It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.

These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.

Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.

Thursday, February 13, 2003
Colin Powell's Cheap Shot

Colin Powell, driven into increasingly outrageous hawkish positions as a result of decision to join the administration of George W. Bush, this week accused France and Germany of "just delaying for the sake of delaying in order to get Saddam Hussein off the hook and no disarmament".

In this wild accusation, we see the Bush Administration's paranoid perspective played out through a man who was previously thought to be among the more thoughtful of W.'s men. In the minds of the people in the White House, people either are enthusiastic to support George W. Bush's desire to start a new war or they are on the side of the Iraqi dictator, secretly trying to enable Saddam Hussein to gain more power. So great is the moral arrogance of W.'s men that they cannot perceive any other possibility. In their minds, we're either with them or against them.

Secretary Powell, you're supposed to be acting as this nation's top diplomat, not this nation's top bully. We ask you to stop, take a breath and listen before you allow the huffing and puffing of your colleagues to suck you in completely.

We who oppose your boss's war do so because we believe that the war will make the United States less secure, not more secure.

We who oppose your boss's war do so because we believe that preemptive wars are illegal.

We who oppose your boss's war do so because we are frightened of his promises of a perpetual war. We see your boss using the cover of war to take away our precious freedoms, whittling the Bill of Rights away slowly into nothingness.

We who oppose your boss's war do so because we believe that dropping bombs on a country and sending military troops to occupy its cities is not the best way to encourage it to become more democratic.

We who oppose your boss's war do so because we believe that the American people are smart enough to figure out better ways to take care of the world's problems that don't require dropping landmines and carpet bombs in people's back yards.

We're not fond of Saddam Hussein either, Mr. Powell, and we think it would be great if he lost his power over the people of Iraq. We just don't think that it makes much sense to kill Iraqis in order to save them.

Put this position next to your boss's absolute moral codes and chew on it for awhile, Mr. Powell. If you have the decency to do so, we think that you just might find a better way than war.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 11:20 AM. # (permalink)

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