If Firefighters Fight Fire And Crime Fighters Fight Crime

1000 arrests in US peace protest
Just because people are not living under bombing raids and fire fights among soldiers doesn’t mean they are living in peace. The Iraqi people are definitely not living in peace, given their treatment detailed below, which really makes me question if the protesters are protesting for peace at all.

It’s well established that people have a right to peacefully protest their governments, in America in particular. However, the protesters are either horribly uninformed as to the nature of Saddam Hussein’s regime — which is quite possible, as I saw interviews with some of the protesters and their brains together wouldn’t fill a tea cup — they are reflexively hostile to American power, they are reflexively hostile to George Bush or they are moral monsters.

Most of the protesting seems to be of the stupid variety with the remainder of the anti-Bush variety. It’s odd though that the Left, considered in the past to be champions of human rights, can turn a blind eye to the suffering of the Iraqi people. Even if they didn’t consider Iraq a security threat to the United States, one would think tales of men being run through plastic shredders would make them support the war. One would be wrong:

I was surfing the TV for news about Iraq yesterday, and happened upon an interview with a French war protester, a scientist, who said rather cheerily that it was not Americans she disliked, but the policies of President Bush and the kind of world those policies would bring about.

Here is a question for her. Has she heard about the Iraqi prisoner-shredder, and does the world she seeks have room for it?

She had better consider the question, because Bush’s policies would smash that shredder by smashing the Saddam Hussein regime, whereas her position would allow its existence and the continuation of fascistic torture and murder.

Maybe you don’t know about the shredder. As best I can tell from an electronic library, it has not received extensive coverage in the United States. Testimony about it came from Ann Clwyd, a member of the British Parliament and also of a human rights organization called Indict, which has been collecting evidence about the atrocities of Saddam’s regime for two decades. In a recent article in the Times of London, she quoted an eyewitness of a stomach-churning form of execution.

“There was a machine designed for shredding plastic,” the Iraqi told the group. “Men were dropped into it, and we were made to watch. Sometimes they went in head first and died quickly. Sometimes they went in feet first and died screaming. It was horrible. I saw 30 people die like this. Their remains would be placed in plastic bags and we were told they would be used as fish food … On one occasion, I saw (Quesay a son of Saddam’s) personally supervise these murders.”

This business of shredding human beings – and of machine-gunning thousands of prisoners, of drilling holes in the hands of people, of chopping off the heads of dissenting women in the public square, of gassing thousands of Kurds to death and much, much more – deserves the attention of those who say they are on the side of decency and goodness in their opposition to America’s war in Iraq.

We were treated to a Saturday of protests that have no hope of ending the war and can only demoralize the troops — and marginalize the Left in this country. It’s infantile behavior complete with “vomit ins” and defecation in the street to oppose Bush, American power and its just application.

Police have arrested more than 1000 people in San Francisco – the most taken into custody on a single day in the city in decades – as tens of thousands protested across America against the US war in Iraq.

“If this was happening in every city, there would either be martial law or an end to war,” said one Berkeley student who chained himself to 16 others on a major San Francisco street.

Protests took place in other cities across the United States as well as in European capitals on Thursday.

During morning rush hour in Washington DC, more than 100 demonstrators temporarily shut down the Key Bridge, a major route from Virginia into Washington’s Georgetown neighbourhood and three were arrested.

About 100 protesters later gathered in pouring rain on the streets near the White House, and about 350 demonstrators blocked evening rush hour traffic on a main Washington thoroughfare.

In New York, which bore the brunt of the September 11, 2001, attacks that President George W. Bush has repeatedly cited as an example of the threat to America, “September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows” condemned what they called an illegal and immoral US war.

Fortunately, at least some are open to the reality of the situation in Iraq:

A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip “had shocked me back to reality.” Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera “told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn’t start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam’s bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head.”

In addition, the Iraqi people seem to be happy to see the troops as well, as reported by The Guardian, no less:

US marines took Safwan at about 8am yesterday. There was no rose-petal welcome, no cheering crowd, no stars and stripes.

Afraid that the US and Britain will abandon them, the people of Safwan did not touch the portraits and murals of Saddam Hussein hanging everywhere. It was left to the marines to tear them down. It did not mean there was not heartfelt gladness at the marines’ arrival. Ajami Saadoun Khlis, whose son and brother were executed under the Saddam regime, sobbed like a child on the shoulder of the Guardian’s Egyptian translator. He mopped the tears but they kept coming.

“You just arrived,” he said. “You’re late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious. I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave.”

“For a long time we’ve been saying: ‘Let them come’,” his wife, Zahara, said. “Last night we were afraid, but we said: ‘Never mind, as long as they get rid of him, as long as they overthrow him, no problem’.” Their 29-year-old son was executed in July 2001, accused of harbouring warm feelings for Iran.

“He was a farmer, he had a car, he sold tomatoes, and we had a life that we were satisfied with,” said Khlis. “He was in prison for a whole year, and I raised 75m dinars in bribes. It didn’t work. The money was gone, and he was gone. They sent me a telegram. They gave me the body.”

In this particular case, the Shi’ites mentioned above should have reservations since we encouraged them to rebel against Saddam in 1991 but did not come to their aid. Saddam slaughtered 30,000 of them. We’ll finish the job this time and they will have a chance at freedom. It’s the least we can do.

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