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Antiwar protests.

 
 
au1929
 
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:03 pm
At this point it would seem that the die is cast. Whether it is justified or unjustified will have become irrelevant, there will be conflict in Iraq. Open question do antiwar protests become inappropriate by American citizens{ once the conflict has begun]?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 20,671 • Replies: 486
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:06 pm
No.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:10 pm
Anti-war protests are always appropriate. They occurred during much of the Vietnam War and certainly influenced the course of US involvement. Not to mention the course of LBJ's presidency...
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:10 pm
au, I'm not sure how I feel about that. I would probably just continue to send e-mail, write letters, and make phone calls. I do not think I would do a peace march if we were at war. It could turn ugly, losing the purpose.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:11 pm
If they became inappropiate, the main difference between the US and Iraq -individual freedom- would be gone.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:14 pm
I protested then; I will protest now.
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trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:17 pm
No.

That written, I think there are forms of protest that are always inappropriate, or that are inappropriate under certain circumstances.
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:24 pm
fbaezer,

You are correct, of course. Perhaps I am too concerned about the seemliness of it.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 12:28 pm
I also think that numbers count for something, in and of themselves. My daughter is going through a phase where she is scared of dogs, and there were dogs at the vigil we went to last night, and so she refused to stand on the ground, at dog level. After half an hour or so of holding a heavy toddler in one arm and a candle in the other (and making sure nobody got singed), I was getting a bit worn out, but really wanted to just be there to keep the numbers strong. (Stayed for 1.5 hrs total -- oy, my back.)
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 01:05 pm
fbaezer wrote:
If they became inappropiate, the main difference between the US and Iraq -individual freedom- would be gone.



What a sad commentary on this stupid impasse.

I've heard that the more people protest, the more rigidly does our president hold his views. He looked down on protesters when he was young and doesn't think any higher of them now.
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trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 01:09 pm
Quote:
I've heard that ...

Now there's a citation you can really sink your teeth into! Rolling Eyes
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 01:19 pm
Bravo, sozobe! Keep on keepin' on. I found out after I got back from the peace march in Washington that my husband had told lots of people where I was. Almost as if he was proud of me. (He had been so angry when I told him I was going that our house was silent for days.)
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 01:19 pm
January 20, 2003
White House Unconcerned By Anti-War Protests

The Bush administration was unswayed by this weekend's anti-war protests in Washington and elsewhere.

____________

http://www.laboreducator.org/eightmil.htm
LABOR AND THE WAR for February 21, 2003

Bush Is Deaf to 8 Million Anti-War Voices,
Says He Alone Will Make Decision on Iraq
By Harry Kelber

In what was clearly a referendum of world public opinion, eight million people in 60 countries on five continents held marches and rallies on a single day, Saturday, Feb. 15, to register their impassioned opposition to a U.S.-led war against Iraq. It was the largest global anti-war protest ever.

President George Bush dismissed the event as having no influence on his military plan to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. In his first comment after the worldwide demonstrations, Bush said: “Size of protest — it’s like deciding, well, I’m going to decide policy based on a focus group,” adding, “The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security, in this case, the security of the people.”

What the President is telling us is that he, and he alone, will decide when and how to go to war against Saddam Hussein, and no amount of public criticism or opposition from within the United Nations will deter him.

______
Do I really need to go on? Has Bush made one significant gesture towards any of the people who have felt a conscientious need to speak out?
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 01:24 pm
Well, as you noted, Piffka, the president-to-be spent the Vietnam War period oblivious to protests. Of course, he didn't have to be against the war--no one would've expected that of him--but the evidence is that he barely noticed while he was on campus.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 06:23 pm
He laughed at war protesters then and ignores them now.
__________

The American Friends Service Committee
10 Reasons to Oppose the War with Iraq

1. War with Iraq won't make us safer.
A unilateral attack by the United States will inflame anti-U.S. sentiment and may stimulate more attacks by extremists.

2. There is no imminent threat.
There is no hard evidence that Iraq has nuclear weapons. Iraq has little means to deliver chemical and biological weapons to threaten countries in the Middle East, let alone the U.S.

3. A preemptive attack violates the U.N. charter.
The U.N. Charter forbids member countries from attacking another country except in self defense. If the U.S. puts itself above international law it will further encourage other nations to do the same.

4. Our allies don't support us in this war.
U.S. allies in the Middle East oppose a U.S. attack on Iraq. Our European allies have urged the U.S. to work through the U.N. An invasion of Iraq would isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world and shatter the principles of international cooperation and mutual defense that are key to U.S. and global security.

5. Thousands of innocent people may die.
Pentagon estimates say that an invasion of Iraq could lead to the deaths of 10,000 innocent civilians.

6. Young American men and women will fight and die.
U.S. military action and possible occupation is likely to produce far more casualties than the previous Gulf War or the war in Afghanistan. Many combatants will suffer physical and psychological repercussions for years after the war ends.

7. Funding for education, environment and health care is already being cut in order to pay for the "war on terror."
Estimates put the cost of a war with Iraq at $60-$100 billion with ongoing billions for occupation and rebuilding Iraq.

8. Things may not be better after a war.
We have no guarantee that a new regime in Iraq will make life any better for the Iraqi people or be any friendlier to the U.S. than the current one. The Taliban were once our allies in Afghanistan. Will the new regime in Iraq become our enemy after a few years?

9. There are other options.
The U.S. can work through the U.N. using mechanisms such as the resumption of weapons inspections, negotiation, mediation, regional arrangements, and other peaceful means.

10. The American people have deep misgivings about this war.
Many people know deep down that this war makes no sense. They are starting to speak up and make themselves heard. You can add your voice to activities in your community.
0 Replies
 
trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 10:45 pm
Quote:
Do I really need to go on? Has Bush made one significant gesture towards any of the people who have felt a conscientious need to speak out?

Yes, he has ignored them. I find that both significant and appropriate. If the experts in his administration were telling him that a non-military approach was the best and only solution, I would expect him to ignore anyone protesting and clamoring FOR war.

Frankly it seems that you and others simply put far too high a value on your own opinions.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 11:02 pm
"Ignoring" the protests is simply a tactic. What possible, acceptable response could there be to what we're saying in such numbers?
In Australia ALL the polls tell us that the VAST majority of people are opposed to the war .... We protested at the possibility in record numbers. Too bad! Today we find that we're doing it anyway!!!! So much for the government "representing" the people!
Our prime minister suggested that we not take out our anger on the Oz troops (we won't - they didn't create this), but instead to take out our anger on him (we most certainly will!)
What a farce. How distressing .... And to think so many people will die because of this!
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Tartarin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 11:24 pm
As I've said elsewhere, I think the next step is, in addition to demonstrating against the war, to incorporate a very strong protest against the Bush administration and the extraordinary damage it is doing internationally and at home. To be effective protests will have to be well organized, but there are some very good organizers out there.

Msolga, it's not just that the administration is ignoring the protesters, it's that far too many of our citizenry (in interviews, comments on talk shows) dismiss or worse the potential loss of life except when it comes to "our troops." We're in a moral sinkhole here.

Aha! but even as I write and listen to a classical music request show, I note that much French music has been requested tonight and at this moment the Marseillaise. Voila! There are some consciences out there! Marchons, marchons!!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 12:36 am
Tartarin

It must be a very different response here in Australia .... Something like 80% of those polled disagree with the war. Even today, after the prime minister's press conference, in which he declared that we were going to be involved, there was only a 4% swing in favour of war. (based on the "supporting our troops" argument). The huge majority of Australians simply don't believe it's a justifiable war. That simple.

There are demonstrations & walk-outs from work planned for when the war actually starts. ... Planned by anti-war organizations & trade unions & others. Just about every other major political party (other than the the Liberals, who are in power) strongly opposes war.
I have been listening to radio talk back all day: Almost all callers believe it's a wrong & immoral action. There is outrage out there!
And would you believe that our federal parliament never even got to debate the prospect, or vote on it? The decision was made by federal cabinet, prior to today's press conference. Federal parliament gets to debate it tomorrow, or the day after ... So they get no say!
What can I say?: A black day.
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trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 01:05 am
msolga - Is it your contention that the US President should consult the citizenry of Australia prior to deciding what is best for the US? Perhaps your complaint is with your PM, in which case I have no comment, but our President is doing what most of his people think he should do, according to every poll that has been done. So, assuming it is his job to act based on public opinion--and it is quite clearly not--President Bush is doing so.
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