Thursday, June 02, 2005

Why I march

As readers of this blog know, I weekly march in protest of the war in Iraq, carrying a sign that counts the dead and wounded G.I.'s and Iraqis, and demands that Bush order our immediate withdrawal. We (five regulars and an average of five irregulars) cover a two-mile loop in downtown SB, singing peace songs and chanting anti-Bush slogans. I also hold the sign up at various intersections here in SB, about two hours a week. In both settings the response by passers-by is overwhelmingly supportive, with the honks and thumbs-up outnumbering the middle-finger salutes and jeers by a two to one margin, and the favorable ratio is increasing weekly.

I call attention to this because some friends have wondered why I persist, especially since the 2004 election gave Bush the White House for four more years, and there doesn't seem to be much articulation of a protest movement, or a demand for withdrawal from Iraq, in Congress or on other streets of the U.S.

Well, my answer is simple. I just can't not protest, not simply in this blog with a readership (maybe) of five or six like-minded souls, but in some way that maybe will be noted by someone who'll reflect for a moment on this ongoing outrage and maybe, just maybe, be affected in some positive way. Maybe someone will see the figures (to date)--1667 dead G.I.'s, and 12,222 wounded; 24,000 dead Iraqi civilians; $300,000,000,000 wasted--and be affected. Maybe.

To me, the question isn't Why do we march?, but Why aren't more people marching? I've seen little discussion of this question, particularly in view of the polls showing that a large majority of Americans feel that the war in Iraq isn't "worth it." Here's one columnist who's asked the question, Why isn't there more protest? His answer--not comforting--is that Americans aren't sufficiently moved to react because the body count isn't high enough. Well, if he's right, then I suppose all we have to do is keep marching and wait a while.

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