In what could become a weekly occurrence, some 50 people have demonstrated their desire for a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis on the steps of the state Capitol.
The group on Friday called for President Bush to bring home all U.S. military personnel stationed there.Many of the people attending the hourlong demonstration carried signs proclaiming "Peace is Patriotic," "Support Our Troops - Bring Them Home" and "How Many Deaths Per Gallon?"
Taking part were members of the Boise Peace Quilt Project, which sews quilts with symbols of peace and presents them to world leaders.
Most of the vigil participants said they felt the federal government has not given enough consideration to peaceful solutions, and were concerned for the safety of the more than 300,000 American military troops in the region.
"I don't think solving the situation through the use of force is the way to go about it," said Jill Nebeker, 20, of Boise. "I'm also concerned about the lives of the men and women sent there."
An organizer said the demonstration was intended to let political leaders know their opinions.
"We've talked about it in small groups, but we haven't made a statement to people who can make a difference," said organizer Richard Black, 44, of Boise.
"We need to let them know we're not satisfied with the way things have been taken care of, and that we're not willing to exchange blood for oil."
Another person said the changing geopolitical climate has left Americans without an enemy.
"In the post-Cold War world, the U.S. needed to find an enemy, someone to rattle sabers at," said the Rev. Alan Kelchner, 41, of the First Congregational Church.
"I don't see why the U.S. is getting involved. Here in Idaho we have home-lessness and other social problems that need to be taken care of," said Mark Stallman, 27, of Boise. "It doesn't look like they want to deal with the problems we have here at home."