February 16, 2003


Iraq gloats over wave of peace protests (NIKO PRICE, February 16, 2003, ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Iraq on Sunday gloated over the global outpouring of opposition to the U.S. threat of attack, saying anti-war demonstrations in dozens of countries signaled an Iraqi victory and "the defeat and isolation of America."

Iraq's tightly controlled news media gave prominent coverage to anti-war demonstrations staged around the world on Saturday. Iraqi television showed footage of millions marching in the world's cities-- under the logo "International Day of Confronting the Aggression."

"The world said with one voice: 'No to aggression on Iraq,"' read a headline in the government daily Al-Jumhuriya. "The world rises against American aggression and the arrogance of naked force," read a front page headline in the army daily Al-Qadissiya.

"These demonstrations expressed in their spirit, meaning and slogans the decisive Iraqi victory and the defeat and isolation of America," Al-Jumhuriya said in a commentary.

I'll not even pretend that this is fair, but you have to wonder if these protestors, who believe their own intentions and purposes to be pure, are even bothered about providing aid and comfort to one of the world's most brutal dictators. Even if they're objectively right, how can they bear to abet evil? Posted by Orrin Judd at February 16, 2003 2:25 PM

Mr. Judd;

Is it not the case that in their view America is the true evil? And so they refuse to abet it.

On the other hand, that just begs the question of why they think America is evil and Saddam an oppressed innocent.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 16, 2003 3:10 PM

Except for a few real whacko communists and fascists, who think he's one of theirs, no one can think Saddam is a decent man, can they?

Posted by: oj at February 16, 2003 4:12 PM

Many say they don't, but their protests lack

conviction. I believe that a good part of the

surrender to dictators, not just now but in

the '30s, was sexual. I am no Freudian, but

. . .

I am proud to say that my daughter protested

in favor of our boys (her husband is in the

Persian Gulf now) yesterday in San Diego. Her

first protest, aside from producing "Bang,

Bang, You're Dead" for the high school students

when she was in high school.

Posted by: Harry at February 16, 2003 4:20 PM

The surrender in the 30's was a very deep reluctance to repeat the horrors of WW1.

Most ant-war people I know realise Hussein is evil but think a US war would inflict too many civilian casualties for them to live with.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at February 16, 2003 4:40 PM


You have accurately used the phrase "...useful idiots..." several times, but without irony.

At the moment, the worst thing for the Angloshpere Saddam could do is provide a convincing display of climbing down.

Which is where all these protestors come in. They are, indeed, useful idiots. For us. Because they give Saddam the impression he doesn't need to climb down, it reduces the likelihood he will.

Which means the useful idiots will be selling themselves the rope they will hang with.



Posted by: Jeff Guinn at February 16, 2003 6:52 PM

The Left bothered by Saddam's approval of the anti-war demonstrators! It never bothered them when they demonstrated before against other wars why should it now. The bottom line is when you look at the people in the demonstrations they are overwhelming young, with a sprinkling of retreads from the 60s and thugs who cover their faces. None of them are the type you would wish to find in your parlor unless you're Sean Penn.

Posted by: Thomas J. Jackson at February 16, 2003 7:36 PM

When a person knows he or she is truely right, it matters not that a bloodthirsty tyrant applauds from the sidelines.

The truth (of pursuing peace at all costs) shall overcome.

Just like it did in the 30s.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 17, 2003 3:44 AM

Mr. Choudury, your remark is the conventional

wisdom, and of course was made explicitly,

e.g., by Chamberlain on Sept. 3, 1939. But

it cannot be the whole story.

For one thing, Grey remarked that the lights

were going out in 1914. The reluctance of the

British to get involved in continental wars was


But the carnage of World War I was as deep

in Germany and Italy as in France or Britain,

and the people of those nations were not


No, as I see it, that fraction of people who want

to be dominated got their wish in Italy and

Germany. And those who didn't, in France

and England, yearned for it. They shuddered

at Hitler's cruelty but dreamt about his coming

to them in the night. The otherwise obscure

story of Hitler's English girlfriend, Unity Mitford,

is, I think, instructive.

Posted by: Harry at February 17, 2003 2:59 PM

Well the Mitford syblings were all fruitcakes.

Don't know about Italy but I guess the Germans wanted revenge.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at February 17, 2003 4:17 PM

All different flavors. Unity shot herself for love

of Adolf. Go figure.

The Italians proved, in the event, unwilling

actually to fight or die for anything, but they

were very far from being pacifists.

There are lots of people in the world who

like to be walked on.

Posted by: Harry at February 17, 2003 10:25 PM

Well the Mitford syblings were all fruitcakes

Except for Nancy--she was cool--and her brother Tom (not a writer and killed in WWII.

Waugh-Mitford letters are great.

Posted by: Brian (Minnesota) at February 18, 2003 7:23 AM