My Two Cents: Whatever happend to just plain protesting?

In a widely circulated photograph, U.S. Army troops can be seen relaxing in Saddam Hussein’s newest presidential palace in Baghdad. While intense fighting could still be ahead for U.S. and allied forces in Iraq, that picture speaks volumes about how well the war is going.

Nevertheless, anti-war protests in the United States and around the world continue to take place. For the purposes of this column, I’m not so much concerned with what the protesters have to say, but the often innovate – by which I mean weird – ways in which some of them have chosen to get their message out.

For example, last week in – where else – Paris, France, a self-styled Spiderman by the name of Alain Robert scaled the 47-story TotalFinaElf skyscraper to protest the war in Iraq. Maybe I’m just dense, but I don’t see the connection between climbing a tall building and opposition to militarily ousting Saddam Hussein and his regime from Iraq.

While watching the news over the weekend, I saw a story about a man in Pakistan who had himself strapped to a cross, crucifiction style, and was then towed about town as his way of expressing his displeasure with the U.S.-led conflict in Iraq. What?

Of course, here in the United States, there is no shortage of odd protesting strategies, including the old standard of protesters deciding their time is more valuable than your time by blocking traffic and women getting naked and forming peace signs with their nude bodies.

Perhaps the most disgusting protests have taken place in San Francisco, where a few weeks ago, some of those against the war in Iraq held a “vomit-in” where they, you guessed it, made themselves barf all over the place. Really. I’m not making that up.

I certainly understand these are publicity-seeking stunts meant to draw attention, but still, many of these methods – especially that last one – seem rather extreme, and I would think they would repulse the average American.

These methods also seem devoid of any real substance, instead focusing on emotion and showboating for the cameras.

Have these people ever considered trying to write a well thought-out, articulate and cogent letter to the editor of their local newspaper to get their point across?

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who has written plenty of letters to the editor – gets in his two cents worth, in spite of the old saying you only get a penny for your thoughts.