Dec 5, 2006

Toledoans Protest War in Iraq

Members of the Northwest Ohio Peace CoalitionThe cold did not deter these protesters

(Toledo, OH) Members of the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition bundled up in the low-teens windchill this morning to display antiwar signs. The group's location today was on the Detroit Avenue overpass over I-75.

In spite of hat, gloves, and a winter coat, I was ill-prepared for just how cold it was this morning. In the dim early morning light I had difficulty getting a decent photo, stupidly leaving my tripod behind. I suppose that's what happens when a writer pretends to be a photographer.

Traffic whizzing by added to my disorientation, and there are good reasons that people should not be walking along the freeway.

Rush hour traffic on southbound I-75 in ToledoRush hour traffic on southbound I-75 in Toledo

Quite a few motorists honked at the protesters, which was not a surprise to one member of the Coalition.

"People generally are very supportive of what we are doing," she said. "The only time we have ever had any negative feedback was right after the war began."

The group also stages protests on streetcorners, and participates in a tombstone project to commemorate the American soldiers killed in Iraq. The group's Arlington Midwest display was vandalized on the campus of the University of Toledo in 2005.

2986 - current death toll in IraqThe death toll keeps climbing

Two thousand, nine hundred, and eighty-six American soldiers have been killed to date in Iraq, and over 22,000 US soldiers have been wounded. Over 50,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed as a direct result of this war since 2003, while other estimates suggest that as many as 655,000 Iraqis have died from war, war-related violence, and deteriorating health conditions since the US invasion.

No matter how one looks at the numbers, that is a lot of dead bodies, and we are still waiting for those weapons of mass destruction, President Bush.

It is time to bring the troops home.


Anonymous said...

Too many dead on both sides, and nothing but lies from Bush. BRING THEM HOME!!!!!!

Michael said...

The vast majority of the killing is being done by Iraqis, or non-Iraqis from neighboring countries in the region.

It seems like it's the only thing many?/most? of them know: kill others you don't like or who disagree with you.

Very few countries in the Middle East can deal with a non-violent gov't.

microdot said...

My admiration to those folks out braving the elements to express their opinions en mass!
To Michael in the comment above:
The situation in the middle east is much too complex of a pandoras box to be blamed on what you percieve as an ethnic bent towards violence and murder!
Most?/many? of the people living there are just like you. They want to be able to live normal lives in peace and realize their dreams and destinies.
The difference between you and them?
They were born there and you were born in America.

Michael said...

Micro: Sorry if my statements seemed like too broad of a brush stroke. Didn't intend it that way; just making an observation.

Yes, most people everywhere want to live peaceful lives. However, it does seem that those against the Iraqi gov't and our involvement resort to violence much quicker than through peaceful means.

Take a look at the local protesters: They peacefully protested. They didn't attack the TPD or a federal gov't building. They voiced their objections and, I assume, will make their opinions known through elections, etc.

Mark said...

I think Michael Moore suggested non-violent resistance for Middle-East residents in his book "Stupid White Men."

A good idea, if these people were ever raised on something other than violence.

All the more reason for us to get the hell out.

microdot said...

I read and agreed with Michael Moore on his comments about non violence.
In a few occasions, the Palestinians have done non violent actions against Israeli aggression and those few times have garnered them more points and good press than they have ever gotten any other way.
I'm really dissapointed with the Iraq Study Group report...they told us nothing we didn't know before and suggested nothing different. This is really turning into George Bush Jr.s personal ego problem. George has to realize that he isn't America. If he loses face because he has to admit he is wrong, it is for the good of the country.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm not sure what I want to say here, other than to let you know that there are still people out there who disagree with you, and not just because they're stupid. I am a Republican, I served in the military, and I don't agree with a lot of the things that President Bush says or does. In this case, however; I believe that it is extremely important that we stay in Iraq for the time being, to make sure that the country remains an ally, and does not turn into just another Middle Eastern enemy of the United States. I think that if we were to leave now, all of the troops that have died in Iraq (some of them my friends and family) would have died for no reason or cause. When I was in Iraq, I told my family that if I died there, it was okay, because at least I died for something bigger and greater than myself, and almost everyone I knew out there felt the same way. I can see how a lot of people can feel the way they do about bringing the troops home now, but I fear that sort of (what I see to be) rash and fearful action will only cause much more war and death of Americans in the future.


Hooda Thunkit said...

The comments that I found most interesting since the report was released were from military who served in Iraq, who say that they can't/don't trust the Iraqis, because they apparently don't have the ability to work together for their own good.

So if the Iraqis won't defend themselves and cannot be trusted by our military, why should we sacrifice our soldiers doing what the Iraqis won't do for themselves?

We need to back out gracefully and let the Iraqis face their enemies themselves or not.

Only when they have to make the choice for themselves will we truly see what they can and will do to remain free.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the seemingly apparent inability of Iraqis to cooperate and compromise has been a large source of my own frustration with the war for quite awhile now, but I do not think that unilaterally pulling out American troops is the solution. I do think that, as time goes on, more and more responsibility should be transferred over to the Iraqi people. I fear that, in the event that the United States were to pull out all its troops, Iraq would become another Iran, another North Korea, just another American enemy. I do not want to see American lives lost, but I fear that if a realtive few lives are lost now, ultimately, we are saving the lives of our children. I don't want to see The Gulf War: Part III, or another September 11th, and I feel that in Iraq, we are helping to prevent both of those things.


microdot said...

Amazing Ashley, you keep talking the same type of talk. You believe that Iraq is actually a real country?
By the insane adventurism of the neo cons, we have destroyed what ever possiblity of Iraq ever becoming a country that could be counted on to do anything positive. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been destroyed because of the pandoras box we have created and opened there. Now the scenario is Iranians trying to protect the Shiite population by backing the militias and the Saudis doing the same to arm and attack the Sunnis. That is what is happening even though you don't get to read it in the official US media. Just look at the foreign press. The reportage and editorials are being published everyday.
You seem to be chasing the same argument that it would dishonor the memories of the brave men who died there to pull out. What takes real guts and imagination is to admit that a policy was wrong and has created much more harm than any good it claimed to aspire to. George Bush knows if he admits he was wrong now, he has thrown himself on the trash heap of history before he can make his get away!

Peahippo said...

Wow, that's amazing, Ashley. How do you do it? How do you hold two entirely contradictory thoughts in one mind?:

1. The USA invaded and occupied Iraq, making it an enemy.
2. The USA wants to make Iraq an ally.

It's going to be more than difficult to convert Iraq into an American ally while we're busy violently assaulting its population during the occupation, after our extremely violent invasion. After 30-90 thousand native deaths, it's impossible to make friends.

Someone has to tell you, Ashley, that you can't persuade a peaceful people with bombs, and for that matter, if you're using that method to try to convince them to not bomb people, you've committed a double error. By bombing Iraq, America has only persuaded the Iraqis to hate the American military, America itself, and the West in general.


What's happening to Iraq right now is an Imperial occupation in order to steal their oil. The Iraqis well know that. The world also well knows that. However, the Imperial Western Powers (America and Britain) prefer to pretend that the war was about anything else, and this pretending has infected the Western media for years.

Nothing is going to change until the occupiers leave the area. Transfers to a UN force is still occupation. Transfers to an US-governed Iraqi force is still occupation. In other words, you can't "improve" a RAPE until the penis leaves the vagina ... and after that, well, the rapist has to be punished or he'll just rape again.

Ashley, you as a woman should understand that more than anyone. So, try THINKING, for a change. Try READING books, not just watching Fox News and listening to Beck/Limbaugh/Hannity.