A Massacre By Any Other Name

by Deck Deckert

February 17, 2003


I have read thousands of anti-war sentiments on various Internet web sites and alternative news sources in the past year.

Or, more precisely, I have read parts of such reports and essays. I usually stop reading in disgust at the first wimp out, such as, "Clearly the world would be better without Saddam..." Wow! I always thought such omniscience belonged to God.

But that kind of thing is little more than an annoyance. What is breathtakingly obscene is the acceptance of the concept that cold-blooded slaughter can be embraced if we just call it 'war.'

A massacre is not a war.

In Iraq, we are planning a massive assault that will result in the deaths of thousands of people, people who have not attacked us, not harmed us in any way, a genocidal slaughter of essentially helpless men, women and children. In other words, we will be waging a massacre, not a war.

A war assumes some minimal level of equality between the warring factions. The attack on Iraq planned by the U.S. and Great Britain is more akin to driving tanks over people sunbathing on the beach.

We can mass troops, tanks, aircraft carriers, submarines, fighter planes, bombers, and weapons of mass destruction within easy striking distance of Iraq. Iraq can't even put a troop of boy scouts on an American shore.

We have thousands of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Iraq has none.

We have thousands of fighter planes armed with weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's air fleet resembles Snoopy's doghouse fighter.

We have thousands of bombers capable of carpet bombing miles of countryside and destroying whole cities. Iraq has none of any significance.

We have thousands of tanks made nearly invincible by close support air cover. Iraq tanks are simply targets for U.S. and British planes.

We have thousands of well fed, well trained troops who can kill at a great distance with almost perfect impunity. Iraqi troops face almost certain death in open combat.

U.S. and British civilians will watch the massacre from their easy chairs, beer and pretzels at their side. Iraqi civilians will be crushed to death, blown apart, burned alive in agony.

There is no degree of equality here, nothing that elevates slaughter to the ranking of war.

The White House, Pentagon, Congress and the boot-licking corporate media pompously and disingenuously talk about war when they mean slaughter. Worse, even the alternative media refuse to call a massacre a massacre.

A massacre is not a war. It is a crime against humanity and those planning it should be facing universal condemnation. If they go through with it, they should face the fate of those they tried at Nuremberg.

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Iraq on Swans


Deck Deckert has spent nearly two decades as copy editor, wire editor and news editor at several metropolitan newspapers, including the Miami Herald and Miami News, before becoming a freelance writer. His articles and stories on everything from alligator farming to UFOs have appeared in numerous U.S. publications. He has written two young adult novels under a pen name, and co-authored a novel about the NATO war on Yugoslavia, Letters from the Fire, with Alma Hromic.

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Published February 17, 2003
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