So there’s going be a war. So there’s going to be regime change in Baghdad. So there’s going to be lots of “collateral damage” in the form of thousands of dead Arabs. So what?
The world’s proud, only and unfettered superpower has deemed that it be so and it shall be so.
United States President George W Bush tells us this war is about making the world a safer place, about bringing democracy and freedom to the oppressed people of Iraq, about removing from the Middle East a man who gives succour to international terrorists and keeps dangerous toys in his bottom drawer.
His opponents tell us it is about Bush’s need to satisfy the urges of that humongous erection that is the American military, about the need to placate the petroleum giants whose avaricious eyes are on the Iraqi oil fields and about the desire to inject life into a stagnant American economy.
But none of those answers tell us why Britain’s Tony Blair is such an enthusiastic backer of this destructive mission and why so many other nations have been willing to join the Bush coalition.
The truth is that this is essentially a war of whores.
With all due deference to his esteemed office, Bush is a whore who, more than any of his 52 predecessors, has prostituted himself to his country’s industrial interests. Yes, Oliver Stone and other conspiracy theorists have said so much about the stranglehold of the military-industrial complex as to discredit the notion.
But the reality is that there is a greater power that controls the White House and that power is not the being whose blessing Americans so nonchalantly request each time they want to bomb a small nation.
The greatest weakness of the American model of democracy — and one that we in this part of the world should eschew — is the inordinate influence wielded by business interests and the Washington lobby establishment over elected officials.
So this is not necessarily Bush’s war. He is just a whore fulfilling the desires of those who control his government.
On the same token it is not Blair’s war either. The British prime minister, a man who a few years ago was a poster boy of the world’s New Left, has found himself unable to say no to Bush.
So dazzled by American power is Blair that he has allowed his philosophy of a Third Way to fall off the agenda.
Instead he has whored himself to the American establishment, allowing himself to be used to legitimise a war that will surely go down as one of the most avoidable conflicts in human history.
More than Saddam Hussein, it will be Blair who will be the worst victim of the regime change that will befall many world leaders as populations vote out those leaders who took them to a war they did not want.
Discarded by his people, his party and his European peers, Blair will leave the political stage a soiled man — and sans the legacy he so deserved.
A fulfilled Bush will zip up and walk away triumphantly, in search of more whores to exploit in his quest to entrench American domination over humanity.
For that is what happens to whores. That is exactly what happened to Saddam when he allowed himself to be used by Bush’s predecessors in the war against Iran, the then arch-evil. Once the US was done with him, Saddam became just another anti-Christ in the eyes of the Washington establishment.
That is what happened to the dozens of client states and puppet presidents that the US administration has used and discarded over the decades.
And that is what would have happened to the other would-be whores — those countries that were prepared to sell their principles for a fistful of dollars had the issue gone to a vote at the United Nations Security Council.
Tragically, it is not only the global political infrastructure that is being destroyed by this war and American dominance of international affairs. An even worse casualty is the morality of decision-making institutions: the presidencies and parliaments of the world.
No longer is there pretence that the world is divided along ideological lines, as was the case in the days when the Soviet Union counter-balanced the US’s superpower status. Today the world is divided into those who are prepared to prostitute themselves to the US (whether for money or short-term political gain) and those who aren’t.
That is not the way the New World Order which emerged from the rubble of the Cold War was supposed to be.
The world we sought to create was one that would build on the foundations of the multilateral institutions that were crafted at the end of World War II.
It was a world where humanity would live by civilised rules. It was a world in which the world’s wealthy would care about the world’s poor and the world’s developed nations would do their damnedest to drag the underdeveloped nations out of their quagmire.
Conflicts would be solved through multilateral institutions and wars would be embarked upon only when recognised international forums deemed them justifiable.
No. Nobody was so naive as to believe that we would love each other and be one big happy family. But we sure would try.
But all those dreams have dissipated now as we plunge into an era when all that matters is the size of your weapon, the bulk of your wallet and the willingness of someone to lie on their backs and shut their eyes.