Salt Lake City, UT –
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I feel proud of my country when I see Iraqi citizens receiving humanitarian aid packets or when I hear Iraqi Kurds asking us to hurry, to bring them freedom by removing Saddam Hussein from power. But hoping for positive results from this war or respecting the way our troops are conducting themselves so far is not the same as supporting the war.
The president did not convince me of a link between Hussein and Al-Quaeda. He did not convince me that our national security was threatened to a degree that justifies launching an aggressive, first-strike war. He did not convince me that the best way to uphold the authority of the United Nations was to act unilaterally without its full support and without the support of many of our historic allies.
I stand firmly against this war. I believe it casts our nation in the role of a rogue state - an extremely powerful state, but one that is acting outside the bounds of international law.
Our national memory is short, but it wasn't many months ago that presidential candidate George W. Bush mentioned the need for more humility in our foreign policy. That vision resonates with me, and I would add to it the need for consistency. Our country has never seen itself as an international police force, tasked with removing despots from power around the world. I question my country and my leaders, not as a radical protester, but as an engaged citizen who believes in the promise of American freedom both at home and abroad.
My questions for my country are these: Why Iraq? Why us? Why now, and why this way?
Shauna Bona is the president of McKinnon-Mulherin, an information design firm in Salt Lake City.