I have been listening to large groups of Vermonters complain about our government and the possibility of war for the last few months now.
They stand in the safety of local Church Street with their picket signs saying, “No war for Oil.”
That argument is the lowest common denominator and a very small piece of the larger pie.
I have listened to people rip apart Bush’s presidency and his motives.
I have then taken the time to listen to stories from friends who are overseas for this country right now, fighting for the freedom of others.
It is very easy to sit in the comfort of our own living rooms and to say that war is not an option.
It is easy, too, to say that this war is going to put our country into even more debt than we are in now and that it is not our business to be in these other countries when we haven’t been asked for help from their government. Additionally, there are many other valid, selfish points. However, I think it is about time everybody put themselves in a different position for a moment.
Perhaps you will agree that there is another, more serious side to this: the lives and freedom of other people.
If you have heard the stories of the soldiers overseas and about their progress, then you understand the difference America is making to these other countries.
If you have not heard of these accomplishments, perhaps you should start listening instead of picking and choosing what you want to hear.
Perhaps you should start asking questions to those who are actually there instead of listening to the opinions of those who will only talk about war from the safety of their own local city street, living room or classroom.
Has anyone told you that our troops are building classrooms and supplying food to many people in Iraq? This is the first time many have had the chance to go to school, read books and even eat well.
You will also hear, over and over again, from those who are actually over there experiencing foreign opinion, that the only people who are against America are the ones who are doing “no good.”
The only ones who do not want our help are those who are too scared to take it.
Many folks here take for granted that we get to question our government openly without fear of death.
Believe it or not, that is a Reality for people living in other parts of the world, including Iraq.
Ask yourself this: if America knew what Hitler was really doing years ago, would we have stopped him?
I would hope that everyone reading this would yell out, “Hell yes!”
Have you read about some of the things Saddam Hussein is doing to his own people?
Saddam and Hitler can be compared!
Would you like to sit back and do nothing to help these people?
Just because these people are not Americans, not your neighbors and not your family?
Do you want to sit around complaining that going to war will put our country in more debt, ignoring the good war can do for these people’s freedoms, just because you already have your freedom?
This terrorism may not have affected you personally yet, but it will if we let it continue. President Bush is not just making this up. I truly believe he has just a little more access to information than you do.
Or would you rather take the word of a man like Saddam Hussein? Anyone who holds up a sign saying this war is about oil is doing just that.
Sometimes we have to remember that “Evil grows when good people do nothing.”
There is nothing more important than standing up for our country and our freedom. It is hard for me to believe that just because you have it so good that you would dismiss the fact that others do not.
Do not turn a blind eye to what is really happening over there. Do not dismiss the torment that others are going through just because it is not in front of your face. Others have seen it. Others are living it!
Here we are complaining that the President of the United States wants to not only help another people but also to ensure that one vicious man does not take away our very own freedom.
Damn him? No. Damn you for not wanting to help.
I just want everybody to hear both sides before making a decision on where they stand.
Over the last 12 years, the United Nations has created 17 different peaceful resolutions giving Saddam Hussein the chance to disarm himself.
Has anyone reiterated to you that what happened on 9/11 could happen again, only worse? Are you willing to take that chance with the lives of your own family?
Do not forget what can happen to our security and freedom when we allow evil to reign.
I ask you to consider that before you start protesting a war about freedom.
I can guarantee that once our own freedom is put in jeopardy, this same group of protesters will be the first and loudest to complain that the President should have been taking better steps to protect us.
And why is everyone so mad that our country is one of the most powerful nations?
Do we really think America promotes such horrible values?
Or are you just assuming that our government thinks and acts in such selfish ways because that is the way you think and behave in your life?
Shouldn’t protestors be speaking out about “world peace?” Isn’t that the big picture we should be asking for?
Give peace to another group of people who so badly want it, but don’t have the freedom to ask! Give freedom to your future.
What if it was you over there? What if it was your family who was living without the freedoms we have here?
Would you want to help? Would you want the stronger to come to your aid? Would you be grateful?
If you answer no, you do so because you have never lived as non-Americans do.
Instead of being angry that our government is taking our people and sending them to war, why don’t you understand that these brave Americans have enlisted themselves to do so? They have been trained and they are powerful, and they deserve your support.
Sure, by entering into war, we may put ourselves in more debt. But what is money when we’re talking about other human lives?
Thank you on behalf of the other side.