in the name of universal peace and freedom, we are free tonsuppress an Arab bully who represents no material threat tonour security or vital interests, it is because we are willing tonsurrender huge portions of our national autonomy to thenUnited Nations.nDo I exaggerate? Here is the language of the President’sndeclaration of war — make no mistake about it, embargoesnand blockades constitute acts of war—against Iraq asnreported in the New York Times: “This morning thenPresident received a letter from [blah blah blah] the Emir ofnKuwait, requesting on behalf of the government of Kuwaitnand in accordance with article 51 of the U.N. Charter andnthe right of individual and collective self defense. … Innview of the Emir’s request, the President has decided thatnthe United States will do whatever is necessary to see thatnrelevant U.N. sanctions are enforced.” George Ball, asnenthusiastic as Jesse Jackson and Pat Schroeder about thenAmerican counter-invasion, declares (also in the Times) thatn”The legitimacy of what the United States is doing dependsnnow on the Security Council resolution. It’s a UnitednNations action.”nThe line taken by the administration is parroted everywhere:nwe are acting as the right arm of the United Nations,nnot in the interest of the United States. This argument hasnits advantages, as a justification, since unlike Europe andnJapan the United States gets comparatively little of its oilnfrom the Persian Gulf states and next to nothing fromnKuwait. But now the cry goes up: let Europe and Japan paynfor our invasion force. This is the depth to which we havensunk as a nation, that our greatest wish is to be paidnmercenaries for Germany and Japan. But such is the tanglenof motivations in which we ensnare ourselves, whenever wenleave the main highway of national self-interest for ansentimental trip down the scenic route of internationalnidealism.nSome of our internationalist posturing is no more thannthe knavish language of cynical politicians who want to keepnthe American economy fueled on cheap oil. My conservativenfriends have been telling me that George Bush is onlyndressing up his nahonalism in sheep’s clothing borrowednfrom the United Nations. Perhaps. But why, then, did wenhave to request U.N. approval for any naval action againstnIraqi tankers? It took the Security Council a week to decide,nand even then approval came at the price of a U.S. promisento hold its fire until diplomats had exhausted all possibilitiesnof compromise. Besides, New York and Washington are fullnof business and political leaders who would like nothingnbetter than to finish the job of tidying up the globe bynsnuffing out the last sparks of independence and initiative, atnhome and abroad.nIt is for this reason that I prefer the old Adam of strife andncarnage to the new Prometheus of peace and human rights.nBetter a world torn apart by Husseins and Qaddafis, better anwar to the knife between the PLC and the Likud Party,nbetween Zulus and Afrikaaners, than a world run by GeorgenBalls and Dag Hammarskjolds, because a world made safenfor democracy is a world in which no one dares to raise hisnvoice for fear that mommy will put you away some placenwhere you can be reeducated.n<^nColloquiesnby Martin SeymouT-SmithnMy friend, and what a word that is, in his troublenWas abandoned, yet he admired her couragenAnd loved her more for what she had to do.nSo that at night when he was readingnHe found that her hands, red with his blood.nWere turning the pages; that she’d been standingnOn the other sides of walls just beforenHe opened doors to meet with vacancy.nHis books vanished, re-arranged themselves.nAnd one day his teaspoonsnMarched away out into the streetnThen back through the hallnAnd onto the draining board.nHe did not wonder at all at this:nBeing left had turned his world into magic.nI spoke to her,nFor she was my daughter.nCould tell her only ‘Anderson wroten”Dreiser, the heavy-footed, had trampednThrough the real wilderness of puritan lies.nMaking a pathway for us all.”‘nFrom his cold house he told me about his troublesnIn long telephone calls, and I just listened.nNow I’m in my trouble, of a different kind,nNot abandoned, but bewildered, guilty;nAnd my world too is full of harrowed magic.nHe doesn’t even know who she is. Or does he,nAnd is all impossible love and yearning.nNot like anything else ever, or ever describable?nNot long ago I’d forgotten. But now I ask:nYou, who are still young, tell me,nIs it a thing better to talk of only.nNever to try to enact?nWhat shall I do?nAm I fortunate only to be sick withnThe healing disease of her rejection.nOr should I try to cure it?nnnNOVEMBER 1990/15n