Thursday, 15 January 2004

We Want Democracy. NOW!

The anti-occupationists, the pacifists, the anti-war crew, the Palestinians, Iraqis, Chechens, Kashmiris - they don't want the return of any regime at all. We don't think that we should be forced to choose between evil and worse evil. Given a choice between Bush and Saddam, there are people who would choose death. Both are illegal - one broke 16 UN resolutions, and the other violated the UN charter. And then Israel has violated at least 72, and still has an illegal stockpile of 200-400 nukes. The world community of pacifists does not see the difference between an Arabic-speaking tyrant and a Hebrew-speaking one or an English-speaking one. We want all of them gone, and real elections where every vote is counted (unlike 2000, where about 175,000 were not counted or were refused access to vote in the first place). One of the reasons that the literacy rate in Iraq dropped from 85% before the 1991 invasion to 58% today is because the sanctions prevented decent health care, shut down the economy needed to run schools and universities, and cast the infrastructure into ruin. Constant bombing ofIraq from 1991 to today - it never really did stop - has returned Iraq to before the days of the first cities. How can I possibly say that I am proud to be an American, when I know that my country is the one that did this to a proud, ancient, Semitic people?

When tens of thousands of Iraqis go to the streets where they could very well be shot by occupation forces and demand elections, my opinion is that it is high time to listen to them. They want to elect their leader. They don't want their leader to be chosen for them by occupation forces, puppet councils, or any of the such. As a matter of fact, considering the amount of American lives that have been lost whose funerals Bush has not attended - not a single one - and whose coffins Bush refuses to allow to be filmed by the media and whose health care Bush has willfully slashed into last millenium, I would say that it is high time that the American people start showing some compassion for these men and women and demand that they be allowed to return home. And considering that tens to hundreds of millions of people all over the world took to the street to protest this invasion on the 15th of Februrary in 2003, I suggest that we Americans start listening to them - especially since hundreds of thousands of those people were Americans in cities such as NYC, San Fran, LA, Houston, Detroit...

Another thing that NEEDS to be said is that at the same time we send our men and women to die in other countries supposedly to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights, GW has been shredding the very same things every time he pushes through a Patriot Act-type bill, or a line item from Patriot Act II (he does this by having them included in budget bills)...the very freedoms for which we fought against the British in the Revolutionary War - freedom of speech, assembly, press, trial by peer and judge, attorny, humane prison conditions - we are putting them for sale to GW to do with them as he wishes. And he has been shredding them.

Saddam's regime was bad enough. I do not see the need to turn Iraq into worse than Saddam's regime, much less impose Saddam-like strictures on our Constitutional freedoms here. The Iraqis want to run their own democracy. I do, too.

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