It’s mystifying how today’s protestors are so diminutive in substance when juxtaposed to their Vietnam War predecessors. Contemporary doves sound more like screeching owls becoming the gang that couldn’t hoot straight.
On the weekend of September 24th, 150,000 of them flocked to the Mall in DC. Aside from exhibiting a disquieting unfamiliarity with world events, they were unwittingly voicing opposition to the very effort that would let flourish their alleged beliefs in progressive entitlements for all - such as the freedoms of gender, ethnic and religious equality. A little research has quickly debunked some of their more indulgent assumptions.
They were proclaiming in signs and speeches that “Bush lied about WMD,” “No Connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda,” “Iraqis want us out,” and of course the ever predictable “Peace Not War.” As I’ve argued before, the absence of war doesn’t equal peace if that absence perpetuates the ongoing butchery of an enslaved people. These are not the circumstances that qualify as peace.
The first charge, “Bush lied about WMD,” highlights our inability to locate any weapons of mass destruction ergo their position that Bush fabricated the justification for war. We must understand that flawed intelligence does not a Presidential lie make. If that were so, then dozens of other leaders were also lying, including many who had disagreed with our prescription for war. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, The Los Angeles Times, The NY Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Boston Globe and the Associated Press have already reported in multiple forms that the intelligence communities of France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Japan and China all believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Even war critic and lead United Nation’s Weapons Inspector Hans Blix, admitted to Australia’s UN Ambassador John Dauth that he had believed WMD were there just before the invasion. In light of all this documented reporting of globally flawed intelligence, one has to ask these activists, “how green is your back-watered valley?”
As unfortunate were the misreads of so many governments, their conclusions were understandable given that when the first group of inspectors (UNSCUM) had left in 1998, only 85% of Saddam’s self-acknowledged stockpile had been destroyed. This naturally begged the question - without on-site pressure remaining, would a man of Saddam’s track record be more or less likely to retain the admitted 15% cache not yet extinguished? Additionally the Duelfer report, received by war opponents with glee because of its declaration of no WMD, summarized that Iraq’s denial of those weapons was designed to communicate to Iran the exact opposite impression so as to keep them at bay. In short, said pleas of innocence were conveyed as backhanded admissions of guilt.
Still, I’ve always rejected WMD as the qualifying reason for invasion. Saddam had more than justified our “legally” resuming military action by violating the “legally” signed contingency for the First Gulf War Cease Fire in March of 1991. No contingency, no cease-fire. The UN was a bound partner to that “legal” action and we stupidly let them off the hook.
The second charge, “No connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda,” points to the 9-11 Commission Report that concluded there were “no operational links” between the two. However, that same commission also assessed that there were the serious links of training, weapons development and safe-haven agreements. Consequently, the “no connection” assertion falls apart under the weight of its own wanting substantiality.
The third charge, “Iraqis want us out,” alludes to our status as occupiers. This one is perhaps the most uninformed. There is not one single credible poll that reflects Iraqis wanting us out before their government, armed forces and police departments are able to provide their own security. War protesters consistently forget one universal truth: whenever citizens are subjected to mass rape, mass torture of children, and ethnic cleansing, the people of that country will always prefer an outsider stopping it as opposed to an insider doing it.
Most Iraqis realize that there’s a difference between “occupation to oppress” vs. “occupation to free.” Why do they know this? It’s easy, how many hostile occupiers are interested in the occupied forming a successful representative government so as to enable the occupiers’ quickest departure? Everyone should be allowed to determine whether or not he wants to be a liberal, and that cannot be accomplished unless rulers serve at the pleasure of their citizenry – not the other way around.
One closing bit of advice for the Democrats’ anti-war activists - if you want to be taken seriously as patriotic Americans who are simply in dissent, stop having so many of your rallies prominently sponsored by ANSWER, Act Now To Stop War and End Racism. They’re a Stalinist organization fronting for The Workers World Party that openly embraces the North Korean government of Kim Jong Il and has also defended the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
When you’re marching for peace, do so with those who aren’t against it.
Alan Nathan, a combative centrist and "militant moderate," is the nationally syndicated daily talk show host of "Battle Line With Alan Nathan" on the Radio America Network.
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