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Raffique Shah


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The Don Quixote of modern warfare

January 08, 2006
By Raffique Shah

THIS year 2006 must be the year in which the American people save themselves and the world from a war criminal and despotic leader, George Bush. If they don't, he'll mislead them far beyond temptation, into the valley of death and destruction; it matters not that in so doing he puts an end to civilisation itself. Because Bush and his lying, thieving aides are no better than Osama bin Laden and his acolytes, if we are to believe some of the stories the West promotes about the latter. Either they have their distorted ideas of the perfect world according their respective religions imposed on others, or they destroy them - in the name of their destructive gods.

Some three years after Bush deliberately lied to Congress, to his own people, and to the wider world about weapons of mass destruction, and proceeded to launch a most vicious attack on Iraq that promised Americans safety from Islam-driven terrorism, Americans are even more paranoid than they were in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. And with good reason. Because Bush has convinced them, just as partner-in-crime Tony Blair has sold to the British public that all Muslims are out to destroy the great Christian civilisation. And since neither the average Brit nor Yank is sophisticated in thinking, anyone who in their minds remotely resembles their image of Islam becomes the victim of hate crimes. Crime statistics in both the USA and the UK show that attacks on non-whites who are perceived to be Muslims have increased manyfold.

What is worse is instead of the world being a safer place following the Iraq invasion, it has become a hunting ground for any and every quack who believes he or she has a "divine cause". So that in Trinidad and Tobago, where a range of religions have coexisted in relative tolerance for ages, we are seeing fundamental and worrisome changes. Many local Muslims are becoming more fundamentalist than the Prophet Muhammad ever envisaged or intended. A similar pattern haunts Christianity, Hinduism, indeed most, if not all, the religions that we have here. And this is not a Trini thing, it's a worldwide phenomenon. Bush's crusade against his Don Quixote-like imaginary enemies has made the world a more unsafe place for us all.

But his madness - and I swear if proper brain scans are done they will discover he's raving mad - knows no bounds, and that is why he must be stopped. He and his military proved to be incapable of flushing out a cotton-clad Islamist from Afghanistan, so much so that there are fears the Taliban will soon recapture power there. Iraq is unstable beyond belief: besides the 2,000-plus US troops killed there, a body count among innocent Iraqis (and I'm not including insurgents like suicide bombers) must run into six digits, as the toll of physically and mentally damaged Americans mounts into the tens of thousands. Today, because of Bush, the US military cannot find recruits except in remote, depressed communities where there are no alternative job opportunities.

Yet the man has the gall to threaten Iran! Now this is a country where the US had helped build a sophisticated military under the Shah (no relative of mine, I swear!), which remained largely intact after my namesake fell from power in 1979.

Thereafter, the Islamic regime in Tehran turned to Russia and China for new military "hardware", which is why its newly-elected president, another fundamentalist, can preach brimstone and fire. Sure, in moments of madness, Bush might well decide to risk bombing that country, too, taking it back into the Middle Ages (in developmental terms) the way he did Iraq. But if he cannot win a war in Iraq, how the hell does he expect to even attempt to attack a country like Iran?

The Bush threat becomes even more worrisome when we consider what's happening in South America. The US once owned that massive continent through its many military clients who were strategically placed to promote US interests. Now a dramatic change has overtaken this land mass to our south. Besides neighbour Hugo Chavez, the first elected leader to thumb his nose at Washington, we have Evo Morales, an indigenous Bolivian recently elected as president of that country, who said during the election campaign: "I'll be Bush's biggest nightmare!" He won by a landslide. From Chile through Argentina, Brazil to Uruguay, the people, more so than their leaders, want nothing to do with the USA - and that only because of Bush's imperialistic designs, his desire to control the world.

So will he contemplate now the bombing and an invasion of South America? Where will he start? In Venezuela? Bolivia? Brazil? Short of using his nuclear arsenal, he does not now have the manpower to invade little Trinidad, far less South America. But Cervantes' Don Quixote needed no more than a steed and a spear to attack enemies perceived. Bush, I am convinced, is as mad as the Don.