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the marchers are doing saddam's work

    David Pryce-Jones
    Daily Telegraph, February 16, 2003

    Ignorance, fear and lack of respect for Arabs--these were the most obvious traits on display in yesterday's demonstration against a war in Iraq. Could so many people really think that it is better to leave Iraqis under Saddam Hussein's vicious tyranny than to liberate them from it?

    Their protests suggest that it is not worth risking anything at all to free Arabs. To risk spilling a single drop of blood to liberate Iraq would be futile--not merely because it would be "destabilising" or "kill children", but because the Arabs have no capacity for "Western" freedom anyway. Behind the demonstrators' slogans lies the assumption that Arabs should be left alone: they don't mind being brutalised, tortured and murdered by a fascist thug like Saddam. Where they come from, it is the natural order of things.

    That line of thought is nonsense. More than that--it is racist nonsense. No one knows better than the Arabs the horror of being oppressed. No one knows better than they that tyrannical oppression is all that they will get so long as Saddam and his family are in power. Saddam's despotism is not a denial of "Western" freedom: it's a denial of the freedom that every person needs to be able to live a worthwhile life. To imagine that the Iraqis don't want to be freed, or are not entitled to it, is simply to suppose that they are less human than us.

    It is shocking to discover how deep lies the prejudice against Arabs being able to enjoy freedom. It is to be found in some surprising places other than the demonstration in Hyde Park: the CIA, for example, and the U.S. State Department have long taken the view that Iraq is so tribal and retrograde a country that only a brutal dictator like Saddam could control it...

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