Don't be silent

Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I was horrified to read recently what the Pentagon has planned, should the U.S. go to war with Iraq - violence on an horrendous scale for the first 48 hours of the initial attack. A recent e-mail I received stated: "The Pentagon has disclosed its plan to maintain peace by carrying out an opening blitzkrieg on Iraq of more than 3,000 bombs and missiles in the first 48 hours. This plan is titled 'Shock and Awe' by the administration. 300 to 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles will rip through Iraq on the first day of a U.S. assault, which is more than the number launched during the entire 40 days of the first Gulf War. On the second day, another 300 to 400 cruise missiles will be sent. 'There will not be a safe place in Baghdad,' said one Pentagon official. 'The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before,' the official said. One of the authors of the Shock and Awe plan stated the intent is, 'So that you have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in minutes.' (CBS News Jan. 27, New York Times, Feb. 2)."

To all of you who are against a war on Iraq but have not yet spoken up, it is time to stop being silent. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." The time for just talking among friends and co-workers and expressing your dismay privately is over. I implore all of you to express your disapproval in a very public way. Call your friends and neighbors here in Juneau, who you know feel like you do, and ask them to show, in a visual way, that they are against this war. Call or e-mail family and friends throughout the state and around the country. Ask them all to make a sign and to put it in their car window and in a prominent window of their home. Ask them to put up posters. The sign or poster can be as simple as "No War," or "Wage Peace." For those of you who feel so moved, write a letter to the editor. It is time to stop feeling powerless and to act.

I believe in the power of just a small group of individuals to change things. Throughout history this has been proven time and again to be true. Please join the groundswell of support for peace that has been building around the country and the world. If you love this country and what it truly stands for, then join with me and others who are saying that peace is what is truly patriotic and that war is terrorism.

Barbara Kelly


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