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The Place of the U.S. in the World Community Forum

The Place of the U.S. in the World Community Forum


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Name: Jim Wright
Date: //2003-03-07 13:32:37 :
Link to this Comment: 4987

We invite all of our colleagues on the faculty to join us in this pledge, by emailing Jim Wright (jwright@brynmawr.edu) or Jane Caplan (jcaplan@brynmawr.edu)

FACULTY PLEDGE IN THE EVENT OF WAR


The impending war against Iraq presents the people of the USA and the world with one of the gravest crises of our lifetime. As faculty at Bryn Mawr we take seriously our obligation to educate our students in citizenship as well as scholarship, and accordingly we have pledged to take the following action in the event of the formal beginning of this war:

1. If the war begins during spring break, we will devote the first class in each of our courses in the following week to discussing with our students the war and its implications.

2. If the war begins after spring break, we will devote the first class in each of our courses on that day and subsequent days that week to discussing with our students the war and its implications.

3. We will take part in public educational and mobilizing activities throughout that week at the Campus Center or wherever else they may be held on campus.

4. We will do our best to attend the protest rally called by a coalition of peace groups, and scheduled to take place at the Federal Building, 6th & Market, at 4 p.m. on the day following the beginning of the war.

Signers as of 7 March 03:

Alfonso Albano, Juan Arbona, Linda-Susan Beard, Jane Caplan, Janet Doner, Joseph Diponzio, Dick Duboff, Paul Grobstein, Tom Jackson, David Karen, Homay King, Bethany Schneider, Sanford Schram, K. Elizabeth Stevens, Hayley Thomas, Bob Washington, Ted Wong, Rob Wozniak, Jim Wright



Name: Jim Wright
Date: //2003-03-07 14:23:24 :
Link to this Comment: 4988

We attach below a list of useful sources for information about the war:

'Thirteen Myths about Iraq'
http://13myths.org or
http://islandimage.net/oc/13myths/FactsheetAll.cfm?ID=5

A useful primer on Iraq:
http://www.ips-dc.org

Medical information about casualties:
http://www.casi.org.uk/info/undocs/war021210scanned.pdf
http://www.medact.org/tbx/docs/Medact%20Iraq%20report_final3.pdf

A long guide to antiwar questions & answers for the left, from Z magazine http://www.zmag.org

Another magazine site with many links:
http://thenation.com/directory/view.mhtml?t=040307

The Council for European Studies, an academic organization, has a debate & information site on Iraq with useful links:
http://www.europanet.org/links/iraq/

Swarthmore's peace site:
http://www.why-war.com

Penn's site:
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/fsawi

Serendip/Bryn Mawr:
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/forum/newforum/11sept01-read.html .. record of on-line comments following 11 September 2001
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/forum/newforum/worldcomm-read.html ... active on-line forum beginning with Ritter visit and continuing to the present

Among the main antiwar organizing groups:
http://www.unitedforpeace.org
http://NoIraqAttack.org


an important essay
Name: Sanford Sc
Date: //2003-03-08 10:34:17 :
Link to this Comment: 4992

Dear Concerned Citizens:

Please be sure to read Carl Swidorski's essay on Why I Oppose Bush's War Against Iraq from the College of St. Rose.

It's compelling.

Sanford F. Schram
Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
Bryn Mawr College


The President, God and War
Name: Sandy Schr
Date: //2003-03-08 10:51:13 :
Link to this Comment: 4993

George Bush went before the nation Thursday evening to serenely state his intention to go to war. He chided people for thinking that he was indulging in another instance of U.S. arrogance in trying to impose a western version of freedom on the rest of the world. He reminded us that the U.S. does not guarantee the people of the earth freedom, God does. Bush said he was not moved by the opposition at home and abroad; instead he prays. George Bush is taking the U.S. to war against Iraq not because the U.S. citizenry or freedom-loving people the world over want him to. He is going to war because God tells him to. Bush takes his marching orders from God. Or so he says. It is his ultimate justification for following the militarism of the conservatives who advise him.

So the U.S. is getting ready to go to war once again for similar reasons as the last time--stabilizing our new world order of global capitalism and the geopolitical arrangements that are articulated with it. It is part of an ever more militaristic approach to policing the world as the sole superpower. We are increasingly being committed to shutting down anything and anyone who poses a threat to the U.S. government's plans for a stable world on its terms. The difference is that this time we are being told that there is a religious justification, the Pope's protests against the coming war notwithstanding.

After 9/11, Bush announced a "crusade" against terrorism to achieve "infinite justice." He said that the war on terrorism was to be the culmination of a "clash of civilizations." He said it was to be a war against fundamentalism but actually it is more and more becoming clear that Bush is as much a proponent of fundamentalism as anyone who has ever walked the earth. He is waging a fundamentalist war--a war sanctified in the name of God and claiming to be nothing more than carrying out God's plan, regardless what anyone else says. And so with his words of pray Thursday night, Bush's fundamentalism is now visible for all to see in all its hypocrisy.

We go to war to eliminate weapons of mass destruction when we know full well that the U.S. leads the world in that category. We go to war to eliminate fundamentalist zealots when it is becoming increasingly clear that that is what the U.S. is becoming when the nation fails to stop its leader from waging a war to fulfill God's will. Every war is different even if they all were to be fought to beat back threats to building a global order. The hypocrisy of this war is its distinguishing characteristic. The U.S. goes to war to fight the very things it stands for: a theocratic state that uses religion to santify its ability to dominate the world with weapons of mass destruction.

The horror of this war starts when we look at the enemy and we see ourselves. The religious should pray for forgiveness and for our salvation.


Letter to Senator Spector
Name: Margaret H
Date: //2003-03-08 12:22:54 :
Link to this Comment: 4994

March 7, 2003

The Honorable Arlen Spector
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Spector:

As one of your loyal constituents, I am writing to ask you, a member of the United States Senate, to use whatever power and influence you have to prevent the United States from engaging in unilateral military again against Iraq. I am persuaded that the threat of future terrorist attacks against the United States is real, but I am not persuaded that a pre-emptive military strike against Iraq will significantly reduce the threat of future terror attacks. To the contrary—I think that If the US acts unilaterally, without the full support of the United Nations Security Council, we risk serious destabilization of a precarious world order and invite additional acts of wanton violence against innocent people.

In my view, the evidence presented by President Bush in his recent press conference and by Secretary of State Colin Powell in his speeches to the United Nations Security Council falls short of justifying acts of military aggression against Iraq. The link between the Al Qaeda organization that committed the acts of terrorism on September 11, 2001 and Iraq is indirect at best. Saddam Hussein does not embody democratic values, but his presence does not pose an imminent threat of danger to the security of the US. Have you considered the consequences of Iraq responding to an attack by the US by retaliating against Israel? The entire Middle East would be engulfed in war, and nuclear weapons would likely be used. In my view, at present, North Korea poses a more imminent threat to US security by virtue of its nuclear weapons arsenal than does Iraq.

I fear that President Bush's arrogant disregard for public opinion, both at home and abroad, and his insistence on pursing a military solution to a complicated multi-faceted problem will lead to further world unrest. If the United States initiates a unilateral, pre-emptive military action against Iraq, we will demonstrate disregard for international laws and covenants. The phrase that returns to me from my public school history lessons is "imperialist dogs!" Such actions will likely engender retributions that will continue for generations. I fear for the barbaric world our children will have to face—if indeed civilization as we know it endures. The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations (Exodus 20:5).

I urge you to use your influence to encourage continued diplomatic efforts, not military efforts, to reduce the threat of foreign terrorism against the US and its citizens. It is not necessary to humiliate or destroy an enemy—that is the world view of a playground bully. Support instead intelligence and security measures that can make the US and our allies less vulnerable to attack. If the US wants to continue to enjoy a world leadership position, we need to act like mature leaders who respect the views and values of others. We should not act like petulant self-centered teen-agers whose world view extends no further than a close circle of like-minded friends who believe that "might makes right."

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely yours,

Margaret Hollyday


FACULTY PLEDGE
Name: Jim Wright
Date: //2003-03-08 17:54:30 :
Link to this Comment: 4996

< FACULTY PLEDGE IN THE EVENT OF WAR--update as of March 8, 2003> The impending war against Iraq presents the people of the USA and the world with one of the gravest crises of our lifetime. As faculty at Bryn Mawr we take seriously our obligation to educate our students in citizenship as well as scholarship, and accordingly we have pledged to take the following action in the event of the formal beginning of this war: 1. If the war begins during spring break, we will devote the first class in each of our courses in the following week to discussing with our students the war and its implications. 2. If the war begins after spring break, we will devote the first class in each of our courses on that day and subsequent days that week to discussing with our students the war and its implications. 3. We will take part in public educational and mobilizing activities throughout that week at the Campus Center or wherever else they may be held on campus. 4. We will do our best to attend the protest rally called by a coalition of peace groups, and scheduled to take place at the FederalBuilding , 6th & Market, at 4 p.m. on the day following the beginning of the war. We invite all of our colleagues on the faculty to join us in this pledge, by emailing Jim Wright ( jwright@brynmawr.edu ) or Jane Caplan (jcaplan@brynmawr.edu ). * Signers as of March 8, 2003: Alfonso Albano, Nell Anderson, Juan Arbona, Linda-Susan Beard, Jane Caplan, David Cast, Anne Dalke, Janet Doner, Joseph Diponzio, Dick Duboff, Tom Jackson, Paul Grobstein, David Karen, Homay King, Peter Magee, Michelle Mancini, Juana Rodriguez, Bethany Schneider, Sanford Schram, K. Elizabeth Stevens, Hayley Thomas, Bob Washington, Ted Wong, Rob Wozniak, Jim Wright ***** We attach below a list of useful sources for information about the war: * 'Thirteen Myths about Iraq ': http://13myths.org or http://islandimage.net/oc/13myths/FactsheetAll.cfm?ID=5 * A useful primer on Iraq : http://www.ips-dc.org * Medical information about casualties: http://www.casi.org.uk/info/undocs/war021210scanned.pdf http://www.medact.org/tbx/docs/Medact%20Iraq%20report_final3.pdf * A long guide to antiwar questions & answers for the left, from Z magazine: http://www.zmag.org * Another magazine site (The Nation) with many links: http://thenation.com/directory/view.mhtml?t=040307 * The Council for European Studies, an academic organization, has a debate & information site on Iraq with useful links: http://www.europanet.org/links/iraq/ * Swarthmore's peace site: http://www.why-war.com * Penn's site: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/fsawi * Serendip: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/forum/newforum/11sept01-read.html ...record of on-line forum comments following 11 September 2001 http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/forum/newforum/worldcomm-read.html ... active on line forum beginning with Ritter visit and continuing to the presen * Among the main antiwar organizing groups: http://www.unitedforpeace.org and http://NoIraqAttack.org


The Language of Peace?
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-03-10 16:54:04 :
Link to this Comment: 5000

Franklin Roosevelt said, "All we have to fear is fear itself." In my Meeting last week, someone said something even better--because more hopeful, and more action-oriented:

"All we have to fear is...

the lack of creativity."

I'm a Quaker, and/but when "There is No Way to Peace, Peace Is the Way" signs went up downtown, then outside my own Meeting in Radnor, I was conflicted: I think the language of assertion (of certitude, of declaration, of dogmatism) is too often the language of war-making; it is the language of question-asking which, for me, constitutes the language of peace ...

& I have been trying very hard, since September 11th, to use "the language of peace," to try out what that sounds like, and see what effect it has.

During Meeting for Worship yesterday morning, the messages were once again about this difficult dance between "conviction" and "openness"--how to take a stand for what we believe in, w/out shutting off conversation w/, and learning from, people w/ whom we disagree. It took that worship session to get me to sign the pledge that Jane and Jim had sent 'round to the faculty a few days before, to realize that (as Jim said in an e-mail to me later), "this is not an oath, but a declaration of action. For me, oaths are to external bodies, and I only take oaths to myself, but pledges, like the AFSC Pledge of Resistance, is a declaration of intention. "

Quakers eschew oaths, since we try to tell the truth equally in all situations (rather than promising to do so particularly in particular situations, such as in court). But, for the reasons Jim describes, we do make pledges...

...and so I join the pledge to spend my first class, after we go to war, talking about WHY we have done so, inviting my students to think about ways in which our doing so harkens back to the either-or judgments and Puritanical retributions of Chillingworth (in The Scarlet Letter, which we are reading in one of my classes) as well as to the monomania of Ahab (in Moby-Dick, which we're reading in another):

The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. That intangible malignity which has been from the beginning; to whose dominion even the modern Christians ascribe one-half of the worlds; which the ancient Ophites of the east reverenced in their statue devil; -- Ahab did not fall down and worship it like them; but deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred white whale, he pitted himself, all mutilated, against it. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, where visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it. (Chapter 41)

(If you're still reading), I also want to make sure that everyone knows about the work of The American Friends Service Committee, which has been engaged for decades in activities for peace and reconciliation. You'll find on their website a range of ways in which you can act, from making the Iraq peace pledge to assembling hygiene kits--as well as a range of activist resources (posters, brochures, fact sheets) that you can use for your own local organizing. You'll also find there the words of Pope John Paul II:

"Opting for peace does not mean a passive acquiescence to evil or compromise of principle. Building peace requires creative and courageous action. "

Anne Dalke


Faculty Pledge March 17
Name: Jim Wright
Date: //2003-03-17 16:36:07 :
Link to this Comment: 5029

< FACULTY PLEDGE IN THE EVENT OF WAR >
updated March 17, 2003

The impending war against Iraq presents the people of the USA and the world with one of the gravest crises of our lifetime. As faculty at Bryn Mawr we take seriously our obligation to educate our students in citizenship as well as scholarship, and accordingly we have pledged to take the following action in the event of the formal beginning of this war:

1. If the war begins during spring break, we will devote the first class in each of our courses in the following week to discussing with our students the war and its implications.

2. If the war begins after spring break, we will devote the first class in each of our courses on that day and subsequent days that week to discussing with our students the war and its implications.

3. We will take part in public educational and mobilizing activities throughout that week at the Campus Center or wherever else they may be held on campus.

4. We will do our best to attend the protest rally called by a coalition of peace groups, and scheduled to take place at the FederalBuilding , 6th & Market, at 4 p.m. on the day following the beginning of the war.

We invite all of our colleagues on the faculty to join us in this pledge, by emailing Jim Wright ( jwright@brynmawr.edu ) or Jane Caplan (jcaplan@brynmawr.edu ).

* Signers as of March 17, 2003:

Alfonso Albano, Nell Anderson, Juan Arbona, Grace Armstrong, Don Barber, Linda-Susan Beard, Cynthia Bisman,
Duncan Black, Jane Caplan, David Cast, Jody Cohen, Roselin Cousin, Anne Dalke, Tamara Davis, Janet Doner,
Joseph Diponzio, Dick Du Boff, Tom Jackson, Paul Grobstein, David Karen, Homay King, Steven Levine,
Philip Lichtenberg,Peter Magee, Michelle Mancini, Judy Porter, Ken Richman, Juana Rodriguez, Marc Ross,
Debra Rubin, Bethany Schneider, Sanford Schram, Darby Scott, H. Rosi Song, K. Elizabeth Stevens,
Hayley Thomas, Bob Washington, Arlo Weil, Ted Wong, Rob Wozniak, Jim Wright


Why I signed the Faculty Pledge
Name: Jim Wright
Date: //2003-03-17 16:37:00 :
Link to this Comment: 5030

In its mission statement the College commits to teaching students to be participatory, ethical citizens. I believe that the liberal arts is explicitly dedicated both to citizenship and to the notion that education is not a series of fragmentary and disconnected areas of learning and experience but instead to inculcating an understanding of the deep integration of all knowledge and experience in a framework that questions the basis of knowledge while being open to all kinds of evidence and interpretation. There is no special utility for any kind of knowledge: science or economics are not more useful in living in the everyday world that an understanding of literature or history. Our current resident of the White House is himself an example of what happens to a person who does not pay attention to the wide variety of knowledge and experience that is (was) open to him, and the result, in my view, is narrow sectarianism and cultural, historical and ideological isolation, if not also ignorance (willful or self-inflicted). (As much as I disagree with Prime Minister Blair, I much admire his ability to engage in debate, to test himself in the give and take of question and answer, and to demonstrate both his intellectual agility and his diplomatic demeanor in public discourse).
As an archaeologist I think that current events force upon us the importance of being deeply informed historically, culturally, geographically and ideologically. The lessons of the deep past in Mesopotamia are lessons for today and for understanding the problems of a post-Baathist Iraq. They are also lessons of tolerance and difference, because the sotirology that is emanating from the postlapsarian White House is not one that is understood or welcomed elsewhere in the world-- it has largely been rejected in Old Europe, where secularism and even atheism flourish, and it is not the world of much of South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Africa, where different cosmologies and myths prevail. I think it not merely appropriate to take time in classes to notice what is going on in the world, but in fact a special responsibility. I do not intend to lecture students; I encourage all of them to speak up, whatever their views and understanding. I don't want students to argue with each other--they can carry on the conversation outside of class. I want them to listen to each other, to exchange information and sources of information, and to open their minds to the complexities of current world events.


relaying information
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-03-17 17:26:03 :
Link to this Comment: 5033

Friday event at Haverford ....

The Foreign Policy Association and the Department of Political Science
present an all day forum and town meeting
"America and the World: No Longer the Reluctant Sheriff?"
Friday, March 21, 2003.

9:45 AM Greetings: Thomas Tritton, President, Haverford College
Noel Lateef, President, Foreign Policy Association
Harvey Glickman, Haverford Department of Political Science

10 AM Panel One:"The US and World Order"
Charles William Maynes, President, Eurasia Foundation
Hon. Adlai Stevenson, former Senator, Illinois

Chair & Discussant: Prof. Ben Stavis, Temple University
Student Questions

11-11:15 Break

11:15-12:15 Panel Two: International Perspectives on US Foreign Policy"
Paul Heinbecker, Permanent Rep. of Canada to the UN
V.K. Nambiar, Permanent Rep. of India to the UN

Chair & Discussant: Prof. Susanna Wing, Haverford College
Student Questions

12:30-1:45 PM Lunch Break

2- 3PM Panel Three: Shaping US Foreign Policy: Multilateralism or
Unilateralism?"
Harold Koh, Yale Law School, former US Ass't. Attorney General
David Denoon, New York University Depts. of Economics and Political
Science, former US Ass't. Sec. of Defense

Chair & Discussant: Prof. Raymond Hopkins, Swarthmore College
Student Questions

3-3:15 Break

3:15-5 PM Keynote Speech:"America's Promise and Purpose"
Hon. Chuck Hagel, US Senate, Nebraska.

Chair & Discussant: Prof. Harvey Glickman, Haverford College
Student Questions

All events held in Marshall Auditorium, Roberts Hall, Haverford College


tragedy ... and beyond
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-03-18 09:03:10 :
Link to this Comment: 5053

There is this morning every indication that Bush and those immediately around him and Sadam Hussein and those immediately around him have brought the world to the brink of tragedy. And every indication that Bush will very shortly act in a way that puts at great risk not only Americans and Iraquis, both combatants and non-combatants, but all humans and existing international and world order. If so, the tragedy of suffering and loss of life cannot but exceed that of 11 September. And the sense of anxiety, world-wide, will as well.

Once again we will have to go through the trauma of rediscovering "that war begats war; ... the devastation that war wreaks on participants and non-combatants alike; ... that war itself, irrespective of its immediate outcome, generates disruptions and hostilities that ramify in unpredictable ways far into the future". It is a very tragic and very stupid place for humans to find themselves. And a very frustrating one for individuals who believe it can/should be otherwise.

There is, in whatever time we have left, every reason to redouble our efforts to try and prevent the tragedy from happening. But there is also at this point a clear need to think about what we need to do if we cannot achive that. The following, contained in an email from Eli Pariser of moveon.org, seems to me relevant:


We must remember in this dark moment that we have come a long
way. By working for peace around the globe, millions of
people have successfully challenged the justness of this war
on a world stage. We have persuaded governments to heed their
peoples' call to peace, and helped the United Nations maintain
its integrity. We all have been part of a historic
mobilization of the citizens of the globe. It will change
everything. And in the end, we will win.

We will continue waging peace, even if war comes. We have
joined together to articulate a vision of how the world should
be -- of how nations should treat each other, of how we can
collectively deal with threats to our security.

One simple way to show your continued commitment to this
vision is to put a light in your window. It could be a
Christmas string or candle, a light bulb, or a lantern. It's
an easy way to keep the light of reason and hope burning, to
let others know that they are not alone, and to show the way
home to the young men and women who are on their way to Iraq.

We'd like to keep a list of the places and people who are
joining in this simple act. Please sign up now at:

http://www.moveon.org/windowlight/

In symbolic, as well as very down to earth and practical ways, we need to be able to see clearly both our failures AND our successes to date, and to continue to insist that we ourselves will not, no matter how frustrated we are, declare "intellectual and moral bankruptcy, an utter inability to conceive of alternative and preferable paths to the resolution of human conflicts". The tragedy that seems imminent, and the anxiety that will inevitably accompany it, makes it more important than ever that we
continue to insist on the power of the thoughtful mind to offer alternatives to the problem at hand.


Crossing the Rubicon
Name: Sandy Schr
Date: //2003-03-18 12:58:49 :
Link to this Comment: 5059

At home, we listen to the BBC every night. The U.S. news media have been so negligent--preoccupied as they are with balance, they turn quickly to covering how the war is proceeding, rather than how we can contextualize it, understand it and critique it. It is just such a craven capitulation made all the more likely by the corporate consolidations in mass media ownership that further solidify the recitience that comes from cramped political discourse and delimited public space for dissent. You can hear the cry: "What democracy I say!! Someone please tell me." We need to answer.

So, now the doctrine of preemption leads to the war of preemption, as an act of unilateral action by the world's sole superpower that entrusts to itself the power to police the entire world to ensure stability on its own terms. We have undoubtedly, as Simon Schama said last night on Bill Moyers' NOW, crossed the Rubicon. Our President has taken the entire world over the brink into a new world order of US superpowerdom. Howard Zinn was good on the preceeding PBS followup to the President's speech last night, but he tended to overemphasize just how distinctive this is. It is, but it is also something the US has been building to for last 100 years of the country's history (really since the late 19th-Century) and especially since WWII and most especially since the Cold War. We are in charge, God says so. Without too much oversimplification, that is the philosophy that informs America's foreign policy for a long time now. So in that sense, Bush's willingness to take on the gunslinger role and issue a 48 hour get out of town ultimatum to Saddam is so very much scripted in the histories of our foreign relations. Therefore, the Rubicon metaphor overstates the distinctiveness and erases consideration of how this unilateral preventive war is built into the very foundations of the American way of life.

I guess that's the really hard sell: how do we eventually get to the point where we as a people can have a discussion about the fundamental reasons "why they hate us." What kind of country are we? What is there about us and our way of life that has led us to have this relationship to the rest of the world? What is there about our history, our culture, our values, our politics, our economics that leads to this hegemonic insistence on dominating the world this way? Last night on PBS, speaking to millions of Americans, Howard Zinn probably did not want to go there for good strategic reasons, choosing to better emphasize how Bush is irresponsibly taking us where we have never been before. He is irresponsible, and we have never quite been so audaciously unilateral in the projection our militarism; but we have been working hard to get to this point for a long time. That's the tough point. Bush may act like a lone gunslinger but he stands on the shoulders of those who came before him. Until we confront that, the war on terror will be its own form of political trauma, inflicting not just misery and death around the world but also warping further the collective conscience of Americans. The healing will be a long time in coming if it comes at all.


Crossing the Rubicon
Name: Sandy Schr
Date: //2003-03-18 12:59:02 :
Link to this Comment: 5060

At home, we listen to the BBC every night. The U.S. news media have been so negligent--preoccupied as they are with balance, they turn quickly to covering how the war is proceeding, rather than how we can contextualize it, understand it and critique it. It is just such a craven capitulation made all the more likely by the corporate consolidations in mass media ownership that further solidify the recitience that comes from cramped political discourse and delimited public space for dissent. You can hear the cry: "What democracy I say!! Someone please tell me." We need to answer.

So, now the doctrine of preemption leads to the war of preemption, as an act of unilateral action by the world's sole superpower that entrusts to itself the power to police the entire world to ensure stability on its own terms. We have undoubtedly, as Simon Schama said last night on Bill Moyers' NOW, crossed the Rubicon. Our President has taken the entire world over the brink into a new world order of US superpowerdom. Howard Zinn was good on the preceeding PBS followup to the President's speech last night, but he tended to overemphasize just how distinctive this is. It is, but it is also something the US has been building to for last 100 years of the country's history (really since the late 19th-Century) and especially since WWII and most especially since the Cold War. We are in charge, God says so. Without too much oversimplification, that is the philosophy that informs America's foreign policy for a long time now. So in that sense, Bush's willingness to take on the gunslinger role and issue a 48 hour get out of town ultimatum to Saddam is so very much scripted in the histories of our foreign relations. Therefore, the Rubicon metaphor overstates the distinctiveness and erases consideration of how this unilateral preventive war is built into the very foundations of the American way of life.

I guess that's the really hard sell: how do we eventually get to the point where we as a people can have a discussion about the fundamental reasons "why they hate us." What kind of country are we? What is there about us and our way of life that has led us to have this relationship to the rest of the world? What is there about our history, our culture, our values, our politics, our economics that leads to this hegemonic insistence on dominating the world this way? Last night on PBS, speaking to millions of Americans, Howard Zinn probably did not want to go there for good strategic reasons, choosing to better emphasize how Bush is irresponsibly taking us where we have never been before. He is irresponsible, and we have never quite been so audaciously unilateral in the projection our militarism; but we have been working hard to get to this point for a long time. That's the tough point. Bush may act like a lone gunslinger but he stands on the shoulders of those who came before him. Until we confront that, the war on terror will be its own form of political trauma, inflicting not just misery and death around the world but also warping further the collective conscience of Americans. The healing will be a long time in coming if it comes at all.



Name:
Date: //2003-03-18 16:27:00 :
Link to this Comment: 5061

I am uncertain as how i am supposed to act about the currently occuring events surrounding our nation and our world. I don't know enough about the cause of the war to assert a firm belief on whether we should or should not fight. However, the one thing that i am certain of is that the reprecussions of this predicament are going to be significant. I get the impression that the majority of U.S. citizens are opposed to going to war; however, i feel as though they are taking these feelings out on our soliders who have been sent over in preparation of the war. This is evident from my best friend's description of requesting a leave of absence from his college when his unit was activated 2 weeks ago. After receiving notice of his activation he had 2 days to report to the base for paperwork and training. In those 2 days he proceeded to pack up his room at college and withdraw from his classes. He

I feel as though the aftermath of this situation is going to be t


my thoughts
Name: Jen
Date: //2003-03-18 16:57:07 :
Link to this Comment: 5064

I apologize for the above posting. I must have hit the wrong key by accident while composing my statement.

I am uncertain as how I am supposed to act about the currently occurring events surrounding our nation and our world. I don't know enough about the cause of the war to assert a firm belief on whether we should or should not fight. However, the one thing that I am certain of is that the repercussions of this predicament are going to be significant. I get the impression that the majority of U.S. citizens are opposed to going to war; however, I feel as though they are taking these feelings out on our soldiers who have been sent over in preparation of the war. This is evident from my best friend's description of requesting a leave of absence from his college when his unit was activated 2 weeks ago. After receiving notice of his activation he had 2 days to report to the base for paperwork and training. In those 2 days he proceeded to pack up his room at college and withdraw from his classes. He expressed frustration and sadness when we spoke, for as on several occasions people took their negative attitudes out on him. The soldiers of this country are following the orders to prepare for combat that have been given to them. They enlisted in the armed services because they believe in our country and are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect what our country stands for. Thus, regardless of how I feel about the issues surrounding this war I wish that more people would support those men and women willing to stand up when asked. Because I have a really bad feeling that they will not be looked at in the same manner when/if they return.


Faculty Pledge
Name: Janet Done
Date: //2003-03-18 17:09:58 :
Link to this Comment: 5065

This is the text of a message that formed part of an e-mail discussion of how different people planned on dealing with the part of the pledge relating to classes:

When I expressed support for the faculty pledge I said that I would do my best to participate in the effort and I intend to do so. It may be, however, that what I plan for my classes is in keeping with the spirit of the pledge's intention rather than following to the letter the wording of the statement concerning classes.

Students in my advanced language class have as the assignment
for their on-line discussion this week to report briefly on an article of
their choosing from the francophone press (i.e. French-speaking, not
necessarily from continental France) that deals with the Iraq crisis.
Beginning Friday their findings will provide the starting point for what I
intend to be a continuing conversation over the coming weeks that will punctuate and/or blend in with the regular work of the class. For less advanced sectioned language courses I propose to start this conversation in English and will encourage my students to watch (subtitled) foreign language news broadcasts that should expose them to perspectives other than those of the mainstream U.S. news media. Since I have to keep my sections in sync with the rest of the programme I will use discretionary classtime in shorter segments to pursue this discussion, in French as far as possible, and trust
that this too will be a productive an approach in the long term.


Easily mistaken for fence-sitting
Name: Patty
Date: //2003-03-18 18:57:50 :
Link to this Comment: 5067

March 18, 2003

The military

History's deadliest night of airstrikes will start the war

By Michael Evans, Defence Editor

COALITION forces plan to launch the deadliest first night of airstrikes on a single country in the history of air power. Hundreds of targets in every region of Iraq will be hit simultaneously.
The aim is to shock the regime of President Saddam Hussein into submission. By the time that more than 3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles have hit their targets on the first two nights of the campaign, it is expected that Saddam's military units will be unable to function.

The "shock and awe" concept is predicated on such overwhelming firepower from the air that the ground forces waiting in Kuwait could be able to advance rapidly to Baghdad in three or four days.

In one way, the bombardment of Iraq has already begun — with missives, not missiles. With pinpoint accuracy and mounting intensity, Washington is targeting senior Iraqi commanders with e-mail messages, faxes and even calls on their personal mobile telephones to put pressure on them to defect or rebel against Saddam.

The feedback from these conversations has been so positive and encouraging, according to authoritative sources, that it is already becoming clear that even so-called elite units, such as the Republican Guard, will be ready to surrender without a fight. Western intelligence sources believe that they already have a good understanding of which commanders will fight and who may speedily defect.

They say that the sophisticated technical means available to the Americans and the British — the signals intelligence apparatus of the US National Security Agency and GCHQ in Cheltenham — made it easy for them to acquire the commanders' mobile phone numbers.

The Americans have been particularly keen to find out what Saddam intends to do with his oil wells, and whether he will really use weapons of mass destruction against advancing American and British forces. There have been clear signs that the Iraqi leader has ordered the oilfields to be blown up once the invasion begins, but the contacts have raised expectations that he will be defied. The Americans have also been dropping thousands of leaflets over Iraq, encouraging Iraqi soldiers to stay in their barracks.

The arsenal waiting to be launched includes an inventory of weapons designed to hit their targets with an error margin of a few feet. In the 1991 Gulf War, the coalition dropped 88,500 tons of bombs on Iraq, of which 6,520 tons were precision-guided. In 1999 in Operation Allied Force over Yugoslavia, Nato dropped 6,303 tons of munitions in 78-day campaign, but many missed their target.

This time the coalition airstrike planners will have to fulfill the promise that they have made to the American and British political leaders — that the raining of bombs and missiles on Iraq will be so selective and focused that the country and its people will survive . . . and be grateful.

The weapons of war will include the Tomahawk cruise missile, the Joint Direct Attack Munition, guided by satellite, possibly the so-called microwave E-bomb to knock out Iraqi military communications, and the "massive ordnance air blast bomb" (Moab), the 21,000lb successor to the "Daisy Cutter" used in Afghanistan. The key will be precision as well as firepower.

"It will have to be tapestry bombing, not carpet bombing," Andrew Brookes, of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, said yesterday.

If all goes according to plan, the war itself and the downfall of Saddam could be achieved in a week to ten days. Airstrikes in the 1991 Gulf War lasted 39 days before the ground troops of the US-led coalition force crossed the border of Saudi Arabia to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait.

Many questions remain unanswered, not least what will Saddam do if he is cornered in his bunker? The Iraqi President has always dreamt of being the new Saladin in the Arab world, and if he sees that this place in history is to be wrested from him what steps might he take?

Those involved in the coalition's complex plan of attack assume that Saddam will try to launch artillery shells and rockets armed with biological warheads. Intelligence from people inside Iraq will be vital in pre-empting his final gesture of defiance.

I found this to be interesting in my research. I felt comforted by this article, and shortly after, I felt ashamed and embarrassed of my comfort. I feel childishly in awe of the massive nature of what we may be about to do. I think many people are so frustrated by war because, as a general public, we are pushed and shoved with diffrent ideas, we have a natural tendancy to accept facts that we find that support our original beliefs of war, and to discard believes of the opposing side of this debate as exageration or manipulation. The search to understand the foundations, modivations, and inner workings of this war are painful, time consuming, and absolutely nesessary. I support anyone who is placing their best effort into understanding the war. I support the voicing of all human's opinions. I support the French, I support the Iraqis, I support the UN, and I can feel "comfortable" doing this because I am an American and I support the United States of America. I thank God for the protesters, and I thank God for those people that we placed into these positions of power, and the system by which we have done that. I want to understand this war, and I do not. But I will continue to pursue all reasons to support my country and the entire race of people living in the world at this time. It is alright to be unsure of how you feel, as long as you are in your own pursuit of knowledge with the understanding that you don't know everything there is to know, but you are listening to all veiws openly and critically. 3,000 precision guided bombs will do more than just reshape Iraq, it will reshape the world.
As paculiar as this may sound, with each new peice of information I am given, I question how this shapes my view of the war and how this new image will effect the lives of my unborn children. With them in mind, (as I'm sure many men and women have considered,) I am still at as loss as to whether I am doing my children more of a service to support the war or protest against the war. I just know that my greatest support goes out to the people who are spending day and night in search of the best solutions to our current fears.


See you at the next protest...
Name: Katie Phil
Date: //2003-03-18 22:23:35 :
Link to this Comment: 5075

I would like to express my gratitude to the Bi-College faculty and staff members who are taking a stand against the war on Iraq. It is reassuring to know that this impending travesty will not be ignored by our community. I feel that this environment is the perfect place in which to discuss current events, allowing all sides to have a voice and the uninformed to become more knowledgable. Bravo and thanks again. Your actions are much appreciated.


"Men who have no respect for human life or for freedom or justice have taken over this beautiful country of ours. It will be up to the American people to take it back."
-Howard Zinn, "The Progressive"

http://www.progressive.org/march03/zinn


Waging Peace
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-03-19 13:23:54 :
Link to this Comment: 5088

As I made clear in a range of earlier postings (see "Diversity of Thoughts"; "Learning to Teach" and "The Language of Peace", I am a Quaker, a pacifist who finds herself now disheartened that we are "on the brink of war." Reading the lead story in this morning's (3/19/03) Philadelphia Inquirer that George Bush is calling Saddam Hussein's rejection of his demand that he flee into exile his "final mistake," I realized (again) what exactly I find so discouraging about the process (or lack of process) which has led us to this point: the demonizing and dismissing of accounts of the world which differ from those in which we are ourselves invested.

Like Jen Hansen, I have a friend (my cousin's husband) who is preparing to go to war tonight. His name is Brigadier General Benjamin Freakley; he is assistant commander of the 101st Airborne Division, and has been featured in a number of NYTimes articles, most recently @ "Rehearsing Just South of Iraq." In another article last week, Ben was quoted as saying,

"'Military power is a great thing. It's even greater if you don't have to use it.' The recent antiwar protests did not bother any of the generals, who said they welcomed open discussion of the war issue. 'That's what we've been fighting for, ' said General Freakley, who added that he believed most of the public supported the Iraqi campaign."

Ben and I corresponded years ago, when he was fighting the Gulf War; obviously we have very different views on the most appropriate response to Saddam Hussein. But we continue to talk, to argue, to listen to one another's views about possible ways to move towards peace. That's the only hope I have left, and (to quote Blake Levitt, in an essay, copied below, which was forwarded to me by my friend Shaye Moore, that's what's REALLY "Positive About these Times":

"Dr. Robert Muller, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, now Chancellor emeritus of the University of Peace in Costa Rica was one of the people who witnessed the founding of the U.N. and has worked in support of or inside the U.N. ever since. Recently he was in San Francisco to be honored for his service to the world through the U.N. and through his writings and teachings for peace.

At age eighty, Dr. Muller surprised, even stunned, many in the audience that day with his most positive assessment of where the world stands now regarding war and peace. I was there at the gathering and I myself was stunned by his remarks. What he said turned my head around and offered me a new way to see what is going on in the world. My synopsis of his remarks is below:

'I'm so honored to be here,' he said. 'I'm so honored to be alive at such a miraculous time in history. I'm so moved by what's going on in our world today.' (I was shocked. I thought -- Where has he been? What has he been reading? Has he seen the newspapers? Is he senile? Has he lost it? What is he talking about?)

Dr. Muller proceeded to say, 'Never before in the history of the world has there been a global, visible, public, viable, open dialogue and conversation about the very legitimacy of war.' The whole world is in now having this critical and historic dialogue--listening to all kinds of points of view and positions about going to war or not going to war. In a huge global public conversation the world is asking -- 'Is war legitimate? Is it illegitimate? Is there enough evidence to warrant an attack? Is there not enough evidence to warrant an attack? What will be the consequences? The costs? What will happen after a war? How will this set off other conflicts? What might be peaceful alternatives? What kind of negotiations are we not thinking of? What are the real intentions for declaring war?'

All of this, he noted, is taking place in the context of the United Nations Security Council, the body that was established in 1949 for exactly this purpose. He pointed out that it has taken us more than fifty years to realize that function, the real function of the U.N. And at this moment in history--the United Nations is at the center of the stage. It is the place where these conversations are happening, and it has become in these last months and weeks, the most powerful governing body on earth, the most powerful container for the world's effort to wage peace rather than war.

Dr. Muller was almost in tears in recognition of the fulfillment of this dream. 'We are not at war,' he kept saying. We, the world community, are WAGING peace. It is difficult, hard work. It is constant and we must not let up. It is working and it is an historic milestone of immense proportions. It has never happened before -- never in human history -- and it is happening now, every day, every hour, waging peace through a global conversation. He pointed out that the conversation questioning the validity of going to war has gone on for hours, days, weeks, months and now more than a year, and it may go on and on. 'We're in peacetime,' he kept saying. 'Yes, troops are being moved. Yes, warheads are being lined up. Yes, the aggressor is angry and upset and spending a billion dollars a day preparing to attack. But not one shot has been fired. Not one life has been lost. There is no war. It's all a conversation.' It is tense, it is tough, it is challenging, AND we are in the most significant and potent global conversation and public dialogue in the history of the world.

This has not happened before on this scale ever before--not before WWI or WWII, not before Vietnam or Korea, this is new and it is a stunning new era of Global listening, speaking, and responsibility. In the process, he pointed out, new alliances are being formed. Russia and China on the same side of an issue is an unprecedented outcome. France and Germany working together to wake up the world to a new way of seeing the situation. The largest peace demonstrations in the history of the world are taking place--and we are not at war! Most peace demonstrations in recent history took place when a war was already waging, sometimes for years, as in the case of Vietnam. 'So this,' he said, 'is a miracle. This is what 'waging peace 'looks like.'

No matter what happens, history will record that this is a new era, And that the 21st century has been initiated with the world in a global dialogue looking deeply, profoundly and responsibly as a global community at the legitimacy of the actions of a nation that is desperate to go to war. Through these global peace-waging efforts, the leaders of that nation are being engaged in further dialogue forcing them to rethink, and allowing all nations to participate in the serious and horrific decision to go to war or not.

Dr. Muller also made reference to a recent New York Times article that pointed out that up until now there has been just one superpower--the United States, and that that has created a kind of blindness in the vision of the U.S. But now, Dr. Muller asserts, there are two superpowers: the United States and the merging, surging voice of the people of the world. All around the world, people are waging peace. To Robert Muller, one Of the great advocates of the United Nations, it is nothing short of a Miracle and it is working."


20 March 2003
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-03-20 08:08:27 :
Link to this Comment: 5112

It is a sad and frightening day ... a day to make renewed and even stronger commitments to the ideal of finding ways for all humans to work together to create a human story from which no one feels estranged, to the principle that violence is never the solution to human problems. A doctrine of unilateral pre-emptive attack cannot be and is not the answer. Creating wide-spread meaningful dialogue must be.



Name: Katherine
Date: //2003-03-20 10:03:34 :
Link to this Comment: 5113

Last night there was the map
of Iraqi cites
and the map
of other cities;

What, really, is the difference?

As we poison ourselves, we poison the other.
As we negate the other, we negate ourselves.
Where would we be without Voice? a place inviable;

From here a heavy mind seeks answers and emptiness
yet succeeds only in a torque of dialectic.


go gentle
Name: mark lord
Date: //2003-03-20 17:57:47 :
Link to this Comment: 5116

Follow the lead of the preemptively vanquished Iraqi soldiers: surrender.
Get in line and
wave a white flag.
It's the only one left you shouldn't be ashamed of.
Surrender:
America's military power is superior
to the will of its people; admit it and
surrender,
when voices aren't heard and when votes aren't counted,
when the land you live in becomes
what it was (wrongly I thought) despised for.
Give up
while one tyrant burns the oil fields and the other burns the cities
when one withered empire postures sanctimonious to protect its dirty business
and another withered empire whores itself out as lapdog
and your own empire postures a crusade one nation under god indeed.
When you live on the axis of inanity
it's time to lay down the masks (gas and otherwise).
Lay down the pretense that your opposition means anything
Lay down your hairsplitting picking peppercorns out of the fly shit
of idle chatter.
All this talk of moral bankruptcy: we don't even have a moral currency.
Don't pretend that our intellectual rigor counts now
or our passion.
What place has innocence here? Don't
embarrass yourself, holding a candle
to the sun, don't waste
your breath
cursing the darkness.
Go gentle.
White flag
unfurl, unveil
our nakedness.
Let it fall
over
your body.
We are ghosts already,
ghosts again,
ghosts in the snow
invisible.


peace witness
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-03-20 18:44:56 :
Link to this Comment: 5118

no, not QUITE invisible.

--for a Schedule of Peace Events in Response to the War on Iraq Initiated 3/19/200 go to http://www.pym.org/youngfriends/Pages/peace-events.htm

--for more detailed announcements of a variety of occasions where Peace Witness is taking place, go to Philapeace at www.philapeace.org/peacewitness


Confusion
Name: Tasneem Pa
Date: //2003-03-20 20:45:12 :
Link to this Comment: 5119

The US dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US used chemical weapons in that same war, we currently have weapons of mass destruction- bottom line, how is the US government morally superior to the so-called despotic Saddam Hussain? How is our president getting away with this?


on "protest" and spontaneity
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-03-23 17:48:51 :
Link to this Comment: 5137

I was listening to the radio this afternoon. A reporter talking about "protests" in Europe was asked by the anchor person whether they seemed to be getting less "spontaneous". I may be overly sensitive, but my sense was that the anchor person was suggesting that "protest" was only significant if it was spontaneous ... that signs of organization would make it less so.

It made me think about the important subtleties of words, and about the need to clarify things a bit. Whatever anyone else is doing, I am not "protesting". I am instead making it clear that I continue to believe that current actions of the American government are unwise in the extreme, and continuing to try and engage others in an ongoing conversation to try and alter the course of action (as I was before the current actions). "Protest" tends to imply that I have ceded my right to participation in national and international decision-making and adopted a posture of opposition. I haven't. I simply insist that my voice continues to be relevant to an ongoing discussion.

As for "spontaneous": my concerns were not "spontaneous" earlier and continue not to be. They are the consequences of deliberate thought, and hopefully are felt to be more, not less, meaningful in consequence. The same goes for any appearance of "organization". I'm not at all embarrassed to be working with others to try and make sure my voice is heard. Clearly Bush and his collaborators work together in this regard. Why shouldn't I? That there are a number of us working together should taken as a measure of the significance of our shared story, not as a basis for discounting it. I certainly so regard it ... and continue to hope that, in the long run, we will prevail to the point where actions like those being taken by Bush will come to be regarded as unacceptable by all human beings.


learning lessons
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-03-24 07:57:41 :
Link to this Comment: 5143

"War is brutal" Rumsfield said yesterday. What a price has been paid for his education. And what a price is still to be paid before George Bush and Saddam Hussein learn theirs: that they jointly bear responsibility for encouraging the most brutal and destructive aspects of humanity. It is not too late, it is never too late, to stop acting this way.


Our vocation and the praxis of peace
Name: David Ross
Date: //2003-03-24 10:26:11 :
Link to this Comment: 5145

This and all wars makes no sense to me. Good, caring, beloved men and women -- motivated by a desire to keep me safe, preserve my freedom and bring freedom to a foreign people -- are dying and killing good, caring, beloved men and women, who are dying and killing to protect their families or who have the misfortune to be in the way. I grieve for those who kill, who are killed or whom are scarred by the killing. How can I express my love and gratitude and forgiveness to people who perform horrible deeds for the best of reasons?

Even as I despair over the failure of our world community to avoid this terrible war, I feel blessed and uplifted by the multitudes that rallied together in opposition to war and in search of loving effective alternatives. More than ever, millions of citizens and many government leaders have been waging peace. And, we all hold dear to our hearts those who continue under often horrendous conditions to feed the hungry, heal the sick and injured, and comfort those who despair. As always, it is useful to stop and count our blessings. I am sustained by my faith as a Quaker, by the love and support of family, of colleagues, students, and friends.

Posting to a forum is a poor mode for communicating about breaking news. I little sense what the state of the world will be when you read this. Our military is so good at what it does, the disparity between the resources the United States and Iraq are able to devote to their militaries so great, that I would be surprised if the war is not quickly driven to the back pages of our newspapers.

That, of course, is how we got into this mess. We who witness against war -- who seek alternatives to killing as a way of achieving justice -- failed in our efforts to stop this war not by what we failed to do this year, but what we failed to do over the past decades. How many of us paid attention in the 1980's to Iraq's war with Iran and to Hussein's use of chemical weapons – both made possible by supplies and armaments provided by our government and corporations as well as those of the other leading industrial and wealthiest Arab nations? How many of us questioned the conditions of the cease-fire at the end of Desert Storm? How many of us acted on news of the terrible effects of sanctions on the Iraqi people? How many citizens around the world held their governments to account for failing to act on Iraq's decade long foot-dragging over eliminating its weapons of mass destruction? How many of us reacted when Congress voted in 1998 for regime change in Iraq or when the Bush administration adopted "preventive attack" as a central tenet of our national security plan? And today, how many of us are aware and acting on the militarization, oppression, hunger, and festering conflicts that will someday make the next war seem like an inevitability to our leaders?

This is not a season for despair. This is a time for us to rejoice in our vocation as educators and learners. Rejoice in the capabilities of our students, of their potential to avoid our mistakes and to contribute to the growing understanding that one day must surely take away the occasion for all wars. This spring we are reminded, as we have been all too often in my lifetime, that we are educating in a time of wars; we are reminded of how poorly informed the citizens of this free and wealthy nation are; and we are reminded of the low quality of political discourse that arises on the national stage and in the check-out lanes of our supermarkets. There has never been a more important time for engagement with our students, for fostering skills and confidence, and for facilitating their commitment to making a difference in the world.

The praxis of peace has so many manifestations! I am glad for the reminder that at heart, this is what my teaching and learning are about – no matter the details of the topic for particular class meetings or research projects. This is what keeps me committed to my vocation, even as bombs fall in a distant, but all too proximate land.


refusing to become overwhelmed/discouraged/apathe
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-03-25 08:57:47 :
Link to this Comment: 5169

Declining to myself express/feel "intellectual and moral bankruptcy":

It is never "too late" to talk about how humanity can find ways to avoid war today and tomorrow and next month/year/century. It is our obligation as thinking citizens, of the US and the world, to do so.



Name:
Date: //2003-03-26 01:13:25 :
Link to this Comment: 5177

I want to thank the BMC community for establishing this site... in the face of so much apathy I am encouraged by this discussion.

As of late, what I have found most disappointing in the media treatment of this war is the constant mention of the September 11th attacks. In Bush's address to the nation on March 19th, he declared, "We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities."

Clearly, the nation is still hurting from the 9/11 attacks, which is understandable. But suggesting that this war is related to what happened on September 11th, or preventative of a similar tragedy, is simply false. Though it does not surprise me, it is still disheartening to see how easily people can be manipulated by the spin with which this endeavor is being presented. This manipulation encompasses more than just the references to 9/11, however; I learned recently that Congress supports changing the name of French toast to 'freedom toast,' and that a restaurant owner poured out bottles of French wine in protest of the lack of France's support of Bush's war... how quickly we forget our history when it is convenient to do so. On Saturday, March 22nd, CNN's primary TV journalist was a military man; Michael Moore was almost torn off the stage at the Oscars for his statement on the fictiousness of the situation; the Dixie Chicks are blacklistes from local radio stations because of their stance on war; the media and individuals alike scorn protestors for exercising the very privileges that we are supposedly fighting for in Iraq. And no one mentions oil, and the fact that one of the first things the USA did when entering Iraq was securing the oil supply.

There are so many people, so many countries that oppose this war... it is disappointing to see how much can be ignored.



Name: tung
Date: //2003-03-26 01:32:07 :
Link to this Comment: 5179

I am overwhelmed with emotions about the current situation in the world. I feel numbed at time thinking that thousands of people are right now suffering. The fact that at this moment while posting this comment, there are people in Iraq who are hiding in their house praying that this tragedy of war would not claim their life and those of their family and love ones. While I am very sad that the casualties of war, both American and Iraqis, are increasing with time, people in Iraq are constantly in fear and are probably traumatized by the fighting. Such thoughts are indeed tragic to humanity.


keeping the faith
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-03-26 10:46:25 :
Link to this Comment: 5182

From an article in the New York Times Magazine last Sunday, valuable for its portrayal of important aspects of Arab/Islamic thought as well as its conclusion:

"But who will speak of the sacred and the secular, of the physical world and the spiritual world? Who will defend liberal ideas against the enemies of liberal ideas? Who will defend liberal principles in spite of liberal society's every failure?...Bush...announced that he was going to wage a war of ideas. He has done no such thing. He is not the man for that.

Philosophers and religious leaders will have to do this on their own. Are they doing so? Armies are in motion, but are the philosophers and religious leaders, the liberal thinkers, likewise in motion? There is something to worry about here, an aspect of the war that liberal society seems to have trouble understandindg -- one more worry, on top of all of the others, and possibly the greatest worry of all"

Let's stop worrying ... and stop waiting for/expecting solutions from "leaders" of any kind. It is our collective need and responsibility to get the job done; THAT is the core concept of a "liberal society".



Name:
Date: //2003-03-27 13:44:25 :
Link to this Comment: 5193

in class we've spoken about the importance of intention, of feeling. if someone intends to do something good, but in the end something bad comes of the good intention who is at fault?
our world is on the brink. any war in the age of nuclear warfare brings us, tottering, to a ledge. there is such a great chance that this is the end. that saddam with leak some biological poison into our air and in a rage bush will drop the bomb on him and... it is a chain reaction of death. and when we are all dying and sobbing who will we blame? the man who made the bomb? oppenheimer?
i saw a documentry in which oppenheimer speaks about the dropping of the bomb on hiroshima and nagasaki ('the day after trinity')...in it you see oppenheimer as a broken man, in utter despair at the way in which his invention was used. oppenheimer had no intention of creating something that would kill hundreds of thousands of people. is he evil? does he realize that because of his intvention our world in now a place that can be destroyed in minutes? does he know that because of his invention all beauty in this world might die?
our world is a perfect place. why can't you see that?????? why can't people see the blinding beauty of nature? the perfection of budding spring? summer?winter? fall? birds?
and people. is nothing more beautiful than people. i see a trembling ache within each person to want to be loved. Hopkins writes "each hung bell's/Bow swung finds tongue to fling our broad its name;/ Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:/ Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;/ Selves-goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came"
it is the ACHE. this quivering need to be understood that is at the essence of the beauty in this world......and people just can't see it!!!!!and the world is going to be destroyed because people can't see how beautiful we are!!!!!!!!!!!
i shake writting this because i am scared that because of this blindness this world is going to end. why can't people recognize the exquisite beauty within themselves and every single blade of grass that covers this world? and to think that this is the end. i can't take it. to save this world we must each howl out into space, with words, or just sobbs that we will not allow this to be the end. it can't be the end.

so, does it matter that Jay Robert Oppenheimer did not intend to create something that would kill to such an extent? does it matter that he unintentionally brought te world to this brink that we now stantd upon?
YES, it matters. i do not hate Oppenheimer. But, i am so so angry that the bomb was created. i am angry that as a 19 year old i am shaking with fright, crying out in my sleep, becuase i love this world and because of oppenheimer it might be destroyed.


media
Name: tung
Date: //2003-03-27 20:18:00 :
Link to this Comment: 5195

I had a really long and interesting conversation with an international exchange student from Sweden about the war in Iraq. One of the topic that came up into our discussion was the role of the media. For him, at home the media report the situations of the world in multiple perspectives. The Swedish media report both on the war and on the anti war protests around the globe. This made me realized that the USA media mostly covered on the advances of coalition troops in Iraq and very little on the global responses against the war. The word propaganda then came into my mind. Assuming that the government played no role on whats being televised and since the media only showed what people want (rating is important), does this imply how Americans in majority feel right now? Again, it truly bothers me that the only casualties of war we really pay attention to is the number of American soldiers. It saddened me that the news report in fine bold letters that about 20 American soldiers are lost to the war and we focused on those soldiers who each have a biography of his or her life covered. Yet no one is paying attention to the details of the many Iraqis that have been killed, both soldiers and civilians. We shake our heads when we hear that 20 Americans are killed and yet we barely noticed that more than 500 Iraqis have died. How would we as a nation react if those Iraqis were Americans?


a modest proposal
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-03-30 09:04:05 :
Link to this Comment: 5207

As a nation, we were unable to learn sufficiently well from our own history and humanity's that war is brutal, unpredictable, and inevitably begats war. And so, here we are again, trying again to solve human problems in a way they simply cannot be solved. But perhaps, from our more immediate and current experiences, we can finally learn the lesson? It is not too late, it is never too late, to realize one has acted unwisely and change course accordingly. It is our choice, today and tomorrow and on each subsequent day, whether to persist along a course which will be seen by history, and is already seen by most of the world, as outdated, lawless, and indifferent to human well-being. Alternatively, we can acknowledge the lack of wisdom in our actions to date, change course, and, in so doing, contribute not only to our own nation's well-being but to the emerging wisdom and humanity of the world community.


on feeling connected ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-04-02 12:15:49 :
Link to this Comment: 5250

Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, on the House floor, April 1, 2003:

"Stop this war now. Show our wisdom and our humanity, to be able to stop it, to bring back the United Nations into theprocess. Rescue this moment. Rescue this nation from a war that is wrong, that is unjust, that is immoral."


Certainty/Not
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-04-02 12:54:15 :
Link to this Comment: 5251

There was an editorial by Steve Chapman is this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer; "Quest for perfect security could lead nation into perpetual state of war," which seemed to me to make a TREMENDOUSLY important point about the futility of seeking safety in certainty, how it can actually have precisely the opposite effect, of increasing danger:

America is the most secure nation on Earth - and the most insecure. The war in Iraq baffles the rest of the world because it reflects our tendency to see urgent perils that others don't. We spend as much on defense as the rest of the world combined. But we regard Saddam Hussein, the beleaguered dictator of a small, poor, faraway nation, as a threat too great to tolerate ..... the march to Baghdad looks to be just the opening battle in a broader and more dangerous war - against any potential adversary, anyplace in the world .... the new national security strategy ... asserts the right of the United States to launch preventive wars, if necessary - and not just to eliminate immediate threats, but to head off "emerging threats before they are fully formed." Calvin Coolidge once said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine of them will run into the ditch before they reach you." George W. Bush, by contrast, worries that the troubles will not only stay out of the ditch but will bear offspring on the way .... Bush ... sees deterrence as useless in an era when "shadowy networks of individuals can bring great chaos and suffering to our shores for less than it costs to purchase a single tank." ... Today, the only way we can achieve peace is to actually wage war - again and again. Iraq is the first target. North Korea may be next. Iran could follow. There's no telling where the list will end. The policy is new, but the impulses behind it are not. Other people accept the dangers of living in a world of nations with conflicting interests. Americans itch for something more. "For more than two centuries, the United States has aspired to a condition of perfect safety from foreign threats," wrote James Chace and Caleb Carr in their 1988 book, America Invulnerable: The Quest for Absolute Security from 1812 to Star Wars. "In this endeavor, we have steadily expanded the scope of our efforts, extending our protection to other states until the perimeter of our security interests ranges from the Elbe River to the Yellow Sea. Yet the goal of absolute security has constantly eluded us." Chace and Carr wrote during the Cold War. The collapse of the Soviet Union gave us a new sense of security, but not for long. Deprived of a huge threat, we obsess about small ones. Before you know it, the Marines are in Nasiriyah. Maybe once we get rid of Saddam Hussein, we'll finally feel safe. But I suspect we'll be as nervous as ever.


Peacekeeping Stories
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-04-07 12:36:25 :
Link to this Comment: 5293

The faculty working group on Language has been reading (in anticipation of his visit to campus later this month) Jerome Bruner's Acts of Meaning. In the third chapter, "Entry into Meaning," Bruner says something that loops us back to (and perhaps explains the rationale for) the very beginning of this forum, and its call "to tell and listen to each others' stories, to commit ourselves anew to finding new ways to tell our collective human story in a way from which no one feels estranged":

"In human beings, with their astonishing narrative gift, one of the principal forms of peacekeeping is the human gift for presenting, dramatizing, and explicating the mitigating circumstances surrounding conflict-threatening breaches in the ordinariness of life. The objective of such narrative is not to reconcile, not to legitimize, not even to excuse, but rather to explicate....To be in a viable culture is to be bound in a set of connecting stories, connecting even though the stories may not represent a consensus."

It occurs to me that this is why I am a professor of literature: by fostering the telling of stories, my vocation can be a means of negotiating the peace, of peacemaking and peacekeeping.


Language That Makes Us Shiver
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-04-08 10:04:03 :
Link to this Comment: 5320

Bruner's definition of "narrative" as the act of setting forth our jumbled experiences "sequentially" came to mind again when I read the essay on "War-Speak" by Geoffrey Nunberg (a Stanford linguist) in the 4/06/03 New York Times:

There has never been an age that was so self-conscious about the way it talked about war.... Last week, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld complained that the abruptly shifting impressions of the war's progress were due to viewers seeing "every second another slice of what's actually happening over there." He waxed nostalgic for World War II newsreels that wrapped the week's war highlights in a stirring narrative. ...

Today...catchphrases like "asymmetric warfare," "emerging targets" and "catastrophic success" - the last not an oxymoron, but an irresistibly perverse phrase for a sudden acceleration of good fortune. ...that jargon ... sometimes rises to a kind of brutalist poetry, as in, "Their units have been significantly degraded or attrited." (Milton would have recognized "attrited" as the past tense of attrite, meaning "grind away"; the verb has merely been lying low for 300 years.) ...

The ambient war-speak strikes the individual consciousness as an odd jumble, patched together from the half-remembered motifs of old Chuck Norris movies and documentaries from the History Channel, and tweaked from hour to hour to accommodate the latest developments. It's pastiche, the genre that the literary critic Fredric Jameson described as a statue with blind eyes; the language doesn't so much remind as reverberate. With words as vague as these, truth is less a casualty than an irrelevancy.

There's a paradox in the way we think about political language: the wiser we are to its tricks, the more we worry about its manipulative power - not over ourselves, but over the ... linguistic innocents ... we tell ourselves that language still has power over those who haven't had our advantages. ...the language of recent wars has faded very rapidly, like the memories of our reasons for fighting them. Within a short time, "shock and awe" will be a Trivial Pursuit item - like "mother of all battles" from the 1991 Persian Gulf war. War language does a different kind of work now. What remains with us isn't the words, but the tunes they were meant to bring to mind.

But recent history has taught us that language doesn't have to linger to shape our feelings, even when we think we're wise to its pitfalls. It's like that corny tattoo on MSNBC: you see right through, and it raises a shiver anyway.


historical perspective
Name: Meg Devere
Date: //2003-04-14 18:10:11 :
Link to this Comment: 5369

Anne Dalke suggested I share the following. I am a McBride, entered autumn '01, withdrew temporarily, and hope to return soon. megeux@aol.com

Rome extended its reach into the Middle East to 'stabilize' the region, sending its armies to enforce Roman peace. As coalition governments begin to address the issues of what comes next, and the merits of various persons are addressed, I recall the local functionaries of the Passion story: Pilate, Herod Antipus, Caiaphas the High Priest - each with a plan. And I see Jesus moving through the world, wholly human, clear that 'none of the above' were meeting people's deepest needs.

We may find ourselves struggling with the question of how to live lives of love in a world which looks for answers to human need in securities resting on power. What a wonderful week to immerse ourselves in the story of love's triumph.

excerpted from a letter from John Woodcock, Church of the Loving Shepherd.
Holy Week, 2003


Asking Another Question
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-04-15 09:53:05 :
Link to this Comment: 5402

From an editorial in this morning's (4/15/03) Philadelphia Inquirer:

If war
Is the answer
Should we ask
Another question?


There's more...
Name: bob@italy
Date: //2003-04-21 05:38:59 :
Link to this Comment: 5449

Looking for material on creativity I hit upon this site - talk about serendipity. As a european - still a minority on the net - I am greatly concerned, and the reason is exactly what this forum is about: The Place of the U.S. in the World Community. The reason is that the U.S. simply do not ask themselves this question. What the Iraq war is about is The Place of the World in the U.S. Community.

Meg Devereux aptly introduced the comparison with the Roman empire into the discussion, and yes, there is a lot to campare: citizens who were proud to call themselves "cives" but didn't look any further than the next spectacle in the Circus Maximus (presented by then equivalent of CNN), a senate consisting almost exclusively of politicians whose principal concern it was to maintain their position, and who did this by paying lip-service to the chief of state (called either Julius or George). A monopoly of the use of force and violence in the hands of the state (symbolized by guards carrying a bundle of sticks with a war ax, called fasces, hence fascism).

For quite a while we (myself, and a lot of other people from what American politicians sarcastically call "the old Europe") could restrict ourselves to some slight apprehension concerning the Role of the U.S in the World.

Naturally, the fact that this one country, responsible for 25% of the world's energy consumption, refused to collaborate internationally to ward off the danger of potential climate changes did not enhance sympathy for the U.S. Nor did the fact that the U.S. - notwithstanding their self-advocated role of defender of moral values - not only boycot the international court of law, but also reserve the right to themselves to use force to liberate U.S. cictizens facing a conviction by this court. The fact that the U.S. by now are practically the only civilized country where death sentences are still executed - in spite of obvious shortcomings in the legal system - increases our reservation. When we read that a U.S. State is trying fanatically to "cure" a prisoner with paranoid schizophrenia in order to be able to execute his death sentence without violating jurisdiction that forbids the execution of mentally ill persons, i defintely feel entitled to my opinion of what should be "the Role of the U.S in the World": preferably as small as possible. Let the U.S. first prove themselves to be morally superior to the U.N., and then lay claim to the status of "world upholder of moral values".

What I am so afraid of is that the pressure towards peace in Europe, too, will diminish after this "catastrophic success" as Ann Dalke puts it. That a real peacer movement in the U.S. won't stand a chance for years to come. And that in the meanwhile, the Bush administration has succeeded in creating a second Palestine - where sji'ites, sunnites and christians fanatically blow themselves and their ene,mies to their respective paradises under the inspiring guidance of a democratically chosen, U.S.-friendly regime. This should be avoided at any cost. For starters, a boycot of products from companies that have lent considerable support to the Bush campaign, c.q. will do this to the coming campaign.


More on Language
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-04-27 23:03:14 :
Link to this Comment: 5529

In Radnor's Meeting for Worship this morning, Bob Washington drew on George Orwell's observations on the role of euphemistic language in wartime, and suggested that we now re-name our Defense Department the Department of War, and our Office of Homeland Security the Office of Defense. Calling things by their "right" names--or at least by names that come closer to saying what it is they actually DO--might call us to...

wake up to what we are doing.


America - land of the partially free, home of the
Name:
Date: //2003-05-27 02:28:35 :
Link to this Comment: 5730

I have some very short points to make. I haven't the time to fill it out... but I think you'll understand exactly where I am coming from. Many worry that the America is imperialist and unpopular. Many are concerned about the excesses and inhuman tactics and practices of American capitalism. I have a thought for uyou to ponder. Most of the Middle East vies America and Britain with suspicion.

Many in the UK and Europe view America with suspicion, fear and disgust.

I'd ponder that one...


What the world really thinks of its leader
Name: Minja
Date: //2003-06-22 03:09:06 :
Link to this Comment: 5765

I am speaking as an outsider and a victim of the USA. And as such I can convey temporary consollation to Americans and bad news to the rest of the world. For as much as the rest of the world has ever-accumulating reason to hate, condemn and punish the US foreign policy, it is still not about to fight the few cheap things it likes (and fears) about the expoerted "American way of life"...
When the world thinks of USA it thinks of four things only -MONEY, HOLLYWOOD,IMPERIALISM and COCA COLA. Fifty years or so of its aggressive imperialism is enough to despise it forever, but dollars, movies and a fuzzy soda remarkably outweigh the cons. Simply because lesser human nature always defeats higher human nature and the USA is its expert. It also provides a genius choice to the rest of the world between being brainwashed and colonized but earning big bucks and having fun AND getting killed by US bombs and sanctions for some "old-fashioned" concept of independence!
To those who didn't know, independence only exists in USA. As well as democracy, freedom of speech or freedom of any kind. And not because five or ten or twenty times older nations in the rest of the world didn't come up with the concept, but because the US foreign policy cherishes it at home and bombards it elsewhere.
So I wouldn't fear for America just yet. After all, it was incredulously spared from logical counterstrikes of "terrorist" countries it destroyed before proving them guilty. And before caring to explain how the dreadful aerial attack of the World Trade Center went unsuspected, let alone made the buildings crumble down rather than fold over as the laws of physics and architecture impose. No, the only external danger that USA will enocounter (as unfortunately Empires eventually do), is the danger from countries in which CNN, Coca Cola, Hollywood and US dollars are still unheard of. But that's why the Third World is getting civilized and "re-built" so quickly, isn't it?


thinking ... internationally (and with metaphors?)
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-06-22 12:06:04 :
Link to this Comment: 5767

Very pleased that people from beyond the US are finding their way here; we really DO need to think together about US policy and how it relates to the broader world community and need very badly the views from everywhere (yu = Yugoslavia).

And we need to examine our metaphors. So ... a recent contribution of my own, a little long for the forum but easily reachable at War Is a Bad Metaphor.


alternately
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-06-24 16:27:20 :
Link to this Comment: 5775

The trouble here is not just the "constraints on the potentially doable which inevitably arise from the words we use to make sense of things"; it's also that in advocating a single plan of action, we simultaneously lay out a single way of blocking it. The alternative offered by emergent systems thinking is the notion that, if there are multiple paths, the way can never be blocked. See the Emergence Forum for other ways of thinking about solutions when...it seems there are none.


The Dignity of Difference
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-06-30 15:46:20 :
Link to this Comment: 5796

Sharon Burgmayer just sent me a copy of a sermon given @ her church on 6/15/03. In "A Time To...?" Gene Bay draws on the thinking of Jonathan Sacks about "The Dignity of Difference" to suggest, as I do above, the necessity for accepting multiple paths:

"one belief, more than any other" is responsible for the age-long slaughter of individuals, the wars of all the centuries, as well as the more recent spate of terrorists attacks. "It is the belief that those who do not share my faith - or my race or my ideology - do not share my humanity.... The critical question" is whether we will make room for the other, the stranger, in other words, "acknowledge the dignity of difference....Nothing has proved harder in the history of civilization than to seek (the image of) God ... in those whose language is not mine, whose skin is a different color, whose faith is not my faith and whose truth is not my truth."

I believe it is a time for a new "generosity of spirit"....A time to really and truly understand "that God transcends the particularities of culture and the limits of human understanding ..., a time to believe in and commend to others a God who is above us all, "teaching us to make a space for one another...."

what would it be like to have such a faith? "It would...be like being secure in one's own home, yet moved by the beauty of foreign places, knowing that they are someone else's home, not mine, but still part of the glory of the world that is ours."

What is the time we are in? It is the moment for us to realize we cannot flourish while others perish.... the sermon preached by John Winthrop...aboard the ship Arbella before it landed the Puritans in 1630....was a call to mutuality: "... We must be knit together in this work as one ...; we must delight in each other, make each other's condition our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes ... our community as members of the same body, so shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace"....

our political leaders actually missed the kairos moment provided by the tragedy of 9/11. "In the aftermath of (that) tragedy...a window of opportunity ... opened for a sort of civic renewal that only occurs once or twice a century."

Is there still time for us to take advantage of that moment, that opening??


working at identifying the problem
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-08-05 16:07:19 :
Link to this Comment: 6271

Again a little long for the forum, but have a look at "'I believe': Its Significance and Limitations for Individuals, Science, and Politics", motivated by Bush's press conference last Thursday.


USA and One world
Name: jyoti
Date: //2003-11-24 01:21:56 :
Link to this Comment: 7380

USA is the only country in the world were the main identity is American irrespective of ones country of origin.To be american is a way of life and surprisngly most people living in that country belives that We are the best.Either you are pro american or against it.With its vast natural resources and super techinical power it is in a position to materially uplift any country.Being Geographically seperated from densely populated europe and asia it doesnt face natural migration of human being.It is difficult for an average american to visualise israel-palestine,korea or kashmir."Govt is by the people of the people and for the people." And if the people themselves are ignorant how can the American Govt act as a super mediator of the globe


US Hegemony vs Global Democratic Governance
Name: Eric Hawth
Date: //2003-11-24 21:05:20 :
Link to this Comment: 7388

The US government currently believes that it should and does run the world. The government's attitude toward the UN and international agreements, and its unilateral action in Iraq make this clear.

I believe we are faced with a decision now. To accept US domain over the world, with its characteristic imposed sham governments wherever it intercedes, or to work toward, and even fight for, a new paradigm of global democratic governance, where global issues such as trade, the environment, universal human rights, disease control, and aggression by nations and other factions, would be dealt with by a global governance body elected through democratic elections conducted worldwide.

It sounds far-fetched, but it is our present US military and media-messaging hegemony that is truely surreal, and truly dangerous.

Eric Hawthorne
(citizen of Earth, resident of Scotland and Canada most particularly)


and now what
Name: precious
Date: //2004-04-06 07:31:05 :
Link to this Comment: 9198

fine, the us invaded iraq,
now what!
there is still blood shed getting worse every day.
so what was the point of it all??
us soldiers being killed each day but for what price?
we are here to save the iraq people, bush says!
how many has he saved?
yes the tyrant has been captured but at what price??
in the end what the us had promised has not materialised,so tell
me what was the point of it all???
was it all about the power that the us could impose upon any country...
answer me somebody plzz..


Rebuttal
Name: Emerson Ci
Date: //2004-05-12 21:57:25 :
Link to this Comment: 9843

It really is quite simple -- freedom is natural.

It is so natural, so intrinsic to human nature, that it can not be rightfully taken away by man.

Any man.

No man can, or rightfully should, ascede his freedom to any other man without consent. It would be immoral to do so.

The U.S. is not craving power or influence -- it is defending an idea.

The idea that man is ruled & governed by only those that he consents to be governed by. Not to be governed by the news media, by NATO, by allies, by world opinion, and certainly not by terrorist thugs.

Those that grasp that freedom is of pre-eminent importance to man-kind will understand what the U.S. is trying to accomplish in Iraq.

Those that analyze history honestly, openly, and accurately will be unable to find a single time in U.S. history where the United States intervened on foreign soil from an imperialist or colonialist motive.

The proper response to any person or organization who advocates the laying down of weapons in the defense of freedom is this:

"Come & get them."


God help us
Name: David
Date: //2004-07-01 16:19:20 :
Link to this Comment: 10200

I feel living and growing up here in America, that this is the most powerful country ever to exist on the face of this world. We as a country and as a people are not perfect. The government is not perfect, it never will be, nor can it be. We are very lucky for our freedom,I have traveled the world and seen countrys not so lucky. I have seen people put to death before my very eyes wishing they could speak freely as we do here in America.
I think our place is prominent and will remain so,to take freedom to every country on this green earth.