"Violence Bounces":

48 Reasons to Oppose the US Invasion of Iraq

Ed Kinane

e.e. cummings' maxim, "violence bounces," may be the pithiest critique of war we have. But the reasons to oppose war are legion (count the victims). Reasons to oppose this particular war are legion and then some.

In late September, SPC sponsored an organizing meeting at the Westcott Community Center. To start our session, about 70 of us brainstormed why we oppose the US invasion of Iraq.

Most of the following reasons were voiced at that meeting.

Why We Oppose War Generally

1. killing is immoral

2. killing civilians is cowardly

3. aerial warfare is cowardly

4. war machines squander the earth's scarce resources

5. war pollutes and otherwise damages the environment

6. war corrupts; wars of aggression corrupt absolutely

7. violence breeds violence: war is contagious

8. war is destabilizing and tends to escalate beyond control

9. war cheapens and brutalizes a people and their culture: domestic abuse increases as soldiers return home

10. using violence to "solve" international problems sets an example for our children; the violence trickles down to our own streets

International law violated

11. wars of aggression make a shambles of national sovereignty and violate international law and the UN charter

12. violations of international law _ especially those by the only superpower _ undermine the foundations of global security

13. the first casualty of war is truth: war leads to censorship and managed news; it leads to the stifling of dissent and the erosion of civil liberties

14. financing war is used as a pretext to scale back social programs essential to the quality of our lives and of our communities

15. US citizens and taxpayers finance war while the weapons manufacturers and other corporations cash in

16. Benito Mussolini told us: fascism is the merger of the corporations with the government; war cloaks and consolidates fascism

Why We Oppose this War

17. Iraq provides no credible threat to US security

18. diplomatic options have yet to be explored adequately

19. despite the hype, this is a war of naked aggression _ not of self defense

20. this war is really about greed _ oil and world domination

21. it's also about power _ bending other nations to the US imperial will

22. Bush and most of his hyper hawks have no direct experience of war; during the Viet Nam War they managed to avoid any personal risk

23. "pre-emptive war" sets a deadly precedent … and certainly one which may one day be used against the US

24. thousands, possibly millions, of Iraqis will die

25. infrastructure essential to civilian life will be targeted and destroyed

26. as in this past century's other wars, innocent civilians will surely be the majority of victims

27. thousands of US soldiers could die … or be maimed … or contract dread disease

28. a US invasion co-opts the choices of the Iraqi people

29. war "for" the Iraqi people is racist and paternalistic; they didn't invite us to "liberate" them

Bullying and bombing create more terrorists

30. what goes around comes around: bullying and bombing will create more terrorists

31. the US penchant for attacking yet another poor, small, third world country is cowardly

32. attacking such countries is like flailing ripe dandelions: seeds of hatred spread across the landscape and across generations

33. Muslims are a quarter of the world's population; attacking an Islamic country may generate many enemies

34. the US has no moral standing to "take out" Saddam: US sanctions against Iraq have already led to the death of vast numbers of Iraqi children

35. the war may spill over Iraq's borders and engulf much of the Middle East

36. US weaponry (the armor-piercing shells tipped with depleted uranium) will further irradiate Iraq, leading to generations of genetic disease

37. the war is being used to distract US citizens from our rapidly declining economy and from corporate corruption scandals implicating the Bush/Cheney administration

38. these corporados are also using the Iraq war to distract us from their war for oil in Colombia

39. for better or worse, this unilateral invasion may undermine US ties with its allies and with the global community; the US is increasingly perceived as a rogue state

40. if Iraq is targeted for alleged links with al-Qaida, will other countries _ e.g. Saudi Arabia (another Islamic country sitting on vast oil reserves) with far stronger links _ also be targeted?

Hypocrisy of "war on terrorism"

41. given its nuclear arsenal, its thriving arms export industry, and its own terrorist training camps (the School of the Americas is just one example), it is sheer hypocrisy for the US to claim it is waging "war on terrorism"

42. if Iraq is targeted for failing to comply with UN resolutions, and for allegedly possessing "weapons of mass destruction," why not target other such renegades _ especially the US?

43. and why not target nations _ especially the US _ which fail to comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?

44. in the 57 years of the nuclear age, the only nation which has used nuclear weapons _ and done so more than once _ has no moral authority to invade a country which only possibly has such weapons… and which itself is an ongoing victim of US nuclearism (deadly depleted uranium still left over from the Gulf War)

45. yes, Saddam has used chemical weapons against the Kurds and Iranians … but the US materially and knowingly supported Saddam's development of those chemical weapons

46. killing a head of state _ a goal of this war _ violates international law

47. when cornered or desperate, Saddam _ like any other tyrant _ may retaliate with extreme and murderous irrationality

48. there is no endgame, no plan for filling in the power vacuum if Saddam is toppled; this is a recipe for chaos and endless strife

Ed is a member of the Peace Newsletter editorial committee.