I am opposed to the US use of military force in Iraq. I held this belief before the invasion started, and have not changed my mind.
What has changed is that I, personally, find it difficult to engage in antiwar protests at this point; once the battle has started, and before it’s clear that we aren’t going to achieve the desired results. In light of what I have to say below, I’m not sure why I feel this way, but there you go …
Despite my reluctance to engage in active, physical protest, it gives me chills to see those that are still capable of letting their antiwar feelings be known in a very public way taking to the streets; from New York, through Chicago, out here to San Francisco and around the world, peace loving and law respecting people are making a strong statement. As I’ve said before, those protests aren’t anti-soldier; they are antiwar. Of course we all support our troops; too many of us know or are related to people who are over there!
So why are the antiwar protests still important? The battle has been joined, and we’re not gonna stop it (not this soon anyway). Well, you see, the thing is, we initiated an unlawful, first-strike, act of aggression against a sovereign nation, without an immediate proximate cause*, and without the backing of the world for taking those actions. Actions with consequences.
The protests are simply one visceral way for people, world-round, to put the US government on notice that such acts are NOT acceptable, and to express the displeasure that we feel about the US having gone down this very treacherous path. There isn’t a free pass in the name of “support the president/support the troops”. It is in the finest American tradition, and is part and parcel of what previous generations of patriots fought and died for, that freedom loving people speak out, especially in times like this, when the government is acting in an unlawful manner!
*(Even if Sadaam is found to have been in major violation, as my mom always used to say, “two wrongs don’t make a right”. We should NOT have gone in there without much greater support from other nations of the world.)