Antiwar protesters do care about the Iraqis

Regarding the Feb. 26 opinion piece "If antiwar protesters succeed": The anonymous author attacks people with antiwar views and implies that they will abandon any interest in the plight of Iraqis after a war is averted.

That is amusing, considering that many of the people who now fervently oppose war have been lone voices in the wilderness over the past decade decrying Iraq's human rights abuses as well as a US foreign policy that places oil above human welfare.

Undoubtedly there are antiwar folks whose sole interest is to ensure that gas prices stay low so they can continue to drive their SUVs. But to categorize all antiwar protesters as self-absorbed ignores the tens of thousands of people who have worked tirelessly to oppose human rights abuses and ill-conceived foreign policies at a time when few federal politicians or diplomats wanted to address the issues. The author can rest assured that these people will not turn to the next trendy issue after any war with Iraq.
Michelle Olson

Regarding "If antiwar protesters succeed": The course of history changed for my country of Iran in 1953 when the US Central Intelligence Agency helped topple the government of Mohammed Mossadegh. Yes, there are those like the author of the unsigned piece who believe that US is a harbinger of democracy. Nothing is further from the truth. Ask any Latin American living in the US's backyard. If human rights and democracy in Iraq are really of such concern to the US, then why is it still trying to make a deal with Turkey, which has one of the worst human rights records in the region? And why has the US already made deals to ignore Russia's abuses in Chechnya in exchange for Russia's support?

Bringing democracy is the job of the Iraqi people, not a world power that has consistently supported authoritarian regimes. The author should urge the US to gain the goodwill of the people of the Middle East by helping to implement the many UN resolutions violated by Israel.

People who are still in the region and haven't escaped to the security and comfort of the West will take care of the rest, including democratic reforms.
Mohammad Salmassi
Worcester, Mass.

I take issue with the author's categorization of antiwar protesters as "cappuccino" drinkers. I prefer instant coffee. In trying to tar those people as elitists who have legitimate concerns over what they perceive to be an unjust, aggressive, un-American war, the author implies that those who oppose this war are out of touch, pampered, and run from cause to cause. He says that antiwar protesters will forget the Iraqi people if there is no invasion.

But those for a US invasion of Iraq, who are supposedly so concerned about the plight of the Iraqi people under Saddam Hussein's cruel rule now, didn't seem too concerned about those same poor people when the US government's policies supported Hussein during the brutal, destructive eight-year Iran-Iraq war.
Spiro Anton

So the anonymous Iraqi author of this piece would make the US responsible for cleaning up after all the world's despots without the support of the UN and 95 percent of the world's population? I don't think so.

With all the despots around the world, this would amount to perpetual war by the US. We may be the world's sole superpower, but we're not superheroes. I would fully support the author going back to Iraq to deal with his old despot, while we in the US try to deal with our new one.

Houston Barclay
Duvall, Wash.

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