Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.
Monday, March 22, 2004
One Year Later: Iraq changes, protestors stay the same
A year later the protests are back. I still don't quite understand what they are looking for, but a return to the days of Saddam Hussein hardly inspires thoughts of peace and justice. If Saddam was still in power, the anti-war movement could go back to their insulated world where the only thing standing between Iraq and greatness is economic sanctions. Actual Iraqi's know differently, and I wish that some of those protesters would take the time to see what they think before speaking for them. So, in honor of the protests Saturday I decided to peruse some of the Iraqi blogs to see what they thought. Ays is frustrated:
It's very cozy and comfortable to drink the tea in the morning, getting out of your first-class houses, driving your fancy cars, speaking loudly against your governments, criticizing your prime ministers and presidents, saying "I want this thing", "I don't agree on this decision", "I hate Blair and Bush" .....etc.
Look you coddled pampered people.... why don't you want us to do what you're doing now ? why don't you want us to live like you ? Are you idiots? Selfish? Or what ?
You 'protestors' I'm sure you didn't use your mind when you got out of your houses... just let me tell you something: when you want to refuse something or say that's wrong, first of all you should study the whole case and discuss it thoroughly before saying it's wrong, and when you say it's wrong, GIVE A PROPOSAL to solve the case, now when you said "No war...." What is the right thing to do to get rid of Saddam and build democratic countries in the region?
Iraq The Model has a great couple of posts from Ali and Mohammed) that are well worth reading. Ali really gets to the crux of this issue when he asks those that protest, Where do you live?
Where do you live!? A stupid and irrelevant question? I don't think so.
Read the rest, in fact just click on Iraq the Model to the right and just keep scrolling. Mohammed has been reposting his thoughts from the days leading up to the war a year ago. He recorded them the old fashoined way, on pen and paper. Very interesting stuff. What a difference a year makes. Last year Mohammed would have faced imprisonment or torture for something as mundane as a personal diary, now he is publishing them from an internet cafe for the world to read. Start here for the diaries.
Which peace are you seeking? Yours or that of the world, and which order you are trying to maintain? That of your countries or of the whole world? Do you really think that it's such a wonderful and peaceful world that no one should be allowed to mess with? But what a stupid question is that on my part!! Of course it is! I mean some of you probably hadn't heard a gun shot in months or years, and some of you live in countries that haven't fought any war in more than a century.
Your lives certainly have not been that easy for sure, but did you ever fear that your children might starve to death? Or did you live your life with the horror of a kick that break your doors open, in the middle of the night, to take you or one of your family members to the unknown? And worse than that- which seems to you not a big deal- did you have to bend your heads and fix your eyes to the ground and never raise it fearing it may meet those of a security guard and get misinterpreted as a challenge!!? Oh my God! Here I go asking stupid questions again! As of course all of this is not a big deal, because if you felt it is such a huge injustice and a humiliation to the sacred soul inside each one of God's creatures, not to mention human beings, you wouldn't wait SO patiently for the sanctions to work and for the inspectors to finish their job. Of course it's not a big deal, and you know why? Simply because it didn't happen to YOU. It happened to the others who lived so far away that it made it less real for you and you simply could throw all these behind you when you come to discuss the war, and ONLY now, you are suddenly worried about how the Americans are treating us!!? I have one thing to answer that: the Americans don't 'treat' us; they help, protect, teach, love and make friends with us. Hard to swallow for you, I know, because it makes you look so bad to yourselves, but that's not as bad as it seems since we all make mistakes and HUGE ones and it's never too late to admit that we were wrong.
What a unique historical opportunity technology gives us. Yeah, it's anecdotal, but at least it is some effort to see what real Iraqi's want. Of course the anti-war movement never cared about the Iraqi citizen's interest anyway. They turned a blind eye to Saddam's tyrannyand wanted him left in power. The hypocrisy of the pacifists is always this. It is BECAUSE blood was spilled in the past that they have the security today to yell and scream about whatever they want. So what did they use this freedom for over the weekend? To try and deny the Iraqi's those same freedoms that they enjoy! These pacifists don't want peace, they want the White House. At whose expense does not matter.
Another Iraqi blogger looks at a year of freedom and what's ahead.
In an Op-ed piece, Paul Wolfowitz mentions Iraq The Model.
One year later poll of Iraqis here
I can't resist posting this from The Mesopotamian:
I have just listened to President Bush's speech on CNN. I just couldn't leave the keyboard without saying something. Because the warmth of the Presidents' words of friendship and commitment to our people really did make my eyes moisten. Not even the openly hostile report by the CNN reporter could spoil the feeling.
God will be on the side of good men, and it is clear for this middle-aged man who the good men are.
Hail dear El Bush. Thanks to you and all the Coalition men and women. Long may live our alliance and friendship. Victory by the Grace and Help of Allah is assured.
UPDATE: Good Lileks today:
Yes indeed. Um-hmm. Once we've wrecked the rare society that gave us the freedom to wreck it, true freedom will be ours.
These people want "freedom," but only for themselves. Freedom to preen. Freedom to flatter themselves that they are somehow committing an act of bravery by Speaking Truth to Power. But they're speaking Nonsense to Indifference. Pictures of Bush as Hitler sieg-heiling away would get them killed if this was truly the country they insist it is. Nothing will happen to them. They know it. They would be killed for doing this in Saddam's Iraq, of course; they know that too. Doesn't matter. Bush is worse than Saddam, in the macro sense. Saddam's sins are an inconvenient obstacle; hard to defend the fellow, but you have to concentrate on the real villains here, the people who truly threaten progressive transnational peace and solidarity and justice and human rights and -
What? Did we march on the first anniversary of Saddam gassing the Kurds?
I don't understand the question.
He also points to this picture taken at the San Francisco protests, one year later here's the face of the anti-war movement:
It's hard not to wish that this guy was in there that Tuesday morning.
More pictures from the San Fran rally here