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Bring the Boys Back Home: If you think the message on this sign is too obvious, you don't listen to right-wing crazies on the radio. Nor should you. In an unrelated story, it is impossible to tell from this picture whether or not Dixie Morse is also against pants.


Déjà Bush

With the war a week old, Republican spam berated Nüz for our lack of coverage of the "tens of thousands of Americans" who "have been coming out to support our president and our troops at a series of rallies for America."

"Where has the media been?" these letters demand of Nüz, as if they didn't know we've been secretly helping Michael Moore write his Oscar acceptance speech. "There's plenty of coverage of the Socialist-led antiwar demonstrations, complete with their vanguard of radical left-wing Hollywood 'actors.' But where is the coverage of these rallies of grassroots support? The silence coming from the major news media has been deafening."

Besides noting the hilariously dated McCarthyesque tone of all this grousing, Nüz was also amused to see that these spammers have failed to acquaint themselves with our coverage of "grassroots outpourings of support for our country."

Pardonnez-nous, but Nüz has been covering the huge grassroots outpourings of support for our country, namely the peace rallies trying to save our troops from war unless absolutely necessary.

Oh, they mean support for Bush's foreign policy! Well--who knew?--it turns out not everybody equates that with patriotism. Here in Santa Cruz, Vietnam veteran Fred Schuler says, "I support the troops by expressing my true belief that we're being lied to. I would be unpatriotic if I didn't stand up and speak out against this war. That would be an enormous disgrace to all my fallen friends."

His feelings were shared by the protesters who gathered at the Town Clock when war broke out, on March 19, 2003.

" I feel peace is about patience. I support our troops to the degree that they come home as soon and as safe as possible," said one resident who would identify himself only as Tom.

Similarly name-dropping UCSC student Andrew was afraid that "this will perpetuate itself and become something way worse," while Cabrillo College student Marshall complained, "The Bush administration is pumping money into the military, not education," and a name-proud Mark Drewry said, 'If we learned anything from Sept. 11, it's that the death of innocents only leads to more fear, hatred, violence. I'm concerned that my tax dollars are going to support the annihilation of people overseas to support economic interests that everyday people aren't connected to."

Holding a sign saying, "Debout, frères, contre la tyrannie," French-Canadian Emile Guerette said, "Anti-French comments are just like any other racist comments," while Alison Harlow of Scotts Valley, who grew up during World War II, recalled how "Adolf Hitler perpetuated absolute aggression against countries that were no threat to him."

Meanwhile, Sherry Conable urged people to keep candles lit and to hang white lights in their windows as a symbol of hope.

"All this has brought an amazing wave of people together, asking for love and gentleness and seeing everyone on the globe as our neighbor," she said. "The creative force moves towards light, love and kindness. We can't give up or get attached to the outcome."

Arresting Data

As one of 13 protesters arrested for blocking the military recruiting offices on 41st Avenue, Linda Crouse notes that the group had a sign saying, "We are for the soldiers and against the war."

"My nephew went into the Marines, because that was the only way he could get a job. It's a simple formula: Wealthy people decide on war, poor people pay the price."

Crouse, who also participated in the San Francisco demos, says she was inspired to see "so many young people with a political conscience that I didn't even begin to have when I was their age protesting oil domination and how Bechtel, Carlyle and Halliburton will make like bandits with our tax money as they get postwar oil and construction deals."

Crouse says antiwar groups are going to be focusing on media coverage of the tough questions, such as "How many people--Americans, Iraqis and others--have died in the conflict so far?" and "Where are the weapons of mass destruction?"

"Governments try to get us into this football game mentality when it comes to reporting casualties, but collateral damage is inevitable," she points out. As for the argument that because we are now at war, we are all supposed to get behind Bush, Crouse says the danger of that is "if Bush knows everyone will get behind him once he starts dropping bombs, then what's to stop him from picking another war? "

Follow the Euro

UCSC professor of Middle Eastern history Terry Burke says one way to understand France, Germany and Russia aligning on one side and the U.S., U.K and Spain on the other is to follow the money.

"By observing who has oil, you can see larger geopolitical games at play, such as the emergence of the euro as an increasingly valid choice for investors as a currency in which international transactions can be settled," says Burke. "Viewed this way, many of the recent diplomatic alliances make more sense, given that Europe doesn't have oil, but Britain does. What has kept U.S. hegemony going for the past 25 years was the strength of the dollar, the fact that people all over the world wanted to invest in our markets. But even before Sept. 11, that trend was in the process of reversing itself, particularly among Western-educated Saudis, who are now looking toward Europe, even as Republicans advocate a boycott of French products."

And Turkey also comes into better perspective, Burke says.

"Given that a huge percentage of American postwar aid went to Turkey, it should have been a shoo-in, but also you have in Turkey a democracy with a painful legacy of Kurdish oppression. To try and encourage Turkey to enter the war was to go against the wishes of 90 percent of those who voted. And though the United States huffed and puffed, it needs Turkey too badly to do anything more than symbolic shaming."

Pukers for Peace

Seems Congress is not addressing anything of importance these day--as witnessed by the freedom fries debate--unless you count expressing support and appreciation for Mr. Bush and the armed forces, a vote from which Sam Farr and 21 colleagues abstained, apparently objecting to the following language:

"Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the Nation (1) to the President as Commander in Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing global war on terrorism."

All of which was enough to make Pukers for Peace throw up the U.S. flag, first ingesting milk dyed red and blue as well as plain old white, then puking it up on the steps of a federal building in San Francisco,

P.S. Mayor Emily Reilly has scheduled a town-hall meeting April 7, 2003. Call 420.5022 for details.

Nüz just loves juicy tips: Drop a line to 115 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, 95060, email us at , or call our hotline at 457.9000, ext 214.

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From the March 26-April 2, 2003 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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