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Volume 68, Issue 99, Wednesday, February 19, 2003 


Anti-war protests laughable

Mathew Caster
Opinion Columinist

I guess the big news this week was the massive anti-war protests that happened last weekend, which gives us a wonderful topic of discussion. For those of you who spend your weekends inebriated (I mean, you are college students, and I wish I could too), last Sunday, a couple million people all over the world banded together to protest the forthcoming war with Iraq.

The result of these protests appears to be the ever-so-slight softening of the American position, which basically means nothing more than weill wait a few more weeks before ousting Saddam Hussein.

What Iid like to know is this: What exactly are these people protesting? We havenit attacked Iraq yet, so they canit be protesting war itself. Theyire not protesting the fact that Saddam Hussein is in material breach of United Nations Resolution 1441. Theyire not protesting the fact that Saddam Hussein has repeatedly brutalized his own people. Theyire not even protesting the fact that Osama bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind who attacked and killed several thousand American civilians on 9/11, has vocally come out in support of Saddam Hussein and all the Iraqi people who are killing even more Americans.

What they are protesting is this: America. These people, domestically and internationally, do not like America. They donit like what America does to spread American ideals, things we take for granted, like freedom and justice. The protesters in New York, for example, were protesting a disagreement they had with the government. Think they could do that in Iraq? No. Why? Iraq is not like America.

Take France, for instance. Here is a country whose people have gone out of their way to make themselves irrelevant in the international community. France was the last nation to sign on when the U.S.-led coalition liberated Kuwait, when NATO liberated Kosovo and when the United States cleaned up the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Why is France so reluctant? Because they knew if they go along with it theyill be following the Americans. France wants to be seen as a leader in world politics, and you canit lead when following in the shadow of the Americans.

So all of these protests were nothing more than anti-American gatherings. You didnit see any of these nonsense protests going on when we saved Kuwait, Kosovo, or Afghanistan.

Thatis because the French were stuck at home, watching their TVs and saying, "Damn Americans how do they always know the right thing to do?"

So whatis different this time? I donit know, because I hear so many excuses. I heard the most laughable one this weekend on the Sunday talk shows.

Some people think that if we attack Iraq, Saddam will use his weapons of mass destruction on us. Oh wait, you mean the weapons of mass destruction he doesnit have? I thought the inspectors hadnit found anything, and therefore there werenit any left. So does he have them or doesnit he? There are people out there who honestly believe that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction, but if we attack heill magically get some and use iem on us?

The point is this, friends. People are not protesting because they like Saddam Hussein, or the way he runs his country, or the gentle, painless techniques he uses for murdering his own citizens <I>en masse<P>.

People are protesting because they recognize that the United States is showing leadership. The United States is willing to go in unilaterally (albeit with 38 allies) and clean up a problem that the UN should have taken care of after the 1991 Gulf War.

My prediction is that in the next 30 days we will go to war with Iraq. It will be over, for all intents and purposes, in 100 hours. The anti-war movement will be silenced once again when the truth is finally and unconditionally learned about what Iraq has been hiding. Oh, and because of this showing of leadership, the GOP will win by a landslide in 2004.

Caster, a senior petroleum engineering major, can be reached at


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