Let’s end the cycle
of hate and violence
If President Bush orders U.S. troops to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power, America truly will become the type of nation that most of the world already thinks it is -- arrogant, aggressive and self-serving.
How can our leaders so casually decide to topple another country's government? Are we really about to attack a nation simply because we believe it might someday choose to attack us? Are we going to live our lives in such fear? Will America survive and prosper only by pre-emptively attacking other nations that might become threats in the future?
Many questions, I know, but how can we possibly go to war until we've answered them all?
We must remember was terrorists, not Iraq, who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001. Saddam Hussein, though I'm sure he shed no tears, did not plan those attacks. If he had, perhaps our build-up to war with Iraq would make more sense. The enemies who did us harm were Osama Bin Laden and his followers, and their actions have been properly condemned by the majority of the world's nations.
But today I wonder, who has changed America more -- bin Laden or Bush?
Who is leading us down a path toward war -- a war many Americans don't want but may be reluctant to speak out against because they fear appearing unpatriotic or simply feel war is inevitable?
Who is declaring certain leaders, governments and nations to be "evil" as a justification for action and stringent foreign policies?
This path may well prove to be just as horribly wrong and ignorant.
It is an unusual feeling to find myself mildly frightened to write a commentary like this -- somewhat scared to speak out in a country that prides itself on personal freedom and free speech.
I've never worried before that what I write might end up on a desk in a federal government office somewhere and lead my government to suspect me, to investigate me, to monitor my phone and email.
Certainly, what I am writing here wouldn't warrant such a response, but knowing that our government has now given itself the power to easily do such things is disturbing.
Hate breeds hate. If President Bush uses America's might to invade Iraq, it will serve only to multiply the hatred in the world toward America and Americans, especially if we have not sincerely exhausted all diplomatic alternatives to war. This increased hatred may lead to more violence, more declarations of evil and more war in a seemingly endless cycle.
In the end, it won't matter how the cycle started or who started it; what will matter is how it ends. Defeating Iraq may prove that America is a "powerful" nation, but ending this cycle of violence and hatred might actually make us a "great" nation. Of course, that may mean giving up our self-proclaimed status as the most powerful nation on Earth, and becoming part of a family of nations on one shared planet. Imagine that!
Adam T. Kahualaulani Mick is a musician who lives in Kailua.
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