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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.
|| Reverse Sort
| Haven't Changed My Mind ||Mar 25th. at 1:28:13 pm EST|
|rifek (Washington) ||Age: 42 - Email |
I've never been opposed to the possibility of war with Iraq (Opposing statistical probabilities is futile. You can be for or against the occurrence but not the probability.) I'm also not opposed to a regime-change war, as I consider Saddam a jerk who needs run out of office (I feel the same about Bush, but that's a different topic.) . Nevertheless, I am opposed to this war.
First, the US has no authority to unilaterally enforce UN resolutions. Those resolutions were expressly addressing the invasion of Kuwait (no longer relevant) and authorized force only that far. There was then a formal cease-fire, and the Security Council retained jurisdiction, meaning further actions have to be approved by the Security Council. There has been no such approval. As about every, independent, international legal scholar (even those at The Vatican) has concluded, enforcement of the UN resolutions without Security Council approval is illegal.
Second, the US would still have the right to act unilaterally if Iraq had attacked or were obviously about to attack us. There has been no such showing. There is no evidence Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, and bin Laden considers Saddam an infidel who must be destroyed. His supposedly long-range missiles all tested out to be short range (a fact brought home by their current performance, where on a good day they can reach Kuwait) . His weapons of mass destruction are still missing in inaction, even though his regime is backed against a wall and one would expect him to be using them now (The weekend report that US troops had captured a "huge" chemical weapons plant has now completely disappeared from all the news services, apparently a fairy tale.) . The detailed intelligence report Powell waved before the UN was a bad grad student paper relying on decade-old data. Drawing from my days as a prosecutor, the US case has consisted of the prosecutor's opening argument ("I have lot's of evidence that the defendant is guilty.") and then no trial, with the jury having to decide based on only the argument and no evidence. In spite of the best efforts of John Ashcroft and a couple of Supreme Court justices, that's not how things work.
Finally, we're not being smart. Once again we march off to war without an exit strategy. "Liberate Iraq" is a slogan, not a strategy. What are we going to do, and what will it take? We succeeded in Germany and Japan, but it took years, billions of dollars, and occupation armies (We didn't finally put down the Nazi Werewolf guerrillas in Germany until 1948.) . With the Soviet threat, we were willing to do it. Without such a threat, countries we've "liberated" have quickly disappeared from our consciousness and been allowed to decay until they blow up sufficiently that we wake up and launch "Whack the Tin-Pot Dictator Part II." For every German success, the US has left at least a dozen failures around the world (Look at Afghanistan, the Philippines, and about every country in Latin America and Africa.) . Without a plan, and the motivation to see it through, we're just setting another time bomb.
The war is illegal and has no political objective sufficiently defined as to be workable. Therefore I remain against it.
| My Mind Has Not Changed ||Mar 25th. at 1:48:50 pm EST|
|Avian (BC, Canada) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I still think that this war is just Bush's first step in trying to take over the world. I do want to say though, that I find it sad and digusting that so many Americans are attacking anyone who disagrees with their own veiws.
It seems that I see it everywhere I look. On the news, on the street, and even here - this place is supposed to be a haven (or it was for me anyway) , where you could go and know that we were a community of like minded Pagans. We all have had similar pasts, and we all have similar beliefs, but now politics have ruined that. It is now the US against everyone else. You don't have to be defensive when someone comes on and expresses their anger over what your government is doing - most of the world knows that it isn't the people, it is the Shrub.
I can't say that I support your troops in what they are doing. I have nothing against the men and women who are giving their lives, they think that they are making a noble sacrifice. The fact that they are the invading force shouldn't change the fact that they are good people - I, by no means, want to see a repeat of what happened to the troops when they returned from Vietnam. That said, I think that the sooner Bush is impeached the sooner your soldiers can come home, and the sooner the US can start to rebuild some of the bridges that are burning all over the world.
Remember that we all have to live here people - Our Mother is crying out in pain and saddness now - we should be more evolved than this by now.
| Who Are You??? ||Mar 25th. at 1:55:11 pm EST|
|Katun (Germany) ||Age: 36 - Email |
No, I have not changed my mind about the war on Iraq, but what happened in the last months has fundamentally changed my view about the US.
Up to then I was always convinced that we - Americans and Europeans - had a lot in common. We share a similar cultural background, read the same books, watch the same movies, laugh about the same stupid jokes and there is no big difference in our values, in what we think is right or wrong - or so it seemed.
Now it looks to me as if we lived on different planets. I don't understand how you can completely ignore the voices of the vast majority of humankind. I don't understand this eagerness to rush to war. I absolutely don't understand why you should feel threatened by a third world country thousands of miles away, unless there is proof (not propaganda, not rumour) that they have links with terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. I don't understand all this fuss about Saddam Hussein being a dictator: of course he is! Cruel, reckless, anything - but the US have never had any difficulty with any dictator in the last decades, as long as they where pro America. I don't understand how you can fall for all these lies and this pseudo argumentation. This is not about democracy - wake up! I don't understand, why you call us Europeans anti-American. Most of us love America. We have friends amongst you, we love your great landscapes, travel to see your amazing cities and we don't suddenly rename our "pommes frites" or boykott American products (I wonder: is it still "french kissing" or has it become "freedom kissing"?) .
We are Pagans, right? What unites us is our deep respect for life itself - or that's what I always thought. I'm no pacifist, I think every individual and every nation have the right to defend themselves - if they are being attacked. Whatever links your government may construct: I have not seen Iraq drop a single bomb on any American city. There was no reason to rush to war. Maybe that's one of the big differences between the US and Europe: Every European child has grown up with first hand stories of what war is like. Of nights spend in cellars, while the sirens screamed, of women being raped, of children being mutilated, of cruelty beyond imagination. You should see our elder generation joining the peace rallies at the moment: I have never seen so many old people crying as the memory of WW2 comes back to them.
For life's sake - think again! The misery of families whose houses are destroyed, who are left without drinkable water, who travel hundreds of miles through desert, despair and uncertainty just to get away from the bombs, for the lives of your own soldiers, their families, their children - think again, change your minds!
| I Don't Care What The UN Says Is Illegal. ||Mar 25th. at 1:57:55 pm EST|
|Maleciah (Oregon) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I don't care if his weapons can reach US soil. I don't care if it is proven that he doesn't have WMD anymore. He needs taken out. The reasons presented to the UN were only one part of the attrocities he has done. Cause it was the only thing close enough that the UN would approach him about. I don't care if he was responsible for September 11th or not. He was a prime target cause other terror organizations relied on the fact that saddam protected them from us and would not let us in to inspect.. Saddam has never complied with the UN's requests. He has enough money to make solomon blush. He aides families of suicide bombers for their loss trying to make their cause just in the eyes of the starving. I just don't care.. he is a rabid animal that needs to be put down. That really is the main thing that everyone agrees on. and to say you you do see that he is a horrible man and that he kills his own people but are not willing to help them fight back means you are turning your back on the Iraqi people. Something they will make clear to France and germany when they have an actual say in their own contry. Just like Germany has now. And as far as bush. I have to give him credit for one thing.. At least he is willing to take all your heated hate for him and still be willing to be the one who takes all this blame for this. He will take the blame and we can vote someone else in. so for that I am *shudders* glad he is president for right now. but I don't want him to be in for a second term. but at least he is fixing a problem that needs to be fixed. we can't have people from all countries who want the american way of life on this soil. so we need to give others the tools they need to have their version that THEY CHOOSE. so that they can make their dream in their homeland and not have to worry about oppression (which still exsists in the world contrary to what some seem to think) and those people will not peacefully comply. Talk is cheap. actions speak volumes.
| Just What I Thought ||Mar 25th. at 2:09:49 pm EST|
|Anjie (North Dakota) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I have to say, the main thing that most immediately annoys me about this war is that some people seem to think this has anything to do with getting revenge for September 11th. IT DOESN'T! There is no evidence that Sadam Heusein had anything to do with those attacks. Ok, now that i've gotten that off my chest, i'll move on to the views that are less... annoying and more disturbing.
What disturbs me most about the war is that myself and a friend of mine (and from what i've heard, many others) saw it comming, in a sence. That isn't to say that we saw the battle plans and knew the face of the enemy, at least, I didn't. What we felt was that the world is getting tired. The Earth is tired of the way things have been going, and it's getting ready to make major changes.
My friend and I believe that a majority of the countries as we know them will no longer... exist... not in the physical sence, but in the political. At the very least, the major countries, the USA in particular, will be rendered nearly impotent. We feel that this war is the first step on a long road to the ends we've seen/felt. We've likened it to the end of the world, only it's not realy ending, it's just being re-organized, cleaned up, and straightened out. As if the Earth has a major spring cleaning every couple of thousands of years, and that year is comming up fast.
I've made a very few anonymous suggestions about what i've seen on public posting boards on my campus, and they have not been well met at all. I've been called many names that don't deserve to be repeated in the responces to my small hints. If whomever is reading this feels the need to contact me, weather to insult me or to discuss with me or what have you, feel free to e-mail me.
Finally, I must say that I do NOT feel safer because of this war. I most definately feel less safe, more exposed, than ever before. Lord and Lady protect us all.
| Still The Same... ||Mar 25th. at 2:32:06 pm EST|
|jade (canada) ||Age: 16 - Email |
i am opposed to war, and i always have been. there are too may casualties in war, too many innocent lives are taken. war should not be an option! i think that the u.s. government is making a grave mistake! but hey, that's just me, and all the other people who are protesting this war!
| I Feel The Call From The Earth Too.. ||Mar 25th. at 2:34:15 pm EST|
|Maleciah (Oregon) ||Age: 25 - Email |
Avian, Americans are not the only ones throwing stones in this. Yes, witchvox is a place for like minded pagans to gather and share views but you must accept before entering this debate is that this invokes serious emotion in alot of people on both sides and that we all have not had similar pasts, nor do we hav similar beliefs persay due to the fact that the term pagan can not be pegged to one specific tenet of belief. Politics have not ruined the integrity of this site in any way. I think it is helping us all get to opine on what we feel. It is not the US against everyone else as we are not the only ones undertaking this. I can understand frustration when it comes to the bush administration. I am not a fan of the Patriot act (or the second that may be coming) or the faith based initiative that he has put down (nor all the other things that he may have in the works) . But in a heated conversation such as this one, it is all to easy to replace "your country" with "you" and that is where the defense mechanisms kick in. It is sad but it is true
Anjie, I am truly sorry for your opinion not being welcomed at some places but here IT IS! (can't speak for anyone but me mind you) I do agree with you on the fact that the earth is getting tired and that a "spring cleaning" as you said is upon us. I look at this war as cleaning under the fridge so there is less to do later in restructuring. But I don't think that the US is going to be rendered impotent due to this war.. Russia's entire government was ripped apart and remade again and they are still considered a global super-power as they should be. They are not impotent. they changed. and isn't that what we as pagans like to embrace? change?
| Rick. ||Mar 25th. at 2:45:28 pm EST|
|Skeggi (NZ) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Sorry mate it wasnt clear but those were quotes from Malechai, i forgot the quote makes, sorry. There is no evidence that Japan would have invaded Nz as the Japanese high command refuse to invade Australia due to a lack of troops and frankly without the American oil embargo on Japan it would have been content to continue its bloody war in China.
I have never said I didnt want freedom for the Iraqi people but what right do you have to play Santa? The UN is the correct body for this not the US, you are not the all powerful, all knowing good guys youd have us believe.
There are plenty of places in the world that require freedom, dont see ya there.
Stick to the point, the US and British soliders are involved in an illegal war.
By the way if your country was invaded because the world wished to rid themselves of Bush, what tactics would your countrymen employ to defend their country? Would it be a legal war? Would any American civilian causalties be acceptable? Would your country use WOMD?
Think about it yourself and stop thinking the US is the centre of the universe.
| Six Of One, Half A Dozen Of Another ||Mar 25th. at 2:55:47 pm EST|
|Persephone Phoenix (Indiana) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I think it is a case of six of one, half a dozen of another or to use another cliche, we are stuck between a rock and a hard space. Do we go to war risking thousands be killed or do we use other tactics and hope Saddam doesn't use weapons of mass destruction and risk thousands being killed that way? I am undecided. I don't support war, never have, never will. However, I don't support letting a madman stay loose with weapons of mass destruction either. As for the protests, this is America and everyone has the right to have their say in a peaceful manner. To act violent and destructive when protesting a war is complete and utter hypocracy. I am not more secure, I am even more frightened that terrorists will attack us. Maybe not now, maybe not even soon. But what we are doing will not be forgotten. Our actions today will affect how these countries view us for years, possibly decades to come. I don't think our leaders take that into consideration. They want the problem solved and they want it solved yesterday. I fear that my children's children will still be at odds with these countries. My biggest concern is for the innocent civilians of Irag. Those that are killed and those that have to live with the aftermath of this war. We are destroying their country yet at the same time promise to help them rebuild it when the war is over. Is it just me or is that completely sick and derranged? We are sowing our karma as a country. Will we be reaping awards or owing debts? Only time will tell.
| Not One Bit ||Mar 25th. at 3:02:36 pm EST|
|Talma StormPhoenix (Pittsburgh, PA) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I started off believing that the war was something our country shouldn't start and now it's become an even stronger feeling. I believe that things are going to get even uglier the closer our troops get to Baghdad and I truly feel like it's going to be another Vietnam. I don't want it to be, but that's the vibe I get. I have an uncle who went through that and everyone says that when he came back he was a different person, for the worse. At present I have a cousin who is there as a Gunney Sergeant. Another cousin, my ex and my nephew are all on their way in the next couple weeks. I don't want them coming back with the same changed personalities my uncle came back with just because there are those who want to make sure they have their pockets filled.
| No Change Here ||Mar 25th. at 3:42:16 pm EST|
|Violet (Boston, MA) ||Age: 32 - Email - Web|
I have not been on the same page as our current governmental administration since election time. But I am torn and confused by what has happened so quickly and how our precious citizens have ended up back in the Middle East fighting a battle that is unclear in motive. Certainly now that we are in the midst of war I do not want to forget the people giving their lives to defend our nation however I still feel that it is a war without true purpose other than money. To defend your way of life on your own soil is an unfortunate necessity since our human race has not advanced enough to live harmoniously however I also feel that leaders in a government bring certain trouble on themselves for whatever self-serving reasons they may have. Certainly I do not think an evil dictatorship should be allowed but to destroy a leader at the expense of his people is simply unwise and it's arrogant for the US to think it could impose a philosophy of Democracy when cleary our country has not learned it's true meaning. We are Capitalist - not Democratic.
Whatever the reasons I can only say the leaders involved in this insanity must be young souls who have much to learn and I hope they learn the valuable lessons in this life to move on to a peaceful more compassionate existence.
| Skeggi ||Mar 25th. at 3:53:56 pm EST|
|Rick (Wisconsin) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Skeggi, first off, the Japanese would of invaded NZ and Australia because they were there, and they stand astride easy access to central and south America. And I don't believe you are actually taking the view that... well, maybe I do believe it, but taking the appeasement view of WW2. You are essentially saying, look what you made the Japanese do, with your evil imperialist oil embargo. You are right of course, we should of let the Axis run riot in the world, after all, the UN or the League of Nations didn't say it was ok to fight them did it?
And as for illegality of our war, the UN has no veto on matters of national security, nor does the UN have a good record in doing the right thing, it has a good record of sitting on the sideline and saying "tut, tut, tut", in a small voice, when evil occurs. Cases in point? Rwanda, Yugoslavia, (till the US stepped in) , Chechnya, Indonesia, Tibet, the Iraqi chemical weapon attack on the Kurds... The list goes on. But you and like minded people can sit in your safe western countries, protected by your rights, and bleat like sheep about "aggressive imperialist USA." You can turn a blind eye on oppression, and torture, and murder. You can do that because you are free. The Iraqi people aren't free. The North Korean people aren't free. The Communist Chinese people aren't free. The Iranian people aren't free.
If this is such an illegal war, if we are so evil in invading Iraq, why are the people in Iraq cheering us when we liberate their towns? Why is there a popular uprising in Basra right now? An uprising against Saddam?
If we are the bad guys, why are the Iraqi's the ones executing prisoners? Why are the Iraqi's the ones posing as civilians to shoot our soldiers in the back? Why are the Iraqi's the ones using human shields to attack from behind? Why are the Iraqi's the ones positioning tanks and artillery inside or next to schools, hospitals andn mosques? If we were the bad guys, why would the Iraqi's think that those actions would protect them from our weapons? Why would they think that we wouldn't target such areas? And why are those Iraqi's who you were fighting "well" endangering their own civilians by such tactics?
Skeggi, can you really believe the things you say? If so, then I won't bother responding to you any more, because we are operating from entirely different moral and belief systems.
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