Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday Honk for Peace in Tyler, TX

IMG_3015, originally uploaded by androidny.

Click here to see a video of the protest in action.

Here's two letters to the editor in response to a letter to the editor
criticizing the "Friday Honk for Peace" group:

To Tyler paper:

This letter is to protest the protest to the protest. One of your correspondents, initials RWM, writes that his Daddy was wounded in World War II, and therefore he thinks people have no business protesting the Iraq War!

He doubts " the sincerity and sanity" of the Tyler peace protesters, who appear on the Smith County Court House square on Fridays.

"Have you given any thought to what our defeat would mean?" he asks, meaning I guess "defeat" of the United States by Iraq or Afghanistan. If that is not silly, what is?

As a Peacenik myself, I would ask that letter writer what a "victory" would mean as well. Since my Daddy was a veteran of World War One, maybe he would think me qualified to speak up?

The War Hawks in Bush Administration declared they wanted "regime change" and elimination of Saddam Hussein, and they did this ...after already announcing Mission Accomplished. No WMD, of course, their other objective, now recognized as a fraudulent excuse for Bush's dream.

Perhaps catching Saddam might be called "victory" for the USA. That is as close as we will come anyhow to an identifiable "win". We won't get into the issue of what it is costing every single American!

Comparing World War II with the present situation in Middle East is pretty far-fetched, That is, comparing apples to oranges.... to put it mildly.

Several of the Tyler peace protesters happen to be veterans of World War II, one a former German Prisoner of War. No one needs to be a veteran to advocate for peace, but the presence of these veterans does "make a different statement" from the sarcastic writer whose Daddy was one.

I do not doubt the gentleman's sincerity, but his sanity --hold on reality, that is--- or maybe his cultural deficiency ---is another thing entirely . What gives him the right to object to Americans "honking for peace" every Friday in Tyler, Texas? How un-American is he?

Anne Williams

To the Editor
June 30, 2008

The rhetoric from a very small contingent of citizens surrounding the ongoing protests against the Iraq War on the down town Smith Co. courthouse square on Fridays seeks to define what is "anti-American" locally; perhaps they wish nationally. Dream on!

The Constitutional right to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances stands somewhat in tatters but remains in tact. That a large percentage of the participants in these local protests are Veterans, going back to the Battle of the Bulge and WWII POW incarceration is irrelevant to the issues. Anyone, not just veterans, may publicly exercise that right and should be courageous to do so because of the courageous acts of Veterans and their families who paid for it in blood, suffering, and death.

Perhaps this small group of Friday protesters would like a crack at "defining" what is anti-American locally…nationally.

Some of us would say that attempting to muzzle free political speech is anti-American. There is a long history of that. Women were thought to be anti-American to demand the right to vote while we were fighting WWI. At the height of the depression, May 1932, US American veterans protesting for the war bonus which the government had promised but failed to deliver, were removed at bayonet point using regular Army troops in Washington DC by none other than Gen. Douglas Macarthur. No wonder the framers of the Constitution included the 2nd amendment of the Constitution. They feared a day when citizens would have to bear arms to protect themselves from their own government!

Perhaps loosing representative government as we have is anti-American. Our system has sadly evolved into one where the elected representatives function under a system of legalized bribery! They represent primarily the people who give lots and lots of money! While the lobbyist write the legislation, they gad about raising money for the next election…down right un-American to some of us!

Perhaps the obscene squandering of untold billions on foreign wars which do nothing to increase our security, but rather make otherwise neutral peoples all over the world hate us passionately, is anti-American. We kill hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens in "collateral damage", displace millions, destroy their infrastructure and stand impotent to restore them. We contaminate their whole land with depleted uranium. We attempt, with mercenary armies, to conduct the war by "contract".

In our confusion, we think that an ideology of terrorism can be fought with cruse missiles, tanks and gattling guns. We abuse our loyal troops with tour after tour after tour, then fail to fund their care when they come home. We blame their PTS on preexisting personality disorders so as to save the costs of treatment. We criticize those who want the troops to be treated decently and fairly. This is anti-American.

Judson Malone

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