War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
I wrote the following essay for the OpenDemocracy site, where writers and thinkers including Jon Le Carré, Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens, John Berger, Roger Scruton, Pervez Hoodbhoy, David Hare, Denis Halliday, and Günter Grass have weighed in on the looming war in Iraq.
by Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
Shame on Bush and Blair for threatening their illegal and immoral war. The United Nations Charter, that noble document which authorizes war only in "self-defence if an armed attack occurs" or if the UN Security Council deems force necessary to maintain international peace and security, is like so much dust in the wind against the oil-slicked aggressive greed of an arrogant, rogue superpower and its shameless British lackeys. If the Security Council approves this unjust war, it will not be because the world is in agreement, but because it has been strong-armed by a bully.
Shame on the media for refusing to ask the right questions, or to question the right villains. Shame on them for their 24-hour war-watch programming peppered with million-dollar ads and extremist talking heads. Shame on them for cashing in on conflict and ignoring nuance and the truth-telling masses in the streets who are resisting the incessant war cries.
Who is asking the real questions: like, why now? Why not ten years ago, twenty years ago, or ten years from now? Or, if this war is truly about weapons of mass destruction, where is the evidence? If this war is really about the liberation of the Iraqi people from a tyrant, why did we never liberate Chile from Pinochet or Cambodia from Pol Pot? Why are we not liberating Zimbabwe from Mugabe? Why are we not seeking "regime change" by force in North Korea? The answer is obvious, and yet we are told not to believe it. Shame on us if we don't. And shame on us all for entering the new millennium still at each other's throats.