igloo Posted November 18 Report Share Posted November 18 WHY THEY HATE W By RALPH PETERS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Email Archives Print Reprint November 18, 2003 -- THIS week, TV screens will fill with protests against American policy. As President Bush visits Britain, European leftists will gather to denounce him as a threat to world peace. Mock courts will judge our president and find him guilty on every wild charge. But the most instructive demonstrations will be those that won't happen. We won't hear a word about Saddam's tyranny, about his wars or the mass graves still being unearthed. No demonstrator will celebrate the liberation of 25 million people. All we'll hear from the streets is that Bush is bad. No protesters will chant about the Iraqi families sundered, the fathers tortured and shot, the daughters and wives raped, the use of poison gas against the Kurds or the million-and-a-half Iraqis, Iranians and Kuwaitis who died in Saddam's wars. Bush is worse than Saddam, you see, because he refused to look the other way. His resolve is an embarrassment. American wars of liberation humiliate the complainers on the left. We've seized their professed ideals and made them a reality. We fought for freedom, while they only chattered. Their protests are the result of wounded egos. During the Cold War, America was mocked for its ill-judged support of dictators because they were "our dictators." Now our government has left the distortions of the past behind and returned to America's traditional role of championing freedom. And look how the tables have turned. Europe's left so hates America and all it stands for that the dictators have become "their dictators." Of course, European intellectuals supported Stalin, too. But it can only amaze anyone who believes in elementary human rights that America is pilloried for putting an end to a murderous regime. On one level, the European left's protests against all things American are understandable. We won, they lost. All their cherished rhetoric led only to the Gulag in the East and to bankrupt welfare states in the West. Now, the East, where terror reigned, aligns with America, further angering the West Europeans who lived on credit for the past 50 years, loafing in the shade of America's might. President Bush is an especially appealing target for their scorn, since he's the least European U.S. president since Andrew Jackson. Bush speaks awkwardly, but acts powerfully. The European ideal is a politician who speaks beautifully and does nothing. As the protesters parade in front of the cameras, Americans should be proud of the great thing we've done in Iraq. We haven't done it perfectly, but perfection isn't a common human trait. We've served the cause of freedom, even as "Old Europe" accused us of fabricated sins. What have we really done? * We faced up to our historical and moral responsibilities by removing Saddam from power. Although our past role has been exaggerated, we foolishly supported him in the 1980s. Thus, we had a special responsibility to liberate Iraq (the Europeans bear as much guilt or more, but preferred to keep doing business with Saddam). * We're giving long-oppressed Arabs and Kurds a chance to build a rule-of-law democracy. There are no guarantees that they'll succeed in the end. But simply giving them a chance is more than anyone else has ever done for them. * We've created the possibility of a Middle Eastern success story, of an Arab-majority state that respects its citizens and honors basic freedoms. This is vital. Behind all their f*****sh accusations against us, Arabs fear they may be incompetent to build a modern, democratic state. We've made a noble effort to plant a garden of freedom amid the briars of oppression. No soldier's life has been lost in vain. Our cause is worthy of comparison with America's finest hours. Of course, we face no end of criticism, beginning with the complaint that no weapons of mass destruction have been found (would it have better pleased the protesters had WMD been found?). Ultimately, this is a minor matter, amplified by the administration's tactical error of using the WMD issue as its public rationale for war. Had we stressed the need to remove Saddam in the cause of human rights, it would have been much harder for cynical European governments to oppose us. They would have opposed us, anyway. But at least we would have embarrassed them. Leftists love to retreat into false comparisons, asking, with a smirk, why we chose to depose Saddam when there are plenty of other dictators in the world. It was only because of oil, they insist, ignoring the fact that we'll never recoup our financial investment in Iraq's future. Why Iraq? Because it was doable, while North Korea isn't. Because we bore a special responsibility, due to our bygone support for the Baghdad regime. Because Saddam had launched wars of aggression unmatched by other contemporary dictators. Because he did seek weapons of mass destruction. Because the situation in Iraq continued to worsen. And because you have to start somewhere. No coward has ever been short of good reasons for doing nothing. AS with Islamic terrorism, European protests against our actions in Iraq are not so much about us as about the protesters' own demons. The current French and German gloating over their belief that we're trapped in a quagmire against which they oh-so-wisely warned us is as shabby as it's fundamentally wrong. We aren't trapped in a quagmire in Iraq. But the European left is trapped in a quagmire of failure, mendacity and guilt. How could they not hate the land of the free? Whether we speak of America or Iraq. Retired Army officer Ralph Peters is the author of "Beyond Baghdad." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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