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.