We have a war - is it ours?

Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 02:47 pm
Mark Twain

The loud little handful - as usual - will shout for the war.
The pulpit will - warily and cautiously - object... at first.
The great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes
and try to make out why there should be
a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly,
"It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it."

Then the handful will shout louder.
A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason
against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have
a hearing and be applauded, but it will not last long; those others will
outshout them, and presently the antiwar audiences will thin out and lose

Before long, you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the
platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men...

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation
that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing
falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any
refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the
war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this
process of grotesque self-deception.

This happens if we let it happen. To fight it requires constant vigilance and battle against the arrogant, the uninformed, the lazy. It's already started...
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 03:10 pm
Thanks for the poem, Mamajuana.

Delusional. That is what I call this administration and their policies. Did anyone watch the Lehrer show last night on PBS? They had a loopy brained young man extolling the plans for the "spread of Democracy thorughout the entire Middle East" after the occupation of Iraq. His opposite was an Arab who seemed rather amused by his boundless optimism and naivete. Where do they dig up these people to persuade us of the rightness of their actions?
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 03:13 pm
Hey, thanks for getting something started, you ladies.

And HELP!! I am the clueless leader. How do I get these messages to come to my letterbox?
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 03:15 pm
Nevermind, I figured it out. Whew! I am a slooow learner. But, thanks.
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 03:39 pm
VN-Nurse i watched that last nite and was amazed that anyone let than gent speak. on the other hand he raised the credibility of his opposition.
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 03:57 pm
Wow! Hi Dyslexia.

I had to bribe these other two ladies to show up here...well, sort of. Anyhow, thanks for posting.

I'm going to have to steel myself and start watching a little TV again. But I seem to have developed an allergy to it which makes me scream in anger - especially at "the talking heads".
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 04:03 pm
joanlee; i have to admit my teevee habits are limited to PBS
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 04:28 pm
Joan and Dys, I have limited myself and my granddaughter to PBS. We do not watch any other TV in our house and have not for a long time. CNN, better known as the "Chicken Noodle Network", MSNBC, Fox are corporate mouthpieces and the main networks not much better fare if you want to maintain some semblence of brain activity. This "All War 24/7", "terror 24/7", child obductions, Gary Condit/Chandra Levy nonsense of the cable shows combined with the reality shows on network TV have nothing for the thinking person. If that sounds elitist, well I don't care a fig!

I thought my husband was going to split with derisive laughter at the young man in question on Lehrer. They must be getting desperate.

Another little item...yesterday the Washington Post had one huge editorial rebutting all the adamant emails and letters that they have received calling the Post "Warmongers" and "obviously Pro-Bush Administration. Just having to give that much space to the defence of their position is a little telling, no?
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 10:28 pm
The Lehrer show - doesn't it seem as though the WH is running out of people to put on to represent their views? If it weren't the PBS show, I would have thought it was comedy hour.

VNN, dys - CNN should be watched. I think they have special classes for everyone on there - to teach them how to speak rapidly, breathlessly, and only on two or three subjects a day. And Wolf Blitzer never sleeps.

I am getting more and more curious about this whole "war." Now we are bribing Angola, Guinea - the New Europe? Having to go and buy small countries to be our coaltion becomes embarrassing. There was a time when an American president could speak to the head of another country, and there would be a mutual understanding, a give and take. This time, they request that Rumsfeld not be present, and nobody even expects Bush. But the world public seems more aroused, more knowledgeable than it was before. The fact that the Bush people choose to ignore that doesn't make it disappear. Instead, it serves to emphasize it.
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Reply Fri 28 Feb, 2003 11:25 pm
It seems all we need to do is give our president enough rope and he will manage to foul it up and take down his own presidency. The most recent deal, "we will do what ever it takes to democratize the region". What is that all about and who does he think he is. Good grief.

Actually I think Russia and China will take up the cause of peace for the world along with "old Europe = France and Germany.

At this point I am just embarrassed every time he speaks about Iraq.
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Reply Sat 1 Mar, 2003 12:58 pm
Joanne - Have you got a feeling that this will be hoist with its own petard, so to speak?
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Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2003 08:59 am

I assume you have read the Sunday NYT Magazine article, "Dreaming Of Democracy" by George Packer. I read it yesterday on the bus to the Philadelphia Flower Show, and boy was it a humdinger! The internicene fights within the Bush administration on Post War Iraq that we have heard rumors about, are real. They do not have a shared objective...and I don't blame the Kurds, the exiled Iraqis who doubt the America's resolve.


Long, but worth the time!
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Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2003 09:02 am
Martin Amis
And then there is Martin Amis with a piece in The Guardian:


A little taste of his wit wielded with surgical precision:

"One of the exhibits at the Umm Al-Maarik Mosque in central Baghdad is a copy of the Koran written in Saddam Hussein's own blood (he donated 24 litres over three years). Yet this is merely the most spectacular of Saddam's periodic sops to the mullahs. He is, in reality, a career-long secularist - indeed an "infidel", according to Bin Laden. Although there is no Bible on Capitol Hill written in the blood of George Bush, we are obliged to accept the fact that Bush is more religious than Saddam: of the two presidents, he is, in this respect, the more psychologically primitive. We hear about the successful "Texanisation" of the Republican party. And doesn't Texas sometimes seem to resemble a country like Saudi Arabia, with its great heat, its oil wealth, its brimming houses of worship, and its weekly executions?"
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Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2003 09:28 am
Hoist him with his own petard?

A petard is a small bomb used to blow down a door or wall. This is a term from early Modern English (the era of Queen Elizabeth the First), not common, yet still used in current use due to its inclusion in a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet:

There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows*,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery**. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard: and 't shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon: O, 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet.

Yes, Bush is about to enter the history books as being blown away by his own rhetoric.
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Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2003 11:31 pm
VNN - yes and yes.

Joanne - I didn't know that. I thought a petard was a small missile. I do use it, mostly because I have some favorite quotes from Shakespeare. Maybe better - hung by their own words?
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Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2003 10:54 pm
I am so greatly gratified to see so many other persons
who think as I do. Here in the bible belt of the south,
you would be amazed at the way people do NOT think.
You just feed 'em a bite of a carrot and they follow
you anywhere - right into a war.
*What kind of solution will come from such a war?
*Why are we not leading the rest of the world into world
*Instead we have folks chanting like groups of thoughtless,
ignorant tribal people, mindless news channel watchers,
crying WAR WAR WAR! As though we're in some
imminent danger. It is all based upon nothing but fear.
*REMEMBER - thanks due to Vietnam, there are FAR
MORE FEMALE VOTES in the USA than male votes!!!
*Why don't we take this as OUR opportunity to make
some changes in this, OUR COUNTRY.
*Granted, it was less than 200 years ago that men were
arguing, and quite heatedly, over the question of whether
or not women had souls. But we have come a short
way from that point. We quite possibly are in the most
envious of positions - we could easily select and/or be
the leaders of our own country. When will this chance
happen again?
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Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 12:53 am
Well, the thing is - we are invading. To the best of my knowledge, Iraq has not declared war on us, we haven't declared war, Iraq has not invaded any other place that asked for our help - so what is it?

Babs - it's not restricted to the bible belt. People all over are doing the war hop. Until it comes home. Then the reactions seem to change a little. My son - that blue-eyed, bald conservative baby I love - has a 17 year old son. It has suddenly dawned on him that my grandson is of war age. Now he's looking more closely at things like an economic aftermath.

I think one of the things about this whole mess is that it's easy to get caught up in patriotic fervor. Also, when you do that, no thinking is required. Just allow yourself to be swept along with the flag feeling, and other, wiser leaders will be there to take care of you. You, you troublemaker, are wondering about the leadership, and probably been reading too much about the what-ifs. Questioning and doubting are two very uncomfortable states to be in.
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Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 05:49 am
Hello, everyone

I had no idea anyone was posting here. I didn't receive anything in my mailbox. How does that work? Do I have to come here to see what's happening? Thanks, Joan
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Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 02:06 pm
Hello, everybody.

Just heard that Colin Powell now expects to get the nine vote he needs and that Turkey due to their election will now probably revote and allow us to deploy troops there. Oh, my.

Is this what you've all heard too? I am in need of some clarification and worse, some consolation. I am so against this invasion.
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Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2003 04:44 pm

It looks like there is some doubt about those votes, but the belief is that Bush will go anyway. Blair looks to be in deep trouble within his labor party. Some are jumping ship to save their political futures. This is really getting "iffy" for Tony.
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