Voice and Fist

Yesterday, I marched through Hollywood with my mom, her friend, and about 100,000 other people. We raised our fists and joined our voice to millions of other voices around the world. We sent a clear message to the Bush administration: This is just the beginning. We will stop your war machine. Your policies endanger America, and enrage the world.
I hope you are paying attention, Mr. Bush. The masses are speaking — the world is speaking — and we are rebuking you, your plutocracy, and everything you represent. Your time is over, Mr. Bush. The Supreme Court can not silence the voice of the world, as it silenced the voice of the American people. It is time for you to fade into history.
I hope that those who politically oppose Mr. Bush are also paying attention. There is a minority, on the cusp of becoming a majority, who are anxiously awaiting your leadership. Rise to the challenge, and give us representation in our government. Greens? Libertarians? Democrats? Who will represent the people? This is your moment. Do not squander it.
Peace.
UPDATE: Thank you, Senator Byrd.
UPDATE: I understand the visceral reactions that come when reading a post like this. If you’d like to comment or discuss, you are welcome to go to the Soapbox.

263 thoughts on “Voice and Fist”

  1. NYC
    woof! Hell of a lot of posts since the last time I was on. Crikey. Lots of people withs lots to say, and a few people who would rather make random accusations and hurl insults.
    A lot like Saturday night at the pub…
    I think we achieve more than you realize with our discussions. The very fact that 99% of the time we can hold a logical, intelligent conversation without resorting to insults (rather than our very first exchange of views…), is progress in of itself. We may not always agree, and it seems unlikely that either of us will full come over to the others point of view, but that we can both see each others point of view, and can come to some comprimises now and then…well I think thats a valuable thing.
    And thanks for recommending my posts to others. It means a lot.
    I find many of your points, from the post at “February 16, 2003 07:14 PM”, make a lot of sense, as far as they go. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and what it seems to come down to is how information is presented and how it is then interpreted. For example, Hans Blix most recent report (summarised here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2761261.stm), mentioned that Iraq had been mostly co-operative in the inspections process, thay may not have liked it, but the co-operated. He said that Unmovic had begun to destroy 50 litres of mustard blister agent. One-third has already been destroyed. That Iraq had accepted an offer from South Africa to help it disarm, based on South Africa’s experience of getting of rid its own nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the 1990s. He said that Inspectors’ access to sites had so far been without problems, including presidential sites and private residences. Mr Blix said in no case had Unmovic seen convincing evidence that Iraq knew of inspections in advance. There were issues of missing anthrax, the nerve agent VX and long-range missiles.
    And so on.
    The jist I got was that although Iraq was unhappy with having the inspections, Iraq was co-operating in many areas and that progress was being made. I took the discovery of the 2 Al-saoud missiles to be a sign that Iraq was holding back in some areas but that the inspections were finding the weapons anyway, which was a good sign – that the inspections were working. I won’t botherlisting the whole thing, the link is there for you to follow. The impression I got was that the case for Iraq possessing WMD and prohibited weapons was unresolved, and that Blix felt that the inspections should continue, and may lead to complete disarmament of certain trends in Iraq towards such were to continue.
    However…
    The SUN, a British Tabloid newspaper, views the SAME report to be a damning indictment of Saddam and that Blix was calling for immediate military action. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed that it was the same report!
    It all seems to come down to what we are told, and how much effort we put into looking into the situation for ourselves. We were told that the US was considering using Nukes in a pre-emptive strike…and if you read about the Gulf War, we bombed power plants and water purification centres, the effect on the population, with no way to clean their water supply and no electicity, was devestating. In removing the military infrastructure, we visited a terrible toll on the civilian population. We have been provided with no evidence that the same will not happen again. So waht to believe? That the smart bombs that have proven to be pretty dumb in the last Gulf War, and in Kosovo and Afghanistan, will this time be spot on and only destroy the guilty, or that collateral damage will occur that will continue to claim lives long after the war is over?
    Over here in Britian, the Government has shot its own propaganda machine in the foot. If their case against Saddam was so undeniable, then why did they feel the need to present us with a so-called up-to-date “intelligence report” that turned out to be a 12 year old Postgraduate study that they had copied…typos and all? It has undermined any trust we have in what they say.
    Blix says that some weapons have been destroyed, yet Bush claims that none have. Who to believe? The guy who has been there and seen it, or the guy who hasn’t?
    You say that this war would be self-defence, but the Bush administration call it a pre-emptive strike. Saddam says he has no WMD, the weapons inspectors have found no nukes, no weaponised ebola (ugh), only a few minor league chemical weapons (which are in the proces s of being destroyed by UNMOVIC), yet Bush and Blair insist that the weapons exist, but have as yet not provided unrefutable evidence to prove it, instead they provide the sort of lies that Blair tried to foust on us (see above). That alone is, for me, a reason to let the inspections continue. If he has the damn things…lets find them, lets show the world the solid, hard touchable evidence and then tear him down. But if we go in guns blazing and find nothing…we may be handing scum like Osama all the propaganda they need.
    Do you have any evidence that France and Germany are the ones that are in this for oil, or money? I’d be very interested to see it. It seems like the evidence that Bush is all for war for oil. Nebulous and inproven…but a nagging feeling.
    I agree totally that Saddam is evil, and that his cruelty towards his own people is a crime against existence, but I don’t see that the war, and the style of war, that is currently being proposed will do anything other than increase the suffering involved. 100,000 to 500,000 in two days is a horrendous number. And that would just be the beginning.
    My concience tells me that Saddam should be stopped, somehow, but it also tells me that the war is not the way to do it, that the loss of life that would ensue would make victory considerably hollow, and the worst case scenario is a vicious backlash in the Middle East, which would cripple, if not destroy, Israel and flow towards the West in a tidal wave of hatred.
    Oh, glad to see you enjoyed Episode 2. ITs a much better film than episode 1, and I’m positive that the thing with Jar-Jar was a response to the terrible fan reaction to him.
    How about The Lord of the Rings movies…have you seen them?
    Sorry bout the long post. I just wanted to be as coherent as possible.

  2. Wil,
    Understand this, if you would:
    1. You speak for absolutely no majority. The Hollywood liberals you so blindly follow are not, nor have ever been a majority in this country. And your minority on the cusp of becoming a majority? Look around you Wil. Where are the millions turning out to protest in every American city? So far, I’ve only seen somewhat major protests in New York and San Francisco. SF is a bastion of radical leftism, so that doesn’t mean too much in the scheme of trying to make a minority seem like a majority. I’m also willing to bet that as far as the protests went, most of the people protesting the war are the people who have been protesting it since 9/11. In other words, no majority. Just plain old minority, and a minority OF a minority at that. Your numbers are what…maybe half a million at most? There are about 290 million people in this country. I can most assuredly speak for them when I say they do NOT believe you. Most polls in this country show support for the President, and support for military action to disarm Saddam. If the American people stood up as one and said “NO!” to this war, it would have been dropped off as a subject a long time ago.
    2. A plutocracy? Whose rantings and ravings have you been listening to in order to get that stretch of the truth from? Chomsky? Zinn? Or that fat liar Michael Moore? I noticed you, in an earlier post, used the phrase “Bush Junta.” If I recall, the man who popularized that was Gore Vidal, who published a 7000 word screed in the Observer that tried to prove that it was the Bush administration that orchestrated 9/11. That screed was thoroughly debunked by Ron Rosenbaum, a staunch liberal, and absolutely NO ally of George Bush. He liked Gore Vidal’s screed to the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion…you know, that historical forgery that all Arabs seem to believe is the truth about the Jews? The notion of a “Bush Junta” is only something the most paranoid mind could possibly buy into. Or have you gone off the deep end, and thus it somehow seems to make sense to you?
    3. The world has been wrong on many things throughout the ages, and on Iraq, they are squarely wrong. I can easily remember what was said in the 1930s by the anti-war movement about Hitler. What they said back then resembles exactly what left-wing radicals like yourself say about Saddam now. Indeed, I thought it was most befitting about how wrong the world was when I saw a picture of some people in an anti-war protest in London holding up a sign that said “Peace in Our Time.” Indeed, those of the anti-war movement in the U.S., U.K., and around the world are most certainly the inheritors of the legacy of Neville Chamberlain. His policy of appeasement would certainly fit into your logic about disarming Saddam.
    4. I know you can’t wrap your minds around this, but on the subject of Iraq, Bush speaks for the MAJORITY of Americans. Not only that, but a SOLID MAJORITY of Americans. You are in the few. He is in the many. DEAL WITH IT. It has been over a year since he came out with his “Axis of Evil” speech, and started to make plans to deal with Iraq. It is telling that today, he still retains that majority. The American people realize, unlike you, that Saddam is a very dangerous man that cannot be allowed to be in power anymore. And, if he won’t leave, we will MAKE him leave.
    5. I understand that many of the anti-war protestors are decent people, gentle people with good intentions. Though I think your political opinions are quite naive and uninformed Wil, I do not doubt that you are a good person. Though there is a disgusting vein of anti-Americanism/pro-Stalinism in the anti-war movement that you seem to be comfortable with, I still don’t doubt your good intentions here. But you know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Lenin had a term for people like you: “useful idiots.” I find it most apropro in this situation. Read this article if you want to understand exactly what I mean:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,482-580445,00.html
    Your actions, though anti-war, must objectively seen as being pro-Saddam. Indeed, since after all, what else will be the result of no war than but to reinforce the rule of Saddam Hussein, and thus continue the brutal repression of the people of Iraq. THIS is what you stand for, and the majority of Americans clearly do not stand with you.
    6. Maybe, for a change, instead of trying to spew every kind of invective insult you can against George Bush, you could instead try shouting at the top of your lungs, “FREE IRAQ!” I have yet to see anyone in the anti-war movement do this. It is as if you do not care that Iraq should be free. Indeed, that is the only assumption that can be made, since not once have I ever heard it uttered. Well, let me tell you this Wil: at the PRO-WAR rally I attended, with around 200 people in attendance, we spend a great deal of time screaming “FREE IRAQ!” and “DOWN WITH SADDAM!” I only wished radical leftists like you could share this view. But, alas, you do not, and in the end, that is why you are of a very small minority, and shall remain so in the United States.

  3. Wil,
    I almost forgot:
    How could you POSSIBLY thank Senator Robert Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan? Do you know what his rank in the KKK was? He was a Kleagle. Do you know what Kleagles DID? Why don’t you go find out, and then look again at that note of thanks you left for that unabashed RACIST Robert Byrd. Maybe then you’ll realize the company of people you are with in this anti-war movement.
    P.S. Pat Buchanan, not to mention every white surpremacist I can think of, are just as anti-war as you are. Telling, isn’t it?

  4. Wil: I am not sure if someone has posted this already, but I’m going to anyway.
    I just want to say that I am very happy that you exercised your Constitutional right to protest, but think about these facts. (And if you want documentation to back them up, email me and I’ll provide them.) These are words spoken by Tony Blair this weekend.
    Still a big fan. Stay involved, although I don’t agree with you. Now, the words of Tony Blair:
    There will be no march for the victims of Saddam, no protests about the thousands of children that die needlessly every year under his rule, no righteous anger over the torture chambers which if he is left in power, will be left in being.
    I rejoice that we live in a country where peaceful protest is a natural part of our democratic process.
    But I ask the marchers to understand this.
    I do not seek unpopularity as a badge of honour. But sometimes it is the price of leadership. And the cost of conviction.
    If there are 500,000 on that march, that is still less than the number of people whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for.
    If there are one million, that is still less than the number of people who died in the wars he started.

  5. I would just like to know why Wil threatened at least twice to yank the comments but not once responded to any of our questions.
    I’d like a response to the Byrd question, at the very least, Wil. I’m not flaming you, honestly. I think several of us believe it was a poorly chosen association on your part.
    Who WILL represent the people, Wil? Robert Byrd? I hope not!

  6. Fist and foremost, let me point out that I am trying to remain as bipartisan (sic?) as possible in regards to this issue. Both sides raise very valid points, and anyone who disagrees with the other’s right to discuss their opinion is either blind, or a fool. No offense, but if you live in any free country then you must accept that everyone is entitled to their own ideals and speech. And to think your side is 100% right while theirs is 100% wrong is, in every sense, as unpatriotic to yourself and your fellow man as terrorism.
    Saddam is without a doubt a monster. He commits unspeakable atrocities on ‘his people’. There is no question in my mind that he must be stopped. But is this the way to do it? It is true that the UN is failing to do its job (pressuring Saddam to disarm). The US is the only leader to step forward and take a stand.
    But they’ve made a mess of it. They have filled the airwaves with propaganda (I’m sorry, but its true). They issue conflicting reports about one piece of evidence or another. They have insulted the entire global community. Many people in this forum have brought up that 2.5 million protestors is not neccessarily reflective of 6 billion. Well, here’s another number: 300 million vs. that same 6 billion. Not much different. The US doesn’t even know who’re its allies, as much as it tries to convince the world they are everywhere; the Middle East, the majority of Europe, its neighbors at home and even a strong majority are all opposed to war. Are you honestly telling me that every one of these millions of people are ‘stupid, working with the terrorists, lets-help-Saddam fools’? The biggest fool I see is the one saying that.
    But understand this: those on the side of war are not fools, either. They have recognized a need: terrorism is around the globe. Iraq has has the potiential to supply those terrorist with the most powerful weapons in the world, and Saddam is a butcher whose desire to cut up his own people is matched by his desire to cut up other countries. Even if he himself may not be part of Al-Queda, those under him could easily slip them some dangerous support. Bush, as goofy as he seems in his speeches, has stepped up to plate to remove this madman.
    Of course, he may have ulterior motives. In a time where the US economy is highly uncertain, and where the country braces itself against future terrorist attacks, control of the Iraqi oil fields would be a very strong investment indeed. And the perceived threat from Saddam, to other nations, is slim: he has an barely trained, laughable excuse of an army compared to any modern counterpart, his military economy and wealth is a fraction of the western world’s. And with weapon inspections by the UN underway, he will gradually lose the use of his WMD, if he has any at all. And is Saddam in any way connected to Al-Queda? His government is highly anti-religious, and Al-Queda is a militant Islamic extremist group. The US’s own analysts doubt there is any connection between the two groups, and they believe that the war may be the final trigger into pressuring Saddam to use any WMD he has.
    Which is exactly why he must be stopped. As much as war can scar the earth and those who dwell upon it, it may well be neccessary. Saddam will not willingly give up any armaments he has. War or not, he will eventually seek to use them, and the UN can do little to stop that. He is only growing stronger, as is the terrorist organizations posed to strike against the US and its allies.
    There are still a few important facts missing: as pointed out, over 50% of Iraqi citizens are below 15 years of age. And US bombs are not exactly the most accurate of weapons; ‘friendly-fire’ and ‘collaterial damage’ are words now used commonplace by military officals. Cilivian casualties are expected to be huge is a war takes place. Even as things stand, Iraqi is a miserable place to live, and not just because of Saddam. Every 7 seconds, an Iraqi child dies from economic sanctions imposed by the US and UN. If the war takes place, even Americans of Middle-Eastern descent are likely to be targeted by their neighbors as the world is caught up in the furor of war. And here is an interesting question: If your own government were to suddenly turn corrupt, steal your rights and freedoms, and turn on the populace, would you want the addition of foreign bombs raining down on your cities? Even if in the name of freedom? Iraqi peoples themselves are against this war; not only those still trapped in Bagdhad, but also those in your own countries who have reached safety. The people of Iraq want our support, our assistance and help in other means; they don’t want our bombs dropped on their heads, our troops terrorizing them further. In all reality, any military intervention by the world will bring an equal amount of death as it does liberty.
    Just my 2 cents.

  7. From Wil, after he deleted the link for this topic:
    “UPDATE: I understand the visceral reactions that come when reading a post like this. If you’d like to comment or discuss, you are welcome to go to the Soapbox.”
    ***
    It would be nice if you could at least transfer everyone’s comments to a thread at the Soapbox…

  8. Wil,
    I doubt you’ll make it this far. Heck, I couldn’t make it this far in the comments. It’s tough some times to read the comments of people who disagree quite strongly with you. Especially when it seems like they’re using quotes from 1984 to push a pro-war agenda (wage war to foster peace).
    I agree. I’m not from the US, and when a show called Sunday Report aired in Canada aired the poll of who is a greater threat to world peace, Bush, or Saddam, I felt the answer was elementary.
    Bush. Saddam hasn’t threatened to invade anyone, Bush has. Point finale.
    I hope you aren’t allowing the negative comments to get to you. I know how often you can be adversely affected by them. Know this:
    a writers goal is to create feeling in his readers, to engender such a well of emotion that the reader must express himself. The greatest insult they could sling your way would be to say nothing, even your detractors were so moved by your words they felt compelled to respond.
    You moved them.

  9. Bush. Saddam hasn’t threatened to invade anyone, Bush has. Point finale.
    ***
    Well, this is kind of simplistic reasoning on your part, isn’t it? Saddam HAS invaded other countries, like Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Those weren’t wars to help or free any of those nations. They were pure and blatant attempts to enlarge Iraq. You try to make those actions seem morally equivalent with attempts to remove that initiator of those aggressions- Saddam. That is intellectually honest at best. If you simply want “world peace,” then we should have left Milosovic alone in Serbia. For that matter, even Apartheid in South Africa. Free Tibet? Nope, we want world peace…

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