The war has begun.
March 19, 2003 7:01 PM   Subscribe

The War has begun.
posted by mhaw (330 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was just abou to post that. However there is a bit more info here http://www.msnbc.com/news/870749.asp?0cv=CA00 instead of cnn.
posted by niteHawk at 7:03 PM on March 19, 2003


air raid sirens in baghdad but the only sounds you can here are the anti-aircraft machine guns. will go now.

Where is Raed? has been updated recently with news of the attack.
posted by bobo123 at 7:05 PM on March 19, 2003


Great post. Very well thought out.
posted by tomorama at 7:08 PM on March 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


Predictable.
posted by mcwetboy at 7:10 PM on March 19, 2003


UPDATE: dan rather just reported that the first hit in baghdad may have been intended to give saddam hussein the "heeby jeebies."
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 7:13 PM on March 19, 2003


MeTa
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:14 PM on March 19, 2003


Up until this moment I was still hoping it could be avoided somehow. I feel numb.
posted by Tarrama at 7:14 PM on March 19, 2003


Unbelievable. On a whim, I just downloaded from Limewire what I thought was "One Slip" by Pink Floyd. I hit Play and alt-tabbed over to Mefi--two minutes after this was posted. It wasn't "One Slip" I downloaded--it turned out to be "Dogs of War," playing just as I read this post. Surreal. I feel slightly sick.

"One world--we're gonna smash it down..."
posted by Shane at 7:15 PM on March 19, 2003


The BBC news channel just showed the pre-feed from the White House, showing Bush getting miked up and having his hair done, as he went through the speech in advance. All rather detracting from his authority, which makes me feel a little better.
posted by riviera at 7:15 PM on March 19, 2003


Just what we need, another opportunity for Dan Rather to trot out every hokey, supposedly-Texanism in his seemingly boundless reservoir of inanity in the least appropriate time possible. Heeby jeebies my left foot.
posted by Dreama at 7:16 PM on March 19, 2003


So now we're terrorists too.
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:18 PM on March 19, 2003


Bush said this was an effort of 35 countries. What other 33 countries was he talking about?
posted by Jonasio at 7:19 PM on March 19, 2003


riviera.. i saw that too, very funny indeed.

Uhm, what does a single '.' denote? If you want to post 'me too', please at least have the guts to just do that.
posted by toby\flat2 at 7:20 PM on March 19, 2003


"our nation enters this conflict reluctantly..."

really? ya think?
posted by Jonasio at 7:20 PM on March 19, 2003


Well, for all the redneck, knuckle-dragging proles, I hope your collective circle-jerk over the deaths of thousands gets you off.
posted by drstrangelove at 7:21 PM on March 19, 2003


God Speed
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:21 PM on March 19, 2003


I was going to post a slightly snarky comment about how news.google.com is actually the appropriate newsfilter (minus the ability to post), but I just went there and they didn't have news of the attack.

Hmmm. Metafilter beats google.
posted by namespan at 7:22 PM on March 19, 2003


Better NewsFilter than BitchFilter, IMO.
posted by Jonasio at 7:25 PM on March 19, 2003


War hasn't begun, disarmament of the iraqi regime has begun. Get your terminology right.

(I changed the original link to raed's site, since it's just as informative. Add more links to this thread as you all see fit)
posted by mathowie at 7:26 PM on March 19, 2003


:-(
posted by Stuart_R at 7:26 PM on March 19, 2003


damn...

our nation enters this conflict reluctantly...
yeah, that's what caught my eye also. one word: 'reluctantly'.
posted by poopy at 7:27 PM on March 19, 2003


.

Toby...The "." is in rememberance (or whatever word you choose to use) for the lives that have/will be lost. I remember it being used in the 9/11 post and the recent space shuttle post and a few others i think.
posted by jmd82 at 7:28 PM on March 19, 2003


*heads off to the dandelion patch*
posted by ColdChef at 7:28 PM on March 19, 2003


"."
posted by anildash at 7:29 PM on March 19, 2003


MSNBC has live video feeds from baghdad
posted by mathowie at 7:32 PM on March 19, 2003


One particularly sickening aspect of all this is that while Turkey doesn't support the war, it is planning to send troops in purely to prevent the Kurds from making any progress towards self-determination. (No link-- heard on NPR an hour ago)

In other words, they won't help for any good purpose (like freeing Iraq) but they'll go in to oppress.

I don't support this war, but the idea of a military power participating not towards any ostensible good end but to actually prevent a people from achieving freedom is appalling.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:33 PM on March 19, 2003


Well all you can see right now on Iraq TV satfeed is a guy singing.

Let's hope there's no casualty among civilians.
posted by elpapacito at 7:33 PM on March 19, 2003


I don't want us to be at war. I do not think we're doing the right thing.

Having said that, I do support those serving in our millitary, and hope they come home safely.
posted by metrocake at 7:33 PM on March 19, 2003


.
posted by drstrangelove at 7:34 PM on March 19, 2003


And here's the catchphrase for Gulf War II:
I saw a commander on CNN say that when the president gave the word, "It's Hammertime!"

ITS HAMMERTIME!
posted by 2sheets at 7:38 PM on March 19, 2003


what metrocake said,

and i'm praying we're not attacked here in NY in retaliation for this...
posted by amberglow at 7:39 PM on March 19, 2003


It was the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It was the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It was the Soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to fair trial.
It was the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, who salutes the flag, who served under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Written by: Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC
posted by msacheson at 7:39 PM on March 19, 2003


MSNBC has live video feeds from baghdad

that live feed webcam from baghdad, with its little puff-explosion sounds in the background, is the spookiest real-time uplink i have ever seen.

may god have mercy on us all.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 7:40 PM on March 19, 2003


I would suggest listening to one of the feeds from PublicRadioFan.com - notably the non-American feeds if you are of the paranoid kind. Notably the BBC World Service - windows media or Real Media or perhaps Radio New Zealand [real media]. Unfortunatley I doubt there will be any clear news until after events transpire.
posted by plemeljr at 7:41 PM on March 19, 2003


The msnbc site is hosed from here in Indiana. Doesn't the "ms" stand for Microsoft? Wouldn't you think they would have planned for being traffic-swamped a little better?
posted by moonbiter at 7:42 PM on March 19, 2003


Now we'll be safe from terrorists. The President said so.
posted by sacre_bleu at 7:42 PM on March 19, 2003


Let's hope it ends quickly.
posted by Outlawyr at 7:42 PM on March 19, 2003


ITS HAMMERTIME!
posted by larry_darrell at 7:43 PM on March 19, 2003


[this might be offensive]
posted by adampsyche at 7:44 PM on March 19, 2003


Live video from BBC News [real video stream] for people that want something different than the American news channels.
posted by gyc at 7:44 PM on March 19, 2003


I feel sick.
posted by muckster at 7:45 PM on March 19, 2003


Hey Jonasio: There is a willing coalition of nations that support the United States.
posted by davidmsc at 7:45 PM on March 19, 2003


Yes, drstrangelove, being insulting and obnoxious does wonders for the situation, thanks for your contribution.

To all the men in the military, regardless of how I feel about this war, godspeed and hope to see you (and the iraqi citizenry) home safe soon.
posted by jonmc at 7:45 PM on March 19, 2003


*after seeing what metrocake said*

.
posted by Cyrano at 7:45 PM on March 19, 2003


"Target of opportunity hit in Baghdad" and "special ops may be in Baghdad" NBC TV news last 45 minutes. Probably aerial electronic surveillance. Someone big was targeted.
posted by slowlightning at 7:45 PM on March 19, 2003


.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 7:46 PM on March 19, 2003


"And the poor young man covered his face with his hand; and many a time afterwards, in the course of his life, he shuddered at seeing how much inhumanity there is in man, how much savage coarseness is concealed in delicate, refined worldliness and, O God! even in that man whom the world acknowledges as honorable and noble."

-Nikolai Gogol, The Overcoat

I read this story again last night and cried a little.
posted by chrisgregory at 7:46 PM on March 19, 2003


huh... my dot went away.
.
I meant it to mean a moment of silence. Acknowledgement without yammer. Oh well.
posted by condour75 at 7:47 PM on March 19, 2003


>prevent a people from achieving freedom is appalling.

What the hell are you talking about? The reason the US is at war is to DISARM iraq, not to free anyone. Turkey is acting like a model US ally. Remember, the US has no beef with Turkey's own Kurdish crackdowns and cares not about freeing anyone, not Iraq not Saudi Arabia, no one. This is a war of self-defense. The president believes Saddam is a DIRECT THREAT to the safety of the United States. End of story. Any secondary effect is certainly not the cause of the war and our allies have no reason to do things that aren't part of the plan.

If the US wanted to "free iraq" it could have easily armed the autonomous Kurds and the Shi'ites in the south. This war has nothing to do with freedom, but self-defense.

If you don't believe it, I know I dont, thats fine, but don't fool yourself on why the US is there.
posted by skallas at 7:47 PM on March 19, 2003


[this is going to be awful]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:48 PM on March 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


Someone big was targeted.

We attacked Oprah?
posted by bondcliff at 7:48 PM on March 19, 2003


Yeah! Saddam is almost gone!
posted by ParisParamus at 7:48 PM on March 19, 2003


There's a report the US has taken over Iraqi radio. I also noticed that uruklink.net (the official Iraqi gov't site - according to Google) is offline.
posted by Stuart_R at 7:49 PM on March 19, 2003


Sorry, jonmc. You're right.

But I spent a lot of time today arguing with a few hawks that can't see anything other than war. These same guys have never: fought in a conflict, lived in a war zone or had to live through an air raid. Yet, they are experts in warfare and don't even consider the people what will die. I show them pictures of children killed in Afghanistan, and it's either "inflammatory and unnecessary" or "fabricated."

So, with this news, I can see those bastards right now, giving each other high-fives...
posted by drstrangelove at 7:49 PM on March 19, 2003


This war has nothing to do with freedom, but self-defense.

Eh, I agree with the first half...
posted by Shane at 7:50 PM on March 19, 2003


Crazy audio artifacts on that live feed. You can hear the tires of cars going by. If a bomb lands nearby it's going to be damned loud. Who are these crazy fuckers driving around beeping their horns? I guess they're getting the hell out.
posted by mblandi at 7:51 PM on March 19, 2003


This just in : Fuck you, George, and the people who put you into the driver's seat.

Maybe if terrifyingly large numbers of American soldiers are actually killed in this little game, doubtful as it seems, it might make the blinkered scum that run your nation a little more hesitant to do it again. Of course the 2000+ dead Americans in New York in 2001 haven't stopped them from endangering more US civilians, so I don't know what will.

i'm praying we're not attacked here in NY in retaliation for this...

If it's not NY, it'll be elsewhere. Your president has virtually guaranteed that. For my part, I hope no other friends of mine are killed as a direct result of the misdeeds of this American regime, but I'm resigned to seeing it happen.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:52 PM on March 19, 2003


What the hell are you talking about?

Which word didn't you understand? Turkey going in to prevent Kurds from achieving self-determination, and for no other purpose. They are exploiting a war in order to prevent what any freedom-loving person might consider to be a positive side-effect. I did not claim that the purpose of the US was to liberate Iraq (I don't believe that any more than you do), I was expressing dismay that a major nation and Euro-aspirant would launch an expedition to prevent a possible liberation.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:53 PM on March 19, 2003


If you guys are quick, you can turn on the TV and see every tax dollar you will ever pay disapppear...

Too late.

Don't for get that April 15 is just around the corner, pay up or they will go Code Red on your ass.
posted by thirteen at 7:54 PM on March 19, 2003


There's a report the US has taken over Iraqi radio.
??
Where is Raed?: there is still nothing happening im baghdad we can only hear distant expolsions and there still is no all clear siren. someone in the BBC said that the state radio has been overtaken by US broadcast, that didn't happen the 3 state broadcasters still operate.

posted by Shane at 7:55 PM on March 19, 2003


msacheson,

Nice post, but the Father is wrong: the Constitution gave us those rights, and a Soldier defended them.
posted by drstrangelove at 7:55 PM on March 19, 2003


i'm just frightened for all involved in this...the troops, but mostly the iraqi civlilians in iraq because i'm afraid that when this is over the ratio will be drastic.
posted by poopy at 7:55 PM on March 19, 2003


It was the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It was the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It was the Soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to fair trial.
It was the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, who salutes the flag, who served under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag


And much love (I was going to say "God Bless," but we all know what kind of firestorm that could start around here...) to every one of them.

A mark of a great nation is that it cares for its soldiers. Barring the most ridiculous of screeds, I think most of us on either the Pro or Con side would agree on that.
posted by Cyrano at 7:57 PM on March 19, 2003


>They are exploiting a war in order to prevent what any freedom-loving person might consider to be a positive side-effect.

Nonsense. The Turks believe that allowing the autonomous Kurds freedom would be a SECURITY RISK to their country just like, according to Bush, Saddam is to the US. Turkey fears a huge Kurdish revolt.

Welcome to how the world works 101. May your bullshit idealism go away.

"Freedom loving people?" Opposed to "freedom-haters?"

Oh man, I hate not having a curfew!!
posted by skallas at 7:57 PM on March 19, 2003


An Irishman Foresees His Death
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:57 PM on March 19, 2003


At this moment an ungodly number of Americans are sitting in front of the TV yelling "Yeah! Nuke them towelheads!"

And the outcome of the next presidential election is in the bag.
posted by Shane at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2003


Matt Drudge is about to have the biggest orgasm of his life.
posted by the fire you left me at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2003


What Shane said.
posted by drstrangelove at 8:01 PM on March 19, 2003


I support the troops. Hope for a quick campaign, with as little loss of life on both sides as necessary. May fate be kind.
And now, back to lurking indefinitely.
posted by darukaru at 8:01 PM on March 19, 2003


And they say metafilter is left-leaning.

I just don't believe it.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:02 PM on March 19, 2003


And the outcome of the next presidential election is in the bag.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.
posted by LouReedsSon at 8:02 PM on March 19, 2003


And the outcome of the next presidential election is in the bag.

I'd say Karl Rove timed this badly. Wait another six months, and Bush would be re-elected before the cost of maintaining Iraq became clear.
posted by sacre_bleu at 8:06 PM on March 19, 2003


So, with this news, I can see those bastards right now, giving each other high-fives...

Thats right...all pro-war people are bastards. Thank for spelling that out for me. All my friends are having a big ole' keggar right now hoping we nuke Iraq into the stone age because we're going to war.
posted by jmd82 at 8:06 PM on March 19, 2003


You know, it's depressing enough watching the war footage on TV. Listening to everybody here and in #mefi, both pro and anti is even more depressing somehow. I used to think we could accoplish something here.

I was wrong. And I'm really disappointed.
posted by jonmc at 8:08 PM on March 19, 2003


I just want to state this publicly before everything goes down:

Whatever this war accomplishes, it could have been better accomplished with patience and diplomacy.
posted by argybarg at 8:08 PM on March 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


They are saying on CNN that the initial attack was a decaptitation attack aimed at killing Saddam prior to the beginning of the war. Wasn't this the pont of the war?
posted by grimley at 8:10 PM on March 19, 2003


point.
posted by grimley at 8:11 PM on March 19, 2003


At this moment an ungodly number of Americans are sitting in front of the TV yelling "Yeah! Nuke them towelheads!"

No. They are not. Shame on you, Shane.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 8:12 PM on March 19, 2003


And the outcome of the next presidential election is in the bag.

Bullshit. There are more than enough people who don't like the way this counrty is going to change things if they acutally got off their asses and voted.

And I'll admit it: I didn't vote in the last election. I live in Texas and, let's face it, Bush was going to win my state so why bother?

But I can also tell you that there is no way I am ever thinking that again...
posted by Cyrano at 8:13 PM on March 19, 2003


May your bullshit idealism go away.

Not a whole lot of point in responding to you, really. May you learn some manners.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:14 PM on March 19, 2003


msacheson:

It was the reporter, not the soldier, to report oppression when soldiers are used to oppress people.
It was the poet, not the soldier, to sing the song of the soldier who died for freedom.
It was the lawyer, not the soldier, that defended the rights of many abused and quickly forgotten soldiers.
It was the campus organizer, not the soldier, that when
the soldiers were away organized the protests against
those who simply hate soldiers without any reason.

It is the man and the woman, who believes in freedom for everybody, that salutes any flag of peace and freedom, who served peace and freedom, that would rather not become a soldier, but is ready to sacrifice his life for peace and freedom.
posted by elpapacito at 8:14 PM on March 19, 2003


You're right, Jon...my emotions, along with some others i think, got outa' hand. I apologize.
posted by jmd82 at 8:14 PM on March 19, 2003


No. They are not.
Oh Yes They Are. I work with some of them, and I've heard the sentiments already. Plenty of times. Sad and sickening but 100% true. Maybe you're being sarcastic, sirmiss? If so, sorry.

posted by Shane at 8:16 PM on March 19, 2003


Most importantly, what the hell is this war's codename?
Enduring Freedom
Infinte Justice
Desert Shield/Storm

Methinks "Operation: Hide The Economy" has a certain ring to it.
posted by owillis at 8:16 PM on March 19, 2003


[link levity] There's a report the US has taken over Iraqi radio. [/link levity]
posted by thunder at 8:17 PM on March 19, 2003


Actually, jmd, you're comments didn't offend me really, and besides as I've been known to say, I don't have a righjt to go through life unoffended.

Cyrano is 100% correct. After the last Gulf War, everyone thought Bush, Sr was a shoo-in remember?
posted by jonmc at 8:18 PM on March 19, 2003


[broken record] innocent and military lives will be lost [/broken record]

.
posted by poopy at 8:19 PM on March 19, 2003


CNN reported W had a "relaxing dinner with his wife, polished up his speech, addressed the nation, and is now off to bed."

It's good to be king.
posted by LouReedsSon at 8:19 PM on March 19, 2003



posted by quonsar at 8:21 PM on March 19, 2003


A red sun rises. Blood has been spilled this night.
posted by ruwan at 8:22 PM on March 19, 2003


Cyrano is 100% correct.

I hope he's right and I'm wrong. I know a frightening amount of yahoos in Ohio will vote for Bush now no matter what happens.
posted by Shane at 8:23 PM on March 19, 2003


Things I regret the most with birthday #30 looming:

#1: Not telling her how much I loved her.

#2: Not voting in the last election.

Goddamn it, it was supposed to be better than this.
posted by Cyrano at 8:23 PM on March 19, 2003


At this moment an ungodly number of Americans are sitting in front of the TV yelling "Yeah! Nuke them towelheads!"

No. They are not. Shame on you, Shane.

I left a bar where the war was greeted with whoops, high-fives and shots of Crown Royal on the house. I got my coat.
posted by sacre_bleu at 8:24 PM on March 19, 2003


Jonasio: Bush said this was an effort of 35 countries. What other 33 countries was he talking about?

Hrm... this isn't a complete list, but:

Afghanistan
Albania
Australia
Azerbaijan
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Georgia
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Japan
Korea
Latvia
Lithuania
Macedonia
Netherlands
Nicaragua
Philippines
Poland
Romania
Slovakia
Spain
Turkey
United Kingdom
Uzbekistan

But you're right, this is a completely unilateral action.

Godspeed, boys.
posted by jammer at 8:24 PM on March 19, 2003


_sirmissalot ...you do really miss a lot don't you?...where I am there are many many people cheering about this war. You must not be regionally located in the Southern US.

also:

.
posted by SweetIceT at 8:25 PM on March 19, 2003


No. They are not.
Oh Yes They Are. I work with some of them, and I've heard the sentiments already. Plenty of times. Sad and sickening but 100% true. Maybe you're being sarcastic, sirmiss? If so, sorry.


I'll try this again w/out being snarky. But, all the pro-war people, myself included, do not want the place to be nuked or use WOMD. We have my friends over there in the Iraw area. Its not like we want them to go in there and just die for no cause , but we and them alike feel this is the best course of action.
posted by jmd82 at 8:25 PM on March 19, 2003


Skallas...it's not just the Turks who think that. Kurdish independence would be disastrous for the region - though certainly some form of semi-autonomy within the new Iraq would be great. The Kurdish people occupy a lot of SE Turkey and NW Iraq, as well as the already violent Caucusus, and reside in an area with tremendous water and oil resources, as well as strategic military corridors. It's the Alsace-Lorraine of the Middle East, and neither Iran nor Turkey wants to lose such a vital region.

Of course, Turkey, Iran and the new Iraq all need to do much better jobs of respecting the human rights of the Kurds - if they were treated properly, you wouldn't hear the calls for self-determination, I don't think.

Owillis - it's simply "Operation Iraqi Freedom". I, for one, approve of this less jingoistic naming scheme.

In any case, though I believe this war will, in the long run, be positive for both Iraqis and non-Iraqis, I do hope that as few people in Iraq die or are hurt in this campaign. Nobody is in favor of death, pro-war or anti-war. Here's to a swift campaign.
posted by Kevs at 8:26 PM on March 19, 2003


That is the most disgusting comment I've read in about two weeks from the wonderchicken, and certainly the ugliest and most hateful in this thread, bar none.

I hope the soldiers accomplish what they set out to do, and return as quickly and safely as possible.
posted by hama7 at 8:26 PM on March 19, 2003


CNN reported W had a "relaxing dinner with his wife, polished up his speech, addressed the nation, and is now off to bed."

Sleeping the peaceful sleep of the soulless...

birthday #30 looming: Goddamn it, it was supposed to be better than this.

Don't worry, it gets better after 30 (hahaha!)
posted by Shane at 8:27 PM on March 19, 2003


...
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:28 PM on March 19, 2003


jmd,

I don't know about your friends, but the people I know who are pro-war probably really are giving each other the high-five. They take glee in conflict as if it's a fucking video game...
posted by drstrangelove at 8:29 PM on March 19, 2003


>Not a whole lot of point in responding to you, really. May you learn some manners.

Perhaps, but I really don't want to see you or others in denial start believing the "we're freeing people" propaganda. Either you believe Saddam is a direct threat to the safety of the US or you don't. Either you believe containment is impossible or you don't.

It blows my mind that you start criticizing Turkey (I country I have no love for) when the US is invading a sovereign nation without UN approval, with no evidence linking Saddam with Al'Queda, a country with no nuclear weapons, and questionable amounts of biological weapons and capabilities.

If anything, Turkey has learned from its mentor. They're acting surprisingly defiant from overwhelming external pressure. Perhaps they think Bush's 6 billion bribe isn't worth never getting into the EU?
posted by skallas at 8:30 PM on March 19, 2003


jammer...Don't forget Singapore and East Timor, whose president is, of all things, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
posted by Kevs at 8:30 PM on March 19, 2003


QUIT THE TURKEYSHIT ALREADY!
posted by Shane at 8:31 PM on March 19, 2003


Holy shit:
on local news in my area (NBC-17 in RTP/Triangle), they went to an interview with Stan Goff a few minutes ago. They introduced him as former Special Forces with a son in 82nd Airborne, not in the Gulf.

[paraphrase from memory]
Interviewer: Why are you here today?
Goff: Because this is a criminal war, and...
I: Why do you say that?
G: When I was in the military, we had to study the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention, the international rules governing war...we are in violation of all of those...

we seem to have lost signal. (..and segues the hell away)

It was chilling. Do you think a staffer smuggled Goff on or what?

Anyone else see this? I wish I had Tivo.

posted by crunchburger at 8:32 PM on March 19, 2003


At this moment an ungodly number of Americans are sitting in front of the TV yelling "Yeah! Nuke them towelheads!"

actually, they prefer "sand nigger" around here. not everyone who supports the war is a racist redneck, but a modicum of them are, or at least have those tendencies brought out by the warporn that is about to hijack the world's airways. i live in portland, OR, a very progressive town for the states, but i am currently visiting my folks in the missouri ozarks (i.e., america's cultural, economic, and educational backwater). people here experience a lower literacy rate and higher infant mortality rate here than in almost anywhere else in the western world, but everyone i meet is thrilled to watch their tax dollars explode over the desert.

ditto on the turkey thing. that is what i see as the greatest tragedy of this war.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:33 PM on March 19, 2003


crap - i formatted that in a way that got stripped: i mean there was quick signal cut-off before Goff could take a breath and the anchor covered.
posted by crunchburger at 8:34 PM on March 19, 2003


Don't worry, it gets better after 30.

That's what I keep hearing. Hope it's true :)
posted by Cyrano at 8:34 PM on March 19, 2003


The White House says that a war with Iraq has nothing to do with Islam, but imams all over the world are calling for a holy war.
posted by homunculus at 8:35 PM on March 19, 2003


I don't know about your friends, but the people I know who are pro-war probably really are giving each other the high-five. They take glee in conflict as if it's a fucking video game...

That'll last until the first American casualties start coming in. But some people who are pro-miliatry action have their reasons and terrorism is a very real threat and has to be dealt with somehow. Some pro-war people may still be smarting from 9/11.

I just don't think this war is the way to do it.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 PM on March 19, 2003


It blows my mind that you start criticizing Turkey (I country I have no love for) when the US is invading a sovereign nation without UN approval, with no evidence linking Saddam with Al'Queda, a country with no nuclear weapons, and questionable amounts of biological weapons and capabilities.

We agree on that, then. And as I've said in so many words, I don't believe any more than you do that this war has anything to do with Iraqi liberation. I was merely bringing up a point which is in danger of going unnoticed in the larger picture. I too was impressed that Turkey had the moxie to refuse both the carrot and the stick. If I hadn't been, I wouldn't have found this opportunism (or perhaps it's fear of opportunism) so noteworthy.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:36 PM on March 19, 2003


"You must not be regionally located in the Southern US."

Because only in the south are there people who approve of the war.

Please.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:37 PM on March 19, 2003


Now that it's open season on places that seem threatening, perhaps Pakistan and India will finally get that boring old Kashmir thing over with, once and for all.

O brave new world, that has such people in it!
posted by sacre_bleu at 8:38 PM on March 19, 2003


Oh Yes They Are. I work with some of them, and I've heard the sentiments already.

_sirmissalot ...you do really miss a lot don't you?...where I am there are many many people cheering about this war. You must not be regionally located in the Southern US.


i'm not going to argue if there are idiots in the u.s.

my point is that the vast majority of the thinking united states, no matter their political stance, is heartbroken by the loss of life on both sides. and no, i am not regionally located in the southern u.s. or ohio. but i was born in a small farming town. everyone in the midwest and southern u.s. is not a beer-guzziling, war-mongering redneck. have some respect for the people with whom you share this land, even the ones who confuse television with reality.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 8:38 PM on March 19, 2003


skallas: one can be appalled by more than one thing at once. i feel like puking because "my" nation is violating international law and about to kill civiliians,

but with that as a (sad, sad) given, i am worried that this war will be pretext for turkey to commit human rights abuses as well.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:38 PM on March 19, 2003


FWIW, I'm in favor of this war, but I was sick with worry yesterday, and nauseous at work all today, thinking about what was going to be happening within days. May as few people die as necessary, and may those who must die do so as painlessly and mercifully as possible.

I'm not cheering. I feel like crying.

But I remain resolute in what needs to be done.

(You may now return to your regularly scheduled bullshit flinging)
posted by jammer at 8:38 PM on March 19, 2003


Anyone else think it's somewhat ironic that after opposing the war, the UN is committing to humanitarian aid in Iraq? You'd think it wasn't their responsibility, to help clean up the mess left over from a war they didn't sanction. But I'm probably being naive: I'm sure those untrustworthy Europeans have some hidden political agenda, some sneaky plan to undermine the US as it consolidates it's power in the Middle East, solely for their own benefit. Many of them don't even speak English.

I consider myself fortunate that I live in Australia, a country that is lead by a Prime Minister, John Howard, who was so tickled pink to receive a phone call from George Bush Junior (the call was even televised here), the Big Boss Kahuna of The Free World (which has now been narrowed down to the US, England, Spain and Australia) asking PM John Howard to provide some extra cannon fodder (remember Gallipoli?) that he said yes George, Yes, YES! We backed the US in Vietnam, and that turned out just peachy, so why not?

Personally, I feel incredibly relieved that the threat of an attack on Australia by Saddam Hussein has finally been removed. I'll be able to sleep easy once again. Personally, I'm sick of the prank phone calls.

And while the majority of Australians are against the war, and sure, some of our kids are going to get killed, by the time the next election comes around petrol prices should be way down, and I don't think that John Howard is wrong in thinking that most Australians, ultimately, vote with their wallets, and will easily forget about the blood on their hands.
posted by chrisgregory at 8:38 PM on March 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


Ah yes, Jammer. Fair-weather friends indeed!

"Oh the war is going on and nothing can stop it? We better stop pissing off Washington then. Send Powell a candygram and an apology"

"Yes, Prime Minister!"

*bootclick*

Funny how unwilling they were before Monday.
posted by skallas at 8:39 PM on March 19, 2003


No but there are an enormous population of War Hawks here Dennis....
posted by SweetIceT at 8:40 PM on March 19, 2003


Ignatius- my wife is Asian and I was completely blown away by the overt racism she faced when we visited Branson (for a conference, really.) And an Indian friend of mine originally from SE Missouri was frequently told she was "gonna go to hell" because she wasn't a Born AgainTM (she's Hindu.)

So I'd say it's more than a backwater- it's the White Trash paradise...
posted by drstrangelove at 8:42 PM on March 19, 2003


Either you believe Saddam is a direct threat to the safety of the US or you don't. Either you believe containment is impossible or you don't.

Exactly. Either you're with us or you're against us. I mean... er... uh...
posted by Stauf at 8:44 PM on March 19, 2003


Operation Unnecessary Surgery
posted by skallas at 8:44 PM on March 19, 2003


In addition, I have had to debate this whole issue with many many of them. You would be suprised how many still believe that the Iraqi's planned and carried out 9/11 and want thier revenge
posted by SweetIceT at 8:44 PM on March 19, 2003


jmd,
I don't know about your friends, but the people I know who are pro-war probably really are giving each other the high-five. They take glee in conflict as if it's a fucking video game...

Pro-war or not, anybody who gives high fives over a war in which people will die makes me sick and ashamed to say I share some of the same thoughts as them.
posted by jmd82 at 8:45 PM on March 19, 2003


Don't insult me by claiming that I haven't heard people cheering this shit and various sorts of death on "ragheads" since back in the days of the Iran hostage situation.

This is the Superbowl X10 for redneck thugs and holy rollers.
posted by 2sheets at 8:46 PM on March 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


peace. peace.
posted by poopy at 8:47 PM on March 19, 2003


Yes, I'm sure the 100 Bulgarians (according to CNN, this was their big contribution to the "coalition of the billing") is bringing fear to the Republican Guard.
posted by owillis at 8:47 PM on March 19, 2003


Did anyone just see the live report on CNN from the USS Abraham Lincoln? It was clear the correspondent was trying to indicate that activity had substantially increased in the last few hours, but when Aaron Brown paraphrased, he downplayed any implication.....very strange.
posted by pjgulliver at 8:47 PM on March 19, 2003


.
posted by Swifty at 8:50 PM on March 19, 2003


somewhere out there, ParisParamus has reached the zenith of his existence and will soon to come to the realization that after the nirvana of saddam's assassination, nothing else in his life can compete and it's all downhill from here.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:53 PM on March 19, 2003


.
posted by TNLNYC at 8:55 PM on March 19, 2003


It was clear the correspondent was trying to indicate that activity had substantially increased in the last few hours

I remember back in Gulf War, v.1 there was a reporter on CNN who said at about 4:00pm CST, [paraphrasing] "we just saw a bunch of fully loaded F-15's take off and head north. We haven't see this before..."

Bernard Shaw was Live From Baghdad about two hours later.
posted by Cyrano at 8:58 PM on March 19, 2003


jammer: "The United States claims the public and private support of 45 other nations in a coalition to topple Saddam. But only Britain, with about 40,000 troops, was making a sizable contribution to the military force." (source)
posted by swerve at 8:58 PM on March 19, 2003


swerve...part of the reason for that might be the high-level of equipment needed to fight in integration with the US army. Most nations simply don't have the necessary equipment. I believe the US has been lobbying NATO members (especially Germany) to modernize their military at the troop level because they are rapidly reaching the point where their presence alongside the US would be more of a detriment than a help.

Suffice to say, I doubt Lithuania has the computerized night goggles.
posted by Kevs at 9:02 PM on March 19, 2003


I called it. CNN live from USS Roosevelt announces Operation Iraqi Freedom.
posted by pjgulliver at 9:03 PM on March 19, 2003


people here experience a lower literacy rate and higher infant mortality rate here than in almost anywhere else in the western world, but everyone i meet is thrilled to watch their tax dollars explode over the desert.

ay-yep. dems dub's kinda folk!
posted by quonsar at 9:03 PM on March 19, 2003


Sorry. That was assanine. Damn wifi letting me post while watching television.
posted by pjgulliver at 9:04 PM on March 19, 2003


jammer FWIW, I'm in favor of this war, but I was sick with worry yesterday, and nauseous at work all today, thinking about what was going to be happening within days. May as few people die as necessary, and may those who must die do so as painlessly and mercifully as possible.

I'm not cheering. I feel like crying.
But I remain resolute in what needs to be done.


Thank you for this. I'm opposed to this war. Nonviolence is about the only moral, ethical and spiritual truth I have faith in, and it felt good to know that someone recognizes what a horrible thing this is.

I just hope it is quick and we can commit to a peace rather than just installing a friendly dictator.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:04 PM on March 19, 2003


So I'd say it's more than a backwater- it's the White Trash paradise

agreed. a girl that i dated in high school was jewish (her mom worked for the FBI and they had been relocated teh the ozarks). she was told by a classmate that she was mistaken about her own jewishness -- as she did not have horns!

[/off topic]

i would not wish to paint all members of any group as racist, but racism and religious hatred most certainly do drive the thinking of many members of today's "silent majority".
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:05 PM on March 19, 2003


Anyone know if Where is Raed is mirrored somewhere? I can't seem to get it.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:08 PM on March 19, 2003


.
posted by kozad at 9:11 PM on March 19, 2003


i would not wish to paint all members of any group as racist, but racism and religious hatred most certainly do drive the thinking of many members of today's "silent majority".

It's nice to see that stereotyping and bigotry is not limited solely to your "group".
posted by hama7 at 9:12 PM on March 19, 2003


*takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my left, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence*
posted by madamjujujive at 9:13 PM on March 19, 2003


NOT TRYING TO BE ALARMIST:
so on CNN they were zooming in on the "bunker-busters" attached to the underside of the planes taking off (from the USS lincoln?). am i correct in assuming that that term can apply to more than just the tactical nukes that they have been thinking about using.

someone please say yes.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:16 PM on March 19, 2003


Yes, bunker busters can apply to coventional bombs. Really, it usually does.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:18 PM on March 19, 2003


Ignatius, yes. Hopefully.
posted by drstrangelove at 9:19 PM on March 19, 2003


Agreed, a moment of silence is appropriate.


And now....

"A time comes when silence is betrayal.
Some of us who have already begun to
break the silence of the night have
found that the calling to speak is
often a vocation of agony, but we must
speak. We must speak with all the
humility that is appropriate to our
limited vision, but we must speak."

MLK

posted by LouReedsSon at 9:21 PM on March 19, 2003


It's nice to see that stereotyping and bigotry is not limited solely to your "group".

hama: what "group" would that be? i'm sure that i am the first human in history capable of true objectivity, i would deem a worldview which leads you to call everyone you disagree with a communist bigoted and stereotyping to an extreme. not to mention passe. you are supposed to call people "terrorists" now. have you kept your precious bodily fluids safe from incursion lately?

TAN/drstranglove: thanks.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:21 PM on March 19, 2003


Well, this certainly bites the wax tadpole.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:21 PM on March 19, 2003


"am i correct in assuming that that term can apply to more than just the tactical nukes that they have been thinking about using."

Yes, we used them against the Talaban.
posted by slowlightning at 9:22 PM on March 19, 2003


I'm sitting here, in Melbourne, Australia, flipping from CNN to FOX to BBC news to Sky News, and I have to say, the US has the most incredibly gutless news services. In Australia we don't have freedom of speech: our legal system is incredibly harsh on anyone saying anything damaging to someone's ability to earn an income, whether it is true or not. Free speech is not protected, and practicing free speech can incur damages payable over forty years.

I'm waiting for some US news service to admit that it's war, and to stop using the euphemisms that the US government has offered up to them. I can't believe that the Dixie Chicks apologised, let alone the seeming willingness of the US media outlets to toe the party line. And I thought the US media was supposed to have a left-wing bias. That has to be a joke.

I think we're all much better sticking to reading metafilter, where things might get combative, but at least you can hope to get access to some truth.
posted by chrisgregory at 9:23 PM on March 19, 2003


we debate politics and make clever comments.

it's just sad that we can't (and most likely will not) have a memorial for the loss of life in this war in the same way we mourned those lost in 9/11.
posted by poopy at 9:23 PM on March 19, 2003


Meet the bunker buster, formally known as the GBU-28.
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:24 PM on March 19, 2003


This is an old link, but it explains what bunker busters are as well and has pretty pictures!
posted by bargle at 9:26 PM on March 19, 2003


part of the reason for that might be the high-level of equipment needed to fight in integration with the US army

yah, but most of the reason is that the vast majority of these countries didn't OFFER troops. if bloody Bulgaria can get guys in there on the ground, albeit in a supporting role, then Japan surely can. Hmm, oh, that's right, Japan has offered no aid at all until AFTER Bush's little war is wrapped up. Italy hasn't agreed to let us use their bases, or to do overflights, Turkey won't let US troops go through their territory, the Netherlands are sending three Patriot batteries only as far as Turkey, the list goes on and on.

This isn't a coalition. This is quid pro quo -- any support is bought and paid for.
posted by badzen at 9:27 PM on March 19, 2003


it's just sad that we can't (and most likely will not) have a memorial for the loss of life in this war in the same way we mourned those lost in 9/11.

if lots of white people die, we will.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:27 PM on March 19, 2003


kevs: I think my point is that it's easy to get little nations to fall in line with the US. I am not convinced that Lithuania's support matters terribly much.
posted by swerve at 9:27 PM on March 19, 2003


hama7,

It's good to see that you've jumped to the defense of that horribly-oppressed and marginalized group: white trash. I guess the only stereotyping that is acceptable is against anti-war protestors.

Ignatius said it better...
posted by drstrangelove at 9:28 PM on March 19, 2003


I'm waiting for some US news service to admit that it's war

Ummm... I'm watching Fox News right now (so kill me) and there's a "WAR ALERT" text right on the screen.
posted by gyc at 9:29 PM on March 19, 2003


chrisgregory: CNN Domestic in the US as well as cnn.com both are using the term "War on Iraq" I don't see how that's an euphemism.
posted by pjgulliver at 9:32 PM on March 19, 2003


[sarcasm]

U-S-A U-S-A!

It's like watching football, living the Red Badge of Courage (or maybe Wag the Dog) AND getting drunk all at once! WOOOOOOO!!!! All I need now is an Atari joystick to top it all off.

[/sarcasm]
posted by Aikido at 9:33 PM on March 19, 2003


Saddam just aged 20 years in three hours. On CNN now.
posted by skallas at 9:33 PM on March 19, 2003


CBC (Canadian) had Baghdad TV "live" for about 10 seconds with a Saddam-lookin fella reading something.

Wonder if a GBU-28 got the control room.
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:34 PM on March 19, 2003


Saddam still on CNN? (Cable-less, sorry.)
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:34 PM on March 19, 2003


badzen...Japan is also constitutionally prohibited from using troops offensively because of WW2, which is why they are only helping logistically. They gave the same type of help in GW1 and Afghanistan.

Swerve, I'm fully agreed. However, by such criteria, only 10 or so nations (US, Britain, france, germany, italy, russia, china, india, pakistan, korea and israel) really matter that much, in the sense of having global military capacity if necessary. Of those important nations, 3 (Britain, Israel and Korea) explicitly support the US. 5 are explicitly against, and India could be said to be neutral.

In any case, the idea that there truly is a coalition and not simply American unilateralism would seem to be clear (at least to me). Yeah, many of the 35 nations are unimportant. But so are many of the nations that are against the war. Further still the many nations that remain neutral because of the grave situations in their own nations.

For all of the war rhetoric, let us not forget that are many, more violent, conflicts going on in the world right now. CAR, Ivory Coast, Nepal, Kashmir, Israel/Palestine and Columbia come most readily to mind.
posted by Kevs at 9:34 PM on March 19, 2003


Yeah, and CNN has a neato "war tracker" feature at their website. You know, if they could hook it up where I could actually fire a cruise missle from my PC and follow its progress online, the military might have a money-maker on its hands!

After all, I learned from Gulf I that war is really a big video game where nobody really gets hurt. (Except for those terrorists who got burnt to a crisp trying to get out of Kuwait and bulldozed into a mass grave...)
posted by drstrangelove at 9:35 PM on March 19, 2003


I shouldn't think the USA would want to be classed in with CAR, Ivory Coast, Nepal, Kasmir, I/P, and Columbia.

But I guess it is.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:37 PM on March 19, 2003


skallas: I'm thinking it's a double. Dunno why. Just a hunch.
posted by Cyrano at 9:39 PM on March 19, 2003


To add to the information, rather than the comments...

Israel's Haaretz News Flashes
(Top story at time of posting: Monte Carlo Radio: Iraqi forces begin setting oil wells along Iraq-Kuwait border on fire)

As always, DebkaFile has breaking news.

Will post more outside breaking news sites as found.
posted by VulcanMike at 9:40 PM on March 19, 2003


I think it's the silly-putty nose that gives it away, Cyrano. Or perhaps the George Burns glasses. Also, it doesn't help that he's reading from cue cards. I should think the real Hussein can speak off-the-cuff.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 PM on March 19, 2003


It's good to see that you've jumped to the defense of that horribly-oppressed and marginalized group: white trash.

Try substituting the word "black" for the word "white", just to see how ignorant your stereotype is. It's easy.
posted by hama7 at 9:41 PM on March 19, 2003


A Curse
On the Men In Washington, Pentagon
Gary Snyder, 1967

Om a ka ca ta ta pa ya sasvaha

As you shoot down the Vietnamese girls and men in their fields

Burning and chopping,
Poisoning and blighting,

So surely I hunt the white man down
in my heart.
The crew-cutted Seattle boy
The Portland boy who worked for U.P.
that was me.

I won’t let him live. The “American”
I’ll destroy. The “Christian”
has long been dead.

They won’t pass on to my children.
I’ll give them Chief Joseph, the bison herds,
lshi, sparrowhawk, the fir trees,
The Buddha, their own naked bodies,
swimming and dancing and singing
instead.

As I kill the white man
the “American”
in me
And dance out the Ghost Dance:
To bring back America, the grass and the streams,

To trample your throat in your dreams.

This magic I work, this loving I give
That my children may flourish

And yours won’t live.
posted by sudama at 9:43 PM on March 19, 2003


True colors.
posted by hama7 at 9:46 PM on March 19, 2003


* takes madamjujujive's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence *
posted by five fresh fish at 9:46 PM on March 19, 2003


(but now, thinking about it, I'm reminded of some before/after pictures of Robert E. Lee and the Civil War, so maybe I can see it now, skallas.)

(but, ya know, whats the deal with the reporters and newscasters wearing jackets and vests and shit and trying to look all rugged? you'd be no more roughing it in Baghdad that you would be in Times Square, Peter Jennings, so cut the crap, OK?)
posted by Cyrano at 9:48 PM on March 19, 2003


hama7: yeah, but i went out of my way to indicate that i don't believe all war backers to be racists. i agree that it is easy to marginalize poor people of all races. but the bloodthirsty rednecks by whom i was surrounded from birth to age 17 come from all economic classes. yeah, they're more likely to be poor than people in other parts of the US, but they're also more likely to be klansmen or supporters of murdering doctors to please jesus.

sorry, dude, but unless you also come from this vacuum of reason that i have had the priviledge to call home, you should find other sentiments to hate on. my hometown (which lacks even a webpage that i can link to) was one of america's last bastions of the "sunset law", requiring all blacks to be out of town by nightfall.

a culture of racism and religious hate does not require a %100 majority, nor would i ever claim one.
---
all else aside, i think that some people from "flyover states" feel this sort of pride about war, because they can feel important, like they are taking part in some small way in something that actually matters. in many other countires, don't they acheive these same effects with soccer?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:53 PM on March 19, 2003


* takes five fresh fish's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence *
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:54 PM on March 19, 2003


in many other countires, don't they acheive these same effects with soccer?

Looking at the US' soccer team, that explains the war then.
posted by Aikido at 9:56 PM on March 19, 2003


I'm getting a War on Terror and a Terror Alert High, but no War on Iraq. I'm getting Liberation of Iraq, and there was something about a pre-war strike thing, which wasn't officially war. Oh, I'm getting a target of opportunity, but that isn't war, in fact that was pre-war, according to Fox.

Of course, Rupert Murdoch is/was an Australian. He makes me so proud...
posted by chrisgregory at 9:59 PM on March 19, 2003


Most importantly, what the hell is this war's codename?

Operation Impose Democracy.
posted by moonbiter at 10:02 PM on March 19, 2003


We have "Attack on Iraq" on CBC with Peter Mansbridge. But to counter that, we have a former Iraqi nuclear scientist who just tore us all a new asshole. Unlike American newscasts, the CBC didn't tear away from his rant.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:03 PM on March 19, 2003


Is Saddam dead?

It was creepy. When all the news outlets were having to deal with the fact that the missile strikes were a separate move based on specific intelligence (rather than "A-Hour"), the thought popped into my head as soon as a CBS anchor buried the question in a long rambling attempt to fill dead air.

Then, as most networks bailed, CNN continued to flail in the vacuum of news, reporting - basically - from all corners that "nothing is happening." Finally, word that Saddam will be making a video address.

Then it's late.

Then not only does it look like Saddam suddenly got old - requiring huge glasses and reading a prepared statement word for word - but "technical difficulties" scramble the tape. Conveniently, the break separates "Saddam's" declaration of the date from the rest of the speech.

And the speech, although somewhat to be expected, is so full of big pronouncements it sounds like he thinks the "shock and awe" was already descending upon Iraq in full force. Or speaking as if it has.

I was imagining he taped the full speech, then taped a dozen pieces for each date this month and next, with the specific plan to air it in case of his untimely demise. Or, at least, to buy extra time to skip town.

I've seen too many Hollywood conspiracy theory movies, obviously.
posted by pzarquon at 10:03 PM on March 19, 2003


* takes KirkJobSluder's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence *
posted by poopy at 10:06 PM on March 19, 2003


dammit, everytime I write a thoughtful comment, by the time I preview it so much has happened it's no longer relevant.

Therefore:

"."
posted by Jonasio at 10:07 PM on March 19, 2003


Wouldn't be surprised if you're right pzarquon. There was really no way of telling whether that was a live video feed or not. Still, it may not be an indicator that he's dead.

Perhaps the Iraqis wanted to be cautious, taped the address before hand just to make sure Saddam's little pep speech saw the light of day despite whether he would.
posted by Aikido at 10:09 PM on March 19, 2003


Pzarquon, you're insane. He clearly gave the date after the cut-off. Plus, according to CNN Hussein has a very distinctive voice.
posted by pjgulliver at 10:09 PM on March 19, 2003


wax.....tadpole?
posted by gsalad at 10:10 PM on March 19, 2003


Well now, while I have no comment, I do, in the a picture says more than a thousand words department, have a quote:

Go ahead. Saddam will quickly fall, but that won’t make the world safer or more secure. Your bombs will send me a new generation of recruits and fuel their hatred and desire for revenge. So go ahead. Squander your wealth on war and occupation -- America will be weaker for it. Divide your people, divide the world, isolate yourselves! Perfect! I thrive on chaos. I need an enemy. You give me both.
posted by y2karl at 10:12 PM on March 19, 2003


Cyrano: you'd be no more roughing it in Baghdad that you would be in Times Square, Peter Jennings, so cut the crap, OK?

Jennings put himself in harm's way for many years before landing in an anchor chair. I see no reason to bash a hard-working journalist for what he's wearing. He's got enough experience that he could broadcast in a prom dress and still be credible.
posted by swerve at 10:12 PM on March 19, 2003


I just want to climb a tree somewhere and think about how lucky I am that I can see the stars, rather than smoke and gunfire. But it's cloudy.

And so...* takes poopy's hand in her left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence *
posted by hippugeek at 10:14 PM on March 19, 2003


Pzarquon, you're insane.

Well, that's not news. I concede immediately that I'm letting my imagination run away with me.

I saw the break before (everything after being "today" and "this day"), but that was CNN's feed. It might have been their technical difficulties (I thought it was later than the ten seconds sacre_bleu noted). The confused anchor started talking over the testpattern just as it resumed.

Anyway. I'll just remember this strategy when the U.S. prepares to launch a campaign to depose me from the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

That, and pre-dated blog posts:

Missed me, bastards!
[ Posted 4:25 PM HST - Thursday, July 19, 2007 ]
posted by pzarquon at 10:17 PM on March 19, 2003


yes, japan is constitutionally prohibited from posting troops overseas, a prohibition that they are wearing away at more and more as time goes on. but then again, since the Peace Constitution was forced on them by us after WWII...

for instance : here is CNN reporting legislative action in the Diet allowing Japanese forces to support American interests in this war against terrorism

no bloody clue where the thread is at anymore though, so that'll be it i guess...
posted by badzen at 10:22 PM on March 19, 2003


*takes hippugeek's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence *
posted by gompa at 10:22 PM on March 19, 2003


Sadness. I have nothing to say except that the U.S. government will reap what it sows.
posted by ed at 10:28 PM on March 19, 2003


I'm afraid that U.S. citizens will reap what the U.S. government sows.

* takes gompa's hand in her left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence *
posted by swerve at 10:31 PM on March 19, 2003


*takes gompa's hand in her left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence *
posted by anastasiav at 10:31 PM on March 19, 2003


*takes anastasiav's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence*

this is a meme I can get behind
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:32 PM on March 19, 2003


Sadness. I have nothing to say except that the U.S. government will reap what it sows.

if only that were true. the people will reap what the US government sows.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:32 PM on March 19, 2003


*takes Ufez Jones's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence*
posted by SweetIceT at 10:35 PM on March 19, 2003


make that:
*takes anastasiav's hand in her left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence*
posted by SweetIceT at 10:36 PM on March 19, 2003


"As the first strikes began in the war against Iraq, roughly 1,000 U.S. troops launched a raid on villages in southeastern Afghanistan Thursday, almost simultaneously."
posted by homunculus at 10:44 PM on March 19, 2003


*takes SweetIceT's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence*
posted by vanesj at 10:46 PM on March 19, 2003


When I was twenty, I watched Wolf Blitzer on TV with a friend in a University dorm room. I was philosophically opposed to it, but part of me watched it unfold with the naive glee of someone who believes it would actually be a good thing to live in interesting times. I marched on the Texas Capitol, held candles, chanted. It accomplished nothing, but it let us feel as though we were participating in something. The interesting times were upon us.

Now I'm thirty-two, and I have a daughter, and I'm unable to muster that same exuberance. It's not interesting anymore; it's just vapid and senseless a terrible pop song that sticks in your head and won't leave. But it's also ruthless and merciless and bloody. And I don't know which is more unbelievable: the false sense of urgency, or the willingness of Americans to participate in it. But I guess none of that matters now.

What does matter is that the worst is yet to come. I have a bad suspicion that things wil only get uglier from here, as more and more disenfranchised muslim youths say a collective "Fuck you," to America and reach for their explosives. I hope I'm wrong.

*takes vanesj's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence*
posted by vraxoin at 10:52 PM on March 19, 2003


Pray for Peace

Pray to whoever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or marble or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the Bo tree in scorching heat,
Yahweh, Allah, raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekinhah, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.

Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, Record Keeper
of time before, time now, time ahead, pray. Bow down
to terriers and shepherds and siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.

Pray to the bus driver who takes you to work,
pray on the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus
and for everyone riding buses all over the world.
If you haven't been on a bus in a long time,
climb the few steps, drop some silver, and pray.

Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latté and croissant, offer your plea. Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.

Make the brushing of your hair
a prayer, every strand its own voice,
singing in the choir on your head.
As you wash your face, the water slipping
through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
softest thing on earth, gentleness
that wears away rock.

Making love, of course, is already a prayer.
Skin and open mouths worshipping that skin,
the fragile case we are poured into,
each caress a season of peace.

If you're hungry, pray. If you're tired.
Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.
Pray to the angels and the ghost of your grandfather.

When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
to the video store, let each step
be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
that we do not blow off anyone else's legs.
Or crush their skulls.
And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheel chair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer that as the earth revolves
we will do less harm, less harm, less harm.

And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail
or delivering soda or drawing good blood
into rubber-capped vials, writing on a blackboard
with yellow chalk, twirling pizzas, pray for peace.
With each breath in, take in the faith of those
who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.
Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
feed the birds for peace, each shiny seed
that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.

Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
around your VISA card. Gnaw your crust
of prayer, scoop your prayer water from the gutter.
Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
your prayer through the streets.

By Ellen Bass
posted by SuzySmith at 10:52 PM on March 19, 2003


.
posted by Ladymerv at 10:56 PM on March 19, 2003


I have a bad suspicion that things wil only get uglier from here, as more and more disenfranchised muslim youths say a collective "Fuck you," to America and reach for their explosives. I hope I'm wrong.

Let's not stand here in fear of Muslims.
posted by sudama at 10:57 PM on March 19, 2003


Just let it be fast and with as few deaths, on all sides, as possible.

*takes vraxoin's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right, bows head in sadness and silence*
posted by chicobangs at 10:58 PM on March 19, 2003


If only it were this easy.
posted by brantstrand at 11:04 PM on March 19, 2003


*sigh* I feel bad for all the people out there fighting for something they may not have a full understanding of because someone higher up hasn't explained it. What if they die?

As much as I love this country, I'd hate to see the once wise and exciting America reduced to this.
posted by omidius at 11:04 PM on March 19, 2003


I was gonna say "What hama7 said" after his first post and then he posted more, so I read those as well and so, "What hama7 said."
posted by Plunge at 11:08 PM on March 19, 2003


That this war has finally happened means that the US has become the most unpopular nation in the world. That's true even for the population of the nations that have most actively supported the US in this war, whose leaders have pledged their allegiance to the war and opposed the UN without the support of their own citizens.

How does it feel? There's the old joke about the eight hundred pound gorilla, and with the US going to war to prevent any other country from threatening the US dominance of the Middle East and to just generally dominate everything and make sure that their interests are best represented somewhat exclusively, and you have only yourselves to blame.

Americans are the most likeable people that you could ever meet. I've never met an American that I didn't like, (and I particularly like Texans). For whatever reason, Americans are the nicest people you could ever imagine meeting. I'm not exaggerating.

And then as a nation you're doing this shit, and you're making yourself into the most hated nation on earth.

In Australia voting is compulsory. Everyone has to vote (or get fined). I know that the average American is a decent human being, and is a likeable human being. You just have to make the effort to vote, and if you had of done, we wouldn't be facing this most awful and horrendous situation.

You enjoy so many privileges. Is it sush a hassle for you to accept some responsibility?
posted by chrisgregory at 11:10 PM on March 19, 2003


I have a bad suspicion that things wil only get uglier from here, as more and more disenfranchised muslim youths say a collective "Fuck you," to America and reach for their explosives. I hope I'm wrong.

Let's not stand here in fear of Muslims.


i for one, don't stand here in fear of anything. but i know that our thinly-veiled crusade will create an "us" and a "them", or more accurately, perpetuate those roles. this gulf will undoubtedly be exploited by those who would risk others' lives for their own gain. i agree that the original post could easillly have subbed the word "people" for "muslims", but the message is the same: remove someone's reasons to live, and they will become willing to die to spite you.

we are to be the policeman of the world, even if the world would not have us. the racist, wife-beating, crooked policeman of the world. leave it to the currently empowered gaggle of chickenhawks to take the "pax" out of "pax americana".

now, the US has set into motion the destruction of the international communtiy upon which we would have to rely were this "war on terrorism" actually being perpetrated in earnest. if i work for al-qaeda, it's off to france or germany i go, knowing that what was once a difference of opinion has grown into a tremendous rift, knowing that the intl cooperation that led to the prior arrests of suspects in europe has gone the way of the UN and the american system of checks and balances..

none of this is going to help people that we know and love to not get blown up.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:11 PM on March 19, 2003


Touche Ignatius
posted by SweetIceT at 11:20 PM on March 19, 2003


*takes vraxoin's hand in his left hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to my right...EEEWWWW!!! All sweaty! (wipes right hand on pants)
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:21 PM on March 19, 2003


International aid workers fear a humanitarian crisis as the bombs start falling on Iraqi cities.
posted by homunculus at 11:28 PM on March 19, 2003


My comment wasn't intended to imply that muslims are terrorists. Rather, I used the adjective "muslim" as a point of fact, in that a very complex set of social and political problems has been conveniently polarized along the religious axis. It's much easier to rouse kids in Syria if you tell them that George W. Bush hates Islam, especially when Bush makes a point of using a word like "crusade" in his speeches. Likewise, it's much easier for the President to tell us that 9/11 happened because "those people hate freedom," when such a statement is so laughably ludicrous I'm stunned he's able to make it with a straight face. Who hates freedom? But it would be a lot harder to drum up support if you said, "The people who hijacked those planes did so for a number of complex reasons that we as Americans find difficult to comprehend, not having lived our lives in desperation and faminelike poverty." And why bother, when people really were celebrating after the towers collapsed? They hate America, therefore they must hate freedom, since America couldn't possibly represent anything else to these people.

On preview, what Ignatius J. Reilly said.
posted by vraxoin at 11:31 PM on March 19, 2003


The loudest noise always comes from the cheapest seats.
posted by Mack Twain at 11:46 PM on March 19, 2003


(surprised nobody's done this yet)

*takes madamjujujive's hand in his right hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*
posted by wanderingmind at 11:47 PM on March 19, 2003


Some information about the Australian side of things:

Australia has sent roughly 2000 military personnel to this conflict out of a total of around 50,000 in service in the whole Australian military. This commitment includes a very large percentage of the Australian Special Air Service (it sounds like there are probably two of the three SASR sabre squadrons deployed in Iraq).
Given that Australia has a pre-existing commitment of troops involved in a peace-keeping operation in East Timor and more SASR troops fighting in Afghanistan this is pretty much everything that can be spared by the Australian armed forces.

Now that the war has started opinion poll results are starting to shift (source):
18 Mar 03: Q. Now that Australian troops have been committed to war with Iraq, do you support them going?
46% - Yes,
50% - No,
2% Don't Know
12 Mar 03: Q. Will you support Australia going to war with Iraq in a week?
Yes. With UN approval - 16%,
Yes. Without UN approval - 19%,
No. Not at all - 65%

I wonder if we will see something similar in other countries around the world?
posted by snarfodox at 11:55 PM on March 19, 2003


Here's a link to quotes from world leaders in multiple regions in response to the start of the war.
posted by jdaura at 11:58 PM on March 19, 2003


.

Let's hope this war's as short and as painless as possible. Operation Dear Abby has allowed civilians to send messages to the US troops since the '60s. Regardless of how you feel about the conflict, it wouldn't compromise your stance to send the 18 year-olds getting shot at a message saying we hope they come home safely and quickly.
posted by herc at 12:04 AM on March 20, 2003


MSNBC has a live feed from Baghdad. Its just showing traffic on some random highway, but the audio in the background seems to be a continuous series of explosions.
posted by bshort at 12:08 AM on March 20, 2003


If it's armageddon before The Return of the King comes out I'm going to be seriously pissed.
posted by muckster at 12:22 AM on March 20, 2003


Haven't you heard? Frodo has failed.
posted by homunculus at 12:32 AM on March 20, 2003


All this liberal rage is funny as hell. Every reason the anti war effort failed miserably can be summed up in the hate speech being spewed all over this thread, by the left.

It sucks to lose huh, but I guess you're use to President Bush beating you. He beat you when he ran against Ann Richards. He beat you when he ran against Al Gore. He beat you when he decided to take out Saddam Hussein.

You mock him. You insult him. You make fun of him. You most certainly think you are better and smarter than him.

But if president Bush is so dumb, why does he keep beating you?

Oh that's right, it's because the American people are too dumb to know better. Yes, by all means, continue with that attitude, because it's really worked well the last two election cycles.
posted by Beholder at 12:44 AM on March 20, 2003


Likewise, it's much easier for the President to tell us that 9/11 happened because "those people hate freedom," when such a statement is so laughably ludicrous I'm stunned he's able to make it with a straight face. Who hates freedom?

Oh, please. Bush has said a lot of stupid things, but are you really arguing that radical fundamentalist islamists are in favor of what we see as our freedoms? Freedom of speech, to assemble, to practice religions of choice or none at all, to vote? Let alone extending any of these freedoms to women? Even our higher freedoms, like public education and the ability to travel freely around our country, or to start a business or publish a book or magazine, these are all things that radical Islamists reject and wish to deny others. That's just fact.

They absolutely hate freedoms as we define them, especially along the lines of the American Bill of Rights. It's one of the few inarguably accurate things Bush has said.
posted by anildash at 12:51 AM on March 20, 2003


But if president Bush is so dumb, why does he keep beating you?

Ever lose to a monkey in chess?
posted by superchicken at 1:05 AM on March 20, 2003


Government, people -- all the same thing. Contrary to my rantings, a big part of me happens to like the concept of the U.S. government and loves, in particular, a few documents written by a bunch of radicals: the Federalist Papers, the Constitution and the Declaration of Indepencence. Outright ballsiness, consummate poetry -- it's all in there if you concentrate really hard. And now it's been thrown into the toilet.

It's a bit like Communism. It works great on paper. But the minute that self-serving individuals become involved, particularly ones who are unwilling to listen or cooperate, it goes to rot.

That same part of me is crying at how the openness of our system has allowed this bunch of tyrants at the helm. How many civilian casualties in Baghdad? How many lost opportunities? How many broken international relations? We had the opportunity to be a kind and sharing people and we blew it. But we'll recover it again. Eventually.

But it's good to see that somewhere the inherently peaceful nature of the world holds hands, even if if virtually.
posted by ed at 1:05 AM on March 20, 2003


.
posted by ninthart at 2:08 AM on March 20, 2003


Why we are really at war.

... As the war begins, I can therefore share an aspiration with the anti-war lobby. Let us hope that Saddam is gone by the end of next month — and George W. Bush by the end of next year.
posted by grahamwell at 2:44 AM on March 20, 2003


I wish to bloody hell this war could have been avoided. To all who are fighting in it, may you return home safely, and to all the civilians--Iraqi, Kuwaiti, and whatever other countries wind up becoming battlegrounds--Godspeed.

If Where Is Raed doesn't come back--and I have rarely felt so chilled to see a 404 error, especially for a site I've never actually read before--there's always Kevin Sites' War Diaries, personal reflections from a CNN reporter. Although the last update dates to before the war started. (according to the shit-blowing-up metric, the lead story on Google News is the Pentagon denying that this is war yet.)

GuySmiley: Sorry, man, I do that when I get nervous...
posted by arto at 2:47 AM on March 20, 2003


>They absolutely hate freedoms as we define them, especially along the lines of the American Bill of Rights. It's one of the few inarguably accurate things Bush has said.

Wait a second, they hate liberal reforms? We have those types here too in the US. In fact, they're everywhere! Funny how we don't see Quebec separtists blowing the crap out of each other because someone opened an english speaking school.

Bush's argument is not that some hate freedom its that "freedom-hating" (which is a loaded BS term, as these fundies fight for cultural control much like US conservatives) is the root cause of many if not all terrorist attacks. That is very, very arguable.
posted by skallas at 2:57 AM on March 20, 2003


I haven't been having the same problems getting Where is Raed to load, in fact ... there was just an update a little bit ago. The 404 error might have been caused by the fact that earlier someone paid the fee to Blogger so the site (hosted on blogspot) would be ad-free. There were ads on it earlier today, and now there aren't. It'e a very interesting blog, and I have been reading it for a while now. I must admit a huge feeling of relief when I saw the latest post, which would indicate that at least a few hours ago, he and his family were still ok.
posted by Orb at 3:20 AM on March 20, 2003


Thanks, Plunge.

Let's hope those good soldiers come home safely.
posted by hama7 at 3:23 AM on March 20, 2003


Let's hope those good soldiers come home safely.

"Then we send a few guys downtown to rent all of the war movies they can get their hands on. They also buy a hell of a lot of beer. For three days we sit in our rec room and drink all of the beer and watch all of those damn movies, and we yell Semper fi and we head-butt and beat the crap out of each other and we get off on the various visions of carnage and violence and deceit, the raping and killing and pillaging.

[...]

Now is my time to step into the newest combat zone. And as a young man raised on the films of the Vietnam War, I want ammunition and alcohol and dope, I want to screw some whores and kill some Iraqi motherf---ers."

-excerpt from 'Jarhead - A Marine's Chronicle'

'Don't idealize the soldiers fighting this unjust war.'
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:42 AM on March 20, 2003


First of all, this is nothing at all like an "unjust war", and to use such nonsensical loaded language is unfortunate at best.

This is a "disarmament by force" which is exactly the last resort, to which Hussein agreed and signed when he *lost* the Gulf War.

Demeaning and deriding the honorable men and women of the armed forces of not only the United States, but also of Australia, Spain, Britain, and many others is a foul, shameful and disgusting diversionary tactic.

When in doubt, just ask the Kuwaitis or the Kurds.
posted by hama7 at 4:37 AM on March 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


Robert Fisk is in Baghdad, bless him.
posted by dydecker at 4:44 AM on March 20, 2003


I'd also like to add that those military men and women have put their lives in jeopardy to defend their countries and families, and they deserve the utmost respect, hope, and eternal appreciation.
posted by hama7 at 4:45 AM on March 20, 2003


Anti-war sentiment in the North -- No War! War never solved anything. Not in My Name!

• Each Union military setback seemed to strengthen the hands of northern Peace Democrats who favored an armistice.

• Peace Democrats claimed that the Republicans had provoked the war and the only outcome of the war would be "the enslavement [of America] by debt and taxes and arbitrary power"

• Democratic legislatures in the Midwest passed resolutions against the war and calling for an armistice and a peace conference

• Government harassment of the Peace Democrats and an upturn in Union military fortunes in 1864 substantially weakened the Peace movement
posted by stbalbach at 4:48 AM on March 20, 2003


*Puts hands in pockets, imagines a huge pile of corpses reaching to the sky, embraces absolute numbness*
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 4:55 AM on March 20, 2003


Whether of the "war" or "peace" faction, few Democrats believed the emancipation of the slaves was worth shedding Northern blood. Indeed, opposition to emancipation had long been party policy. In 1862, for example, virtually every Democrat in Congress voted against eliminating slavery in the District of Columbia and prohibiting it in the territories. (source)
posted by stbalbach at 5:21 AM on March 20, 2003


All I have to say is: "A boo and a hiss".

Bah.

*takes wanderingmind's hand in his right hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*

*wanders off to pray...*
posted by Mossy at 5:34 AM on March 20, 2003


"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

Samuel P. Huntington

From "Where is Raed?"

*takes Mossy's hand in his right hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*
posted by signal at 5:37 AM on March 20, 2003


I hope the troops get the job done quickly and come home safe.

The war is a very bad idea, and will hurt the US for decades.

But it's too late to stop it now. Bush has his war. Support the troops who are fighting under his orders even if you feel (as I do) that his war is unjust.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:44 AM on March 20, 2003


Does anyone get the feeling that 'Where is Raed?' is the next kaycee nicole? I haven't really read it, but is there any evidence to the contrary?
posted by dogmatic at 6:03 AM on March 20, 2003


"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence."

And, lest we forget, Saddam and friends won Iraq through potlucks and bake-offs.
posted by shoos at 6:09 AM on March 20, 2003


I never thought too much about its meaning when I first heard that Japanese curse some 15 years ago, or why it was a curse at all. I'm slowly getting the picture...

May you live in interesting times.

[sidenote]
No matter if you're pro or anti, have strong/weak political or religious believes, causes, reasons, ideas, what have you - What GWB just authorized is indeed a crime and a violation of all international laws we have on planet earth, and we can not argue our way out of this simple fact.

(oh, ooops... consequently, supporting this war equals supporting a crime, which, btw, is an offence in itself. but I'm not going to mention that because some might feel, well, offended...)
[/sidenote]
posted by psychomedia at 6:12 AM on March 20, 2003


Beholder: The American people are not dumb. Some American people are spiritually wounded. Some American people are sad the world community no longer considers the USA "great." They look back to the time when the world cheered the USA. They want that feeling again.

Unfortunately, they think the USA was cheered because it was a military power.
posted by ?! at 6:13 AM on March 20, 2003


hama7 - Do not attempt to glorify those in the military. They are just human beings, like those they are bombing. If they deserve glory, then so do the non-violent protesters.
How many of your family are in the military? I lost a good proportion of my family through their participation in various wars, and they were just people, like those they left behind. I do not seek to glorify their deaths to assuage my guilt at being the one to survive.
This attack on Iraq is NOT IN MY NAME, whilst I hope that the deaths on both sides are minimal, I do not support the use of military action, there is no glory to be had in the worlds only superpower attacking a country that it has impoverished over the past 12 years, none.
Someone earlier in the thread said that you should judge a country on how it treats its military foot-soldiers (or similar). I don't think the US would do too well on that scale.

'When in doubt, just ask the Kuwaitis or the Kurds.'

What is that supposed to mean? Do you know Kuwaitis/Kurds personally? Do they speak for their entire community?
The situation in Kuwait is just like it was prior to the Iraqui incursion. Human rights and democracy are not high on the agenda.

Beholder, ever heard of the concept of manufactured consent?
Bush is willing to act as the avatar for the neo-conservatives who have been attempting to run the US since Nixon. They want to ensure that they stay rich for another generation, not that this will make any difference to the majority of American's health or wealth.

stbalbach - You are attempting to draw a comparison between the American civil war (?) and the current Iraq escapade how exactly?

*takes Signal's hand in his right hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*
posted by asok at 6:13 AM on March 20, 2003


grrarrgh00. Thank you. While I can not in good conscience *take a hand and bow my head* I can nod to your insight.
posted by ?! at 6:16 AM on March 20, 2003


A note from a Minnesotan to the non-US world: I--along with almost everyone I know--am sick at heart and sorry about this. If we could stop it from happening, we would.

*runs out of words*

*takes asok's hand in her right hand, bows her head, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to her left*
posted by clever sheep at 6:20 AM on March 20, 2003


I was going to simply write that I have never been more ashamed to be an American than I am at this moment. But, upon reflection, that feeling is not quite accurate. I have no problem being American; I love my country, the values it stands for and the infinite good I know that America can accomplish. What I really ashamed of is my president and what he is doing in my name. I know this war is wrong and I know that I am right.
posted by Bag Man at 6:33 AM on March 20, 2003


*takes clever sheep's hand in his right hand, bows his head, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*
posted by smcniven at 6:34 AM on March 20, 2003


This is a monumental mistake and we'll pay for it for decades to come.
posted by Devils Slide at 6:38 AM on March 20, 2003


*takes clever sheep's hand in his right hand, bows his head, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*

*waits for somebody really hot to come along and will take her hand...*

*says heck with it--takes smcniven's hand, extends other hand to the left*
posted by Shane at 6:51 AM on March 20, 2003


Assuming I've worked the point of this out right,

*takes shane's hand in his right hand, bows his head, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*

Except I'm not female or hot. Sorry.

[twine42 - jumping on bandwagons since 1976]
posted by twine42 at 7:09 AM on March 20, 2003


That's okay, twine--at least you don't have sweaty palms.
posted by Shane at 7:14 AM on March 20, 2003


.
posted by notclosed at 7:21 AM on March 20, 2003


beholder:
It sucks to lose huh

tell it the innocent people whose inevitable deaths are being ordered by a man who himself must know the horrors of war, or else he would not have made such a point of dodging "his".

maybe for you this is about winning and losing. my desire not to be complicit in manslaughter (isn't that what this is, an illegal war in which, for all the talk of not targetting civillians, we all know some will have their lives ended by our shiny, phallic bombs) goes far beyond partisanship. it may shock you to learn that many of us here are anything but your standard democrats, myself included. i wept when bill clinton ordered cruise missiles to be lobbed at a pharmacuetical plant in the sudan, a move which hastened the deaths of thousands.

but then again, i guess i can see how you feel like a winner. god knows that when i pay my taxes, as i watch oil prices drop and americans celebrate the incineration of innocents, as i watch oil and defense stocks surge correspondingly, and i am reminded of the newfound futility of international law, i DO feel like a fucking loser.

we all lose, beholder. you can tell yourself that because you offer nominal support to the junta in power they give a fuck about what you think, but that is as misguided as your belief that an illegal war, a war against the very notion of international order, will produce any winners.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:31 AM on March 20, 2003


Some American people are sad the world community no longer considers the USA "great." They look back to the time when the world cheered the USA.

And when was that, exactly? For a few seconds right after the defeat of Nazi Germany? I can't remember any time the world 'cheered the USA'. I think most of us are used to being disliked abroad. We're numb to it. The good or bad opinion of other countries is not how I judge my own.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:39 AM on March 20, 2003


*takes twine42's hand in his right hand, bows his head, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*

(oh, and Twine, I'm deaf in the ear facing you, so speak up, k?)
posted by notsnot at 7:40 AM on March 20, 2003


Demeaning and deriding the honorable men and women of the armed forces of not only the United States, but also of Australia, Spain, Britain, and many others

Number of Spanish troops committed to operation: zero.
Number of porn-star moustaches pledged to Bush's ass: one.
Exposing hama7's ignorance: priceless.

The '35 nations' shite is CV-padding on a massive scale. I'm sure that Bush will be adding his swimming certificates to his list of multilateral partners soon.
posted by riviera at 7:42 AM on March 20, 2003


Here come the planes.
They're American planes, made in America.
Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
'Cause when love is gone, there's always justice
And when justice is gone, there's always force
And when force is gone, there's always the Mother of All Bombs.
Hi MOAB!
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
Your petrochemical arms
Your military arms.
posted by thewittyname at 7:43 AM on March 20, 2003


and if there are few civilian casualties, and if the forces are welcomed as liberators, if WMD are discovered, if in 10 years time the region is a better place I feel that many of you will be angry, disappointed that you are wrong.

So many would rather see failure then success, you must truly be miserable people.
posted by Mick at 7:55 AM on March 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


So many would rather see failure then success, you must truly be miserable people.

Hell yeah! If there are no civilian casualties, we'll all be totally bummed! That's what the sentiment in this thread is all about!

[/why did I even respond to that one?]
posted by Shane at 8:02 AM on March 20, 2003


I think most of us are used to being disliked abroad.

Where the hell have you travelled? I've been all over europe, austrailia, and new zealand and have always had nothing but kind words and questions from others.

Not once has anyone said anything outright negative, and most talk of their desire to visit or even move to the states.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:02 AM on March 20, 2003


So many would rather see failure then success, you must truly be miserable people.

actually, i do feel a bit miserable right now. but you know mick, "success" and "failure" are not black and white notions here. even if there are zero civillian casualties, and it turns out that iraq had twice the nuclear arssenal of the US, "success" would still be a fleeting notion.

why? well, mick, when looking over the polls of late, have you noticed that sizeable chunk of people who would support a war if ordered by the UN, but not a unilateral attack? you see, even if this is the most just war of all time, there is a right and a wrong way of going about its implementation.

we are supposed to be upholding a UN resolution? this will be the last time that happens. even a decisive victory in the war will do nothing towards undoing the casualties that fell before the invasion even began: international cooperation, international law, and quite possibly the UN itself. one can bellyache all they want about how the UN is a "debating society", but i doubt that any of the millions of people that their agencies have fed and given medicine really felt like debating anything.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:06 AM on March 20, 2003


Mick, I can read minds too... If there are many civilian casualties, and if the forces are seen as oppressive 'crusaders', if no WMD are discovered, if in 10 years time the region is a fragmented, bloody mess I feel that you will forget your wishful thinking, carry on with your life, put the non-US/UK dead to the back of your mind and blame the French for using their veto.
posted by niceness at 8:23 AM on March 20, 2003


Sad, shameful day to be an American. The descent continues.

Demeaning and deriding the honorable men and women of the armed forces of not only the United States, but also of Australia, Spain, Britain....

"Honorable men and women of the United States armed forces"...what a sad, disgusting lie.

There are none this day. They have placed themselves in the role of "following orders", the lowest possible ethical position. They are without personal principle. They have cravenly followed the illegal and immoral orders of their "superiors" in launching a disgusting, "preemptive" war against a relatively defenseless country. They will place innumerable civilians at risk from this day forward.

The American military man or woman who launches missile or shell or bullet into cities is absolutely no different from the American military man who killed babies at My Lai.

I won't be surprised if American military men and women are spat upon and otherwise derided when and if they return, but in my view these professional followers that make up our military are merely to be pitied.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 8:30 AM on March 20, 2003


paraphrase from memory]
Interviewer: Why are you here today?
Goff: Because this is a criminal war, and...
I: Why do you say that?
G: When I was in the military, we had to study the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention, the international rules governing war...we are in violation of all of those...

we seem to have lost signal. (..and segues the hell away)

It was chilling. Do you think a staffer smuggled Goff on or what?


I saw that too. And previously to that, when the interviewer first came on air, he was accosted by someone (I don't know what she was saying) and he was saying, " yes, I realize emotions are running high" to this woman on his right, to which the station segued away. When they came back they were interviewing Goff.

I imagine Goff won't be driving down here to Fayetteville anytime soon.


Raises hands in silent prayer, then reaches over and takes notsnot by her right hand, takes the hand of a Mefi friend to her left
posted by konolia at 8:30 AM on March 20, 2003


Honorable men and women of the United States armed forces"...what a sad, disgusting lie.

Yes, this is trollbait, and yes I shouldn't have to respond to it-but when you are insulting MY friends and MY acquaintances I'm calling you out.

Meanwhile, I wonder what the ghost of Chamberlain would be saying if he could talk. I am not thrilled by this war, but I wasn't thrilled with what I felt the alternative was either. Let's just get this crap over and done with so our folks can come home to their families.
posted by konolia at 8:40 AM on March 20, 2003


three things:

1. My mom & her husband are planning a trip to Europe this summer. They aren't sure they want to go now, and it's not because of war. It's because they are afraid of being treated poorly by the rest of the world if they are "discovered" as Americans. She asked me how hard it would be to fake being Canadian!

2. Ever see a bar fight start? One guy is sort of an asshole, which causes another sort-of asshole to get irritated, and the two of them do that shoving/finger in the chest thing, and pretty quickly you get a fight. If one of them had taken a deep breath, everything would be just fine right now. That's what I think happened with Iraq. If one or the other had just paused briefly and really thought about what was happening we might not be doing this right now. I think Saddam should go, but not this way.

3. *takes konolia's hand in her right hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to her left*
posted by verso at 8:45 AM on March 20, 2003


yeesh, have my pecs drooped that bad that people think I'm a girl? ;) (no offense taken)
posted by notsnot at 8:50 AM on March 20, 2003


Let's just get this crap over and done with so our folks can come home to their families.

you see, that is a luxury that we have. the people who we are "liberating" by destroying their infrastructure don't have that option. you can call out fold_ all you want, and i would not have used his language myself, but you don't respond to his/her key point:

They have placed themselves in the role of "following orders", the lowest possible ethical position.

without going all godwin on your ass, i implore you to refute the above. does someone who chooses to attend brainwashing camp to remove their independent thoughts deserve our respect? i think that pity is about right.

what seperates our soldiers from theirs? oh yeah, they are "MY friends and MY acquaintances". i am calling YOU out for your shortsightedness and chauvanism. if one has the duty to support any and all interchangeable parts in "his" nation's killing machine, then mustn't we also blindly support the sum of those parts as well? no thanks, i prefer democracy.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:51 AM on March 20, 2003


I won't be surprised if American military men and women are spat upon and otherwise derided when and if they return

Better said, you'll be disappointed if they're NOT spat upon. I don't really see it happening, so if I were you I'd prepare to fight your way to the front of future parades to get your jollies off.

Good luck!

My mom & her husband are planning a trip to Europe this summer. They aren't sure they want to go now, and it's not because of war. It's because they are afraid of being treated poorly by the rest of the world if they are "discovered" as Americans.

Oh please. Tell the to get over it, or grow some balls. Over reaction helps no one.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:53 AM on March 20, 2003


Most importantly, what the hell is this war's codename?

Operation Iraqi Freedom. Bush came up with it several moments before the speech, which is why he was sweating so hard.
posted by Ty Webb at 8:58 AM on March 20, 2003


Various reactions to the war:

WorkingForChange is calling for people to
Demand that President Bush renounce the use of any nuclear weapons in the invasion of Iraq or any other country.

IraqBodyCount has updated one civilian casualty since the war began. I don't think we can expect much new info for some time.

The general prediction I have heard is 2 to 3 days of bombing followed by ground troops moving in. I feel sorry for anything living in a bomb zone, especially for that amount of continuous time.

Has anyone heard anything new about the Kurds?

She asked me how hard it would be to fake being Canadian!
You know, it's a world full of stereotypes. Drink Molson, say "Eh" a lot and talk about hockey, and they'll do fine.

posted by Shane at 9:00 AM on March 20, 2003


Regardless of how you feel about the conflict, it wouldn't compromise your stance to send the 18 year-olds getting shot at a message saying we hope they come home safely and quickly.

This is very true...I have some friends serving in the military abroad, and all the anti-war talk makes them depressed as hell, but any words of encouragement they recieve from the USA uplifts their spirits like you couldn't believe. Pro or Anti-war, I think its a great idea to at least send a few words that can be as simple as "Come home safely."

Foldy-> Do you have this same train of thought about all soldiers, or just the ones for this war?
posted by jmd82 at 9:08 AM on March 20, 2003


the first drops of blood appear on our hands (not a photo or anything "gross").

has anyone done the moral calculus on this one yet? how many children can we kill and still call it a liberation?

i find it richly disturbing that we can accept "collateral damage" in our illegal occupation, while decrying those that take lives while struggling for their own independence. does this mean that the great moral failure of palestinian suicide bombers lies in their lack of access to fancier death machines?

this war can not be rationalized without at least an implied moral authority, and that sickens me. the hypocrisy evident in an adminstration that cites abuse of the kurds as a reason for invasion, while simulataneously selling them out to a country that is not even really on board with us reminds me of the kind of nation that would support the contras, allende, somoza, sukarto, and the shah. oh yeah, nevermind.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:15 AM on March 20, 2003


2 to 3 days of bombing followed by ground troops moving in

So will the Iraqis be greeting the liberators with hugs and kisses, or will they be shivering in a bunker. I suppose an entire population with Post traumatic stress disorder and a country to rebuild is the price paid for freedom.

Is Red Adair still around?
posted by niceness at 9:20 AM on March 20, 2003


notsnot : pardon?
posted by twine42 at 9:35 AM on March 20, 2003


Ignatius: you mean "overthrow Allende", or maybe "support Pinochet".
Right behind you on the rest of it though.
posted by signal at 9:37 AM on March 20, 2003


Maybe we could find some relevent blogs, maybe even blogs from people close to the conflict? Besides Salam's, I mean.

BBC News is publishing the logs of the reporters in the area, but I'd like something less formal and journalistic.

Recent News:
Saddam son suffers from brain hemorrhage
Uday, the elder son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, struck by brain hemorrhage following conflict with a member of Saddam's Fedayeen on Thursday.

The Iranian news agency, IRNA, quoted sources in northern Iraq as saying that tough and indecent orders, issued by Uday, who heads Saddam's Fedayeen, had provoked the conflict as the young man attacked Uday.

Uday's bodyguards then beat the man to injury, the unconfirmed report said.


Can we LINK anything new to this thread? Blogs or news-off-the-beaten-track would be great. (Unlike my links above.)
posted by Shane at 9:47 AM on March 20, 2003


what seperates our soldiers from theirs? oh yeah, they are "MY friends and MY acquaintances". i am calling YOU out for your shortsightedness and chauvanism. if one has the duty to support any and all interchangeable parts in "his" nation's killing machine, then mustn't we also blindly support the sum of those parts as well? no thanks, i prefer democracy.

#1- We live in a republic, not in a democracy.

#2- You can disagree with the justification of this war but I think both you and Foldy are way over the top in accusing our troops of immoral action here.

#3 -All of these soldiers are SOMEONE"S friends, acquaintances and loved ones. As many of you are tired of hearing me say, I live right down the road from Fort Bragg and the quickest way to piss me off is to make the type of comment Foldy made. I don't consider my remarks chauvinistic, and I don't see them as automatically excluding sentiments for the welfare of the Iraqi people. Just cuz I love MY folks doesn't mean I hate everyone elses's.

War is on whether or not any of us like it or think it justified. If I am a bad person for wanting it done and wanting our folks back safe then I am guilty as charged.

It would behoove us all to remember this isn't a football game and things aren't really as simple as being "for" or "against" this war. There are really a number of positions one can take re this conflict and I for one refuse to be categorised either way.
posted by konolia at 9:48 AM on March 20, 2003


signal:
yeah, yeah, my bad. i guess i meant, "overthrow" allende, but that is hardly a parellel construction, now is it? even if i can not write, at least i can find chile on a map, unlike a certain someone.

looking back over this thread, i regret simply restating my opinions as i have done. aside from the loss of life, i am always depressed to see people chuck aside the lessons of history, and that is what i would like us to be focused on (as if that matters).

but i'll tell you this much: if the US forces do find conclusive proof that hussein ordered the sinking of the USS Maine, i will then, in retorspect, fully agree with william randolph hearst's calls to war, and i will fully support removing saddam from his imperial governorship of cuba. besides, our economy cannot continue to run wihtout cheaper sugar imports.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:01 AM on March 20, 2003


Cuba/cheaper sugar imports.
JFK may have been killed over sugar...
posted by Shane at 10:06 AM on March 20, 2003


Maybe if terrifyingly large numbers of American soldiers are actually killed in this little game . . . it might make the blinkered scum that run your nation a little more hesitant to do it again.
&
'Don't idealize the soldiers fighting this unjust war.'

How about this: I'm going to think pretty highly of my best friend, college room mate and former band mate, who joined the service almost 10 years ago to pay for college, who is absolutely opposed to this military action, but is financially obligated to see through the last few years of his service . . . I'm going hope he doesn't die in battle.

My cousin, who joined the Navy to learn underwater welding so he could get a good job in the private sector, who I grew up with, who turned me on to punk rock and Marvel comics, who smokes cigarettes with me in the garage at family reunions, I'm going to hope he comes home safe, too.

I'm not going to wish death on anyone, American or Iraqi, to prove a point to the fucking dimwit cowboy President of the United States and the assholes pulling his strings. I'm going to hope that this affair is as brief and bloodless as can be, and that I can hug my friends and family tightly around the neck when it's all over.
posted by mikrophon at 10:10 AM on March 20, 2003


It would behoove us all to remember this isn't a football game and things aren't really as simple as being "for" or "against" this war. There are really a number of positions one can take re this conflict and I for one refuse to be categorised either way.

a totally valid sentiment, IMO. of course you love those that are close to you, and i am glad that you understand that iraqis have families, too. whoo-hoo! however, your ire is aroused not because someone disses sodliers in general, or war in general, but because they dissed "your friends". this decisive victory can not occur without the deaths of thousands of iraq's peasant conscripts, and at the least, hundreds of innocents. you are essentially deeming the lives of one group as more valuable than those of another. this is the mentality that allows war to remain popular and profitable, that allows tyranny to exist, and that allows us to turn organized killing into a TV show.

the mere fact that you cannot, or choose not to, see the chauvanism inherent to this position does not mean it isn't there.

I'm not going to wish death on anyone, American or Iraqi

i would hope that no one here, or anywhere else, would.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:14 AM on March 20, 2003


I'm not going to wish death on anyone, American or Iraqi

i would hope that no one here, or anywhere else, would.


sadly, i've had people tell me that we should just nuke 'em (along with other arab countries) and be done with it.
posted by poopy at 10:48 AM on March 20, 2003


"And, lest we forget, Saddam and friends won Iraq through potlucks and bake-offs."

No, it was a CIA backed coup. And the CIA supplied the names of "communist sympathizers" who were murdered
by Saddam and friends.
And remember, it's because "he murders his own people" that we are doing this.
posted by 2sheets at 11:25 AM on March 20, 2003


however, your ire is aroused not because someone disses sodliers in general, or war in general, but because they dissed "your friends".

Take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee, and then go back and show me where I am only experiencing ire for a subset of the military.

Where I live, ALL soldiers are part of the "extended family". Folks get transferred in and out of here all the time, so even folks who have never been stationed here are usually good buddies with people who are.

I was simply offering myself as a representative of the many of us in the civilian community who are proud to say we know members of our armed services. You seem to be implying that if someone is stationed at Fort Campbell instead of here that I couldn't care less about them.

you are essentially deeming the lives of one group as more valuable than those of another.

No, I am saying that our armed forces deserve respect, and that I want this war over and them home. I suppose it doesn't occur to you that a soon completion of hostilities would be good for the Iraqi "peasant" (your word not mine).

Disrespecting and insulting our men (and women) in uniform will not save one life or make this war one day shorter. So let's stop it.

And let us all remember that NONE of us are privy to all the info leading to the war, meaning that NONE of our opinions, hawk, dove or turkey, are totally based on facts in evidence. There is a lot we won't know till this is over. That's just the way it is.
posted by konolia at 11:30 AM on March 20, 2003


Oh please. Tell the to get over it, or grow some balls. Over reaction helps no one.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:53 AM PST on March 20


Irony alert!
posted by Espoo2 at 11:55 AM on March 20, 2003


I wonder what the ghost of Chamberlain would be saying if he could talk.

How about, "Saddam is not Hitler"
posted by Bag Man at 12:07 PM on March 20, 2003


Does anyone know if Raed is for real? I've been curious about this for some time...
posted by sparky at 12:25 PM on March 20, 2003


Bag Man, Chamberlain didn't think Hitler, was Hitler either...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:27 PM on March 20, 2003


"Where is Raed" is quite the interesting source from within Iraq.

I wonder what the ghost of Chamberlain would be saying if he could talk.

How about "That Churchill fella upstaged me" or "Get my body out of that box, it's time to boogie"
posted by RobbieFal at 12:42 PM on March 20, 2003


"September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows condemns unconditionally the illegal, immoral, and unjustified US-led military action in Iraq. As family members of September 11th victims, we know how it feels to experience "shock and awe," and we do not want other innocent families to suffer the trauma and grief that we have endured. While we also condemn the brutality of Saddam Hussein's regime, it does not justify the brutality, death and destruction being visited upon Iraq and its citizens by our own government."
posted by homunculus at 12:59 PM on March 20, 2003


Does anyone know if Raed is for real? I've been curious about this for some time...
Matt posted in the Meta-talk thread on this.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:04 PM on March 20, 2003


WarWatch, a blog from the Chicago Tribune.
posted by Bag Man at 1:14 PM on March 20, 2003


Bag Man, Chamberlain didn't think Hitler, was Hitler either...

Two points:

1) In the late 1930's everyone (including Chamberlain) knew of Hitler's vast military and industrial superiority. In fact, the driving force behind Chamberlain's policy of "appeasement" was to prevent Hitler from using his known superiority. What Chamberlain also knew was that Hitler had already taken recent aggressive military action.

2) Even if Chamberlain did not know of Hitler's capabilities or tendencies then (which he did know), Chamberlain would sure know about them now.

We know Saddam is weak and know he was not attacked another country since Bush I's policy of containment.

So, even Chamberlain would know that Saddam is not as strong (not even close) as Hitler and Saddam has shown invasion tendencies like Hitler did.

Such a comparison is nothing more than far right-wing troll. Further, I find it very offensive that anyone would compare Saddam to a man that was the mastermind behind the slaughter of six million innocent Jews.

Shame on Bush and anyone else who makes the comparison. Yes, RobbieFal the anti-war movement is in league with Hitler.
posted by Bag Man at 1:33 PM on March 20, 2003


Take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee, and then go back and show me where I am only experiencing ire for a subset of the military.

more like a subset of humanity.

it is not that i think you value the lives of your friends over those of other american soldiers, but that you value the lives of americans over those of iraqis. by no means are you alone in this sentiment, and hell, it is probably "natural" on some level.

Disrespecting and insulting our men (and women) in uniform will not save one life or make this war one day shorter. So let's stop it

no, sadly. but in the long term, we CAN create a culture that does not promote killing based on flag-associations and arbitrary lines drawn on maps, in 1789 or 1919. this is not about disrespect for misguided individuals, but about respect for the value of our human institutions and accomplishments, most of which would be best left unexploded. i don't hate any individual, but i am weary of the spirit in which they act. shit, plenty of "our" soldiers were forced into the military by judges in the first place, and i certainly don't spite them.

once again, please respond to fold_'s original point:
They have placed themselves in the role of "following orders", the lowest possible ethical position.

odd, to me, to claim that the shared values of a nation purported to be a citadel of individualism can be furthered and protected by those trained to abandon their own sense of self. ANYTHING can be explained away by "i was just following orders". this is a common theme throughout every atrocity that i can think of. yeah, nation states field militaries in order to use massive violence to achieve their own goals. i'm not claiming to be shocked by this or anything, but can we stop cloaking it in platitude?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:35 PM on March 20, 2003


They're like Hitler, only more so! We'll rub their oil on our torsos!
posted by homunculus at 1:40 PM on March 20, 2003


#1- We live in a republic, not in a democracy.

I love it when people bring this up like it is news. Please continue to do so, maybe people wll become as sick of that unplesant fact as I am and do something about the archaic system.
posted by thirteen at 2:43 PM on March 20, 2003


No matter the justification (or lack thereof), no matter how necessary or how right it is, war is always sad. Innocent people will die along with the guilty and families will be devastated all over the world.

*takes verso's hand in his right hand, takes the hand of a MeFi friend to his left*
posted by dg at 2:45 PM on March 20, 2003


A lone protestor outside my old school. He thought his friends would join him but apparently they were threatened with expulsion. This is the kind of thing which sticks even if he doesn't get kicked out. He'll be reminded of this even when he's doing his University options. Just to say that the following quote is typical for a Blue Coat lad. Yes, at times even I've talked like this:
"I just wanted to show the government that we elected Tony Blair into power and he should not be able to continue with war without the full backing of the people."
You were seven in 1997, mate. It wasn't your fault. But I have to ask. Were you up for Portillo?
posted by feelinglistless at 2:47 PM on March 20, 2003


This is a good thread. Months of pent-up anti-American venom and hatred and impotent rage are being released all at once -- remarkable for what it reveals both politically and psychologically about the "pro-peace" folks. Wow.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 3:25 PM on March 20, 2003


Oh, fuck off, hieronymous coward.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:34 PM on March 20, 2003


What Mars Saxman said.
posted by drstrangelove at 4:33 PM on March 20, 2003


hehheh...um, sorry...I thought one of the "her"s was referring to me *snort*. Yeah, so I was kinda just waking up, and kinda freaked out to see what I would see, this morning.
posted by notsnot at 4:46 PM on March 20, 2003


odd, to me, to claim that the shared values of a nation purported to be a citadel of individualism can be furthered and protected by those trained to abandon their own sense of self.

Actually, they did make that choice when they joined the military in the first place. ALso, how exactly is that following orders is in fast the lowest ethical position? I think most people here don't believe in an absolute morality. If so, how can you even make that statement? The moment you say just following order is the lowest possible ethical position, you are in fact makeing a judgement call based upon your own morality, something the large majority of MeFites here decry on a regular basis.
posted by jmd82 at 5:17 PM on March 20, 2003


i am amazed by the smugness of the war cheerleaders here on mefi. i understand what it is like to take an unpopular stand, as i do so every day, but do you folks understand that this is an actual war happening in the real world? i can understand the notion of being pleased because those in power have taken the course of action that you see as appropriate, but to taunt and celebrate a war? i don't even know if it would have been appropriate to CELEBRATE WWII. this behavior does little to represent you as anything more than an armchair commando, your wisdom matched only by your bravery. if it's so fucking sweet, then why aren't you off killing brown people? maybe you are too old or too young. i just hope that when "your" Operation Meaningless Platitude comes along that you are granted your god-given right to drink the impure blood of those who dare stand in the way of whatever bechtel or halliburton contract that war is being fought to secure.

you should also recognize the difference between "supporting the troops" and buying whatever line of bullshit their commanders try to sell you. these two come into conflict. anyone remember gulf war syndrome?

on preview: the distinction between ethics and morals is an important one to me. i guess that i fit in with mefi groupthink in that i also am no fan of absolute morality. i actually think morality in general is a flawed notion. i see "just following orders" as an ethical failure due to the fact that in so doing one is simply shirking their ability to act within ANY code of ethics. if you disavow your own agency, then how can you even make an ethics-based decision? or any decision. to me "ethics" denotes the idea of a system in which one makes decisions with resepct towards their potential effects on others. morality involves an absolute right and wrong. for example, it could be morally wrong by a given set of morals for one to masturbate, but not ethically wrong, unless thet are doing it in the parking lot of a desperately empty sperm bank, or they had some way of predicting that the wad would end up on the face of an innocent.

but fold_and_mutilate made the original statement. maybe he can make more sense than me.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:33 PM on March 20, 2003


* takes madamjujujive's hand in his left hand, shoves it down front of his pants*
posted by quonsar at 5:46 PM on March 20, 2003


* wonders who just accidently grabbed my hand and shoved it down his pants. Decide to explore. hmmm peas and a pretzel stick? *
posted by ?! at 6:22 PM on March 20, 2003


What bothers me most about the war-happy is that they support the killing of other human beings.

For the life of me I can't imagine that being an Iraqi civilian is a whole lot different than being an American civilian. We all get up in the morning, get dressed, eat a bowl of cereal, brush our teeth, and rail against the prick who's leading ouyr country. When possible we try to effect a change in our government, but we're a cautious about how far we go because it's all too easy to end up in prison.

I am appalled at the idea of some army throwing missiles at my town. No one in my town deserves to die because we've got a prick for a leader.

There are undoubtedly people who deserve to be removed from society. They are the destructive forces, who take it upon themselves to wantonly murder and otherwise destroy that which we call good.

Saddam is one of these people. Kill the fucker, no doubt.

Surely there was a better means to that end. As bad as Saddam is, he isn't worth the loss of civilian lives.

Put yourselves in an Iraqi civilian's shoes. Would you be willing to die so that Saddam may be eliminated? Sure as hell I wouldn't be.

And, you know, I don't think ol' George would be willing to die for me if I were leader of his country. In fact, I think he'd be really upset with the very idea of it.

So why is he unable to conceive of a better solution to the problem of Saddam than to bomb the living shit out of a bunch of civilians?

posted by five fresh fish at 7:40 PM on March 20, 2003


these professional followers that make up our military are merely to be pitied

Your generosity, like your every sentence, is so profound!
posted by shoos at 7:48 PM on March 20, 2003


FFF that's where your so wrong. Iraqi's have been willing to die, and are still willing to die, to change their leader. They just can't effect the change they so desparately needed. Your pompous, overblown statement betrays your ultimate moral weakness. There are many good reasons for opposing the current conflict in Iraq, but your moralizing drek is something else entirely. You insult the hundreds of thousand of Iraqis who died directly under Husseins rule and the hundreds of thousands who have died in wars he started to say that it is somehow "stupid" to be willing to give your life to get rid of that tyrant.

Quonsar, I'm laughing my ass off.
posted by pjgulliver at 7:52 PM on March 20, 2003


And ?!, I'm laughing my butt off. thx to both for the comic relief.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:00 PM on March 20, 2003


It is interesting to me how I can make a simple statement about hoping this war is over soon and that our troops can come home-then get tied up in a philosophical ideological knot over it.

Some of you people just think too danged much.

Meanwhile, after reading this thread, an old saw comes to mind:

Any jackass can kick a barn down-it takes a carpenter to build one.
posted by konolia at 8:17 PM on March 20, 2003


The beauty of the term "anti-american" is that, since it's almost 100% devoid of meaning, it can be used whenever somebody doesn't agree with you, about anything:
"Those lime green pants make your ass look fat"
"I always knew you were anti-american!"
See? Makes just as much sense as H.C. up there.
posted by signal at 8:47 PM on March 20, 2003


can i try:

signal, how about a blowjob?

no.

why do you hate america?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:32 PM on March 20, 2003


quonsar, you incorrigible ruffian!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:34 PM on March 20, 2003


I call bullshit on all that, pjg. What you offer is potential death to twenty-four million people in the name of getting rid of one tinpot dictator.

Go read Raed's journal. A real, live (as of yesterday) Iraqi who is at risk of being killed by the "liberating" forces of America. He's none too pleased at the prospect of dying in the name of an American cause.

I challenge you to put yourself in Iraqi shoes.

Imagine the USA is being ruled by a creep who has denied your traditional civilian freedoms, played fast and loose with the election process, lined his own and his friends' pockets with taxpayer monies, and freely mingles religion and politics.

Imagine this creep has weapons of mass destruction and is generally regarded with suspicion throughout the world. His foreign policies are suspect and there are worries that he's a loose cannon. His government policies imprison tens of thousands of people accused of victimless crimes; and his police forces regularly incarcerate protesters and are demonstrably biased against dark-skinned citizens.

So China decides to lay the smack-down on your creepy president. They tell him to get the hell outta the country or they're going to unleash the fury of hell upon you all.

He refuses to leave.

So they start Operation Independence. And you, pjg, are in their way. Kiss your sorry ass goodby.

But, hey, you're willing to die for the Chinese cause! It'll get rid of the creep who runs your country!

Or is it that you'd think they could perhaps come up with a better solution?

The war-happy are just peachy-keen-fine with war... as long as it's not their sorry asses that are on the line.


There must be a better solution to this problem than war. I reject outright the notion that this is the best that could be done.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:34 PM on March 20, 2003


I'd like to just be an annoying told-you-so, now that the media is reporting that (1.) Saddam may have been killed in that initial strike two days ago, and that (2.) the subsequent broadcast address was not only pre-taped but was most likely one of a series of tapes citing different dates specifically to offer the illusion of immediacy.

Insane? Insane like a fox!
posted by pzarquon at 12:48 AM on March 21, 2003


We live in a republic, not in a democracy.

Can somebody American explain to me what this means? Is it supposed to be a good or a bad thing? If America's not a democracy why is it trying to spread democracy elsewhere?
posted by Summer at 2:54 AM on March 21, 2003


Constitutional Republic:
Representative government ruled by law
(rights of the individual)

Democracy:
Direct government ruled by the majority
(rights of the mob)

The U.S "is" a Republic (the overly abused term Democracy is not even mentioned once in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence).

[sidenote]
IMHO, it is a bit interesting to see a Republic so eager to spread Democracy around the world. Then again, word on the street is, not even the President could tell the fundamental difference between the two.
[/sidenote]
posted by psychomedia at 6:26 AM on March 21, 2003


According to my dictionary (Collins) a democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people collectively, and is administered by them or by officers appointed by them; a state of society characterised by recognition of equality of rights and privileges for all people

while a republic is a form of government without a monarch, in which the supreme power is vested in the people and their elected representatives.

Seems that both could equally apply to the US. Is this a party political thing?
posted by Summer at 6:53 AM on March 21, 2003


FFF--

I wasn't writing anything about the legitmacy of the war effort, and I made that very clear in my post.

I just truely believe that you 1) insult the dead memories of Iraqi's when you blantly compare Bush to Hussein, as you just did, and 2) insult all of Hussein's dead when flippantly stating, hey, if I were in Iraq, I wouldn't want to die to get rid of this guy.

Whatever you think about Bush, and whatever you think about war in Iraq, two things are true. 1) There is no moral comparison between Bush and Hussein, no matter how much you wish there were. Bush's election might have been iffy, his environmental and tax policy disgusting, but he is no Saddam Hussein. He did not come to power by personally executing members of his inner circle. Please. To imply moral relativism between the two is to completely not recognize the absolute evil of the Hussein regime. I hope you are shamed when documentation comes out of Iraq. 2) Hussein's citizens have demonstrated time and time again that they are willing to die in an attempt to unseat him. This is just a fact. And if you, in your decedant and whining lifestyle can't comprehend this SHUT UP with your moralizing tone and tiny print that screams "I think I'm deep."
posted by pjgulliver at 6:55 AM on March 21, 2003


I wasn't going to post anymore here, but with my bro-in-law still not back to take up the cause (my prayer's are with you baesen!) I will.

There is a lot of talk in here about the war isn't worth it to liberate the people from Saddam's rule. Without going into post-war control and the like, and without arguing the "real" cause of the war, I would like to share thoughts from a person who was in that position.

Back a few years ago, while visiting the in-laws in Korea, my body decided to pass a few kidney stones. So, while the rest played, my mother-in-law stayed at home with me. For three days, she recounted to me the horrors of growing up in Korea under Japanese occupation. Then, told me of the stories from her relatives who lived in the North after the division. Finally, she told me of the horrors of the Korean war in which her city changed hands 6 or 7 times.

The brutality of the occupation was beyond my comprehension, as well as that of the war. Yet, she was always grateful to the US for not allowing NK to take over the entire country. Despite what they had suffered and the numerous relatives killed, she was able to raise her children free of the yoke of North Korean communism, brutality and torture. After every story of sorrow, pain and devastation, she would recount her gratitude.

I've never forgotten those stories, because she rarely spoke of the past. The pain and suffering from that time haunted her until her death. Yet, she gladly accepted it on herself for the opportunities it gave to her children and their children and generations to come.

For myself, with her thoughts in mind, I view every opportunity to oust a barbaric regime as a victory.

Being a religious person, I pray nightly, as I have for months, for the safety of the soldiers and civilian alike. I pray for a swift end to the war and the restoration humanity and dignity to the people of Iraq. May they become a beacon and example of all that is good in the world when this ends.
posted by Plunge at 7:31 AM on March 21, 2003 [1 favorite]


"... tiny print that screams "I think I'm deep."

I rather thought it screamed "I know this post is too bloody long and most of you won't want to read it, so I'm gonna make it take up as little space as I can." I can't help that you put your own spin on it.

As for the rest of what you posted, bullshit. I'm not making a moral relativist claim at all. I'm not insulting the Iraqi dead.

I am simply appalled that in this day and age it can be considered acceptable to kill innocent people.

I believe with absolute conviction that we have exactly one shot at life. There is no afterlife. We have about seventy years on this planet and then nothing. There are six billion people in the world and while any one particular life is nothing important to the overall scheme of things, it sure as hell is important to the individual who's living that life. I don't think *anyone* has the right to revoke a decent life. It is the most precious thing we have as humans and it is absolutely intolerable that a life should be ended by someone else's decision.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:08 AM on March 21, 2003


FFF - I have to agree that the tiny print is a pain in the ass. I have to cross my eyes to read it at 1280X1024. I imagine I hear my brain go *click* as it resets to infinitesimal mode.
posted by Jonasio at 8:03 PM on March 22, 2003


« Older The 1893 World's Fair...  |  On the day after... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments