The public discourse on the war is a good thing, except when people are engaged in posturing and pronouncing, rather than listening and understanding. It doesn't make for much of a discussion if everyone is shouting at the same time, but I suppose it's better than no discussion at all. Sometimes I think people on opposite sides of the debate deliberately misunderstand each other. I know for sure that they mischaracterize each other.
I'd hate for anything I say in support of U.S. ("and coalition") troops to lead people to believe I've bought into the war strategy. I still think it's wrong for the United States to defy world opinion and snub its own allies. An invasion across international borders in a hostile region, whatever laudable goals it purports to have, is likely to have unintended and unforeseen consequences that the world will have to deal with for generations to come.
On the other hand, I'm equally dismayed by those who believe that anyone who opposes the war is somehow supporting Saddam Hussein or dismissing the threat he represents. Believing war is not the way to make the world more peaceful doesn't mean endorsing tyranny and repression. Having reservations about one country overthrowing the government of another, however illegitimate it's perceived to be, doesn't preclude opposing Saddam as a matter of principle.
Nor do I believe that peaceful protest against public policy is treasonous. I don't think marching against the war creates any greater danger for citizens of any nation. People who break the law should expect to be arrested; that's part of the deal. Peaceful dissenters shouldn't expect to be treated like traitors or criminals, though.
When protesters resort to vandalism, I think they do their cause, which is also my cause, more harm than all the peaceful dissent in the world can overcome. Violence and destruction in the name of peace is hypocrisy. And I don't think that criticizing protests, even the peaceful ones, is any more treasonous than the protests themselves.
A little more respect, mutual and reciprocal and flowing freely in both directions, would be good. That should go without saying, but apparently it doesn't, and that's why I felt it necessary to say it. That doesn't mean I have to bow my head whenever President Bush speaks, but I do have to listen to him before I decide he's wrong.