This is going to be a long one, because it is my first on-site "Fisking" of some Idiotarian nonsense. This particular group is one that claims to be protesting against the war, and they call themselves, "Not In Our Names". I have their web address, but I have no wish to direct anyone to that address. It can be found using almost any search engine.
The point is that these people have opinions. No matter how foolish those opinions may be, they have every right to have them. But the same First Amendment which gives them the right to protest gives me the right to dissect their arguments, line-by-line. I'm sure that there are hundreds of others who are doing the same thing, and I look forward to reading theirs when I run across them. This one is mine.
Let it not be said that people in the United States did nothing when their government declared a war without limit and instituted stark new measures of repression.
Absolutely. We, the People, are
doing something. We are going forth to remove terrorism and the states which sponsor and support terrorism. That war without limit was not declared by us
, Junior, it was declared by the same sub-literate Islam fanatics who believe that their reward for killing innocent women, children will be an eternity with 70 virgins, and slaves made up of all the "infidels" they managed to kill in their self-immolation. The "stark, new measures of repression" involve such horrors as arresting those people who have been referred to in the interrogation of captured Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners both in Guantanamo Bay and overseas. They involve the dropping of bombs onto unsuspecting terrorist leaders. (Oops!) They involve the stricter searching of all passengers and luggage going onto aircraft. They involve demanding that potential immigrants follow our laws for arriving in this country. They involve kicking foreigners who have overstayed their visas the hell out of the country.
I understand that following the laws as they are written may confuse some of you into thinking that we've suddenly turned into a fascist state, especially since your poster boy, the former Adulterer-in-Chief got away with lying on the stand and Obstructing Justice, but the rest of us have no problem following the laws.
The signers of this statement call on the people of the U.S. to resist the policies and overall political direction that have emerged since September 11, 2001, and which pose grave dangers to the people of the world.
I'm with you, but why not start earlier? I'm here to resist that policy that started months before that beautiful September morning. That policy that decided to bomb two American Embassies in Africa. That policy that launched a Zodiac boat loaded with explosives into the side of the USS Cole. That policy that Usama bin Laden launched, with the sole purpose of killing every single American, just for the crimes of being Americans.
The "grave danger" which is being posed "to the people of the world" comes from those people who have claimed that they will attack anywhere, anytime, so long as they can kill non-Muslims.
We believe that peoples and nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers.
people or nation that we have taken that right away from. I can name half a dozen where we have come in to give that right back to the people after we remove the utterly and incomprehensibly cruel dictator who has crushed that right using cruel weapons and mass murders. We have done more for making people free than any other nation in history. Bar none.
We believe that all persons detained or prosecuted by the United States government should have the same rights of due process.
A HUGE majority are 1) not citizens of the United States (and therefore not eligible for protections under our Constitution);
2) Battlefield combatants (who are not members of an army of any nation, whether they were recognized by any other nation or not); and 3) admitted enemies of the United States. By all means, let's put them all in jail. Give them lawyers, paid for by tax dollars, who are only somewhat successful. Say we find them guilty of ... what? Firing weapons at our soldiers? That's an act of war, and they would therefore be considered "POW's", and not eligible for trial, but rather just confinement in a camp, guarded by soldiers, with all their other needs taken care of... wait. That's what's happening now!
What about murder and attempted murder? We could make a reasonable case for that, on all counts. The average murder trial is usually broken up into several months worth of meetings, plea negotiations and otherwise tying up a legal system that is already at the creaking point. And what do you think would happen when you release these guys into the general population of a prison? Have you thought about all the trouble they are going to foment among the prison population who has no love for our nation and its laws and are occasionally being released to carry out even more acts of destruction.
We'll wait for you to come up with a crime that we could charge them with. But hurry, they're not going to wait around for you.
The few Americans (Taliban Johnny Walker, the dirty bomb suspect (who joined the Nation of Islam while in prison
) and the "Cajun Taliban") are
being given their right to trial and an attorney, and all the rest.
We believe that questioning, criticism, and dissent must be valued and protected. We understand that such rights and values are always contested and must be fought for.
So long as sacrificing for those rights doesn't depend on you folks you're more than happy to take advantage of them, right?
We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do -- we must first of all oppose the injustice that is done in our own name.
I do take responsibility for what my govenrment has done, and I support it fully. Does this mean that I have no conscience, or just that mine must be wrong? I would prefer to protest the injustices that are being done to my fellow citizens, and I will do what I think is necessary to remove that "clear and present danger"...
Thus we call on all Americans to RESIST the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration. It is unjust, immoral, and illegitimate. We choose to make common cause with the people of the world.
It wasn't the Bush Administration that started this war. And which people of the world are you asking? The British? No, they support us. Same with the Aussies... Maybe you should just stick with those people who want us all dead, or worse. Especially those people in Palestine, Baghdad, Paris, and Berlin who are still waiting for us to admit that we did something to bring 9/11 on ourselves.
Sorry, I refuse to accept the blame for those horrific acts, perpetrated by a madman who may already be a thin stain on a cave wall.
We too watched with shock the horrific events of September 11, 2001. We too mourned the thousands of innocent dead and shook our heads at the terrible scenes of carnage -- even as we recalled similar scenes in Baghdad, Panama City, and, a generation ago, Vietnam.
Damn, I thought you were waking up there for a minute. You're still trying to point the finger of blame at America for all of this. Your straw man argument that since we bombed military targets in Baghdad (in response to an unprovoked war of aggression by Saddam Who's-Sane), Panama City (to remove an unprincipled drug dealer who was ruining a friendly nation - he is still alive, and serving time in a Florida prison for drug trafficking), and Vietnam (where we were invited by the freely elected leader of that nation who was concerned about Communist rebel infiltration and sabotage) is just that - a "straw man", trying to change the topic of discussion. None of those places are here and now.
As for Vietnam, it was a Democratic President who was going to pull out (he was assassinated), another one who got us even more involved, and it took years of inconclusive battles (almost all of which we won, including the infamous Tet Offensive) to cause our leaders to pull out, abandoning a former ally. What about all the thousands of village leaders who were killed by the rebels for collaborating with the Americans? You never saw that on the Evening News... Maybe they deserved it for standing with the American forces, huh?
We too joined the anguished questioning of millions of Americans who asked why such a thing could happen.
I was all too aware that it was the openness of our society that made "how" a moot point. My next question was not, "Why?" but "Who?". Determining a motive is a nice waste of time, but it is not essential to solving a crime, catching and punishing the criminals responsible, and doing what I can to prevent further repeats. "Why" they did it was simple: they hate us. So much so that they would be willing... no, "eager", to sacrifice their lives to kill a few Jews or Americans. But I'm not going to try and determine anything that we (as a nation) did to them to cause that hate. As a nation, we have lsacrificed our best and brightest to defend Muslims in Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and other places around the globe. The average man in the "Arab street" never gets to see those scenes, just what his government decides is important in inflaming hatred against a country on the other side of the planet, rather than looking around to see the truth. I have hopes that someday you
will look around and see the truth, too. But not many.
But the mourning had barely begun, when the highest leaders of the land unleashed a spirit of revenge.
You betcha! You kill thousands of innocent American civilians, you can count
on us coming for your ass. That's a promise.
They put out a simplistic script of “good vs. evil” that was taken up by a pliant and intimidated media.
Pliant and intimidated? You've obviously never seen Helen Thomas at a presidential press conference. Maybe the major media tended to agree that the ones responsible for this outrage (covered in bloody detail by that selfsame media) should be brought to justice. Reporters are human, too.
They told us that asking why these terrible events had happened verged on treason. There was to be no debate.
See above for a brief explanation as to why learning the motive to a crime is irrelevant to actually solving the crime and punishing the criminals who committed that crime. If you want to waste your precious time finding out all the root causes of Arab hatred for a nation who has given them more food, money, educational opportunities, and chances to experience a weird little condition they'd never before seen (it's called "Freedom"), then go right ahead. Ask some of those 19 terrorists what they were doing while here in the US. They were violating the very religious precepts (drinking alcohol and getting lap dances) they wanted us all to die for not following.
There were by definition no valid political or moral questions. The only possible answer was to be war abroad and repression at home.
"Help, help, I'm bein' repressed!" Good Lord. We are facing enemies who would like nothing more than to walk into Times Square with a suitcase nuke, push a button, and kill millions of "infidels". I suggest you read the essay on War
for all the reasons that a war (which was declared by those very same terrorists) will not be won by defense only. Sooner or later, one of them is going to get hold of a chemical or biological agent (such as VX nerve gas, mustard gas, anthrax or smallpox, all of which Saddam Hussein already has!
) and carry it into London or New York City or Tokyo and then the very same liberals who whine about the aggression of the "imperialist" US will be asking, "Why didn't we do something to stop this?", much like they did for 9/11. You can't have it both ways. If you don't want war, I accept that. Come up with another way to protect the world. Dialogue and Negotiation has failed miserably. Threats are worthless unless you are willing to stop making them and start backing them up, at some point, and we're back to violence again.
Come up with a solution, or quitcherbitchin...
In our name, the Bush administration, with near unanimity from Congress,
"Near unanimity"? So all of those elected representatives are wrong (not to mention all those millions of constituents who submitted their opinions to those representatives)? When the vote is 430-3, you can be pretty sure that you've got the mandate to follow that lead. And what about the US Senate Resolution that was passed back in 1998 that said we needed to remove Saddam, using any means necessary? That was before Bush even announced he was thinking of running, but it must somehow be his fault anyway...
not only attacked Afghanistan but arrogated to itself and its allies the right to rain down military force anywhere and anytime.
We would have been willing to give the Taliban a pass, had they given us the monster responsible for giving the order to kill thousands of our citizens. They had several weeks to decide. They decided that we were bluffing (based on eight years of "toothless" diplospeak from Bill "Where's that intern?" Clinton). They were wrong.
And anytime you want to kill Americans by the thousands, you get no right to complain when we come after you... Which we will
The brutal repercussions have been felt from the Philippines
Where another American missionary was beheaded by a member of an Islamic extremist groups, just to prove a point. I guess it really is the "Religion of Peace", huh?
to Palestine, where Israeli tanks and bulldozers have left a terrible trail of death and destruction.
As opposed to the
peaceful students who merely carry backpacks with C-4 and rusty nails covered with rat poison (which the Paliswineans have started using because it is an anti-coagulant and their victims who were "only" injured will bleed to death before they can be treated)...
The Israeli have said it again and again: "If you send your sons against us to kill our citizens, you will lose your home."
But since you must be right, and they must be wrong, I'll tell ya what. We'll go over and finish Hitler's job and kill all the Jews for you. That should make you happy, and it will sure as hell
make the Arabs happy. But it won't stop them from trying to kill us
The government now openly prepares to wage all-out war on Iraq -- a country which has no connection to the horror of September 11. What kind of world will this become if the U.S. government has a blank check to drop commandos, assassins, and bombs wherever it wants?
No connection, and that is irrelevant. The Battle of Iraq is not predicated on September 11th, it is based on the fact that Saddam is a major terrorist supporter and supplier. He has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the families of homicide bombers in Palestine. If that isn't supporting terrorism, I don't know what you need for evidence. But even that
is not why we're going into Iraq this time.
In our name, within the U.S., the government has created two classes of people: those to whom the basic rights of the U.S. legal system are at least promised, and those who now seem to have no rights at all. The government rounded up over 1,000 immigrants and detained them in secret and indefinitely.
Not much of a secret if you know that they're being held, and where... And foreign citizens who have been captured fighting against the United States are
criminals who are not protected by the Constitution. That's the same Constitution they were working so hard to destroy. The three Americans who were captured have been handled separately, under that selfsame Constitution (despite the charges of treason, defined by that very same
document). Not one
has undergone summary court-martial, despite the fact that they have committed acts that would have gotten them a bullet to the ear in that "enlightened" country of Iraq.
Hundreds have been deported and hundreds of others still languish today in prison. This smacks of the infamous concentration camps for Japanese-Americans in World War 2. For the first time in decades, immigration procedures single out certain nationalities for unequal treatment.
All those people are still out there on the streets, just not here in the US. Not a single citizen has been deported. All of those forced to leave the country were either here illegally in the first place, or those who had violated the law by overstaying their visas without permission. They just got caught.
"Hundreds languish in prison..." All of them are arguably guilty of genocide, capital murder, mass murder, attempted murder, convicted murder, and have repeatedly expressed the willingness to kill Americans by any means necessary. None of them would shrink if their intended victim was an elderly woman, a small child, an innocent civilian, a doctor or fireman (who are trying to save lives), or one of you, so long as that victim was American.
I'd rather they be locked up, for my own safety. Any judge would agree. The Supreme Court did.
As for the "singling out of nationalities", let's look at that. Of the 19 hijackers, all 19 of them were 1) Middle-Eastern; 2) male;
3) Islamic; and, 4) young adults (19-30). Should we then ignore all of the people who fit that description and stop 80-year-old Swedish Presbyterian grandmothers, just so that we cannot be accused of "profiling"? When cops start looking for a serial killer, the FBI will usually start looking for a white male, because the vast majority of serial killers have been white males. That's not being racist, that's playing the percentages.
In our name, the government has brought down a pall of repression over society. The President’s spokesperson warns people to “watch what they say.”
Because "loose lips sink ships" and you have no idea who may be listening. "Pall of repression"? Good Lord.
I should be protesting Hollywood because they have brought a "pall of stupidity" over Southern California, but they do
have the right to protest. I just wish that they would actually produce evidence to support this "rhyme and rhetoric", instead of using it just to sound good.
Dissident artists, intellectuals, and professors find their views distorted, attacked, and suppressed.
In today's Internet society, any number of people can produce transcriptions of exactly what your dissident's views are. In living color. As for "attacked", if they actually made sense, or had facts to support them, maybe they wouldn't be attacked so frequently. But when dimbulbs like Sheryl Crow say stupid stuff like, "The best way to avoid conflicts is to not have enemies", well, she deserves to have that statement spread over the globe. "Suppressed" is probably because even newspaper editors have trouble trying to print this stuff without getting laughed out of their publisher's office.
The so-called Patriot Act -- along with a host of similar measures on the state level -- gives police sweeping new powers of search and seizure, supervised if at all by secret proceedings before secret courts.
"So called"? That's what it is
called. "Search and Seizure" is still limited by the Fourth Amendment. I know that may be a foreign concept, but I would suggest you either produce evidence of these "state measures" or read that Amendment. Or both.
Secret meetings before secret courts? Well, duh. Do you think the cops are going to call up the criminals and say, "Yeah, we just wanted to let you know that we are going to go pick up that search warrant now, so don't do anything stupid like disappearing or destroying evidence, now, y'hear?"
In our name, the executive has steadily usurped the roles and functions of the other branches of government. Military tribunals with lax rules of evidence and no right to appeal to the regular courts are put in place by executive order. Groups are declared “terrorist” at the stroke of a presidential pen.
Except for the "executive usurping the roles and functions of the other branches of government" (the United Nations is not
a Branch of our Government), I have to agree with all of that. Your point?
We must take the highest officers of the land seriously when they talk of a war that will last a generation and when they speak of a new domestic order. We are confronting a new openly imperial policy towards the world and a domestic policy that manufactures and manipulates fear to curtail rights.
I would have hoped that Saddam (and Usama) had taken Bill "the Adulterer" seriously, but since he was too busy using the interns as humidors, even his own citizens didn't take him seriously. Al-Qaeda had struck on at least three occasions, killing thousands of people, and we did nothing. Saddam kept firing on our planes for patrolling the UN-mandated "No Fly" zones, and we did nothing.
Then, Al Qaeda killed thousands in a united attack on out own soil and we woke up. They have no right to complain about the results of the actions they started. Saddam has been breaking promises and UNSC Resolutions since the day we quit killing his fleeing soldiers in their stolen Mercedes-Benz, and we have finally told him (with yet another UNSC Resolution) that his time is up. He was given a "final opportunity", and he believed that we meant the same as we did for the last eight years. He was wrong.
I don't want war any more than you do. But there is a cost for inaction, and at this point, that cost would be more than not acting. Not only because we would lose all credibility in the governments of the world, but because we would always be able to be scared off by threats to innocents.
There is a deadly trajectory to the events of the past months that must be seen for what it is and resisted. Too many times in history people have waited until it was too late to resist.
But we need to give Saddam (who is sacrificing thousands of his people - men, women, and children down to toddlers) more time?
President Bush has declared: “you’re either with us or against us.” Here is our answer: We refuse to allow you to speak for all the American people. We will not give up our right to question. We will not hand over our consciences in return for a hollow promise of safety.
I guess that's your right. Just stay out of the way and go back to your lives, pretending that all life is good, everything is peaceful, and if we could all just get high enough for long enough, we could solve all of our problems...
We say NOT IN OUR NAME. We refuse to be party to these wars and we repudiate any inference that they are being waged in our name or for our welfare. We extend a hand to those around the world suffering from these policies; we will show our solidarity in word and deed.
We who sign this statement call on all Americans to join together to rise to this challenge. We applaud and support the questioning and protest now going on, even as we recognize the need for much, much more to actually stop this juggernaut. We draw inspiration from the Israeli reservists who, at great personal risk, declare “there IS a limit” and refuse to serve in the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
That is their right. But those libertarians who repudiate their government's right to use force to protect their fellow citizens have no right to call for it when they are exposed to the lawless activities of criminals. Here's hoping that you never need the police or the fire department. To, say, protect you from a pissed off veteran who is upset at your treacherous activities, or to put out the inferno your neighbors have turned your home into... Not that we are threatening or anything...
We also draw on the many examples of resistance and conscience from the past of the United States: from those who fought slavery with rebellions and the underground railroad, to those who defied the Vietnam war by refusing orders, resisting the draft, and standing in solidarity with resisters.
So trying to free a domestic population is a good enough reason to fight? Why is fighting to free a foreign people not good enough? What about trying to find and punish those people who have repeatedly claimed the only thing they want more than killing Americans is killing Jews?
Let us not allow the watching world today to despair of our silence and our failure to act. Instead, let the world hear our pledge: we will resist the machinery of war and repression and rally others to do everything possible to stop it.
I recommend that you come up with another solution that isn't some "pie in the sky" idealism. If you cannot come up with a valid solution, I suggest you not do anything more that might be "accidentally" construed as giving "aid and comfort" to our enemies.
The list of "more than 40,000 signatories" (which works out to 1 part in about 7,000, or 0.01429%) include such braintrusts as Ed Asner, Robert Altman, Noam Chomsky (like he'd miss this opportunity to bash America), Roma Downey, Jane Fonda, "Monty Python's" Terry Gilliam (like his world isn't surreal enough?), Tom Hayden, Jesse Jackson, former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney (voted out of office because of what she screechingly proclaimed "a Jewish Conspiracy"), Viggo Mortenson, someone named "Ozomatli", Susan Sarandon, Al Sharpton, Gloria Steinam, Oliver "CIA killed JFK" Stone, Ron Takaki (an "ethnic studies" teacher at Berkeley), Gore Vidal, etc., etc., yaddayaddayadda.
I gotta go shower now. I feel filthy just for having read it.