Letter requires an explanation

This letter is in response to a letter to the editor from the Jan. 22 issue of The Northerner entitled “There’s More To War Than Media Reports” by Junior Journalism major Garda Ghista.

Ms. Ghista, you begin your letter by mentioning in the first paragraph “this war is going to mean mass slaughter of Iraqi men, women and children.” What exactly do you mean by mass slaughter? How can you possibly predict the outcome of such action? You go on to say the war will “expand to neighboring countries and mean genocide of millions.”

Who are you referring to when you say millions? Arabs? Iraqis? Israelis? Turks? Iranians? Kurds? When I think of genocide I think of the actions of Saddam Hussein against the Kurds. How about Saddam’s war with Iran simply because he is Sunni and Iran is Shiite controlled? That sounds more like genocide to me.

You go on to mention the British and French views of this conflict. You say, “75 percent of French people believe this war in Iraq is about oil and not about terrorism.” Those 75 percent have got it right. Make no mistake about it.

Our presence in the Middle East is about oil. Not only is the U.S. protecting it’s own interests, but it’s protecting the interests of the world. You see the U.S. economy (and the Western World’s economy for that matter) and our way of life revolves around energy. Unfortunately, we happen to be the buyers and not the sellers of this energy. We must ensure that the region remains stable, so our supply of this energy remains stable.

Next, you tackle the American media networks, CBS, ABC, and NBC. No doubt each puts it’s own spin on things, but at least they allow you to decide for yourself “what is what.”

You next mention the impeachment of George Bush “in anticipation of the vast destruction and human suffering he will cause around the world as well as here at home.” Again, I think of the Kurds in northern Iraq. Take time to imagine the “human suffering” that would occur if the U.S. were to pull out of the northern fly zone. I remember the “vast destruction” Saddam left in his wake in Kuwait and Iran. Muslims killing fellow Muslims. The U.S. presence in this area greatly reduces the amount of “human suffering and vast destruction.”

Next you mention Rumsfeld has ordered 100,000 U.S. troops to the region “in preparation for the pre-emptive US war of colonial aggression.” First of all, Rumsfeld does not give orders; he takes orders (from Bush) and then passes them along. There is a big difference.

You must understand that Bush and his team are serious men. This is not Bill Clinton the world is dealing with here. Whether it was the events surrounding 9-11, or his father’s failures in the region, or something else that has triggered his response, make no mistake about it, G.W.’s response is very real and very serious.

Secondly, when you use the term “colonial aggression,” I can’t help to think back to August 8, 1990, when Saddam formally annexed Kuwait. I also don’t remember Afghanistan or Iraq being considered for the 51st state.

Finally, we agree on one thing. You go on to say that ” there is perhaps nothing more horrible in the world than war.” Right on. War is absolutely horrible. Senseless, useless killing for the sake of any cause is wrong. I am not pro-war, I am pro-life. I do, however, believe one must take up arms on occasion to preserve life, and to preserve a way of life.

You conclude by saying “maybe it is time to protest.” Maybe it is. You have that right. Isn’t that great. You can go out and burn the flag. You can go out and burn an effigy of the president if you like. I think you would look silly doing it but you have that right. You have the right and the freedom to do so. Much of what I’m talking about pertains to freedom. You didn’t mention the word freedom when you mentioned Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Maybe the North Koreans would like to talk of freedom as well…