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September 12, 2004


Cliff ("down the road from ya")

Well put, as usual....

A.N. Tipseudopatriot

Michael Moore poses as a man telling truth to power when he confronts US congress members with the question: “Would you sacrifice your child for Fallujah?” It doesn’t require much reflection to see that this is disingenuous on several levels:

(This is true. It is disingenuous to ask a congressman such an absurd question as most people know that the answer that the answer would be 'No'.)

parents do not enlist their children in the armed services;

(Yes, most just completely volunteer without any encouragment from their folks.)

volunteers have an excellent chance of returning alive and uninjured,

(Calling them "volunteers" is a little dishonest as well. They volunteer in the same sense that most professional boxers volunteer. They're from relatively poor families and the options are few. You don't see too many boxers coming from the rich suburbs.)

yet understand that there are risks involved—no one is asked to ‘sacrifice themselves;’

(Of course they're not asked to, they're told to, after they've "volunteered", of course.)

Fallujah is a small part of a much larger conflict, and the question of whether or not it is legitimate to secure it does not seem to be the point of Moore’s question.

(Duh, I think Moore is aware of this. And, your correct, it is not the point of Moore's question.)

Yet it provides Moore with a chance to surprise politicians, ever fretting about their image, with a question that cannot be answered seriously,

(Why be surprised? It's a simple question. 'Would you enlist, or encourage your child to enlist, into the war in Iraq?' Nothing especially deep about this. Just a simple question. It is true that it doesn't really given the politicians to formulate a calculated lie as to what they wouldn't do it, and so, in this sense, it's unfair to the politician.)

yet seems to cut to the heart of the matter.

(Yes, it cuts to the heart of the matter. Rich folks and politicians do not encourage their children to fight the battles they create. In other words, they're cowards.)

What I’d like to see is a someone asking a ‘peace activist,’ “Would you sacrifice your child for peace?”

(Is the writer seriously saying that war=peace? No one can be this naive. But, to answer your question, yes, if there was really an immediate threat to our peace, unlike the Iraq travesty, they would send their children. The problem is is that more times than not the threat doesn't exist, as in the case of Iraq. Fighting against Hitler would probably be a worthy cause, though it would have been much better to take measures to prevent him from coming to power int he first place, which the U.S. didn't want to do.)

If you hold that two wrongs don’t make a right, that striking back at an enemy is wrong,

(Notice how easily the term "enemy" is used here.)

especially if there is the possibility that our past actions can in some way be interpreted as having provoked that attack,

("In some way be interpreted as having proveked that attack"? There is usually no interpretation necessary. Of course, we never provoke anything. It's all the fault of our buddies, like Saddam, who we sold the guns to. Just ask the NRA. They'll tell you that they don't cause the people to shoot each other. Just as the U.S. has no responsibility when Saddam kills his own people. Perhaps, we should choose our friends better from the outset instead of spooning with them and them having to create apologetics for our disgraceful behavior after hundreds, or thousands, of people are dead.)

would you allow someone you love to die?

(I sure as the hell wouldn't for no reason, as in the case of Iraq, Vietnam, and many others.)

How many would you allow to die?

(Depends on the circumstance.)

What if the terrorist—no—insurgents, freedom fighters, extremists, guerillas—whatever you might like to call them—continue to find grievances despite our concessions?

(Is the writer saying that it is the U.S. who has the right to even give concessions? Who gave us that right? Oh, I forgot, it's our natural God-given right.)

How many of your family, friends, or acquaintances would you allow to be murdered to escape the onus of military action? Who will you give? What are their names?

(If the war was real, then anyone I know, as well as myself, would be the first in line. If Iraq invaded the U.S., which they didn't even though there are still a significant amount of flat-earthers who still believe this, you bet I'd fight their asses. If you told me to go to a third world country which has no weapons, has had sanctions imposed on it for 12 years, is not the least bit threatening to every surrounding country, then I'd probably tell the person wanting me to go to kiss my peace-loving ass.)

What about resentment of our wealth?

(Yes, everyone is jealous of the U.S. Everyone is breaking down the doors to get in so that they, too, can enjpy those things of which they are jealous that we have. It's exactly this type of arrogance which makes folks around the world despise the U.S. And while they do recognize many of the freedoms we enjoy that they may not, these have been acheived in spite of the war-mongering pseudo-patriots, not because of them.)

That must fuel some of the insurgent rage.

(Also, and perhaps this was a mistake, but I was under the impression that an "insurgent" was an external force going into a place which they're not welcomed. To refer to any Iraqis as insurgents is ludicrious. I do hope that if the U.S. is ever invaded, and he decides to fight back against the invaders and their local puppets, that he won't mind being called an "insurgent", or better, "terrorist". (End Part 1)

A.N. Tipseudopatriotic

How simply would you live so that others may simply live? Would you donate the money that you used for your tattoo or piercing so that a child could eat for a week or be able to get medical treatment? Surely, body adornment is the first luxury that could go. You spend, lives end. Think globally, act locally. Forget about that post-demonstration party at the Moroccan restaurant—how much would you give right now?

(On these points I absolutely agree.)

There is fear and anger over the decadence of our society.

(Much, if not most, of the fear and anger comes from religious groups within the U.S., as it should. People within the U.S. should be concerned about what people within the U.S. are up to. And besides,I thought these folks were jealous of the U.S. and it's freedoms. Are they secretly wanting to enjoy our decadence, too?)

Most militants seem to be religious fundamentalists.

(This is probably true. And given the fundamentalist nature of the U.S. it's no wonder that most of the world is afraid. As the great intellectual NOAM CHOMSKY notes in one of his lectures:Usually religious fundamentalism decreases as industrialization increases. The U.S. is off the spectrum in this case probably ranking along side Iran. Oh, and just in case you wanted to know, this is not just his opinion. This data is taken from experts who study the subject,the usual place where Chomsky gets his abundance of information and inconvenient facts, at least inconvenient to the well indoctrinated.)

Their religion of peace stresses female modesty and the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.

(Sounds familiar.)

They are threatened by what they view as western corruption, which certainly runs counter to their deeply held values.

(As I mentioned before, many of the folks threatened by western corruption are the many fundamentalists within the U.S. itself. And I have the distinct impression that if the Muslim economic situations were a little better, and they weren't being exploited by westerners and the elites within their own countries (Saudi Arabia)as is often the case, by letting some of the wealth of the region actually go to the people of the region, they may perhaps shift their attention from their religious fundamentalism and irrationality which is usually quite high among poorer underdeveloped countries, with the exception of the U.S., to that which is more immediate, you know, houses, blenders, big screen TV's, food, etc...you know, those things they're jealous of the U.S. for having. The western infidel argument is just used to encourage the poor to fight for economic justice. No doubt Bin Laden knows how to play this card well. So, if the U.S. would spend more of it's time attempting to help industrialize these countries instead of using them for it's own "interests", which is obvious to all those living in the area as well as the rest of the world, perhaps the "fundamentalists" would begin to view the U.S. more as a helping sibling as opposed to as a disingenuous Big Brother.)

First of all, would you refrain from removing your clothing during your demonstrations?

(Personally, I think it depends on the temprature. But there are definitely some folks who don't help the demonstrations by showing their bodies.)

In light of the unspeakable atrocity at Abu Ghraib, this kind of exhibitionism is certainly insensitive.

(And if we would have received photos of U.S. soldiers being treated this way, bombs would have been flying within the hour. But, well, as you know, it was just a few out of control "volunteers" letting off steam.)

Would you advocate the censorship of, or at least the boycotting of movies and pictures that may give the impression that we lack sexual morality?

No. Unfortunately, many of those on the "right" in the U.S. are heading exactly in the direction of censorship and have been for a long time. They're kind of our domestic Taliban, only in sheeps clothing. Boycotting is no problem as it is a free speech issue. One of the great things about the U.S. is not having too much in the way of censorship,(We don't really need it as the corporate-controlled rightwing media censors itself rather well from within.)as is always stated by the folks who fight for this right. You know, people like Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, and the other great folks who are always fighting the rightwing censorship fundamentalists within the U.S.)

Would you denounce your homosexual friends, or at least urge them to go back into the closet?

(Nope. The the rightwingers in the U.S. and their counterparts in Afghanistan do.)

Remember, this is for peace. Would you practice chastity before marriage yourself, or if you are a woman, marry and submit to the authority of your husband?

(Maybe, but there are many within the U.S., primarily on the right, who would love for a woman to "submit to the authority of (their) husband". Actually, I thought the author of this article would be in favor of such a return to the good old days when women behaved their husbands and gays stayed in the closet where they belong, as long as the closet is far away.)

These sacrifices would do much to reassure those who advocate submission to God that ours is not a corrupt—and worse yet—corrosive society..I don’t need to say that these are pointless and misleading questions,

(They are pointless and misleading. It almost sounds as though the author really thinks we should do these things. And I hardly think these are really the things that are at the heart of the fundamentalists complaints.)

but to my mind, they’re more valid than Moore’s.

(Well, this shows what's wrong with your mind. And besides, as far as I know, you STILL haven't read a book of Moore's, not to mention Chomsky's, so how would you know what they think, or how valid their claims are? I have a radical idea, again. Why don't you actually study the subjects which you comment on (Moore, Chomsky, etc...)and then, rather than giving the reader a mere opinion based on no knowledge of the subject, sounds a little like the fundamentalist method, be able to share a relatively coherent and educated thesis? I know that this flies in the face of the usual rightwing scholarship, which is to read nothing by those they're attempting to argue against, and look to other uninformed cohorts to support their mistaken, mystical, and fundamentalist belief systems.)

Furthermore, if there was any legitimacy in Moore’s use of Fallujah specifically, I certainly wouldn’t wish to stifle debate about the best way to fight terrorism,

(The first way to start fighting terrorism is to stop participating in it. It doesn't take a genius to figure this out. Oh, but I forgot, the U.S. is never the cause of terror, by definition I should say, it only fights against terror. My mistake. How stupid of me. You probably thoght I an "American-Hater" for an instant. Perhaps we need to remind the rest of the world of this fact, too as most of them, for some odd reason, probably due to their jealousy, don't realize this or have forgotten it.)

or if the invasion of Iraq has made us more or less of a target.

(More of a target, of course. Non-issue. But this is okay and will probably be good for the economy becasue now security and security items will sell through the roof, and also, thanks to the non-fundamentalist NRA we can once again buy assault weapons to protect ourselves from that ever looming threat of, well, Iraqis, al Queada, aliens, Human Rights Watch, and all the other subversive groups who are fighting to bring down our way of life. Or, we can just shoot deer faster than usual.)

I would like to point out that we have entered entirely new territory in fighting an enemy that seems willing and capable to hit us within our own borders, kill as many as possible, yet offers no clear target.

(Yes, for the U.S. this is new territory. Unfortunately, many other countries have been experiencing this very thing from the U.S., and it's local dictator clients, for a long time. We should have attempted to use the medical model of preventative medicine, you know, like assisting the poor, the ones we usually side against, from the outset, instead of the enemies of the poor, only to have the poor come back at us later. My use of the term preventative isn't to be confused with the way it has been used as of late. 'We should just go kill everybody "over there" before they come and get us'.)

How should they be fought? Is the projection of an image of strength and willingness to take the fight to the enemy a deterrent to more terrorism.

(Absolutely not. This simply encourages them. How can you create a bigger hero than standing up to the one wielding his power all over the place? I thought we had learned this lesson as recruitment for al Queada shot up after 9/11. It's the same 7 year old logic that doesn't understand that prevention is better than punishment. The only problem with prevention is that most of those in power, especially the Bush types, haven't a clue as to the concept of prevention, in the rational sense of the term. Also, it's a good idea not to forget Orwell's perpetual war, and to notice who follows the policies which make his observations seem plausible as well as those who profit.)

The lessons of the seventies, eighties and nineties would suggest that military refrain only gives the impression that the best way to manipulate us is to hit us.

(What? What military refrain? The biggest military build up in history came after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. The world took note and began to fear the U.S. even more, realizing that the implications of building
up the military,when the number one enemy was gone, could only mean one thing. The U.S. was preparing to take over the world. And, unfortunately, most of our actions since that time have only confirmed this belief, hence the reaction to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a defenceless third world country. They're worried if they'll be next. This is exactly the type of ignorant posturing which will increase the likelyhood
of more terror. But rest assured, it will be good for business.)

The harder, the better.

(Yes. Good idea. We'll surely win the hearts and minds of the rest of the world with this approach. I'm assuming the author doesn't really believe this and is just being sarcastic.If he does,then the world has the right to be scared, as it is.)

Intelligent questions, even 20-20 hindsight are understandable, even welcome.

(And to hit them hard is the best you can
come up with? Now this is scary.)

Yet, from the bleats you can hear at most protests to the apparently meticulous arguments in the pages of the Nation, you would think that only the most willful denial of obvious facts or Machiavellian scheming on the part of our elected officials and their ‘corporate masters’ could be responsible for the existence of terrorism in the world today.

(Not all the terrorism. We're responsible
for that which we participate in. It's not difficult to understand this principle when were talking about criminals, so why is it so difficult a concept for the author?)

In both cases, self-righteous indignation seems to trump thought of any kind of sacrifice.


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