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ID: 71 Title: A Cruiser's View on the Iraq War Replis: 23 Read: 7821 Author: 9  Page:[1]  2  3  4  5  
Name: Geoff Schultz  Posts: 36  **  Vancouver Time: 2003-3-19_23:54:8 Quote    Reply
This is an editorial piece which in reality has no business being posted to 7knots. On the other hand, it reflects my views as a cruiser, especially one who spends most of his time in foreign countries, and my associations with lots of non-US cruisers.
On a regular basis I listen to National Public Radio on a variety of high frequency stations. One of the things that has impressed/ depressed me is the constant banter about war, preparations for war and domestic terrorism which fill the air waves. One would think that nothing else was going on in the US or in the world based upon the percentage of time spent on the subject.
Post 9/11 this was an obvious outcome, but the change to war with Iraq has confounded me. Somehow the war on terrorism got subverted into a war against Iraq. Perhaps I'm just really dumb, but how is Iraq a direct threat against the US? Lots of connect the dots type of threats have been proffered, but no one has come up with clear, concise proof that there's any direct association between the two. Basically what we have is a bunch of FUD, or as my ex-sales guys would say, Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, being spread by the administration via the media, who knows that stories such as this sell big time.
The problem has been that the rest of the world hasn't been buying this story. Other than Tony Blair (oops, excuse me, and the following countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritria, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, UK, and Uzbekistan) the rest of the world disagrees with the US plan. Does this feel like a pretty thin list?
And so tonight I sat in a restaurant in Mexico and heard G.W. Bush tell the American public and the rest of the world why we were going to war with Iraq. It was an empty speech which didn't provide any thinking person with sound reasoning as to why this course of action was being taken. It was simply the inevitable conclusion of something set into motion by Washington war hawks who felt that Sr. Bush failed to complete the mission against Saddam during the Gulf War. Now it was G.W. Bush's role to finish the game.
The problem with this is that we don't have the rest of the world aligned with this, we have an economy in shambles, and we have the US population expecting another quick/clean war. The American public and Wall Street has no stomach for anything else. If this war drags on and turns into an urban combat in Baghdad, thousands of Americans may die. America doesn't have the stomach for this, nor should they. On top of this I believe that we will unite massive terrorism groups against the US. To what gain? Oh, I forget, it was G.W's daddy that Suddam planned on going after.
George W. was a "C" student in college. I wasn't a lot better, but I'm not President...not that he would have been if his daddy wasn't an ex-president. I firmly believe that history and the rest of the world will rate his presidency with much lower grades and that his actions will have long term detrimental effects on the US and it's ability to conduct foreign policy.
So tonight we have lots of people praying to God...vastly different gods to protect their sons and families. What we should do is take God out of this all together. How can both peoples be right? Or maybe we're just all wrong and there's just 1 god, or maybe 0 gods. Or maybe we just shouldn't invoke His name at all with respect to a war...
These are my views, and only my views -- Geoff
Name: Tom Yang  Posts: 110    Vancouver Time: 2003-3-20_0:18:47 Quote    Reply
I think this is closely related to cruising since cruising is international by nature. Over the years, I strongly feel the deepened anti-American sentiments all over the world. These days when people in foreign ports look at the US flags on American yachts, they just can't think of any thing else at the first sights. It may reach a point soon that flying a US flag is a dangerous behaviour. God bless America.
Name: John Fier  Posts: 3    Vancouver Time: 2003-3-20_22:18:56 Quote    Reply
Here in California in the Bay area, downtown San Francisco is the locus of protest. I see many "No War in Iraq" signs on vehicles in surrounding towns. As a US citizen I am embarrassed and insulted that a puppet and his hepatic manipulators were allowed to seize the presidency and advance global hegemony without a vociferous dissent. Many people like myself felt a cynical distance from the political charade. But today the angry voices I hear from the protestors heartens me and I feel a change is possible. Some youths have awakened. Hopefully more will put down their earphones and cellphones and raise banners, voices and fists. The religious right learned the secret that 15% of the vote can decide an election and their slight of hand victories were glorified into "the American people have spoken!" Maybe this shameful Iraq war will anger and draw people out of their slumber. john-Tondeleyo
Name: Frances Cartwright  Posts: 1    Vancouver Time: 2003-3-23_13:48:42 Quote    Reply

Amis, Friends, Amigos, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada

Marches, Petitions, Vigils, Prayers, etc…

All it seems was for nothing

The hungry War Machine is going ahead

The only Non-Violent Direct Action

Left to the Individual

Acting Locally with a Global Impact

Is … Boycotting …

Boycott Brand U.S.A.

Boycott the Rogue States

Boycott the Evil Empire of Greed

Check out:

Let the Greenback implode

Of its own Inflated Arrogance

It was said:

"…your Patriotic Duty is to Consume…" G.W. Bush

Patriotism/Consumerism is a Highly Infectious Disease

That Kills People;

Then let your Humanism Prevail

Every Time you Open your Wallet

Paix, Peace, Paz… Michel and Frances aboard ‘Pax’

Food for thought:

"OUR OVERRIDING PURPOSE, from the beginning right through to the present day, has been world domination – that is, to build and maintain the capacity to coerce everybody else on the planet: nonviolently, if possible; and violently, if necessary.

But the purpose of (U.S.) foreign policy is not just to make the rest of the world jump through hoops; the purpose is to facilitate our exploitation of resources."

Ramsey Clark, former U.S . Attorney General

Name: Geoff Schultz  Posts: 36  **  Vancouver Time: 2003-3-25_12:57:46 Quote    Reply
A brief note pertaining to my last post on the war with Iraq. I got a fair number of replies, with more agreeing with my views than disagreeing. What was rather disconcerting were the replies that implied that voicing opposition to the policies which got us into the war is un-American. Excuse me, but those people had better look at the fathers of our nation and think about how we became an independent nation. It wasn't by blindly following what the leaders in England were saying!
America is about democracy and the ability to freely and openly discuss views. Do not misconstrue my opposition with not supporting our troops. There's no correlation and I pray that things go well and that this ends soon without many causalities. Believe that I am firmly convinced that Sadaam is a very bad guy who has done terrible things. I just believe in getting rid of him in a manner which doesn't isolate the US. This is the only war effort that I have opposed and perhaps the reason is that I have a vastly different perspective by being out of the country and not being steeped in the constant news barrage that occurs in America.
The other thing that was disconcerting was the implication that because 70 some percent of American's are in favor of the war, that the war is a good thing. What happens if the war goes badly; many people are killed on both sides; the costs of the war and our impending occupation become apparent; democracy doesn't take hold in a country with no democratic traditions; domestic terrorism increases; America and it's products get shunned by the world; or a litany of other scenarios occur? What happens if less than 50% of Americans support the process? Will it be OK at that point to voice opposition?
Please remember what democracy and living in a free society is all about. Remember that simply because we have the biggest stick on the block, that doesn't give us the right to use it. We live in a global community and need to act responsibly within it.
Well, this should be the end of my political views via this forum. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming....
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