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News ::
Peace in Iraq, it beats war! (does it?) (english)
22 Mar 2003
Modified: 23 Mar 2003
Yesterday was a big day of protest. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in various cities worldwide in the name of protesting “war on/against Iraq.” The “war” being protested, of course, is American intervention aimed at a change of regime in Iraq.
Yesterday was a big day of protest. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in various cities worldwide in the name of protesting “war on/against Iraq.” The “war” being protested, of course, is American intervention aimed at a change of regime in Iraq. The opposite of “war on/against Iraq”, is “peace in Iraq”. LASt week the war had yet to begun, so Iraq was in a state of “peace”. In the very least, I would assert that this was an imperfect peace. It was a peace in which an entire nation lives paralyzed in fear. A peace in which every single family has lost a loved one to the dictatorship that controls them against their will. A peace where you can and will be removed from you ancestral home if you are not of the “correct” ethnicity. A peace where your mother, daughter, or sister may be raped by the dictatorship’s security officials to punish her or shame her into cooperating with the regime of Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti. A peace where it is common to hear of citizens getting their tongues cut off to uttering an “incorrect” word. I am thankful that I do not have to live under such “peaceful” conditions, for this peace sounds like an unimaginable hell!

I live in Boston, the site of one of the world’s “peace” demonstrations. I found myself walking with the demonstrators to work. I spoke with one man on my way to work who was a Quaker opposed “war on/against Iraq”. I asked him if he supports the Iraqi dictatorship and he said, “Of course not.” I asked him what should be done about this regime, and he told me that the “Saddam would not live forever” and the regime would eventually wither away. I found myself at a loss for words. I could not even reason with such a man. I asked him if he knew what Anfal was, and he said he had no idea. I have a feeling that the majority of demonstrators had no idea what Anfal meant. How can one claim to have an educated opinion on Iraq without knowing a thing about the most terrible atrocity perpetrated by the regime.

I was thoroughly convinced that there was no way to reason with the demonstrators. Nonetheless, I wanted to do something. I printed 200 copies of a press release by the Iraqi Prospect Organization (IPO), a group of Iraqi exiles fighting for democracy in their homeland. They said, “Anti-war demonstrators lack the support of the Iraqi people.” I handed these out to demonstrators, and received more than one hostile response. One lady said, “I suppose this is directly from the Iraqi people.” I answered, “If you took the time to read it, you would know that!” She said, “Whatever.” I said, “Look at the contact information. Is Ahmed a Western name?” (A reference to the President of the IPO, Mr. Ahmed Shames.) She did not want to hear anything further, and rudely dismissed me. It seemed to me that the demonstrators had no desire to hear anything that ruined their perfect image of being pro-peace and opposing forces of evil. It is so much fun to march with thousands and oppose US President George W. Bush that the majority of people do not realize what they are supporting. No one who claims to act in solidarity with the people of Iraq can take a position that perpetuates the genocidal dictatorship of the Ba’ath party.

I hope that soon the Iraqi people will not have to live under the “peace” of Saddam and the “peace” of the demonstrators. I hope that, in the near future, they will experience a new peace, one in which they can speak their minds and live where they choose
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Differing views (english)
22 Mar 2003
You may indeed believe that this is a war to "liberate" Iraq, but much of the world disagrees with you. Operation Iraqi Freedom, indeed.

It's complex. Yes, certainly Saddam is a fascist dictator, an addict of power, a killer of innocent people, an oppressor. However, does this make any form of opposition to him morally right?

Sure, if you listen to Fox News or basically any substandard media channel, print, TV, radio, etc., this is the line you'll get. But to really determine what is right is a more difficult task, and if you swallow the conservative analysis, you're selling your own critical faculties short.

Look at the nature of the U.S. policy toward Iraq. The history. The U.S. support of Saddam's regime even after the gassing of Kurds in Iraqi territory in 1988. The continued flow of weapons.

The U.S. government is perched at the height of hypocrisy, not respecting human rights in both foreign and domestic policy, and exercising repression of core freedoms while alleging to be fighting for the human rights and "freedom" of an oil-rich nation. Simultaneously ignoring the equally or more sever repression of many other people around the world.

Another fallacy of your argument: Don't expect an expat group to represent "the people" of their place of origin. Any such group can be formed which claims to represent the "genuine" will of the people of the place from which they came. This is no proof of your thesis, not even a weak proof.

Okay, enough time on this. Other things to do than argue with a punk.
sorry for last word (english)
22 Mar 2003
I didn't mean anything too negative by 'punk' - in my world it's an endearing term -- but still I shouldn't have said it.

Actually I admire that you took the time to post your true thoughts and I think it deserves consideration, although I think you'll find that such possibilities as your thesis have been heard and thought about and rejected by most people who are opposing this war. We're not simpletons and we have integrity and thoroughness and depth of thought. We know that the US is not liberating Iraq, even if it may appear to be so in the media, even if we see people cheering for US troops on CNN, even if we see a parliament installed and representives elected... there are more subtle flows of power behind these props. Neither is the U.S. a democracy. A superpower government of the elites will "win" a "war" and install a puppet government that it can control with invisible strings. At least we can voice our opposition and build revolutionary consciousness in the process.
Hypocrisy? (english)
23 Mar 2003
There is a great deal of inconsistancy in the arguments of anti-war protesters. For example, many of them are screaming for us to impeach or assassinate Bush, sentiments that I myself align with on a regular basis. However, when asked what should be done with Saddam, the answer is that we should wait for him to die. Why can't we wait another year or two until Bush is voted out of office/killed/chokes on a pretzel but we can wait anywhere from 0-30? years until Saddam dies.

"Oh," someone may say, "his people have elected him fairly." Inasmuch as OUR elections are fair, correct? I estimate, and I am no statistician, that the number of people who die in this war will be less than the number of people who would die in another 30 years of Saddam rule.

I am puzzled as to why there was an invective launched at this poster by "me". The initial post was not angry, not insulting, not even controversial by this site's standard. Yet you chose to immediately eliminate his views as wrongheaded. Hasn't being on the wrong end of the media blitz taught you to listen to unpopular views? Or do you believe that being liberal and being anti-war gives you full, unbiased views into the opinions of others?
alas... (english)
23 Mar 2003
What invective? Did you read my second post?

On the other hand, I did indeed find the initial post insulting and presenting anti-war people as simpletons. However, this may be the poster's feelings. So be it.

And yes, I agree that some anti-war protesters are indeed too simple in their analysis, and many of the chants and signs reveal this. However, that cannot be said as a sweeping statement about all or even most of them.

Speaking for myself, let me answer your comments.

What should be done about Saddam, wait for him to die? No, obviously not. He's a tyrant and a fascist dictator. But why are "we" the ones who get to ask the question what should be done about him? "We" being the U.S. with its superpower might that is never used for liberatory purposes except when it is convenient as a side effect of pursuing imperial interests. Why should I feel obliged to support the U.S. simply because its actions will have a partial liberatory effect, while meanwhile killing many innocent people? I reject the whole premise of your implication. I choose to be against Saddam and the U.S., and not to be forced into choosing one or the other. That is true freedom.

I will work for a better world with no compromises with people who do not have this wish deep in their hearts, because that's the only way it will work. I understand the "just war" concept, but insofar as it applies to war against all oppressors, which must include the structures of the US government as well as other oppressive regimes. If the U.S. takes down Saddam, as it will, then good riddance. However, don't give me a Karzai and call it democracy. Don't call it liberation.
Simpletons may not be far from the truth (english)
23 Mar 2003
I've seen a few interviews with people who are pro-peace. The simple question: "If war isn't the answer, what is?"

Their answers are usually:
1) I don't know, but war isn't the answer.
2) Get out of my face you facist Nazi.
3) Inspections.

The inspections aren't going to work because Iraq has probably shipped all of its weapons out of the country. What are those two Iraqi freighters doing, circling the globe without maintaining radio contact? The UN has been in charge of inspections for 12 years, etc. You've heard these arguments before. However, I think that answering inspectons shows some thought.

The first two answers, alas, are the most common. I don't know is rarely an acceptable answer. If you don't know what to do instead, will you sit and do nothing? If the US were to sit and do nothing in every conflict, we'd build a lot better relations. However, we'd have the same "I don't know" people protesting when Rwanda, East Timor, and other regions erupt into chaos without our help.

Hurling insults when you are questioned is something that the conservative camp is supposed to do, right?

I have yet to hear a good, workable solution emerge from the pro-peace camp yet. Your goals are too divided. You cannot expect to disarm Saddam, topple global consumerism, destroy the US government and replace it with your own socialist/communist government, eliminate Judiasm, kill all the whites, etc. at the same time. There is no leader. There is no point.
Message for Jeff and observer (english)
23 Mar 2003
Two pretentious phonies who donÕt have a clue regarding what peace activist really believe and know. Two phonies who clearly imply that somehow they are superior to the demonstrators that the smear. These two know-nothing would have us believe their bullshit, that protestors are not emotionally or intellectually equal to pro-war types.

When asked "If war isn't the answer, what is?" a pro-peace person answers of ÒI donÕt know. but war isnÕt the answer.Ó is ridiculed. Sure, letÕs ask the same question to a pro-war person and it makes me laugh to think that a better answer would ensue. And, I have been on many hundreds of demonstrations and have yet to hear a peace activist say ÒGet out of my face you fascist Nazi. And, inspections do work in the real world.

If these two brainwashed, war-loving idiots care to learn what responsible people in the anti-war movement really think, rather than spend their times to feed us distorted view of reality, it should not be that difficult to anyone with a minimum of web experience.

Obviously, these two phonies do not understand how wars are marketed to the masses. Obviously they do not understand how all government lie to their people when wars are planned. Obviously, they donÕt understand how the demonizing of an opponent works. And obviously, they have never heard a war lie from the many war-profiteering politicians. Or perhaps they know of all these things, but they are scumbags who pretend that such ting do not exits.