When considering the current peace movement, it is important to pay attention to the facts, rather than the ‘facts’ that the media and government feed you. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but if you read on, you’ll understand why I say it.
Firstly, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden are hardly comparable to Hitler (and to a lesser extent, Stalin). Both Hussein and Bin Laden exist by way of the United States of America. Al Quaeda was a group funded by American money, a group which subsequently turned against the United States in opposition to the latter’s imperialist tendencies in the Middle East. Bin Laden didn’t emerge from a vacuum.
Hussein remained in power while slaughtering his internal enemies because the US ‘overlooked’ such actions since he was our ally. He did what the US wanted with his oil, so they let him kill and kill and kill. He got overconfident after a while, since no one was giving him any indication that he would be rebuked if he continued. That’s why he invaded Kuwait. Unfortunately, the US had very big oil interests in that country, and Saddam had stopped playing nice with them. America went to war.
Neither despot was acting in any way contrary to what would be expected. Bin Laden is a freedom fighter (not that I approve of such things), and Hussein was given free reign by the US. The current administration has decided that both Bin Laden and Hussein need to be taken out, and of course do what was done before: create more of their kind.
When the US deposes a dictator, they NEVER install a democratic government in its place. America only gets involved when there’s money to be had (and it’s more often than you think, there’s not a year that goes by where the US doesn’t fund a coup). Once America takes someone out of power, they quickly replace them with someone who will pay tribute to the US, a puppet government doing what the US needs done. This doesn’t work with democracies. The majority dislike the US, and would quickly vote in people who are anti-US. What the US does is fund minority groups who could not come into power or remain there without the help of the US. The US keeps paying them and providing military aid, and they keep feeding the US oil–or whatever resource got America interested.
Popular appeal for the peace movement is occurring because people are starting to wake up. Most of the world (that is, most people outside the US), have long been aware of American tactics, and don’t like those tactics. The US has been destabilizing regions and creating dictatorships for decades. “Morally questionable wars” is an understatement. The US is going to slaughter a civilian population in order to get cheaper oil, then replace a dictator which it doesn’t like with one that it does. It’s morally reprehensible.
Saddam Hussein is in NO WAY a threat to ANYONE right now. He’s trying to run his country and that’s that. He has no nuclear arsenal, and is at best YEARS away from anything even remotely resembling a nuclear weapon. UN inspectors haven’t found anything noteworthy, and have repeatedly called US claims, and I quote, “bullsh*t.” Powell’s presentation didn’t contain anything factual (and he was well aware of it). For a good point-by-point analysis, check out this site. And head on over to the Axis of Justice for all around good critiques of the propaganda and lies of the current US administration. Note the fact that I didn’t say ‘Bush’ anywhere. He’s not unique. Every US president in the last 50 years has done exactly the same things–time and time again. The only difference this time is the popular resistance. Even Vietnam took years of bloodshed to gain opposition. The current peace movement is unprecedented. Never before has there been a war protest BEFORE a war.
Oh, whatever happened to Afghanistan? The US left before finishing what it started. There is little law there, the warlords rule, and the US has been LOSING GROUND.
The US isn’t stopping terrorism, they’re instigating it. Iraqis and Al Quaeda, etc. can’t fight the US military. Their civilians are being killed by the US. Their only way to fight back is to commit terrorist acts (which, by the way, should really be called acts of war). The US has been committing the exact same terrorist acts against them; how, then, is it that they’re wrong and the US is right? They aren’t misguided. While I don’t support their tactics, they’re still quite understandable.
[Note: I am against killing for any reason, I’m just presenting a hypothetical argument here.]
Put yourself in their shoes. A nation with completely different religious and moral beliefs, with a way of life you find disgusting, has taken over your country. They bomb you, murder civilians, and put a dictator into power who gives the aggressors whatever they want. What’s left for you to do? You’d do what most people in that situation would do; fight back however you can. Sure, it’s immoral to kill, but if you don’t do it your friends and family will die. If you are likely to die either way, you might as well make it worth something. If there was a war, you’d fight, but your army doesn’t stand a chance. Your soldiers have found new ways to hurt the enemy.
The way to stop this thing is not to invade them again. All you’ll do then is make it more hopeless, and have more people willing to die in terrible ways to stop you (terrorist acts). The only hope you have is to stop messing with other countries. You don’t like their ‘unjust’ ruler? That’s your opinion, you keep it to yourself. If he’s slaughtering innocents, step in and stop him. That’s the right thing to do, yet the US doesn’t do it very often (remember, they LET Hussein do it for years). Don’t favor this despot or that, but don’t just say “we don’t like your culture, so change.” The US is Christian, and has little understanding of Islam. While I do believe that much of the Muslim world has taken a path leading it down a dark alley away from its original design (the Quran reformed the harsh treatment of women, and Mohammed would never keep his wife locked in his home and cover her face), it is nevertheless a culture and a religion, not something that the military should be messing with.
And of course “leaving Bin Laden alone” didn’t work. He wasn’t left alone! The US only “left him alone” AFTER destroying his people and creating the hatred. That will never work. The peace movement today isn’t supporting Hussein or Bin Laden, it’s opposed to creating more of them. Wherever the US gets involved, trouble follows (with good reason). This war has no reason as far as we’re concerned; it’s not “bringing democracy,” it’s not removing a “threat to the world,” and the only one involved in destabilizing regions is the US. There is one rogue state threatening the world, and that’s the Red-White-and-Blue USA.
I wear a black armband to mourn those who will and have died by way of American greed. The only way I see to stop these threats is to stop creating them. Stop the damn wars already. It’s not the answer.
[I sincerely apologize to those who could have put this a lot better than I, but I felt it had to be said, and said fast.]