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W. S. Merwin - Statement

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It would not have been possible for me ever to trust someone who
acquired office by the shameful means Mr. Bush and his abettors resorted
to in the last presidential election. His nonentity was rapidly becoming
more apparent than ever when the catastrophe of Sept. 11, 2001, provided
him and his handlers with a role for him, that of "wartime leader",
which they, and he in turn, were quick to exploit. This role was used at
once to silence all criticism of the man and his words as unpatriotic,
and to provide the auspices for a sustained assault upon civil
liberties, environmental protections, and general welfare. The
perpetuation of this role of "wartime leader" is the primary reason--
more important even than the greed for oil fields and the wish to blot
out his father's failure-- for the present determination to visit war
upon Iraq, kill and maim countless people, and antagonize much of the
world of which Mr. Bush had not heard until recently. The real
iniquities of Saddam Hussein should be recognized, in this context, as
the pretexts they are. His earlier atrocities went unmentioned as long
as he was an ally of former Republican administrations, which were
happy, in their time, to supply him with weapons. I think that someone
who was maneuvered into office against the will of the electorate, as
Mr. Bush was, should be allowed to make no governmental decisions
(including judicial appointments) that might outlast his questionable
term, and if the reasons for war were many times greater than they have
been said to be I would oppose any thing of the kind under such
"leadership". To arrange a war in order to be re-elected outdoes even
the means employed in the last presidential election. Mr. Bush and his
plans are a greater danger to the United States than Saddam Hussein.

-- W. S. Merwin

Social, Political and Anti-War Poems