To the Editor:
I am saddened, if not surprised, by some of the anti-peace articles I have read recently in these pages, whose authors believe themselves to have scored points by exposing the “violence” of some of the worldwide anti-war demonstrations, or depicting so many scenarios of crying over spilt milk at best futile, at worst unpatriotic or even treasonous.
What these opinionated members of our intellectual community don’t seem to realize is that the anti-war demonstrators have nothing to do with some imagined dreamy peacenik figure persisting in an 1970s haze. If millions of people oppose this war, it is not in abstract defense of peace. It is a concrete concern with the current direction of American policy. Our country is waging an unjust and illegal war against an unthreatening enemy, and in doing so it is 1) needlessly risking the lives of American soldiers, 2) taking the lives of countless innocent Iraqi civilians, 3) undermining the international organizations set in place since the Second World War to oversee international peace and justice, and 4) ensuring that other terrorist attacks will occur against Americans in the near future.
If only the present war were waged simply to secure fossil fuel deposits to feed our SUVs for the next 50 years. But much worse is the new American imperial project announced in the unilateralist “pre-emptive” strike policy, rendering obsolete the U.N. and the values it stands for; much worse is the fundamentalist rhetoric of good and evil so inappropriate to international diplomacy; much worse is the shift in the American media from the objective “they” to the patriotic “we,” inaugurating a new era of propaganda. Combined with the curtailing of civil liberties on the home front, the endless war waged on the world gives us, and our reasonable allies, much to demonstrate about. And we will continue to do so, even more and even more loudly, for unfortunately it also gives others much to think about as they plot their less civil resistances and sabotage.
Duncan Chesney GRD ’03
April 2, 2003