Opinion

EDITORIAL: Protest held in the wrong place

With the country on the edge of war, there have been no protests. Lawmakers support the administration, as do the citizens. It’s unanimous, or at least there is no sign of opposition, neither on the streets nor in the media. Yes, the country appears unified. Isn’t it great living in Iraq?

The situation in the United States is different. The prospect of war inevitably brings out protesters, as occurred throughout the nation last Saturday. Even Oak Harbor, that quintessential Navy town, played host to a group of sign-wielding protesters.

The presence of protesters bothered some Navy family members. And appropriately so. Many of our men and women in the Navy are either in the Persian Gulf region or expect to be deployed there soon. It is painful to see citizens who seem to be unappreciative of their loved ones’ efforts. After all, they willingly risk their lives to defend people’s rights to protest their actions.

Those who are bothered by protesters should take comfort in the fact that the vast majority of Americans support the members of the U.S. military. Even the protesters are largely complaining about policies adopted by their civilian leaders. Only the ignorant or foolish blame the military for carrying out duly issued orders.

While we cherish the right to protest, we can also question the protesters’ point of view. They act like the U.S. is the problem. Isn’t it actually Iraq that won’t surrender its vicious weapons, as it agreed to do after the Gulf War? It promised the U.N. and the U.S. and never followed through. The U.S., with the support of the U.N., is simply requiring Iraq to keep its promises. With the U.S. firmly committed to disarming Iraq in a situation where any option is fraught with peril, protesting in the streets seems counterproductive at this point.

War protests would be more effective in Iraq. Possible signs to display: “No war for nukes,” “Destroy chemical weapons,” “Freedom, not poison,” “Give it up, Saddam.”

Of course, protesting isn’t allowed in Iraq. Thank God it is here. Maybe after the present stand-off is settled by the threat or use of the U.S. military, we’ll start seeing real protests in Iraq, like we have here. Then we’ll know we won.

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