People in our peace community held a rally yesterday in a beautiful location. The rally was well organized, well publicized, had good speakers and the weather turned out perfect. When I got there, it should have been heartening to see the crowd of people who had gathered, the row of peace flags waving, the signs demanding our troops be brought home. But I felt only sadness.
How many times had we rallied at that same location to protest George Bush’s plan to invade Iraq? How many millions of people around the world had marched in an attempt to stop that invasion? But Bush/Cheney wanted their “Shock and Awe” on a city where 50% of the residents were under the age of 15. They wanted to use their shiny DU weapons, spreading radioactive dust across a nation.
How many times during the following years did we stand along that boulevard for hours with our signs, trying to educate US citizens to the fact that their commander in chief was an idiot? Trying to make people understand that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attack on 9/11. But Saddam was such an easy bogeyman to hate, such an easy answer to the question “who do we blame?” An easy answer, but the wrong one. I couldn’t stop thinking about what the state of our nation’s economy would be right now if George Bush had never set foot in the White House. No economic crisis fueled by deregulation. No loss of billions of dollars squandered to wage senseless, unwinnable wars.
Other people at the rally seemed happier, enthusiastic, encouraged by the turn-out. I didn’t want to infect others with my cloud of gloom, so I left.