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Sunday, February 16, 2003

Me and the Snook"Tens of thousands attend Sydney peace rally." Yes, the Snook and I were among them, and yes, we made those T-shirts ourselves. (Full props to the ladies at Glitter for inspiring my slogan.) I've posted my pictures from the event here.

Did you go to a demonstration? Did you not go for any specific reason? We wanna hear about it.

 
Comments
 
I went to the Melbourne rally on Friday and it was pretty amazing. The nicest thing about it was that people of all ages and walks of life were represented - there were even a few guys in business suits!
» Anonymous » 2003-02-16 19:18:55
 
Oops, that comment was mine, btw :)
» Claire » 2003-02-16 19:19:44
 
I didn't got to any demonstrations, because demonstrations are illegal here. *sigh*
» Kristen [www] » 2003-02-17 01:57:00
 
i got (glasses) the FLU, or else i woulda' tried to participate somehow. on tv, i saw some cute brit signs, including "Make tea, not war." i'm embarrassed that all this will pretty much go unrecognized by our jackass of a prez. i'd move to canada, but it's too damn cold...
» aim » 2003-02-17 06:44:23
 
p.s. i know this is off the subject, but i'm too lame and lazy to pop off an email - a disturbance in the force has caused all three howard children to come down with severe illnesses within days of each other! weirdness.
» aim » 2003-02-17 06:47:58
 
I liked it how you refer to yourself and Rodd as "young people." ...hehe

Now i've hit the ole 3-0. You're all youngsters to me....
» OldFart Ferret » 2003-02-17 12:17:48
 
I support people's rights to protest. I was just wondering why you are against a war?
» Anonymous » 2003-02-17 12:38:04
 
I take it you're asking why I'm against this particular military action and not war in general (which I think most sane people agree is a bad thing). Well, the best expression of my sentiments that I've found so far came from Archbishop Desmond Tutu of the U.N.: "Any war that you fight before exhausting all legal alternatives is immoral." I'm not saying military force might not be necessary in the end. I just don't think we're at that point yet, and I'm dismayed to see that our government isn't actively searching out alternatives.
» Kris [www] » 2003-02-17 14:18:20
 
Further to my previous comment about not demonstrating because it's illegal here in Singapore: "Six people who said they responded to a telephone text message calling for a protest in Singapore were arrested outside the U.S. Embassy. Such gatherings are illegal without a permit, and police were trying to track down the source of the message."... entire article here.
» Kristen [www] » 2003-02-17 18:12:53
 
Ed and I wanted to get out to the protest in Minneapolis so much, but it would've been extremely hard for him, since he's disabled now and can't walk very far at all. Once again I find myself embarassed to be an American. I'm getting so tired of that.
» Melody » 2003-02-17 23:24:21
 
I nearly didn't go as was meeting my dad and bro. Though I ditched (sounds bad but wasn't) them and joined some friends for the rest of the march. I have never seen so many people. It were great. The funniest slogan was "Bush. Just another word for C***"

The reason I'm against it is that their reasoning doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I mean if you're going to get a country for ignoring UN resolutions then what about Israel?

If you don't like the governement cos you don't think its legit then what about George Bush?

If you want to get them for supporting terrorists then what about the country where most of the 09/11 people came from and where most of the cash that bankrolled them came from?

Saddam is an evil git but he's contained. There are more pressing problems in the world to sort out first if you ask me.

Also think about this...What would Mr Bin Laden want Mr Bush to do?
» martin [www] » 2003-02-18 01:21:11
 
I didn't, and the reason is that I was lame/lazy (and hypocritical).

I'm glad that you and Snook went, though. I love your T-shirts!
» Tricia [www] » 2003-02-18 08:19:38
 
Me too, Melody. Me too.

GREAT comment, Martin. I've been arguing over the war with a friend via e-mail for a few days now and arguments like that are what just what I need.

Glad you liked the T-shirts, Tricia! I can't believe I convinced the Snook to do it. :)
» Kris [www] » 2003-02-18 14:50:32
 
While not for or against this "war", I think it's important that we keep in mind a few things:

1) War for Oil? Not sure of that one. Very little oil is imported from Iraq for American consumption. While I agree that oil production in Iraq can consequently alter costs of oil, I don't think it's something that we couldn't overcome.

2) We don't know all the facts. Period. I am certain that there is much more to the Saddam-Iraq-Terrorism connection than we may ever know. What we know is what we're allowed to know. Tom Brokaw simply does not have the intelligence resources that the US government (and all others, for that matter) has.

I personally see both sides of the story, and could argue either way. All I can do at this point is pray for the safe return of my friends and family currently serving in the Armed Forces.
» Jason Young » 2003-02-18 17:11:13
 
This is the thing. I see the need to get rid of him, but why now? There's just something here that doesn't ring true. Oh and I'm aware of the stuff they say they can't tell us but you see without evidence what can we believe. After all we're lied to all the time. What about that whole thing about the Iraqi soldiers chucking babies out of incubators in the original gulf war? Dreamed up by a PR company. At least that time it was clear what was going on. And also if he's so bad then why leave him there then when there was world backing and little risk of some sort of WWIII kicking off than there is now!

It all looks way too suspect if you aks me.
» martin [www] » 2003-02-19 03:58:17
 
Thank you, Jason. I've been trying to educate people about the "War for Oil" exaggeration. It's too easy for people to say, "Oh, Bush and his oil company cronies just want Iraqi oil." Oil from the Middle East impacts the cost of the world's fuel prices, yes... BUT less than 10% of the United State's oil imports come from that region of the world. The rest comes from South America, Canada, etc.

But you know what bothers me the most about what I've seen of the protests on television and the web? Complete and utter hatred of the U.S., as a whole. I dislike generalizations. I dislike seeing my country's flag burned, and an entire population demonized for the bad decisions made by a few power-hungry men in high office. It seems to me as if the rest of the world forgets about all the good things our country does, how we contribute. We're far from perfect, but we do try.
» Moire » 2003-02-19 04:06:03
 
Don't feel too bad, Moire. Everyone over here at least definitely recognizes the distinction between the American government and its people. 99% of the signs I saw Sunday were against Bush and his policies. I even saw one group of fellow American expatriates carrying a "MILLIONS OF AMERICANS ARE PROTESTING WITH YOU" sign, which was really heartening.
» Kris [www] » 2003-02-19 06:58:43
 
I'm with Martin; there has to be something more to this than we know, and in the absence of a good answer for "why now?" we're left to answer the question ourselves and assume that it's a "war for oil" or (worse) a war for one man's machismo / filial revenge issues or (worse still) a war to distract from "the economy, stupid" and win popularity and elections.

I don't think any of those are good reasons to kill people, including our own soldiers and sailors, and risk WWIII. If we go to war, it's not going to be a quick and easy drop bombs and go home scenario. It's going to be long and entrenched and dirty and a lot of people are going to die and a lot of countries that don't hate the US now will grow to.

As far as the US hatred issue, my impression from the new coverage of the protests (including Kris' report from Sydney) is that they are anti-Bush and his policies rather than anti-American. Most of those folks around the world that I've heard interviewed state outright that they like Americans and hate the stance that the US is taking. Of course I get almost all of my news from NPR, so perhaps I get the leftist slant. ;)
» Tricia [www] » 2003-02-19 07:02:08
 
You know something else that keeps getting glossed over? The fact that according to the US Constitution, Congress is the only body with the power to declare war. Over the past fifty years we've seen the office of the President gradually assuming this power. Yes, he's supposed to be the head of the military, but that doesn't mean he gets to decide when to use it. I'd feel much better about the use of force if it were supported by our duly elected representatives. Am I wrong there?
» Kris [www] » 2003-02-19 08:30:49
 
No, I don't think you're wrong. What's truly scary is the President's new follow-up to the Patriot Act.
» Moire » 2003-02-19 12:23:45
 
As an American, with friends serving in the military, I proudly support President Bush. Also, from where I am sitting (that being in the U.S.) there is no indication Bush will stand down because of protests. I don't think Bush would prepare our troops for action in the Gulf if he didn't have a solid reason. Please say a prayer for our troops and support the U.S. I hope the UN realizes that Bush is doing the best he can with his power.
» Anonymous » 2003-02-19 15:01:17
 
Hmmm... I stand behind Bush here, but I do hope war can be avoided. Nice photos of the rally in Sydney. I'd rather see these photos than war photos. Though, I doubt Bush will mind the protests.
» Kari » 2003-02-19 15:08:22
 
How "proudly" can you support him when you do it anonymously?

(Also note: the above two comments were both incorrectly posted to the wrong pages and came from the exact same IP address. Make of that what you will.)
» Kris [www] » 2003-02-19 16:03:28
 
Hi, Kris...

First of all, I apologize for anonymously posting. It was an option when I wrote my comment, so I took it. As for the same IP address, I share a computer with my friend. We both posted messages tonight. I'm sorry they ended up on the wrong page, too.

If it is any comfort to you, everyone (liberal and conservative) in the U.S. is just as anxious about war as everyone else. Nobody wishes it to happen, and we all wish our troops home. A friend of mine left for the Gulf last week. My uncle could be called up at any moment. Because of this very reason, I support my president. Their fate rests in his hands. I hope you can understand my point of view. I will do my best to understand your point of view in return.

By the way, I like your latest scarf. :-)
» Emma » 2003-02-19 18:09:56
 
P.S. I hope we can avoid this damn war. :-)
» Emma (again) » 2003-02-19 18:15:56
 
Emma, I'm so sorry I was snarky! I actually thought you were someone else. (I know another Kari and thought she was trolling.) I've got friends in the military too, and I'd never want them to think I'm not 100% supportive and thankful for what they do for us. I still think they'd be a lot better off if they didn't have to go over there in the first place though... :)

Glad you like the scarf! It's another Gryffindor for my cousin. It's just about done... No idea what I'm going to do next!
» Kris [www] » 2003-02-19 19:09:03
 
I'm sure you will have no problem coming up with new ideas. Perhaps a white scarf to wear as a symbol of peace? I'm being serious here. That could be very catchy, though I gather from your photos it isn't cold where you live.

No harsh feelings concerning trolling or mistaken idenity. I know several women named Kari and Kris, too. Easy to confuse them all.

:-) Enjoy life and have a good day.


» Emma » 2003-02-20 03:19:41
 
Actially (strangely you might think) I support the military too. Trouble is will their government(s)? There's a long history in many countries of sending people to war for no real reason. Only the militarty know the true horrors. Which is probably why Colin Powell stood agianst it for so long. Can't figure out why he's changed....

I also find that whole business (reported today) of using nukes as bunker busters disturding. They're supposed to be weapons of last resort not tools available to any commander at any time. It changes the whole paradign. How can you tell other nations not to proliferate if you're doing this sort of thing?

I have a bad feeling about this...
» martin [www] » 2003-02-20 05:02:48
 
I'm with Martin for the most part (Martin for Prez?).

Anyway, quick point about the War for Oil business. Doesn't matter how much Oil the US imports from Iraq (currently about 10% of its gross consumption). Iraq plays host to the second largest Oil RESERVES on the planet. Control Iraq. Control the Oil. Control the Oil. Control the region. Notwithstanding all the unfinished business between messrs Hussain and Bush Snr, the middle East and its constituent muslim population has long been a thorn in the US' side and holding power in the form of Oil goes a loooong way to providing political clout to one's corner. (this is mixed-metaphor-platitude-tastic don't you think?)

Just look at all the people who actually tell Bushy what to say and surprise, surprise, they're almost all throwbacks to the fellas who had lend of daddy's ear a decade or more earlier.

Bush the Avenger (or should that be Revenger?)...
» Jann [www] » 2003-02-20 06:05:41
 
Bush the Revenger? I'm not so sure about that, but I do respect your point. Every world leader has his/her group of advisors. I wonder what decisions would be made if the leaders had nobody to advise them? Would their opinions and actions remain the same? It's hard to tell what would happen.

You make a good point. :-)
» Kari » 2003-02-20 06:12:45
 
I just wanna say thanks to everyone for such a great (and civil) discussion. I've seen similar posts on other sites degenerate into nastiness.
» Kris [www] » 2003-02-20 07:21:08
 
Sure thing, Kris. I've been paying close attention to the headlines here in the U.S. (last night and today). Something that scares me, almost more than a war with Iraq, is a war with N. Korea. How do the rest of you feel?

Also, I wish to add that I think Chicago will pick up some wins this year at the Oscars.
» Kari » 2003-02-20 09:04:34
 
North Korea depends on how Iraq is dealt with. Unless the non-proliferation treaties are enforced in Iraq, N.Korea will be very difficult indeed to deal with. Or maybe we should just leave them alone. After all, we can't have anyone getting hurt.
» Steve » 2003-02-20 12:10:41
 
Ahhh, sarcasm. I was wondering when you'd gate crash our little talk. :)

I just can't help but worry more about the country who says, "Hey, we're making some nukes and don't you try to stop us!" than the one currently being inspected for them.
» Kris [www] » 2003-02-20 13:11:00
 
Excellent point, Kris. My biggest fear isn't Iraq, because we've dealt with them most recently in the early 90's. We are equipped to handle them, or so I believe we can. My biggest concern really is N. Korea, because we haven't engaged in any sort of combat with them since the Korean War era of the 1950's.

Another fact, we must look at is that war has been on-going since the beginning of recorded history. I also "fear" to think that history repeats itself.

I think FEAR of the "unknown" is what scares most people. It scares me! A friend once told me that 80% of our worries do not come true. Ten percent of our worries do come true, but nothing could have been done to prevent them. The remaining ten percent of our worries also come true, but in the end we are better off. I think we can all hope to land in the 80% range.


» Kari » 2003-02-20 14:59:13
 
N.Korea is a worry because they have nuclear weapons. Iraq doesn't - yet - so isn't it in people's best interests to deal with them before they become as unmanagable as N.Korea is now?

I just think that as awful as the idea of war is, other means of dealing with Saddam have been exhausted. Allowing inspectors more time is a method that just keeps failing. If Saddam didn't have WMDs, wouldn't he be going out of his way to prove it? He's not, and I can't see him suddenly caving in to diplomatic pressure after playing hide-the-warhead for more than 10 years.

The danger in further delay, as I see it, is that it is sending a clear message to other "rogue" states of how ineffectual and disharmoneous the UN is when enforcing its own resolutions, and when dealing with human rights attrocities.

I'm sure North Korea is taking notes.
» Steve » 2003-02-20 15:45:00
 
Not that I really want to hark on about this but there are awhole lot of nations out there ignoring UN resolutions and a certain Mr Bush seems determined to break some noteable Nuclear style treaties as well.

At least War with N.Korea is less likely to start off some form of religious war between Western Nations and the Islamic world. That would be really bad. Religious wars I suspect are the worst. More nutters involved on both sides.
» martin [www] » 2003-02-21 00:28:01
 
Oh and Jann's right. Iraq has quite a lot of the share of world reserves. If there was a pro West government then the West would need to rely far less on Saudi Arabia - which may at some point go into meltdown.

Though we still haven't actually reached the point where there is less oil left than has been used, believe it or not. They think that may happen about 2020.

Me I'd start packing loadsa cash into R&D for alternative and renewable fuel sources. Would prob reduce most of the woes of the world in one go. Alas that is not happening.
» martin [www] » 2003-02-21 00:32:39
 
I say we hit them where it matters: the pocketbook. Oil and natural gas are about the only products that the majority of the Middle Eastern region has to offer the rest of the world. What do you think will happen to them if America alone reduces oil consumption?

Uh-huh. Thought so. However, I'm sure it'll only give the people of that region another reason to hate The Great Alternative-Fuel-Powered Satan.

I know it's still a long ways off, but I'm really looking forward to seeing cars on the market, powered by hydrogen fuel cells alone. One of the biggest problems with selling the idea to consumers, however, is the price tag. Have any of y'all taken a look at the cost of purchasing any of the hybrid cars out there? I briefly considered plunking down a nice chunk o' change for a Honda Civic Hybrid--that is, until I realized just how BIG that chunk o' change was gonna be: $22,000! The other Honda hybrid, the Insight, is priced comparably. The Toyota Prius isn't much cheaper, unfortunately. The average consumer isn't going to be able to afford to spend that sort of cash on an experimental car; I make GOOD money, and I know I can't afford it.

The U.S. government doesn't seem to be giving much incentive for change, either, no matter what the President promised in his State of the Union address. The offerings shown thus far by car manufacturers don't have curb appeal, and definitely won't be within the reach of the average consumer in any case. Soon, the call of the bottom line (made all the louder by astronomical sales of gas-guzzling SUVs) will be felt much stronger than the promise of Federal R&D subsidies.

And, how are we to heat and power our homes, minus fossil fuels? It's amazing (and sad) how tied-up the American economy is in oil, and natural gas, and coal.
» Moire [www] » 2003-02-21 04:22:50
 
Hang on. Oil and Natural Gas are the only products that the majority of the Middle Eastern region has to offer the world?

I know I might be taking this a bit out of context but what about culture and history?

Ancient Mesopotamia as much of it once was is the birthplace of what we've come to know as modern civilisation. Uruk in Southern Iraq for instance is the site of the first city in the world over 6000 years ago and reputed to be the place where the WHEEL WAS INVENTED! Not far north of Uruk lies the city of Babylon, not much to look at now thanks to Saddam's crusade to stamp his personal mark on world history but rich beyong belief in terms of archealogical and historical importance. What will happen to these hugely important sites stuck squarely in the middle of a land war. It is only thanks to fairly recent history that the country is in the state it's currently in. Just ask anyone who knows about the involvement of the British in the last century who persistently armed, disarmed, rearmed, dissected the land and generally buggered about with the lives of the people who simply had to shut up and take what was done to them, and they'll say something along the lines of "Well what did you expect?"

Forgive my somewhat disjointed rambles (as they're probably irrelevent) but that statement made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Incidentally, did you know that the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Iraq is the US by a looong way. In the desperate struggle to learn lessons from recent history and do the right thing, America has made the classic schoolboy error of giving with one hand, whilst taking away with the other.

The actress Vanessa redgrave came up with a great alternative last night (amongst her various passionate rumblings). 1. Issue a warrant for the arrest and trial of Saddam for war crimes (yes, technically he is a war criminal).

2. Divvy up some land for the Palestinians and put a stop to the secret and illegal deals between them and Isreal.

3. Oh bugger, forgotten it.

Oh, nurse is calling me. It's time for my medication. I hope this hasn't been too pointless (I'm no good with stream-of-conciousness stuff) but I just don't think enough people know enough about the wider implications of a war.

Does anyone have any decent conspiracy theories on alternative fuels? I think that ought to be our next discussion ;o)
» Jann [www] » 2003-02-21 22:16:37
 
Oh yeah...

3. Get the UN, UNESCO and all the other world bodies designed for such tasks flooding in to the newly de-despotted Iraq to keep the peace while the recently liberated peole can get down to the business of democracy.

Sounds easy to say but why not have a pop?

Afghanistan have so far managed to maintain more peace and stability than they've had for a long time. Admittedly it was after an attack/invasion but there was no one,main leader to be removed in their case.
» Jann [www] » 2003-02-21 22:21:26
 
I think the point is. Take oil out of the equation and maybe the West will meddle less in their affairs. Probably wishful thinking...
» martin [www] » 2003-02-21 23:16:26
 
Exactly, Martin. That was my point. Not only would the Western world probably meddle less in Middle Eastern affairs, but it would take more money away from the corrupt leaders who run those countries. How would they build their palaces, and buy weapons without all those billions in oil sales?

I read an article recently (or book? I wish I could remember where) about how rich of a history and culture that region has. I never said that the people of the Middle East had nothing to offer as far as culture is concerned... But do you think Saddam Hussein cares about culture? The inventors, scholars, artists, mathmeticians, philosphers, poets... Almost all of them are oppressed now (especially the women) by religious fantatics and cruel, corrupt government leaders.

I'm sorry to say this, but unless Saddam Hussein drops dead tomorrow, it WILL take a war to unseat him. He will not leave Iraq willingly, nor quietly, and neither will his supporters. And as long as there exists religious fanatics that make it their mission in life to bring jihad on every person or country who believes differently from them... Well, it won't be pretty. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

It's good that you're being optimistic about the future of that region and her people, Jann. I wish I could. Hell, I'm not even that optimistic about where WE will be in a few years.

==

And as far as alternative fuel conspiracy theories are concerned... You need look no further than the oil tycoons and the politicians that take their dirty lobbyist money.
» Moire » 2003-02-22 04:14:09
 
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