I spent part of last week ringing up the organizers of the anti-war events with a couple of questions. The first: Would they allow anyone from the newly-elected Iraqi parliament to address the gatherings? The second: Would the marches include expressions of support for the democracy movement in Arab and other Muslim countries, notably Iraq, Lebanon and Syria?
In both cases the answer was a categorical no, accompanied by a torrent of abuse about “all those who try to justify American aggression against Iraq.”
Why are so many Westerners, living in mature democracies, ready to march against the toppling of a despot in Iraq but unwilling to take to the streets in support of the democratic movement in the Middle East?
Is it because many of those who will be marching in support of Saddam Hussein this month are the remnants of totalitarian groups in the West plus a variety of misinformed idealists and others blinded by anti-Americanism?