The Bill of Rights
|Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 10:34 am: |
|Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 01:07 pm: |
Please help distribute this.
House Representative Congressman John Conyers on the Judicial Committee
is asking you to, through his legislative assistant Alexia, fax or email
if you want Bush impeached.
ATTN. : ALEXIA, assistant to Hon. Congressman John Conyers
MESSAGE FROM ALEXIA: FAX OR EMAIL, CAUSE PHONES ARE RINGING OFF HOOK
Message from Alexia:
The phones are currently ringing off the hook, so please send a brief
message stating whether you are for or against impeachment via email or
fax: e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org OR Fax: (313) 226-2085
|Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 02:31 pm: |
Er...you are aware that over 70% of American citizens support the war, aren't you? I kind of doubt the Republican held House and Senate are going to be interested in impeaching one of the most popular presidents of the past century.
Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate some of the sentiment. I'm a Veteran of the first Gulf War, my sister is stationed in Kuwait, my cousin is on the Abraham Lincoln, and I'm still not sure at all Bush satisfied the requirements of proof to engage in this war.
That having been said, stop the sniveling and buck up. All these piddling protests are doing nothing to sway political opinion, they're just showing our service men and women that their sacrifice means nothing to you. Aren't you proud?
|Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 03:47 pm: |
a) I'm aware of no such thing. Just came off the streets in New York, where the march extended over thirty blocks. The poll results are varied, and, speaking from my own experience, I know no one who is in favor of this war. But even if everyone else in the country were in favor of it, I would oppose it.
b) It's true, the Congress are not going to impeach Bush. But the administration must be made aware of the fact that those of us who are against the war will not be silenced, and pledge complete defiance to their illegitimate authority.
c) I observed no snivelling today, nor was this protest piddling. The protests have already delayed the war and forced this administration to put its case again and again, whereupon the faults and misrepresentations were clearly evident. The purpose of the protests now is, as I've said, to mobilize political opposition, put some backbone into the Democrats, and to punish the White House. Throughout the world, it is generally understood that this war is the work of a handful of extremists, and the American people as such are not to blame. This is entirely due to our protests.
d) The sacrifice of our service men and women means infinitely more to us than it does to those who have ordered them into the field, only one of whom have ever performed meaningful military service in the field. When we say "no blood for oil," we're talking about American blood as much as we are talking about Iraqi blood. Did any of these soldiers volunteer to serve as thugs for big business?
e) I have never been more proud of my fellow countrymen and women.
|Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 05:40 pm: |
Well, here in Portland, the protests devolved into rampant vandalism and violence. One police officer was struck with a baseball bat, another crushed between his cruiser and about thirty of your fellow countrymen and women.
The only thing these protests did was to anger the majority of citizens that weren't on the streets destroying other people's property, chanting, "This is what a police state looks like." while police officers handled protestors with kid gloves.
And no, the protests did not delay the war, attempts at diplomacy did. And the polls do vary, I've seen several. The lowest percentage I've seen of Americans supporting action was 63%, the highest was just over 70%.
As I've said, I don't support action at this time, but only because I think we need a more concrete excuse.
|Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 08:31 pm: |
Obviously, I am not in favor of rioting, which stands in stark distinction to protest as a purposive activity. Mutual respect, which entails regarding all of our fellow countrymen and women as fellows and not as enemies, regardless of uniform, is necessary if the dialog we want is to take place.
One could naturally point to as many examples of misdirected hostility on the part of the police, so I would think the question of kid gloves is a matter of opinion.
And yes, the protests did delay the war, because the current administration lacked the confidence to go it alone, and even now points to a pretty unimpressive coalition of countries, many of them bribed with tax dollars or the promise thereof, backing their efforts. I've seen polls that rank the support for the war much lower than 63%, and the presence of people in the streets today is sufficiently good empirical proof for me at least with regard to New York's position.
The idea of a concrete excuse is troubling to me, because it suggests that the intent to make war on Iraq is taken for granted, and only the pretext is missing. If, by this, you mean that a better case is needed for the war, I will agree that the case as presented is insufficient. I would go further to say it is abysmally bad. But I see no reason overall to go to war with Iraq in any case; Saddam Hussein is dangerous to his neighbors, but contained and defanged by the regime of the last twelve years. I don't believe those who claim he has resorted to clandestine, terrorist, means to attack the US. It would certainly be better for Iraq if he were no longer in power, but I would have been far better satisfied had there been an effort by the US to aid and abet anti-Hussein forces within Iraq.
|Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 11:31 pm: |
Snivelling? I am not snivelling. I am saying what is right. My family is a very old American family and I have every right to oppose this illegitimate government in any peaceful way I can. I don’t care what the polls say. I am not a sheep and I don’t want my tax money and my family’s tax money being spent to kill people.
Piddling demonstrations? They are not piddling. Gandhi liberated India, a country at the time of 300 million, through demonstrations.
Proud? I am proud of many things, but right now there can be no pride in being an American when America is the most hated nation on earth and G. W. Bush – a draft-dodger and coward – shames his country by sacrificing morals and the blood for oil.
I saw an interview with the father of one of the dead Americans. He said: “George W. Bush you took my only son away from me.”
He was angry – at Bush.
By the way, some of the most anti-war people are veterans.
Right now Bush might be popular – but public opinion can change quickly and I will do my meagre part to help it change.
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 12:12 am: |
I don't know whom Bob can possibly mean by "one of the most popular presidents of the last century." Didn't a "Republican held Senate" do exactly that to just such a person? One whose approval ratings in peacetime were significantly higher than fifty-some percent, not one who only becomes popular when there's a war on? That quibble aside, I congratulate Bob for having the patience to listen to points of view far removed from his own in these very troubled times.
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 01:01 am: |
Perhaps I could have worded it better. No, I didn't expect war with Iraq to be a foregone conclusion, and I was actually surprised when the bombs started falling.
Josh: Was Nixon impeached during peace time? Bush's approval ratings, up until just recently, are some of the highest ever recorded, if the facts I'm getting are accurate. They have fallen considerably, of late, though I'd be willing to bet you that had more to do with the economy and the corporate scandals than the war. I stand by my assertion that this is actually a popular war. People want something done, right now. And it's not too far a stretch to believe Iraq could be funding, or at least sheltering, terrorists. In fact, the car bombing a couple of days ago attributed to an Al Qaeda group in Northern Iraq only serves to bolster that opinion.
And, Brendan, you're right. No one hates war more than a soldier. Especially a soldier that's seen that kind of mass devastation. Difference is, soldiers, while still hating war, believe them a necessary part of international relations. There are just some arguments, and some parties, that can't be settled with words.
Two quotations, uttered by the same man, and therefore more apt at illustrating the dichotomy of a soldiers feelings for war:
We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Why, you may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together--what do you get? The sum of their fears.
That's how I feel. That's how every veteran I know feels.
Seeing pampered college boys -- and one girl -- burning flags on the streets of Portland, safe and secure only through the efforts of those who died for the Colors. Smugly superior in their ideology while my sister turns the raising of her child over to my mother and she spends her days and nights under the cloud of war in Kuwait engenders nothing but my disdain and rage. That such an act is being called patriotic on these boards leaves me with nothing but the taste of ashes in my mouth.
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 02:26 am: |
The US soldiers in Iraq are not fighting for America's freedom! To say so is absurd. They might be being told they are, but that is a lie. This is a war motivated by sleazy interests.
That car bombing was in the Kurdish part of Iraq - the only part of the country not under the rule of Sadaam. It is not only a stretch of the imagination to believe he is funding Al Qaeda, but a downright falsehood.
Bob - I cannot help feeling that your patriotism is misplaced. I wish very much for the happiness and health of all the US soldiers in the Middle East - but I also wish the same for the Iraqis.
The problem here is the US is INVADING. This is not liberation. The American's were not invited. Almost the entire world is against this war.
It is being sold as 'freedom' - but real freedom - such as protesting in the streets, apparently scares the hell out of people.
With the utmost respect,
From the Independet, UK
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 02:37 am: |
This is the reality of war. We bomb. They suffer
Veteran war reporter Robert Fisk tours the Baghdad hospital to see the wounded after a devastating night of air strikes
23 March 2003
Donald Rumsfeld says the American attack on Baghdad is "as targeted an air campaign as has ever existed" but he should not try telling that to five-year-old Doha Suheil. She looked at me yesterday morning, drip feed attached to her nose, a deep frown over her small face as she tried vainly to move the left side of her body. The cruise missile that exploded close to her home in the Radwaniyeh suburb of Baghdad blasted shrapnel into her tiny legs they were bound up with gauze and, far more seriously, into her spine. Now she has lost all movement in her left leg.
Her mother bends over the bed and straightens her right leg which the little girl thrashes around outside the blanket. Somehow, Doha's mother thinks that if her child's two legs lie straight beside each other, her daughter will recover from her paralysis. She was the first of 101 patients brought to the Al-Mustansaniya College Hospital after America's blitz on the city began on Friday night. Seven other members of her family were wounded in the same cruise missile bombardment; the youngest, a one-year-old baby, was being breastfed by her mother at the time.
There is something sick, obscene about these hospital visits. We bomb. They suffer. Then we turn up and take pictures of their wounded children. The Iraqi minister of health decides to hold an insufferable press conference outside the wards to emphasise the "bestial" nature of the American attack. The Americans say that they don't intend to hurt children. And Doha Suheil looks at me and the doctors for reassurance, as if she will awake from this nightmare and move her left leg and feel no more pain.
So let's forget, for a moment, the cheap propaganda of the regime and the equally cheap moralising of Messrs Rumsfeld and Bush, and take a trip around the Al-Mustansaniya College Hospital. For the reality of war is ultimately not about military victory and defeat, or the lies about "coalition forces" which our "embedded" journalists are now peddling about an invasion involving only the Americans, the British and a handful of Australians. War, even when it has international legitimacy which this war does not is primarily about suffering.
Take 50-year-old Amel Hassan, a peasant woman with tattoos on her arms and legs but who now lies on her hospital bed with massive purple bruises on her shoulders they are now twice their original size who was on her way to visit her daughter when the first American missile struck Baghdad. "I was just getting out of the taxi when there was a big explosion and I fell down and found my blood everywhere," she told me. "It was on my arms, my legs, my chest." Amel Hassan still has multiple shrapnel wounds in her chest.
Her five-year-old daughter Wahed lies in the next bed, whimpering with pain. She had climbed out of the taxi first and was almost at her aunt's front door when the explosion cut her down. Her feet are still bleeding although the blood has clotted around her toes and is staunched by the bandages on her ankles and lower legs. Two little boys are in the next room. Sade Selim is 11; his brother Omar is 14. Both have shrapnel wounds to their legs and chest.
Isra Riad is in the third room with almost identical injuries, in her case shrapnel wounds to the legs as she ran in terror from her house into her garden as the blitz began. Imam Ali is 23 and has multiple shrapnel wounds in her abdomen and lower bowel. Najla Hussein Abbas still tries to cover her head with a black scarf but she cannot hide the purple wounds to her legs. Multiple shrapnel wounds. After a while, "multiple shrapnel wounds" sounds like a natural disease which, I suppose among a people who have suffered more than 20 years of war it is.
And all this, I asked myself yesterday, was all this for 11 September 2001? All this was to "strike back" at our attackers, albeit that Doha Suheil, Wahed Hassan and Imam Ali have nothing absolutely nothing to do with those crimes against humanity, any more than has the awful Saddam? Who decided, I wonder, that these children, these young women, should suffer for 11 September?
Treatment of Surrendering Soldiers
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 05:12 am: |
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 08:40 am: |
If you weren't basing your arguments on flawed information, I'd happily say nothing and respect your opinion. But the fact is--Bush has lied about the reasons for the war, manufactured evidence (discredited by many experts), and in all ways not been honest. Regardless of feelings about American's men and women serving in Iraq right now, I have to say I'm disheartened at the idea that you could believe for a second that bin Laden, who hates Hussein with a passion, could be in collaboration with him.
As for those college students--I'm as proud of them as I am of our troops. But I still believe, based on the evidence, that this administration is corrupt to the core. And if you think Bush is doing you any favors, I'm going to be in your face three or four years down the road saying "I told you so." And you want to know why? Because while many anti-war protestors are expressing respect for the troops, the pro-war protestors are expressing nothing but ridicule and disdain for the anti-war protestors. And in the current atmosphere, that's dangerous as hell.
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 08:40 am: |
dangerous as hell for those against the war, I mean.
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 01:28 pm: |
Unfortunately, Jeff is right.
This is a war for profits, and a war to distract the public from corporate scandals and a sagging economy. With all due respect, Bob, you are misinformed. Karl Rove started beating the war drum over 12 months ago, in order to divert the nation from its domestic problems as mid-term elections approached.
Though the administration has tried for over 18 months, they have found no proof that Saddam has any connection to Al Quida. The CIA has gone on record saying as much. When this happened, Rumsfield crated a brand new intelligence department in the Pentagon that would be more amiable to crafting "intelligence" with the proper political spin.
Let me say this plainly. There is no connection between Saddam Hussain and Al Quida.
When it comes to Weapons of Mass Destruction, the same campaign of mis-information applies. Last month, the only remaining credible piece of "evidence" that linked Hussain to a nuclear weapons program was revealed to be forged. Claims that Iraq used chemical weapons on its own people ring hollow, as it was the United States Government that provided and trained Iraq to use those weapons, under the Regan presidency, and it has not head any such weapons since then.
So, absent of terrorist connections, and absent of weapons of mass destruction, what is the justification for sending our troops into harms way?
The fact is, Bush has pledged billions of our tax dollars to "rebuild" Iraq after we get done flattening it. Guess who is going to get these contracts. Halburton, for one. Bectal for another. War is profitable, and these campaign donors are using the blood of our serviceman to pump up their profits.
Show me one shred of evidence that Iraq presented a threat to the U.S., and I would support all the "surgical strikes" in the world, even though they inevitably kill innocent civilians. Absent proof, this war is an unjust, illegal, cynical exercise in politics and profit. And it incidentally flies in the face of all the core Republican and Conservative values...
Let me ask you a question. Would you be in support of this war if Bill Clinton, or Al Gore were president? Would you be more suspicious of their motives? Would you hold either of these men to a higer standard of proof before you supported their decision to send our troops into harms way? I'm not saying this is true in your case. But I think that a large number of people simply believe that "republicans can't do any wrong, and would never lie." That is blind partisanship, and doesn't serve our country, or our troops in any meaningful way.
The protesters that you so casually dismiss as "pampered college boys" are fighting on the front lines, just as our men and women in uniform are. The history of civil disobedience and protest in this country is just as long and honorable as that of military service. I respect both groups of people. I personally support our soldiers by demanding they be brought home as soon as possible, at which time I will treat them with all the respect that veterans of conflict deserve.
Unfortunately, Bush is cutting funding to the VA at the same time that he sends our troops into war, and then has the nerve to call people who actually served their country during war time unpatriotic. THAT is partisanship, and the fact that it is never reported as such in the media angers a large percentage of the U.S. Population. With no voice in the government, and no voice in the media, these people's only resort is take to the streets, and force the media to take notice of their views. People are angry, people are scared, and people are disenfranchised... The Bush administration's inflammatory rhetoric (and cynical manipulation of the "terror alert" color scheme) only widens the divisions in this country.
Let me respectfully suggest you seek out sources of news outside the mainstream, corporate owned ones. www.salon.com and www.smirkingchimp.com are two possible places to start. And let me end by quoting the Declaration of Independence, which established the tradition under which the citizens of this country take to the streets and protest.
"...that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Yours in Safety and Happiness,
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 01:36 pm: |
I totally agree with your post. I'm glad that posts to this message board indicate that those of us who are against the war or who do not believe in the legitimacy or honesty of Bush's presidency are not alone.
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 01:38 pm: |
We agree that the case for war is poor, so it seems that our disagreement comes down to the importance of the protests. I disagree with your interpretation of these events.
It is not uncommon for those who are critical of this war to be indicted as unrealistic fools who cherish a fantasy of human perfectability, looking to eliminate all war as such. We are sternly informed that war is a dire necessity of life, and therefore made to look naive, if not cowardly. I am not one of those who believes in a media conspiracy, but only because it does not seem that such a thing is necessary. It is inherent in the nature of a news media operating on advertising revenues; marketers go to great trouble and expense to associate their products with certain affirmative things, even on extremely subtle levels. They don't want their hard work thrown away by the casual juxtaposition of their products with disturbing images or commentary that some might consider unpatriotic. As for public television and radio, they receive their primary funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is vulnerable to budget reductions from Congress, and so equally cautious. The result is not a conspiracy, but only a climate of excessive caution. In any event, protests (which involve letter-writing and phone campaigns, rallies and teach-ins, in addition to marches) are "managed" by coverage in such a way as to represent them as marginal anomalies. The transcripts of Nixon's office proceedings indicate, however, that the Viet Nam protests, far from being the indifferent and unimportant affairs he publicly pretended them to be, were deeply disturbing to his administration, and did affect policy.
I don't think my point of view is unrealistic or rosy-tinted. Nowhere have I said I would oppose war in all cases and circumstances. I have said that war is drastic, that we must have good reasons for it, and that it must be avoided when possible. I find the reasons offered by this administration unconvincing, while the the reasons offered by the oppositional press give me sound cause to doubt the good faith of the White House. This war is - was - avoidable.
Churchill's stirring words are meaningless with reference to this conflict, unless we imagine them addressed by Iraqis to Iraq. There are no Iraqi bombs dropping on our cities. The Iraqis do not possess a superior army, poised to invade only miles away from our coasts. No one has called for our surrender.
Gallantry, intrepidity, and audacity are available to the modern soldier only in inverse proportion to the role played by military technology. The rhetoric of bold warfare stirs in us a sense of the tragic, a desire to face the worst aspects of life, to be tested and proven. It also reminds us of the noble courage of those who have made principled stands in the past. But this rhetoric is being used to manipulate people, and is deployed by cynical and selfish men, of both parties, whose conduct amply demonstrates the absence of any high ideals.
Obviously, gallantry, audacity, and intrepidity are not a monopoly of the military. I respect anyone, present company naturally included, who exhibits these qualities in putting forward his beliefs.
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 02:11 pm: |
Hmm. . .
Night Shade should publish the contents of this War forum. It would either be a bestseller, or get you all deported. Or both.
Either way, it'd be interesting.
Just a thought.
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 07:25 pm: |
Er...I'm feeling a bit ganged up on...I kind of like it.
Alright. To repeat my stance:
I'm not necessarily for the war. I don't think the administration has proven anything other than they want to go to war. A dangerous stance, to be sure.
I've never said Bush was a great president, just a popular one, and I said that only in reference to the ludicrous "Impeach Bush" thread of the conversation. If one intends to take an action, then let it be a fruitful one. In other words, anything worth doing is worth doing well, and the inanity of any action taken for appearances, or to make a point, always grates upon my nerves.
Churchill's quotes weren't in reference to Gulf 2, but to soldiers and their feelings about war in general, which was in reply to Brendan's assertion that some of the most anti-war citizens are in fact veterans. I was agreeing with him, though upon stipulation that veterans do hate war, but their views are quite different than the bullk of the protestors, the college kids with too much time on their hands, and too little information to go on.
Seems, when I address something sidereal, I might need to make better note, eh?
Oh and Jeff, respectfully submitted, but the only violence committed on either side, here in Portland, was committed by the anti-war faction. Kind of ironic that people demonstrating for supposed peace are the first to throw their fists, don't you think?
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 01:12 am: |
I believe the protests are fruitful. Just the fact that we are having this conversation proves it. As for the small amounts of violence at a few protests - I can hardly blame the people. Many of us are outraged because our voices - the voices of most of the people in the world - are being ignored.
From the demonstration I was at the other day it did not seem like college students. It was people of all ages - from small children to people in their 60's and even older.
Yesterday there was a huge demonstration by veterans in Washington.
In the end I think that Bush might very well leave office in disgrace.
As a sidenote, this today in the Guardian:
An American missile has reportedly hit a Syrian passenger bus near the Iraqi border, killing five people.
The official Syrian news agency reported today that the air-to-surface missile hit the bus yesterday morning on the Iraqi side of the border.
It was carrying Syrians fleeing the war in Iraq, the agency said.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 02:45 am: |
Can't blame them? Surely you jest! Violence at a peace rally is like peanut butter and mustard, don't you think? And I never disputed you as to whether or not veterans would protest the war; I think that's the third time I've reiterated that.
Children at peace rallies...they're probably the same children whose parents enroll into PETA and EarthFirst. The rallies I've watched on television -- rallies ranging from Portland OR. to NYC -- are comprised almost exclusively of college-age children. Sure, you'll see the odd weathered face, but they're in the minority, as they've always been in these things, going back to the sixties. Come to think of it, they probably *are* the young people you see in those old black and white protest films.
You know, I really think we're nearly of an agreement that this war is unjust, unnecessary, and wholly based upon ulterior motives. And I think we're both in agreement that something ought to be done. But breaking windows at McDonalds and burning flags -- something that you definitely DO NOT want to do around a veteran is defile the Colors -- aren't helping. In fact, I submit to you that the violence you can't blame upon the perpetrators because they're FRUSTRATED only pushes those with teetering opinions away from your goal. How can it not?
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 02:49 am: |
Oh...and the bus. Tragic.
If you're saying some American soldier pushed a button with the express intent of murdering five non-combabtants, I say you need to tame those bats in your belfrey. Soldiers don't kill for the sake of killing.
Even more tragic is that all of those people had more than ample warning and could have fled in a more orderly manner several days ago. The people of Iraq, whether or not they believe the war to be unjust, knew it was coming. The ones who act as though it were all a great shock, well, maybe Darwin had a point.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 04:22 am: |
No one's saying that American soldiers willingly fired on that bus, but that all of this shit could have been avoided if a peaceful resolution to the crisis was taken. (And that doesn't mean letting things be.) Instead, people are dying for the sleazy interests of GWB and his friends, including brave soldiers from both sides who are being lied to by their governments.
"Even more tragic is that all of those people had more than ample warning and could have fled in a more orderly manner several days ago. The ones who act as though it were all a great shock, well, maybe Darwin had a point."
You're assuming that every Iraqi has a car at his or her disposal, and can easily travel the many hundreds of miles of desert between, say, Baghdad (which is in the middle of the country) and the border. You're assuming these people can just take their families and meagre belongings and run for it, leaving their homes and jobs behind. Some of them have nowhere to go! Many may not have had a clue of the seriousness of the attacks until they started, as Iraqi media keeps assuring them that everything is under control and that Iraq will ultimately prevail. They can't tune in to CNN and see how the other side is doing, Bob. And even if they know anything, they probably believe that coalition attacks are indeed "surgical" and that they wouldn't be affected.
Tell me: after the World Trade Center was attacked, did you think of fleeing the US? Would you like it if someone told you were tainting the gene pool if you stayed? Sorry, Bob, but this comment of yours was crass and insensitive . . . Don't put the blame for civilian deaths on the people, they're not the ones pulling the trigger, accidentally or not.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 05:32 am: |
Bob - Seeing a peace march on TV is not the same as attending one in person. How can you really tell if everyone is a college student by some pan-shot on CNN? That is nuts.
As far as blaming the people in that bus for their own deaths, I don't even believe I need to comment on that.
The US does not belong in the Middle East and they need to pull out.
By the way, I just saw on TV an interview with the mother of one of the captured soldiers and she said she does not support this war.
If you don't support the war and no one really believes in it, then it is your duty to make some noise about it.
Right now the United States is not being run like a democracy but like a monarchy.
As for the McDonald's window - well that is not much when your country is blowing out not only the windows, but blowing up the buildings and the people inside half way across the world. Is it their fault that a bomb dropped on their house?
The soldiers might not be willfully targetting civilians but it makes little difference to the mother of the baby with its head blown half off.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 09:46 am: |
Hey... Everybody needs to ease up on Bob. I respect him for coming in here and sharing his views. I disagree with him about civilians and gene pools, and I disagree with him about who is making up the bulk of the protestors, amongst other things. But I respect his right to say it, and am grateful that he has chosen to do so in such an non-inflammatory manner.
I am going ask everyone to keep it civil here on the message boards. Peoples tempers are high... very high. Please think before you post. Night Shade doesn't need flame wars. Nobodies gone over the line yet. I’m just bringing this up so that people don’t.
Having said that I wanted to suggest to Bob that he is naive about the nature and makeup of the protestors. As several people have pointed out, protesting THIS war is NOT the same thing as being a pacifist. Tempers are running high. VERY high. One broken window is hardly a massive outburst of violence...
And until you have sat passively by while a group of police offers in riot gear and or/on horses physically threatens you and your friends and family, your criticism of the protestors for not being peaceful enough rings kind of hollow. I’ve been intimidated by police during peaceful marches that had the proper permits. My 17 year old sister almost got trampled by a police horse in San Diego, during a peaceful march that had a permit. People at her high school have been physically threatened by “pro-war” assholes running around telling her and others to “love it or leave it”.
Neither “side” of this debate is free from the taint of violence. Trying to dismiss one side because of “violence” is an ineffective argument.
Until you actually go out and view for yourself a protest march, your views on them will most likely not be taken very seriously by those of us who have attended them.
Let me close by suggesting that while it is a soldiers duty to unquestioningly carry out their orders, It is a citizens duty to constantly examine, and hold its leaders accountable for their actions.
People who are attending these rallies are TRYING to hold their country accountable in a way of their choosing. If Bob feel that the peace protests are not productive, or counter productive, and will be holding his government accountable in other ways, so be it. I know a lot of people who feel that way.
But I will NEVER agree that the United States needs unquestioning patriotism during wartime. It is precisely during wartime that people need to question their government and hold it accountable.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 11:04 am: |
a) To call the prospect of Bush's impeachment ludicrous implies that it is not only unlikely, but comical, or outrageous. I see nothing unreasonable in the attempt to impeach Bush; if one believes, as I do, that his administration is illegitimate, this alone would make it incumbent upon me to support impeachment. This entirely aside from the profiteering, which is an equally damning charge.
b) The opinions that I have heard expressed by veterans locally has not differed in any significant way from the opinions of the local college students. Being a college student, or young, obviously does not make one's opinions irrelevent.
c) I attended both the rally here in New York on February 15 and the march on the 22, and the crowd was evenly mixed. The weathered faces were as abundant as the young. Television coverage, as I have pointed out, is selective. The presence of youth, who are always misrepresented as somehow innately unreasonable and naive, while the presence of older protesters is often overlooked.
d) I see nothing outrageous in bringing one's children to peaceful rallies, or culpable in raising one's children to respect one's values.
e) I can only assume you made your remarks regarding the Syrian bus hastily. They do not demonstrate adequate reflection on your part.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 01:56 pm: |
Well, if I ever have seemed rude I am sorry. I am certainly not angry at Bob and also respect his opinions. If not I would not bother addressing them. I might just tend to express myself in graphic terms. Right now I am very worried about the world though.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 02:02 pm: |
Josh: Thanks for the support, and the -- civil -- disagreement. Much appreciated.
On the marches, you're absolutely right, I don't attend them. I think it's a matter of form over substance. I am, and have always been, a pragmatist. If a course of action is proven to have no impact -- and I don't believe these demonstrations do have impact -- then I abandon it for more effective measures.
And yes, Brendan, noise does need to be made. While I'm an amateur writer, I am still writing stories constantly. Since the newest anti-terror measures were unveiled, I've found myself writing stories extrapolating the worst possible outcomes for our society. Likely some of them will see publication. If -- when -- they do, I'll have my chance to try and sway some opinions. That's my part.
The Syrian bus? Nope, I meant it. Let me explain:
Let's say, for sake of argument, you know the greatest military power on earth is planning to flatten your neighborhood. Let's say you have plenty of warning -- and yes, they do too get CNN in Iraq, at least they did 12 years ago, when I was there. Let's compound your plight and say you have small children and no car or money for a car or even water and good shoes for the long desert hike. Are you saying you wouldn't steal a goddamn car and high your ass outta Dodge? You'd stay and certainly risk seeing your children die or be maimed in a missile attack? Like I said, Darwin.
These people have seen decades of warfare. They know the consequences better than you and I. They've seen a determined America trounce their Republican Guard. They know, if our military sets their minds to it, there isn't anything that can stand between them and an ugly death but the government contracted guidance software programmed into the less than standard hardware in a highly fallible cruise missile set for coordinates plotted from information gathered by military "intelligence".
Those who didn't leave the country decided to gamble their lives, and they came up short. Like I said, tragic, but wholly avoidable -- even more avoidable than the military action we're all arguing about.
You seem to think, because I'm not wringing my hands and weeping over these poor people, that I have no heart, or worse, that I enjoy reading and hearing and seeing these statistics and sidebars on the radio, in the papers and on T.V.. I don't. Not one goddamn bit.
Oh, and Luis? The twin towers? There was dancing in the streets of Baghdad the day they came down. I won't ever forget that.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 04:18 pm: |
Was Iraq directly connected with the attacks on the United States on September 11th? No. There is no evidence linking Saddam Hussein’s regime to the attack on the United States.
Is the majority of the United States for the ground invasion of Iraq? Yes. According to independent polls from CNN, Gallup and USA Today. The average is 64%.
Is this a “unilateral” war? Is the U.S. running this war without world consent? No. The United States has the support of over 30 other countries.
Is this a war for or over oil? No. Dropping sanctions against Iraq and doing legitimate business on the open market for the past twelve years would have been cheaper and far easier than mounting a war. Also, Iraq has been allowed to sell oil for food, therefore taking their oil and redistributing it through western channels will not alter the price of oil. Iraq’s oil offers no real benefit to the United States.
Did Iraq use poison gas on Kurdish civilians? Yes. Iraq waged war on the Kurdish people in 1987 and 1988 killing at least 50,000, according to Human Rights Watch.
Was Iraq six months from developing nuclear weapons? No. There has been no proof supporting this claim.
Has Iraq attempted to obtain materials for nuclear weapons? No. There has been no proof supporting this claim.
Is the Bush administration operating illegally? No. The previsions of the documents for the first gulf war state clearly that if Iraq is not shown to be in compliance with the terms set out in Resolutions 678 and 687. They were not in compliance as soon a missile was discovered that could fly further than the set restrictions. This one violation is all that is required to legalize invasion for the purpose of disarming Iraq of illegal weapons.
My question is why didn’t we do something about this back in 1987? To me, that is where the whole problem started. Perhaps we should be more prudent in the future and hold the U.N. to its job; stopping dictators that oppress the helpless and take away basic human rights.
Maybe this war will open eyes on both sides of the argument. Who is accountable for the 50,000 Kurdish civilians? Who will be accountable for the next dictator to rise up and use chemical, biological, or psychological warfare against its people? The root of the problem here goes way beyond Bush and Saddam. They’re only metaphors!
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 06:24 pm: |
The voice of common sense, and the voice of the people, of course, must always be the same. We are addressed with "goddamns" and "outtas" to indicate this. It is common sense to blame those who have been killed for their foolishness - of course, they wanted to be killed, or they were too stupid to deserve to live. If I had a retarded sister, and she were killed in a similar manner, I would blame her for her own death. Am I reading your argument correctly?
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 10:49 pm: |
That same argument also means that any we are to blame any American's who get killed and all those civilians who are getting shot up in An Nasiriyah?
I thought this was operation 'Iraqui Freedom'? So why should the people need to flee the country if there is this wonderful freedom?
Sorry, I put the blame squarely on Bush and his toadies.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 10:49 pm: |
Michael: I resort to folksy speech when I'm angry and in a situation where I'm still attempting to gain or maintain the respect of the various opposing parties; I've found it dulls the sharpness of my comments, at least in my eyes. I grew up in a farming community, and much as my mother's speech degenerates into the Cajun patois of her childhood when she becomes livid, mine returns to the less than formal speech patterns of my early days.
And yes, some of my patience has frayed a bit. I didn't "blame" the deaths of those Syrians on them, a missile did for them. What I did "blame" on them was their tenuous position in the first place, much as I would blame a family that lived in a trailer park in hurricane country if they stubbornly stood fast against the approaching disaster, despite all warnings; as sad as these deaths are, what's sadder is they could have taken measures to avoid demise with ease.
Really, for a collection of intelligent, thoughtful people -- and I think you are, at least I KNOW Jeff VanderMeer and Luis Rodriguez are -- you really don't seem to know how to read my posts for anything but the most scurrilous of translations. That really makes meaningful conversation nigh unto impossible.
Shawn: Very nice summary. Places the whole problem beyond the rhetoric nicely. Thank you.
|Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 11:14 pm: |
Channels of Influence
By PAUL KRUGMAN
y and large, recent pro-war rallies haven't drawn nearly as many people as antiwar rallies, but they have certainly been vehement. One of the most striking took place after Natalie Maines, lead singer for the Dixie Chicks, criticized President Bush: a crowd gathered in Louisiana to watch a 33,000-pound tractor smash a collection of Dixie Chicks CD's, tapes and other paraphernalia. To those familiar with 20th-century European history it seemed eerily reminiscent of. . . . But as Sinclair Lewis said, it can't happen here.
Who has been organizing those pro-war rallies? The answer, it turns out, is that they are being promoted by key players in the radio industry — with close links to the Bush administration.
The CD-smashing rally was organized by KRMD, part of Cumulus Media, a radio chain that has banned the Dixie Chicks from its playlists. Most of the pro-war demonstrations around the country have, however, been organized by stations owned by Clear Channel Communications, a behemoth based in San Antonio that controls more than 1,200 stations and increasingly dominates the airwaves.
The company claims that the demonstrations, which go under the name Rally for America, reflect the initiative of individual stations. But this is unlikely: according to Eric Boehlert, who has written revelatory articles about Clear Channel in Salon, the company is notorious — and widely hated — for its iron-fisted centralized control.
Until now, complaints about Clear Channel have focused on its business practices. Critics say it uses its power to squeeze recording companies and artists and contributes to the growing blandness of broadcast music. But now the company appears to be using its clout to help one side in a political dispute that deeply divides the nation.
Why would a media company insert itself into politics this way? It could, of course, simply be a matter of personal conviction on the part of management. But there are also good reasons for Clear Channel — which became a giant only in the last few years, after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 removed many restrictions on media ownership — to curry favor with the ruling party. On one side, Clear Channel is feeling some heat: it is being sued over allegations that it threatens to curtail the airplay of artists who don't tour with its concert division, and there are even some politicians who want to roll back the deregulation that made the company's growth possible. On the other side, the Federal Communications Commission is considering further deregulation that would allow Clear Channel to expand even further, particularly into television.
Or perhaps the quid pro quo is more narrowly focused. Experienced Bushologists let out a collective "Aha!" when Clear Channel was revealed to be behind the pro-war rallies, because the company's top management has a history with George W. Bush. The vice chairman of Clear Channel is Tom Hicks, whose name may be familiar to readers of this column. When Mr. Bush was governor of Texas, Mr. Hicks was chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company, called Utimco, and Clear Channel's chairman, Lowry Mays, was on its board. Under Mr. Hicks, Utimco placed much of the university's endowment under the management of companies with strong Republican Party or Bush family ties. In 1998 Mr. Hicks purchased the Texas Rangers in a deal that made Mr. Bush a multimillionaire.
There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear, but a good guess is that we're now seeing the next stage in the evolution of a new American oligarchy. As Jonathan Chait has written in The New Republic, in the Bush administration "government and business have melded into one big `us.' " On almost every aspect of domestic policy, business interests rule: "Scores of midlevel appointees . . . now oversee industries for which they once worked." We should have realized that this is a two-way street: if politicians are busy doing favors for businesses that support them, why shouldn't we expect businesses to reciprocate by doing favors for those politicians — by, for example, organizing "grass roots" rallies on their behalf?
What makes it all possible, of course, is the absence of effective watchdogs. In the Clinton years the merest hint of impropriety quickly blew up into a huge scandal; these days, the scandalmongers are more likely to go after journalists who raise questions. Anyway, don't you know there's a war on?
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 01:07 am: |
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 01:17 am: |
I find Shawn's third, fourth, and eighth points a tad misleading, and would like to ask whether anyone else here shares those sentiments. "The support of over thirty countries" --some of which were reportedly surprised to find their names on Powell's list-- needs to be qualified by noting that, as such countries as Nicaragua are contributing neither troops nor pledging postwar funds, saying "Sure, we support Bush" is simply a defensive measure on their part rather than evidence of the war's being a multilateral effort. Something similar could be said of those countries who were successfully bribed into promising support on the promised U.N. resolution.
Point four, to the effect that we were already buying oil from Iraq, discounts the advantage of not having to pay for it at all.
Point eight, I hope other people can speak more informedly on than I: I recall having seen articles that persuaded me of the illegality of the war, but I don't have them at hand.
Bob, a couple of comments, if I may. I do realize that Nixon was not impeached. And I would add to Luis's remarks about your Darwin award that, given the number of refugees who starved to death in the course of the Afghan campaign (and surely the Iraqi press emphasized those deaths), it's not an unreasonable cost-benefit analysis for the family in question to have stayed put, perhaps thinking that death by starvation if they left was more likely than death by violence if they stayed, and (which it is) a lot nastier.
As for the veterans who universally "believe war to be a necessary part of international relations," ask Kurt Vonnegut, Howard Zinn, or Pete Seeger. And they were in the Good War.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 04:17 am: |
I agree with you Josh. I have not heard anyone but the Americans and the British say it was a 'legal' war. They would never have been trying to get a second resolution authorising military force if that was true.
The list of 30 nations was laughable. Afghanistan was on the list! The 'president' of the country himself even said he did not believe in the war. Nigeria was on the list! How does Nigeria support the war anyhow?
Aside from who is buying the oil, it is more about who has the contracts to pump and deliver it - which is really where a lot of the money is.
Also the war budget anounced of 79 billion dollars includes large funds being given to Israel. Most of the rest I suppose goes to the companies that manufacture the 500 thousand dollar cruise missiles we are using and the rest of the military hardware - not to mention the 1 billion for Dick Cheney's company to 'rebuild'.
Most of the world believes this war is illegal and ugly. International opinion surely counts for something?
To the list of veterans who did not believe in war you might add Tolstoy and Mirbeau.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 05:23 am: |
"Oh, and Luis? The twin towers? There was dancing in the streets of Baghdad the day they came down. I won't ever forget that."
That was not my point, and you know it. My point was, you went on with your life after the attacks, and so are the people in Iraq. I merely illustrated how unfair you were to blame the civilians who stayed for their own casualties. I used an example close to your heart because the bombing of one's country and the starvation of loved ones is pretty damn close to that person's heart too. Don't even think for a moment that you have the monopoly of pain and indignation in this world . . .
Dancing on the streets . . . Disgusting? Yes. Revolting? Yes. But surprising? Sorry -- no. As I'm not surprised there are people in the US cheering for this war, even as innocent civilians are maimed and killed in Iraq.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 05:29 am: |
Michael Cisco: "If I had a retarded sister, and she were killed in a similar manner, I would blame her for her own death. Am I reading your argument correctly?"
Of course. And murder is really just extroverted suicide.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 05:42 am: |
We really have to give Bob kudos for his patience and tolerance about our points of view. Please don't consider my rants any sort of personal attack, it's just that your comment implies stuff that I completely disagree with. And sorry, but a war is not a hurricane. Anyway, I have no intention to offend you, even though I might seem somewhat aggressive. The blood boils easily in times like this -- guess I need a break from this sort of arguments before I end up killing someone . . .
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 05:46 am: |
"The list of 30 nations was laughable."
Portugal is on that list. Now that is laughable, though polls show that 70% of the Portuguese population don't find it all that amusing.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 07:29 am: |
If you are interested in the list of the 30 countries and would like more information about their involvement, take a look here:
Whether they are laughable or not is beside the point. The point is that this war is not unilateral.
I agree it is "very fishy" Dick Cheney's company is up for the contract to rebuild the Iraqi oil industry. This is something which needs to be investigated.
What I am trying to say is in the big picture, the United States should not have been as heavily involved in this situation. The U.N. should be counted on as the primary peacekeeper and world policing organization. Not the United States.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 08:06 am: |
All I have to say is--read this:
Re the UN's role--it sure as hell tried to perform its role. Its role isn't to rubber stamp every lame-ass imperialist U.S. idea that comes along. As long as the U.S. continues to behave like a rogue state...geez. What's the use? Really, I'm beginning to give up on words. I feel this in my gut. I feel it viscerally. I feel physically sick at the thought that my tax dollars are helping kill Iraqi citizens. I feel physically ill that my tax dollars are supporting an illegitimate regime. I don't know what else to say.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 08:11 am: |
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 09:30 am: |
I agree. I never said that I thought the UN’s purpose was to rubber stamp the United States actions. I clearly said that I didn’t think the United States needed to be involved in this situation. I can try and make it clearer since everyone seems to be so blinded by gut wrenching emotion that they can’t control themselves enough to talk about the situation without thinking there is some politically motivated bias behind every statement. I personally do not like any type of political rhetoric from either side of the argument. The conservatives use some kind of blind black and white judgments based on flawed information and nationalism, while the liberal use ‘name calling’ and raw emotional appeal; both are attempting to win an argument that at this point is near mute and pointless.
We are at war. What we should be discussing is; how in the hell did we get into this position? What is fundamentally wrong? How can we insure that this doesn’t happen again? It’s real easy to point fingers and say it’s because George Bush is a war mongering imperialist. That’s an easy out. So we get rid of GB and replace everyone in the house and senate with democrats. Will that alter the fact that the UN is still a waffling milquetoast organization without the will or ability to stop men like Saddam from killing 50,000 innocent Kurdish people?
People will die in this war, yes, the deaths of those innocents and the deaths of our men and woman serving in the armed forces makes me sick. However, nothing makes me more ill than genocide. When the strong prey upon the weak, I am sickened. When one race or religion thinks itself god’s ordained and then uses that power to kill men, woman, and children; I am sickened. Innocent little children like my two-year-old daughter are dying; yes, JeffV, I too am sickened.
I’m not interested in this cloud of political illusion. I’m interested in the truth. What is at the root of our current problem and how can we repair the damage. Trust me, the immediate problem may seem like George Bush, but the root issue goes down a lot further.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 09:33 am: |
Why? This is a crucial week. No nation has yet stepped forth to get the ball rolling, though many have expressed their support for the Uniting for Peace resolution, which would bring all nations of the General Assembly together to demand an end to the war. You can read more in the following story about how the Uniting for Peace resolution has stopped wars in progress in the past:
But the resolution needs even more support NOW, because the US has begun an active lobbying campaign against it.
According to Reuters, "The United States has launched a worldwide diplomatic drive to head off the calling of an emergency session..." The US has circulated angry letters to many countries stating that "Given the current highly charged atmosphere, the United States would regard a General Assembly session on Iraq as unhelpful and as directed against the United States."
If they're worried about this, it's a good sign.
Over the last week, the Russian Duma, the President of Indonesia, several European countries and the vast majority of African, Asian, and Latin American countries have expressed support for an emergency session.
UN General Assembly President Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic said he thought it "very likely" that a special session would be called.
But we can't just leave this to "likely."
It's important that a Uniting for Peace resolution passes to show the overwhelming opposition of the world's countries to this war. and to make abundantly clear its illegality.
We're part of what the New York Times has called the "new second superpower": world opinion, and it is time our voices were listened to.
Urge your UN Ambassador to support an emergency session under the Uniting for Peace resolution:
Send an E-card to your friends, colleagues, fellow students, and family asking them to take action too:
VISIT THE CYBERCENTRE
Please don't forget to visit the Greenpeace Cyberactivist Community at:
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 09:46 am: |
Shawn - The point is not about Sadaam. He killed people yes, but with weapons he got from the US. But that is beside the point.
The real point is that the US expects the world do things their way or no way. And that is not right. The only reason the UN is accused of being 'waffling' is because they stand as a barrier in front of the US's desires.
I dont think the discussion should be about 'next time'. I think it should be about this time. It is not too late to withdraw from Iraq. I think it is pretty clear that the 'allies' are not being welcomed with open arms. They have simply made Sadaam the most popular man in the Arab world. Operation 'Iraqi Freedom'? Looks pretty much like an old fashioned invasion to me.
With due respect,
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 10:03 am: |
The UN has waffled on other issues outside of this war - not all were in US interest. Go back to Clinton's troop deployments to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The UN wasn't behind him on that one and there was no real US interest in that war.
But you're right. I just don't think the US has any plans of pulling out of Iraq (that's why I think the arguement is pointless - I'd just like to see us get out of there as quickly as possible). Unless the UN could come down strong on the US and say, what we think you are doing is wrong and you must pull out of Iraq, there probably isn't much chance of the US leaving Iraq.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 10:09 am: |
Well, I hope we do. Personally I see think this whole thing will get even more awful. And not just for Iraqis. Just read this in the LA Times:
BAGHDAD -- Saman Atef was finishing a late breakfast Monday when he heard a long, whining whoosh. Before he had time to ponder the noise, three of his neighbors' houses exploded in a rain of bricks, glass and dust.
In the instant the bomb or missile hit, four people were killed and 23 were injured, Atef said, and the people of his working-class neighborhood of northern Baghdad counted one more reason to feel angry with the United States.
Just before the midday attack, a robust-looking President Saddam Hussein had appeared on state television in military uniform and exhorted Iraqis to attack the U.S. and British enemy.
"Cut their throats and even their fingers," Hussein urged. "Strike them and strike evil so that evil will be defeated."
The U.S. war strategy has counted in part on separating the people of Iraq from the government of Hussein.
But the deaths and injuries from misdirected or errant bombs, or from shrapnel and fragments that spray into nearby homes even when the munitions find their intended target, are making more and more people believe that the United States is heedless of the Iraqi public.
The danger to coaltion forces is that when the decisive battle comes, many will rally to Hussein and take up arms against the U.S. and British troops.
Information Minister Mohammed Said Sahaf said Monday that 62 civilians had been "martyred" in the last 24 hours across Iraq and that hundreds had been injured.
Although his figures could not be independently verified, the perception among Iraqis is that civilian as well as government and military sites are being deliberately targeted by the Americans.
Atef's Radiha Khatoun neighborhood, for instance, is a dense warren of ordinary houses. Residents all denied that there are any government or military sites around, and none were visible.
From the start of the war, Iraqi state television has played up civilian casualties, with pictures of the dead and wounded stock fare on newscasts.
The issue is fanning passions just when Hussein most needs the loyalty of the population for the upcoming battle for Baghdad.In a sign that the battle is drawing near, huge explosions erupted in the eastern and southern suburbs around midnight Monday, evidently caused by B-52 bombers dropping their payloads on the camps of Hussein's Republican Guard.
A sandstorm howled and black clouds from oil fires swirled over the city, giving it an ominous, apocalyptic air. Gigantic flashes of orange could be seen on the horizon — followed by deep thuds of the massive blasts.
U.S.-led forces have already encountered unexpectedly fierce resistance from irregular fighters and volunteers who have taken to sniping at the rear lines of their advance.
So far, the invading forces have been met more with clenched fists than open arms. This has been true even in cities and towns with large Shiite populations that rose up against Hussein after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
The question is whether the same will happen in Baghdad.
In Radiha Khatoun, residents suggested it would. They discounted U.S. claims that it seeks to avoid civilian targets and that the bombing must have been in error.
"This is not the first time that they have targeted civilian buildings," Atef insisted. "They would like to destroy the civilian population."
In response to the destruction, he said, "we will sacrifice ourselves. We are not frightened by the bombing — we are motivated to be stronger."
He spoke as scores of people from the neighborhood gathered to watch grimly as an earthmover cleared bricks from the destroyed homes that were blocking the narrow lane in front.
Blue-suited firefighters with red-and-white helmets used hoes and their bare hands to sift through the debris, looking for the corpse of a 70-year-old woman presumed to have been crushed in her home. On the ground, a plastic slipper lay in a puddle of water and a black shawl spilled out from the bulldozer's scoop.
Standing in front of his destroyed home, Thamur Sheikel, a 53-year-old Oil Ministry employee, said he had returned from work to find his house no longer standing and his older sister and two young nephews killed.
"Bush is cursed," he said, biting off the words. "They want to destroy the people. Maybe God will destroy them. Revenge on Bush for this aggression. We are peaceful people; we do no harm to anybody."
The mood was similarly dark at nearby Al Nouman Hospital, where doctors treated survivors. Aqeel Khalil, 27, the husband of one of the dead, sat on the floor outside the locked door of the morgue, sobbing and asking why his wife and his mother had to die.
"There is no military site in my house, and there is no gun in my house," he managed to say through his tears.
"We do the best to save the lives of our people," Dr. Labib Salman said. "This does not make us hesitate to defend our country."
Besides appealing to Iraqis to fight, Hussein's speech was apparently designed to debunk suggestions that he had been killed or seriously injured during an attack by U.S. cruise missiles early Thursday, the opening day of the war.
Rather than being defeated, Hussein said Iraqi fighters were "causing the enemy to suffer and to lose every day.... As time goes by, they will lose more and they will not be able to escape lightly from their predicament," he said, in what was touted as a live appearance.
The speech got good reviews from Hussein loyalists in Baghdad who watched it.
"Today is like a wedding for me. Or it is like being born again. It is so good to hear our president speak," said Kamil Obedish, who said he felt encouraged enough to reopen the cafe that he had closed a few days earlier.
Obedish spoke in the presence of government representatives.
"After hearing his speech, I can say that I am convinced we have already won," he said. "They can't do anything to our president. They will never get him with their clever bombs. Because he is smarter than any of their bombs. He is smarter than all of them."
Iz Den, a member of Hussein's Baath Party and a retiree, was manning a sandbag fortification on Sadoun Street, one of the city's many shopping areas.
"There was this propaganda and rumors that he could be dead after they bombed all his palaces," Den said. "But here he is, alive and healthy! It is a big jubilation for us."
Deputy Prime Minister Tarik Aziz, at a news conference Monday, said that Hussein was well and firmly in control of the government.
He said he wasn't worried about the thousands of U.S. troops coming to Baghdad in convoys that stretch to the horizon, their vehicles brimming with advanced weaponry.
"They will be welcomed in the same way as they were welcomed in Umm al Qasr, Al Faw and Nasariyah, and as they were welcomed by that Iraqi peasant who brought that Apache helicopter down," Aziz said, referring to the battles in the south of the country where the U.S.-led troops have suffered setbacks in recent days.
"We will be receiving them with the best music they have ever heard."
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 10:11 am: |
My apologies for the lack of clarity--I really wasn't thinking you were expressing a different sentiment.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 12:50 pm: |
"Coalition of the Willing" = Coalition of the Billing.
The New York Times reports today that "The United States is preparing to establish immediate sole control of postwar Iraq, initially without recourse to the United Nations, with a civilian administration under the direct command of the military, according to senior administration officials."
The article goes on to say that the arrangement will be "temporary" and that the US is "still debating how to work with the United Nations when the time comes for that."
"But the United States may have no choice for the moment. Under international law, the United Nations may be unable to work under a military occupation force. While the United Nations can offer emergency relief for refugees, children, food distribution and humanitarian coordination, international officials say that the Geneva Convention would forbid long-term cooperation without approval from the Security Council."
|Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 - 10:18 pm: |
I must point out that I was not referring to the choice of idiom as an ad hominem attack on Bob, but to draw attention to the fact that the war is affirmed as a matter of common sense, that this common sense is the equivalent to the feelings and thoughts of all Americans, and that opposition to the war is only so much blue-skying. I homed in on his use of rhetoric because it's something I encounter frequently in discussing the war with others; it suggests that we are both looking at events whose truth is plainly visible, and that I am perversely resisting this obvious truth. I have no desire to insult anyone here, and I apologize if I have given a different impression.
|Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2003 - 04:20 am: |
Bah! I wasn't feeling insulted, Michael. It's a lively discussion.
|Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2003 - 01:05 pm: |
Just wanted to clarify my intentions.
To refocus a bit on impeachment and protest: Shawn rightly emphasizes the need to look at the big picture, and that the major actors should not be allowed to supplant the issues. But as for impeachment, I think it would be weird, given the mountainous evidence of underhandedness surrounding this administration from its inception, if the word "impeachment" hadn't come up yet.
With regard to the larger issues involved - if there had been no outcry, no protests, then we would have seen a de facto capitulation on the part of the general public to what is, at the very least, highly questionable policy at home and abroad. The protests, which include the call for impeachment, the letters and phone calls, teach-ins and marches, amount to daring the government to substantiate its democratic rhetoric by taking public opinion into account, or to expose itself as a plutocratic marketing machine - "the entertainment branch of business," as Frank Zappa called it.
Naturally, the protesters have demands they would like to see met, but far more important is the basic refusal to submit to a cynical, slovenly authoritarianism. If we do not use every nonviolent political weapon at our disposal to oppose this government, we're essentially giving them our permission to do as they please in the future. We know what that looks like - the "Plan for the New American Century," in which America's superpower status, as jailer of the world, is set on a permanent and exclusive bearing.
|Posted on Friday, March 28, 2003 - 07:34 am: |
Good points, Michael. Excellent, in fact.
Though I still consider the protests a wash -- the violent outbreaks pushing political opinion in direct countervention of the peace protestors' aims -- you've made the best and most cogent argument for action, any action, in the name of preserving the sanctity of the Republic.
I am, however, not going to be attending any peace rallies in the foreseeable future. There's still that flag burning that would probably see me either in the hospital or the jail for a stay I can sorely afford.
|Posted on Friday, March 28, 2003 - 04:43 pm: |
*shucks* I try my best ...
With regard to the poll numbers - the results fluctuate a bit as different aspects of the question are emphasized, the numbers dropping a few points if the likelihood of American casualties running into the hundreds or higher is raised, and the polls also drop if civilian casualties are stressed. Michael Moore, who addressed a group at Riverside Church last night, raised an interesting point; he feels the majority in the US is against the war, and that the numbers are misleading because most of the persons polled are working-class, with either children/relatives of their own overseas, or the children/relatives of friends overseas, and they don't want to appear disloyal to them - or worse, "get them in trouble." Is this true? I can only testify to the fact that there is an effectual poverty draught in this country.
Elsewhere I've heard the even wilder, but not entirely implausible, speculation that it is the intention of this administration and those it represents to replace social services with a combination of military service (for employment, housing, education benefits and so on - and this despite the fact that so many veterans have been left out in the cold already) and private church-operated charities. Even if this is all so much hogwash, I glance over the existing, grossly-misnamed, "patriot" legislation and the proposed "patriot II" and suddenly anything seems possible.
|Posted on Friday, March 28, 2003 - 09:16 pm: |
For myself, I am not engaging in any more anti-war rhetoric for now. All my energy is now going into getting this Patriot Act II defeated in Congress, at the very least. While we go on about the war, the administration is going to take away the rest of our civil liberties. I am by no means a libertarian, or even the most left wing person out there, but this is frightening--and it trumps war discussion for me. I see the point re protests in a sense. It might be too much of a waste of energy, with other battles to fight. Anyway, this Patriot Act II is too horrifying to pass without severely crippling our freedoms.
|Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 05:08 pm: |
Ok, soiling Lewinsky was obviously a worse crime than lying your country into war.
Spare a thought then for Margie Schoedinger. She files a lawsuit against G W Bush for rape, then dies of shotgun wound to the head before it gets to court. The documents are still on the Fort Bend courthouse website and can be viewed here
Any American press get the story? Of course not. Except the local Fort Bend paper. But Russia knew about it
There's a story here
In fact run a Google search on "Margie Schoedinger"
And allow yourself to think the unthinkable once in a while.
Gordon Van Gelder
|Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 05:51 pm: |
Thank you for posting this stuff. But where are the courthouse documents? I clicked on your link but couldn't find them.
I did find the For Bend Star article:
Not Warren Terror
|Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 05:56 pm: |
So why do people always trivialize Clinton lying under oath by referring to it as something like "soiling Lewinsky?" The bastard lied under oath. Doesn't that actually bother anyone?
If you can't tell a difference between lying under oath and doing your best with faulty and otherwise imperfect intellegence, you really need to rethink your basic values. IMHO, of course.
|Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 06:13 pm: |
You have to admit, a slogan like "One of them intentionally lied under oath and the other relied on faulty and misinterpreted inteligence. Which one got impeached?" just won't provoke the kind of rage that some people are trying to get. It's just not quite as catchy somehow, so you probably won't be seeing it on t-shirts any time soon.
|Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 06:14 pm: |
There's nothing humble about that opinion. Clinton lied about sex acts between two consenting adults. Yes, it reflected quite badly on his character.
Bush and his gang of puppet masters lied about conditions in sovereign nations, leading to the deaths of thousands of people who would otherwise be alive right now. Of course, it didn't just cause death; now there are hundreds of humans incarcerated for ?? because of ?? for how long ?? Iraqis are orphaned, are maimed, are psychologicaly traumatized, are financially crippled, living in an environment of escalating danger and fear. You've got American recruiters breaking rules to fill quotas...16 year-olds being told to lie and provide fake high school diplomas so that they too can go over there and die for such a good cause.
SO TELL ME: What is being TRIVIALIZED?? Clinton? Please....I don't think so. IMHO.
Gordon Van Gelder
|Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 06:24 pm: |
All of these articles concerning Margie Schoedinger are from 2003. Had anyone here heard of this story before now?
|Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 06:53 pm: |
Ah, but Clinton broke the law, didn't he? Just because he was afraid to say, "Yeah, I let her suck my d**k. So what?" You can disagree all that you want to with Bush's policies, but he just started a war (or finished one that wasn't finished when it should have been). Countries fight wars. That's the way the world is, although I'm certainly not saying it's right. It's been that way for thousands of years and it's probably always going to be that way. Sometimes it's even the right thing to do, even though it causes huge amounts of suffering.
Let's revisit Iraq in 20 years to see who was right. By then it will either be a thriving democracy or gone totally to h**l. If it's the first, I would argue that the war was worth it.
I don't live in a brutal and oppressive dictatorship, but if I did, I would certainly like to think that if things got brutal and oppressive enough, that someone would come and kick some dictator a**.
|Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 03:50 am: |
It's people like you, lwmarti, who should be conscripted to go and fight these war, since you're quite happy for them to happen.
Then we'd see which way your "kick ass" cookie crumbled.
And, by the way, Bush broke the law, too. Or didn't you notice?
And the Bush adminstration are the most dangeorous dictatorship I've ever seen.
Gordon Van Gelder
|Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 04:58 am: |
I read your post, lwmarti, and wondered how you'd feel if Kikuyu, Zulu, and other African tribes had banded together in 1840s and come over here to "kick some a**" on James Polk. After all, he was head of a brutal dictatorship that held their tribesmen as slaves.
Your post also made me think of how Washington, D.C. hasn't fully recovered from the riots in more than thirty years. http://www.cnn.com/US/9804/04/mlk.dc.riots/ I was shown through that neighborhood in '92 and I could see for myself that it hadn't recovered in 20 years. My hunch is that by 2025, Fallujah won't be fully rebuilt. I'd love to be wrong.
Persian Gulf Vet
|Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 08:13 am: |
Faulty intelligence, my ass. They had perfectly good intelligence, by all accounts, before 9/11, that they failed to act upon. Then it's excusable that they swung their "doin' sumpin'" pendulum way over to the other side and invaded a sovereign nation for no valid reason?
You're a tool.
|Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 09:37 am: |
Conscripted to fight? Perhaps you're unaware of exactly where I was back in 1991.
So let me get this right. You guys who are in favor of non-intervention believe that it's right to stand by and let things happen. Like the communist USSR that managed to kill millions of its people. Or the extreme ugliness in Cambodia. Or the disintegrating Yugoslavia. Or North Korea, where an entire generation is growing up malnourished. And let's not forget Nazi Germany...
At what point do you decide that what's going on justifies taking action? Or do you believe that war is such a bad thing that it's OK to let evil run unchecked?
|Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 10:29 am: |
Bush only intervenes when it serves him. He's no humanitarian. Africa?? Hello?? Since when does he care about humanity? Were humanitarian conditions in Iraq the worst in the world? What country is next on his humanitarian list?
Gordon Van Gelder
|Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 11:32 am: |
"So let me get this right. You guys who are in favor of non-intervention believe that it's right to stand by and let things happen."
Me, I'm not in favor of non-intervention. And I'm not against it. I don't see it as a simple pro-or-con issue. I think you have to view the whole picture and war should be a final resort. Was getting involved in World War II the right decision for the US to make? Yes, I think so. Was George Bush 43's decision to invade Iraq the right one? No, I don't think so---not without letting Hans Blix finish his job of looking for WMDs, not without attempting any negotiations with Saddam Hussein. (Hussein went on 60 Minutes the week before the invasion and said, "I'm here and open to discussion." The White House, as quoted by 60 Minutes, refused to respond.) I don't believe the decision to invade was good for the US, I don't believe it was good for Iraq, but I think it was good for George W. Bush.
"Wrong choices, wrong war" isn't all that catchy a phrase, but it keeps echoing through my head right now.
I repeat my hope that you're right, lwmarti, that Iraq in twenty years will be flourishing thanks to the US invasion. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything that convinces me you're right and without the benefit of a time machine, all I can do is go by the signs I see nowadays. Those signs suggest to me that imposing a Western form of Democracy on a divided Middle Eastern country isn't a lasting answer to the country's problems. I hope I'm wrong.
|Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 03:01 pm: |
"Conscripted to fight? Perhaps you're unaware of exactly where I was back in 1991."
Apart from the fact that I haven't the first idea who the hell you are anyway--coupled with the fact that you could be speaking all sorts of nonsense and I'd be none the wiser...
But, let's suppose you were where you say you were in 1991.
What? Do you think I'm having a go at you because of that? What I'm saying is, it's people like you who should be conscripted to go and fight the current war in Iraq (a much more brutal affair than 1991), seeing as you're quite happy for it to happen. I say it again, with emphasis.
Remember, the fact that you've been there actually fighting doesn't give you any special privilages as regards deciding the rights and wrongs of whether or not this current war should have gone ahead. It's glaringly obvious that it should not have gone ahead, and I would have thought that this was more obvious to someone with military experience than anyone else.
And, before you get excited, I might have some personal relation to this whole thing myself. So don't think I'm speculating.
Come on, lwmarti. Maybe sometimes wars are unavoidable, like many would say was the case in 1991. That's a different arguement. But this one was/is so patently avoidable that it defies belief.
It is, in fact, criminal.
I, for one, do not see a single difference between the way Sadam tried to rule Iraq and the way the Bush administration are trying to rule the world today:
They are dictating the way that people live; and by force if necessary.