New War, Old Protest

Where are the goddamned donuts?

Self-immolation isn't high on my list either, not while there are still new versions of AOL to look forward to. But there must be something with a little more pizzazz and bang for the buck than standing around with a sign people can't read.

For starters, folks, how about getting a website with a short name and a BIG sign to advertise it, so that there's at least a chance of sharing enough information to change some minds? And getting some damn donuts wouldn't hurt either. You could eat them, and passersby might think, "Say, I like donuts, too. Maybe these peaceniks aren't all bad." If someone comes up to talk, you could extend the hand of friendship by offering a fresh donut, and the recipient might think, "If I accept the donut, will they know I'm a cop?" You can also hurl donuts at guys who flip you off, and they might think, "Bonk!" as powdered donut collides with forehead.

Get an illuminated sign. Get a blimp. Get Santa on a sleigh. Get huge photos of bombed-on infants who will be maimed or crippled for life. Make a commercial about how the yellow food-aid packets we drop are easily mistaken for our unexploded cluster bombs: "It's peanut butter!" "It's a cluster bomb!" "It's new Peanut Butter Cluster Bombs!" Boom.

Write your representatives. Write your party. Write to TV stations. Write songs and sing them.

It's a difficult war to protest. It's hard to oppose something that whacks out the Taliban, whose shitheaded dogmatism has been so ruinous for the Afghan people. It's impossible to forget our dead in New York and Washington, D.C. The war may be moving into another phase. As I write this, the Taliban are talking surrender, and the war drums on TV and in Washington are shifting to an Iraqi rhythm.

But an Iraqi mother holding a mangled child suffers no less than an Afghani mother or a New York mother. Their babies are equally innocent—and equally dead—whether killed intentionally by zealots or killed "collaterally" by an unwieldy and dispassionate military apparatus. Until such compounded terrors of the war on terrorism stop, that is why those persons you drive by at Bristol and Anton are standing there. Where do you stand?

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