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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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| Not For Pre-Emptive Anything ||Mar 29th. at 11:08:07 am UTC|
|Scott Holman (Iowa) ||Age: 36 - Email |
Well. I wont say im against War in general. This war, however is wrong. Punishing someone for something they might do is akin to punishing a child for something that he might do tommorow.
Saddam, while a psycho is not, nor will he ever be in a position to seriously pose a threat to the U.S. The whole pre-emptive attack malarkey is a pretty apparent veil for other activities and goals.
I dont believe the protests should stop. Reflectively speaking just a short year ago, we had the world at our backs, or at our sides as we hunted down the perpetrators of 9/11. No government, or people protested our hunt. Now...in truth, about 90% of the world is dead set against this, regardless of what politically controlled polls say. The majority of governments in the world are against it either. Im pretty sure the support rates for the war here among American citizens arent truly reflective of the truth either. (An example of this is published unemployment rates, which rate only those people who are drawing unemployment, not people whos benefits ahve run out, or are stuck on welfare, or stuck with no means of income whatsoever)
I believe it is because we have Allowed our government to break the Traditional actions of America. Non Aggression. Never before has America threatened war (at least publicly) on any country for disagreements or imagined violations.
As of yet, except for a few scud duds, and a few minor other violations, there hasnt been one bio or chem weapon found of any viable use. Nor has there been one solitary link between Iraq, and Osama found. It amazes me that our govenrment organizations have found paper, cash, and weapons trails all over the world. Most of them leading to our assured allies in Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Theyve found all that, and they cant find one credible link to Saddam. Personally, as much as I hate to admit it, I believe its because Saddam is either to smart, or not dumb enough to mess with the U.S.. Even petty tyrants want to Live.
As far as suspension of Civil Rights goes, Im pretty sure that is un-constitutional for the large part. I can understand travel restrictions or 'blackouts' in the case of actual war here in America, (something Id like to point out has been pretty much non-existent since the Civil War)
But to suspend the constituion in the name of security opens the doors for far more insidious programs to be slid into place. The very nature of the security act is unconstitutional, as well as many laws which have been slid into place over the last couple of decades that have been hidden in otherwise benign sounding law scripts.
Freedom isnt just a right, its a responsiblity and all people who desire it, should have a say in the method and manner in which they attain freedom. Going in and "freeing" the Iraqi people will only cause resentment, and abuse of the freedoms we have assumed to 'give' them. Without their effort, and their own fight for freedom....it will never be an endearing concept to them. Its kind of like giving your child a car. they have no concept of the value of it, and will most likely abuse and destroy it. Not until they earn it themselves and pay for the upkeep, maintenance and insurance upon it will they place any real value or responsiblity upon it. (and yes, I realize there can be exceptions to this, but not in general)
Its time to wake up, pagan, christian, moslem, jew or atheist or otherwise, take our country back and put a leash back on our government.
One thing I would like to state, Is that for or against this war we should ALL support our soldiers.
They are UNDER orders to do their Jobs and they have little or no choice in the matter.
This time instead of ostracizing our soldiers and blaming them for things they had no choice in, we should support and welcome them home like the human beings they are. Whether or not we support the war, they are doing a job no one else wants to do, or would be willing to do and they really dont have a choice.
| Confused ||Mar 29th. at 1:11:24 pm UTC|
|taylor (USA) ||Age: 13 - Email |
at first i was for the removal of Saddam Hussein (i feel he could be the next Hitler) and i believed that the troops would try to protect Iraqi citizens, but it appears that this isnt happening.i hated calling it a war, rather a liberation, but it seems to have turned into a war, and now i think im against it.
| Still Against It ||Mar 29th. at 1:12:09 pm UTC|
|Bryony Ravenwillow (Independence, MO) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I'm still very much against the war in Iraq. I don't see it as an effort of liberation, but a war of conquest. I truly believe that there is an ulterior motive to all this, reasons behind the war that only Bush's cabal truly understands and believes in.
I find it incredibly ironic that we are taking Saddam out because he owns weapons of mass destruction---that WE sold to him in the first place to use against Iran. We gave him the technology, but now we blame him for having it in his possession. I find it bitterly funny when the newspeople express shock that the natives are actually fighting back, behaving as if we are invaders instead of liberators. I feel sorrow for every life lost because of our administration's arrogance. I feel helpless, sad and depressed because so many have fallen hook, line, and sinker for knee-jerk 'patriotic' jingoism. I am outraged that so many seem to have forgotten that Osama bin Laden is still out there, ecstatic about how well his war is going against us, that the process of rebuilding Afghanistan has been slowed down, that humanitarian efforts are being watered down because there is another country to 'liberate', that the needs of our own people are going unmet.
I believe that the ant-war protests should continue, but not as they are now. It shouldn't be limited to waving signs, chanting slogans, and blocking traffic through die-ins, though I believe such actions are necessary to keep our voices heard. That alone will not bring change, though. To bring change there should be a concerted effort among various groups, working together to effect a regime change of our own in 2004. I think that third-party members should seriously consider not voting Libertarian, Green, etc., and instead make sure that the best Democratic candidate is elected, one that will listen to the people and not to a cabal dedicated to bringing about the New World Order, one that will work with nations instead of going our way regardless of others opinion, one that truly uses war as a last resort.
If Bush is re-elected in 2004, I'm afraid that will be only the beginning of even more terrible things. I think we can kiss our civil liberties good-bye, that 'freedom' will become a mere word reminding us of how things used to be. What I'm really afraid of (and this may just be the paranoia talking) , is that if Bush is re-elected, there won't be a 2008 election.
I feel so many things, have so many opinions and fears and worries. It's hard to articulate it. What I've written so far is just scratching the surface, and isn't expressed particularly well, and maybe even contradictory or unrealistic. We live in fearful times, waiting, watching, holding our breaths, wanting to act and not sure how. May the Lady and Lord guide us, protect us and our troops, and help us in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
| Anti To Pro ||Mar 29th. at 3:31:24 pm UTC|
|BigGreenMonkey (Canada) ||Age: 14 - Email |
At first I went along with anti war. How could war be a good thing? Then I looked a little closer at the information I had. I became pro war. People have said that Bush has his own motives, ect. Well, of course he does. There's oil, an easy target, and the chance to say to his dad 'I fixed your mistake.' But the point is, compared to Saddam, he apears to be the better option. While I would have preferred the attack to have been lead by another country, only the US is standing up, and I'd take what I could get.
| Why Would It Change? ||Mar 29th. at 4:12:59 pm UTC|
|Serena (Wichita, KS) ||Age: 25 - Email |
My mind hasn't changed, but then again, I've probably been what you would call "on the fence" the whole time. I do not like the aspects of war everyone else has mentioned, innocents being harmed, troops being killed, etc... I don't like Mr. Bush's politics, nor his "don't mess with Texas/United States" attitude.
I DO remember what 9/11 felt like, and how I couldn't return to the school library until more than a year later. (I watched it all there as a volunteer that day.) I also know what it feels like to have a loved one over there. He is in the Navy on the Kittyhawk, and farther away from action than many families' loved ones, but he is still there, there are still mines in the water & I still worry.
So my stance has been confirmed. I protest the war, but I firmly, totally support our troops, who are there on orders, simple, and complicated as that is.
| I'll Never Change My Mind About The War ||Mar 29th. at 5:29:27 pm UTC|
|Melissa S. (Hamilton, On) ||Age: 16 - Email |
Iv always thought war was wrong because all it did and does is harm people. I know how people feel when attack on 09/11 happened because my birthday was two days before that. It hurt me to know that happened and that people would agree to throw the lifes of other away just to see the set of people responsible for this die. When Bush agreed to this war he sentenced many to death and I think that it was just... so wrong. I will never change my mind about war because war harms us and the planet.
| Mixed Emotions ||Mar 29th. at 5:41:54 pm UTC|
|James Shand (Orlando FL) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I am never "for" a war. I grew up listening to my father's stories of war. It is the most vicious side of humanity. I have seen it in my dreams, possibly through the eyes of a past life. It is brutal, impersonal and horrific. Yet, I love the nation I live in. Surely it is not perfect, but it often boggles my mind that people in America don't realize how good we have it. I'm not "America, right or wrong"... but considering the new threats we face in the 21st century, there will come times when we must act to preserve our way of life. There are questions of just how much of a direct threat Iraq is/was to the US, but at the same time, the though of an unstable madman like Saddam Hussien with weapons of mass destruction chills me to the bone. I think as the sole remaining superpower we have a duty to the world community, I'm not 100% convinced we always do the right thing, but at least we try, rather than debate pointlessly in the UN.
A diplomatic solution would have been nice, but it would never happen with a regime like Hussein's. In the long term, it will be the Iraqis that decide their fate...our coalition will give them the option. My biggest fear is that they will not remember our blood that was spilled for their shot at freedom. As for Saddam and his people, I am a firm believer in Karma.. and I hope they suffer greatly for the atrocities they are committing against their own people and ours. It will catch up to them... hopefully soon. I lost friends on 9/11 and I have friends and family in Iraq and Afghanistan.. I pray each day for their safety and I also prey that God and Godess will help them bring down the unjust.
One final note on the protesters. I am so pleased they have the right to protest, but I think at this hour waving the flag is more appropriate that a sign that might support our enemies. Many protesters are good people with strong views..others are professional hippies that live to scoff the establishment, the later group I have little to no use for and pity their ignorance and lack of moral decency. Young men and women are putting their lives on the line for what they believe in... our military is all volunteer. No one forced them. It is with them that out hopes, prayers and support should ride these days..and we can save the debate for after the conflict is over.
| No My Mind Hasnt Changed ||Mar 29th. at 7:11:24 pm UTC|
|cjofwolfcreek (North Dakota) ||Age: 41 - Email |
Without going into the various political/moral/ethical debates, no my mind hasn't changed. I'm one of those in uniform. War is nasty plain and simple and nobody in their right mind wants it if there is another option. The options are gone, thats reality. My hope is that this goes quickly and with the absolute minimum of deaths on all sides involved.
Should the protests stop? No, I wear this uniform so all are able to speak freely.
At war some liberties are curtailed, thats plain and simple. If they don't go back to normal after hostilities cease then I will have a problem with it. If the suspension of liberties leads to abuses, then those abusers must be tried and punished as war criminals.
What concerns me the most about Iraq? The suffering that has been going on for over 12 years, the suffering that goes on now and the suffering that will follow as it always does in every war.
| Our Freedom ||Mar 29th. at 8:48:06 pm UTC|
|CC (Maryland) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I'm sorry to say that I really don't think that this conflict (this isn't a war, check your constitution) has squat to do with our rights and freedoms as Americans. I'm former military, and am now married to an active duty member. Neither of us supports what's happening. We do however, support the men and women that are obligated to serve in our military. These people made a choice to defend our country, never suspecting that they would be used in quite this way.
I fully believe that if you talk to the average protest group, you'll find that it isn't our military they're protesting, it's how it's being used. Unlike the protests of the 60's, today's are directed at the policies of our current administration. Protest marches and sit ins are the only direct and immediate sign that we have to show our representatives how we feel. The wheels of democracy turn, they just turn slowly.
And for 'Big Brother', if he's listening, the supposed safe keeping of America and it's values, has managed to destroy the very things that made our country unique. Right now our freedoms are no different than those of a Serbian or a Balinese. Our mail can be read, our e-mail captured, our personal information and conversations used to controle and incarcerate us. That's not what I thought our Constitution, or our country, was about.
| I Was Ambivalent ||Mar 29th. at 10:22:19 pm UTC|
|Starlight (North Florida) ||Age: 48 - Email |
about the war when the possiblity was raised many months ago. No one who is sane wants a war. However, when I read an article (also some months ago) that said that America had, in effect, "created" Saddam some 20+ years ago, I began to think differently. If we had not given him the power and the ability to have weapons of mass destruction, how many innocent Iraqi people would be alive today? If we had not promised to help the Iraqi people overthrow Saddam 12 years ago, and then left him in power to kill those who rose up to get rid of him, how many would be alive today? I believe that America bears some karmic responsibility for the deaths he has caused. My personal belief is to follow the Rede. Harm none. Yet if we KNOW harm has been done and do nothing to stop it, are we not doing harm? These are difficult questions. I don't know if there is a "right" or "wrong" answer, or an answer that will "fix" things. However, what I do know is that Saddam has used WMD on his own people. He has killed women and children. He has at least allowed a group affiliated with Al-Quieda to operate in Iraq (that just came out the other day) . I say he, but it took more than him to do these things. It has taken a group of people in his regime with no respect for human life. I do believe that he and his regime have given support to the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, if they are not directly involved. I believe that if they are allowed to continue in power, with all of the money and resources at their disposal, that evil they have done in the past would continue.
If Hitler had been stopped in the 30's, how many of the 6, 000, 000 Jews that died would still be alive?
As to the question of protests...I believe that Americans have the right to peacefully protest, and to state their opinions. (I do think it would have been more effective to have contacted the Congress several months ago; Congress is the only body that can give, or rescind the power of the President to wage war.) . However I disagree with the way it is being done. Pre-9/11, if a group protested and it took a few police away from whatever they were doing, it was no big deal. However, now in the post-911 era, it may be a bigger deal. We now KNOW that we can be attacked inside our country. Suppose a 100, 000 person die-in is taking place in New York, L.A. or any of the other big cities. Now extra numbers of police are tied up in removing people from streets where they're blocking traffic. If terrorists take the opportunity to attack some other part of that town, and the police have extra numbers at the die-in, how many people may die for real in the extra time it takes them to get across town? Protest? Certainly, if you want to. But do it sensibly. Stage your die-ins in a park or at least in parking lots or other large public areas. NOT in the middle of streets and interfere with rescue activities.
Now, having stated that I support the right of Americans to protest, I have two more comments. First, I think it's useless now that the war has started. It will not stop the war. This isn't Vietnam where there was no real object. President Bush (whatever anyone thinks of him) , would look like a fool if he now said to Saddam's regime, "oh, excuse me, my mistake. We'll leave now". Then the deaths of our service people would truly be in vain.
The second comment is this. After Vietnam, the veterans who returned home were treated shamefully. They were, in effect, blamed for the actions of the politicians. (Yes, things happened there that were shameful, but the many should not have been blamed for the actions of the few) . When this ends, when the soldiers, sailors, etc return home, welcome them as the brave men and women that they are.
| I Agree Starlight ||Mar 30th. at 1:30:36 am UTC|
|Sarah (Massachusetts) ||Age: 14 - Email |
i completely agree with everything you're saying. It's sick how the world works sometimes and I'm disgusted that I have to live in such a place. One of my best friends, Laura, recently said to me something that made a lot of sense in a way. I've known Laura for 8 years and as long as I have known her she has been obsessed with animals. She told me that she would give a LOT to be an animal of some sort. She was saying how she though the word human was "ugly" and full of shame. I guess it's pretty sad when this is the way a 13 year old girl thinks. I can't help but agree with her. I mean look at us. Nuclear bombs? Guns? its sick. Perhaps the person who discovered these things had good reasoning or never meant the public to know about them, but look at us now. We shouldn't have to worry about things like school shootings, random murders, or war. We shouldn't have to fear for our lives. I'd much rather die of old age than being hit by a bomb, thank you very much.
My dad works in an elimentary school and he told me mom he was talking to one of the younger grades teachers. He said that second graders were talking about biological and nuclear weapons. As an 8th grader I find it pretty sad that I'm forced to know about these things. I'm mature enough though, I know whats going on because I am no longer a child. Yes, I'm 14 and I am still young but I'm at the point where I'm forced to grow up and act like an adult. These children are 7 and 8 years old. They're at the stage where they should still be playing with dolls and handing out batman or disney valentines on valentines day. These kids are being forced to grow so much older. It's sad when kids so young know about bombs and other weaponry. I have 3 younger cousins. John, who's 10, Jack who's 4, and Elena who's 2. I know John is pretty mature for his age but it still scares me how they all could be handling this.
Saddam should have been stopped years ago. It's so sad when you think of war because we ARE fighting for our freedom in a way. So many people are saying all we're doing is killing innocent people. Yes, in a way i agree. Don't get me wrong, I don't think killing citizens in our army, the Iraqi army, or innocent civilians is a good thing. By signing up for the army these people go against everything to save US, the American people. We don't give them enough credit. I am so beyond proud of the army for doing an absolutely amazing job. Think of it this way, we may be killing some people with this, but what would happen if Saddam did use a Nuclear bomb or something? Thousands and thousands could be killed and injured. Hopefully this war will pay back in the long run and save more than it kills.
Again, please don't get me wrong. I know killing is wrong and all that. I will remain peaceful through all of this but I can't speak for everyone. Maybe people in the army are killing but think of who they're saving. Some of them are sparing their own lives for the millions of us. As sad as it is I must give thanks to those brave men and women for doing this for us.
I don't know how much of this makes sense. Hopefully I made my point. Lets all just hope this war ends soon and successfully. You never know, maybe someday the world will be peaceful. The most we can do is believe
| Well It Wouldn't Matter What Opinion You Have.. ||Mar 30th. at 1:40:23 am UTC|
|Maleciah (Oregon) ||Age: 25 - Email |
Think about how many times you have said Saddam is bad or you hate him or anything derogatory toward the man. now for every time you said it. Imagine that one of your family died. the truth is that every person in this room and their families would be dead. The iraqi people can't fight Saddam for the same reason noone else has done anything about it.. it would be too messy. it is all too easy to be on the free side and express your opinion. but it is quite another to be under his thumb and try it. The truth of it is, none of us would survive over there with him there.
An arab friend of mine took me to a message board that has people from Iraq in there. not only are half of the messages in arabic (which I am still learning so it is challenging to read) , but also there is alot of anti american sentiment there as well. He asked me to come in and talk to them to give me more peoples perspective that have actually been there or are there. This is what I found and said:
I have been very discouraged by the sentiment in here. I am avidly against war, but I am also against tumors as well. Saddam is a tumor that SHOULD have been removed years ago. It would have been easier to get him out right after he took power, but he wasn't. So, do we want to leave him there to hurt others? or do we want to lance the boil and get Iraq started on the healing process? There is alot of anger over what he and the US have done but to blame it all on america just makes you sound like a guy talking about how the man brought him down. And that doesn't effectively get your point across.
The fact of the matter is that due to all of the oil that Iraq produces, NO major super power was going to just idly stand by, it was too easy and every country involved in the industrial revolution knew it, so they all pitched in. AND The US is not the only one who supplied Saddam with his arsenal. There were MANY countries that contributed to him just cause they couldn't stand to see Iran win the war back in the 80's. I am sure that all who contributed had superfluous reasoning beyond just oil. Saddam has hurt so many people that it is hard to overlook the pain, and along with that pain comes anger and resentment. Alot of which is what I am seeing in here. To tell others they have more guts than you is equally feutile and does nothing but to aggrivate the person on the recieving end of those words of resentment.
Agreed, the US has done alot of stuff that was a far cry from humane. But we are not talking about humanity in here are we? we are talking about anger and war, they go hand in hand. A deep-seeded anger, that leaves the heart lonely and cold. When I look at the middle east, I don't see a group of angry barbaric people wanting to look at any excuse to blame the US for the issues facing the middle east. Do you see all americans as something similar? If you do, then it truly shows that you don't know the people of the US, you know only the government. If you don't, then I don't understand why all the anti american sentiment? I have always thought that most of the arab world is a peace-loving culture, but you are hard pressed to find that in here right now.
I also know that alot of people in here do see a legitimate need to get rid of saddam, but other than war, no solution has presented itself. So, what does this mean? that he should stay in cause it would be too bloody to get him out? Leave the tumor in so it can grow more and infect more areas? That doesn't sound like a good idea either (and I think doctors would agree) . it is this moral dillema that facilitates alot of heated anger to rise to the surface on both sides. It is the anger that will not go away as long as Saddam is in power. As long as Iraq is enslaved to him, the suffering will never end, and the tumor inside that only those who have dealt with his regime feel, will never go away.
I don't want to see my friends on either side angry or saddend by the losses that are sure to occur in Baghdad. But it is either this or allow the tumor to grow. So, I pose this question. If saddam was not in Iraq anymore, would you be willing to go there to help rebuild Iraq's government? Would you be willing to look past the hate between all of the different factions inside Iraq and make a new start? Would you be able to look that anger in the face and say that you want a better future for your country? I would. but who am I... I am just an american. An american who wants to help and understand.. and I am only human, just like you. and that is the important part that is all to easy to forget in these situations.
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