War demands discussion

This letter is in response to Josh Smith’s letter, “Anti-war rallies,” which appeared Friday. Smith said the anti-war movement “participants … are doing a great disservice to their country and their fellow Americans.”

I did not participate in the rallies, but I need to respectfully disagree with this viewpoint. There is little evidence there has been any serious debate in Washington on whether we should wage war on a country that has not waged war on us. Senators signed a blank check to get re-elected.

I have not seen Saddam Hussein tossing his hazardous chemicals in our water, or heard of mass sprayings of our crops with these agents of war. I have not heard of him killing Americans who are flying over his country.

Just because we have the most powerful fighting force on earth does not mean we should use it simply because there is a threat. War involves the loss of life, American and Arab. Questions of life and death are not something to simply “support the president on.”

It is serious and demands serious discussion. I tip my hat to the protestors for assuming their very American responsibility of forcing some debate.

I tip my hat to them for exercising their very American constitutional right of speaking out. I also tip my hat to Smith for speaking his mind.

Will those same Americans who banded together under the flag after Sept. 11 actually take their most patriotic responsibility and take 15 minutes from each day to become informed citizens instead of watching “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill” while the news is on?

Will those same Americans band together collectively and vote their conscience rather than their party affiliation? I hope I am wrong, but after reading Smith’s letter, I have serious doubts that they will fulfill these truly American duties.

Benjamin Sunderlin, junior, chemical engineering