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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Savage and Savant

Ah, Las Vegas.

When a society is a little bit savant, a little bit savage, somewhat seductive and always keeping a racing pulse on sexuality, it can tell you something about it.

The less boundaries that are placed on its people and the City, the easier it should become to breathe in such a place, shouldn't it?

Read Dr. Hunter S, Thompson's legendary Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and find out for yourself.

With all the current yet understandable palava about the US Presidential Elections, for some reason this tale that takes a critical look at the American Dream keeps springing to my mind.

One thing that will be mentioned umpteen times by the American media will be a revealing comment made by Bush during the first round of the presidential debate with Kerry, broadcast live yesterday. When talking about Saddam Hussein, Bush mentioned that (my paraphrasing) "the enemy attacked us and we defended ourselves", whereupon Kerry was quick to remind the President that Hussein had not actually been responsible for the 9/11 attack on America.

All of the reasons Bush initially gave for invading Iraq have all proven to be false. Iraq's links with 9/11 terrorists are non-existent and Saddam's allegedly hoarded arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) having alluded discovery now sees the accusors backing away from their claims.

Yet in the debate Bush was a little savant and a little savage, presenting his "frat boy" one-liners, completely insulated in his belief that in Iraq people are enjoying their new freedom given to them by God's new guardians: America.

I hope that our new policemen remember that freedom is like love. It knows no boundaries until you place limits upon them.

And limits will have to be placed. For what will happen if common Iraqis wish to have the freedom to create an Islamic Republic one day? How will they sell that to the families of the American dead? And what about America's own national security? Who is to say that Bush's restrictions with his Patriot Acts are any better than a dictator?

Maybe Bush could have done with utilising Kerry's poker-face at the debate. When the stakes are high, you should deal your cards close to you chest.

Believe me, the stakes are high.

Lives have been lost or irrevocably changed forever. Iraqi children are already being weened on hate, death and destruction. The young in Baghdad crayon out pictures of tanks, dead bodies and mummy looking for daddy amongst bomb-blast debris, not clothes hanging out on the washing line of a family home, with mummy and daddy safe and together against the back-drop of a sunny day. A new vicious circle has begun, with a huge division cleaved between cultures, creating a religious divide that only a judgment day may bridge.

So many times I hear on American TV, and even from Bush's own mouth, that "they are not like us". They do not value human life, like we do. We are so sure that the "they" the President of this fearful, new world means are the terrorists, but the distinction between them and the rest of the Islamic world is treated as so slim or so rarely made, that it is easy to forget.

So yeah, this war better be worth it, because very quickly the "victim" is becoming just as bad as the terrorists, forcing the terrorists to become even worse.

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