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Direct action
February 2, 2003 3:23 PM   Subscribe

It seems that there is some disconnection between the foreign policies of the American administration and the beliefs of a significant part of the population. In many countries, direct action is seen as a normal response. Will that happen here? Or here?
posted by Nicolae Carpathia (18 comments total)

 
In this Bush recession, people may be wary of calling in sick for a day of protest. A better idea would be to vote for someone in the next Presidential election with perhaps a modicum of competence.
posted by the fire you left me at 3:41 PM on February 2, 2003


<brief insertion of reality>

The disconnect may come from intelligence information the administration has, that cannot safely be made public without revealing sources, or alerting Saddam.

Of course, some of it is starting to emerge.

Of course, it wouldn't matter a bit if Saddam was proven to have funded 9/11, had an arsenal full of biological and chemical weapons, and had plans to deliver them across the EU and North America. Bush would STILL be "evil" to those that started hating him before he even became President. No matter. Carry on with the Bush bash do jour ...

</reality>
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:13 PM on February 2, 2003


How is not going to work or not buying something a direct action against your government's foreign policy? Are there any examples of stuff like this working in any country other than France?
posted by dchase at 4:20 PM on February 2, 2003


MidasMulligan - I wasn't able to find any other info to corroborate that Herald Sun article you linked to. It seems like BIG news, why isn't it being carried elsewhere? I'm not familiar with Australian news sources -- is the Herald Sun reputable?
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 5:07 PM on February 2, 2003


Heh...if my co-workers didn't show up for work, it would mean one of two things:

1. There's been a coup
or
2. The U.S. is defenseless.

You really don't want either one of those options to become reality.

Also: isn't it touching, somehow, that the people that this idiot considers "exempt" from the "work strike" include grocery store workers? Protest the war, but do NOT interfere with this guy's ability to get a quart of organic milk, or some bean sprouts in the produce section.
posted by davidmsc at 5:12 PM on February 2, 2003


Good question, Nicolae Carpathia... and it's nice to see you back!
posted by languagehat at 5:24 PM on February 2, 2003


significant part of the population

Define significant...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:46 PM on February 2, 2003


Right on, S@L...after all, a "significant" part of the population believes in, for example, a supreme being (aka "God")...or UFOs...or ghosts...or talented American Idol wannabes...doesn't make it true, or even right. I'm just saying.
posted by davidmsc at 5:50 PM on February 2, 2003


The disconnect may come from intelligence information the administration has, that cannot safely be made public without revealing sources, or alerting Saddam.

Could someone even suggest a hypothetical situation in which this would be true? The possession of real "smoking-gun" kind of evidence would immediately obviate the need for any further intelligence of the kind. Once you have it, you present it and smash the hell outa the tyrant. The only reason I can even think of for delay would be one required to get helpful human sources out safely.

Of course, it wouldn't matter a bit if Saddam was proven to have funded 9/11, had an arsenal full of biological and chemical weapons, and had plans to deliver them across the EU and North America.

While it might be nice to think of those who disagree with your points of view as a bunch of unyielding idiots, of course it would matter, and it's more than a little ad hominem to suggest otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, I think there's good reasons for destroying the rule of Hussein and the Ba'ath party. But like most policy makers and politicians, the current administration doesn't seem to think they owe the public an actual convincing dialogue about the matter (you know, one with facts instead of lofty rhetoric) -- and it may because their reasons aren't the good ones, or it may be they think that once you're elected, accountability stops at the polls and next ballot box. I partially blame the ideals and integrity of those in power, but frankly, we keep putting them there on the basis of soundbite, focus group, pander-and-spin campaigning, so it must be the true fruits of democracy.

Of course, some of it is starting to emerge.

Good to see. Thanks for the link.
posted by namespan at 6:02 PM on February 2, 2003


{another brief insertion of reality}

Iraqi Chronology (Oil Production, etc.)

OPEC Fact Sheet

George Bush is Evil

{/reality}
posted by ?! at 6:16 PM on February 2, 2003


?!, that last link that is reality? What are you smoking?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:26 PM on February 2, 2003


_sirmissalot_: The Herald Sun bills itself as "Australia's biggest-selling daily newspaper", with a readership of around 1.5 million. Part of News Ltd, which owns a swath of other Australia papers. Looks to be a pretty credible paper. Still curious the story hasn't been picked up anywhere else.

The always credible Debka had a similar story in January.

Target Oil has an interesting comment on gas stations (scroll to the bottom). "We will attach posters on poles near gas stations (except for Citgo, which is exclusively Venezuealan gas and which we should all patronize exclusively)."

Finally, I for one would have no problem with the protesting of the La Jolla station, as it has some of the most hideous gas prices in the city.
posted by apostasy at 7:51 PM on February 2, 2003


On the other hand, how about this:

Clinton would STILL be "evil" to those that started hating him before he even became President. No matter. Carry on with the Clinton bash do jour ...

People here really don't bash Bush as much as you allege. Or if they do, it's becuase a sizable percentage here are liberals. So maybe get over it already? If you want people to share your views, go to Free Republic or a libertarian board. Otherwise, grow some skin.

It's like arguing with your dad--or your son, if you're a dad: it's a no win situation. You aren't going to change anyone's minds and you know that.

To use provocative hot button language and then go after people for reactin with 'personal attacks' is disingenuous.

Baiting and taunting is not about discussing ideas. Sneering at people and constantly talking down to them with contempt when they react emotionally to your purple invective is not about discussing ideas.

What I can't figure out is if you are who you say you are--and since we have to take your word for it and have no independent way of verifying it, so, as I said before, you could be a brain in a vat for all we know--anyway, if you are who you represent yourself to be, why are you kicking sand in the face of 98 pound mostly 20 something mostly liberals?

It's so strange. Here's Mr. Big Wheel in the world of commerce--or so he says--demonstrating his primate dominance over a bunch of liberal nerds in cyberspace.

It just doesn't make any sense except on the psychopathological level.

But then it's a guy thing--you never see the women here tilting their lances the way we guys do.

This passive-aggressive baiting and bashing is not about ideas, it's not about discussion--it's about put downs and testosterone. It contributes nothing but rancor and even you get riled by it eventually. And it makes this place nastier. If so many people here irritate you so much, go away. Sticking around to stick it to us is just going to degrade this place.

You're an intelligent man--when you aren't on your political high horse, you're interesting. I just can't understand why you have to harp on the same things over and over again. If you want to persuade, persuade.

Many here are dubious about this war and what it has to do with 9/11 and Al Queda and the whole philosophical underpinnig of this administration in regards to reckless and aggressive use of our military might.

As for the war--we disagree. Sheauga put it so elogquently recently in ahother context.

I think many of the various objections to this war are a matter of:

- having a healthy respect for the potential of unintended consequences
- legitimate differences of opinion regarding the magnitude and type of risks that are appropriate
- legitimate differences of opinion regarding the timing and priorities that will be most effective for dealing with a sketchy world security situation
- legitimate questions of whether personal considerations could make it more difficult for the US leadership to be objective in its evaluation of the situation - our top people are human too, not machines!
- legitimate differences of opinion about how to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty


This war with Iraq was on the books long before 9/11. It's not about Al Queda, who are still out there and still too strong.

I don't buy the kneejerkier liberal cliches it's about oil and such so much but taking down Saddamn is such an idee fixe with this crowd and meanwhile there's terrorism. And this administration isn't doing all that much about terrorism, not nearly enough, in my opinion.

There may be good reasons for taking out Saddam but Pakistan's a lot scarier to me. They gave A bomb info to North Korea, they won't let us go after Al Queda in the Northwest Provinces.

They're our ally, for Christ's sake.

Anyway, as the quote above and my previous reminders to you have noted, I'll bet you talked about Clinton much worse than people here talk about Bush, that you had no respect for him as President, that you didn't think he was fit for the office, that you had contempt for him before he was ever elected--so why are you complaining about people doing exactly what you did once?

If you ask me, you Clinton hating mouth foamers--and I have no love for the guy, myself, understand--with your Richard Mellon Scaife funded boiler rooms full of elves intent on digging up dirt to bring him down and all that ensued really poisoned the well, took the bloodsport of politics and degraded it down several notches--and did real damage to this country in the process.

To me there is a word for what was done to Clinton: treason. It did no good. It hurt this country mightily. You no doubt disagree.

But what you're complaining about here is blowback--a funhouse mirror of you back then.

Anyhow, I'll be happy to take it down a notch if you will....
posted by y2karl at 11:52 PM on February 2, 2003


The Herald Sun bills itself as "Australia's biggest-selling daily newspaper", with a readership of around 1.5 million. Part of News Ltd, which owns a swath of other Australia papers. Looks to be a pretty credible paper. Still curious the story hasn't been picked up anywhere else.

The Herald Sun? Pah. All it's bilging out these days is right-wing reactionary pro-war crap (though the sport section is quite good.). What do you expect when the editor, Andrew Bolt, makes even some of the bullet-heads here look like Jane Fonda.

I wouldn't have my fish'n'chips wrapped in it.
posted by GrahamVM at 6:30 AM on February 3, 2003


Leafleting, vigils, street theater, and other forms of nonviolent direct action are all encouraged.

Cuz nothing says "credibility" like puppets and giant papier-mache heads...
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:46 AM on February 3, 2003


The Herald Sun? Pah.

Hmm. I suppose, then, that WorldNet being the only service to pick up the story thus far...you wouldn't be convinced?
posted by apostasy at 7:27 AM on February 3, 2003


Come on now people. The smartest and the dumbest of this lot would all have to agree that we each have our own reality.

Leafleting, vigils, street theater, and other forms of nonviolent direct action are all encouraged

Well, organized theatre is great for gettting the message across too, but there is a large population that simply cannot afford to attend most organized theatrical performances.
posted by valval22 at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2003


Cuz nothing says "credibility" like puppets and giant papier-mache heads...

Don't forget the WTO Sea Turtles!
posted by y2karl at 12:20 PM on February 3, 2003


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