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Masochism 101

So I actually watched the whole Washington Pro-Saddam"peace protest" on C-SPAN on Saturday. The whole thing. I've concluded something: the protesters are against war with Iraq. I could tell, because many different people from obscure groups came up to the podium and said, "No war with Iraq!" and the protesters cheered. They were also very opposed to racism. And oil. They don't like oil.

I couldn't quite figure out what they were for however; concrete proposals seemed just a tad bit scarce. Oh, I can guess: they're for higher taxes, socialized medicine, affirmative action, and unilateral surrender. But as to what to do to solve the Iraqi problem?

This guy has a clear idea of what he's doing out there:

"The government is going to do what they are going to do regardless," said Mike Smith, 22, a student who was one of hundreds of people to arrive in Washington in a caravan of 11 buses from Chicago. "But at least by coming we can try to make sure that people in other countries know that all Americans are not down with this war."
I'm certain that dictators the world over are glad to know that. Other than that, who exactly does this guy think cares? I understand the mindset of protestors who think they can rally to convince their government to change policy. But what sort of person thinks that it's useful to send the message that he doesn't support his government? Does he think that the next time Al Qaeda attacks the U.S., that it will skip over his home in gratitude?

The San Francisco Gate did us a public service, wandering around the local rally, collecting quotes, so we can figure out what these people are thinking:

Whitman Donaldson, San Francisco
If we go to war we will show them that we are just as bad as they are.
Boy, just think what it would show them if we hijacked airplanes and flew 'em into their office buildings.
Ann, Belgium
I can't understand why if we call our countries democracies that we are doing this s***.
Uh, because our democratically elected governments think it's a good idea? And what are you doing in this country, anyway, you cheese-eating surrender monkey-wannabe? I mean, Belgium? Come on.
Tony Magaletta
I am here today to tell the Bush administration "f** Bush and the Supreme Court he rode in on." He can take his war to the people and he will find the truth for it is out there... We do not want his war for oil... and if enough of us take to the streets we will succeed with ending his war and his reign of terror...
If a bus had wings, it would be an airplane. Tell you what, Tony. You don't have to use the oil if you don't want to.
Mike Gardner, Winters, CA
The combination of power, arrogance and negligence results in hatred and the destruction of world peace.
Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side."
Kim Massey, Aptos
I wanted to come WITH my children so we can actively be involved with the peace process.
The "peace process?" She thinks wandering around holding dorky semi-grammatical signs is the "peace process?" Well, I guess Palestinians think blowing up buses and markets is part of the "peace process," so why not? Apparently the only thing that isn't part of the peace process is actual peace.
Jan Ogren, Rohnert Park, age 45
Because hitting a kid and telling them not to be violent is the same as Bush wanting to bully the Middle East.
Sure. If the kid has nuclear weapons and is guilty of genocide. In that case, exactly the same.
Koren Hoover, Mill Valley
I wanted to be part of a peaceful demonstration against Bush and his axis of evil in the White House.
Hey, that "axis of evil" line is clever. Did you think that one up yourself?
Steve Nolan, Mill Valley
Just want to let our politicians and representatives know that we should be spending our money on books not bombs. Our education for our children should not take a back seat to foreign political objectives.
Not sure how that would work. It just doesn't quite seem as if books would do the Air Force quite as much good as bombs. Maybe we could give Saddam a paper cut with books, but that just doesn't seem sufficient.
Lucy Horwitz, Los Angeles
My lifelong profession has been teaching. And I think the only hope for humanity is to unlearn war.
Maybe you should unteach war, then. It seems to work for math, after all, at least in our public schools.
Michelle Mondot, Carlton, WA
I am here to communicate how strongly I feel about the importance of taking a stand for peace and justice for all human beings on this planet. Love and caring for each other is the most important action we can take in every moment in our lives. Blessings for all!!!!
All you need is love. Well, that and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Anne Evans, Sonoma
Because I teach and it is important that our children remain safe and educated -- children of Iraq, too.
Our children should remain children of Iraq? What exactly do you teach? Not English, I hope.
Adam Titone, Sonoma County
Without voicing my opinion about the need for peace there will be no way for the administration to know that there is a majority of people who want peace not war on Iraq.
Well, no, they didn't realize that. All those pesky Gallup polls kept missing it. But now that you weighed in, Adam, I think that will get Don Rumsfeld straightened out.
Teresa, San Rafael
To show my support of peace, war is not an option!!!!!!!
It isn't? Boy, aren't those Iraqi generals going to look foolish when they try to invade Kuwait next time. War isn't an option, guys.
Wendy Wood, Marin County
I am here to support peace and oppose the worldwide oppression by the United States. There is no rhyme or reason to the probable invasion of Iraq. We are violating the United Nations charter and the REAL reason for this possible war is to dominate the oil resources of the region. There are more people against this invasion than for it in my opinion.
Worldwide oppression, huh? If only we would stop oppressing those South Koreans, Germans, and the like -- that's where we have all our troops stationed, after all.
Darryl is from Canada and he's here because he doesn't think that it's right that we're being conned by the government, the media and the corporate powers that are fueling this greedy desire for blood, oil and profit.
Yes. The greedy desire for blood. Blood, blood! I want blood! The "corporate powers" are planning to start a new marketing campaign for vampires, I guess.
Tamiko Blake
I brought my son here to show him the power that people can have when they come together for peace and justice. We will make a difference.
Or a traffic jam, anyway.

It's sort of sad to mock these people, actually. They're just all so clueless. It's as if they think that reciting Hallmark card slogans is actually a foreign policy. Note that none of them seem to actually care what happens to the people in Iraq, although they all fancy that they do. They just want "peace" more.


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