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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    European Opposition to War on Iraq Not Realized in U.S.

    Likemost weeks before writing this column, I have just finished watching the newson the BBC, and like most weeks recently I was distressed by America’sseemingly inevitable drive to war. It’s not just the deployment of thousandsof American and British troops to the Middle East, or Bush’s contentiousattitude towards the United Nations that inspire in me a feeling of bothconcern and annoyance. It’s the steamroller attitude of the United Statesadministration that makes me raise my eyebrows. Stopping for no one and nothing(let alone cooperation or international support) the U.S. is doing a ten-monthcountdown in a matter of weeks, and alienating the rest of the globe in theprocess.


    I’m sorry to have to break it to everyone in the United States who thinksthat the world is in full support of Bush’s plan to attack Iraq, but themajority of Europeans (including the British people) are against an immediateand full-scale war. I have no idea how the international community and itscitizens are portrayed on American television, but I doubt the full extent ofEuropean opposition is made clear.

    Theresistance by the European people is based on more than just economic concernsor moral grounds. Sending troops into the Middle East will cost lives, boththose of the Western military forces and the Iraqi people. The weaponsinspectors in Iraq have not found evidence of weapons of mass destruction, norhas the United States provided the smoking gun that would necessitate invasion.France and Germany are proposing a peaceful solution (or at least a delay) tothis conflict through the use of UN troops and more weapons inspectors. The USis bull-headedly charging straight into a full-scale military operation,without offering any conclusive evidence or absolute justification. And now theUS is willing to alienate the most powerful countries in the world (France,Germany, Russia, China, etc.) and attack Iraq on its own. European headlinesseem to waver between portraying America as arrogant and ignorant.


    I’m not a dove or a pacifist (although this column would definitely makeme seem so). I’m a pragmatist, and Bush has definitely failed to convinceme that we need to invade Iraq to ‘protect the sanctity of democracythroughout the free world’ (it just smacks of the Cold War turnedbiological to me). And since the US didn’t do so hot a job with Bin Ladenin Afghanistan, the ‘War on Terror’ doesn’t seem adequate asjustification either.


    I think that what bothers me most is the Washington D.C. attitude that war is aforegone conclusion. The President is just placating the U.N. without any realintention of cooperating with a peaceful solution. The U.S. has always beenarrogant, but is unilateral action in the face of international oppositionreally the way we want to begin the 21st century? In our global village, doesthe United States believe that it can survive by bullying and defying theinternational community?

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