Protesting the war

Upon reading Josh Smith’s letter, “Anti-war Rallies” on Oct. 25, I was surprised by the ignorance and arrogance expressed. If some people are confident in their opinion regarding the possible U.S. war with Iraq, then why do they fear a dissenting opinion?

Calling a peaceful assembly “un-American” disregards our own Bill of Rights! This country was founded on activism. The United States would not exist if it did not rise up against injustice.

To promote nationalism is to let someone else do the thinking for you. Think for yourself! The best way to protect freedom is to exercise it and not suppress it for the sake of a unified, unjust opinion.

To truly be “American,” one must remain informed about issues domestically and internationally, be an active participant in the system and hold authorities accountable for their decisions. That is what a representative government needs from its citizens in order to work properly.

If I am forced to choose between hiding behind nationalism and standing in front of freedom, I’ll choose the latter. I refuse to use “protecting freedom” as an excuse to be self-righteous and promote self-interest.

If we as a nation are concerned about freedom, then let’s not take it away from anybody – not from students on the steps of Northrop Auditorium, and not from people across the world.

Darrin Aase, junior, psychology