In times of peace, prepare for war (2).

Author:Ankomah, Baffour
Position:Baffour's Beefs

"Whatever happens, we have got the maxim gun and they have not," wrote the British essayist and historian, Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953). welcome to "basic insecurity complex"

So another war has been averted or delayed? It would have been Tony Blair's fifth war in five years--since he came to power in May 1997--one year, one war. Amazing, isn't it? It would also have been George W. Bush's second war in a year. And Blair and Bush are said to be the only Western leaders who keep the Bible in their bedrooms. Well, no surprise there. Not bad for behaving like the ancestors. In Ghana, the elders say: "Okoto nnwo anoma"--the crab never gives birth to a bird. It's in the genes--a lesson Africa will have to factor into its relations with "the nations of European stock". That, a crab will always give birth to a crab, and a bird a bird.

But let's not jump ahead of ourselves; let's begin from where we left off last month, because in the flurry of war talk, the question I posed in my last month's column is being lost.

I asked: "Why is it right for America to manufacture weapons of mass destruction and not Iraq or my country, Ghana? Why should America and its nuclear friends then have the right to attack or impose sanctions on Ghana and call it a 'rogue state', if Ghana merely tries to acquire 'the weapons of mass murder' [President Bush's latest phrase] that America and its friends already have?"

The nearest thing to an answer that I have heard in the past few weeks is that America and "the nations of European stock" are democracies, and Iraq is not, and presumably Ghana is not.

Well, America was a "democracy" when it nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing over 200,000 people in two mad days in 1945 with just two "weapons of mass murder". So where is the guarantee that "democratic" America would not do it again if it suits its national interest? And then, they say Saddam is additionally disqualified to have weapons of mass destruction because he has "used chemical weapons on his own people". So, what is the difference between using weapons of mass destruction on your own people and using them on other peoples' people?

Before they confuse us further, let's get our history right. The first people to use chemical weapons in Iraq were the British--in the early 1920s, the Royal Air Force, in all its royalty, had no qualms spraying that odious weapon on southern Iraq (then called Mesopotamia) in experiments ordered by the politicians in London. Saddam Hussein...

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