Clipped From Arizona Republic
War protesters must stay loose One of the more humorous signs at a recent anti-war protest was: "How did OUR OIL get under THEIR SAND?" Those of us who protest the Bush administration's reckless designs on Iraq's riches would be well-advised to keep our sense of humor. It is particularly useful as we witness unfair and ill-tempered attacks on ourselves, as we have seen in recent editions of The Republic and other media. Take, for example, editorial writer Doug MacEachern's Jan. 24 Quick Hit characterization of protest organizers: "Saddam? Osama? Hey, we love 'em." Let us not forget that the real Saddam and Osama lovers were Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, whose administrations provided them with billions of dollars worth of weapons and, in the case of Saddam, organisms such as anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs and botulism. The Republic's Jan. 22 editorial, "Empty Protest," puts the responsibility for cleaning up the Iraq mess on the protesters. One would think that the largest news organization in Arizona might provide some guidance in this regard, but attacking protesters seems to be their greater priority. Nevertheless, in the spirit of your editorial, I direct readers to the January 2003 edition of the Progressive Magazine (www.progressive.org), which contains articles on the need for the anti-war movement to clearly articulate opposition to the present government in Baghdad and a plan to remove Saddam Hussein and rebuild Iraq. As we prepare for possibly the biggest protest since Vietnam on Feb. 15, it is important to recall that there is a great deal of fun in the anti-war movement. This is not to minimize the grave consequences of Bush's threatened pre-emptive wars, which I view as deeply immoral and profoundly destabilizing. But, as in any democratic movement, the rewards of democratic struggle for a cause greater than ourselves are immediate and profound. I urge citizens who share these concerns to affiliate with organizations such as Local to Global Justice (www.localtoglobaljustice.org) and the Arizona Alliance for Peaceful Justice (www.azpeace.org). Kyrsten Sinema Phoenix The writer serves on the board of directors of the Arizona Advocacy Network.