The rhetoric of war

On Monday, President George W. Bush while addressing a crowd in Trenton, N.J., threw out his slogan “Ö either you’re with us or you’re with the enemy.” To Bush and his hawkish cabinet, it appears that things are that simple in relation to the war on terror and to the potential war against Iraq. To the rest of the world, war seems more complicated. But who is the enemy and what are they the enemy of? Is the enemy a dictator in Iraq with questionable weapons of mass destruction who is welcoming weapon inspectors “without condition?” Is the enemy the recently self-made dictator of Pakistan who has threatened use of nuclear weapons and aides terrorist-like combatants in disputed Kashmir? Is the enemy the leader of Israel who continues to reject recent peace proposals from Palestinian negotiators and who rules a country that has violated U.N. resolutions since 1967? Maybe the enemy is the newly re-elected Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany who has been, with the exception of Nelson Mandela, the most vocal world leader unconditionally opposed to war with Iraq? The Bush rhetoric seems counter to the free-thinking, free-speaking, debate-centered democracy he supposedly is fighting for. For Bush, there is no room for free thinking, which is eerily like world leaders the Department of Defense considers to be enemies. Since being with Bush means supporting the murder of innocent human beings in the streets of Baghdad, I stand in stark opposition. Let’s begin building coalitions toward peace, not violence and war.