"DO NOT TRADE BLOOD FOR OIL."
"NO GOVERNMENT IS AN ISLAND."
"DON'T TURN TRAGEDY INTO WAR."
Members of local peace organizations protested Monday against U.S. involvement in an attack against Iraq. Their message seemed clear: diplomacy over violence.
Maryam Soleimani held a sign and said little. She apologized for her broken English but wanted to talk about her hatred for Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein.
Soleimani is from Iran.
"I saw eight years of war in my country, and it was very hard for me," she said. "A lot of my family members were killed by Saddam."
Still, she opposes a U.S. invasion of Iraq.
"I hate Saddam," she said. "I want him to die. But war is not the answer."
Monday night, President George W. Bush addressed the nation, hoping to generate congressional support for attacks against Iraq. He said the U.S. must stop Hussein and his nuclear intentions.
"People here are against the direction our country is taking," said the Rev. Brian Eslinger of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames. "After Sept. 11 we as a nation had a chance to show another type of leadership."
The nation hasn't, he said.
Protestors were part of a nationwide remembrance of last year's U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Sunday and Monday were named national days of resistance to war and oppression by a movement called "Not In Our Name Project" and participants held protests in the nation's largest cities.
Members of local peace organizations including the Alliance for Global Justice protested in Ames. The 20 or so protestors included David Gradwohl, a professor emeritus of anthropology and Army veteran. He called White House war supporters "old men and women who had never served in the military."
Gradwohl was stationed in Europe from 1958 to 1959. He also opposed the Vietnam War.
"We are willing to send our children into a bloodbath when there are diplomatic solutions," Gradwohl said. "I hope there can be a peaceful solution."www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5632768&BRD=2035&PAG=461&dept_id=238101&rfi=6E-mail this article