My Two Cents: Certain anti-war protesters diverting valuable resources

Even now as American and allied forces engage the enemy in Iraq, there are, of course, the not unexpected anti-war protests taking place across the nation.

I’m not so much bothered by the fact there are people against America going to war with Iraq – although they are clearly a minority, according to numerous polls – because that is their right under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Indeed, I think respect for dissent and honest debate is the sign of a healthy representative democracy such as ours.

Aside from the mindless sloganeering (“No Blood for Oil”) and inappropriate comparisons (“Bush is Hitler,” “America is a Terrorist State”); the ignorance and historical amnesia (protesters who don’t know who Saddam Hussein is, others blissfully unaware of the 1991 Gulf War); and the naivete (Saddam Hussein would have given up his weapons of mass destruction if only the U.N. had been given a little more time), what really irks me are those so-called peace activists who break the law and interfere with other people’s lives.

Over the last several days, as war rages on in Iraq, protests have flared up across the nation. In San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York City and Seattle, among other locations, protesters have clogged traffic and shut down major roadways.

While these protesters certainly have the right to express their opinion, what they don’t have the right to do is break the law in expressing that opinion.

These illegal protests could have very real consequences. I wonder how the protesters would feel about their actions, say, preventing someone with a life-threatening injury getting to a hospital.

I also wonder if the anti-war crowd engaging in illegal protests have given any thought to the fact that perhaps law enforcement resources could be better spent on attempting to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States.

Instead, a certain amount of the police officers in this country are tied up dealing with people who believe their message is more important than the safety of the nation as a whole and the rights of citizens to move about unimpeded.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who has never blocked traffic while writing one of these columns, and wishes U.S. and allied forces a speedy victory in Iraq – gets in his two cents worth, in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.