Wednesday, April 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Iraq war and its aftermath

THE ongoing sickening drama of the US-UK led unilateral, unequal, immoral and illegal war on Iraq and its unfolding aftermath has not just outraged the vast humanity of the globe. It has snuffed out also any faintest hope that an incorrigible optimist like me might have harboured of a day when the USA would ultimately shed its super gendarme’s fatigues and lead the comity of nations to a new world order of peace, justice and happiness for all — “a world of equality and fraternity...”

But that dream stands irreparably shattered, like broken glass. None of us need nurse any illusions of any utopia any more. We now are painfully aware that fine human values that we cherish and endeavour to assiduously cultivate and nurture to realise the full human potential and make our lives more sublime and worth living and distinctly superior and better than the savage beasts of the jungle, are no longer valid and legitimate goals in the present-day world of dystopia... “Birth, copulation, and death/That’s all the facts when you come to brasstacks” — a refrain by poet T.S. Eliot sounds so apt in the present day despair and gloom.

It is the raw, unscrupulous law of the jungle and the supremacy of the brute force, which run supreme when it comes to the brasstacks of human existence. Bush and Blair have made it amply clear. This war has severely eroded our capacity to dream our fondest dreams, to love with passion, to laugh heartily and to exult uninhibited in the celebration of this wonderful human life. Bush, the super cowboy, his “yours most faithfully” Mr Blair (suffering from chronic verbal diarrohoea) and a few more of their accomplices in this organised crime against humanity have with one stroke made this world a hopeless, cheerless, frightful place to live.


How right was D.H. Lawrence of the “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” fame who, in his essay “Au revoir, U.S.A.”, had this to say about America:

“It’s a fanged continent. It has got a rattlesnake in its heart.”

I don’t expect much from my own country but will Europe in general, France and Germany in particular, and Russia and China to some extent, stand up and rise to the occasion to defang this monstrous viper? The whole world will heave a huge sigh of relief if they did.

As for commoners like me, we could at least start by boycotting all American goods, the unwholesome soft drinks in particular.


Where are WMDs?

NOW when the proverbial mountain is already dug, the entire world would like Mr Bush to tell the whereabouts of the much haunted chemical weapons, which became the root cause of this Gulf war, responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians. In fact, this is the question which the head of the UN and the heads of all nations should put to Mr Bush .

It will be befitting if he is prosecuted for killing thousands of innocent civilians. Further, it has got established that his real motive behind the war was petrol and not the chemical weapons. He will go down in history as the head of a nation who valued petrol more than human life. It looks that Hitler and Nepolian were feeling too lonely in their graves and were craving to have a new companion, more heartless than what they were known to be.

Bhartendu Sood, Chandigarh

Foxing the UN

The recent exposure of Hans Blix to the media that the USA has already decided to attack Iraq further sheds light on the American war aims. Hence, his curiosity to know the discovery of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) from Iraq is admittedly genuine. As of now, till the fall of Baghdad, the American military spokesman, Brig General Vincent Brooks in his briefings at the Command HQs at Doha in Qatar has denied the recovery of WMDs in substance. However, the world is kept on tenterhooks as any suspicious dump or chemical, be that an insecticide, is flaunted as a WMD, and denied in later briefings.

The ghost of WMDs has been kept alive as a “casus belli”. This is yet to see how the Americans would exorcise this ghost, perhaps laughingly or scandalously. Such a diplomatic demeanour of a great nation that America certainly is smacks of a sordid chapter in human history.

Mr Hans Blix acquired notoriety for his campaign called “Blixkrieg”. Apparently, disarmament of Iraq under the aegis of the UN was a decoy to fatham the waters. It served an immediate purpose for the powers-that-be in America: to locate the possible war ammunition depots, factories and possibilities of Iraqi military preparations. It is a tribute to his team that it did the job professionally well. It is a different matter that Uncle Sam cares less of world public opinion.

Arrogance of power rooted in technological superiority further drives America towards blatant unilateralism. The answer for economic malaise is being sought through militarisation of the economy. The relevance and role of the UN has become crucial in the 21st century. May the tribe of Hans Blix flourishes, otherwise the UN may go the League of Nations way. During further inspections anywhere, the UN must be mendated and/or backed up by international covenants and treaties to forestall dodging the UN as it has recently happened in the case of Iraq.

Dr SUKHDEV SINGH SOHAL, Department of History, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Unhealthy practices

A few days back we happened to go to Gurdwara Ber Sahib at Sultanpur Lodhi. Near the main gate, a woman was sitting with a small dirty table in front of her on which she had displayed a few strips of some tablets, small bottles of medicines, a few bottles of eye drops and a few ear drops.

Why are such people, who don’t know even the basics of medicine and who can cause blindness, deafness and other untoward reactions of medicines, not being checked by the health authorities?

Are all the laws being made for qualified people only and not for these who are playing with the lives of innocents?


Strengthen Russia

India and all nations of Asia (excepting Pakistan) must strengthen Russia so that there is at least one strong country which can oppose the designs of the US. The Russians have bailed out India many times in the UN Security Council on the Kashmir issue. India must distance itself from the unreliable Americans, in our national interest.

L.R. Dogra, Shimla


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