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The Back Story

"Seth Goldberg says that when he opened his suitcase in San Diego after a flight from Seattle this month, the two 'No Iraq War' signs he'd picked up at the Pike Place Market were still nestled among his clothes. But there was a third sign, he said, that shocked him. Tucked in his luggage was a card from the Transportation Security Administration notifying him that his bags had been opened and inspected at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Handwritten on the side of the card was a note: 'Don't appreciate your anti-American attitude!'"

The new airport security force: They inspect your bags and your politics, too. From The Seattle Times.

"With threats so varied and hard to predict, many Americans say the public has little choice but to follow its leaders. 'You have to trust' that the Bush administration knows more than the average citizen, and will lead the country down the best course, says Lamar Carmichael, a dentist in Lineville, Alabama. On the other hand, he reflects: 'I said that during the Vietnam War — and came to find out they didn't know a whole lot more than we did.'"

What's behind those poll numbers? Why 60 percent of the country supports a war it doesn't understand. From The Christian Science Monitor.

"If half million Iraqi soldiers die, and 100,000 civilians are killed in collateral damage, we have to remember that there are at least (for the sake of argument) five people who intensely love each of the dead. And if we think of the grief of millions after this slaughter, and of the conversion of that grief into rage, and combine that with the organization of the internecine struggles based on historical ethnic fault lines (that the Ba'ath Party has repressed), we begin to appreciate the explosive complexity of post-invasion Iraq."

Retired U.S. Army Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff explains the war — and the peace movement. In From the Wilderness.

"Vandenberg officials revealed Friday that military security police may shoot to kill, if necessary, to protect base residents and machinery. The directive has always been in existence, but a base spokeswoman said it is more critical now that people understand its severity . . . The deadly-force policy will not deter protesters, said Peter Lumsdaine of the Vandenberg Action Coalition, one of the organizers of the planned trespassing.

"'I think it does underline that people in the nonviolent resistance movement are willing to take some risks.'"

"It's not fun and games anymore": Vandenberg cracks down. From the San Jose Mercury News.