Wiesel speaks out

12.24.02

Elie Wiesel speaks out in support of war against Iraq. In an article in the Observer (via CJA), he says that while war itself is never a good option, sometimes – as in this case – it is the only moral option.

I find war repugnant. All wars. I know war’s monstrous aspects: blood and corpses everywhere, hungry refugees, devastated cities, orphans in tears and houses in ruins. I find no beauty in it. But it is with a heavy heart I ask this: what is to be done? Do we have the right not to intervene, when we know what passivity and appeasement will make possible?

Is President Bush’s policy of intervention the best response to an imperative need? Yes, it is said, and I am reluctant to say anything else. Bush’s goal is to prevent the deadliest biological or nuclear conflict in modern history.

If the US, supported by the UN Security Council, is forced to intervene, it will save victims who are already targeted, already menaced. And it will win. The US owes it to us, and owes it to future generations. As the great French writer André Malraux said, victory belongs to those who make war without loving it.

To all the people who protest war on principle, I urge them to read the article.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Me 12.25.02 at 4:32 PM

Biased article.

Some choice quotes:

“Because numerous lives are at stake. The lives of Israelis, Americans and, of course, Iraqis.”

Nice of Wiesel to include Iraqi lives, which will be the first to be extinguished in any such war.

“Bush’s goal is to prevent the deadliest biological or nuclear conflict in modern history.”

By threatening to start it.

“If the US, supported by the UN Security Council, is forced to intervene, it will save victims who are already targeted, already menaced.”

At this point it will be difficult to force the US not to “intervene.” Iraqi civilians are the only victims “already targeted, already menaced.”

Orwellian logic. War is not the only form of intervention. With crap like this, Wiesel is as deserving of the Nobel peace prize he holds as is Kissinger.

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2 Bill 12.26.02 at 12:40 AM

Or Arafat for that matter – the blabbering
mastermind of the second intifada-aggression
against the Jewish people.

The thing about Elie Wiesel is that he understands
from firsthand experience that force can be used for good
as in destroying the Hitler/Arafat/Sadaam’s
of the world.

And the Iraqi citizens that you talk about,
will be dancing in the streets when the
American liberators roll into Bahgdad –
that is the iraqi citizens not killed by
Sadaam and his henchmen.

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3 Me 12.26.02 at 5:11 PM

Yes, as deserving as Kissinger and Arafat and Rabin and now Jimmy Carter…must be the ghost of George Orwell sitting on the awards committee.

I suppose the US (depleted uranium) bombing which will precede the entry of ground troops will carefully avoid hitting Iraqi civilians and civilian infrastructure, thus leaving them free to:

a)dance in the streets at their liberation

b)live under the liberating authority of US occupation via Tommy Franks

c)turn to the liberation of a horrible civil war to fill the resulting power vacuum

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4 jaws 12.26.02 at 11:10 PM

Me–

To put a rightious man, such as Wiesel, who truly deserved his prize, into a category with people who didn’t really deserve the prize (Rabin deserved it; but not the murderor Arafat), is very disturbing.

Weisel has made it his life’s goal to educate the world about the horrors of the holocaust. He’s also worked tirelessly to track down and see to the aprehension of Nazi criminals who don’t deserve freedom.

As for the prize itself, it’s got problems of its own. While it’s rewarded true peace makers (Begin, Sadat, MLK Jr., Mother Teresa)…it’s also been a total flop (Arafat, Mechu, Carter)…

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5 Me 12.27.02 at 3:03 PM

Based upon the regurgitated pap Weisel spouts in his article, which gives little thought to the lives of Iraqi civilians — the only real innocents immediately threatened in this whole Let’s Get Saddam circus — Weisel hardly seems a man of peace.

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6 jaws 12.27.02 at 9:52 PM

Me–

Weisel stated that he isn’t usually a man who likes wars, but in some cases, such as this its necessary.
He is still a man of Peace….and one much more so than Kissenger, Carter or Arafat….

Do you not think that the Iraqi people would be better off w/o a despot (Hussein) dictating over them?

And as for what Iraqis’ think, haven’t you read anything by Keinan Malkiya (sp?) recently? He’s an Iraqi exile, normally on the left, who supports war to liberate Iraq…

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7 Me 12.28.02 at 12:12 AM

It’s not the getting rid of Saddam Hussein part that I’m against, it’s how it’s done and what happens after that.

I think Hussein should be tried in an international court and made to pay for his crimes legally (although that would be hard to do without also implicating some leading US and British war-hawks).

I’m categorically against an all-out war — carpet bombing, in other words, if past US/British actions are anything to go by — which will kill Iraqi civilians, whose only crime is having to live under this despot.

I’m also against the post-Saddam imposition of what will amount to a US military dictatorship in the region under Tommy Franks, which seems to be the most popular option at the moment.

All of the (usually divided) Baath opposition Iraqi groups would vehemently agree with me on this point.

Though I don’t know what the other option would be, given that civil war(s) would almost certainly erupt to fill a post-Saddam power vacuum.

And most of all, I’m extremely cynical about US/British motives in undertaking such a “regime change,” all their visions of “democracy blossoming” in the region notwithstanding.

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8 Mark Fox 12.28.02 at 4:27 AM

Me —

You write:
I think Hussein should be tried in an international court and made to pay for his crimes legally (although that would be hard to do without also implicating some leading US and British war-hawks).

Yet you also write:

I’m categorically against an all-out war — carpet bombing, in other words, if past US/British actions are anything to go by — which will kill Iraqi civilians, whose only crime is having to live under this despot.

How do you think Saddam would be brought to trial? The fact is that a war is needed to bring Saddam and his pack of thugs to trial and prevent Saddam from killing more of his own people or people in the numerous other countries he has attacked or invaded already.

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9 Me 12.31.02 at 1:22 AM

Mark,

How would you respond to the argument that it would be fair for a country such as China to bomb civilians Washington in an attempt to bring about “regime change” in the US?

As the Bush administration holds Weapons of Mass Destruction and has shown a willingness to use them by attacking and invading other countries, wouldn’t such a pre-emptive strike be justified by your logic?

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10 Me 12.31.02 at 2:12 AM

As for Weisel as a “man of peace,” has anybody heard him ever condemn Israeli crimes against the Palestinians?

Even when the international community and in some cases the US has condemned Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories, Weisel has chosen to remain silent.

I guess if you’re not Israeli, Jewish, or a holocaust survivor, your peace isn’t worth Weisel’s time.

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