Huge Crowd at C-Ville Peace Demonstration

NickL writes: I was at the peace demonstration on the Downtown Mall Saturday and the turn out was huge! I’m used to seeing the protestors on the corner of Main and Ridge St. Thursday nights, but this time the crowd streched from the corner all the way down to the intersection with Preston. Did anyone else from here go to it? Charlottesville police estimate ~500 people, but I’d say it was more than that. The Daily Progress has the story.

135 Responses to “Huge Crowd at C-Ville Peace Demonstration”


  • It’s great to see that C-ville had a good turnout. I made the trip down from New York to go to the Washington rally (and met a few C-villians up there). It was a cold day in DC, but it felt really good to be there. I saw in the Washington Post that the police estimated the crowd to be about 200,000. The organizers estimated 500,000. I’m sure, as in C-ville, the truth is somewhere in between those figures.

  • For clarity–somewhere between the police estimate and the organizer estimate. Police usually estimate low. Organizers high.

  • There were more people at the rally on Saturday than I’ve ever seen at any rally or protest in Charlottesville ever before. There were more than 500, and probably less than 1,000. (Though I’m pretty bad at estimating, I must admit. :) It was mighty cold, so getting the turn out that we got was really something.

  • The police don’t always estimate low. They’ve been giving seriously inflated crowd estimates for Fridays after 5 for years. There’s no way 8,000 people could fit in that event area. It’s simply not physically possible.

  • They didn’t have enough people show up, we’re still going to war. Funny how that works huh?

  • Yeah, but who’s gonna throw a "pro-peace but still willing to go to war if we have to" rally?

    At this peace rally, was the attitude "no war at any cost?" If it was then they certainly weren’t speaking for me.

    Do 1,000 people showing up at a peace rally mean that the nation is against going to war with Iraq if it proves necessary? Does it mean that Charlottesville is against it? Or is it the case of a vocal (and more motivated to gather) minority?

    Most people I’ve talked to seem to share my own viewpoint. I’d really prefer that we be able to work the situation out without any war with Iraq. But Saddam has been thumbing his nose at the U.N. for a long, long time now, and if he won’t get with the program, I’d say it’s long past the time for someone to do something about it.

    Ironically, Colin Powell is one of the biggest reasons that GWB’s daddy didn’t finish Saddam the first time around. He’s talking a bit tougher now, though. Maybe he finally realized that the world is better off without certain people in it, and if we’d done the job right the first time around, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

  • While I agree that there are times for war (when we are attacked as we were at Pearl Harbor), I do not agree that we have any justification for attacking Iraq at this time.

    Saddam Hussein is certainly a dictator who makes life for his citizens miserable, but I have yet to hear any proof that he has plans to attack the United States. Likewise, the dictator of North Korea does his citizens harm and has the makings of a nuclear arsenal, but no one would argue for attacking North Korea.

    On the other hand, we can be fairly certain that an assault on Iraq, a Muslim nation, will win us no friends in the middle east or other muslim countries. We can also expect to lose allies in the "war on terrorism." Finally, we would lose any moral authority we have in the world.

    We have more to lose than gain if we attack Iraq.

  • "…had collected more than 1,000 signatures on a petition supporting a resolution that would make Charlottesville a "city for peace."

    They are continuing to collect signatures between now and Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, where they plan to present the petition to councilors and ask them to pass the resolution. "

    If/when such a resolution passes, would it actually mean anything? What does living in a city for peace entail?

    I’m for peaceful resolution, but this sounds like a waste of time.

  • Saddam Hussein is certainly a dictator who makes life for his citizens miserable, but I have yet to hear any proof that he has plans to attack the United States.

    Saddam Hussein also has a reputation for attacking his neighbors. Remember Kuwait? Remember the SCUD attacks on Israel? Remember that he funds Palestenian suicide bombers? Remember that he’s been shown to have supported many terrorist organizations that directly target the US? Like Al Qaeda?

    Sure, he can’t mount an invasion on us, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t if he could. The world, including the Middle East, will be better of without him.

    That’s my humble opinion, of course.

  • Well, I suppose I’d rather live in a City For Peace and a City For War. But yeah, I agree with you that it’s little more than a publicity stunt.

  • Who wants war? The pep band does!!! I wouldn’t be surpise if WV decides to attack east because of them. Yet I do believe we can send them a message that we in CVille are a city of peace thanks to the people who signed a piece of paper.

  • Saddam Hussein is certainly a dictator who makes life for his citizens miserable, but I have yet to hear any proof that he has plans to attack the United States. Likewise, the dictator of North Korea does his citizens harm and has the makings of a nuclear arsenal, but no one would argue for attacking North Korea.

    Proof? Hmmm well he threatens “death to america” every day in his press. He’s shooting at US aircraft on a daily basis. He’s done everything possible to promote gurilla attacks on US interests abroad. There is significant evidence that he had prior knowledge of the sep 11th attacks, if not the actual brains of the operation. Someone who’s main enemy is the united states, and who is attempting to create nuclear weapons is a VERY dangerous thing. If he obtains such weapons in secret, he has no deterrent effect like countries that actively test nuclear weapons like pakistan and india. A secret nuclear weapon has ONE purpose. A first strike, vaporizing MILLIONS of people. If you think he’s got another enemy in mind, and its ok to let millions of citizens of some other country die, then you’re an ASSHOLE.

    As for north korea, they already have the bomb. One is wise not to attack someone who has a nuclear weapon. If they act first, we must defang them as best we can in reaction.

    On the other hand, we can be fairly certain that an assault on Iraq, a Muslim nation, will win us no friends in the middle east or other muslim countries. We can also expect to lose allies in the “war on terrorism.” Finally, we would lose any moral authority we have in the world.

    We will win many friends. Name ONE sovergn nation that LIKES saddam hussein? The only supporters he has are radicals, who control the government of NO countries. Saddam’s citizens hate him, his bordering nations hate him, we hate him, EVERYONE hates him! We are only showing people who ALREADY hate us that we mean business, and that they should be very afraid.

    Since when did the US have any moral authority in the first place? We’re the only superpower, and we’re seen as bossy and self-serving already.

    We’re not TAKING iraq, we’re liberating it. Saddam is an expansionist, we are not. Anybody who can make the only country in the history of the world to ever use nerve agents in battle into the victim is just nuts. If you think he’s not trying to kill americans, just go to iraq and show the local secret policeman your passport.

    This doesn’t mean I support war. Personally I think the iraqi government is so unstable it could be overthrown by other means. When everyone in your own country wants to kill you, you’re not exactly a robust government. He can be disarmed without regime change, shortly before the gulf war Israel bombed his nuclear reactor and set his nuclear weapons program back decades. That was just one guy in a jet. Hardly a war.

  • I don’t think that the only purpose of a secretive nuclear program is for a premptive first strike. In fact, I think that it could be a highly defensive maneuver. An apparent nuclear program would give your opponents ample reason to attack you (see the current U.N. hunt for raison d’war, french be damned). A successfully-hidden nuclear program would make an attack against you much less feasible politically. However, even a successfully-hidden nuclear program could be revealed or hinted at in certain ways to the opposing governments and peoples in order to gain bargaining power.

    In other words, if Saddam has a viable, yet hidden nuclear program which we know of but cannot prove, we might not be able to attack him and we might have to cede some negotiating power in order to avoid an unbalanced nuclear situation.

    One difference, then, between Iraq and North Korea is that North Korea hasn’t been told that we will attack them almost immediately for possessing the weapons. So, they are upfront and use the whole scheme to gain leverage. Saddam will be squashed if gets near a public announcement of his powers. So, he submerges the program, speaking with foreign governments instead in the code of espionage, leak, and discovery.

  • Just curious – can you cite anything to support "There is significant evidence that he had prior knowledge of the sep 11th attacks, if not the actual brains of the operation?"

  • “Proof? Hmmm well he threatens “death to america” every day in his press. He’s shooting at US aircraft on a daily basis. He’s done everything possible to promote gurilla attacks on US interests abroad. There is significant evidence that he had prior knowledge of the sep 11th attacks, if not the actual brains of the operation. Someone who’s main enemy is the united states, and who is attempting to create nuclear weapons is a VERY dangerous thing. If he obtains such weapons in secret, he has no deterrent effect like countries that actively test nuclear weapons like pakistan and india. A secret nuclear weapon has ONE purpose. A first strike, vaporizing MILLIONS of people. If you think he’s got another enemy in mind, and its ok to let millions of citizens of some other country die, then you’re an ASSHOLE.

    As for north korea, they already have the bomb. One is wise not to attack someone who has a nuclear weapon. If they act first, we must defang them as best we can in reaction. “

    Wow, you have elightened me. It is OK to attack a nation who might have “weapons of mass destruction,” but it is not OK to attack a nation who admits to having similar weapons. It is OK to attack a nation who is complying with UN demands, though not without complaint (though I would grant Saddam that right), but it is not OK to attack a nation who is blatantly covering up their nuclear activities and who recently threw out UN inspectors. You make it all sound so reasonable.

    You are exactly right. We should only attack a country if they have exactly what we need to keep our SUVs filled and to keep oil executives’ pockets filled.

    “We will win many friends. Name ONE sovergn nation that LIKES saddam hussein? The only supporters he has are radicals, who control the government of NO countries.”

    Once again you are perfectly right. We should be after Saddam instead of worrying about these radicals who spend their time blowing up embassies and knocking down skyscrapers.

    “We’re not TAKING iraq, we’re liberating it. Saddam is an expansionist, we are not. Anybody who can make the only country in the history of the world to ever use nerve agents in battle into the victim is just nuts. If you think he’s not trying to kill americans, just go to iraq and show the local secret policeman your passport.”

    OK, enough with the satire. Your statement about nerve agents is incoherent, so I can’t really respond to it. However, your other statements are really priceless. Maybe you should be one of Mr. Bush’s speechwriters. First of all, I have always wondered why the administration insists in using the phrase “regime change,” as it not only implies the forceful removal of a dictator, which further implies his illegal assassination (as he’ll never go willingly), but it also suggest we simply replace Saddam with another Saddam clone. Of course we wouldn’t have to worry about weapons of mass destruction… for about 5 more years. Of course that’s after Bush runs for re-election, so what does he care?

    The biggest issue I have with your statement, Lars, is your contention that the United States is in some way not imperialist (or expansionist, as you put it). The US has always been imperialist, from manifest destiny and the systematic decimation of autonomous Native American nations to the overseas imperialism after the Spanish-American war to today’s political, moral and military domination of the entire world. I am not saying that Saddam is not imperialist, but to say that the US isn’t guilty of such behavior today and in the past is simply a lie.

    There is not much the United States hasn’t been guilty of at one time or another. Could it be our trying to impose “Christian” values on the rest of the world is driven by our own guilty conscience?

  • Iraq can’t attack us without drawing horrible military might upon itself. He requires "plausible deniability". I.E. Hired goons. Al Queda just trains terrorists, they’ve been a lot better at organizing terrorist acts in 3rd world countries, and very bad at organizing such groups in the free world.

    Many news reports have shown that high ranking iraqi intelligence officers met with al queda operatives. Iraq supports terrorist groups within its own borders. "someone" keeps shooting US troops and citizens in kuwait. Iraq also attempted to purchase insurance on their embassy, only a few blocks from the white house a WEEK before sep 11th.

    The white house officially denies having any information that links al queda and iraq. Probably because they want to protect their sources within iraq.

    So they at least knew ahead of time, and possibly actually planned the attack.

    George bush said we’re going to war with the "state sponsors of terrorism" and now we’re going to war with iraq. I don’t think its a coincidence, they just dont want to reveal all the evidence they have to the world.

  • "You are exactly right. We should only attack a country if they have exactly what we need to keep our SUVs filled and to keep oil executives’ pockets filled."

    Oil companies dont want iraq overthrown, they want sanctions lifted. We don’t want to steal the oil, the US has stated that all oil proceeds will go to the new government of Iraq, and will be spent to rebuild their infrastructure. We will be allowed to buy oil from them, but so will the rest of the world. There is plenty of oil, if the oil prices go up, opec will simply raise production levels. This is NOT about oil. Thats absurd. A war in iraq will cost 50+ billion dollars. We will take a HUGE loss, and get no payment in return. We’ll run up the deficit, which will actually send oil executives to the poor house, as the economy slows down.

    Oil futures are down, meaning we expect oil to be cheaper soon, thats a boon to the consumer, and a bad thing for the oil companies. Because prices are down, and opec will lower production. So they’re selling less and less oil for less and less money.

  • And you trust everything you hear on TV?

    If Iraqi soldiers were organizing in large numbers in Canada and Mexico, wouldn’t you be tempted to take a few of them out?

  • Infrastructure?

    Tell me, how are we doing on our promises to help Afghanistan build new roads and schools?

  • I say US should go ahead and take out Saddam as soon as possible.

  • Sorry – I don’t buy into the administration’s mostly-incoherent propaganda on this issue.

    Even when the administration makes statements that contrast with your own beliefs (that they have no informaiton linking Iraq and al Queda), you try to read between the lines to determine what they really intended.

    I’m really hoping the United States of America isn’t basing it’s military and political objectives on "many news reports." There are many more "news reports" that indicate the administration knew 911 was coming and did nothing to prevent it. There are very compelling "news reports" that indicate the Air Force shot down Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. Do those "news reports" have less veracity than the ones you refer to?

  • Oil climbs to another two-year high

    NEW YORK — World oil prices flew to new two-year highs yesterday on fears of war in Iraq even though cracks started to appear in a Venezuelan strike that has cut deep into exports to the United States.

    Concern that war in the Middle East could disrupt the region’s oil flows outweighed news from Venezuela that tanker pilots in Lake Maracaibo, a strategic export route, had ended their part in a nationwide strike.

    Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, already is tapping into the world’s only significant spare capacity.

    http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/PEstory/TGAM/20030122/IBOILL/Business/business/businessInternationalHeadline_temp/2/2/5/

  • Here is another article on oil in Iraq, it gives a pretty evenhanded account of the situation:

    Is Iraq that big and important? Consider: Iraq has 15 percent of the world’s known oil reserves: some 115 billion barrels of proven reserves and up to 300 billion barrels of possible reserves. That’s a lot of oil. Only Saudi reserves are greater. But other factors make Iraqi oil even more desirable than Saudi black gold. Ninety percent of the possible oil fields in Iraq are as yet unexplored, a golden opportunity for foreign investment and development — and profit. Only 2,000 wells have been drilled in Iraq compared to one million in Texas. By way of comparison, eight out of 10 wells drilled in Iraq have struck oil; in Saudi Arabia the rate is less than half. Moreover, Iraq is the world’s lowest-cost producer; it costs less than $1 a barrel to produce.

    As the world is now consuming more oil than it is replacing through discoveries, Middle Eastern oil, and especially Iraqi oil, is growing more and more important. There is nothing necessarily wicked here, only old-fashion economics. But Iraqi oil is curiously absent from the heated discussion over going to war with Baghdad.

  • There is not much the United States hasn’t been guilty of at one time or another. Could it be our trying to impose “Christian” values on the rest of the world is driven by our own guilty conscience?

    Are you implying that we’re as guilty as someone like, say, Saddam Hussein? Are you aware of some of the atrocities that he’s committed?

    You may have a guilty conscience, but I do not. Saddam Hussein is a madman who will gladly cause any instability that he can in the world. He funds terror directly, and no doubt fully intends to continue doing so. The main difference between him and North Korea is that Saddam is idiot enough to actually use them to murder half a nation.

    If that happened, I betcha anything you’d be one of the first up there crying “Why didn’t we do something to stop it?!” Well, that’s what we’re doing.

    I have no doubt that you don’t like Bush, and that’s ok. But give him credit that at least (for now) he’s going through the UN. The threatened unilateral action is unlikely. What is more likely is that if there is any kind of war on Iraq, we’ll have the approval of the UN.

    Saddam has historically shown that the only pressure he will bow to is force. We and the UK are leading the world to provide it.

  • No no no, the administration DENIES such reports. The information leaked out by foreign governments to news organizations, then in reaction the white house denied such reports. As for trying to purchase insurance for their embassy, thats not a news report, I have first hand knowledge of that. And it has not been denied.

  • Oil prices are up, but oil FUTURES are down.

  • By first hand knowledge, you mean that you yourself were contacted by Iraqis directly or that you represent the Iraqis and attempted to buy insurance for the embassy?

    Should you really be admitting such complicity on the cvillenews.com?

  • Yes, oil is good, we want oil. But there is a difference between buying oil from a madman who spends the proceeds on murder, and buying it from a developing democratic nation in a post war situation. Its not about oil, its not about money. We’re spending billions of dollars, then once sanctions are lifted we will spend billions more on oil, and who will profit? The nation of Iraq will. Good for them. If Iraq had spend their oil proceeds on legal things, and not weapons of mass destruction, sanctions would not be in place, and they would have a SURPLUS of 4 trillion dollars right now. If anyone stands to benefit from lifting of sanctions, its Iraq.

  • What promises?

    Besides, we’re not offering to HELP them, we’re saying they can sell their oil and fix their infrastructure themselves. No help involved, we’re just stating that we’re not going to steal their oil proceeds.

  • No, I recieved such information first hand from those who denied their request for insurance.

    Also, the FBI told said insurance agency to GO AHEAD and sell them the insurance, it was not covered in the embargo.

  • It seems to me, as uneducated as I am about the energy market, that oil futures are at their highest price of the past 12 months:

    http://www.wtrg.com/daily/crudeoilprice.html

    In fact, it seems that oil futures are the highest they’ve been in two years:

    http://news.tradingcharts.com/futures/2/8/33661782.html

    There appears to have been a dip in late 2001, but, aside from that, the low 30s seems to be the price for quite some time now:

    http://futures.tradingcharts.com/hist_CO.html

  • Otherwise, I received it first-hand, in that I received it first-hand from a guy who received it first hand (you) from a guy who was actually involved.

  • You wrote, “As for north korea, they already have the bomb.”

    Are we sure about that? (real question, not a veiled provocation.)

    The latest I’ve read–for example, here, which is a page from the website of the Federation of American Scientists–suggests that “intelligence sources believe that North Korea could have extracted plutonium from their reactors for use in nuclear weapons-perhaps enough for one or two nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether it has actually produced or possesses nuclear weapons due to difficulties in developing detonation devices.”

    It’s been my understanding that they probably don’t have weapons. But they’re a lot closer than Iraq is.

  • Evidence is a funny thing, isn’t it? We don’t question it when it matches up perfectly with what we already believe or want to believe. But most of the time what it boils down to is that someone authoritative assured us that he/she has seen documents that really truly prove X, so don’t worry any more about it–it’s been proven.

  • Before you go trashing him, I have personal knowledge of this too. We both happen to know the same underwriter. Ease up a bit, folks. Not everyone who posts here makes stuff up.

  • And I don’t doubt that you both know an underwriter — in fact, I don’t have any particular reason to doubt any of the story.

    As I said, it was just a semantic/pedantic quibble about the use of the term "first-hand" when it appears, at least to this reader, that both of you actually have second-hand knowledge of the events.

  • And I didn’t claim that he made stuff up. No one did.

    Maybe you should ease up too.

  • "But most of the time what it boils down to is that someone authoritative assured us that he/she has seen documents that really truly prove X, so don’t worry any more about it–it’s been proven. "

    That was what I was responding to. It appeared to question the validity of his claim, and I just couldn’t let it slide by since I knew what he was talking about. I didn’t mean to sound catty. This format doesn’t allow tone of voice to come across ver well, and as a result *everyone* sounds pompous and defensive in situations like these. But back to the peace rally… :)

  • I can see why you read my post the way you did. I didn’t mean Lars was the someone authoritative who assures us that the proof is there–I meant that someone like Bush or Cheney says "don’t worry, we’ve seen the proof." But I didn’t make that clear in my posting. Sorry–I wasn’t implying that our frequent, reliable cvillenews boarders make stuff up! :)

  • “A nation that spends more money on military defense than social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” – Martin Luther King

  • Ahem to bombs away!!!

  • IF we let Iraq sell oil to fix their infrastructure, who’s to say that Saddam or the next Iraqi leader won’t siphon off funds to build palaces, statues and weapons, just as Saddam did with the fuel-for-food program?

  • Oil is bad and we want to be rid of it.

    1) The cars we drive contribute to air pollution

    2) It is not a renewable resourse

    3) Oil forces us to bow to the whims of foreign nations

    4) Other reasons I can’t think of off the top of my head.

    And don’t fool yourself into thinking that Iraq will be democratic once Saddam is gone, even if we’re involved.

    You’re right about Iraq standing to gain big if they sell their oil for legitimate purposes. Those pesky madmen keep getting in the way. And it won’t end with Saddam.

  • Actually, Saddam is one person I’m not comparing the US too.

    I’m thinking more along the lines of Hitler. We’re guilty of genocide (native americans) and forcing US citizens into camps (Japanese internment).

    I would not be crying about us not doing something to stop it, because I believe that pre-emptive strikes are absolutely wrong. I would be calling for something to be done about an attack by Saddam immediately after the fact.

    We and the UK are leading the world? It seems to be that we and the UK are going against the world. Even our usual allies don’t have our backs now.

  • I’m thinking more along the lines of Hitler. We’re guilty of genocide (native americans) and forcing US citizens into camps (Japanese internment).

    Except that we didn’t gas the Native Americans, nor slaughter Japanese immigrants. If you read that link in the post you replied to, I think you’ll agree that Saddam would be much closer to Hitler than the US has ever been.

    Frankly, I find your comparison of the US to Hitler’s regime to be stupid hyperbole. Offensive stupid hyperbole.

    I would not be crying about us not doing something to stop it, because I believe that pre-emptive strikes are absolutely wrong. I would be calling for something to be done about an attack by Saddam immediately after the fact.

    Two responses to this.
    1) Pre-emptive? Would it make you feel better if we called it unfinished business? Pre-emption here is focused on forcing him to abide by the rules already set to prevent him from developing more weapons capable of killing many, many people.
    2) You wanna wait until after he’s slaughtered people with the weapons that he built because we failed to prevent him from following the directives we already gave him? Riiiight.

    We and the UK are leading the world? It seems to be that we and the UK are going against the world. Even our usual allies don’t have our backs now.

    Which ones? France and Germany? Yeah, they’ve got some issues with Bush’s rhetoric about possible unilateral action. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say they don’t have our backs, but I agree that they’re not happy with the situation. They’d be crazy to be happy about it. But, uhh, am I supposed to take their lack of conviction or determination to take concise action as a reason that we shouldn’t?

    So, if you and I see a woman getting beaten by a jerk with a bat, and you decide to stay out of it, does that justify me turning my back too?

  • We may not have gassed the Native Americans, but we did give them infected blankets. On purpose, of course. Smallpox anyone?

  • In 1935 Hitler proclaimed a better society for Germany after iniating a total firearm ban. Stalin had similar ideas only he was a Communist, such as most of you liberals try to be.

    Then you have the hardcore facist expansionist that will take away our rights not through the Communisty ideal of ‘for the good of the people,’ but through the false ideas of outside threats spawning inner fears.

    So is Lars a Communist or facist Nazi?

    What type of forum has moderators but also calls itself a place of free speech?

    Should we have dropped a 3rd bomb on japan in 1945? Or maybe placed a third bomb over Germany? Or should we have stopped with this first?

    I also read ‘The Hook.’

    Should we build a wall around virginina and not let anyone else? In order to stop expansion? Or is that another Berlin Wall? Maybe the Virginina Wall. That is all the intelligent thoughts i have. I think Kachur is right on his points despite being a liberal. If Lars and Kachur met, would Lars want to start a fight? Being that radical expansionist and all.

  • Iraq’s weapons (mass destruction and simpler weapons…like hand-held rocket launchers capable of bringing down a commercial airliner) have and will find their way to terrorists. And lest we forget, Charlottesville was the same city where protests against the first war against Iraq were commonplace at the Federal Bldg. Even then I found it odd that while the U.S. was defending a small and vulnerable friend in Kuwait that I could only liken to saving a woman from rape, there was a preponderance of women demonstrating against the war that saved the damsel in distress.

    How interesting, and disturbing, that we’re a city so afraid of war, of fighting, as though this kind of behavior (war) is somehow abusive to the rest of the world. Hussein is the abuser, and we the world’s police. The U.S. is not self-appointed through self-interest, mind you, but simply protecting "we the people" from aggressive bullies who would attack its neighbors and threaten even the peace-mongers who reside within our sovereign borders. Have you so quickly forgotten the thousands of innocent Americans who lost their lives at the World Trade Center?

    Why, oh why, do our citizens demonstrate to "take back the streets" from rapists (like our current serial rapist), lobby for more stringent laws to jail abusers of all kinds, and yet demand that we NOT punish, jail, or even destroy the enemy abroad that threatens the world. Dictators like Hussein, terrorists like Bin Laden, and all their supporters need to be hunted down and jailed. If death and destruction occurs in the wake of such events, then so be it. Police power is brutal and ominous. We should all fear it. War really is hell. But if the demonstrators think that their version of "peace" means anything to these despots, I suggest they try mediating with a rapist, or perhaps try binding arbitration with a murderer.

  • Lars is neither a communist, nor a fascist nazi, or so I believe. He is, however, a poor, misguided soul.

    Build a wall around Virginia to stop expansion? What, just in case we want to take back West Virginia? That’s not entirely a bad idea… at least then they’d stop bitching about our pep band.

    Whatever you’re smoking, junky, either give me some or get rid of it.

  • I wonder if there will ever be a day when someone with a four letter "L" name will ever agree with me…

    I’ll admit that my comparison of US actions to those of Hitler are a little strong. However, whatever the methods were, I will not say that we should feel good about the systematic destruction of countless Indian nations. Whether we gassed them, gave them smallpox or shot them with an old-fashioned musket, it’s just as wrong. And you’re right, we never killed mass numbers of Japanese, as Hitler killed Jews and other groups, but we did take many Japanese-Americans, i.e. United States citizens, out of their homes and imprison them for no other reason than their nationality. No matter what evidence the government may have had about a few Japanese or Japanese-Americans, it was wrong and it was rascist to imprison an entire group of people.

    In response to your responses, I’ll bring up the fact that while we and other countries already posess nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, we insist on other countries not developing their own weapons.

    Even when you discount motives (and I’ll argue that point with you too if you want) for weapons of mass destruction, can you blame other nations for calling us hypocrites?

    Yes, France and Germany are against us in the Iraqi war effort. Our new buddies the Russians are also against a war effort in Iraq. Most (if not all) Middle Eastern nations are against a war in Iraq. Yes, you are supposed to take the world’s hesitance into consideration. If we are to play the part of the world’s policeman, we should take the world’s feelings into account. If we want to decrease terrorist attacks, and not increase them as will most assuredly happen if we invade Iraq, then we need to take the world’s feelings into account.

    And to address your final question, which is ludicrous in itself, if we were to see a woman being beaten by anything, I would certainly hope you’d help me. I’m not that strong a guy, but I’d do something. Similarly, if Saddam does something other than cooperate with the UN (which he’s already doing) and refrain from terrorizing his neighbors or gassing his own people, then I think we should not act.

    Saddam is a really bad guy. I’d love for him to be arrested and put on trial for war crimes related to his gassing of the Kurds, among other abuses. However, an pre-emptive invasion of Iraq is, I believe, the wrong solution.

  • I’ll admit that my comparison of US actions to those of Hitler are a little strong. However, whatever the methods were, I will not say that we should feel good about the systematic destruction of countless Indian nations.

    I can’t *even* believe I’m getting involved in this. But can I just make one, narrow point? The Hitler comparison is not just “a little strong.” It’s more than a little offensive, and it doesn’t help your cause, because it makes your perspective look irredeemably skewed.

    And I don’t mean “offensive to the United States” — though I’m sure some people would argue that it is. I mean offensive to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, which was on a *whole* different level of wrongness from that other stuff.

    Let me put it this way: America’s treatment of the Japanese Indians was very bad. The Holocaust, on the other hand, was very, very, very, very bad. The situations were not all the same, and again, I don’t think it helps your argument to lump them all together.

    (I really don’t want to get involved in a long discussion here, though, so you can take my opinion or leave it as you wish.)

  • Then I’ll just make a narrow rebuttal:

    Can you say that because the Native Americans weren’t thrown into concentration camps and gassed that they’re any less dead?

    Though I’m not Jewish (though I do belong to a group that was persecuted by Hitler) and I do not mean to offend any Holocaust survivors or make light of their situation, I just think its reasonable to compare US treatment of the Native Americans in the same light as the Holocaust. In my book, genocide is genocide, no matter who’s perpetrating it and no matter what methods were used.

  • Well, sure, killin’s killin’.

    I guess I’m just going with my gut here. American settlers killed Indians because they wanted their land. The Germans killed the Jews just for the sake of doing it. I realize this is coming off as a little bit hair-splitting and creepy, but what the hell: The extra degree of senselessness, to me, is what makes the one more evil than the other.

    Also, while there undoubtedly was ethnic and/or religious hatred involved in what was done to the Indians, I don’t think you can say that it was done for that reason.

    Rather, it was done for, basically, the same reason behind most wars in history: greed for land. Not a good reason, but a common one. Genocide for genocide’s sake, I think, is in a whole different (and worse) category.

  • While I still don’t see the difference in severity in the end result, you do bring up a very good point.

    As for me, I’m tired of this discussion, so I’m going to summarize my views in a couple of sentences and call it a day.

    I believe that Saddam Hussein is evil. I believe it would be ideal that he no longer rule Iraq, but I believe that an invasion to do so would be wrong and would bring more problems than it would ever solve. I believe that the United States is now and has always been imperialist, has committed atrocities in the past and any criticisms to that effect by persons domestic or abroad is perfectly valid. This does not mean that I do not love the United States and that I am proud to be a citizen. In fact, it is for this reason that I say anything at all.

    Now, for the sake of myself and everybody else, I’m leaving this discussion.

  • I wonder if there will ever be a day when someone with a four letter “L” name will ever agree with me…

    I am not disagreeing with you simply because of who you are. We actually have very different viewpoints on this situation, and right now we’re exploring those differences.

    I’ll admit that my comparison of US actions to those of Hitler are a little strong.

    Hyperbole: noun extravagant exaggeration.
    And as Jizz elaborated very, very offensive.

    And I am Native American. The fight between the English settlers and the American Natives was one over land. At first, they lived in peace with each other, but eventually the white man was pushing the Indians out. This started a war, which the Indians lost by virtue of being grossly outnumbered and outgunned.

    Hitler saw a people, and said “They don’t deserve to live,” and murdered them by the thousands. I’d say there’s a difference.

    I’ll bring up the fact that while we and other countries already posess nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, we insist on other countries not developing their own weapons. … Even when you discount motives (and I’ll argue that point with you too if you want) for weapons of mass destruction, can you blame other nations for calling us hypocrites?

    And did we threaten war with Iraq before he started making war on our friends? No. We defeated Iraq. Then we let Saddam keep his country under certain conditions. You can call us hypocrites all you want, but right now Iraq could be a United States Territory, if it weren’t for our very own national conscience.

    Similarly, if Saddam does something other than cooperate with the UN (which he’s already doing) and refrain from terrorizing his neighbors or gassing his own people, then I think we should not act.

    Saddam is not cooperating with the UN. Saddam is allowing the weapons inspectors to run around his country while giving all the resistance he thinks he can get away with without being attacked. Saddam has attacked his neighbors in the past, what makes you think he won’t try again in the future? Saddam has gassed his own people in the past, what makes you think he won’t do it again in the future? Sounds like you’re basing your arguments on wishful thinking to me.

    And would you like to know where he’s keeping his weapons of mass destruction? One of the Colonels in his army says that they are here.

    Yeah, I firmly believe he’s breaking the rules. And I also firmly believe that the threat of force is the only thing that has a chance of making Saddam listen. I would prefer that we not have to go to war. But if it comes right down to it, we must do what we can to protect ourselves and our neighbors. It isn’t even really about justice, it’s about our (and our friends’ and neighbors’) survival and welfare.

  • Actually, I’m not authoritative at all. I’ve lied before, and I’ll lie again… I just happened to be telling the truth this time.

    :)

  • Amen brother… Yes, if you are against all war, you must also be against the war Saddam wages on his own people (and bordering nations).

    Our brave fighting men and women are out there to protect YOUR freedom to prance around infront of the federal building on your high horse. The peace protesters want their freedom protected, but with the lives of someone else’s children, not their own. How selfish.

    This is the war on terrorism, remember when bush declared war on 6-7 nations? Remember? This is only the beginning…. The white house is correct not to account for every last bit of intelligence they have. They’re acting to protect YOU, and the less they spill about their plans the better.

  • If we let texas oil millionaires sell their oil, who’s to say they wont spend the funds on palaces, statues, and weapons?

    Oh wait, they do….

  • You’re right, oil is bad, but it is also good. Thats why we BUY it.

    1. pollution.

    I know, I’m working on it… give me some time.

    2. renewable

    The SUN isn’t a renewable resource either. Tough titties. We all grow old and die. Leave it to americans to ignore the inherant impermanance of life.

    3. Oil forces us to rely on assholes in the desert.

    Yes, this is a problem. If we all drove cars that were only SLIGHTLY more efficient, we could buy all of our oil from non-dictatorships. But companies that sell us gas (leave it to americans to call a liquid a gas) simply don’t care. Just like the clothes you’re wearing right now were made in sweat shops by 6 year old starving children… isn’t capitalism grand?

    4. other reasons

    How about that oil is not efficient? A significant portion of the gasoline our cars "burn" is actually unburnt and travels through the exhaust system. How about the fact that a huge amount of the energy from the reaction is converted to useless heat? Cracking of crude oil into hydrogen to be used in a 60 percent efficient fuel cell is a great idea… Don’t ask me why we don’t do it. Something about too many gas stations to rebuild or something.

    Sure, you think oil is bad, great… but you still buy it in mass quantities, and even if you dont, you’re benefiting from it every time you buy food that was trucked in from who knows where. If the oil shut off tomorrow you’d DIE.

    Just as the stone age ended not for lack of stones, the oil age will end not for lack of oil.

  • Our brave fighting men and women are out there to protect YOUR freedom to prance around infront of the federal building on your high horse. The peace protesters want their freedom protected, but with the lives of someone else’s children, not their own. How selfish.

    Funny, see in my world, standing in front of the Federal Building is fighting for and protecting freedom.

    We would prefer that our country not drop bombs on other people’s children. How is that selfish?

    If you want to learn more about the peace movement and why those people are standing out there, here are some good links:

    http://www.notinourname.net/

    http://monticello.avenue.org/ccpj/

  • It’s a fine point, but you’ve raised a constitutional issue. Bush did not and in fact cannot declare war on anybody. Only the Congress has the power and authority to declare war, something it hasn’t done since December 8, 1941.

    The War Powers Act of 1973 specifically states “The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

    In this case, option 2 would seem to apply, certainly not option 1, and clearly not option 3. Hostilities have been authorized, but war has not been declared.

    The War Powers Act was passed over Nixon’s veto as a tool to give Congress greater oversight regarding military action. This gives Congress the ability to recall its authorization far easier than previously possible, and in effect makes the president more accountable to the American people. As public support for pending “hostilities” continues to erode, expect to see rumblings in Congress about revisiting the issue.

  • "Even then I found it odd that while the U.S. was defending a small and vulnerable friend in Kuwait that I could only liken to saving a woman from rape, there was a preponderance of women demonstrating against the war that saved the damsel in distress."

    Your gendered language here is pretty striking. Pretty damn useful to pull out the rhetoric of helpless women and big powerful brave men, I guess. Stirs up all the other red-blooded men’s men.

    But why would it be odd to see "a preponderance of women" protesting a war that would inevitably kill civilian women, children, and men? Just because I, as a woman, do not want to be raped does not logically and ineluctably lead to the conclusion that I must support this metaphorical rape (your metaphor, not universally shared) of a nation? Your logic is that because women don’t want to be raped therefore they must be in favor of dropping bombs on Iragi civilians in order to stop what is not in fact a rape but something else entirely?

    It’s kind of revolting that you’re harnessing the power of rape imagery to bolster your pro-war argument.

  • ‘We would prefer that our country not drop bombs on other people’s children. How is that selfish? ‘

    Hummm, too bad Bin Laden wasn’t thinking the same way. I am sure that his country or group or whatever would not prefer to bomb our people’s children.

  • “Ineluctably” is a cool way of saying inevitable.

    Back on topic… Perhaps his use of “rape imagery” doesn’t seem justified to you, but his point remains somewhat valid. Kuwait was a “friend” of ours that was unable to protect itself, and so we protected it.

    Many of the people who are protesting war right now are just as guilty of listening blindly to someone else’s rhetoric as many people who are clamoring for war. Somewhere in between lies the reality.

    How many protestors even know about Saddam’s history? How many people know exactly what he’s done to his neighbors and his own people? How many of them have researched the subject at all?

    I believe the poster to whom you were replying was trying to point out the irony in peaceful people protesting a war against someone who has been the author of such atrocities. It’s almost like crying for lenience for a rapist. :)

  • OneStone said:

    “And lest we forget, Charlottesville was the same city where protests against the first war against Iraq were commonplace at the Federal Bldg. Even then I found it odd that while the U.S. was defending a small and vulnerable friend in Kuwait that I could only liken to saving a woman from rape, there was a preponderance of women demonstrating against the war that saved the damsel in distress.”

    I think that it is fair to read that, as Cecil apparently did and I know I did, to have a strong gender component. Your reading, though perhaps more palatable, lacks that.

    As I understood it, the surprising thing to OneStone was not that people were protesting against a war to save Kuwait, but that there were so many women amongst the protestors, given that Kuwait, ostensibly woman-like, was the victim of a crime that overwhelmingly happens to women.

  • Yeah, Rape. Gotta be politically correct in C-ville these days. Gimme a break….

  • I don’t really understand you comment if you are responding to me…

  • Beeyotch!!

  • I was responding to Hoo2LA

  • The "rape" metaphor is NOT a metaphor at all where Kuwait is (was) concerned. Have you forgotten all the rapes and sexual atrocities that occurred to the Kuwaiti women at the hands of the Iraqi soldiers. The airwaves were full of the stories.

    I am constantly appalled at the "peace movement" folks in this town who will decry the smallest of aggressive behaviors in this country as "abusive" and how we need to have "laws" and protections and arrest the perpetrators (yes, even down to "bullying" at school, spanking children, and sexual inuendo in the workplace) and then bury their heads in the sand when it comes to heinous atrocities on the global front.

    My point is, that the folks here in Cville who demonstrated against the Persian Gulf War somehow thought that "peace" with Iraq was possible, that you could negotiate with them, or arbitrate a surrender. Iraq, like a rapist (I waxed metaphoric) or (notice how you didn’t mention my other metaphor) a murderer (which isn’t really metaphoric either since Hussein killed tens of thousands of his own people!) cannot be mediated with or negotiated with. You cannot in the midst of their rapes, their murders, their military attacks, their support of Al Queda, and their conspiracy and plan to attack their own people as well as those outside their boundaries…arbitrate with them. They are violent to the max and must be dealt with accordingly, the way we deal with violent criminal elements here domestically. You do whatever it takes to stop them. Just try not to hurt innocent bystanders. In a swat team shootout, the numbers are smaller, so fewer of them get hurt than in a war. But then, that’s the price of war, and peace.

  • What exactly was your point? I suggested that Lafe may have misread OneStone’s initial point. What, then, did you mean by the political correctness reference?

  • Maybe we need to post the relationships between the posters here. I mean, here is Trisha saying she evolves in a same environment as Lars and that because of such proximity, Lars is to be believed and therefore trusted.

    This is not the first time I sense an uncomfortably cozy relationship between the most vociferous posters.

    But of course, I know it is unreasonable to post posters’ relationships, as we’d have a complete breakdown here. But by the same token, it is not quite reasonable the way it is.

  • …and? The SUVs are still getting filled with Iraqi oil. This war is to ensure 2 things:

    1. continued cheap supply of oil

    2. to distract America that Bush is raping the average citizen (i.e. suppression of tax on dividends, mishandling of corporate misconduct, etc.)

  • This is the internet and we’re posting about a community of 30’000 people… Of course some of us know each other! I use my name, Trish, and therefore people can identify me. The same goes for other posters. How many people named Lars do you know running around Charlottesville? Are you afraid that we’ll all say "Aha!" of you share yours?

  • Yeah, I guess a murder with rape beforehand is better than just plain murder: hey, the guy wanted to f**k her so bad and he just killed her incidentally. That’s a reason, ain’t it?

    Other than this mindless and 100% xenophobic attitude of yours, you have a complete lack of understanding as to the motives for the desire to exterminate Jews by Hitler and his Nazi followers.

  • Amen to Martin Luther King’s recital.

  • Hey, brah, I’d love to get involved in this discussion, but it conflicts with my new motto: "Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you’re still retarted."

  • Xenophobic? Perhaps Mr. Zero was a bit ignorant — my own history is not so godlike as to judge here — but I really did not read a whole lot of fear into what he wrote. In fact, what he wrote seemed to be a pretty common understanding of what occured in both the American settlement and WWII. How you decided that he was particularly afraid of foreigners as a group (not Nazis, but foreigners) really escapes me.

    Further, you misconstrue his point totally. It was not that killing for a reason is per se better than killing for no reason. After all, he stated a Nazi reason for killing — the joy of killing (Toetenfreude?). No, what he was saying was that, in his view, the American raison d’mort was a better reason, even if not good enough in the end, than the German reason.

    Let’s compare:

    American reason: 1. land to live

    German reason: 2. joy of killing

    Sympatico’s reason: 3. joy of rape

    I hope that you can see now the distinction Mr. Zero suggested that was plainly there for the rest of us to read. Arguing that he was wrong about the various reasons to kill — that he is historically inaccurate — is non sequitor here. This is all in response to your argument that he is mindless and xenophobic ASIDE from his lack of understanding. Now, if you will, please suggest even one way that this is "100% xenophobic" (again, remembering that _you_ have separated out the issue of historical accuracy).

    How you can accuse Mr. Zero of mis-reading the motives of a complex political event when you malign his simple paragraph or two is beyond me.

  • Though usage may belie my point, the dictionary gang seems to have back.

  • The dictionary gang seems to have my back.

  • The dictionary gang seems to have my back.

    Douchebag.

  • I feel inclined to step in here and clear this up.

    I took some of the phone calls related to the Iraqi insurance inquiries, although I was not responsible for that account. I saw the application and memos as they came in.

    You can click on my user information and see that I have always used my real identity here. Go ahead and google for my name and you can confirm that I am in fact an insurance underwriter.

    To clarify, the State department allows certain exemptions to trade embargos for purposes of embassy service. Otherwise, foreign diplomats from embargoed nations would find themselves without food, electricity, phone service, building maintinence or essential financial services such as checking accounts and insurance. It is to the U.S.’s advantage that embassies function smoothly.

    It is not unusual for foreign countries to pursue insurance for their properties. The U.S. is somewhat unique in that it always self-insures.

    The Iraqi government was in fact very eager to secure coverage as quickly as possible during the week before 9/11. They had previously been uninsured but for no apparant reason became suddenly very concerned. On 9/12, Iraq gave indications through their agents that they were no longer interested in securing coverage and did not return applications.

    Iraq’s (presently vacant) embassy in Washington is only a few blocks from the White House, as I am sure any readers with good on-line research skills can confirm in a few minutes. Its value is in the neighborhood of $80,000,000.

    According to statements last summer from the White House and the Justice Department, flight 93’s intended target was in fact the White House. This would suggest that a certain $80M building was in grave danger of being blown to bits were it not for the intervention of flight 93’s passengers.

    On 9/13, we put 2 and 2 together and called the FBI to report the information. I can confirm that an investigation was launched because I spoke with an FBI agent on several occasions. I do not know the current status or results of that investigation.

    Interpret this information as you please. Maybe it was all a serious of extraordinary coincidences. Or perhaps the Iraqi Dept. of State merely knew about the attacks being planned while not necessarily being responsible for them (note that Mohammed Atta is known to have met with an Iraqi diplomat in Prague some months previous to 9/11). That seems like the most plausible explanation to me, but bear in mind that I have no inside knowledge by which to come to that conclusion aside from what I have told you.

    Does knowledge of an impeding terrorist attack and failure to sound the alarm constitute culpability? That moral question is, in my opinion, the key to shaping policy on Iraq. Decide for yourselves.

  • Well, it’s no secret that I am Waldo’s fraternal twin brother. And I have known Lars for about 9 or 10 years. In fact, I think that he was having a drink with me at Millers when I got a call from the FBI about the Iraqi embassy thing. So he actually did have some quasi-first hand knowledge of that.

    Will & I go way back as founding members of FeO2.

    Obviously I know Trish, but not knowing to what degree she is seeking anonymity on this forum (a legitimate desire) I won’t say how.

    I can’t think of any other regular posters right off the bat who I know personally. Or at least not that I am aware of.

    My user info lists my real name and my real identity. I don’t have much to hide here. I’m an insurance underwriter and a very active Democrat living in Charlottesville. How about you?

  • My point stays.

  • I share Jack’s pillow, being his wife and all. :)

  • No, I don’t think it does. We’ve obligingly stepped up to share our info, but I’m certain that you won’t do the same. Of course, I’d love to be proven wrong.

  • I probably don’t know any of you (other than from a distance) as my spheres of evolution are less regional, but more intra-state and inter-national.

    I am a business consultant / software developer since 1987 and for my own business since 1994. I possess the dual-nationality of Franco-American, have served in the French military and have been trained and have lived extensively both in the U.S. and in Europe.

    Although my political affiliations are not mainstream, I tend to be closer to Democrats than to Republicans.

    So, now, when I go online and either initiate or respond to a debate here, I can never count on support from people that I frequent in the outside world. The fact that Trisha knows Lars et al is not a problem to be solved. But what is an issue is that all of you form an opaque little group of vociferous posters that skews the debate.

    For instance, Lars uses the term “first-hand knowledge”. You say “quasi-first hand knowledge”. You are both confused. As the other poster higher up was contending, either it was first-hand or it was not. I have a mental image of some of you folk. Lars is into the BIG and BOLD schemes. He has shown great interest in covert operations, and either military or para-military enterprises (the Veep’s planes, the possible regional hidden bunkers). So if he cannot distinguish between first-hand knowledge and second-hand inference, then this most certainly deserves to be pointed out. Trish not-withstanding, of course.

    Lastly, the fact that you are related to Waldo explains why he jumped into the fray a while back to defend you. This was unusual behavior for him. I have also suggested in the past this site may turn into a dating site because of the coziness between some of you all. Well, now I know why. All this suggests to me I may be wasting even more my time than I previously thought, since when I post, I am not actually interacting with a varied group, but mostly with a tight-knit little group.

    Don’t get me wrong: this site is still VERY useful. Just now I know it’s interactivity features are less purposeful than I was hoping.

  • Heck, you may even be posting from the same ‘pute. How nice!

  • "Xenophobic? Perhaps Mr. Zero was a bit ignorant" – NO KIDDING

    "my own history is not so godlike as to judge here" – THEN KEEP IT SHUT

    The fact is, both genocides (like all others before them), were unspeakably horrendous. Hatred is borne from many sources. Your interpretations of history is uncanny in it’s xenophobic nature.

    You say Americans massacred the Native Americans for "land to live". What a piece of absolute crock! It was the desire to *possess* what they could take from the Native Americans that allowed for such inhumanity.

    The "German reason", as you call it, was borne from an ancestral hatred of Jewish people. A hatred, I will add, that is to be found throughout the world still today, including here in the U.S. After the "Krach" of 1929 and the ensuing depression, the more affluent and richer Jews (often bankers, doctors or lawyers) were singled out by the nascent Nazional Sozialismus party (NAZI) lead by Adolph Hitler. Because of his early success in rehabilitating Germany’s Order and Economy, Germans continued to trust him in other matters, notably his political, cultural and ethnical tendencies.

    In fact, if I were to dare to compare the two genocides, I would suggest the American extermination of the Native American was more widely accepted by the population at large than was the very elitist and covert policies from the Nazis.

  • Oh, I don’t know that the debate is all that skewed, especially since you know more or less who’s who. Lars and I disagree on plenty of things here, as the archives will attest. Will and I amicably disagree on just about everything.

    On the other hand, I tend to agree with Lafe, Guest and Cecil most of the time even though I have no idea who they are.

    I think that anyone’s ideas and opinions expressed here will probably be taken (apart) at face value. There is no informal conspiracy.

    By the way, I wasn’t confused when I said ‘quasi-first hand knowledge.’ If anything I was going out of my way to be specific. I meant to establish the fact that he had a direct experience with the events (and saw some of the documents, as I recall) but did not actually speak with the Iraqis’ agents.

  • I don’t know anyone here personally. I’m just a conservative (mostly) c’villian. Not necessarily Republican, mind you, but conservative.

    I’ve found myself sharing opinions and opposing opinions of nearly everyone that posts here. Most of the time, these differences are aired and debated in a spirited (and usually still friendly) manner.

    I’ve only lived in C’ville for about 6.5 years now. So I never grew up here, or anything. But I have firm family ties to the area now, and won’t likely be leaving any time in the next decade or two.

  • Unfortunately, that petition is meaningless and doomed. I witnessed an anti-war resolution petition-gatherer telling a group of people that they should feel free to sign it whether or not they are city residents.

    Petitions are generally ignored by elected officials anyway. But once they are contaminated by large numbers of signers who are not even constituents, they lose what little meaning they may have had.

  • Which ones? France and Germany? Yeah, they’ve got some issues with Bush’s rhetoric about possible unilateral action. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say they don’t have our backs, but I agree that they’re not happy with the situation. They’d be crazy to be happy about it. But, uhh, am I supposed to take their lack of conviction or determination to take concise action as a reason that we shouldn’t?”

    When your opponent is stronger than you, it takes conviction to fight.
    When your opponent is weaker than yourself, it takes conviction not to fight.

  • Which ones? France and Germany? Yeah, they’ve got some issues with Bush’s rhetoric about possible unilateral action. I don’t know that

    I’d go so far as to say they don’t have our backs, but I agree that they’re not happy with the situation. They’d be crazy to be happy about it. But, uhh, am I supposed to take their lack of conviction or determination to take concise

    action as a reason that we shouldn’t

    When your opponent is stronger than you, it takes conviction to fight.

    When your opponent is weaker than yourself, it takes conviction not to fight.

  • …but I’m certain that you won’t do the same.

    Then you’ll LOVE that you’re wrong. AGAIN?

  • If you’ll notice, I offered no historical interpretation. None. Zero. Zilch. I never suggested how I viewed the Nazis, the American conquest, even who I favored in Joe Millionaire. I NEVER said that Americans massacred the Native Americans for room to live. I never posited any German reason.

    Read closely: In the prior post, I discussed my reading of your critique of JMZ’s arguments. As I said there:

    <blockquote>Arguing that he was wrong about the various reasons to kill — that he is historically inaccurate — is non sequitor here. This is all in response to your argument that he is mindless and xenophobic ASIDE from his lack of understanding. Now, if you will, please suggest even one way that this is "100% xenophobic" (again, remembering that _you_ have separated out the issue of historical accuracy).

    </blockquote>

    In your initial response to JMZ, you suggested that, IN ADDITION TO a complete lack of understanding, he was mindless and xenophobic. You suggested in your post (in the first paragraph especially) that, even taking his historical understanding as given, he was being illogical.

    I refuted that point. I did not attack AT ALL your critique of his understanding of history nor did I offer my own. Again, to critique his history in response to my critique of your logic is non sequitor.

  • When your opponent is stronger than you, it takes conviction to fight.
    When your opponent is weaker than yourself, it takes conviction not to fight.

    If we’re going for a cool aphorisms, try:

    With great power comes great responsibility.

  • If we’re going for a cool aphorisms, try:

    Darnit, we need an edit function. That’s either “going for cool aphorisms,” or “going for a cool aphorism.”

  • Well, I don’t know if I can be called a vociferous poster here, but I did post quite vociferously earlier in the thread… and to my knowledge, I don’t know any of the regular posters here.

  • That *is* my point.

  • I am not interested in pursuing your angle here, as all you are attempting to do is dillute my message.

    Non sequitur or not (and vice versa).

  • You see, I never had any intent to dilute your message. In fact, the only intents that I can read from either my own knowledge of my self or from my posts on this board are to question your message or to ask you to refine your message.

    Neither of those suggests dilution. Not even in the slightest. As far as I care, everyone agrees with some agenda that you are proposing. But, if your tendentious mis-reading of my intentions (and, presumably, my critiques of your attacks on others) mirrors at all the reasoning behind any of your more "substantive" points (your "message"), the pile of questions challenging your message has just grown ever taller.

  • Your little pedantic game is very out of place and I’d say very insensitive. Back when we were talking about sado-masochists, that was okay (but still boring). But in the same breath as the Holocaust and the Native American genocide?

  • Ok, and you were going to explain why we shouldn’t use our great power to prevent the deaths and suffering that we forsee at the behest of a madman?

    To let those deaths and that suffering occur would seem to be very irresponsible to me. Violates every definition of "morality" that I know.

  • I am moderately concerned with lucidity in the context of the discussion of series topics. That, apparently makes me “insensitive”.

    You:

  • accuse other posters of being in inappropriate cahoots here.
  • meaninglessly taunt those who disagree with you here
  • Suggest that the suppression of dividend tax is equivalent to rape here
  • Accuse another user of being mindless, xenophobic, and also completing lacking any historical understanding (when a simple statement of a disagreement, however stark, in historical context would have been sufficient) here

    Some would think that proper and powerful weapons against demagogues and genocide are democracy, openness and free speech. Along those veins, I am an advocacy for care in language in public discussion, especially political discussion. Am I instead to take your stance, vitriolic attacks against the entirety of the audience? If anything, your refusal to enter into discussion (as opposed to out and out attack) suggests that you do respect neither the topic nor the audience.

    Finally, you seem to rely on my “pedantic” quest for lucidity when it serves you — again, see here.

  • Actually, petitions and protest make a big difference. That’s how democracy works.

  • I’m sorry, which madman were you reffering to?

    Medact, the British equivalent of Australia’s Medical Association for the Prevention of War, estimates that if the threatened attack on Iraq eventuates, between 48,000 and 260,000 people on all sides could be killed. Civil war within Iraq could add another 20,000 deaths.

    They estimate that later deaths from adverse health effects could add a further 200,000 to this hideous total.

    The estimates of the toll of death and misery that might result from an attack on Iraq do not include the use of nuclear weapons that the US is said to be planning (Los Angeles Times, January 26).

    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/29/1043804405887.html

  • In my experience that is not how democracy works. If you are talking about petition in the sense of someone meeting with a legislator and making a request, sure. But not petitions that are just a written statement signed by thousands of random people. Those things are, by and large, systematically ignored.

    There are several reasons for this. First of all, people will sign all sorts of petitions for things they don’t much care about just to be nice or get someone out of their face. Having helped gather signatures on numerous occasions myself, I can attest to this. Legislators know this. Also, more often than not, petitions are full of signatures from people who are non-eligible. Non-residents, minors and others who don’t vote or aren’t even constituents can end up signing petitions in droves. A good petition will have addresses and phone numbers listed for each signature. But what Mayor or Congressman has time to check them?

    Ultimately, a petition is not as good as measurement of public opinion as we would like it to be. Most (but not all) public officials justifiably put zero stock in them.

    Organizing a petition is not only ineffective, but often counterproductive for many causes. If you are working for a cause that needs volunteers and donations, a petition steers people away from helping in those ways. Signing a petition offers a path of least resistance and effort by which a person can feel as though they have done their share. It’s so much easier to do that than it is to show up for a rally or donate $20. Take away the petition option, and you will find that a significantly greater number of people are willing to volunteer or donate to your cause.

    The closest thing to a petition that is actually worth bothering with is a letter-writing campaign. Get people to write and mail individually written letters to a representative asking for something. That is something that really gets their attention.

    Maybe you are thinking that a letter-writing campaign would be a lot harder to make succeed, because its not easy motivating that many people to take the time to write an actual letter, put a stamp on it and get it in the mail. A petition is so much easier and gets you many more names. Which demonstrates my earlier point about what sort of guage of public opinion a petition really is.

    I speak from the trenches, having put together petitions, worked as a campaign coordinator for U.S. PIRG, lobbied House committees in Richmond and volunteered for political campaigns from City Council to the Governor’s office. I’ve been doing this stuff since I was 15 and have had a lot of opportunity to see what does and doesn’t tend to work.

    On the effectiveness scale, I would put petitions somewhere just below printing up bumper stickers and above throwing pies in people’s faces.

  • The madman I’m referring to is Saddam Hussein, as if you didn’t know. :)

    And that’s some nice FUD that you dug up. And you’re absolutely right in one respect, in the event of a war, people will die. Mostly, it’ll be any Iraqis that decide to fight us. They’ve got the largest army in that region (or so I’ve heard), and so that could add up to a lot of people indeed.

    Hopefully there won’t be many civilian deaths, nor too many of our own (or allied) soldiers. Some deaths would be expected. Not any where near as many innocent people will die as if we stayed out of it.

    The blurb about us using nuclear weapons I find to be rediculous. If we were going to nuke ’em, we wouldn’t need any troops over there at all. Sheesh.

  • And you suck here, here, here and here.

  • The United States has stood by and watched millions die at the hands of madmen before – this is nothing new. Rwanda comes immediately to mind, as does Sudan, Cambodia, the Congo, Borneo, and Burundi. Also Zimbabwe. There is imminent danger for freedom-loving people in Coumbia, a nation we sort of/kind of consider an ally. The North Korean labor camps that currently exist certainly represent an imminent danger to many thousands of people. We know what’s going on there, yet we do nothing to intervene.

    Does letting those deaths and suffering occur seem irresponsible as well? Was/is our inaction in these cases representative of economic considerations (ie. oil), or racial ones, or religious ones, or did our country merely decide that those lives weren’t/aren’t worth risking American blood for? Perhaps battle in the Congo just isn’t politically attractive enough for us.

    I’m just asking.

  • The United States has stood by and watched millions die at the hands of madmen before – this is nothing new. Rwanda comes immediately to mind, as does Sudan, Cambodia, the Congo, Borneo, and Burundi. Also Zimbabwe. There is imminent danger for freedom-loving people in Coumbia, a nation we sort of/kind of consider an ally. The North Korean labor camps that currently exist certainly represent an imminent danger to many thousands of people. We know what’s going on there, yet we do nothing to intervene.

    Does letting those deaths and suffering occur seem irresponsible as well? Was/is our inaction in these cases representative of economic considerations (ie. oil), or racial ones, or religious ones, or did our country merely decide that those lives weren’t/aren’t worth risking American blood for? Perhaps battle in the Congo just isn’t politically attractive enough for us.

    I’m just asking.

    Regarding the nuclear options, that’s a very real scenario, and has nothing to do with whether or not we have any troops in the theater. As the referenced article states,

    According to multiple sources close to the process, the current planning focuses on two possible roles for nuclear weapons: attacking Iraqi facilities located so deep underground that they might be impervious to conventional explosives; thwarting Iraq’s use of weapons of mass destruction.”

    The bizarre contradiction inherent in using nuclear weapons – the ultimate “weapons of mass destruction” – for the purpose of eliminating “weapons of mass destruction” appears to have escaped the warmongers in the Bush administration.

    Now I think I’ll go home and watch “Dr. Strangelove” for the umpteenth time.

    (Note – the other similar entry was misplaced within the thread. My bad!)

  • The above entry was misplaced and refers to a different strand of this thread. My bad!

  • Pies in faces get more press, which in the end reaches more people. It’s also a better demonstration than any peace march, where one dissenter gets more attention than thousands of petition signers. Soupy Sales had once a great notion :)

  • I’m just asking.

    Does the fact that we’ve stood by in the past (mainly during misguided attempts to be more isolationist and insular), mean that we are justified in doing so again?

    You have, however, raised an excellent point. I will readily admit that the US is much more likely to “be the good guy” when it’s more obviously in our interest. Altruism doesn’t really happen all that often (if ever). I also am not terribly surprised about this, since we’re much more likely to take a hand where our attention is focused, than in some poorly understood (and therefore, poorly examined) situation somewhere that we haven’t been paying attention.

    I don’t think the question really changes the morality (or lack thereof) of the situation. It merely points out that we haven’t always made the best or most moral of decisions.

    As for the nuclear situation, I was addressing the impression that the previous poster was trying to give that we were just gonna nuke Iraq. Sub-critical yeild micro-nukes to destroy a bunker are quite a bit different from city-flattening Hiroshima-type incidents. At least, in my mind. :)

  • "Does the fact that we’ve stood by in the past (mainly during misguided attempts to be more isolationist and insular), mean that we are justified in doing so again?"

    Not necessarily, but it DOES raise the question of our motivation. Lots of people on this thread are waving around this flag of "America the noble and pure-hearted" and how when a damsel is in distress one simply must rush to her aid and–I actually read this in someone’s post–America is going to war with Iraq out of NO self-interest of its own.

    So, for me, our horrible track record of picking and choosing which damsels in distress we rescue raises HUGE doubts about the moral imperative associated with Iraq.

  • Not necessarily, but it DOES raise the question of our motivation. Lots of people on this thread are waving around this flag of “America the noble and pure-hearted” and how when a damsel is in distress one simply must rush to her aid and–I actually read this in someone’s post–America is going to war with Iraq out of NO self-interest of its own.

    I don’t believe that we have no self-interest in this. However, I can’t see lots of good reasons to condemn us for that. Here we have the opportunity to protect our interests, and those of our allies, while simultaneously “rescuing the damsel.” Seems rather win-win to me.

    So, for me, our horrible track record of picking and choosing which damsels in distress we rescue raises HUGE doubts about the moral imperative associated with Iraq.

    And this is where I believe our issue lies. In our horrible track record. I think we can probably all agree that if the US is going to take this kind of moral-high-road stance, that we should do it consistently. And yet…

    I think we have to be careful here too. Where do we draw the line of when it’s ok to intervene and when it’s not? I think we can answer these questions… in cases of genocide and actual “crimes against humanity” such intervention would be justified. Of course then the question becomes “who decides what constitutes a crime against humanity?”

    This way lies an awful lot of complexity. And probably most of the reason that some presidents in the past (and not so past) have felt that we’d be better of more isolated from the rest of the world.

  • …we’d be better of more isolated from the rest of the world.

    Oh Gawd! Here comes the complex of superiority surfacing again. In my experience, most people that feel this way have very limited experience outside of American borders. And trust me, being stationed in a NATO camp in Spain or Germany does not qualify.

  • …besides, who would you market your cherished GLOBALIZATION to [if America retreated to Isolationism]?

  • I don’t know anyone here personally, at least I don’t think I do.

    I don’t think we HAVE to know one another’s relationships, though. So X is married to Y and is brother to Q–so what? When we have X’s track record of posts to refer back to, why do we also need to know that he’s married to Y? Does that tempt us to discount Y’s support for his point? That hardly seems fair…shouldn’t we take Y at her own word?

    I’d rather embrace the disembodied nature of online print and let the words speak for themselves (with the caveat that too much anonymous posting is destructive of community).

  • Everybody look at ME! I’m a complete idiot who doesn’t know his ass from his elbow and I’m going to complain about everything!!!! Lets all be communists and anarchists! I need constant attention in any form that I can get it!

    Watch as I shout and wank on and on about things that I know nothing about!!! Aren’t I such a clever rebel?

    Blah blah living wage! Blah blah system must be destroyed blah. Blah blah my top secret political reform system for the world.

    Christ, will someone please just put me in a straight jacket and start me on the thorazine already!? People? Hel-lo???

  • Ha ha ha ha! Now that’s funny! You little fukker!

  • Reading comprehension is your friend.

    The quote that you left the front off of read like this in its entirety:

    And probably most of the reason that some presidents in the past (and not so past) have felt that we’d be better of more isolated from the rest of the world.

    I was not claiming it as my opinion. And if you read up a post or so, you’ll read:

    Does the fact that we’ve stood by in the past (mainly during misguided attempts to be more isolationist and insular), mean that we are justified in doing so again? (emphasis added)

    Doesn’t look like I’m advocating us becoming more isolationist and insular, does it?

  • I read you as playing both sides of the fence, just in case. On one side, you are a vocal advocate for external policies and action, and then you conclude with an understanding why Isolationism is attractive.

    If you were to strip away all the verbiage, in short, I read you to be saying: we could very well do just as well without the rest of the world, but we often choose to take action because we are so… righteous, powerful, superior, etc…

  • No, just the opposite. I believe we need a lot of improvement in our foreign relations and policies. We need to be more open to (and educated about!) the rest of the world.

    And I was also saying that I understand why Isolationism is attractive… But I am against us being isolationist.

    What I am really for, is for the US to use its power and resources to be a true positive and leading force in the world. Noble vision eh? I don’t see it happening in the next 10 years, but every little step is a good one.

  • And where can I get those rose colored goggles you are wearing?

  • Yes, there were millions of them there.

  • …but only one of them had a job.

  • …And only two of them had bathed.

  • Sorry, I stand corrected: 3 had bathed, but it had been a month.

  • Yes, they accomplished so much–what with all wars in the world stopping at once.

  • It was sure lucky they came along when they did.

  • …And now, we’ll never have any wars again.

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