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All protesters represent America

By By Lindsey Sherrill
Staff Writer
Ever since all the conflict with Iraq began there has been news coverage of anti-war and anti-Bush protests. These protests have been seen on television almost constantly, showing very clearly just how high anti-war feelings run in some areas.
On the other hand, there have also been pro-war and pro-Bush rallies held around the country. People have come out to support their president and service men and women. They have lined roadways and, as in Chicago, even been across the street from anti-war protesters.
Now, I ask this: Both groups are protected under the Constitution to have their rallies and protests (the right to assembly). Both of these groups are clamoring for peace and freedom (one by compromise, diplomacy, and neutrality; the other by victory). Both are comprised of Americans. Yet which group truly stands for the principles and spirit of America? Which group is truly committed to republican (note the lower case "r") principles of freedom? Which ones are truly campaigning for peace?
I find it rather incongruous when I hear something like "200 War Protesters Arrested For Disorderly Conduct." It just seems a little odd that people who are supposedly rallying for peace would be causing trouble. Isn't their whole premise peace and restraint? Doesn't it defeat a cause when its biggest supporters cannot follow it?
I heard it stated the other day that these protesters have missed an important issue. The military personnel who are risking their lives are doing so to protect such freedom as that to assemble peaceably without fear. In actuality, these anti-war protesters are protesting against the very people who give them the right to do so.
As for the pro-war and pro-Bush rallies, their message has been to support our troops. They realize that the service people are doing what they are doing because their country asked them to. They understand that whether or not one agrees with a viewpoint, we still need to support our leaders in a time of crisis. Their message, though for the war, has been peaceful. They want swift and absolute victory so that another war can be avoided. Their belief, that peace should be extended to other countries, seems far more in keeping with what America stands for.
Lindsey Sherrill is a staff writer for The Atmore Advance. Send your questions and comments to her by e-mail at newsroom@atmoreadvance.com.