War Is Obscene
Editor: So far, the most heart-breaking pictures to come out o this obscene war are those of helpless, innocent birds covered with the oil spilled into the gulf.
While the United States flexes its muscle, shows off its destructive, hi-tech toys and spouts mindless pro-war rhetoric, we become further diminished as a species. We emit war cries and proceed to murder, mutilate and uproot our own kind, endanger other animals and fail to consider the short and long-term disruption to the fine-tuned environment on which all depend for existence.
If we who are anti-war, who deplore sanctioned killing and destruction, are to be labeled un-patriotic, that's fine. It takes little or no intelligence to wrap oneself in the red, white and blue and to exclaim that by happenstance of birth within these borders we are the best. Those who spout their cliches and huckster war display their inferiority by espousing senseless violence in place of sensible communication, and by overlooking our innate ability to reason and seek peaceful solutions which would benefit all with whom we share this planet.
Every living being is born with the right to freedom. Freedom is not a privilege granted by the good ole U.S. of A., and it certainly is not a concept for which someone must either die or yield their loved ones.
Why does any thinking person display blind patriotism to this government of deception and corruption, rife with self-serving politicians instead of statesmen, and a country which can boast of massive bloodshed in its short history?
This war is no more or less than a cruel and clever diversion from the real problems which beset us. Any resemblance to the wonderful concept our forefathers had is virtually nonexistent. They must be rolling in their collective graves.
There is nothing carved in the cosmos that the United States, especially as it now exists, is mankind's solitary, shining achievement. Nor is it engraved that upon birth, expectant, innocent children must be taught to choose sides against others of their species and establish battle lines.
Saddam Hussein is a megalomaniac whose actions are beneath contempt, but George Bush, his allies and the masses of blind followers have reduced themselves. All are equally to blame for the raids on Israel, the displaced persons, the mounting deaths of civilians and military personnel and the mayhem on our environment.
As the weeks become months and the casualties, who will be reduced to statistics, sadly continue to increase on both sides, so too will the anti-war outcry.
What a depressing commentary on our kind to note that it will take countless body bags of loved ones to hammer home the point that war and violence produce no winners -- only losers.
Editor: I wonder where the notion came from that protesting against the war is unpatriotic.
It seems obvious that these protesters are speaking out because they believe this war against Iraq will ultimately hurt our country and the world, not because they want to somehow destroy the United States.
Most protesters certainly are not hostile toward our soldiers. Indeed, of all Americans, soldiers will be the biggest victims of this war. The greatest cost, however, will be borne by those soldiers and citizens of Iraq who blindly followed their fanatical leader. Saddam Hussein's misconception that God has sanctified his thought and guided his actions should have been restrained by his own countrymen.
I also have to disagree that the protests demonstrate American democracy. Most protesters believe that U.S. policies are overly influenced by the wealthy who wish to maintain the status quo.
While the majority of Americans now support the war, popular opinion might be different if we had a deeper understanding of the roots of the conflict.
Editor: Those opposed to the Gulf War certainly have a right to protest, and I would oppose any governmental efforts to silence them. However, I consider these protests totally counterproductive.
In the first place, protesters cannot and should not have any impact on the prosecution of the war effort. Regardless of the wisdom of attacking Iraq, we have done so. To abandon the campaign before our objectives have been achieved would be totally foolhardy and even dangerous. Protesters should also realize that President Bush will not change his course because of their actions. So what is the benefit of protesting?
Second, I believe that all of us civilians have a solemn obligation to safeguard the morale of those in our armed forces. They are incurring terrible risks and enduring great hardships because we, the people, through our elected representatives asked them to perform a mission. All of our words and actions should convey deep gratitude and in no way suggest that their mission is not worthy of their sacrifice.