Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Who Has Done More For World Peace?
The protestor raising consciousness about the invalidity of an illegal war is doing something for world peace.
The citizen who changes their life so that they are no longer dependent upon foreign oil for transportation or their food so that there is no need for wars to protect "our" oil is doing something for world peace (perhaps more than the others).
Who ISN'T promoting world peace?
The soldier of any side who kills accidentally or purposefully innocent bystanders is increasing the cycle of violence. Like it or not, by design or not, THAT soldier is promoting violence.
Or so it seems to me, and to you, as well, I suspect. I mean, the soldier who'd drop a bomb on NY would incite all sorts of hatred and feelings of violence in you, would it not? Assuming your answer to be Yes: therein is your own evidence.
If I lived in Brazil and I had a problem with Brazilian leadership, I'd protest them. It doesn't really make a lotta sense for me here in the US to protest Brazil's actions, right?
Having said that, when we realized that Reagan and Daddy Bush were supporting Saddam back in the 70s (when most of the killing was done), the peaceniks WERE protesting the US AND our support of Saddam. How about you?
I will agree with you that it doesn't make a great deal of sense to protest a war that you feel to be about oil, for instance, and to keep driving a car using that oil. The greatest protests are those we do with our actions and lives, which is what I indicated in my first comment.
So, by your comments, do you mean to say that you think there is never a place for protest, or you just object to these particular protesters opposed to this particular war?
I mean, would you have been glad to see protesters in Saddam's Iraq, standing in opposition to him? Is it protesting you're opposed to or just these particular protests?
Saddam Hussein was NEVER a US ally. Between 1984 and 1988 the US had an interest in seeing that the Iranians did not conquer Iraq and so, yes, we aided him somewhat. Far less than the Left makes of it, but we did. After the war was over, we stopped.
During the war, many Kurds served in the Iranian Army. After the war was ended ALONG WITH US ASSISTANCE, Saddam gassed the Kurds. I am so sick of Liberal traitors lying against America and blaming us for stuff we are not guilty of.
The smelly hippie carrying a protest sign does NOTHING good. He is a dope smoking fool who has no contact with the real world. My grandparents lived in Joseph Stalin's gulag world. Useful Idiots like yourself at that time were saying that Stalin's Russia was the wave of the future and that any stories of atrocities going on there were lies.
The sign carrying ass during the Vietnam Era made possible the murdering of millions of innocent Indochinese. And what did Useful Idiots like you do while the Killing Fields were being filled? You put on your bell bottoms, took a nose twinkle of the white stuff and went to Studio 54 AND COULDN'T HAVE CARED LESS!
Today you march in defense of Saddam, another filler of mass graves, and you go on and on about how unjust it all was. Where is the injustice? A murderous socialist was replaced by a democratic government.
That is ALL that happened. Those who "raise consciousness" as you put it, only raise a lot of crap.
No, not an ounce of good comes from them. And if you came out of your sheltered ivory tower, maybe you'd see that.
We do not march in defense of Saddam, we march in defense of the innocent Iraqis paying for our policies. We march in opposition to injustice because we know that peace can not be created by unjust means.
More than marching, though, we change our lifestyles so as not to be part of the problem (in this case, to decrease our dependence upon foreign oil).
To commit ad hominem attacks by calling us dope-smoking hippies only serves to deligitimize your arguments and does not address ours at all.
I think we all agree that there is a time and place to protest. When injustices are being committed in our names, for us to do nothing would be the crime.
And, just as protests helped end the unjust war in Viet Nam, our protests ARE helping end this unjust war, so they DO serve a purpose. You may disagree with us on that point, but you can't disagree that they have their intended effect.
Part of the reason of smart protests is to effect change. It is very difficult for a US citizen to effect change over another country. Therefore, we protest our country where we CAN effect and HAVE effected change.
There ARE things we can do to effect change in other countries (the South Africa/Apartheid boycott springs to mind) but generally speaking, it would be ineffective for me to protest Saddam via marches in the street.
It's quite reasonable, actually.
Dan, what about if you lived in Iraq and protested the Buthcer of Baghdad? You'd be thrown in jail, gang-banged, tortured, and if you got out, you'd be ostracized.
"More than marching, though, we change our lifestyles so as not to be part of the problem (in this case, to decrease our dependence upon foreign oil)."
Let me get this right. You've sold your car for a bike, you've stopped purchasing from anyone that uses semi-trucks for distribution, and you've stopped using electricity for it too runs with the use of oil. Sure, see ya there!
Finally, I believe dissenters are worse than the enemy. They pollute innocent minds, dilute facts, and in all cases make matters worse. John Wilkes Booth was a dissenter.
Let me get this right. You've sold your car for a bike...
Yes, yes (mostly) and our electricity in KY is produced by coal and water, not oil. What I said is that we (my protestor friends and I) have decreased our dependence upon oil, not eliminated it.
It's difficult, in a system that has set up a dependence upon foreign oil, for the individual to totally divorce themselves from it, but we can reduce our dependence and call for changes from a system dependent upon foreign oil to one that is independent. That should be a big issue for conservatives, seems to me. Instead, we have a bunch of oil dudes in bed with a bunch of Arabs running our country and setting our policies (not that the Dems before them were much better).
My point remains that it makes no sense from a strategic point of view for US citizens to merely protest another nation's policies. If we wish to change another nation's policies, there are strategies to use, but protesting is not one of them.
It DOES sometimes make sense to protest ours, inasmuch as it can effect change. Dislike dissenters as much as you wish, Brother neo-con, but we're dissenting nonetheless.
While there is a time for symbolic vigils, etc, most smart protesters want to conduct actions that will have actual results (ie, an end to atrocities). So, for US citizens to protest Colombian policies is not very helpful UNLESS US leaders have a hand in the nondesirable policies.
But thanks for the defense, and you're correct, I don't see much value in burning SUVs or torching a flag.
Despots I haven't liked:
to name a few...
If you had a picture of Bush next to Bin Laden that would be a toss up as well. Although you could argue that more people have died as a result of Bush than have as a result of Bin Laden.
Still this pic is just cheap propaganda. I could replace that soldiers pic with a leveled Iraqi village and 40 dead children and ask the same question.
who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Soldier, not the poet
who has given us freedom of speech
It is the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag,
and, whose coffin is draped by the flag.
God bless our military who are in harms way!!!
Dan, in the abstract, is it the atrocity itself that is abhorent to you, or the fact that it is committed by the U.S.? Even more troublesome, is it the act of protesting that is more important, rather than defeating the atrocotity itself? Clearly you express in your comment above that to be "meaningful", a protest must have a measureable effect --- then what of the single German protester in Nazi Germany, withholding their resistence because it will likely have no effect, other than their own death? Are we not obligated to protest the atrocities perpetrated by Kim Jong Il on the people of North Korea? What good would that do you may ask --- well, Poldark Maximus suggests that assembling 2 million of your closest freinds outside the home of the North Korean ambassador to the U.N in New York would capture not only the attention of the New York police, but Kim Jong Il as well. And perhaps pursuade him that the people of the U.S. a will not abide his develpment and use of Nuclear weapons and perhaps even convince his own people to rise up against him.
Enlighten us, those of us who would see value not only in protesting the actions of our own government, which by the way, last time Poldark Maximus checked, WAS trying to aleviate the great atrocities in Iraq -- as to why you would stear well clear of protesting atrocities, wherever they may occur? Do you underestimate the power of righteous protest beyond our shores?
There are times for symbolic protests, even when it may seemingly do no good. Given limited amounts of time in anyone's life though, most progressives and other folk who are Resisters would rather see effective actions taken.
So the point, with the Nazi-era German citizen would not be to do nothing, but it would be to find the most effective means of resistence.
Which is why I gave the example of South Africa. We, who opposed apartheid here in the US, did not spend too much time in generic protests of the South African gov't. There was little point to it beyond bringing awareness. Instead, we spent time organizing a global boycott, which eventually helped bring down apartheid.
Nonviolent resisters are NOT ever for "doing nothing" in the face of oppression. We're for taking wise and just actions to bring the oppression to light and end it.
As to your first question: It is always the atrocity itself, the lack of Justice that motivates us. Believe me, I'd really rather my gov't was NOT taking unjust actions that I'd have to spend my time protesting.
EVEN IF you believe that an Iraq style invasion could work in one case, it can't work in them all because there are not enough resources to stage a military invasion in every oppressive country. But we can develop international policies and laws about what is and is NOT acceptable. (It is not a loss of sovreignty to sign on to an agreement that killing innocent people is wrong.)
So, that's what I've been doing. What about you? There has NOT been silence from the left any moreso than the silence from the right. There HAS been WAY too much silence from everyone, but not from one side more than the other.
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