I was glad to see this article in HuffPo featuring GOP lawmakers who opposed the Iraq war ten years ago. In a time when war fever was upon the country, opposing the invasion was a lonely position. I was glad to stand in solidarity with the few brave politicians who were willing to incur the wrath of, well, just about everyone, for opposing the Bush administration.
Marching in San Francisco with over a million other anti-war folks was a great experience for me. My six year old son walked alongside his stroller-bound little sister. We saw normal people, and (well it is San Francisco after all) crazy people in the march. The peak moment for me was when someone shouted, "Sue! Sue!" and I turned to see my midwife marching and waving a ways behind us. It was empowering to know so many people thought the war was a bad idea too.
I was convinced my country was making a disastrous decision, and wondered what the Founding Fathers would have to say about it (me being a history major and all). I began a Constitution study group with five other homeschool moms, which met weekly for months, and then monthly for almost two years.
We began with the English constitution, as it applied to the American reasons for revolution. Then came reading and discussing the Virginia Resolves, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist and Anti Federalist papers, seminal Supreme Court rulings, and the writings of many of the Founders. The result of all of our study led (with the help of a very bright friend who had already considered these issues) us to two pertinent questions:
- What are inalienable human rights?
- What is the role of government?
- Why was Patrick Henry so awesome?
The answers I found were:
- Inalienable rights are life, liberty and property.
- The role of government is to protect individual human rights.
- It might have something to do with his uncle being an Anglican minister, though I've not found an adequate answer for this question.
These conclusions did not provide an answer, to my mind, to every single problem existing in the world today. They certainly are not popular or widespread in the world today. But in terms of the relationship between individuals and the state, they make sense to me. Because if a government doesn't protect your rights, or worse, violates your rights - why have a government at all?
All that is to say I converted from being a Green Party member to a Libertarian. And I decided that I was right to oppose the American invasion of Iraq - they were not violating the rights of Americans, and they did not pose a threat to American rights ( as much as the Bush administration wanted us to believe otherwise). An invasion of Iraq was imperialism - an attempt (probably not successful) to install a democratic, stable, friendly government in the Middle East for economic and political reasons.
So I'm glad to see even a little media attention for the folks who stood up to power and opposed the drums of war ten years ago. They were right.