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Protesting the protestors....

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Brad
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125 posted 04-05-2003 06:50 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I have no problems with 'the war on terror'. I did at first because I couldn't figure it out, but I see the strategy, and agree with it in principle. I have this crazy idea that people actually want stable, liberal democracies as much as we do.

Now, I I'll give some examples of the problems I see in a moment, but really, what I want to do is get away from this seeming endless stream of comparisons between Clinton and Bush. How long has Bush been president? And still, the only thing positive his supporters can really say is that at least he's better than Clinton.

There's wrong about that.

-------------------------

Afghanistan was a military success, but it's far from clear if it will be a diplomatic success (but we can hope). We're still there as I'm sure you well know.

But two foreign policy disasters:

In Korea, Kim Dae Jung's 'Sunshine Policy' was making some very good advances (including a visit between Kim Jong Il and Kim Dae Jung). The Bush administration immediately decided to 'rethink' its policy toward North Korea. This effectively stopped all possibility of better relations between the North and the South.

The Bush administration instituted a 'hands off' policy to the Isreal/Palestine conflict, effectively telling them to fight it out themselves. And that's exactly what they started to do.

And the Bush administration's policy pre-911 was a policy of appeasement (I think Powell's words were something like we'll use the carrot as well as the stick).

Iraq will be a military success, but, so far, a foreign relations disaster.

If war is seen as the diplomacy of last result, when all else fails, then these two military actions, Iraq and Afghanistan, are diplomatic failures.

By definition.

It's not the goals that I disagree with, it is the way in which they are implemented, and let's face it, his 'no-nonsense', inelegant and often callous, talk may go over well in America (I've often and will probably again criticize Americans for their striking indifference to the rest of the world), but the rest of the world hears a person only concerned with people who will vote for him (even if that's not true).

And finally, I guess everyone agrees with me that the peace demonstrators have been incompetent. Apparently, they have too for they've tried to rein in their tactics and go more mainstream.

Good for them.

Tim
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126 posted 04-05-2003 11:29 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Opinions are just that, opinions. Just an observation on the worth of mine.  I have some difficulty in accepting the opinion Afghanistan is generally recognized, even in the world community, as a diplomatic failure, or will be so. That is just an opinion. All wars are not diplomatic failures. They may be the result of diplomatic failures, there is a difference.  A logical argument can be made a foreign policy failure leading to Afghanistan was Clinton's failure to adequately deal with the terror issue while president.  Osama had some idea the U.S. did not have the courage to stand up to its convictions. The first gulf war, which I suspect some view as supported by significant portions of the world community, is generally conceded as the primary justification given by bin Laden for the creation of a  world-wide terrorism network. He was ticked infidels were on Saudi soil. This Bush did not create that situation.  Bush was president a period of months before 9-11.  He played the hand he was dealt with. The Palestinian issue will always be a diplomatic failure to the United States in the Arab world because there is not an acceptable  solution to the parties involved. History has pretty well proven that point. The United States is evil because it involves itself in international affairs.
The United States is evil because it does not solve the Isreal/Palestinian issue. As far as Korea, President Clinton with President Carter's assistance, both attempted a concilitory foreign policy towards N. Korea.  Some have the opinion that policy failed.  I do not know, but do not on the limited knowledge I have, see it as a resounding success.  In any event, I once read the S. Koreans burn more U.S. flags in protest than any country in the world.  They did so before Bush was president.  Bottom line, it is hard to isolate world events and policies without taking into consideration the historical perspective.  Do significant portions of the world have negative views of the United States. Yes.  Do significant portions of the world have positive views of the United States.  Yes.  Those views existed before President Bush.  If you are damned if you do and damned if you don't, I would prefer the people making the decisions do so on a basis of conviction rather than political expediency.  Just a side note, the French, Germans and Russians appear to be more concilliatory towards U.S. foreign policy in the last few days.  I wonder why?

[This message has been edited by Tim (04-05-2003 11:53 AM).]

Tim
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127 posted 04-05-2003 01:05 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Part of the world's conflicts may well be that all peoples (and I state peoples, not governments) do not want stable, liberal democracies. Those who prefer such a liberal form of government may well desire that all peoples would support such ideals, but such is not the case. Is that not one of the inherent inconsistencies with multi-culturalism? Is not that a logical explanation of how someone can oppose interference in another nation's affairs but praise the results of such interference?  Sheesh, he is now totally afield of the thread. Ack as he retreats in the Kansas wheatfields.
Ron
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128 posted 04-05-2003 01:18 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I think war is less of a diplomatic failure than it is a diplomatic tool. Technically, of course, it's the threat of war that is a tool, but the threat can't exist without the reality.

I once heard the following definition for a Great Truth. "A Great Truth only exists when its opposite it also a Great Truth." It seemed like a bit of Zen flippancy to me, at first, but it turns out to be surprisingly valid sometimes.

Case in point, I firmly believe there is always an alternative to war. But that's only true if you accept that sometimes there is no alternative.


Tim
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129 posted 04-05-2003 02:27 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

And Ron has succinctly shown the difference between a lawyer and a person of intellect.
Make your point and don't ramble.
Balladeer
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130 posted 04-05-2003 03:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I always THOUGHT there was a difference between a lawyer and a person of intellect!! Thank you, Tim, for verifying that!

Brad, Bush doesn't need my defense of his policies and it seems most relevant facts, of which there are many in this thread, when presented are ignored when irrefutable so why bother? This is just a very long gab session that isn't going to change anyone's mind at all...and that's ok, too.

P.S. ..if I don't agree with you and you haven't convinced me, does that make you incompetent?
Tim
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131 posted 04-05-2003 04:25 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Balladeer, somehow I suspected you would pick up on that point... *smile* (I am not even smart enough to add those smilie thingees)  I would never claim to be an intellectual, if I was, I would not have been a prosecutor throughout my career instead of going for the big bucks, or if I was really smart, living the life of leisure in Florida playing golf every day and picking on poor defenseless bugs.
Balladeer
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132 posted 04-05-2003 05:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Defenseless!?!?! I put my life on the line every day!


...and for the record I have the highest respect for the prosecutors - the bloodsuckers are the ones that give me hives
Brad
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133 posted 04-05-2003 05:55 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
P.S. ..if I don't agree with you and you haven't convinced me, does that make you incompetent?


Not always, but if I never convince you of anything, even when it's in your own best interests to agree with me, sure (This is why arrogance matters). When I ignore your points even if say I have more money than you and it's in my best interests to listen to you, then I am also incompetent.  

As far as war as another means of diplomacy? Sure. I can also say diplomacy is another means of war. The point is to win.

Is war sometimes inevitable? Sure. Was it inevitable in Iraq?

France, and Chirac to be more exact, has said some really stupid things, the move for leadership in Europe with America as the foil was silly. "War under no conditions," for example, was just a dumb thing to say, but I have no problems in calling Chirac incompetent as well.

Russia was one of the first to say that the very pressure that America is placing on Iraq is allowing peaceful disarmament to progress. France has said that if chemical weapons are used, they will support the war (Sure, because it means they were wrong), and Germany has said that it wants America to win. But these are tricky points to make as their peoples still seem resolutely against American intervention.

But if Tim is correct, if it is true that

quote:
[p]art of the world's conflicts may well be that all peoples (and I state peoples, not governments) do not want stable, liberal democracies. Those who prefer such a liberal form of government may well desire that all peoples would support such ideals, but such is not the case.


Then the entire stategy is wrong. Unfortunately, retreating to Kansas wheat fields is no longer an option, is it?

But, Tim, the point of my earlier examples was that he didn't play the card he was dealt, it was almost as if he reacted to the dealt card. If the previous administration was negotiating, they would stop (North Korea, Israel/Palestine), if they weren't, they would start (Afghanistan). Obviously, I have no idea what would have happened had he done the right thing, what I think is the right thing, we may very well be in the exact situation we're in now, but at least it would have made more sense and in the case of Israel/Palestine dispute fewer people would have died.

As far as people always being against America, sure some people are, but the scope of these protests are different. Um, I'm confused, are you not seeing what I'm seeing? Do you really think it's business as usual in other parts of the world?

Or have you always seen the world like this whereas I think it a self-fulfilling prophecy?

As far as America being evil, don't confuse an Ayatollah's fatwa with an Australian demonstration.  

As far as bin Laden is concerned, I'll assume you didn't mean that. You can't mean that you support, or feel even the slightest sympathy for, bin Laden's justification of 911.

-----------------

Michael,

But I thought you were the one screaming for facts. Now, you say they don't matter? I'm so very confused right now. Did I convince you that facts are tricky things? You don't seem to mind stating a lot of things as facts (even when they aren't true) when attacking people you dislike, but won't offer one, not even one, in support of your view. I don't get this. It may very well be true that it won't convince me (So what?), but if you don't feel it necessary, can I conclude that it is Bush's rhetoric (malaprops and neoligisms aside) that you prefer and that what the Bush administration actually does, what actually works is less important?

That is, you'd much rather hear Bush say, "You're either for us or against us" and then enjoy watching the administration do backflips trying to explain that that doesn't mean what it means.

I don't know, I do know that I probably wouldn't be a very good diplomat.

        
Balladeer
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134 posted 04-05-2003 06:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Then we actually do have something in common, Brad, because I KNOW I wouldn't make one, either!!
Local Rebel
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135 posted 04-05-2003 09:29 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Since I've now forgotten what I was going to say and since nobody pays any attention anyway -- I'll just let those who have gone before say it all...

"All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means." - Chou En-Lai, quoted in Saturday Evening Post

"Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war." - Ernest Miller Hemmingway

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
- Plato

The quickest way to end a war is to lose it.
- George Orwell

Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.
- Winston Churchill

We make war that we may live in peace.
- Aristotle

When the rich make war it's the poor that die.
- Jean-Paul Sartre

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
- Albert Einstein

Only the winners decide what were war crimes.
- Gary Wills

No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.
- General George Patton

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.
- Ernest Hemingway

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.
- John F. Kennedy

It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.
- Irish Proverb

In time of war the first casualty is truth.
- Boake Carter

I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.
- George McGovern

Either man is obsolete or war is.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

Beware of the man of one book.
- Thomas Aquinas

"War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses." - Thomas Jefferson

"Wars are caused by undefended wealth." - General Douglas MacArthur
"You can't say civilisation don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way." - Will Rogers, The Autobiography of Will Rogers

"My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth." - George Washington

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven." - Jesus of Nazareth

"I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: 'I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another." - Oppenheimer, J. Robert

"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." - Reagan, Ronald in a radio broadcast test

"Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war." - Shakespeare, William

Ringo
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136 posted 04-05-2003 09:54 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Brad,
You asked for relevant facts before,and I believe the point was about Gore not doing anything in Iraq (If I am wrong, then it will be as per usual).
How about a speech that Uncle Al gave just last week where he said that he wasn't going to talk poorly about the sitting president, and then made the statement that He would NOT have gone into Iraq.
The words are his, and not those of a conservative thinker trying to bad mouth anyone.
That is how it can be said that he would not have been effective in the Iraqi instance.

Imagine all the People living life in peace...
John Lennon

Brad
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137 posted 04-05-2003 10:19 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

LR,

So what are you trying to say? I read what you say, I just generally don't see much point in responding with, "Nicely put," "Great job" and "I wish I had said that."



Ringo,

But that wasn't my question. I charged Bush with incompetence. To charge Clinton, Gore, Carter -- Chomsky, Sheer, or, I don't know, Alec Baldwin with the same thing doesn't make mine go away. Bush is the president (and the legitimate president by the way), what positive thing as he done internationally except gone to war two years in a row?

My point is simple: just give me something that shows an understanding of the complexities of international politics.

I may not be convinced but I'll shut up.

Local Rebel
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138 posted 04-06-2003 01:41 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Nah Brad -- I'm just trying to figure out why any of us bother -- the world has plenty of paid pundits...it's not as if this makes any difference -- we do this for fun?  nah.. the sun is shining -- think I'll put my brain back in the jar.

Where are the donuts?

When I was young the old geezers used to sit on the courthouse lawn playing checkers and talking about this stuff while they smoked cigars -- instead -- we do it across the planet with a keyboard... probably all sitting in our underwear and scratching our --

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (04-06-2003 01:44 PM).]

Ron
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139 posted 04-06-2003 04:49 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

LR, one might actually hope that discussion promotes learning. Of course, that suggests a willingness to listen and learn, which might be expecting too much. Still, one hopes.

Why, after all, do you think a poetry board would even bother with discussion forums?
Midnitesun
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140 posted 04-06-2003 06:07 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.
- George McGovern

Either man is obsolete or war is.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

Beware of the man of one book.
- Thomas Aquinas

"War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses." - Thomas Jefferson
*******************************************
Oh, if only we would really listen, and act, with some of these thoughts held forever in our mindset.
garysgirl
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141 posted 04-06-2003 07:10 PM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

Hi Everybody. I'm still reading, and it seems everything calmed down a whole lot from a couple of days ago.

Now, doesn't  everybody  agree  that is a good thing? I thought so. And even though everyone's opinion may be basically the same, I believe that everyone has learned at least something that they didn't know before.

Hugs to you all,
Ethel
Local Rebel
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142 posted 04-06-2003 08:29 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

One can hope Ron... I just wonder if there is any real yeild from it though.  It is fun sometimes and while I'm convinced the participants basically like each other -- with a few exceptions -- it just becomes tedious sometimes covering the same ground over and over again.

It's not about you or your world you've created here on the web -- it's about me and being too burned out to be glib.
Ron
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143 posted 04-06-2003 09:26 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Understood, LR. And I agree, it does become tedious at times. For me, it usually depends on who is participating and whether they actually listen to what is being said.

As to the yield, I don't think discussion and learning have to change the world to be productive. Or, even, necessarily change anyone's mind. Stretching the neurons is a good thing. Learning how others think (or don't think in some cases) is invaluable. Writing, I think, is about a lot more than just stringing words together.
garysgirl
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144 posted 04-06-2003 10:48 PM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

Thanks Ron, for saying exactly what I meant to say. You just said it a whole lot better.
Ethel
Brad
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145 posted 04-07-2003 12:10 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Nah Brad -- I'm just trying to figure out why any of us bother


That's easy for me. I live in Korea.



Mistletoe Angel
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146 posted 03-06-2005 01:20 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Hey, I was just digging back into the archives and was glad I found this lying around down there.

Now, with it being nearly two years since this discussion started, I thought now would be a great time to "Protest The Protesters Who Protest The Protesters" (giggles)



A lot certainly has happened since this discussion came to a rest on April 7th, 2003.

Most of the 1,507 American troops who have died in this war have died since then, a majority after Bush declared "Mission accomplished!". Most of the approximately 35,800 wounded and the 107,000 Iraqi civilians killed have died since then, also a majority after May 2, 2003.

Fallujah, the city lying in the middle of the single greatest battle in this war, was destroyed to save it.

Abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib continue to happen and often go unsolved or unjustified.

Over $155 billion has been spent already and another $80 billion is expected to be asked for soon, bringing the total cost of this war to over the cost of Vietnam. While this is happening, the administration says it can't afford $300 million in more money for Pell Grants, less than 0.5 percent of what it is spending on this war, among many other domestic and governmental programs that have been cut that didn't have to be if not for this behemoth militaristic Yahtzee.

There have been tentpoles throughout the developing timeline of this ongoing war which brought us temporarily solace and thought to be turning points, with the comfort proving all too stoppable.

The death of Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, was supposed to be a turning point. The capture of Saddam himself was supposed to be a turning point. The transfer of power at the end of June was supposed to be a turning point. The taking back of Fallujah was supposed to be a turning point. And, most recently, the elections in Iraq, where eight million courageous Iraqis who came out and risked their lives to vote and wanted their voice to be heard loud and clear for freedom to the fullest extent, freedom from tyranny, freedom from oppression and freedom from foreign occupation.

The fact is, the only turning point will be when the United States turns around and leaves. Opinion polls continue to show that a clear majority of Iraqi citizens, both Shi'ites and Sunnis, want our occupation to end and for us to withdraw either immediately or once the government is set in place, which they want instilled as soon as possible.

Foreign policy should never be shaken or gambled like a game of Yahtzee. Whether the promising recent events of Lebanon protesters encouraging the Pro-Syrian government to withdraw, Egypt announcing multi-party elections or Saudi Arabia demanding Syria to remove all forces from Lebanon are coincidential to the Middle East agenda or a catalyst inspired by the war in Iraq, the thesis in going to war was otherwise, and simply when the thesis is incorrect or proven false, there limits the credit any such government earns from launching an invasion such as this, and rather appears as luck or fortune. The main point in going to war was that many were believed Saddam had WMD's and was capable of striking his neighbors with them. That thesis has been proven false, and the claim of "spreading freedom and democracy to the region" was seldom ever mentioned and only now has become the recurring theme as the war goes on.

But most significantly, here on our own soil, Americans are uneasy and are disapproving of the war more than ever, with one example being the Associated press poll done on February 23, 2005, where people in nine countries were asked about their attitudes to Bush's plan to promote democracy, and not ONE nation expressed a majority of people believing America should be doing so. Even here in America, 53% didn't believe that.

The world has spoken, and indeed I believe myself no individual country should make the decision for all the world. We ought to let the world come together again and hug our international community.

We have also learned since April 7th, 2003 of some truths of our media and the war.

The fact is, the anti-war voice was virtually completely suppressed leading up to the beginning of the war, despite 61% saying two weeks before the war began on March 19, 2003 that more time should be given for inspections and/or diplomacy. According to Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting, out of 393 interviews conducted in the few weeks leading up to the war in Iraq after Powell's visit to the U.N across the four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS), only three (less than 1%) were anti-war, and two of them came from Ted Kennedy.

And the few instances you do see protesters in the media, it always so happen to be the ugly, unruly instances that come up every once in a while, when in general the protests are actually rather peaceful and mean well.

You saw history being made during the Republican National Convention in New York City last August, where over 500,000 marched from Union Square to Madison Square Garden in the rally hosed by United For Peace & Justice, more than any other single convention rally in history, with dozens of other protests happening all throughout the city and the nation without trouble. You saw the incredible peace and non-violence among the whole crowd, with nothing but a paper dragon float burning too hot and giving an officer some burns and one other exception, Jamal, hitting detective William Sample off his scooter. Otherwise, it couldn't have been any more peaceful.

Even with Bush re-elected, even with Bush making his most striking speech yet in his inaugural address, calling for a wide-scale campaign in fighting terror worldwide, more and more are seeing through the rhetoric, and more and more are speaking out.

The anti-war movement has grown, and it continues to grow, even when it is not being televised, even when no end is in sight and all may appear hopeless, even when our media continues to distort the mission statement.

Two years ago, you saw the fog of uncertainty enshroud you. Now we are walking through it like a bead curtain. Now the voice of democracy and the dove is on the march.

We pacifists, war skeptics, of all parties and spectrums alike support our troops and are as American and anti-terror as our neighbors who support the war. The only difference is how we believe in resolving these conflicts that are critical in our world today, and I, among all other pacifists, believe war only incites more war and terror, and only love and understanding truly dissolves the emotions that incite this type of behavior.

Pacifists, progressives, etc. like myself hold dear and worship the philosophy of our beloved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who became one of the most loved and legendary social figures of the 20th Century in expressing his philosophy of non-violence, civil equality, and the love of all mankind.

We hold these words he spoke true to our hearts each day as we continue to work for peace:

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

Moreover, we may not all believe in God under the same name, but we all believe in the Holy Spirit just as much as the next American, and I believe deep in my heart Jesus characterized non-violence and the sword he said he brought with him was a healing sword, a sword that heals of peace.

The fact is, this cold civil war must stop should we move on and come back together as a society. I for one, as a pacifist, have many conservative and Republican friends who I love and am blessed to have in my life. We may not always agree, but it is our differences and varieties that add spice to life and make us appreciate one another even more, like in any relationship. I learn from them each day and believe I become a better and more accepting person with their help. And I believe throughout all our nation's history, conservatives and liberals alike have designed the tapestry of our great nation which we cherish and hold dear.

In final word, let it be recognized as I continue to protest this war in Iraq among many others, including on the forthcoming second anniversary of it in two weeks, I'm not protesting it out of "self-proclaimed self-righteousness", I'm not protesting it out of any vengeful behavior.

I'm protesting it because of the deep passion in all my heart in preserving and defending the "dream". I'm protesting it not out of who's right, but what is sound, and in my heart war is cynical and any loss that results in it could always have been spared. I'm protesting it out of my heartful philosophy that war only builds tension and is unhealthy to mankind.

Like that honorable soldier who Balladeer saw on TV, who passed out the food and water to Iraqi children and was asked what he was thinking, I have matured and continue to learn exactly why I bother taking time out of my schedule each week to take to the streets and volunteer with the community.

And I have to say, frankly, I was most inspired on October 3rd, 2004, when I co-organized a major historic rally in Portland, Oregon where almost 10,000 turned out and participated in. That day, dozens of children were out there who took part in the march, many wearing peace capes and these little angels were giggling and cheerfully skipping around flying kites and waving peace flags.

And one little girl showed me a painting she made, depicting her sleeping in bed, dreaming, and in a big bubble of what she was dreaming of everyone holding hands of all nationalities, with a rainbow arching above them with a peace sign and a dove. The sight of seeing that made me cry in tears of warmth.

That, to me, is my moment when I thought, "Now I know why I am here!" The world is full of dreamers who dream beautiful dreams, and I want to see a world for our children in the future where they could all live together in peace and not fear of turning on the TV or overhearing talk from their parents of this ugliness in our world.

The fact is, we pacifists DO share that same feeling. In fact, we live and breathe with this feeling each and every day from the bottom of our heart. And that is why we have the faith and courage to organize with our communities, that is why, even when we doubt our rally could change the world at large, we do what we do just for the good of it. That feeling is the primary resource that invigorates our faith each day.

Now, I wish each day everyone else could imagine and believe in this vision, someway, somehow, but moreover, that the instinct comes not forced or imposed, but comes as a soft note, an epiphany, that comes naturally like the thawing of a rolling spring.

In closing, I have one wish, one desire I have to offer, that is all too familiar, yet all too relevant and revered:

"You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you will join us,
and the world will live as one"

John Lennon
Imagine


Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Ringo
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147 posted 03-06-2005 09:47 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Noah... I just sat here and read every single post with a bit of amusement, and a small sense of nostalgia remembering what was going on in the world, and in my life at the time this discussion was going on.

Now.. back to "battle stations" (JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!):

Most of the 1,507 American troops who have died in this war have died since then, a majority after Bush declared "Mission accomplished!". Most of the approximately 35,800 wounded...also a majority after May 2, 2003.

There is one thing that most people who are citing these facts are forgetting... there are non-combat deaths and injuries being added to this every day. I give you as examples:
1)Army Sgt Andrew Baddick of Jim Thorpe, Pa who died while attempting to save some of his friends whose HumVee had just swerved into an irrigation ditch. All four soliers died, yet there was not one agressor in the area.. and not one shot was fired in this instance. This is being called up as 4 Americans killed in combat.(source, a letter written to his mother- whom I met at Sgt. Baddicks service)
2)Air Force Sgt. Robert Lerch of Pottsville, Pa who-while on routine patrol- had his hand crushed as the result of his humvee hitting a bump at a decent rate of speed, and his hand getting caught in the "sunroof". There were no anyones around except for American servicemen, yet this is also being touted as an American Wounded in Action. (source- Sgt. Lerch, whose mother I was dating at the time)
It has been a while since I have done the research, however when the media was screaming to anyone who would listen that there had been 1000 Americans killed in the war, there had, in fact, only been around 670 combat deaths. The rest were as the result of vehicle mishaps, falling deaths, and the like. In another thread you accused Fox Neews of being extremely biased, yet not one of the mainstream media (or CNN, MSNBC, or the others) seemed interested in revealing these facts. (this was not part of my part of this debate... just a random thought)

Fallujah, the city lying in the middle of the single greatest battle in this war, was destroyed to save it.

Hiroshima was completely destroyed, along with Nagasaki in order to end the war. Wahsington, DC was fairly well demolished in the effort to end the war of 1812. The ancient city of Hue was reduced almost to rubble as the result of Americans battling the enemy. (fictional proof- if there is such a thing- can be seen in the movie Full Metal Jacket. The war scenes are "being filmed" in the battle of Hue). The city of Vicksburg, Ms was sieged in order to stop the "insurgents" of the time from using it as a port of supply. The Battle of Britain left London a pile of rubble... end of sentance. The war in Kosovo reduced Serejevo to cinders in the effort to "save i:
My point is this, Noah- in a war, buldings get messed up, and people die. Although I do not revel in that fact, it is simply that... a fact. The main fact is that every major battle scene in history, whether in the city or in the country has left some pretty big divits to fill.

Over $155 billion has been spent already and another $80 billion is expected to be asked for soon, bringing the total cost of this war to over the cost of Vietnam
Use Vietnam era dollars to justify this. The movie Titanic was one of the most expensive movies ever made... however The Ten Commandments, if matched evenly on 1950/1960's dolars would DUST the pricetag. No, I am not comparing a couple of movies to war costs, just making the point that perceptions can alter the facts when a cold even comparison is made.

The main point in going to war was that many were believed Saddam had WMD's and was capable of striking his neighbors with them. That thesis has been proven false
There was an article in Time magazine not too long ago where an Iraqi militant leader admitted to having stores of weapons stashed all over the country where the Americans would never find them, and that it is these weapons that the Americans are being killed with. Perhaps I am too old, too set in my ways to understand, however I don't se how it can be admitted by an Iraqi that there are weapons stores hidden all over the country, yet people still don't believe it is possible that there are weapons being hidden/buried/whatever around the country. WMD's do not need to be large missiles or the like. The chemical attacks in Madrid, and Tokyo (to name a few) were done by a few containers that would fit into a knapsack.

...most significantly, here on our own soil, Americans are uneasy and are disapproving of the war more than ever...
The number you gave was 53%. Perhaps it is significant that the number of people who felt that America's involvement in WWII was at just about the same percentage. I am not comparing this war to WWII, except in the most basic of manners. The Great Society that saved the world only agreed with the war and the President's handling of it with percentages in the 40's. I do not have any misconceptions that this will be held to the same historical measure as the other war... only that history has proven it to have been the right thing to do. Pehaps, in time, that shall be the case here.

I believe myself no individual country should make the decision for all the world. We ought to let the world come together again and hug our international community.
The world (many of the countries, anyhow) ARE hugging the international community. To date, there have been 11 countries who have lost their native sons to this action. There are also five or six that are involved, yet have not had in-country deaths... including Spain, who opposed the war in the first place. How can you define this as an individual country making the decision for all the world.

In China (the Boxer Rebellion),WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and in the Persian Gulf, and Afghanistan the Americans have taken most of the "credit" (or blame, take your choice) yet there have been many, many more countries involved. It is just that no one seems to want to remember those countries and their sacrifices.

The fact is, the anti-war voice was virtually completely suppressed leading up to the beginning of the war, despite 61% saying two weeks before the war began on March 19, 2003 that more time should be given for inspections and/or diplomacy. According to Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting, out of 393 interviews conducted in the few weeks leading up to the war in Iraq after Powell's visit to the U.N across the four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS), only three (less than 1%) were anti-war, and two of them came from Ted Kennedy.
And now, it seems the Pro-war voice is being suppressed by the same media that did the reporting then. It is amazing how the government can be accused of supressing one side of an issue, when that side is blatantly suppressing anything that doesn't agree with it's view. (Remember: CNN is owned by Ted Turnere, one of the biggest liberal supporters, and anti-Bush people in America.)

...the few instances you do see protesters in the media, it always so happen to be the ugly, unruly instances that come up every once in a while, when in general the protests are actually rather peaceful and mean well.
This I will agree with you 100%. I have discussed this issue with numerous people over the past couple of years, and the very, very great majority of them are peaceful, law-abidiing citizens who feel that it is their patriotic duty to excercise their rights and oppose what they feel is wrong. I had a discussion with one who (like yourself) who is simply attempting to change his part of the world into a better place by quietly geting people to think about their vision of the country and if their views are being represented. I disagreed with him, or course; however, I was willing to sit there and discuss it for over an hour, when I gave the guy who yelled at me less than 5 minutes.

The anti-war movement has grown, and it continues to grow, even when it is not being televised, even when no end is in sight and all may appear hopeless, even when our media continues to distort the mission statement.
The media is distorting EVERYTHING involved with this issue... and with most. There is a very excellent book entitled "Generation Kill" by Even Wright that tells about the many noble things the Americans are doing for the Iraqi people, and the gratitude that they (Americans) are receiving because of it. I don't believe I have heard anything about it in the "unbiased" national media... only on the biased Fox News, and on Dennis Miller (himself a Bush supporter)

That day, dozens of children were out there who took part in the march, many wearing peace capes and these little angels were giggling and cheerfully skipping around flying kites and waving peace flags.
Noah, I sincerely congradulate you on the success of your event. Regardless of the reson for the even, pulling off something that big is an accomplishment. What I will say, however, is that not one of those kids truly understood wat they were wearing angel wings and flying peace signs for. The understood that their parents told them that is what they were supposed to do, and they know what their parents told them about the evil things this government is doing. They have no minds of their ow, yewt, in this issue, and will not for a while. I grew up in a military family surrounded by Vietnam combat vets, and still didn't have my own thoughts about ANYTHING war or government related until I was almost out of high school. In talking to a few friends from then, and talking to the young pwoplw I work with today, I was (for once) in the majority on this. Even as adults, many people just blindly go along with what they are told, and do not do their own research to decide for themselves. Their friends think a certain way, and the candidate/party/isue leaders that they listen to because of their friends, the leader's looks, whatever, says this is it... and therefore... that is  it.

One last thing: Everyone is yelling about the continued attacks and the continuing deaths of Americans who are dying, yet no one seems to be admittiing the fact that it is mostly NON Iraqi's who are doing the fighting. The Iraqis might want us to get the job done and leave as quickly as possible (as do I, believe it or not), yet it is not the Iraqis that are causing us to stay there so long... it is the other arab citizens (notice I didn't say countries) who are coninuing the hate.

In the wooden chair
Beside my window
I wear a face born in the falling rain

Balladeer
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148 posted 03-06-2005 07:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Whether the promising recent events of Lebanon protesters encouraging the Pro-Syrian government to withdraw, Egypt announcing multi-party elections or Saudi Arabia demanding Syria to remove all forces from Lebanon are coincidential to the Middle East agenda or a catalyst inspired by the war in Iraq, the thesis in going to war was otherwise, and simply when the thesis is incorrect or proven false, there limits the credit any such government earns from launching an invasion such as this, and rather appears as luck or fortune.

That says it all, Noah. You are presenting your ideas as rational and logical when actually they are the same "I hate Bush and will give him no credit for anything" rhetoric you have continually espoused. Whatever good is happening over there, according to you, is coincidence luck or just good fortune. It is the same tactic you employed not to give Bush any credit for saving tens of thousands of Iraqi children from starvation and tens of thousands of Iraqis from future mass graves....you acknowledged it as a fact but then double-spoke a way out of giving the administration any credit for doing exactly what your organization was marching for - saving lives.

The events of the Middle East right now are mind-boggling, from elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, Libya's discontinuation of nuclear weaponry, the more-positive-than-ever Jewish-Palestinian peace talks to the Egyptian election changes to Syria pulling out of Lebanon to major democratic consessions in Saudi Arabia.....the l ist goes on and on. If you feel that this is all coincidence or luck and nothing to actually do with the administration's efforts, then please continue deluding yourself. The funny part is that I KNOW (and I suspect you do, too) that, if all of this were happening with A Democratic president in power, the same anti-Bush protestors would be calling the Democratic president one of the greatest presidents in history, pointing at all of these same things as a tribute to his abilities as president and visionary. I believe history will judge Bush exactly that way.

You say the anti-war movemant is growing. Hell, we are ALL anti-war. What do they want? Do they want us to pull up stakes tomorrow and leave? Leave the Iraqis in the hands of the terrorist groups who do not want democracy or freedoms to interfere with their objectives, which is to rule by force and rob the country blind as Hussein did? Is that what they want? Are there signs reading "Get out of Iraq Now?". If so....are they nuts? If not, what purpose does their protesting serve? Sounds like people who just want to get together to scream about conditions they do not want changed and have no idea how to better...anybody can do that.
Mistletoe Angel
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149 posted 03-06-2005 10:07 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Hey Ringo, thanks again for this chat with me here. Again, we disagree more often than we agree, but I thank you ever so much for your patence in being able to look beyond the disagreements and just speak your mind openly to me like a next-door neighbor I find myself very accustomed and open to!



I'll respond to a few of your points here:

*

1) Yes, you're absolutely correct that not all the 1,507 casualties were from hostile fire. I think the number for those killed in hostile fire is between 1,100 and 1,150. You understand where I'm getting at though, right, that this didn't have to happen if we didn't go over there.

And for the record I think all cable media is either currently leaning to the right or simply isn't serving the general public with the news they want (Take the Michael Jackson trial, for instance, where in both CNN and Fox News polls, over four in five Americans said they will NOT be following the coverage, yet it is flooding the headlines now. Why do we deserve this?). I don't think CNN leans right, I don't think it leans left. It just leans on its back.

*

2) I believe most of the guests still remain in support of the war. I kind of scatter my schedule to each of the networks, with a little CBS, a little Fox News, a little MSNBC, a little CNN, and some Democracy Now!, plus "Now!" and "BBC News" on Fridays, and I still find most of the programs either have guests who are more indifferent or still lean in support. I'd have to say on cable news, "Hardball" with Chris Matthews is the most fair program right now, where he'll invite those like David Horowitz on the right and also invite some wives of husbands serving in Iraq against the war on the other side. But I still find most programs ("The O'Reilly Factor", "Hannity & Colmes", "Scarborough Country", "Special Report with Brit Hume") are slanted to the right or ("Larry King Live", "Newsnight with Aaron Brown") focus a bulk of their time on celebrity stories and interviews and such. I'm convinced if Ted Turner was truly passionate about making CNN the liberal progressive hotbed, he would have hired Phil Donahue by now, who unfortunately was pushed out by MSNBC despite his strong early ratings.

*

3) I absolutely agree not all protesters are civilized. And of course I can say the same for any politician in any party.

You may have heard what Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons of Nevada, who said on Monday (well, not exactly, he actually plagiarixed 15 of 21 passages in his speech from Alabama State Auditor Beth Chapman) the following:

"I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else."

Actually, I actually kind of took that as a compliment in some way, because I wish so much the liberals in our government could truly be like that. Actually what offended me was that he then added later it was "too damn bad we didnít buy them a ticket" to become human shields in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic Party this week, you had Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia come out and insinuated Republicans were Nazis in their effort to cancel out the filibuster here:

"We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men. But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends."

And THAT is exactly an example of why, though I may have voted Kerry in the last election, I consider myself an independent rather than a Democrat.

The point here I'm making is that there are extreme, uncivil people in every party, every area, of life. There are crazy protesters out there like those who rioted in Seattle a few years ago and in Chicago over thirty years ago. But in general, all you have to do is go out there on the streets and see with your own very eyes that these protests are not the ones the mainstream media depict each time something gets out of control.

*

4)



Awwwwww, thank you soooooo much for your kind and encouraging words on that rally I co-organized! (angel friendship hugs) I know you probably wouldn't have marched alongside me in that rally had you been there, but it still is a hug to my heart to see you wish me well!

I agree that in some cases the children were there just because their parents went. But I truly believe some kids really know what's happening, they truly are smart and know what's going on, like that girl who showed me the painting she made. Her painting was drupping with pure emotion, pure sentiment, pure thoughts. And there were other kids there the age of 10-12 who were even able to have fluent opinionated conversations with me, and I just felt like crying in a mixture of joy and sorrow, thinking "My God, these kids are bright!"

And for the record, I just want to say that I pretty much found my passion in protesting the war myself. My parents are no fans of the war either, but they are not really that type that goes out on the streets often and joins huge crowds. I'm really the only one that keeps going out there to the rallies, though my parents are supportive of what I do. And I believe many other young adults do the same.

*

5) YES, YES, thank you for bringing up that last point of non-Iraqi's fighting. Indeed other countries are facing losses of their own and incuring wrath upon these innocent civilians from the outside among the decentralized al-Qaeda network and such. I recognize that, make no mistake about it.

*

It's great to talk with you, my friend. And by the way, no hurt feelings about the election either. I accept Bush won this time, and now will just simply keep up the movement against the war and for schools, living wages, environment, etc.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

 
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