The Un-holy war
Rivers of blood may flow from the Tigris, one of the cradles of ancient civilisation in ancient Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in what is being seen by many as a crusade by the Christian world against the Muslim world tempered only by the fact that more than half the Christian world and the Pope himself have condemned this unnecessary and unwarranted war.

Though the US President seems to complain that the world has not fully appreciated the US psyche has changed irreversibly after the events of September the 11th 2001, the anti war sentiment within the US itself does not reflect this.

On the contrary, it seems with each passing day that this is indeed a grudge match at the insistence of just one man, arguably the most powerful man in the world. In this day and age in the face of overwhelming opposition that one can send your Army to kill the head of a Sovereign state - and unashamedly call it 'Operation Decapitate' is surreal, to say the least.

In the recent past at least, it has been a case of the United States shifting goal posts, first arming Osama bin Laden against the Russians now wanting to kill him; once arming President Saddam Hussein against Iran now wanting to kill him; once opposing President Musharraf, now supporting him.

But the fact that there are no permanent friends only permanent interests in realpolitik is old hat; and the United States, long having lost the moral right to preach to the world what's right and what's wrong, is now passe as a moral arbiter in international affairs.

Countries such as ours have no option but to grin and bear, while the President of the United States settles old scores with impunity and with absolute disregard for international law. In our position as bystander in this whole imbroglio, we are reduced to making see-saw statements and scramble to control the fallout disaster to our own affairs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that it is smaller and weaker nations that are at the mercy of the 'law of the first'. Sri Lanka faced this same doctrine in 1987.
Never since World War II has the US leadership of the world been challenged so universally as today. That is the price it is paying even if they eventually have their way in Iraq.

As for the long suffering people of Iraq, on behalf of whom this war is ostensibly being fought, and on behalf of whom rivers of crocodile tears are being shed by its own leadership as well as the leaders who are now ordering that they be bombed, what else can be offered other than our sympathies.

To use a racy Sinhala idiom they are like the arecanut caught in the nutcracker, caught as they are, between the designs of one President who does not give two hoots about world opinion -- and another President who also does not give two hoots about world opinion.

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