I Cry Out Against the War Frenzy

What is the real source of this visceral hatred of Iraq?

BY: John Shelby Spong


The feeling is surreal. It is like being carried inexorably against your will. It elicits a sense of powerlessness. I search to find the words to utter a protest. They do not come easily. That is what I am experiencing as I watch my nation rush headlong toward war.

My dis-ease does not arise from a favorable view of Iraq. I am not unaware of the criminal behavior of Saddam Hussein. It comes, rather, from my great love for America and the ideals that I associate with this nation. So I have to state that none of the arguments being put forth today to hype this war are compelling.

Those arguments, as rehearsed daily in our newspapers, TV talk shows, magazines and radio are as follows:


Iraq harbors terrorists.

But so do Palestine, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. It is also a fact that Germany, Great Britain and the United States have been home to terrorists groups.


Saddam has murdered his own people.

While murdering one's own citizens is tragic, it is not unknown in history. Pakistan, our ally against the Taliban, has done so to its Hindu citizens. Russia has done it in Chechnya, China has done it in Tiananmen Square, Germany has done it against the Jews, and in the United States, this tactic has been used against Native and African-Americans.


Saddam has chemical and biological weapons and is seeking a nuclear capability.

But many nations of the world, including the United States, have chemical and biological weapons. Russia, Great Britain, Pakistan, India, France, and China all have atomic weapons and North Korea is said to be near that breakthrough, while Iran has missiles on the assembly line.


Saddam is evil.

But so are or were Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Idi Amin in Uganda, Ceaucescu in Romania, Milosovic in Yugloslavia and Pinochet in Chile.

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