To the editor:
Twenty full years ago, on March 19, 2003, the United States invaded Iraq. Immediately thereafter [as well as before], anti war protests began throughout Maine. Our protest in Presque Isle has been continuous since then, in all weathers, through all these years. And we are tired.
When our military withdrew from Afghanistan, in disarray to be sure, we did think a bit about whether to stop demonstrating. But then, just six months later, there was a new war in Ukraine. which continues, and the US is providing [many] weapons to the Ukranians.
We don’t claim to have a solution to the war in Ukraine. Perhaps this is Mr. Putin’s Iraq or Afghanistan; we can’t know. The purpose of our continuing, and seemingly never-ending demonstration, is to manifest our conviction that all war is wrong and should be stopped. Too many people have died and will die, too many have been and will be damaged forever, and too many resources will be wasted, here in our hungry, warming world.
And what will this war cost, in blood and treasure? About our recent wars, the New York Times noted on January 22 of this year, and I quote: “The Defense Department estimated last year that the direct costs for the wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan exceeded $1.6 trillion. Brown University researchers, who add indirect costs, particularly care for veterans of those wars and interest on the money borrowed to finance the military, found that the total cost was much higher: just under $6 trillion for all of America’s ‘War on terror’ efforts in the wake of Sept. 11.”
That cost, any cost, is too high.
Babies born in March 2003 can now vote, and would be eligible for the draft if we still had one. Within our own group of protesters we have seen a number of deaths and relocations of our friends over the last 20 years. Yet after 20 years, we persist.
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
Johnnie Cancelarich, Presque Isle and Pennsylvania
Jim Fitzgerald, Ashland
Darrell Adams, Mars Hill
Carol Pierson, Caribou
Mike Lyng, Lee, Massachusetts