March for peace | AspenTimes.com

March for peace

People opposed to waging war against Iraq are gathering at Sayre Park on Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26.

From the park, there will be a march down the sidewalk of Grand Avenue to Rep. Scott McInnis?s office at the Hotel Colorado. The march is part of a nationwide protest with thousands anticipated to appear in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. It is expected that several hundred people will participate in Glenwood Springs.

Many citizens who are against the war will be reluctant to march down Grand Avenue. People are fearful that they will be considered unpatriotic and that their presence will hurt their business or that they will be fired.

Marching in the street is an unfamiliar and surreal experience which some people will think is embarrassing. Others may feel that a war against Iraq is a forgone conclusion and what is the use anyway.

To all with concerns, I quote from Thomas Paine: “Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul …”

President George W. Bush continues to make angry speeches about the necessity of waging war against Iraq. The reasons given are snippets of incomplete intelligence, exaggerations of rumors, outdated surveillance, transparent lies and riddled with obfuscation. One of the President?s motivations for war is personal revenge.

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But let us assume for a moment that the American people do not have access to all the information and that President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are right about Iraq?s nuclear, biological and chemical capabilities now and in the future.

Then it comes down to this: Those who are in favor of military action value American lives above all others, act out of fear from 9-11 of being killed before being a killer themselves, and desire to continue an oil-guzzling lifestyle at the cost of the rest of the world.

People opposed to immediate military action give all life the same value regardless of nationality, are willing to be killed before participating in the manufacture of mass death and are willing to see the American lifestyle and U.S. imperialism not as entitlements, but as contributing to misery in the rest of the world.

Politicians play to the first set of values and people taking to the streets in protest live by the second.

I can understand those who value American lives above all others. Self-preservation is a powerful force. However, getting rid of Saddam Hussein will not make us any less vulnerable. Just this week it has been revealed that North Korea has nuclear capability.

What happened on 9-11 is not new to the world. It is only new to the mainland of the United States. Killing Saddam Hussein is not going to insulate us from further attacks. It will infuriate millions of Muslims and provide passion for more spilled American blood.

Please join the citizens of the Roaring Fork Valley on Oct. 26 to let President George W. Bush and Rep. Scott McInnis know that you do not want war in your name.

Nietzsche said, “If you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss will start to stare back into you.” When the eyes of dead children and the ghosts of killed soldiers stare back into President Bush, you do not want them also staring back into you.

Calvin Lee

Roaring Fork Peace Coalition

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