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03/01/2005 03:21:51 PM · #1
Our War on Terrorism
Howard Zinn

I am calling it "our" war on terrorism because I want to distinguish it from Bush's war on terrorism, and from Sharon's, and from Putin's. What their wars have in common is that they are based on an enormous deception: persuading the people of their countries that you can deal with terrorism by war. These rulers say you can end our fear of terrorism--of sudden, deadly, vicious attacks, a fear new to Americans--by drawing an enormous circle around an area of the world where terrorists come from (Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya) or can be claimed to be connected with (Iraq), and by sending in tanks and planes to bomb and terrorize whoever lives within that circle.

Since war is itself the most extreme form of terrorism, a war on terrorism is profoundly self-contradictory. Is it strange, or normal, that no major political figure has pointed this out?

Even within their limited definition of terrorism, they--the governments of the United States, Israel, Russia--are clearly failing. As I write this, three years after the events of September 11, the death toll for American servicemen has surpassed 1,000, more than 150 Russian children have died in a terrorist takeover of a school, Afghanistan is in chaos, and the number of significant terrorist attacks rose to a twenty-one-year high in 2003, according to official State Department figures. The highly respected International Institute for Strategic Studies in London has reported that "over 18,000 potential terrorists are at large with recruitment accelerating on account of Iraq."

With the failure so obvious, and the President tripping over his words trying to pretend otherwise (August 30: "I don't think you can win" and the next day: "Make no mistake about it, we are winning"), it astonishes us that the polls show a majority of Americans believing the President has done "a good job" in the war on terrorism.

I can think of two reasons for this.

First, the press and television have not played the role of gadflies, of whistleblowers, the role that the press should play in a society whose fundamental doctrine of democracy (see the Declaration of Independence) is that you must not give blind trust to the government. They have not made clear to the public--I mean vividly, dramatically clear--what have been the human consequences of the war in Iraq.

I am speaking not only of the deaths and mutilations of American youth, but the deaths and mutilations of Iraqi children. (I am reading at this moment of an American bombing of houses in the city of Fallujah, leaving four children dead, with the U.S. military saying this was part of a "precision strike" on "a building frequently used by terrorists.") I believe that the American people's natural compassion would come to the fore if they truly understood that we are terrorizing other people by our "war on terror."

A second reason that so many people accept Bush's leadership is that no counterargument has come from the opposition party. John Kerry has not challenged Bush's definition of terrorism. He has not been forthright. He has dodged and feinted, saying that Bush has waged "the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time." Is there a right war, a right place, a right time? Kerry has not spoken clearly, boldly, in such a way as to appeal to the common sense of the American people, at least half of whom have turned against the war, with many more looking for the wise words that a true leader provides. He has not clearly challenged the fundamental premise of the Bush Administration: that the massive violence of war is the proper response to the kind of terrorist attack that took place on September 11, 2001.

Let us begin by recognizing that terrorist acts--the killing of innocent people to achieve some desired goal--are morally unacceptable and must be repudiated and opposed by anyone claiming to care about human rights. The September 11 attacks, the suicide bombings in Israel, the taking of hostages by Chechen nationalists--all are outside the bounds of any ethical principles.

This must be emphasized, because as soon as you suggest that it is important, to consider something other than violent retaliation, you are accused of sympathizing with the terrorists. It is a cheap way of ending a discussion without examining intelligent alternatives to present policy.

Then the question becomes: What is the appropriate way to respond to such awful acts? The answer so far, given by Bush, Sharon, and Putin, is military action. We have enough evidence now to tell us that this does not stop terrorism, may indeed provoke more terrorism, and at the same time leads to the deaths of hundreds, even thousands, of innocent people who happen to live in the vicinity of suspected terrorists.

What can account for the fact that these obviously ineffective, even counterproductive, responses have been supported by the people of Russia, Israel, the United States? It's not hard to figure that out. It is fear, a deep, paralyzing fear, a dread so profound that one's normal rational faculties are distorted, and so people rush to embrace policies that have only one thing in their favor: They make you feel that something is being done. In the absence of an alternative, in the presence of a policy vacuum, filling that vacuum with a decisive act becomes acceptable.

And when the opposition party, the opposition Presidential candidate, can offer nothing to fill that policy vacuum, the public feels it has no choice but to go along with what is being done. It is emotionally satisfying, even if rational thought suggests it does not work and cannot work.

If John Kerry cannot offer an alternative to war, then it is the responsibility of citizens, with every possible resource they can muster, to present such an alternative to the American public.

Yes, we can try to guard in every possible way against future attacks, by trying to secure airports, seaports, railroads, other centers of transportation. Yes, we can try to capture known terrorists. But neither of those actions can bring an end to terrorism, which comes from the fact that millions of people in the Middle East and elsewhere are angered by American policies, and out of these millions come those who will carry their anger to fanatic extremes.

The CIA senior terrorism analyst who has written a book signed "Anonymous" has said bluntly that U.S. policies--supporting Sharon, making war on Afghanistan and Iraq--"are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world."

Unless we reexamine our policies--our quartering of soldiers in a hundred countries (the quartering of foreign soldiers, remember, was one of the grievances of the American revolutionaries), our support of the occupation of Palestinian lands, our insistence on controlling the oil of the Middle East--we will always live in fear. If we were to announce that we will reconsider those policies, and began to change them, we might start to dry up the huge reservoir of hatred where terrorists are hatched.

Whoever the next President will be, it is up to the American people to demand that he begin a bold reconsideration of the role our country should play in the world. That is the only possible solution to a future of never-ending, pervasive fear. That would be "our" war on terrorism.
03/01/2005 05:21:09 PM · #2
Originally posted by SnapperL:

Our War on Terrorism
Howard Zinn

...Let us begin by recognizing that terrorist acts--the killing of innocent people to achieve some desired goal--are morally unacceptable and must be repudiated and opposed by anyone claiming to care about human rights. The September 11 attacks, the suicide bombings in Israel, the taking of hostages by Chechen nationalists--all are outside the bounds of any ethical principles.

.....

Then the question becomes: What is the appropriate way to respond to such awful acts? The answer so far, given by Bush, Sharon, and Putin, is military action. We have enough evidence now to tell us that this does not stop terrorism, may indeed provoke more terrorism, and at the same time leads to the deaths of hundreds, even thousands, of innocent people who happen to live in the vicinity of suspected terrorists....


I do not need to hear again what is wrong with our current efforts. Please tell me what you would do instead. Please be specific. Please offer an action against the terrorist other than the current action.

I may be willing to support your proposal, however just criticizing the current effort is not enough. There is plenty of wrong in this world. Please state what your better solution is. More criticism is not what I need to know. Just better ideas. Please share them.
03/01/2005 05:30:40 PM · #3
I agree with Flash -- you failed in the same sense that kerry failed in his run for presidency. He was really good at pointing out current faults, but did nothing to explain of how he intended to fix these faults...like they say, in hindsight, we're all 20/20.
03/01/2005 05:49:08 PM · #4
Originally posted by SnapperL:

Our War on Terrorism
Howard Zinn

I am calling it "our" war on terrorism because I want to distinguish it from Bush's war on terrorism, and from Sharon's, and from Putin's. What their wars have in common is that they are based on an enormous deception: persuading the people of their countries that you can deal with terrorism by war. These rulers say you can end our fear of terrorism--of sudden, deadly, vicious attacks, a fear new to Americans--by drawing an enormous circle around an area of the world where terrorists come from (Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya) or can be claimed to be connected with (Iraq), and by sending in tanks and planes to bomb and terrorize whoever lives within that circle.

Since war is itself the most extreme form of terrorism, a war on terrorism is profoundly self-contradictory. Is it strange, or normal, that no major political figure has pointed this out?

Even within their limited definition of terrorism, they--the governments of the United States, Israel, Russia--are clearly failing. As I write this, three years after the events of September 11, the death toll for American servicemen has surpassed 1,000, more than 150 Russian children have died in a terrorist takeover of a school, Afghanistan is in chaos, and the number of significant terrorist attacks rose to a twenty-one-year high in 2003, according to official State Department figures. The highly respected International Institute for Strategic Studies in London has reported that "over 18,000 potential terrorists are at large with recruitment accelerating on account of Iraq."

With the failure so obvious, and the President tripping over his words trying to pretend otherwise (August 30: "I don't think you can win" and the next day: "Make no mistake about it, we are winning"), it astonishes us that the polls show a majority of Americans believing the President has done "a good job" in the war on terrorism.

I can think of two reasons for this.

First, the press and television have not played the role of gadflies, of whistleblowers, the role that the press should play in a society whose fundamental doctrine of democracy (see the Declaration of Independence) is that you must not give blind trust to the government. They have not made clear to the public--I mean vividly, dramatically clear--what have been the human consequences of the war in Iraq.

I am speaking not only of the deaths and mutilations of American youth, but the deaths and mutilations of Iraqi children. (I am reading at this moment of an American bombing of houses in the city of Fallujah, leaving four children dead, with the U.S. military saying this was part of a "precision strike" on "a building frequently used by terrorists.") I believe that the American people's natural compassion would come to the fore if they truly understood that we are terrorizing other people by our "war on terror."

A second reason that so many people accept Bush's leadership is that no counterargument has come from the opposition party. John Kerry has not challenged Bush's definition of terrorism. He has not been forthright. He has dodged and feinted, saying that Bush has waged "the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time." Is there a right war, a right place, a right time? Kerry has not spoken clearly, boldly, in such a way as to appeal to the common sense of the American people, at least half of whom have turned against the war, with many more looking for the wise words that a true leader provides. He has not clearly challenged the fundamental premise of the Bush Administration: that the massive violence of war is the proper response to the kind of terrorist attack that took place on September 11, 2001.

Let us begin by recognizing that terrorist acts--the killing of innocent people to achieve some desired goal--are morally unacceptable and must be repudiated and opposed by anyone claiming to care about human rights. The September 11 attacks, the suicide bombings in Israel, the taking of hostages by Chechen nationalists--all are outside the bounds of any ethical principles.

This must be emphasized, because as soon as you suggest that it is important, to consider something other than violent retaliation, you are accused of sympathizing with the terrorists. It is a cheap way of ending a discussion without examining intelligent alternatives to present policy.

Then the question becomes: What is the appropriate way to respond to such awful acts? The answer so far, given by Bush, Sharon, and Putin, is military action. We have enough evidence now to tell us that this does not stop terrorism, may indeed provoke more terrorism, and at the same time leads to the deaths of hundreds, even thousands, of innocent people who happen to live in the vicinity of suspected terrorists.

What can account for the fact that these obviously ineffective, even counterproductive, responses have been supported by the people of Russia, Israel, the United States? It's not hard to figure that out. It is fear, a deep, paralyzing fear, a dread so profound that one's normal rational faculties are distorted, and so people rush to embrace policies that have only one thing in their favor: They make you feel that something is being done. In the absence of an alternative, in the presence of a policy vacuum, filling that vacuum with a decisive act becomes acceptable.

And when the opposition party, the opposition Presidential candidate, can offer nothing to fill that policy vacuum, the public feels it has no choice but to go along with what is being done. It is emotionally satisfying, even if rational thought suggests it does not work and cannot work.

If John Kerry cannot offer an alternative to war, then it is the responsibility of citizens, with every possible resource they can muster, to present such an alternative to the American public.

Yes, we can try to guard in every possible way against future attacks, by trying to secure airports, seaports, railroads, other centers of transportation. Yes, we can try to capture known terrorists. But neither of those actions can bring an end to terrorism, which comes from the fact that millions of people in the Middle East and elsewhere are angered by American policies, and out of these millions come those who will carry their anger to fanatic extremes.

The CIA senior terrorism analyst who has written a book signed "Anonymous" has said bluntly that U.S. policies--supporting Sharon, making war on Afghanistan and Iraq--"are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world."

Unless we reexamine our policies--our quartering of soldiers in a hundred countries (the quartering of foreign soldiers, remember, was one of the grievances of the American revolutionaries), our support of the occupation of Palestinian lands, our insistence on controlling the oil of the Middle East--we will always live in fear. If we were to announce that we will reconsider those policies, and began to change them, we might start to dry up the huge reservoir of hatred where terrorists are hatched.

Whoever the next President will be, it is up to the American people to demand that he begin a bold reconsideration of the role our country should play in the world. That is the only possible solution to a future of never-ending, pervasive fear. That would be "our" war on terrorism.

I think this is very well said! Itís hard to put the cover back on the can when you have already spilled the worms! Solution pull out in twenty years with nothing resolved, wondering what it was all for! People will always fight hard for what they believe in. It does not help to give them a reason! I really wish there was a solution!

Message edited by author 2005-03-01 18:48:02.
03/01/2005 07:18:23 PM · #5
Originally posted by deapee:

I agree with Flash -- you failed in the same sense that kerry failed in his run for presidency. He was really good at pointing out current faults, but did nothing to explain of how he intended to fix these faults...like they say, in hindsight, we're all 20/20.


Here's a brief outline of John Kerry's anti-terrorism agenda:

* Double the U.S. Army's special forces capacity and speed implementation of new anti-terror technologies.

* Create a national intelligence director's post that included full control over intelligence funding and double the number of overseas clandestine officers.

* "Make Afghanistan a priority again, because it's still the front line of the war on terror."

* Improve global security of chemical and nuclear weapons, particularly those in the former Soviet Union. He promised to secure all weapons there within four years.

* Seek a "verifiable" global ban on the production of materials needed to make nuclear weapons and talk directly to North Korea about its nuclear weapons program. "We have to get serious about diplomacy with North Korea, now," he said.

* "Wage a war on terrorist finances," including freezing assets of anyone or any organization "who is financing terrorism."

* Hold Saudi Arabia "accountable" for terrorist group development there, and work to make the U.S. independent of Mideast oil.

* Improve security in U.S. ports.

* Deny sanctuary and recuiting opportunities for terrorists.

* Strengthen and in some cases rebuild alliances with other countries. "If ever the United States of America needed to reach out instead of alienating countries, it is now," he said. Kerry said such action was "not a sign of weakness ó it is a sign of strength, and it will make us stronger."
03/01/2005 08:19:13 PM · #6
Originally posted by bdobe:

Originally posted by deapee:

I agree with Flash -- you failed in the same sense that kerry failed in his run for presidency. He was really good at pointing out current faults, but did nothing to explain of how he intended to fix these faults...like they say, in hindsight, we're all 20/20.


Here's a brief outline of John Kerry's anti-terrorism agenda:

* Double the U.S. Army's special forces capacity and speed implementation of new anti-terror technologies.

* Create a national intelligence director's post that included full control over intelligence funding and double the number of overseas clandestine officers.

* "Make Afghanistan a priority again, because it's still the front line of the war on terror."

* Improve global security of chemical and nuclear weapons, particularly those in the former Soviet Union. He promised to secure all weapons there within four years.

* Seek a "verifiable" global ban on the production of materials needed to make nuclear weapons and talk directly to North Korea about its nuclear weapons program. "We have to get serious about diplomacy with North Korea, now," he said.

* "Wage a war on terrorist finances," including freezing assets of anyone or any organization "who is financing terrorism."

* Hold Saudi Arabia "accountable" for terrorist group development there, and work to make the U.S. independent of Mideast oil.

* Improve security in U.S. ports.

* Deny sanctuary and recuiting opportunities for terrorists.

* Strengthen and in some cases rebuild alliances with other countries. "If ever the United States of America needed to reach out instead of alienating countries, it is now," he said. Kerry said such action was "not a sign of weakness ó it is a sign of strength, and it will make us stronger."


Top 100 responses on the board. Survey says: . . .

Ding. Ding.

George W. Bush - #1 answer with 51

I guess that more voting Americans thought that Bush had a better agenda
03/01/2005 10:06:37 PM · #7
No Ron, more voting Americans thought stopping gays from getting married was more important.

Bush is not only an intellectual idiot, he surrounds himself with the most corrupt and partisan people possible, all having the same agenda (reference PNAC)

Regardless of whether they planned or allowed 9/11 to happen, they are sure as hell glad it did. It gave a lame duck president a place in history and a reason to begin the war plans of controlling the #1 energy reserves in the world and made the American sheeple jump to back them.

Donít take it from me, take it from those who used it best:

"The easiest way to gain control of the population is to carry out acts of terror. The public will clamor for such laws if the personal security is threatened."
-Josef Stalin

Ēwhy of course the people donít want warÖ But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.Ē
-Hermann Coering, Hitlerís designed successor

and those who appose this:

"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."
- President Eisenhower's Farewell speech, 1961

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men."
- Abraham Lincoln

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
-Dr. Martin Luther King

ďOn the alter of god I pledge undying hostility to any government restriction on the free minds of the people.Ē
-Thomas Jefferson

I wish he was our president now or another progressive like him.
03/01/2005 11:18:39 PM · #8
Originally posted by MadMordegon:

No Ron, more voting Americans thought stopping gays from getting married was more important.

If what you say is true, then stopping gays MUST be more important. And if more Americans DO think that it is that important, then why is it that you seem to be so upset about it? Don't you favor majority rule? Funny, but the left is STILL complaining about the fact that Bush was elected President in 2000 even though Gore polled more "popular" votes in the nation. Seems like THEN the liberals WANTED majority rule, not Constitutionally prescribed elections. But now, you seem upset at the thought of majority rule. And what about the darlings of the left, Ms. Clinton and Ms. Boxer? Aren't they pushing the Count Every Vote Act of 2005? They introduced comprehensive voting reform legislation to make sure that every American is able to vote and every vote is counted. Are you going to oppose them, lest the majority you fear vote against your positions? Please make up your mind and let us know whether you DO or do NOT favor majority rule.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Bush is not only an intellectual idiot, he surrounds himself with the most corrupt and partisan people possible, all having the same agenda (reference PNAC)

Don't ALL Presidents surround themselves with people having the same agenda as they do? I think so.

And I'm still waiting for your answer to the question I posed to YOU back on Feb 2nd in another thread: "I don't see a problem with PNAC. Apparently you do. So what do you see as just ONE of the problems with PNAC?"

Funny how you never answered my question. Will you now? Or are you content to just slip in, drop your little innuendo bombs, and then slip away again, as usual?

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Regardless of whether they planned or allowed 9/11 to happen, they are sure as hell glad it did. It gave a lame duck president a place in history and a reason to begin the war plans of controlling the #1 energy reserves in the world and made the American sheeple jump to back them.

Huh? Bush was never a "lame duck" president, and won't be one officially until after the 2008 elections. Even if you consider him to be a "lame duck" now, since he cannot be re-elected, still he wasn't one when war plans were being made. Sometimes, I think that you let your emotions get ahead of your intellect.
. . .
Originally posted by MadMordegon:

I wish he was our president now or another progressive like him.

Oh, I have no doubt that you do.
03/02/2005 12:09:12 AM · #9
Originally posted by MadMordegon:

No Ron, more voting Americans thought stopping gays from getting married was more important.



In every state in which gay marriage was put to a referendum the percentage of voters who voted AGAINST it was significantly higher than the percentage of voters who voted for President Bush. I know of at least one state (Michigan) that went for Kerry and at the same time defeated the gay marriage referendum. It is logically obvious that quite a few Kerry voters were also anti-gay-marriage voters. You should try to stop and think before automatically posting every popular and tiresome knee-jerk leftist whine.
03/02/2005 12:25:14 AM · #10
Ron I do not like directly answer you questions. You are a master of spin and I donít want to get caught up in it. In this case I will be short.

You know exactly why Iím against PNAC; those people want to take over the world in the name of American hegemony and Iím fully against that. For the price of this war(s) we could be doing fantastic scientific research, helping starving children, ending genocide and so on. Instead we are killing innocent people every single day, destroying what was a good name of America and bankrupting our future generations.

Those people have divorced themselves from science, nature and justice. Things I hold quite high.

As far as if it "must" be more important because thatís what most Americans voted for; that is just the state of ignorance in America. In a time when the future of the human race is in the balance, we are in multiple wars, the gap between rich and poor is higher than ever before; an anti intellectual ex alcoholic and cocaine addict man whose father financed and made millions from Hitler is president and got that way for a second time because people in America thought the gay issue was most important.

I do not wish you to respond to what Iíve said above. You asked me a question and Iím answering it. I do not wish to go in circles.

Again I quote one of my favorite humans:

"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
-Thomas Jefferson

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."
-Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
-Thomas Jefferson

"I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way."
-Thomas Jefferson

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
-Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."
-Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
-Thomas Jefferson

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and "no culture comparable to that of the garden."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence."
-Thomas Jefferson

And, again I will post:

"why of course the people donít want warÖ But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."

-Hermann Coering, Hitlerís designed successor
03/02/2005 12:31:22 AM · #11
Originally posted by frychikn:

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

No Ron, more voting Americans thought stopping gays from getting married was more important.



In every state in which gay marriage was put to a referendum the percentage of voters who voted AGAINST it was significantly higher than the percentage of voters who voted for President Bush. I know of at least one state (Michigan) that went for Kerry and at the same time defeated the gay marriage referendum. It is logically obvious that quite a few Kerry voters were also anti-gay-marriage voters. You should try to stop and think before automatically posting every popular and tiresome knee-jerk leftist whine.


The fact it was an issue AT ALL is a testament to American ignorance. The gay marriage issue was still the clincher for Bush. Had that never been brought up, many a church pastor or preacher would have never pushed their followers to go vote for the "moral man".

Also, is it possible for Bush supporters to make a post without making a crack at liberals or "leftistsĒ? Though there are MANY, I do not see myself and others making conservative cracks in every post.
03/02/2005 12:35:06 AM · #12
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03/02/2005 01:19:16 AM · #13
Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Originally posted by frychikn:

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

No Ron, more voting Americans thought stopping gays from getting married was more important.



In every state in which gay marriage was put to a referendum the percentage of voters who voted AGAINST it was significantly higher than the percentage of voters who voted for President Bush. I know of at least one state (Michigan) that went for Kerry and at the same time defeated the gay marriage referendum. It is logically obvious that quite a few Kerry voters were also anti-gay-marriage voters. You should try to stop and think before automatically posting every popular and tiresome knee-jerk leftist whine.


The fact it was an issue AT ALL is a testament to American ignorance. The gay marriage issue was still the clincher for Bush. Had that never been brought up, many a church pastor or preacher would have never pushed their followers to go vote for the "moral man".

Also, is it possible for Bush supporters to make a post without making a crack at liberals or "leftistsĒ? Though there are MANY, I do not see myself and others making conservative cracks in every post.


You sure have a short attention span. You refer to "American ignorance" when talking about people (or as you like to call them "sheeple") who do not agree with your political viewpoints, then in the very next paragraph you complain about "leftist" comments.

OK, so much for that. Here is a question for you which I doubt you will answer (replying with another question does not count as an answer). My question is simply this:

Do you consider the Kerry supporters who voted against gay marriage as "ignorant" also?
03/02/2005 01:55:18 AM · #14
Originally posted by frychikn:

Do you consider the Kerry supporters who voted against gay marriage as "ignorant" also?


You didn't direct this question at me, but I'll be happy to respond:

Abso'freegin'lutely! Any body that sanctions the abridgement, curtailing and or diminution of the spirit of our 14th Amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

is "ignorant" -- and, too, I'd argue, that person is committing a grave harm against our Pluralistic Representative Democracy.

Message edited by author 2005-03-02 02:19:38.
03/02/2005 02:15:54 AM · #15
All this arguing about how one feels on this issue or that issue, reminds me of another Zinn Book, or at least the first chapter from it. I have copied it below for anyone that wants to read it. Many of the questions that our society argues over are brought down to 2 maybe 3 view points.

"Do you agree with Gay marriages or disagree?"
"Do you support sending in 100K troops or 250K troops?"

The other options are never asked. This happens quite a lot in the press. But anyways, here is the first chapter of:

Zinn - "Declarations of Independence"

The idea, which entered Western consciousness several centuries ago, that black people are less than human, made possible the Atlantic slave trade, during which perhaps 40 million people died. Beliefs about racial inferiority, whether applied to blacks or Jews or Arabs or Orientals, have led to mass murder.
The idea, presented by political leaders and accepted by the American public in 1964, that communism in Vietnam was a threat to our "national security" led to policies that cost a million lives, including those of 55,000 young Americans.
The belief, fostered in the Soviet Union, that "socialism" required a ruthless policy of farm collectivization, as well as the control of dissent, brought about the deaths of countless peasants and large numbers of political prisoners.
Other ideas-leave the poor on their own ("laissez-faire") and help the rich ("economic growth")-have led the U.S. government for most of its history to subsidize corporations while neglecting the poor, thus permitting terrible living and working conditions and incalculable suffering and death. In the years of the Reagan presidency, "laissez-faire" meant budget cutting for family care, which led to high rates of infant mortality in city ghettos.
We can reasonably conclude that how we think is not just mildly interesting, not just a subject for intellectual debate, but a matter of life and death.
If those in charge of our society-politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television-can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.
Because force is held in reserve and the control is not complete, we can call ourselves a "democracy." True, the openings and the flexibility make such a society a more desirable place to live. But they also create a more effective form of control. We are less likely to object if we can feel that we have a "pluralist" society, with two parties instead of one, three branches of government instead of one-man rule, and various opinions in the press instead of one official line.'
A close look at this pluralism shows that it is very limited. We have the kinds of choices that are given in multiple-choice tests, where you can choose a, b, c, or d. But e, f, g, and h are not even listed.
And so we have the Democratic and Republican parties (choose a or b ), but no others are really tolerated or encouraged or financed. Indeed, there is a law limiting the nationally televised presidential debates to the two major parties.
We have a "free press," but big money dominates it; you can choose among Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report. On television, you can choose among NBC, CBS, and ABC. There is a dissident press, but it does not have the capital of the "Teat media chains and cannot get the rich corporate advertising, and so it must strain to reach small numbers of people. There is public television, which is occasionally daring, but also impoverished and most often cautious.
We have three branches of government, with "checks and balances," as we were taught in junior high school. But one branch of government (the presidency) gets us into wars and the other two (Congress and the Supreme Court) go sheepishly along.
There is the same limited choice in public policy. During the Vietnam War, the argument for a long time was between those who wanted a total bombing of Indochina and those who wanted a limited bombing. The choice of withdrawing from Vietnam altogether was not offered. Daniel Ellsberg, working for Henry Kissinger in 1969, was given the job of drawing a list of alternative policies on Vietnam. As one possibility on his long list he suggested total withdrawal from the war. Kissinger looked at the possibilities and crossed that one off before giving the list to President Richard Nixon.
In debates on the military budget there are heated arguments about whether to spend 5300 billion or $290 billion. A proposal to spend $100 billion (thus making $200 billion available for human needs) is like the e or f in a multiple-choice test-it is missing. To propose zero billion makes you a candidate for a mental institution.
On the question of prisons there is debate on how many prisons we should have. But the idea of abolishing prisons is too outrageous even to be discussed.
We hear argument about bow much the elderly should have to pay for health care, but the idea that they should not have to pay anything, indeed, that no one should have to pay for health care, is not up for debate.
Thus we grow up in a society where our choice of ideas is limited and where certain ideas dominate: We hear them from our parents, in the schools, in the churches, in the newspapers, and on radio and television. They have been in the air ever since we learned to walk and talk. They constitute an American ideology-that is, a dominant pattern of ideas. Most people accept them, and if we do, too, we are less likely to get into trouble.
The dominance of these ideas is not the product of a conspiratorial group that has devilishly plotted to implant on society a particular point of view. Nor is it an accident, an innocent result of people thinking freely. There is a process of natural (or, rather unnatural ) selection, in which certain orthodox ideas are encouraged, financed, and pushed forward by the most powerful mechanisms of our culture. These ideas are preferred because they are safe; they don't threaten established wealth or power.
For instance:
"Be realistic; this is the way things are; there's no point thinking about how things should be. "
"People who teach or write or report the news should be objective; they should not try to advance their own opinions."
"There are unjust wars, but also just wars."
"If you disobey the law, even for a good cause, you should accept your punishment."
"If you work hard enough, you'll make a good living. If you are poor, you have only yourself to blame."
"Freedom of speech is desirable, but not when it threatens national security."
"Racial equality is desirable, but we've gone far enough in that direction." "Our Constitution is our greatest guarantee of liberty and justice."
"The United States must intervene from time to time in various parts of
the world with military power to stop communism and promote democracy."
"If you want to get things changed, the only way is to go through the proper channels."
"We need nuclear weapons to prevent war."
"There is much injustice in the world but there is nothing that ordinary people, without wealth or power, can do about it."
These ideas are not accepted by all Americans. But they are believed widely enough and strongly enough to dominate our thinking. And as long as they do, those who hold wealth and power in our society will remain secure in their control.
03/02/2005 02:35:37 AM · #16
Originally posted by frychikn:

Here is a question for you which I doubt you will answer (replying with another question does not count as an answer). My question is simply this:

Do you consider the Kerry supporters who voted against gay marriage as "ignorant" also?


What I blame is the setup by the religious organizations in America, the Republican Party and the major mass media to MAKE it an issue. Once it was in the polls and after all the press, anyone who was even just a little bit prejudice could just press "yes" and nobody else would know.

Itís just another diversion from real world issues like our polluted and declining environment, the ever increasing worldly gap of rich and poor; the famine. The tight squeeze the geopolitical global oil industry has on the world economy, especially the US and the fact that production and discovery is mostly level, as cost is increasing to find deeper and more remote reserves. All while demand is increasing rapidly with the industrial and technological revolutions going on in China, Japan, and others. Our government thatís out of control, creating unnecessary war, huge unnecessary tax cuts and spending that has bankrupt our country, decreased the value of the dollar to the point that it may soon be replaced by the Euro as the world currency and to buy oil with. This would devastate the USís large gap in economic power and possibly lead to a depression. Gas prices would inevitably go up. And so onÖ

But there is a reason for all this...

"Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state."

"The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control - "indoctrination," we might say - exercised through the mass media."
-Noam Chomsky, Professor, MIT
03/02/2005 02:41:46 AM · #17
Spending lots of my Tax Dollars on this thing. I could be spending it on camera stuff.
03/02/2005 08:19:29 AM · #18
Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Originally posted by frychikn:

Here is a question for you which I doubt you will answer (replying with another question does not count as an answer). My question is simply this:

Do you consider the Kerry supporters who voted against gay marriage as "ignorant" also?


What I blame is the setup by the religious organizations in America, the Republican Party and the major mass media to MAKE it an issue. Once it was in the polls and after all the press, anyone who was even just a little bit prejudice could just press "yes" and nobody else would know.

Itís just another diversion from real world issues like our polluted and declining environment, the ever increasing worldly gap of rich and poor; the famine. The tight squeeze the geopolitical global oil industry has on the world economy, especially the US and the fact that production and discovery is mostly level, as cost is increasing to find deeper and more remote reserves. All while demand is increasing rapidly with the industrial and technological revolutions going on in China, Japan, and others. Our government thatís out of control, creating unnecessary war, huge unnecessary tax cuts and spending that has bankrupt our country, decreased the value of the dollar to the point that it may soon be replaced by the Euro as the world currency and to buy oil with. This would devastate the USís large gap in economic power and possibly lead to a depression. Gas prices would inevitably go up. And so onÖ

But there is a reason for all this...

"Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state."

"The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control - "indoctrination," we might say - exercised through the mass media."
-Noam Chomsky, Professor, MIT


You never did answer my question. Gee, what a surprise!
03/02/2005 08:50:17 AM · #19
Originally posted by bdobe:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


For our edification, please point which provision of the 14th amendment ( listed above for reference ) would be abridged, curtailed, or diminished by banning gay marriage, but permitting civil-unions.
03/02/2005 09:15:07 AM · #20
Originally posted by MadMordegon:


"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
-Thomas Jefferson

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."
-Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
-Thomas Jefferson

"I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way."
-Thomas Jefferson

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
-Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."
-Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
-Thomas Jefferson

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and "no culture comparable to that of the garden."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence."
-Thomas Jefferson

And, again I will post:

"why of course the people donít want warÖ But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."

-Hermann Coering, Hitlerís designed successor


The left's continues to forget about 9/11. We are in danger.

Congress voted for this war overwhelmingly. Twice. It was not just Bush and Co. Or are you saying he is so powerful he can even persuade the brilliant left? They all had access to the same intel. It is not his fault if they did not read it and make a different conclusion.

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
-Thomas Jefferson

I find this funny. This is exactly what the left does now. Cradle to grave.

"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor."
-Thomas Jefferson

I did my tax return and I am by know means rich. The poor do just fine in this country. They got a big chunk of my money. They are the richest and laziest poor people in the world. They have a higher standard of living then the average European. I guess the rich in this country are not very good predators. But I sure like all leftists, you feel you know how best to spend my money.
03/02/2005 10:08:16 AM · #21
Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Originally posted by frychikn:

Here is a question for you which I doubt you will answer (replying with another question does not count as an answer). My question is simply this:

Do you consider the Kerry supporters who voted against gay marriage as "ignorant" also?


What I blame is the setup by the religious organizations in America, the Republican Party and the major mass media to MAKE it an issue. Once it was in the polls and after all the press, anyone who was even just a little bit prejudice could just press "yes" and nobody else would know.

So, let me get this straight. You decry the right to free speech for religious and/or Republican people, and the major mass media; you would favor somehow denying people the right to be prejudicial in their thinking ( thought police? ); and you fear the protections afforded by our Constitution to cast our votes by secret ballot. That's all very liberal of you, and not suprising in the least.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Itís just another diversion from real world issues like our polluted and declining environment

Yep, that's the real world issue, all right. The threat of a suitcase bomb coming into Manhattan should definitely not take our primary focus off of the environment.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

...the ever increasing worldly gap of rich and poor; the famine.

Right again. We should take every step possible to stifle the incentive for folks to study harder, work harder, invent, create, and invest so that they can have a "better" life than those who can not or will not study harder, work harder, invent, create, and invest. Like that would lead to a better economy. NOT!

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

The tight squeeze the geopolitical global oil industry has on the world economy, especially the US and the fact that production and discovery is mostly level, as cost is increasing to find deeper and more remote reserves. All while demand is increasing rapidly with the industrial and technological revolutions going on in China, Japan, and others.

There's a 30-year supply of oil right within the boundaries of the U.S. It's called ANWR. The oil reserves have already been "found", it's just that liberals continue to fight against drilling for it.[/quote]

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Our government thatís out of control...

That it is - out of control spending tax money on thousands of giveaway programs that are nowhere supported by the Constitution.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

...creating unnecessary war...

Unnecessary according to some - VERY necessary according to others.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

...huge unnecessary tax cuts...

Did they negatively impact those who didn't pay income tax in the first place? NO. Did they result in LOWER revenues to the treasury? NO. Did they have a beneficial impact on the economy? YES. Did they have a beneficial impact on employment? YES. You don't know what you are talking about. Listen to Greenspan - the tax cuts were a GOOD thing.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

...and spending that has bankrupt our country...

You're close to being right there, as I pointed out above. Though I doubt it will bankrupt us.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

...decreased the value of the dollar to the point that it may soon be replaced by the Euro as the world currency and to buy oil with.

You'd like that, I'm sure.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

This would devastate the USís large gap in economic power and possibly lead to a depression.

Possibly. But hey, we've survived depressions before. Worse depressions.
Depressions build character and a instill a sense of what's important. Something that's lacking in todays spoiled young people.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

Gas prices would inevitably go up. And so onÖ

Look around. They already have, and are continuing to.

Originally posted by MadMordegon:

But there is a reason for all this...

"Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state."

"The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control - "indoctrination," we might say - exercised through the mass media."
-Noam Chomsky, Professor, MIT


More like ""indoctrination," we might say - exercised through the liberal-dominated educational institutions" - the primary reason why U.S. students are rapidly declining to the point of being among the most ill-educated people among the industrialized nations.

SnapperL posted and interesting piece that pointed out the lack of alternatives being offered on many major issues. May I point out one?

For all of those who hate our style of government and economics, here's an alternative: You are free to leave the country at any time.
03/02/2005 10:19:39 AM · #22
For all of those who hate our style of government and economics, here's an alternative: You are free to leave the country at any time

I dont live in your country but I am more afraid of the future because of your country and your president than from any other acts of terrorism. The USA and it's foreign policies have an impact across the entire world.
03/02/2005 10:25:36 AM · #23
Originally posted by SnapperL:

All this arguing about how one feels on this issue or that issue, reminds me of another Zinn Book, or at least the first chapter from it. I have copied it below for anyone that wants to read it. Many of the questions that our society argues over are brought down to 2 maybe 3 view points.

"Do you agree with Gay marriages or disagree?"
"Do you support sending in 100K troops or 250K troops?"

The other options are never asked. This happens quite a lot in the press. But anyways, here is the first chapter of:

Zinn - "Declarations of Independence"
...
We have the kinds of choices that are given in multiple-choice tests, where you can choose a, b, c, or d. But e, f, g, and h are not even listed.
...
On the question of prisons there is debate on how many prisons we should have. But the idea of abolishing prisons is too outrageous even to be discussed.

OK. Let's discuss it. If we were to abolish prisons, what would we do with those who perpetrate violent crime against their fellow citizens? Slap them on the wrist and let them go home? Perhaps, put an ankle bracelet on them and track them? ( but if they continually went where they weren't supposed to, what would we do? We couldn't imprison them. )

Originally posted by SnapperL:

We hear argument about bow much the elderly should have to pay for health care, but the idea that they should not have to pay anything, indeed, that no one should have to pay for health care, is not up for debate.

No one should have to pay for health care? Indeed? Then how would the Medical practitioners, Hospital Employees, Medical Equipment manufacturers, etc. get paid? You see, eventually SOMEONE has to pay - and I'll bet it should be those nasty "lucky" RICH people.

Message edited by author 2005-03-02 10:38:28.
03/02/2005 10:46:33 AM · #24
Originally posted by Tallbloke:

For all of those who hate our style of government and economics, here's an alternative: You are free to leave the country at any time

I dont live in your country but I am more afraid of the future because of your country and your president than from any other acts of terrorism. The USA and it's foreign policies have an impact across the entire world.

I don't mean to minimize your fears, but could you perhaps articulate what they are? Obviously you're not afraid of being attacked / invaded by the U.S. ( at least I would HOPE so ) and you say that your fears are not as great as that from acts of terrorism. So what is it that you fear from US foreign policy?
03/02/2005 11:36:00 AM · #25
Just the general fear of the US under Bush wading in to another country i.e. Iran and the repercussion, backlash and escalation of death and destruction that that will eniviatbly provoke.

Who said violence never solved anything?

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