We have always been at war with Saddam…or: Does Andy Sullivan ever read what he writes?
Andy Sullivan writes:
THE ORWELL DEBATE: Sadly, it was mobbed. The hall was far too small to accommodate the crowds and many were turned away. I can’t believe NYU doesn’t have a larger hall than one that sits a couple hundred at most. But once it got under way, the event was great.
We now know that two hundred people constitutes a “mob”. Would this mean that, say, 300 people would be a massive crush of humanity? But that’s quibbling. Let’s move on to more important matters:
Hitch was splendid – half after-dinner jokester, half passionate moralist. He made one point in particular that resonated. On the way there, we were confronted with protestors with “No War On Iraq” posters. Hitch noticed the Orwellian resonance of this slogan. The slogan, strictly speaking, is a lie, one of many promoted by the anti-war left and right. There is no possibility of a war with “Iraq.” Half the country – inhabited by the Kurds and Shia Muslims is already protected from Saddam’s murderous designs by British and American air-power. The remaining rump is not a country as such; it’s a population terrorized by a police state run by a sadistic maniac. We are not therefore at war with the country or people of Iraq; and by equating Saddam with Iraq, these so-called “peace-protestors” are de facto parties to his vile propaganda, the notion that Iraq is Saddam and Saddam is Iraq.
It seems that Andy has decided to take control of the language.
I’m sure the people of Iraq will will make this all important distinction that we are not really at war with them when the bombs start falling on Baghdad…unless, of course, they die in the “war-that-is-not-really-a-war” , in which case the distinction will probably be lost for eternity. And if Saddam should retaliate against American cities, which he has shown no inkling of even attempting, I personally will rationalize this (body counts and all) and take solace in the fact that Saddam is really only at “war” with George W Bush, the unelected President.
So remember… if we are at war with Iraq, we really aren’t at war with Iraq. We’re just the collateral damage in a pissing match between a maniac, a drunken fratboy deserter, and the oil companies that pull his strings.