BOMB IRAN!

Reblogged from Jenn Morrill’s great work at www.examiner.com

I highly recommend paying a visit to the original article and subscribing to her future articles.  You can find the original here: http://www.examiner.com/independent-in-salt-lake-city/bomb-iran-billboard-salt-lake-sparks-controversy

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‘Bomb Iran’ billboard in Salt Lake sparks controversy

A new billboard went up Thursday off I-215 in West Valley City, Utah that has evoked a strong reaction among viewers, which, the designer of the billboard says, was exactly the point.

In large red letters, “Bomb Iran!” is scrawled across the sign. At first glance, many are certain to wonder why someone would pay to put that message on a billboard in the very conservative, heavily Mormon dominated population of Utah. On the second or third glance, the answer might become more obvious.

Above the words “Bomb Iran” is written in smaller lettering, “Support the Troops,” with “Troops” crossed out and replaced with “Military Industrial Complex.” The sign points viewers to www.bombiran.org where it is made clear that the creators of the sign do not actually want to bomb Iran.
One of its designers, Connor Boyack, author and director of The Tenth Amendment Center in Utah, said that the goal of the billboard is to challenge people’s assumptions. He told Examiner,
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Whenever the government drags us into war, the politicians, media, and opinion makers collectively try to claim that we must ‘support the troops’ in their mission (whatever that mission may happen to be) in order to be patriotic Americans. We believe differently, for if a war is illegitimate and immoral, it should be opposed. Ultimately, we want people to go to the website to find some helpful links, book suggestions, and videos to learn more as to why we shouldn’t fight Iran.

The creators wanted an “in your face” way to get the message across and felt the billboard would be a good option. They also felt using sarcasm would be a more effective way of reaching people who do support going to war with Iran. Boyack said, “We wanted people to be at least slightly confused to make them stop and think for a second.”

Though Boyack is a vocal Ron Paul supporter, he said the sign is not a Ron Paul project. It was a grassroots effort, funded by fifty people across the country, but not all of them Paul supporters. He said,

This is an issue much bigger than one man or his campaign to win the presidency. This is a project to educate others; those who want to learn more about the issue by reading the recommended books listed on our website, or by watching the videos, will come to see that Ron Paul’s position on the subject of Iran is the correct one.

In less than 24 hours of the billboard being up, bombiran.org had already received 12,000 visitors.
Boyack believes the conservative, largely Mormon audience is especially receptive, when educated, to the anti-war message, given counsel in Mormon scripture and Church leaders on the subject over the decades.

Boyack said,

But certainly, this isn’t a Mormon thing at all. Utah’s conservative majority claims it supports the Constitution and wants limited government, and yet so many of them support wars such as these — the last batch of which has kept us in the Middle East for a decade with $4 TRILLION spent, thousands of lives lost, tens of thousands more injured, and millions displaced or dead in the region we’ve occupied, invaded, and carpet bombed. Those offensive wars (as would be the case with a war in Iran) are neither constitutional nor reconcilable with limited government, let alone a Christian approach to foreign policy.

Many on social networking sites have been critical of the controversial approach to this subject and don’t believe most people will recognize the sarcasm while driving by at 70 mph. Boyack readily admits the design is not perfect and that the people who were involved with its creation aren’t marketing and design experts. Boyack noted,

It was pretty complicated to pack in a meaningful message that got a point across (that the military-industrial complex encourages and benefits from war), did it concisely, and in a way that got people to think for a minute rather than viewing the billboard and framing it with their preconceived bias and stopping there.

Boyack is unsure of how long the billboard will remain on I-215, saying that it will depend on how much money they are able to raise. Right now, it will probably be about a month. If they do raise additional funds, Boyack says the money might be used to put up a second billboard in another location.

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