I am disturbed by two things. The first is the willingness of those protesting against the American policy towards Iraq to agree to be contained to areas and apply for permits to hold their protests. The second is the concession amongst many that if war comes, they will stop protesting and root for the home team.
What happened to civil disobedience? Your willingness to contain yourself and not overstep the boundaries your government has given you has made you a sideshow for the enjoyment of television nation. A permit to protest? Do you ask someone permission before punching them in the face after they groped your sister? This is why Supreme Commander Bush considers you to be a minor special interest group.
The real protest begins when war begins. You were marching and singing to stop this war from happening. Have you resigned yourself to failure? Have you decided they were right and now endorse their decision by joining television nation in watching things transpire, all with neat little graphics and "bomber cam" that helps you enjoy this like a movie instead of the horror that it really is? This is when the time comes to make yourself heard. You know what they'll be saying about you in the administration if you sit down once the fighting begins, don't you?
"They made their feelings known.
Now, we are all together in support of this war,
like good Americans pulling together for what is right."
Is that what you want to become of you? Is that what you've gone out in support of? After all your willingness to stand up for what you believe in, do you want to fall victim to the latest propaganda, that protesting during a war is inherently wrong and shows a lack of respect for our men and women in uniform?
The mistakes of the anti-war protest during the Vietnam Era was a disrespect for the men and women fighting that war. They were doing what they were told. Some thought they were right. Some thought they were wrong. Some felt they were in the armed forces to do the will of their government and they had no right to challenge that. People in the military are not all that different than those of us who are not. They have lives, they have people they love, they have family, they have friends. They want to live and be happy. Never disrespect a soldier for doing his or her job. I have friends and family in the military and they know I am strongly against this war. I have friends who served in Vietnam. They are doing the job they agreed to do and are paid to do.
You dare to spit on a soldier returning from this shit, I will personally take it upon myself to break your jaw. What am I saying? These people are going into the heart of the chaos and they are taking the bullets and anything else that comes their way because they took a vow and made a promise. This is not the issue. There are people sitting comfortably in their offices making seven figure salaries deciding what becomes of these young men and women. Those are the people who are your targets. They are making decisions they have to live with, but others are suffering the consequences. I have a friend whose wife has a son by a previous marriage. He was in the infantry in the first Gulf War. Now no hair grows on his body. He is more than thirty years old and sits in a corner of their home shaking and making clay jewelry boxes while smiling and saying "I'm making nice jewelry box for my mommy." The government claims nothing unusual happened during his tour of duty and he wasn't exposed to anything out of the ordinary. This is a kid that graduated with honors out of high school.
Don't become a sideshow. Focus. Know what you are dealing with and make yourselves known. This is not a sideshow for the media to handle like a free series of episodes of reality television. You have to make yourselves heard. Don't back down. Don't apologize. Read the facts and know what you are talking about. The media loves to interview idiots who say ridiculous things because they make nice soundbites for the evening news. Be someone.
Chaos is coming.