Protest is necessary, not disrespectful

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, November 04, 2005

I was involved in some peace activities during the Vietnam era. For those who oppose war, it is necessary to speak out against what any administration does to promote war. It does not mean that individuals are not supportive of those in harm's way. It does mean that individuals want to get them out of harm's way.

What we did in Vietnam and what we are doing in Iraq does not accomplish what our leaders claim they want to accomplish. It is further complicated when leaders lie to the American people and then lie about the lies. In this regard, there are many similarities for us to contemplate.

As long as we live in a democracy, it is important for people to express their point of view, but without trying to take away the voice of either side. To claim that the peace movement damages or insults military personnel is basically an attempt to silence opposition. Silence is not what is needed now.

One of my strongest critics during my Juneau days suggested that we should trust Congress, as they know what is going on. It was clear to me that Congress did not know what was going on then, and I doubt if the situation is much different now. Politics dominates and while politicians play games, we pass the 2,000 dead mark on our side. Why don't we keep tabs on all the deaths, like Clergy and Laity Concerned did in the Vietnam years?

I don't suggest that we see 2,000 coffins in our demonstrations, but one should remind us of the price that is being paid to keep the oil flowing. I think I read in a newspaper that one oil company was having record profits in the last quarter. Why?

John J. Shaffer

Stanwood, Wash.

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