I must write something down about the impending war (the word "possibility" now seems hopelessly optimistic) in the Middle East. I've wondered if this is some sort of diversionary tactic, and at the last moment the US will turn its guns around and point it at the Canadians or something, but I doubt it.

They have lacked subtlety in anything they've done in this 'war against terror' of theirs. The first Gulf War back then had UN sanction. The mandate was clear: to liberate Kuwait and no more. The current mandate does not seem so straight-forward. Certainly overthrowing Saddam Hussein is top priority, but then, what next? Will the US be satisfied with this or will they want to consolidate their influence in the Middle East in order to strike at "the source of the very terror that they fight against"?

The world balance is slowly turning to "might is right" and I despair that only a show of force against the Americans will affect their thinking.

That the US will win a battle in the Gulf is of no doubt. But what about after that?

One obvious way that people will strike back is through the very method that began all this in the first place. The US mainland and their interests overseas may become a prime target using terrorism/guerilla (take your pick) tactics because they would be easier to strike against than military targets.

Disruption of utilities and vital infrastructure will be the key. The Internet will dissipate into a collection of trusted private networks.

Alternatively the countries of the world can make a stand. The UN will show it's true colours. The true test will be whether the UN can stand up to an aggressor who is also a major world power.

But there are other ways of battling the US without using guns and bombs and depending on nations to apply the pressure. It may also be time for the little people to get in on the action. Remember that the strength of the US is not only in their intrinsic might, but also their influence around the world. We can make a difference if we imposed consumer-based sanctions on US exports. That's right, this is what I'm saying: No more McDonalds, no more coke. Refuse to purchase anything whose profits delve back to the US. Better still, drop all pretence of respect of IP rights and pirate to your heart's content. Take what you can and minimize benefits to the rest. The lesson must be taught that globalisation cuts both ways. The worldwide recognition of brand names can also turn against them as we associate American brands with American values. Remind people that part of that Big Mac they're eating will wind up in US corporation coffers, and part of that goes in the form of taxes to the US war machine. It's about time that we stand up and realise what globalism is all about and it's about time that we educate the masses about this.

It's probably impossible to cut it out completely without a drastic lifestyle change. The fact is that when I subscribe to Astro, part of it goes to HBO and ESPN, and I don't really want to be without by Saturday night football matches, so I doubt I'll be ending my subscription soon. But we do what we can, yes?
posted on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - permalink
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