Right after 9/11, some kind of military action was inevitable. The Bush administration decided to attack the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Wether or not they were involved in the planning of the attacks, from what I knew of the Taliban, if the military strike helped toppling these hypocritical radicals, it would not be a bad thing.
Personally, I would have hoped for a carrot-and-stick approach: Some contained military action to satisfy the falcons, and a broad talk initiative with non-radical parties in Islamic societies. Though Bush insisted, he would fight a war on terror and not on Islam, the differentiation got lost because there were no actions to underline the latter notion. Why did he have to point that out, anyway?
Somehow, Iraq got in the focus. From the beginning, it was publicized that all evidence where forged, bogus. The uranium deal with Nigeria, the rocket arsenal, the mobile laboraties. I was outspoken about that, but I belonged to a minority. I remember one of my closed friends – who is by no means an apolitical dork – once asked me: “Are you absolutely sure, that all the allegations are actually made up?” I answered something like: “To be clear: Bush and Blair are telling lies.”
The evening before the rally, a small camp had been erected downtown. We went there with a guitar. I played “Lives In The Balance” by Jackson Browne even before anti-war videos featuring that song from the 80s were uploaded on youtube.
In need of some prop for the rally to express my point of view, I was surprised to find a small US flag, letter size. I fixed it to a small wooden stick in reverse, the blue field with the stars at the bottom. I didn’t want to be mistaken for an anti-American. Instead, I wanted to say: I do not denounce America, but America is on a wrong way. I earned a few looks, followed by that imaginery light bulb. I think, my reversed flag wasn’t the best solution, but at least the statement worked. Technically, I guess, it was a defamation of the flag and could have hurt the feelings of some people who would otherwise basically agree with me,