Hundreds of thousands of anti-war (Iraq) demonstrators have taken to the streets this Saturday (March 20, 2004) in locations around the world. Their theme is consistent. America – get out of Iraq NOW!
I applaud people who make the effort to get their voices and opinions heard in peaceful demonstrations, even if I don’t agree with them. They are essential to the concept and reality of free and democratic societies.
Unfortunately, if their voices are successful, they could also be the reason for the end of free and democratic societies. Nonetheless, I applaud their efforts, and if necessary, I would march on their behalf for their right to be heard and seen.
The problem with these marchers is in the simplicity of their message. In this case: America get out of Iraq now.
Okay: let’s assume President George W Bush listens to the marchers and orders all American troops out of Iraq now. And with them go the Brits, Aussies, Poles, Spaniards and others. What then?
Did the marchers take the time to consider the blood-bath that would ensue in the vacuum formed by a US withdrawal now? And if the whole reason to get the occupying troops out of Iraq is to stop the bloodshed, aren’t the demonstrators a little confused?
The Shiite Moslems in the South would do everything in their power to slaughter the Sunni Moslems, most probably bringing Shiite Iran into a face to face conflict with Sunni Saudi Arabia.
In turn, this would draw-in Syria, the Gulf States, and possibly Lebanon and Jordan.
For those who don’t know. When the European powers divided the Middle East land mass: Jordan, Syria and Iraq (all originally ruled by Hashemite cousins from Arabia) were formed as they are today, for the nearly express purpose of keeping Persian Shiite Iran, and Arab Sunni Saudi Arabia apart.
The Kurds would immediately declare their oil-rich territory in the North to be independent, bringing Turkey (a NATO member) into instant conflict with the Kurds.
And every Islamic fundamentalist and religious tribal thug would attempt to mark his territory in the divided and lawless Iraq.
Iraq would instantly become the most violent place on earth, with the potential to suck the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe into a nearly inconceivable nightmare – virtually overnight.
The Moslems in the Balkans would also go face to face with the Catholics and Christian Orthodox, since they’re already just a heartbeat from going at it again as it is.
Western Europe would have to do something. They couldn’t just sit there while a major genocide occurred between the neighbors. But what could they do? Whose side would they take?
And what happens if Christian Orthodox Bosnia and Catholic Croatia decide to settle age old scores as they have many times in the past?
And whose side does Greece (another NATO member) take? It’s not as if Christian Orthodox Greece and Secular Islamic Turkey have ever really made up. Their mutual hatred runs deep.
Then there are the Moslems on Russia’s Eastern doorstep. What will Chechnya and all the “Stan” countries do, especially Pakistan with their nuclear bombs and missile delivery systems?
Will Egypt be brought into this conflict by its own Islamic fundamentalists? And if so, will Egypt erupt into a civil war?
Then there’s Israel.
The answers to all of these scenarios are maybe and probably. The only guarantee (of sorts) that the preceding might not happen is the presence of the troops which are there now, and who will stay there until Iraq’s leadership can become sufficiently stable and powerful to keep the lid on things.
It never ceases to amaze me how the do-nothing do-gooders are never seen protesting against thugs who are responsible for absolute poverty, violence, torture and the murder of thousands, if not millions of their own people, and the people of their neighbors.
Where were the do-nothing do-gooders when Saddam was brutalizing Iraqis, Kurds and Iraq’s neighbors? Where are the do-nothing do-gooders as African leaders are dispossessing and murdering their own citizens? A good example that comes to mind is Zimbabwe.
Why aren’t all the left-leaning do-nothing do-gooders marching against state sponsored misogyny in much of the Islamic world, where women are deprived of the most basic civil human rights and liberties?
The answer the do-nothing do-gooders will provide by rote is the UN. The UN is their panacea for everything.
Unfortunately though; other than blaming Israel for just about every evil in the world, the UN’s track record isn’t all that good.
The UN ordered its troops to stand-by while about 800,000 Rwandan people were slaughtered; many of whom were hacked to death by children wielding machetes.
The UN refused to enter into the Balkan war to stop the genocide. It took the USA led by President Bill Clinton and General Wesley Clark to end the slaughter and mayhem with NATO troops.
And now that the UN is in charge, the horrors are beginning all over again.
It takes effort to go to the streets and demonstrate in favor of a cause, and against a policy. But it also takes brains to think of the consequences, unintended or otherwise.
I don’t for a second think that the majority of demonstrators are not sincere in their beliefs, passion and good intentions, or that their hearts aren’t in the right place. But, as the saying goes: The road to hell is paved by people with good intentions.
If there is a place with the potential to become hell on earth, it is in the cauldron currently occupied by American troops and a few of their friends in Iraq. Pull them out, and the demonstrators will find themselves looking for places to hide opposed to being seen.
I too would like to see the Americans out of Iraq, and away from all trouble spots in the world. For that matter, I will say the same for all Western democratic troops. Bring them all home.
And then what? Just sit and wait while the world falls apart to the thugs and religious nuts; knowing that it is only a matter of time until evil and violence invade our homes?
I would rather not wait. I would rather be on the street demonstrating against the thugs, and for the success of Western style democracy.
But that’s just me.