Marching off to war.

I don’t support the resolution that congress just passed. I don’t support the Bush administration’s obsession with Oil^H^H^HIraq, and I think it gives way too much power to the president.
So I wrote my senators (my US Rep is a hardline Republican so I didn’t bother) and I asked them to please oppose the vote.
Boxer voted no, Feinstein voted yes.
I was very upset with Feinstein’s yes vote…but after reading this from her, I am absolutely apoplectic.

“I serve as the senior senator from California, representing 35 million people. That is a formidable task. People have weighed in by the tens of thousands. If I were just to cast a representative vote based on those who have voiced their opinions with my office — and with no other factors — I would have to vote against this resolution

Yeah.
If she’d, oh, respected the wishes of her constituents, and *gasp* represented> us, she’d have to vote no.
If she’d listened to those pesky voters who put her into office so that she’d carry out our wishes in this silly representative republic we have here.
But there are these mysterious “other factors” that she speaks of, right? Maybe she knows something that we don’t, because she refers to herself as

“…a member of the Intelligence Committee, as someone who has read and discussed and studied the history of Iraq…

Well, that’s pretty compelling stuff, isn’t it? I know that after a year of nebulous warnings I’ve certainly learned to be afraid of my own shadow and turn to my big government to protect me…maybe she’s onto something there, and we shouldn’t mobilze the entire state to throw her out for failing to cast a representative vote based on those who have voiced their opinions with her office.
But there’s this other guy, you see, who ]co-chairs the same committee, and who is privy to the same information. His name is Senator Bob Graham, and he’s a Florida Democrat who disagrees with Feinstein:

Iraq is ”the wrong target” in the war on terrorism, Graham said in an impassioned speech moments before the Senate early Friday gave President Bush sweeping powers to attack Iraq. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the resolution, 77-23, with Graham among the “nays.”
”I predict we will live to regret this day,” declared Graham, who is co-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and privy to a gamut of classified information on global terrorism. Graham said it would be ”irresponsible” to go to war with Iraq before confronting more imminent terrorist threats to the United States.

Surely he can’t be serious! Isn’t he privy to the same information that Feinstein has? Maybe he’s paying more attention to the report from the CIA:

Then there is the awkward matter of the CIA report on Iraq released last week, which concluded that U.N. inspections actually worked before they were halted in 1998, leaving Saddam’s military and his chemical-weapons program weaker than they were in the 1980s.
In other words, the head of American intelligence and a top military man don’t think Saddam is planning terrorist attacks against the U.S. now, but might if he was convinced we were coming in after his head. And the CIA says that Saddam’s military machine poses less of a threat to the U.S. than it did a decade ago.

Boy, it sure seems that anyone who doesn’t have something to gain politically is telling us all that the war against Iraq is at best unnecessary, and at worst A Very Bad Idea(tm).
Dianne Feinstein may not be “against us” by the Bush administration’s definition, but she’s certainly against the wishes of her constituents, and is therefore unfit to represent us in the future.
I’ll be thinking about this in November 2006.
—-
Sources:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2002/10/11/senate_iraq/print.html

http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/4266351.htm

http://www.salon.com/news/col/scheer/2002/10/09/cia/print.html

http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2002/10/10/intelligence/print.html

197 thoughts on “Marching off to war.”

  1. I had a similar experience to you. I wrote my rep and my two senators. Two of the three voted no at least. The other is a Democrat, and voted yes.
    Still, I was glad to see at least some opposition.
    Thanks for posting your opinion. I think the news media is not really covering the real grass roots opposition to war.

  2. Wil,
    Well, what did you expect from a “Professional” politician like Feinstien? As cynical as this sounds, it’s for the most part true: The INSTANT they hit Washington D.C.(tm), they get sucked into “The game”. Getting there isn’t enough anymore, NOW insted of (Horror of horrors) DOING THEIR JOB, they spend almost ALL of their time trying to figure out how to STAY there! In order to do that, they have suck up to whatever prevailig wind is blowing through the beltway at the moment.
    I’m telling you “Gordo”, life’s a bitch outside of Castle Rock.
    Kal

  3. It’s funny to see how warlike the Republicans are. When Carter was in office, he bent over backwards to avoid a confrontation with Iran. Once Reagan got in, Iran got scared and the hostages came home. Why?
    Carter just won the Nobel Peace Prize.
    What will Bush win? There is no Nobel Booby Prize.
    — Just Another Canadian’s Opinion

  4. I just think, as a non-american, that it was just a thing waiting to happen. As soon as Bush ran for president I hoped no one would vote for that redneck. (well, not enough people did, but he became pres anyway) He has had war on his mind. All along. Just like his gunhappy dad. And he probably doesn’t really give a shit against what country.

  5. I live not too far south of you, Wil, in Downey, so I believe we have the same representation in congress, and I too was deeply disheartened by Ms. Feinstein’s stunningly bad decision to take political cover in this issue.
    It’s been a disheartening couple of weeks for me, someone who holds mostly liberal-progressive to moderate views on most issues. I found myself at various points agreeing with: Pat Buchanan, Robert Byrd, and the CIA. These aren’t people I’ve agreed with on much of anything, ever before.
    Pat Buchanan pointed out that what is passing as “Conservative” in Washington is truly radical in its shift from the cold war strategy to this dangerous Bush Doctrine of preemption where we can and will attack any country the President sees as a danger. It’s only a matter of time before we attack Libya, North Korea, Iran and many other points around the world. This is not conservative. This is radical.
    Robert Byrd, a Democrat who has some perversely unprogressive opinions when it comes to social issues, came out against the resolution, pointing out that this is not the time (just before an election) to be deciding such an important matter.
    And Finally, the CIA, which you mentioned in your post, thinks this thing is a Very Bad Idea

  6. Wil, I actually haven’t read any coherent argument against the war. By coherent, I mean logical arguments not relying on conspiracy theories, simple anti-Americanism or anti-Semitism, the words “daddy” or “revenge,” or will-of-the-people stuff (which isn’t a real argument, really). Any pointers to sane logical argument against the war on Iraq? The warmongers can’t have a monopoly on reasoned argument, right?

  7. Come on we all now George W. is trying to make his daddy proud by getting back at Iraq/Saddam. Why should we be brought into the mess?
    As far as I know we don’t have any proof that Saddam was behind the WTC attack.
    Shouldn’t we spend more money to get Osama/make sure his threat is eliminated? Plus, our economy is seriously screwed up right now. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I know have been laid off from work.
    Argh…I don’t understand why people are so crazy & power hungry in this world.

  8. That really is annoying, I actually thought Feinstien wasn’t that bad untill now! I, too, live not to far from you, in North Hollywood, and I am appalled at the idea that a government employee wouldn’t do what her employers, the people who pay her, the taxpayers, want. In any other profession that would be grounds for firing…Unfortunately, in this profession, we can only fire someone at election time…oh well

  9. Aside from all of the political reasons not to go to war (which I agree with), there is the economic implications. Hints at war already jolt the stock market now, should the U.S. go for the gusto and engage full on the implications to the economy could be disaterous, especially if any potential war lasts longer than a month or two.
    I’m old enough to recall that after the first gulf war the economy tanked and took almost 4 years to recover.
    I think if Bush really wants to win a 2nd term in office he needs to let up off the war drums, get the economy going again and focus on the less ambigous threats to American security.

  10. I think if Bush wins a second term it would do all of us good to move far, far away. What do you think he’ll do next to distract the general populous from the fact that he’s sending America down the toilet?

  11. Have you checked with each and every one of her constituents? I didn’t think so. Saying things like:
    “… but she’s certainly against the wishes of her constituents, and is therefore unfit to represent us in the future.”
    Just invalidates everything you said and makes everything you will say about the subject in the future worthless.

  12. Here’s a copy of a war-opposition letter I sent to the Dark Lords of Washington (not a Trek reference, but appropriate nonetheless).
    For a more proper Trek reference, the Next Gen episode “The High Ground” does a nice job with the issue of terrorism. Our response to the 9/11 attacks makes one wonder what the Federation would have done if the terrorists had succeeded in destroying the Enterprise.
    (For a synopsis of the episode, see
    http://www.startrek.com/library/tng_episodes/episodes_tng_detail_68426.asp)
    Anyway, here’s my letter. The auto-response I got from Washington was very nice. “Although the officials won’t see your letter, their secretaries will.” Very comforting!
    As a Massachusetts voter, it is with great alarm that I watch the growing paranoia that seems to be pushing our nation inexorably towards war.
    Iraq is no more of a threat now than it was prior to the New York attacks, which no one has been able to link to Iraq. Instead, the nation’s attention is being diverted away from the diffuse threat of terrorism, posed by violent individuals angered by US economic and military support of oppressive foreign governments. A single target, Iraq, is much easier to understand and eliminate with brute force.
    As satisfying as some might find the removal of Iraq’s dictator, doing so alone at the cost of our allies’ support, while breeding new generations of people who view America as a modern day Roman Empire that uses its legions to impose its will on the world, would harm our nation far more than any attack Iraq is capable of now or in the foreseeable future.
    I urge you not to wage war without consulting with and obtaining the support of the Congress (now a moot point, alas) and our allies through the United Nations.
    The twentieth century was the bloodiest in human history. Let us not attempt to equal or surpass it in the twenty-first.

  13. Wil,
    I too wrote to Senators Boxer and Feinstein voicing my opposition to the resolution and was disappointed by Feinstein’s vote. I’m not all that eloquent but I do have a voice and it’s upsetting that it’s getting overlooked.
    It’s great to come here and read your politicial views and see that they are similiar to mine. I’m always finding myself in the minority with my friends and peers when it comes to my political beliefs. Even worse, many are totally oblivous to what’s happening in the world. It’s quite disheartening at times. But it gives me hope to see that you and others share my views.

  14. To Derek: Why is it that you ask people who oppose war to give arguments against it instead of asking those who want war to give arguments for it? Is it by default acceptable to go to war against anyone? If yes, then the world should truly fear the US, because then the US is a much larger threat than Iraq.
    If no, then what logical arguments are there for a war against a man that the proponents of war claim might have nuclear capabilities and that it is likely have chemical or biological warfare capabilities, but that your own intelligence agency (CIA) claim is less dangerous now than he used to be, but could pose a threat if attacked?
    If the CIA is right, the war is pointless. If the CIA is wrong, then the US would be up against a man desperate and mad enough that he might just decide it’s worth using any weapons capibilities he has, regardless of consequences.
    But do you think Bush is better at analysis the threat than the CIA, despite his practically non-existent foreign policy experience?
    If anyone needs to make their case, it is the war mongering lunatics that is willing to send people to their death despite their own intelligence community opposing it as pointless and dangerous,
    their allies considering it almost criminal (to the extent that a senior German official compared Bush’ way of using war to mollify internal criticism with the way Goebbels did during world war II), and opposition from a large part of their own population.

  15. I’m from Australia – so we are at the moment counting our dead from Bali, a number which may include over 100 of our countrymen and women.
    I don’t see Saddam behind this. Maybe it was Osama, I don’t know.
    But when it comes to Iraq, George W. seems to have an uncontrolled personal vendetta against the guy. You guys went into Afghanistan to get Osama and you didn’t – maybe he did die but who knows. So there is lack of closure – there is no revenge or justice yet for 9/11. So GWB goes after Saddam.
    Okay – I hate Saddam as well. I wish he’d die and the country turns into a democracy. But I feel the same about Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Burma and so on. Should those countries also be attacked? And if so, should they be attacked without UN approval?
    Attacking Iraq without without:
    1) UN approval
    2) Proving a direct link between Osama and Saddam.
    3) Attacking other dictatorships.
    … will be a great hypocritical tragedy.
    Why not spend the money in supporting democracy and freedom and economic development in nations that hate the US rather than bomb them or ignore them?

  16. I have stated for many years that politics isn’t for the people anymore. It is for the politicians. I have a sense that when things go the way of the vast majority of voters, it’s because the polticians stand to lose something important to THEM if they vote opposite to voter concern. As for this current cooked-up crisis created by a president who would rather pull a trigger (or stand behind the relative safety of our borders and make OTHERS pull the triggers) than work for a diplomatic resolution, I would ask when it became more correct to become an axe-wielding barbarian than a thinking man with a conscience.
    Kevin

  17. B. Bock wrote:
    “I can tell you, if Daschle or Lieberman run for president in ’04, they can go fish as far as I’m concerned. ”
    At least Lieberman, wrong though he is, has the courage of his convictions – he’s wanted Hussein done in forever.
    Daschle was so clearly being a weeny on this saying, in effect, Mr. President, I’ll support this resolution even though it’s a really bad idea – but if anything goes wrong, it’s YOUR fault.
    I’ve added him to my flush list.
    I’ll vote for someone who was against this extraordinary misadventure into the realm of empire if I can.
    But if the only viable candidates are those who supported it, at least I want one (like Biden) who GENUINELY supported it, who took responsibility for their vote and who were aware of the possible, frightful consequences (again, like Biden)if our government is wrong.
    Here ends the sermon :-)
    Peace!

  18. Hi,
    I’m from Ireland. We’ve had enough terrorism to know a little about the subject. I have always considered the greatest threat to the US is not the likes of Saddam, but the person delivering your milk, or the bank manager, or indeed the computer technician, with a belief that an injustice is being done and “God” will look after him.
    No matter if he (or she) is one of the murderous Christian fundamentalists (Polynesia last year) or an islamic fundamentalist.
    These are the threat.
    Not Saddam, there was no massive escallation of weapons research, or mobilisation of troops in the last couple of months. No declaration of war on a neighbouring country. Just Bush, wanting to finish what his father started, and couldn’t finish.
    Of course his family’s oil links have nothing to do with the decisions being made, and his Europuppet Tony blair doesn’t have a “Look Maw, I’m with the big boy’s now” grin every time the two of them meet. Heavens no!
    Security is what the American people deserve, a war in Iraq is just one more excuse to launch a rocket at a military target, or an office building, or a school.
    Later,
    Dev.

  19. CLARIFYING POINT: Bush and kin are not rednecks!!!
    WHY? Because his whole family was born and RAISED in Maine!!!!! (even his drunk driving ticket was in Kennedy-lane Kennebunksport, hello!)
    They carpetbagged their way into Texas (while still maintaining their Maine residences!!!) since we DO NOT HAVE A STATE INCOME TAX. Thus, they CLAIM RESIDENCY IN TEXAS, never have to pay extra for their inflated incomes and still “visit their retreats in Maine”.
    Bush was -=>NEVER

  20. Maybe you’re judging them unfairly because you disagree with their decision.
    Sometimes you want the elected offical to look at the evidence and do the *right thing* regardless of how loudly people shout about one point of view. And sometimes a minority is *right*. It is the job of the elected offical to decide when this is the case and act on it.
    The worst kind of elected offical are those who just look at the opinion polls and vote for whatever the majority wants just to ensure their popularity regardless of what they are voting for.
    I’m not saying anything about the issue here – just that I’m sure you can imagine a circumstance where you’d think they had done the right thing voting for something *despite* the fact that it may not be the popular choice.
    If enough people think that they are consistently making the wrong choice they will vote in someone else.
    That’s the way democracy works in most countries and in general it’s a good thing that every decision isn’t a popularity contest.
    You don’t vote for individual decisions, you vote for the *person* to represent you.

  21. Hey wil, I love your site, and respect you and your viewpoints, and whatnot.
    Question: What would you rather have happen? Should we the civilized world sit on our thumbs until Saddam kills thousands of innocent people? (Here you would say, “there is no proof he’s going to do that”) The fact is that by American laws, GWB is the president, and is privy to far more information than you or I. Do you think that sensitive reports about Iraq that would A)compromise operatives or B)scare Iraq into doing something rash would be released? If there is a chance that Iraq will do something stupid, we must neutralize that chance.
    You throw in accusations that GWB is after the Iraqi oil. Seems to me that we could have gone after Kuwaiti oil in 1991 by instating an American Dictator, or some such thing, but we didn’t…the other argument is that oil prices are going to skyrocket…I don’t remember that happening in 1991…infact, I remember oil falling to $10 a barrel…
    I wonder where your public outcry was when Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998? Or when Clinton went in to Kosovo without a UN resolution?
    What would you rather have happen? Diplomatic efforts have been tried for 11 years. The all-powerful Bill Clinton couldn’t get weapons inspectors in without bombing them. Please elaborate on that instead of “I don’t support this resolution”. What do you support?

  22. Wil:
    Eventhough Puerto Rico only has a Resident Comissioner in DC, and have therefore no say whatsoever in this type of desicions made by the legislative bodies of the US government, because of the whole situation with the NAVY and Vieques, we are very much affected by this desicion. I’ve only thought about this whole terrorism thing as to how it affects us down here in PR. Your thoughts made me realize that this thing not onlly affects us here in regards to Vieques, but the whole international community. I just hope Sadam doens’t take it out on inocent people.
    Isn’t it curious how when the Bushes are in power, we are at war, or are looking to be in one?

  23. Very interesting commentary and research as well. My comment to your posting would be that even though you think a letter to your hardline Republican representative would be futile, you should still send it. It is akin to not voting because you feel the race is already won.
    I would suggest sending all of those mentioned a link to your post and ask them to read all those commenting on it as well.
    bob

  24. OIL-OIL-OIL.
    It couldn’t have anything to do with OIL, COULD IT?
    Here is something to consider. Does anyone out there believe Isreal would let Saddam develop weapons of mass destruction? NOT! If Isreal (and you can’t tell me Isreal does not know exactly what is happening in their own back yard, they even have a meter to know how much Saddam pisses, how much he pisses and what colour it was) knew Saddam was creating devastating weapons (and I’m not talking forty year old Russian Scuds) Saddam would be squashed like a bug before the US could say OIL.
    I’ll leave the real reasons for this facade up to the readers here.
    OIL-OIL-OIL

  25. Ireland Here.
    to continue on from Neil ‘Oz’ comment re: getting Osama \ Not getting Osama \ Going after Saddam.
    It seems to me that the American Government have decided (with or without the support of the PEOPLE of America) that WAR IS GOOD.
    Bush didn’t get Osama, but his WAR ON TERRORISM goes on. (Believe me I know, Sky News has a permanent BREAKING NEWS banner, but I digress)
    So Bush didn’t get Osama Bin Liner so he goes after Saddam. “Let us inspect your weapons” says the Shrub, and lo, the gates are opened and Saddam lets the weapons inspectors back in.
    But this is not good enough, nope “We’re gonna kick the arse offa you varmints anyway” says the Shrub and lo the 11th Commandment is passed by congress “Thou shalt not dispute the word of the Lord High Poobah!”
    and what happens if he doesn’t get to go to war with Saddam? Who will the next target of the War on Terrorism be?
    ETA in Spain? The IRA? The PLO? Oh wait a minute…

  26. Wil, why are you so certain everyone agrees with you and expressed the same opinion to Senator Fienstien? Could it be that ever SOB and their brother in Orange County also wrote saying, bomb Iraq into the Stone Age. Also the oil comments aren’t well founded, yes in the short term oil prices will go up. However, in the long term, with a western friendly government in Iraq, the home to the second largest oil deposit in the world, oil prices would drop with their return to major production with help from other countries that are looking to invest in Iraq. The oil companies, the single largest source of unmitigated evil in the world, are not that short sited.

  27. Well DUH. You mean this may have more to do with a grudge between the Hatfields and McCoys … er Bushes and Husseins? Of course Jr. is trying to take down the bad guy his daddy couldn’t get.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bush is the type of President that needs a bad guy to keep himself popular. So far he’s had China (remember the spy plane incident?), Bin Laden, Hussein … who’s next? He’s ready to throw us into war with everybody who’s not our staunchest ally. INSANE!

  28. Wil-
    I know you are unhappy with Feinstein’s vote, but, as it turns out, she’s doing what the founding fathers intended. Remember that the two houses of Congress were created with the idea that the House of Representatives would be the house that swayed on current public opinion, while the Senate could look at the “big picture” and do what they think is right, but not necessarily popular. The six year term gives them some insulation. The idea is that a Senator is more wise than the impetuous public. This may not be the case, but it’s the system we’ve got.
    Also, she isn’t saying that she’s ignoring her constituents. She just wouldn’t want to base her vote on just the “squeaky wheels.” There are other ways to weigh public opinion than counting the letters in her office.

  29. Wil,
    When you source SALON.com as a resource, you make me not want to like you. SALON is a haven for wacky, left-wing, socialist, limp-wristed, bed-wetting, LIBERAL commentary.
    Give me something from Drudge, NewsMax, FOX, Rush, Boortz and I’ll listen to you.

  30. I love the site but you have to also think of all the people who didnt send her their opinion on the subject. As well these people are elected by the majority of the people so obviously people like the decisions she makes and if they no longer feel that way she will not return to office! I know someone is gonna say that the system if flawed, but i challange them to come up with a system that is not. The fact is no matter how government work somebody is gonna be unhappy. You have to live with it and take you chance to help change it by VOTING! Some people may also say Bush’s ways of going about gettin the job done are violent or gun happy but the fact is he is getting it done. My grandfater always said “If you ask someone to ‘Please pass me the spade’ they dont listn but, if you say ‘Give me the fuckin shovel’ the do it quick”!

  31. Gee Will,
    Pardon me for this little slap about our democratic process .. but maybe you shouldn’t have so quickly written off your ‘republican’ US rep – and jumped on the democratic bandwagon.
    Sorry man , but folks who only talk to their registered party are like guys who bitch about their boss’s annoying habits – but carefully hide it from said boss in fear of being fired or something. Its counter productive.
    Its the same crowd of folks who go off and pout when their party’s presidential candidate doesnt get in office – forgetting that, there were more folks who wanted them in office. [or at least more votes .. but thats a whole `nother argument.]
    It *ALSO* smacks of the same people who bitch about how the country is run .. but *DO NOT VOTE*.
    FIRST off .. the republican and democrat parties are just missleading lables now a-days. Joe Liberman is a Democrat . but he certainly passed some restrictive and very conservative laws.
    There are an equal number of Republican officers who are very liberal.
    My point being .. anyone who runs for high public office now adays .. has a few million in the bank.
    Show me ANY politician who is deeply in touch with the plight of his ‘fellow man’ when they have the luxury of worring if their offshore investments are doing good this week.
    The line between the parties is almost non existant. They all say the same things . they just say it in the canned response that eveyone expects them to use. Its like talking to a dog .. you can say whatever you want – as long as its in a nice voice .. they wag their tail.
    Talk to *ALL* your reps .. you may not like their party lines .. but last I checked .. people are not issued a certificate at birth stating Democrat or Republican. I’m willing to bet that your officer’s values are not so immutable too.
    Besides – your stuck with them till the next election. You can’t ignore them any more than you can ignore that annoying boss.

  32. I saw Bob Graham walking through the Atlanta airport a few months ago, while I was waiting for a flight. I couldn’t work up the nerve to walk up to him, shake his hand, and thank him for representing me (I’m a Floridian).
    I wish I had now…

  33. The United States has representative government instead of direct democracy precisely BECAUSE the founding fathers decided that the government ought not to make decisions based on the direction of fickle public opinion.
    If you dislike the way things change between Democratic and Republican administrations, just imagine how wide the swings would be if everything was decided based on public opinion polls.
    I certainly understand how irritating, frustrating, and anger-producing it can be to have your representatives in the House and Senate act against your wishes; but they really were elected to make decisions for themselves.

  34. In Senator Feinstein’s defense, there are certainly times when it is best for a “representative” to vote against the “wishes of the people”. The Jim Crow laws were enormously popular with the voting pubilc, but Congress wisely forged ahead with civil rights reforms anyway.
    Such times are rare, of course. But I admit that there are certainly times when I think that this whole notion that a million people can be smarter than one is flawed.
    On the whole, though, I agree with you completely. I wrote to both Senators and to my representative, letting them know how I felt, and how much I’m looking forward to November so that I can vote certain parties out of office.

  35. Wil,
    I don’t know what polls of California alone might show on the Iraq question, but, depending on how the question’s asked, up to 70% of the nation supports Bush. The vote in the house and senate pretty well reflected the national consensus. So, on the whole, our representative republic form of gov’t reflected the will of the people.
    Our representatives probably take into account issues which have fervent pro or con constituents. There is an organized anti-war effort at present (including you), but I doubt there’s really an organized pro-war effort to flood congress with pro-war messages. They often ignore a flood of messages from activists when the broader polls give such a contrary result. And, maybe Senator Feinstein voted her conscience, or maybe she does believe the intelligence dictated a yes vote.
    But, the broader opinion is often ignored on other issues, such as immigration. For years, polls have shown the 2/3’s or more believe immigration should be reduced. But, it never happens. It increases, and Dubya and Democrat leaders are presently trying to grant another amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. More than 70% of Americans oppose that, but they keep trying, I think because immigration is not a voting issue for most Americans. Few decide their vote on that one issue. The few who do are mostly pro-immigration, recent immigrants who want more of their group let in. So, rather than following the will of the people, we see both parties loosening immigration laws, and pandering to recent immigrants who will vote that one issue. Representative democracy at work. If it ever becomes a voting issue for a large bloc of Americans, we’ll see a dramatic change in how politicians behave on that issue.
    But, our representatives know a voting issue when they see one. After the Ninth Circuit ruled against the “under God” phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, they (especially liberal Democrats) couldn’t find a microphone fast enough to register their outrage at such a ruling. Then, that stirring rendition of “God Bless America” on the capitol steps. Whatever you think about all that, they definitely know a voting issue when they see one.
    Back to Iraq. I believe that CIA report you said was released was actually leaked. Many in D. C. believe it was a CUA move by CIA Director Tenet, a Clinton holdover. After their brilliant pre-9/11 work, many believe Tenet wanted cover in case things go badly with Iraq. CIA reports are generally not released to the public, and I give the content of that particular one little credibility. It might well have been produced to be leaked.
    As one person mentioned, if this is all about oil, why didn’t Bush, Sr. and his oilman Sec. of Defense Cheney grab it in 1991 after Saddam had been totally defeated? It’s not about oil, but if we go in, we should certainly look after our oil interest with any new gov’t. Do any of the posters here use petroleum products?
    And, a regime change is not because Iraq can or would pose any direct threat to the US, but because they are a real threat to pass biological or chemical weapons on to terrorists who would use them against us, or some other western nation.
    Later, they might pass nuclear weapons on to terrorists. Saddam definitely needs to be history.
    Strange no one has yet mentioned the week-end events on Bali. Do people still doubt the terrorists will commit any atrocity they can until they are defeated? Comparatively, that might be as great a tragedy for Australia as 9/11 was for the US. Do we want to take odds on whether Saddam would pass along even more destructive weapons when he has them? One in ten? One of two? One of one? What are the acceptable odds to live with?
    If the dysfuctional Arab and Islamic worlds simply stayed at home and lived with their failures, we’d have no reason to do anything but buy their oil. But a significant minority have this grand vision of a new golden age of Islam, and tend to blame their failures of the past 500+ years on the West, and never on themselves. I think terrorism will continue and become much worse until more freedom and prosperity is available to their people. And, how can that ever happen with the assorted repressive monarchies and dictators which presently govern their countries? They have very high birth rates, high unemployment, and little prospect of improvement. That’s the real reason to topple Saddam, and maybe some others.

  36. Rust (post number 5) has a point. Too bad the conclusion doesn’t follow the same logic. Here is what was said in Post #5
    It’s funny to see how warlike the Republicans are. When Carter was in office, he bent over backwards to avoid a confrontation with Iran. Once Reagan got in, Iran got scared and the hostages came home. Why?
    Carter just won the Nobel Peace Prize.
    What will Bush win? There is no Nobel Booby Prize.
    — Just Another Canadian’s Opinion
    Let’s look closer. Hostages are in Iran and NOT coming home with a Democrat in office. Republican is elected and Iran “got scared” and hostages are sent home. Iran “got scared” because they knew that Reagan was not some blow-hard with no real plan to do anything but talk. Iran knew that blood would be spilled in order to free our people from their grasp. With Carter “bending over backwards” they knew they had nothing to worry about. Perhaps Iraq and other countries will not even bother to plot against us when they see that the “stone-age inducing bombing” they get in return isn’t worth it. Look to the future of the Middle East. When the oil runs out (predicted in about 85 years) what will they have? WE will move on to other ways to fuel our country. THEY will vanish. No oil means no money from the US. No money, coupled with no way to grow their own food, means no way to survive. National Geographic said this month. “Without oil they cannot live well. Without water they cannot live.” What is shaping for the future is something not unlike the Star Trek movie when the Klingon moon Praxis explodes. We will have a chance to “wipe them from the galaxy” and “be in a far better position to dictate terms”
    It is JUST my opinion (and worth as much as you are paying to read it) but we are actually assuring the continued existence of these piss-ant countries by doing things like NOT drilling in our own country for oil. If we didn’t buy from them, whom would they sell to? Who would pay the costs? Russia? They have their own oil. Japan? A formidable country, but too small to make a dent in the Middle East economy. Canada is large enough, but also has other options. England? Options. Australia? No need for anyone else for any reason. They’ve got it all covered.
    My point (and I do have one) is while we are NOT altruistic in our dealings with other countries we ARE making it possible for them to exist beyond their normal life cycle. Their governments are as corrupt as Ancient Rome, but they don’t have as far to fall to hit the ruin that Rome became. Without oil they will only remain as long as the rest of the world supports them with food and other basic needs of life, and when it comes to our survival our theirs we all know what the choice our country will make.
    I know that knocking them around NOW is distasteful in the least, leaving them to attempt to knock us around is even more so. They can live long a fruitful lives if they just leave us alone. We are trying to teach them to do just that.
    for what it’s worth

  37. Run Wil, Run. The country needs you. We can bitch all day long, or we can do something about it. More progressive celebrities need to get into politics, or we will only be left with lunatic right-wing puppets like Reagan. We all know politics is a show (not that it should be, but it is). What we need is the right people in the roles. Run Wil, Run. If your congressperson is a right-winger, oppose him/her. You can do it. Even just to raise awareness.
    -The Real Sam

  38. Not to nit-pick, but Bob Graham is a Democrat from my state, Florida.
    What galls me the most is the fact this is administration is willing to send young Americans to their death to make their oil buddies even more wealthy. And if it helps them get control of the Senate and turn us into a theocracy along the way, bonus!
    And the scariest thing is the so-called ‘Liberal Media’ is so completely controlled by big business that very few dissenting voices are being heard.

  39. Wil,
    Nice balanced use of sources. Lets see, you quoted a liberal source, then a liberal source, followed by a liberal source, and topped it all off with a liberal source. I would also like to note that in a recent poll 55% of Californians approved of the way Bush is dealing with Iraq (compared to 65% nationally). So by that argument, you Senator did infact vote for the wishes of the majority she represents.

  40. With all this talk of “Secret Reports” and confidential information, how can you actually believe either side though?
    I can not believe there is anyone involved with politics who has “nothing to lose,” and until I can see those secret reports myself, I can not pass judgement on who is right.
    Do I want us to go to war? No, I think it’s overreactionary. Do I want us to take no action against Iraq? No. The deal was that he let the inspectors in. That stopped. Something should have been done about it in 1998, before they had four years to change the status of their arms situation.
    “Then there is the awkward matter of the CIA report on Iraq released last week, which concluded that U.N. inspections actually worked before they were halted in 1998, leaving Saddam’s military and his chemical-weapons program weaker than they were in the 1980s.”
    If they worked, why were they stopped?
    This country is in a strangle hold by the US Political System. The Republicans and Democrats will NEVER do what’s in the best interest of the country if it’s not in the best interest of the party.
    So how do you know who to believe?
    Whose reports can you trust? Salon.com and miami.com? I tent to take anything with .com at the end with extra grains of salt. Even cnn.com.
    Yes, this is a circular arguement, because I’m not for or against what is happening. However, I don’t think we can blindly say that just because one politician or another agrees with what WE think, that they must be right.
    Why doesn’t Graham have anything to lose politically? He’s a politician. This is his livelyhood. He has EVERYTHING to lose with every decision he makes. Granted, he’s probably smarter than Feinstein in realizing that if the party ousts him he can switch over and his supporters will stay loyal to HIM, not the party.
    We live in dangerous times, not because of the rest of the world, but because of ourselves.

  41. Mr. Wheaton I love your site, I admire your talent, writing as well as acting, and look forward to reading the book.
    I’ve got to agree,(in principle) with the comment made about what sources you quote as references. If you only listen to those who agree with you, you’ll never be fully informed. I read Salon, Slate, Mother Jones, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, National Review, The Village Voice, The Daily Standard,Foreign Policy, Jane’s Information Group,The Jerusalem Post, Ha’aretz, and any number of fifty plus foreign papers on the web depending on the issue and area at hand.
    The reasons behind the coming war with Iraq is very complex,and it is inevitable that it will come. Is oil a part of the reason? Of course it is. Is it because Bush and his “buddies” want to make more money? Of course not. Our economy has a symbiotic relationship with the oil economies of the Middle east and Russia. Tha’s why we have such a love hate relationship with Saudia Arabia. They hate everything we stand for, but their economy, (mismanaged as it is) would collapse without us. That would destabilize an already volatile area to the brink of war and beyond. If anyone doesn’t understand that this is the area that could in a very short period of time could bring on another world war then they are very uninformed. And for the gentleman who “knows” so much about Israel, “your argument would be much more effective if you could spell the name of the country correctly.

  42. Wil,
    I’ve been active and attentive to politics since I was 14, through a YMCA program called Youth and Government (www.calymca.org… but they have it in almost every state). It’s amazing how few people in this country vote, especially when this November is such an important election.
    Thanks for being policitally active, thanks for using your site to bring attention to the dire need to vote, I knew there was a reason I came here to read you everyday.

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