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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Protesters, patriots raise critical concerns

There are many in America who have been accusing those who oppose war in Iraq of lack of patriotism, of undermining the war effort, of making the nation appear weak or undecided, and even of opposing the troops who are risking their lives for our nation, and the argument which was wielded by Erin Pirrung in her recent column. All of these arguments are dangerous and misleading, equating dissent with opposition, pacifism with anti-Americanism.
Those of us who oppose war with Iraq do so because we are patriots, because we love our nation, and because we treasure the freedom and democracy that America affords us. This nation was not built to its current strength because of its uniformity or harmony of opinion. It is exactly the diversity of people, of beliefs, and of opinions, and the fact that all of these differences are equally heard and considered, that has lent this nation its strength and endurance. America thrives on debate. Issues from civil rights to abortion, taxes to the environment have all been a part of this continuing and crucial dialogue that serves to shape the path that our nation will follow.
How, then, can war, the most ultimate, costly, and controversial choice a nation can make, be exempt from this critical debate? How can those of us who feel that war is the wrong choice, that it is damaging our great nation, remain silent and still call ourselves patriots?
Many, Ms. Pirrung included, point to Vietnam and say look what happened there. Some misguided protests were actually aimed at the troops rather than at their proper target, which was the policy makers. This shameful mistake is one that will not be repeated, for I know of not one protester who does not hold both respect and appreciation for our troops. And while we are looking back at Vietnam, we also must ask ourselves how much longer we might have remained in that misguided war if dissenters had remained silent. How many more lives would have been lost in vain if the protesters had not voiced their opposition?
Robert Deegan
Class of 2003
In response to Melissa Fowler’s March 21 news article:

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