It isn’t always about politics
I want to thank Trey Mitchell for his letter to this newspaper (“Where are the protesters today?” 10/25/12). It’s nice to know our weekly rallies on the corner of El Camino and Del Mar Heights Road are remembered! Contrary to Mr. Mitchell’s hunch, though, these weekly peace rallies did not originate to coincide with the ‘08 election.
I know how important party loyalty is to some, so it may be hard for Mr. Mitchell and some others to understand that for many Americans who dearly love this country, not every action is politically motivated. In fact, these rallies were never about politics. They started long before the election, as outraged Americans began protesting the ill-conceived, irresponsible, mismanaged war in Iraq that was started under false pretenses. Locally, I can vouch for the fact that the rallies were intentionally not political, but rather a reflection of a moral imperative felt by mothers, fathers, students, friends, neighbors, co-workers and local veterans (including Iraq War veterans), all of whom were drawn to that Carmel Valley corner and many other corners around this city, this state and our nation to rally against this war. On our corner alone, 20 to 60 people came out week after week, rain or shine.
After the ‘08 election the question of continuing the rallies was discussed here in Carmel Valley. There was debate, but ultimately the decision was made to give America’s newly elected president a chance to fulfill his promise to end both wars. It is because President Obama indeed ended the war in Iraq and has a timetable in place to end the war in Afghanistan that the rallies have not resumed on this corner (although there are some who are protesting the unmanned drone attacks on a weekly basis at another location, which further demonstrates that these rallies have no political affiliation).
If this president or any president starts another ill-conceived war that puts our soldiers in harm’s way under false pretenses, or tries to resume the level of war profiteering and privatizing, and the no-bid contracts we saw under our last president, I am certain patriotic Americans will again rise up and protest these wrongs not only locally, but around this nation with that same level of passion once again. For the tens and hundreds of thousands of Americans who participate in these rallies, it is a matter of patriotic freedom of speech and morality, not politics.