buying. Sure, the threat of vicious counterattack is formidable, but that vile Saddam Hussein must be removed, no?

This might be your last chance to reconsider. The United States, Britain and Spain are sponsoring yet another U.N. resolution demanding Iraqi compliance. CNN reported Sunday that leaders of the three nations acknowledge their failure to garner enough support for the resolution to pass. Nevertheless, President Bush said the opportunity for diplomatic resolution would end today.

Letis not fool ourselves; the sun has set on the British Empire. And the United States, despite its clear military dominance, is not prepared to battle against the whole planet. If our government takes action against Iraq without U.N. support, the rest of this celestial ball of mud might get pretty grouchy.

I can understand where the Bush administration is coming from. Why would we want to change our objectives just because others disapprove? We canit let othersi opinions dictate our judgments. Instead, our decisions should be grounded in empirical evidence and ethics. Ethical dialog ultimately reveals that, even under the guise of preemptive defense, war on Iraq is unjustifiable, but empirical evidence proves it to be villainous.

Ethically, it comes down to this: We canit run around telling others that they canit have weapons when we are the only ones who have ever used them. The North Koreans are right; we have no special immunity from our own ethics, and if we can strike preemptively, then so can they. Ignoring this simple principle, universality, has grave consequences.

John Lockeis harm principle states that our rights extend only until they cause others harm. Metaphorically speaking, the abuse of military power only leads down one road ? the Roman road to imperial collapse.

High ideals often arenit able to impact political economies. Cold, hard facts are better suited to that purpose. On Friday, March 14, CNN reported that intelligence documents used by the United States and Britain to substantiate claims of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program were "dismissed as forgeries" by U.N. weapons inspectors. 

On previous occasions, the president has announced evidence of links between Osama bin Laden and Saddam, only to have that evidence expose bin Ladenis hatred for the Iraqi dictator.

The evidence used to link Iraq to the War on Terror is insubstantial. Those who support the War on Terror fabricate information to invent problems for which evidence would not normally engage the lives of civilians. Will you, personally, ever see Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? No? By this logic, you wonit notice their absence, either.

If one looks below the surface, one easily finds motivation for this invasive, phallic intrusion. There are clear links between oil motives and United States military action in Iraq. These motives descend far below the figurehead George W. Bush; many of those who were instrumental in his election are at play in the war field. Vice President Cheneyis previous employer, Haliburton, stands to receive significant financial gain from a recent contract to combat oil well fires in the case of Iraqi self-destruction. Cheneyis influence, further-reaching and more established than Bushis, pulls the strings of the marionettes.

To be fair, there is no single devil. The most interesting and ludicrous analysis I have seen indicates Bush and Saddam are halves of a profane beast ? the Antichrist. While I doubt weive breached the Apocalypse, the analysts may not be too far from the truth. I, for one, take it for granted I wonit experience the fiery hell of bombs on Baghdad. It makes it a little easier to stomach the arrogant assumptions of our representatives. You donit have to ask me ? take a look at the cover of Newsweek.

Bruder, a junior graphic communication and physics major, can be reached at


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