Friday, April 09, 2004

At the moment I’m reading Zulu Time by Mark Little. I have to agree with his conclusions especially those concerning George W. Bush and America.

The general assumption is that George is an idiot and taken on face value this can be said to be true. From our perspective it is blindingly obvious that some of his pronouncements seem ludicrous. Neither is his diction what you would expect from the president of the most powerful country in the World. In short the man is a fool.

I’ve always felt uneasy with this idea, however appealing it may seem. In fact I honestly believe that George W. Bush is a calculating politician playing to an audience. An intellectual he is not. But clever he certainly is. No one who is genuinely stupid gets to be President of The United States. George has fooled us all into thinking that all he is is a stupid cowboy from Texas. The man is laughing up his sleeve.

As I write this the situation in Iraqi is becoming extremely serious thanks to a Shia inspired uprising. Things seem to have become very tense in the country and the voices of moderation seem to be unheeded. For the ordinary Iraqi people it must be very frightening. Riverbends blog seems to express this.

June 30th is the day when The United States is due to hand over power to an interim Iraqi administration. But what if the situation deteriorates between this and then? Will power be handed over to an Iraqi government? Will we have a peaceful withdrawal of United States force?

Mention has been made that this is another Vietnam for the Americans. I don’t think so, not just yet. Though it has the potential to be so, and because of the nature of the force involved it has the potential to be a Vietnam for everyone in the west.

Despite my pessimism I still believe that the situation can be resolved. If peace is restored quickly and a UN controlled force is brought in I believe many people’s lives will be saved. This must happed without delay.

It may sound that I’m in favor of the actions of the United States in invading Iraq. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like 100,000 others I marched through the streets of Dublin in protest against the war. I considered it, as I still do, to be an illegal war.

The last major war that brought about a major protest was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and that contributed to the end of the USSR. Italy and Germany both flouted the League of Nations prior to WW2 and both were defeated. The omens don’t auger well. As I have said the outcome of the war will have repercussions far beyond the borders of Iraq.

I’ll try to finish on a bright note. Last week I read Picasso’s War by Russell Martin. The book tells the story of Picasso’s painting Guernica. A story which runs to the very day. In a previous post I mentioned seeing Guernica in the Sofia museum in Madrid. It is a wonder life affirming read born from the tragedy of war. A book I would highly recommend.

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