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You are either with us or against us. - Peter Sheil [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Peter Sheil

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You are either with us or against us. [Sep. 5th, 2002|01:41 pm]
Peter Sheil
In the past year this phrase has been used many times to imply that all those against military action are in favour of the terrorists.


I don't for one moment want to support the terrorists personally, nor do I want to slight the memories of those who died, both in the acts of terorism and the subsequent war. But I do think we need a clear aim and reason to go to war again. It seems like Mr Blair will be supporting Prisident Bush in this - I'm not convinced we should be entering into anoher war.

What do you think?

Poll #58113 For or Aganst

Was America right to attack Afghanistan?

Yes, definitely
9(21.4%)
Probably
4(9.5%)
Maybe
7(16.7%)
Probably not
13(31.0%)
Definitely not
9(21.4%)

Is it possible to disagree with America and still not support terrorism?

Yes
39(90.7%)
No
2(4.7%)
Don't know
2(4.7%)

Should America attack Iraq?

Yes definitely
2(4.8%)
Probably
1(2.4%)
Maybe
2(4.8%)
Probably not
3(7.1%)
Definitely not
8(19.0%)
Only with a UN mandate
3(7.1%)
Only after disclosing proof of the threat
5(11.9%)
Only after an actual attack against US or allies
5(11.9%)

What do you think about the threat of war?

LinkReply

Comments:
From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 07:54 am (UTC)
I don't like what my country is doing. I think that if they really wanted to end all of this nightmare, they could. I think they probably could get Bin Laden if they really wanted to. I think there is some money agenda (oil, most likely) that they have going. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if our gov't actually were the ones who got the sept. 11 attacks to happen. I don't trust Bush any farther than I can spit on him, and I certainly don't trust the people he has put into power. I don't think war is the answer. But I don't think doing nothing is either.

Fact is, America is hated all over the world. And having lived overseas, I can see why. But I am an American, and I don't want my country attacked. I don't want my country attacking others. The concepts that the American people have a voice anymore is a joke. The only thing that gets noticed *is* violence. THAT is a serious problem. I don't think that is the answer. I certainly don't have the money to have my opinion heard either.

It's such a nightmarish mess.
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 07:56 am (UTC)
uhm...sorry to go off like that in your lj.... ;)
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-05 07:59 am (UTC)
That's OK -if I didn't want people's honest opinions then I wouldn't have put the entry / poll there. :)
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[User Picture]From: icclerae
2002-09-05 08:30 am (UTC)
This poll really interested me (thanks Peter) as I find this an reaaly emotive issue. It's good to heard an American with conscience, a voice and a wider view of the world. I hope that there are more people like you you over there and that you get your voice heard. I'm extremely scared and angry but I can see how it could effect a caring US citizen. Good luck :)
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 08:39 am (UTC)
There are a *lot* of Americans who are very angry about how our gov't is handling this. We just do not get any media time unless we start blowing up our own people. (that is not a threat or something I am thinking about, btw.) What I mean is, unless people do horrific things anymore, it seems their opinions and voices go unheard. Especially in the larger world court.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-05 09:57 am (UTC)

Re:

the media needs something exciting and "important" - this is especially true in the US where the media has a much narrower focus geographically than here in the UK (and generally in Europe I think)

Also bad news is news - good news is a filler item. sad but true.

Thanks for your input to this.
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 10:13 am (UTC)
Yup. The American media picks one thing and focuses on it. Child abductions seem to the fad right now. From what I understand, there has not been an increase in kidnappings and child murders. It is just getting a lot of attention now, due to a few wealthy children being abducted. Elizabeth Smart seems to be the case that started it all up this time around in the news.

Oh well, at least we find out what is really important. Like who won American Idol. *snort*
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-05 10:38 am (UTC)
The worst thing is, I can see us going that way too, us guys in the UK... it just seems that Tony blair is such a lapdog, nothing but a l;apdog to Bush. And it's really frigtening that we're not being listened to, cause I know a lot of people, US and Canadians included, who are dead against this.
It just sucks. My dad keeps saying, they should have sorted it out after the Gulf war - that they've left it too long. I don't know if it's true, but i remember the pictures i saw on the news when i was a kid.
xx
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 10:53 am (UTC)
I was in the middle of my university studies when the Gulf War happened. I remember thinking how stupid it was. I think the present Bush is just trying to either impress his dad, or impress the popular vote in thinking he is just as good as his dad (although I think they are both just idiots).

The thing that is frustrating for me, as an American, is that there seems to be this world opinion that individual Americans are the ones responsible for Bush's stupidity. At least half of the voting country did *NOT* want him in office (if you remember his rediculous election).

Honestly I don't know what the answer is. I wish I even had an idea. This is what I see daily: our economy is going down the drain. Jobs are becoming harder and harder to find. People don't have enough to eat. I don't know very many people who have health insurance, which means most are unable to go to a dr. And forget going to a hospital or to a dentist. Children without medical care. People are spending money on rediculous things to make it look like they are not poor, ironically making them more poor with the money they did have thrown away on useless things.

We are all (Americans) responsible for the mess our country is in. At the same time, our leadership needs to take responsibility for the mess as well. As a leader leads, the people will follow. The more corrupt the government, the more corrupt the country. As corporations go bankrupt and don't have to pay back their debts, the people follow that example too. And certainly our government is doing the same thing there. The hole gets deeper and deeper....

ARGH. Yes. I am so frustrated with my country. The thing is, I do love my country. I am sickened by how we have sold ourselves out.
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-05 11:13 am (UTC)

Re:

And i really think I know how you feel. Though it's a little off-topic, what did you think of the environmental talks?
But yes, I know how you're feeling. And I mean... when the gulf happened i was just a kid. I was 6 in 1990 and I still remember the things from the TV >_< They say your memory isn't formed properly before the age of 6, yet I was still able to remember things like that. I'd hate to see it all again.
xx
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 11:29 am (UTC)
I went to France right after the Gulf War started. Weeks after, in fact. I was 21. War felt *very* different in France than it did in America. In America, we could sit safely behind our televisions, and it was like a surreal movie. But in southern France, I lived among immigrants from the Middle East, most of them Muslim. The hatred was real. I had no idea the harm that my government had caused to come down upon the common people especially. I was ashamed and apalled. I considered for a long time becoming an ex-patriot and finding a way to stay in Europe. Financially it was not quite possible, and I decided to finish my university studies, so I returned to the states.

The other interesting thing was while I lived in France, I never once heard one nice, one positive, one good thing about America or Americans. And I still wonder. Are we all just complete idiots and jerks? Does our country ever do anything good? It almost seems like we either do nothing of worth or value, or else other countries have made a hobby out of just finding everything our country does wrong (and there is plenty of that to keep any watchdog busy there!)

I have not been following the environmental talks. Honestly, I have been following environmental issues close to home more than on the larger scale. I have spent the past year living in areas that were destroyed by forest fires this past summer and in severe drought. When you live in the middle of it and all the politics that surround it, you don't often pull your head out above it to look at what is happening outside your neighborhood. (I know, a rather American way of looking at the world... :\)
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[User Picture]From: stephenbooth_uk
2002-09-05 02:21 pm (UTC)
The other interesting thing was while I lived in France, I never once heard one nice, one positive, one good thing about America or Americans.


I suppose that's what you get for going to France. You should have come to Britain. One of the ironies of history is that the US war of independance was against the British (well largely German mercenries hired by the British as most of the British Regulars were off fighting in other wars) and was largely bankrolled and supported by the French; yet in the 20th and early 21st centries it is the British and not the French who are the staunchest supporters of the US on the international stage.

My feelings about war are that diplomacy only works when there is some sort of threat to back it up, there has to be an element of "We don't want to do this but if you don't play ball we'll have to." backed up by an action that will cause pain to the beligerant parties. Whether that is a swift knee to the groin of a bully or the saturation bombing and land invasions of a beligerant states militrary-industrial infrastructure is just a matter of scale.
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 04:58 pm (UTC)
Heh. I *wanted* to go to Britain. But I was sent to France. I was a missionary back then.
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-05 03:49 pm (UTC)

Re:

*noddles* Well I think I understand your opinion.
I think that every human race has something wrong with it somewhere - nobody's perfect, after all. And I've met plenty of people from the USA and Canada and stuff who are some of the best friends I could ever have. A lot of the problems come from governments who are stuck up, or don't fancy backing down. Governments like to get re-elected. At the last election though, I can honestly say i never voted for tony blair. I saw enough of what he could do during our fuel crisis (where hundreds of trucks and cars took to the roads and clogged up the motorways, blocked the exits from oil stations, everything, to protest against the fuel taxes) and wasn't happy about him getting back in.
It's a rather scary world, isn't it? The way we can sit behind our tvs and just watch... but then if you go out there, or read beyond the press, or whatever... it's a big, scary, dangerous world. I just hope to god (even though i'm not religious) it all turns out okay. That something's sorted out.
xx
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 05:01 pm (UTC)
Politicians may start out with noble intentions, but in the end, it is about their egos. (Boy, I sound horribly jaded, don't I, lol!) I'm with you---I hope it all gets sorted out. But in truth I think it will just drag on and on, like it has for the past 20 years.
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-05 05:10 pm (UTC)

Re:

*noddles* I know. It's a sad fact - and indeed, an even sadder normality, that with human intelligence came so many bad things. Maybe Douglas Adams was right, and we really should never have come out of the oceans.
xx
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 05:16 pm (UTC)
bahahahahaha!! We would have just polluted the waters worse than they are now! ;)
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-05 05:18 pm (UTC)

Re:

hehehe... or the dolphins would've taken over and become like us! (what a thought!) or the mice! (even worse... i have 2 pet mice...)
xx
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 05:21 pm (UTC)
mice taking over? Now *that* is a truly grewsome thought. *shudder*
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-05 05:30 pm (UTC)

Re:

*rolls eyes* I can just see it in Freya's eyes when she goes for my fingers...
xx
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 05:43 pm (UTC)
heh heh! plotting rodents....

Right. Like I am supposed to get a good night's sleep with that idea in my head!! :D
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-06 10:07 am (UTC)

Re:

killer rodents... *evil laughter*
xx
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-06 10:34 am (UTC)
if you had the slightest inkling of the amount of irrational fear I have over rodents, you wouldn't even joke about that...... :D
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-06 10:43 am (UTC)

Re:

oooooooooooooh *evil laughter* Come, my pretty freya... and aurora... *giggle* Get your claws out of my neck and get back to your tanks!
xx
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-06 01:44 pm (UTC)
shudder
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-06 04:27 pm (UTC)

Re:

You're being mean ... tsk tsk
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-07 12:04 pm (UTC)

Re:

never mind *puts mice back* I think they've carried out judgement anyway. Piddling everywhere *rolls eyes*
xx
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-06 08:30 am (UTC)

Re:

One problem for Americans abroard is that those that are brash, noisy, complaining and wear bright shirts are much more noticeable than those that are quiet, considerate and more moderately dressed.

The same goes over into attitudes to US foreign policy. Brash and tramplling over everyone else's views, "we can do it 'cos we are the only world super-power left" and it is bound to get people's backs up - even if they fundamentally support the reasons underlying the policy.
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-06 09:07 am (UTC)
Yes. I am not a bright or loud person. In fact, most French people actually thought I was English because of that very thing. And I guess I do not look American either. And I didn't wear white athletic shoes. ;) In fact, the first thing I noticed when I landed in Washington DC after having lived in France for the past 16 months was I could hear people's conversations across the room...in an airport no less. It really bothered me, how loud everyone talked.

But that is one of the big problems with news, and especially all the entertainment the US produces. Around the globe, that is what *all* Americans are supposedly like, and in truth not even every American in Hollywood is like what you see in entertainment.

And yes, I completely understand what you are saying about foreign policy too. When Bush was finally given the presidency, my ex and I looked at each other and said, "Well there goes any hope of having a decent relationship with any foreign country. He is going to try to be like his dad, and he will start a war with someone, if he has to." Looks like he is trying.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-05 11:04 am (UTC)

Re:

I agree with your dad that we should have finished the first Gulf War properly, but we are here today and have to sort out today's problems.

Personally I don't think you can justify going into Iraq with a large military force unless you have cast iron evidence of an imminent attack. Mr Blair says he is going to show us the evidence but I have my doubts about how much we will actualy see.

I certainly do think Saddam should go, but it should be by democratic means rom within the country, or possbly by a revolution [with outside help?]

peter
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[User Picture]From: bekkypk
2002-09-05 11:16 am (UTC)

Re:

*nods muchly* I know - i actually answered that i didn't think we should attack unless there was evidence. I think. Something like that. Anyway, I'm not so sure i understand all this - they're trying to wage war because Saddam won't show them his weapons? Has Bush showed Saddam his?
meh. Maybe we could send them to Mars and let them battle it out. Bush just seems a total anti-christ at the moment, and Blairs not really much better for just tagging along *sigh*
xx
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-05 10:57 am (UTC)

Re:

I saw the trailer for an article about that (American Idol) on a news site but just ignored it :) my auto-filter going on I guess.

When I was over in the States I always listened to the BBC World Service on short wave to get my fix of "real" news. I think we are very lucky to have the BBC, and don't always appreciate it properly.
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 11:02 am (UTC)
I *love* the BBC for my news source. I need to hunt it down here. I haven't really been paying attention to news since my move. We can usually get it through NPR.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-05 11:10 am (UTC)

Re:

www.bbc.co.uk :)
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 11:11 am (UTC)

lol! Duh, Christine!!! :D
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[User Picture]From: icclerae
2002-09-06 01:55 am (UTC)
:(
It's sad. I think it is human nature to pay attention to the ugly and aggressive attention, but surely we don't have to react to it in the same. That's just exacerbating the situation and carrying on the circle of destruction.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-06 02:56 am (UTC)

Re:

So you should only read newspapers which pesent an equal amount of good and bad news ... now let me see ... that would be which one?

OK, that is a bit cynical but I am 48 so claim my right to be a bit jaded at times.

don't get me wrong - I do actually hope for the best and that is why I do things like this LJ poll to get people talking / discusing it in an open friendly environment.
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[User Picture]From: icclerae
2002-09-06 03:20 am (UTC)
I don't read newspapers, fullstop! They just get me too angry :)
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-06 08:47 am (UTC)
exactly. violence and destruction and hatred only breeds more of the same. but maybe we could just stick our beloved leaders in a room and let them just knock each other about until they got this king-of-the-mountain thing out of their systems.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-05 09:54 am (UTC)

Re:

There are many caring US citizens out there - most of the Americans / Canadians on my friends list would be against the war to a greater or lesser extent.

If you check the results you will see (as at the last time I looked) that the most pro-war view was expressed by someone from the UK ... makes you think doesn't it.

*Discursively*
peter
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 11:00 am (UTC)
It does indeed.

I heard an interview on NPR (National Public Radio--a radio forum that *does* actual air *world* news here in the states). An ex French secret service agent had been researching the entire US/Middle East issue. He wrote a book, and I wish I would have written the title down because it would have been an interesting read.

His proposal was that this war, of course, is all about money, oil, and power. It is about the US and Saudi wealthy staying in control, in power, and getting wealthier. Let's face it---in the right businesses, war is very profitable. He suggested that the real enemy is the Saudi money. That is what is bankrolling the terrorism out of the Middle East, and has been for decades. He proclaimed that it is a shame that the Saudi bankers are not the ones being put on trial for war crimes and for terrorism. His theories made a lot of sense to me. I think it was on the right track to say that the money supply needs to be stopped. That is what it usually comes down to: being rich, which equals being powerful.

Wow. Sorry Peter---I hadn't realized how much this entire subject is bothering me!
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-05 11:09 am (UTC)

Re:

Wow. Sorry Peter---I hadn't realized how much this entire subject is bothering me!

That's OK ... it is one of the things LJ is for. If you hadn't realised how much it was bothering you then it is probably a good thing that we are discussing it.

Peace
peter
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From: occipitaldruid
2002-09-05 11:19 am (UTC)
very true, lol. :)
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[User Picture]From: icclerae
2002-09-06 01:50 am (UTC)
It's all a bit scarey. I just can't understand where all the hatred comes from.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-06 02:51 am (UTC)

Re:

I just can't understand where all the hatred comes from.

Lack of knowledge, feeling threatened by a situation, lack of a "caring" social attitude - I'm all right and sod the rest of you, feeling out of control ... I'm sure we can think of more.

The trouble is that once the situation gets locked into the "them" and "us", action, reaction, re-reaction cycle it is very hard to break out of it [eg Ireland and Arab / Israel conflicts]

There isn't much we can do as ordinary people, except ask our representatives to take our views into account.

Don't be to scared by it all. Your chance of being involved in the conflict is quite low and there is nothing much you can do to change those odds and still live a normal life :)

Peace
peter
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-06 08:22 am (UTC)

Re:

Interesting - so the "man in the street" generally agrees, it is just the governments that don't (or maybe just the media perception of the governments)

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From: deunsander
2002-09-05 03:33 pm (UTC)

Trying again...

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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-08 02:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Trying again...

He he - yes it does seem like that some times
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