By Eric Sidoti


I oppose this “war”.


I oppose this “war” because it will punish the victims. It will cost innocent lives.


I oppose this “war” because it is fuelled by fear and hatred and will inevitably breed more of the same. “Wars” like this one breed martyrs quicker than they destroy assassins.


I oppose this “war” because once begun it will never end. When did the Korean War end? The Gulf War? Wars like this one don’t end they just go underground while the suffering and deaths continue. How many Iraqi children have died since 1991?  When did the suffering of the Viet Nam conflict stop?


I oppose this “war” because it will make the “war on poverty” seem like a raging success by comparison. I oppose this “war” because it is as phony as the “war on drugs” where we pretend to tackle a real problem with what is self-evidently the wrong solution.


I oppose this “war” because it will be exploited by opportunists of all sorts. The Hawks will get their weapons. The less scrupulous Spooks will get the expanded  powers they always crave: covert operation, State approved assassinations, extended powers of arrest, detention without trial, use of “reasonable force” in interrogation. Nation will move against Nation in an attempt to turn despair to their advantage. Insurrectionists will move against their Governments. Borders and Governments both will be de-stabilised. The Blind Eye will be turned and we the public may never know. Information will be even more restricted. Truth will be cast aside.


I oppose this “war” because it undermines our shared humanity. It puts tolerance to the torch. It replaces the words “brothers and sisters” with “enemy and heathen and dog”.


I oppose this “war” because it is, in spite of apparent certainty of the belligerent rhetoric, confused and uncertain. It blurs the line between justice and vengeance. It is declared unilaterally against an unnamed enemy in charge of no territory. It treats criminals as if they were Heads of State or Commanders-in-Chief and in doing so bestows upon them a most undeserved honour. Even President Bush one moment talks of the enemy and then describes Al-Qa’ida as being like the Mafia. It makes criminals of those loyal citizens who question and resist -declaring “anyone who does not support us is against us”.


I oppose this “war” because it looks to the past and not the future. At the dawn of the 21st Century I believe we must look for responses that don’t cast us back to the Dark Ages and the Crusades. This “war” defiles those who fought to convert the suffering of World War II into a new order of inalienable human dignity embodied in International Law. It makes us less civilized.


I oppose this “war” not just because it is wrong but because it will fail. These Terrorists need make no claim of responsibility nor elaborate any demands if only because our leaders have reacted exactly as they would have expected. They are already winning. Their victories mount with every word of abuse, every rock thrown at a Mosque, the collapse of one airline after another, every dollar diverted to the tools of war.


I oppose this “war” because it denies the possibility of other legal, humane and potentially more successful means of destroying the roots of the Terror we confront.


I oppose this “war” and cannot remain silent in the face of it.


Eric Sidoti