OPINION

Beyond the ‘no to war’

It’s hard to believe that even US President George W. Bush himself is truly convinced that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction that pose a threat to our benign free world. Even a child knows the reasons why Washington is anxious to stage a showdown against Iraq. As a result, the majority of US and European citizens spurn the arguments of the US administration and demonstrate their opposition to war. The world’s media focus on the fact that Berlin and Paris and other EU member states oppose Washington’s impatience to go to war. However, another question needs to be answered. Which of the political powers that now shout «no to war» do in fact disagree with the policies which aim at asserting control over the Gulf states and, effectively, over the oil resources in the region? Which Western states oppose attempts to control the area, recreating the status quo that has been established in central Asia through the presumably democratic regime installed in Afghanistan? Were Saddam Hussein to leave without a war, thereby opening the path for a US-controlled democratic government and a series of beneficial oil deals between the EU and the USA, would everything then be all right? Would those who now say «no to war» then be satisfied? Their silence would mean that what they disagree about now is simply the means by which the Iraq question is settled. And this, in turn, would mean that, deep down, the West’s «no to war» really means «don’t drag us into such a conflict, for this would threaten our own security.» But so long as disputes among Western states over the best policy on oil-producing countries merely concerns the means by which these policies are implemented, it appears certain that Western security will be held to ransom by acts of Arab retribution.