Saddam Hussein is a nasty dictator, although he’s not unusually nasty for the Middle East. George W. Bush is a nasty and (possibly) fairly elected president, although he’s not unusually nasty for a president of the USA.
Both leaders are surrounded by groups of rather unpleasant people who see war and death as a way to make people’s lives better - those people that survive, of course. They can believe this because they aren’t likely to die in a war, and their children aren’t in the front line.
Mr Bush and Mr Hussein both have armies, mainly made up of nice people who will follow orders. They follow orders because they’re trained to, and they don’t want to die. They don’t want their comrades to die. A few of these soldiers are psychopaths, others will become psychopaths during the war, as the stress breaks them. These sick soldiers will do terrible things. Most won’t. If their side wins, they may get medals. Some nice soldiers will destroy distant shapes, too small to be real people, and real people will die. Many of the soldiers will be killed, usually the cheaper ones with the smallest guns.
Finally, Mr Bush and Mr Hussein have civilian populations. These are mainly made up of nice people too. They probably didn’t choose their leader. They want to watch TV, go shopping, go out for a meal, or play in the back yard. They don’t hate each other. They don’t want to die, and they don’t want to kill. Most Americans would find the people of Iraq to be smart, well education and polite, and suprisingly keen on American media and food. Manchester United is very popular in Iraq.
Which of these groups are to blame for the problems? Which of these groups will suffer terrible losses in The War?
Since World War I, wars have usually killed more civilians than soldiers. The nasty, cowardly shits who start wars for their own profit rarely die as a result. Many young soldiers will die, but many more civilians will die, and many of them will be very, very young. Most real war casualties don’t get the luxury of bodybags and a plane trip home - they die in their homes, their fields, their offices and schools, or huddled in a shelter.
The war will kill many Iraqi civilians. It will also kill American civilians later, when terrorist groups use The War as further justification for their attacks. I don’t want Iraqi civilians to die, and I certainly don’t want my American friends to die.
It is never right to kill civilians as a means to an end. It’s pure, cowardly, evil, the evil of strategy documents and “acceptable collateral damage” statistics. I resigned from the UK’s Labour Party when Tony Blair defended the bombing of a TV station in Serbia. How can deliberately killing hairdressers and TV technicians be a just act?
George Bush is intent on starting a war that will kill many innocent people in both America and Iraq, just as his father’s role in funding Al Qaeda killed 3,000 people one terrible day in September. Defenceless people will die to further the political and economic aims of the United States government. Not in the interests of its people - they will be more at risk - just the interests of the tiny American elite. How is this morally different to the repression of Saddam Hussein? And who is “anti-America”: the people marching against The War, or George Bush?