Sunday, February 16, 2003
By way of Andrea Harris comes what could be a fitting response to "anti-war" protesters by Dr. Barham Salih, the head of the regional Kurdish government in the northern no-fly zone of Iraq, delivered in Rome a while back. Some key quotes:
For Iraqis, our D-Day is at hand. As we watch the military preparations and the game of cat and mouse which the dishonest dictatorship in Baghdad is playing with the UN inspectors, we sense, and we hope, that deliverance is near.

The anticipation and nervousness that must have been felt in Rome nearly 60 years ago is today palpable in Iraq, both in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Free Iraq that was liberated in 1991, and in the areas still under the control of the Ba'athist regime. In my office in Suleimani, I meet almost every day some traveler who has come from Baghdad, and other parts of Iraq. Without exception they tell me of the continued suffering inflicted by the Iraqi regime, of the fearful hope secretly nurtured by so many enslaved Iraqis for a free life, for a country where they can think without fear and speak without retribution.
This was delivered on January 20, almost a month ago. How long do the Iraqis have to wait for their D-Day, just to assuage the palpitating hearts of those worried that the UN might get upset?
But, what we Iraqi democrats are hearing from many in Europe is that Iraqis should not ask for outside help to be liberated from tyranny; that the war is for oil; that war is always wrong; that the so-called Arab and Muslim "street" will rise up as one against those who liberate Iraq.
I can only imagine the pain inflicted on an Iraqi with the most fragile of hopes that someday he will not have to whisper his opinions in fear of the Mukhabarat, every time he hears some overprivileged, overeducated, overindulged Western twit yelping "Stop this Senseless War!" No, actually, I can't imagine it. Or maybe I just don't want to.
Many people out on the streets say "No to War". Of course, I agree because I do not want war and I do not want civilian casualties, nor do those who are coming to our assistance. But the war has already begun. The Baath dictatorship has been waging war for decades and he has inflicted hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties. We have, as we speak, an ongoing brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing in Kirkuk, Khanaqin and Sinjar - and other parts of Iraqi Kurdistan controlled by the dictatorship.
This is an excellent point. Those who claim to be "anti-war" and who march "against war" carrying signs that say "No War" imply that Iraq is currently at peace. It isn't: thousands of Iraqis die at Hussein's hands every year. To oppose a U.S. invasion in favor of "peace" is to imply that their deaths are of no consequences. Death only counts when Westerners are involved; victims of anyone other than the U.S. or "global capitalism" are of no importance. We've seen this time and time again when the topic is Zimbabwe or Israel or Cuba; now the Iraqis share this unfortunate fate. Their victimhood is politically incorrect, and therefore ignored in favor of simpler slogans.
To those who are going to Baghdad to be human shields, I ask, why were you not you allowed to be human shields at Halabja in 1988 when 5,000 Kurds were gassed to death? In away, the dictatorship killed all the human shields of Halabja displaying no regard what so ever to human lives!

Why were you were not allowed to be human shields in Najaf and Karbala in 1991 when the Iraqi Shi'a Arabs were slaughtered and their holy shrines were desecrated?
Somehow I doubt Hussein's barely-useful idiots in Baghdad will appreciate the irony. The fact is, Hussein has been using the entire Iraqi population as human shields ever since the first Gulf war. Again, what conceit: only the presense of Western human shields will count for anything. As if -- frankly, as far as I'm concerned, the deaths of the "Iraq Peace Team" et al will be of absolutely no consequence. I'll mourn the innocent Iraqis who are inadvertently killed, but I won't give a rat's ass about those sanctimonious shitheads who went to Baghdad to "protect" them. Charles Darwin says hello.

Finally, there's this:

So to those who say "No War", I say, of course "yes", but we can only have "No War" if there is "No Dictatorship" and "No Genocide."
Couldn't have put it better myself.


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