Friday, February 16, 2007

Simple pragmatism fuels Iraq War protests

4 February 2007

One argument often repeated by the defenders of the war in Iraq is that people protesting the war demoralize the American troops. But the reason that so many Americans are protesting this war is not because they are unpatriotic or indifferent to our troops' sacrifices. It is because the Bush administration cannot make a persuasive case for continuing a war that was destined to fail.

The war began with lies and ignorance--lies about weapons of mass destruction and ignorance about the realities of Iraqi culture, politics, and history. It was only a matter of time before a majority of Americans figured this out and began asking why our soldiers are dying in Iraq.

We are told that we are fighting an enemy determined to destroy our way of life. If this were the case, there would be no debate: we would of course commit all our resources to absolute victory. But Iraq was not a threat to America when this war began, and it is no threat today.

The Sunni insurgency hates the Shia majority and the occupying foreign army that set up the Shia government. Iraq has spiraled into civil war, and there is nothing that American troops can do to stop it. By their very presence, American troops provide targets for bombs and resentment.

In America, I hope, the people express their opinions and, eventually, determine what their country does. It's in totalitarian states that wars are fought and soldiers die because dictators demand it.

Philip Terrie