Monday, September 26, 2005

PRO-WAR DEMONSTRATORS managed to muster about 400 people today to declare their support for U.S. troops by demanding that they stay in Iraq.

The pro-war marchers made the usual statements about American soldiers "fighting for our freedom."

Melody Vigna, 44, of Linden, Calif., said she wants nothing to do with Sheehan and others at nearby Camp Casey, an anti-war site set up to honor her son, Casey, who was killed in Iraq.

"Our troops are over there fighting for our rights, and if she was in one of those countries she would not be able to do that," Vigna said.

I would like to ask Vigna and others who share that view, what she means when she says our troops are in Iraq "fighting for our rights." First of all, how does she figure that Americans' rights are located in Iraq? When did Iraqis take "our rights" so that Americans have to fight to get them back? And second, if Vigna feels that "those countries" are inferior to her country because none of them would allow Cindy Sheehan to "fight for her rights," then why is she angry at Sheehan for using her rights? Why are Americans dying by the thousands in Iraq to fight for rights that Americans like Vigna don't want Americans like Cindy Sheehan to use?

Of course, the reality is that American soldiers are not "over there fighting for our rights." They are not fighting for Americans' freedom, and they are certainly not fighting for Iraqis' freedom. They are fighting, and dying, for U.S. business interests and strategic political interests in the Middle East. They are fighting, and dying, to indulge a personal vendetta and a fanatical religious point of view that is every bit as poisonous and dangerous as the extreme form of Islamic belief held by Osama bin Laden and his followers.

And 59% of Americans -- and growing -- are waking up to that reality, if they didn't already know it. Melody Vigna is in the minority. It's Cindy Sheehan who represents the mainstream, majority point of view in this country.

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