From the Publisher
Why I'll Protest Against the War
I write these words on the evening of October 25, 2002. Tomorrow a large anti-war demonstration is scheduled to occur in Washington D.C. and other cities.
There are many easy reasons not to attend. The weather will be chilly; it will take a long time to get to Washington and back; the mainstream media will fail to report the events accurately; police might use violence against protesters. But those reasons are just a way of saying that opposing a war might not be comfortable nor convenient -- and we already know that.
The government of the United States appears to be ready to make war against the government of Iraq. Such a war does not actually involve the members of the governments directly, of course; rather, it is conducted by having young often-underprivileged men from each nation shoot taxpayer-funded guns at each other. Some of these men are killed, and some civilians are killed too.
To kill a person is wrong.
My idea of "supporting our troops" involves keeping them away from other people's bullets, and giving them an economy full of justice and options so that they will never feel constrained to kill for a living.
Almost 12 years ago I participated in an pro-America anti-war demonstration, also in Washington D.C., and it too was against a George Bush plan for killing Iraqis. Were any good, positive, wholesome lessons learned between 1991 and 2002 by politicians, or by oil corporations, or by the families of the dead, or by the American people?
Those politicians who cling to violence (for other people, not themselves of course) are clinging to a weird, shameful vestige of the past. Violence is a failure. Violence is a costly drug that has never brought anything more than a few moments of relief or distraction -- the hard work of making the world safe and just requires something far more sophisticated than violence.
A cynic would say that private oil corporations are manipulating Bush into making the war so that they can control more scarce natural resources. What do you think about that? Why hasn't Bush sought less dependence on foreign oil since 9/11?
I don't like the idea of joining a crowd scene. Usually I try to make a difference by writing or speaking, not simply by being present and counted. But this is an exceptional time. I will attend and be proud to stand with hundreds of thousands of my fellow patriotic anti-war Americans. America deserves far, far better than war.
Hanno T. Beck is the publisher of The Progress Report.
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