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Eleanor Ankrom writes from Ohio and is currently pursuing independent courses of study in history, political science, economics and French.

    The Burgeoning Peace Movement
    by Eleanor Ankrom

    February 1, 2003

    It seems we have a "burgeoning peace movement" on our hands, or so the media would have us believe. On January 18 there was a flurry of rallies in protest of a possible war with Iraq. Protests were held in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, and in foreign cities such as Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, and other such bastions of liberty.

    The events in America were sponsored - just to name a few - by the likes of The Socialist Party U.S.A., The New Communist Party of the Netherlands, The Green Party U.S.A. (say good-bye to your SUV), The Workers World Party (read: communists) and the International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal. The crowds were entertained by the music of the British band Chumbawumba (Oh, forsake all thoughts of war, a British pop group disagrees with our leaders!).

    Even Jesse Jackson made an appearance. Yes, the Jesse Jackson who is totally devoid of any semblance of moral integrity, as evidenced by his embroilment in paternity suits and past affiliation with radical, racist groups. Yes, that selfsame reverend who, on Cuban ground, uttered the words, "Long live Castro, long live Che Guevara!" Of course, if you like communist dictatorships this will probably not bother you. It certainly didn't bother the people at the peace rally.

    Also present among those patriotic Americans were actors Martin Sheen and Jessica Lange.

    Sheen currently has the role of the President on the television show West Wing, and in a recent interview said the only things of "importance" America has given the world are "Alcoholics Anonymous and jazz." He must have forgotten that we are also the freest nation on the globe and always have, and still do, provide a refuge for people who desire to live in liberty and independence. Apparently the billions of American dollars in foreign aid, military assistance, and the profusion of private charities founded by American citizens also slipped his mind.

    Lange told the Spanish press, in an interview at the San Sebastian film festival, that she feels "ashamed to come from the United States" and that being an American is "humiliating." The actress, who built her career and her fortune by acting in American films, also proclaimed that she does not like Hollywood and prefers to work in Europe.

    Good. And stay out.

    While the American people enjoy the rights of free speech and free assembly, it strikes a chilling but not surprising note that the crowds who protested over the weekend were mainly comprised of communists, people who want to outlaw SUVs, Bush-haters, people who are ashamed to be Americans and . . . Europeans. Although we will always, as Americans, have the right to be communist if we are so inclined, I somehow have the feeling that the people in Moscow protesting our foreign policy were, to put it nicely, wasting their time.

    The people who sponsored and attended the rally in our nation's capitol were not loyal, liberty-loving Americans who just don't want to see Iraqis blown up. They are admitted communists, socialists, and "friends" of killers like Mumia Abu Jamal. They are people whose beliefs are diametrically opposed to the principles of liberty, equality and capitalism, which, incidentally, are the principles on which our country was founded. The day communists decide what military action America will or will not take is the day the true Americans will secede from the Union.

    However, it was not only the elite rich who derided our country, nor was it only Communist organizations and environmentalist flakes. One prime example of the "regular joes" who were assembled in front of the White House is a college student who called our nation's capitol "the center of all the racist attacks on people of color." While she may not be an international celebrity or a certified member of the New Communists of the Netherlands, this student certainly stands on common ground with those people and people of similar mentality who stood in Washington chanting and waving Iraqi flags.

    I wonder if some of these protesters even knew what they were protesting? One sign at the Washington rally read, "No Proof, No War."

    Proof would be, I guess, Saddam killing thousands of Americans or detonating nukes in a surprise attack. Obviously "proof" is not knowing for a fact that he withheld information in his report, threatened death on Americans and refused to cooperate with the terms stipulated by U.N. Resolution 1441.

    Warheads and documents continue to be found that offer proof Saddam has continued to covertly build weapons, thus contradicting his claims that he is not making chemical and biological weapons.

    But all of this, apparently, doesn't fool those sapient protesters the way it fools Bush and Colin Powell. One of the popular chants of the day was "George Bush, you can't hide, we charge you with genocide." I surmise that genocide is something of which they believe Saddam to be innocent.

    One protester from Virginia who marched in Washington said, "We need to disarm Saddam before he sneaks a nuke into Chicago or New York, not after."

    Gee, what a refreshing line of thought. I was under the impression that this is what Bush has been saying all along.

    The problem is, Saddam doesn't want to be disarmed. In reality, people from different cultures don't always do whatever Americans want. Some even hate and want to kill us.

    In the matter of Iraq, the best person to speak on the issue is not a protester marching in Berlin, a friend of Abu Jamal or a college student from the U.S., but a former Iraqi citizen, who now lives in America.

    This man has lived under Saddam's rule and knows life in his regime all too well: "The war is good if it goes to kill Saddam Hussein. He has a lot of bombs. He's terrorist number one."

    © 2002 Tocqevillian Magazine