Do You and I March Against the War March 18?
I read Larry Millerís letter about the upcoming anti-war parade marking the 3rd anniversary of our attack on Iraq. His letter tweaked my conscience because Iíve allowed myself to be silent over the past months.
I quote from my letter of January 6, 2003 -- "Does President Bush realize that all this bellicose posturing is filling the terrorist training camps with more and more fanatics, all anxious to blow themselves up in order to somehow cause damage to the United States of America and its citizens? So by threatening Iraq, he is strengthening our real enemies, the Islamic terrorists. An actual attack on Iraq will not only cost thousands of lives on both sides, but will also cause our shadow enemies to be stronger and more dedicated."
On February 24, 2003 I wrote about smart bombs and collateral damage. Even with the "smartest" bombs innocent people will die. -- "So, these are the kind of people that our 'smart' bombs will be killing that morning. Yes, we will destroy military targets. But for every janitor we kill, a dividend will be the hatred for us created in all their family members. This is the type of hatred that doesn't go away. It makes people mad enough to strap explosives to their bodies and blow themselves up just to try and get even."
Then on April 7, 2003 after the first few weeks of the war -- "It seems that the Iraqis haven't just welcomed us with open arms. We have had to destroy just about every city in the country in order to prosecute our objective of Ďregime change.í The result is that we are creating a vacuum that only we can fill. Now these people have no food, water, electricity, or medical care -- unless they come to us. Now we're hearing that it will be at least six months (donít we wish!) before we can install some sort of puppet government in Iraq that will make President Bush and his cronies content."
So back then I wrote letters, carried signs, and marched in parades. I had supported earlier wars but couldnít believe my country would attack a country on the other side of the world. The countries that neighbored them had no problem with Iraq. We did.
This was my first experience with any form of demonstrating. I served through Vietnam. I understood the 'domino' theory. But after 50,000 soldiers were lost we finally had to abandon our friends over there. I still have the images in my mind of the helicopters leaving the American Embassy in Saigon with people hanging from the skids.
Now we are three years into an excursion in Iraq that seems to have no end. But part of me says, "Once we bomb the Hell out of a place and destroy its infrastructure we really owe it to them to try and fix things back up again."
How long must we keep 100,000 or more of our young people away from their homes, families, and careers? How much fixing do we have to do?
When I see we are bankrupting our nation in this process and we can't take care of things within our own borders, how much is enough?
I have to decide between now and next Saturday -- Do I march? And you should also be deciding -- should YOU march?
If we do march, what does it say about our country and us?
Sometime this week I'll decide what to do. A lot of my friends will be marching. Maybe I just need to be there to support them.