Support our troops with life

While many of you were in Cancun or Padre or wherever, I was back home to Tulsa. I spent the first few days of my spring break doing something that I rarely do — seeking distraction. I figured most people are complacent and largely ignorant of world events, so it wouldn’t kill me to do the same for a few days. When I emerged from my state of self-induced apathy, I turned on the television for some fair, balanced, unfiltered and highly objective coverage of the war (insert rim shot here).

I saw clouds and fire, smoke and ruin. The reality of the situation hit me all over again. I almost wanted to crawl back into my shell. The seeds of American-style “democracy” and justified “liberation” were falling upon Baghdad. I thanked God for allowing me to live far away from the shockwaves, the flying debris, the death and starvation. But at the same time I felt guilty for being so far away from the danger. My ability to watch this horror with utter impunity filled me with self-loathing. I began to think about what could be done in this late hour by myself and others like me.

Already we’re being commanded by almost everyone to shut our mouths just because we’re at war. In wartime, we’re told, you just can’t say certain things.

Let’s call war what it is — wrong. This war was wrong before it started and now that the bombs are finally falling, the war is still wrong. Blowing people up is always an evil thing, regardless of whose finger is on the trigger. My message today is a simple one: We should always oppose war, no matter what the circumstances. I’m not going to knuckle under just because the war is now a reality; I encourage everyone with war doubts to do the same.

The movement is now assembled and strong. The cause of peace is supported by millions of people on all seven continents (there was even a demonstration at a lab in Antarctica). The cause is not lost simply because war has begun.

Yes, the beginnings of the bombing are a huge setback, but all is not over yet. This war may still cause several unpleasant outcomes that must be resisted.

If this war does not end quickly and easily, then more dissent will be sorely needed. The military needs to be watched.

The media has already proven themselves to be completely unwilling to police the armed forces, so ordinary people like us need to keep alert. We must hold our leaders responsible for their actions in war time as well as in peacetime. If we all go to sleep now, many more people could die during our slumber.

We must support the troops while still opposing the pointless war that they are now being commanded to fight. I value equally the lives of each and every soldier fighting in this war. Where they are from, be it the United Kingdom, the United States or Iraq is irrelevant. Their lives must be saved and removed from harm’s way. We almost stopped the war from even starting, so now let’s redouble our efforts and help stop the war as quickly and as safely as we possibly can.

The peace movement is tired. Signs get heavy and slogans get worn out quickly. But what must be remembered is that the war-makers are tired as well. The only difference is that they haven’t given up yet. It’s not too late. It’s never too late for peace, and the situation is never too far-gone to prevent death. While some may choose to support the troops by sitting at home, watching the explosions on television or putting a bumper sticker on their car, we will show our support in a different way. We must support our troops by helping more of them get home alive.