I watched the speeches until the repetiveness of them put me to sleep. But I was left to wonder one thing; wasn't this supposed to be a rally against going to war with Iraq?
As speaker after speaker approached the stage, I heard a lot of talk about the poor and racism and free Palestine. I heard about welfare and homelessness and the unemployment rate. I heard, over and over again, how Bush is a bad, evil man, how the real axis of evil lies right there in D.C., how much Amerikka sucks.
Not once did I hear the words Saddam or Hussein mentioned. I didn't even hear the word disarmament. I heard the ramblings of actors and actresses and professional protesters who used their pulpit to evangalize about their agendas and close with a half-hearted chant of No War in Iraq in case you forgot why they were supposed to be there.
I heard a word or two about peace, but it was in reference to Palestine. I certainly did not hear any alternative solutions to the possible war. I didn't hear anyone give ideas on how peace can come about.
I saw signs that depicted Bush as the devil, a terrorist and a shrub. I saw the obligatory No Blood for Oil signs, the Get out of Iraq signs and the Not in My Name signs.
So was this an anti-America rally or a pro-peace rally? Was it just a big publicity stunt/fundraiser for A.N.S.W.E.R. or was it an anti-war demonstration? Had I not known ahead of time what I was watching, I would never have assumed it was a protest against the war in Iraq. I would have assumed that it was a large group of people who despised their country. And I would have wondered what they were still doing living here if they cannot find anything good about it.
To address some comments, I did not explicitly state that everyone who is against military action in Iraq do not support our armed forces.
But I've been to enough pro-peace websites and I've been to one too many forums of the anti-war crusaders and I've heard it all. Our soldiers are assasins, baby killer, murderers for hire. They are stupid, gullible and brainwashed. Perhaps I should have stated more clearly that I think the majority, but not the whole of, the anti-war movement feels this way.
And about the phrases anti-war and pro-peace. Nobody is against peace and nobody is really pro war. They are catch-all phrases that perhaps do not speak the intricacy of what they really mean.
I don't like war. War is ugly, war is deadly, war is costly. But war, often times, is necessary. If it were not for war, think of where we would all be now. Think back to 1700's and work your way up and tell me what kind of country we would be in right now if we never fought for our beliefs or used might and power to take down tyranny; if we never stood up for those who could not go it alone.
I do think Saddam is dangerous. I do think he would not hesitate to use whatever weapons he has to destroy us. I do think he has supplied al-Queada with money and/or weapons and I do think, in the deepest part of my soul, that Saddam was grinning on the morning of September 11, 2001. I think I cannot in good conscience trust a man who pays off terrorists that kill innocent men and women and children. I cannot trust a man who kills his own people daily, who has no sense of human rights, who will starve children to death and think nothing of it.
I believe we can change the world. Not through protests or speeches, not through anarchy or socialism or turning on our own and calling each other terrorists for the cars we drive. We can change the world by changing the way countries like Iraq are run. When Iraq falls, Iran's leadership will fall, too. It will be a start towards freedom around the world.
But that is just my opinion, which does not matter one iota in the long run. The fact is, we are most certainly going to war. I am not going to question that decision because I think it's the right one.
What I will not do is stand around and decry the motives of our government while my relatives and neighbors are being shipped overseas. I am not going to let the leader of the country we are about to go to war with look at his satellite tv and see me waving in a sign that, in all essence, supports him.
I will wish our troops luck. I will think of them daily. And I will hope for the best.
You say give peace a chance, but you don't tell us the way to attain that peace. You say war is not the answer, but you don't tell us what is.
It's easy to make up chants and go along with the crowd and despise everything your country stands for. I would have more respect for you if you came up with some viable alternatives for making this world safe.