...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Friday, April 11, 2003
      ( 4:18 PM )
If You Don't Support the Pres, You Deserve a Whoopin'

I'd like to share one more thing before the week ends. This piece was written by Oregonian columnist Steve Duin, who is writing some really good stuff lately. Anyway, it's about this kid, Zeb Larson, who, like me, comes from a long line of military service in his family. Yet, for many well-read and well-thought out reasons, he did not support this war (like me). But, unlike me, Zeb is 14. He quietly shared his opinions with friends, but not publicly, not wanting to incite a "free for all" fight about it. But...

On April 1, Larson was talking to a
friend in the library when he was
"cornered," as he put it, by three
supporters of the war. They advised
him it was duty as an American to
support the war against a communist
like Saddam Hussein.

"I didn't argue with them," Larson said.
"I did point out that Saddam isn't a
communist, he's a socialist, but that's
as argumentative as I got."

Then the next day he was cornered again...and one of the bullies tried to strangle him.

"This whole country is paralyzed right now,"
Julie [his mum] said, "unable to talk in any
kind of civilized or objective way. Because
anyone who questions or doubts our purpose
in Iraq is branded, so many people are afraid to
say anything. The silence that surrounds
everyone right now is cancerous."

Could this be why polls show 70% of Americans supporting Bush right now?

When people are afraid to express dissent, then the government has become oppressive to the point of intimidation. That is not a democracy. But that is our country right now.

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