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[Nettime-nl] Arundathi Roy
H S on Fri, 27 Sep 2002 19:16:01 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-nl] Arundathi Roy


Hallo PCM,

Het is bij PCM, geloof het of niet, toegestaan de economische (olie;)
motieven van een oorlog tegen Iraq, om Iraq te bezetten en de toegang tot
deze olie te verzekeren, zowel op de opiniepagina's als op de voorpagina te
bespreken en aan NL publiek hierover te berichten!

Met vriendelijke groet,


H Speckens

Pers Galerie NL
Bijgevoegd een zeer indringend betoog van Arundathi Roy om u van een
vermeend anti amerikanisme te bevrijden:

> Not again
>
> Tomorrow thousands of people will take to the streets
> of London to protest against an attack on Iraq. Here,
> the distinguished Indian writer Arundhati Roy argues
> that it is the demands of global capitalism that are
> driving us to war
>
> Arundhati Roy
> Friday September 27, 2002
> The Guardian
>
> Recently, those who have criticised the actions of the
> US government (myself included) have been called
> "anti-American". Anti-Americanism is in the process of
> being consecrated into an ideology. The term is
> usually used by the American establishment to
> discredit and, not falsely - but shall we say
> inaccurately - define its critics. Once someone is
> branded anti-American, the chances are that he or she
> will be judged before they're heard and the argument
> will be lost in the welter of bruised national pride.
>
> What does the term mean? That you're anti-jazz? Or
> that you're opposed to free speech? That you don't
> delight in Toni Morrison or John Updike? That you have
> a quarrel with giant sequoias? Does it mean you don't
> admire the hundreds of thousands of American citizens
> who marched against nuclear weapons, or the thousands
> of war resisters who forced their government to
> withdraw from Vietnam? Does it mean that you hate all
> Americans?
>
> This sly conflation of America's music, literature,
> the breathtaking physical beauty of the land, the
> ordinary pleasures of ordinary people with criticism
> of the US government's foreign policy is a deliberate
> and extremely effective strategy. It's like a
> retreating army taking cover in a heavily populated
> city, hoping that the prospect of hitting civilian
> targets will deter enemy fire.
>
> There are many Americans who would be mortified to be
> associated with their government's policies. The most
> scholarly, scathing, incisive, hilarious critiques of
> the hypocrisy and the contradictions in US government
> policy come from American citizens. (Similarly, in
> India, not hundreds, but millions of us would be
> ashamed and offended, if we were in any way implicated
> with the present Indian government's fascist
> policies.)
>
> To call someone anti-American, indeed, to be
> anti-American, is not just racist, it's a failure of
> the imagination. An inability to see the world in
> terms other than those that the establishment has set
> out for you: If you don't love us, you hate us. If
> you're not good, you're evil. If you're not with us,
> you're with the terrorists.
>
> Last year, like many others, I too made the mistake of
> scoffing at this post-September 11 rhetoric,
> dismissing it as foolish and arrogant. I've realised
> that it's not. It's actually a canny recruitment drive
> for a misconceived, dangerous war. Every day I'm taken
> aback at how many people believe that opposing the war
> in Afghanistan amounts to supporting terrorism. Now
> that the initial aim of the war - capturing Osama bin
> Laden - seems to have run into bad weather, the
> goalposts have been moved. It's being made out that
> the whole point of the war was to topple the Taliban
> regime and liberate Afghan women from their burqas.
> We're being asked to believe that the US marines are
> actually on a feminist mission. (If so, will their
> next stop be America's military ally, Saudi Arabia?)
> Think of it this way: in India there are some pretty
> reprehensible social practices, against
> "untouchables", against Christians and Muslims,
> against women. Pakistan and Bangladesh have even worse
> ways of dealing with minority communities and women.
> Should they be bombed?
>
> Uppermost on everybody's mind, of course, particularly
> here in America, is the horror of what has come to be
> known as 9/11. Nearly 3,000 civilians lost their lives
> in that lethal terrorist strike. The grief is still
> deep. The rage still sharp. The tears have not dried.
> And a strange, deadly war is raging around the world.
> Yet, each person who has lost a loved one surely knows
> that no war, no act of revenge, will blunt the edges
> of their pain or bring their own loved ones back. War
> cannot avenge those who have died. War is only a
> brutal desecration of their memory.
>
> To fuel yet another war - this time against Iraq - by
> manipulating people's grief, by packaging it for TV
> specials sponsored by corporations selling detergent
> or running shoes, is to cheapen and devalue grief, to
> drain it of meaning. We are seeing a pillaging of even
> the most private human feelings for political purpose.
> It is a terrible, violent thing for a state to do to
> its people.
>
> The US government says that Saddam Hussein is a war
> criminal, a cruel military despot who has committed
> genocide against his own people. That's a fairly
> accurate description of the man. In 1988, he razed
> hundreds of villages in northern Iraq and killed
> thousands of Kurds. Today, we know that that same year
> the US government provided him with $500m in subsidies
> to buy American farm products. The next year, after he
> had successfully completed his genocidal campaign, the
> US government doubled its subsidy to $1bn. It also
> provided him with high-quality germ seed for anthrax,
> as well as helicopters and dual-use material that
> could be used to manufacture chemical and biological
> weapons.
>
> It turns out that while Saddam was carrying out his
> worst atrocities, the US and UK governments were his
> close allies. So what changed?
>
> In August 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait. His sin was not
> so much that he had committed an act of war, but that
> he acted independently, without orders from his
> masters. This display of independence was enough to
> upset the power equation in the Gulf. So it was
> decided that Saddam be exterminated, like a pet that
> has outlived its owner's affection.
>
> A decade of bombing has not managed to dislodge him.
> Now, almost 12 years on, Bush Jr is ratcheting up the
> rhetoric once again. He's proposing an all-out war
> whose goal is nothing short of a regime change. Andrew
> H Card Jr, the White House chief-of-staff, described
> how the administration was stepping up its war plans
> for autumn: "From a marketing point of view," he said,
> "you don't introduce new products in August." This
> time the catchphrase for Washington's "new product" is
> not the plight of people in Kuwait but the assertion
> that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Forget "the
> feckless moralising of the 'peace' lobbies," wrote
> Richard Perle, chairman of the Defence Policy Board.
> The US will " act alone if necessary" and use a
> "pre-emptive strike" if it determines it is in US
> interests.
>
> Weapons inspectors have conflicting reports about the
> status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and many
> have said clearly that its arsenal has been dismantled
> and that it does not have the capacity to build one.
> What if Iraq does have a nuclear weapon? Does that
> justify a pre-emptive US strike? The US has the
> largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. It's
> the only country in the world to have actually used
> them on civilian populations. If the US is justified
> in launching a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, why, any
> nuclear power is justified in carrying out a
> pre-emptive attack on any other. India could attack
> Pakistan, or the other way around.
>
> Recently, the US played an important part in forcing
> India and Pakistan back from the brink of war. Is it
> so hard for it to take its own advice? Who is guilty
> of feckless moralising? Of preaching peace while it
> wages war? The US, which Bush has called "the most
> peaceful nation on earth", has been at war with one
> country or another every year for the last 50 years.
>
> Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons. They're
> usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then,
> of course, there's the business of war. In his book on
> globalisation, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Tom
> Friedman says: "The hidden hand of the market will
> never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot
> flourish without McDonnell Douglas. And the hidden
> fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's
> technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air
> Force, Navy and Marine Corps." Perhaps this was
> written in a moment of vulnerability, but it's
> certainly the most succinct, accurate description of
> the project of corporate globalisation that I have
> read.
>
> After September 11 and the war against terror, the
> hidden hand and fist have had their cover blown - and
> we have a clear view now of America's other weapon -
> the free market - bearing down on the developing
> world, with a clenched, unsmiling smile. The Task That
> Never Ends is America's perfect war, the perfect
> vehicle for the endless expansion of American
> imperialism. In Urdu, the word for profit is fayda.
> Al-qaida means the word, the word of God, the law. So,
> in India, some of us call the War Against Terror,
> Al-qaida vs Al-fayda - The Word vs The Profit (no pun
> intended). For the moment it looks as though Al-fayda
> will carry the day. But then you never know...
>
> In the past 10 years, the world's total income has
> increased by an average of 2.5% a year. And yet the
> numbers of the poor in the world has increased by 100
> million. Of the top 100 biggest economies, 51 are
> corporations, not countries. The top 1% of the world
> has the same combined income as the bottom 57%, and
> the disparity is growing. Now, under the spreading
> canopy of the war against terror, this process is
> being hustled along. The men in suits are in an
> unseemly hurry. While bombs rain down, contracts are
> being signed, patents registered, oil pipelines laid,
> natural resources plundered, water privatised and
> democracies undermined.
>
> But as the disparity between the rich and poor grows,
> the hidden fist of the free market has its work cut
> out. Multinational corporations on the prowl for
> "sweetheart deals" that yield enormous profits cannot
> push them through in developing countries without the
> active connivance of state machinery - the police, the
> courts, sometimes even the army. Today, corporate
> globalisation needs an international confederation of
> loyal, corrupt, preferably authoritarian governments
> in poorer countries, to push through unpopular reforms
> and quell the mutinies. It needs a press that pretends
> to be free. It needs courts that pretend to dispense
> justice. It needs nuclear bombs, standing armies,
> sterner immigration laws, and watchful coastal patrols
> to make sure that its only money, goods, patents and
> services that are globalised - not the free movement
> of people, not a respect for human rights, not
> international treaties on racial discrimination or
> chemical and nuclear weapons, or greenhouse gas
> emissions, climate change, or, God forbid, justice.
> It's as though even a gesture towards international
> accountability would wreck the whole enterprise.
>
> Close to one year after the war against terror was
> officially flagged off in the ruins of Afghanistan, in
> country after country freedoms are being curtailed in
> the name of protecting freedom, civil liberties are
> being suspended in the name of protecting democracy.
> All kinds of dissent is being defined as "terrorism".
> Donald Rumsfeld said that his mission in the war
> against terror was to persuade the world that
> Americans must be allowed to continue their way of
> life. When the maddened king stamps his foot, slaves
> tremble in their quarters. So, it's hard for me to say
> this, but the American way of life is simply not
> sustainable. Because it doesn't acknowledge that there
> is a world beyond America.
>
> Fortunately, power has a shelf life. When the time
> comes, maybe this mighty empire will, like others
> before it, overreach itself and implode from within.
> It looks as though structural cracks have already
> appeared. As the war against terror casts its net
> wider and wider, America's corporate heart is
> haemorrhaging. A world run by a handful of greedy
> bankers and CEOs whom nobody elected can't possibly
> last.
>
> Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was
> intrinsically evil but because it was flawed. It
> allowed too few people to usurp too much power:
> 21st-century market-capitalism, American-style, will
> fail for the same reasons.
>
>
>
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