Letters to the Editor

War: Protestors cost more lives

Anti-war, anti-American protesters rarely consider the cost of their “right to protest.” In a recent commentary titled “Protesters with bloody hands,” Max Boot, a foreign relations expert, discussed the historical cost of protests in the past century.

“The record is fairly clear: When the demands of protesters have been met, more bloodshed has resulted...”

Boot discusses the protests of the Civil War, Philippine War of 1899-1902, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Gulf War and the pending war with Iraq. In his commentary he talks about the cost in lives of protests that either prolonged wars by giving false hope to this nation’s enemies or by delaying our entry into a war causing prolonged killing.

According to Boot, protesters encouraged Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo into more aggressive actions making war inevitable. “The Vietnam rallies are usually judged to have been successful because they stopped the killing of Americans...the killing of the local people is another matter.” Boot goes on to document the mass killings of tens of thousands in Vietnam and the million (yes, one million) in Cambodia after the United States pulled its troops out of the conflict.

Move on to the cold war and the 1980s when demonstrators in the millions took to the streets of Europe (France included) to protest the U.S. deploying missiles there. Had that not occurred the communists would still rule Russia and Eastern Europe along with a divided Germany...the same Germans who are against the U.S. today!

The 1990’s brought the anti-war demonstrators out twice more. Once for the Gulf War with chants of “No Blood for Oil,” which if they had been successful would have resulted in an Iraq now armed with nuclear weapons, the continued occupation of Kuwait and the probable occupation of other countries in the region. A much wider Mid East conflict with weapons of mass destruction in use would have killed how many?

Saddam Hussein’s son, Uday, is praising demonstrators, as is the Iraq newspaper Babel. As Boot says in his commentary “...given the dismal record of anti-war demonstrations, today’s marchers should heed Oliver Cromwell’s advice....I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

I agree with Max Boot and lessons history teaches. Protesters, however well-intentioned, are giving aid to enemies of this great country and they will cost lives to be lost on both sides. That is the cost of the right to protest against this country in time of conflict.

Bill Barnes

Coupeville

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