Friday, March 21, 2003

The Thin Line Between Entertainment and War

After all my anti war rhetoric - now that the war has finally started. I find myself lost for words. What can you really say? America, Australia and Britain - culturally speaking, the three countries that are closest too us - are waging war as the aggressor. They are invading a sovereign nation - just as Germany did in 1939 and Iraq did in 1990. Now, clearly if they get rid of Saddam - Iraq and the whole region will be a much nicer place - but that isn't the point. There is a right way to go about things - and ignoring world opinon, destroying 50 years of American foreign policy, destroying the UN as an effective body and killing god knows how many innocent civilians is not it.

I meant to write about this earlier but, I went to the Peace protest on Saturday. About 4,000 of us stood in Cathedral Square and listened to speeches from the likes of the Green MPs Rod Donald and Keith Locke. I was particularly impressed by the speech from Christchurch's Anglican Bishop- I dump on Christianity a lot but in pointing out the immorality of this war he was really doing the job that the church is supposed to do - I was impressed by that. Standing there I really felt that I was part of something and although the usual suspects were in attendence - those members of the clueless hard left forlornly holding their copies of the militant and the socialist worker - these protests are really mainstream. Peace protests are no longer attended solely by people with bad hair and body odour (although there were plenty of them too).

Another thing that impressed me - its impossible to really talk sensibly about the Middle East without mentioning the conflict between the Israelis and Paletinians. Every time these issues were raised, every time Israel was urged to heed the UN security council resolutions the speaker was applauded - actually applauded much more than over the comments about Iraq. This shows that despite America's best attempts to bullshit everyone, NZers have a good handle on the situation.

According to the Peace Action NetworkIt looks like the next protest rally in Christchurch will be on Sunday March 30th but tomorrow there will be a vigil by the chalice in the square from 12-30 until the chiming of the clock at 1pm.