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No Peace With Bombs, Protesters Say

Sat., Feb. 21, 1998

Singing Arlo Guthrie songs and waving peace banners, 50 people rallied in Spokane Friday, demanding that the United States question air strikes on Iraq.

Speakers criticized President Clinton for too quickly trading diplomacy for violence.

Clinton’s arguments for bombing suspected Iraqi chemical weapons factories are weak reruns from the Gulf War, said rally organizer Rusty Nelson.

“We feel that it proved in 1991 that bombing Iraq to a bloody pulp did not accomplish anything,” Nelson said.

John Griffin, a Gulf War veteran, said the proposed air strikes would punish the Iraqi people for the actions of their dictator.

“What are we going to do, punish the people until they crawl out of the mud, over their diseased children, and overthrow Saddam?” asked Griffin.

The crowd - students, clergy and a smattering of downtown business people - briefly paraded through downtown Spokane before gathering outside the U.S. Court House.

“Bombing for peace is like fornicating for chastity,” said a sign.

At least one protester accused Clinton of ulterior motives. “At least it gets Monica Lewinsky off the front page for a day,” said Jack Raleigh, a retired policeman.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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