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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 24,403,799  

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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 

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.

One More Point Skeggi Mar 25th. at 3:57:40 pm EST

Rick (Wisconsin) Age: 31 - Email

in answer to your last question. 2 points.

#1, Bush isn't a murderous thug who gasses his own people, sends them to torture chambers, and allows his sons to rape and murder their way through life.

#2, You say that as if it could actually happen, fortunately, we are strong enough that no one could successfully invade us, we are strong enough that we have strength left over, enough to protect other nations like Germany, France, and yes, like New Zealand.

Rick Mar 25th. at 4:19:11 pm EST

Katun (Germany) Age: 36 - Email

in response to your last posting #2:

So the US have enough strength to protect my country, too - mmmmh...

But who would you protect us from? As far as I see it, I am surrounded by friends. You might argue, that some of them were once enemies. True, but that has changed. Not because of any war fought, but in spite of wars fought, in spite of mistrust and suspicion, by means of diplomacy and peaceful change which took a long way.

From terrorism, maybe? No army can protect you from terrorism. No military action whatsoever could have prevented 9-11. Terrorism grows out of frustration, envy, hatred. The only way to prevent terrorism is to bring more balance and justice into the world.

I know I sound unthankful - I'm not. I'm quite aware of all the good things America has done in the past century. But I'm afraid the Bush administration doesn't follow that tradition.

On The Uprising In Basra Mar 25th. at 4:21:32 pm EST

Night Wind (USA) Age: 2500 - Email

The uprising in Basra is indeed bad news for Saddam, but it is anything but good news for the Anglo-American forces. The people leading the uprising style themselves a "Committee for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq". They are Iranian-supported Shiites. You can bet they have all kinds of connections to groups like Hezbollah, and probably Al Qaeda.

The uprising leaves the city of Basra divided into three zones, the Anlgo-American Zone, on the outskirts, the Shiite Zone, though we don't know where or how large it is, and the Iraqi Zone, presumably in the cneter of the city. In the best case scenario, the Anglo-Americans can link up with the Shiites, and take part of the city more easily. Unfortunately, when they do, the Shiites will almost certainly take revenge of various kinds on the Sunni Iraqis, and this bloody vengance will appear live on CNN. More likely, is that the fighting in Basra will be confused, with pockets of Iraqis being defeated by the Shiites, others being taken by the Anglo-Americans, and still others continuing to hold out. Conditions inside Basra will grow desperate, in such a scenario, with a high death toll due to dehydration. The worst case scenario is that the Shiite revolt is contained by the Iraqis, and most of the city's population dies of thirst, while the Anglo-Americans take the city house by house, eventually "liberating" a town full of corpses.

The uprising underscores the kinds of problems which will become important after the war, during the occupation. Essentially, the Anglo-Americans are damned if they do and damned if they don't. They will have defeated the Iraqi miltary and taken the country, but will now have to deal with factions, each of which is allied to someone hostile to the West, and each of which makes impossible demands.

The Shiites will want to create an Iranian-style theocracy, and inflict bloody massacres on the Sunni population. If the Americans refuse them, they will feel betrayed, and will turn to terrorism. The Sunnis will want to restore their own rule, essentially a successor-regime to Saddam's Iraq. They will be the most "reasonable" from a Western point of view, but will be totally unacceptable to the other factions. If the Anglo-Americans even so much as try to limit thei power of the Sunnis, they will respond with Baath-inspired terrorism. The Kurds want complete autonomy, including the right to massacre Arabs in places like Mosul and Kirkuk. If the Anglo-Americans give them that autonomy, then northern Iraq may well be invaded by the Turkish army. If they refuse, then they face a guerrilla war in the North, with people who are very good at guerrilla war, and have Al Qaeda connections.

Any way you slice it, this war is going to give way to a long and horrid occupation. The United States will find itself unable to pacify the country, and unable to leave without either a hostile regime taking over, or the country disintigrating into bloody chaos. Meanwhile, the need to keep so many troops tied down in Iraq will leave the United States military dangerously weak for years to come. This will encourage adventurism by people like Kim Jong Il, and may lead to successes by Al Qaeda, which was losing the war on terrorism until March 19, 2003.

That day, which marked the American invasion of Iraq, was also the turning point in the War on Terror. That day, the terrorists started winning.

All Good Talking Points..But. Mar 25th. at 5:56:52 pm EST

Maleciah (Oregon) Age: 25 - Email

Katun, Let's not get ahead of ourselves. you are now surrounded in friends and that they were once enemies and that you have made changes to ensure friendship between allies. But to say it was not due to anywar fought is a disgrace to every person who died in the holocaust! every person who lost their lives in the last World War! shouldn't you be saying that "understanding" didn't come till after you REFLECTED BACK at ALL of the people who died to save Europe and the world from a HORRIBLE regime? You truly don't see it.. only cause they don't have a gun currently pointed at your head! You choose not to see it cause they haven't had much of a chance to build weapons for ages before they striked like the Nazi regime. You don't see it cause you are now surrounded by friends and don't pay attention to Iraq like you should simply because it aint in germany now and that makes it OK somehow. NO It was only AFTER those people died for a good cause in WW2. And unlike many I am not willing to wait and let Saddams regime get to Hitlers level before we take him out. No I will not allow that and if it means showing the UN to be impotent in the reason it was formed (to stop things like WW2 from happening again, before they get that bad) then so be it!

Night wind, You made some very good points.. it is going to be a long road but it needs to be done. And the factions have been talking too and the kurds in the north are going to be an active member of the new democracy there, as are the Shiites, they will all be represented in this new democracy. and they will have some hard times at first but they will get through it. I remember hearing similar arguements before we tackled Afghanistan.

The fact of the matter is that we do not yet have a eutopian society. far from it, but it is busting away the old shell of the earth and its people to new ways of thinking. and to strive for peace is fine but you also must accept that time doesn't move as quickly as you like to get it. and that governments make mistakes cause they are run by people. And that sometimes it is still necessary to fight to make sure that eutopia continues to come, just cause it aint on your soil doesn't make the fight any less valid. That there are many places in the world who have populations that are not free and do not have a voice like you and I. Until that day comes, that all of them (in the world, not just at your back door) are free to say what they feel without persecution then we will continue to fight the fight. And the rest can sit on the sidelines and watch and bicker all they want knowing what they did to help. They marched from one place to another and walked in front of speeding cars, walked in front of tractors, layed down in front of cars, and sang songs to proove their point. But met some cool people while doing it! And history will remember it too. They will realize that BOTH SIDES of the debate were equally important. But we also don't see that now.. we just see our own point.

Lossing Grasp... Mar 25th. at 6:01:26 pm EST

NX (Canada) Age: 21 - Email

This is one of those posts I would love to start with the line, "What I think everyone is trying to say..." But I cant, of course. In these troubled times it is difficult to sort out my own personal opinion, let alone try and piece together what the rest of the world is trying to say. Voices scream over one another the globe over, but not a one is heard.
So, I will speak for myself, but lightly touch on a few repeating trends I have seen from the pro-war folk. Not to say that I am anti-war, mind.

Bush wanted this war more then anything. More then *anything.* 9/11 was just a lucky coincidence for him. I would bet good money that after his initial shock wore off (which is to say about 30seconds after the first plane hit) he was dancing for joy. Well, maybe not literally, but surely figuratively. Since the day he came into power (note that I did not say "was elected") he could be seen rallying the banners, so to speak, for a war. Bombs were built and put into storage, the ammunitions plants suddenly lurched into full swing, various government agencies began to play watchdog over media coverage, negotiations and promises of "financial aid" were made with key 3rd world countries who bordered "enemy" nations. Don’t delude yourself into thinking he is a man of peace, or acting for the best interests of the nation. He can not even hold his own family together (no wonder his poor kids drink and smoke crack- I would too, if he were my dad) , how can you expect him to lead a country? The man is a walking textbook example of a monomaniac plagued with serious control issues and a bad inferiority complex. I would wager he was beaten regularly as a child and has a 2" penis. Oh, and wet the bed 'till he was... well, now.
But I digress.
Bush embodies the worst of America. He personifies every negative stereotype about Americans believed the world over. He has elected to live by the gun, and die by the gun- and has thus elected that dark path for America as well.
HIS war with Iraq is illegal. Of that there can be no doubt. But let's take a look at some points the American media often overlook...

1) The US accuses Saddam of holding weapons of Mass Destruction and refusing to disarm. UN weapons inspectors were sent in- were hampered by Saddam, true- but still were managing to do their job. Did anyone hear them rising complains about being impeded? Not too much. It was mostly America who constantly bemoaned the global community about Saddam’s treatment of the inspectors- listing unfounded "proof" to back up their claims.
2) The US accuses Saddam of being guilty of murdering thousands of his own people. Is this true? Yup, it sure is. He is a nasty little &@$^#. We have established that fact. So, why then did the US make proposals to attack Iraq instead of going to the World Court and having Saddam charged with Crimes Against Humanity, like they did for Malocivich? At no point was this made a clear. From day one, Bush's only goal was to attack Saddam. Every "proposal" the US drafted, every argument they made, it all centered on attacking Saddam as soon as possible.
3) The UN *is* a talk house. It rarely lifts a finger. But consider, if you will, what happens while counties spend months, even years talking to one another as opposed to tossing bombs about. People don't die! Oh my gods! They TALK as opposed to running out with their big gun and shooting each other. And if, during that time, the UN weapons inspectors are allowed to do their job without being constantly harassed by war-hungry countries... well, maybe they will actually be able to bring about peaceful resolutions. Which is the whole point of the UN, right?
4) The US went into the UN's talks like a kid with his hand already in the cookie jar, asking his mom at the last minute if he can have one. The kid already has a fistful of the yummy lil’cookies, no matter what mom says he is still going to take them. So why does he ask? Simple: if mom says "okay" then he can stuff them in his face with a smug little grin. But the problem, of course, is that in this case mom said "not yet..." and the kid took’em anyway.
5) The US accuses Saddam of neglecting his people and squandering their resources. But right now, today, this very minute, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who can not afford basic health care. But right now, today, this very minute, America has billions- if not trillions- of dollars to spend on bombs, tanks and artillery for fighting a fictitious (don’t you just love that word?) war.
6) The US condemns Saddam for funding Terrorism (paying the families of Palestinian suicide-bombers, funding military training for Palestinian fighters, arming the Palestinians, etc) , BUT the US gives Israel over $5000, 000 dollars annually for the same thing (well, minus the suicide-bombers... so far) . The US condemns Saddam for possessing weapons of mass destruction, and for having the *potential* to give a weapon to their enemies. BUT the US gave Israel a Nuclear Bomb. The US gives Israel its Tanks, Firearms and most of its Ammunition. So... in my book Saddam and the US are equally guilty of funding terrorism. Wouldn’t you agree? And this, of course, is just one example of America’s general attitude towards the rest of the world; "Shut up and take it, *@&#%, I have the bigger gun." On a totally unrelated topic, what are the statistics of people who accidentally kill themselves with their own firearm? I seem to have misplaced it...
7) It has been said that "Bush isn't a murderous thug who gasses his own people... blah blah blah." No, of course not. The only difference between him and Saddam is that Bush doesn’t piss in his own pool, so to speak. He sends his soldiers to other countries to commit atrocities under the name of "self defense" for him. The point I try to make is this: Before, "self defense" generally meant "when I’m being attacked I have a right to defend myself." "Terrorism" meant "I did nothing to this person but he just started attacking me." Bush, however, says "self defense" is "If I think someone *might* grow to have the *possibility* to attack me in the future, I should destroy him now." Do you see where he crossed the line there? I hope so. The vast majority of the world does.

I could go on, but there is really no point. Bush took the cookies too soon, and for that the world is pissed. He has set an extremely dangerous trend for the nations to follow: "If I *think* you will pose a problem to me in the future, I have the *right* to destroy you now." Wonderful. Truly, truly great. What kind of world will we live in now, do you think? Before, at least countries would come to the UN table to talk before killing one another. How many do you think will even bother anymore, knowing that they can just flip the UN off and do what ever-the-hell-they-want-anyway? And let's not forget that this trend is like a tide: right now it is flowing in America’s favor, but sooner or latter that tide is going to turn... HARD. And will the world weep for Bush? Nope. He wanted war? He wanted to change the rules? Well baby, He got it. Sadly, however, so did the rest of America. And the World.
Consider, if you will, all the countries Bush has already listed as future Targets: North Korea, Iran, Libya, Syria... and the list goes on and on. Now, what happens when all these countries say "Wait a minute. The US has said point blank that it plans to attack us. Better pull a Bush and get them first!"
Welcome to Armageddon.

I agree that Saddam had to be taken out, that goes without saying. No one can deny that. But the manner in which the US has pissed on the UN, destroyed the fragile sense of balance the world enjoyed, and turned the rules of engagement on their head... that is inexcusable. Bush and any who support his criminal actions should die of shame and come back as dung beetles. Our world was an uncertain place before he came to power, it was an uncertain place before 9/11, and it was an uncertain place before Afghanistan. But now... now that we live in a world where the United Nations has been bitch-slapped so publicly, and had its power undermined so completely- we have toppled from the edge of uncertainty and just begun our long decent into the void of Chaos.
Maybe I should thank Mr.Bush.
Its not every lifetime one gets to witness the beginning of the end.

In Blessings and Light (as they were) ,

PS: I love Americans; I have friends and family from American. I fear the current American Government.
PPS: For those of you who think you will be smart and sound off about how America protects Canada, etc etc etc. Please don’t bother. My country has never been attacked by terrorists. My countries Embassies are not bombed on a regular basis. I can walk into any nation (third-world or other) proudly waving my countries flag, and –not- worry about being beaten to death in the streets. So please, don’t bother. Canada is nothing to the US but a natural-resource deposit; that, and only that, is the reason the US would ever defend us.

You All Have Very Good Points... Mar 25th. at 6:05:21 pm EST

Sarah (Massachusetts) Age: 14 - Email

As a 14 year old girl from a small town in Massachusetts it's understandable that not all of you will agree with the points I say. But think of it this way, listen to a mere child's point of view of all this. The only other war I've ever been through was when I was two. Two year olds do what they want to do, war doesn't effect them as much as it does to people who understand what's going on. For this reason right now I wish I were an infant again.

Truthfully I'm scared to death. Knowing people in my own family and people who's ages aren't far from mine could be out in Iraq right now being shot, bombed, or tortured. I know Saddam is an evil man. This has been made clear through school, parents, and the news. Part of me wants to agree with this war because I know hes torturing and hurting his own people. NO ONE should be hated like that. Saddam should be caught now so we can attempt to rid this world of the evil it holds.

There's another part of me that completely disagrees with the war. A classmate of mine mad a good point today: If Saddam and the Iraqi government does have these nuclear and biological weapons, why are we sending our troops out there where they can be exicuted? It makes absolutely no sense to me why we are killing perhaps hundreds of lives to capture one man. Let's hope this nonsense will end fast. Of course i want to find Saddam, I don't want someone in the world capable of killing these innocent people.

This war is perhaps one of the scariest times in my life. I don't want to live in fear for my life when I'm barely 14.

I don't think protestors should stop doing what they do. They're stating how they feel and having the corrage to be able to do that shows great things about people. As such a young person it amazes me as even my classmates do things as small as drawing peace signs on the blackboard with slogans like "Give peace a chance" and "War is only putting more evil into this world." After a class-long discussion my English teacher said never before has she seen a group of teenagers act so mature.

What I'm getting at is I don't think ANYONE can agree or disagree with what's going on. there are both positive and negetive points. I don't know if what I said means anything to any of you but hopefully now you can see the war in a childs eye. Never before have I litterally been afraid to watch the news. I'd rather not hear about the war, I think hate of all kind should just end.


Sarah!! *claps* From The Mouths Of The Next Generation. Mar 25th. at 6:25:29 pm EST

Maleciah (Oregon) Age: 25 - Email

Sarah, I am so proud of you to stand up for what you think and make such well put points! It is very hard to comprehend what is going on and even on a massive scale such as this. But There is positive and negative sides to this. That is why we try to talk them through. When you wrote that post and you sent it. did it not fill you with joy to know that it would be read by others? that is the way alot of us feel. And we want our voices to be heard so loud sometimes that we scream over others. But all of us are capable of listening while speaking and to hear your view was refreshing.


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