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Why are you participating in the peace march?

Asked at the "Cost of War" march and peace rally on September 25, 2005

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Photo of Andy Hazucha

“I think the war was misguided from the very beginning. George Bush has a very simplistic understanding of the world, and we’re here to add some complexity.”

Photo of Tonia Salvini

“Because I support peace in every way. I’m also here because large groups of people create awareness, and this is only one of many ways that people can advocate for and support peace.”

Photo of Haruko Nakano

“Because I learned about how bad this war was while I was still in Japan. There is no benefit to this war, and a lot of soldiers and Iraqi people have been killed. I hate that.”

Photo of Tavis Sartin

“Because it all starts with a small group of people. I just saw Lech Walesa at the Lied Center. He’s the one who started the Solidarity movement, and if he can do it, then why can’t we?””

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indythinker 12 years, 9 months ago

E-ville: Good post. Though I'm sure you don't hear much about it in the states, much of what you pointed out is already happening.

I have personally been inside a detention facility. The conditions, while obviously not 4-star quality, are liveable nonetheless. Each prisoner had a thick mat, blanket and a copy of the Quran as well as a prayer rug. Many read or prayed. Some looked scared (the young and likely coerced) and others looked as if they'd kill you on the spot if they had the opportunity.

Security is very tight around recruiting stations. However, it is extremely difficult to detect and stop someone with a bomb concealed under clothing. It is easy for a bomber to stand in a checkpoint line waiting to be searched and detonate it and wipe out 20 or 30 people.

Most of the weapons and insurgents that are being caught now are the result of locals turning them in. However, the locals are still intimidated by the insurgents. But, we are making headway.

Lastly, the Kurds and Shiites have been very generous in welcoming the Sunnis to the democracy. But, this will depend largely on the Sunnis learning to trust the democratic process.

In short, all the things you mention are happening. It's just going to take a little time.

enochville 12 years, 9 months ago

Why we went into Iraq is a dead issue. The real issue is what to do now. I do believe that we need to stay and fight for now and train Iraqis to protect themselves. But, that is not nearly enough.

One, we need to keep our noses clean and stay far away from reproach. This means that the fundamental attitudes that permitted the injustices of prisoner abuse and Quran desicration (sp) need to be completely reformed. We need to apologize and create a new history of exceptional treatment of Muslim prisoners. That will be difficult to do with the current US administration in power because the leaders at the top are not taken responsibility and seem to support throwing out the Geneva Convention. We must treat our enemies better than they deserve and yet, foil all of their plans. Reasonable people respect strong nations who show mercy. Lest anyone misunderstand me, we must stop our enemies with a strong hand, but once we've stopped them and they are prisoners in our hands, we must show kindness, and thereby win the hearts and minds of some.

Two, we must protect the recruiting stations in Iraq. Here we have volunteers for the Iraqi army, who have overcome great obstacles to join us in the fight for peace and we aren't doing everything we can to protect them from being slaughtered. Needless to say, every incident where recruits die discourages others from trying to become recruits.

Three, we need to undermine all support of our enemies from within Iraq and isolate them so that they can find no refuge in any Iraqi city. To do that we must hear the griefs and complaints of the common people who sympathize with our enemies, demonstrate that we hear them, and do all within our power to make it right with them. And after they feel that we have heard them, they will be more willing to hear us. We need charismatic Iraqis to take our case to the people. Help them see that we want to leave as soon as the new government can protect itself and its citizens. Invite the leaders of the communities that are hiding our enemies, now this is very important, to put forth ideas to help us resolve this situation. They need to feel that they are working with us to reach our common goal of getting our troops out of Iraq. We do not negotiate with our enemies, but we need to be willing to negotiate with the communities that are hiding our enemies and thus drive a wedge between our enemies and these communities. The end goal would be to either flush the bad guys out into an area where we can fight them without risking the life of civilians or driving them out of the country.

Three, this one we can't participate in directly, but Iraqi Sunni's need to be a part of the new governement or they will have civil war. We need some leaders from both sides to step up to the plate and form alliances. Kind of like Orin Hatch and Ted Kennedy found issues where they could cross the aisle and lead some of their parties to go with them.

b_asinbeer 12 years, 9 months ago


You bring up some interesting and good comments.

However, I would like to contend that why we went into Iraq is not a dead issue. It is true, that we must do whatever we have to, to protect America, its image, as well as its assets. But, all of this could've been avoided if we hadn't gone into Iraq in the first place. But now that we are in this hole, we have to dig ourselves out like you mentioned in your post.

In a direct quote from Mr. Bush a couple of years back, he says "We learned a lesson September the 11th, and that is, our nation is vulnerable to attack." Okay, we'll give you that Mr. Bush, but then he goes on to say, "The best way to secure America is to get the enemy before they get us, and that's what's happening in Iraq."

So the claim that he's trying to make is that we attacked Iraq before another 9/11 happens. The question now is, why? No WMD found. No chemical weapons found. So, if we now find out that Iraq was not capable of launching or close to launching an attack on us, why did we attack it in the first place?

Why not North Korea? After all, as a part of the "Axis of Evil", they have declared that they have Nukes. Iran has also been waiting to get their hands on nuclear chemicals. But before the war started Iraq had declared that it had no WMDs. UN inspectors couldn't find anything. So why didn't we go after the clear-cut choice? Seems a little shady. I'm not suggesting we attack those countries by any means, but choosing one over the others makes one wonder...

Maybe it's something else....After all, Mr. Bush said this before the start of the war on whether or not to attack Iraq in late 2002: "I'm the person who gets to decide, not you." I know I'm not gonna convince any of the Bush-lovers, but have fun debating this guys.

Have a great weekend!

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." 9/2/2005

Daniel Speicher 12 years, 9 months ago

Manson, I have a few questions for you...

  1. If Iraq was so awful in their track record with the U.N. inspections (and they were), what possible reasons do you think there were for them to stay out of the frey?

  2. If fighting in Iraq SAVES American lives, why is it that there have been over half as many U.S. troop casualties in the Iraq war than in the attacks on 9/11? (So far we've lost 1,914 soldiers to this useless war... We lost 2,986 to 9/11... Do we need to sacrifice that many to appease Warlord Bush? What is the magic number?)

  3. Do you believe that we need to annex Iraq so that we can have control of this "strategic real estate" If so, exactly how does that play in with post-Imperialist America? If not, do we need to make yearly bombings and troop raids a "once every ten year" kind of thing? Or, do you honestly believe that whatever "government-in-shambles" we set up there will truly stand forever?

  4. Why is Iraq so much more valuable to control than Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc.... And, if it is not any more valuable... What is stopping us from "taking them down"?

And... Finally...

  1. You mention previous military leaders in the U.S. It is odd to me you would bring up the past when you MUST realize that all of the successful wars (outside of the Revolutionary and Civil War), we had NO SHORTAGE of allies. During WWI we had many major military structures backing us up (France, Great Britain and Russia)... In WWII we had even more major military structures backing us up with China joining the frey. Furthermore, the former U.S. Presidents have been reluctant to go to war. Wilson and the congress in WWI were at a stalemate until the Zimmerman Memo and FDR would have never entered until Pearl Harbor. Further more, when these two Commanders and Chief entered the wars they entered they fought against the countries that imposed the tragedies upon them. You didn't see FDR going and bombing Thailand because they had similar ideologies and were close in proximity to Japan. You saw him warring with those he KNEW were involved with Japan. So, I guess my question is this... What EXACT military leaders are you talking about? Perhaps McArthur? That's about the only one I can think of who really fits the Imperialistic bill you are so desperately searching for.

In answer to your questions...

Do any of you that want the troops home actually believe that Iraq has a chance of success without the US? I'm not so sure they have a better chance with us.

Do you believe that if the troops come home that the attacks on the US will increase here at home? Not likely... Frankly, I have been waiting for an attack since day one of the attacks on Iraq.

--Danny Speicher

Manson 12 years, 9 months ago

For me the actual reason we are in Iraq is quite irrelevent. People don't understand that our primary role in Iraq is to fight the enemy on a battle ground of OUR choosing. If we removed our troops now, combined with porus borders, the attacks on the United States would be here at Home. The battle plan to take the fight to their playground was the best had to be done. It was the most effective and plausable option available. Come on.....this is a perentage play here and the President absolutely CAN NOT take a risk. No WMD? so what ! The ends justify the means on this one. WMD or no WMD the time to eleminate those that have the courage to kill themselves to kill us was upon us.....

Who will protect us ? The UN? The UN only hands out tickets. Sadam was robbing the UN oil for food program blind and defying regulations because he knew they didn't have the guns nor the fortitude to hold him accountable.... 17 warnings w/o a united response.....who will protect us? The UN has no credibility. Sadam wasn't a threat but I'll tell you who was...the UN. What's more dangerous than a guard dog that licks the hand of the intruder?

The region and locale is unique in such a way that the enemy has never had an eaiser time bringing the battle to us. I find it a very comforting feeling knowing that the people who want to kill every last American and Jew are being entertained by Soldiers where fewer Americans are at risk.

The introduction to this war has been long forgoten by the malnourished attention span of the fickle US public. One of which votes at less than 50% yet unites in opinon against the President's policy short of 70% according to recent polls. Thats a lot of people out there that say alot but don't do much about it.

People want to cry about an exit strategy....anyone remember from the very begining that the President said this was going to take a very long time to accomplish? The problem here is we have too many ignorant people that want to give an opinion on Military Logistics and know nothing about warfare. I'm not going to a proctologist for an annual check up and the citizens need to let the military do their damn job.

We have a chance to polarize the Islam fundamentalists and are in the best position to do that now in Iraq. The location is perfect. We have wide spread presence from Afganistan to Israel. Once Iraq gets a taste of what the west has to offer cultural changes will eventually weed out the psychotic element in Islam. Infiltrating their culture should be our primary objective and will prove to be invaluable.

It really suprises me that the Human rights activists aren't all over this with support. The atrocities in Iraq are second to none when it comes to regard for life. Oh and i forgot WMD's right? WMD's are a sideshow...they were a last resort option to do what was needed to be done when diplomacy failed 17 times in a row (thank you cute but sterile UN).

b_asinbeer 12 years, 9 months ago

Am I first? No....second.....better than third I guess.

See, if those 4 people get it, why doesn't Mr. Bush get it? Very perplexing....

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." 9/2/2005

Daniel Speicher 12 years, 9 months ago

I wish I could have gone to this. There were no peace rallies in any of the cities around me. I believe that the Afghan war was justified (and well carried out, I might add.) I believe that if the claims had been true about Iraq and the WMD's it, too, would have been a justified war. However, even at that point, had we not had an exit strategy it would have been a bad idea. We need our men and women home now... But, now we have the dilemma on how to do so without further de-stabilizing the region. In retrospect... It was a bad idea... Currently, it's a tough call on what exactly needs to be done. Although, I must admit... I don't know how, exactly, the region could become more de-stabilized than it is now.

--Danny Speicher

enochville 12 years, 9 months ago

That last paragraph should have been "Four". Goodness, we need good leaders. There is a dearth of them seemingly in every arena, from Louisiana to the U.N. The leaders we have now are often too ruled by their passions, too ambitious for power, or too incompetent to do much good. We need skilled, charismatic leaders, who have a depth of understanding of human nature, and have a sincere interest in the welfare of mankind. I stressed human nature because everything pivots on that from economics to foreign and public policy. We need mediators who don't take sides and are mature enough to see that the meta-issues that are behind the surface conflict. It is not that these people don't exist; they are often college professors that are happy where they are. I can understand the dislike of politics, but we need some of them to step up. I am definately not saying all professors have these qualities.

We'd have it made if we could have a coalition of good listeners, good idea people, good planners, people who can rally support, people who can delagate, and people who can get the job done.

MoreThanUltimate 12 years, 9 months ago

"Planting the Seeds of Democracy"

Just a few questions to ponder...

Does anyone think that if Iraq finally becomes a democratic state that the other Arab states will follow willingly?

Does anyone think that say for example Saudi Arabia will become a democracy from a monarchy because of our actions in Iraq?

Would as in the example above, the Saudi Monarchy allow such a move?

Would as in the example above the Saudi Monarchy support a group or groups to ensure failure of a democracy in a democratic Arab state?

Could the Iraqi ever be fully trained to repel such groups? If so, how long, how much money and lives would it cost? Who would pay and who's lives will be lost?

By killing a terrorist, would you eliminate the terrorist or create more in his or her place?

Finally...If you lead a horse to water, can you make 'em drink?

Daniel Speicher 12 years, 9 months ago

Manson, that is ridiculous... I have yet to hear or read any proof that Iraq was EVER involved with ANY terrorist action against US. That isn't to say they weren't terrorist in their actions. But, if we are going to bomb them for that, than we really ought to think about bombing Israel (both the Palestinian-controlled side as well as the Israeli-controlled side.) Oh, and, since we're in the air with our bombers... Let's fly Northwest and get the IRA in Ireland as well... Of course, if we do that we'd have to bomb the UK as well... And, shoot... They're our allies. One of the few at this point. Of course, one could say that maybe we ought to just go ahead and bomb ourselves considering we were the very ones who supplied Bin Laden and supplied numerous other countries so that they might perform terrorist and/or guerilla acts against other, less prepared, nations as well.

Where exactly does the buck stop? I can't exactly call America an Imperialist nation... Because, I'm sure with the mentality we have there is absolutely NO WAY we would want to annex Iraq or any other country in the Middle East... After all, very few of those nations have the mass ratio of Hollywood Theaters, Starbucks Coffee Shops or even McDonalds... THOSE SAVAGES! But, I would dare say that the US has made a habit of jumping the gun on situations like the one at hand. "But, they were involved in 9/11... Wait a minute... I'm wrong." "But, they have WMD's... DOG GONE IT!! WRONG AGAIN!" Perhaps the US would be better off spending the billions of dollars that are going to this war on adequate Intelligence funds and local law enforcement (just an idea.)

As for you, Jack1969, I can't tell if you're being facicious or serious... So, I'm going to assume serious, and if you're not, just let me know. Not to mention, there are those out there who actually believe what you believe... And I think it is good to get this message out there for them. Anyway, as a Christian (which supposedly you are if your post is serious), I would try to stay away from this situation as much as possible. Just because our "illustrious" leader, Bush, has a weekly conference call with "god", doesn't mean that our hands need to have the blood of the innocents on them as well. Calling Lawrence (and Douglas County) a "Bible turd", by the way, is an awesome way of spreading Christ's love... Great job!

--Danny Speicher

Linda Aikins 12 years, 9 months ago

TOB - did you see this article? I bet somehow you and I are related to him.

GREENSBURG - When Richard Huckriede walked through the door of Hunter Drug Store in October 1952 to begin his job as a soda jerk, he didn't realize he would pass almost daily through that same door for the next 53 years. (continued)

Jack1969 12 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

bhanson 12 years, 9 months ago

Protesting, whether it is anti-war or pro war is worthless. Guess what, no one in Washington is saying oh my gosh, we have about 400 upset people in Lawrence well if there upset we better get all of our troops out of Iraq immediately. The flip side of that is no one Washington will continue to keep our troops in Iraq based on a handful of people showing up to support our war efforts. I am not necessarily in favor of the War in Iraq, but I don't believe we can pull out now. This would leave Iraq with an even bigger mess. Protesting has become a social event and that is really sad. If you want to help the world, start at home. Quit marching, singing, and chanting and use your time wisely to make a real difference. Help teach kids to read, clean up a park, help an elderly person take of there house, the list of positive things that can be done is endless. How much good could 400 people have accomplished during a Saturday instead of wasting there time blasting the war.

Aileen Dingus 12 years, 9 months ago

bhanson- you're probably correct that nobody in Washington gives a hoot about what we did here in Lawrence yesterday. However, my 8 year old daughter did. She was there and saw what people were doing, heard what they were saying and started THINKING.

THAT is how these marches and protests make a difference. No- I cannot change George Bush by marching down Mass. But I can show my children a different path and get them interested and concerned. That way, THEY can change the future.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 9 months ago

Do the Iraq people need us to teach them how to fight? We could bring the troops home and provide weapons to Iraq such that we've done for the past 25 years or more.

This whole mess was suppose to be directed at bin Laden and Al Qaida? These two were not in Iraq. Saddam and bin Laden did not like each other...Saddam had too many western lifesyles like some freedoms for women.

The Bin Laden Family(Saudi Arabia) was recently awarded Iraq construction contracts. Most of the people in the 9/11 planes were from Saudi Arabia and funded from Saudi Arabians. This family cannot lose for winning. Bring The Troops Home

The premeditated war for control of natural resources that belong to the Iraq people obviously has proved more difficult than the neocons expected.

Why did the Bush family of neocons think the mideast people of Iraq would want american oil people to control their natural resources as well as their primary source of revenue?

I know you are very busy but did you know...

The Bush Administration Is Anti American!

Disaster profiteering here and abroad, government paid mercenaries in many american and foreign cities and no bid contracts are ripping off the american taxpayer and keeping americans from being hired in Katrina hurricane region. The inability of Bush to rein in gas prices places an everyday increase on our cost of living. All of the interest on the Bush borrowing spree is a huge tax increase on all taxpayers even the lovers of Bush everyday.

Bush's rather crude approach to our allies regarding Iraq certainly is not representative of the true american way of thinking. Recently he started blaming Clinton for his failure to pay attention to the Al Qaida before 9/11 and everyone knows he was well briefed on the matter from the Clinton administration. July 2001 AG Ashcroft decided against further intelligence briefings on al Qaida...the question is why?

Food for thought: ------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I have a record in office, as well. And all Americans have seen that record. September the 4th, 2001, I stood in the ruins of the Twin Towers. It's a day I will never forget." -George W. Bush, Marlton, New Jersey, Oct. 18, 2004

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 9 months ago

All of these people sitting around saying "the US was wrong for going into Iraq", "There were no WMD's", "Bush lied", etc. are like the leaders after Hurricane Katrina. Instead of doing something about the people that were stuck on their roofs starving to death, they are arguing about why something wasn't done before. Who cares? The fact is that we are there, in Iraq now, just like those people were stuck on their roofs. We need to figure out how to bring down the insurgency and get the Iraqi people down off of their roofs.

bhanson 12 years, 9 months ago

Daizie I don't disagree with that statement at all. But, how much more powerful of an experience would it have been for you child to use her abilities to help someone else rather than to learn about a cause. Protests have been an integral part of our history, they were needed to help bring light to issues that the general public might not understand or know about. In the information age they do not have the same effect. I ask what did any of the protesters accomplish yesterday. I know, now your 8 year old is thinking and might be able to change the future, but so much more good could have been done. I don't think protesters are bad people I just think all people should use their time more wisely for the betterment of our community, state, country, and maybe even the world as a whole.

Manson 12 years, 9 months ago

Maybe I need to clarify my stance. I realize that Iraq had little threat to the US before we invaded. The need for a battleground to kill those that want to kill us was an absolute.... Where do we do it? Hrmm.....well lets see...there is oh wait I got it Iraq. Iraq has constatnly disobeyed UN regs,Iraq has a regime that is opressive, Sadam by consensous is a tyrant (except if you ask the French) Iraq is centrally located between the sources of most of our enemys. Wow! What a great place to kill crazy suicide cowards! At the same time we can keep an eye on Israel and Afganistan and more impotantly Iran. You see the logistical value of Iraq? It was the most susceptable to warfare vs. the US. The end result and value of this piece of realestate is the key for a long protective stratgey.

Do any of you that want the troops home actually believe that Iraq has a chance of success without the US?

DO you believe that if the troops come home that the attacks on the US will increase here at home?

Protrcting our nation is a much tougher job than you ignorant fools blinded by the herd give it credit for. It calls for calice and tough decisions that many lack the power to make. That is why many of you here and in Washington are playing arm chair quarterbacks. Forget WMD's forget Bio chem weapons, forget the superficial reasons for war. The reality is fighting in Iraq SAVES American lives here at home where we are much more at risk of attack. People getting caught up in the WMD's fail to see the value of our position in the mid east.

This isn't just about Iraq. It is about Saudia Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afganistan and those crazy Palistinians. This is an elementary warfare tactic on a global scale. If you were to ask the great military leaders of the past to assess our strategic situation in Iraq they would agree it's value allows us to intercept and attack at a safe distance leaving our country in tact.

When it comes down to it it's either Them or US..... You choose. WIthdrawl military prepared for attacks at home I hope you can live with yourself when civilians die. That blood is on your hands not mine. Maybe thats what the American people need. Another attack on our soil to see more civilians die. Then people might realize that hey our troops were doing a tough but required job over in Iraq in the first place.

beatrice 12 years, 9 months ago

Manson: It took 11 people to hijack the planes on Sept. 11. Do you really believe that our taking over of a country in the Middle East somehow will keep 11 more people from attacking us here again? Our attack against a secular dictator -- and yes, people against the war know that Hussein was a bad man and a dictator -- has given rise to a country in which the new constitution is based on the laws of Islam. Brilliant. Now I feel so much safer.

The President lied about the reasons to go to war, and to say it doesn't matter is repugnant and blatantly un-American. It is the kind of heavy handedness that is akin to a dictator, don't ya think?

By the way, if you love the President and this war so much, why aren't you over there fighting?

rhd99 12 years, 9 months ago

Seems we're at an impasse. Bush was VERY misguided in us going to Iraq, because he DOES NOT have a clear & concise policy, & EXIT STRATEGY. Now, those who support him in this Iraq war, very well, you have every right to do so. Beatrice, I saw where you said "if you love the President and this war so much, why aren't you over there fighting?" I want you to know something, & everyone here, please take note, I REALLY wanted to join our military but because of medical conditions, I am not able to do so, otherwise, I would have gone over there in a heartbeat even if it meant I was in the Reserves on Combat Service Support detail (transportation, Admin., etc). I regret I cannot join, & I wish circumstances had changed, but they can't, not now, not ever. I support our troops, but that does NOT mean that I support Bush & his OUTLANDISH policy, one which, thank you very much, has no clear & CONCISE ending.

rhd99 12 years, 9 months ago

OMB, what the heck does that mean about 9 1 1 if one gets robbed, they shouldn't call the cops? Look, our troops need our support, but BUSH needs to redefine how the mission in Iraq will be successful. Everyone against this war has a valid point, they fear that our country is not any safer because we're over there. This is Bush/Cheney's war, therefore, they need to be in Iraq with a rifle in hand, instead of being on vacation.

l_eustacy 12 years, 9 months ago

What is it that we have that the Iraqis don't have? Roundabouts!!!

Let's give 'em what they need!

Lawrence Kansas - making the world safer, one intersection at a time.

lunacydetector 12 years, 9 months ago

why are you participating in the peace march?

the translated answers to all of the peace marchers........

we are democrats who hate george bush, and the older ones in the crowd are here because it brings back good memories of the peace marches of our youth.

there is also some good weed available and we get to meet people who've protested in other parts of the country already.

it makes for a groovy time.

....just kidding.

lunacydetector 12 years, 9 months ago

i wish i sold beaded necklaces. though i count 3 out of 4 interviewees wearing them already. the dude inspired by lech isn't wearing one.

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