What If You Held A Major Protest And Nobody Cared?

Millions Worldwide Protest Iraq War (washingtonpost.com)
Americans are unique in many respects and few are likely to be persuaded by the circus atmosphere created by a protest. This is a good thing. Most have already made up their mind regarding Iraq and are quietly going about their lives, political junkies like myself to the contrary.

If anything they’re tired of talking about this issue and ready to begin the real work of removing Saddam.

Several million demonstrators took to the streets of Europe and the rest of the world today in a vast wave of protest against the prospect of a U.S.-led war against Iraq.

The largest rallies were in London, Rome, Berlin and Paris — the heart of Western Europe — where the generally peaceful demonstrations illustrated the breadth of popular opposition to U.S. policies among traditional allies. But there were also protests in dozens of other cities on five continents, from Canberra to Oslo and from Cape Town to Damascus, in an extraordinary display of global coordination.

In London, a sea of protesters estimated by police at more than 750,000 flooded into Hyde Park and clogged streets for several miles on a crisp, clear day in what observers and organizers said was probably the largest political demonstration in British history. It was aimed not just at President Bush but also at Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair, who has been Bush’s staunchest ally in the campaign against Iraq but who is besieged by opposition at home from virtually every part of the political spectrum.

Blair, in a speech earlier in the day, insisted he would stand his ground. But he also said Britain would wait for the next interim report from U.N. inspectors on Feb. 28 before seeking a Security Council resolution authorizing military action.

Nearly 1 million people turned out in Rome, where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has also supported the U.S. position. Between 300,000 and 500,000 people demonstrated in Berlin, at the largest rally since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. About 100,000 demonstrators poured through the streets of Paris. Germany and France have emerged as the most vocal opponents of military action against Iraq.

We need to get started with this and get past all the rhetoric. President Bush is unlikely to be persuaded by far-left groups in his decision-making, anyway. My guess is the only reason we haven’t already attacked is because of Tony Blair’s political situation.

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