Archive for Thursday, March 20, 2008

Demonstrators mark 5th anniversary of Iraq war with Louisiana St. march

From left, Lawrence residents Alisha Knight, Courtney Witten and Paula Rose join a group of anti-war demonstrators Wednesday. The peace marchers walked from Veterans Park to the intersection of 23rd and Louisiana streets near the Army recruiting offices, where they displayed banners and waved to passing motorists.

From left, Lawrence residents Alisha Knight, Courtney Witten and Paula Rose join a group of anti-war demonstrators Wednesday. The peace marchers walked from Veterans Park to the intersection of 23rd and Louisiana streets near the Army recruiting offices, where they displayed banners and waved to passing motorists.

March 20, 2008


Local residents protest war with march

Some Lawrence residents mark the Iraq War's anniversary in protest. Enlarge video

Iraq War reaches fifth year

It's a war that's claimed thousands of U.S. soldiers' lives and divided a country - and it started five years ago today. Enlarge video

Reader poll
Do you personally know anyone who has fought in Iraq or Afghanistan?

or See the results without voting


About 40 people took to the street in protest Wednesday, the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

"We just have to come out and say our voice," said Wichita State senior Janelle Bachand. "I think it's time to get out."

Bachand and others joined members of the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice on a short march down Louisiana Street from Veterans Park to 23rd Street, the site of a military recruiting center.

Military personnel at the recruiting office watched the protesters, whom Lawrence police confined to a patch of grass at the northwest corner of the intersection. The protesters held signs that read "End the Occupation" and "Realize Real Lies."

War veterans from the recruiting office held an American flag behind the protesters.

"By law, it's their right (to protest)," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Ferrari. "There's a fine line between their rights and disrespecting the troops."

Several protesters said too many people - including nearly 4,000 American soldiers - have lost their lives in the war.

"I'm a Vietnam veteran and I'm totally against this war," said Bruce Smith, a member of the peace coalition. "We've lost too many people and too many innocent Iraqis have gotten killed, too, and it's mad. It's really mad."

As police helped keep the situation under control, military officials said they were more concerned about their fellow soldiers who are in Iraq than they were about a few dozen protesters.

"It's all about them (American soldiers), and it's all about the ones who are still serving over there," Ferrari said.


Fatty_McButterpants 9 years, 1 month ago

We just have to come out and say our voice," said Wichita State senior Janelle Bachand.

-- Maybe Wichita State should refund her tuition money. She has to "come out and say [her] voice"?? Isn't that what a voice does? Isn't she actually coming out to speak her mind, or express her thoughts? How, exactly, does one "say" a voice?

Brandon Deines 9 years, 1 month ago

Protest is great. Protesting something you find vile and deplorable and violent and unethical and etc. is even greater. Maybe you shouldn't look so happy when doing so in front of the cameras.

Bladerunner 9 years, 1 month ago

40 people? Lets show up at the next one and hand out job applications.

Sorry...Just wanted to say my voice! LMAO!

armyguy 9 years, 1 month ago

What a pathetic showing, perhaps they could come over and do something here in Iraq to end this war, like help train people to stand up and take charge of their own country, or run for office to change things they don't like them instead of just whining about them.

I believe that I could find more than 40 people here in Iraq on my FOB that are against the war. However instead of marching against it they are attempting to do something about it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

"I believe that I could find more than 40 people here in Iraq on my FOB that are against the war. However instead of marching against it they are attempting to do something about it."

So, armyguy, are you saying that anyone opposing the war has to move to Iraq in order to effectively express dissatisfaction with the idiocy of BushCo? Is there really room for 200 million Americans in Iraq?

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 1 month ago

true Americans, these forty... the kind of Americans the founding fathers hoped for...

Jason Bowers-Chaika 9 years, 1 month ago

Dissent is one of the finest forms of patriotism.

Jean1183 9 years, 1 month ago

"War veterans from the recruiting office held an American flag behind the protesters."

Wish I could have been there to stand with the veterans holding the flag. (Un)fortunately, some of us work. Unlike most of those protestors. Saying my voice to them...."GET A JOB!"

akt2 9 years, 1 month ago

They look like they don't have a clue. I wonder if they do anything of any real value with their time.

EXks 9 years, 1 month ago

Maybe 5 years from now with Dick and W's war still raging with 10,000+ American causalities, 2 trillion dollars spent and a bankrupt economy....maybe then folks will turn off their remotes and show an interest.

akt2 9 years, 1 month ago

Real value could mean mentoring a child, delivering meals to senior citizens, peeling potatoes at the local soup kitchen, or a hundred other things. Going to work and/or school has value to society. If throwing on your tie dye shirt and walking the streets with a sign has personal value, than go for it. It is not very significant though. Why not take that energy and go drive some nails for Habitat for Humanity? You could actually make yourself feel good and make a difference at the same time. No signs needed.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 9 years, 1 month ago

The idiots are being identified. No, not THOSE idiots, you IDIOT!~) Keep up the dumb posts!

akt2 9 years, 1 month ago

I wouldn't even call this a protest. Maybe just 40 people demonstrating that they are bored out of their minds during spring break.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 9 years, 1 month ago

BTW I had NO idea that Iraq was at war with Louisiana Street but I understand why.

BrianR 9 years, 1 month ago

WOW, five already. They grow up so fast.

Haiku_Cuckoo 9 years, 1 month ago

The only way to stop this war is to wear tie-dye shirts and form drum circles at protest rallies. If the war shows no signs of stopping, it means that we must beat harder on our bongo drums! If that still doesn't work, then we should put on patchouli oil and make cardboard signs with zany slogans like "Buck Fush". That, my friends, will bring about peace.

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 1 month ago

Haiku_Cuckoo makes a good point... on accident... I believe:

These demonstrators are part of the minority of people in this country... and in the community that have the courage to express themselves in their own ways...

It's sad that more of the 65% majority of Americans who now oppose this war don't have the same kind of courage... if it would have been 40,00 people at the demonstration yesterday it wouldn't be so easy for some people to dismiss them by attacking the way they dress and express themselves...

Catbacker 9 years, 1 month ago

"BTW I had NO idea that Iraq was at war with Louisiana Street but I understand why".

I was thinking the same thing...who are they demonstrating to or for?

Kontum1972 9 years, 1 month ago

President Eisenhower also warned us about the Military Industrial Complex....and look where we are now with this mess.....supposedly we learned our lesson in Vietnam....LoL...yeah right..and where was the Shrub during this war game? answer: hiding in georgia working as a campaign volunteer....and they never saw him either just like him missing drills, you know being a former army aviator (RVN)..i would of hated to depend on GWB to be my wingman...those of u who voted for this guy should be ashamed of your choice, look where we are now! Anyone want to guess where the First Lady is hiding out? We have not seen her around lately, my info says she is gonna drop the Big "D" on the little lamebrain, once his ToD is complete, seems he and the former Gov of NY have alot in common, Oh Conde!

gogoplata 9 years, 1 month ago

The Iraq War/War on Terrorism is the greatest threat to the security of this nation. It has weakened our national defense, sucked the life out of our economy, and taken away liberty. Military personel should refuse to go. The American public should refuse to pay taxes.

standuporget 9 years, 1 month ago

Multidisciplinary, Both your stories are BULLPOOP

Kyle Reed 9 years, 1 month ago

"The Iraq War/War on Terrorism is the greatest threat to the security of this nation. It has weakened our national defense, sucked the life out of our economy, and taken away liberty. Military personel should refuse to go. The American public should refuse to pay taxes."

Oh the irony. I can only hope this is sarcasm.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 1 month ago

I applaud the demonstrators. I would guess that most of them have conviction with a good dose of passion. It is the latter that most people lack. Many people are convinced that the Iraq war is no longer or never was a just cause. But these people demonstrating actually have the passion to do something about it. Granted, they could write letters to their elected officials, but it has been my experience that you just get a prepared letter in return.

"Get a job"? Even if that girl is speaking her voice, she is a college student trying to further herself. It sounds like a lot of folks are unpatriotic haters.

monkeywrench1969 9 years, 1 month ago


I went through the whole recruiting thing when I was 17-18, scored a 98 on my entrance exam (Can't remember if it was an ASVAB- I would have never made it in the military too many anacronyms) and even went to KC to take a "test and physical". Before this trip I studied as much about my perferred jobs as possible so I would be ready to ask as many questions as possible. I passed the physical and took the test. The guy checking the test glanced at it and said you missed five too many what else do you want to do. I gave him my choices and they typed up a contract, fingerprinted me and sent me to the next station( I had only been 18 for about three weeks). While waiting I realized they wanted me to sign up right then and I knew what they were "offering but could not put in writing" was too good to be true. After about two hours of offers, I told them I wanted my bus ticket back home. Three weeks later I was enrolled at KU.

Love- Terrorism is evil. I have seen the videos of the victims on their websites which really makes me believe we have it pretty good here. Unfortunately every culture has about 5-10% of the population who are evil and commit the majority of the crimes out there. I would take your statement one step further by saying the culture legitimizes that 5-10% behavior to themselves. Dahmer Gacy Bundy (They came to mind because I watched a spoof with them on South Park) have become icons for the depraved as the jihadists have become in their respective cultures for those who adhere to their particular cultures.

It does not matter how much love consideration and compassion you give that 5-10% in any culture they will take it as a weakness and you become a target.

Mkh 9 years, 1 month ago

The Iraq War/War on Terrorism is the greatest threat to the security of this nation. It has weakened our national defense, sucked the life out of our economy, and taken away liberty. Military personel should refuse to go. The American public should refuse to pay taxes."

Sounds like a plan to me.

justthefacts 9 years, 1 month ago

"Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort. "

"You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once. "

Robert Heinline

ksdivakat 9 years, 1 month ago

ok so let me throw my 2 cents in the ring.....I also do not agree with this war any longer, however, having said that, I also believe in freedom of speech, and I also believe that there is a responsibility of using that freedom. You can disagree all you want, but it comes down to disrespecting the troops who are there already, who, quite obviously are reading these posts, they are putting their lives on the line everyday for YOUR freedom of speech. If you want to protest, then fine, but dont allow it to be something that the troops can see and dishearten them....Can you imagine how it would feel to think that your country, the one you are fighting for, has turned its back on you??? Not cool at all, and the war isnt cool either, but show some respect to the soliders and keep your trap shut in public until they all come home. If you want to make a difference, write your congressman, write the president, write whoever you want, say whatever you want, but show some respect for the people who are there and didnt ask to be there......JMHO

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 9 years, 1 month ago

Nothing makes me sicker than people seeking to end death and destruction in the world. Who do these people that respect every human life and desire a world without horrible violence think they are? Sickening:

Well it depends on who you're talking about.

1) Liberals: Kill babies, save convicted murderers. 2) Conservatives: Save babies, kill convicted murderers.

Very few people respect EVERY human life. I don't think we would ever see the war protesters rallying outside an abortion clinic and vice versa. Both sides are entitled to assemble and "say their voice" though, which is fine by me.

Haiku_Cuckoo 9 years, 1 month ago

I saw one of the protesters with a sign that said, "If you support the troops, aren't you supporting the terrorists?"

Am I missing something or was she blatantly referring to the troops as terrorists?

ksdivakat 9 years, 1 month ago

tony88.....see the above comment about the signs......that is just 1 example, this is what I mean, the anger and outrage isnt toward the soldiers, its toward the government, so the protest anger is geared to the wrong people. Just like people on this blog have "dismissed" the protestors, so does the Government. If Protesting worked then the war would be over. Now this country needs those protestors to keep it balanced, to keep the war in the forefront of everyones minds, and i believe they can do that, without standing on a street corner and carrying signs. Its disrespectful to the soldiers because the protestors might as well just say that they dont care that the soliders are dying, stop the war...when in reality the protestors are trying to fight FOR the soliders, but unfortunately it doesnt come across like that. Vietnam was wayyyyyy before my time, but I rememebr my Dad talking about how when the soliders came back the Americans spit on them and called them baby killers.....this will happen with this war as well once they all come home. Im just saying, absolutely anyone ahs the right to speak their mind, but chose responsibility when you use it and remember the people who it really will affect. Does that make sense tony88?? I hope Ive answered your question...

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 1 month ago

ksdivakat: How is directing their anger at the government, the people who put us in this situation, misguided? I don't understand that one.

Also, I didn't get the sense that they were being disrespectful of the soldiers. Actually, I think one of their big arguments is that nearly 4,000 American lives have been lost in this war. They are asking if it is really worth the losses to be over there. They don't want to see more people die, whether it be US military personnel or Iraqi civilians. I'm not sure that the same attitude is present now that was present during the war in Vietnam. In effect, they ARE supporting the troops by telling the government that they disagree with why they have our soldiers over there. Seriously, this is a costly war, both in terms of human lives and economics.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 1 month ago

Scene: That did actually happen, which is sad. I think with this war, the people who deserve to be the undignified recipients of saliva projectiles are the ones who got us into the mess.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 9 years, 1 month ago

Disrespecting the soldiers who are there? Many if not a majority of the soldiers there are disgusted and wish that their 2nd, 3rd deployment would end. They hate seeing their buddies getting killed for what? What ever excuse the Bush administration comes up with this week?

What about family values? How many families need to be shattered by death, dismemberment, and mental illness not to mention absence?

Steve Jacob 9 years, 1 month ago

I have no idea whay people are attacking this group. Nothing wrong with a peaceful protest? No harm, no foul.

Drew_Carey 9 years, 1 month ago

1000 pts to logrithmic for:

"There is no doubt that you would've thrown the founding fathers in jail. Admit it now - you're a closet Tory!"

Closet Tory...LOL

TheYetiSpeaks 9 years, 1 month ago

I love that people can let their voice be heard in this manner. It makes me happy that we, as Americans, can have these sort of events go down relatively peacefully, and I fully respect the rights of any citizen to do what these citizens did yesterday. However, I think having your protest in front of the recruiting offices sends the wrong message. It may not have been the intent of the protesters to disrespect the soldiers, but perception is perception. And when you choose that venue, it appears you are protesting soldiers, period. Protest City Hall, the State Capitol. Heck, march right down Mass. St if you want to. Pitch a tent in front of the White House. Not only does it seem that you are against the soldiers (again by perception), but it becomes obvious that the reason you chose said site for your protest was because the organizers knew it would garner the most attention from the media outlets, and this smacks of ego, not a want for your government and fellow citizens to pay heed. As if by this satiating of your ego you can now say, "Look at me, I care. Aren't I so special?"

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 1 month ago

Good insight, Scene. I guess I've always heard my dad complain about people spitting on Vietnam vets upon their return, so I always took it at face value. He didn't fight in 'Nam, since he had a major kidney operation a couple weeks before he received his draft notice.

enlightenme 9 years, 1 month ago

It was wrong when German troops occupied Poland. It was wrong when Japanese troops occupied Manchuria. It was wrong when Russian troops occupied eastern Europe, and later, Afghanistan. It was wrong when Iraqi troops occupied Kuwait. It was wrong when British troops occupied India. It was wrong when Italian troops occupied Ethiopia. So why is it ok for U.S. troops to occupy Iraq? It's not, and actually, according to the Nuremberg tribunals, it's a war crime: Plotting a war of aggression, carrying out a war of aggression, and abusing the civilians of an occupied nation are all war crimes that Nazis were hung for. How would you feel if foreign troops occupied the U.S.? But the soldiers are just following orders. It's the politicians who have approved and funded this war who are responsible for all the death and destruction, including the Democrats who have gone along with Bush.

Some of the signs at the rally that the J-W and Channel 6 chose not to show: U.S. out of Iraq, China out of Tibet Peace is free Long list of countries bombed by the U.S. since WWII

camper 9 years, 1 month ago

Was never concerned about weapons of mass destruction, and really did not think anything about President Bush's campaign to win support for this war. It went in one ear and out the other. I did believe some of the reports about Sadam's cruel and extreme tactics thru some documentaries and other accounts. So I believed maybe if Sadam were removed, I'd go along with the invasion. I naively thought US trooops would go in and come right out. Technology would win the day. How wrong I was. I think now this whole war has become "in for a penny, in for a pound". Frankly, I don't know what the best course is now. I don't think they even know in Washington. I just hope the troops who serve there come back in-tact (physically and mentally). And I also hope the Iraq civilians survive this.

enlightenme 9 years, 1 month ago

Wouldn't a neutral media have a poll like, "Do you support the war in Iraq?" But the Journal-World's poll is "Do you personally know anyone who has fought in Iraq or Afghanistan?" What is this "poll" supposed to be measuring?

monkeywrench1969 9 years, 1 month ago

I had two grandfathers fight in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII one talked at length about it (He was a medic) the other would not say a word. War of any kind is not good period. As far as the protests go at this location they have been ongoing for about the last three years and it has changed back and forth from get out of Iraq to the recruiters lie and we need to close them down which has been another platform of this series of people.

I agree with free speech and their right to express themselves, but I don't think they have the right to make decisions for people who want to check out the military as a career no matter how much the military or the government spends on them. A person has the right to choose a career in this field.

The whole we were lied to argument is old. I would like to see more of the kids I deal with reading fluently and able to form full sentences and a lot of this money going to programs to support this dream but it is not going to happen. They made the exact same arguments in the Nov. 22 1997 Time magazine for Clinton to go to war with Iraq only they listed totals of the unaccounted for WMD's Saddam was hiding. At the time Bush "went to war on lies" Saddam still had not accounted for the 600 + TONS of weaponized anthrax that they were trying to account for in 1997.

If you really want to look at this in terms of why we are probably there and will probably still be there in ten years look at a map and see that most of the countries we went to war in or are now in serious negotiations with are surrounding Iran a real serious threat. Their people are very much like use but they have a crazy man in charge. Any one who has ever play Stratego or Risk or even ask a realtor it is location location location.

love2eat 9 years, 1 month ago

I just heard a very thought provoking quote today. It is from Peter Ustinov, and the more I have thought about it and examined it, the more profound I realize it is.

We all think that terrorism is such an evil (and it is) but I'll bet most of us without thinking consider it more of an evil then war. But I no longer think that is true.

Consider our reaction when shown newsclips of radicals cheering at some successful terrorist attack. Now, there are times when doing the right thing might involve going to war, (but this would be WAY less then what the US has been doing) I think the way our culture celebrates and promotes war is just as unconscionable as the behavior of radicals who celebrate when a terrorist is successful.

If you don't agree that our cutlure celebrates and promotes war, consider the war toys, we give our children, the war games that they play, the way war and fighting is glorified in our art, movies and media, and the fact that most of our history education is overfocused upon a chronology of our wars and the events that led to them.

Now read that quote again...

"Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich."

monkeywrench1969 9 years, 1 month ago

I think KU was a better fit. Most of they guys I ran with in high school went the military route. I loved to hear about the boot camp stories, but I was glad I only heard about them.

Although they said it was something they would never repeat, they always said it was something that taught them they could always get through tough times and what real tough times were. Ever time I talk to them, they relate it is these types of experiences and those where they were in foreign lands in nature's extremes, tired, with their buddies on either side backing them up that make them so passionate about the being appreciated for what they are doing.

enlightenme 9 years, 1 month ago

Well, this discussion doesn't appear on the list of popular discussions. Wonder why?

Scenebooster: So what do the results of this poll tell us? How many people know or don't know soldiers. Which means what? Wouldn't "Do you support the war in Iraq?" be a much more interesting and useful poll, assuming polls are supposed to measure public opinion on timely subjects?

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