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: 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
| *sigh* ||Mar 25th. at 9:26:12 pm UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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.
| Still Opposed ||Mar 25th. at 10:04:06 pm UTC|
|Rose (Boston, MA) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I'm still opposed to the military action in Iraq. I'm still opposed to Bush. I feel more strongly agains the "war" now that fighting has broken out. Does this mean I don't "support the troops?" No. I want them brought home now. I don't believe the States has any business over there.
| A Few More Things To Say... ||Mar 25th. at 10:05:06 pm UTC|
|Sarah (Massachusetts) ||Age: 14 - Email |
first of all, Maleciah, thank you for your response earlier. it's very reasurring knowing someones reading what i have to say and caring enough to respond.
secondly, Todd i partially do agree with your opinion on the Untied States government but i also agee with Maleciah. Every government lies or twists the truth in some way. That's what politics is. Sometime's im ashamed to live in America because of the truth to this. Sometime's it seems like our country wants to rule the world. It's understandable we want to make the world peaceful, I'm sure many people would want that. I am seriously ashamed to say we act the way we do. We take everything we have forgranted. Think about the poor kids in countries like Iraq who are sitting there with absolutely nothing and now there are battles going on in their backyards.
As American citizens I think we should BE more the way we ACT. We pretend we're wonderful amazing people. Perhaps other countries will look up to us if we give a little thanks for what we can have. I suppose i should be happy the fighting isn't going on here.
Let's all be thankfully whether we live in America or not. be thankful were just alive. stop fighting over this war crap... its dumb
| I Am Not High Up In Anything Nor Do I Work For Bush.LOL ||Mar 25th. at 10:16:10 pm UTC|
|Maleciah (Oregon) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I thought I made this clear but it has been alot of posts ago.:-) I am not a "high up mucky muck" I don't work for the UN. I don't work for bush or any governing factor nor do I have delusions of grandure nor am I trying to persuade anyones opinion (or religious affiliation for that matter) HA HA (thanks for the laugh) . But I am doing something that I can see alot of people NOT doing. and that is doing something constructive with other groups already tied to the UN. I never once claimed that I was a person of influence in the bush administration or the UN and I never once implied Anything to suggest otherwise, so I don't see your delusions of grandure comment applying to me, but I do know what you mean.. I am not liberal, I am a far cry from conservative. I am just another pagan that wants to get involved in the world around me. can you blame me? these are hard times and tensions are running hot (not excluding myself mind you) and I am wanting to make a difference by expressing what I feel. But I appriciate all of your guys efforts and comments in this forum! I like hearing others opinions to as long as they include facts with it and if it is something that is known to be contested, back it up with the source you got it from. Wren we love you!! you must have infinite patience with us to let this debate go as far as it has.
| Response To RHI ||Mar 25th. at 10:32:17 pm UTC|
|slackfoomaster (Oregon) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Well kid you havent seen to much in your wise 20 years. America is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to protecting the rights of other countries.Everyone expects the U.S. to protect those who are weaker and when we do we get alot of crap for it and if we let the countries fend for them selves we catch more crap for not helping those who are in need and cant help them selves. So no matter what the U.S. does it will never be good enough to make everyone happy. So till you know what it is like to fight for and in another country please get off the soap box...THANK YOU....
| Malaciah ||Mar 25th. at 10:58:25 pm UTC|
|Night Wind (USA) ||Age: 2500 - Email |
HA HA (thanks for the laugh)
Actually, based on that response alone, I would peg you as a fundie infiltrator, albeit one operating on your own, and not part of any organization, for the good reason that no such _organized_ inflitration exists. Your response to my provocation was a bit over the top. I made the provocation to see how you would respond, and to determine from it who you might be. I would say it worked rather well. Or, to quote Shakespeare, "methinks thou dost protest too much".
Based on your other comments, forgive me, but I must simply disregard your points of view on cost and the likelihood of building Iraqi democracy. I am quite sure that lots of people will tell you, or any of the conquerers, how grateful they are that you have given them the chance for peace by conquering them. This "goodwill" will last until your back is turned, or until they sense weakness. Then you will learn how utterly different your values are from theirs.
In the end, the war is not so much unwinnable as the peace. The United States can beat Iraq, easily, and so far, the battle is indeed still easy. But, after that, it will be trapped by the rivalries among Iraqi factions into a long, draining, and (most of all) expensive occupation. The cost of actually rebuilding Iraq will prove far more than the American public is willing to pay, and, in alienating the world, Bush has closed off that source of funding. During the occupation the American military, already fatally overextended, will be dangerously weak. This will almost certainly offer a temptation to somebody.
After that, the world will go to hell gradually, but unavoidably.
In less than five years, the United States will be a crippled giant, economically paralyzed, withdrawing from world affairs, and losing faith in its basic institutions. The fundie right-wing, discredited by the failed Bush administration, and by its association with Middle Eastern religious violence, will be a political has-been that will be retreating from the American mainstream, radicalizing, and fusing with the Neo-Confederate movement. Having lost faith in themselves, their core institutions, and in their religion, the American people will be ripe for anyone who can offer meaning to their lives, and give them something to believe in and trust.
I wonder if Pagans could find in themselves the core values, the inner strength, the ability to mobilize themselves, that might allow them to take advantage of such an opportunity? After all, Pagans have much to offer this world. If Pagans can develop the ability to appeal to the millions of quite ordinary Americans who are looking for an identity, then they will absorb those people into a movement that provides life with as much meaning as most forms of fundie Christianity, but does it in ways which are democratic, non-authoritarian, sexually egalitarian, and ecologically sustainable. Such an expanded and activist Paganism would be able to chart a new course for itself, neither left not right wing, but dedicated to building a sustainable, humane, and spiritual, yet essentially tolerant and inclusive society.
Is this not a dream worth living?
| Yes It Is A Dream Worth Living For. ||Mar 25th. at 11:11:34 pm UTC|
|Maleciah (Oregon) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I too would like to think that the US is going to be the only one to be involved in Iraq's rebuilding. that much oil will not go unnoticed and everyone including frnace will havea piece of the pie. sadly the americans will be paying for alot of it but there are also other financial avenues that you did not mention. about as many as diplomatic options that we had before bush made them fall to pieces with his "cowboy politics" as some have said.
And as far as me being a fundie infiltrator? that is just laughable. I have sponsored three covens in different states across the US and have not stepped into a x-tain church since high school. Believe what you want I am fine with you thinking I am a x-tian. I have to admit though, if you think I am a x-tian infultrator into a pagan web board, you REALLY need to check yourself and your provocation was merely an attempt to use psychology. a feeble one at that.
| Not So Feeble ||Mar 25th. at 11:53:51 pm UTC|
|Night Wind (USA) ||Age: 2500 - Email |
Hands shaking are they, old boy? that would explain the double post, not so?
I notice that you make many claims about yourself that simply cannot be backed up, by the very nature of this board. This tells me a great deal about the nature of your claims, and their merit, or lack of same.
I have presented hard statistics in support of my arguments, which can be verified by just a bit of googling. If you go back through the 200-odd posts in the news story on the initial invasion, the "post your thoughts" section, you will see that I was able to figure out, from the rather poorly-censored news-reports, exactly where the Anlgo-American forces were, where they were going, and what problems they were facing, or soon would face.
This isn't because I am brilliant. It's because the facts are out there, and the habit of a free media is still so ingrained that it hard to cover those facts up, though even the American media can learn the habits of discretion required to live under a tyranny, if Bush is in office long enough. Those facts, plus a bit of reason, will allow any reasonably intelligent person to figure out what the general direction of events will be. We, meaning anyone who cares to find out, know what the cost of rebuilding Iraq will be, or, at least, the rather wide range of claims. We know how badly the government is in deficit. We know what economic conditions are, and how likely, therefore, loans will be, even for governments. We are also aware of Bush's habit of unilateralism and diplomatic stupidity, not to beat around the Bush on the issue, so we can guess how successful he will be at getting foreign help in Iraq.
Likewise, the total number of US Army and Marine divisions, and their rough areas of deployment, are easily available knowledge. The enlistment problems faced by the US military has been discussed by talking heads for some time, now. The cost of building a division, assuming that the men are available, is well-known, as is the time it normally takes to get one ready. Based on this, it doens't take a genius to figure out that the US military is in serious trouble: it will need at least six to nine months to build divisions to cover the military assets needed in Iraq, assuming the political will and fiscal means exist, which they likely don't.
The conclusions that follow are simply supported by logic and fact:
1. An intelligent opponent will attack when America is weak
2. Some opponents of America are intellegent.
3. Therefore, some opponents of America will attack when America is weak.
1. In military terms, overextension produces weakness.
2. The US military is now overextended, and will be for the next six months to several years.
3. Therefore, the US military is now weak, and will be for the next six months to several years.
1. An intelligent opponent knows when his enemy is weak; that's what military intelligence is for.
2. Some of America's opponents are intelligent
3. Therefore, some of America's opponents know that America is now weak.
1. Some opponents of America will attack when they know America is weak.
2. They know America is weak now, and will be for about six months.
3. Therefore, we can expect those enemies to attack now, or within about six months.
1. America's society is severely stressed by costly, unpopular, and divisive wars.
2. The present war, and the ones to come, are manifestly costly, unpopular, and divisive.
3. Therefore, American society is coming under stress, and will be continue to be stressed.
1. Stressed societies provide fertile recruiting grounds for alternative movements, like Paganism.
2. American society is now stressed, and will likely be that way for a while.
3. Therefore, America provides an even more fertile recruiting ground for Paganism than it did.
From all of this, I conclude that a war which makes America weaker and encourages its enemies to attack, is a foolish war. However, since America is determined to be follish, and since its foolishness can benefit Paganism, by all means let's take advantage of OUR opportunity. As I wrote earlier, we are not a cult, and our growth, to those who willingly choose our ways, is a benefit to everyone. American society could use more people, like Pagans, who are relatively democratic, non-authoritiarian, feminist, ecologically conscious, and mellow enough to avoid committing too many crimes.
To put it another way, Pagans can no longer prevent the war. We can, however, help America recover from the damage that Dubya is inflicting on it, and we should do so.
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