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« If you're not ready, holler "Aye!" | Main | Houses In Motion »

October 14, 2002

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

Posted by wil at October 14, 2002 11:26 PM
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Comments

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.

Posted by: Teresa at October 14, 2002 11:29 PM

I for one am not getting carried away with all the war hype. We're not going to invade Iraq, or any other country in the near future.

Posted by: Poopy Head at October 14, 2002 11:36 PM

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

Posted by: Kalel38 at October 14, 2002 11:39 PM

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

Posted by: rust at October 14, 2002 11:45 PM

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.

Posted by: Stimpy at October 14, 2002 11:45 PM

Cheat post!
http://www.wilwheaton.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=11505

Posted by: wilful at October 14, 2002 11:58 PM

Amen.

Posted by: Sihaya at October 15, 2002 12:03 AM

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™. Now, if much of the military says that it's not the time, and the intelligence community says no go, and nearly all of your allies say no go, and there are rumblings in your own cabinet against the war, and a growing majority of Americans are against a unilateral strike against Iraq, what makes this seem like a brilliant idea?

The problem is this issue was demagogued and owned by the Bush Junta and Republicans in Congress who herded the weak willed, running scared, cowardly Democrats in congress.

But the Feinsteins and Daschles of congress know that their jobs aren't in jeopardy from progressive and liberal democrats. Afterall, who else are they going to vote for. People don't vote on ONE ISSUE. There is the economy to consider. There's the environment, energy policy, reproductive rights, civil rights, education, and healthcare to worry about.

So here we are stuck... between Iraq and a hard place. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

I can tell you, if Daschle or Lieberman run for president in '04, they can go fish as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: BBock at October 15, 2002 12:18 AM

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?

Posted by: Derek at October 15, 2002 12:19 AM


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.

Posted by: RetroRandy aka Eyeno at October 15, 2002 12:21 AM

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

Posted by: Miriam at October 15, 2002 12:39 AM

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.

Posted by: Martin Dessart at October 15, 2002 12:44 AM

Since when did war ever make sense?

Posted by: Jean Bond at October 15, 2002 01:14 AM

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?

Posted by: Heather at October 15, 2002 01:23 AM

No WAR! War MALA!!!

Posted by: mcfoo at October 15, 2002 01:25 AM

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.

Posted by: me at October 15, 2002 01:25 AM

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.

Posted by: Stenek at October 15, 2002 01:55 AM

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.

Posted by: frances at October 15, 2002 02:05 AM

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.

Posted by: vidar at October 15, 2002 02:45 AM

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?

Posted by: Neil Cameron at October 15, 2002 03:30 AM

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

Posted by: Renpiti at October 15, 2002 03:49 AM

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!

Posted by: Bill Bekkenhuis at October 15, 2002 03:51 AM

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.

Posted by: Dev at October 15, 2002 04:10 AM

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

The mistake people made in Texas was thinking that the family was any good... personally I voted for Ann Richards, but his media machine$ got the better of the state by fooling them with a well-oiled and grea$ed media campaign.

And since then we in TEXAS are running into ruin: we are had a SURPLUS of Billions of dollars which the Shrub (as I prefer to call it!) gave back to his wealthy backers (Enron, etc.) and NOW Texas has a nearly 12 BILLION BUDGETARY SHORTFALL.

I am a state employee and I work for adults with mental retardation and other disabilities and I have watched what the Shrub's cutting of the Medicare/Medicaid system has done to us, resources are shrinking all over the place.

And the idea of cutting the Federal Aid was supposed to put the financial burden back on the states, but Texas didn't even have the money since Shrub gave it away before he ran off to DC!!!

As we all know, this war is ONLY so we'll stop asking about his involvement in Enron, the power crisis in California and other shadow government dealings. Everytime anyone starts to bring it up, he drags out a picture of Saddam or whatever.

Anyway, Wil, vote your conscience in November. e all did originally, but somebody got to influence the durn Supreme Court judges.

A bummed out TRUE TEXAS NATIVE,

***THE BEEJ***

Posted by: Beverly Martin at October 15, 2002 04:51 AM

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.

Posted by: JB at October 15, 2002 04:53 AM

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?

Posted by: Sam at October 15, 2002 05:04 AM

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?

Posted by: anamarylee at October 15, 2002 05:10 AM

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

Posted by: Bob LeMent at October 15, 2002 05:13 AM

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

Posted by: Nyarl at October 15, 2002 05:24 AM

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...

Posted by: Elimare at October 15, 2002 05:32 AM

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.

Posted by: rt_lemur at October 15, 2002 05:40 AM

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!

Posted by: tj at October 15, 2002 05:46 AM

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.

Posted by: CygnusTM at October 15, 2002 06:10 AM

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.

Posted by: Steven at October 15, 2002 06:19 AM

Steven: at least he didn't list barbra streisand
as a source.

Posted by: Sam at October 15, 2002 06:27 AM

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"!

Posted by: Bill at October 15, 2002 06:30 AM

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.

Posted by: Rembrandt at October 15, 2002 06:32 AM

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...

Posted by: bhart at October 15, 2002 06:32 AM

Bob Graham is a Democrat.

Posted by: David at October 15, 2002 06:34 AM

Personally, I think Saddam has some naked pictures of Barbara or something... :)

Posted by: Desi at October 15, 2002 06:35 AM

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.

Posted by: jrthro at October 15, 2002 06:42 AM

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.

Posted by: Richard Crawford at October 15, 2002 06:50 AM

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.


Posted by: William at October 15, 2002 06:57 AM

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

Posted by: Alacrity at October 15, 2002 07:00 AM

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

Posted by: The Real Sam at October 15, 2002 07:02 AM

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.

Posted by: Gary at October 15, 2002 07:07 AM

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.


Posted by: Jer at October 15, 2002 07:14 AM

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.

Posted by: Clay at October 15, 2002 07:14 AM

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.

Posted by: Tim at October 15, 2002 07:30 AM

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.

Posted by: chica at October 15, 2002 07:34 AM

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.

Posted by: h at October 15, 2002 07:40 AM

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.

Posted by: James at October 15, 2002 07:44 AM

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?

Posted by: less of a fan at October 15, 2002 08:05 AM

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

Posted by: ze-mag at October 15, 2002 08:07 AM

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.

Posted by: ze-mag at October 15, 2002 08:10 AM

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.

Posted by: Julio Diaz at October 15, 2002 08:20 AM

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

Posted by: Chris Reed at October 15, 2002 08:22 AM

"RUN WIL..RUN!!!!!" PLEASE.

Posted by: bluecat/redblanket at October 15, 2002 08:26 AM

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

Posted by: Billman at October 15, 2002 08:32 AM

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...

Posted by: SpaceWriter at October 15, 2002 08:38 AM

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.

Posted by: Keith at October 15, 2002 08:42 AM

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.

Posted by: DasCoop at October 15, 2002 08:45 AM

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")

Posted by: Josh at October 15, 2002 08:46 AM

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.

Posted by: Jessica at October 15, 2002 08:46 AM

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.

Posted by: robert west at October 15, 2002 08:53 AM

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.

Posted by: Indicator at October 15, 2002 08:54 AM

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

Posted by: Graham Powell at October 15, 2002 09:00 AM

Funny. Feinstein was one of the most vocal opponents of the Iraq resolution. Good to know she caves under pressure.

Time for term limits.

Posted by: Timmy! at October 15, 2002 09:13 AM

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?"

Posted by: Bernie at October 15, 2002 09:21 AM

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

Posted by: Anna at October 15, 2002 09:26 AM

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

Posted by: Nephew Eric at October 15, 2002 09:31 AM

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.

Posted by: Holly at October 15, 2002 09:38 AM

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.

Posted by: Cocteau at October 15, 2002 09:43 AM

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

Posted by: JimmyT at October 15, 2002 09:43 AM

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?

Posted by: Brian at October 15, 2002 10:05 AM

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.

Posted by: one lil american girl at October 15, 2002 10:08 AM

Thanks for the heads-up, dude. I'm voting against her next time.

Posted by: Janis at October 15, 2002 10:13 AM

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.

Posted by: Fred Fowler at October 15, 2002 10:17 AM

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.

Posted by: fluffy at October 15, 2002 10:29 AM

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.

Posted by: obla-d at October 15, 2002 10:31 AM

amen wil!

Posted by: lauren at October 15, 2002 10:31 AM

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

Posted by: Demosthenes at October 15, 2002 10:32 AM

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!

Posted by: Brian at October 15, 2002 10:33 AM

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.

Posted by: wil at October 15, 2002 10:36 AM

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.

Posted by: Clara at October 15, 2002 10:44 AM

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


Posted by: SpunkyKnight at October 15, 2002 10:47 AM

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.

Posted by: Michael Hannaford at October 15, 2002 10:48 AM

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...

Posted by: Dale S. at October 15, 2002 10:59 AM

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...

Posted by: emily at October 15, 2002 11:14 AM

http://www.internationalanswer.org/

Posted by: Kenzie at October 15, 2002 11:23 AM

god, if i wasn't depressed enough...

Posted by: s'becks at October 15, 2002 11:27 AM

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!

Posted by: Derek at October 15, 2002 11:43 AM

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.

Posted by: pro-American at October 15, 2002 11:45 AM

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.

Posted by: Brian at October 15, 2002 11:56 AM

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.

Posted by: Tiana at October 15, 2002 11:59 AM

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

Posted by: Jon at October 15, 2002 12:04 PM

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.)

Posted by: htom at October 15, 2002 12:07 PM

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.

Posted by: Annie at October 15, 2002 12:10 PM

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?

Posted by: sally2000 at October 15, 2002 12:11 PM

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.

Posted by: theothercourtney at October 15, 2002 12:11 PM

Anyone who hasn't seen it yet should check out presidentmoron.com.
I check out this site regularly, and it is dead on with it's humor.
Personally, I agree with you Wil.
In my opinion -and many others obviously- Bush Jr. is a brainless idiot who can barely speak let alone run a country. Everyone knows he is a puppet.
There is actually a quote attributed to Bush Jr. (that I have seen on more than one site, and many credible sites) that he said to the president of Brazil (which also has humanitarian issues that sicken me), and I quote: "Do you have blacks here too?" Oh yeah. He is what we want for president.
The people who defend Bush seem to always be the same type of person. A sheep. Someone who is so blindly caught up in the Super Patriot, ultra Christian mindset, that anyone who differs from them is automatically called Un-American.
Islam is being persecuted. It amazes me that that is not obvious to everyone. Bush wants Iraq's oil as well as revenge for Daddy. And, until Bush and the US "government" reevaluate their relationship with Israel, tension and terror will continue. I mean that should be obvious too. It is unfair to say on one hand that the terror that Palestinians perpetrate is worse the the ones Israel does. And then on the other hand, defend Israel when it bombs hospitals and private homes. It attacks Arafat's residences with Arafat inside, which is a direct violation of UN Charters. They are not allowed to assasinate a world leader, but they can destroy the building he is in? Huh?
Hey I am not saying that Arafat is a great guy; he is not someone I admire, but seriously, fair is fair. The same rules need to apply to everyone involved. And, the US were the ones who refused to discuss the problems occurring in Israel with the Palestinians in the last race summit, and then proceeded to walk out.
My Senators also voted no. Thank God. But, they were in the minority.
It is funny that the people who want war with Iraq can not offer tangible reasons why. Ask the average person on the street who happens to aggree with Bush why they agree, and they say: Because Iraq could attack us. Ok, why? Response: Because that is what I heard on tv. Whoa.......
Bush doesn't care about going to war because there can not be an election held during war time. That suits him just fine. I bet no one in his family will be over there fighting a stupid and pointless war.
I am more than a little disgusted by the UN too. They need to stand up to the American propaganda machine and say "No, you will not wage a war that is completely unfounded." But they won't. Oh, well.
If the US does go into a war with Iraq, I will move to New Zealand. I swear. I want to be as far away from the craziness as possible.
One more point: There are far more threats to our security coming from other countries of the world at present, but -Oops, right, there is not that vendetta issue, or Oil.
Wil, keep posting your point of view. It is like having a light in the darkness.
And, you are cool, and so are most of your readers and posters, well except "me":

"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."


Right, and the people who want war obviously are so led like the sheep they are, they didn't care enough to voice the approval of the war resolution, now did they?

If the war proponents took it seriously they would have equalled or outnumbered the people who called in the first place. But they didn't call in in the numbers that people who are opposed to the war did. That should tell you something. Using more than one percent of your brain might be a good idea....

Posted by: enigma at October 15, 2002 12:42 PM

Oddly enough, the only persuasive argument I have ever heard against going to war with Iraq came from a conservative friend of mine who is against the war for just this one reason:

"I don't want American boys to die on Iraqi soil."

All left-wing excuses and anti-war posturing pale in comparison to that. But then, the left-wing never did nor still doesn't care about the conditions of the military men who go out every day to protect _their_ freedoms. That's why they go out of their way to come up with false reason after false reason not to go to war with Iraq.

May I also remind the dumb left-wingers here that Saddam LOST the Gulf War, and is thus expect to follow through every last condition of the treaty which ended that war, which includes complete disarmament of his WMDs, which he has NOT done, and is therefore in violation of said treaty, and is now rightfully subject to military action by the U.S. and its allies.

Posted by: conservative at October 15, 2002 12:43 PM

Derek, Pro-American. Did you actuall read my post, or did you just skim over it and dismiss it as liberalism?

Heres an argument for you. The evidence FOR war is unconvincing, and not enough to justify more death, and there is a great deal of evidence that a war would make the situation in the Middle East worse...not better. There is NOTHING that can be applied to Saddam and his regime that cannot be applied to at least 5 other countries, sometimes better, and some of those countries are apparently our bosom buddies. After all we are still selling them weapons. Just like we sold weapons to Saddam when it suited us.
Has anyone else seen this evidece that ties Saddam to Al Quaeda? I haven't. And I've been looking for it.
Arguments against the war? Hows this...a cornered bear is the most dangerous, especially if its claws are sharp. If Saddam does have WMD then he will undoubtedly use them the moment he gets a sniff of an invasion, which tells me that an invasion would not be the best course of action.

Its interesting that the hawks are demanding reasons NOT to kill people, while providing unclear and murky evidence to support bombing the crud out of anyone who pisses them off.
Am I liberal? Damn right. 3000 people died on Sept 11, and at LEAST 3500 people died in afghanistan. Is human life really so cheap to you people? or do you think that only American lives are worth anything?

Posted by: fluffy at October 15, 2002 12:44 PM

To theothercourtney:

A billion muslims against the US for invading Iraq? Give me a break. We thought we were going to run into huge opposition when running into afghanistan. The only problems we ran into were the local populace trying to get the GIs to bring in satellite dishes and radios from the US and Taiwan to sell.

People LIKE being free to do what they want, living in a dictatorship/religious state just tends to piss off the middle class and oppresses the poor even more.

Can someone show me a better government than the US? I would love to see an example...

Posted by: Brian at October 15, 2002 12:47 PM

When do we get to make our own planet? This one is obviously hooped.

It's pretty sickening that the lines between countries are emphasized thus obscuring the fact that we're all one race on this planet. Truth be told: Goverments are NOT bigger than the world.

Posted by: Neil at October 15, 2002 12:48 PM

I have always supported the Constition. It gives us our most basic rights such as free speach and self defense. I also support our right to have a voice. I also think that someone of your stature should be a little more responsible in what you post. You have influence over a multitude of people. You usually try to promote positive issues. You do your homework. You try to give an informed opinion. Did you stop to think that this time, you can't. Yeah, Congress wasn't unanimous in their vote. They couldn't even get a unanimous vote to give themselves a raise! No matter what the threat, no matter what the reason, there will always be people who oppose war. It doesn't change the fact that war is a necessary evil. My husband is in the Persian Gulf defending your right to have your opinion. He is defending your right not to do a damn thing to defend our country. He is willing to give his life for this country and its people. That includes you. SHOW A LITTLE RESPECT!! Just because you and most of the other people our age are too cowardly to stand up to the people threatening our way of life, don't diss the people who aren't. This is not about oil. This is about people who deliberately kill civilians. Would you be so quick to judge and to criticize if you lost a loved one on the USS COLE ,in the World Trade Center or in the Pentagon?! Have you forgotten about those people? Have you forgotten that this isn't about you. This isn't about money. This isn't about convenience. This isn't about looking good. This is about freedom. This is about our very way of life. This is about being able to live in a place where your wife can wear what she wants. This is about living in a place where daughters are not circumcised or stoned to death for looking at a boy. This is about a place where sons learn to carry a gun and to hate before they learn to read and write. This is about our children having a place to grow up where they won't have to be afraid of their shadow. What about Nolan and Ryan? Did you think about them and their future or were you too busy thinking about your political beliefs and cozy moralities. Well, guess what. Not everything is as easy as obeying the Golden Rule. Not everyone cares that you are a really good guy. Not everyone cares that you are a talented actor who has made a difference in peoples' lives. They would kill you for being a different. So please, the next time you want to rant about not going to war, think about Nolan and Ryan and how you want them to grow up. Think about what their kids' lives are going to be like. What do you want for their future? Are you willing to do what needs to be done? What would you do to defend them? Would you stand idle knowing your next door neighbor was planning to hurt them? What would you do? It is easy to criticize, but what about solutions? I don't see you coming up with a better plan to defend our country? Rant about that. If you can't, the least you can do is respect those that are trying. Thanks.

Posted by: Angela Thomas at October 15, 2002 12:50 PM

Fluffy,

Thank you for posting the thoughts I didn't have time to waste on the warmongers who I know wouldn't listen anyway. Don't worry though, Derek and pro-American will be on the frontlines, riding their shining white steeds with purple feathers in their caps, crying, "Tally Ho Boys! Once more into the breach!" Should all us cowards ever need to be saved from oppression. Let the flames begin!

Uncle Willie's Nephew Eric

Posted by: Nephew Eric at October 15, 2002 12:54 PM

From Neil:
"Goverments are NOT bigger than the world."

No, but living in anarchy would probably have hindered the development of the following.

Jet Engines
Rocket Engines
The Internet
Society as we see it today

While government itself is no where near perfect, it DOES allow the general populace to have a reasonable voice and allow for the specialization of certain skills (because of the local government, I don't need to know how to build a road, a stoplight, or have to cart anyone I care about to the hospital when they are severely hurt).

No, government isn't the answer to everything, but it does answer the few things we do need quite well.

Posted by: Brian at October 15, 2002 12:54 PM

A plea for freedom from Tehran:

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-tehrani101502.asp

And to Angela Thomas, WAY TO GO GIRL! Show those thankless left-wingers what it means to be an American, not to mention a lover of freedom :)

Posted by: conservative at October 15, 2002 12:55 PM

And as for us "warmongers," we listen very closely to all of your liberal arguments against the war. It is by listening to them and reasoning them through that we know you're all _dead wrong_ on Iraq.

Posted by: conservative at October 15, 2002 01:00 PM

This little offf Wil's subject.
Here's the bottom line of it all if Bush does invade unilaterally (using the media's new favorite word), invading Iraq will be against international law. The resolution that has passed by Bush has forfieted a check and balance laid out by our forefather's that will be very hard to overturn, and will be inherited by any new president.
An invasion of Iraq without UN approval will cause many unsettling scenarios.
1.) chances are there will be a lot of casualties on both sides.
2. if We win the US may not be able to finacially or politically restructure Iraq and may inadvertantly give rise to someone even more of dictator than Saddam (its happened before when we put Saddam in power orginally).
3.if things go as cheery as what Bush hopes for, there is still the big issue of oil that might ignite conflict with larger contries such as Russia, China, France, and other nations who are contracted to Iraqi oil.
4.)invading Iraq may give rise to more anti-american culture in the middle east and spark terrorism against Americans far beyond what we have seen yet.
5.) there the unpredicted scenario never thought to crossed our minds.
Granted these are all scenarios that might not happen, but one or more may happen, that is something anyone can be sure. Nothing ever works as we hoped or predicted it to happen, and I don't think our current leader realizes that fully.
It puzzles me that every option has not been explored. If we are so desperate to change Iraq's regime why not try something that may not cost as many lives. It's a crazy idea that I've only heard a few experts express, but: Why not use our international court to indict Saddam? It may not be successful, but such action would strengthen diplomacy amongst our allies and other nations, and force the international community to forcively remove Saddam. Its an option that should be expresed by us American citizens to all our local leaders and the leader in Washington DC.
So write to your leaders and express some new options to present. And if anything threaten not to vote for your leaders if they don't listen to you.

Posted by: youngsrtisan at October 15, 2002 01:06 PM

*Sighs* why do Right-winger people believe the left is totally against war???? I read in the editorial of the Sun newspaper which is a concervative canadian paper, that leftys are antiwar and they shouldn't stand in the way of Bush's war on terrorism when dealing with Iraq. *Aaaaagh!* I ....a lefty...am pro war on terrorism. What I AM against is war for oil which is trying to be sold to us as part of the war on terrorism. Hello!!!! isn't indonisia or some other countries warrant war more than Iraq on that excuse?? Pluhease!

Posted by: Artisticspirit at October 15, 2002 01:10 PM

One thing this discussion points out is that it's difficult to pinpoint the mood of the country. I said the growing majority of Americans oppose unilateral action in Iraq. Several more conservative voices have stated here that something like 70 percent of Americans support Bush. Well, in effect both are accurate, although the 70 percent cannot be construed to mean that all of those people support Bush on EVERY ISSUE. Of course they don't. Just as the the other 30 percent don't oppose him on EVERY ISSUE.

There is also merit in the argument that the phone calls, e-mails, letters, and faxes that Feinstein and friends received only represent the very vocal and are not an accurate representation of the people. This is probable.

So the question is, how should a politician figure out what the mood of his or her constituents is? He or she should not have rushed to this vote, should have gone back to the people, and talked to them. They could have held non-partisan public forums, town hall meeting. Of course no Republican or Democrat would do that in an election cylcle.

Someone pointed out that politicians aren't supposed to vote the way their constituents would have them vote. I think this is probably true on issues such as civil rights. But in order to sustain war, the nation has to be largely in favor of it. If not, the effort will fall apart as soon as the bodies show up on screen.

Posted by: BBOCK at October 15, 2002 01:14 PM

Angela Thomas wrote:

"This is about a place where sons learn to carry a gun and to hate before they learn to read and write. This is about our children having a place to grow up where they won't have to be afraid of their shadow."

Sounds to me like you're describing Oakland CA, or Compton CA, or New Haven CT, or Washington DC, or zillions of other places right here in the US.

There are people suffering and dying right here in our own land. We are not a healthy nation.

In a war with Iraq, Americans will die on Iraqi soil, funded by billions of dollars that could have gone towards preventing Americans from dying on *American* soil.

Posted by: Michael Hannaford at October 15, 2002 01:26 PM

Conservative,

Oh yes, the conservative right holds the monopoly on all the answers...sorry, I forgot. Oh wait, that was sarcasm. The mere fact that you are so sure of yourself leads me to know that you are indeed not. How in the wide world of sports have I gotten myself pulled into this today? As a bleeding heart leftist liberal coward I will now run away screaming just as you would have me do. AHHH...AHHH...Ahhh...ahhh....

Good night all,

Uncle Willie's Nephew Eric

Posted by: Nephew Eric at October 15, 2002 01:28 PM

Often times on these forums involving political discussion I sometimes see the rants of people who express phrases against liberal thinking people.
I'd like to point out that "liberal people" are what made the United States to begin with. It was considered a liberal and unconfromist view to seperate from Great Britain. It was considered liberal to believe in a democracy were people voted for their own leaders. It was considered a liberal idea to announce such foreign ideals of freedom of speech and religion. Because Liberal comes from the word liberty, and liberty means the quality and state of being free. Which if i remember correctly Liberty is at the heart of American idealism. So rant all you want about radical Liberals but without many Liberals the liberties you have now would not exist.

Posted by: shatrith at October 15, 2002 01:29 PM

I, too, wrote to the two California senators (I only moved here 3 weeks ago, but they're mine now, and I intend to let them know it), and received similar responses. When I heard the result of the vote, I picked up the phone on Friday and called not only the california reps, but also my former representatives in Oregon (god bless Ron Wyden) to either thank them or blast them for their choice. I wanted to let them know I didn't just care before they voted, I'm going to remember who they are and what they did.

Which reminds me, go Paul Wellstone For President 2004. :)

Posted by: Megan at October 15, 2002 01:30 PM

NY Senators both voted yes as well, and certainly democrats in NY are mostly against the war. I am so hopping mad about this. They just don't freaking get it do they?

Posted by: Roxy at October 15, 2002 01:31 PM

Uncle Willie's Nephew Eric,

As to sureity of purpose, my assuredness comes from the fact that I've looked extensively at the arguments from all sides of the equation (that means every argument from noam chomsky down to ann coulter), and have come to my own definitive answer. If that's being sure of myself, then so be it.

Also, do not for a second forget the fact that you yourself are sure of your anti-war views. If it weren't for the fact that we were sure of our own opinions, we wouldn't bother defending them.

And run away screaming? I usually don't have to say anything at all for liberals to run off foaming-at-the-mouthing screaming like that, they do it on their own :)

Patriotically yours,

Conservative

Posted by: conservative at October 15, 2002 01:42 PM

In response to JimmyT's listing of Dem/Rep Presidential War's:

While many Democratic Presidents have had wars during their terms, we seem to quickly forget about the following:

Reagan (R) - Libya, Grenada, Lebanon, and of course, the Cold War.
Carter (D) - Failed attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran.
Nixon (R) - Kept the Vietnam War going even though he promised to leave (and we didn't until Gerald Ford's Presidency)
Eisenhower (R) - Planned the Bay of Pigs invasion (which Kennedy did not want to do, but did anyway.)
Truman (D) - Korean War
McKinley (R) - 100 Day war in 1898 (which he opposed.)

And then there is the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln who had no choice but to fight the Civil War to preserve the Union.

My point is, it doesn't matter which party is in power, wars and skirmishes happen. History is intent on repeating itself.

I recommend going back and studying the circumstances of what caused all of the wars that have occured, and then re-evaluate your opinion (whether it is good or bad) and see if it still makes sense.

Posted by: Concerned Historian at October 15, 2002 01:46 PM

I'm scared by the recent vote. And I'm glad someone with a voice larger than my own has said how wrong they see it is.

Maybe if more (sudo-celebrities) stopped their boxing matches against each other and started boxing the goverment, we might actually make some...dare i say....PROGRESS.

Posted by: Tim at October 15, 2002 01:51 PM

One should really remember one thing:

religion and politics are opinions.

Everyone had them, and hopefully people with more information on the topic at hand are making the best choice out of a plethora of bad options... My take, solidarity is more important than anything else.

Posted by: fan 'o blogs at October 15, 2002 01:53 PM

Concerned Historian:

'Zactly. My post was more to Rust to point out that labeling one party or another as "warmongers" makes no sense. Dem and Reps, neither has a hammerlock on who is the party of peace and who is the party of war. Personally, despite being a card carrying GOPer this whole thing with Iraq smells of politics and nothing else. Not even a thin veneer of justification seems to remain. I dislike this rather headlong rush to the edge.

-JimmyT

Posted by: JimmyT at October 15, 2002 01:54 PM

Dear Fluffy,
Not standing up to a Bully because he might hit you does NOT get rid of the bully. Not going to war with Iraq "because he might use his WMD" is jsut as misguided. Being nice to a bully does not mkae the bully leave you alone. Instead, it make you a target.
Alacrity

Posted by: alacrity at October 15, 2002 02:06 PM

Dear Concerned Historian,
Reagan was the only president during the "cold War"?
In what revised history are you reading? The cold war was decades long and only ended when the USSR was bankrupt and couldn't support their own war machine.
Alacrity

Posted by: Alacrity at October 15, 2002 02:09 PM

Wil, I know how you feel.

Oregon's wonderful Senator Smith valiantly promoted his own agenda by opposing our suicide law in congress many years ago. While I understand he has his own issues with suicide, we don't pay him to vote his conscious, we pay him to vote ours.

I'm anti-war, too, by he way. I think those Emperor Bush protest signs gave him ideas.

Thanks

Ben

Posted by: darkler at October 15, 2002 02:14 PM

Dear Alicrity,

My point exactly...who forced the bankruptcy of the USSR? While Reagan wasn't the only ColdWar President, who of all of the Cold War Presidents actively (and very publicly) fought to end communism?

Posted by: Concerned Historian at October 15, 2002 02:16 PM

I too am disappointed. I wrote Boxer, Feinstein, and Tauscher. Boxer is the only one that took her constituents views to heart and action. She made several good points in her floor statement on the Iraq resolution.

One that sticks with me is the administration’s arrogance and its shameful regard for our constitution and system of checks and balances.

“Remember, this administration started out thumbing its nose at the Constitution and the role of Congress in terms of war and peace. This administration did not want to bring the debate on this war to Congress. We have many quotes I have already put in the RECORD on that subject. They did not want the President to go to the United Nations. Indeed, they said he did not have to go there; he did not have to come here; he did not have to do anything.

Also, as the Presiding Officer knows, they wanted a resolution that gave the authority far beyond Iraq. They wanted to give the President authority to go anywhere in the world.”

The weapon of mass destruction I fear does not come from Iraq. It comes in the form of the administration’s economic policy. Thanks to them I have a 401KIA.

Posted by: Greg at October 15, 2002 02:19 PM

wil,

you are just plain wrong -- but thank god we live in a country that can tolerate our opposing opinions.

Posted by: s at October 15, 2002 02:35 PM

Title of post
"Marching off to war."

Question: You are, when did you PERSONALLY join the military?

In the grand scheme of things what is it YOU are really doing ... hint, you are adding fuel to the fire of other countries & people in other countries hating American's by talking trash about your own country.

You abuse your freedom of speech, something you should remember you have because of the men & women who WILL go fight any war when the time comes.

Now that's not something YOU will be doing is it?!! You'll be nice and cozy here in America, continuing your trash talk.

For the record, I AM a military spouse whose husband has now been deployed twice for an extended period since 9-11 -- you've no clue how hurtful your words can be & are, when anyone says I should come read what you've written in the future, I will give them a resounding "HELL NO!"

Posted by: Diz at October 15, 2002 02:36 PM

Derek and pre-American raise a point: There hasn't been a solid argument against from the liberals.

Well, I have one. Actually, several.

Bush's big argument is that he doesn't want Saddam Hussein to get Nukuler weapons capability (What is it about Texan Presidents? LBJ pronounced it that way too). Well, let's suppose he does.

What can he possibly nuke? The range of his missle program is well-known to only cover the few nations surrounding him - the farthest his reach goes is Israel. What can he nuke in Israel? NOTHING. Keep in mind that Israel is the home of most of the Muslum Holy Sites as well. He nukes Israel, the entie Muslum world will pound his ass into the ground. The same can be said pretty much elsewhere, as most his other neighbors are Muslum.

Okay, what about biological weaponry? Well, here we have a better argument. But let's not be hypocritical about it. In the Reagan-Bush error an envoy was sent to Iraq to discuss the sale of oil and other issues. This happened while the gassing of the Kurds was going on. Who was that envoy? Donald Rumsfeld (feel free to look that one up - I did). Sure, policies change from one administration to the next, but let's get real here - this is about the second largest reserve of oil on the planet.

One more "liberal" argument. We're by-passing the United Nations. Bush Jr (let's call him shrub - little Bush) argues that if the U.N. can't be effective, then perhaps it is irrelevant. Someday American Arrogance will catch up to us. I fear that it won't be the U.N. that becomes irrelevant, but the U.S. instead. After all, over 180 countries belong to the U.N., and so far 2 support action outside the auspices of the U.N. Sure, it's 2 of the most powerful (U.S. and Britain), but doesn't that just make us into bullies? It's like the movie "A Bugs Life" - as soon as the other 178 relaize that they don't need us, they WON'T need us.

Being a bully is not the image we should project to the rest of the world - the Muslum world already believes this to be true - attacking Iraq will enhance that view. The world will become MORE dangerous than it is now for Americans.

But hey, that's just one liberal's view.

One last thing. "Liberal" isn't a swear word, much as people starting from Reagan to Rush would like it to be so. It means open-minded, willing to accept change. It's not about having a Scarlet "L" pressed to one's lapel.

Posted by: animeraider at October 15, 2002 02:50 PM

this is why i dislike politics and people who get overzealous in it. No side is ever 100% wrong. No side is ever 100% right.But not a damn person on either side will concede even the tinest bit.You want america to be safe. You dont want any inconviences that might occur though. You want people to please YOU because "you have rights" well, so do those that have different opinions. You have every complaint and fault detailed out, but nothing positive to add. Nor solutions either.People love to shout we the people, but noone notices that the people tend to be fickle, are incapable of being pleased and a great many of we the people are just plain stupid. I dont jump to unnecessary actions, but I dont wait for a rabid dog to bite me before I shoot it either.

Posted by: chicadee at October 15, 2002 03:00 PM

Wil,

You know what they say never discuss politics or religion, but since you brought up a political issue I have to open my big mouth. I have to say personally I disagree with you in your stand against a war with Iraq. I think it is a necessary evil that will soon come to pass. Sorry to disagree with you Wil I still got nothing but love for ya man.

Matt......

Posted by: matt at October 15, 2002 03:08 PM

Let's just side-step any arguments that involve the U.N., shall we? Lest we forget, a democracy of nations is no democracy at all. The U.N. is an impotent invalid, content to negotiate itself into oblivion with the great evil-doers of the world. It can yap and yammer all it wants, but no one honestly listens to it, as it is irrelevant to the politics of the world as a whole.

Saddam's violated U.N resolution after U.N. resolution, and all the U.N. has been able to collectively say is "You're not being nice Saddam." Its opinions are largely irrelevant (any international body that would have Colonel Qaddafi as its head of the Human Rights Committee is a complete and total joke). The Security Council is quite worthless, as it reflects a power structure that is decades out of date (since when was France a relevant player on the world scene in any way, shape, or form? Why aren't other more important countries on the world stage occupying permanent seats, like India, or Brazil? And do the opinions of countries like Mauritius, Singapore, Cameroon, Bulgaria, and Guinea mean anything when it comes to global security?) Let's not also forget that when it comes to the measure of freedom, the majority of nations on the planet are not free at all (consult the Map of Freedom for an exact picture of the status of the world in regards to which nations are free, and which are not). To expect that their opinions are relevant and valid is to suggest that the Chinese opinion on the value of free speech is one worth considering.

Anyone here that thinks the U.N. is the appropriate body to go to in order to resolve this issue of war on Iraq has completely lost their mind.

Posted by: muggedbyreality at October 15, 2002 03:17 PM

And just so you all know, in the words of Irving Kristol:

"A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged by reality."

Posted by: muggedbyreality at October 15, 2002 03:21 PM

So, here's what I have learned today:

Being Patriotic means never criticizing the government.

If you speak out against your government's actions, you're abusing your freedom of speech.

Democrats are evil. Oh, wait. Republicans are evil. No, hold on, everyone is evil, except the Libertarians, who can do no wrong.

Greens and Republicans are exactly the same.

"Liberals" are the worst sort of scum the world can have, what with their crazy ideas about peace and equality, and diplomacy over bombings.

And finally, the most important thing I've learned today: You're either with us, or against us.

Thanks for the education, everybody.

Posted by: wil at October 15, 2002 03:33 PM

I appreciate the opportunity to read this ongoing discussion. However, one repetition in these posts perturbs me a bit: the quoting of polls. As many know, polls are highly inaccurate. The words, phrases, timing, and order of questions in polls can directly affect a person's response 99% of the time.

It is unfortunate that politicians -and- their voting populace have come to rely so heavily on polls. Being that the information is unreliable, why is it that a politician feels he or she must change his stance to keep the populace happy? Why does the populace feel that polls are the end-all, win-all? Why can we not, in fact, have a politician in office who refuses to be governed by minute-to-minute polls, but instead takes a stand for what he or she -truly- believes in?

Arianna Huffington, in her book "How to Overthrow the Government", makes these sound arguments, as well as others. For those of you out there - whether or not you agree with what Bush is doing - who are wanting to make a difference but don't know how, read the book. It offers a wealth of information, including a wonderful appendix with current stats and local, state, and governmental addresses.

Now that I'm done twiggin', I'll step down. Thanks. =)

Posted by: Izha at October 15, 2002 03:33 PM

Wil,
I know I'm posting late, and probably no-one will read this, but I've got to post this anyway.

Please remember that your representatives are elected by a vote. Once voted in, they must, if they do their job correctly, vote their concience in all matters left for them to decide.

They are put into office based on a general election, which everyone has access to and knows about. Politicians should NOT base their opinions on the latest polls, or by counting the number of emails the recieve for or against a certain issue. They must weigh the facts, and vote for what they believe is right.

One of those factors may be what the people who voted for them are expressing, but that cannot be the only factor. To do this is unfair, because there may (note I said may) be a "silent majority", who are simply not expressing their opinion. This is important to remember, as it is the basis for our representative system of government. The general population votes for someone who (they believe) will represent them. They should not have to monitor every vote, and express their opinion on it to the representative.

If the representative's votes on the issues is out of line with the people they are elected by, they should not be re-elected. Your comment about remembering this in 2006 is important. Each citizen should research how the incumbant politican in every election has voted while in office. (These votes are public record, and can be accessed via the congressional website for national politians.)

I truly believe in the way our government is set up. It does mean, however, that we can be let down by our elected officials. We as citizens just have to remember it, and try to improve as we go along.

Posted by: Tim at October 15, 2002 03:59 PM

Dear animereader,

Thanks for your long post. The argument about nuclear weaponry is flawed though (Tel Aviv can be nuked no problem, and it's not near any holiest of holies -- and he's not going to get any wrath from the Arabs, come on. Arabs would willingly sacrifice the Arabs in Tel Aviv for its complete destruction.) But that's not even a major point, I don't believe he's dumb enough even to nuke Israel. The problem is when you have a person known and proven to support and aid terrorism against us and our allies which also has nuke capability, you get into a sticky situation where Saddam can give a nuke to a terrorist, have him detonate it (even domestically) and plausibly deny it. That was point one.

Second point about biowarfare -- it was more of a statement, yes? You said we gave biochemical technology to Iraq in the 1980s which is true. Does that mean we can't fight them for it back? I don't see any reason there. So we gave it to them, so? Do you mean since we gave it to them, we have to sit back and wait for them to use it on us? Believe me, in the past year or so, we've learned a whole hell of a lot from our previous mistakes. I don't see that as a REASON not to act now though. Tell me if I mistook your point.

Thirdly, about the UN. The UN is a democracy and we know that democracies don't work for a variety of reasons. That's why the framers founded this country as a REPUBLIC with representative government. (Ref: Aristotle.) Because a democracy of Zimbabwe votes to take land rights away from white farmers, or because a democracy of Sudan votes for leaders who enslave other citizens, does not make the action RIGHT, simply because it came from a "democracy."

I've asked for links mainly because I really need to know the arguments against the war to soundly set in stone my arguments for the war. Since I asked for links, it's only appropriate I give some of my own.

You'll find these articles rely solely on facts and NOT A ONE contains the term "revenge for Daddy" which is getting very tired, or oil-consipracy theories.

Pro-War Articles/Op-eds
http://www.nationalreview.com/script/printpage.asp?ref=/hanson/hanson092002.asp
http://www.opinionjournal.com/forms/printThis.html?id=110002303
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/444

To anyone wishing to post ANTI-WAR links, it will be appreciated. I should be able to discern the author's credibility upon reading them.

Thanks!

(For those who care, I am a non-conservative, non-leftist, atheist, Southern Californian, pro-Iraq war type of guy.)

Posted by: Derek at October 15, 2002 04:04 PM

What was the catch phrase?...It's the Economy, stupid!!! And the domestic problems and health care and the egregious tax breaks and on, and on, ad infinitum........nobody wants to deal with any of that so why not smoke screen with 'Wag the Dog'. Or doesn't anyone remember that little jewel?
Don't want to rain on anyone's parade but I've lived long enough to have seen what happens in SEVERAL wars and it is not a pleasant prospect.
Too much power in any branch of the government is a threat to everyones freedom. Consolidation of power is just the beginning. So if you have opinions no matter what they are, let your elected representative know your views and let those representatives that share your views no matter their constituency, hear from you as well.

Posted by: J H Augram at October 15, 2002 04:49 PM

Derek- You plan to discern the credibility of a person by the links they provide, links that were neccessarily provided by SOMEONE ELSE. Um, how scientific.

Alactrity:- your points about bullies are well made, but they only go so far. Taking the bully metaphor further, lets say that you kick the crap out of the bully. You make him shit his teeth. If he has shown no sign of attacking you or bullying you, then doesnt that make YOU the bully? My point? America is and has been the bully, but refuses to see it that way. In America's eyes, only America is right. Millions of people all over the world see you as a bully. Can we say "hypocrisy", children?
You also miss my point. Badly. If the bully has a big, spiky stick, and MIGHT use the stick against you, do you attack him, knowing that if you do he WILL use it against you? Or do you find a way to take the stick from him?
"Being nice to a bully does not mkae the bully leave you alone. Instead, it make you a target." - so does that justify becoming the bully yourself?

See, im not pro-war. Im pro sending in the SAS to cap his bitch ass and then replacing the regime without bombing the whole country even farther into the stone age than we did afghanistan. Im anti-slaughter. Yes Saddam is evil and I await his soul in Hell so I can PISS on it, but that does not and should not extend to the ordinary Iraqi's. Who are people like you and me.

Muggedbyreality:- if Saddam has violated UN resolution after resolution (and lets not forget that Israel has as well, and Zimbabwe, but we dont want to go to war with them), then if we attack without UN backing, then don't we become like Saddam?
Id also like to challenge you, if I may.
"Anyone here that thinks the U.N. is the appropriate body to go to in order to resolve this issue of war on Iraq has completely lost their mind." - Oh really? Then who do you suggest is better?. The US? Led by a simpleton who got paid by OIL companies, who thinks books are good because they sometimes have pictures? The only country to have used a nuclear weapon against another nation, who funded Saddam, Bin Laden and a host of other psycho's when it suited them?
Certainly not the UK. Tony Blair lets his foreign policy be determined by Bush, and doenst have the balls to see what the country really wants vis a vis the EU. The UN was created for a reason. If countries like the US and UK and Russia stopped trying to us it to their own ends, then it might have the power and responsibility that its meant to.

Lets not ponder that just now. Lets just get behind Shrub and chant "Death, death, death, kill, kill, kill!" Lets wade in blood, shall we? That'll work. (this is called sarcasm, by the way. NO ONE has explained how by begetting death we will prevent terror. But hey, lets just kill people...right?)

Some quotes from some very insighteful people.
-please sir, tell me why, we stick a man on the moon but life down here's so cheap? "Son, we gotta do our bit for the World Trade Deficit" - Pitchshifter

- One was written on the sword, For you must enter a room to destroy it,International security,Call of the righteous man,Needs a reason to kill man,History teaches us so,
The reason he must attain, Must be approved by his God,His child, partisan brother of war, - System of A Down

- Beyond the staples center you can see america
with it's tired poor avenging disgrace, peaceful loving youth against the brutality of plastic existence, pushing little children, with their fully automatics, they like to push the weak around, pushing little children, with their fully automatics, they like to push the weak around
A deer dance, invitation to peace, war staring you in the face, dressed in black, with a helmet, fierce - System of a Down

Posted by: fluffy at October 15, 2002 05:22 PM

Sorry about my off-topic rant. I was feeling frightened and frustrated and took it out on my keyboard and the monkeys. Won't happen again. May there be peace in our lifetime. If only for our [not yet born in my case anyway] children.

Posted by: Tiana at October 15, 2002 05:29 PM

it's hard for me to jump on the war bandwagon...alot of real people are gonna die...many of them innocent children...maybe it'll turn out the only way...but with all of our capabilities...is it really impossible to eliminate the real devil here, saddam hussein...he's a madman for sure...and he is our enemy...but do we really have to destroy the whole country of iraq just to get him?

Posted by: d. burr at October 15, 2002 06:06 PM

Leadership is doing what is right, even if public opinion disagrees. Public opinion is fleeting. The effects of the right or wrong decision last forever. IMO, DiFi is an idiot but in this case she had to weigh the "feelings" of an uneducated group of appeasers, following in the failed path of Neville Chamberlain, et. al., or make an informed decision of what she feels was right for the nation as a whole.

As for oil... Thanks to those who have effectively shut down attempts for America to become energy independent we rely heavily upon imported oil. Maintaining the free flow of this oil at market prices *IS* our National Interest. Get over it.

We cannot conserve our way to energy independence and alternative energy sources are neither economical, practical, or widely accepted at this present time. Perhaps some day, but not yet.

Posted by: John P at October 15, 2002 06:20 PM

Wil,

I very much enjoy reading your stories. Your one about your aunt was quite touching, and well written. I must say though, your ultra-mega-super-party line liberalism is sickening.

Independent. Not just an independent party, but pure independent. Screw parties, I see things and think things my own way.

You seem to disagree with the conservative viewpoint just to disagree. Do you see ANYTHING in a conservative light? If so, I've never seen it. Please inform me, I'd really like to think that you can think for yourself sometmes.

Posted by: DasCoop at October 15, 2002 10:00 PM

Bomb Iraq into the stone age? What? How would you like it if another country said that about the U.S. over something that really wasn't in your power? Think about the citizens of Iraq for a second. Do they deserve to die? If you think so then you are a bigot and don't belong anywhere, especially not America. I am against war because it kills innocent people and in the end only results in more war. I don't want to speak for anyone else, but that is why I don't support it.

Posted by: Brendoman at October 15, 2002 10:18 PM

Dear animereader,

Please scan back UP to around 20-30 posts at the top of the column.

Bush was and is not a TEXAN, he and his kin were born and raised in Maine!!!

He picked up a horrid accent when he skated through college in West Texas (along with no actual education IMHO).... but he is only a Texan by CONVENIENCE!!!

Many people are not aware that Texas has NO STATE INCOME TAX, which is why Daddy B. came down here with his oil monies and was able to prevent Maine from taxing him for his money.

Bush and co. established a residency status in Texas but they live in Maine even more often. (in fact GWB's DUI ticket was in Kennesbunksport, Maine!)

Just letting ya know -- go Tony Sanchez for Govenor!

NATIVE BORN TEXAN

***THE BEEJ***

Posted by: ***THE BEEJ*** at October 16, 2002 04:03 AM

Ireland here again...

One last point, a few people have mentioned that 'it's not about oil'

However here in Ireland a number of newspapers have reported on the fact that an Irish businessman was involved in a proposal put forward by a number of higher ups in the international oil companies (the irishman was a bigshot in ChevronTexaco) to the Bush Administration in APRIL 2001 with regards to oil interests in the middle east. The gist of the proposal was for Bush to attack Iraq and assure US oil interests. I know I'll probably get a few flames about this, but I thought that it might get a few people thinking to know that Bush has been considering war in Iraq since last year. (and almost 6 months before 9-11)

Posted by: Elimare at October 16, 2002 04:41 AM

War IS Terrorism

Posted by: Robin Grant at October 16, 2002 05:30 AM

That's our DiFi...

The same progressive Democrat who pimps for the DMCA and CBDTPA... Yeah, sure she's on our side...

Posted by: Joshua Lowe at October 16, 2002 05:58 AM

I have mixed feelings about your post. I too do not support war in Iraq. Based on what I know, I have strong doubts that it is necessary.

On the other hand, I believe that senators ought to vote based on what they genuinely believe is best for the country, not necessarily as their constituencies wish--because they "in theory" have information you and I don't. The fact that other senators who voted against it had the same information merely tells me that either (a) one of them is misinterpreting the information, or (b) one of them has a political agenda. But it doesn't tell me which one it is, though your secondary information is compelling (though what secondary information there is that would support Feinstein, I don't know, because I haven't researched it).

My final point is this: we're not going to war with Iraq for oil. Or for terrorism. We're going to war because Bush hopes that war will (a) take our minds off the economy, and (b) spur the economy (it worked in WWII, so ergo, it must work today).

Posted by: Aaron at October 16, 2002 06:40 AM

Wil, I recommend this book to you (and all your readers).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/202-5398584-2467866

It broaches the topic of so-called democracy in America, and is an enlightening read. However, I do note that it is not available in the U.S. (!)

Just something else to think about.

Posted by: Kouros at October 16, 2002 08:10 AM

Whoops!

URL should be...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/202-5398584-2467866

And title is "Why do people hate America"

JFYI

Posted by: Kouros at October 16, 2002 08:13 AM

Well, I'm so far down on this list, I'm sure no one will read this.

It seems that Wil has forgotten about the luxury of freedom that he enjoys to post such articles. Sure, it's not our job to create carbon-copies of our government, but we have to keep these guys on a short leash?

I understand that we don't have any hard evidence that these guys have nuclear weapons. So, let's just pretend (and hope) they don't for a second. Leaving the threat of nuclear war behind, the charges against Iraq are as follows:

1.) Attempted to INVADE other countries (see Nazi Germany)
2.) Kill/rape/terrorize their own people who don't share their religious/political views (see Hitler)
3.) Constantly attempt to shoot down our planes (OUR PLANES!) that are flying over the zones *they* agreed to have patrolled.

These are the charges against Iraq that merrit removing Saddam from office. Oil is not the number one factor. I'm sure it's a factor, but no president wants to be in office when a terrorist strike happens. And, I know, no president wants to be in office when a terrorist strikes and an evil country nukes us.

I respect and follow our president, George W. Bush.

I know it's the cool thing to say that your political views learn towards Barbra Streisand or Martin Sheen.

But for this guy, I'm proud of my country right now. And despite what the media is saying, the world is watching us in awe. We have the responsibility to set the example. Because we are a country not run by religious leaders, but by a democratic society.

Posted by: Robby at October 16, 2002 09:44 AM

I had the same problem.

Patrick Kennedy (yes, that Kennedy) did the same thing. Talked to thousands of Rhode Islanders who all said they are against the war, and yet voted for it anyway. So at best he is a failed representative. At worst the representative system is a failure and should be abolished in favor of actual democracy.

But seriously, it's fucked up when your state has the only Republican senator to vote against the war, and the 'liberal' Democrat votes for it.

Too bad I just closed on a house in RI. I won't have been living there long enough to vote in the elections in November, and I am no longer eligible to vote in MA.

Posted by: David Grenier at October 16, 2002 09:52 AM

For anyone interested in the reality of war with Iraq: I suggest reading this article written by Patricia Axelrob, Military Scientist and Writer, at http://www.newsreview.com/issues/reno/2002-10-10/news.asp?Print=1

According to her report based on a trip to Iraq in 1992, the US dropped one hundred thousand tons (read: 200,000,000 pounds)of bombs on Baghdad and it is "hypothesized that as many as 300,000 civilians died in the conflict."

300,000 civilians is equivalent to 3 Jumbo Jets full of people crashing every day for a year or the WTC attacks happening 100 times in a row.

Do the Iraqi people deserve this? Are we sure we have exhausted all other possibilites to avoid this tragedy? I doubt it. There hasn't even been a debate. Most people who have the type of knowledge and experience needed to come up with alternate plan aren't speaking up because of our "with us or against us" attitude.

Posted by: Jezebel at October 16, 2002 10:39 AM

is the role of a senator to simply represent the majority will of her constituency, which may or may not have access to the same information she does, or is it to vote her conscience, believing that she was elected for her beliefs and willingness to take what she sees as the coorect stand?

i personally am against the administration's decision to take war to iraq, but the question regarding the true role of the senate still stands.

Posted by: jenny at October 16, 2002 11:03 AM

I don't have time to read the comments before mine, but I wanted to come play devils advocate.
1. If every member of the continental congress voted based on the opinions in the letters they received, which is by nature composed of a self-selecting and therefore flawed sample of the population, the U.S. would never have ratified the Declaration of Independence.
2. On "sure seems 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" has something to gain - democratic and independent votes. It is totally a party issue.

all for now. cheers!

Posted by: pup at October 16, 2002 11:25 AM

but on a related note... when will bush admit that the us government has become irrelevant, and that citizens may take unilateral preemptive action against snipers and enron executives?

cowboy diplomacy. it's all good.

Posted by: drow at October 16, 2002 12:44 PM

fluffy: Yes, Israel and Zimbabwe have violated resolutions, another reason why the legitimacy of the U.N. is meaningless. Its legislative, executive, and judicial powers are a sham, meaning absolutely nothing when they are utilized in any manner. Since when was the last time you ever heard anyone heed the Secretary-General at any point in the U.N.'s history? Did it stop the Soviets from invading Afghanistan? Or North Korea from invading South Korea? Or North Vietnam from invading South Vietnam? The answer is no, because the U.N. is impotent and powerless. It resembles the League of Nations in the years before World War II, powerless to do a damn thing about a bad problem, and seemingly unwilling to as well.

And as for suggesting someone that is better, I am more than willing to put forth that the U.S. is infinitely better at deciding the issue than the U.N. will ever be. Mind you, the U.N. gives every last dictatorial and tyrannical regime on the planet a solid voice that they do not deserve. Is such an organization, then, trustworthy in the matter of a debate on the issue of Iraq? Might I point out that the United States is the ONLY country in the world that has had and continues to have a genuinely reasoned debate that involves both sides of the issue. The matter has been discussed ad nauseaum, in casual conversation, in the media, and amongst the fringes of both sides of the political spectrum. Only in America have both conservative and liberal viewpoints been considered and weighed in the debate. Congress held a debate on the issue, lest you forget, and the President has re-stated his case over and over in speech after speech. He's made quite clear the reasons as to why he's doing this (and don't give me any leftist B.S. saying that this is about oil or revenge for Daddy. At the beginning of his presidency Bush signaled he wanted to withdraw from the world and curtail the activities of the U.S. in the realm of "global policeman." That included Iraq - note that when he came into office, you didn't hear any proclamations of taking any kind of action against Iraq in any way; it stayed that way until the shock of Sept. 11, which forced him to rethink his foreign policy completely).

And to suggest that the U.S has attacked countries simply because it suited them is a ridiculous accusation: The bomb was used on Japan to end the war with as minimal a loss of American life as possible (note that evidence has come out that shows Japan was working on a nuclear device, and had we not used ours, Japan would have sure used theirs - they weren't too far from finishing it), Saddam was our ally because Iran was the bigger threat at the time (it seems like a mistake now, but remember that the U.S. has a history of allying with bad nations in order to take out bigger evils - a perfect example is World War II, and our alliance with the architect of the Gulag, Josef Stalin), and Bin Laden - though helped by the U.S. in the war with Afghanistan, was by no means a creation of the U.S., which is to say that we didn't train him, nor develop his beliefs, nor teach him the ins and outs of terrorism, or a total hatred of all things Western - we just gave him money to fight the Soviets, and he used it. And you said it yourself: "a host of other psycho's" - note that if someone is in charge of a nation and is acting like a total psycho (LIKE Saddam) it is better to go in there and get rid of said psycho before that person WILL cause any future harm. We saved Kosovar Albanians from being massacred by Serbs, we got Noriega out of Panama, we marginalized Qaddafi at a time he needed to be marginalized, and we went after Saddam in the First Gulf War after he started bulldozing his way into Kuwait. To suggest that getting rid of these problems is somehow a vice is amazing to me.

The U.N., sadly enough, was never meant to be any kind of legitimate international government, but more of a sounding board for the grievances of the nations of the world, whatever they may be. That's why it was born into the world a cripple, and remains one to this day. To suggest that it is anything else BUT a tool is to read more into the U.N. than is there.

I'm not saying that unilateralism is the way to go (although there is a planetload of evidence in defense of the idea), but to say that we NEED the U.N.? When it can't even decide whether or not Saddam is a bad person? Give me a break.

Posted by: muggedbyreality at October 16, 2002 12:51 PM

Following wil's lead, I will share what I have learned reading all the posts:

Its one thing to criticize your government, it is another thing to say the gov't is wrong because it does not listen to your 'opinions'

If you plan on criticizing and speaking out on issues then you should be able to accept the criticism as well

'Liberals', 'Conservatives', 'Whatever'...who in their right mind prefers war/bombings/terrorism/etc???? The difference is that some people are only willing to take so much before standing up for themselves while others will go out of their way to avoid any conflicts.

Vigorous discussion and debate on an issue is one of the best characterstics of our country. Thing is...once decided, we should unite and go forward to resolving the issue!

Vote! This process is imperfect but I still think it is the best there is. Nothing in this world is better!

Where I stand on Iraq?
----------------------
1) I am terrified that this country has or continue to try and obtain weapons of mass destruction.
2) I am terrified that Al Qaeda and its like will be able to obtain these weapons from Iraq, etc.
3) I think back to pre 9/11 and wonder if Clinton/Bush came to the public and said they have information that Al Qaeda is planning to attack the US and we have to go into Afghanistan and wipe them out, who would have said Yes? Are we in that same situation now? I do not feel secure with Saddam on the loose.
4) I don't think its about Oil. If we wanted the oil, we could have dropped the embargo and made a deal with Saddam. Easier than trying to convince the World to attack Saddam.
5) I don't think its about revenge. Although I do think taking Saddam out provides Bush the additional satisfaction of wiping out the guy who tried to kill your dad.
6) I don't think its about American imperialism. If we wanted to take over any part of the world, who the hell is going to stop us?
7) I don't want to bomb Iraq to the stone age. I want Saddam out (killed, arrested, etc). The people do not need to suffer. Just him and his cohorts.
8) I think the Arab 'governments' are doing nothing. Status quo works for them. I would love to see them all come tumbling down. Let the people their decide for themselves like we do in the USA.
9) Peace through War...a path that mankind has always followed through the ages.

Posted by: another student at October 16, 2002 01:55 PM

While I'm not for war, when force is deemed necessary, it's time to do it and stop babbling over it. Just EXACTLY how many U.N. resolutions have to be broken without any response from the U.N. does Iraq have to pull before anything is done? Just how close to either threating or launching a nuke before we get out of this mentality of "Everything is fine, let's talk about it for another decade" mentality many have. OIL is NOT the ONLY factor involved in this and to think that, is NOT looking at the whole picture. I'm sure you remember the old adage, "first they came for. then they came for me". What does it take to get any action out of the nay sayers before you want to respond? MORE innocent lives and a smoking gun? What will your response be then? "Oh, we should have acted sooner!" Enough is enough. If the U.N. isn't going to have the backbone and or will to carry through it's obligations, it's well overdue for action, and to simply sit back and say that the U.S. is ONLY in it for oil, is not only shallow-minded, but ignorant. Speaking of oil, I'm sure you don't mind driving your vehicle around on a daily basis do you, yet...again, you want no drilling within OUR borders. Time to stop flip-flopping and make a real case! Bottom Line: You can't have it both ways. To back up nay sayers, it's always, none of our allies our going..well let me add, you'll see them jump on board, or they quietly want it, but public denounce to cover their ass. I think it's time to stop making excuses not only for Iraq, but for ourselves.

Posted by: BansheeNC at October 16, 2002 03:07 PM

Ah, more liberal blather from Uncle Willie(tm). You are very open minded, reading all your news from one or two sources, salon. Wow. How enlightened.

An answer to jean bond, "Since when did war ever make sense?" Hmm, try the one against Hitler. It is so clear to me, those opposed to the war with saddam have the same mindset as ones that were opposed to the war with the nazis. Saddam uses the same tactics as Hitler. Just look at his recent re-election. He got roughly 100% of the vote - just like Hitler. Of course you appeasers ignore the fact that those voting against him would be executed. Wow, he is a the friend of the liberal. And the liberal perports to support freedom, equal rights, and all that good stuff. Their words and actions here tell a much different story.
What the left needs to do is look at returning to a mind set where the RULE OF LAW exists in the world. They have lost a total concept of legal and illegal, what is right and what is wrong. It is wrong to target civilians for slaughter, it is not wrong to defend civilians from a madman (saddam)[you liberals are so ignorant you may have thought I was reffering to W]. We need a return to the concept of the rule of law.
Herr Fluffy, I see you retain you fascist opinions, how quaint. I can tell from your statements that you believe that American lives are worth less than anyone elses. That is because an American life is not worth defending. That is what Bush is trying to do here save lives. Save Iraqi lives. Save Israeli lives, save Scottish lives. We don't want him to become more powerful and then be forced to stop him, stop him NOW while he is weak. We know he is a war criminal of Hitleresque proportions. The proof that the left seeks is now proof that I want the world to experience, a biological, chemical or nuclear attack on the US, Israel, the UK, or any other nations.
To use the arguement that we should not attack Iraq now, because he might use weapons, we should wait til he gets them is repulsive. We should wait until he has nuclear weapons, and then stop him, that is ignorant.
I have a dream, that one day, one day the left will awaken and get an open mind, one that uses logic and has a sense of fairness, and a sense of the rule of law. It is good to be compassionate, but not to be a slave and bend to the wim of the likes of saddam, or OBL.
I hope that saddam will allow inspectors in, to inspect his 'palaces' and war can be avoided. Is it likely that he will do so? No. I don't want to see anyone be killed, not even saddam, but he must comply. If not God save him.

Posted by: NYC at October 16, 2002 04:39 PM

As an Aussie, I was againt a war with Iraq (Australia would most likely send SAS and possable a brigade of infantry with armour support).

Now with the bombing of Bali, I can see that we will notbe going to war. Most of our defense assets will be needed back here in case we deploy to Indonesia.

This wont be a war as such, as if we do go in, it will most likely with Indonesian political support (But NOT with Indonesian Millitary support, they are still pissed with Australia because of our East Timor support). If our PM John Howard pushes for war with Iraq in this political climate (much like 9/11 in the US, but per capita terms, this is a MORE severe attack. I am not belitttling 9/11, Australia until now has been relitively terrorsim free, so this is a REAL shock to our system.) hge will most likely get slapped by the people.

The major question is that, after 50 years of steadfast support of the US, will the US support us? I think not. The Bush administration has a burr up its ass with Iraq, when the real threats in the war against terrorism is in fact Saudi Arabia and the Pakastani intelegence comunity. The Talaban was a Pakastani movement, supprted by the Pakastani military intelgence, yet no action has been made to reign these people in. If the US can not focus on the real threats, what chance have we got of US assistance if we need it for overseas operations?

Posted by: Darryl at October 16, 2002 05:44 PM

Darryl,

Are you NUTS? Do you honestly think the U.S. would abandon its allies? If there's one thing the U.S. is, it's faithful. If you need our help, you can be damn sure that we'll be there with you. That's the thing about the United States. We'll sit here and take every last piece of anti-American bashing from our allies, but when the chips are down, we'll be right there to help you out. The fact you even think we wouldn't is insulting.

And here's one for all you liberals/progressives/socialists/communists on the board here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37017-2002Oct16.html

North Korea ADMITS to having a Nuclear Weapons Program in VIOLATION of an agreement signed with the Clinton administration!

If the North Koreans would lie to us so blatantly, what makes you think Saddam and the Iraqi terror regime wouldn't lie about having chemical/biological/nuclear weapons? Chew on that one.

Posted by: muggedbyreality at October 16, 2002 05:54 PM

Wil, I have no idea why you aren't for this. There is nothing good about Saddam Hussein. Saddam is a very evil person. He has experimented with Biological, Chemical and is researching Nuclear Weapons. Sometimes it is in our best interests to make a preemptive strike to prevent another 9/11. Also, we have evidence that Saddam could have supported Al Qaida. Wil Bush said it best....we cannot continue to stand by and wait for a sign that we need to go and get rid of Saddam. The sign that we wait for could very well be a mushroom cloud. I am not saying Bush is entirely right. Personally, I like that he is trying to work with the UN on this. If Saddam will let inspectors back in and they are allowed to go anywhere, including Saddam's Palaces, well, I don't see a need to go to war. Oh Wil, Iraq has just had an election where 100 percent of the possible voters voted and the all voted for Saddam. One of Saddam's top advisors said that turn out was absolute. You mean noone was sick? Everyone that could vote did? Wow. Something that we can't even achieve here.

Posted by: Joel at October 16, 2002 06:05 PM

Read up on the Truman doctorine. Its been a good thing.

Posted by: Henry Truman at October 16, 2002 07:30 PM

I'm new to the site (this is my first post) and I am constantly impressed with the site's content. There is a good discussion going on here and it is refreshing to see. I'll read the site more often.

Several people have posted that war in Iraq is inevitable. I hope it's not, but it may be. But now? Without international support? With Bush leading the charge? No.

Bush did not run his campaign on an international platform. Far from it in fact. Ironically, he has had three or four major international issues for every national one. None of the international issues went particularly well, and most of them could have been avoided with a less arrogant stance. I'm not saying that the US should always bow to international pressure. But the US is one country out of 200 in the world, and since Bush took office the country has not been well represented on the world's stage. Kyoto. ABM Treaty. Iraq. China/Spy plane. Israel-palestine. Steel taxes. Lumber taxes. The list goes on and on and on. When will the Bush administration learn that it represents just one country in the world and that the United States is a member of the international community? The US has a lot of ground to make up internationally, and as the economy and other national priorities continue to be neglected, it's losing ground nationally as well.

Something needs to be done. Invading Iraq unilaterally is the wrong thing to do.

Posted by: Tony at October 16, 2002 08:11 PM

Let's assume that we are going to attack Iraq, one way or another. We must do one hell of a job of public relations (PR) to try to get as many Muslims (all Muslims are not Arabs) as possible to see it our way, that it is justified, and to approve of our actions. Many of the more than 1 billion one hundred eighty-eight million Muslims in the world believe that it is a duty laid on them by God (Al= The, Lah = God) that if any Muslim, anywhere, at any time, is attacked by a non-Muslim (infidel or not; Christians and Jews are NOT infidels, they are people of the book; all others are infidels) they must go to his aid, no matter what he did to provoke that attack in the first place. So if all those Muslims perceive that our attack against Iraq is an attack against Islam, not just against a madman Hussein, we Westerners (not just Americans) will be getting wiped out one by one, in countries all around the globe, from Arabia to Zanzibar. If they have to die to do it, they believe so much the better. They go immediately to Paradise, and don't have to wait around until Judgement Day (they believe Jesus will come back then, not the Prophet Mohammed, pbuh) to be judged and see if they even get to go into Paradise. Totally ignoring the Muslims and pushing them aside to attack Iraq would be like deliberately kicking a beehive with nearly two billion killer bees inside. Granted that only a small percentage would actually be involved in stinging us, but that is still a large number. I have lived about 15 of my adult years in Islamic countries, most of them are good people, but easily stirred up by a fiery Mullah in the Masjid (mosque).

Posted by: old traveler at October 16, 2002 08:39 PM

Wil, I agree with you on Iraq but don't follow your logic on representative government. In my state, the majority of people seemed to favor the war resolution. Does that mean that my senators were right to vote for the resolution, as both did? Yes, we elect people to represent us but we also elect them to use their best judgment. Sounds like Sen. Feinstein has crummy judgment, though.

Posted by: Joel Thomas at October 16, 2002 10:05 PM

Wil,
Thanks for having the courage to not follow the sheepy mentality of so many other Americans who get most of their news from the FoxNews Channel.

I too am extremely disappointed in Feinstein and will definitely remember this. She's been pissing me off more and more as of late, and this just takes the cake.

Posted by: Mark at October 17, 2002 09:16 AM

Ah, I see that NYC has returned, and is in full flow once again. Hello from Scotland.
First of all, I would like to start with a Geography lesson. Sitting between Scotland and Germany is a large body of water, often called a sea, and a country called France. You continued use of the term "herr fluffy" in regards to myself is quite erroneous, and the implication that I am some sort of Nazi is more than a little upsetting. It is a great shame that you seem to be incapable of putting forth reasoned arguments without resorting to unneccessary and unsupportable insults. You also call me a fascist, which is rich coming from someone who is openly supportive of a war which you know, BEYOND DOUBT, will kill innocents as well as the guilty. And I see that you WANT a nuclear or biological attack on the West. More death. More destruction.
Im sick of death.

You accusation that I somehow value American lives less than any others is simple proof that you are better at being blinkered and twisting what people write than you are at understanding what they write. You wrote: "I can tell from your statements that you believe that American Lives are worth less than anyone elses."
I challenge you to supply evidence of this unfounded BS. Where in my previous posts have I made such a statement?
I wrote this:- "Is human life really so cheap to you people? or do you think that only American lives are worth anything?"
and this:- "please sir, tell me why, we stick a man on the moon but life down here's so cheap?"
I did not write anything like what you are suggesting I wrote.
For religious reasons I view all human life to have equal value, no matter who they are or where they come from. All people have the same potential to enhance the sum of humanity, and their lives have equal value until they knowlingly and willingly do something to reduce that value, such as rape, murder or cruel exploitation for personal gain. This is not a fascits viewpoint. You cannot judge a persons worth by their race or their nationality, only by their actions. In this way I view Saddam to be a prime candidate for hellfire kindling. I believe he has forfeited his lifes worth and is due punishment, as have many in his government and his army. But there are millions of people in Iraq who have not done so, whos lives have real value exactly because they are not murderers or monsters, just people trying to survive. These people will suffer worst, and before Saddam would in the event of a war. IF we go after Saddam, let it be in a manner which will not end in thousands or millions of people dying. You talk of fairness, but I cannot see anything fair about slaughter.

I have never argued that we should wait until Saddam gets WMD or until he uses them before we do anything. I am saying that he will DEFINATELY use them if we attack in a full force military manner and that some other solution should be sought. I am saying that we should listen to what the politicians, the observers and the watchdogs are saying when they say that a military assault on Iraq will have massive repurcussions around the Middle East and could very easily turn into a bloodbath that spans all the nations there and even beyond. All the indications are that the US is not taking this weapons inspections thing seriously, and is not giving it the chance it needs to work. I know it failed in the past, for many reasons (Saddam being intractable for one, and that the inspection teams were often exaggerating the size of his arsenal for another), but if we don't give it enough of a chance to succeed NOW, then we are nothing more than warmongers.

You talk of appeasers...again. I while back I posted for you a dictionary definition of that word. Very few of the Liberals on this board, if any, who are begging for us to find a way to neutralize Saddam without more DEATH, fit into that definition. Your view on those who oppose Saddam is very simplistic. The parralells only go so far. Hitler was invading countries left, right and centre, and persecuting jews. The people arguing against fighting him were fools. Saddam hasn't invaded anyone since the Gulf War (and I recall that my reaction to his invasion of Kuwait went something like this, "Fucking hell! He's attacking Kuwait! Fuck! Someone do something!", and so we did.), and hasn't shown any sign of it. The argument that we should attack him because he has or MAY have WMD does not hold, specifically because there are a host of other nations who are also controled by vile regimes and that have WMD, who we are not threatening to attack and in some cases have been selling weapons and calling allies, (Pakistan and Israel, anyone?). The US and Britian are both possessed of WMD, yet we condemn others for possessing them? If that was a strong reason for invading other nations half the world would be at war by now. The Soviet Union had nukes during the Cold War, but I notice that there wan't a Unilateral, full scale invasion by the West into Russia.

I'll close with some statements.
I agree entirely with the following statement.
"I want Saddam out (killed, arrested, etc). The people do not need to suffer. Just him and his cohorts."
and I'll repeat this one.
"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."

Posted by: Fluffy at October 17, 2002 11:11 AM

At least you have a representative and two senators to contact, Wil. Here in the "capital of the free world," a/k/a Washington, D.C., we have no representation.

Posted by: Gregory Zini at October 17, 2002 11:17 AM

Lucky for you, Wil, Senators are supposed to act in the public good when they deem it necessary. They're not supposed to bend to your every whim.

Whereas you can sit here and hug a tree, we'll take out an oppressive dictator who is most likely armed to the teeth.

Pussy.

Posted by: Publius at October 17, 2002 04:47 PM

well said fluffy! particularly your closing statements!

Posted by: d. burr at October 17, 2002 07:28 PM

Don't be an idiot. I hate to be clique but war is not pretty and neither is standing up for your freedom. Get off your pompus knees and enjoy your liberty. Many would love to take it away from you. I can't believe how MORONIC everyone who wrote you sound. Do you need a kick in the face to see REALITY! Life is tough and full of hard decisions. Protecting our country is one of them. Ray Brower must be spinning in his grave.

Posted by: stuart at October 17, 2002 07:44 PM

is our freedom being threatened...will iraq bring us to our knees...will saddam rule us too...c'mon some of you are so hungry for war that you have lost perspective on the real problem...SADDAM HUSSEIN...he is not a country...he is a man!...he should be the target!...not all of iraq.

Posted by: d. burr at October 17, 2002 08:04 PM

oooh a bibliography how fancy

Posted by: rootie at October 17, 2002 10:40 PM

d.burr, hmmm, interesting are you saying the US should assasinate saddam? I can't advocate that, unless war is declared. In that case, I would not be opposed. Do you think war should be declared, and then send a team to 'remove' him?
It is a provacative idea. I can see some potential problems, saddam's son is more virulent than his dad, do we remove him too, or risk him coming into power and using the weapons they do have as revenge for his father? I don't want to risk that! If we get both then can you assure me that no general or other person could take over and be worse than saddam.
I agree saddam is not a man the world should tolerate as leader of a nation. If we don't get the total weapons inspections needed, what do we do nothing? That is not acceptable. If we face that situation and do nothing the rule of law is gone, the US and the UN will be polically impotent. Is that what the left really wants? Do they want a criminal like saddam, to hold the world hostage, as he will WHEN he gets nuclear weapons. He will also likely give those weapons to terror groups, or make his own groups and deploy them around the globe. If he hasn't already. Something needs to be done, and the sooner then better. The longer we wait, the bigger threat he is to us all.
Just look at the CF(cluster foxtrot) that Clinton caused with North Korea, his unwillingness to enforce inspections of the nuclear plant HE had built, and now they too have nukes. The US basically gave the DPRK nuclear weapons. The French and Germans are doing the same with saddam. No, not because they are appeasers. Let me explain. The Germans, gave saddam the plans for the NATO approved nuclear process for making warheads. Germany folks. The same Germany calling Bush - Hitler. The GERMANS are quickly moving in the direction of becoming the worlds biggest threat. The German spy responsible for delivering these plans to saddam, was tried and convicted in Germany, found guilty of HIGH TREASON, given a fine equvalent to 30 thousand US dollars and RELEASED. Now Germany is unwilling to stop the monster they are creating. To me that makes Herr Schroder sound like Frankenstein. Now for France, they have albiet in the past done a Clinton, and tried to build Nuclear plants in Iraq. Does Iraq still have nuclear material? We don't know the weapons inspectors weren't allowed to look where they think the stuff was located, why because it was in saddams 'palaces'. These sprawling cities are the locations where biological, chemical and possibly nuclear weapons are being made. Can saddam make dirty nukes, it is almost a 100% possiblity.
I also keep hearing this insipid saying something like, the US and the west has WMD so why should'nt Iraq and other countries be able to have them. The US and the west have democracies accountable to the people of their countries. There is NO MORAL EQUVALENCY. Iraq WILL use them, the US has them as a deterent, and reference material to produce vaccines. And if you who take this stance belive that Iraq is morally equivalent to the US then you are too unreasonable to have a discussion with.
As my reference to Herr Fluffy, above I shall not respond to his attacks. I stand behind what I said, you are an antiamerican arabist fascist. My hertitage is Scottish, and if you are a representative of what they have become, then thank GOD my ancestors moved here. In the war with Iraq, yes some inocent people will die, but if we don't stop him then ALL of those that die will be inocent. I have total trust that God will be fair in His judgements, the thing is I don't want saddam to present Him a list with any more names of the innocent. You do. I do care that Iraqis who are blameless will die, but that is saddam's fault, not mine, yours or Bush. To gain insight on my perspective read the Book of Job. In that book he asks God questions relating to human suffering. One of those questions was why do the strong get to dominate the weak and kill and drive them to despair. Why does God allow these people to commit atrocities. The answer was that the light scares those people and like insects in a blanket when it is unrolled and flipped, they crawl under the rocks, but return at night. And the answer on stopping these people is to help yourself. He will make them pay in death, it is your responsiblity to sto them in life. Saddam operates at night, he is the insect. He kills, steals, lies, bullies and destroys. We must help ourselves and stop him. We need to be the light. Do you Fluffy advocate a stronger dark - more suffering of the weak. Or should we bring light and hope to the afflicted and allow those in Iraq to live in peace, without an evil dictator, fearing everyday for life and family. Fluffy, Hitler perceuted Jews, saddam persecutes the Kurds, and other muslims. He is doing it now as I write and will in another 11 years if we do nothing. Inspectors can do nothing to help them. You speak of the innocent dieing. It seems you only care about the ones an attack MAY kill, not the ones he is now torturing and executing. Be consistent.
You give a quote, "there is no guarauntee that bombing the shit out of Iraq will kill only those who deserve death, or prevent terrorism from continuing its blood-soaked excesses.", I can guarantee that if nothing is done about saddam, ONLY those you say are deservant of death will prosper, and kill more innocents, steal their propery and create more fear. Be the light Fluffy, be the light.

Posted by: NYC at October 17, 2002 10:46 PM

NYC
I get the feeling that we are both pointing in roughly the same direction, but takingwidely differing courses.
I think I've made it fairly clear that I hate Saddam and do not like the idea of him continuing as leader of Iraq. I have stated time and again that he needs to be removed, decisivly. I just don't think that Unilateral War is the correct, or only, way to do it, and all of my posts have tried to urge people to look for alternatives. Many people are assuming that war is the only option and not looking at any others.

I would like you to explan something. This sentence to be exact.
"you are an antiamerican arabist fascist".
By "antiamerican" I assume you mean that i hate America. I don't. I don't see boundaries of Nations. In the end, we are ALL human. Even Saddam was, once. Now Im not so sure. What I hate is certain attitudes that exist within America (but are by no means confined there...they exist within Britain too, and beyond), about the right of might, wealth and power. I don't like the way that America insists that it is the best country on the planet, yet has the highest % crime rates in the world, and is one of the worst polluters. I cannot fathom the NRA (who are pushing for the conviction of a 4-year old girl for accidentally shooting her father with his own gun) or America's rampant gun culture. But in the end, I don't hate America. It too complex an issue for that. I hate generalizations.
By "arabist", i assume you mean that I am sone sort of apologist for people like Saddam, and support the Arab world over the West. Hell no. Saddam is a cunt. I fervently ask for the opportunity to watch him die. I want to inject Bin Laden with Ebola Zaire and lock him in a Lvl 4 Hot Zone and leave him to bubble away and suffer for what he has done. Much of the Arab world is oppressive towards women and minorities, and is seeded with corruption, by people who have read the Koran by don't get the real meaning it was trying to convey.
And I still don't get where the "fascist" thing comes from. My trusty Encarta dictionary tells me that a Fascist is someone who "supports or advocates a system of government characterized by dictatorship, centralized control of private enterprise, reppression of all opposition and extreme nationalism." Since I have never advocated dictatorship, or supported Saddams regime, AM supportive of freedom of expression and opposition and enterprise, and am not particularly nationalistic (as I said earlier, I see people, not boundaries), I don't see how you can call me a fascist. I would like for you to support that claim, and have asked you to do so several times, but you have not. If you continue to fail to do so, I'll just have to conclude that you cannot justify it and are resorting to name-calling.

I am not advocating that we do nothing about Saddam, and never have, but I am disturbed by the extremely high possibiliy that a Unilateral war will turn the entire Middle East into a sea of blood, and escalate into a slaughter on such a scale that the costs of removing Saddam by purely military means could be catastrophic. Too many trained, experienced observers and polititians are warning of that possibility, they should not be ignored out of hand.
What scares me is the indication that many of Americas leading polititians and generals seem to be treating the new weapons inspections as some sort of formality, a diversion while we get our weapons in place to whup Iraqi ass. We need to give the weapons inspections every viable chance to succeed.
We are fighting monsters. lets make sure we don't become like them.

Posted by: fluffy at October 18, 2002 02:44 AM

Fluffy, you are scaring me, we are pointing in the same direction. lol. Listen, I just think that saddam has flipped off the world for 11 years, he wont let us go where he has WMD's, you know that. This is just more pussy footing, the guy has to be stopped. Weapons Inspectors can't do it. That Blix guy is a fraud. Kofi Annon is almost brain dead. This UN thing is just a big distraction. Do I like war, no hell no. Is it inevitable with saddam, sadly yes. And most unfortunately, the UN is or has become meaningless. If the US acts without a new UN resolution, it will be the fault of the French and Russians. The US will leave the UN, and it will be totally limp and dead. I don't want that to happen. Saddam can thumb his nose at the world and you guys say, ah give him another chance. So what US and British pilots are shot at every day, so what one day one will be shot down and executed by saddam. At least no innocents will die, right? Yikes! The weapon inspectors can help the Kurdish, and other groups being exterminated by saddam. What are we saying, the world has ignored their suffering for time inmemorial, why should we stop to help them now? Bush the elder was wrong, he should have taken out saddam, but so was the UN for not putting that in their resolution. Is the US now to be blamed for a world decision?
Fluffy, we live in a world with very few good guys, it amounts to only the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Israel, and a few other minor countries, just a handfull. We are it, the light. There are borders, thank God. Because around that border of light is true dark and evil. I too believe that most people are good and decent, but their governments are not, and it is impossible politically to seperate the two. In most countries, the government in effect owns its citizens, they cannot leave or express opposing opinions. What we can't do is allow those evil governments to spread, or gain power. If we do it may not be possible to stop it, and the entire world will enter darkness again, like it did with the fall of Rome. Only this time, we may not be able to regain civilization, at least not one I want to live in, or our children deserve to live in. We must be constantly vigilant, checking, and checkmating, if necessary, evil powers. In the world today the nations of Islam are a source of great evil. The people, the religion may not be, but the governments are, so it is impossible to distingush the two, until the government is toppled. At that time, we have a different story.
So, you want saddam removed, HOW? PLEASE, BE VERY SPECIFIC.
Now for my labeling you as an antiamerican, arabist fascist. The three are linked. I disagree with the definition you use for fascist. While I am pleased you purchase software from the evil microsoft empire (lol), their dictionary is sub-par. My definition comes from the 1967 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, unabridged. It says, and I am paraphrasing, it is a person unwilling to look at other sides of an arguement, is unbending, unwilling to compromise. By the way, any dictionary after that time is shite. So let me use a ramdom quote, 'I hate is certain attitudes that exist within America', so we should all be weak, penniless, wusses. How quaint. The US is the BEST country in the world, and if you don't believe it, just ask my uncle. Sam is his name, he's one mean hombre. Of course ask a Brit, and he/she is likely to say England is the best country in the world, or Scotland or Wales, or Ireland but just ask John... John Bull he's one mean hombre. And they would be right, that is what we all think. Our country is the best. Don't hate a guy because he loves his country, that would be fascist. Being British, I thought you would use a real dictionary, with the Queens English. Unfortunately, being an American I can never truely speak the Queen's English, but I do aspire to that.
As for the NRA thing, huh, what? What are you reading, I'm taking your library card away. Remember, don't smoke pot and read salon.com at the same time, it destroys brain cells, I've read it is more effective than a lobotomy.;> No, but seriously, I never have heard of such a thing and I'm a member of the NRA. You see guns are fun to shoot, try it! People sometimes fear a firearm until they fire one, and then they are hooked. They are good for protection, not only from criminals, but unfriendly governments too. What if jolly olde England didn't have them, you guys would probably be speaking French, German and Russian by now. Instead you get to share a tongue with us, how unseamly. You know our crime here is directly proportional to the number legal gun owners in a city. Yup, DC, NYC, LA all have terrible crime rates, and guess what people there can't legally own guns. And guess what else, the criminals still get guns. Hmm, I wonder where from? Ah, yes other criminals, who make money by selling it other criminals who in turn attack at will unarmed people in their homes. Places where guns are legal, in this country, have significantly lower crime rates. In the city where I live, they are legal, and in the last month 2 robberies in the same night were stopped by a homeowner with a firearm. The Police said, well I guess that will stop crime in that part of the city for awhile. Which guy are you going to rob or kill, one with a .357, or a guy holding a plastic fork. Three guesses and the first 2 don't count. That is why we Americans like firearms, we are free while we have them, when we don't we are slaves, of crime and corruption and liberals. Why in the UK, I have noticed a steep increase in crime since guns were outlawed, hmm coincidence. The government there has taken away your most basic of freedoms, the right to self protection, and you applaud that, inconceivable. That said, I don't hunt, but respect those that do. So long as they do so humanely, not shoot to wound but to kill. Be accurate. Again, try firing a round, be a free man.
Now as for being an arabist, by arabist I mean one who prefers islam to other cultures, to the point of being traitorous to their own country. Protect your own citizens first and foremost, that is the primary duty of every free government, read Thomas Paine. Read John Locke. You say we shouldn't go to war, that that is wrong. You say you want to take out saddam, well ok, which is it. But how does one accomplish this with out an armed conflict. He is their leader they aren't going to say ok, here saddam is, praise Allah. In a perfect world they would give him up, there would be no war, everyone would be happy and well fed, they would be Americans and gun owners .... oh I got ahead of myself. We don't live in a perfect world, this isn't LaLa Land, we must face facts. They are rough, and brutal and depressing, but this is what has to be done for the safety of the world.

Posted by: NYC at October 18, 2002 05:56 AM

To continue on with why gun ownership is important, read below. Mr. Luttig may have lived had he had a firearm. Not suprisingly amnesty international never replied to my letter, they are fascists of the highest regard. Please read their link below, and look at independent news reports to see how misleading the AI page truely is.

Sent to: [email protected]

To whom it may concern,

I happened upon your webpage concerning, Beazley, a man executed in Texas. The site was, http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/print/AMR511052001?OpenDocument

I am troubled by what I read. There seems to be an extreme lack of sense of justice and empathy and sympathy. I would appreciate a response to the following aspects of concern in your report. I have fully read it, and find some thing inexplicable.
First, with what logic are you justifying the statement that the US and in particular Texas, is executing minors. At the end of the report, it clearly states that those executed were over 18 and in most cases in there 30's. These are NOT children. They are not 13 or 14, as the victims of execution in Iran and other nations. To compare the two, undermines some good work you could perform in those nations. It seems as though your agenda blinds you to actual injustices in the world. You confuse the age of conviction with the age of execution. Age CAN NOT be an EXCUSE for murder. Mr. Luttig, a veteran and elderly man was an innocent, executed by Beazley, and his thug friends. A noticeable omission from your report was that they tried to murder Mr. Luttig's wife Bobbie. In fact Beazley executed Mr. Luttig, and then tried to execute his wife, she escaped and then Beazley turned and shot Mr. Luttig again, point blank in the head. This is not the act of a kind - caring person, it is the act of a - unspeakable person. One with any sense of justice should have no sympathy for such a person, capable of unspeakable evil.
Secondly, the way in which the report reads, it is as if you are trying to impugn the character of Mr. Luttig, the report says, is it possible that the identity or status of the murder victim and his family played any role in the prosecutorial decision? Here you seem to be implying that his death was less important than some social role. In addition, it bashes the family. Has your organisation no shame. To use the victim of a crime to further your agenda. This is SICK! Mr. Luttig and his family are the innocent victims. It was Beazley's selfish and evil act that effects and affects his family. For the victims to seek JUSTICE you compare their pain, with the victimizer's family, in a gross twisted putrid way. The victimizer's family can say, bye to the murderer, they can prepare. The victim's family is afforded no such luxury; they must spend the rest of their days mourning for the evil selfish act of another. An indefensible act. If we were to be solely interested in how punishment would affect the murder's family, we would not punish the murder at all. Perhaps this is your ultimate goal, to punish the victims and praise the executioners of the innocent? After all, we would not want to cause any stress to people, paying for their actions.
Thirdly, the case is muddied by an unclear argument. Your real target of attack is the death penalty itself. It makes no difference to you how the victim's family feels, and what their wishes may be. This makes your argument morally steadfast? The way I see the question is this; can you ensure that those who would kill indiscriminately will remain imprisoned until death? Can you ensure they will never kill another? I can! The death penalty insures that murder can never kill again, never hurt another!
Is your real argument with 17 year old being charged as 18 year olds, or is it the sentence? It is obvious. The sentence, regardless of the age.
In conclusion, I hope one day your organisation can go after the real sources of totalitarianism: Iran, Iraq and other such regimes and allow just punishments, capable of ensuring the guilty can not hurt the innocent. Please in the future, be intellectually honest and not misrepresent the facts. The US does not execute 17 year olds or younger prisoners. As for the death penalty, if it causes Europeans to refuse investments in the US, so be it. We don't need the arrogance of the French with their bloody hands at the guillotine, the Germans and the death camps, to tell us how to punish our criminals. They and the rest of Europe can coddle their murders, and allow them to murder more of the innocent in an area with a total lack of morality, so be it. Leave the US alone; we have our laws, you have and, apparently, will continue with your imperfect ones.
Sincerely,
NYC

Posted by: NYC at October 18, 2002 06:10 AM

NYC
Don't be scared. Fear is the mindkiller, and all that. Seriously, is it really that hard for you accept that maybe, just maybe, I might actually agree with you on certain points. Shock horror. I think I just felt the world tip on its axis.
What do we agree on, you ask? Well, for one thing we both agree that Saddam is evil. Hows this, be both agree that Saddam should be removed from office (whoa man....lets not get crazy, fluffy and NYC agree on something!? surely not.)
Unfortunately there are lots of things we don't agree on. (you list Israel amongst the "good guys" - the ordinary people, maybe, but not the murderers in charge). I'm also concerned with your simplistic view of the world. "Good guys" and "bad guys". White hats versus black shirts. You know its not that simple. Good guys don't act the way we have in the past (some of those bad guys were made worse for OUR causes). Its just not that simple, and if we blinker ourselves in that way then we're all fucked.
"We must be constantly vigilant, checking, and checkmating, if necessary, evil powers." - Im all for that, up to a point. Such vigilence becomes pointless if liberty becomes indistinguishable from serfdom, and we can no longer fund, support or give aid to evil powers, such as we did with Iraq and Bin Laden. Frankly, we should not have done so anyway.
We cannot justify a butchery of Islam. Islam itself is not evil, and if we did we would be moving into a "holy war", and death and hatred would be the only result. Haven't we evolved past that now? Well?
I urge people to look for alternatives. I urge you to do so. There must be some way we can depose Saddam without killing half of the Middle East. I'm not a strategist and I don't pretend to be, so I can't give you highly specific and detailed set of options. Someone suggested sending in a special forces squad, such as the SAS to infiltrate Iraq and remove Saddam and his cronies, while simultaneously ensuring that there are people able to step into his place who would be sympathetic to the West and would comply with International law. Hey, Im not saying its a good idea...its just an option. Thats all. Whats annoying me is that Bush has trundled out the "lets invade Iraq" plan, and all the hawks are shouting "yes, invasion is clearly the only way and everyone who suggests moderation or alternatives is a commie-fascist-pinko!". No one is looking for alternatives, and anyone who suggests that we should is being attacked, on every level. So much for reasoning.

On the Encarta Dictionary. Yup its from Microsoft (bastards -why can't you gits code software properly?), its in book form. Narf. Your definition "a person unwilling to look at other sides of an arguement, is unbending, unwilling to compromise." sound more like you than me. If you were to take the time to re-read all of my posts on this and all the other subjects that we have discussed, you would find that I have been comprimising, and conceeding points where due, time and time again. You refuse to even consider that war may not be the best way of dealing with Saddam. Don't you fit your own definition quite well? I'm not a fascist and you are not a fascist and we both know it. Neither of us supports oppression over liberty, and both of us are trying to understand a complex situation.
"so we should all be weak, penniless, wusses." - No. of course not. But we should not see exploitation, wealth and physical might as a virtue in of itself.
"Don't hate a guy because he loves his country, that would be fascist." I don't. Your right it would be fascist. I understand patriotism. I don't hate Americans for loving America, but I do hate it when Americans expect everyone else in the world to love America also. As you say, we love our countries too, and we get annoyed when Americans expect tell us that they are better than we are and expect us to agree. I dont go around telling preople that Scotland is better than England, or Spain, or Canada, or Ireland or France, or Holland or Sweden or any of the other places I've visited.

You jibe about the "Queens English" is an old one. I got tired of it a long time ago. American English has added many words and phrases to the greater whole of the language, many that are really usefull. So I decided to accept the fact that Americans pronounce and spell many words differantly, and let it go. So should you. Languages need to evolve to survive.

About guns and the NRA.
"guns are fun to shoot, try it!" I know, I have. Several times. Shotguns, rifles and one pistol.
I bet that sniper who is waltzing around America just now (any more news on if the authoriies are closer to catching him yet?), really loves guns. I bet he's getting a real kick out of it.
"you guys would probably be speaking French, German and Russian by now." Theres a large differance between Britian and America. We don't have a gun culture in the smae way as America and we didn't during either of the World Wars. The army and the Volunteers carried the guns, onto the battlefield, but few other people had them or where.are allowed to use them. The % of gun-related deaths in Britian is miniscule compared to that of America. However, I would be very interested to see your evidence that there is a correlation between anti-gun laws in Britian and any rise in violent crime. (this is called conceeding that you might have a point and asking to know more - how fascist of me)
"The Police said, well I guess that will stop crime" - isn't that the job of the Police? Stopping crime?

"by arabist I mean one who prefers islam to other cultures" - I don't I thought I had made that clear. I don't like Islam as a religion, particularly, and I don't like most Islamic states. Any country that wants to stone someone to death for adultery, but cannot be bothered even trying to find out who she was adultering with...well, lets just say they get a big thumbs down from me.

I really don't understand you. Do you hate me that much, just because I'm not too happy with the concept of going to war. Why is war the ONLY answer?

Posted by: fluffy at October 18, 2002 07:43 AM

EXPLANATION.

I just read something I wrote in that last post, and it reads VERY badly. It is the following line.
"Such vigilence becomes pointless if liberty becomes indistinguishable from serfdom, and we can no longer fund, support or give aid to evil powers, such as we did with Iraq and Bin Laden. Frankly, we should not have done so anyway."

This should be stating that if we are truly the good guys then we cannot justify funding Iraq in the way we did, or Bin Laden or any other such people. We can no longer stride the world aiding the enemy of our enemy, not when it means funding terror.

Sorry for this. it was a badly written line

Posted by: fluffy at October 18, 2002 07:48 AM

First, let me say that I am appalled that our congress has gone along with this idiotic war.

However, I have to say that it is our representatives' RESPONSIBILITY to be more than a mouthpiece for their constituents. They must weigh their own opinion, balance it with what they know, and what their constituents believe, and then vote accordingly.

You, then, have the right to vote for or against that representative based on their record overall, but they do have the responsibility to use their personal judgement.

Read the script/see the movie or play 1776, and pay close attention to the words of Lyman Hall, just before the final vote on independence. He's quoting Edmund Burke, a member of the English Parliament, but the setting and the words he uses say it better than anything I could do myself.

Allen White

Posted by: Allen White at October 18, 2002 09:43 AM

We are going into Iraq whether you like it or not! Resistance is futile!

PS I never did like you as Wesley. Now I know why!

Posted by: Locutus at October 18, 2002 12:38 PM

Fluffy, I sincerly apolgize that my words have come out sounding as if I hate you, I certainly do not. I actually appreciate that you express your opinions, and that we can have a dialog on the issues. That said, I cant ignore what I precieve as certain, lets say biases. I have them, I am an American, NRA supporting, anti big government kind of guy. I do love America, but not everything she has ever done. That said, she had done more alot more good than bad, can any islamic nation say that? Can more than a handful of nations say that? I respect the UK, for being a bastion of freedom (from sometime after the revolution:>). So I do have biases. I hear in your statements, undertones of a type of counter-culture prevalent in Europe, particularly in regard to world trade. It is this neophyte communist ideal, that the west is solidly money-grubbing, anti-poor, racist warmongers. It is an anti-capitalistic movement. I would say anti-american. I don't believe that movement to be fair, and will speak up when I hear it, you say you don't belong with that group, I accept that you are truthful - I believe you.
I agree with you that funding or protecting a terror is repulsive. That is why I think it wrong to help fund the governments of islam - Iraq by purchasing oil, Saudi Arabia by buying oil and proping up their government, Egypt the same as Saudi, Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Yemen Pakistan, and on and on and on. I don't agree that Israel uses terror. They are protecting themselves from militants, the miltitants that target civilians - that my friend is terror. The Palestinians are the terrorists. Sharon is a war hero and unless any real proof otherwise is given I will stand by that. I find it interesting that some groups believe that as long as an arab is killing a jew, that is ok, but as soon as the jew responds killing an arab (who is a militant) are being terrorist. How is defending yourself from terror, a terrorist act. Israel DOES NOT target unarmed civilians, as the Palestinians do. I see a real difference. I see a moral difference.
To say that we should never help the enemy of our enemy is simplistic, of what logic you accuse me of using, should the US and Britian in WWII, not given arms to the Soviet Union, to defeat the greater menace - Hitler and his Nazis. I see the fight against Totalitarianism, as the greatest victory for morality the world has ever succeeded in gaining. Should WE have allowed Germany to overrun Russia, and provided no aid? One may argue that it would have forced the Nazis to pull deeper and deeper into Russia, using up forces by stretching them longer and longer into hostile territory. It may have succeeded in destroying the Soviet menace, but the greater theat - Hitler would be more powerful and have greater resources.
Should the US and her allies not repulsed an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait? Effectively giving saddam global dominance over the world's oil supply and trounce the rule of law.
Today Iraq is a theat, one that grows daily. It will not grow weaker, or be more humane if the UN has its inspections. Nor will they affect the Iraqi effort to produce nuclear capacity.
You oppose the war, I symphathize, but you give no viable alternative. It is easy to attack a plan. It is more difficult to create one. Have the anti-war side create a viable alternative and I WILL listen, and switch sides faster than a democrat in a New Jersey Senate Race, but give me an alternative, not vague theories and what ifs. We KNOW the UN has failed for 11 years in Iraq, we KNOW that Iraq is attacking OUR allied air forces. We KNOW saddam is commiting genocide.
Now, WHY should we wait, tell me that and I WILL listen. I may not agree, but I would better understand a position of containment. As it stands containment is foolish. The result WILL be a madman with nuclear weapons. Do you want to explain to your kids, why Iraq was allowed to gain weapons like that, and you have the capability to stop him, but chose not to do so. I don't. I don't want to increase the risk of nuclear war. And allowing saddam to gain those weapons - due to inaction is the same thing.
My concept of Iraq may be simplistic, just like it is of the Nazis. Maybe not all Nazis are evil, but quite frankly I don't care they are pond scum. Saddam is of the same calibre. It is appeasement, and until a REAL solution, not requiring force, is given I will not be swayed.
About the Queen's English, that was not a jibe, I mean it. Just a guy having one of your accents and using that verbiage makes him sound like he has about 10 IQ points higher than he really does. Plus, I think the accent is cool. In the US give Einstein an accent like a hillbilly - like Clinton, and it makes the percieved IQ about 20 points less than reality. My accent gives me the percieved IQ right on par with reality. Is that biased too, yeah probably but I'll admit it. Take that guy Hugh whats his name from the English Patient, his percieved IQ is probably about 100, in reality it is probably around 90. LOL.
I Do like you Fluffy, I can't help it. Since you don't like generalizations, I won't use any about you. Oh, and you really made me mad when you called the President a shrub. I mean I don't go around saying, yeah I just looked at Price Charles, and thought, 'boy, I guess thats what you get from a thousand years of inbreeding.' Because that would be rude. :> The British are usually not rude, leave that to the French. ;>
If I ever get to Scotland, I would like to buy you dinner and a pint, quart or whatever you want of what ever you want, because I don't hate you. Please don't think so.
Oh yeah, I'm glad you have fired weapons. You can't tell me it wasn't fun.

Agreeably yours, NYC

Posted by: NYC at October 18, 2002 04:45 PM

Oh yeah, I really would like more information on that 4 year old shooting thing.

Posted by: NYC at October 18, 2002 04:59 PM

NYC
Thanks for the reassurance. I was really beginning to get some hate-like vibes from your direction. Which would really suck. Good to know I was wrong.
I'm not an anti-capitalist as such. All the cool stuff that I have, all the TV shows I like, all the games for my PC, all of these come from capitalism, and probably wouldn't exist otherwise. What I don't like about capitalism is the widespread tendancy for big companies and multi-nationals to exploit what they shouldn't, like people. I hate it when companies decide to use sweat-shops, or that their profits are more important than the natural ecosystem and when they in the words of the song "pave paradise and put up a parking lot". THAT I hate.
But Im not going to smash up a Mcdonalds because of it.
I don't agree with the idea that Sharon is a War Hero, and there is ample evidence that he has done some very awful things in his history, things which suggest to me that he is a very dangerous man and may be a War Criminal. Heres a couple of links. One of them is from the BBC, so at least that one is going to be well researched.
http://aztlan.net/theaccused.htm
http://www.larouchepub.com/pr/site_packages/2002/sharon/020430sharon_crime_hist.html
http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1991to_now_sharon.php
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/07/01/world/main299293.shtml
http://www.hrw.org/press/2001/06/isr0622.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1933309.stm
On Israel, I agree totally that Israel is under attack from Terrorists. There is no other description for people who suicide bomb civilians. However, it is also clear that Israel is very heavy handed and vicious towards Palistine. Several months ago there was a missile attack that killed a number of civilians. Ariel Sharon declared it to be "one of our greatest successes." heres the news articale.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (July 23) - In an attack criticized by President Bush as ''heavy- handed,'' an Israeli warplane fired a missile that flattened a Gaza City apartment building early Tuesday, killing a Hamas leader at the top of Israel's most wanted list. At least 14 other people, including nine children, died in the airstrike. Haleema Matar, 45, was on the ground floor of the targeted building, while children in her family were sleeping upstairs when the missile hit. "The children died. If I died it would have been better, I would not have to see this," she said. Five children in the extended Matar family were killed. Shehadeh, his wife, Leileh, their 14-year-old daughter, Iman, and a bodyguard were killed. Shifa Hospital in Gaza City released a separate list of 11 dead, that included eight children, aged 2 months to 11 years, and three adults. The hospital also said that more than 100 people were wounded.

Its a very difficult and complex situation, but I cannot help but thin, when I see reports like this, that Israel doesnt give a shit about civilian casualties, not when they are Palastinians. One time a riot happened and two Israeli soldiers were killed. The BBC televised the Israeli response, which involved gunships firing missiles into the town.
I've seen footage of Israeli tanks driving over Palastinian ambulances, and of Palastinian fire-truck riddled with bullet holes. The Israelis are occupying land which the Palastinian people believe to belong to them, not Israel, and the Palastinians are treated worse than third class citizens. There is a cycle of violence there which neither side seems willing to end. All I'm saying is that Israels hands are as bloodied as the Palastinians.

We should never help the enemy of our enemy of that means helping a complete bastard, like Bin Laden. Otherwise we become mired in our own hypocrisy when we cry out for truth and justice. If we say that we must be vigilant, "because we still live in a dangerous world" (Bush senior), there must be no way that anyone can legitimately say "because of you!" to us.
From what I learned from discussions with a mate of mine, called Stuart, who is a passionate student of WW2, there was no way that the Nazi's could have overrun Russia, the sheer weight of numbers was too much for them. (think about, the Russians lost more soldiers than the UK and the US combined and were still a viable military force). Their idea of a artillary barrage was twelve hours of continous bombardment from several THOUSAND cannons.
I see your point though, it is sometimes advantageous to give that sort of aid. But when that sort of aid ends up being given to someone who cheers when his people fly two passenger planes into the World Trade Centre, then the policy needs a rethink, yes?

Nazis, pond scum? Isn't that an insult to pond scum? I always invisioned the Nazis as the sort of people that makes God reach for his "Flood-O-Matic". Nothing can justify what they did. Nothing.

As for the Language thing. I think you mean Hugh Grant. Except it wasn't him in the English Patient, it was Ralph Fiennes. Bu t I know what you mean. It just looked like you were taking the piss. I misunderstood, my bad.
Prince Charles is an Inbred loon. He talks to trees. I thinks he's great. That kind of eccentricity is a great aristocratic institution and I love it. Philip is great as well.

I have fired guns, and i did enjoy it. I don't think I could fire at a live target though. I'm a big fan of Paintball. Its not the same thing, but its fun.

I'll try and get some more info on the 4 year old thing. One of my mates collects stories like that.

Posted by: fluffy at October 20, 2002 05:27 PM

Excellent, Wil. You oughta throw your considerable weight behind some sort of voter registration deal (if you aren't currently).

I'm generally inclined to believe that we get what we deserve with our elected officials, because we do not demand better. But when a normally competent representative like this decides that she knows better than the tens of thousands of people who actually took the time to contact her with their express wishes, then we all need to get off of our fat asses, and punt.

Incidentally, in case you hadn't heard, I'm running for Governor. I'm not on the ballot because I didn't have a thousand bucks.

Vote Sims! Thank you.

Posted by: sims at October 20, 2002 09:26 PM

Wil, you did a great job on Star Trek. It is apparent that you could use some education in world politics.
The problem with Iraq and other 3rd world countries is their instability. These countries which have nuclear capabilities would blow their asses up along with millions of others because they do not have the checks and balances in their nuclear weapons programs.
In the United States, it takes much more than a president to issue an order to deploy a nuclear weapon (or any weapon of mass destruction). The United States does not have a supreme leader. Our president does not have final word in what the United States does. The opposite is true for Iraq. The leader of Iraq can in reality order a nuclear strike. He has proven that he is capable of killing innocent civilians such as his Iraqi citizens he has gassed to death.
The best policy in world politics is to be safe than sorry. Taking out the cancer is better than giving it room to spread.

Posted by: Dave Shaver at October 21, 2002 07:51 PM

There are=many posts in teh caffee

the words=long the words are likelast time whenwe are in=places for things like also

like the time when BERRYS FACKEN DAVIDwent out from the storeinto where wekeep teh thignsfor the shed to use when itgets=hotteh dogs=bark like

shouldnot BE IN WAR MIGHT BE DEATH might=hurt
also wasinto the moviewith the DEATHshould not bein=war will = DEATHlike the DEVIL IN HELLplease jesus

AUGUST 2002!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Peter Painter at October 21, 2002 10:07 PM

While there are those few politicians who actually represent their constituents, most do seem more out for their personal agenda. If Feinstein did indeed vote "yes" just for political gain, that isn't much different from anyone else in congress. If she voted "yes" because she genuinely thought that that was best for our country, then perhaps one ought not be so harsh.

I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with the resolution or that I think we ought to go to war with Iraq, I'm just saying that perhaps she did feel what she was voting for was best, though it went against what a majority of her constituents who actually wrote her wanted. And unless she polled all of the constituents, she can't really see a true representation of what everyone wants.

In addition, if you don't vote for her next time, you'll most likely just get someone else in office who is the typical politician who cares more about his/her own career than the feelings of their constituents.

Posted by: Chewie at October 22, 2002 09:00 AM

What a load of rubbish. I agree with the poster that said there has not been a solid arguement against the war. I'm so tired of the rethoric about Bush's daddy, secret agenda, yada yada yada. You wouldn't believe the trash I've seen that was either incorrect, half-truths or just outright lies. Where was all this venom for a president when that immoral SOB Clinton was in the White House and performing CRIMINAL acts like lieing under oath? Hmm...you liberals couldn't talk fast enough defending him. Bush didn't plan 9-11, (actually, if anyone is to blame for 9-11 it's Clinton's criminal behavor in office and his gutting of the intelligence network). If 9-11 didn't happen, I doubt the push to attach Iraq would have even come up, or not in this intensity.

Saddam is like that kid who's causes trouble, then sits back and watches the parents fight over it as one defends him while the other want's to punish him.

Personally? I think all this is just to get Saddam back to the table and to let inspectors back in. He wasn't even talking about it till Bush started making noises.

Posted by: ArtieFishill at October 23, 2002 09:58 PM

Wil, I cant help but wonder how many guns you have lying around in your home, and machine gun nests set up in your front yard, just waiting for the police to turn bad and try to take away your home and family. Grow up. Reality is not what you get off those gimpy TV shows.

Posted by: Kyrandos at October 24, 2002 03:04 AM

As A Trek fan, it's disturbing for me to find out just how many rabid (probably way more rabid than me) fans are so pro-war. I've found myself unsubscribing from Trek newsgroup after Trek newsgroup because so many people on them seemed to be homophobic, really pro-war and really pro-Relgious Right. I wonder how Rodenberry, a conirmed Humanist would have felt about all this? Well, thanks for letting me sound off. Your site is great!

Posted by: Alan at January 29, 2003 02:22 PM

Even "Kirk" realized that war wasn't the end all in all conflicts. We all saw his maturity grow in that area. But, we also saw that even with that growth came the understanding that at times we can't "not" fight. I think the over 10 years of diplomacy ended on 9/11. I even believe Gene Roddenbury would have agreed. I think the real question is when to fight and when not to fight.

Posted by: stargazer at November 10, 2003 02:50 AM
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