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: 95 - 1/19/2003
How Do You Feel About War?
‘Yes I'm talking about this war dance/ A patriotic romance./And I know all you poets/Have seen it all before…’ – Colin Moulding, XTC
Colin: ‘The words were originally prompted by the Falklands War in 1982. But it was too much on one piece of history. Then along came the Persian Gulf War and I put the revised lyrics to a new piece of music. It was time to bring war out of the closet again.’
And again, it would seem. How do you, from your own spiritual perspective or tradition, view and/or cope with the ideals and realities of war and armed conflict?
Do your political leanings influence how you feel?
Do you have a difficult time explaining/defending/advocating your position to other Pagans or Heathens? Non-Pagans?
| Reponses: There are 153 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| My Thoughts ||Jan 20th. at 9:20:48 am EST|
|Mathair Cat (TN) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I grew up with a strong pride in being American. My father is a Vietnam Vet, my ex husband is a Gulf War Vet, my brother is a Gulf War Vet (all of which were devoted Methodist and Catholic). My current husband who is pagan-is a vet as well. Even though I have great pride in my country, I am not blind to it's "behind closed door" tactics & bully like behavior-like Jade commented on his/her posting. Not all Americans are deaf, blind and dumb with pride that they are gun ho for blood-there are times that we have been sent somewhere to help and save lives, even though I don't believe we should be the "police force" for the world. I for one didn't vote for Bush and don't agree with his actions now. All though his actions after 9-11 I felt was justified. However, a war with Iraq is just insane! It will lead to no world left for us all to enjoy-no matter our religion or race. Bush is the war monger and no matter if Iraq complies or doesn't there will be a war. I don't believe it has anything to do with oil--but more for the fact that Bush's father had an assassination attempt on him from Sadam. This is about revenge and hate, pride. What ever happened to "living better is the best revenge?"
I have five children--living next to an Army base they have all ready seen the outcome of war. Friends Dad's not coming home. I don't want them to have to grow up with it as a daily routine. As a woman, a mother, wife and friend who happens to be a proud Pagan American, I don't want this war. If I could--I would try to stop it before more blood soaks her body.
| I Don't Trust Dubbya But.... ||Jan 20th. at 9:43:08 am EST|
|Dragon's Blood (Amarillo, TX) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I'd like to point a few observations out..... You see, it's not about oil..... or really politics.... It's about being pushed around. I've noticed, in recent years, that these small Arab countries have decided they would like to take on the "Big Dog" on the block. It seems as though their mind set is that if they can take the on the US then no one can stop them. What they tend to forget is that this dog has teeth and we bite back. I believe they forgot due to the years of relative peace we had before the Gulf War.
Because we're a large country, and these countries who are litterally attacking us are rather small, we're looked at as bullies. You know what? Fine. I think we need to start looking out for #1 and those that don't like us for protecting them, their way of life, and the people they love so dearly can fin for themselves. That ain't gonna happen though, we care too much not to. War is not always a good thing, but when alternatives fail before they can be tried (personally, I'd like to see Dubbya and Saddam put on boxing gloves and fight it out. lol), it's very much a needed evil. I respect our millitary and our ally forces, in peace and war time. If I were able, I would be out there with ya'll fighting.
| Comments From A Vet ||Jan 20th. at 10:09:57 am EST|
|Pestillence (USA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
As a U.S. citizen, a former soldier and a pagan I have a few comments about those who have a descending opinion about this country and a few opinions of my own. I volunteered to defend this country not based on the fact that this country was perfect or always right but to protect those basic freedoms that make this country the place that most people on the face of this planet want to live. We have our problems as a country I will admit but name me a country on this planet that doesn't. You see for every problem you give me about this country I can give you two reasons it's better. I do believe that our president has gone way to far in the name of antiterrorism to the point of being vengeful and almost terroristic himself. Our president only has so much power though, he is not a dictator and in a couple sort years if we as a nation don't like the out come of his actions he is gone. I know it's not perfect but it's a better system than Cuba's don't you think. I will admit that when we as a nation start something we are like a bulldozer but it takes a lot to get us started because this fight with Afghanistan was fifteen years in the making. As far as our "back door" terrorism. Come on people are we that ignorant to think this is the only country on the face of the planet to do things like that I mean we have to keep up with the Jones's as it where. It's the only way to keep this place free and safe. If you don't like the way it works leave. If you are from another country please fix what is broken were you are before you tell us how to fix our problems. I did not sacrifice my body and bite my tongue on my belief because I wanted to torture myself but because in my own way I was fighting for the greater good of this country and in the belief that in the future I won't have to bite my tongue. That's the beauty of this country, one day you have no rights(nonwhites,women) and the next you do all because you wanted it to change.
| Global Consequences ||Jan 20th. at 10:41:21 am EST|
|Serenity (Pennsylvania) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Jade, I feel your anger as you type. I personally resent being pigeonholed and labeled the way you are attempting to do. Americans are not evil. Iraqis are not evil. Canadians are not evil. Terrorist acts have been committed. This is fact. But these acts were committed by governments. The common man had very little to say on the matter. How do we decide who is evil, then? Who cast the first stone? How far back do we go? People need to realize that we are a global community. And, as a global community, we have the responsibility to treat each other with tolerance and respect. Do we squabble with our neighbors? Yes, occasionally. Do we invade their homes and kill them? And, if we do, are we right to do so? And if we do, are their kin justified in seeking revenge? Where does it end? Stop the insanity. Stop the bloodshed.
We are one big family living in one big house. Let's all realize this before it is too late. How do I feel about war? My father is a Vietnam Veteran. My grandfather was a vet of WWII. My great-grandfather was a vet of WWI. My great-great-great grandfather fought in the Civil War. My grandfather died last year. He had Korsakoff's syndrome. It's a dementia brought on by chronic alcoholism. I consider him a casualty of WWII. My father suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder and has "jungle rot" on his feet that he still suffers from. He has had skin cancers, possibly brought on by his exposure to Agent Orange in the DMZ. He suffers from horrendous nightmares from things that he saw as a 19 year old kid. If you do not announce your presence as you are coming up behind my father, you are likely to get an elbow to the face. This is courtesy of the United States Marines Corps' programming to turn my dad into a killing machine. Unfortunately, they neglected to deprogram him. I thank them for the first part. It kept my dad alive during a "police action" where we had no business being in the first place. My friends have uncles who were not so lucky. You can find their names carved in granite on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. However, he is a victim of WWII as well. Due to the stress of the "war to end all wars", my grandfather became an alcoholic. He abused all seven of his children. My sister and I are victims of the "police action" known as the Vietnam War. We were horribly abused as children. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, for the most part due to the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father as a child. These are some of the less severe consequences of war. How do I feel about war? War hurts. War leaves physical, psychological and emotional scars not only on those fortunate enough to survive, but on their children, and on their children's children. War brings nothing but pain, grief, suffering and loss; loss of life, loss of potential, loss of innocence. I say once again. Stop the insanity. Give our children a chance. Give our grandchildren a chance.
| What IS It Good For? ||Jan 20th. at 11:10:35 am EST|
|amy wallen (southampton, england) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I feel the reason why people are so sceptical about war is because we are learning that when a government, no matter which one, tells us they are going to war, we have to ask questions. In the case of the currently planned war with Iraq, there appears to be no evidence to support the claim that war is necessary. In the case of recent wars – Afghanistan, Kosovo and the first Gulf War, for example – there is evidence to suggest that these wars were not necessary.
Simply because we can vote for our president, or prime minister, or whatever, does this mean we have to keep quiet when they do something we disagree with? I hope not, because one of the hallmarks of a democracy is free speech. To say those of us opposed to our governments’ policies should leave is like saying free speech is not allowed. To say that with regard to public opinion on the war in Britain is ridiculous, because the vast majority of people here oppose the war.
I am not from the US, and I accept that the British government has plenty of problems, but a war waged by the US affects the whole world and I really do hope as a citizen of the world that I have the right to speak out against it.
I join with many across the world in saying that I utterly oppose a war on Iraq and condemn both the Bush and Blair administrations for trying to impose this war upon us and upon the innocent Iraqi people who will no doubt suffer terribly should a war take place.
| Re: ||Jan 20th. at 11:38:20 am EST|
|Allison (USA) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I agree with Jade. And I think this whole "war on terrorism" was fabricated as a cover to give Bush an excuse to incite his daddy's (another worthless leader) "continuation war" with Iraq. how long has it been since Bin Laden made the news? many months. Bush just used Bin Laden as his bitch and a distraction for cover while he worked on creating ways to start trouble with Iraq.
Bush ALLOWED that 11 September thing to happen - he had been warned by the Egyptian president about it a month or so before it happened but CHOSE to ignore it because it was his hot ticket to confrontation with Iraq - his ulterior motive. He doesn't care. He gets on TV reading scripts but it is SO plain to see his insincerity shining through. Bush is greedy and arrogant - untrustworthy - he and his whole staff have heavy oil interests. Far as I am concerned Bush has the blood of 3000 people on his hands. I have no regard for him even as a human being after that.
No, this war is stupid, unfounded and UN-NECESSARY. I do not support it and my house is one where you will certainly NOT see a USA flag displayed. I am really disgusted with this government and ashamed to call myself American.
And after he claims Iraq's oil for his own then he'll commence to trashing our environment for the sake of his own greed. It's not IRAQ that needs a new regime, it's USA that does. I have faith that the UN will curb him - USA does not run the UN and Bush thinks it does and thinks he's above the whole world and can push around any country he pleases. I'd love to see the EU take USA down about 10 pegs and real hard.
I am not one of these flag-flying t-shirt wearing suckers who blindly goes along with Bush's plan for destruction and all this hail the USA crap. I see right through him and HE is USA's worst enemy.
What a joke - a nation this big with a leader who has an IQ lower than the average(middle)school kid. It wasn't my vote that put his sorry ass in office.
| Well... ||Jan 20th. at 12:02:52 pm EST|
|Dawn (Ocheyedan) ||Age: 20 - Email |
We are not the only county to be hit be terrorists. And it always seems that things get the most uproar by society when it happens to us. We should feel the same loss when it happens in other countries. No, matter what it will be painfully complicated to pick out the bad guys. No sense in blowing up a whole country to find some terrorists. Realistically, it will never end. We don't wanna make it worse by attacking. Because all that will do is prove the point that other countries believe we are so bad. I say leave them alone. If the leader of the country flat out engages in war. I say fight back. Thats just self defense. But we can't continue to bomb countries just to find a few groups of people. Hell they need to use their heads. Most of the terroist groups are not in other countries they are in the US! And I doubt very much we would blow up our own country! The problem with the US is we always get to be to cocky. We think no one can touch us. And if they do, well we blast them. Personally I think we would save a lot of problems if we would heed warnings when they come and for Goddesssakes pull our heads out of our asses! When we let people like that go through pilot programs, and we know that they only want to learn how to fly the plain and not land it or take it off, and we don't get supsicious! Something is wrong there. Very wrong! We ignored the obvious warning signals weather out of ignorance or just plain stupidity. But the result was a horrible one. Although that is no excuse for the people who did it. We may have been able to prevent it if someone had bothered to investegate these people who trained to be pilots right in our own country.
| Thoughts ||Jan 20th. at 12:38:30 pm EST|
|Marquise (USA) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I am proud to be an Pagan American, I am not proud of our President and his actions at this current time-on any issue--but this is the most important issue that I stand against. My family will not support a war with Iraq. However, I will fly the American flag over my door for those soliders who will leave their families and for those that have died or will die for this country. Because of the actions of one person-will not make me say that I am ashamed to be an American or turn my back on the men and women who provide us with freedom with their blood. Goddess Bless America and her military, may she see them safely through whatever mission they are assigned--wether we agree with it or not.
| I Think... ||Jan 20th. at 12:43:32 pm EST|
|Angie (Indiana) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Sometimes I think war is necessary. But not nearly as often as our political leaders apparently do. Such as our war against Hitler. To me, that was more than necessary. I wish we'd kicked his butt sooner and saved more lives, but I have disagreed with every war since then -- except the war on terrorism. I am not a pacifist (and please don't think that I am saying there is anything wrong with being one.There's NOT.) and I do believe that Usama Bin Laden deserves WHATEVER we chose to do to him, no matter what that might be, as well as anyone else who was directly involved in Sept. 11. However, I view the war on terrorism as completely seperate from the war on Iraq which I totally disagree with, just as I was vehemently opposed to Desert Storm. I believe that Sadaam does indeed have WOMD, but SO DOES EVERONE ELSE!!!!
We could go after him, sure. But to be fair and truly JUST we'd have to go after EVERYBODY (including ourselves). How prudent is that? Not very.
I also think that it is plain WRONG to bomb a country anymore. Our "intelligence" is SUPPOSED to be among the best in the world. So -- USE IT! Go in, get rid of Usama and his lackeys, and LEAVE THE INNOCENTS ALONE!!!! It wouldn't really be that hard, if that's what the leaders of this country chose to do, but they'd, for reasons I will NEVER understand, much rather have a full blown WAR. I am a libertarian, I guess, if I must put a label on myself. I want the liberals out of my pocketbook, and the conservatives out of my bedroom. I don't agree with most of this administration. In fact, they truly FRIGHTEN me. But, sadly, I'm not sure anyone else, of any particular party would be any better.
It would be a beautiful thing if we could all just love each other and live the way the youth of the 70's wanted us to. And I am so glad there are bright, shiny people who still believe this is possible, but I cannot be numbered among them. I don't think we can. There is too much fear of things that are different still in the world. And I think there always will be, but I love the dreamers. And I hope they can find a way to make their dream come true -- for all of us.
| The Vietnam Of Our Generation? ||Jan 20th. at 1:00:25 pm EST|
|Morgan Winterfrost (Nova Scotia, Canada) ||Age: 34 - Email |
My thoughts on this are many... and the more questions I try to answer, the more I seem to coemup with. It's not about oil? Really? Saddam has been the same SOB he was since the end of the last Gulf War. Why go after him now? If the US government thinks he's sheltering Bin Laden, then why not just accuse him of it and get it over with. Is it because of how the Iraqi citizens are starving as a result of his tyrany? That would be the pot calling the kettle black (look no further than the increasing number of homeless and social welfare recipients in North America).
One common theory among somepeople I know is that Bush needs the war to stimulate the flagging US economy.
My husband in a member of the Canadian military, and is proud to serve. Like we used to say... "you wear the green tuxedo, you dance where you're told". But this war is wrong. With so many people protesting, the US government should get the clue that the global community is not behind him.
| History ||Jan 20th. at 1:04:02 pm EST|
|MOrgan Winterfrost (nova scotia) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Angie... just a tidbit of history for you... the allies were kicking Hitler's a** before the US got involved in the war. It was only following Pearl Harbour , when the US was made to feel vulnerable, that they joined in the European theatre.
| Deep Breath, Now Let It Out. ||Jan 20th. at 2:53:38 pm EST|
|The Sweeper (OK) ||Age: 48 - Email |
I have a question. What makes peace possible or more simply put what makes people obey rule, regulations, and laws?
Okay make that two questions. What exactly is meant by the demands to “resolving the Iraq problem using diplomatic means”? “Diplomatic means” are in progress at this time and if and when they fail war is possible.
Adolph Hitler was appeased with diplomacy until diplomacy no longer served his purpose and the world had to turn and fight. Sometimes there is no choice; the bully of the block has to be faced.
Dear Jade (Canada); you may thank America for your right and ability to spout your insults and utter such inane nonsense. (As should most of the free world).
Dear Starlight Bunnybutt; The real Question is, do we have the courage to face our fears and, knowing the cost, turn and boldly face our enemies. Pacifistic philosophies looks good on paper, however, like almost thing learned in a classroom or from fiction, they take a bit of a beating in the real world. Turning the other cheek often results in just getting the other cheek slapped.
Dear Skeggi (New Zealand) the only power the UN has to protect you in your wonderful though small country is the power of America. No one is afraid of the UN, no one. Rule, regulations and laws are wonderful in print, but unless enforced, mean nothing. America is that enforcement; American money and lives are what make small countries like New Zealand possible.
Dear Allison (USA) Oh, never mind.
Dear Xius (Tampa, FL) you have restore my faith in youth.
Some one spoke of focusing our attention on education, health care, etc. Good things to work on, unfortunately, the implication seemed to be, put our head back in the sand and wait for another kick in the paints. Bad planning.
A few have spoken about propaganda, of oil, and of conspiracies. Looking at things at face value and considering the source of these wild ideas, I must conclude that politicians and the news media will say anything to get what they want. Politician comes in all shapes and sizes, from Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Green, Rainbow, the list goes on and the news media has lost its credibility years ago.
I fear war and hope it can be avoided, however, if history has taught us anything, it has taught us that violently aggressive countries generally do not go away on there own. Human monsters exist and they seek power. These monsters have no compunction what so ever against using any means possible to gain this power.
I struggle everyday to balance my Non-Violent nature with the sometimes-predatory world. My instinct is to pull back and separate myself, hide in my home and use my family as a buffer. Everyday, I challenge myself to step out into the world and face the force of humanity. It is rare that am I not rewarded by this effort.
The same is true about our country, there are bad things out there, and war is one of them, if we face the bad, we have the whole world, if we don’t our small part of it will just get smaller.
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