We'll find them, stated Bush. It'll be a matter of time to do so. This when, not if philosophy is especially troubling. Bush wants to justify this war so badly to the American people and his god that I believe he will go to any length to create a situation in which he comes out a liberator. Its only a matter of time until Bush and Co. plant weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to try to justify this unjustifiable war. It really wouldnt be too hard since the United States has more weapons of mass destruction than any other country. In addition, justifying the occupation of another country is as morally justifiable as Manifest Destiny. The United States had to do it; Bush had no real choice. As Nicholas Grey helpfully wrote in April, Its a fine time to be an American. And how did the United States liberate Iraq? Although U.S. General Tommy Franks has stated that, we [the U.S. military] dont do body counts, it is known that the war caused the death of over 2,000 innocent Iraqi civilians. I am sure that Iraqis who were killed and those that were displaced from their homes are grateful for their liberation. Bush has made a mockery of the word liberation, and public support for this war has made a mockery of the United States. Too many Americans supported the war and even more believed Fox, CNN, and other media sources as they reported pure patriotic blindness that only echoed our empty consumer culture. Its easier to wave a flag and buy a Support Our Troops yard sign than actually think about the bombs U.S. soldiers are shocking Iraqis with. But Americans dont really want to hear about war in Iraq anymore. Its old news, like Afghanistan, and there are happier things to think about, like Bushs budget proposal for enormous deficits and cuts in social spending. As Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle stated, President Bush is leading the most fiscally irresponsible administration in history. However, it must be noted that this plan is fiscally responsible to the rich and to U.S. corporations. Is it any surprise that Fox News Channel, the cable network controlled by Rupert Murdoch's giant News Corporation, supports the conservative corporate agenda and doesnt ask the obvious questions? Murdoch and other media moguls like him have the most to gain from Bushs policies. Why would they present the other side of the argument in any sort of constructive way? Take Foxs biased coverage of the war in Iraq, for example. According to the BBC, Fox News, which puts a patriotic spin on the news and became the largest cable news channel in 2002, increased its number of viewers by 300 percent to average 3.3 million daily viewers during the conflict. Americans watched Fox because they wanted to feel good about the war and ignore the large humanitarian costs. Those who supported the war wanted to believe, even if it went against their better judgment, that dropping bombs on Iraq was for the good of the Iraqi people. The war was unjustly framed by rhetoric of freedom and benevolence. Psychologist and philosopher R. D. Laing accurately describes why the war had to be framed by such rhetoric: Exploitation must not be seen as such. It must be seen as benevolence, he said. Persecution preferably should not need to be invalidated as the figment of a paranoid imagination; it should be experienced as kindness. . . In order to sustain our amazing images of ourselves as Gods gift to the vast majority of the starving human species, we have to interiorize our violence upon ourselves and our children, and to employ the rhetoric of morality to describe this process. Dont believe the President; the war was unjust. Dont listen to Nicholas Grey; its not a fine time to be an American. And dont trust the media; Iraq is not a liberated country, but a destroyed and occupied state.
We need to question the logic of war as benevolence strongly and quickly before Bush has the idea of liberating another country that might, or might not, have weapons of mass destruction. Patriotism should be freed from its current function of silencing dissent and encouraging consumption to fostering an environment in which authority is always questioned and held accountable. We must be like E. F. Schumacher, who wrote, All through school and university I had been given maps of life and knowledge on which there was hardly a trace of many of the things that I most cared about and that seemed to me to be of the greatest possible importance to the conduct of my life. I remembered that for many years my perplexity had been complete; and no interpreter had come along to help me. It remained completed until I ceased to suspect the sanity of my perceptions and began, instead, to suspect the soundness of the maps.
Staff Writer Bryan Lindsley is a senior from Waukesha, Wis. He majors in intergrative studies.