This morning on the television I realized what this protest was truly all about and I have to say, I am a bit saddened. On MTV News, as I was flipping through some music to dress to, I saw an interview with anti-war protesters in Washington D.C. and one of them was asked that despite the similar disapproval ratings of the war why haven’t more people protested like during the Vietnam War? The man simply shrugged his shoulders and said in an “as a matter of fact” attitude, “There is no draft.”
I would hate to think that the only reason we wanted to end the war was to end the killing of Americans but I had to accept the possibility that even war protesters can have selfish agendas. It dawned on me at this morning we were protesting the war ONLY to bring our troops home. That was a noble cause, of course. But what about the dozens of people being killed everyday? I read in the newspaper yesterday that suicide bombes throughout Iraq had killed over 130 people and that children were using long-handled squeegees to clear the roads of pools of blood. If that isn’t what we are fighting to stop, then what does it matter? The ideals remain and soon enough it will be another place, another time with the same bullshit. I thought (naively) that we were protesting the end of the war as a means of ending the suffering of ALL the people in Iraq. Let’s face it—no people are going to allow a foreign force come into their country, oust their government and replace it overnight; we wouldn’t. This mess is going to take a lot of time to fix and unfortunately a lot of lives. But I suppose there is no reason to throw American lives in the inevitable crossfire. We need to understand that only Iraqis can ultimately fix their problem and we—like the punished bullies that we are—will have to sit in the corner and watch whether we like it or not. What kind of fucked up philosophy has the Bush Administration developed that says it is good to use the same actions and beliefs to start a war to end a war? We need to shift our thinking—now!
It makes me sick to see the effects this war is having on people physically and psychologically. The violence and complete lack of competency has thrown me into a spin. I won’t sit here and preach that I have a plan for ending the war and the hate. No one does. I have a good idea on what it would take but the probability that anyone would choose total peace over self-interest is too much to ask. I suppose the first step is justice and from there we work out the rest of the problems. But I’m not talking about America’s version of justice—hell no! I mean true, unbiased, incorruptible (this is beginning to seem unrealistic already) justice! I remember only one question on the Meyers-Briggs Test I took earlier this year and it was, “Would you rather be unjust or merciless?” My reply was, “merciless.” Because at least then, I was being just. That is the attitude that needs to be reversed in today’s world. No more suicide bombs and cowardice inhumane slaughter from either side—we need justice. In a world where all it takes is one person to screw up a good thing, we can’t hope for total peace—it just isn’t realistic given human nature. But justice is tangible!
And it you need a little motivation, listen to this quote taken from MSN News and Reuters Limited on March 8, 2007. It is a girl reflecting on what used to be one of her favorite TV cartoons, “I see kids playing in beautiful gardens and parks and I wish I could play and have fun like them, but I know I can’t because we have bombs and bad guys hurt children,”
I am still going to protest and do it with the same message I had in mind. Pro-war is not pro-freedom. If we want to spread democracy, freedom and peace then we need to solve our international issues democratically, show the world what freedom can accomplish and wage peace. If we can’t get out of our sectarian mindset and begin thinking globally, then there will always be war. I read in, I think it was Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, that stopping war was like stopping a glacier. Everything—EVERYTHING—ultimately deduces to how we think! As long as boarders exist and people of one country see themselves as different from people of another country, we will never escape that sectarian view and always value some lives over others. So I say to you, patriots of partisanship—throw down your flags and pick up your long-handled squeegees! Patriots of peace—march on!