Letter published in The
Increasingly, the “peace” demonstrators discredit their cause. Those alarmed by OPD’s response at the port confrontation need to be reminded: Burning a cross on somebody’s lawn isn’t free speech, and blocking one of the nation’s largest ports in time of war isn’t either. Sometimes early, aggressive crowd control can save lives and property. This was obviously one of those times. We should not second guess the officers of OPD.
These demonstrators, who were bent on actually blocking the port, took a page out of a 1960’s playbook: you escalate the protests, hoping to provoke a sympathetic photo-op. Yes, they got their pictures. But outside of the already converted…nobody cares. The coverage was a footnote to reports of the probable discovery of Iraqi banned chemical weapons, and increasingly persuasive accounts of a malevolent, repressive regime in the state of collapse.
Few Americans would now have us snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, or suddenly withdraw from our obligation to bring civil peace, medicine, food and water to this shattered country.
Bottom line: OPD used appropriate restraint. The shrinking number of opponents of this war need to throw better arguments, fewer rocks and bolts.
Attorney at law
Copyright ã 2003 Jay B. Gaskill