Responses to anti-war protest column

The Iraqi and Afghan people do not deserve for us to treat them as though they canâÄôt govern or deal with the situation in their own country. ThatâÄôs what sovereignty is. Many times people use the âÄúyou broke it, you bought itâÄù argument; but we arenâÄôt talking about a vase, weâÄôre talking about someoneâÄôs home. Would you want the person who destroyed your home help rebuild it? And at the same time decide to whom the contracts go, the timeframe that theyâÄôll give you back the keys to your home, and also say that theyâÄôre protecting you while limiting your movement? This is the reality of the occupation. And now the Iraqi government has signed the only option that has been presented to them that maybe will give them back some of their country. ThatâÄôs not good enough. The Iraqi people can only react to what the U.S. government puts in front of them, instead of actually being able to say what they want. That is all backward and anyone who believes in sovereignty should agree. Iraq is not our country to make decisions about and saying that we need to stay to keep the country stable is not irresponsible, itâÄôs condescending! The Iraqi people have the right to decide who should be there, what happens within their borders, and are capable of figuring it out. That is what sovereignty is. Lastly, there is no disrespect to the troops in saying that we believe they should be at home. Iraqis are dying and many caring people in the United States donâÄôt want have their tax money or family members and friends to be part of that in any way. Soldiers have no business going to other countries to build roads and schools; the Iraqi people having the right to do it themselves. With unemployment rates close to 80 percent in some areas, Iraqis could desperately use those jobs. Tracy Molm University student Students for a Democratic Society adviser I am writing in response to Ross Anderson’s column about Students for a Democratic SocietyâÄôs recent anti-war demonstration. I disagree with AndersonâÄôs main point that SDS should stop protesting current U.S. war policy. Instead, I support SDS and anyone else who opposes the ongoing suffering caused by U.S. wars across the world. Anderson says that troops are âÄúbuilding water-treatment plants, schools, roads, bridgesâÄù among other good deeds and that the soldiers should stay in Iraq and elsewhere so that they can continue their work. Such a conclusion tacitly supports the misguided notion that military forces are primarily geared to productive ends, rather than being instruments of war. Additionally, though he acknowledges that the U.S. invasion has resulted in destruction in the past, Anderson never addresses the unstated assumptions behind his continued support for the U.S. occupation. Aside from the absurdity of the implication that the U.S. military has stopped killing people, we can call into question the idea that an invading army should be in charge of reconstructing a country it has destroyed. Contrary to AndersonâÄôs position, I believe that it is Iraqis who are in the best position to look out for their own interests. The U.S. military can do its part best by leaving Iraq totally, immediately, and without condition. In conclusion, SDS has taken the correct position: we must call on the U.S. government to end its occupations immediately, particularly at a time when the government has stated its intention of escalating the war in Afghanistan and leaving large numbers of troops in Iraq. Thomas Lenius University employee