By Jason Moore

WATCHING the fall of Baghdad on television on Thursday I was interested to see and hear people's reactions. My reaction was that the world was rid of a tyrant and in some ways Blair and Bush had been vindicated because the Iraqis were coming out and openly celebrating with U.S. troops. In other-words we were told that this war was fought to get rid of Saddam Hussein and remove a man who was an alleged threat to world peace. Is the world a safer place now that Saddam appears to have gone? Probably not. We are now at a greater risk of world terrorism but also the allies have blasted a warning in the Middle East that despots and dictators will not be tolerated. People say that this war was illegal and unjust but surely all wars are unjust and should be illegal? Seeing the devastation caused and the casualties in all wars how can anyone say there are good wars and bad ones, there are legal wars and illegal wars? This war has come down to a matter of trust. Do you trust your Prime Minister or don't you. Was this war fought over for oil and the sale of armaments or was it fought to rid the world of Saddam Hussein? I think the most important issue here is that we have a system of democratic government which involves entrusting the future of the country to a single person who, as he or she, has the backing of the majority of the nation, can make decisions on their behalf. This is the western form of democratic government. You either believe in your Prime Minister or leader or you don't. The problem is that in the case of Iraq a sizeable proportion of the world population didn't believe the elected leaders of the countries involved. No-one doubted that Saddam was a bad man but they doubted just why we had to go to war. An interesting state of affairs and one that shows that we are not willing to give governments our full confidence. Our system of government may have to be altered and in the future a more democratic system introduced which involves asking the public through referendums on a greater scale. What we have seen is that we trust Prime Ministers to a point but on bigger issues we want our opinions heard and perhaps referendums are the only way forward but it does rather weaken the power of our elected leaders who can only take decisions up to a certain point.


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