by Joshua Frank
November 10, 2002
Revealing madness for a culture driven by luxuries excess, the youth of the United States should begin unmasking their contempt for an unfettered administration hell bent on war with Saddam. Cable syndicates and Washington follies have no place in the order of marking our youth for battle. As if polling the masses is somehow equivalent to a democratic vote.
Air Force General Richard Myers a few weeks ago made the comment that this battle will be “no cake walk,” and that most conflicts will happen in urban settings, with many ground troops needed. Battle in populated areas will only result in many civilian and American casualties. War back home will not be displayed by pie charts on CNN marking enemy targets as hit or missed, but rather with body bags of American soldiers packaged and wrapped for burial for their loved ones back home; carnage we haven’t seen since Vietnam. Is the United States ready for mass burials, and a war that will only result in more Arab angst toward the US? Or will we stand up now before it is too late?
As a twenty-four year old American who is opposed and critical of the Bush Administration’s call to arms against Iraq, I am challenging all youth in America to make their voices heard. Saddam surely is an evil dictator, and “regime change” is needed, but are we willing to risk thousands of American and Iraqi lives for this outcome? Even seemingly pro-war author Christopher Hitchens notes in a September article in The Nation, that “the Saddam Hussein regime will fall either by his own weight or from the physical and mental collapse of its leader.” Is our generation willing to fight our elder’s battles, even when many pro-war intellectuals see Saddam falling anyway? Is this a moral war? Will this war do more harm then good? Will it end terrorism? Should we be the police of the world? Will we be liberating Iraq? Or will this war, like most others, result in sobering death tolls, and political upheaval that will divide the world into us vs. them rhetoric. As if man’s preponderance for war justifies shedding our children’s blood for oil.
How long will we march to the beat of a distant drummer, whose rhythm is not that of a future with solidarity or peace, but of a combustion engine grinding our souls toward eternal extinction. I for one will not sit silent, and I hope that you won’t either. Put a bumper sticker on your car, engage in conversation with family and friends, call your senator and representative, organize rallies, attend public meetings, vote; for if we are not the drummer’s of our own future, we will saturate ourselves in the oil of our own tears.
Joshua Frank, 24, is an activist and freelance writer living in Portland, Oregon. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org