As I look back to when I took part in the February 15th, 2003 anti-war rally which took place all over the globe, we were pretty much treated like scum. Here we were, millions-strong and where our sole purpose was to save lives and we were almost treated like pariahs. No, I take that back, we were treated as such.
We were called every name in the book such as traitors, commies and pinkos and here we were anything but. We were trying to save lives with our collective voices. We were NOT traitors because we were trying to tell our country, you do not invade a country illegally and you must stick to the rule of law. We knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction. We knew Iraq had nothing to do with that attacks that befell us on September 11th, 2001. Yet we were completely ignored.
In yesterday’s teabag protest, one only had to look at some notable politicians who went to take part as well as Fox News and in our protest, none, none wanted to have anything to do with us. That blisters me as I think back to that cold February day.
I do remember that bitter-cold day in New York City where I met up with two of my friends; one of them being John Schwam who runs LiberalPatriot.org and all three of us along with so many others came with a mission and that was to stop the Bush administration from taking us into an unjust war. Along the way, we met up with such brash-hostility.
As we tried to make our way to the stage where actors like Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover were about to speak, we noticed metal pens which cordoned us off as if we were animals. Animals! I remember speaking with my other friend and she gave me a short course on how to react should we get arrested or much worse interrogated. That was so foreign to me.
Wasn’t this my country where I was given the freedom to assemble? Wasn’t it? On that day, I felt my country became a foreign land where I along with so many others were treated as foreigners. We were only trying to save lives.
I still remember as we stood in those bitterly-cold temperatures, we met up with two incredible people whose names I have long forgotten. One was a homeless man who too wanted to be heard and a woman with an oxygen tank. My guess is that she had emphysema. To stand out in such temperatures was dangerous for her, yet there she stood for five hours pulling that tank around. Both she and that homeless man were true patriots to this country.
As I looked at the coverage of the teabag protests which took place yesterday, I ask myself this one question: How come they are being treated differently? Oh, another question: How come they are being treated with deference? My guess money is personal and lives be damned.
In interviewing some of these teabag protesters, some stated they voted for Senator John McCain which leads me to believe they also voted for former President Bush in 2000 and in 2004. Well, if you believed in him then and his lies, then pay your damn taxes to help pay for the war he started in Iraq. Don’t you dare cry over paying higher taxes when it was the actions of the former administration that led to them. You see, spending billions upon billions for an unjust war does trickle down and Bush’s fiscal policies led to the very misery we are all living in at the present.
As our protests wrapped up and I made my way back to Penn Station for my long journey home, I sat on the floor exhausted as I waited for my train to come in. I remember sitting there with my sign still open which said, “No Blood for Oil” along with a hot cup of cocoa and the visceral reactions coming from those who passed by me made me shiver even more. A few choice words and the flip of the bird came my way from my fellow Americans and that angered me. Here I was only trying to save lives. I still have the pins from that day and will keep them with me until the day I die.
I do remember the commencement of “Shock and Awe” where bombs rained down on Baghdad as it lit up the night sky and as they did so, I was the one at that point cursing former President Bush. I called him a murderer.
To Washington, D.C. and to the media: Why did you ignore us? Why did you treat us like traitors when if truth be told, you were it on that day. Now everyone with the exception of Fox News is on the same page and lives are still being lost in that far away land known as Iraq.
During these past six years, I have immersed myself in the most horrific images of our soldiers whose faces have been completely blown and burnt as well as limbs lost. I have seen photos of dead, dead Iraqi children who did nothing, nothing to deserve their fate and it truly sickens me beyond belief. Yet, I am the traitor?
To the media and our politicos: Damn it, why did you solely pay attention to the voice of one man and his name is former President George W. Bush instead of the millions who screamed out to you, “No Blood for Oil” Our words proved true and his words a lie. A damn lie. Forget any legacy tour for him as he gathers around him his most trusted companions…He should be tried at The Hague as a war criminal and that sentiment is equally directed at former Vice President Dick Cheney.
This column is dedicated to the countless lives lost in Iraq and to the millions who stood shoulder-to-shoulder on February 15th, 2003.
Author’s email address is, firstname.lastname@example.org