[written 6pm Thursday March 13]

going out with amy (from the mission) and her family which means i can finally get out of this musty hotel. since we’ll be leaving in a bit, i’m dashing this off as i think it (instead of thoughtfully composing something about africa on my laptop).

i wanted to quickly mention a thought that occurred to me upon reading that people are urging the pope to go to baghdad as a human shield in order to avert a war. it tickled me that deepak chopra said he’d go if the pope and the dalai lama went mostly cause i thought deepak was being kind of a wimp for not just picking up and going himself. poor guy probably just thinks he’s not as symbolically important as the pope and the dalai lama.

anyway, i am vehemently opposed to war and this war. i am so so disappointed in and angry with my government. but a certain irony occurred to me when an image came into my head of the pope and the dalai lama holding hands protecting poor, feeble iraq and saddam from the swashbuckling US cowboys.

saddam is not a nice guy. apparently he’s done bad stuff. apparently he’s not winning many friends for his humanitarianism. but i think most of us believe that punishment is only justified if you do something wrong. like invade kuwait. but what if you’re just ambiently bad?

the thing is, there are lots of ambiently bad people in the world. and there are lots of ambiently bad political leaders. so if we’re posed to go after saddam for being a generally rotten guy, then we really should go after every bad guy with the same level of frenzied intensity developing in the gulf (wtf? 200,000 troops on the border of kuwait). but we’re not going to go after every bad guy. (probably cause the US economy is going to tank and bush will get voted out of office)

on the other hand, i’m having some issues with the idea of the pope and the dalai lama hypothetically going to iraq. because i don’t think saddam and his zealots should be protected by non-violent, peace-loving people. the people of iraq should be protected, *definitely*, though I’m not sure whether they are more in danger of saddam on a daily basis or 3000 US bombs dropping in a 48 hour period.

i think most people are protesting this war because the politicians selling it (bush and blair), aren’t. they seem to be acting recklessly, which is all the more amazing considering how adept our large governments are at always seeming in control and serene. if the government prolongs something so irrational for this long, you wonder what’s really going on (and who’s running the ship).

so i propose this: john paul II, dalai lama, deepak chopra, kofi annan, and all other peace loving people in the world: go to washington! chain yourself to the fence surrounding that white house on 1300 pennsylvannia avenue. and go on a hunger strike or something. maybe that’ll “shock and awe” some sensible behavior into our McFreedom Fries government.

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