Sep 15, 2002

The Iraqi Bombshell
Hanging about BBC World for the last couple of days gave me a chance to see a very interesting group discussion Question Time New York. Nothing new in the format which would be familiar to Indians as Question Time India with the NDTV faces. I had given up watching such "TV Debates" such as the Big Fight on Star News, the action is repetitive and so are the issues and there is no fun in seeing antics and hearing noises that would shame any self-respecting Ganesh Mandal loudspeaker. Indian politicians do not have any graces, and the ones that do have nothing new to offer. So what got QTNY my sticky eyeballs was not the topic (The usual range of UN speeches last week with the Iraqi Bombing threat), but the rather animated audience and the sight of Michael Moore (author & filmmaker) taking on two Republican Hawks.
The point was this: is Dubya justified in making plans to bomb Bad Boy Saddam, possibly unilaterally? (as his rather open threat further demolished any pieces of respect the UN had: bomb with me or I bomb alone.) The arguments were fascinating, especially when one British member of the audience invoked the ghost of the Chamberlain fiasco of 1938. Another question brought the house down: Does the UK have its so called "special relationship" with the US solely to hang on its historic notions of greatness? The British Secy. of Defence, on the panel, was clearly discomfited. (As an aside, I sometimes feel Churchill, statesman as he was, was somewhat responsible in the US ascendancy by his wooing of the Americans to play a super-role in WW2.) Moore kept reminding the GOP panelists (clearly annoyed) how the US equipped the villains with all the weapons they now brandished against the Yanks. Their response: it's a question of self-defence. But their clear reluctance to make crucial admissions (remember that out of the last 6 White House administrations, 4 have been Republican, and most of the supposed arms transfers happened in the period when George Bush Sr. was the head of the CIA or was Veep or President. Clearly a point of potential embarassment.)
Can the cop bust the baddy with the bad record on the suspicion that he's going to commit a crime? Precogs, anyone? Can the UN blacklist the US for murdering the environment in full view of the world?

No comments: