Två utmärkta kommentarer till kriget i Guardian. Författaren Julian Barnes skriver om gåtan Blais (som jag gjorde 21 mars
) och om det assymmetriska kriget:
"The return of British bodies has been given full-scale TV coverage: the Union-Jacked coffin, the saluting Prince Andrew, the waggling kilts of soldiers escorting the hearse of their fallen comrades. Then each dead soldier's face comes up on screen, sometimes in a blurry home colour print, with listing of wife, fiancee, children: it thuds on the emotions. But Iraqi soldiers? They're just dead. The Guardian told us in useful detail how the British Army breaks bad news to families. What happens in Iraq? Who tells whom? Does news even get through? Do you just wait for your 18-year-old conscript son to come home or not to come home? Do you get the few bits that remain after he has been pulverised by our bold new armaments? There aren't many equivalences around in this war, but you can be sure that the equivalence of grief exists. Here come the widow-makers, goes the cry as our tanks advance. Here too come the unwitting recruiters for al-Qaida."
Julian Barnes: This war was not worth a child's finger (The Guardian, 11/4 2003)
Dramatikern David Hare skriver också om "equivalence", och om hur kriget startades av politiker som själva smet undan krigstjänst i Vietnam, när det var aktuellt för dem. Men framför allt lysande om det nya politiska landskapet:
"It appears that something so profound is happening in the world that none of us is yet able to grasp it. How can we consider and speak to the possibility that America is deliberately declaring that the only criterion of power shall now be power itself? (---)
George Bush is a born-again Christian and a recovering alcoholic. I see in him the uncontrollable anger of the alcoholic, once directed at himself, sluiced away every night into his bloodstream and out into the gutter, now, tragically, directed, via his amazingly aggressive, amazingly triumphant body language, on to whatever poor soul comes into his sights.
The intention to destroy the credibility of the United Nations, and its right to help try and defuse situations of danger to life, is not a byproduct of recent American policy. It is its very purpose. Bush chose Iraq not because it would make sense, but because it wouldn't. He did it, in short, because he could. No better reason than that. "Because I can, I will." The thinness of the justification for this war is, in fact, its very point. As is the arbitrariness of the target. The proliferation of other named targets - Syria, North Korea, maybe Burma, why not China? - adds, in Bush's eyes, only to the deliciousness of the game.
Caught, significantly, chuckling and laughing before a supposedly serious press conference about enemy losses and American advances, Bush comes to represent the man flexing private muscles for no other reason than the feral pleasure of the flex. What is being asserted today is the right to assert, to go in with absolutely no gameplan for how you will get out. Did the Bush administration deliberately omit to put any aid to Afghanistan in its current budget plans? Or, worse, did it simply forget?
Tonight in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane, under cover of war, while the world is not looking, Jewish fundamentalists are moving into an armed apartment block on land which belongs to the Palestinians; in the White House, Christian fundamentalists dream of moving on to murder and mayhem in countries beyond count; and on the stony hillsides of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Muslim fundamentalists dream of moving on to murder and mayhem in countries beyond count. The trade union of international politicians exercises an ever more Stalinist grip, moving countries and armies to wars they do not want. Only the people say no."
David Hare: Don't look for a reason (Guardian 12/4 2003)
12 apr 2003