Missouri Rep. Steve Hunter (file photo)
Like the mayor in his speech at a pro war rally on March 30th, Representative Hunter used a quote to further his rhetoric about anti-war protestors. His own comments were specifically against those opposed to the Vietnam War, whom he apparently referred to as "long haired and maggot-infested hippies and drug users."
Hunter said he grew up in Albany, Missouri--not Albany, New York where he might have met some very well washed, gray-suited moderates opposed to the war in Nam, and not Albany, GA where he might have gotten a more positive viewpoint on the morality of protest during the Civil Rights Movement.
Unfortunately, we didn't cover the rally, but we trust that the Globe reporting was accurate. (We invite comments to the contrary in our forum.) Hunter apparently was quoting the first few lines of a column entitled, "Political left is big loser in Iraqi war" (Globe, April 12). Written by rightwing extremist Cal Thomas, the column essentially slams anti-war protestors as being "comical" perpetrators of immorality, and it includes them with other "losers," specifically the Chinese Russian and French governments.
The Thomas diatribe was essentially against anti-war protestors who gathered in Belfast, North Ireland for the abbreviated Bush-Blair summit meeting. "They demonized the victors--who are fighting in a moral cause--and not the losers, who fight to preserve an immoral rule," Thomas wrote. "These protestors' silence during the deposed (and possibly dead) Saddam Hussein's three decades of murder and mayhem makes them irrelevant."
Since no real weapons of mass destruction seem to have been found in Iraq (not even planted ones?), the new administration spin seems to be that the war was fought to liberate the oppressed people of Iraq. (There now seems to be some controversy over just who those newly non-oppressed people are who are pillaging and randomly killing citizens in the newly liberated cities and towns.)
"The notion that free nations can and should do nothing about oppressed people was a big loser," Thomas wrote and quoted President Bush in a joint news conference with Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair as saying that free nations (such as the US) have a responsibility to confront terrorism and promote human rights across the world. (So, where will go next? Syria?--apparently members of the Bush Administration think so. What about Cuba?--where those reputed 20,000 scientists could be working on more than just cures for disease.)
Just whom to believe admittedly is puzzling. For instance, Thomas says that Michael Gove says that according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, each of the Chinese, Russian and French governments supplied more arms to Saddam than any other nation and that the US supplied just 1% and Britain less than that. But a book by Mark Phythian and Nikos Passas entitled, Arming Iraq: How the US and Britain Secretly Built Saddam's War Machine counters that argument.
Hunter apparently criticized the media slant on the war. We do agree with his notion, as reported by the Globe, that the audience shouldn't let the media "tell you want to do," and that it was up to them "to interpret." We include Hunter's own rhetoric and that of Thomas in this advice.
Currently, there is a MSNBC.com link to a list of books suggested by experts in their fields about the history and social conditions of Iraq, including the deadly impact of sanctions and the media in shaping public opinion. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but passion over intellect is even more so.
Are we going to invade every country (with weapons of mass destruction) for the betterment of mankind? We shudder to think that our citizens would support that excuse for aggression. History also proves the folly in that.