War deserves protest

Jonathan Rettinger’s article from April 3 perfectly encapsulates my frustration with the current action in Iraq. Whether you endorse or oppose this war, it represents a true crossroads for the globe that will have profound repercussions.

The question of whether this war will be fought is now moot, and yet, the larger ethical backdrop remains. We have to ask what we really want out of this.

Diplomacy did fail, if in fact it ever had a chance to succeed. Unfortunately, it seems the current course of action was chosen a long time ago, and has since been corroborated by a progression of new motives – terrorism, regime change, weapons of mass destruction, U.N. authorization, democratization.

There are justifiable reasons for fighting tyranny, and yet everyone should question a doctrine of shoot first ask questions later.

Regardless of the success of our armor or the intelligence of our bombs, thousands of people have already died and continue to die. This is why we should ask questions. This is why we should protest.

This is America goddamnit. Dissent cannot be shrugged off as unpatriotic or fashionable. Peace is not a bad word. The “you’re with us or you’re with Hitler” line is maybe as offensive as it is ignorant.

You should not be so eager to wield the Holocaust flashcard, even though it has become a popular tactic of late. This reasoning exhibits either a gross misunderstanding of history or a failure to really conceptualize the deaths of millions.

We should remember the Holocaust, but we should also remember that those millions have already been used to scare people into military action. Fear is far too powerful a motive to bat around like a yarn ball.

Every war deserves protest. Protest is the only way to ever elicit change. War is an occasionally necessary means to a seldom peaceful end.

In fact the only certainty in war is that it will always lead to more war – even your precious World War II. So why should the many objectors be content to sit and wait for the next chance to vote? Our own leadership has shown a preference for firing missiles over waiting for democracy to play out. Is this the same fold-your-hands-and-shut-up democracy that the survivors in Iraq can look forward to?

Like Mr. Rettinger, I hope very deeply that this war is executed as quickly and successfully as possible. At least in that we can minimize the inflicted suffering and hopefully placate those we have not killed by handing them back some sort of life.

Perhaps it will be better for them. This is the best we can hope for. That, and that the citizens of our nation do not have to suffer for failed diplomacy in the way that others already have.

But if all else fails, we can at least keep making our bombs smarter.

-Jeff Moore

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