&#91OUTLOOK&#93The Divinity consults on holy war

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&#91OUTLOOK&#93The Divinity consults on holy war

God! If the war ends within four weeks, the economic growth rate of the United States will rise by 0.5 percentage point and that of East Asia by 0.2 percentage point. Right after U.S. President George W. Bush issued the ultimatum to Iraq, the Dow Jones index of U.S. securities jumped by 3.7 percent and the Korean stock index by 4.2 percent ― as if investors were emancipated from “Iraqphobia.”
You may be pleased to see that growth rates and stock prices are on the rise.
What do you mean by “pleased,” when people in Iraq will be killed? Let alone soldiers in battlefields, what did those who lost their parents, husbands or children do wrong? Even though the Iraqi people are considered to be hostages of Saddam Hussein, things are not different. If the war drags on for more than three months and oil wells are destroyed, the economic growth rate of the United States, economists say, will drop by 4.5 percentage points and that of East Asia by 3.7 percentage points. In the end, the United States intends to save oil wells by devastating Iraq in the initial stage of the campaign with state-of-the-art arms and formidable fire. This is the real meaning of hoping for a short-term war, isn’t it?
I didn’t make you do it. You are doing it.
Mr. Bush calls himself as a penitent libertine. He thinks Saddam Hussein is evil, and that a war punishing evil is justice. The Vatican released a statement that God will judge this war. Arabic countries regard the U.S.-led army as new Crusaders.
I taught you that you should love your neighbors as yourself. I never taught that you should drop bombs on neighbors you hate. I guess Mr. Bush believes in another God. Whom does he worship?
Rumors go around that oil fields are to be blamed for the war. If God had laid the “black gold” evenly among all countries, there might not have been the rough expression, “exchange blood for oil.” The United States, I guess, would like to seize a grip on Iraq, which possesses the second largest reservoir of crude oil in the world, because Iraq has defied the United States, which has to import 52 percent of its oil. Just by announcing the ultimatum, crude oil prices dropped by 2 percent. It can be called a half-success of the campaign. Did you hear of the complaints of the Iraqi deputy prime minister? He said that the United States attacked Iraq, not North Korea, even though it accused both nations of developing mass destruction weapons, because there is no oil and Israel in North Korea.
North Korea may wish to consume as much oil as it wants, even if it means war there, as now in Iraq. I wish I had buried oil under Canaan in addition to Babylon. Though you work five days a week, I had to work six days for creating the world. So some things are incomplete, as I was pressed for time.
In the past, the United States mobilized the United Nations Security Council if it wanted to stage a war. But this time, 11 of 15 council members opposed military action against Iraq. As dirty diplomacy to buy support also turned out to be in vain, the United States thrust its way through without any UN endorsement.
Now, it has become justifiable to attack whomever and whenever, in the cause of “preemptive war.”
Who on the earth are you worried about? I heard your country planned to dispatch an engineering unit and a medic unit to support the U.S.-led war against Iraq. Taking everything into consideration, I can understand that your country is in a difficult position to reject U.S. demands. But there are several things you’ve got to study. Your country has to keep importing crude oil from Middle Eastern countries after the war. What will you do if a nation that doesn’t have any animosity with you aims guns at you, as you plan to do at this time, should a war break out on the Korean Peninsula? If you cannot but give a hand to the war because of a strong nation’s power politics, will you give a hand when the strong nation tries to bomb the Korean Peninsula because of power politics?
What the hell are you talking about? By the way, do you, God, believe such a groundless rumor?
So you are going to be rude, are you? Didn’t you hear that the United States announced it would advance on Iraq even if Saddam Hussein left the country? Though there is no oil and Israel, the United States can strike if it wants to do so. There is no better excuse than a holy war to eliminate evil.
Then, God, what should we do in the future? Shall we shout “Be strong, Mr. Hussein”? Shall we pray that bombs may drop in the northern part of the Demilitarized Zone?
There is no difference between dying in a war and dying to prevent a war.

* The writer is a columnist of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Joseph W. Chung
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