mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


It's had to believe that it has been 4 years since September 11, 2001, the day that made most Americans realize that there is a small group of religious extremists who would like to kill us all for what we believe in, or don't believe in.

Last year, I posted my personal experiences of 9/11. I don't really have much more to say, although I'm glad that my first instincts on that day - that life in our country would totally change, would become like Israel, where busses and resturants are blown up by terrorists on a regular basis - have not happened.

Today, as I drove to the gym, I passed the "9/11 peace march" that was being held along Charles St. I wish I had a working camera on me, but I didn't. In the "walkers" defense, I didn't see any of the "Bush=Hitler" type signs that some protests seem to attract, although I only saw a couple blocks, and many of the hand-lettered cardboard signs were hard to read from my car. Instead, most of the signs were the standard blue with dove "War is not the answer" or others that said "SHAME! War is not the answer", or simply "peace".

I have to wonder how many of the protesters really belive that statement in all cases. After all, if war is not the answer, then it would follow that no wars were the answer - that the Revolutionary War was not worth it, even though it created this country, that the Civil War was not the answer, even if did end slavery, and that World War II was not the answer, even though it saved Europe from Facism and millions of "undesirables" from Hitler's ovens.

But chances are that that isn't what many of these people are saying - not that war isn't the answer, but that they are against particular war. Which, while not a view I agree with, is certainly a legitimate thing to say. But it sounds nicer to make broad statements about peace being good and war being bad, and then try to act like that is holding a reasonable debate. But of course, most people who advocated the Iraqi invation are, overall, in favor of peace and prefer it to war - but realize that sometimes you need to wage war in the short term to acheive peace and freedom from war in the long term.

At the same time, as much as I disagree with their viewpoints, I was glad to see them there. It shows that as a country, we are open to viewpoints that oppose those of the government. Think of it this way - let's say you are a citizen in Iraq in, say, 1990, who is opposed to your country's invasion of Kuwait. Do you think that you would be able to stand along the main street of Bagdad or Basra or Fallujah with a sign declaring your opposition of the invasion, without finding yourself being run feet-first through a wood chipper? For all the talk of "crushing of dissent", dissent is permitted, as it should be.

I do wonder what the "peace marchers" expected to accomplish, besides making people who agree with them happy to see, well, people who agree with their views, and making Mad Anthony a little annoyed. But it's unlikely that too many war supporters driving by are going to see a group of protesters holding "war is not the answer" posters and change their worldview. Plus, holding a pro-peace protest in a city that voted somethng like 80% for Kerry is not exactly an act of raging against the machine.

And what is the point with protesting against a war that is over anyway? The war is over in Iraq, and our troops there are not waging war, but trying to keep civilians safe from suicide bombers and keep the democratically elected government from collapsing - things that seem a little odd to me to be against, even if you didn't support the invasion in the first place

It was interesting that, despite the protest being in front of the a college, very few of the protesters were college students - they were mostly middle-class. middle-aged types (at least one of which managed to park her bumper-sticker-covered Saturn in a blatant no-parking zone on Cold Spring - because when you are speaking truth to power, parking laws don't apply). That may say more about the demographics of the college I work for then college students in general, whose enrollment is primarily upper-middle-class kids from NJ, NY, and CT.


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