Interestingly, I don’t have an aural memory of Bush using the word. Surely he has at some point – but not as though Peace were, ultimately, a Goddess that we must assuage. Talking about this with my brother the other day, I told him that there is a phrase, hypocrisy is the tithe vice pays to virtue. He repeated the phrase a little doubtfully – my bro immediately gets suspicious when I get all epigrammatic and shit. He didn’t think it lessened Nixon’s crimes that he used the word Peace. Myself, I was just trying to look on the bright side!
The first thing I noticed is that the newspapers are floating another trivial project – a mere 100 billion dollars to “replace” our aging nuclear missiles with brand new ones, which might require underground testing. Now, if somebody was talking about spending 100 billion dollars to extend health coverage for people in my income bracket (the botched lowest 10 percent), there would, of course, be an outcry. We can’t do things like that. But for the peculiar geometric shape we all know and love, the Pentagon, 100 billion dollars is really a computer blip. After all, that 100 billion will flow to the people who need and deserve it most – the network of war industries out there, just aching to employ our finest engineers, who in turn are always just aching to see Free Enterprise unleashed upon the lazy masses. There’s nothing like an exception in an ideology to make it go down like sugared urine.
We did like the comments by one of the Pentagon Generals who, obviously, was interrupted in the middle of some sweet, erotic daydream about launching his pretties on the fuckin’ Russkie Islamofascists:
“Administration officials and military officers like General James Cartwright, head of the Strategic Command, which controls the nation's nuclear arsenal, argue that because the United States provides a nuclear umbrella for so many allies, it is critical that its stockpile be as reliable as possible.
"We will not 'un-invent' nuclear weapons, and we will not walk away from the world," Cartwright said in an interview. "Right now, it is not the nation's position that zero is the answer to the size of our inventory."
He added: "So, if you are going to have these weapons, they should be safe, they should be able to be secured, and they should be reliable if used."
Safety and reliability! That’s the ticket. If we must kill 2 million people, we want them to be the right 2 million people, after all. What kind of barbarians do you think we are? The NYT newspaper reporter did not record if he zipped up before or after this statement of the case, but surely those strong words must have left some telltale stain upon his uniform trousers.
Looking around for more hopeful Peace stuff, we went to the blog of the Perdana Peace Initiative, supposedly launched to criminalize war. Unfortunately, the signatories of the blog, all members of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal, have an inverted idea of peace. For them, peace seems to involve the total increase of conflict.
It was not Saddam Hussein’s death warrant that Nouri Al-Maliki signed so publicly but his own political and moral downfall along with that of the militias and gangs he is leading. The haste and the glee with which Maliki rushed through the execution exposes clearly the sole division that exists in Iraq, between the occupation and its local lackeys and the Iraqi population and its resistance to America's murderous agenda. This execution finds its place within an American strategy that at the least seeks to humiliate Iraq and at worst aims to foment mass civil strife if not a wider regional conflict.
The criminal Maliki government cannot now be recognised by any
government, institution, association or citizen as either a protector of Iraq and its people, or of legality and Iraqi custom.
Only the Iraqi national popular resistance is the guarantor and
protector of Iraqi sovereignty and the continuity of the Iraqi state.
The national popular resistance is the only legal authority that can
represent the Iraqi people and determine a path towards peace and
stability in Iraq.”
Notice the very sound of this - it is the language of the secret policeman as he breaks your glasses. It goes on and on, pretty much an anti-Shiite screed. While of the opinion that Hussein was lynched and his lynching used as a sign that the government and its allies desire the crushing of the Sunni population, we would think that a peace organization would do some general deploring and then advise negotiation – for negotiation between all parties in Iraq is, really, the only way out. There are models for this – for instance, the negotiation that ended the war in Northern Iraq between Kurdish factions in the 90s. Negotiation involves, first, less intransigence about legitimacy. It involves, second, a minimum of self policing. But such is not the route taken by this supposed peace organization, which apparently thinks that there is one thing called the national popular resistance. If only there were! And the use of the usual branding words – Hussein as the legitimate head of the government, Maliki as a criminal, etc., etc. – are so much useless confetti. Hussein, it should perhaps be recalled to these representatives of the Peace goddess, launched a devastating war against Iran in 1980, thus making legitimacy a mask for the far greater crime of warmongering.
There are legislators in the Kuwaiti parliament who are calling for retaliation against those governments that have expressed shock at Saddam’s death. What do you expect from Kuwaiti parliamentarians? But this antique, militant and futile language from supposed peace activists is as depressing as the tortures, explosions, and casualties it countenances. Poor Bertrand Russell, whose name is now being used as a shell to disguise calls to further mass murder! LI is very tempted to form a real Peace tribunal, and name it after Nietzsche.