Wasting Time

In the film Macaroni, the character played by Marcello Mastroianni observes that "wasting ones time is such a wonderful thing." That concept is so thoroughly un-American that I find it appealing.

The biggest obstacle that those of us who have opposed the War in Iraq have had to endure has and continues to be the apathy of the American public. People say they care, but they really don't. The usual excuse given for why attendance at protest rallies is so low is that Americans are so caught up in the rat race of everyday life trying to earn a living that they don't have time to engage in such activity. After all it's a waste of time and nothing's going to change anyway.

Of course there's plenty of time to attend sporting events, rock concerts, drink in bars or watch "reality" shows on TV.

Everywhere you go yellow ribbon car magnets abound touting: "Support the Troops."

How ironic then that Bush supporters, the most vociferous "patriots" and "supporters of the troops," aren't even willing to raise taxes on the rich to provide our soldiers with the equipment they need?

Why aren't the twenty and thirty somethings with ribbons on their cars and SUVs flocking to enlist?

It's easy to be a patriot when all you have to do is fly a flag from the antenna of your SUV or display a yellow ribbon on the back of your pickup truck. It's not so easy to stand alone on a busy street corner holding a sign that tells it like it is.

Bush lovers and "super patriots" aren't the only ones who have abandoned our troopsóliberals are just as guilty. In some ways they are even worse because they know better.

Where are the Democrats? Why aren't they protesting?

Why is the leadership of the Democratic Party so conspicuously absent from antiwar rallies? Why aren't they the ones leading the marches and protests instead of Socialists and Anarchists?

Meanwhile our soldiers continue to be killed and maimed to bring "democracy" to Iraq. Democracy in Iraq? Give me a break. We don't even have free and fair elections in this country. Meanwhile here at home our civil liberties are being swept away under the flimsy pretense of fighting terrorism and let's not even get started on the official lies surrounding 9-11.

When Vice President Dick Cheney was asked why he took five deferments to avoid military service during Vietnam, despite his having been a vocal supporter of the war, he responded: "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Cheney)

When it comes to showing real support for the troops by massing in the streets in the millions to demand that they be brought home nowómost Americans, like Dick Cheney, have other priorities than wasting their time.

Robert Baldwin is an Indianapolis area antiwar activist, artist and freelance journalist.


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