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is anyone listening?

The anti-war folks don't want to hear from Iraqis

Of course they don't. To let exiled Iraqis speak would be to shoot a million holes in the theory that the anti-war crowd cares about the Iraqi people and the marches, rallies and battle cries are all about freedom.

The Iraqis had come with placards reading "Freedom for Iraq" and "American rule, a hundred thousand times better than Takriti tyranny!"

But the tough guys who supervised the march would have none of that. Only official placards, manufactured in thousands and distributed among the "spontaneous" marchers, were allowed. These read "Bush and Blair, baby-killers," " Not in my name," "Freedom for Palestine," and "Indict Bush and Sharon."

Not one placard demanded that Saddam should disarm to avoid war.

The goons also confiscated photographs showing the tragedy of Halabja, the Kurdish town where Saddam's forces gassed 5,000 people to death in 1988.

That is Amir Taheri, writing about the day he spent with the protesters, trying to get the voice of Iraqi people heard. Instead, the voices were stifled.

Salima Kazim, an Iraqi grandmother, managed to attract the reverend's attention and told him how Saddam Hussein had murdered her three sons because they had been dissidents in the Baath Party; and how one of her grandsons had died in the war Saddam had launched against Kuwait in 1990.

"Could I have the microphone for one minute to tell the people about my life?" 78-year-old Salima demanded.

The reverend was not pleased.

"Today is not about Saddam Hussein," he snapped. "Today is about Bush and Blair and the massacre they plan in Iraq." Salima had to beat a retreat, with all of us following, as the reverend's gorillas closed in to protect his holiness.

Mr. Taheri and his Iraqi friends will never be allowed to say what they want during an anti-war rally for one simple reason - those protests are not about war at all. They are not about Saddam Hussein or liberating the Iraqi people. The Iraqi cause is just a cover for what the leftist movement is really about: America is bad. Bush is bad. Blair is bad. It's about the economy and the enivornment and class warfare; those are all noble causes, and I would not mind hearing the views of those rallying around such issues in the proper venue.

The women and children of Iraq are being used by the anti-globalization, Jew-hating, anti-leather/meat crowd to further their pet causes. They go naked for peace and hold up signs saying No War, but the real point of these marches is to bring down capitalism and rail against George Bush.

The Iraqis would had much to tell the "antiwar" marchers, had they had a chance to speak. Fadel Sultani, president of the National Association of Iraqi authors, would have told the marchers that their action would encourage Saddam to intensify his repression.

"I had a few questions for the marchers," Sultani said. "Did they not realize that oppression, torture and massacre of innocent civilians are also forms of war? Are the antiwar marchers only against a war that would liberate Iraq, or do they also oppose the war Saddam has been waging against our people for a generation?"

Sultani could have told the peaceniks how Saddam's henchmen killed dissident poets and writers by pushing page after page of forbidden books down their throats until they choked.

Yet if Ashcroft even talks about taking away a civil liberty in his sleep, there will be a dozen protesters standing outside his bedroom door in the morning calling him Hitler. Hey, I'm all for civil liberties, I don't want them taken away either. I'm just curious why nobody is protesting the lack of civil liberties in Iraq. I'm wondering why all these poets and artists and authors who signed the Not In Our Name petition aren't crying out against Saddam Hussein for killing the poets and artists and authors of Iraq.

Because it doesn't matter, that's why. These people care as much about the citizens of Iraq as they do about Ted Nugent. That is to say, not at all.

The hallmark of a far left liberal is the need to feel good about themselves. The notches they mark in the belts are those of intentions, not deeds. If it made them feel good to carry a sign that says "Bush is a Baby Killer," then that's all that matters.

They lay naked in the grass, spelling out peace and love and happiness, their bodies entwined in a Twister-like spelling bee acted out in a language only those leaning over the left edge of the fence can understand. They go home feeling accomplished, smug and self-satisfied because their intentions were noble and worthy.

Little does it matter to them that the citizens of Iraq want to be liberated. They want America to come and free them. They don't know that because they will not let the Iraqi people speak. They do not want to hear that their cause is not just, that this ruse of marching for peace is going to unfold before their eyes if they let just one person tell of the torture and death inside the borders of Iraq.

They will just keep those blinders on, keep marching with their anti-Bush and anti-America signs, keep rallying around Mumia, keep listening to Chomsky, keep voting for people like Cynthia McKinney, keep on keeping on while the rest of us listen to the right people and do the right thing. Not because it makes us feel good; because it is going to make the people of Iraq feel good.

As Amire Taheri says at the end of the linked article:

Let us hope that when Iraq is liberated, as it soon will be, the world will remember that it was not done in the name of Rev. Jackson, Charles Kennedy, Glenda Jackson, Tony Benn, and their companions in a march of shame.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference is anyone listening?:

» Who Speaks For The Iraqi People? from Weekend Pundit
It's getting depressing. Blog after blog after blog decries the blindness or purposeful ignorance of the anti-war protesters to the plight of the Iraqi people. [Read More]

» Winds of War: 2003-02-27 from Winds of Change.NET
Our daily diary covering The War on Terror around the globe, Feb. 27, 2003. [Read More]

» Thoughts and Worries about Iraq from Prismon.COM
Since Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, started warning that a US invasion of Iraq would "open the gates of hell," the retort that has been flying around Iraqi exiles' websites is, "Good! We'd like to get out!" [Read More]

Comments

Well then, why didn't they hold their own demo? Or better yet, get the pro-invasion folks to march with them?

Jane, The issue here is WHY the anti-war crowd would not allow them to speak. You would think they would want to hear from the people they are so gung-ho on "protecting."

Probably because they're in favour of armed invasion? And that's fine, but I understand why they didn't have a place at an anti war rally. And vice versa, should the reverse be true.

(I'm cranky on the subject of Iraq today).

Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to witness a first. I, Robb Allen am about to lose my cool and verbally attack someone on the Net, typing with one hand while I hold my daughter.

Jane, where the fuck do you get off saying that shit???? These are the people you anti-war asshats are parading about. Never mind, I can't do this single handedly, you deserve the wrath from both my wrists. I'm putting my daughter down.

How the hell can you honestly say these people had no right to speak? They wanted to talk about freeing their families. They wanted to talk about true peace, the peace they get knowing they can safely return home and live a fulfilling life. You don't care about their lives! You only care about your Anti-Bush ideology.

I'm tired of this shit. I'm tired of the crap some people "stand for". Fuck it all, we're going to war, I hope we KILL, yes blow to peices, blood, guts and all every fucking one of Saddams henchmen and every Human "I'm a fucktard" Shield bastard there.

Sleep well tonight. Hundreds of thousands Iraqis will die because you're too blind to care.

Wait just a minute, Jane -- are you actually admitting that the anti-war movement has nothing to do with protecting the people of Iraq? That, in fact, the people of Iraq and their wishes do not figure into the anti-war position at all?

Hmm. I always assumed that you just show up at a demonstration with whatever placard you want. If someone tried to take my sign away from me, he'd have a fight on his hands, never mind that I weigh 130 pounds, someone would get a heavy stick in the jaw.

Maybe my friends who tell me that martial arts aren't irrelevent in the age of guns and tanks do have a point.

One lesson here is that if you want to be heard, bring your own megaphone

I always thought demonstrations were about freedom of speech. As a matter of fact, demonstrators in NYC were having a major hissy fit because Mayor Bloomberg wasn’t allowing them to march past the UN.

But these demonstrations aren’t about free speech – and they’re not about saving lives - if they’re successful, Saddam will still be in power & more Iraqis will die. These activists aren’t humanitarians, since they don’t care a bit about what Iraqis who have suffered under Saddam have to say.
It’s all an excuse to launch yet another anti-Bush, anti-American tirade, to wave a Bush=Hitler sign, to eat some donuts, to feel like you’ve really expressed yourself. And, after you go home, the taxpayers pay for the port-a-potties and the cleanup.

What do these demonstrators want? What Michele said, to bring down capitalism and Bush. Anti-capitalist writer George Monbiot admits it when he says: “On Saturday the anti-war movement released some 70,000 tonnes of organic material on to the streets of London, and similar quantities in locations all over the world. This weapon of mass disruption was intended as a major threat to the security of western governments.”

These demonstrators are 70,000 tons of organic material – a dumb herd of methane-generating matter, conformists holding the signs they’re given and shouting what they’re told to shout.

So, what makes this herd a weapon of mass disruption? I guess it’s the stink they generate.

I might add that these marches are just an extension of the phenomenon that Thomas Sowell pointed out in his book "The Vision of the Anointed."

Boiling it down, Michele is actually wrong that it's about Bush/Blair/capitalism...it's really all about the protestors. They are assembling their moral cocoons with these protests, setting themselves up as the virtuous members of society. The protests are about making them feel good about themselves and to hell with everyone else, including those they claim to champion. And some fucking Iraqi exiles and refugees with electrode scars and pictures of murdered sons would puncture one big hole in that fragile membrane of self-righteousness.

Here's some words from an Iraqi: Abdulmajeed Muhammad, who spent 14 years in one of Hussein’s political prisons.

“There was no rioting in the prison, just a feeling of unease ... then that day hundreds of men from a special unit arrived. They took all the prisoners from their cells and made them parade in the yard facing the walls. It was the first time I had been in daylight since my imprisonment. When we all had our backs to them, standing in the sun, they opened fire on us. Over a hundred men lay dead and dying.”

His crime: he sold a British journalist (who was suspected of spying) a roll of film.

If I knew how to do the little Trackback thingy, I would, but I'm new at this and I doubt I have the ability to anyway.

What I'm getting at is, I don't usually blog about politics, but being a liberal Democrat myself, I had to post about this entry on my own blog.

Sorry about not being able to Trackback.

The point that never gets made: Where were all these "peace" protestors when India and Pakistan were on the brink of nuclear war? Did they give credit to US efforts to prevent it? Do they really care if brown people kill each other?

What is absent from the analysis here is why there is a very large and vocal representation amongst the protesters and their organizers by socialist, communist and Marxist organizations. This is no surprise as the Baath Party is a socialist organization at heart, even if Saddam is merely a run-of-the-mill despot. With organized communism crushed in the former Soviet Block people tend to discount the continued activities of communist parties in general, but in this case what they are involved in suits them on two fronts: it serves to discomfit and (at least in their estimation) hem in the great capitalist powers, and it helps to keep a nominally socialist regime in power in Iraq. I do not believe the communists or Marxists believe that Saddam is a friend of theirs; however, the party machinery is in place and in a future Iraq a Baath ruling party with access to petroleum wealth could be a formidable presence in the political landscape of the Middle East. As always, committed Marxists have few qualms regarding the multitude of corpses created along their patient route to power.

Gee, Rob, I didn't realize that you were psychic and could tell everything about me and my opnions from two comments on a blog. And start reading for content, asswipe.

Phil, nope...all I"m saying is that pro-war people wouldn't be welcome at an antiwar rally, regardless of their ethnicity, and that I don't see why that's a surprise. By the same token, I think the reverse would be true as well....antiwar folks wouldn't be welcome at a prowar rally, regardless of their ethnicity.

Unfortunately for me and Jane, the emotional turmoil from my rant didn't come out correctly (Don't Post Angry).

My ONLY comment directed at Jane was the bolded sentence. The "you" in the rest of the post referred to a generalization, not directly at Jane. Sorry I didn't word that better but I was angry. Sometimes even us level headed people pop. And I can see by my first paragraph where that was misconstrued.

But my stance is firm. They had ALL the reason and right to stand up there and talk. Jane, the way you wrote your posts illustrates the problem - These protests had nothing to do with facts or reality.

A true scientist welcomes challenges to his hypothesis even if it means his theory is wrong because, through the challenge, the truth is revealed. These marchers cared nothing about the truth.

Well, Jane, when the anrti-war movement is operating under the aegis of trying to do something positive for the people of Iraq, and there are actual people from Iraq saying, "Wait a minute, you people have got it all wrong," maybe they should listen to them? I'd think that's what reasonable people would do. Otherwise, the anti-war movement is nothing more than self-congratulation: "Look at us! We oppose war!"

Dammit, Rob, now I have to take back the "asswipe" comment.

Okay...they have the right to speak, and I hope they speak long and hard and vocally and publically, because that is their right. However, how does not speaking at a protest abrogate that right? The protests weren't a forum for all sides to speak....they were to present a particular point of view of those not in favour of armed invasion in Iraq. People participated for all sorts of reasons, but that was the underlying theme.

Would you welcome a member of PETA to speak at your annual Ducks Unlimited dinner? Hardly. Would you welcome a KKK guy to speak at your civil rights rally? Nope. Would you let the HCI people speak at an NRA convention? Would that I could live to see the day.

Those are all interest forums, and are not bad in and of themselves because they speak to their constituents, or like-minded folks. And I don't think that's undemocratic.

Slice of lemon meringue pie?

Jane,

Would you, an outside observer, welcome a civil rights speaker at a KKK rally?

Jane, it appears to me that many of the excluded placards were anti-Saddam, not prowar. Antiwar movement is as much about GWB as it is about Iraq. I didn't see anyone protesting in 1998.

Would you invite someone with HIV to speak at a rally supporting AIDS research?
The Iraqi people are the ones most impacted by a war. Preventing them from speaking does not seem consistent.

Jane, don't worry about the asswipe comment. At least it wasn't my favorite word "asshat".

And no, I don't expect the Klan to let a Civil Rights speaker in. That's why the Klan is a bunch of idiots. They don't WANT to hear the other side because they have assured themselves everything they think is right.

And I, as a loyal, law abiding gun owner see no reason why not to allow someone for gun control to speak. It makes me ensure that I'm not dug in simply because I'm dug in!

But what we're talking about here isn't opposites. Peace isn't about "no war", peace is about the lack of threat. The Iraqis do not have peace right now.

So in that light, a "no war" movement that isn't about peace is... well... ass. A "peace" movement would listen to those who they are trying to protect because what those people were wanting to talk about WAS peace, even though the methods to get there weren't what the protesters wanted to hear.

David, nope...the reverse is true as well.

Timmy, I don't speak for the entire antiwar movement. Heck, I don't even march. People attend for all sorts of reasons and have a variety of agendas; the thing that united them at that particular moment, and maybe none other, was their opinion re military invasion.

Jon, if the person with HIV opposed further AIDS research, s/he'd have no welcome speaking spot at a rally in support of said research. And was this particular contingent of Iraqis refused air space because they were Iraqi or because they were prowar Iraqi? There's a distinction.

Robb, don't assume because a rally is an event for supporters only that all attendees (and even non-attendees who spent that particular Saturday watching Lifetime Movie Network in minus 40 weather) don't want to hear from the other side, or think the debate is done. That's what protests ARE....a means of voicing a collective opinion on some matter or other.

"Let us hope that when Iraq is liberated, as it soon will be, the world will remember that it was not done in the name of Rev. Jackson, Charles Kennedy, Glenda Jackson, Tony Benn, and their companions in a march of shame."

I'm hoping that when the Iraqi people build a museum to the horrors of the Saddam period that they'll devote a wing to the 'anti-war' movement in the West. Perhaps they'll call it the Babs Wing or the Sarandon Section. These people richly deserve to have their actons immortalized. Maybe that will give pause to future Hollywood pinheads.

Jane, I understand now, the protests are against military invasion. So where were the protestors when Saddam invaded Kuwait?

what jane is so patiently trying to explain to you is that if you're protesting to protect some people, and those people try to tell you that not only is your protest not helping--it's actually hurting, it's okay to ignore them.

Their plight isn't actually important--it's the protest that's the real important thing. Exercising one's right to dissent--even when that dissent is killing people-- is the important thing.

Timmy, you'll have to ask them.

Jack, read for content.

Jane, puzzled and confused, is the normal reaction of asking antiwar crowd about anything. But, there are three principal options to avoid a war:

1. Saddam disarms.
2. Saddam and his regime are removed internally;
3. a military invasion by outside parties

It just appears to me that the antiwar efforts have only focused on #3 with much if not all of that effort focused on discrediting GWB.

I can appreciate the fact that pro-war sentiments were not welcome at an anti-war protest, but that doesn't change the fact that Iraqi's have these stories and feel this way. Somebody needs to start listening. Somebody needs to start listening now.

I've heard this Bush=Hitler thing so many times, but sometimes I can't help but think that the anti-war camp=those that turned their heads the other way during the holocaust.

Well then, why didn't they hold their own demo?

Because, clearly, they made a mistake. They listened to the protesters' propaganda - "No blood for oil", "Don't kill Iraqi babies", "War is inhumane" - and they were fool enough to believe it.

They believed that the protestors were marching because they were concerned about Iraqis and wanted to prevent their being hurt or killed, and they thought that people who were concerned about Iraqis might want to hear about what is actually hurting and killing them.

They thought that the fate of Iraqis might be important enough to the protesters that they'd listen, that if they understood that war is the least of available evils, they might reconsider their opposition.

They didn't understand that the protesters could not care less about Iraqis. That's not the issue. The Iraqis wanted to talk about their potential suffering, what might happen to them as the result of a war.... "Why don't they get their own demo? They've got nothing to do with what this protest is about."

I don't want to get into America as the single biggest threat to world peace at the moment, suffice it to say the following:
War in Iraq is getting closer every day. Your voice is
needed before it becomes a disaster for Iraq's people.
Take action now to prevent this crisis:

Oxfam is enabling you to email Prime Minister Tony
Blair at:
http://oxfam.org.uk/iraqactnow

The people of Iraq are still suffering the effects of
bombing during the 1991 Gulf War. Twelve years of
economic sanctions, and their own government's
policies, have made things worse.

Nearly two-thirds of Iraqis - more than 15 million
people - depend entirely on food rations distributed
by their government. Any attack, particularly if it
destroys roads and bridges, could stop the food
reaching those people. They would go hungry.

When Oxfam aid workers first entered Iraq at the end
of the 1991 Gulf War, they found a public health
disaster. There was sewage in the streets because air
strikes had destroyed the electricity supplies which
powered the sanitation systems. Twelve years later,
much of that damage has still not been repaired.
Similar attacks now could make things even worse.

Those who propose war have not yet shown that any
threat from Iraq is so imminent that it justifies the
risk of so much human suffering.

Behold the write-only device.

That Oxfam post is a prime example of the anti-war movement. If the big bad west acts on the behalf of it's own interests, it is evil. That idiotic post mentioned Saddam in a passing sentence to try to justify it's Chamberlin-esque tone. The truth of the matter is, they don't care if Saddam is killing these people by denying them food and medical attention that the UN has tried to make sure that these people get and Saddam denies them, all they care about is sticking it to anyone who doesn't hold their twisted views. I don't have White Guilt. I want to make sure that people have freedom, freedom from tyranny in iraq, and freedom from being gassed to death in NYC, London, and tel Aviv. To hell with the left! Let them spend a week in iraq..not like Sean "Quisling" Penn, but as Iraqis!

a country with as much oil as iraq why they hell do they still have donkey carts?
because saddam is truly evil!