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Protesting the protestors....

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Mistletoe Angel
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150 posted 03-06-2005 10:36 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

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.

Not true. I'm not convinced he deserves credit yet because his thesis in going to war doesn't match the rhetoric he's using now.

Hey, if he simply was frank and made his case along the lines of, "Hey, I want to go to war in Iraq, because it is central to the Middle East region and I want this invasion to serve as a catalyst in spreading peace and freedom across the region." and as a footnote said, "Besides, Saddam may have WMD's and intends to streike his neighbord with them!", then there would never be this huge of a debacle. He could have simply said he wanted to spread freedom and democracy across the world and let everyone have elections (Sistani proposed that first), and instead he goes on insisting that we should go because of the WMD's.

And besides that, I absolutely believe everyone deserves to be free across the world, everyone deserves not to live in fear. But in this process of working to liberate tens of thousands from mass graves and famine, we could have spared over 107,000 other Iraqis from falling to this fate because of this invasion, not to mention an untold number of others with injuries that'll affect them and their families their whole lives.

I'm just telling it as it is.

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.

Again...not true.

If Kerry were elected, and he was just carrying on the whole operation without any sign of backing out or withdrawing, I would be protesting him with the same volume of passion I have for twenty-four months against Bush. Heck, I was never thrilled about voting for him from the beginning, because I recognized he wasn't anti-war either, maybe just simply a little less pro-war than Bush. I found voting for Nader or Cobb insufficient, so, I just went with the infamous "lesser of two burdens" instinct, because Kerry had also announced, unlike Bush, that his goal was to move out all troops from Iraq by te end of his first term, and that is better than nothing, so I went with my gut.

His public approval of the war is decaying. Most Americans don't trust him on domestic policies. The world unanimously thinks unfavorably of him, with the exception of Poland, the Philippines, and Israel.

I believe the main thing that is keeping Bush popular enough here is simply that Bush strikes many as just that kind of guy you'd love to have a beer with. All those who remain in favor of the war obviously are the same ones who make up a bulk of his likeability rating, while others truly dislike him, yet it's like a "My Fair Lady" feeling, where they're just so "accustomed to his face" and his language and such, and can't help but like him because he's almost like a celebrity, an entertainer, to them. The comedy and satire business right now is like that. They truly think down on his policies, but still can't help but enjoy him around because he's good business or such.

And I think his street smart, next-door neighbor persona is what will make him remembered most of all in America. Just my opinion.

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.

How are we all anti-war? If you truly were anti-war, you would be protesting this current war with me.

Maybe if this streetcorner revolution begins to get televised a little more, we can all indeed benefit and learn something from it.

Max Depree said, "Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful leadership are expressed, ultimately, in its practice."

It takes both leaders and followers to make this art paint the world. The greatest challenge here is to find the leaders in these crowds. There are many impressionable young people in the world who do nurture this alternative voice in their hearts, all they need is to be revealed and recognized.

Maybe if these great voices find this sort of exposure, Tom Peter's words can ring more true: "Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders."

And there, is democracy at its finest.

That's what I wish for, and still believe is coming.

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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151 posted 03-06-2005 11:25 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Ok, Noah, in case you've forgotten, Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' was for one major reason:  Major conflicts against the Iraqi ARMY were over.  Not the insurgents, but the Iraqi Army.  Though I can respect your opinion on most things, the coverage on that incident were so grossly misinterpreted by the major networks, except for Fox, as to leave the arena of what could loosely be called Truth.
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152 posted 03-06-2005 11:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'm not convinced he deserves credit yet because his thesis in going to war doesn't match the rhetoric he's using now.

That's the same tired argument we've had going around here forever. You say he lied about wmd's, we show where the democratic leaders said the same things before Bush arrived in town, you disregard that and change the subject. It won't wash. You are using that reason as some kind of excuse, Noah, that's all. You say that if Bush had come out and said we were going into Iraq to spread freedom instead then that would have been different. I doubt that highly. I feel sure you would have protested that just as loudly. To state that, well, maybe good things are being done but, since he lied to me, I condemn it sounds to me like a cop-out excuse, something used for the sole purpose of having some kind of excuse to use.

If you truly were anti-war, you would be protesting this current war with me.

Noah, one does not have to be pro-war to recognize the necessity of it. It would be wonderful if it were NEVER necessary but that is not realistic. When you get Hitler, Hussein, Milosovic, Bin Laden, and the members of the terrorist organizations now bombing women and children all together to sing a rendition of Lenon's Imagine, then maybe I'll agree with you.

I'd appreciate it if you would answer the question I asked before. WHen you organize to protest, what are you protesting for? Getting out of Iraq right now? Or, if not that, then what? Obviously there must be some purpose to the protesting. What is it? I'm not sure I understand. With the Viet Nam protesters they WERE protesting being there and demanding we pull out immediately. Is that your message also? Protests normally involve some kind of demand for action by the protestors...what's yours?


Mistletoe Angel
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153 posted 03-07-2005 12:43 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

"That's the same tired argument we've had going around here forever. You say he lied about wmd's, we show where the democratic leaders said the same things before Bush arrived in town, you disregard that and change the subject. It won't wash. You are using that reason as some kind of excuse, Noah, that's all. You say that if Bush had come out and said we were going into Iraq to spread freedom instead then that would have been different. I doubt that highly. I feel sure you would have protested that just as loudly. To state that, well, maybe good things are being done but, since he lied to me, I condemn it sounds to me like a cop-out excuse, something used for the sole purpose of having some kind of excuse to use."

I think one thing you're just not recognizing is that I do not consider myself a Democrat, I consider myself an independent, because the Democratic Party, at least in my opinion, is about as corporately-influenced as the Republican Party, is caught too much in the "Clinton's Party" decorative and hasn't adopted the true liberal progressive ideals as a centerpiece to their campaign. I believe that's the main problem here in our failure to communicate; because I voted for the Democratic ticket last November, you strike it as, therefore, I am a Democrat.

Look, I believe there are some great Democrats like Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Boxer who are influencing the party, and if the party leans in more of a progressive mainstream direction, I may find the heart to call myself a liberal Democrat. At this time, though, I'm not, and I was just as frustrated with the many "Democrats" who followed the lead to letting the war happen, and I still don't trust many senators and congressmen in the party.

And, thank you, yes. You're absolutely correct I would still be protesting just as loudly if Bush went to war and made the claim he just wanted to spread "peace" and "freedom", because I'm a pacifist. But the fact is, this debacle wouldn't be of this magnitude it is now. You'd simply either agree with what Bush was doing or you wouldn't. And many who've had a change of heart or opinion now didn't sway because they disagreed with Bush's vision necessarily, just out of irresponsibility and not being open and frank with the American people and such and losing trust in him because of that.

Who knows, maybe that was on Bush's or his colleagues mind's all along; to spread "freedom" across the world. But they also knew to just say that would be a hard sell to the American public, and since faulty intelligence came in and convinced most that Saddam had WMD's, look, there you go, it's alarming. No one wants to be attacked, no one deserves to be attacked, so it may just convince the public to sell the case.

That's just my personal take there, and I believe precisely why so many that aren't even pacifists or anti-war remain distraught.

"Noah, one does not have to be pro-war to recognize the necessity of it. It would be wonderful if it were NEVER necessary but that is not realistic. When you get Hitler, Hussein, Milosovic, Bin Laden, and the members of the terrorist organizations now bombing women and children all together to sing a rendition of Lenon's Imagine, then maybe I'll agree with you"

You can call me another sort of idealist if you may, that I admit I am. But I do have more than just this hope for humanity, simply in the sight of seeing those who live by the notion, "Never again...". All it needs is some reinforcement and a message in which can be more contagious.

I consider you a true friend that I do enjoy talking to even when it is difficult to talk to you on occasion, and our firm disagreement on stances doesn't take away that I believe you mean well and have a good heart. I truly believe you are one who believes war is ugly and really doesn't desire to have it happen. I believe that. But I also believe that doesn't make someone under that description anti-war. Being anti-war I believe is recognizing that war has no beneficiary value and letting that go as an option.

I believe the option should be building communities and just attempting to reach out and find a level of understanding with our rivals and enemies in the world. I think the main problem here is that so many are just afraid to imagine that, it just sounds proposterous to sit at a table and talk or find a mutual understanding with someone you know is an enemy.

I'm not defending these terrorists by any means. I just believe that throughout history, injustice and malice has just always evolved among peoples, and once one form of it is defeated, without this "unfinished business" of understanding I speak of being done, the malice just skips away, takes on a makeover, and has a new name, a new identity. This should be recognized.

I believe if we can do that somehow, together, in a bi-partisan fashion worldwide in the future, this "unfinished business" can finally be carried out and this form of hatred and malice can dissolve.

I'd appreciate it if you would answer the question I asked before. WHen you organize to protest, what are you protesting for? Getting out of Iraq right now? Or, if not that, then what? Obviously there must be some purpose to the protesting. What is it? I'm not sure I understand. With the Viet Nam protesters they WERE protesting being there and demanding we pull out immediately. Is that your message also? Protests normally involve some kind of demand for action by the protestors...what's yours?

Yes, I'm protesting exactly in the form of what the Vietnam protestors did. I'm protesting against the war, and believe the occupation is what's encouraging the unrest, so therefore we should pull out. I believe from the beginning there could have been a non-violent alternative in encouraging the democratic desire among Iraqi citizens and secret operations to capture Saddam and his men and/or throw a coup like our government has unfortunately done in many Latin American nations that didn't deserve it, something along that line. And by this stage, had we abruptly left today while the Iraqi government is beginning to be put in place, just because we're out doesn't mean we can help monitor the building of their democracy and see to its stabilization. That's just generally speaking, and I'm sure others have much more to add, but that's just my take.

I figured you understood that from the beginning. Sorry if somehow I didn't clarify that. And indeed I protest the likes of Bush and Rumsfeld in the violence and the encouraging of the war practices and such, and indeed there are protesters who seem to have Bush on their minds and seeing him get his comeuppance (I call them "red curry protesters"). But though I do believe Bush should be impeached for war crimes and for violation of treaties, what I want most of all is what I wish every protester could be desiring; simply for us to leave for the good of the Iraqis, ourselves and the world.

We not only protest though. We also are simply just trying to educate the community and also just talk about the need to lean attention back to the real important necessities; of education, living wages, and democracy at its fullest. I don't believe it's anti-military to believe that simply too much money is being spent towards defense. I just believe that in balancing where everything is spent, we have a more balanced agenda.

I don't know, I guess "protest" just strikes some as a dirty word somewhat nowadays. But the educational component is there beyond the likes of those "red curry protesters" I speak of, and most protesters I believe really do care in doing good not just out of releasing all their anger for themselves, but for the good of the community as well, and rather protesting as a form of art, painting the town with its spontaneous poetry.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

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

Mother Teresa

JoshG
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154 posted 03-07-2005 01:56 PM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

Noah,

The democracy you so profess to love was not started on the backs of pacifist.  It was not upheld by peace.  It stands today because true Americans had a dream that they were willing to fight and die for.

It was pacifist behavor that got us Pearl Harbor, 911.  Democracy is a beautiful thing that will always have to be defended and fought for.  Iraq for however long it can be will experience the taste of Democracy and that in my mind is more than enough reason for the war.
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155 posted 03-07-2005 02:18 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

Noah,

The democracy you so profess to love was not started on the backs of pacifist.  It was not upheld by peace.  It stands today because true Americans had a dream that they were willing to fight and die for.

It was pacifist behavor that got us Pearl Harbor, 911.  Democracy is a beautiful thing that will always have to be defended and fought for.  Iraq for however long it can be will experience the taste of Democracy and that in my mind is more than enough reason for the war.


*

I disagree with your views on pacifism leading us to these historic tragedies, but I do understand what you are saying in terms of that democracy must be defended. We both can absolutely agree there.

I just find it a serious problem, a problem beyond serious, in that if giving Iraq a taste of democracy was more than enough to justify this war, how far can this go, when will it ever stop?

Nepal is in a crisis right now as we speak, yet barely anyone seems to either know or care (I started a topic on Nepal here that has gotten no responses). Their king has cut off all their phone lines, closed off all their airports, and has harrassed their democratically-elected government with his officers and military supporters. If nothing improves soon and no diplomatic talks or international pressure is put in place, there could be a nasty genocide there possibly.

Where's all the talks about the struggles in Eastern Congo, or the slanted elections in Kyrgystan, or the crisis in Kenya? Don't they deserve democracy just like Iraq and much of the modern world?

And if we're going to solve every one of these problems with war, I just can't possibly ever believe in that when so many other conflicts in the world were resolved with diplomacy.

I believe Iraq could have been no exception to that rule.

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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156 posted 03-07-2005 03:37 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Josh- There is one small correction that I have to make to your last post...
It was not pacifism that led to Pearl Harbor... What led us into WWII (Europe) was ignoring the situation. Once we got involved in the war on Germany, Japan thought it would be a good idea to wipe out the American Pacific Fleet to prevent them from stopping the spread of Japanese imperialism throughout the South Pacific and throughout the Orient. With that idea in mind, Gen. Yamamoto sailed over 30 war ships into the Northern Pacific waters, and the rest...

Also, it was not pacifism that led to 9/11. 9/11 was done by terrorists who had a political point to make. It was not because we didn't want to fight. If we had actively been at war with Iraq in September of 2001, the attacks on America would have still happened.

One last thing, and I sincerely apologize if I misread your post... I have been known to do that more than once... however it seems that you were insinuating that Noah wasn't a true American because of his pacifistic views (The democracy you so profess to love was not started on the backs of pacifist...It stands today because true Americans had a dream that they were willing to fight and die for).
If that was your point, then I feel it to be slightly narrow minded. I would find Noah, and have over the past 2 years, to be as great an American and as loyal an American as my father who spent 4 tours in a far-away land killing people he didn't even know for a country he didn't want to know, simply because he is willing to do whatever it take, even at the cost of complete ridicule from those around him, to improve this country and make it- in his eyes- a better, stronger, more respected nation. I feel his thoughts are slightly misguided, and- as we have both said repeatedly- do not ever truly agree with most of his views... that does not make him an un-true- American.
Again, if I misred it, then I heartily apologize. I just could not let that statement go as I red it.

Now... Noah. Back to you... AGAIN  (lol)...
Nepal is in a crisis right now as we speak, yet barely anyone seems to either know or care...Where's all the talks about the struggles in Eastern Congo, or the slanted elections in Kyrgystan, or the crisis in Kenya? Don't they deserve democracy just like Iraq and much of the modern world?

Yes, Sir, they do - in fact- deserve democracy just like Iraq and much of the modern world. There is one thing, however, that prevents us from doing anything about it... and it's the same thing that prevented us from doing anything about Rwanda: They have nothing for us... there is simply nothing to protect. The only reason that we sent troops into Somalia was to protect the food sources that America was spending billions of dollars to send... thereby protecting America's investments. Through all of the rhetoric and the hype THAT is what the job of the military truly is. When Nepal (which is surrounded by Communists, and another reason we wouldn't send military) or Kyrgystan, or Kenya become allies, and have trade agreements in place, then American firepower might more reasily be available. Until then, no president is going to shed American lives for a pile if sand.

(btw... I haven't had a decent debate about anything except ONE person with the election since... a while... thanks for the opportunity.)

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157 posted 03-07-2005 09:46 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Who knows, maybe that was on Bush's or his colleagues mind's all along; to spread "freedom" across the world. But they also knew to just say that would be a hard sell to the American public, and since faulty intelligence came in and convinced most that Saddam had WMD's, look, there you go, it's alarming. No one wants to be attacked, no one deserves to be attacked, so it may just convince the public to sell the case.

I'll agree with part of that, Noah, not necessarily Bush's drive to spread freedom across the world but rather to eliminate governments which could conceiveably support or harbor terrorism after 9/11. As far as using the idea of wmd's to sell it to the public, well, he chose a subject that basically the entire world agreed with - that it was more than just a possibility that they existed based on Hussein's actions. Anyway, that's been hashed over many times here..

Yes, Noah, I do consider you an idealist...and that's no criticism. I admire you for it. I wish things could be they way you envision that they can. Unfortunately, history has shown that they can't. I agree that it is a vicious cycle but that is the nature of humanity. There have been, and will always be, Attillas, Caligulas, Neros, Lenins, Stalins, Hitlers, Mussolinis, Milosovitches, Duvaliers, Husseins....the list goes on and on. These are people bent on one thing - power by conquest. They are not interested in human rights or peace and there is nothing you can say that will change them. It is their nature to conquer. There will always be terrorists and their enemy will always be countries that believe in freedom and individual rights. You have the right to refuse to pick up arms and fight them but you should give thanks every day of your life to those who have done just that - the millions who have died so that you can live in a free society where you can sermonize that all war is wrong. They deserve at least that much from you.

I'm protesting against the war, and believe the occupation is what's encouraging the unrest, so therefore we should pull out.

Occupation is encouraging the unrest....yes, definitely. But why? Well, since you ask so politely, I'll tell you . The terrorists are the people who do NOT want freedom and a democratic form of government for the people of Iraq. They want things to be the way they were, with the spoils going to the most powerful....and now, with Hussein and his sons out of the way, that throne is wide open. Even the average Iraqui has realized that by now. The insurgents gave great speeches for a while about ousting the Americans for the good of Iraq but THEY are the ones killing Iraquis, sabotaging public works, killing the policement and politicians. They are the ones who threatened to kill all Iraquis who voted in the elections. They are thugs, murderers, killing the same people they say they are trying to protect. They are not believeable to the Iraquis any longer.
How easy for you to sit there in a comfy chair and say we should pull out now. I'd like to see you in Baghdad saying that to a crowd of Iraquis. Somehow I don't think you would get the reception you hoped for. Are you able to envision life there right now? Do you think the insurgents would simply stop and disband if we were to leave? Not even you can be that naiive, my friend. Elections have been held. A government has been chosen. The army and policemen are being trained and equipped. You and your group who believe in human rights and non-violence actually believe we should pull out right now, right in the middle of this reconstruction and tell the average Iraqui good luck, you're on your own??? You would want that being done to them? And you call yourselves believers of human rights and spokesmen for victims of the world? Thank God your protests will be ignored by those with a little better view of reality than yours.

Yes, Noah, despite any differences of philosophy we have, I'm proud to have you for a friend and I will defend your right to be a dreamer even though I have the need to take a more realistic one. I hope some day you will have the opportunity to visit these countries whose futures you are trying to influence by your marches....it could give you a better, and probably different, perspective....who knows?
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158 posted 03-08-2005 06:53 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



Awwwww, thanks for your kind words, Balladeer.



I believe, in my heart, that my vision is no less realistic than yours. I go back to my own lingo again I call "unfinished business", the lack of clemency. I believe in my heart that that's precisely why we continue to see in history infamous characters of Caligulas, Neros, Lenins, Stalins, Hitlers, Mussolinis, Milosovitches, Duvaliers, Husseins and Zarqawis.

I believe our great nation must be disciplined and sensitive when working to spread the vision of democracy worldwide. And, honestly, I can't blame much of the world and those like myself for the huge concerns that arise when some are allowing torture or even changing the definition of torture by law of prisoners (Most Americans oppose harsh interrogation tactics the U.S. government has used to try to extract information about possible terrorist attacks from detainees, including chaining up prisoners in cold rooms, female interrogators touching male Muslim captives during religious observances, and electrical shock.) because those types of discipline truly do hurt the reputation of our great nation being a protector of civil liberties. And that, by the way, is why I disapprove of Alberto Gonzalez, NOT because he's the first Hispanic Attorney General, which many cable news outlets were spinning that's why most Democrats opposed his nomination.

The way Bush's second inaugural speech was written could send off so many different misinterpretations, and strike so many like myself as a frightening, intimidating, intensely militaristic call to spread democracy worldwide with war or operations like Iraq.

That's the point I've been trying to make all this time. While a brutal dictator and regime has been toppled and an election has been served, tens of thousands still were lost in the process, all undeserving losses. You may have see on O'Reilly yesterday those two Arabic student guests both say they love freedom and democracy but they oppose the operation in promoting it where many everyday Iraqi citizens who were at the wrong place at the wrong time were killed. You see, that's just how I feel. War in itself can strike many as terrorism.

Hugo Chavez is the President of Venezuela and was democratically elected twice in their elections and survived six referendums, like him or not. Yet in 2002 some of our government officials attempted to coup him like it has been done in other Latin American countries like Panama, where after two days from office he's returned and remains in power ever since.

Hugo is a very militaristic leader and all. I just still believe that if Hugo or Aristide or whatever could be removed like that without a major military operation, why couldn't Hussein be removed like that? Bush still believes that Iran and North Korea can both be resolved diplomatically, which have the real weapons of mass destruction in the world, so why couldn't Iraq be believed to be solved the same way?

Those are the types of questions that concern me often, and lead me to believe Iraq wasn't an inevitable war.

Look, I don't believe any of us can fully envision life in Iraq right now. I can't, you can't, Bush can't, Kerry can't. Even those like McCain and Lieberman who went over to Iraq recently and visited Baghdad and other places in the region can't fully understand the whole of what it's like right now.

I will tell you, though, that, yes, Iraqis want democracy. Just about everywhere in the world people want democracy. The Iraqis want freedom as well, they want it in the fullest sense. They want freedom both from the terrorists and from foreign occupation. They just want to take their nation into their own hands now without pressure from the outside. They just want to get on with their lives without a global sort of media circus stamped in their heart of the world. And when no single sign of an exit strategy has been made to the public, that is troubling. You can say it's only because we don't want to send out information to the terrorists, but look, you're going to have to make it public sooner or later, and those bad seeds in the world will still be waiting and being vigilant regardless.

The point I'm making is that I'm blessed to be an American and truly believe, despite having troubles like every other nation in the world, this is the greatest nation in the world and we have more rights than most other countries would only dream to adopt someday. And I believe we should continue to inspire our examples to the world and influence the updating and building of democracies worldwide.

But we also need to be sensitive, careful, disciplined and acknowledging of the international community when we go about promoting campaigns in spreading this democracy and freedom in the world. And it comes to no suprise to me when about half our own nation like myself and the world seemingly unanimously believes the war in Iraq was wrong. Because war truly is hell, and many see war as terror. Bush said himself "war is a dangerous place", and boy is he right there. People die in war, not just enemies but friends and those who never wanted any part in it. And it comes to no suprise either why most who do see the events in Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as a positive change still haven't been moved on their opinion of the war in Iraq. Because, to many, this was never about who was right; it was about what was sound. And war just isn't sound to me. And believe me, there are millions who oppose this war now who are not pacifists who would believe in war if we absolutely had to, like if someone like Hitler declared war on all mankind. I would refuse to carry a gun in that sort of event, but I would certainly volunteer for civilian care, etc.

THAT'S what I want those who would accuse me of being anti-American, unpatriotic, etc. to understand. We've got to be patient and understanding as we continue to promote democratic ideals to the world. If we continue to allow war being a must in establishing democracy in other countries and we don't do something about the torture issue, corporate abuse, international isolation, etc, it would strike many in the world the unfortunate message that we Americans are terrorists. I don't want that to happen, I don't believe any of us want that to happen.

There's that unfortunate incident going on right now between us and Italy if our troops intentionally shot at the freed Italian hostage and a journalist. I absolutely believe with all my heart our troops DID NOT intentionally or deliberately shot her. There was obviously some bad miscommunication but I believe our troops would never resort to lows like that. But the Italian believes otherwise, as does a communist newspaper in Italy there, and this whole thing has incited growing resentment and damaged relations of Italy toward the United States.

War truly is a mess that also can makea mess of things. And that's exactly why war should ALWAYS be a last resort, whether you're a pacifist or a secretary of defense.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

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

Mother Teresa

JoshG
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159 posted 03-09-2005 11:30 AM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

Ringo - yes you are right in correcting my misuse of terminology.  Let me rectify the situation,

Pacifism - The belief that disputes between nations should and can be settled peacefully. Opposition to war or violence as a means of resolving disputes. Such opposition demonstrated by refusal to participate in military action.

The error I made was categorizing pacifism the same as ignoring reality.  I do believe that as a pacifist you do ignore a bit of reality, but should not of made the assumption without clarification.

Now that it is clarified, let me better explain my pearl harbor / 911 statement.  Pacifism of course by definition can not be the cause of terrorism, war or non-peaceful acts.  It can exude a lack of constitution in terms of protecting your country from attack.  Understanding my correlation between pacifism and ignoring, I propose that ignoring the warnings from a terrorist Al Quida, Iraq and other countries is directly related to the success of the attacks.  Is it the cause no, did it help to foster an environment becoming of a successful attack I believe so.

Second, let me apologize if it was convied that I think Noah is not a true American.  To be able to consider myself a true American I believe I must understand that all types of perspectives lie in our country.  Yes, I agree that my stance is much different than his, but would never consider him un-American.  I believe he is as much an American as any other that is willing to speak and push his/her ideals.  I will admit that many times I get upset by his views and it could have come through in my response, which I will try and better craft in the future.

Balladeer - "Yes, Noah, I do consider you an idealist...and that's no criticism. I admire you for it. I wish things could be they way you envision that they can. Unfortunately, history has shown that they can't. I agree that it is a vicious cycle but that is the nature of humanity." - to better explain myself I have to quote Balladeer.  The explanation is quite 100% to how I feel about Noah's views.
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160 posted 03-17-2005 10:02 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

Bear with me as this is lengthy. State of the Reunion speeches are lengthy after all, LOL!

This is what I have prepared for the Teach-In this Saturday in Portland to mark the 2nd Anniversary of the War in Iraq.

*******************************************

STATE OF THE REUNION ADDRESS II

*

My fellow Americans, and to all our friends across the world, God Bless You all during these shaky, sensitive times.

As you may be aware, the second anniversary of the war in Iraq is Saturday, March 19th, an unfortunate date that'll leave a lasting scar on the hearts of many across the world.

This nation remains deeply and dangerously polarized. Across this chasm of conflicting ideologies, we live amidst conflicting ideals of what peace and democracy is all about, what constitutes a word that has been repeated incessantly; freedom.

I for one disagree with our president's views on what peace and freedom are all about. In my heart, I have always recognized that peace and war don't go hand in hand, with peace being the absence of war and war being the absence of peace. To go to war to push an agreement or treaty to end hostilities, or establish a form of democratic government, leaves others at distress, with loved ones within families and innocent bystanders who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time killed or left with a life-afflicting injury or tragic memory.

In recent weeks, we have seen what may appear to be democracy on the march in the region, from Lebanon, where Syria is beginning to withdraw their forces from the region, to Egypt, where there is talk of multi-party elections on the horizon, to Saudi Arabia, who participated in the call for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon.

Any reasonable person or lover of freedom would be happy to see a citizen-sponsered democracy come to any part of the world like this. With that said, some may argue, "So, are you going to admit he was right, when are you going to kneel to your knees and admit he deserves credit for all that?"

My answer to them would be what I've said a few times already: "This was never about who was right, this was about what was just and sound."

I phrased my thoughts on war before in a way that has resonated to me; it's not only a mess, but it makes a mess of things. Metaphorically speaking, I believe Bush and his colleagues took foreign policy in and shook it like dice in a Yahtzee cup, hoping to score a Yahtzee or at least a four of a kind.

Right or wrong in how Bush may have come out in this gamble, what remains wrong from the beginning of this senseless war and invasion can be explained in the form of this Chinese proverb that reads,

"If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time."

First and foremost, we must never lose sight of why this president invaded Iraq in the first place. The faulty intelligence provided to him and his colleagues suggested Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and that became the thesis argument. Secondly, though the reports suggest otherwise, Bush believed there was a solid connection between Saddam and 9/11.

Where was all that rhetoric you hear now about invading to spread freedom and peace throughout the Middle East? It simply wasn't the language you heard Bush speak prior to March 19, 2003, or in the months following that day to that manner, with "spreading freedom" listed as #5 or lower on the list of reasons to go to war, if listed at all.

61% of Americans believed within the days leading up to the invasion after Colin Powell made his testimony to the United Nations that more time should be made for inspections and diplomacy.

The Constitution itself reads the president cannot legally wage war against another nation in the absence of a declaration of war against that nation from Congress, and regardless of whether Bush believes that war against a certain nation is just and morally right, he is nevertheless prohibited by our supreme law of the land from waging it unless he first secures a declaration of war from Congress, and just one reason why this war in Iraq is illegal.

Article VI of the Constitution also clearly reads, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;"

One of the most important rules in leading a nation to war under any circumstance is to respect and comply with these "laws of the land". Bush refused to, and has violated the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, Chapter 1, Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, Principal VI of the Nuremberg Charter, the Posse Comitatus Act, the U.S. War Crimes Act, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights among other violations, all of which could make a solid case for his impeachment.

Now, I ask you.

"Is that democratic?"

Because of his refusal to play by the rules and choose irresponsibility and recklessness over responsibility, we've wrongfully invaded another nation that never even attacked us to begin with, we've wrongfully sacrificed the lives of over 1,500 soldiers, we've killed over 107,000 innocent Iraqis, and have incited an uncertain fate in the region that continues to encourage widespread violence.

There's an incredible sense of irony to the fact that while our president stresses the word "freedom" so many times, he has actually subverted our own democratic principles at home. He swore in his constitutional oath to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

How is repeatingly allowing the providing of misinformation to the American people and Congress halthy for our nation? How is completely wrongly linking Iraq to 9/11 when the evidence shows otherwise healthy for our nation? How is repeatedly claiming that satellite photos in Iraq depicting factories as WMD storehouses in contradiction to the findings of the United Nations inspectors healthy for our nation?

And, in addition, though he may believe in the greatest funding of our military, he has actually threatened the security of our nation by encouraging other nations to violate International Law by Bush defying the United Nations himself. What type of message does that send terrorists and other people of ill will across the world?

It is because of these reasons why we are NOT safer since the war in Iraq has began.

I, myself, am a pacifist, and will not fight any war because of it. But the more and more who have declared they've had enough and have continued building the opposition to this war are not even pacifists. They are those who believe under more extreme circumstances it's sensible to go to war if we HAVE to but not under senseless reasons like in Iraq. They have learned of the truth behind the window dressing our government and the mainstream media tell us.

The anti-war movement here has grown, and it is continuing to grow stronger! I repeat; the anti-war movement here has grown, and it is growing stronger!

You may not necessarily believe it when you watch the mainstream media and see little or no images of protests or rallies, and when you do, it's always expressed as negative, ugly or unruly. But there's tens of thousands out there who sacrifice many hours just to set up these demonstrations, just to volunteer in their communities, and this Saturday, you are going to see them flood the streets in many major cities, and hear the bass drum beat from dozens of blocks away. And this Saturday we will prove to the world once and for all we are not sleeping, and when we say we're determined to end this senseless war, we MEAN we'll be working until it's over.

*

*

In these last two years, Bush has not only failed to recognize the rules of the game, he also hasn't thought over or recognized the stakes of this senseless invasion.

While Iraq and much of the Middle East remains facing a cloudy, uncertain future, here at home we have actually gone backwards in terms of our treasured democratic cornerstones and achievements.

On October 26, 2001, the USA Patriot Act was signed, a document which so many Americans have not even read or are even aware how it was passed to begin with. Originally a bi-lateral version was offered to Congress, until an overnight revision was snook in, with barely any time to read and no time to discuss or debate. Under this unfortunate piece of legislation, U.S. intelligence agents could conduct a secret search in your home, use evidence found there to declare you as an "enemy combatant," and imprison you without trial, while the courts may have no chance to review the decisions or may not even ever know about them.

But the single most troubling part of the act is its effect on what you read.

Libraries and bookstores have always been and are meant to be a source of knowledge and information in this country. The right to read without the fear of government surveillance is a cornerstone of our democracy. Freedom of the press means nothing without a corresponding freedom to read. Open and democratic debate is impossible without free and open access to diverse views and a broad array of information. And, under this act, investigators are authorized to seek a search warrant for "any tangible things" in a library or bookstore, a category that easily includes book circulation or purchase records, library papers, floppy disks and computer hard drives. It's literally fueling Big Brother's rise.

Bush and his colleagues continue to say they believe in freedom and democracy. But what you see or hear is not always what you get or what is meant, everyone.

If Bush truly cared about democracy at its fullest, then why would he either allow or fail to condemn the military coup performed on Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's twice-democratically elected president (not to mention elected in six referendums) in 2002?

Why would he either allow or fail to condemn the coup of Haiti's democratically-elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who won 67% of the vote in 1990 and remained the favorite to Haiti ever since?

If Bush believed he could coup those like Chavez and Aristide, why couldn't he do the same for Saddam Hussein, and free the people of Iraq while sparing the losses of tens of thousands?

Bush himself was not the one who originally called for or desired democratic elections in Iraq. We must not forget that until Ayatollah Sistani insisted on early nationwide elections, the US was opposed to such an election and was determined to form a government based on local community representatives handpicked by the US. It was only after the US agreed to these elections to install the transitional government that the Shiite community cooperated with the occupation forces and the Shiite insurgency led primarily by Moqtada Sadr in Najaf and other places fizzled out at the intervention of Ayatollah Sistani who expedited his return from Britain, on August 25, 2004, to placate the growing anger in Iraqi Shiites.

Meanwhile, while our administration continues to claim they represent the fullest of our morals and values and represent Middle America, the people beg to differ in so many areas.

7 in 10 Americans said in a poll revealed over the weekend that they are concerned about government secrecy, that good government depends on openness with the public and nearly just as many felt access to public records was "crucial" to good government. Yet we have the most secretive administration in our nation's history.

A strong majority of Americans strongly disapprove of harsh interrogation tactics the U.S. government has used to try to extract information about possible terrorist attacks from detainees held in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba, as well as damage the USA's reputation as a protector of civil liberties. Yet, Bush, Gonzales and others in our administration are either doing nothing to condemn these acts or even endorse it.

Health care, environmental protection, on so many fronts the general public's position differs from that of Bush's.

But most significantly, despite the losses of Uday and Qusay, despite the capture of Saddam Hussein himself, despite the transfer of power to the Iraqis last June, despite the taking back of Fallujah, despite the elections in Iraq, and despite what may be the sign of freedom on the march across the Middle East, the American public and the world have not been moved of their opinion on the war.

And why should they be? Because they believe just what I believe: "It was never about who was right, it was about what is just and sound."

*

*

Finally, in taking part of this huge foreign policy gamble, he has failed to note a quitting time, or under this case, an exit strategy.

People continue to die in Iraq as we speak to this day, and with this administration stubbornly refusing to share any sign of light at the end of this long tunnel of an exit strategy or timetable for withdrawal, it continues to bring discomfort to America, Iraq and the world.

What kind of message does that send us Americans, to our troops who long to return to their loved ones and breathe easy, and to the Iraqis, which a majority want our occupation to end so they can take their country into their own hands?

*

*

THAT is why we believe Bush does not deserve credit for what has happened and what is happening now in Iraq and across the Middle East, and why we continue to protest this war which we still consider senseless and immoral.

A Chinese proverb reads, "At the gambling table, there are no fathers and sons." And that's precisely how this whole operation has been conducted; behind closed doors, away from the public, away from democracy.

As an American, when we think about gambling, I prefer to think of gambling in a different way. Dan Bennett once said, "One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds."

I believe myself that non-violence and peace are meant to be together, and must be cultivated together within the same soil. I absolutely am blessed to be an American and truly believe, despite having troubles like every other nation in the world, this is the greatest nation in the world and we have more rights than most other countries would only dream to adopt someday. And I believe we should continue to inspire our examples to the world and influence the updating and building of democracies worldwide, and do so without imposing.

But we also need to be sensitive, careful, disciplined and acknowledging of the international community when we go about promoting campaigns in spreading this democracy and freedom in the world. And it comes to no suprise to me when about half our own nation like myself and the world seemingly unanimously believes the war in Iraq was wrong. Because war truly is hell, and many like myself see war as terror or terrorism itself.

I was told here that my views of universal peace were utopian or just wishful thinking because history has shown that they can't and because of the nature of humanity that has generated Attillas, Caligulas, Neros, Lenins, Stalins, Hitlers, Mussolinis, Milosovitches, Duvaliers, Husseins and Zarqawis.

I believe in my heart that the reason we continue to see this endless cycle of Attillas, Caligulas, Neros, Lenins, Stalins, Hitlers, Mussolinis, Milosovitches, Duvaliers, Husseins and Zarqawis is because we have failed to resolve what I define "unfinished business", or the failure to understand or get to the psyche or inner-truth of our enemies. I myself believe that terrorism is unacceptable, it is a problem and must be stopped, but I also believe when we fail to play the role of cultural anthroplogist and understand the origin of these terrorist instincts or what encouraged or incited the terrorist mind, we may never fully dissolve the toothache and misunderstanding will continue to haunt the world. I believe that some form of clemency must be given while we also see to it these terrorists don't hurt another innocent soul.

I may be quite the optimist, but I believe it's not too late to resolve and amend. For I believe there's nothing more cynical than war in the whole world.

My hero Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers."

I believe this is exactly what's lacking in our policies and our governmental frame of thinking right now. I, myself, believe Bush is wronged and delusional as our president, perhaps more than any other president to me in recent memory, but I also recognize we are all God's children, and that no man is perfect. Though I'll always find him guilty for war crimes and such in Iraq, and no penitence can ever fully resolve the losses this war has generated, forgiveness, I believe, is the Christian thing to do. I believe Jesus wants us to be this way, regardless of how wrong someone is, IF the guilty conscience will open up first. All he must recognize is that the forgiveness process begins with admitting your own faults and follies, and I pray with all my heart he will do just that as soon as possible.

From the beginning, I, like many others, was absolutely nervous in getting out there and expressing my dissent on this war. Some may ask why I bother going about much of my time doing all of this.

Martin Luther King Jr. said in "Strength to Love": "The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."

Honestly, I can't blame many here for shaking their heads before and saying they are upset by my views. But I've recognized also that history has shown dissent during controversial times like in Vietnam at first were seen as unpopular and radical, and even Martin Luther King Jr. was seen as heretical or tasteless in his views. But later on, and now, history has come to recognize those faithful spirits who rose up for what they believe in with all their hearts as heroes, and I believe young people like myself will be understood more in time.

*

*

So as I take to the streets this coming Saturday, let it be known that we are not merely going out to express our distress and frustration with Bush, his administration and the wrongs of this war. We're also coming out with a positive purpose; in educating the community with our message and encouraging positive ways in which you can embrace the community and build grassroots support in changing the world for the better. Providing an animated forum for communities north, south, east and west across many major communities.

I mentioned the other day 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.

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.

Everyone is affected by these such tragedies, and I do it because I want my children when I become a father in the future and all the children of the world to see a world, glazed with a renaissance of innocence and youthful beauty, as free of the ugliness of war as possible.

And THAT is exactly why I'm going to be out with tens of thousands this Saturday to protest. For I believe what one of the buttons I wear reads: "War is not healthy for children and other living things".

*

*

So, if you feel like I do, I ask of you to get out there with your local community this Saturday and let your voice of dissent be heard. For democracy will always be "of the people, by the people and for the people" and you, my friend, will always have a place.

This message is a gentle, peaceful call to arms, a call on the renaissance of accountability. We truly are volunteers of America, and we must prove that to those in office with all our hearts by volunteering. What's lacking right now in our nation is accountability.

For those of you who stand with me, I ask of you to take to the streets Saturday and let the streets echo with the voice of democracy.

For those of you who disagree, I wish no ill will or hurt feelings to any of you, as I believe we are all God's children, and, perhaps in time, you will understand where I come from more and we can seek a common ground peacefully together. I offer heart hugs to all of you as well.

I leave you today with the lyrics of a Jefferson Airplane hit, "Volunteers". It energized a generation during the Vietnam anti-war movement, and though we may be far from the golden age of rock and roll, it's message is just as relevant now:

"Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Hey I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Ain't it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution Got to revolution
One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Come on now we're marching to the sea
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Who will take it from you
We will and who are we
We are volunteers of America."


*

God Bless You all, and God Bless America! Have fun Saturday, and good luck!

Peace, love and harmony,
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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161 posted 03-17-2005 10:56 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Why diplomacy for Iran and North Korea and not Iraq?  That's easy.  It's called 12 YEARS of failed diplomacy from the US and the UN, many of whose members were too busy selling military supplies to Iraq to really bother themselves with those nastly little sanctions.  As for Iran and North Korea, we're just starting diplomacy.  The US thought they had a treaty or some piece of paper actually worth more than the ink it was written on with North Korea, but they were wrong, so we're trying again after the disabused treaty President Clinton made with them.  If things haven't changed in 11 or so years of diplomatic efforts, then a good comparison with Iraq can be made.

One thing about North Korea.  I think they will go the same way as North Vietnam.  Treaties with Communists are worthless.  The ink wasn't even dry on the ceasefire treaty between North and South Vietnam when the North started the Tet Offensive, just one day after signing.

[This message has been edited by Alicat (03-18-2005 09:50 AM).]

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162 posted 03-17-2005 11:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

snook?
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163 posted 03-18-2005 03:23 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



Snook indeed! (giggles)



Turnout for Saturday is looking to be huge. More than 725 anti-war protests and events are scheduled across the country to mark the anniversary, which United For Peace and Justice says is more than double the number of actions that took place a year ago to mark the first anniversary of the war.

I suggest you can keep an eye most of all on the rally scheduled in Fayetteville, North Carolina outside the military base Fort Bragg. Main sponsors of that protest include Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak Out.

That may be the best bet in reaching the public eye.

Just hear what just a handful of protest organizers have told Pacifica Radio:

LOU PLUMMER: My name is Lou Plummer, and I'm a member of Military Families Speak Out. I live in Fayetteville, North Carolina, right outside of Ft. Bragg. On Saturday, March 19, we are having a rally thatís sponsored by Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and the Gold Star Families for Peace. This will be a rally, of course, marking the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and there are approximately 20,000 to 25,000 people from our community who have been in Iraq. A great many of them were -- didn't come away with that, with a big warm, fuzzy feeling inside, so we organized this event as veterans and members of military families to give people an opportunity to speak their opposition with the added ingredient that there are people who have been to Iraq and who have seen what's going on there firsthand.

BOB KRZEWINSKI: My name is Bob Krzewinski with Veterans for Peace for Southeast Michigan. We're going to have our Arlington Midwest display of one cross for every dead soldier killed in Iraq. It'll be on Saturday at Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit. This is Bob Krzewinski of Veterans for Peace of Southeast Michigan. We're going to be having our Arlington Midwest display of one cross for every soldier killed in Iraq. This will be in downtown Detroit at Grand Circus Park on Saturday and in Ann Arbor at the university central campus on Sunday.

BILL HACKWELL: My name is Bill Hackwell. Iím with the ANSWER Coalition in San Francisco. On the 19th, this Saturday, which is the second anniversary of the illegal war against Iraq, tens of thousands of people are expected in San Francisco. We're having an opening rally at the Dolores Park, the traditional spot of anti-war rallies in San Francisco in the Mission. After that, we'll be marching down to the Civic Center where there will be a following rally. Significant in this year is that we're starting to see sort of a groundswell of grassroots organizations who haven't always come out for the anti-war marches, maybe have supported it, but haven't come out in numbers.

FRIDA BERRIGAN: I'm Frida Berrigan. Iím with the War Resisters League, a local organization in Manhattan and Brooklyn. And we're organizing funeral processions to recruiting stations around the city. In Manhattan, we'll be meeting in the morning at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and carrying coffins representing Iraqi and American victims of the war. We'll be carrying those coffins along 42nd Street to the Times Square recruiting station where some of our participants will commit civil disobedience and block the doors of the recruiting station. Simultaneously, actions will happen in Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue and in the Bronx on Fordham Road. In both locations there are military recruiting stations, and activists will be carrying coffins and photographs of Iraqi and American victims of the war.

PHUNG VO: This is Phung Vo. I'm calling from Toledo, Ohio. On the anniversary of Ė the second anniversary of the Iraq war, the organization Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition is going to set up an event called Arlington Midwest at the University of Toledo, where we put over 1,500 tombstones with the names of the American fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq at the campus of University of Toledo.

BRIAN STEWART: Hi, this is Brian Stewart. Iím with Work for Peace in Downeast Maine, and on Saturday, we're doing a teach-in at the university. And Sunday, we're putting up 100-mile memorial along the highways of Downeast Maine, remembering the names of people who have been killed in Iraq.

EDWINA VOGAN: This is Edwina Vogan from Phoenix, Arizona. And there are two events, two of several, actually, but one is Saturday morning by the Department of Peace in downtown Phoenix; and then, the other one is Saturday afternoon between 5:00 and 7:00, and it's by the Arizona Alliance of Peaceful Justice, and it's a candlelight vigil and memorial service. And it's to remember the war dead in Iraq, and that's because it was an illegal war based on lies and deception.

LEE HUGHES: Hi. This is Lee Hughes. I'm from Act Now, which is in Australia in Cambra, and this Saturday, on March 19, we'll be protesting against, you know, the war in Iraq and reminding people that two years on from the invasion, Australians still oppose the war. We think that with 100,000 Iraqis dead, and the U.S. just moving further and further away from actually bringing democracy to Iraq, we should bring the troops home and, you know, we should let Iraqis rebuild their own country.


*

Dissent completes democracy, and looks like democracy will take full form tomorrow!



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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164 posted 03-19-2005 12:59 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Noah- I read your speech, and found it to be a pretty good one. Although I agree with basically nothing you have said, it does what oration is supposed to do: raises the blood pressure, and inspires those who are of like minds.
A few points, though.

61% of Americans believed within the days leading up to the invasion after Colin Powell made his testimony to the United Nations that more time should be made for inspections and diplomacy.

61% of Americans were wrong. As Alicat stated, we began the process diplomacy in August of 1990, and inspections in 1991. For the next 12 years, the Iraqi government refused the inspectors that they agreed to in the surrender treaty. The inspectors were also detained, interfered with, limited in their access, and evicted from the country. The Iraqi government also walked away from the "diplomacy" tanle whenever things didn't go their way, and they were asked to obey the UN sanctions, and to allow the inspectors as were ordered by the UN and that they agreed to. How much longer do we try?
Let me ask you this, my friend:
If a violent offender is court ordered to subject himself to frequent inspections of his house to ensure he has nothing with which to cause harm to those around him, or those in his family, and is ordered to certain sanctions against his freedom (urine tests, house arrest, whatever) ,and that violent offender is constantly blocking the court-appointed inspectors, and is consistantly refusing to submit to the court's orders, and the court's conditions for him to remain free, and he continues to harm those within his household, and he refuses to talk to his PO, how long is the court supposed to wait before taking action?
We got tired of waiting.
As for the Diplomacy? What reason did Iraq have for obeying the sancitons? The UN was screwing around with the Oil for Food program, and there were permenant members of the UN Security Council who were violating teh very sanctions that they imposed. ANd it seems that they were the ones screaming the loudest about the conflict. What would 2 more years of not talking and not inspecting done?

The Constitution itself reads the president cannot legally wage war against another nation in the absence of a declaration of war against that nation from Congress, and regardless of whether Bush believes that war against a certain nation is just and morally right, he is nevertheless prohibited by our supreme law of the land from waging it unless he first secures a declaration of war from Congress, and just one reason why this war in Iraq is illegal.

Hmmm.... According to Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Consititution, you would would be right except for one very minor point that you missed... WAR WAS NEVER DECLARED!!!!!!!!!!!
Therefore, this is NOT an illegal action on your grounds.
The proper document to look at would be the War Powers Act of 1973.
According to Section 2(c). War Powers Resolution states it's purpose is to uphold the constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
Let's look at this a second. Section 2(c)(2) mentions a "specific statutory authorization". Well, President Bush got it. Section 2(c)(3) mentions an attack on the United States. Check, again. Nothing illegal there.

Let's move on to Section 3:
SEC. 3.
The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situation where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and after every such introduction shall consult regularly with the Congress until United States Armed Forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been removed from such situations.
Yep. IF he got Congressional approval, then I would guess he consulted with them.
Section 4 mentions that in the absence of war, the President shall report to Congress in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced--
(1)
into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances;
(2)
into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces

He must have done that to have gotten their approval.
(Now we get to the good one)
Section 5(b):
Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period...
We have already covered this. The War Powers Resolution goes on, however it all boils down to the fact that President Bush engaged American troops by the books. Nothing illegal there. There is no illegal war, because there is no war, and President Bush obeyed the laws of the United States involving the use of American Forces.

As for the Geneva Conventions. The Fourth Geneva Convention involves the misuse of civilians. There has been no credible evidence given as to American troops mistreating non-combatants. Your argument holds no water there.
As for the mistreatment of Iraqi Prisoners... once again, i politely invite you to look at this in the reality and not the knee-jerk of those who see the situation as they would wish it to be. At no time has anyone stated that President Bush authorized, or ordered the mistreatment of any Iraqi prisoners. IF ANYONE is to be charged with violations of the Geneva Accords, then it is to be the guards at Abu Grabe prison, and the officers appointed over them. Accusing President Bush of crimes against the Geneva Convention is in-line with throwing the CEO of Sara Lee in prison because I shoot someone on my crew in the warehouse. ANY order would have to go through 8 different steps before it got to Sgt Granor to carry out. And it is beyond belief that an order to abuse prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949 made it from Presdient Bush to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to the Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff to the Commander of the Army, to the commander of Forces in Iraq to the commander of the Army personnel in Iraq to the commander of the  prison system to the officer-in-charge of Abu Grabe prison to the commander of te watch to Sgt Granor without SOMEONE blowing the whistle.

The UN Charter Chapter I, Section 2 states the purpose of the UN is: To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.
Did we have friendly relations with Ira before? Do we now? Did they have equal rights before? Do they now? 'Nuff Sed.

On to Nuremburg: Principal IV states that  the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Again... the prison guards, NOT the President are guilty of this.

The Posse Comitatus Act... Now, you're reaching. In a nutshell, this act bans the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines from participating in arrests, searches, seizure of evidence and other police-type activity on U.S. soil. There are several things wrong with this. Marines perform searches all the time in their duties guarding American embassies... which, according to national law, are US soil. Military policemen perform, oddly enough, every one of these functions on military bases, which are- again- US soil.The Abu Grabe prison is IRAQI soil. If the fact that it was being run by Americans made it US soil, then the fact that Iraq's government was being run by American advisors while the new Iraqi constitution and leadership was being out into place means that Iraq was US soil... and I do not feel that anyone sees that as the truth. And, once again, if the prison is to be considered US soil, then it is the COMMANDER of the prison, not the president that is in violation.

I'm not going to continue with the rest of the "crimes", because I think the point has been made that I feel you have mis-used the facts to make a case that would not stand on its own merits.


He swore in his constitutional oath to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
And as I have shown repeatedly, has done just that.


And, in addition, though he may believe in the greatest funding of our military, he has actually threatened the security of our nation by encouraging other nations to violate International Law by Bush defying the United Nations himself.
Yet, Spain, Russia, France, Germany, Iraq, Kofi Annan, etc. did NOTHING to "threaten international security by defying the UN???
Noah, please. Prior to his defying the UN by acting in what he thought was the best interests of the people he serves, we had an attack by islamic terrorists at the World Trade Center TWICE. Col. Qadaffi (sp) was a major threat to the Middle East. The Middle East was in MAJOR disruption. Now, Lybia has opened its borders to UN inspectors, invading troops are moving out of foreign countries, Islamic women are beginning to enjoy freedoms, Saudi Arabia is allowing elections at the local level. It seems to me that the message President Bush sent was one of strength, and unity because the good changes are coming, and the world is uniting. Especially the 38 countries that were involved in the Iraq campaign to one degree or another in defiance of the UN.
The greater threat comes from those countries that were selling arms to the Iraqi government in defiance of the UN.

They have learned of the truth behind the window dressing our government and the mainstream media tell us.
The mainstream media isn't telling the American people the entire truth, I will agree. Somehow, they seem to miss the 35% of Iraqi hospitals being open raising to 100% because of American efforts. They also seem to miss out on Gary Senise collecting funds to send school supplies to the Iraqi children, and then risking his life to take them himself. Perhaps you missed the stories about the American soldiers who lost their lives trying to save Iraqi citizens from insurgents froom countries OUTSIDE of Iraq... That's OK, because so did the mainstream media. The mainstream media is only concerned with reporting death and carnage. I don't think I've heard any of the newscasts mention that it WASN'T Iraqi nationals fighting the Americans... well, not any real number.

While Iraq and much of the Middle East remains facing a cloudy, uncertain future...
The WORLD faces a cloudy and uncertain future. The Middle East does not hold the patent on that. If there was no conflict, the future of the Middle East would be certain... women not having any freedoms, people being tortured for the way they think, Cultures facing annhialation because of the fact that they do not belong to the majority, etc. I would rather see what happens next, thank you.

7 in 10 Americans said in a poll revealed over the weekend that they are concerned about government secrecy What in the name of THor's Holy Hammer did you expect anyone to say when asked that one particular question? I support the President and his administration, although I do not agree with many of his thoughts... yet anyone who remembers Nixon, and LBJ, and Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton should be concerned about governmentalk secrecy.

Yet we have the most secretive administration in our nation's history.
Pure Conjecture. This is an unproven statement, and one that is not able to be proven, therefore hasa no meaning in a discusion of the "facts".

A strong majority of Americans strongly disapprove of harsh interrogation tactics the U.S. government has used to try to extract information about possible terrorist attacks from detainees held in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba
A strong majority of Americans feel that there won't be another attack on American soil again, and have grown complacent. They complain that the American government (both this and the previous administration) haven't done enough to prevent the attacks... now they are complaining when the military is attempting to get the information. whatever.

People continue to die in Iraq as we speak to this day, and with this administration stubbornly refusing to share any sign of light at the end of this long tunnel of an exit strategy or timetable for withdrawal
Except for the one that begins in September.

THAT is why we believe Bush does not deserve credit for what has happened and what is happening now in Iraq and across the Middle East
Then who?

I myself believe that terrorism is unacceptable, it is a problem and must be stopped, but I also believe when we fail to play the role of cultural anthroplogist and understand the origin of these terrorist instincts or what encouraged or incited the terrorist mind, we may never fully dissolve the toothache and misunderstanding will continue to haunt the world. I believe that some form of clemency must be given while we also see to it these terrorists don't hurt another innocent soul.
This is so full of misguided thoughts it truly isn't funny. Terrorists do NOT carea bout clemency or misunderstanding. You cannot give a terorist a cookie, glass of milk and a hug to get them to stop any more than you can stop cockroaches by using the same methods. While I truly believe that diplomacy and understanding has it's plae, the ONLY way to fight a terrorist is to fight a terrorist.

I've recognized also that history has shown dissent during controversial times like in Vietnam at first were seen as unpopular and radical...and now, history has come to recognize those faithful spirits who rose up for what they believe in with all their hearts as heroes
Dig deeper into your history, young man. Don't see the "peace, love, dope" as the entire truth.

So as I take to the streets this coming Saturday, let it be known that we are...
educating the community with our message and encouraging positive ways in which you can embrace the community and build grassroots support in changing the world for the better.

THAT is a message I can get behind.

We'll be carrying those coffins along 42nd Street to the Times Square recruiting station where some of our participants will commit civil disobedience and block the doors of the recruiting station.
Doesn't this smack of allowing democracy as long as it is the democracy that YOU agree with? IF democracy is the right of one to choose one's destiny, and you are disallowing a young man/woman from exercising their right to join the military, isn't that depriving someone of THEIR civil rights? While this person feels it is perfectly permissible to trample on the rights of others, I am quite sure that she would be in court if she were denied a permit to march because she forgot to sign the form. Noah, my friend, this> is why the majority of Americans do not join in the protest. And what will happen to your protest movement when the national news shows a story about a young man that was hospitalized because he tried to do what he comsidered to be his patriotic chore and he was set upon by a horde of idiots (and I do not count you among them) who are for peace and love, as long as they reserve the right to hate their fellow man?
(BTW... most recruiting stations are closed on Sat.)

This is Phung Vo.
Perhaps this young Vietnamese gentleman forgot (or didn't listen to) his parent's stories about the Americans who went to fight and die for his people so he could be here screaming about Americans fighting and dying for some other culture.

BRIAN STEWART: Hi, this is Brian Stewart. Iím with Work for Peace in Downeast Maine, and on Saturday, we're doing a teach-in at the university. And Sunday, we're putting up 100-mile memorial along the highways of Downeast Maine, remembering the names of people who have been killed in Iraq.
FINALLY... someone who has a bit of common sense... you don't change people's minds by screaming at them. If you have contact with him... please ask him to invite (and have his students be respectful of) the opposition and allow then to teach as well.

Noah- You know I consider you a friend, and respect your thoguhts, even though I feel them to be misguided and naive at times. I wish you well in your march tomorrow (today).




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I wear a face born in the falling rain
Mistletoe Angel
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165 posted 03-24-2005 05:00 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



Yay! Just got back from some busy Spring Break involvement with KBOO Community Radio and The Portland Alliance newspaper, where I have been expanding my volunteering ability.



Fellow protesters, give yourselves a nice hug, you deserved it! The war continues, and so will our movement, but you should be more than proud of yourselves.



I'm pleased to announce that as many as 765 towns and cities in all 50 states had their own seperate rallies nationwide last weekend, a HUGE increase from 319 last year.

Besides the great Portland protest that drew a few thousand people, the Oregon communities of Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Cottage Grove, Enterprise, Eugene, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Lincoln City, Manzanita, Medford, Pendleton, Salem and The Dalles all hosted their own rallies!

Despite the big business mass media (Once again) suppressing or downplaying coverage of the March 19 antiwar protests that took place in more than 800 cities and towns throughout the United States and merely representing the political establishment and not the people, it is clear the people are speaking, and the volume of their message is getting louder and louder for peace and not war. All you have to do is turn off the TV and have the heart to step outside and see the motions yourself.

Fayetteville, North Carolina drew thousands of protesters, where Fort Bragg was located. UFP&J expected 1,200, they got more than triple what they expected in turnout.

Many protested there with two rather simple messages, the first being that military recruiters can do what they want and host a lecture in a high school auditorium if they want, but it is wrong to ask for student records without consent of the student or the parent, etc. and illegally collect contact information. And THAT'S why these protests have been happening about military recruitment, by the way.

Secondly, on Saturday, many know in supporting our troops to the fullest, their contracts should be honored and they should be brought home to their loved ones and families, unless the soldier serving insists to keep serving.

Our nation's first General, General George Washington said, "When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen." That's the kind of thinking we have for our men and women serving as we take to the streets and to our communities each day, for we're not only supporting the troop, we are supporting the citizen underneath the uniform as well.

Many of the most decorated and honored generals in history share our sentiments, generals who have served this great nation, and have always been honored as "patriotic". Perhaps you could assemble their quotes in a Q/A page and be surprised by the results.

"The next great advance in the evolution of civilization cannot take place until war is abolished."

General Douglas MacArthur, 1955

"It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood...War is hell."

General William Tecumseh Sherman

"War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives."

General Smedley Butler

"War: A wretched debasement of all the pretenses of civilization."

General Omar N. Bradley

"The military doesn't start wars. The politicians start wars."

General William Westmoreland

*

Other significant military personnel share our sentiments:

"The dangerous patriot...is a defender of militarism and its ideals of war and glory."

Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps

"War has become a spectator sport for Americans."

Rear Admiral Gene R. LaRocque

*

There are those who have served that understand the dark truth of all war in general; that if we keep living with this mentality, it will mean doomsday for the entire world, and will cripple all future generations.

Some say my views are "misguided", "naive", "utopian" or "unrealistic". I can tell you one thing, I've been called a vast number of things, from "anti-American" to "unpatriotic" to "terrorist sympathizer". In this experience I've been living since September 12th, 2001, this is one of the main reasons why I'm a liberal independent continuing to do what I do; I'm not convinced at all those who criticize me for these many names know what they're talking about or really know what I am and what I stand for.

I say in response that I find Bush's vision to be far more utopian than my vision ever will be. War isn't peace, peace isn't war, which is what he thinks.

I say that Bush's vision is far more unrealistic than my own, considering especially the history of wars throughout our history and how often we say this will be the last war and of course that isn't the case. When more and more now say they don't approve of Bush's handling of Iraq, that tells me that as well.

I say Bush's actions are far more naive than those I do. You should never take full diplomatic actions without understanding the people or the culture you're addressing them to. I myself can't speak for the Iraqi citizens but at least I do my part to keep reading and learning of their society and culture each day, while Bush has said repeatedly before he is not one who reads much in what's handed his way.

I say, as humans, we are all misguided at one time or another, and I don't expect everything I say to be the universal truth of humanity and we all are prone to error, but I believe Bush is far more misguided about everything in Iraq. And I believe there's proof to that pudding when more and more keep claiming the mainstream media declared war on the anti-war movement from the beginning of the invasion, and are rising up to volunteer with their community radio and broadcast programs, why Pacifica Radio has enjoyed massive expansion and both financial and ratings growth in these last two years, believing this whole invasion was based on irresponsibility and wanting to guide the public with a voice when the news network voice fails them.

I believe I am doing what's right, and there's great backbone and common sense behind my activist repertoire. And even if some may beg to differ, at least I'm out there hearing with the people, not tucked away in a little office behind closed doors with the likes of lobbyists who make metonymy of our great, diverse nation.

Viva la Revolucion!

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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166 posted 03-24-2005 05:31 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

Here's some final tallies of rallies across the nation. Most of them drew the biggest numbers of any demonstration in the city in years. These are approximations, of course:

********************************************

San Francisco, CA: 25,000
Los Angeles, CA: 20,000
New York, NY: 15,000
Chicago, IL: 5,000 (Over 2,000 police were out in keeping others from joining the march)
Seattle, WA: 5,000
Boston, MA: 5,000
Fayetteville, NC: 4,000
Denver, CO: 3,000
Pittsburgh, PA: 3,000
Portland, OR: 3,000
Eureka, CA: 2,000
San Jose, CA: 2,000
New Paltz, NY: 1,700
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN: 1,500
Atlanta, GA: 1,000
Hartford, CT: 1,000
Sarasota, FL: 750
Milwaukee, WI: 600
Memphis, TN: 450
Fort Worth, TX: 400
Tucson, AZ: 350

********************************************

But even more impressively was that, while one may argue the numbers could have been higher, that often individuals who protest head to all the major cities to join in the protests, and all the numbers that came out in smaller communities are the largest in years and show in each and every state, people breathe with the same message.

Along with that, take how much of the world joined the anti-war voice last weekend.

Up to 100,000 in London joined the call for the end to the war. About 50,000 protested in Rome, Italy. Over 10,000 protested in Tokyo, Japan. 5,000 in Athens, Greece, etc.

Hats off to another great gathering Saturday!



Love,
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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