Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Right to Bomb

From an interview 21 January 2003 (Before this Iraq War officially began), with Sadiq, a scholar:
Now they are saying we are 'a threat' to them. But hasn't it always been they who have threatened us?
Yes, we are a threat to them. Every time we break bread, thousands of them are at risk from each munch of our teeth. Every time I chew a grape or a sugared date, suck a mulberry or an apricot, someone in England must shudder in fear. Every time my son climbs a tree to find a fig, the fine imperial gentlemen of England are put at risk. Yet all we have ever wanted to do is to live our own lives without them. The other night on TV I heard an old Iraqi layman saying, 'they have everything, we have nothing. We don't want anything from them - but still they want more from us'. All we ask is for them to stop interfering with us. We have not been bombing them since 1920. It is they who have been bombing us. Do they never think of that? It never bothers them. They seem to think of it as their god-given right. Or is it another of their human rights - the right to bomb?
And still they claim that it is we who are a threat to them. So much so that they have been killing us over the decades, bomb after bomb after bomb, whenever we displeased them or went against their interests. Our problem though, I suppose, is that ... we didn't just go along with everything they wanted... They will never subdue us, you will see, never 'pacify' us - even if they keep at it for all eternity.
I often wonder how they would feel if we had been bombing them in England every now and then from one generation to the next, if we changed their governments when it suited us, destroyed their hospitals, made sure they had no clean water, and killed their children and their families. How many children is it that have died now? I can't even bring myself to think how many. They say that their imperial era is over now. It does not feel that way when you hear the staccato crack of their fireballs from the air. Or when the building shakes around you and your children from their bombs as you lie in your bed. It is then that you dream of real freedom - in shaa' allah - freedom from the RAF

Quoted from Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction by Robert Young. Emphasis mine.

1 comment:

TomCat said...

Good article, RJ. Although all Bush's claims leading up to 9/11 were lies, The US killed more Iraqis during the Shock and Awe campaign at the outset of Bush;s invasion than the number of US citizens killed in 911. Western governments have long used lethal force to enforce economic dominance on the Arab world. Thank you for bring that into perspective.