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Nonviolent Protest won't work against Saddam

As Published in the Bellingham Herald on April 16th, 2003

If you listen to the anti-war activists, you would believe that Hitler stopped stuffing Holocaust victims into his gas chambers out of the benevolence of his own heart and that the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division had nothing to do with it.

Nonviolent protest, as advocated by Ghandi, is a successful way of protesting and changing the harmful actions of a government. Nonviolent protest is effective only in a nation where there is a fair and just judicial system that will give the protesters due process of law.

For example, the South Vietnamese army successfully stopped the 1972 invasion with minimal U.S. involvement. The anti-war movement in the United States was protected by the courts and they were successful in substantially reducing the flow of arms and supplies to South Vietnam. Without the necessary equipment to fight the 1975 invasion, South Vietnam fell to the communist forces.

A dictatorship replaced the government of South Vietnam. When religious people in Vietnam use nonviolent means to protest the lack of religious freedom in Vietnam, they are imprisoned for an extensive period of time.

The anti-war activists are willing to accept credit for the end of the Vietnam War. They have never accepted responsibility for the loss of freedom for the people of South Vietnam.

Iraq is a dictatorship and nonviolent protest by the Iraqi people will not stop Saddam from rearming and attacking his neighbors again. He will only be stopped by force of arms.

Sheila L. Richardson


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