QUOTE: Paul Berman (via Harry's Place:

"A truly large and powerful protest movement took to the streets all over the Western world only in February 2003--and this was not to denounce the terrible dictatorship, but to prevent an invasion from overthrowing the terrible dictatorship. Those were the largest mass protests in the history of the world. Some of the protesters marched in a mood of cautious practicality, fearful that overthrowing Saddam might unleash still worse horrors, or might undermine the manhunt for Al Qaeda. But there was also in those marches, and in the larger mood of the moment, an unmistakable moral fervor--an outraged feeling that invading Iraq was a criminal act.
And how did the peace marchers react, afterward, to the mass graves and other discoveries? The abstract principles of "just war" and U.N. legitimacy pressed on one side of the balance and the human realities of extreme suffering pressed on the other. And the abstractions were found to be weightier.
...during this last year we have learned that people who smirk at putting the words "liberal democracy" and "Iraq" into a single sentence ought to reduce their smirk by 20 percent, in proportion to Iraq's Kurdish population. We have learned that, in Kurdistan, the democratic left has turned out to be especially strong. And we have learned that, in some of the world's liberal democracies, other democratic leftists couldn't care less. "They shall not pass" was the slogan of the left in the Spanish Civil War. "Yes, they will," is the slogan of Spanish socialism today. Iraqi success, as much as Iraqi suffering, turns out to be invisible in the modern world."

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