The Daily Gamecock

Battles abroad deserve peace protests

US Citizens remain oblivious to war effort

The year is 2008. Billions of American tax dollars are annually poured into military operations to “flush out” guerrilla fighters, but no matter how many of them we take out, more seem to always take their place. Even more importantly, thousands of U.S. servicemen have been killed or injured by traps laid by the enemy in the form of improvised devices of death or manned ambushes.

All this occurs while the local populous lives in crippling poverty, praying not for food but avoid getting caught in the crossfire. Too frequently, these prayers go unanswered as pictures of civilians maimed by violence on both sides are circulated daily by world presses. With each day that passes, the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan looks more and more like this generation’s Vietnam.

And just like with Vietnam, there’s a strong anti-war sentiment, both internationally and stateside. Peace rallies are held almost weekly. Protesters march in Washington, D.C., as well as dozens of other locations across the country. People are tired of the incredibly high price they’re paying in a war that has no end in sight.

A man runs for president and earns a Nobel Peace Prize, as well as widespread support from the peace movement, for his promises to bring the troops home and put an end to the war on terror.

Fast-forward to 2013. According to data published by the Department of Defense at the end of 2012, the aforementioned man who ran for president has made some progress at following through on his promise to withdraw from Iraq — the 49,800 troops currently deployed there represent about 30 percent of the number deployed when President Barack Obama took office in 2008. Peace lovers should be happy some ground has been gained on that front (even if the complete withdrawal “within six months” that was promised still hasn’t happened).

However, they should also feel betrayed. The troops removed from Iraq have not come home. They have been redeployed to Afghanistan (102,200 soldiers currently deployed, up 222.4 percent from 2008) and other countries throughout the Middle East in order to support a continually expanding war on terror.

That last part should scare everyone. (Take a second to make a mental list of countries you think execute their citizens without trial. Do you want to be included on that list?) But the surge of troops in Afghanistan and other countries should especially upset those peace protesters who were so active before the 2008 elections. But there are no protests, no demonstrations, no marches — not so much as a rumble from the anti-war movement.

Protesters, the war on terror isn’t over, and neither is your war to end the war. Where did you go?