Anti-War protesters change their minds...

…will anyone here follow their lead? Scroll down a few paragraphs in this story, and we find this:

Let’s repeat this part, just for emphasis:

Any of you “Bush is the ultimate evil” types around here want to rethink that? Before you answer, read this story: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam

Both of these stories are about people who, virtually by definition, were more committed to stopping the war on Iraq than anyone here. They were actually willing to go to Iraq to be human shields. And by virtue of having been there, they’ve been able to witness with their own eyes things no one here has been able to see.

People have opposed this war largely because innocent people will die because of it. But, as the Iraqi guy pointed out in the talk show referenced in this thread, innocent people will die if we don’t invade Iraq. And they will die in some pretty ghastly ways, like, well, one more time:

So…anyone want to take this opportunity to back down from the “Impeach Bush for this illegal, immoral war!” fever swamps? You just know that more stories like this are going to leak out as we take more ground, and there’ll be a flood of them after the regime falls. The longer you wait, the worse you’ll look…

Well, my friend…

We all agree that Saddam is a nasty Son-Of-A-Bitch.

But it seems that the opinions of f. e. exile Iraqis are very mixed. Some are pro-war; some are anti-war. And these are the people that has fled Saddam’s regime.

Seems to me that leaves enough room for un-tortured, priviliged westerners like me and you(?) to hang on to our views of the war?

Well Randy Spears, “nasty Son-of-a-Bitch” seems mild words for someone who shreds living human beings into small bloody pieces in a plastic shredder. Ever seen a plastic shredder?

Now, pray tell, what room or reason do you have left to hang onto your view and sue for our troops return to America.

Please sum up your reasons. Sometimes clear thinking gets lost in gobbledegook.

Any peace protester who thinks Saddam isn’t a murdering sociopathic motherlover is woefully ill-informed. Not all of us are knee-jerk anti-war, and many of us will be delighted to see the end of Saddam’s regime. Some of us have other reasons for opposing the war that aren’t to do with opposing the end of his tyranny. Like the current geopolitical climate and the rise of Islamist terrorism.

Well Milum,

Let us have a new law then that allows us to convict anyone who speaks about Saddam or Hitler or Stalin and forgets to include the words “massmurdering dictator”. I guess i’m guilty of “profanity”, let’s say 20 years?

Thanks for helping fight ignorance!

I’m against the war (as waged by the US) because:

I. I believe it to be a huge gamble with civilian life.

II. I believe the reasons for US intervention to be shady at least.

III. I believe that the US history in “humanitarian intervention” and the likes, in general and in the middle east in particular deprive the US of any credibility whatsoever.

Weird, this link has been posted before, by Sam, I think. I’m guessing this kind of narrative must be circulating widely in pro-war circles where it provides soothing relief for the manifest unpopularity of this war among the world’s people: look, the antiwar crowd are finally seeing that Saddam is really a bad guy and this war is about gaining freedom for an oppressed people! Next maybe the French will figure it out!

Well guess what, just about everyone knows Saddam is a really terrible guy. And this issue has been discussed widely lot by people who oppose Bush’s war. Contrary to your implication that anti-war protesters thrive off a single-minded notion that “Bush is the ultimate evil” we are, on the whole, well aware that there is plenty of “evil” (if such an emotional and, ultimately, not very descriptive term must be used to describe different kinds of wrongs, inhumanities and injustices that arise from within very different social contexts).

Here is an excellent article that was published in The Nation back in January, entitled The Moral Quandary. The title of the article refers precisely to the predicament posed by those who live under Saddam’s oppression. No one on the left or the center or in Europe is opposed to helping the Iraqi people.
I suggest you read the article, which is not narrowly partisan at all.

Although the Iraqi people have indeed suffered hugely, there are many reasons why this war may do more harm than good. I mean that both in the large extra-Iraqi scheme of things (b/c it will institute a pernicious preemptive doctrine, b/c it will foment anti-Americanism and terrorism, b/c it will create distrust between the US and its allies and thereby thwart international cooperation), and in more regional terms that directly concern the wellbeing of the Iraqi people.

There is no guarantee that this war will “liberate” the Iraqi people. Right now, in fact, it is quite possible that situation for Iraqi Kurds is about to grow worse as they face a greater threat from the Turks than they have (recently) from Saddam himself. Iraqi democracy could result in a tyranny of the majority in which a fundamentalist regime is imposed over all the rest; or it could mean years of ethnic infighting a la Yugoslavia, or years of foreign occupation. In the meantime AlQaeda gains recruits and in countries throughout the Arab world, militant Islamic fundamentalism gets a giant boost.

On the whole, the best chance to “liberate” the Iraqi people would, at the very least, have involved a UN-based effort involving Western and Arab nations, not a US/British invasion with a superficial coaltion to disguise the obvious unilateralism. From the global perspective, US goals are not perceived as humanitarian but as self-interested, and neo-imperial. The so-called “coaltion of the willing” is a transparent sham.

If you don’t understand these problems as being fundamental to concerns among the antiwar “crowd,” then you simply don’t understand that crowd at all. You might want to consider asking questions rather than leaping to misguidedly generalized OPs and redundant links.

By the way, though I marched against the war, I realise now that it’s started, there’s no way that the coalition forces could pull out until the job is finished. I am still opposed to the war, though. Can you understand that?

Totally. I agree. Once we started the ball rolling, the only way out was through. As far as conducting the war goes, I think it is being done better than I could have expected, certainly better than I dreaded.

GeeDubya has bet our asses he can throw double-sixes three times in a row. If he suceeds, good. If he does not, there will be hell to pay.

And if we can’t find any warehouses full of anthrax and VX, we had better come up with some. I mean that. Lie if we have to. The consequences of not finding them are too dreadful to contemplate. Though, in truth, it hardly matters. No one is going to believe us anyway, after all the lies and half-truths we have spewed. Who can blame them?

The real consequences of this won’t come home to roost until long after GeeDubya has combed the ticker tape out of his hair from his Victory Parade (actually, there will probably be about 10).

Let me take this opportunity to completely agree with both elucidator and jjimm in their last two posts.

I was scared this war might go horribly awry, or be over quickly. As usual, it looks like it will be some of both. Of course, the war may never really end depending on your criteria for peace. The region looks to be destabilizing somewhat already. I don’t see the sky falling, but some clouds are losing air pressure.

If we don’t find the weapons of mass destruction we can always just apoligize, I don’t see the problem. :smiley: I’m not conceding that we won’t truly find any by the way. But, so far, we haven’t, right? Anyway, the way things have been going the last several days, I better go look at the news before I post anything else.

I don’t think it was the stories of Saddam’s horrors that caused the human shield to re-think his position. It’s that he came out with 14 hours of video of Iraqi citizens themselves wanting this war. Almost begging for this war. Willing to have their homes destroyed in the war for the chance to live free of Saddam’s tyranny.

How do you oppose a war of liberation when the citizens of the country you are invading are begging you to come? Doesn’t that kind of yank the rug out from under the moral argument against the war?

How long do you intend to wait? The effects of this war won’t end when the tanks stop rolling, nor will they be confined to Iraq proper.

Yes, if there are people out there who want to impeach Bush over this, they are severely misguided. But blatant appeals to emotion do not a logical argument make. Sure, there’s sympathy for the victims of Saddam, just as there is sympathy for the civilians who accidentally end up on the receiving end of our bombs. Where you can argue that we are acting as we must, others may argue that two wrongs won’t make a right. There is an impasse between the points of view depending on concepts of virtue.

Personally, I find the debate as presented unproductive–I do have an opinion between the two poles, but there are too many hidden premises when you actually start that discussion. Instead, step back and look at the wider analysis. Granted, that article is slanted in some sense, but it does present a fairly reasonable risk assessment from the opposing point of view.

Arguing that “no blood for oil” protesters are naive is child’s play. Arguing that Saddam is “bad” is like shooting fish in a barrel full of dead fish. But arguing that the war was the best response in the situation is something entirely different. We may free the Iraqi people in the next week or two, but that does not mean they will remain that way, nor does it mean the world will be safer. To the contrary, there are plenty of indictations that the opposite is true–that the world will become an even more dangerous place because of current US foreign policy.

Well, its a bit worrisome, isn’t it? Heres our troops, going through the Iraqis like a hot knife through butter and…no nerve gas, no anthrax. So far.

One thing nags at me, and I can’t resolve it sensibly. There was a 60 Minutes some weeks back, about how our gas masks and such were weak and wouldn’t be effective. Now, I know the Bushistas are aware of what goes on 60 Minutes.

So they decided the risk of massive US casualties was worth it? No way, not buying that one. Or did they decide, based on some inside information, that there really wasn’t much of a risk?

That worries me. The repurcussions of this are likely going to be pretty bad under the best circumstances, but if it turns out that they knew he didn’t have these things…

God help us.

Well Sam, let’s give you a camcorder and send you south of the border, and see if you couldn’t come up with someone begging the Canadians to liberate Chicago.

Now, just to make myself perfectly clear:

I do not claim that most Iraqis don’t hate Saddam.

I do not dispute that many Iraqis may welcome an invasion.

But I do require better support for your claim that “the citizens of [Iraq]… are begging [the US] to come”, than that some Iraqis have said so on camera.

It is a matter of how you can safely generalize from individuals to the population of a country.

But the real question is: What proportion of the population is begging us to come?

I have no doubt that many Shias and Kurds want us to come in. I suspect the mix is significantly different among the Sunnis. They may hate Saddam, but they REALLY hate the US.

You must feel that if there were a true, free election of the Iraqi populace, that most would vote to have the US invade to overthrow Saddam. Frankly, I doubt that.

Now, if they were given full and complete information, it may be different. But do we really know that?

You’ll notice that there has been lots of reporting in the South, and some in the North, but none in the west? That’s because almost all the operations in the west are ‘special ops’, reportedly centered around destroying WMD facilities.

And it makes no sense for Iraq to use weapons of mass destruction right now. The American forces are fairly well protected, and the minute the Iraqis use those weapons the world opinion turns against them even more.

And this is no small matter - France did us all a big favor by making an announcement that it would join the coalition war if Iraq used chemical or biological weapons. Since the only hope Iraq has is that the U.S. loses the will to fight, France effectively hamstrung them.

But this idea that there are no Weapons of Mass Destruction that you guys keep floating around is a very marginal position in the first place. I guess it just shows how extreme some of the people here on the SDMB are. Because everyone else agrees that Saddam has these weapons. The U.N. agrees, France agrees, Russia agrees, Britain agrees… everyone knows he has them.

Except the radicals on the SDMB, of course.

Al, I totally agree with you on this and milum for that matter…

As for the large support for the war it is less than 30 nationally and shrinking by the moment, same for those protesting in England. Tony Blair is on the rebound at a record breaking speed…

The only thing that these anti war protesters are proving is that …

One… Most can not actually debate the issues with any grasp of the facts, even the facts they could use to bolster their position.

Two… They are far more belligerent than those that are pro war…

So much for protesting using peaceful demonstration…

It is a free country. That is what makes ours so great because there is no way in hell you could get out and act like the idiots they are acting like without going straight to the plastic shredder…


AZCowboy: I think you underestimate the level of terror in Iraq. I have read that MOST families have lost someone to Saddam’s regime. Certainly everyone knows someone who ‘disappeared’ or been tortured. For such crimes as, “Suspicion of saying supportive things about Iran”, or “Disrespect of the Iraqi goverment”. Or even, “For being the nephew of a man who said disparaging things about the state.”

One of Saddam’s tactics to control the population is to not just kill dissidents, but to kill their entire extended families.

And this young guy, if he drove out of Baghdad towards the Jordanian border would have been going through Sunni territory.

Sam:“How do you oppose a war of liberation when the citizens of the country you are invading are begging you to come? Doesn’t that kind of yank the rug out from under the moral argument against the war?”

Why don’t you read the article I posted and decide for yourself? It’s a response to some well-known Iraqi dissidents who were publicly making the case for war. (Bear in mind some of these same dissidents have since begun opposing the Bush administration’s plans for the war’s aftermath.)

I think it would naive to conclude from this one article that the citizens of Iraq are mainly begging for this invasion. At the present moment, those who live near the bombardments are sitting in shelters hoping they survive.

I’ve read and listened to as much as I could get my hands on regarding opinion inside Iraq. As I pointed out above, the Kurds in particular have much to fear from the way this war is developing. Other Iraqis I’ve heard interviewed on the radio sound skeptical: possibly b/c their experiences have given them very little grounds to trust anyone. One man who opposed the invasion said that at least Saddam had already killed most of the people he needed to kill, and had lined his pockets. For him a new regime would involve yet another wave of killing political enemies and lining new pockets. It’s hard to know how to respond to something like this. Do any of us, even those of you who truly support this war and believe in its humanitarian potential, beieve that his skepticism won’t be well founded? I for one do not trust the Bush administration either to consult such individuals, or to make decisions primarily based on their well-being.

As to the war itself, as I’ve said in other threads, of course, I hope it is short. And if it’s aftermath is better than I fear that’s good too (though personally I feel that is only possible via bona fide international effort.) If Bush suddenly becomes committed to internationalism, if he makes sure the Kurds and others don’t end up screwed, if he follows through on his humanitarian rhetoric–all of these things will make me respect him more than I do now.

But I have to say that I am skeptical. There are already predictable signs that the big economic beneficiaries of rebuilding what we rushed to destroy will be old cronies of the adminstration such as Halliburton. It’s possible that in addition to such political and economic self-interest that Bush will see some stake in making sure this is also a job well done. But so far I see no signs of this kind of savvy in this President who tends almost never to look beyond his own conservative base–much less the world.

Still, if there is some good in this for the majority of Iraqis, and not too much loss of life, I will certainly see that as a silver lining in what I will always persist in seeing as a dark cloud that need not have been.

And sadly, there would be no women voting. How democratic can that be anyway?