'Today we face the conse1uences of unilateral invasion of a sovereign country* which at the time of invasion !osed no threat to the 4nited /tates" It is* as my neigh$or said* like taking a $ase$all $at to a $ee's nest* !laying free and easy with American lives"' Laura Nader Laura Nader This is a transcript of the remarks delivered by Laura Nader at a forum of UC Berkeley faculty experts convened at Zellerbach Hall on April ! "##$! to discuss the %ar %ith &ra'( Nader is a professor of social cultural anthropolo)y and the author of numerous books on ho% central do)mas are made and ho% they %ork in la%! ener)y! science! and anthropolo)y( I think it's clear from our conversations with our families and friends that there is an uneasy feeling in our country a feeling that somehow something un!recedented is ha!!ening" A #ietnam veteran !ut it more $luntly% &We've lost all three $ranches of government ' the (udiciary when they selected the )resident* the +ongress when they a$dicated to the ,-ecutive .ranch* the ,-ecutive when they refuse to listen to dissenting Americans"& There is an uneasy feeling in the country our founding fathers !laced the war'making !ower in the hands of +ongress where decisions could $e o!enly de$ated" /lowly we reali0e that a do0en unelected men and one woman are making decisions that will com!romise the lives of American fighting forces* the lives of the Ira1is we say we want to li$erate* the future of American schools* health care* our relations with old allies2 the costs of war unfathoma$le" /enator .yrd's &we stand !assively mute& s!eech o$3ected to +ongressional a$dication" Three $ranches of government are now one2 o$3ections $y high'ranking military offices are muted and all of this 3ustified $y unsubstantiated presuppositions fed to the !u$lic ad

nauseum" 56 that Ira1 has wea!ons of mass destruction and that they are linked with al' Qaeda2 76 that the rest of the world* including our NAT8 allies* is wrong2 96 that the Ira1is would welcome us as li$erators in s!ite of 57 years of sanctions and thousands of child deaths* in s!ite of daily $om$ing missions since 5::5* in s!ite of an illegal invasion" /uch !rognostication is indicative of !oor intelligence* an e-am!le of what ha!!ens when a !resident is isolated $y a $and of self'serving advisers" How little we know of the Ara$ world* of Ira1 and its !eo!le* of the !lace that .erkeley faculty analy0e* critici0e and defend Ira1 war' had technology" Candhi said the same thing a$out the .erkeley since 5:BA" )resently I teach a seminar on what other civili0ations think of the West* $eginning with a +hinese .ast +enter entertained a visit from <oroccan governors* I argued with one over their use of light'water nuclear reactors along the coast in the a$sence of <oroccan know'how making them de!endent on the .rench* their former coloni0ers" In frustration* finally the governor $lurted out* &The .uddhist minister who went west to India in the :th century" In teaching* I have $een struck $y the de!th of ignorance a$out this large e-!anse of the world" In my research* I have noticed mirrored images" The Ara$ historians of the +rusades thought the +rusaders $ar$aric savages* ignorant of medicine* they had no culture* no civili0ation although they Read the story% '4+ .aghdad ' the .lorence of the <iddle .ast ' has in the hearts and minds of Ara$ !eo!les" Ira1* the +radle of +ivili0ation how could we have thought that Ira1is would not defend their country from invasion= Why would the /hias in the south have welcomed the Americans when /hia Iran is also $eing threatened $y the American administration" How little we know a$out the Ara$ world" >o we really think there is no conse1uence of our dou$le'standard foreign !olicy= 8ne for /addam Hussein* one for Ariel /haron $oth $rutal men res!onsi$le for the death and destruction of innocent civilians" Hussein gassed the ?urds* /haron killed 5@*AAA Le$anese civilians $efore he got to /a$ra and +hatilla* to one side his !rovocation of the !resent intifada """ $oth fed $y arms from the 4nited /tates" >ou$le standard the attack on the 4"/"/" +ole $y <uslim terrorists was rightly condemned* $ut the 4"/"/" Li$erty in 5:B@ $om$ed $y Israeli war !lanes was covered u! $y the )entagon" Israel is the sole country in the region with wea!ons of mass destruction" I've taught a$out the !eo!les and cultures of the Ara$ world at .ritish Watch the We$cast $rute force" /ome years ago* the <iddle .rench= They have no culture* no civili0ation* $ut they do have technology Dnot the same as civili0ation6"& This is an .

that )resident .ul$right today* he would say* &The arrogance of !ower"& How is such arrogance e-!ressed= In religious 0eal !erha!s the +rusades have never ended2 in militarism the military'industrial com!le.y their very nature* fundamentalists of all stri!es consider their doctrines to $e the truest* su!erior to all others* who fall into the category of uncivili0ed" At the time of the first Culf War* I was told $y a distinguished ?uwaiti woman that the invasion of ?uwait was a family 1uarrel that should $e settled $y Ara$s" Queen Noor tells us that ?ing Hussein thought his !eace effort was sa$otaged2 his mission was to avoid $ringing Western troo!s into the region* which would trigger radical Islamicists" Why didn't we let the ?ing of (ordan deal with the !ro$lem= If we had a /enator .o$servation that we hear from Tokyo to Ci$raltar and most recently from (a!anese +.isenhower warned a$out* inde!endent of democratic decision' making2 racism the need for wea!onry to $e tested on some$ody2 and finally the !owerful im!act of intertwining fundamentalist Hionist ideology with American foreign !olicy* a !osition which under the Truman Administration* /ecretary of >efense E(amesF .ush and .8s* and even more recently the .lair* we are !roceeding to massive assaults in the midst of civilian !o!ulation that ecli!se the $om$ing of Hanoi" The actions taken under cover of the )atriot Act make the )almer raids of the 5:7As and the <c+arthyite tragedies of the 5:GAs minor $y com!arison" .uro!eans refer to the 4"/" as &the .ast* a recent study of <uslim and non'<uslim nations concluded that while few citi0ens of <uslim states en3oy democratic rights* there is roughly e1ual res!ect for democratic !rinci!les in <uslim and Western society" All to say we must $e on alert" Re!resentations are am!lified and coarsened $y the mass media" The current 4nited /tates invasion of Ira1 can only e-acer$ate the vicious circle of anti'American and anti'<uslim or Ara$ stereoty!ing" There are times when events com!el nations to $ring their actions to the test of !rinci!les" At such times* the truly !atriotic citi0en is forced to com!are national ideals with immediate national !ur!oses and !olicies" >ecisions made at these crises !oints determine the fate of the nation whether it rises further towards its ideals or moves away from them" As it stands now* under the leadershi! of .ush /r" as saying to her hus$and* &I will not allow this little dictator E/addam HusseinF to control 7G !ercent of the civili0ed world's oil"& 8f course the key words here are &the civili0ed world"& .orrestal !assionately warned is dangerous to the security of the 4nited /tates" Today we face the conse1uences of the unilateral invasion of a sovereign country* which at the time of invasion !osed no threat to the 4nited /tates" It is* as my neigh$or said* like taking a $ase$all $at to a $ee's nest* !laying free and easy with American lives" The dou$letalk is e-traordinary" 8n the one hand we're $ringing democracy to Ira1 $y means of a war not democratically declared" As is common* democracy !romoters ignore the traditions of those they seek to assist and lack a grounded understanding of their own !olitical democracy" Although it has $een re!eated ad nauseum that there is only one democracy in the <iddle .aith*& Queen Noor of (ordan 1uotes Ceorge .-treme West& in making similar !oints" In her new $ook* &Lea! of .

ill of Rights was the first legal document in the history of the world .or a !ost'conflict Ira1* there is no Ne0ar Al/ayyad cultural sensitive !lan as Ceneral <acArthur had $efore he Thomas C" .fforts at cultural e-change with the Ara$ world should $e ste!!ed u!" In the late 5:th century* Americans founded universities and colleges in +airo* .eirut and Istan$ul* a civili0ed way to introduce democratic thought and American goodwill* and a chea! investment com!ared with the use of military might" There is nothing inevita$le a$out the military industrial com!le-" Remem$er the !eace dividend= (ust $ecause +ongress dro!!ed it doesn't mean that citi0ens should" 8ur leaders might listen to dissenting voices as a way to avoid miscalculations* as a way to develo! criteria for what it means to win or lose" Islam is the world's and America's fastest growing religion ' 5"7 $illion !eo!le should give !ause to those who think only of military victories" When hostilities cease* there will $e the challenge of re$uilding what we have destroyed and finding a graceful way out" .m$edded media may find it difficult to maintain an arm's length with government in order to 1uestion the official story" ENew Iorker re!orterF /eymour Hersh's re!orting on Richard )erle and the >efense )olicy .erdahl !rofessions and elsewhere" .arnes entered (a!an* where the first rule was &do not humiliate the >avid >" +aron enemy"& We might learn from the 5:th'century Americans who Laura Nader $uilt universities* a civili0ed effort that does not re1uire /teve We$er 3eo!ardi0ing American lives" <ost of all* Americans need to start (anet Iellen !racticing democracy" If we did* we wouldn't have to sell it" QJA with audience Covernment $y the !eo!le and for the !eo!le* is the vision that the 4nited /tates has given the world" Never $efore in history had a government $een created with its main !ur!ose as securing the rights that !eo!le had regardless of what the government said" The .The silver lining in all this is the worldwide o$3ection to unilateral war" The worldwide !eace movement is a movement for glo$al survival" >emocracy has made great strides !eo!le want to decide the fate of their world* sometimes in direct o!!osition to their governments and talk of nuclear strikes" The !eace !rotests have $een our $est citi0en efforts at homeland security not all Americans agree with the actions of their government" It is also true that !eace !rotestors have $een unsuccessful in communicating with our own government" /uggestions% we need to get s!ecific" The media is o$sessed with tactics and technology over !olitical analysis" .oard and their ties with war !rofiteering is good investigative re!orting* a tiny inroad towards dismantling the military'industrial com!le-" That these war !rofiteers o!erate una$ashed in and out of government could $e in our favor" We need to $e more politic on the international scene our am$assador doesn't walk out of the 4"N" $ecause he doesn't like what the Ira1i am$assador is saying" We need to repair relations with the .rench* Cerman and Russians who have closer ties to Iran and recogni0e their long'term oil contracts with Ira1* and with others through di!lomacy not $ri$es" .efore the 5::A Culf War* Ira1 Read the complete had a sta$le middle class* largest in the Ara$ world* education remarks by: and healthcare were almost universal* women had achieved in the +hancellor .

to limit what the government could do and to secure those rights for individuals" That is something to remem$er" .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful