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War protests: Marchers lack compassion
I had the honor of marching with 400-plus people from northwest Washington in support of our troops. Unfortunately it was not announced by the Whidbey News-Times except Saturday morning a few hours before the event. Again the paper had to make it partisan by stating it was a Republican event. Wrong, plenty of Democrats were present.
Everyone I walked with wanted peace and supported those who were protecting our freedom. In contrast most of the peace signs and speeches I heard from across our country were filled with anger, hatred, defeat, Bush bashing, with an absence of anger toward Saddam Hussein. So much for peace.
What is a constructive peace? Peace must be based on truth. The truth is over one million people have been tortured, raped, gassed, and subsequently killed in Iraq. The truth is 12 years of deceit and 17 U.N. resolutions have been ignored. The truth is Saddam continues to obtain and develop weapons of mass destruction, with non-compliance to U.N. resolutions. The truth is that Resolution 1441 give Saddam Hussein the last chance to comply with disarmament or suffer grave consequences. This means total disclosure to the inspectors but alas Bush was the villain and aggressor. There seems to be more trust in the inspection process that has not worked than the true substance of 1441. Is it the truth that containment and appeasement will lead to peace? The truth is we have witnessed weapons proliferation in the past 12 years.
Another principle of peace is compassion, compassion for the Iraqi people, compassion for the Kurds, compassion for those tortured, compassion for those living in exile in fear for their lives. Unwittingly the peace marches of this past weekend played well for Saddam Hussein and gave him legitimacy. These peace marches lacked compassion in the face of tyranny and denied the human rights of the Iraqi people. We Americans of all people should know the cost of freedom. These freedoms have not been won by peace marches.
Another peace principle is justice. Peace without justice is no peace at all. Look into the vacant eyes of those surviving Kurdish men, woman and children from those 29 villages that were gassed. Where is justice? Speak to those who were tortured in the 1991 war. Where is justice? Those who exercise free speech in Iraq have their tongues cut out. If he has atomic weapons, guess what would happen to Israel and his neighbors. Is it just to ignore these realities?
Do you want peace without truth? So you want peace without compassion? Do you want peace without justice? Without these three principles some day there will be hell on earth and many will blame someone else for the tragedy. Will those who want peace without these principles take responsibility for the consequences? Peace without truth, compassion and justice is no peace at all.
Mark D. Fey
(Editors note: There was an extensive preview article about the Feb. 19 march in the Feb. 15 edition of the Whidbey News-Times.)