Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rash Bash by Gash

Reasonable people can disagree about U.S. adventurism in the Middle East, but unthinking militarism that would squelch public dissent is alive and well in Fayetteville. Oklahoma native Kathleen M. Gash, 46, now of our fair city is adamant and apparently angry, because today she displays a serious misunderstanding of history, government, and current events in a Letter to the Editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Gash begins by saying, "I was appalled on a recent Saturday in Fayetteville to see people protesting the defense of our nation." You must be easily appalled and by the wrong things, Kathleen. You might justifiably be appalled that high government officials lied us into this insanity. You might be appalled that our Arkansas National Guard troops are being sent to Iraq by Bush and Cheney as an occupation force for Halliburton, while their families, our neighbors like Sophia Fowler, are torn apart and living alone on reduced incomes. You might be appalled that almost 4,000 Americans have died in Iraq, and that thousands are returning home with serious physical injuries and mental problems.

"I also would love to know why they think they have the right to stand on the corner and hold up a sign at all," Gash demands. It is called the First Amendment, Kathleen. It guarantees that citizens have the fundamental and inalienable right to speak, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances. It is an old-fashioned notion that our government is based on the consent of the governed, and "they" were letting Bush know they didn't consent to his policies being inflicted in their name.

Finally, Gash asserts, "If they did not live in the democracy they do, they would not have that right to begin with, a right that was given to them by the men and women who have given their lives for this great country." Okay, Kathleen, listen carefully. First, this nation is not a democracy, it is a republic, or at least it is supposed to be. Second, it is a "self-evident truth" that "they" were "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights," and senseless military deaths had nothing to do with it.

Just because someone declares bankruptcy doesn't mean they should be bankrupt of facts, logic, and honest arguments.

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