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April 7, 2003

I would not feel so strongly about the Anti War Movement, if this weren't a personal issue for me: I now have an 18 year old Godson in Kuwait. His 20 year old brother will be there by month's end. How dare these people generate sentiment that diminishes these young men's sacrifices; their determination; their sense of honor. I listened to these same speeches as a young child in the 60's, and even then I was incensed by their lack of respect and insight.

I will staunchly defend the Freedom of Speech, but I've also learned that with that Freedom comes the responsibility of knowing the proper timing and forum, but most importantly knowing the proper words to speak. All of this requires engaging the Brain before one opens the lips; something the war protesters haven't been willing to do.

The Anti War Movement is quite vocal on criticizing the US for going to war with Hussein. Yet where were these loud vocalizations to ‘encourage’ Hussein to follow the UN's directives that he-himself-signed?  That would have been more productive at avoiding war! Why aren't these wealthy celebrities offering huge rewards for the capture of Bin Laden-another effort that would avert more bloodshed?  The one thing I'm not hearing from the war protesters is how to achieve peace with these men without some type of violent altercation. Hussein has proven time and time again that he is above any rules that he doesn't set for himself, and even then those rules will change to suit his whims. Bin Laden's minions continue to surface with more plans for terrorism in their possession.

The Anti War Movement could be considered patriotic, if they would actually DO something to Make Peace. The protesters do not detail a comprehensive and realistic plan of action to achieve Peace. They did not offer to sacrifice their time, energies, and potentially, their lives to visit with Saddam and convince him to follow through with what he agreed to do. They did not spend a dime to improve the education systems and socioeconomic status of these countries to erase the jealousy and hatred of us. They did not stand in front of cameras or in front of large foreign crowds and chastise those countries who do not follow UN Resolutions. (Is the Salman Rashti Lesson that strong?) Would any of these ideas work to achieve peace? It is doubtful, but have War Protesters actually DONE anything to Make Peace?  All I've seen them do is offer up so much hot air criticizing this administration as a means to avoid war, like an absence of War equals Peace.

During the Cold War, the world cautiously enjoyed a Lack of Violent Altercation between the Super Powers. There was no blood shed, yet we still call that era a War.  We were not at Peace, we simply were not fighting.

Peace is not 'the lack of war.' Peace requires an acceptance, and at the very least, a tolerance from BOTH SIDES OF AN ISSUE. There are too many individuals that believe 'my way is the only way.'  I haven't seen anyone in Hollywood ready to compromise everything they believe to appease Bin Laden. I haven't seen any celebrity prepared to relinquish all of their 'American Blessings' of freedoms, wealth, security, and (did I mention) freedom of speech to 'Make Peace' with Hussein.

The actions of these men have proven to me that they would tolerate nothing less than complete and total submission from America as their price for Peace. It's Animal Farm all over again.  "All animals are created equal..." and until all of America is as impoverished as Iraq and Afghanistan and we are all submissive Islamic peasants, then (in their eyes) America is the Evil Greedy Enemy. Until these sociopaths are 'More Equal' as the rulers of the wealthiest nation in the world, they will not stop their reign of terror.

To date, more people have died in Terrorist Attacks initiated by Bin Laden and Hussein, than have died as a result of both Gulf Wars combined.  Eliminate these men from the picture and a Peaceful Standoff would be much easier to achieve, but until they are gone, we have no hopes of avoiding bloodshed.  The only question is whose blood do you want spilled: more innocents in terrorist attacks? Or do we roll up our sleeves and do the only other rational option.  

With the Freedom of Speech comes the responsibility to Speak wisely. Salman Rashti did not choose his words wisely, and militant people effectively silenced him.  Americans can learn a lesson from this: it is a simple courtesy to offer up a solution when one complains. Offering a solution is Constructive Criticism. Failing to offer a realistic solution when one complains is Destructive Whining; and in that instance, the best chosen words are none at all.

ARNie
Send any thoughts or responses to Gazette@ChezCrochet.com

January 2007 Updates:
The youngest godson is now home from his second tour in Iraq. He just celebrated the birth of his second child, a boy.  He was beside the hole when they pulled Saddam out.  He is scheduled to return to Iraq in October of this year.

His older brother was injured in a roadside bomb in 2005.  He saw to the injuries of his men, before he took care of his own; he was the medic for the unit.  For these actions he received the Silver Star.  He was shipped stateside, eventually being discharged from the military and is on disability due to his injuries.
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With Freedom of Speech comes the responsibility to speak Well and in the proper forum.
~ARNie