Editor's Opinion

"God has ordered you to cut their throats." - Saddam Hussein, in a likely pretaped address to his people aired on March 23. Hussein threatened to kill his troops if they did not fight.

"The fate of the crew is uncertain right now." - Gen. Tommy R. Franks, at a terse news briefing at Central Command in Qatar, regarding the loss of an American Apache helicopter in Iraq. Military leaders have emphasized that Operation Iraqi Freedom will not be painless.

"The people who burned the American flag in downtown Portland Thursday let us know that they no longer wanted to be a part of what our flag stands for: freedom." - Philip Hampe, Gresham, in a letter to the Oregonian. Hampe went on to encourage flag-burners to take their Bics and leave the country. I would add that maybe if these folks like fires so much, they can go help put some out in the Iraqi oil fields.

"More than 40 students and others staged a 'die-in' across from the Portland Art Museum Sunday afternoon for an hour of silence to protest the war in Iraq. Protesters sprawled on the ground beneath the Theodore Roosevelt statue and played dead to 'symbolize the innocent dead.' At the same time, the Federal Protective Service told other protesters, who call themselves the Portland Peace Encampment, that they would have to remove their tents from Terry Schrunk Plaza by 4 p.m. or face arrest. The service is in charge of security on federal property, including Schrunk Plaza, where camping is prohibited. ... 'Our right to create shelter on our land to demonstrate our position on this war has been stripped from us,' said Justin Elder, 24. 'In light of that, we came to the decision to stand up in defiance. We're not leaving. We said we'd be here until the end of the war, and we will.' The group did, however, pack up its camping equipment, and members planned to wrap themselves in blankets and tarps and protest in shifts. 'We're going to get cold, tired, weak' and cranky, Elder warned his fellow activists. 'So get prepared.'" - Michelle Roberts, reporter for the Oregonian. "Cold, tired, weak" sounds more like the level of sensitivity antiwar demonstrators show to families of military personnel.

"The point man for one set of vehicles, a young Marine with a quiet Southern drawl, seemed typical of the mood. As he spoke, his gaze was fixed straight ahead, his finger on the trigger, ready for whatever might lie across the sand. His eyes looked tired. He had had about an hour of sleep a night over the previous few days as the convoy kept pressing on. 'It's going to be a long day, I think,' he said." - Ellen Knickmeyer, reporter for the Associated Press. Think of this Marine before you feel like complaining.

"'What brought me here was seeing all the war protesters on TV,' said R. C. Witt, 54, an electrician from Gloucester, Va., who served in the Marine Corps for two years and who drove 50 miles to (a support-the-troops) rally. 'It's got to be disheartening for our troops over there, and it's got to be disheartening for the president. ... I'd expect it in places like France. ... But in New York and places like that, right here, it's embarrassing.'" - Douglas Jehl, reporter for the New York Times. Embarrassing was director Michael Moore making an ass of himself at the Oscars.

"'We saw some black berets hanging up in a tree, and we went to investigate, and we saw all these uniforms hanging there. I figure half these guys you see walking around are soldiers. They've discarded their uniforms,' the Marine said. 'They're out there, they're watching us and they're planning small counter-attacks.'" - Ellen Knickmeyer, reporter for the Associated Press. Keep the troops in your prayers.

"The heart of the fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise is in his heart." - Benjamin Franklin, "Sayings of Poor Richard." A final footnote: Benjamin Franklin was a U.S. ambassador to France at a time when they were our ally against oppression. How times change.

Anyone with comments about "Editor's Opinion" can contact David Carkhuff by calling 575-0710 or by e-mail at editor@bluemountaineagle.com.

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