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 dont think it makes any sense in this day and age to write a detailed letter. They dont have time to read it.
    Rather, print or write onto a postcard in big letters with a simple message like:
    “NO UNILATERAL ACTION ON IRAQ PLEASE”.
    This way, the gov office processes it in 3 seconds, and maybe the mail people will see it to.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more Wil! There is no compelling or urgent need to wage war against Iraq. It sickens me to see that there is such a push in this direction by our government on such laughable evidence.
    For those that may be in disbelief of just how laughable the evidence is, take a note and answer these questions: has the alleged evidence about Iraq been made public? No, why not? Is our govt. trying to protect the Iraqi government by not telling us the full truth of what they claim to know?
    Think about it. We gain (most credible) intelligence from satellite views and word of mouth from ground operatives. The latter of which aren’t terribly many or very reliable. Yet there are claims of ‘hard evidence’ against Iraq.
    However, despite this so-called evidence all we get from Pres. Bush and other supporting pols is a redress of past history. Yes, Saddam has gassed people and yes he’s killed people. No distinction is ever made to the fact that he’s done these things in the PAST. Instead it’s presented as an everyday occurrence in Iraq so we should go to war!
    The reason that ‘evidence’ is not being revealed is because it’s not so hardline conclusive on anything. To wit, of the crimes Bush attributes to Saddam Hussein, and all are heinous to be sure, the U.S. knew about them at the time they occurred AND DID NOTHING!
    Are we to really believe that an attack on Iraq is justified by what Saddam has done to his people? When we never attempted to stop him in the first place? Furthermore, if our govt. is so very concerned about the well-being of citizens in other countries why are we buddy buddy with China? The Chinese govt. has a long and ongoing history of human rights abuses. Why aren’t we set to go to war with them?
    Evidently, people being abused in countries that we see developing economic ties with is okay. We have no such views of economic bliss that will benefit us with Iraq.
    I can remember watching the news one night and in one segment they mention that the U.S. has already built a staging base to launch off into war on Iraq, in Qatar. Later on they show satellite images of Iraq saying that Saddam’s forces appear on the move and girding for war!
    Gee, I don’t know about you but if I knew someone was across the way setting up a place to attack me from… I’d damn sure be getting ready for it too! Iraq has a right to protect itself.
    Bush has watched his ground swell of popularity wax and wane. The hunt for Bin Laden a failure, he needs something to drum up support for his presidency. He doesn’t want to be a one-termer. Iraq is the perfect patsy! We battled them before and Saddam is still there so he still must be BAD! We should battle them again and take him out. Little boy Bush wants to finish what his father began.
    That there is no undeniable proof to wage war on Iraq is irrelevant. If need be the U.S. will create the needed proof. Don’t believe that? History tells those who bother to look that the war in Vietnam came about from an attack against a U.S. military ship BUT it was the ship that provocated the attack. Think we can’t provoke an attack on ourselves again? The govt. can and will do it at some point in effort to provide the one thing they lack… something concrete to validate going to war.
    They’ve already got a base setup and roaring to go in Qatar. Don’t believe me though go and educate yourselves:
    http://www.sltrib.com/2002/jul/07012002/nation_w/749848.htm
    Whatever we do as Americans, we must not let ourselves be blindly led into a war.

  3. The tone of your site is changing rapidly to just another extreme place of harsh views.
    What’s next, pop up ads?!?
    Learn to swim before you drown (yourself). imho.
    I wonder if Levar Burton has a web site?

  4. It is all based on interests not power; yet if power is our goal, then war will only hinder our actions.

  5. Reminder: this site is not a celebrity site, it is one of opinions shared by a community of thinkers monitored by an activist whom many respect and admire.

  6. Long time reader, first time poster here.
    As others have pointed out, Bob Graham is a Democrat, and a damn fine Senator and former Governor of Florida. There was talk of him being selected as Gore’s running mate in the last election, and I wish he had been — certainly, the Florida mess wouldn’t have happened, as Graham is VERY popular here and they could have easily swept the state.
    Besides, Lieberman scares the heck out of me, especially in combination with Gore (neither one is exactly a sterling supporter of the First Ammendment), and I voted for them only in effort to keep Dubya out. Given the way things turned out, I should have held to my convictions and voted for Nader. But I digress.
    I wish Graham would run for President; he’d have my vote in a heartbeat.
    To hell with the people that are giving you crap over the political commentary, though, Wil. You’re a sharp guy and I enjoy reading your views. And yes, I largely agree with you politically, but I’m interested in reading anyone that can express themselves intelligently, and you, sir, are doing just that. Keep it coming.

  7. Wil:
    Senator Feinstein is one of my neighbors. I’ve actually seen her on the street a couple of times, but mostly she’s never home. Next time I see her, I’m going to ask her if she’s still a democrat – not that it matters much these days. Democrats don’t seem to be the opposition party anymore.
    -Chris

  8. Hey Wil,
    I totally agree with you.
    My friend and I were discussing this last night. We’re the same age and can remember watching the Vietnam war on the evening news every night as kids. I NEVER want to see anything like it again. Attacking Iraq is another Vietnam waiting to happen. Pointless, costly, and dangerous.
    Those who said George W is trying to: finish what Dad started or didn’t finish, make him proud, or make himself look good, are absolutely right.
    Didn’t his Dad go on record saying HE opposed this? I seem to recall he did.
    Well “W”, there’s one reason out the window. Should we address the others? None of them are valid excuses.
    Lastly, to “Beej”, very well said. I’m a native Texan too and I really miss Ann Richards.
    God help us all and especially the poor kids George sends to do his bidding. How does he sleep at night? Oh right, he sold his conscience for public office.
    How liberating.
    Peace,
    Billman

  9. I wonder how fast that 70 percent approval rating would disappear if the draft were reinstituted — covering ALL people of draft age — including the sons and daughters of the wealthy and well-connected?
    It might look a lot different if Bush’s two partyin’ daughters had to face the draft wouldn’t it?
    Someone up there commented that we should be drilling our own wildernesses for oil. Why not take it a step further and forget drilling for oil here — why not make alternate fuels more attractive? Costs can’t be more than the endless cleanups we have to pay for after oil companies get through trashing environments and their employees’ 401k accounts…

  10. Wil,
    I’m willing to grant you your sources about CIA reports and such, and Feinstein’s comments are phenomenally annoying.
    But why do you assume that this Iraq thing has to do with Oil? Obviously you missed the AP story last week about Africa. The world’s oil companies have had enough worrying about oil coming out of the middle east and have been investing TONS of money in western Africa in recent times. Geological surveys show (according to the article) that there is more oil off the shores of western africa than in the Persian Gulf.
    So if Bush was clamoring to start invading some western african nations (and making them the 51st+ states) then I could say this is All about oil.
    Bush might be war mongering to keep his numbers propped up, but I won’t buy that this is just about oil.

  11. I can’t agree with you here Wil. Saddam has been shooting at our planes, and the planes of our allies for 11 years now. He has repeatedly refused to obey the terms of his surrender. This will allow us to attack and finish him if he does not follow the current UN resolutions allowing weapon inspectors back in. We need to be able to bite, as well as bark. Empty threats mean nothing, but now, he will see that resolution passed. He will realize that if he screws with us, he will pay. Thus, he will be less likely to cause any trouble. My 2 cents.

  12. Wil,
    Not being there, this is only a question, but could it have less to do with democratic representation and more to do with something like on-line polls (or some other equally slanted, er, I mean, *accurate* “other factors”)

  13. Recently, there was a stand at Farmer’s Market where people could write letters to their representatives. They encouraged us to write to Boxer rather than Feinstein, as Feinstein wasn’t likely to listen to our feedback.
    I’m sad to hear that they were right.

  14. I couldn’t agree more; I wrote a long rant about this at kuro5hin on thursday when i was still distraught about it. But a quick side note — Feinstein was up for re-election two years ago, so you can’t hold it against her this November; you have to hold on to that rage and remember it when she’s up again in 2006.

  15. Well put, Will. Our Washington State Senator Cantwell seems to have misplaced her spine as well. She will not be getting my vote in her next election, and I’ve told her as much. Murray and Jim “I’ll go to Baghdad and tell the President this is a bad idea from there!” McDermott both deserve big pats on the back.
    In his recent book, Stupid White Men, Michael Moore asks the Democrats to stop moonlighting for the competition. It seems that the two-party system line grows more and more grey with each passing day. To them, I am inclined to agree with Moore when he says, “If you can’t clean up your act, fuck you and the donkey you rode in on.”
    Keep fighting the good fight, Will.

  16. Wil, I don’t always agree with your politics, but I really respect the guts it takes to say what you think.
    As for me, I think Iraq needs to be disarmed. That’s really the point of the inspections. If war is necessary to disarm Iraq, then we should go to war. If war is *not* necessary, we should not.
    I don’t think we should try to link Iraq with Al-Queda. There may be links but I don’t think Saddam had anything to do with September 11. If he’s smart he recognized (as Arafat did) that the World Trade Center attack was the worst thing that could have happened to him.
    Iraq hasn’t changed in the past two years or so. We have. If anyone can convince me that we should have attacked Saddam in 2000 I’ll support an attack now.
    Graham

  17. Funny. Feinstein was one of the most vocal opponents of the Iraq resolution. Good to know she caves under pressure.
    Time for term limits.

  18. I’m from the Bay Area, wrote my Rep’s and have similar feelings about Feinstein. I’m not surprised about her vote, given her ideas on what stability in the Mid-East is about.
    What pissed me off about the vote was the way it was rushed to be done before the Novemeber elections (blatant politics) and the vey bad precedent it sets for foreign policy. With pre-emption we can now blow the crap out of anyone who we preceive as a threat (and of course the CIA intelliengence is always right, huh!). We used to condem countries that used this as a reason to go to war.
    If you are under 35, this impacts you greatly. The post-war plans for Iraq include a U.S. military gov’t similar to that in Japan at the end of WWII. If this goes on for any length of time, our volunteer army won’t have enough troops to go round. Can you say the words “I’m being Drafted?”

  19. i’ve been a life-long liberal dem and this issue of war with hussein goes beyond black and white. it’s not JUST about the oil. i take issue with wil’s assertion that “in 1998″ a weaker WMD program within iraq equates to a current “lesser” threat in 2002. four years is a long time in which one can redevelop chem/bio/nuke weapons.
    and i do not doubt saddam will take the offensive if we go after his head – his life is all about remaining in power.
    and if this were such a bad idea, why has there been no outcry in the muslim world about going after saddam? because he’s a dictator who kills his own people as well as targets his own kin. there was more of a brouhaha by islamic-ruled nations prior to the afghanistan invasion.
    and as far as a representative voting for what they believe is right vs. what their VOCAL constituency wants, well, that’s a double edged sword. a vocal minority could sway reproductive rights for women and that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do, no matter what the letter writers believe with all their hearts.
    anna

  20. Uncle Willie,
    There once was a man from Crawford,
    who wrestled with grammar and the spoken word.
    While the economy sank in to the doldrums,
    he pounded his war drums,
    promising the salvation of every Shiite and Kurd.
    But his great nation was unsure,
    about the lengthy war they’d endure.
    “Frettle not,” he did heartily proclaim,
    I must topple evil Sad-dam His-saim,
    And they fell for it hook, line, sinker and lure.
    Peeking nervously from under my desk in mid-town Manhattan,
    Nephew Eric

  21. Well worded Wil! I too was disappointed to see that both my Senators & Congressman voted for this war; however, I wasn’t too surprised as Virginia’s representatives have gone along with every one of Bush’s ideas since he got in office.
    The sad thing is, despite the number of people who oppose this war, the people we elected to represent us do not seem to really take this into account. The only recourse we have is to attempt to boot them out of office every couple years, something I keep trying for good old Senator Warner in Virginia. Alas, in Virginia, we are still stuck with war crazy Republicans representing us.

  22. I’m a California resident too, and not a fan of Senator Feinstein. I have yet to see her ever fail to support whatever Israel wants, and Israel wants us to take out Iraq — that’s my best guess to explain her vote.

  23. Rust-
    Look at American history and you will see the majority of wars have been under members of Democratic party. The only ones you can point to are Nixon, and he was elected after the war started, and George The Elder. Just food for thought.
    WWI- Wilson, Dem
    Nicuragua, FDR, Dem
    WWII- FDR, Dem
    Korea- Truman, Demo
    Bay of Pigs- Kennedy, Dem
    Dominican Republic- Kennedy/Johnson, Dem
    Vietnam- Kennedy/Johnson, Dem
    Gulf War- Bush – Repub
    Somalia- Clinton, Dem
    Bosnia, etc- Clinton, Dem

  24. So, ‘weapons of mass destruction’ are bad. Iraq can’t have them. Neither can anyone else. Wait, except the US. We can have them, I guess. Where is the logic in that? Leave Iraq alone and let those guys kill each other and start worrying about what is wrong with the US. I hate Bush – he’s an idiot of massive proportion. The guy can’t even talk in press conferences without screwing something up. What a fuck-up. Who voted for this ass?

  25. I oppose war with Iraq unless these conditions are met:
    1)Hussein refuses to allow the UN access to any site.
    –This would suggest Hussein has something to hide.
    2)The UN approves action
    –We shouldn’t give our friends the finger. Our allies are important. It’s important that they feel that way. We don’t need any more enemies!
    3)Hussein refuses to disarm
    –provided weapons of mass destruction are found.
    4)Hussein has supported Al-Quaida
    –if there is hard evidence of this, screw the first three criteria and get his ass. Sadly, I don’t know if I would believe anything our government tells us.
    I’m very dissapointed in the way this situation has been handled. While I agree the world should never have allowed Hussein to break UN resolutions in the first place–I’m disgusted by the way Bush has treated our allies. And I’m afraid that Bush has sent Hussein a message that he’s going to be ousted from power no matter what he does. If Hussein’s back is against the wall… if he really does have all these terrible weapons…Why would he not use them? I’m afraid the actions of our government is going to be the catalyst for more attacks on us and our allies. Do you ever wonder if we are playing right into OBL’s hands? He’s always been a step ahead.
    …you know there is something wrong when you are more afraid of Bush that you are of Hussein.

  26. The politician would be a much more rational creature if it didn’t have to be elected. Just pick them at random from the phone book. Except for Florida. Florida elections provide good entertainment, and should remain unchanged.

  27. On Saturdaay I read in “The Guardian” newspaper,that recent Galup polls had estimated that support for the War had dropped to 50% of those American Citizens who were polled. If thats true (and Galup is a respected and long standing system), then thats a hell of a lot of people who are opposed to war with Iraq.
    Im not suprised. When the evidence for Saddam’s arsenal is nebulous, weak and often based on estimates from 4 years ago, then no wonder people are questioning its validity. Ive seen a copy of the infamous “dossier of evil” that Tony Blair (Wannabe-President and full time lapdog), presented to Parliament. It was so full of “maybe”s and “Could have”s and “mights” that half of the time it said nothing at all. Sources were quoted as “Intelligence services believe that…”. There was very little hard evidence in it at all. Whats worse, is that even if Iraq has got all the weapons its supposed to have, it would still not have the biggest arsenal in the Middle East. That honour falls to Israel, a member of the Nuclear Club, and guilty of human rights abuses and flouting of UN resolutions.
    The truth is, we have no solid evidence linking Saddam to Al Quaeda or September 11th, nor can we be sure that he will obtain or use Weapons of Mass Destruction against his neighbors or anyone else. We CAN be sure that he will use them, if he has them, if Iraq is invaded. Saddam needs to be dealt with, but maybe “jaw-jaw” would work better than “war-war”, and cost fewer lives. I’m worried that the hawks have convinced themselves that war is the only solution and are not looking for alternatives.
    People think that the whole thing is connected to OIL because there is not much solid evidence supporting all the other reasons we have been given, and the US is the biggest OIL using nation in the world, and Bush’s election campaign was funded by OIL companies, and the Bush administration has said that if a US military control of Iraq ever came about, then one of the benifits would be US adminstration of the OIL fields.
    Why this shift towards Iraq? Why don’t we hear about whats being done to stop Al Quaeda. They were the ones who commited the atrocity of Sept 11, and are most likely behind the bomb attack in Bali. If we need to remove Saddam because he is so evil, then why arent we going after Mugabe and Sharon?
    Let face it, if we attack Iraq without UN backing, then we will become rogue states too. Lets not be too quick to hand out more death. Too many have already died, and there is no garauntee that bombing the shit out of Iraq will kill only those who deserve death, or prevent terrorism from continuing its blood-soaked excesses.

  28. You present some interesting points and counterpoints. We had a split vote in MA also. I’m curious who the “people” are who allegedly are behind Bush. Bush is after oil interests, plain and simple. That and retaliation for his daddy. I can only hope we avert his disaster and it makes Bush look really bad in the long run. Vote carefully in November.

  29. W,
    I mean Wil,
    Just to get off on the right foot, I agree with you about a potential war in Iraq; it’s stupid. The resident tyrant in Baghdad is not a complete idiot having survived for more than two decades. It is unlikely he will launch any type of first strike against the US or Israel risking obliteration certainly by Israel if not us. He may sell WMD (acronyms suck) to other nut jobs, but the evidence is hardly conclusive that he has done so to date and is likely quite traceable. Again, why risk Baghdad being made into a glass parking lot?
    My question is, How many people has Saddam killed in the US in the last three weeks? And how many by the wackjob in DC? Perhaps Georgie and his own goon crew ought to be focusing on “homeland security”.
    One last note: Contrary to your note and the sentiments of most of your writers, Senators are not selected to represent the people. That is the purpose of the House of Representatives. The Founding Fathers set up the Senate with equal representation from each state to act as a more thoughtful and deliberative body than the House which represents the “will” of the people (Look at the Newt Gingrich revolution of 1994). Yes, we elect Senators, but we are supposed to select those whom we believe will think clearly and do the right thing. I too disagree with my Senators on many issues, but I think the problem arises from lack of clear thought on their part and more attention to polling data. It is the Senators who have forgotten their original purpose and thus so have we. Campaign reform. But I digress.
    Demosthenes

  30. Wil, why don’t you run for office! Hell yeah.. I’d vote for you.. you have a better head on your shoudlers than most of the corrupt (and non corrupt, if any) politicians.
    Wheaton for President! Wheaton for President! Wheaton for President! Wheaton for President! Wheaton for President! Wheaton for President! Wheaton for President! Wheaton for President!

  31. A few notes:
    Thank you to everyone who pointed out that Graham is a Democrat. I don’t know how I got that wrong. Doesn’t change the way I feel about Feinstein, though.
    I am thrilled that people are talking about this, and even more thrilled that so far the discussion here has been rational and respectful.
    There is a good point that I should have written my US Rep. regardless. You’re right, but each time I write him all I get back is a fundraising letter, and his voting record shows that his politics are clearly opposed to mine. Think whispering in a hurricaine.
    I don’t buy the argument that I only cited “liberal” sources, therefore invalidating my opinions, though I see what you’re getting at. When someone only cites Rush, or O’Reilly, or NewsMax, or something, I have the same reaction. The articles from Salon drew from the AP and Knight Ridder wires, though, which I wouldn’t refer to as “liberal” or “conservative” sources. Just something to consider.
    Final thought: it is folly to assume that because one opposes the Bush administration, one automatically supported the Clinton administration, or would presumably support a Gore administration.

  32. I’m with you on this one, Wil. I wrote Feinstein, Boxer, and my representative (Henry Waxman) about Iraq six or eight months ago when I first noted its appearance on congress.org. Of the two senators and my rep, Feinstein was the only one out of those three who refused so much as a response. At least Waxman was upfront about his intent on the issue, but I too will remember this vote come Nov. ’06.

  33. This whole situation is played over and over again like a broken record in human history. There are never any positions of purity on such extreme measures as war.
    Unfortunately, now the stakes are higher. Bringing war to Iraq can only bring disaster, domestically or abroad. Either he has the capability Bush and Chaney claim
    and will use it when we corner him in his palace (wouldn’t you if you knew you were on the hit list?), OR this is just another smoke screen for other Bush agendas
    (i.e. obfuscation of ties to corporate plundering and corruption, manufactured crisis like the California power situation, fixing of gas prices by the oil companies,
    etc…) . Distracting from these issues will kill any hope of reform.
    Either way, the American people lose. In fact, all involved will lose and lose big. Going to war risks the release of bio agents, and massive U.S. military casualties for
    what purpose? Does anyone think making a parking lot of Iraq will end terrorism? Imagine what we would be saying if we went into Iraq. We will be saying, among
    other things:
    Ok China, take back Taiwan.
    Ok India and Pakistan, last one to Kashmir is a bum!
    Ok Russia, roll over Chechnya at all costs.
    We would be setting this dangerous example. We cant fix the world. And we have to accept that other cultures will sometimes accept things that we would not.
    We cant move off the planet so we have to deal with what is here (the good, the bad, and ugly) and we have to keep in mind that polarization and posturing begets
    the same in return. I agree that terrorism must be stopped, but force alone will never solve that problem.
    The best weapon against terrorism is a more even keeled world economy. Prosperity gives people something to lose when they get extreme. By “prosperity” I mean,
    food, shelter, clothing, medicine. These types of things go a long way toward making friends and giving people something to think about losing by extreme action.
    Instead we offer, pre-emptive strike options and a “you may be next” doctrine. Believe me when I say that Im sure that many people around the world are losing
    sleep on that one. Some may be involved in terrorism, but many more are concerned about their families and being in the line of fire. That may work in the short term
    but it only breeds resentment and anger in response.
    People are much simpler than cultural differences suggest. In the end, all people want a working peace (not total peace which I believe is an impossible dream and
    goes against human nature). We cant deny who we are as a species. We are competitive, territorial, and constantly succumb to greed. However, these traits in
    moderation and with a working peace, have proven to spawn, innovation, survival, and an ambition to expand our boundaries and knowledge. I would like to see
    “win/win” situation presented instead of the constant “game over, insert more coins”. That to me, is the best weapon.
    SpunkyKnight

  34. The best comment yet on this topic was by Tom Tomorrow a couple days ago (at http://www.thismodernworld.com ) :
    “I’m beginning to think that if the Democratic party were on fire, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble it would take to piss on them.”
    I applaud Boxer for taking a stand and voting no.
    Feinstein has forever lost my vote. I will work *very hard* to bring her down come next election.

  35. Ah the ramblings of someone who actually thinks there are significant differences between democrats and republicans. Your rep did the right thing taking general polls into consideration. The majority of Californians and Americans for that matter support Bush, so where do you get this idea that she isn’t representing her citizens? Really one-sided rational, Wil.
    Make a real difference and push for a libertarian. Dems, Reps, and green party loonies are all the same…

  36. i dont’ believe in war and certainly dont’ want lives lost…esp. american lives and american soldiers…but its so hard to come up with a resolution to this situation with the middle east…they have been the way they are since before Christ so how can we just charge in there and expect to change anything suddenly (w/violence)…war is not the answer…i really dont’ know how to feel about all this…

  37. Me again. Still no coherent argument against the war in Iraq posted here. Links anyone?
    And for those who say the vote was timed for the election are displaying their ignorance. Say you’re against the war. You know Feinstein is for it. Had she been up for re-election (like 33 senators and all the House are), when BETTER to know how she stands?
    After you toe the party line and vote for her since she has a (D) next to her name? Then two weeks later, she votes for the war? Where’s your sense?
    Votes like this ARE PERFECT right before the election! In fact, if it weren’t for Dubya’s pressing of the issue, you know the Congress would have delayed it until after. They KNOW some of their jobs are on the line!

  38. It shouldn’t come as any damn surprise that wil is coming out against this war. For god’s sake, he thinks that left-wing kook Michael Moore is a godsend (for all you right-thinking conservatives out there, make sure to get the word out to people to avoid seeing “Bowling for Columbine” – make sure that Michael Moore doesn’t get the chance to make one more left-wing movie rant against America ever again!)
    As to the war, yeah…I suppose that over 20 years of evidence pouring in from ever corner about the evils of Saddam Hussein and the Baathist regime wouldn’t be enough to sway the heart of any liberal – not even a smoking gun would be enough to push them to war (if it wasn’t enough after Sept. 11, it will never be enough). Let’s just forget that the tyrant has violated one U.N. resolution after another, or that he gassed his own citizens, or that his regime is founded on the basis of terror, or that he DOES fund terrorists (he hands pay-outs to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers, and there is evidence suggesting he helps train them as well).
    There isn’t nor has there been a cogent liberal argument for opposing the war that hasn’t been founded on a knee-jerk anti-Semitism or anti-Americanism , a rant about President Bush trying to finish the job his father started, or the drive to get to Iraqi oil. Each of those arguments has been soundly debunked and exposed as the frauds they are. It’s even become so ludicrous that liberals and leftists are trying to paint Bush as some new Hitler (apparently that is the opinion of some very stupid German Justice Ministers). To compare Bush to Hitler or to any dictator is ridiculous, yet this is part of the scope of the left-wing argument. Hell, when you see Pat Buchanan and the left-wing agreeing on ANYTHING, you damn well know that there’s something wrong with that particular position.
    The fact that the Iraqi people are SUFFERING under the boot of that tyrant will never be enough for you bleeding heart liberals. The FACT that Saddam has used biological and chemical weapons isn’t enough. The fact that evidence HAS been unearthed that ties Iraq to al-Qaeda isn’t enough. If Saddam nukes Washington, D.C., that probably won’t be enough.
    You are all on the wrong side of history, just like the America Firsters previous to WW2, or just like your precious Soviet Union. People like you have always bowed down to tyrants, sacrificing your dignity to your own petty whims and fears. If it were up to people like you, the world might just be in the grip of a Nazi superstate and a destructive Japanese Pacific empire. Thanks to people like you, the people of Vietnam lost their one true chance at freedom.
    When the people of Iraq are finally free thanks to American guts and know-how, just remember that NONE OF YOU had a part in it, and never will.

  39. Wasn’t Boxer the one who wasn’t sure that the attack on September 11th were carried out by Osama and his buddies?
    And let me ask these few questions. If we (the US) pull out of every country (Taiwan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Yugoslavia, etc) and leave them to their own choices and battles, what do you really think is going to happen?
    Is China going to respect Taiwan’s independence?
    Are the radical Islamics in Saudi or Kuwait going to agree with the current regime?
    Do you think Slobo and his boys are going to give the Serbs their little country?
    If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, go back and redo your homework. We got involved in these countries because of the atrocities (or possible atrocities) that would be carried out against their own people or their neighbors.
    Although the analogy might be a bit out of place, what would you do if you saw some parent beating up on a kid? You would call the police or just jump in there and stop it, right? Think about that, and now apply it to a much larger slate.

  40. Stenek wrote ‘The twentieth century was the bloodiest in human history. Let us not attempt to equal or surpass it in the twenty-first.’
    I’m afraid you may be too late. We already have Sept 11th, and now Bali. I have read that American newspapers aren’t carrying coverage of this attack, or if they are, only to say how many Americans were killed. Bali is in Indonesia, which is a hop, skip and jump away from where I am – New Zealand. Osama ‘the Monster’ and Al Queda are far from me. Or so I thought. Now I am starting to get worried. I (perhaps naively) thought terrorism was something that happened elsewhere. I need someone to comfort me. Lie to me if you have to, but tell me it will all work out…PLEASE. We have one confirmed dead Kiwi. But one is too much. Fears for all those still missing. I don’t pray – maybe I will start.

  41. Iraq started a war. They lost. When you lose you have to do what winners tell you to do or you get beat down again. It’s Iraq’s war. They lost, the deal was “We’ll top kicking your ass if you lets us inspect your weapson, enforce no fly, etc etc”. Iraq didnt’ do that…so what now? They just get away with it? let them walk? If Japan had not held up their part of deal after WWII, the US/allies would have taken over Japan too. Japan was under far far more restrictions than Iraq ever was and they complied. Ditto for Germany (took two tries there)
    Enough is enough, the stalling, the lying the BS, the ‘almost’ inspections. THEY LOST. Iraq not complying is like the Twins showing up for the world series and not leaving the field….
    JON

  42. Wil —
    Sorry you’re not happy. I’m not happy either (I think we should have gone back about ten years ago, when the inspectors first ran into trouble; he’s had ten years to prepare that we shouldn’t have given him.) But that’s not why I’m posting.
    You seem to have a fundamental mis-understanding of “representative democracy”. The duty of your congress critters is to make the best decision that they can [i] for the country as a whole, [/i] regardless of the popularity of that decision in their state or district. What you seem to expect is that they should act like some kind of voting machine, tabulating the decisions of those who might have voted for them (ignoring those who didn’t?) and voting according to that total (rather like the Electoral College, in a way.)

  43. Is it just me, speaking from an English viewpoint, or are all American’s now against the President. I am terribly confused, to say the least. Did you all not vote for him or have you since changed your minds?
    I would state my opinion but I’m scared I might get a slap in the face.
    But amen Wil, very informative stuff.

  44. thanks, Wil, for having the courage to speak out. I’ve written to my representative twice (San Diego area) though I knew it would be worthless. I’m impressed with the level of debate on this topic — now for more action?

  45. In listening to the congressional debates on the radio, and the arguments of the pundits in the papers and on TV, I have often been reminded of the excellent book “The March of Folly” by Barbara Tuchman. It is a history book which explores times where governments have persisted in actions which are clearly against their interests, despite people at the time recognizing it, and despite other alternatives. The perpetrators get focused on one aspect and refuse to see the bigger picture and the alternatives. For example, the American Revolutionary War was fought because the British Parliament (chiefly Lords) refused to consider any compromise with The Colonies, because they thought any compromise would be the death of The Empire. The Colonies must remain subject to the mother country. So they asserted claims again and again that they could not enforce, despite the fact that the taxes they were trying to win were far,far smaller in value than the value of the colonial trade they were going to lose. Other examples are the Trojan Horse, Hitler’s U-boat war (which brought the US into WWII), Hitler’s invasion of Russia (and refusal to retreat), and the Vietnam War (or else the Domino effect will get us.)
    Back to the present: I hear pundits say things like “We must support the President’s plan, because after what he as said, to back down now would make him look bad and encourage the terrorists.” I hear “opposition” congressmen say things like “I don’t think any Americans oppose action against Saddam, we just want to make sure we have a say in how it is done” and limit the debate to what conditions The President must meet to pursue his plan. And I see saner minds who go to Bagdad and report that war is a Bad Idea are villified as traitors. And I consider 1 BILLION Muslims that may be upset by what they may see as an Imperialist invasion.
    I don’t have much hope left. But I will be voting.

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