by Nalin de Silva
Going by the statements alone, it is not clear as to why Bush wants to attack Iraq. He has said among other things that Iraq has biological and chemical weapons and that Saddam has to surrender the arms that the government of Iraq posses to various UN appointees before it is too late. Bush is very serious and he means business. If poor Saddam fails to comply with the "order" of
Bush, then that would be the beginning of the end for the former. However, not everything is rosy for Bush. The Catholic countries in Europe have refused to join the crusade by the Anglican countries supported by some Christian reformist countries.
The Iraqi people find in the USA a bitter enemy and they are determined to fight American imperialism which is much worse than its predecessor British imperialism. The USA could be doing another Vietnam, this time in the
middle east, and Saddam would turn out to be a more difficult person than bin Laden and the rest.
Bush is not going round the mulberry bush. Whatever said and done he is very direct. He has come to the conclusion that Saddam has to be destroyed. According to Bush, Saddam is in possession of weapons that are detrimental to the mankind and further he is an irrational person according Bush. This implies that Bush is a rational person and it is this rational person who decides whether the others are rational or not. I may be wrong, but I am told that the word irrational has come from Mathematics where it is used to describe numbers that cannot be expressed in the form of rationals of two integers. Square root of two is an example for an irrational number and though the ancient Bharats who knew about these numbers did not make a fuss about them the western Europeans who were preoccupied with rational numbers did not want to accept them when they came to know about such numbers. It is said that Pythagoras and his school of Greek Mathematicians who were aware that the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle whose other sides were of length unity, was of length square root two, did not want to tell the world of the existence of such numbers. For them those numbers were "irrational". However, the irrational numbers are now not considered to be "irrational" in western Mathematics where even imaginary and many other numbers are accepted as "rational". Unfortunately the western mind in general is very far behind in coming to terms with the word "rational" in many other spheres. Though the western mind claims to be rational, it is not difficult to show that this rationality is only relative to their culture. As a result of this relativity regarding rationality the other cultures and the other people, in general, are not considered to be rational in the western culture even decades after Levi Strauss and others, who studied relativities of different cultures.
While Bush is very much interested in the weapons that Saddam is supposed to posses nobody has, to my knowledge, reaised questions about the weapons that Bush has hidden in his armouries. Rational Bush may be thinking that a rational person could posses weapons and that such persons would use them only for rational purposes, even if it meant the destruction of the world. It is not impossible to show rationally that under certain conditions the best solution to a problem is the destruction of the world. In any event it has to be taken as an axiomatic truth, another feature of the western culture, that Bush is rational and that being a rational person he would not use his weapons irrationally. If the world has to be destructed then Bush will do so but the lesser mortals would not have even an irrational say in these matters.
Bush wants to convince us that Iraq has to be bombed. So far he has convinced Blair and a few others but in general he has not succeeded in this rational attempt. How irrational can the world be by not believing rational Bush in his rational exploits.
Even in the USA there are many people including the chief United Nations arms inspector, Hans Blix, who has challenged the United States latest accusations against Iraq, saying inspection teams had found nothing to back them up. According to a news item, in an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Blix has maintained that the progress report he delivered to the UN Security Council on Monday the 27th of last month,
in which he determined that Iraq had not fully complied with international obligations to disarm, did not justify going to war. He has also stated that he had not seen any hard evidence that the Iraqi regime was linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, as President George W. Bush has alleged.
Of course, rational Bush does not want hard evidence. As Feyeraband has shown in his "Farewell to Reason", "hard evidence", "reason" are not always important even in western science. What matters is the mind, though many a western rationalist would claim that the mind could be reduced to matter. It is the mind or mindset or whatever of the western culture that matters here. We would call it the Chinthanaya of the western culture that finally forces Bush to come to the decisions that he takes in politics. Yes, the American Jathika Chinthanaya is behind the thought process of Bush and rational or otherwise he cannot escape from taking these decisions, unless he changes the Chinthanaya of the western culture. George W. Bush is a small person, even to attempt such a change and all that he could do is to play the cowboy in front of American television camera. It has become easy for people like Bush to play hero with the new technology and Postmodernists would say that the distinction between cinema (drama) and politics has been erased. I would not agree with them in recognising a postmodern society. It is not a so-called postmodern condition, but the effect on society of television and computers, which are nothing but products of western modernity, that has enabled not only the politicians in the USA but in many other countries, including our own, to use the television in politics. Politics, like many other things, has become personalised and individualised under western modernity. The knowledge that became individualised with the printed book (book in the western society is not the same as the "pusthaka" or "potha" in South Asian societies) gave the lead to drama, cinema, music and others to be individualised with cassettes, video films, CDs, VCDs and what not. Politics had to follow and now people can "enjoy" political debates or "karachchal" in their homes.
In any event, Bush the politician who plays the heroic cowboy for the present generation of Americans is about to send his troops to Iraq. This will be war unlike what we have in the northern province of Sri Lanka. The peace brigade has an important role to play as the whole world will be affected by the decision of George W. Bush. The Norwegians, the Scandinavians in general and the Japanese should have a field day with their MOUs, monitoring missions, aid programmes and other such paraphernalia. They should be shuttling between Oslo, Tokyo, Baghdad, Washington and other important cities in the world. However, it is not to be seen and it looks as if these worthies are not interested in peace. It may be that we do not understand how these rational minds work and that it is peace that Bush is after. While Bush is emphasising that Saddam has to decommission arms in the name of peace, our peace lovers, that include the rational "intellectuals", are busy with pointing out that it is irrational to ask Prabhakaran to lay down arms before the so-called peace talks. They consider it as a confidence building exercise between the LTTE and the "government" of Sri Lanka. How about initiating a confidence building exercise between Saddam and Bush, and Blair if the Anglophiles cannot do without him. The Japanese could give some electronic gadgets to Saddam and make sure that the Iraqi market is also open to them. There was a time when many in South and South East Asia were proud for the achievements of the Japanese, but unfortunately it is not the case now.
Whether the Japanese understand it or not, the western cultural colonialism that began with the advent of western modernity in the fifteenth century is continuing under the not so able leadership of Bush. Cultural colonialism is a major aspect of western colonialism and clash of civilisations began in the fifteenth century in contrary to what Samuel Huntington has said in his "Clash of Civilisations". Huntington talks of an impending clash of civilisations when it had already begun five hundred years ago. The western civilisation is only paying lip service to the other cultures and civilisations and they are all out to absorb what they want from the others and then weaken and if possible destroy them. Let us face it. After the Eastern European civilisation, that challenged the western civilisation, in the guise of communism, was weakened and defeated by the west, Muslim civilisation has become their main enemy. The west has now taken on Saddam, Gaddafi, bin Laden and others whom they consider as the biggest threat to the western civilisation. I do not condone the terrorism of bin Laden but those who support Prabhakaran cannot condemn bin Laden. The Sri Lankans have had not just one September 11 but several of them "thanks" to the help from the west.
Bush would be happy if he could replace Saddam with somebody else whom he wants. He wants to appoint the heads of government of the other countries without giving that opportunity to the people of those countries. That is the so-called democracy he practises and we should not be surprised that some ballot boxes were not accounted for at the last presidential elections in the USA.
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