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Scenes from the front line of life in Portland, Oregon, USA.

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Jason Holliston
 
Saturday, March 29, 2003  
Some Hope

Obviously, so much reading and watching of the war can throw your emotions, including fear and hope, into directions that they usually wouldn't go. A friend of mine showed me different encouraging pieces that make me feel better about the subject I last wrote about. Here's a key one -- one that's been posted to many other blog sites and reported sparingly on the mainstream news organizations. It's titled, "I Was Wrong", and is written by a peace activist that has family in Iraq, but never had been there before, and went to stay with them to protest the war. He's home now, and felt the need to share his experiences, and why he's done an about face. An excerpt:

The pictures of Sadaam Hussein whom people hailed in the beginning with great hope everywhere. Sadaam Hussein with his hand outstretched. Sadaam Hussein firing his rifle. Sadaam Hussein in his Arab Headdress. Sadaam Hussein in his classic 30 year old picture - one or more of these four pictures seemed to be everywhere on walls, in the middle of the road, in homes, as statues - he was everywhere!

It was clear now what I should do. I began to talk to the so called `human shields`. Have you asked the people here what they want? Have you talked to regular people, away from your `minder` and asked them what they want?

I was shocked at the response. `We don't need to do that. We know what they want.` was the usual reply before a minder stepped up to check who I was.

With tears streaming down my face in my bed in a tiny house in Baghdad crowded in with 10 other of my own flesh and blood, all exhausted after another day of not living but existing without hope, exhausted in daily struggle simply to not die I had to say to myself `I was wrong`.

How dare I claim to speak for those for whom I had never asked what they wanted!


Every protester should read this account to see the regime they're fighting to save. Every pro-war person should read this to remind themselves that our cause is just.

I read this, then watch the marches on the street of Portland, Oregon, where I work, and I feel a mix of so many different emotions: shame that these are my countrymen, anger that they let their ignorance and hate of our President cloud their logic, and finally relief that these people only make up a small minority of America.

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