Anti-war sentiment is patriotic, tooI am tired of hearing...

the Forum

January 30, 1991

Anti-war sentiment is patriotic, too

I am tired of hearing pro-war people say that anti-war demonstrators are not supporting their troops or their country. I ask them: What could be more supportive than wanting the troops to come home alive and well? What is so unpatriotic in loving one's country enough to want to make it better, to help it reach its full potential by speaking out for change?

Protest is an American tradition begun by the patriots of the Revolution, and it has carried on throughout our history. The Abolitionists, the women's rights and civil rights movements are just a few examples, and their gains have helped America to better reflect the ideals and values that it represents.

Now, in 1991, we have a movement for peace. Indeed, there can be no "New World Order" without first learning to transcend the use of military force in solving political problems. As the 21st century approaches, it is time for all of us to start showing that we have made some advancements, by working toward more peaceful resolutions through greater understanding.

Had a world leader like this country chosen to handle the current crisis in such a way, we might have set an example for other nations throughout the globe. Instead we reverted to the "Old World Order" and plunged ourselves and others into yet another costly war, one that we can ill-afford and one which is sure to greatly reduce many human service programs that are already suffering from a lack of adequate funds.

The vision for peace is there, but it cannot come true if we the people do not raise our voices loud enough to be heard. In doing so, we join the ranks of many great Americans, such as Thomas Paine, Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr., who loved their country enough to speak out for positive change. They made a difference, and so can we.

Joanne Backof


Aquatic captivity

I was disappointed in your editorial comments about the new $35-million Marine Mammal Pavilion which opened its doors in late December.

Surely you know that there is a lot more than an "element" of commercialism about this National Aquarium enterprise (as opined by you on Dec. 28). Also, even if the animals are being "treated humanely and getting proper care," as you allege, we all know that whales and dolphins usually do not survive long in captivity.

Furthermore, our experience in the U.S. falls far short of supporting the oft-heard claim that such an enterprise results in the education of the people so as to make them sensitive to the animals' plight in the wild.

If the pavilion is a socially and economically "rich new resource," as you predict, this is so only for the visitors - not for the "performers"!

I. H. Desser


The alternative

In her Forum Extra (Jan. 18) Bonni Goldberg writes: "As a kid I learned this riddle: What's black and white and red all over?" Correct answer, newspaper ` not war, as she states. She takes advantage of the free speech afforded her in this democracy to paint a horribly ugly picture of society in a democracy.

Yes, admittedly, war is ugly. She states: "No matter what else democracy means, eventually it boils down to us against them, and that aggression and violence solve problems." Does she have a more suitable alternative to this democracy she decries? Would she prefer living under a totalitarian despot? For this is the alternative.

Until we can find a means other than war to render this tyrant powerless, and curtail his takeover of helpless people, war, ugly as it is, is the only alternative. There is one thing more ugly, however, and that is to allow this despotic poison to spread.

However, if this is Goldberg's preference, perhaps Saddam Hussein would welcome her. But I doubt very much if she would he allowed the democratic privilege of rabble-rousing in his domain.

lanche K. Coda


Schaefer's switch

As the state legislature faces the abortion controversy once more, I am reminded that after the last election, Governor Schaefer was in a "frump" because he failed to garner the votes he felt he should have. One reason for his poorer-than-expected showing was his flip-flop on this very issue, abortion.

If he had remained true to his word, that he opposed abortion and had the integrity to support efforts to restrict it, he would have gained a significant number of new votes from the pro-life segment of the electorate. Even if they didn't like his politics, many would have seen the wisdom of supporting an incumbent governor, in a Democratic state, who had the integrity to back up his talk with political action. As it turned out, the governor caved in to pressure and lost a significant amount of support. This is ironic because few of his supporters would have voted for the Republican opponent, already an avowed pro-lifer. It was

unnecessary for Schaefer to compromise his integrity for the "vast majority" he imagined he was losing, and in fact lost by his actions.

The moral: If you are enlightened enough to recognize that abortion ends the life of a living being, then have integrity enough to stand up for the lives that are being lost. You might even win votes. I hope this moral is not lost on the president of the Senate, Mike Miller.

Richard M. Dykeman


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