So, You Want A Better World
- by Macdonald Stainsby
All right, so you want a better world. What does that mean? That's a question I want to both ask and see answered. But first, a reminder of what kind of world those in power seek, fresh from today's 'editorial' pages across the globe. The same people who 'intellectually authored' (oxymoronic term) the attack on Iraq have now written further in "An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror", the latest tract on how to use aerial bombardments and mass slaughter in defense of 'Americans'. This screed has already alarmed many all over the world, for it outlines some new military adventures, despite the fact they are meeting with very prolonged resistance in Iraq that threatens by itself to engulf more and more of the US army's military capability.
Among the adventures, attacking Iran is on the list. Labeling Saudi Arabia and even France 'adversaries' is called for, as well as setting up a naval, military and aerial blockade of North Korea and taking 'tough measures' against China. All of this while the "Homeland Security" department continues to round up suspect brown peoples for detention and disappearance without lawyers. This is needed, top hawk Richard Perle states, because "This world is an unsafe place for Americans--and the U.S. government remains unready to defend its people." It sounds like Perle believes there are many humans in the world who are opposing the United States government and her international ambitions. I wonder why.
Openly planning more attacks, of course, generates much panic and column ink devoted to finger wagging from people who support a nicer, gentler American Empire. The Empire itself, however, is not in question for many of us. Think of Wesley Clark, commander of the American military and the NATO invasion of Yugoslavia, who coincidentally just wrote a book as well. He was a 'peace candidate' running against Bush, according to the media. About world events, he wrote: "You can always find a fight if you are looking for it. The challenge is to win the peace." Sounds noble. Perhaps he was "winning the peace" when the forces he led used depleted uranium and cluster bombs on the civilian population of Yugoslavia less than five years ago.
These weapons don't get a lot of press here in the West, but think of Halloween. Think of how jumping jack firecrackers and fireworks operate. You know those ones that bounce, jump and bop all over the ground, shooting patterns of fire in all directions? Yes, those. Imagine one of those hundreds of times larger, except that they explode in multiple bomblets, not mere fire and light displays. That they burn long after they come into contact with flesh, eating it almost like exploding hydrochloric acid. Imagine that some of the smaller mini devices that 'pop' off also don't detonate, but instead sit in strange, out of the way places across the land until discovered by children to play with. These then explode in small fingers.
So now you've imagined all of this, also imagine what kind of world is being built by a man who ordered doing this to civilian populations (both the weapons and the tactics are illegal under international law), such as in open marketplaces. Such a military figure is a war criminal by any estimation except the justice of the victor.
In the next few months certain statements will be repeated often These ideas we are supposed to believe, and we are going to hear these stated so you don't hear it, but that it is assumed. My favorite, from criminals like Clark: "We shouldn't have gone into Iraq, but now that we are in Iraq, we have to win". The same is said of Afghanistan, where thousands are defending one group of anti-women thugs from another in the name of women's freedom. It is true of Colombia, where drug dealers and traffickers are being protected from peasants in the name of 'fighting drugs', protected by American 'advisers'. It is true in Palestine, where Zionism is protected by American-built attack helicopters firing into residential buildings - and all travel, citizenship and basic human rights are denied an entire indigenous people in the name of fighting racism.
Ironically, it is also what was once said of the war in Yugoslavia. Henry Kissinger made the same basic observation as we hear today: 'We' shouldn't go in, but 'we' are now there so 'we' must win. Today, 'victory' includes the ethnic cleansing of all Serbs from Kosovo-- along with Roma/'Gypsies', Hungarians, Croats and all non-Albanian Kosovars cleared out and most non-Albanian history destroyed. Kosovo is now the number one entry for Heroin into Europe.
I am interested in fighting a war that seems impossible to win, too. The real 'we' (members of the human race, irregardless of location) has made a declaration time and time again: There is simply no excuse in a world where human kind can travel to space & contemplate moving onto Mars, that there continue to be political arrangements made and preserved at the point of a sword; a sword swung purely with the goal of subjecting the overwhelming majority of humanity to super exploitation at the hands of a very small, mostly male, white and aged population.
Many leaders, even ones of the Empire itself, have declared war on poverty. It is time to declare a war not only on poverty, illiteracy and all of the tag along groupies of such suffering. Instead, let us frame it as a war on indignity. In order to live in dignity, one must not only read but one must be able to laugh. Self-Determination begins by knowing who the real 'we' is. Well, 'we' to those who would rule the world in perpetual slavery is among the few who own the oil fields in Texas, Alberta, Saudi Arabian contracts and who are currently stealing oil fields from the starving Iraqi population. This 'we' sees as vital the elimination of the 'threat' of indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, whether in BC or in the Holy Land. This 'we' sees the earth itself as a giant cow to be milked and ultimately executed for the sake of profit, Empire and cigarettes. This 'we' is terrified by real democracy.
Then there is another 'we'. It is all of the rest of us. We will not believe them when they offer us 'choices' such as what kind of aerial slaughter, occupation, removal of democratic rights and disappearances of our fellow citizens we want. We instead fight a war on those who would war against the people of the world for resources. We state that 'we are the other superpower', but we also understand what that really means. It means we are those who actually wield real power, and we will no longer be afraid to use it. Or, as one person stated last year: "There's all kinds of ways to change regimes. This man is a man who said he was going to get rid of weapons of mass destruction. [...] And we're going to talk about what to do about it." 
We owe it to future generations to deal with this problem, and that's what these discussions are all about" We need to talk about what way the world should look, and how to start to really build the democratic world that is so much more than simply a phrase thrown about. It's about self-determination, and it's about dignity. Go practice it now.
Macdonald Stainsby is a freelance writer, social justice activist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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