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Toward a radical middle

a time for fear
Tuesday, February 17, 2004  
An immoral war was thus waged and the world is a great deal less safe place than before

This sentence from Archbishop Desmond Tutu made me angry. I'm sick of statements like this - more disingenuous and self-serving and ill-informed than anything currently fed to the White House press corps, by the way - being hailed as "courageous" and "a voice of reason."

To claim that bombing and occupying Iraq to the end of removing Saddam Hussein is "immoral" effectively legitimises the alternative: leaving Iraq under the control of a septic State mafia that oppresses its people and robs them of their resources and wealth to satisfy personal greed and further destabilise the Middle East. And that's the moral alternative?

No, I'm sorry, that is the immoral alternative. Deposition of tyranny should be a requirement, a duty, a moral and civil imperative, whatever the motives, wherever the region, whatever the tyranny.

Saying that the world is less safe now is true in one sense: an open war between two ideological forces has been declared. But it is also untrue. How is the world less safe when, for example:

- the international nuclear weapons black market has been exposed, and continues to unravel.

- Islamist terrorism no longer has 1. a state or protectorate or 2. substantial funding or support from any other state.

- The main terrorist cells have been dispersed or destroyed

- Western security continues to "jump at shadows."

- Pakistani Islamist parties are, for the moment, in check.

- India and Pakistan are engaged in Peace Talks for the first time since, like, whenever.

- Liberal and Democratic Reform movements in theocratic or despotic States like Iran and Saudi Arabia are now supported by and given a voice in the West.

etc. etc.

If Tutu sincerely means what he's saying - which, not being a total cynic, I assume he does - then he's getting his moral categories confused in a way that is both simple and sinister.

7:25 PM

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