I’ve often mused about what it would be like to be a member of Congress. I have no real desire to run for office or anything, mind you, I’d just like my voice to be actually heard rather than simply stamped on a ballot. The big problem, though, is I’d have a hard time keeping myself from calling our president a “beady-eyed shaven monkey” in the presence of my esteemed colleagues, which I perceive as being unprofessional.
Representative Pete Stark all but did that in his address to the House against a resolution authorizing military force against Iraq. Maybe I am cut out for Congress after all.
By the way, I agree with Mr. Stark, who says that passing the resolution would “authorize the United States to act as the aggressor for the first time in our history.” Now, you can argue whether this would be the first time we have been the aggressor (*cough*BayofPigs*cough*) but it is true that this would be the first time that we have started a war before our perceived enemies have acted in a warmongering way. Keep in mind that all of this war talk has little to do with the Gulf War, but is instead precipitated by our unsubstantiated belief that Iraq is building weapons of mass destruction, bolstered by their continued defiance of UN weapons inspections.
Is this really an act of war? It could be a prelude to it, certainly, and perhaps a military buildup at this time is prudent in light of that. But to invade the nation? Without the support of our foreign allies? Why is the US jumping in to what is clearly an international issue, one that should be handled under the guise of the UN? You may complain that the UN has no teeth, and you’d be right, but I think actions like those being taken by Bush and our Congress (who, by the way, passed that resolution 296-133) are the reason why. How can the UN be expected to act as a place for international cooperation when its members go off and affect international politics independently?
Bush and his cowboy diplomacy really frightens me. Many said the same about Reagan, but he seemed a bit more reserved. Sure, people in his administration sold arms to Iran, aided the contras, etc. Reagan presided over conflicts in Grenada and, to some extent, the Falklands. But he didn’t make major moves to embroil us in a foreign war that could cost the lives of thousands, if not potentially hundreds of thousands, of American soldiers. We said this about the Gulf War and had a handful of casualties, but the Gulf War never sat right with me. Something held Iraq back, and I don’t think it was just our military might. Either we are being lied to and Iraq has nowhere near the military capability we are led to believe (and this is a distinct possibility) or they’re waiting for some reason to really unleash it. And, this time, what with our actions in Afghanistan and our reactions to the problems occurring in Israel and the Palestinian lands, Iraq is really the least of our worries. Things are hot in the Middle East, and not in a good way. War is almost always a bad idea (you can’t help it when it’s waged against you, though), but war in the middle east sounds like suicide to me.