Anthony, The 'Man Of Peace' ( Peace Movement Chapter 2)
By Kurt Rellians
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Peace Movement (Chapter 2) copyright 2008 Kurt Rellians
(continued from Time For Action :The West Talks Tough ( ch.1)
An alternative recent/current history of the Iraq crisis as it might have affected the world. This is not intended to be accurate history. None of the politicians mentioned are actual (real) political figures, except perhaps the Dictator)
Anthony, The ‘Man Of Peace’
The Prime Minister publicised his intentions to support the American President in forcing the Dictator to reveal or disprove his possession of mass destruction weapons, and to dismantle them. He hoped and expected to find support from his party and from the nation. He was conscious that so far his record on foreign policy had been rather successful. He and his government had helped to give a relatively new modern moral leadership to the world, working with the Americans very successfully to calm the flashpoints of the world. He had shown immense patience in his dealings with the political and paramilitary savages of Northern Ireland and could commend himself for that. On this issue of the Middle East however he began to run into trouble. Many of his MPs threatened to desert him, following Anthony, the ‘man of peace’ instead.
Anthony made a short speech in parliament, “You and the American President want to control the oil ourselves. But it isn’t ours. They have a perfect right to do what they want with their own oil. They do not have to sell it to us if they do not want. And they should be able to negotiate with the other oil producers to raise the price of oil if they wish. You have not proved they are spending oil receipts on weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations inspectors are looking into that now. What many of us are saying is give them a chance to fully investigate and report back. If they then report that the Dictator is building up huge weapons stocks with which to frighten the world then maybe some form of military pressure would be appropriate, but we shall then make it in combination with the legal sanctity of the United Nations and the support and involvement of many other nations.”
“Iraq can sell oil to us, the whole world, and use their receipts to purchase food and ordinary goods,” said the Prime Minister. ”What we object to is, as we believe, their use of oil receipts to rearm and expand their military capabilities, which they may well use to threaten neighbouring states and our own interests in the region again. They have also used their armed forces, at times to repress their own people. If their rhetoric is to be believed they are intent on destroying Israel and support the overthrow of moderate governments in the Gulf and Arabia. How can we trust them? We have given them plenty of time to prove to weapons inspectors they do not have any weapons of mass destruction. They place obstacles in the way of inspectors, and blow hot and cold in their statements. One week they make apologetic statements, and the next week they claim to be ready to pour destruction onto Israel and overthrow the ‘corrupted’ governments of the Arab world. How much more time should we give them? 3 weeks? 6 months? 2 years? Or perhaps another 12 years?”
“We should follow International Law, which has evolved to prevent ill judged military reactions,” stated Anthony earnestly. Our reactions to the dictator should be patient and considered. Before we ever act we should have the legality of a United Nations resolution and the support of many nations for our actions. This we patently do not have. War should be a last resort! Any solution is better than bloodshed. When or if we receive a report from the weapons inspectors that Iraq does indeed have the weapons you accuse them of having then the UN may allow enforcement, but the weight of International opinion is likely to be behind us in such an eventuality that moral pressure may well be brought to the dictator, which would make him see sense.”
“But if they cannot make the decisions themselves,” responded the Prime Minister. “The dictator makes all the decisions and he can start to reduce the supply when he feels powerful enough. Anthony I thought you believed in letting the people have the power!” he taunted. “Well this dictator doesn’t allow his people to have any say.”
It was Anthony’s turn to speak. “We should not be fighting this war. It is unnecessary. Why should our sons be confronted with the horror of war when it does not concern us. This is an American war, for the benefit of a right wing American clique. It is not for us in Britain. We have a government who calls itself socialist, wanting to participate in a war which is fought on behalf of the hard American right. The Americans want their hands on the oil. I say we cannot waste the lives of our soldiers for the financial benefit of multinational investors.”
Anthony was well liked by people who considered themselves to be educated and cool. None of them had ever lived in a dictatorship, of either the religious or the tinpot kind. They believed that the best interventions were those which involved cultural exchange and presumably that there was very little which was actually worth fighting for. If they had had the misfortune to live in a country gripped by dictatorship or corruption they would doubtless have been content not to ask for any military help from abroad to restore some form of democracy. Anthony himself believed that the Americans were far more of a threat to human decency than quite a number of dictatorships.
To be continued in : The Execution Of A Prostitute ( Peace Movement Chapter 3)
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