Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Anti War Protest: 1/27 in Washington DC

I apologize in advance if this offends anyone—if you love the President and think he’s a great guy, go ahead and quit reading now! If you think the Iraq war is a good thing, quit reading now. And please don’t send me any nasty messages, I’m just trying to get the word around, since I didn’t know anything about this until yesterday.

On Saturday, January 27th, a huge anti-war protest is planned in Washington DC. I only heard about it yesterday on NPR, I had no idea it was going on, but was wondering when people would start taking to the streets. I guess I know!

Beginning at 11am, people opposed to the war are going to assemble on the National Mall, and march on Washington to show Congress and the President (who will probably be out of town that day!) how the majority of Americans feel about the war. In addition, on Monday, 1/29, there will be the opportunity to meet with your elected officials on Capitol Hill and discuss the matter with them.

For more information, please visit: www.unitedforpeace.org or www.winwithoutwarus.org.

Judy and I will be there, although I don’t know how we can make plans to meet up with anyone, other than cell phones and making plans to meet at Van Dorn St. If you’re an out-of-towner and moved to come, you can always crash with us for free. And finally, please help spread the word—you probably know many more people than I do and can help get the word out, even if you don’t march! Maybe I am living in a cave, but as I said, I knew nothing about it.

8 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Talmadge G. said...

No need to apologize. Personally, I think neither the president nor the Iraquagmire are good things. Bush, a "great guy"?? It is to laugh.

I'll be watching with high curiosity how big this gathering is. I hope it blows all expectations out of the water. Something's got to be done about Iraq, and soon.

Unfortunately, pulling out immediately would make things even worse -- Bush got us in there, with no help from a lot of Dem congressfolk (did they vote against before voting for it after having voted against it prior to having placed simultaneous fer/agin' votes?). How are we going to cut our losses???

Bush has repeatedly said, "When they stand up, we'll stand down." It's time to light a fire under their arseparts and MAKE them stand up, so we can stand down.

My son is 15. If we're still in this goo come 2010, I cannot see how a draft would be anything other than a necessity. And that gives me cold chills.

Have a good time next Saturday. And I'll be alongside in spirit.

-TG

LK Hunsaker said...

I agree that something needs to happen, but with all due respect (and this isn't a nasty note!), the only thing we can do at this point that will actually help is to show national support for what our troops are doing. Protests are quite harmful because they give the enemy support and more resolve that they can win because we are not WITH our government. Whether we are or not is really a moot point. Telling the enemy we aren't is never a good idea.

Going to congress and speaking in a rational forum makes sense. Writing letters to our congressmen makes sense. Protests will change nothing. The president already knows people are against it and want changes. Blocking traffic and making major congestion issues for all those simply trying to go to work is not the answer. It does nothing but give an anger outlet to those protesting, thereby causing anger in more people during the process.

As the spouse of a retired soldier who served in Desert Storm, I can tell you that protests are also quite devastating to military families who have loved ones over there, not to mention the service members hearing about it while doing such a thankless job. It still hurts my soul to see protests or hear about them.

I respect your views on wanting the war to end, but as the poster above said, a pullout would be very dangerous, indeed. Support for a good end to it is the only answer now.

Talmadge G. said...

Protests are quite harmful because they give the enemy support and more resolve that they can win because we are not WITH our government.

I'm trying to think of a polite way to say "bullhockey." That point of view is nothing but muzzling our God-given freedom of dissent in this country.

There is no question as to our support of our soldiers. This is NOT NOT NOT NOT aimed at the good people fighting this battle. Folks have learned their lesson from Vietnam, when protesters so despicably spat on returning soldiers, calling them "baby killers", so on....

This is not protesting the soldiers. It's not their fault. They have only one item on their job description: do what their superiors tell them. Period.

My Dad's brother was KIA in Vietnam in 1967. He did NOT die in vain, even though Vietnam came to an unfortunate conclusion. (We should've pulled out of there long before I was born - 1965)

My uncle sure as hell did a lot more than any of the people at the controls of our Iraq effort today, that's for damn sure. The only one with any military experience - Powell - they froze out, remember?

As the spouse of a retired soldier who served in Desert Storm, I can tell you that protests are also quite devastating to military families who have loved ones over there, not to mention the service members hearing about it while doing such a thankless job.

It's not a thankless job, and nobody has ever said it is, or implied as much. I respect the fighting forces of our country. What I do NOT respect is our commander-in-chief who put us there for completely dubious and downright fraudulent reasons.

but as the poster above said, a pullout would be very dangerous, indeed. Support for a good end to it is the only answer now.

And please do not mistake my views as being yet another blind-faith synchophant of George W. Bush. HE got us in there. And this is HIS war, and his people need to light the fire under Mr. Maliki to make those people "stand up" so our good people can "stand down."

Allowing the status quo -- or Bush's plan to escalate this thing -- is more insulting to our enlisted soldiers than any two-bit protest Kate goes to, or any cheap words I can put on a blog.

And I must say this: supporting our troops does NOT mean slapping a $2.95 yellow ribbon magnet on your trunk lid and blindly following The Decider over a moral cliff. Supporting our troops means much more than that. It means wanting safety for them (this war was fought on the cheap -- little to none body armor, insufficient forces at the onset, etc., etc. Where's your outrage at THAT????)

Last time I checked, we did have a right to protest. Our country is built upon it, ma'am. That's what the terrorists hate, our FREEDOMS. To take them away and make us all brown-shirted goose-walking blind disciples of Bush means we become just like Al Quaeda. Ya know?

Sorry, no sale.

It's time to prop up Iraq's gumment so we can get our asses out ASAP.

--Talmadge

nettiemac said...

If I could be there Saturday, I would.

Kate/Susan said...

Thanks Tal and Lorraine for the interesting perspectives.

Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families for Peace, and Iraq Veterans Against the War will all be there.

So I guess it all depends on the person as to how they feel about protests... Some military families probably love them and are grateful, and others feel betrayed.

But I don't think anyone who will be present will be protesting against the soldiers themselves. I support our troops, just not the administration who put them there.

LK Hunsaker said...

I always appreciate intelligent discussion of an issue, and for the record, yes, I want the Iraqis to take over their own country at this point so our people can come home. Of course I agree with that. I also agree we have to do it carefully.

I have a friend who was in Vietnam who I talk to on a regular basis. He is the one who enlightened me, and many of us who read his blog, about what the enemy gains from our protests. This is first-person-perspective; not heresay and not rhetoric. I also have first-hand knowledge from servicemembers who have been in Iraq recently.

Rhetoric is in the media, such as the body armour. Do you know the troops are getting individual donations of this stuff and wondering why because they either already have it or they don't want it? It sounds good in theory but makes it harder for them to do their jobs because it's bulky and heavy and hot. They have it and don't use it. So no, my outrage about that is the media making claims when they have no idea what they're talking about.

That's the big problem. People don't really know. They hear all this rhetoric and buy into it.

The truth about the military is that no, they do not blindly follow orders like little wind-up dolls. That's insulting. They have brains. Most of the young soldiers there now are the ones who specifically joined in order to help fight this war on terror because they BELIEVE in it. They were not drafted. It was their choice. They know we can't go on ignoring those attacking us as Clinton's admin did the whole 8 years. They know we have to stand up for ourselves if we want it to end. They are willingly risking their lives to do so. So yes, protests are insulting to them.

I realize there are military-related groups joining protests. It's their choice, I suppose, but you also need to realize they represent a very small minority and they are likely the ones who joined the military only for the benefits of free schooling, etc., never thinking they might actually have to BE a soldier in order to earn what they are getting. The military became too liberal-minded during the Clinton reign and in return, those joining during that time were not trained in the way they used to be trained. Standards became softer because of people outside the system yelling about the way they were treated in boot camp without realizing how necessary it is.

Not a thankless job? Only someone who hasn't done it can say it's not. A mindless 'thank you' from those saying they support them doesn't cut it. It's low pay, hazardess, lonely, and has the highest divorce rate of any group because it is so hard on families; more than anyone can really understand without being there. The only "thanks" is in knowing what they are doing matters. Protestors are telling them it doesn't.

This didn't start with President Bush. It was left for him to deal with or to continue to ignore. He would have been criticized either way. There was no good option, here.

On the other hand, nothing worth doing comes without a price. We have to focus on the long term. There are many more Americans lost each year in car accidents because we're all so rude to each other or because we're being stupid and driving drunk or not paying attention than there are Americans dying in war. Where is our outrage at that? That is something each one of us can do on our own. Do we? No. Why? We're busy protesting things we don't truly understand.

There is much going on that people who don't truly understand are ranting about and fighting against.

I believe in our right to voice our opinions. I only think there are better ways to do it and that we have to realize our media is giving us slanted coverage. I have heard those coming back from Iraq afraid to even speak to reporters because they know how their words will be turned around. That's sad. And I am outraged about that.

Talmadge G. said...

Rhetoric is in the media...

Before we continue this debate, I have to get this off my chest:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "LIBERAL MEDIA" The media is NOT conspiring to undermine our soldiers. The media does not have a vendetta against George W. Bush. Remember 2002-2003, when even that conservative right-wing rag The New York Times joined the others in the drumbeat for war??

If anything, the media have been easy -- waaaaay too easy on our president.

All the news outlets are owned by monolithic corporations. And as long as we have a dominant FOX NEWS CHANNEL, there is no basis of fact for saying there's a big bad "Liberal Media"

If the media is so terrible, why are the Republicans in the FCC so eager to lift the limits to make Big Media even bigger???

The conservatives have the real power in media. Tune in your local talk station, for a strong case in point. Most are owned by companies like Clear Channel. And nobody has EVER accused CC of being a LIBERAL company. They're in YOUR corner. Embrace them.

The truth about the military is that no, they do not blindly follow orders like little wind-up dolls.
That's insulting. They have brains.


It's not insulting in the least. It's the truth. Soldiers do what they're told. Otherwise they risk facing a court-martial. My point is that the soldiers are the pawns in any war game. The generals do all the planning and plotting.

Or, in this case, our illustrious Decider.

So yes, protests are insulting to them.

Protesting is a bedrock right of our country. It is a FREEDOM. Anybody going into Iraq today knows that it's not a popular war.

I take complete exception to the convenient cover of "disagreeing = insulting our troops." It's the cover that Bush/Rove has milked ever since this thing began.

It's said that the military fights for our freedoms. So, you're asking us to suspend our freedoms? I'm sorry, but that's the ultimate affront to a soldier. That means the soldier's fight is in vain.

A mindless 'thank you' from those saying they support them doesn't cut it.

Neither are the $2.95 yellow ribbon magnets and bumper stickers saying "I stand with our president."

This didn't start with President Bush. It was left for him to deal with or to continue to ignore.

One thing I've noticed about conservatives is that they can't take responsibility for their own actions. Anything bad that happens is always either the fault of "the liberal media" or "it's Clinton's fault."

Well, to quote Republicans during the 1986-92 era: "It's not the president, it's Congress." The CONGRESS was in GOP hands from 1995-2007. Clinton could only do so much. Bush, on the other hand, had a rubber-stamp Congress who gave him whatever he wanted and then some. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have had their way about this whole thing.

No, no, no. The Democrats are not culpable here. God knows they have their faults, many in fact, but the entire military issue and every problem we've had in Iraq lays at the fault of:
1) The Republicans, and especially:
2) George W. Bush.

Period.

we're all so rude to each other or because we're being stupid and driving drunk or not paying attention than there are Americans dying in war. Where is our outrage at that? That is something each one of us can do on our own. Do we? No. Why? We're busy protesting things we don't truly understand.

No, it's because restaurant owners (most of them GOP) protest strict DUI enforcement and police checkpoints because that affects alcohol sales.

But that's another issue for another day.

I believe in our right to voice our opinions. I only think there are better ways to do it

Well, how then? Granted, I don't think a big protest on the Mall is going to change policy. Does that mean I think it shouldn't happen? Of course not. Any more than a bunch of "Promise Keepers" assembling in the same venue. Again, it's called a "right."

Do you argue that protesting Bush's warrantless wiretapping equates insulting our troops and enbolding our enemy?

Sure, open my mail and read it -- that's the American Way, right? Meanwhile, your Decider has Decided that the 4th busiest port in the U.S. -- Savannah, Ga. -- isn't worthy of any more protection and security than it had on September 10, 2001.

Golly, I feel secure. I have goosebumps just knowing how safe George W. Bush is keeping me from those eeeeeeevil terrorists.

and that we have to realize our media is giving us slanted coverage.

That's why God invented Fox News. :-)

I don't get my news from TV sources myself. Much of my news, it seems, comes from our local (conservative) newspaper. Imagine that....

Respectfully,
T.G.

Cherepon said...

Among other comments that have been made, the one that jumped out at me: "This didn't start with President Bush. It was left for him to deal with or to continue to ignore."

I admit, I have a different perception of this war, as I wasn't living in the States at the time it started. I argued passionately with my family (including Kate/Susan) that this was a dumb mistake.

No, it wasn't because I loved Saddam and thought he was doing a heck of a good job. But because we didn't have any reason to go. PERIOD. We didn't have justification or reasoning to get into this war. There were some speculations. There were some rumors. We thought PERHAPS this might be going down, but we didn't really have the proof. But once we got over there, we'd get that proof.

Well, we all know how that one turned out. And after all those lessons from our elementary school teachers about not believing in rumors or having to get proof.

But I'm getting of my point. The point of: "This didn't start with President Bush. It was left for him to deal with or to continue to ignore."

Hum... Who first invaded Iraq? The other President Bush... Who left with Saddam still in power and kind of screwing over the folks who had helped us? Why, I do believe it was Poppa Bush again. So Clinton's the chump who left this President Bush to clean it all up, huh?

And how should we have known that this war wasn't a good idea?

Because, in a Presidential address to the nation, Bush said, "He tried to kill my father."

Well, I'm all for standing up for my family and all that. But starting a war for it?

Who are the chumps now?