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I don't know why I do it. I just can't help myself sometimes. But I looked at some war blogs to see how those of the hawkish persuasion were covering this weekend's unprecedented anti-war protests. Jebus, the poor logic, twisted up like macrame until it screams for mercy! One site asked (apparently not rhetorically): if there were 8 million protesters on a planet of 6 billion, how many people didn't protest? I guess she means to imply that anyone who didn't protest yesterday automatically supports the war, but is anyone really stupid enough to believe that? Besides, you'd at least have to subtract from the 6 billion the 1.2 billion Chinese who aren't allowed to protest anything ever (hey, they hate freedom! Why aren't we bombing China?).

But, damn, 8 million people in hundreds of cities, all on the same day, all around the same purpose! How can anyone not be impressed with the sheer magnitude of that? Imagine how many people would have showed up if it were held in, say, May instead of Febrrrrrruary?

The warbloggy folk like to tie up their bloodlust in a liberation-colored ribbon -- "We're not killing Iraqis, we're liberating them! See? If you're not in favor of war, you're in favor of tyranny, you idiotarian Saddam-lover!" But I don't believe them. The government-sponsored torture of Iraqis is just a convenient excuse to blow shit up. Are these same folks going to support years of post-war nation-building in Iraq? Or are we just going to leave the Iraqis to clean up the mess and expect them to be grateful for being "liberated"?

Remember the last group of people we were going to liberate with bombs? The women of Afghanistan? The Bush Administration appealed to our sense of fairness, of decency, of basic human rights by showing us how the Taliban kept women shrouded and hungry and poor when it wasn't brutally killing them for exposing their skin or wearing noisy shoes or having a job. And all that was true. It was horrifying. It needed to stop. But 14 months after we started bombing what little there was to bomb in one of the poorest countries in the world, after the Taliban was (sorta) routed, after a new government was (sorta) set up -- the non-Kabul parts of the country are ruled by warlords, the Taliban are regrouping, poppy farming is the only way people can make money. And the women are still denied employment and education, their schools are firebombed, they are still smothered under burkhas. Nothing has gotten better, but the Bushies don't care anymore. Burkhas are so 2001. They've moved on, telling us that now it's the Iraqis who need our "help" and this time, it's gonna work! Unless it doesn't. Oh, well. Whatever.

There has to be a better way.

Replies: 5 Confessions

Oh, right, freedom, democracy, education for women, civil society blah. This is why we DON'T like Germany (too much free speech?) but we are sucking the - um - we are very good pals with the Saudis and the Pakistanis.
Noisy shoes?

elavil @ 02/16/2003 07:40 PM CST

I think Peter Bagge handled it best ...

fksche @ 02/16/2003 09:57 PM CST

I disagree, but thanks for stopping by.

Seriously, the anti-war movement isn't perfect (nothing is), but how does crabby-bastard-style libertarianism solve any problems?

amyc @ 02/17/2003 06:19 AM CST

And let's ask a question similar to the one that started out this post:

If there were "hundreds" of pro-Bush protestors on a planet of 6 billion, how many people didn't protest? (One can only assume that the "hundreds" blocking up the streets prevented the other pro-war protestors from attending.)

jima @ 02/17/2003 10:14 AM CST

Intelligent summation – love your writing style!
“Imagine how many people would have showed up if it were held in, say, May instead of Febrrrrrruary?” Made me laugh.
Like how many would have attended if they could have stayed in their cars eating French fries and drinking slurpies?

kara @ 02/24/2003 03:52 PM CST

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