Participate in peace, protest war in Iraq

By Renee DiPietro
February 13, 2003

Alaina Robinson

“No one is going to listen to you if you bash America…Even if you’re just on the border of it, it’s not right… My opinion… well, I don’t know… We have to go to war, I don’t want to, but it is just time to…Protesting is a waste of time… but I agree it is healthy to debate.”

These were remarks that I heard in response to some of the comments that fly out of my mouth. But today, I’ve heard less and less opposition. I went out and gathered facts to back up my opinions, instead of just going with my gut feelings. I talked to people and went to listen to speakers. I read online. It was easy. It wasn’t my job or homework, I did it and now it’s basically the only area of study that I use over and over again.

I’m ready to write down what I feel like most are missing and that is: It does matter by what means you use to achieve your ends.

I think about what our country is about to do and I’m scared. I also wonder what we have done to Iraq already, which is something no one can fully understand. Iraq’s economy fell 600 percent since sanctions went into effect a decade ago. Now millions live on food bags and cannot afford medicine. The sanctions failed. They hurt everyone in Iraq except Saddam and his regime.

After a little research, it is amazing to learn how we are all connected to this land of Iraq beyond the focus the world has put on it today. You, me… everyone… the world’s roots are in Iraq. Language originated in Iraq. As well as numerals, farming, writing, how to tell time, mathematics, astronomy and the first justice system (the code of Hammurabi). Iraq housed the first builders of artificial materials, the first people to perfect a hydro system for irrigation and also the inventors of the cavalry by horse breeding. Iraq was home of the first school for astronomy and founded universities to teach math, science, medicine and poetry. Iraq is the cradle of civilization in many senses. Their historical expertise in farming is still strong and one of the only ways that some of the people survive there today is under our sanctions.

Hussein–I once heard it put that “he identifies with the enslaver, not the enslaved” and “that he is the exception, not the Iraqis.” I agree. The Iraqis are not Hussein and his regime–they are the descendents of the beautiful people that we learn about in every grade school history class.

President Bush announced the axis of evil, and now where will it take us? Who makes a statement like that and doesn’t expect it to come back and bite him in the ass later? Bush has a lot on his plate and he cannot have an answer for everything; but a couple of solid ones would be nice.

Really, what are we doing now? Are we really trying to overtake Saddam or what else? And at what collateral damage will be the expense? How many are going to die or be infected to die through this? I think a preemptive war is only going to add to the past 12 years of terror and suffering. War is not going to end the terror in the US either. Enemies will double with this aggressive action. Not every country sees our aggression in the same light that our president presents it.

I’m just saying, “It does matter by what means you use to achieve your ends.” There is a nasty boomerang affect to every action like this. A peace rally, supporting a movement against war is taking place nationally Saturday. Come check it out with Cabrini in Center City. Ask around, you’ll find us.

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Renee DiPietro

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