The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 104 - 3/24/2003
Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq?
Many people were initially for or against the possibility of a war in Iraq. Now that it is a reality and troops are on the ground, have you changed your mind or your position on the war?
Do you think that anti-war protests should cease? Do you think that an even greater divide has opened up between those who hold differing ideologies?
Do you think that the suspension of certain civil liberties for security reasons is appropriate during war time? Do YOU feel safer? Will the world be more secure because of this action?
What – if anything – concerns you the most about the war in Iraq?
| Reponses: There are 258 responses posted to this question.
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| Saddam MUST Be Punished... ||Mar 24th. at 10:23:09 am EST|
|Amanita Burning Sky (Halifax, NS) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I have felt this way for a long time. When several Iraqi women were on the news describing an iraqi prison, I had to mute the TV-I can't stand descriptions of torture like they were giving. Anyone who would do things like that to their own people needs to be dealt with. I say, if he survived the bombing thus far, capture him and put him on trial for crimes against humanity. Then mete out as severe a punishment as possible. I have no wish to see the Iraqi people suffer. None. Perhaps this is why I want Saddam's head on the proverbial plate. The Iraqi people deserve a life free from fear of torture and mutilation at the hands of their own government.
| It Takes Alot For Me To Change My Mind... ||Mar 24th. at 11:28:01 am EST|
Let me start by saying that my feelings about this war are quite ambivalent. This is not to say that I'm wishy washy and refuse to take a firm stance. But it is a complex topic and situation, therefore I have complex emotions and opinions about it all and have from the beginning. And my feelings are exactly as they were as the war was looming.
Saddam Hussein (I like to informally call him Saddam Insane as many others do) is a monster of high proportions who has shown interest in the weapons that our administration says they still have. He's done heinous things during the time of his "presidency" in Iraq to others like the Kuwaiti people (rape, torture, theft, etc.) and his own people (the mustard gas "tests" on the Kurds) . He needs to go...even by death if necessary in my opinion (though I know others feel differently) . So do the other higher-ups in the current regime who sanction horrific human rights violations.
That said, our own government did put these people in power under a foreign policy of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". I think this is a seriously flawed logic in the end while it may have helped them reach their goals at the time. This policy of foreign relations must change. I am definitely not a fan of Mr. Bush Jr. I think the electoral college system of election needs to be changed or done away with because this wasn't the first time that the popular vote was different from the electoral college outcome. It does seem our government has taken security to an extreme that is becoming increasingly uncomfortable to me in my mind.
I would have supported this more had it been something the people of the world or even the UN and more of our allies also supported. Our globe is no longer a vast place where everyone is so removed from each other. We are inextricably connected to each other and have to learn to make decisions together.
Now onto the question of anti-war protesting. I have not partaken in these rallies and marches because of my personal feelings on this war. I support their right to have their voices heard with my entire being and do agree with much of what they are upset about. There are those on the other side of the issue who would like to censor them and even those suggesting they should leave the country if they don't like what our gov't has decided to do. That mindset in a large number of our citizens almost alarms me more than the war itself. They are, in effect, being hypocrites. On one hand they feel that regimes like Iraq's detest us because we have so much freedom and that we should treasure this freedom, but then they look to censor people whose opinions and feelings are different from their own. There is no logic there.
As for those holding rallies to support our troops: I also agree with that. My family has a history with many people having served in the military at times of war and of peace. I have a brother-in-law who is a Gulf War veteran and presently gearing up for deployment and leaving his family and job once again. These people make huge sacrifices to live up to oaths they've taken that they believe in. Though the oaths I personally have taken are of a different nature, I understand this on a deep level. I personally support our men and women who are serving over seas and hope the majority can return safely to their families, loved ones and homes.
The most frightening outcome I believe our actions do and will continue to have is a rift between ourselves and our allies and friends in the world. Anti American sentiment is rising and will continue to rise because of our government's inconsistent foreign policies. I hope that this can be repaired and our relationship with the world community will be good again in the future. I have great hope for our future and bevieve sincerely that this is a crossroads we are at that will shape what is to come in our linear perspective of time (though I believe as a pagan that time really isn't linear, but that is our perspective from where we currently sit and how our world tracks time) .But I also tend to have an optimistic nature and think that this is one of those things that human beings will learn from.
May those who raise their voices in anger and dissent as well as in agreement continue to be allowed to be heard and may we learn as a species to compromise better and focus on the things that could truly make a difference in this aim on our planet. May the innocent citizens living in war zones be as safe as they can as well as those fighting under duress. May the gods who live within and without us, inspire and move us towards bringing balance back to the earth.
Blessed be and be well.
| No, I Pity Iraqi And Americans Alike. ||Mar 24th. at 11:42:11 am EST|
|Kevin (Ottawa, Canada) ||Age: 40 - Email |
No, I am still of the mind that war is a horrible affair and one that should be avoided. Some feel that war is necessary...Ghandi disagreed and so do I. Some claim that war is now necessary because the sanctions did not work. I agree that sanctions did not work if your primary purpose is regime change, but if it was to limit the economic progress of a people or the rebuilding of military might, I would argue that the sanctions were extremely effective. I'd like to mention that the same government who helped the Iraqi Dictator to power, supplied him with weapons and training to fight Iran, fought against him as he invaded Kuwait, pressed for the sanctions against Iraq, claimed that a war was necessary because the sanctions and UN inspections were a failure and that WMD existed and were a threat to global safety (btw, the US spokepersons are now saying that WMD is no longer the primary reason for the invasion. Now, it's regime change...period) , and have gone ahead with the war regardless of global condemnation.
My mind has not changed with respect to the necessity of a war in Iraq, but I do sympathize with those individuals who have lost loved ones because of this conflict. I feel sorry for Americans and Iraqi alike, because I can't place more value on one nationality. A child is a child, regardless of whether it is Iraqi or American.
I also continue to believe that unless the underlying circumstances are addressed, history is bound to repeat itself. Should we, in the western world, continue to consider it our right to change governments at will, only to be later be faced with dictatorships that demand that we remove them from power?
It may be too late for Iraq, but perhaps we should have a long look at our foreign policies and ensure that we don't impliment other, more dangerous dictators that require our attention in another 20 years.
| War And It's Attrocities ||Mar 24th. at 11:57:09 am EST|
|Star Devil (Glendive, Montana) ||Age: 22 - Email |
My whole Life ( well at least since I was one) my father was in the NAVy. I grew up on the mil;itary bases. With the guys on the ships who would in the fuirture go and protect this wonderful country of ours. These men and woman bacame not only my fathers comrades (sp?) but also like my aunts and uncles. They came to family picnics and played ball with me. We did barbeques and Much more. I loved them like they were my actual family not just people my fahter worked with.
My father was called out to go and help out in desert sheild and desert storm and I thought that was the scariest thing in my life. At the time I was about 6 or 7 I cannot remember exactly my age. I am 22 now and I am a mother. My fahter retired about a year ago after 20 years serving this country and I am terrified with this "war" going on because my fahter could get called back into action. My father was also an inspiration to others in my family. One of my cousins is joining the military. Also I have MANY friends fron high school who have joined. WHen I was orginally going through this when I was younger durning desert shield and desert storm I was terrified for MY daddy. Now I fear for everyone there.
This war is going to have horrible effects on the economy. In my area the farmers are already suffering because of the war. There are many different events that helps the economy in Montana that are being canceled because of the fear that this war has instillied in everyone. My state and many others depend on tourist to keep their economy going. I do not know if this is going to be possible this year.
I seriously wish this would not have happened but we cannot control the government once they have made up their minds, I just wish they would open their ears and listen to the public instead of running into everything like a big brother would.
So to all of you who have family and friend out there I hope htey return safely liek my daddy did a long time ago. My thougts and well wishings are with our troops.
Love and LIght,
| No Change Here... ||Mar 24th. at 12:06:23 pm EST|
|amy (southampton, england) ||Age: 22 - Email |
In fact, I was on a demo yesterday in London against the war. We believe there were 750, 000 people. No protests should be made to cease. I believe pro-war protesters have a right to express their views as well. Suspending civil liberties would just make things worse, and I would not feel in the least bit more safe. Hussein is a threat to his people, but not to the West.
The troops being engaged have made absolutely no difference to my opinion. I do believe people are feeling more strongly both ways, but I have never supported this war. What would be easier to ensure the safe return of our soldiers than to stop the war?
It's hard to tell what concerns me most about the war. I am, as usual, concerned about the tainted press coverage that shows bombs almost as if they were fireworks and does not show the casualties of war (except if they happen to be on 'our side') . I am also concerned that our governments have not justified this war in humanitarian terms. Given the slightest possibility that this war is not for humanitarian reasons, it could not be justified. (Then again, when is a war ever humanitarian?) I'm worried about the people of Iraq and how their lives will be affected by the bombing, as well as the aftermath. Generally speaking, it bothers me that a power can defy international law so easily simply due to its vast economic power.
I could go on, but I'll finish now with a quote I saw the other day:
"War is terrorism with a bigger budget"
| Change My Clothes, But Not My Mind ||Mar 24th. at 12:43:20 pm EST|
|Amber Heathen (Cornelius Oregon) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I haven't changed my mind about Iraq, or this war. I still think this war is a horrible idea. People kept saying "oh this will be a fast, easy war, it'll be over by Monday." Whatever happened to that? When will this end? Why did they have to invade in the first place? I wish they could have just found a way to take out Sadam, with little to no risk involved for civilians and our troops. So far I haven't heard of any civilian casualities (but the news is censored, so ya never know.) My heart breaks everytime I hear about troops dead or missing.
I used to not be worried about more terrorist attacks. Now, though, I'm a bit more worried. Our government has pissed off over half the world, some are probably pissed off enough to take a few of us out. I can see martial law happening if there's another terrorist attack.
I think anti-war protests should go on as long as they are peaceful (which they usually aren't, around here) . The violent protests don't do anything to change peoples minds. All they do is make the anti-war movement lose credibility. Throwing acid at windows, breaking windows, slashing tires, blocking light-rail tracks, laying down (like a flippin' idiot) in front of an SUV, assaulting police officers and marching down the middle of the street during rush-hour is not an effective way of protesting *against* violence and war. All it does is piss people off, endanger people (think if emergency vehicles can't get through) , and costs tax-payer money (guess where cop's salary comes from--and their hours of overtime) .
I'm extremely worried that this war will drag on and on, then someone will decide to go nutty with the nukes, and destroy the world.
There will be world peace when there are no more people left on Earth.
| War Is Such A Waste ||Mar 24th. at 1:18:52 pm EST|
|Silver Raven (Jo Marriott) (Nottingham, England) ||Age: 20 - Email - Web|
Now that the troops are in action, I think we should support them, after all they're only doing their job, so good luck to them. However, I still think it's a huge waste of time and energy. Bombing innocent people to sort out 1 guy is ruining the environment, the economy, hundreds of people's lives, trade links and some people's morality. By this latter issue, I mean that what message do Mr Blair and Mr Bush think they are giving to criminals in their own countries, by not only condoning but actively breaking international law? This is a huge act of hypocrisy on their part - not just for the reason above, but also for the fact that the United Nations was originally set up by Britain, America and others to STOP this kind of thing happening. Talk about changing the rules to suit themselves.
Aside from these, what scares me about the war is the endless possibilities regarding nuclear weapons. I know that the media always over-hypes this kind of stuff, but still, that kind of ammunition in the wrong hands, like so many things in life, is a dangerous thing. Who knows what could happen? I suppose it's fear of the unknown, or maybe it's the thought of a horrifying end to life for so much of the planet and a hideous existence for whatever's left - should it come to that. But then if that is what the Goddess has chosen for the future of this Earth, then so be it. After all, everything follows the cycle of birth, growth and fruitfulness, decay, rest and rebirth. Everything has to die sometime in order to be reborn. I just hope it isn't a hideous annihilation.
| Pagan, But Not So Libral ||Mar 24th. at 1:34:40 pm EST|
|Sharone (Gaithersburg MD) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I really think that people need to take a look at what they are saying here.
I sure as hell don’t like Bush, however, OUR troops are over there because of the terrorist that Sadam funds, because of the support that he gives them, the weapons that we know he has. Can anyone against this war say that they are for rape camps, using biological weapons against the innocents that your all so concerned about getting killed in cross fire?
I don’t agree w/Bush on 90 % of his politics. I think that he sucks terribly, but we should have taken Sadam out the first time! & I hope that our guys not only come home safe, but come home having pummeled the poop out of his army!!
What about the fact that he has money to send to Palestinians who are blowing themselves up & none for his own people's health care of food?
Or would you all like to see us all sitting in a circle jerk waiting for more terrorists to attack???
Well I’m not going there, I’ll support our military! You know that is a part of having American pride!!
the non-libral pagan ;o)
| It's Still A Bad Idea ||Mar 24th. at 1:57:17 pm EST|
|Lauryl Stone (Durham, NC) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I can't help it; I still think this war is a bad idea.
I don't have any logical arguments to offer.
But every time I read a headline or hear news on the radio, it's like being punched in the solar plexus, and I'm overwhelmed with a sense of "wrongness" about this war. It's wrong, and bad things are going to come from it. And I've never had this reaction to anything else our government has done in my lifetime. It's hard to even really be coherent about this, it's such a gut reaction.
| Let's Get It Over With ||Mar 24th. at 2:16:03 pm EST|
|Hehtrey (New Mexico) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I was initially against the war, and up until the first bombs were dropped, I was dearly hoping something miraculous would happen and that we would be pulled back from the brink of war. I am an Air Force wife, and I have several close friends over there right now, and a husband who has volunteered to go because he believes that strongly that we are over there out of necessity. Trust me, the idea of just ending the war and getting everyone back is tempting, but that would be at best a temporary solution, and at worst a very grave mistake. We will win this war; our technology is superior, and our troops are better trained. If we were to pull out before we accomplished all of our goals, we would not win the love of our enemies, but only show weakness to them. There are many people around the world who hate America, and would do it harm regardless of the war in Iraq. I would much prefer to appear an invincible enemy than a vulnerable enemy. For this reason, I believe the anti-war protests show a level of naivete. The protestors are welcome to their opinions, and to their constitutional right to assemble, but I personally think it's a waste of their time. Whether or not someone supports the war is sort of a moot point right now. We ARE at war, and there is little hope of a few thousand people changing that.
As far as our civil liberties go, they should never be suspended. Our troops fight preserve our freedoms, and I deeply resent the Bush Administration's largely successful attmepts to abridge those freedoms while sending those troops off to war.
My main concerns with the war is that it might win Shrub the approval rating he needs to get re-elected. In the meantime, I pray for our troops to come home safely, and pray that one day the world will be such that war is unnecessary.
| I Have.. ||Mar 24th. at 2:28:12 pm EST|
|Skeggi (NZ) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I was against it but now im beyond against. I think i could argue all day against it and im tired of doing so. It is hard to comprehend how removing one man from power can justify killing inocent people. One of the US generals stated its not a fair fight why dont they just give up? Because it is their country, would you give up?
Bush has opened a can of worms and im afraid this "war" has just begun.
USA USA how many kids did you kill today?
| I Haven't Changed My Mind. ||Mar 24th. at 2:45:46 pm EST|
|LoneGnome (Oregon) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I still firmly believe that Hussein should have been removed from power in 1991 and not now. If anything I am more firm in my beliefs now than before the war started given the events in Iraq.
No I don't think the anti-war protests should stop, as long as they remain peaceful. The First Ammendment protects our freedom of speech and the protesters are exercising their right to free speech. Besides when the war stops our troops come home, I agree with the protester on that.
In most cases I don't think any greater divide has been opened between ideologies. France is now willing to work with us, albeit only if Iraq uses chemical weapons. I don't think I need to go into France's stance on the war. That and some of these rifts between ideologies existed long before the war and will remain so after it's over.
In this case no, I don't think our civil liberties should be curtailed by security. I feel that doing so is giving into the terrorists and Hussein. I never really felt threatened before the war, so how could I feel any safer?
The world more secure??? No, unfortunately not. I expect Al-Qaeda to get some very new recruits in the coming months.
I just hope that the conditions in Iraq are better after Hussein's removal, but I fear they won't be.
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