Saturday, March 22, 2003

Daniel Ellsberg on The Long View: America's Illegal War 

Steven Rosenfeld on www.tompaine.com interviews Daniel Ellsberg, and Ellsberg gives advice on what direction protest could take:

"Daniel Ellsberg: Well, I'm encouraged by the fact that there is enormous opposition, both abroad and in this country. In fact, I'm proud of the Americans who have been opposing this war as actively as they have in the last couple of months, which includes a small minority of the people in Congress.

So, I would say, that the task before us -- and there clearly are a lot of Americans who are ready to do this -- the task is for us to change this imperial policy with its dangers and its wrongness."

And Ellsberg with this proposed direction of protest:

"TP.c: What kind of anti-war criticism or focus do you think would be most effective right now?
Ellsberg: Well I think that point, to begin with: This is a war that increases our danger at home. But there are, by the way, still horrors that could prevented by sufficient public awareness and protest, even if the war itself can't be stopped.

Very specifically, I think the question should be raised now -- right now and very forcefully -- that we should not use nuclear weapons under any circumstances whatever. And very specifically, if weapons of mass destruction in the form of biological or chemical weapons are used against our troops -- which would be a war crime by Iraq -- that war crime should not be answered by a massive crime against humanity in the form of nuclear retaliation.

The administration has specifically threatened their willingness to initiate the use of nuclear weapons in a number of circumstances, including the use of gas or chemical weapons. I hope that Bush is wrong in saying they have effective gas or biological weapons. But if he isn't, I think there should be a U.N. resolution and congressional resolution that we would not use nuclear weapons.

So, I think there is a point where public protest should not wait until, as Bush keeps putting it, until the evidence of our intent is a mushroom cloud."