Whether you agree with them or not, there's no denying that the millions of protesters the world over who voiced opposition to a possible war with Iraq last weekend made a statement.
Putting together the largest anti-war demonstrations since the Vietnam War, the protesters made it clear that President George W. Bush has much work to do to win over public support both at home and abroad.
No one seriously denies Bush's legal case, that Saddam Hussein is brazenly flouting United Nations' resolutions and that he should not be allowed to do so forever. ...
To be sure, there are some radicals among the protesters who will never accept a war, no matter how justified, who actually see Iraq as less dangerous than the U.S. But many others are moderate, reasonable people who want to pursue every peaceful option first, so as to avoid war's inevitable death and destruction.
The burden on Bush in the weeks ahead is to convince the world that those other options have been exhausted, and that Iraq under Hussein poses a deadly threat to us all.
Meanwhile, democratic debate and discussion will continue. That is both healthy and good, no matter what the ultimate outcome.
-- The Daily News (Los Angeles)
They came, they marched, they went home.
It is fitting that the issue of war brought so many out on so many streets. The weekend saw the kind of global protest that few arguments can inspire. This at a time when disengagement from politics was supposed to be one of the inevitable trends of the modern era and when globalization had reduced voting to parochial concerns. In America, where few mainstream politicians have spoken out against bombing Baghdad, hundreds of thousands did. The largest demonstrations were in the countries considered to be George Bush's staunchest allies: Britain, Spain and Italy. History marches on and we are quickly approaching a moment of truth in British politics.
(Prime Minister Tony) Blair's instincts are pointing in the opposite direction to those of the nation's voters.
Without a second UN resolution, a possibility given the fractious relationship between alienated friends, Mr. Blair could lead Britain into a US-led war that few want. If the conflict was messy and prolonged with nasty outcomes, Mr. Blair might even depart from office.
-- The Guardian (London)
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