A Person Should Be Proud To Protest War

by James Glaser
January 14, 2003

For many years I was so proud to be an American, in fact I was proud enough to volunteer for a hitch in the United States Marine Corp. I, like millions of other young men went to Vietnam to fight against Communist aggression.

That is what they told us it was, aggression, and we bought it hook, line, and sinker. Tens of thousands of young Americans died and hundreds of thousands were wounded for what? I have been asking myself that for years and have never received a valid answer, but I think a lot of it had to do with pride. America had never lost a war and we were not about to then, so we poured in more and more troops.

The only reason that war came to a stop was because of the years of work that so many people were willing to put into an Antiwar movement. People gave up their jobs and their normal lives, in fact some gave up their life for this cause. Many people were beat by the police and others went to jail and even prison for their moral belief that the war was wrong.

Now there is another war that people are protesting and that is George Bush's war with Iraq. I have no doubt that the vast majority of these new protesters would fight an invasion of our country in a heart beat, but this is another "pride" war.

We took on Iraq over a decade ago when George's Dad was President. We didn't win and we didn't lose, we removed Iraq and Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, but there are many in Washington that believe that we have some unfinished business there. Removing Saddam from Kuwait was our stated goal, but for many that is not enough. They are willing to send our children and grandchildren into another war so that we can say that we won.

Well I am still proud to be an American, however I find little in our current government to be proud of. For the last few decades America attacks little country after little country, like Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Iraq, (yes Iraq is a tiny country no matter what Washington says). All are Third World countries with less than one half of one percent of our military budget. These wars are fast because America dwarfs these nations and they quickly fall to our might.

This new phase of the Iraq War has some lead time while we build up a force to attack with. So with this time many people are starting to organize a new Antiwar movement. This is taking off faster than the one during Vietnam, both because of that experience and because this war is so totally morally repugnant.

So don't be afraid to take a sense of pride with you when you go to protest and remember that the lives you are trying to save are not just the soldiers in battle, but the thousands of innocent men, women, and children that are killed and maimed in every war, no matter how hard the military tries to avoid them. Protest is a time honored right of every American. In fact that is why we have an America, so that every person can voice that which they believe in. Think of the little kids and infants you are trying to save, that is really something to be proud of.

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