Left Justified: Real reasons for warring with Iraq

July 1, 1993

Left Justified: Real reasons for warring with Iraq

By Stanley Campbell

It looks like our president, with backing from the war wimps and chicken hawks of Congress, will send the strongest armada this country’s put together in more than 10 years to overrun one of the weakest economies in the Middle East. Pity the poor citizens of Iraq! Why should they suffer for the cruelty of their dictator?

Why, indeed. Here are the real reasons why His Royal Emperorship, George II, will invade Iraq.

1) Oil. Iraq has the second-largest deposits of oil in the world. “What’s our oil doing under their sand?” Of course, our administration doesn’t have that much experience in the oil business, but they do seem to get a lot of black gold for all their election campaigns.

2) Revenge. George II is ticked off that Saddam tried to kill his daddy. I’d probably do the same thing if I was in his shoes and wasn’t a pacifist. It also didn’t help when George I let Saddam live back in ’91.

3) The military hasn’t had a chance lately to practice with their new-fangled weapons: their gewgaws and doodads that go “Boom!” in the night. And we simply have to see those stealth bombers (that cost $2 billion each) drop a ton of bombs on defenseless Baghdad. The defense industry will thank you for it, and make another hundred billion dollars this year.

4) Nothing makes you forget economic doldroms more than a war. It’s the economy, stupid, but when the fireworks go off, most everyone looks up, and that’s what the Republicans want, at least until the first week in November.

And finally, 5) Because we’re the greatest nation in the world, and we can do whatever we damn well please, without UN approval or support from our so-called allies. Imperial Rome had nothing like we have. All hail America, land of the free, and nobody else has any rights.

If you disagree with these reasons for going to war (or for ANY reasons for going to war), please join me on Saturday, Oct. 26, 1 p.m. at the Puri Peace Plaza on Perryville (just south of Riverside). I’ll say a prayer for peace because Lord knows, it will be a miracle if we don’t go to war.

In a similar vein, and more in relation to the government crackdown after 9-11, are the rights of the newly arrived in our fair land. Rockford Urban Ministries (whom I work for) is hosting a program on immigrant and refugee rights, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. at Second Congregational Church, 318 N. Church St. in downtown Rockford.

Josh Hoyt, the director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, will share his 25 years of experience as an organizer for social justice and talk about the possibility and desirability of legalizing illegal aliens.

He’s been organizing for social justice in Chicago, Baltimore and in the nations of Spain, Peru and Panama. He’s also got lots of administrative experience in managing nonprofits, e.g., eight years in the poorest Latino communities of Chicago; four years as executive director of the Organization of the NorthEast (O.N.E.); and organizing low-wage workers in Baltimore, Md. That resulted in the first “Living Wage” ordinance in the U.S.

And he’s organized as a lay volunteer for the Catholic Church in the highlands of Peru and in the Diocese of Colon, Panama.

Most recently, Hoyt served as the associate director of United Power for Action, and was the lead organizer of the Gilead Campaign for the Uninsured, which resulted in the enrollment of 20,000 uninsured people in health care.

Mr. Josh Hoyt will address his latest campaign, immigrant rights, but will also answer questions about organizing in general.

This program, like all Rockford Urban Ministries programs, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Child care is available by calling the RUM office by the Monday before the program. For more information, call Rockford Urban Ministries at (815) 964-7111.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

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