Protesting against the war at this point is useless

To the Editor:

Contrary to what David Grimm GRD ’04 believes (“In war, silence is louder than bombs,” 3/27), the so-called silence that we hear is not from opponents of the war, but rather from supporters of it.

The anti-war message has come through more than enough. In protests in cities around the country and around the world which have devolved into violence, in op-ed pieces in newspapers such as The New York Times from columnists and former President Carter that criticize the Bush administration but offer no realistic alternative to dealing with Iraq, and from athletes and Hollywood celebrities taking advantage of their visibility to express their opinion, no matter how ill-informed, there has been a cacaphony of anti-war talk.

Despite their relative silence, the majority of the country that supports the war won the debate when it mattered — last fall when Congress authorized President Bush to use force against Iraq if necessary.

Now that the war has started, support is increasing. Where was the anti-war crowd last fall when the House and Senate overwhelmingly authorized force against Iraq?

Presumably, many of the protesters would say that the reason they’re against the war now is that they care so much about their country. But if they care so much about their country why didn’t they protest when and where it mattered?

Where were the crowds outside Sen. Joe Lieberman’s house before he voted to authorize force? Was anybody stopping traffic in Chappaqua, N.Y., when Sen. Hillary Clinton was deciding to vote to authorize force and pave the way for war? Why not?

At this point, protesting against the war is particularly mindless.

Does anybody really expect that after one week of combat and with our troops closing in on Baghdad (and finding chemical weapons suits if not yet chemical weapons) that chanting “no blood for oil” or whatever else is really going to make a difference? Instead of wasting their time being part of a faceless mob, anti-war protesters should really distinguish themselves. If they really want to make a statement, they should follow Henry Thoreau’s example and refuse to pay their taxes to suppport the government.

Even better, imagine the impact anti-war protesters could have right here in New Haven.

If instead of making themselves feel morally superior by protesting a war our elected representatives overwhelmingly endorsed, they should volunteer their time and energy to make a difference by helping someone learn to read or building a house with Habitat for Humanity. It may not be as loud, but it would do a lot more good.

John M. Dusza SOM ’03

April 1, 2003

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