If we want to oust the Bush junta in 2004 and force all Americans who backed this invasion to realize what they've done, maybe signs/yells in Saturday's 3:30 demonstration should advocate "Keep the Troops There" instead of the current push to "Bring 'em Home Quick".
Think about it.
We anti-war demonstrators marched and shouted what a war would do to us and the Iraqis. That it was a phony war for the Pentagon to test its weaponry, but mostly for Bush to grab Iraq's oil for his pals. But people didn't want to believe us. They believed him, especially when he guaranteed it would be another quick, surgical war like Grenada, Panama or Gulf I. In and out. Cheers from the liberated. Fears of his power from all enemies (except those unimpressed terrorists). Campaign as a hero. Keep a token force to build a few schools and hospitals. Put a local stooge in power and prop him up with money and munitions. Then quietly cut and run like his Daddy done in 'ninety-one" in the Gulf. Fob off to the UN/humanitarian groups the really dirty, expensive, and impossible job of policing and minding the conquered. When they fail and a new Saddam or Taliban rises, Bush figures he'll not have a mark on him and deliver the spoils for grateful oil billionnaires and Cheney's construction pals..
Thousands of "peaceniks" have been created by the photographs from foreign news agencies, particularly Al-Jazeerah's shatteringly gruesome shots of dead/dying/wounded children. But millions more would think twice about rushing into invading a country if the troops and Bush had to stick around and take responsibility for the thousands of deaths and billions in devastation they've just caused. Especially governing a hostile, virulently anti-Western country like Iraq. It's not like occupying Germany, Japan, Kosovo, or South Korea.
Iraqi joy of a statue's fall instantly turned into an explosion of looting and the beginning of ferocius vengeance. We old Middle East hands predicted the price of Bush's oil war and, worse for those who believed his line that Saddam was Stalin Reincarnated, that Iraq always required an iron-fisted monster to keep order. "Keep 'em There" plays to guilt over gullibility and that American trait of taking their medicine. Let's sock it to 'em and hang this war around Bush's neck by demanding a 10-year MacArthur-like occupation..
For example, his blockheads have tapped a convicted embezzler and long-time exile to head Iraq's new junta (also his nephew and three business cronies) This debonair opportunist is so hated, he'll be quickly dispatched by assassins. Ditto for hapless successors. So that the troops didn't die in vain and that we're bankrupting our country to pay Cheney's contractors, let's insist Bush and his prowar lemmings install military rule for the next decade and gradually bring on the democracy bit.(Chuckle. Chuckle.) If they hesitate, ask who but the US Army's got instant access to rations and engineers who can turn on and improve electricity/water services? Who's got vehicles, materials, and manpower to whip roads, airports, and rail lines into shape?. Who has better policing skills than Saddam but the US marines with their shoot-first mentality? Who's got building materials for schools and tons of medical supplies/hospital equipment——and better and more doctors in Iraq than the US army? Who else but an occupation force/dependents/visiting relatives can provide Iraqi businesses with thousands of customers needing goods and services?
Who else but the troops can unite Iraqis factions and Kurds than a common enemy? And think of the education about the Middle East that a decade-long occupation will provide to a generation of troops and the American public?. They'll certainly understand the terrorism in Northern Ireland and Israel. Moreover, to pacify Iraq will require divisions and resurrecting the draft—thus, giving jobs to the unemployed at home. With all those advantages, ask those prowar people why they want Bush's quick and irresponsible pull-out? Then, ask their views about Bush's plans to pulverize Syria, then Iran, then North Korea, then.....
Best of all, if this modest proposal catches fire, Bush will get all the blame by election time for maintaining a standing army——and for all the deaths by sniper fire, murder, or riots. A decade of US rule in Iraq should make hawks less likely to start or provoke wars; it should strengthen the UN as a negotiating and peacekeeping force, and make war protesters out of most Americans whenever after this a power-mad leader dares wave Neville Chamberlain and phony threats to the nation at us. Hey, Keep 'em in Iraq!!