Marketing does not pause even for war

As with any other event in recent American history, somebody was bound to come up with a way to make a fast buck on the war in Iraq under the pretense of patriotism, sooner or later.

A coin, for example, that sells for $39.95 (or the real money saver: two for $79.90 or three for $119.85).

The commemorative coin is sold by The Highland Mint company (not to be confused with Franklin Mint) exclusively through its Web site and bears the quote “We will bring freedom to others, and we will prevail” from President George W. Bush. The quote is encircled by the words “Operation Iraqi Freedom March 19, 2003” on the front and on the back American flags wave proudly.

The war is not three weeks old and is far from completion, however, a commemorative coin is already available for purchase to the public.

Vice President Dick Cheney has been quoted to have said this war would be a “cake walk;” recent events have sent 110 of the coalition forces home in body bags.

Central Command also estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed in Sunday’s battle for Baghdad. Since the city has yet to be conquered by U. S. forces (Excuse me. The right term is, of course, “liberated.”), there will be more people killed before this is over.

The Iraqi people do not see this war as a liberation, no matter how well-justified Americans think it is. What they see is a country that repeatedly attacked theirs, invading their cities with technology that is vastly superior to anything they have to defend themselves with. They perceive the U.S. as a threat and naturally oppose any military advances with the most strength possible. It is a natural response, even though the Bush administration had predicted the Iraqi people would welcome our troops with open arms.

As thousands of people are dying on both sides of the conflict, these actions should be contemplated and even mourned, not celebrated. It does not matter whose side the loss of life occurred on. It still means people are dead and is hardly something to celebrate.

As usual, the logic behind this product’s merchandising seems to be this: Buy it if you are a good American.

Therefore, we should all buy at least four of them (they are really cool presents for graduations, birthdays and, of course, the rapidly approaching Christmas) to show that we truly are patriotic Americans.

This would be a lot easier than exercising our civic duties by voting (voting turnout for the last presidential election was 51 percent) or being informed about what is going on in the world and form our own opinions. We could just buy commemorative coins such as these, plaster our cars with American flag stickers and listen to Toby “we’ll put a boot in your ass it’s the American way” Keith.

Why would anybody want to speak up against this war anyway? Let’s face it, the entertainment value we have been getting out of it has been pretty good so far. Why ruin the fun and start thinking?

Fire up your computer, get online and buy some coins for you and your friends.

Even if you love this country, bear in mind that if you’re not with us, you’re against us. So I suggest you also get a flag for your car and a lapel pin just to be safe. You wouldn’t want to be caught out in the street with nothing red, white and blue, would you?

Sebastian Meyer is a juniormajoring in environmental