“The enemies of truth are not lies,” wrote Nietzsche, “but convictions.” Never before has his powerful aphorism been so obviously true.
The United States alleges that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, among other unproved assertions relating to Iraq’s support of terrorists. It refers the weapons-charge to the United Nations who, with the apparently full cooperation of the Iraqi government, begins an intensive inspection effort seeking evidence. Nothing to substantiate the US claim has yet been found. Some shell casings capable of delivering chemical agents a maximum distance of seven miles according to inspectors. Oh some documents, too, but nothing that Iraq has not already admitted to. Indeed, no big deal. But it is a big deal to the United States, and President Bush in particular. For when one’s mind is made up, everything that even minutely supports one’s conclusions is a big deal, and one recoils from further facts lest confusion set in or, in Bush’s case, supreme embarrassment.
The so-called “shared” CIA intelligence about so-called “hidden weapons sites” has also yielded nothing. No surprise there, for this is the same incompetent CIA of 9/11 fame. But still the American administration babbles on, so sure are they that Saddam Hussein is lying, and playing “hide-and-seek” with the weapons inspectors.
Now President Bush, rightfully anguished about the fate of this phony war, that is, the one with Iraq, is referring to the UN inspection teams as “so-called weapons inspectors” and putting “the world on notice.”Indeed, he, Bush, is either grossly incompetent or mad, or both. He has himself said that he relies on instinct, on his gut-feel, in making decisions. And in such manner, resolute in his convictions, Bush has prepared his current untenable, embarrassing bed, and placed the world in peril. Condoleezza Rice’s op-ed piece in today’s (January 23, 2003) New York Times, entitled “Why We Know Iraq is Lying,” obviously designed to be some grand apologia, instead, and not surprisingly, simply drags out the old canards. By now we can recognize her drift by smell alone.
So, unencumbered by any desire to examine either recent evidence or their consciences, Bush and his ilk continue to bully blindly for war. But now much of the world, and many Americans, are outraged by their pathetically flimsy case. These warmongers who have never experienced war themselves would do well to think and think again on the merits of an argument that even schoolchildren could recognize as specious.
“Whoever fights monsters,” Nietzsche wrote, “should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”