Social and Political Commentary

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Melrose grandfather concerned about Bush plan

 ... leading to United Nations being THE peace-keeper?

by Donald R. Norris

Wouldn't it be great if we Americans were given the score in this international game of war and peace -- since the stakes are yet another invasion in the offing.

I'm particularly concerned since it is MY grandson (and perhaps my granddaughter also) who will now be on the front lines. Back when it was my turn, the prospects of going to war were more patriotic, and it didn't bother me much to realize that I could have been one of those on the front lines.

But not my grandchildren. We didn't bring these kids up to be fodder in some regional conflagration. Somehow, I think that we human beings have risen above war -- I know I am wrong, but someday ...

Suppose President Bush, with all his bravado and saber-rattling, had a grander scheme, bigger than just the outright bashing of Saddam Hussein. Supposing the President is pulling the biggest bluff the world has ever seen, and in reality he has no intention of really invading Iraq.

Am I being unpatriotic? Unrealistic? Should I not say that in public?

I mean, at first a war sounded illogical in light of all the world opposition. Doesn't it? The French, the Germans, the Russians, the Italians, all of them were quite vocal in their denial of outright invasion. And at home there was stunned silence, and slowly the pacifist opposition found its voice.

Among them was our own (Massachusetts' own) John Kerry, a Democrat, a Vietnam war hero, who was loudest in his opposition to proposed mayhem.

Now, even before the recent election with all the Republican success, Senator Kerry had a confab with President Bush, and behold!, he signed the endorsement of the country's right to sock it to Hussein. Why the big turn-about???

Here's my idea of what's happening. This is confidential and I don't want this spread around. But this whole thing is a huge bluff. It is stick-waving to the ultimate. And it appears that the plan may be working.

Not only were Senator Kerry and a bunch of important Democrats persuaded to support the anti-Hussein plan, but now, somehow, President Bush was able to rally the support of the United Nations! That is incredible. How did he do that!?

His success has to relate back to the Big Bluff. First, President Bush was able to get the U.S. Congress to go along with the plan. And for proof of that, just look what happened in the November 5 national election. Quite an endorsement.

Second, somehow he reached those key people in the United Nations. Somehow, he has pursuaded the world that the Bush Plan is viable. So now he has support of Congress, the American people, and most of the World powers.

How'd he do that?

It has to be more than bravado. I just don't see Russia, France, Germany and other key nations ratifying a plan to go to war.

But they would ratify a plan to go to peace. There was a meeting of the minds.

And that's where I think we are today. The US is putting a lot into the show, lining up troops, moving warships, sharpening its sword. And the rest of the world is right there on the front line, shaking fists, shouting (or at least endorsing) war-like threats at Saddam.

Somehow, we all know that a major war won't come about. Perhaps the plan is that Hussein will capitulate, give up his capacity for producing mass-mayhem weapons, and make peace with the world. The alternative could be disastrous for him and his nation, and he would go down in infamy.

I don't want my grandkids to have any part of that.

And what will be the prize if President Bush's plan works out? Why, it may be possible that the United Nations will learn that it has a responsibility to maintain a peaceful world, and that, after a first success with Iraq, it may just decide to castigate North Korea. Then India and Pakistan. And Sumatra. And maybe even terrorists.

Who knows, the United Nations may turn out to be the biggest peacekeeper the world has ever known. Then we can say Thanks, Mr. Bush, you did a great thing. Your sabre-rattling has saved us all. Just like Teddy Roosevelt.

Footnote: If this idea I have is really true, and the whole thing is a dangerous bluff, the President had to have implied or express cooperation of the world press -- or at least the American press. Is that possible? Why have I not read of this theory before; why hasn't someone else put this theory into print?

And a final footnote: If President Bush's plan works, he could be a superhero for those two grandkids of mine. You see, we plan to have Kathryn run for president some day, and I would hope that Jeff will look at that job at the U.N. -- you know, secretary general.

December 6, 2002

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