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Fretting over the Bush war

Anti-war protests broke out across the world in January and February. Demonstrations were held in Japan, Russia, Pakistan, Germany, Britain, and many other countries against the United States military buildup in the Gulf region in preparation for a war on Iraq.

'Stop Bush! Stop war!' screamed protesters in Paris and Berlin. In Washington, thousands converged on The Mall in what was billed as one of the biggest demonstrations since the Vietnam War. Germany and France, followed by Russia, said they preferred to give the United Nations inspectors more time and warned against any unilateral action.

Undeterred by the demands for caution, the US and the UK continued to send troops to attack Iraq. US Secretary of State Colin Powell declared at Davos, Switzerland, that Washington had proof of Baghdad's 'clear ties to terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda.' On January 26, he warned that the US reserves the right 'to take military action against Iraq alone, or in a coalition of the willing.'

Anti-war protesters march from the Brandenburg Gate to the Victory Column in Berlin, Germany, on March 29. Over 50,000 people took to the streets in Berlin in a peaceful protest against the US-led war in Iraq.

Text: Ramananda Sengupta

Also read: Millions protest against possible war

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