the Disillusioned kid: The Bush Who Cried Wolf
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Bush Who Cried Wolf

I assume your familiar with Aesop's fable of the boy who cried wolf? For those with short memories or sheltered childhoods, it's the story of a boy sent by his village to look after a flock of sheep. He quickly became bored and shouted that there was a wolf attacking the sheep. The villagers rushed to his assistance and were, needless to say, a little peeved to discover that there wasn't a wolf and never had been (a fact established after a brief independent enquiry). They chastised the boy and returned to the village. Unfortunately the boy did not learn his lesson and this scene was repeated a number of times with the boy shouting and the villagers coming to his aid to find there was no threat. Sometime later the boy noticed that there was a wolf, a real one, approaching the flock and called for assistance. By this point the villagers had tired of his antics and ignored his pleas with the result that no-one could protect him from the wolf which proceded to savage the child and eat his intestines. The End. (I may have slightly altered the ending for modern audiences, but you get the gist.)

You may be wondering what the point of this literary diversion is. Not, perhaps, without good reason. It is my assertion that the situation of the boy in the story has parallels with US beligerence towards Iraq and Iran. As this is unlikely to make things much clearer allow me to explain: Recent days have seen an apparent upping of the ante against Iran by the US. Bush Administration figures have accused Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, establishing links with Al-Qaeda and serious human rights abuses. Sound familiar? Quite understandably in the aftermath of the Iraq debacle much of the world is going to need a lot of evidence in order to be convinced of these claims.

The accuracy or otherwise of these allegations is not really the point of this post, although I may return to this at some future juncture. For what it's worth, claims that Iran is actively seeking to acquire a nuclear capability seem more credible than were similar assertions about Iraq, while there is little doubt that the country is guilty of a panoply of human rights abuses. The key issue is that we must not take any claims about Iranian actions at face value nor allow the guardians of truth in the corporate media to make the same "mistakes" they did in 2002 and 2003.

As in the story of the boy there are real threats in the world, as was demonstrated starkly on September 11th, but we must not allow our governments to exploit our fear in order to pursue their own agendas. When they shout "wolf" me must take care to subject their claims to scrutiny lest history repeats itself. The dangers are very real. In the world outside my head, our leaders are unlikely to be the ones eaten by the wolf. That fate is reserved for the sheep - the rest of us.
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