Poets, Peace and Postal

From a recent e-mail from Poets Against War:

Also, PAW supports a mailing campaign that has been organized in
support of Cindy Sheehan. The idea is to write her a postcard a day, inundating
the Crawford P.O. Please send to:

Cindy Sheehan
Crawford Peace House
9142 East 5th Street
Crawford, TX 76638-3037

It is important to include all 9 digits of the zip code. The Crawford Post Office is not delivering mail that does not include all 9 digits.
[emphasis added]

Several thoughts come to mind about this:

First, I think it's great that Cindy Sheehan and (growing) company's camp-in on the road to Bush's ranch is generating public discussion and news about the wisdom, or lack thereof, of our war in Iraq.

But... "inundate" the Crawford PO? You know, poets are supposed to be good with language; they're supposed to be able to choose the proper word, the accurate word. But what "inundate" says to me is to wash over, to cover, to drown. What the e-mail seems to be calling for is to generate so many postcards coming into the Crawford PO that the office will be unable to handle the load.

What "inundate" makes this sound like is a Denial-of-Service attack, via snailmail rather than email. Is that really what PAW is trying to do? I hope not. I hope it's just a poor choice of words.

The Post Office, in Crawford or otherwhere, is not the anti-war movement's enemy. No means of communication is, ever, the enemy.

Now, people who make policy for those means of communication might be. If someone in the Crawford post office (a supervisor? station manager? Someone higher up the chain, outside of Crawford?) has issued a directive that mail for Crawford Peace House will not be delivered without a full 9-digit zip code... well, that's just despicable.

The job of the Postal Service is to deliver mail, not to restrict the delivery of mail to particular (politically incorrect) destinations. Whether the mailpiece has a Zip code with 9 digits, or 5, or none at all. Period.

But to "inundate" the Crawford post office with a blizzard of postcards? That just dogpiles the clerks who have to process the extra mail, and the carrier who delivers that route. It doesn't do shit towards hurting the people who made the questionable policy. And thousands of postcards, however nicely written and phrased, won't really do anything to help out the Crawford Peace House.

You really want to help the Peace House? And piss off the persons trying to restrict their mail delivery? Use a regular envelope, not a postcard. Write a thank-you note for their support of the camp-in, and put it in the envelope. Then write out a check, and add it to the envelope. Seal and mail.

(And don't forget to use all 9 digits on the Zip.)

(And by the way, if you're interested, I have a couple of poems of my own in the PAW archives, from 2003, just before the US invaded Iraq.)

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