Write away for peace

With ever more ominous war clouds looming on the Iraqi horizon, Bill Featherston launched a pre-emptive strike right from his Macomb mobile home last week. The Internet programmer put www.cfunc. com/stoptherushtowar online with hopes of sparking a national antiwar letter-writing campaign. The site lists reasons one might be against an Iraqi war, such as possibly destabilizing the Middle East or putting Americans in danger. Once a reason is selected, site visitors get sample sentences and arguments made by national leaders to assist writing a personalized e-mail. E-mail addresses are provided for President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Congress members, local politicians and media outlets.

“We could get a million e-mails out there — each individually created, each individually prepared, so they can’t be written off as mass form letters,” says Featherston. He points out that congressional e-mail filters can reject form letters, mass mailings and e-mail from outside the representative’s district.

“It’s my civic duty to fight what I think is a wrong, bone-headed idea,” explains Featherston. “There are so many reasons to not invade a sovereign nation-state. What is our goal here — peace, freedom, security? One nation attacking, unprovoked, another nation — how will that bring us freedom or security? It will destroy both those things.”

Asked if he’d join an antiwar protest planned to greet Bush at his stop last Monday in Detroit, Featherston says: “I won’t be out there. I did that in the ’60s. Now, I have certain skills. I can write programs and do things with computers, and that’s the best way I can use my time and effort. I want to make it possible for people to express their concerns.”

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