IN the end it will not matter to us whether we fought with...

salmagundi

March 29, 1994

IN the end it will not matter to us whether we fought with flails or reeds. It will matter to us greatly on what side we fought."

-- G. K. Chesterton

THE surest sign of the Cold War's end is the departure of the peace women from Greenham Common.

Angry women from that village green west of London picketed outside a U.S. base for a dozen years, so certain were they that U.S. cruise missiles threatened world stability. At the peak of the protest a decade ago, the common was filled with 50,000 people, mostly women, mostly British, all adamant that Yankee go home and take his missiles.

Actually, the missiles went home two years ago, but that did not deter protesters. They were suspicious and they still had statements to make.

Now they have folded their tents and driven their motorcade away, to most villagers' relief. Some day, the grass may grow again on Greenham Common.

There are other places to picket, other causes to champion. We could suggest a few. But it's harder to protest the missile that isn't there.

The Cold War was a comfort to many people. Not least, those who opposed it.

They knew, then, where they stood.

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