Sun, 30 Mar 2003

Standing up against world superpower


Standing up for what's right

"In fact, we must ask ourselves: why did he take power? And we can only answer: not only because millions of people were stupid enough to follow him, but also because the others were incapable of stopping him." (Willy Brandt, referring to Hitler, when asked by journalist Oriana Fallaci in her book Interview with History whether he felt the burden of guilt carried by the word German)

President George W. Bush is not Hitler, but his invasion of Iraq has, in the words of Pope John Paul II, "threatened the destiny of humanity".

While millions of Americans, British, Australians and scores of some 50 other nations -- listed in a coalition that the Bush administration says represents 1.23 billion people -- have thrown their support behind the destruction of Iraq, millions of others have stood up against the world's sole superpower.

While no nation is brave enough to stop the invading forces, people from places as wide apart as New York and Yogyakarta have been staging protest rallies to try to stop the war. They pray for peace, burn effigies of Bush and his closest allies British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, demand a boycott of U.S. products, and hope for a miracle.

For it seems only a miracle can prevent the annihilation of Iraq, the cradle of one of the world's oldest civilizations. No arsenal is capable of challenging the superior weapons of the U.S., no individual nation strong enough to stand up against its might. Is the "hand of God" the only hope for Iraq and the rest of the world?

Let us remember the words of Willy Brandt, that "In the life of a people, the crucial moment takes place when the people allow power to end up in the hands of criminals. And also when a people, having the opportunity, don't use it to maintain the conditions necessary for a responsible government."

It is up to noncoalition nations and citizens of the world to stand up for what is right lest might makes right. --JP