Peaceful protest continues
To the editor:
Seventeen years ago, on March 19, 2003, the United States invaded Iraq. Immediately thereafter [as well as before], anti war protests began throughout Maine. The protest in Presque Isle has been continuous, in all weathers, through all these years.
In that time, babies just born have grown to the cusp of their draft registration. Within our group of protesters we have seen deaths and relocations. Yet we persist.
There are still 5000 US troops in Iraq, as well as an even larger number of “contractors.” As recently as March 9 two more U.S. Marines were killed in Iraq, bringing the death toll close to 4,500, with close to 32,000 wounded in action.
The cost of the war is a guessing game, but the low estimates range around $2 trillion dollars (that’s about $8000 per taxpayer).
And what have we bought with all this blood and treasure? The Middle East appears to be much less stable than it was before the invasions. Iran appears stronger. Isis has flourished. Syria, where until recently there were about 2,000 U.S. troops, is a humanitarian disaster.
So, not much. If anything.
Plus there remains the threat of wars to come. We have had recent saber rattling over Iran and (bromance aside) North Korea. We will continue our protest against both our current and future wars.
It has certainly been interesting to stand in protest at the same place and time for the last 17 years. In the early years passersby were generally hostile, or at best puzzled. As time went by, the passersby appeared to become more supportive, and we certainly hope that holds true in the face of any future military adventurism.
And we invite one and all to join us in any weather for our protest on the Aroostook River bridge in Presque Isle every Sunday from noon until 1 p.m.
Steve DeMaio, Easton
John and Johnnie Cancelrich, Presque Isle and Pennsylvania
Jim Fitzgerald, Ashland
Darrell Adams, Mars Hill
Carol Pierson, Caribou
Mike Lyng, Lee, Massachusetts
Carol McKnight, Presque Isle