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[casi] Peace in Iraq, it beats war!

Peace in Iraq, it beats war! - By Jeff Klein   16 February
Yesterday was a big day of protest. Hundreds of
thousands took to the streets in various cities
worldwide in the name of protesting “war
on/against Iraq.” The “war” being protested, of
course, is American intervention aimed at a
change of regime in Iraq. The opposite of “war
on/against Iraq”, is “peace in Iraq”. At the
moment, the “war” has yet to begin, so Iraq is
in a state of “peace”. In the very least, I
would assert that this is an imperfect peace. It
is a peace in which an entire nation lives
paralyzed in fear. A peace in which every single
family has lost a loved one to the dictatorship
that controls them against their will. A peace
where you can and will be removed from you
ancestral home if you are not of the “correct”
ethnicity. A peace where your mother, daughter,
or sister may be raped by the dictatorship’s
security officials to punish her or shame her
into cooperating with the regime of Saddam
Hussein al-Tikriti. A peace where it is common
to hear of citizens getting their tongues cut
off to uttering an “incorrect” word. I am
thankful that I do not have to live under
such “peaceful” conditions, for this peace
sounds like an unimaginable hell!

I live in New York, the site of one of the
world’s largest “peace” demonstrations.
Coincidentally, the demonstrations stood between
my apartment and my office. Thus, I found myself
walking with the demonstrators to work. I spoke
with one man on my way to work who was a Quaker
opposed “war on/against Iraq”. I asked him if he
supports the Iraqi dictatorship and he said, “Of
course not.” I asked him what should be done
about this regime, and he told me that
the “Saddam would not live forever” and the
regime would eventually wither away. I found
myself at a loss for words. I could not even
reason with such a man. I asked him if he knew
what Anfal was, and he said he had no idea. I
have a feeling that the majority of
demonstrators had no idea what Anfal meant. How
can one claim to have an educated opinion on
Iraq without knowing a thing about the most
terrible atrocity perpetrated by the regime.

I was thoroughly convinced that there was no way
to reason with the demonstrators. Nonetheless, I
wanted to do something. I printed 200 copies of
a press release by the Iraqi Prospect
Organization (IPO), a group of Iraqi exiles
fighting for democracy in their homeland. They
said, “Anti-war demonstrators lack the support
of the Iraqi people.” I handed these out to
demonstrators, and received more than one
hostile response. One lady said, “I suppose this
is directly from the Iraqi people.” I
answered, “If you took the time to read it, you
would know that!” She said, “Whatever.” I
said, “Look at the contact information. Is Ahmed
a Western name?” (A reference to the President
of the IPO, Mr. Ahmed Shames.) She did not want
to hear anything further, and rudely dismissed
me. It seemed to me that the demonstrators had
no desire to hear anything that ruined their
perfect image of being pro-peace and opposing
forces of evil. It is so much fun to march with
thousands and oppose US President George W. Bush
that the majority of people do not realize what
they are supporting. No one who claims to act in
solidarity with the people of Iraq can take a
position that perpetuates the genocidal
dictatorship of the Ba’ath party.

I hope that soon the Iraqi people will not have
to live under the “peace” of Saddam and
the “peace” of the demonstrators. I hope that,
in the near future, they will experience a new
peace, one in which they can speak their minds
and live where they choose.

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