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Brazzil - Brazil/USA - February 2004

From Brazil: Thanks for Iraq, Mr. Bush

For having stanched the flow of innocent blood in Iraq—with a
reduced number of casualties in both sides, and with the least
civil casualties of any war of the XX century—the American
president, whatever mistakes he may have made, deserves
the gratitude and respect of all conscious humankind.

Olavo de Carvalho

When I learned that George W. Bush had decided to invade Iraq, I asked myself: Why Iraq? Why not Pakistan, that has the atomic bomb and distributes nuclear technology in the international terrorism market? Why not Iran? Why not Saudi Arabia, from where money gushes into Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.?

Several readers, via e-mail, demanded that I "take a stance" on the war, but I had none. I don't usually have opinions on issues in which I cannot interfere. And contrary to virtually all newspaper columnists in Brazil, I do not expect that what I write will insufflate panic in the White House, make the Pope loose his sleep, or raise Vladimir Putin's blood pressure.

All I hope for is to be able to speak to some readers in this obscure corner of the universe, helping them, as my resources allow, to orientate themselves a little in the confusion of the world. For this reason, I gave no opinion on the war, but I warned my readers against the farce of those who, like the Brazilian presidential guru Frei Betto, already accused the American president of the imminent death of "millions of Iraqi children" (sic) and I denounced the stupidity of countless "experts" who foretold the destruction of the American troops by the all-powerful Republican Guard of Saddam Hussein.

In the last days of the war, though, when the clandestine cemeteries in Iraqi prisons were opened and the corpses started to be counted, I could not avoid noticing—and writing—that the decision taken by George W. Bush had been morally correct and even obligatory: any country that kills 300 thousand political prisoners must be invaded and immediately subdued, even if it does not constitute any danger to neighboring nations or to the supposed "international order".

National sovereignties must be respected, but not beyond the point where they arrogate to themselves the right to genocide. I wrote it back then and I repeat it: each procrastination by the UN cost, in average, the death of 30 Iraqis a day, more than 20 thousand during the two years of pacifistic babble.

Considering that period alone, the number of those killed amounts to five times more than the total victims of the war. For having stanched this flow of innocent blood—with a reduced number of casualties in both sides, and with the least civil casualties of any war of the XX century—the American president, whatever mistakes he may have made, deserves the gratitude and respect of all conscious humankind.

The intrinsic moral correction of the American action is so evident and undeniable that every discussion that followed, in the international and Brazilian media, had to systematically eschew this aspect of the question, so that public attention could be focused at the problem of knowing whether Saddam Hussein did or did not have weapons of mass destruction, and therefore whether George W. Bush was right or not by invoking that reason in particular, among many others.

Now, a government that kills 300 thousand of its subjects does not need to have high-tech means of mass destruction, because with rudimentary means it has already started the mass destruction in its own territory, and it must be stopped at once by whoever has the means of doing so. The US had the means and did the right thing. The UN had the means and didn't do anything. Between the two, who is the criminal?

It is not by chance that those who tried to deter American action (and take revenge against it once it was victorious) are those very same "pacifists" of the sixties. By pressing the American troops to leave the Vietnamese territory they delivered South Vietnam and Cambodia into the hands of the communists, who rapidly made 3 million victims—three times more than the total death toll of decades of war.

Not a single literate American ignored what the result of the anti-American campaign would be, that peace would be more murderous than war. But that was precisely what the Jane Fondas and the Kerrys wanted. Four decades later, only a few of those "peace lovers" have become conscious of the heinous crime to which they were accomplices.

For having confessed their sin, today they are the target of hate and defamation campaigns. The others not only swept their old crime away, under the carpet of History, but slightly varying their pretexts they rush to relapse back into it, with ferocious joy, pretending that 300 thousand dead are nothing, that stopping by force the Iraqi genocide was "an atrocity", as said the ridiculous and perverse Nobel laureate José Saramago.

That this sort of argument can only prevail through a total falsification of the news is something that doesn't shock. The Brazilian media spread all over the place, for example, the confession of inspector David Kay that he did not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—because these words created the bad impression that George W. Bush had attacked an innocent country—while at the same time hiding from the public how the sentence continued: "What we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place, potentially, than, in fact, we thought it was even before the war."

Brazilian writer and philosopher, b. 1947, Olavo de Carvalho is the autor of, among others, Os Gêneros Literários: Seus Fundamentos Metafísicos (Literary Genres and Their Metaphysical Foundations, 1996), Aristóteles em Nova Perspectiva (Aristotle in a New Perspective, 1997), O Jardim das Aflições: Ensaio sobre o Materialismo e a Religião Civil (The Garden of Afflictions: An Essay on Materialism and Civil Religion, 1998), O Futuro do Pensamento Brasileiro (The Future of Brazilian Thought, 1998), O Imbecil Coletivo, I e II (The Collective Imbecile, I and II). Presently in charge of the Philosophical Seminar at the Centro Universitário da Cidade (City University Center) of Rio de Janeiro. Columnist of the newspapers O Globo (Rio de Janeiro), Jornal da Tarde (São Paulo), Folha de São Paulo (São Paulo) and Zero Hora (Porto Alegre). Website: http://www.olavodecarvalho.org. He can reached at olavo@olavodecarvalho.org

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