EDITORIAL: Veterans against war

We have all heard that war is hell. We see evidence of it as the Iraq war plays out on our television screens each night. For those who have served in wars, it’s a hell that they carry with them every day.

Having experienced the horrors of war firsthand, many veterans have come home to join the antiwar movement. Groups like Veterans for Peace, which holds its convention this week, play a special role in the peace movement.

As part of this year’s convention, attendees will make the trek from Seattle to the Peace Arch on the U.S.-Canadian border. Over 54 years ago, Paul Robeson gave a concert at the same spot. The sense of cross-border unity for peace that filled the 40,000 people who were at the 1952 concert remains today. The meeting between those at the convention and war resisters in Canada carries on Robeson’s legacy.

The cost of the Iraq war is constantly rising, both in terms of dollars and human lives. The peace movement’s demand of “Bring our troops home now!” is very much a matter of life or death for many servicemen and women who have been sent into harm’s way by the Bush administration.

The demand for the safe return of the troops and an end to this senseless war has been characterized as “anti-soldier” by the right wing. They have called it a “cut and run” policy. However, what can be more pro-soldier than wanting every soldier to come home alive? What can be more patriotic than peace?

As the Veterans for Peace convention gets underway, we should all follow their lead in the call for peace. Those who have served our country add strength to the patriotic, pro-soldier demand that all troops come home — now.