- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Readers respond to 'peace rallies'

I was a little shocked by the tone of Saturday's "peace rallies." My analysis revealed that they were not peace rallies at all but were anti-American, anti-Bush, anti-Israel, anti-capitalist, pro-socialist, pro-communist and in some cases even pro-Osama bin Laden events, with demonstrators wearing bin Laden T-shirts. I noticed numerous American and Israeli flags that had swastikas painted on them in addition to signs and shirts with obscenities referring to President Bush and America. I also noticed plenty of hammer-and-sickle flags. I searched the Internet and was astonished to find dozens upon dozens of Web sites for socialist, communist and Marxist groups that all were very active in the anti-war movement. I also was very surprised to see that socialist parties and groups were the main organizers of all of the worldwide demonstrations. Most of the American protests were led by veterans of the World Trade Organization riots. It seems to me that the peace movement has more red in it than the Italian wine section of my local liquor store. If Americans saw for themselves just who is behind the so-called peace movement, they would be shocked.

MARK MCMORROW
Red Bank, N.J. I understand that it is the right of every free citizen to protest and voice his or her opinions on government and policy. Many people all over the world did just that on Saturday. However, I could not believe what many of them were stating as reasons for their dissent. They claimed the United States is preparing for war in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. Many even said President Bush is trying to settle some vendetta for his father. These people have, in my opinion, crossed the line with these comments.
How insane must someone be to believe we would send our troops into a country, risk their lives, kill enemy soldiers, destroy a nation and spend millions of dollars, all to settle a score or seize oil? Mr. Bush, in his State of the Union speech, encouraged carmakers to develop hydrogen fuel cells and other alternatives to gasoline-powered cars. What would we do with all of the oil we would seize when those cars became available? In an interview years ago, former President George H.W. Bush said the reason we did not try to remove Saddam Hussein from power the first time was because of the risk to American soldiers. Are we to believe that those lives do not matter anymore simply because his son is at the helm?
No one wants war. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said war is a last resort and must remain an option. Saddam Hussein will never disclose the location of the missing chemical and biological weapons. I only hope they are not sitting in storage somewhere in New York or Chicago or the District, waiting for the orders to be used.

KARL P. ZIELEZINSKI
Buffalo, N.Y.Saturday may well be remembered as the saddest day in the history of humanity. The day well may become reviled by future generations. It was on that day when millions of "civil libertarians" and "peace advocates" took to the streets worldwide to defend one of the most evil and murderous dictators the world has ever encountered.
The demonstrators did not make a single speech or hold a single poster about abuses of human rights in Iraq. Not one sign demanded equal rights for women or condemned state-sanctioned rapes and murders in Iraq. The demonstrators saw no problem with the use by Iraq of chemical weapons to kill thousands of people. Nor did the demonstrators seem to have a problem with payments by the Iraqi government to the families of suicide bombers.
The United States and Britain were condemned because of the desire of the leaders of those nations to rid the world of a corrupt dictatorship that has killed more than 2 million people over the past three decades.
The thrust of the demonstrations was to force Britain and the United States to bow to the United Nations and the desire of France and Germany to continue to bolster their weak economies by the sale of arms and technology to Iraq.
Why would the vaunted United Nations support the dictatorship in Iraq against the democracies of the world? Because the majority of its member nations are dictatorships and monarchies. Indeed, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights is headed by one of the greatest offenders of human rights, Libya. Libya is run by the dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who among other atrocities ordered the bombing of a TWA civilian flight that killed hundreds.
The United Nations Commission on Disarmament is headed by Iraq, the very nation that is the focus of disarmament right now. Its refusal to destroy weapons of mass destruction is what has spurred American action.
The United Nations is run by petty dictators and corrupt monarchs, yet even the government of the United States pretends that it is a democratic institution, and U.S. taxpayers help foot the bill for it.
The fundamental flaw of the United Nations is the Security Council. Power is reserved for a few permanent members to safeguard against its takeover by small nations run by dictators. That, at least, was the intent of the founding members, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Unfortunately, the founders gave themselves veto power over all actions of the Security Council, believing they were allies and would always agree. Now we are faced with a situation in which any nation in the Security Council, such as France, out of its own financial interests, can veto the use of military force by other members.
Under these circumstances, should the United States remain a member? Is it in the best interests of the United States to give France and other nations absolute veto power over the actions of our elected officials, particularly when the majority of members of the United Nations are indeed dictatorships? The obvious answer is no.
On the day we begin military action to free the people of Iraq and rid the world of the threat of that nation's weapons of mass destruction, President Bush should announce the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations. Because it caters to dictatorships and monarchies, the United Nations is irrelevant and a waste of taxpayers' money.
If the United States remains in the United Nations, it will give credence to the kangaroo courts that have been set up in Europe, particularly in Belgium. These courts place out arrest warrants for the leaders of democratic nations such as Israel while turning a blind eye to the atrocities of men such as Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
It is simply time for the United States to support the democracies of the world and distance itself from dictatorships, monarchies and those who cater to them, such as the weasel nations of Europe. The time may be at hand to form a new association of nations, one open only to those whose governments ascribe to democratic principles. No dictatorships need apply.

WILLIAM J. MURRAY
Chairman, Religious Freedom Coalition
Washington

Columnist's analysis lacks seriousness

One hopes Georgie Anne Geyer does not consider herself one of the "serious analysts" to which she refers ("Racing toward war," Commentary, Sunday). Which "zealots" in the Bush administration are working to "reconfigure" the world? She demands proof of seemingly obvious terrorist-Iraqi connections, yet her assertions seem to require only an accusation. She chides the administration for referring to traditional Europe as "useless." "Traditional" suggests a pro-Western, democratic entity dedicated to international security, but in reality, the traditional Europe to which she refers is only France and Germany. Both countries are dedicated to their welfare states, entangled with billions of dollars of Iraqi oil and weapons contracts, desperate to assert their international relevance, saddled with useless armed forces, and aware that regime change could alter their fragile planned economies.

NATO's usefulness very well may be at an end, but that is because of realpolitik more than Bush administration zealotry. With the Soviet threat passed, NATO is left without its original mission. France and Germany are no longer willing to behave as client states for self-preservation. She states that France and Germany are involved in "institution-building in the world and in Europe." Does that include nuclear reactors and military arms for Iraq?

The Osama bin Laden videotapes, certified as authentic, still do not preclude that the messenger was killed long ago. Surely once the war on Iraq commences, he will have something specific to say, indicating his survival, rather than indiscriminate, vague ramblings about jihad.

Why, to use her phrase, is the administration "obsessed" with Saddam Hussein, only turning to Iraq after ousting the Taliban, securing Afghanistan and driving al Qaeda into disarray? Is it possible that the focus on Iraq is the next logical step in the war on terrorism? Iraq has been supporting al Qaeda, and the whole world will realize this upon regime change. In any case, regime change is justified because of Iraq's violation not only of U.N. Resolution 1441, but of the Gulf war cease fire-agreement.

She says the administration is creating "the most dangerous of all possible worlds." I submit that the most dangerous of all possible worlds is the one where terrorists can strike at our embassies, our Navy ships and even our cities with impunity and where brutal dictators can ignore the fiats of the international community in their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and finally, a world in which evil is passed to the next administration in pursuit of high poll numbers.

JOHN STEPHENS

Alexandria

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