What's wrong with peace
I should begin this article by saying that I disagree with the war on Iraq and I support the peace movement. However, since most people have made up their minds on the subject and better people will speak in defense of the peace movement, I will direct my attention not at the log in the pro-war faction’s eye but to the dust mote in the peace movement’s eyelashes. Here I will question the reasons for peace, but not peace itself.
One of the most often repeated slogans of the peace movement is “No Blood For Oil.” Going to war with Iraq to affect the oil market would be like attacking the World Trade Center to affect the stock market. There’s just no clear, controllable result. An easier and cheaper way to lower the price of oil would have been to just lift sanctions on Iraq. Some suggest that the ultimate goal is to take the oil by controlling Iraq. Whether or not we will hold some sway in Iraq after the war is very questionable. No politician in his or her right mind would gamble billions of dollars and world opinion on the post-war loyalty of an unstable Middle Eastern country with a history of anti-Americanism. Oil is about all Iraq has in terms of resources, and they will need all they can get to rebuild, so it’s obvious that neither the Iraqi people nor the world community is going to let us swipe it from them.
There are other reasons we shouldn’t be chanting about oil. To be crass and a touch Realpolitik, we’re not going to win very many conservatives or moderates by claiming that George W. Bush and his pals are just money-grubbing whores. Even if they are money-grubbing whores, nobody who isn’t already married to liberalism is going to be convinced. Most people would just dismiss that as radical flakiness and keep walking towards the Stopgap for their Papa John’s. The “No War But Class War” sign probably has the same effect.
Why are we attacking Iraq if not for oil? I hate to sound like Michael Moore, but I think it’s a matter of fear. Since 9-11, America has been deathly afraid. The pro-war faction is not concerned with extracting oil from Iraq. What they are worried about is attack from the Arabs. The difference between al-Qaeda and al-Ba’athi is nothing in their eyes. Both of them are Arabs who hate Israel and America. The fact that Iraq is more likely to attack now that we’ve invaded is lost on the hawks. We are “lashing out irrationally.”
But doesn’t Hussein’s regime deserve a good lashing? The answer is yes. Yes, Hussein’s regime should be removed from power. Anyone who thinks otherwise is silly. There is no excusing what Hussein has done. Pointing out America’s faults doesn’t change the fact that he’s been a brutal dictator for decades. The big question is how to change the regime and who should do it. I firmly believe that the best way to change the regime would have been peacefully and that the United Nations, not America, should have been the one to do it. America is hypocritical in bringing democracy to Iraq by defying world democracy. The largely unilateral attack is only going to destabilize the Middle East. America isn’t considering what will happen after the war, when the power struggle begins and the orphans of the war rise up. The damage is done.
Unfortunately, the peace movement has failed to bring about peace. No matter how many of us cry for peace, America isn’t going to pull out of Iraq any time soon. That doesn’t mean the peace movement has completely failed. We, and the peace-mongers around the world, will keep a scrutinizing eye on the war and the years that follow. Once the war has ended, we can help correct the mistakes of war and strive for peace in the future. In the meantime, I think we should work towards correcting our own mistakes.
This is the sole opinion of Jordan Carroll, who is a sophomore English major and a columnist for The Louisville Cardinal. Contact: email@example.com.