Editor’s Note: It is our policy to not run responses to responses, but due to the overwhelming amount of submissions to Chris Rice’s column, “Take Safety for Granted,” (Daily Nexus, Feb. 1) we have taken excerpts from numerous rebuttals, edited for space.
Terrorists have succeeded when Americans are so afraid that they are willing to sacrifice their principles. It’s fine to be proud of these principles — freedom of speech, protection of civil liberties — but let’s not twist this pride into a motto that touts unilateral military might. Also, who the fuck doesn’t support our troops? Do you think liberals draw attention to the fact that 1,500 Americans have died – not to mention 100,000 or more Iraqi civilians — because we’re happy that many lives have been needlessly sacrificed for a baseless war? Why would we protest the lack of armament our troops receive if we didn’t support them? What we don’t support are the preemptive policies of an administration that disregards diplomacy and sees fit to invade a country that poses no imminent threat.
You say you want a safe America and a safe world, how about starting off by not occupying and destabilizing countries, thereby creating hotbeds for further militant uprising and breeding contempt for Americans. And, about citizens not being able to change the world, last time I checked, we were living under a democracy, not a monarchy, and as such, the people have the power and responsibility to enact change. Blind compliance with the party line does our country a disservice. Maybe you’ll better understand if I put Thomas Jefferson’s words in the form of a bumper sticker — “dissent is patriotic.”
Apart from pointing out the deep irony in Mr. Rice’s use of the media to voice his disagreement with another’s opinion – then and stating that those who disagree with his ideals should keep it to themselves — I do wish to ask him what exactly he is trying to have President Bush defend America from? His ideas on freedom, and our seeming obligation to be pleased just from the fact that we have it, is hard to swallow when Mr. Rice doesn’t want to allow people who differ with him in opinion to have their say. He wants people to be quiet; however, he continues to want them to be pleased by the fact that, if they wanted to, they have the right to complain. Democracy and freedom of speech does not mean the right to elect a leader once every four years — and then submit and be quiet until the process comes around again. It is our duty as citizens of a democratic country to express our views and to constantly question our government and the decisions that it makes.
There ought to be no doubt in your mind that when a person criticizes the war they therefore care about the fact that our troops are dying. It’s asinine to say that those who share this perspective don’t support our troops.
As to the war itself, it has made America less safe. Yes, we can fight terrorism in all its manifestations, but what are we doing about the causes (i.e., why do strangers feel compelled to sacrifice their lives in order to cause harm to us?). We need to wake up and realize that terrorists hate our policies, and they hate our presence in the Middle East. Our occupation of Iraq only perpetuates their hatred for us. Bush’s unnecessary war has not only made us less safe, but it has also put our troops in far more danger than any protester ever could.
I don’t understand for whom you wish to keep the world safe. Could it be the thousands of Iraqi’s that have died as a result of our actions? Or could it be the rest of the Middle Eastern countries who live with our armies at their doorstep? All I wonder is where we will go next. Iran is right next-door, and I hear from some very reliable sources that they, too, might have weapons of mass destruction — just like Iraq did. I mean, we might as well go in there and destroy and destabilize the country to find out. So, I ask, how is the world safer under President Bush?