Local Protester Laments
I participated in our local anti-war demonstration Sunday. Only a couple of hundred of us. They asked us to bring buckets. Banging a plastic trashcan with a wooden spoon, carrying a homemade sign while chanting "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!" is not conducive to a middle-aged man's dignity. It is an invitation, rather, to the sense of futility and foolishness that is ever-waiting in the wings, prompting one to want to play hooky from the political world, to go have a beer and a pastrami sandwich, to lose oneself in private pleasures. Nobody is going to miss a gray-haired bozo banging his trashcan. I really am rather old for this nonsense.
But this is what opposition to this insane war has brought us to. We are not being told the truth. [The New York Times] is not telling us the truth. If nothing else, the canard that the media is dominated by the liberal establishment should be laid to rest by this war. I am grateful for the Internet. I wouldn't have known, except for the Manchester Guardian, of how angry Europeans were at the CIA bugging Security Council Member Nations' embassies.
Though front page news for days in Europe, my beloved New York Times, never mentioned it. It never mentioned Senator Robert Byrds' eloquent anti-war speech, either, though again the Internet brought it to me. Occasionally, there is a good [Times] column by Klugman. But for in-depth reporting, in-depth intelligent analysis as to why so many feel, think, believe that this war is a disaster, don't go to the New York Times.
Even the London Times, though pro-war, does a better job. Mother Jones, The Guardian, the Boston Globe do a better job than the Times. Only the Washington Post is worse. Our local paper, The Lexington Herald, of course does nothing, but I never expected it would. I did expect the Times would.
There are serious sophisticated arguments against this war, but what do we hear? That the French are being-well, French. They are so jealous of our power and riches. A hissy fit. Do we ever hear the real French and German case against our war? That it will destabilize the whole Middle East, that it will create many more terrorists, that it is an effort by our right-wing to cement American hegemony on the last important source of oil in the world, that it is the combination of wet dreams by liberals like you who think in terms of a democratically transformed Middle East and the cold imperial ambitions of right-wing ideologues who seek complete American domination of the world with no multi-national restraints.
This is what I believe:
·That the U.N. will be destroyed. It's half destroyed already, and with it the whole idea of collective security, of collective restraint on individual rogue nations. The Right has always hated the idea of the U.N., even when, as in most of its existence, it has been dominated by the U.S. Saddam's overthrow is nice, but the overthrow of the U.N. may have been the true objective all along.
·That the Middle East will be radicalized. It's already two thirds there. Tens of thousands of new terrorists will be created. They know a crusade is a crusade whatever its name. They know the smell of colonialism.
·That Turkey will take advantage of the situation to impose Turkish rule on Northern Iraq. They will brutally suppress the Kurds. Our promises to the Kurds are like our old promises to the Indians.
·That Egypt and Pakistan will lose their nominally pro-western governments. They will, democratically, turn against us. If they were truly,democratic states, it would already have happened.
·That we will kill huge numbers of Iraqis. We will blame Saddam. The press is already full of stories of how Saddam puts military installations next to hospitals and schools. Perhaps he does. Perhaps he doesn't. But we have our cover story.
That we will win, but after a bloodier war than we expected. We will try to keep Iraq united, but the Shiites in the South will rebel and the Kurds in the North will become our enemies. We will be bled dry. In a couple years, we will pull out, no wiser, and a lot less safe.
·That NATO will become meaningless. It is already meaningless.
·That Saddam will die and people will be very happy. For a week or so. Then they will wonder: Did we have to ruin the country to save it?
·That this country will see a resurgence of the bitterness of the Vietnam War. The Right will claim patriotism as their own. Some on the Left, unfortunately, will let them. It is already happening. My 14-year-old says patriotism is being pro-war. I tell him don't let them define patriotism like that. He looks at me like I'm naïve. He knows what things mean.
They flashed my picture on the local channel 36 news last night. I was not a happy looking warrior. But, I am willing, I guess, to look foolish and feel futile. You ask, what do we do about Saddam? We contain him, like we did Stalin. We wait for him to die. We inspect. We keep our guns ready and our powder dry. We work with others. We listen to others. We do not try to impose an American solution.
We act like democrats not like colonial autocrats. I am not, a knee-jerk liberal. I wince at some of the chants in our motley little anti-war crowd. I have considered [the Times'] position. Who would not want to rid the world of Saddam? But the price. Consider the price. I've only listed part of it.
Written in response to Tom Friedman, columnist for the paper of record: The New York Times.
A first reading, which auth-orizes Mayor Teresa Isaac to start negotiations with the Kentucky American Water Company will occur at the next scheduled council meeting, Thursday, March 20. A second reading will take place at the following scheduled meeting, Thursday, April 17.
The Bluegrass Council and the Boy Scouts of America will be conducting its annual Scouting for Food Drive this Saturday, March 22. Readers can hang non-perishable items in a grocery bag on their doors.
Scouts will pick them up and donate the items to local food pantries for hunger relief efforts.
The Bluegrass Women's Political Caucus will sponsor a presentation on equity, at 2pm Sunday, March 23, at the Central Public Library. The caucus advocates the increase of women's participation in the political process.
On Thursday, March 27th the UK Student Activities Board is hosting Vandana Shiva to lecture as part of the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. Shiva, a writer from India, will speak at 5:30pm in the Student Center Grand Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about the Kentucky Women Writers Conference visit www.uky.edu/conferences/kywwc.
The Great Leaps Reading Program needs volunteers to help tutor students with reading during school hours.
Volunteers can decide what time(s) and days they would like to attend the schools.
The schools working in conjunction with the Great Leaps program are:
·Booker T. Washington
·Tates Creek Middle School
·Lexington Traditional Magnet School.
All of the Great Leaps material is provided by the schools.