Article Overview:   What is the price of war?  What is the price of protest?   Why did Congress vote 97% against France, Germany and Russia benefiting from US funds in rebuilding Iraq?  Should war protestors pay too?


Friday--April 4, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 569
Do The Crime--Serve The Time
The Price Of Dissent

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Apr. 4-- When France, Germany, Russia and Syria turned their backs on the United States and refused to support the war in Iraq, they made a statement to the world--Never hit an ally when he's down, kick him, it's easier.

The Brits, the Poles, the Aussies were led by the Americans to take on the Beast of Terror

         In the battle to get allied support for military action against Iraq, France, Germany, Russia and Syria used the heels and toes of their boots to bruise and batter America's image.   France did such a good job, that a recent poll of French citizens showed two-thirds of them wishing death upon the Americans.
        But, the winds of war are changing.   Now that the U.S. appears to be winning the war, the former friends who kicked around Uncle Sam as an arrogant, imperialistic, self-seeking tyrant of power are crawling out of their holes.  


Rubble in Baghdad


                                    They even have the temerity to demand a role in the reconstruction of Iraq.  These name-calling turn-coats who accused America of being an imperialistic nation seeking to wield power over the Middle East, are now stomping their feet demanding a piece of the lucrative $77 billion rebuilding pie that America has budgeted to help put Iraq back on its feet.   Even more egregious, they want a say in how to steer Iraq's future.   Of course, that steerage includes favorable alliances with France, Germany and Russia.  They want the spoils of war without spilling any blood to get them.
       But wait!  There's one small problem.
       It's called the "Price Of Protest."

"Die-in" in France to protest America's Coca Cola

      American legislators just put a tariff on the cost of turn-coating America.   That tariff is Zero Trade with the countries that assassinated the amendments to Resolution 1441--Russia, France, Germany and Syria--in the rebuilding of Iraq.   In a 414-12 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a supplementary budget amendment excluding the recalcitrant nations from taking part in US-funded reconstruction bids in Iraq.  It also barred them from accessing information on the reconstruction bids.
       China was exempted from the bill.   It was originally included, but removed before the final vote.  
  "This amendment sends a signal to our allies that we appreciate those who support us in our time of need and remember those that have sought to thwart coalition efforts to defeat Saddam Hussein's regime," said George Nethercutt, a Republican pushing for the bill which now has to go to the Senate and then on to the President for signature.
        What is surprising about the bill isn't the idea we should not reward the nations who refused to fight Saddam Hussein, but the overwhelming majority of U.S. Congress men and women who endorsed it.  
        The Vote of 414-12 represents over 97 percent agreement that severe penalties should be placed on international protestors of American Terrorism policy.   The Congress is the closest ally to the people.  It is the first line of political sensitivity to the public, and should represent the will of the people with more precision than any other level.
         The dramatic vote to deny nations who opposed American policy is a message that has it roots in the heartland of American voters--and that message is--protest fails against purpose.

United Nations Resolution 1441 was passed unanimously

        Resolution 1441 was originally passed unanimously, with full support of France, Germany, Russia and Syria, among others.   There was no protest then.   Later, in a bid to exert power over the United State, France, Germany and Russia blocked all efforts by the U.S. and Britain to garner U.N. Security Council affirmation of use of force it had originally granted.
         Instead of reinforcing the original contract, France led the crusade to emasculate the United States by stripping it of U.N. support.   It spearheaded attacks on American power and assaulted the integrity of both the nation and its leadership.   In calumnious rhetoric, France led the choir to chant dissent against the United States, going so far as to chide the President of the Untied States for wagging his finger at Saddam.
          Now, when the fruits of reconstruction ripen on the vine, who wants to be first at the table to pluck them--of course, the dissenters.   The back turners.   The frogs with sticky tongues seeking to feed on the flies of the dead American and British bodies hop about in glee, believing that they are "owed" the right.
          But are they?  Is there a price for protesting?
          For the warriors of war, there is a price for standing up for what you believe.  It's called death.  But what is the price to a protestor?  What risk does the protestor take?
          Let's ask some of those who put their lives on the line in Iraq.

Pfc. Jessica Lynch

           What would Pfc. Jessica Lynch say to letting the French, Germans and Russians profit from rebuilding Iraq?    Would she be concerned that her comrades died, were tortured and wounded in part because the French, Germans and Russians refused to send any support to Iraq?   Would she think that maybe the Iraqis thought they might have a chance fighting against the U.S. because Russia, Germany and France were against the war?   Did their refusal to participate encourage the Iraqis to defy the awesome force and will of American and British forces?
            There's a good chance that Pfc. Lynch, as well as countless other soldiers, Marines, air force, navy and coast guard personnel, might just say that the blood spilled in Iraq by U.S. British, Australian, and Polish forces, as well as any other coalition members, automatically excludes the right of any nation who refused to spill its blood from reaping the harvest the blood creates.
             Why should the life of one American, or one British, or one Australian, or one Polish warrior be fouled by giving tribute to nations who helped encourage those deaths?
             When allies turn against allies they become enemies.
             France, Germany, Russia and Syria all voted for Resolution 1441.  Then, when the going got tough, they backed out.  They left America and Britain dangling.  They abandoned ship.  They deserted.  They performed acts of mutiny.
             It can be assured their actions fueled the fires of discontent in Iraq.   By turning against the U.S. and British use of force to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein, France, Germany and Russia allied themselves with Saddam.  They became his "human shields."
             Had they kept their word and moved as a unified body against Iraq, the odds are the leadership would have collapsed with very few shots.  
            Instead, by twisting the truth to favor the serpents of Terrorism, France's anti-American campaign strengthened the resolve of Iraqi tyrants and cast a false hue on the horizon that America could be defeated because it didn't have international support.

   The countries that kicked sand in America's face want a piece of the action

            Nothing could have been more erroneous.
            American commitments are never based on multilateralism.   In the end, America makes a commitment on the basis that if all others bail out and America is left, will it be willing it continue on alone if necessary to achieve the final goal?  
           Iraq was no different.  America made the decision to move forward with or without the support of others, and preferably with.   It went back numerous times to get the support originally promised, and each time was rebuked.
            Now, the guys that kicked sand in America's face, want a piece of Iraq's apple pie.  Now, they are buddies and pals again.
            The Legislature, however, caught the scent of their vulturesque appetite.   The vote of 414-12 is a resounding, 97 percent rejection of any rights those nations think they may have upon the "spoils of reconstruction."

France, Germany and Russia turned their backs on America

             I also believe that Congress's vote is symbolic not only of America's rebuke of France, Germany, Russia and Syria for turning their backs on America, but also a message to our own anti-war protestors.
            The anti-war protestors theme has been not anti-war, but anti-American.
            The morality of war has been a minor issue in the protest chants, banners and themes.  What has been the source of vitriolic attack has been the character of leadership, the intent of leadership, and the indictments against leadership as being criminal and corrupt.
            The face protestors paint today is not that war is bad, but that the Bush Administration is criminal, comprising Nazis, capitalistic pigs, and a host of war mongers.
            Ironically, French and German leaders imply the same.   They attack America's leadership, its arrogance, its unilateralism.   They say it should heel, surrender to the will of a group, should sit in the lap of the UN, waiting for diplomacy to achieve peace with Terrorism.
            Now, the mud and arrow slingers are paying the price.
            Ninety-seven percent of America's elected representatives deny the right of our "turncoats" to profit from the Iraqi war at American expense.  
            I believe this near unanimous agreement is a message not only to France, Germany and Russia, but also one to the war protestors.

Americans have a fundamental right to protest, but a moral responsibility goes along with that right

           There is a fundamental right of all Americans to protest, and then there is a moral responsibility that goes along with that right to protest to protest issues rather than personalities.
            The current war protestors have made a vainglorious attempt to criminalize their protests.   Like France, Germany and Russia, they have tried to make America's actions in Iraq illegitimate, rogue acts of a nation ruled by fascist tyrants, far more dangerous than Saddam Hussein.
             If one looks closely at the protest theme, it is 97 percent anti-American versus anti-war.  It is a vicious personal attack on leadership, an attempt to criminalize our actors and their acts, and thus, criminalizing all the warriors and all their acts.   One would, after listening to a protest march chant, think that George Bush was Saddam Hussein, and that Saddam Hussein was Rodney King.
            But that's all over.
            America's Congress has made one of the most decisive and clearest votes in recent history.   Its 414-=12 vote was not just a rebuke against France, Germany and Russia, it was a huge endorsement of the administration and the its policies, and a resounding reinforcement of U.S. troops and our allies.

New York City Anti-American-Anti-War Protestors.  What would Pfc. Lynch say?

             The lives lost in Iraq were given for freedom not for US greed or power.
              I'm glad Congress has decided to bite the hands that tried to starve it of its right to fight for what is right.   I just hope the Senate agrees.
             And for the war protestors?
             I'd like to see them surround Pfc. Lynch's house, and convince her family and friends she is an instrument of evil and a puppet of corrupt leadership.
             I'd like them to tell Pfc. Lynch she works for the evil axis!





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