Ellen Willis Responds

Ellen Willis Responds

I oppose the Bush administration’s drive to war on Iraq, though not without continuing internal argument. Should Saddam Hussein fail to comply with the Security Council’s resolution, I would have to rethink my position. In the event of a popular democratic revolt against Saddam, I would support various forms of U.S. intervention, including sending troops, if necessary. And I am moved by Kanan Makiya’s conviction that only the U.S. military can install democracy in Iraq, even as I believe he is investing his hopes in the wrong cast of characters. But at this moment I find it impossible to disentangle the call for war from the larger vision of international relations it is meant to test. Iraq has been a chronic problem, but the current crisis is a manufactured one. The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz gang has seized on September 11 as an excuse and a cover for an agenda that long predated it: taking advantage of the power vacuum supposedly created by the fall of the Soviet Union to wage a forceful campaign for world domination.


Ellen Willis’s most recent essay on international politics post-9/11 is “The Mass Psychology of Terrorism,” in the forthcoming anthology Implicating Empire (Basic).

Other responses: Marshall Berman, Mitchell Cohen, Todd Gitlin, Stanley Hoffman, Kanan Makiya, James B. Rule, Ann Snitow


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