Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Antiwar Protest - Arrested Development


Jim Watson, AFP / Getty Images

"I would like to say to Cindy Sheehan and her supporters don't be a group of unthinking lemmings. It's not pretty. [Antiwar demonstrations] can affect the war in a really negative way. It gives the enemy hope." Mitzy Kenny of Ridgeley, W.Va., whose husband died in Iraq

My heart goes out to Mrs. Kenny and to all who've lost loved ones in the War in Iraq. But I must ask her and others who have chosen inexplicably to continue their support for the war--and to devalue antiwar protests as unpatriotic--Why? Haven't you had enough? Don't you get it?

Antiwar protests don't give the enemy hope -- the big, ugly American War Machine does. As long as we're a major presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, we give our enemies more than hope, we fuel their Hate. We provide targets to aim at, reasons to fight, excuses to lash out against our country.

Cindy Sheehan and her supporters don't give the enemy hope -- the lackluster response to the antiwar movement from our own citizens and Congress does. As long as the American people and our government continue to support aggression in the Middle East, we legitimize our enemies' rage, and their cause.

Either way, nothing we say or do here will stop the enemy from unleashing more fury at our military personnel and at innocent civilians. Until Congress acts.

Our president and his administration misled us into this war and have consistently lied to keep us there. Almost 2,000 Americans have died in Iraq, along with thousands more Iraqi citizens. And for what? One heartless dictator sits in a jail cell -- which he would have done anyway, eventually. While another, far more dangerous, mocks us safely from a cave and continues to orchestrate death and destruction for America and the world.

And a small country half a world away, its greatest strategic value a Bush Political Legacy, stays locked in an ages old struggle that the American military, and the blood of thousands will never end. Here at home, Congress still fails to engage in a viable, legitimate debate to end this travesty. Why? Because their own Political Legacies are at stake. A presidential election is on the horizon, and god forbid any potential candidates risk appearing to have "waffled" on the war.

As if it matters any more. Bush sucked us in, some of them went along, now they see it was wrong and want to make it right. How hard is that to say? Apparently impossible. They're using the wrong benefit-harm scale. Congress can't take its eyes off the win-lose ratio: American lives are peanuts compared to the Big Prize: the Presidency in 2008. That's the Despicable Answer.

And then there's the even more Grotesque Reality. Big business and the profit-loss ledger. What's a few thousand lives lost compared to the billions of dollars gained by Halliburton and other defense contractors? The bookkeeping might be complex but the bottom line is simple: money talks, freedom walks.

And Cindy Sheehan is arrested, and carried away to jail. One of my best critics, David at Essential Emmes--and by "best" I mean informed, thoughtful, insightful--takes me to task for questioning Cindy Sheehan's effectiveness if she goes too mainstream.
"It doesn't matter, because she represents the right side of the issue... the cause is more important than its elements, and those of us who back it will continue to do so regardless of its leadership, which is SORELY thin right now.

"I would rather hammer away non-stop against the immoral and lying criminals who are running this outrageous, costly, and ultimately self-destructive occupation on foreign soil for narrow, greedy, and unjustifiable motives. The sooner politicians like Hillary and her ilk realize how important it is to establish Iraq exit dates, and get the impetus to getting out of Iraq going, the sooner we the people can hope, as a country, to get our international policies back on track for the mutual benefit of everyone.

Cindy Sheehan knows this, and hopefully won’t falter in her message due to any doubts in the air."
He's right, of course. I was so concerned about the negative ramifications of Mrs. Sheehan being photographed hugging Jesse Jackson, I forgot the bigger picture. Small missteps can't stop the momentum of a righteous message. It's The Cause that counts. We have to keep up the pressure on Congress to take the right action, and fast.

Because that should be Our legacy: a speedy, safe exit from Iraq. For us, and for Casey Sheehan and the thousands like him who lost their lives on our behalf. The sooner we end this horror, the surer we can be that no more sacrifices will be made in vain.



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7 Comments:

Blogger TS said...

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10:26 AM  
Blogger Blogrankers said...

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10:27 AM  
Blogger Willie B. said...

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11:42 AM  
Blogger nbim said...

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11:45 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Antiwar protests don't give the enemy hope -- the big, ugly American War Machine does. As long as we're a major presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, we give our enemies more than hope, we fuel their Hate. We provide targets to aim at, reasons to fight, excuses to lash out against our country.

Oh, so well said. A wonderfull response to those who equate supporting America with closing their eyes, holding their noses, and supporting the current administration.

Thank you.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Stef the engineer said...

One comment; Iraq isn't "small" - it's actually quite a large country, compared to most in the world, if you're referring to area. I realise it seems a trivial point, but I think it's important. It's one of the reasons that the military forces are getting so bogged down.

2:54 AM  
Blogger Sally Swift said...

Stef, you're right to chastise me for lazy phrasing. I didn't mean Iraq was small in area -- you make an excellent point about the added problems its size has caused.

I meant that --the war notwithstanding-- Iraq is ultimately small in political import on the world stage.

Except of course in the Middle East, where I know it's not small in area or impact ... I lived in Israel and still have a lot of family and friends there.

10:51 AM  

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