Thoughts : Politics (War & Peace) : Reasons for Not Going to War

Dudley Au suggests in her letter “Not apathy but support for US moves” (ST, Feb 25) that many Singaporeans have no intention to march against the war because they are supportive of a war to remove Saddam Hussein. If so, may I suggest that such an attitude is probably more of a concern than that of apathy.

Mr. Au seems to be ignorant of the issues involved in his simplistic analysis of the no-war position. I know of nobody in the anti-war movement who supports Saddam Hussein or his Weapons of Mass Destruction – if Iraq indeed has them. Like the United States, we see Saddam as a threat and danger and if Iraq has those weapons, she needs to be disarmed. We are also against terrorism and do not want to see more innocent deaths that can result from terrorism. All this is precisely why we shout “No War.” We want to give the UN inspectors time to do their job, rather than cry “War” before such is necessary. After all, there is international consensus that even if Iraq has these weapons, any threat of her using them is not imminent. If so, “why the great hunger for war now America,” we ask. Can’t we give diplomacy a chance?

Is war going to help the world? We respond with a resounding “no”. If war can get rid of Saddam and any Weapons of Mass Destruction that he has, then we’ll be all for it. But the whole world knows that war of any kind will result in thousands of innocent lives being unnecessarily taken away. War in Afghanistan has resulted in more innocent deaths there than the number who died on September 11. Furthermore, a war will only do the job of sparking more hatred among Muslim extremists and create more terrorists. Have no doubt that the world will not become safer after such a war – contrary to American imaginations.

Marching against the war is thus not marching for murder – despite what Mr. Au says. It is marching for less murder. It is marching against the creation of more terrorists. It is marching to give diplomacy a chance and surely it is also marching against the greed, arrogance and unilateralism of America. Let no Singaporean be ignorant of this.

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