What they weren’t protesting


Speaking of the London Daily Telegraph, Barbara Amiel gets it right when she asks why the anti-war demonstrators weren’t also demonstrating against Saddam Hussein: (link requires registration)

The most revealing aspect of the anti-war march in London was what you did not see. You did not see any messages to Saddam Hussein or criticism of Iraqi policy.

These earnest seekers of peace, with so many signs denouncing George W Bush and Tony Blair, had nothing to say to Saddam Hussein; no request to please co-operate with the UN inspectors. Not one small poster asking Saddam to disarm or destroy his weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps somewhere in that million people there were some bravely asking him to “Leave Iraq and prevent war”, but I could not find them.

If this were a genuine anti-war demonstration, why, along with demands on the British and Americans, would there be no demands of the other party to the conflict – Iraq? Commentators on the march were taken by the good order of it. I was taken by the sheer wickedness or naivete.

[ . . . ]

In the end, under the guise of peace, this march was essentially an anti-America, anti-free enterprise, anti-Israel display. A similar approach appeared to have taken hold in the various other “peace” marches in Tokyo, Athens, Paris, Berlin and Madrid.

I agree with Barbara Amiel. While a great many people who protested over the weekend are genuinely anti-war – any war – on principle, the movement has been driven largely by interest groups who are vehemently anti-American, and especially anti-Israel. The motive isn’t to prevent war, but to bring the focus away from Iraq and its many violations of international security, back to Israel, the eternal scapegoat. Because as long as the anti-Israel rhetoric gains momentum, no real probelms in the mideast will ever have to be addressed.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Aaron W. Benson 02.20.03 at 4:26 AM

Yes yes, exactly. I’ve spoken to many anti-war protestors, and they’re generally naive pacifists who want us to avoid war at *any* price, short of another Iraqi invasion of another country (and maybe not even then).

They’re generally unable to propose a viable alternative course of action, because they really don’t see Saddam and his weapons as the problem. They are not serious about disarmament. What they are serious about is reigning in what they see as an imperialist America imposing its will on the rest of the world and invading countries “unilaterally.”

I hate to say this, but if there is another terrorist attack, I think many of them will be secretly glad. Or maybe not so secretly. Masses of activists in London, Paris and Berlin, dancing in the streets?


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