Sunday, March 02, 2003

ANTI-WAR PROTESTS: Yesterday on our way to lunch Justin and I had the misfortune of driving through a pro-Saddam demonstration on the edge of Vanderbilt's campus. All the usual suspects were there -- the slack-jawed blonde wearing a "GW Bush is really dumb" t-shirts, the troll-like never sun-kiss'd creature wearing a "Frodo has failed: Bush has the Ring" t-shirt, the teenagers who think they're all grown up, and the over-the-hill hippies who never did grow up. I politely declined a flyer thrust through the open car window by a pro-Saddamite, resisting the urge to flip her off (in front of my children) -- I'm not that kind of girl, after all. What surprised us was the strength of our feelings: anger, disgust, loathing. We'd seen "peace" protestors on TV and in the papers, but they just seemed foolish. But seeing them in person, in all their willful dishonesty and hatred for America, we saw them for what they are, evil, or admirers of it or at the very least "useful idiots" as Lenin once named their ilk. We wondered how these people, who blather on and on about "peace" and "democracy," always end up standing behind some thug with his jackboot firmly planted on the collective windpipe of his people. The protestors' love affair with Saddam is like Jimmy Carter's twenty-year running tryst with Arafat: naively stupid on the surface, but consciously evil underneath. Still, we told ourselves, the pro-Saddamites don't matter. Our side -- responsible, grown-up, America-loving Americans -- has the votes; they don't, and never will. But we didn't believe our own argument, because in times past, people just like the "peace" protestors -- angry, juvenile, power-loving pseudointellectuals -- have gotten the votes, or at least the power, and gone on to kill their millions. That's when we realized what made us so angry. It's not that the pro-Saddamites haven't learned from history. They want to repeat it. Do you think this is too extreme? Do you want to point out that not all the protestors are ANSWER neo-Stalinists, that many really are just naive? OK, remember this: if these protestors win and prevent a war (which they won't) they will do exactly what they did before President Bush began threatening war against Iraq, either ignore the plight of the Iraqi people and Hussein's drive to acquire WMDs or actively help Hussein crush his people and get his weapons by working to end sanctions and inspections. I call that evil. Now, try explaining all that to a three-year old on the way to lunch on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Better yet, don't. Sadly, he'll have ample opportunity to discover the idiocy and wickedness of some of his fellow men after he learns to read.

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