Marching is undemocratic
Dr Ali Al Saleh asks Irish people not to protest against the illegal war in Iraq in Saturday's Irish Times. He calls for the Irish public to stand idly by as their government supports the coalition's pre-emptive strike against a not existent threat. He asks Irish people to forget about the deception and the crimes and instead offer support to the Iraqi people.
My first thought is, where have you been Dr Ali Al Saleh? What is the purpose of protest other than to support Iraqi independence? Do you honestly believe Irish people are protesting against Iraqi democracy?
The idea that protests against the Iraq war are anything but 'pro-Iraqi' is probably one of the most amazing distortions of reality I have read in quite some time. The purpose of protest is to express disgust for our government's undemocratic support for an invasion that has claimed, according to Les Roberts of British medical journal The Lancet, 300,000 lives. An invasion that brought terrorism to a country. An invasion that was led by two countries who for so long supported the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. An invasion that was facilitated by the medium that today stands in awe of western military power in Samarra, "the operation, in which 1,500 US and Iraqi troops and 50 helicopters had been deployed, was the biggest air assault since a similar airlift just after the war to oust Saddam Hussein three years ago," while at the same time ignoring the killing of eleven members of an Iraqi family in Tikrit by the same military superpower.
How else shall Irish people show their solidarity with the Iraqi people? Should we follow the lead of western governments and sit back while a dictator crushes an uprising, supplies the weapons for mass murder, maintain the sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands, drop the bombs that killed more, destroy the country and withdraw the funds for rebuilding?
What future do Iraqis want?
The people of Iraq need support and help from the people of Ireland, not protests, writes Dr Ali Al Saleh.
"But I have to ask these demonstrators some questions. Do you not want my people to enjoy democracy? Do you not want us to breathe the same air of freedom that you breathe? Can you support our constitution and our democratically-elected government?"
"in 2005, more than 10 million Iraqis risked life and limb in a great demonstration of democracy, in favour of change, in favour of human rights and dignity. They did this not just once, but three times. Across Europe, the anti-war demonstrators could not come even close to this number."
Full Article... The Irish Times