In the war on Iraq, the Bush administration has advanced a strategy of preemption—striking in advance of any realized threat. Creating its own reality of war and presenting the destabilization of a supposed threat as a measure of success, preemption allows victories to be declared in advance and justifies violent and unilateral strikes on peoples, on liberties, on perception, and on truth. Against Preemptive War, a special issue of positions: east asia cultures critique, is a call for critical and international opposition to the logic of preemptive war.
Gathering material from politically active scholars, artists, and authors from Europe, Asia, and North America, this collection reflects on the likely fallout from the corruptive U.S. strategy of preemption. In the introduction, the editors criticize the American press for being, with few exceptions, easily if not willingly deceived by the Bush administration’s propaganda regarding weapons of mass destruction. One contributor redefines fascism as a situation in which contradictions are evident but blatantly ignored, one which creates a false sense of cohesion between events. Another argues that U.S. military bases around the world are now maintained not for military defense and quick mobilization but to create a culture of American militarism, noting that troops were sent from the U.S. for the invasion of Iraq rather than from closer bases around the world. Finally, the issue raises a formidable question: how do we end war waged against what might come to pass rather than what actually is?
Contributors. Tani Barlow, Jim Bonk, Josh Brown, Bei Dao, Carolyn Eisenberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Matthew Fryslie, Sue Golding (as johnny de philo), Freda Guttman, Yukiko Hanawa, Harry Harootunian, Sharon Hayashi, Reynaldo C. Ileto, Joy Kogawa, Thomas LaMarre, The Liberal Islam Network, Sumit K. Mandal, Edoarda Masi, Brian Massumi, Anne McKnight, Carel Moiseiwitsch, Alberto Moreiras, Claudia Pozzana, Alessandro Russo, Ukai Satoshi, Laurie Sears, Kuang Xinnian, Marilyn Young