The following poignancy rose above the din of stereotypical absurdity today during President Bush’s visit to our northern neighbor. I cannot add or subtract from such an elegant and truth serving message.
This, my friends, speaks volumes...
John Al-Hassani is Canadian, too. He's 48. He drove to Ottawa from Oshawa where he's an engineer. He stands on the fringe. His sign says: "Support President Bush."
"I came to this country from Iraq," he shouts in staccato bursts. "I have family there. I talk to them all the time. Look at these fools. They have no idea. They are idiots. They are simple babies. The majority of Iraqis are glad Bush liberated them from Saddam Hussein. But, you don't see that on TV, only the terrorist gangsters blowing people up. They don't speak for the people of Iraq.
"My country suffered under that madman. There was no freedom. He tortured and killed our people. Even Prime Minister Martin said the other day that the United Nations should change its policy, that democratic countries should have the right to invade countries with dictators who do genocide and torture their people.
"These people here have never suffered. They make me sick. You are a reporter. You should ignore them or you are a fool too. If Canada was a terrible dictatorship like Iraq was under Saddam, would these people tell Bush no, no, don't invade, we don't want you to give us freedom?"
John Al-Hassani glares at a protester who glares back. The protester's sign says: "Evil Bush Lied To Drag The World To War." Says Al-Hassani under his breath: "In Iraq if he'd said that about Saddam Hussein he'd be taken away and murdered."
Just an aside...this eloquent gentleman (and he is truly that) drove over 250 miles by himself to assure that he could voice his opinion. This is the same man who, when in Iraq, could do no such thing. You can sense his disdain and frustration in mere printed words for those around him who had no concept of why he needed to be in Ottawa this morning.
The article is here:
(Wed, December 1, 2004
Signs of irritation in midst of crowd
By EARL McRAE)