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War on Iraq: Egyptians’ views on the current situation of President Bush’s need to go to war against Iraq

by Adam M. Hassan


My previous article was on the Egyptians’ views on the future “war on Iraq”. Now I am continuing this series, about the war America is trying to start with Iraq, with an article about the Anti- War movements here in America.


On Saturday, the 15th of February, New Yorkers, as well as many people from other states, came to join in the biggest protest since Vietnam. Protesters marched from almost every direction towards the United Nations building on 49th and 1st, however the police blocked 1st avenue so people protested on 2nd avenue and 3rd avenue, stretching as far as ten blocks. Organizers claimed that a couple 100,000 people came while the Police Commissioner estimated that there were only 100,000 protesters.

Lots of people came prepared with some great posters that looked like they took lots of time to create. A couple said, “War is expensive, peace is cheap”. There were many that said, “The world says no to war”. This poster came in many languages. Another poster said, “Drop Bush, not Bombs”. “U.S. foreign policy is terrorism”. “Estimated dead and wounded in Iraq war 500,000 Iraqis, does Emperor Bush care?” Many of the posters were about peace as well as critical interpretations of the Bush administration. The posters came in English, Arabic, Hebrew, and even Spanish, like many of the chants and songs that were being sung while many marched the streets. “What do we want? Peace. When do we want it? Now.” Many different groups sang this chant throughout the protest. Many were also saying, “Whose streets are these? Our streets.” This chant was sung against the cops forcing them to move to the sidewalks.
The people who came were from many ethnic and religious groups. Everyone had their own personal reasons as to why they came, and why they are against the future “war on Iraq”. Alex Shirreffs who is 23 and formerly worked in the Peace Corps said it was her first time coming to a protest. She came because she felt that the world was strong enough to say no to the Bush administration’s urge to start a war. She continued to say that there was no need for war now because there are not enough nations backing Bush’s plan for a war against Iraq. Bush should wait until there is a more united front. Ms. Shirreffs claimed that most Americans are in fact against the “war on Iraq”, and those who are for the war believe that it should wait until there are more nations willing to fight Iraq. A second person we talked with was Michael Hill who is fifty years old and works as a musician playing the guitar. This protest was his first since the Vietnam War and the Black Panther Movement, which he went to when he was in his teenage years to his college years. The reason he came to this protest was because he felt that this was a crucial time and there is a need for the people to voice their opposing
feelings and speak up for peace. He continued to say that since he is a traveling musician he notices that most Americans are quite nice and are against the future “war”, however there are many who are misinformed by the media. The media does not question the government so whatever the government says the media repeats. Aside from Bush’s ignorance Mr. Hill believes that Bush wants to get into this “war” because of geopolitics, oil, money, and basically power. Since trying to catch Usama bin Laden did not work now Saddam Hussein is the new enemy number one. When asked does he have any message to give he said that war is not the answer, it is never really the answer, and it is definitely not the answer now. He believes that if enough people protest the future “war” the Bush and his administration will have to listen to the people. The Vietnam war continued until there was just so many people that the government had to listen to the people. Many people believe that there just isn’t any real reason for America to rush itself into a war against a country that doesn’t seem as though it is posing as an immediate threat. Some believe that instead of spending most of our taxes on the military, which will only help the economy short term, we should be investing it into the education system and jobs to help the economy increase over a long term. Some feel that the main reason Bush and his administration are trying to start a war is because they want to go after a country with the second largest oil fields in the world. However, many believe that it cannot only be over oil, because no country would spend so much money and lose so many citizens in a war solely about oil.

This anti war movement is not only among American citizens. This feeling has spread to over 350 cities worldwide, with millions joining to say no to the Bush administration’s urge to enter into a war against the country of Iraq. Now it is the world that is backing one another, a multilateral approach to tell Bush and his administration that going to war with Iraq is not the best option. Whatever may be the underlying reason as to why Bush and his administration are so eager to have a war against Iraq, the people of the world know best to tell them that there is no reason to go to war.

President Bush claims that he is still looking for a peaceful way to end this “conflict” with Iraq. He continues to say that war is a last approach. However, we, as the intelligent people of the world, know that this man is not fully telling his people and the rest of the world the truth. How do we know this? Well, almost everyday we listen in on the news to hear that President Bush has ordered more U.S. troops to the American bases in Kuwait, sent more battle ships to the Arabian Sea, and is trying to use the Turkish bases for more U.S. troops to come. Not only do we hear about the numbers of military entering the Middle East, we also hear President Bush’s continuous speeches, using a more militaristic tone, of how important it is to go into Iraq and end the “threat” it is creating.

As we saw on Saturday, and in the past, we the people are able to show our opinions and our feelings as to what is going in current events. We do not have to sit back and let the “leader” do all of the talking and the action. We must stand up again and again to let them know how we feel and that if something is happening that we do not like, our voices will be heard. It is time for President Bush to know that we the people do not want America to enter itself in a war with no real reason. He should take a step back and look at what he is getting himself and his country into


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