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Mark Atwood
(link stolen from tepes)

A Measure of Respect

I was born in 1958 and came of age when the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were both in full swing. It has taken me years to put this into words, but I believe that as bad as that war was, the legacy of the anti-war movement was worse. The anti-war movement gave rise to the moral superiority of non-involvement and non-commitment. While that may have worked to help draft-dodgers sleep at night, it's not much of a strategy of how to go through life.
4 comments or Leave a comment
juuro From: juuro Date: July 4th, 2004 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Non-involvement, non-commitment equal to non-living.

And I am a cautious, moderate, middle-of-the road person.
wildcat3616 From: wildcat3616 Date: July 4th, 2004 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was born a little before you, I lost people to vietnam, both then and more recently (a friend who had been a POW), I don't believe the violence of war is good. I don't agree with war/violence as a way to solve anything, but I take pride in those who thru the centuries have given themselves so others may live. And I give honor to those who have fallen and will fall to protect us. But if my son were to say he couldn't aim a gun at another person, I'd help him avoid the draft. Because I know that putting a gun in his hand would not change that fact. Forcing someone to do something they don't want, just doesn't make things better.
jezel From: jezel Date: July 4th, 2004 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I disagree with this entirely. The anti-war movement was not about non-commitment, it was about not wasting human lives in a situation that could not be solved by violence. Nearly everyone has a point at which they will commit violence - to protect their property, to protect their own lives, to protect the lives of others. I believe that those who protest the wars of the last forty years have done so not because they had no feelings of involvement or commitment, but because there was no justification for the violence that was occurring at that time. There was much less protest for the first Gulf War than the second, because the justification for war was much stronger. Likewise for Afghanistan. Most of those who consider themselves to be 'anti-war' would just like better justification and potential outcome than we've been given for spending young lives in this pursuit.
riverheart From: riverheart Date: July 5th, 2004 09:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I will be one of the first in line to take up arms and defend our freedom if it becomes necessary. I could agree with the war in Afghanistan, because it was about defending our country.

But the Vietnam war was not. The Korean war was not. The first Gulf War was not. The second Iraq War was not. The conflicts in which we've been involved during my lifetime, with the single exception of Afghanistan, have not been about defending American freedom.

It's not about non-involvement and non-commitment. It's about knowing what to commit to. If it comes to a front-line situation on Puget Sound, or anywhere else in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, I'll be begging to enlist.

For me, the anti-war movement is about commitment. Commitment to America, commitment to helping ensure that American lives aren't squandered to topple a dictator that we helped a few years ago when he was convenient. It's about commitment to freedom - including the freedom to let others choose their own governance, rather than imposing something onto them because we want to. It's about real involvement, and thinking, rather than blindly supporting whatever the adminstration - any administration - says we ought to do. I'd feel exactly the same if it had been someone other than Bush at the helm of this one.
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