Sunday, May 06, 2007

Leibman's complaint...and mine

In a letter to the editor in this month’s Southwest Community Connection, Eric Leibman makes note of our Friday evening peace vigils and then writes, “As a Hillsdale resident, I want to point out that there are definitely people, myself included, who do not agree with the protests.”

I assume that his problem isn’t with protesting per se but with our reasons for protesting as the rest of the long letter is devoted to why he believes American forces must stay in Iraq.

He asks how we protesters plan to avoid the catastrophe that he believes will ensue if American forces withdraw.

He clearly believes the nations of the Middle East are incapable of solving their own problems without an American occupation. And of course there’s the question of maintaining Exxon/Mobil’s (he says “America’s) access to all that oil.

I don’t want to get into the logic or illogic of his arguments, the deceptions of the Bush Administration and the fact that Bush and Cheney are joined at the hip with the corrupt, despotic Saudis and rapacious, collusive Big Oil.

No, I was hoping that Leibman would focus in criticism on the protests themselves. Are they a bad idea? Are they misleading?

I believe they are a good idea, but the are clearly misleading if people seeing us conclude that people like Leibman don’t exist.

I invite Leibman and others of a like mind to come down with their own placards and put their slogans up against ours.

Mine says, “Wage Peace.” Theirs might say, “Wage War.”

Mine says, “Say ‘No!’ to War” Theirs might say, “Say ‘No!’ to Peace” or “Say ‘Yes!’ to War.”

Whatever they say, I’d stand side by side with fellow neighbor Leibman and his colleagues.

As I’ve noted, most commuters signal their approval of our anti-war view, but a few flip us off.
So Leibman might be heartened by support in the stream of homeward-bound traffic.

I hope that we all would find support for just being there and reminding people that this nation is in crisis, however you define it.

I’d like to see that corner become a kind of Speakers' Corner, like that in London’s Hyde Park, where all comers are welcomed. As much as we disagree, we share a belief in free and open public debate.

I’m glad Leibman wrote his letter to The Connection, now I wish he’d stand up for his views next to us at the corner of Sunset and Capitol.

It would do us all good.

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