Thu, 06 Mar 2003

On antiwar demonstrations

In the Feb. 26 edition of The Jakarta Post, Spartz laments the worldwide antiwar protests, but has taken his axe to the wrong tree. The issue is not Saddam Hussein's crimes, which are well known to the whole world. Nobody has forgotten them, and no one is defending him.

Protesters are also very familiar with atrocities in Africa and other places, and they also know that for decades The Great Savior, America, was nowhere to be seen.

Anyway, the point of the protests is not whether Saddam Hussein should be removed, or whether his borders "should at all costs remain inviolate", but whether America has the right to proclaim itself Commander of the World, announce which country it intends to invade, and expect the whole world to trot along behind. Many millions of people all over the world do not think so, and have duly expressed their opinion in public.

Spartz continues: "Iraq's fate and political future should be everyone's concern and not that of the U.S. alone". But Spartz, that's precisely the point, don't you get it? It is America's attempted bullying of the United Nations as well as European countries that is stifling democratic expression of that concern.

Another consideration driving protests against this forthcoming war is the worldwide perception that no sooner will Donald Rumsfeld's tanks have rolled into Iraq than Dick Cheney's drilling-rigs will roll in behind them. America has a lot yet to do to convince everyone of the sincerity of its motives, and that it cares what the rest of the world thinks. Until then, protests are likely to continue.