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Demonstrations

18 April 2003

By Yisrael Ne’eman

Baghdad fell on April 9th.   In the West anti-war, anti-American demonstrations flooded Europe, North America and Australia.   Where are the big demonstrations now?  The hundreds of thousands, if not millions.  A certain rigor mortis has set in as a few thousand show up here and there to protest the US led victory and removal of Saddam Hussein.

Was this activity for the sake of showing up for a demo?   Where or what were the great ideological factors involved in opposing the war?  Many feared casualties, military and civilian, American and Iraqi, but this is not enough to decide not to go to war unless one is a pacifist willing to let a vicious dictator off the hook.

The Americans have not yet found the ‘smoking gun’ of weapons of mass destruction but one suspects they will.  But they have exposed the other ‘gun’ of a regime of mass repression including wholesale imprisonment, torture and murder.  Saddam and his henchmen were truly feared and hated.  Maybe that is why so many Iraqis are welcoming the Coalition forces.   

One would expect the anti-war leaders to demand the reinstatement of Saddam’s regime if they are standing on principle.  One would expect the anti-war leadership to confront those Iraqis celebrating Saddam’s demise with a reasoned, logical explanation as to why the American operation works against Iraqi interests.  What about organizing a pro-Ba’ath demonstration?

Most people are followers and mass demonstrations can be very attractive, especially if one is young and has the usual inclination to be anti-the establishment.  The issue is one of discretion since the establishment can be correct in its analysis as it was in this case.  George Bush knew just how hated, oppressive and dangerous Saddam’s regime was and he acted with determination.  Making the connection between international terrorism and the Iraqi regime cemented his resolve and he succeeded in his interim goal of Saddam’s removal.

Will the demonstrations begin again should Bush go after another tyrant threatening world security.  It is quite possible since the overriding issue especially in Europe is anti-Americanism.  We know what the demonstrators are protesting against, but what are they protesting for?  A United Nations presence guaranteeing Saddam’s regime?

Although ‘consistency is an attribute’ someone on the anti-American side should consider a time out to reevaluate simple values and principles.  Such a move might help everyone understand what type of world they want to leave to their children.

 

 

 


 

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