By Steve Holt, Opinion Editor
Many of the anti-war protestors abroad are not outraged primarily by the United States’ willingness to put its soldiers’ and Iraqi lives on the line, but by alleged “American Imperialism.”
While the war debate in the states runs heavily along partisan lines, international protestors are calling the war in Iraq just another display from “America the Bully.”
Two thousand protestors burned American flags and tossed bombs at the United States Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday. One man’s angry statement told the story of why the protestors assembled.
“As a Brazilian I am worried that one day Bush will want something in Brazil,” said Rafael Goncalves, a 22-year-old graphic designer. “He has already proved that he does not need a reason to take it.”
About 70,000 people rallied against the United States and Britain in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday.
“The U.S. has already captured Afghanistan. After Iraq, it will attack Saudi Arabia as part of a conspiracy to create Greater Israel,” rally leader Hafiz Hissain Ahmed said. Ahmed’s view is shared by many in Arab nations because of the United States’ close alliance with Israel.
And many Iraqis share the concerns of the Arab world.
These concerns should serve as a challenge to President Bush, who hasn’t missed an opportunity to stress his mission to free the Iraqi people. He shouldn’t look to establish Iraq as the 51st state-its people are not ready to become Americanized.
Iraqis are leery of government-they have been deceived, starved and abused by the Hussein regime. They only want to be free of such a government. When they are ready, and only then, should the United States assist them in rebuilding a new government for Iraq-a government composed of Iraqis and that is reflective of their needs.
When the United States eventually emerges victorious, and the Hussein regime has been decapitated, this country must serve the people for whom this war was fought and named. It must rehabilitate a broken people who have been conditioned by its leader to hate the western world and all it stands for.
And maybe then the United States will earn back the respect of the Arab world.