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the web log of Simon Jessey

Saturday, October 19th, 2002

Can't we all be friends?

In many ways, Earth is not a nice place to live at the moment. Conflict can be found almost everywhere; a state of events that appears to have always existed. It doesn't matter if the disagreement is based on greed, religion or fear because the result is always the same. War.

The entire blogging community seems to be discussing war at the moment. Highest on the list is the possibility of a war between my nation of residence, America, with Iraq. I have read many articles and and blog entries on the subject and I feel it is now time to contribute my own commentary.

A warning

I am going to be exercising freedom of speech, from this point on. I am going to be giving my unhindered opinion. It is therefore highly likely that some or many groups will disagree with my comments and may even find them offensive. I have no wish to offend, but this may be inevitable, given the subject matter. Please consider these words before continuing.

I have no time for terrorists

It seems that al-Qaeda are still a potent organization. They have been linked to the recent bombing in Bali. The target appears to have been foreign tourists, with Australia and my native country of Britain suffering the highest number of casualities. As I understand it, al-Qaeda grew out of the Afghan mujahideen as the former Soviet army pulled out of Afghanistan. Their apparent hatred of westerners appears to have been the result of the war in the Persian Gulf, when the region became "occupied" by "infidel" soldiers. Rather than engage in diplomacy, these fucking savages decide that blowing people up is a better idea. At the same time, their oppressive, fundamentalist version of Islam brought pain and suffering to their own people.

Meanwhile, Israelis and Palestinians are killing each other over land. Israel has illegally occupied land in the region, and Palestinians are (quite rightly) miffed about it. Unfortunately, the United Nations did not see fit to issue Chapter Seven resolutions in regard to this conflict, and so the UN does not have a mandate to use resources to fix the situation. Both sides are behaving badly and quite frankly, I couldn't care less if they wiped each other out.

In the case of Iraq, however, a mandate does exist, and I believe it should be enforced. The Iraqi government, and in particular Saddam Hussein, should not be allowed to develop weapons of mass destruction. As far as I am aware, Iraq signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and are thus in direct violation of its conditions. Israel, it should be mentioned, did not, and are thus free to develop their arsenal, unfortunately. A war against Iraq is rather extreme, in my opinion. The goal must be halt the production of weapons of mass destruction, and (if possible) prevent their creation in the future. The goal should not be to remove Saddam from power, however favorable that may be, unless that action is necessary to bring about the main goal.

Perhaps this is why I don't believe in God. It is not necessarily because I believe that no God or gods exist. It is more because if this is the sort of situation that God/gods create, the universe would be better off without them. The biggest reason for war and conflict is probably greed, but religion runs a close second. Entire races of people are bent on killing each other because of tiny differences in religious beliefs or doctrine. Why can't people just learn to live with each other?

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