There may be no more sickening feeling than to watch helplessly as our government gets ready, any hour now, to launch an illegal and unjust war that will wreak havoc on so many innocent lives.
Some people hoped that Bush would pull back from the brink, but Bush has dashed those hopes.
Some hoped that the amazing, massive international opposition would stop Bush in his tracks. But Bush did not give such opposition a second thought.
Some hoped that diplomacy and disarmament would be given enough days to work. But Bush insisted there are no days left.
In his characteristically callow yet arrogant way, Bush said on Sunday in the Azores that "tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world."
But it is actually a moment of great falsity: the falsehood that Saddam Hussein is a grave threat to the world; the falsehood that Bush is about to wage war for the sake of peace; the falsehood that U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 grants the United States the right to go to war even when the Security Council obviously would not approve it.
So now we, as citizens of this empire, are forced to watch this renegade President wage war in our name.
It is in our name that he will launch some 3,000 missiles into Baghdad, a city of almost five million people, in the first 48 hours of his "shock and awe" assault.
It is in our name that he will risk causing 500,000 civilian casualties, according to a U.N. report.
It is in our name that he will risk making refugees out of two million Iraqis.
It is in our name that he will risk exposing as many as ten million Iraqis to hunger and disease.
And it is in our name that he will create the conditions of ever-more terrorist attacks against us, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.
None of these potential costs, and not the risks to U.S. soldiers or to the U.S. economy, are enough to dissuade this missionary President.
At a time like this, the rank of citizen is no badge of honor.
And yet, it is precisely as citizens that we must resist this unlawful President. We must redouble the protests that have already made clear the breadth and intensity of opposition to this war. And we must insist that our elected officials in Congress do their duty and restrain this man before he does any more harm.
War should not be a decision for one man to make--certainly not in a democracy.
Matthew Rothschild is editor of The Progressive
Copyright 2003 The Progressive Madison, WI