Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, March 20, 2008


There were a couple of stories in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News today about the Iraq War and its impact in Pullman.

In the first story, it was disclosed that the approximately 60 Pullman-based members of Detachment 2, Company B, 1-161st Infantry Battalion, 81st Brigade Combat Team (Heavy), Washington Army National Guard received their mobilization orders yesterday. After a stop at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin for training in August, they will be headed to Iraq once again this fall.

In the second story, it was reported that a group of five gathered at St. James Episcopal Church in Pullman last night for a vigil to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. This pathetically small number (for a college town) can perhaps be explained by a Gallup Poll that came out last Friday. The success of the surge has convinced a majority of Americans that victory is possible in Iraq and that U.S troops should not leave before the job is done.

65% of Americans feel the U.S. has an obligation to establish a reasonable level of security and stability in Iraq before withdrawing. That's exactly what our Pullman boys in the National Guard will be doing. 63% feel that it is likely al-Qaeda will use Iraq as a base for terrorist operations if the U.S. withdraws and 57% believe that even greater number of Iraqis will die if the U.S. withdraws. This despite the fact that 59% say of Americans think that involvement in Iraq was a mistake.

Not only is this bad news for the protesters at St. James, it's bad news for presidential candidate Barack Obama and his pledge to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.


April E. Coggins said...

I was taken aback by the press release/invitation.

A candlelight peace vigil will be at 7 p.m. today, at St. James Episcopal Church, 1410 NE Stadium Way, in the Canterbury Room. This peace vigil will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The vigil will involve periods of silence interspersed with brief reflections on peace and war from the Svetasvatara Upanishad, Jahal al-Din Rumi, Thomas Merton, Gandhi, and others. We encourage women to wear white scarfs. All are welcome.

First and foremost, I have a problem with a Christian church not recognizing the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, as a promoter of peace. Apparently, Christ is too controversial to be included in the listing. Christ has no problem with that, he is familiar with being denied. I worry about the paritioners.

Second, as a Christian woman, I don't like the idea of adopting Muslim customs in a Christian church. The invitation reads, "We encourage women to wear white scarfs." Are we supposed to wear them as hijabs, use them as surrender flags or both?

It was disturbing.

Tom Forbes said...

With only 5 geriatric protesters showing up to protest the war in a town with 18,000 college students and several thousand professors, I'm guessing the scarf was to conceal their embarassment.