High-schooler Says, 'No Blood For Oil!'

Readers write

January 30, 1991

From: Melissa L. Gray

Ellicott City

I would like to immensely thank you for the article entitled "High school pacifists face hostilities on the home front" (Howard County Sun, Jan. 20).

The story sounds all too familiar to me, for my feelings toward the war against Iraq match those of the ASAP exactly.At the high school I attend (Howard High), it sounds as if the majority of the student body is supporting the war also.

I support whatPresident Bush has done, and my heart goes out to the people fighting for our country in the gulf, especially 20-year-old Daryl Hogan (82nd Airborne), a good friend of mine.

But when it comes right down to it, I am against the war. War kills. When I saw the POWs from the United States on television, obviously beaten and tortured, I wanted to cry.

War terribly harms people, mentally and physically. Nobodyon this Earth should have to go through that sort of hellish experience.

The reaction of the outbreak of war to a large amount of people at my school was, "Yeah! Go blow up those dumb Iraqis!" How did I react? I cried.

I asked some of those people, "How can you say such a thing? People are dying over there! Think of all the innocent people that will die, their homes demolished!"

I received answers such as, "So what? Iraq deserves it. . . . Saddam Hussein is crazy and it will teach him a lesson."

I agree that Saddam Hussein is a bit off his rocker, but that does not mean that the people of Iraq deserveto suffer because of Saddam's quest for power. What did they do?

A most disturbing incident occurred in my algebra class a few days ago. I walked into class and sat down, minding my own business, when the boy behind me said, "No blood for oil? I can't believe you're stillagainst the war! That is so dumb -- it's not all over oil."

Taking the defensive, I retorted, "I respect your opinion, but people are dying over there, so I am protesting!"

His rebuttal? "You're protesting!" with a snicker.

When it comes to protesting, that is the only place where I feel people understand my view on the war.

I went to a protest on the evening of the 17th, outside the Fifth RegimentArmory in Baltimore. There were a few idiots who became violent -- people getting in the way of traffic -- but the majority of people were just as peaceful as I was.

"No blood over oil! No blood over oil!" we chanted. It gave me a sense of inner peace to know that I was not alone in being appalled by this war.

I think we should all prayto God that this war is over as soon as possible, with as few casualties on either side as possible. Hopefully, our troops will soon comehome safely.

Editor's note: The writer is a 12th-grader at Howard High School.

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