You ask me where I stand?
My immediate reaction: any question about the Iraq crisis which mentions George W. Bush, but not Saddam, contains per se a tendentious answer. Which prompts me to ask back: "And where do you stand?"
My second spontaneous reaction is to say: "I am on Israel’s side, ladies and gentlemen, primarily on Israel’s side!"
No, I do not want this war, I dread it and its consequences – but I strongly oppose the impulse which lets the arch crook Saddam off the hook, leaving intact this terrible status quo, and delegating sole responsibility for the crisis to "the Americans". I am fed up to the point of nausea with the pathology of anti-Americanism and refuse to identify oil greed as the motive for the escalation of the crisis in the Middle East.
I am not a blind defender of the United States, and I have often raised my voice against a foreign policy which connived in the Cold War with all right-wing dictators around the globe. America, however, does not have one face. It has many. And it is a good thing to have America – I owe her my life after all, even though the 8thBritish Army liberated me on 4 May 1945.
I hope that Saddam will be defeated without a war – but he has to be defeated! And the UN must be behind it.
Again it rings true: pacifism in a non-pacifist world means nothing but the continuation of murderous and terrorist regimes. It cannot be the answer to the chief rogue Saddam Hussein.
Originally published as part of a debate on 12 January 2003 Writers, artists and civic leaders on the War: Pt. 1.