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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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Responses: [2,666]

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 25,811,545  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 258

Lurker/Post Ratio: 127 to 1

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 

Saddam Is An Ass Mar 25th. at 7:34:30 pm EST

lilly (England) Age: 27 - Email

I don't pretend to know alot about world politics, and was completley against this war at first. It's horrible to think of the sufering of the people of Iraq, and I have friends in the army who are fighting over there as I wright this, and I'm worried sick about them. I'm not pro war, But surly the world would be a better place with out people like saddam in it. I'm not mad keen on old Bush, but I think calling him Hitler is a bit much!

Note To Protesters (particularly To Those In Portland, OR) Mar 25th. at 7:38:09 pm EST

Amber Heathen (Cornelius Oregon) Age: 22 - Email

We get the point already, you don't like the war. Hell, neither do I, but at least *I* have a job (which I was half an hour late to this morning, thanks to the idiot protesters downtown!) Protest in the park, stay the heck off the streets, do not block traffic, do not block public transportation. It's called a life--GET ONE. Just because some of you don't have anything more constructive to do doesn't mean others don't. Getting in the way of people who have a living to earn, bills/taxes to pay, and things to do doesn't do anything for your "message". It just pisses people off. Oh, and those mean old police officers that put the "beat down" on the poor little "peaceful" protesters are being paid by your tax dollars. Betcha they're making a hella lot of overtime pay because of YOU. Doesn't that put a smile on your face?

I've posted a message similar to this on a local forum I go to, but I decided to post it here in hopes that some of the witchy types who were at the a.m protest would see this. (I know there were some there, I saw some witchy type signs being held by people who marched past my stranded bus) . YOU made me late for work. Thanks a lot jerk, hope it was worth it. Seriously, do ya'll think Vera Katz (Portlands mayor, for those who don't know) is going to make a quick phone-call to Dubya and tell him to end the war, and that will be that? Give it a frickin' rest. Go home and watch tv, or *gasp* go job-hunting or something. Good Gods...

Oh And As Far As Who Will Pay For It? Mar 25th. at 7:42:32 pm EST

Maleciah (Oregon) Age: 25 - Email

This has already been disseminated to the press so I can say it. There is a reason that Saddams bank accounts are being frozen and seized. By all rights that is the Iraqi peoples money, it is about time that they benefitted from it. wouldn't you agree? :-)

Malechiah, Another American Jingoist Mar 25th. at 8:12:04 pm EST

Todd (Ontario, Canada) Age: 27 - Email

Well, Malechiah. My point was to give perspective on the issue to you Americans. It is no small coincidence that the vast majority of people who support the war are Americans. If the war was easily justifiable than people of other countries would weigh objective evidence from their own media sources, etc and support it. They do not. Even in Britian, your "ally" the anti war sentiment is at 76 percent AND the government their does NOT support regime change, only disarmament. Only in the US do 75 percent or so of the population support the war. Is there a reason for that? Yes there is, Americans believe the rhetoric of their government for the most part and adopt the view of the goverment quickly and without considering dissenting views. Not so in Britian. In the UK the government went to war but the people QUESTION IT! They listen to disenting views, weigh them objectively and form opinions. Therefore you have 76 percent against the war in the UK.

The other aspect of perspective I was trying to give was that of WMD and scale. The UNITED STATES is responsible for the largest loss of human life with a WMD in the history of humanity. Speak to this Malechiah, please. Try to defend that. Those Nuclear weapons were used on civilians urban centres and killed hundreds of thousands, and irradiated many, many more. Those women, children, etc. died by vaporization and horrible lingering deaths from radiation poisoning that tooks weeks, even months after the fact. Yes it was in response to the attack on Pearl Harbour, but Pearl Harbour was a decidedly MILITARY target. Put your own countries acts in perspective. If there was a UN during that period the USA would have been chastised harshly for that despicable act using WMD. If there was a CNN, try as they might it would be difficult even for them to spin that one around.

You know what, I am fairly certain that no American poster will agree with me when I talk about perspective and the USA's part in the history of world agression and WMD use. I know this because Americans, for the most part, (Michael Moore aside heh) are jingoistic and incapable of looking at their own countries policies objectively in a historical perspective. American is always 'America the Good' and America can simply do no wrong. It is no surprise to me that America fought Iraq. America will fight anyone, because they love to fight. Their country was founded in war and bloodshed and that is their preferred method of dealing with most problems. The USA loves to make up their own rules as they go along. Saying Iraq is a threat but the situation in North Korea, the one that actually involves nuclear weapons, is somehow different. North Korea is not the immanent threat, Iraq is! Surrounded and helpless Iraq more threatening than the technologically advanced nuclear nation of North Korea? A country with a history of agression against the US and backed by the communist state of China and others? GIMME A FREAKIN' BREAK!

I simply think, and it's not only one persons opinion mind you it's most of the world's too, that you Americans need to get some perspective and question your administration just like we Canadians and the British do. The war isn't popular in these countries because we question the evidence and the info given by your government. Here in Canada we watch the same media sources like CNN etc.

Another question I have is this: Here in Canada we have a modern industrialized nation with more people having access to the internet per capita than even the US. Our post secondary education rate is higher than the US. In short we have a good standard of living. Countries like Iceland, Sweden, Norway, etc are similar. The question is this then "If we and these countries can do it and have no enemies and no fear of terrorism on Earth why does the USA have such a hard time doing the same??"

Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, etc. just to name a few can have the highest standards of living on Earth and yet we have no enemies and no recorded acts of international terrorism on our respectives soils.

Don't say it's because the US protects us. They don't protect even themselves against terrorism.

So why do we not have the same problem as the US?

If you look objectively and try to get a little perspective on the matter it will become clear.

Just stay out of other peoples business! Stop trying to exploit other countries natural resources in the name of "American self interest" that's someone elses stuff not yours right??
Get your military out of areas that resent it, etc, etc. I'll bet if you started to do that kind of thing and follow the examples of the other abovementioned countries you would notice a difference.

Come on intellegent Americans respond! I know some of you are out there! (Micheal Moore hehe)

Walk In Some One Else's Shoes For A Change Mar 25th. at 8:30:28 pm EST

Etain (Ohio) Age: 31 - Email

Even though I was just being born during the Vietnam conflict I wonder if people back then felt the way they do now......very passionate and divided. I will acknowledge that the people here are passionate about their views but I will try to stick to the regs & rules of Vox postings.

When the Gulf War was going on I was around 19 and didn't take stock in the world around me.....typical teenager. Now that I have a little one, I'm definately paying attention. There are no easy answers to this conflict. I don't think anyone knows all the facts...... except maybe the key players at the top. I have read quite a few books, watched SOME TV, and have tried to be objective...although that's almost impossible. This is what I have come to realize:

I am and always will be against this conflict with Iraq.

(This war is about money and power not freedom or liberation) .

Politicians and the media lie on a regular basis... I thought we all knew this.

I love my country but I am scared of this administration.
(If it smells like probably is sh#t.)

I want more than anything for no more troops to die.

I honor and respect someone that is willing to die for their country.... but not under these circumstances. Our Americans are dieing in vain.

I also don't want Iraqi's to die.
(I'm assuming a lot of Iraq's are like us......they just want to be happy and live a good life) .

I can see why other countries have contempt for us (and it's not because of jealousy or envy) .

I know that while everyone is focused on the Iraq conflict our govt is doing some shady sh#t.
(Patriot Act I & II, Homeland Security, privacy infringment....etc)

I know that America's foreign policy in the past has been been down right empiralistic and barbaric.

I truly believe that the media is completely f#*&ed and has no business giving a "play by play " of this conflict. Eg: "Troops are 50 miles from Bagdad at xyz location......2 days later...Troops took a wrong turn and ended up being captured and/or killed" Wow, really, go figure!!!

I have lost faith in democracy as our founding fathers knew it.

I will look forward to changes in gov't in the future.

I thought we were all evolving to a higher consciousness and away from killing each other.....humans are supposedly the most intelligent of the animal kingdom. Yeah right.

Everyone here can argue all they want but no one here knows what our gov't is up to......look at our gov't's past history....we don't have a good track record.

I want a peaceful, secure world so that my child can grow and thrive....I'm sure Middle Eastern people want the same.

Even though we may all have different skin colors and pray to different gods we all still bleed red.

Finally.........nothing is as it appears to be. I hope everyone remembers that when they are watching their CNN, FOX, NBC, CBS....etc, etc

This WAR has been brought to you by (insert commercial)

Way To Go Etaine! Mar 25th. at 8:46:11 pm EST

Todd (Ontario, Canada) Age: 27 - Email

Etaine your sentiment is exactly the kind of objective policy examination your country needs.
You are totally right, everyone in this will die in vain. Democracy ala firepower won't take hold, never has. And Iraq will become fractured, (Sunnis, sh*tes, Kurds, Marsh Arabs, etc. etc.) .

There will be no "democracy" in Iraq in this way. I remember it being said over and over by the US administration during Gulf War Part One (Brought to you by...insert commercial) when Bush Senior talked about restoring "democracy" to Kuwait. Democracy! In Kuwait!! I work with a guy from Kuwait who used to live there, he chose to come to Canada for a better life. No war etc. He says democracy is an impossibility there. And indeed it doesn't exist. Kuwait is a Monarchy. One man and a royal, noble lineage make all the decisions and live in opulance while the rest of the country has little or no say in anything.

Ever since I heard the US talk of restoring "democracy" to Kuwait I have stopped believing in virtually anything that right wing American politicians say.

There Seems Little Point... Mar 25th. at 8:55:50 pm EST

Skeggi (NZ) Age: 32 - Email

In going on about this much longer, from my perspective. The issuses are constantly being clouded over so I will simply state my case and leave alone at that. I never expected to change the opinions of the gung ho.
My opinion is that
1) This is an illegal war as it is an invasion of a sovreign nation without UN backing and without that nation taking any recent aggressive action aggainst, or treathening to take action against, the US or UK.

2) You cant free people by killing them. People in an army fight like yours because they are told to. Civilians have been killed and more will be killed. Uprisings will be put down by force in a cercumstance like this as would most if not all nations do.

3) Its not a fair fight. Whats that got to do with it? It forces the use of Gurellia tactics much like in Veitnam. Soliders will decive, hide in civilian areas etc because it is the only way to have any hope of victory. If your Armed forces couldnt see that coming months ago then they deserve court martials.

4) The US and the Uk have lied before so why should we trust them now?

5) The risks to the country, people and region bought on by the instability this war has and will cause, is too much of a risk. There are better ways that the US and UK did not explore, why not?
What happens with the ethnic cleasning we will now see, hope not, or when the neighbouring countries use this situation to their advantage. What will Turkey will an oil rich kurdish nation on its southern boarder? What will that other butcher in the middle east Israil do?

Stated my case not in the full depth but at least at a glance.
Bless the people of Iraq.

*sigh* Mar 25th. at 9:26:12 pm EST

Maleciah (Oregon) Age: 25 - Email

Every single arguement you have laid down I have told the responses to them long before you jumped into this. and if it is the bulk of our forces there, OBVIOUSLY 70 percent of americans approve of it. again no one has more troops in this than we do. your shots at our government (while some have truth to them) are cutting your nose off despite your face. you refuse to see that terrorism is a problem we all have to deal with. Canada lets everyone and their mother into their borders. that is part of the reason we have issues with the illegal immigrants from the north and terror groups know that weak spot and use it. You will probably (and hopefully) never know what it is like to fight for your country. yes, cause you don't get into altercations. but how would the world be if Canada was the superpower that was called on in WW2. What you obviously can't see is that we get bitched at for helping AND for not helping. do you have any idea how many people in the middle east would starve if it wasn't for us? how many in the WORLD would be starving? you mock us sir and I resent that.

As far as WMD. it was an archaic version of shock and awe. and it worked. might I point out again, since then, NO ONE wants to use them on ANYONE. And the US has learned since then obviously considering Japan is now a close ally as well!! I doubt you would have the strength of character to be able to make these big descisions anyways so I don't think that was even comparable nor am I going to try to defend a nuclear weapon being used. Perhaps that is why you constantly berate us in our efforts even though we have saved more lives for the future than you can concieve of. Your country may have more users on the wired net but I live in the most wired place in the world for internet usage as well as wireless communications so your whole country doesn't light a candle to where I live as far as net technology. but perhaps it is true for other areas.

And no we don't think America can do no wrong. But IF WE DO, DON'T YOU KNOW EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IS WILLING TO POINT IT OUT AND RUB OUR NOSES IN IT. Why? cause the things we do (no matter how inconsequential) affect things globally no matter what we do and others don't like it. Our country was in fact born out of bloodshed. But what was that bloodshed for? freedom! IT WAS FREEDOM! WE FOUGHT FOR IT AND WE WON! And, now England is one of our big allies. We wanted to be able to tell other countries that they could no longer dictate us during our fight for freedom back then. and in all of our wars, unlike the other super powers. When we went to war after we became a nation. we didn't invade a nation with the intention to conquer it with a frikin flag. Canada has plain and simply not had to fight to maintain their land since Brittan and France left. But, QUEBEC IS STILL TRYING DESPARATELY TO BREAK FROM YOU. And you think your country is perfect?! HA! YOU GUYS DON"T EVEN WANT TO DISCUSS IT! YOU BRUSH IT UNDER THE RUG just like health care. but we won't go there. we don't make up rules for the rest of the world. The rest of the world tries to make up the rules for us.. case in point WW2 was a "regional conflict" till we got tired of hearing europe scream in pain and horror about germany, and russia lost alot of lives already and so we knew it wouldn't stop at europe. But it wasn't till we were attacked! Till we actually said "ok we need to do something". We were berated for not getting involved then and now we are getting berated for actually getting involved now? This is why we just get tired of hearing it and do something cause everyone knows the "scary, savage, imperialistic americans" will put an end to anywar. stop putting the world in situations that warrant the super-powers doing something when you can easily stop it before it gets going. and you say you are better educated? Try seeing it coming instead of letting yourself and the world get hit cause you were afraid to do something about it in the infantile stages. If we were that barbaric. do you honestly think that we would have stopped at buying Alaska from russia? HELL NO. we would have taken canada as ours too.

I am forced to wonder though, how much does canadian schools teach about the american civil war, the revolutionary war? or even america in general? not much I can assure you.

Maleciah Mar 25th. at 9:45:48 pm EST

Night Wind (USA) Age: 2500 - Email

As far as the costs go, the funds frozen in this country amount to $1.5 bil. That is about 1% of the amount needed, just in aid. Where will the rest come from?

As far as the rest goes, you are claiming a personal knowledge of these events, a personal role in the negotiations between the United States and the various Iraqi factions. This would mean nthat you are fairly high up in the Adminstration. And you are posting to a Pagan board? Permit me to express some skepticism.

If what you say is true, then you are presumably our very own representative at high levels in the Bush administration. You might try convincing Bush to support the Pagans in the armed forces, who are, after all, willing to die for their country, but live under a President who denies their right to serve. If Bush did this, and toned down the "God-talk", then he would have a great deal of support from the Pagan Community, which has no love for Islam, or any kind of militant monotheism. It is Bush's own exclusive and missionary Christianity which has alienated not only most Pagans, but also about half the American population, and the vast majority overseas. Had he wanted, Buah could have cast the War on Terror as a united, secular West against a militant religious faction bent on global domination. Had he done so, we would not be arguing about the morality and practicality of the war, we would all be competing in how enthusiastically we serve the Cause. We would hardly need a draft, for all the Pagan volunteers there would be. But, Bush didn't do this. He chose to make the War on Terror a battle of Christians versus Moslems, and even, to some extent, Christians versus everyone else.

Actions -- consequences.

So, if you really are at a high level in the Bush administration, you might want to tell him some of this. It is probably too late, but who can say? It can't hurt to try.

Of course, I doubt that you are really at a high level in the councils of the mighty. More likely, you are somebody with delusions of grandeur, who has no such real connections. A lot of Pagans do actually have such delusions, it is one of our dirty little secrets. If Pagans are really right about how much the Authorities fear us, then we are all important people, indeed! So, a Pagan with delusions is very possible.

Otherwise, you could be a Christian with double delusions, those of importance in Government, and also of the ability to convert Pagans to the Bushie cause with words alone. As the War shows, for both sides, words mean little, unless they are backed with real strength.

The final option is that you are really some high-level official, but not a Pagan. I doubt this, because, well, I doubt we are anywhere near that important.

Tell, you what, and I am serious here: I will believe you and support the War if you can get George W Bush to admit he was wrong on Pagans in the military, and to welcome us as fellow warriors against Al Qaeda. He must do so publically, verifiably, and on a major, mainstream media outlet. It must be absolutely real. I will accept no tricks or loopholes.

So, do you have what it takes? Are you really what you say you are?

Let's put it this way: I think this is a foolish and unwinnable war. I doubt that I will have to change any part of my opinion.

My Opinion Mar 25th. at 9:52:52 pm EST

Rhi (---) Age: 20 - Email

I've had a bad feeling ever since Bush took office. I don't think we had a right in Afganistan or Iraq, but then again, I can see both sides.

First off America is very arrogant and policey. Second off, Saddam was hiding behind UN sanctions, and supporting terror camps.

But I think with any hate group, the way to eliminate the hate is to educate. Not enough people are educated, and they are taught that the us is evil..

And with the way the US govt continues to ignore its ppl I am starting to wonder if we are evil or not.

I DO love my country... I just wish we were more state oriented , and I wish that politician wasn't a career.

I wish we didn't have a voting system that was devoloped when the people were "too ignorant" to make big decisions (electorial college) and I wish that you didn't have to have a lot of money to run for president, have children or have a stay at home parent.

How I Feel About The War!!! Mar 25th. at 9:53:50 pm EST

slackfoomaster (Oregon) Age: 29 - Email

Well, i have read some of the things that people are saying and can't believe some of the things I am reading.I work with a few people who 12 years ago in 1991 were in Iraq and were part of the republican guard and I have heard first hand what was dont to the people who opposed suddam, they were beatin, raped, tortured and murdered. If you were approached to join the army and you said no or opposed him in anyway, you were told that if you dont join the army or support his cause then he would kill your whole family as you watched and then you would be killed. Well if i lived there and i was approached for this i sure would do whatever i was told because I would not want anything to happen to my family or my self. So for everyone that believes that saddam has done nothing to his own people WAKE UP he is a bad man and I hope that that one thing happens I hope they finish this, don't go part way and then pull out and give him the chance to rebuild and become a bigger threat then he already is.....JUST FINISH THIS!!!!!

Surprised By The Divisiveness Among Pagans Mar 25th. at 10:02:25 pm EST

Bittersweet (Western New York, USA) Age: 29 - Email

I haven't read any of the other responses to this week's question. I don't have to; I've been reading the responses to the news articles over the last month.

Naive as I am, as inspired by Starhawk, I'd assumed the vast majority of Pagans were tree-hugging, anti-capitalist, vegetarian pacifists like me. I was shocked by some of what I read here. I guess I have to change my definition of Pagans from "people like me" to something less self-centered and more realistic. It is somehow gratifying to see the diversity of our Pagan communities. But it is disturbing to see the divisiveness. I never would have expected it, despite my own personal conflicts with Pagan friends and acquaintances over political, spiritual, and philosophical issues.

I have not changed my mind about the war. All wars are injust. Violence begets violence.

But I also do not expect to change someone else's mind by battering them with my opinions, branding them with horrible words like "murderer, " or telling them to leave the country of their birth if they don't like the way it's being run. That does nothing but perpetuate the animosity between people who still have to live together on this planet whether or not their beliefs are harmonious.

To twist a bit of wisdom passed on to me by a friend:

There is a great battle going on inside us, between two ravaging wolves.

One is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

Which one will win?

The one we feed.

(This goes for all of us, whether we are for or against the war in Iraq.)

My blessings to all, no matter what your beliefs.

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