Changing Times

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Some political strategists have claimed similarities between the war in Iraq to Vietnam, but local activists and even educators say it's the differences at home that are easy to notice, especially when it comes to protesting or supporting."
About 60 gathered Sunday afternoon for the second annual peace summit to discuss, mostly, non-violent ways to change government policy, especially when it comes to the war in Iraq.

Jessica Richey is a student at the University of Nevada.
She says she notices a clear difference among herself and her peers.
"As for the campus, everyone is so apathetic. And, it seems like that wasn't the case 20-years ago, 30-years ago during Vietnam when everyone was involved. They were to go out and willing to take risks."

Fred Lokken, a political science professor at Truckee Meadows Community College, says she's right, things are definitely not the same.
"For those of us who really remember the Vietnam War, one of the things that really ripped us apart was the way soldiers were treated upon their return. They, in essence, were being blamed for the war. They were being personally attacked for what they were doing in service to our country."

Lokken says the modern peace movement is more intelligent.
He says now people are blaming the government and specific officials in government who are responsible for policies that affect Iraq or other military operations.

"Clearly, not only has the movement become more sophisticated, but the internet especially. It's so much easier to communicate and spread the word and engage more people in the process. Seemingly small events can take on a much larger than life process. The Sheehan case is an example. We've had protesters following the president for years. But, now the word 'camped out in front of his ranch' becomes a much larger story than five to ten years ago."