To be honest, I don't see the conflict. This war is just as wrong as the
rest of them. This fellow says he doesn't want WW III, but supports
actions which could very well bring it on. Like most of his countrymen, he
has allowed his emotions to restrict his intellect and assume that the only
way to respond to the tragedy of 911 is to start a war against enemies
created by US foreign policy--both generally and specifically. He claims
to understand the Israel-Palestine situation but believes that the United
States has made a genuine effort to find peace between these two rivals,
when in reality the United States has primarily encouraged (through its
financial and political support) Israel to expand its settlements, keep the
Palestinian people imprisoned in camps that were supposed to be temporary,
and ignore all of the UN resolutions it feels like ignoring. He
furthermore states that the US helps countries, but he forgets that those
governments we "help" usually govern territory that holds resources US
corporations want and markets those corporations want to exploit. In
short, he is like most US citizens--pretty ignorant of the real motivations
behind US foreign policy and willing to believe what he reads in the US
media without question and that the politicians are decent humans with only
our interests in mind. As for the US not wanting to take over Afghanistan
(or wherever else they go next)? Why does he think the Northern Alliance
is getting US cash and support? Maybe in the new world order imperial
powers don't "take over" a country, but they do put those in power (or
allow them to stay in power after they take over) whom they think will do
their bidding. How does he think the Taliban got to where they are? It
was with more than just a little help from the US.
I think the key to many of these "boomer" types becoming so nationalistic
lies in the fact that he won't be fighting it. Of course, my son (17 yrs
old) says most of his friends (who aren't flagwavers but are not attending
peace rallies either) says he and his friends figure they'll never have to
fight it either. For the youngsters it si a tough call because they don't
really know what war is since they've only known the slaughters known as
the Gulf War and the Kosovo War.
At 07:45 PM 10/8/01 -0400, you wrote:
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 13:02:47 -0700
>From: radtimes <email@example.com>
>Subject: Baby boomers must confront peace vs. war
>Baby boomers must confront peace vs. war
>by MITCH ALBOM
>October 7, 2001
>I knew all the slogans. I knew all the songs. Like a lot of kids in the
>'60s, I was drawing peace signs long before I was eligible for Vietnam.
>I could sing John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance."
>I saw "Make Love Not War" spray painted on Volkswagen vans.
>You cannot help the era in which you grow up. It infuses you. It shades
>you. So as someone weaned on doubting war, I was surprised to find myself
>interviewing a member of the "peace movement" last week and getting angry.
>"We do not support killing innocent women and children," she said.
>"We topple one government, and the next one is even worse," she said.
>"You keep escalating the fighting, and you know where that leads?" she
>said. "World War III."
>No one wants World War III. And yet the notion of peace, of not fighting
>back in this sudden war on terrorism, is so disturbing to most Americans
>that the same antiwar protesters who once spoke for much of the nation have
>now become the targets of tomato tosses.
>Had I become one of the tossers?
> Arguing a position
>In the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Congress voted almost
>unanimously to support the president in military action. Only one member,
>Barbara Lee of California, cast a no vote. Although she only wanted "to
>make sure Constitutional laws were not suspended," she nonetheless received
>tens of thousands of hate-filled e-mails, as well as death threats.
>There is something odd about that. Death threats for someone calling for
>peace? Death threats from Americans who are angry about, well, death
>threats to Americans?
>It only points out the baby boomer's uncomfortable posture. We have seen
>the folly of certain foreign wars. We hate senseless violence. Yet we have
>been struck. And a bleeding nation is different than one on the sidelines.
>So I tried to explain to my peace movement activist that this was not
>Gandhi against the British. This was not North versus South Vietnam. This
>was not the United States against a certain country where negotiations
>between leaders might save us from bloodshed.
>My arguments failed to persuade. Instead she reeled back and said, "Maybe
>we should examine our foreign policies and see why the rest of the world
>hates us so much."
>And that was where she lost me.
> Signs of maturity
>I am not so naive that I think the United States has not supported some bad
>guys over the years, some foolish dictatorships, some military coups. I
>know we swing our weight on trade and the environment, often to the dismay
>of other nations.
>But I also know we provide more aid than anyone to the rest the world. We
>feed other nations. We protect them. We certainly finance them.
>We support Israel, sure, but every president from Jimmy Carter on has tried
>to get the parties in the Middle East to sit down and resolve their
>problems. And even when we have conflicts with other nations, we don't
>encourage American zealots to dive bomb their office buildings and kill
>their innocent people.
>In this new war, we are dealing with an enemy that speaks only the language
>of death. And although no one wants World War III, you can't sit around
>passively while a handful of lunatics, who, by the way, would happily blow
>up a peace rally if the participants didn't believe in their religion, take
>over the world.
>So what have I become? A hawk? A warmonger? I hope not. I still see the
>horror of it all. I still advocate only action directed at terrorists, not
>hurling bombs so we can kick some butt. And I never want peace advocates to
>But I am no longer a kid with a Magic Marker who draws symbols with no
>understanding of what they mean. Bloodshed is not neat and tidy. And
>protecting one's country is not the same as trying to take one over. You
>draw a line, and you say no more. If that's called growing up, so be it.
>Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch "Albom in
>the Afternoon" 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760) and simulcast on MSNBC 3-5
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