Against war in Iraq? Wanna make somethin’ of it?

Of those of you who are against the prospect of the U.S. going to war against Iraq (given the current state of affairs, anyway), how many of you have, or plan to, take concrete action to make your opinions known? If you’ve done something already, what was it (petition, demonstration, letter to elected representative, etc.)? If you plan to do something, what will it be?

And why have you chosen this particular route to express your opinions (or not)?

I’ve been writing the president and my senators, and will continue to do so. I plan to attend demonstrations in San Francisco, although I missed the last one and will miss the next one due to being out of town. I’ve chosen this route because I think it’s my job as a citizen in a democracy to make my opnions known on matters I feel strongly about. I think if public opinion is seen to be strongly against a war, it can prevent it from starting or hasten its ending.

I’m planning on leaving the country to travel for a while, and depending on the situation I might not come back.

Honestly I believe that there is nothing that I can do. Six months ago I predicted that we were going to plunge headlong into this war no matter what happened. Nobody believed me. But it happened. Everyday we get closer and closer despite an overwhelming and persistant lack of a good reason, good allies, good exit strategy. I see officials tell the public that they found a smoking gun- and then start talking about overheard phone calls- and still the public reacts like they found an ICBM with “America” written all over it. It feels like Bush could sing “Ring-around-the-Rosy” and people walk away firmly believing they had just seen Saddam kill an American puppy. It doesn’t make any sense, and I can’t fight against a world that refuses to even try to make sense.

I admire the sentiments of protesters and letter-writers, but I personally think it’s just shouting into a void. This crazy war is going to happen no matter what. Saddam could resign and promist to be George Bush’s pool boy and we’d still attack. We’re beyond a world that operates on logic and diplomacy. All we have is a war that is going to happen, and has been “going to happen” for the last year or so as if God himself ordained it to be. Nothing’s gonna stop this one. Certainly not a bunch of people in Santa Cruz beating drums and wearing funny masks. This nation is finally off it’s rocker.

And I feel like my only option is to get the hell out. I’ve read a lot of books on World War II, and I always thought to myself “why didn’t those people just leave before it got so bad”? Now I know. It’s hard to see the decline. It’s easy to believe that it can’t get to bad. But it’s impossible to know if it is until too late.

I don’t think anything will be effective.
The President will smirk and say we live in a free country, “that’s waht we’re fighting for.”

“That’s what we’re spell checking for.”

Hey, I’m all for freedom of speech. However (insert groan here), I think some of the demonstrators have gone too far in their protests.
Around here, a group of protestors march in front of the recruiter’s office with all manner of offensive banners. Fine, embarass yourself with your idotic, uneducated, crayola catchphrases. What chaps my ass is when they desecrate the Stars and Stripes by flying it upside-down. I’m leaving in 10 days to fight a war for my country, how’s that supposed to make me feel?
I believe that it’s an American’s duty, not right, to tell it’s government when they think things are sub-par. However, how about a little tact? It’s getting disgusting.

<sigh> Alright, rant over.


mambozzy: Yeah, flag desecration is very effective at getting someone’s attention, but very bad at getting them to listen to what you have to say.

mambozzy, I completely agree with you. There’s nothing more democratic (and hence American) than open discourse and protest of government actions. However, the left tends to do a very bad job of conveying the point that the reason most of us fight so hard against actions like the impending war in Iraq is because we love this country, not because we hate it. Protest has become associated with anti-Americanism, which is pretty fucked up when you think about it.

I’ve been watching Mid East TV-I bought the new satellite receiver to see what they will show during the war-and saw Iraqis marching in protest. Medical people I believe (I don’t speak Arabic) protesting the lack of medicine. Their banner was almost trailing on the street. I expected to see guys with bayonets urging them on.

Flying the Stars and Stripes upside down is a a symbol of distress.

Since the State of the Union Address, my 8x10 inch Flag at work has been flown upside down. (It stands on top of my cubicle where it can be seen from anywhere on the floor.) My 8x10 inch Flag on my car’s antenna is also being flown upside down.

I am exercising my First Amendment rights of free speech, and publicly petitioning my government for a redress of grievances.

This country is in distress, and it’s not all about Iraq. Yet, Iraq is the only thing on the news Bush is involved with, and sometimes North Korea. Yet the worst economic times in 20 years, the worst job ads surveys in 40 years, and millions not being counted in unemployment stats (NY Times today), coupled with a potential federal government showdown/shutdown over the FY2003 federal budget (as early as in the next ten days), a FY2004 budget deficit beyond belief, and proposed tax cuts – yeah, we are under distress.

All from a President-Vice President MBA team self-touted as the first business presidency in history. Well, with friends from Enron and Worldcom, it’s reasonable Bush will take their advice and take the country down as well.

I was thinking about the sign of distress thing last night…Isn’t it illegal to fly it that way on a ship? Makes you winder about, say a car, or even from/in a building. Like sending a fake SOS.

We’ll be going to a demonstration, hopefully, next weekend (if we’re all well) in Dublin.

Also, I’m planning on attending a talk being given in my town sponsored by the Galway Alliance Against War. The talk will be given by DENIS HALLIDAY, the former head of the UN’s humanitarian programme for Iraq. For more information about the talk.

There has been a great deal in the news (not sure if it’s making US headlines or not) about the protests going on at Shannon Airport, where last week, several people were arrested for vandalizing a US military plane. Many people object to the Irish Foreign Affairs Office allowing the US to use its airport as Ireland is not part of NATO and is officially neutral.

Let me clarify:

People are objecting to the use of Shannon Airport for MILITARY purposes. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

I don’t know exactly to whom you refer, but I ask you… Pick any country Hitler occupied, starting with Poland… Did you expect the Poles to leave Poland when Hitler invaded? Or, we could look at what the Japanese did…where did you want the natives of all those islands (and the non-US state of Hawaii) to go?

And, if you are referring to the Jews, where would have liked them to go? What country was willing to take them in? Even the US turned them back. Maybe you should start re-reading those books on WWII? :wink: - Jinx

My opinion on it is pretty much the same as the guy who wrote this:

" How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America’s anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history. But they swung it. A recent poll tells us that one in two Americans now believe Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. But the American public is not merely being misled. It is being browbeaten and kept in a state of ignorance and fear. The carefully orchestrated neurosis should carry Bush and his fellow conspirators nicely into the next election. "

UK Times Online,,482-543296,00.html

Sometimes I just have to read what people in other countries have to say to get a better idea.

Almost every survivor of the horrors of war and insane governments can point back at a missed oppertunity- a chance to have gotten out of the whole bad scene- usually fairly early on when things are a little strange and it doesn’t seem like it could get all that bad. But the urge to wait it out, in hurricane as in war, is strong. Of course no one is to blame because they missed that chance (how could they have known?). Hindsight is 20/20.

The point is that I’ve always thought to myself "if I saw any sign of my government going insane, I would do anything it’d take- including leaving my home, forging papers, whatever- to get out of there legally or illegally. But now I realize it’s not so easy to tell that your government is insane, and it’s not very easy to leave your life and family because you suspect things might get worse soon.

I certainly never meant to imply that civillians harmed by WWII were in any way stupid, or in any way to blame.

By the time they start “your kind” you up, it’s too late.

Were their refugees from Cambodia? It does seem that one would at some point take what you could carry and run like hell.

Absolutely. Not all of them ended up in the U.S., though; AFAIK many landed in Thailand, since you can walk there and all. There’s a decent-sized community in Minneapolis, and a few near my apartment in Chicago.

I’m a patriot for peace, but I’m getting my papers in order for the move to New Zealand, if they’ll have me. I don’t know how much longer I can take this “bully of the world” routine. And I don’t care to sit through dinner every night with the TV on (as was the case with the VietNam war), seeing the war dead, either military or civilian.

And brilliant post, Handy. If people here just believe, without questioning, what the paper or the TV says, then we are screwed.

I have attended two major anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC, I stand in public silent vigils on main street in this small college every wednesday, I went to a much smaller but far more personally meaningful march in my hometown in NE Oregon, and I am involved with a campus organization against the war. I will be in NYC next weekend protesting.

I recognize that this will probably not stop the invasion of Iraq. But the more we can make people think, make individuals examine their opinions and act on them, the more chance we have of evading future wars. Public opinion is still a powerful tool, and we are trying to make people pay attention and examine what the country is doing. I respect those who hold reasoned support for the war, but I want to educate those who believe without thinking, who have not informed themselves.

Truthfully I need to do something. I will not allow my anger at the current situation and frustration to be subverted into apathy or actionless resentment. Why not yell, speak out, push back at the system, and at least use all this energy I have for something positive rather than negative?