283 thoughts on “Guardian UK”

  1. I won’t presume to state that I have an answer to what happened on Sept. 11. What I am know or am familiar with is the fear that a bomb may drop on you at any moment; that a stray bullet meant for a soldier or a guerilla will accidentally kill you; the fear of being caught rushing home after curfew and being questioned and beaten all the while knowing you’ve done nothing wrong; of hearing the streets patroled by soldiers who are just children themselves missing their homes and families and feeling as if they are all powerful merely because they hold a weapon. That is what I know.
    I also know that I feel none of those things now. Even walking by the nation’s Capitol last week and seeing it all boarded up brought forth no feelings of fear, no worry that I might die at any moment from a ‘dirty bomb.’
    But right here, right now from the safety of my home, behind this magic box I feel fear; profoundly and irrationally because I read so many comments from people asking for revenge and blood. And frankly that scares me more than anything I may hear on the ten oclock news tonite.

  2. I’d like Wil Wheaton to post exactly WHY the link to this Guardian article was placed on his website. Obviously, he must have an opinion regarding it’s relative “worth”.
    I’d like to know what his opinion, regarding this article, is.

  3. Fuck them and the high horse they rode in on…
    Almost every male in my family, from the Civil War to the Gulf War fought to give me the right to say that, and I stand behind every one of them.

  4. justice is and always has been a matter of perspective…and liberty and freedom mean we have to allow those who don’t agree with the majority to speak their minds too…or we become as bad as the monster we’re trying to squash…..d.burr

  5. —————————————-
    All the things wrong with the USA, and they pick THIS to complain about. That alone is enough to call them idiots. We have MILLIONS of people in jail for victimless crimes like drug use. Where are these saviours of humanity on real issues like that?
    No, they just complain when we attack countries where 95% of the residents would like the USA to wash into the sea. Pick a better cause.

  6. Jack:
    What you read was NOT written by the Guardian.
    In addition, many people choose not to post their real email address or the like, because of the spam bots that occasionally trawl sites for email addresses.
    Lord Spankypants:
    Drug use is not always a “victimless” crime. I invite you any day to join a family with a drug user as a member, and then I’d like to see if you’d call it a victimless crime.
    In addition, I’d like to think that genocide, Constitutional violations, and the squashing of civil liberties are worthwhile issues.
    Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Yes, let’s focus all our energies on Joe Bag-of-Crack, who broke his mother’s heart, stole his sister’s possessions to pay for his habit, and shoplifted from several different stores multiple times.
    No, that’s not an exaggeration.
    Yes, certain crimes regarding drugs are too harsh. But putting those above precedent-setting actions on foreign citizens? The fate of millions who might be dead tomorrow because of our bombs or someone else’s retaliation? The unsteady balance of pseudo-peace?
    Please think before you type. You’re welcome to your views; that’s something we’ve been granted thanks to the Constitution (but not for much longer if those in power have anything to say about it). Just don’t expect me or someone like me to nail you for your words.

  7. a little free paper is town published this request directly after 9/11, something so fitting for this line of discussion:
    ten proposed laws of patriotism
    1. to buy an American flag, you must present proof you have voted at least once in the last three elections (including local and state elections)
    2. to display an American flag in any form, you must present proof of voter registration
    3. to wave an American flag in public, you must ba able to name at least one of the following:
    a. your senator
    b. your representative
    c. your president (must specify “W” — “George Bush” is too vague)
    4. to sell any product with an American flag on it, you must answer the following question:
    The Bill of Rights is part of
    a. the Constitution
    b. the Magna Carta
    c. the Declaration of Independence
    5. those heard singing patriotic songs in public may be asked to show their voter registration cards
    6. to be permitted to scream “Nuke Afghanistan,” you must be able to correctly locate Afghanistan on a map or globe
    7. to be permitted to scream “Arabs go home,” you must list and correctly identify ten Arab homelands
    8. those who wish to express opinions about Arab-Americans must pass the following test: (circle the correct answer)
    a. those who observe the religion of Islam are called (Moslems, Muslins, Fanatics).
    b. the holy book if Islam is called (the Koran, the Koram, the Bible).
    c. in Arabic, God is called (Ali, Allah, Jehovah)
    9. priority for purchase of American flags will be given to those whose ancestors lived on American soil the longest. When all American Indians who wish to display the red, white, and blue are satisfied, other applicants will be accepted.
    10. a call for war on any radio talk-show or letter to the editor will be construed as a public declaration of willingness to enlist in the US Army; callers/writers will have 24 hours to complete the paperwork.

  8. I like you, Ms. Lauren. You amuse me, as well as making a humorous and pointed statement.
    Now, if only people could actually DO that…

  9. As this thread dies down, I just want to say what a pleasure it has been arguing with all of you. It has been a great mental workout, if not a bit of a waste of time. I hope this thread has confirmed your views or changed your mind, either is an intellectual step forward.
    And KJB my love, we will always have this thread.

  10. I think Wil’s original post of “I think it is important that everyone reads this” is pretty much the best thing that could have been said: it doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with those who wrote the letter, so long as you have an opinion. The best thing about this thread is the sheer number of differing opinions that just occasionally surface from under all that namecalling. ;) Personally, I’m just glad the letter was written in the first place. A few anti-intellectuals aside (how do you expect your education system to thrive when you have so little respect for those who *choose* to become academics?), I’m pretty sure we’d be far worse off if that opinion was thought and never mentioned.
    A few basic factual points: The Grauniad is *not* contra-US. It is, admittedly, the most far-left broadsheet and the newspaper most likely to publish controversial opinions – especially controversial opinions from conservatives and reactionaries – but this does not equate to being anti-America, any more than it equates to being Anti-UK, considering all the criticism of TB and his policies, from both sides of the political spectrum, which is printed by it. In the midst of the furore over the Cuban internment camps they printed an article – written by a US political commentator – on why Europe should not discuss it in their ‘bleeding-heart liberal’ way, how incorrect the view of them as contra-Geneva Convention ‘prison camps’ was, and why the US was entirely justified in their actions. They *like* controversy.
    Someone said: “The Allied forces destroyed Germany,Italy and Japan during World War II.” As a matter of fact “destroy[ing]” was exactly what they *didn’t* do. If you want an example of a country being destroyed after a world was, that would be Germany after World War One: and it is the harshness that was shown to them by France and Britain – against the wishes of the US president at the time, Woodrow Wilson, let it be noted – that is now believed to be one of the reasons why the warmongering and resentment of the German far right arose. This is the reason why I, personally, am worried about the US’ policies in world-political terms: because I think harsh treatment breeds thoughts of vengeance, and we don’t need a repeat of this situation.
    Uh, and also, Annie, Hitler did *not* get in on votes: the Nazi party had some 25% of the vote, IIRC, but they were made part of the centre-right coalition ruling Germany at the time, who thought they could control him having given him a position of such huge authority. Hitler would not have got in to power had the socialist and communist parties of the time been able to compromise with the centre right and form a cross-political coalition.
    …in conclusion, this is a *great* thread. :)

  11. First of all I’d like to commend Will on his inclusion of this article and the way in which he introduced it as mentioned by a previous postee, “he said the best thing possible”.
    I’m going to say in advance I don’t know much about politics and even less about American politics, this posting is intended as an expression of my personal opinion that I felt compelled to share. I can say this though, in my home country of Scotland I attend a memorial service for 9/11 and it just so happened there was alot of Americans on holiday in my city at the time, and well I spoke to a few of them and though most of what was said was said in grief and angusih I did get to hear the begining of a genralisation that started shortly after 9/11 that somemone must pay for this. It then seemed to me that the Bush administration had acted hastily and unjustly with it’s attacks on Afghanastan. Though with the relase of those video’s by Osama Bin Laden it seemed the White House’s haste was justified, then we get news just under a month ago that the White House already knew of the possibilty of attacks, so it is left to this reader to assume that though written in good faith the statement in the Guardian was slighty misguided, the situation doesn’t appear to be as extremme as they make it out to be, it’ just seems like the White House got caught with its pants down and now there just lashing out through embrassement and frustration.

  12. It is not that we *hate* Americans or America. But we question the validity of what your government has decided is the right course of action to take. Americans, (generally) are alright. But disagreeing with your governments foreign policies and hating you are two entirely different animals. Sure, the Afghanis despise the Americans, but that itself is a generalisation too. They probably never met and don’t know any American citizens, which is why it was easy for them to cheer when the WTC bombings occured. Name calling and pulling hair will not have the desired result of frank, open, honest discussion about the problems the WORLD is facing, not just the States or Palestine or anywhere else. As someone else stated, it is a world with shades of grey. Criticism of a country will inevitably be taken personally by some people, because of the nature of the beast. If your patriotic, it upsets you. It is not meant to offend (by me anyway) just to inform. Wil is right, we could have a brilliant discussion about this, but the real heart of it gets lost in the ‘I’m right, no I am’ mentality. Did it occur to anyone there are no *right* answers? Just some answers that hurt us less than others.

  13. Wil, I really respect that you have the balls to put up that article, when the current climate is so hostile to free and independent thinking. I’d just like to point out to some readers that this has got nothing to with the Guardian, apart from the fact that they actually REPORTED it (like a newspaper should do when people of that stature make the statement such as that), which is more than can be said for the American press. Has it actually turned up in, or been reported on, any of the mainstream American media yet? What the hell is going on when there’s no credible public discussion about such important matters? It’s frightening. The right-wingers are winning the day by promoting fear and ignorance. Very sad. Very scary.

  14. Day’s later and YES after reading ALL of this I
    have this to say: KJB what you said regarding
    Vietnam..it was not called a “war” either” sums
    up all the flames etc. WHAT ABOUT NOW!!!!
    And yes here is another overused quote..”those
    who forget history are bound to repeat it”.
    IT IS ONE PLANET PEOPLE. ONE..GET ALONG OR PERISH.
    PERISH is just that.
    To infinity and beyond..PEACE. PEACE. PEACE.
    THAT IS THE ONLY SOLUTION.
    NO OTHER OPTIONS EXIST.
    NONE. PEACE OUT.

  15. “IT IS ONE PLANET PEOPLE. ONE..GET ALONG OR PERISH.
    PERISH is just that.
    To infinity and beyond..PEACE. PEACE. PEACE.
    THAT IS THE ONLY SOLUTION.
    NO OTHER OPTIONS EXIST.
    NONE. PEACE OUT.”
    Solution? What solution? I must have missed where you typed it because all i read is “we have to get along”. But, Uhm, how? There are alot of people out there who force our hand into not getting along with them. These things are complicated. Simple nonanswers like “we have to get along or perish” are childish and mean nothing.

  16. To the various nay-sayers, including the fellow who mentioned the fact that the letter had been signed by (and I paraphrase) some bleeding heart liberals, clueless actors and Holywood “elite”.
    Noam Chomsky. Do you have any idea? Do you have a clue? Get one. Please.
    This is important stuff America. If you don’t want high brow intellectualising, then watch Statrship Troopers. If you can’t see the cautionary tale in that, you’re really in trouble.
    “Terror” is an enemy we can never defeat. The only thing the war on terror will bring is fear and repression to ordinary people. There is no such thing as an “axis of evil”. It’s complete bullshit.
    Politicians are tying to sell us a jisaw the’ve already glued together. You need to pull it apart and assemble it yourself. The informaiton you need is not continaed in the picture the pieces make as a whole, but how they fit together.
    In other words, don’t believe the hype. When was the last time you talked to a Muslim? Have you ever been to Syria? Iran? Iraq? Why do you think certain Muslim countries oppose Western cultures? Religion? Politics? Finance? Do you understand the issues?
    Separately, don’t you think the people of Iraq have the right to hate the West? Just because part of the world doesn’t like us does not give us the right to start bombing it arbitrarily. Certain people commited a terrible crime. They should be brought to justice. This is not an excuse to attempt to exterminate an entire opposing way of life.
    Isn’t there anything to learn from these other cultures? Why are we so certain our political/social/economic structure is the only solution? Are we right to effectively impose it by force (economic/military) on other countries? Can anyone illustrate the fundamental problem with this type of foreign policy?
    At the end of the day, if the NATO countries want a war, they’ll get one. They’ve picked a fairly defenceless target, whose voice is either not represented or misunderstood in the West. Disinformation becomes an easy task. Politically its almost a no-brainer.
    Except we should all question it. Relentlessly. It is our responsibility to think for ourselves.
    In WWII, Germany had an ideology and an expansionist agenda. If you disagreed with that ideology, or did not want to submit sovereignty to German invaders, you had to fight.
    Now, the EU/NATO/WTO have an ideology and an expansionist agenda. If you disagree with it, you have to fight. Marginalised groups take this to extremes, as they have always done.
    Even if you buy into the message Western governments are selling us, rememeber that not everybody does. Dissenting voices in this regard are seldom heard and feel geniunely threatened.
    Rant over.
    T

  17. “To the various nay-sayers, including the fellow who mentioned the fact that the letter had been signed by (and I paraphrase) some bleeding heart liberals, clueless actors and Holywood “elite”.”
    Most of the signers were. Not all, but the majority were.
    “This is important stuff America. If you don’t want high brow intellectualising, then watch Statrship Troopers. If you can’t see the cautionary tale in that, you’re really in trouble.”
    It’s this condescending, we-know-more-than-you attitude that turns off america to the left. The right has it’s problems too, but if you want peopel to take you seriously, stop pretending you have a 180 IQ. It’s funny, you claim to fight for the working man but you have the snobby attitude that rivals a blueblood socialite.
    “”Terror” is an enemy we can never defeat. The only thing the war on terror will bring is fear and repression to ordinary people. There is no such thing as an “axis of evil”. It’s complete bullshit.”
    Defeat? No. You are right. Never totally. But we can fight like hell to make sure attacks like this in the future will get caught before they happen. It seems as though your answer is to do nothing.
    “In other words, don’t believe the hype. When was the last time you talked to a Muslim?”
    Uhm, yesterday. I’ll see him tommorow too. Old friend of mine. Most people don’t live in a bubble and have many friends of different religions and races. I guess you just assume most people with conservative views on some subjects are white and associate mostly with whites. Don’t assume the reality of others is just like yours.
    “Have you ever been to Syria? Iran? Iraq?”
    No. The chance I would be attacked is far too great. However there are thousands of muslims in my neighborhood every day from these countries. Fancy that.
    “Why do you think certain Muslim countries oppose Western cultures? Religion? Politics? Finance? Do you understand the issues?”
    Most people do understand these issues. I certainly do. Muslim cultures oppose our culture because it is 1.Secular and 2.It works. It’s never as complicated as you make it out to be.
    “Isn’t there anything to learn from these other cultures? Why are we so certain our political/social/economic structure is the only solution?”
    Learn, hmm. Perhaps they can teach us more about family and religion. Of course this also includes the state-sanctioned oppression of women and absolutley no seperation of church and state. Er, Mosque and state.
    “Are we right to effectively impose it by force (economic/military) on other countries”
    This isn’t a war we are fighting to kill communism. That is only an ideology. What we are doing now in teh middle east is simple: Stop the actions of terrorists and give them no chance to organize in other countries. We are fighting action with action, not ideologies with action.
    “Now, the EU/NATO/WTO have an ideology and an expansionist agenda. If you disagree with it, you have to fight. Marginalised groups take this to extremes, as they have always done.”
    They have also always brought suffering to their own peopel too. Suicide bombers are only helping end the idea of a Palestinian state forever.
    Stop playing radical and think logically.

  18. In response to the Nicole the librarian’s challenge to the validity of this article, I can say it is almost 100% certain that the article is a valid one. It is a signed statement, and the article reports multiple signatories. I’m not well-versed in UK defamation law, but the general principles are the same everywhere, and many of these signatories would have a decent case if the article were fabricated.
    Standard practice when creating a statement like this would be to send it to every major news organization you consider likely to print it. I suspect it’s “in the queue” at a lot of other organizations, but only the Guardian has deemed it newsworthy thus far. It may well be the only one that ever does, but according to this companion article at the Guardian (found on the same Google everyone uses, incidentally) “The statement, which the signatories hope will be published by the American media, says…” (my italics)
    Thanks to Wil for being among the bloggers who have pointed this story out. Also in the recent Guardian story pool and of note is this painstakingly thorough exposition of some of the more obscure details of the Bush family’s long history with big oil and energy companies.
    Links to both stories and some information on the general decline of foreign news reporting in America on my site, for the terminally curious.

  19. Here is an updated list of signers, at http://www.zmag.org/nion.htm
    Presumably it took the Guardian a while to receive and verify, since this list says 6/11 (199 names) and the Guardian published 6/14 with about a hundred.
    This site says it will update the names list periodically.
    Worth noting: I’m at the U of Oregon, and one of the people now listed is an ordinary person from here, decidedly not a celebrity.

  20. Hmmm … from reading a lot of the comments posted here, I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of Americans are quite clearly insane and suffering from a massive superiority complex. I can’t wait for the next round of attacks on some of your cities, because with your current attitude, it’s surely going to happen.

  21. the internet will be one of the last havens for free speech in the next few years. Let’s remember to keep it that way and NEVER vote for ANYONE who would censor it in any way at all, no matter what words about “protecting your children” they use to hide behind what they really want and that is control of information itself. OK? FINE. no go back to downloading porn.

  22. Hi! I am doing a project for school and need to no what there cloths look like but mostley the kids cloths look like! Can you help me please!
    THANKS,
    Melissa

  23. does anyone know if the UN gave the US permiaaion to go into Afghanistain
    its for a homework assignment

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