Tens of Thousands Throng London To Protest Iraq War
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of central London to protest against the Iraq war as Prime Minister Tony Blair struggled to shake-off fierce criticism of the invasion back home.
Organisers said that between 65,000 and 75,000 protesters had taken to the streets for the peaceful march, which began at Russell Square, close to the British museum. Police put the figure at between 15,000 and 20,000.
Troops out," screamed one of many placards being waved by protesters,
"Blair must go," said another.
Sunday's protest came just days after Blair apologized to parliament for flawed intelligence on Iraq. But Blair, gearing up for a general election expected next year, angrily denied charges he "misrepresented" it to make the case for joining the US-led invasion last year.
The march took place also amid speculation that Britain was to agree to a US request to redeploy its troops in Iraq. A defence ministry spokesman said Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon would brief parliament Monday following reports.
It's sadly telling that so many of our true friends around the globe, members of a Reality-Based Community, can actually see some reality here. Any sane person knows that invading Iraq, a sad dictatorship of a corrupt and largely impotent despot, was as valid a response to 9/11 as invading Mexico would have been following Pearl Harbor. Bin Laden runs free, a totemic and mythic hero to Jihadists world wide; the Taliban who briefly scattered when we invaded Afghanistan have regrouped stronger than ever, and the bulk of our "military might" is bogged down fighting insurgents who spring fully formed from the sands of our shame.
Iraq is not wholly GWBush's debacle, it's also owned by every media whore and outlet that failed to exercize diligence in reporting. And sadly, friends and neighbors, it's owned by all of us too.
From the most rabid jingoistic flag waving war flogger to the most pacific protester, we all own this sad chapter in modern world politics. What else could have been done by those of us who consider Iraq a miserable failure? Heck, I'm not sure. But I do know this, according to the Declaration of Independance:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
In other words, we own this country. For good or evil, through good times and bad, it's ours. We're the stockholders of this company, and when we feel that the CEO has screwed up, it's our job to vote him out. And we even have the right to change the rules, break down the doors and kick the bums out.