It has become very confusing for me, and I would really like someone (anyone really) to explain to me what has happened to the First Amendment protection of free speech in this country. I have spent the past several hours reading story after story of people, who support the troops and the actions being taken in Iraq, being silenced because it may offend, hurt the feeling of or maybe in some other

By Gus Bode

What about the feeling of those who believe very strongly that the peace protesters are wrong? Where is their voice? When I walk down the outside of Faner this week, I see slogans written in chalk everywhere proclaiming that this war is wrong, and “Taxes = Bombs.” I hear on the news that a professor at Columbia College is hoping for “a million Mogadishus” [sic] (And this is a peace protest … so much irony there, and yet wrong on so many levels, it just turns my stomach.) But yet when someone in the Richmond, Va. city hall wanted to hang a flag up on there wall in support of the troops, they were informed that it must be taken down because it made “…a political statement in support of the war, and they [other fellow workers] were opposed to the war.”

Or how about the situation at Texas A&M University where 30 war protesters standing in front of the Ross Voluntary Honor Corp carrying signs that stated “Bush is a Baby Killer” on them? While yes, this is free speech, and well within the bounds of the protesters rights (albeit in very bad form and taste), why then were the cadets chastised when they started chanting back, or even as one of the protesters quoted as said “Some of the cadets glared (at us).” Where is their right to protest the protesters?

These events are not isolated – not even close. On an Ohio college campus (which by all accounts, should be a bastion for free thought and discussion) students wanted to drape U.S. flags outside some of the school buildings, but were told they couldn’t because the flags might “hurt the feelings of anti-war folks.” Yet, when you look at the windows of some of the offices in Faner, you see photocopied sheets protesting the war. Is this political correctness gone too far, or is it a blatant discrimination against those who feel just as strongly, in a pro-stance, for the conflict as those who feel against it?


Don’t get me wrong, I want the protesters out there. Let them support a regime of terror and bloodshed. Those protests will be on their conscious, not mine.

Do I really want our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers to die? Of course not, but I do realize that sometimes, the right course of action is the hardest path to take. I served and I know what these people who are called to duty are risking. So why am I not out on the street shouting to the masses (or causing other acts of “civil disobedience”) in support of my cause? Could it be because we feel that our government is taking the right course of action? Or could it just be that my voice is going to our soldiers, the ones who need to hear it the most? But when the time comes I care to make either a loud statement back or a reasoned and impassioned debate with give and take on both sides, please respect my right to do so, as I have for yours.

Patrick is a senior in university studies. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Egyptian.