Monday, November 15, 2004

How Do You Ask a Man to Be the Last One to Die Protesting a Mistake?

I was really still a girl during Viet Nam, but I'll never forget the pictures of Buddhist monks calmly burning themselves to death as a means of protest. Recently, we've had a suicide at the site of the World Trade Towers, apparently to protest the election and now, a man setting fire to himself in Washington, D.C. which may, or may not, be related to the war and recent election.

My dad took me to the great anti-war marches to protest the Viet Nam war. Some say that those protests helped to end the war; others say the war ended when it would have, anyway. Certainly, the bravery of the young men like John Kerry who came home from that war and called for its end helped to bring an end to that insanity.

Now, we're stuck in another quagmire, probably worse than Viet Nam. Again, young people are dying for no reason and others try to protest in as dramatic a fashion as possible. I don't think suicide is the answer, but I'd love to see a discussion. How can we effectively protest this insane war? What would work? Boycotts? Marches? Let's think creatively. The times call for it.