Choose peace

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2003

How is it that Bush can "respectfully disagree" with the many, many Americans who took to the streets to protest his war? Isn't the definition of a representative government one that actually represents the will of the people? Here in Thailand, where I am traveling, many Americans gathered to march on the U.S. embassy during the day of worldwide protest. Our numbers were about 3,500 in Bangkok, with another 1,000 or so people protesting in the south of Thailand.

One of the most dramatic features of the Bush-Blair drive to war - actually, "massacre" given the imbalance of forces - has been the split and struggle between governments and their citizenry. It might be argued that this ongoing struggle demonstrates that democracy works. But such struggles occur even in authoritarian systems, where there are frequent protests and strikes.

In democracies governments are supposed to represent the people, so that there shouldn't be a need for massive protests to get the government to do what the public wants done. We shouldn't see "democratic" governments trying stubbornly to drag their country into actions that most people oppose - and that many oppose very strongly - even after being subjected to intense propaganda and disinformation.

Yes, Mr. Bush, as you said, "democracy is a beautiful thing." Let's see its beauty. Listen to the people who "elected" you, and choose peace.

Mary Noble


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