To the editor:
Seven war protesters were arrested Thursday at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center. The immediate issue they were addressing was the massacre of Iraqi civilians at Haditha. These killings still are under investigation, and the individuals involved must be held responsible for their actions. However, we must realize that the responsibility does not rest with them and their leaders alone. We put these young men in the dangerous, chaotic situation that leads to such tragedies. I say "we" - the majority of us who agreed with, who condoned, who passively accepted this war. If we all had had the courage and moral dedication of the Lawrence protesters, maybe we would have prevented this awful war.
While the war in Iraq seems especially pointless and tragic, it is not unique. All war involves indiscriminate killing of innocent people whether by bayonet or long-range missile. All war, at some point, is about revenge and retribution. When we sign on for war, we agree to the deaths of good, proud, patriotic troops (of both sides) as well as the killing of babies, children, the elderly and other totally innocent civilians. War, as Churchill observed, is hell. We should not voluntarily, willingly, eagerly create a hell ourselves, and we must stop sending our children and others there whatever our motives.