It seems Bend City Council foolishly thought the time had come to dedicate one of Bend's bridges to that most un-American ideal - peace. The "Homeland" (Fatherland and Motherland were taken) is home to less than 5% of the world's population but it spends more on armaments than all the other nations in the world combined. Few seem to know this - fewer seem to consider it psychotic and sinful. Such exuberant investment does not go to waste.
Except for a few thin slices of time here and there, the US has been involved in war almost continuously since the Revolution, and in the centuries before the Revolution, Americans busied themselves with the horrors of slavery and the systematic ethnic cleansing of the native peoples. Given half a millennium of bellicosity, it should come as no surprise that many here regard the promotion of peace as a sign of weakness, or as anti-American, anti-progress, anti-business or as Communism, homosexuality or emasculation. Bend City Council really should have known better. This gesture shook the bitter little war-hawks out of their lairs and soon the air was thick with nasty emails and vitriolic phone calls.
I can think of only one nation on Earth where a significant portion of the citizenry would object to the designation of a "Peace Bridge." If you're capable of reading this letter, it is likely that you are, like me, unable to fathom how someone could be so irredeemably stupid, so unschooled and barbaric as to argue against Peace. Had this happened in one of those countries, labeled by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld in one of their regular exhibitions of ignorance and high irony, as "Rogue Nations" it would have been all over the news. Sadly, the country where the very idea of Peace is repugnant is the United States of America and the town is Bend, Oregon.
Maybe some of these "War-niks" should come out from wherever they lurk and explain their argument in a letter to the Source. Until then we are reliably assured:
"Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall be called the children of God" - seems clear enough."