GUEST COLUMN: Stand up, protest the war

The people of this country have arrived at a moment of reckoning. Should its citizens continue to support the doomed and immoral occupation of Iraq? Are more than 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths and more than 2,000 U.S. military fatalities enough to warrant a realistic assessment of the failure in Iraq?

The Sept. 16-18 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll revealed 62 percent of Americans are against the war and nearly one-third of the populace wants to see all the troops come home. However, the Bush Administration has vowed to “stay the course,” despite the consequences of its failed plan. Occupation is not liberation. 

Yet, this war could continue for years. Why? The reason lies within “us,” the citizenry of the strongest military empire on the earth. Regardless of public opinion polls, this climate of apathy provides ideal conditions for support of this war.

Randolph Bourne described it as a “feeble acquiescence.” This is what war requires to continue unabated. Think about it: How many times a day do you consider the fact that we are at war? If you oppose the war but you do nothing to try to stop it, you are “feebly acquiescing” to this war. Silence is compliance.

Apathy and acquiescence are political acts; your inaction is a political action. Urge your club, group, sorority or fraternity to speak out against the war, or join one that is actively doing so.

Kent State has a tradition of free speech and political action to live up to. Kent State University, including regional campuses, should help stop this war.

The above column was written by Kevin Heade and David Pittman on behalf of the Kent State Anti-War Committee.