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Apr 5, 2003 | 11:08 31 Deb, glad to see you back again. I know I've missed your comments on the site, so I hope you're able to be with us for a bit.

I read an interesting commentary this morning in my local paper and it was about how the first casualty in a war is language and how we use words to justify what happens in a war. It is certainly making me think.

The play on words is happening on both sides of the "war".

Prior to the first suicide bomb attack, the Iraqi resistance fighters were referred to as "irregulars" and "guerillas" - now they are "terrorists" despite the fact that they are fighting in the open and Rumsfeld even went so far as to call them "death squads". Because of the juxtaposition of the terms by Bush et al in their speeches, many now believe that Saddam was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks - for which there has been no direct link.

This manipulation of words is no where near what Saddam has done however, because he has been a man that has held anti-religious and secular views all of his life and now suddenly this is all tied in with the Jihad and martydom attackers.

The writer goes on to state that even the term coalition is used to infer that this is somehow similar to the 1991 Gulf war where 28 countries - 13 of them Arab - were genuinely engaged on the ground to stop the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and had the backing of the UN versus the non-UN supported "wanton act of aggression" we are seeing now.

Many of those that have signed on with the present "coalition" have yet to send any troops at all, with the majority of troops being comprised of the Americans, British and a smattering of Australians. There are many countries that have joined the "coalition" but have yet to do much of anything.

This draws me back to an earlier question - if we are just wanting to support the "coalition" to avoid penalties and sanctions, then how sincere are we in our support? Reply With Quote
Apr 6, 2003 | 01:24 32 "military repression of the Palestinians" ,
pleas look at a map! Isreal has about as
much territory as a typical rural municipality
in Canada. If the arab nations were so kind
and generous with their "oil money" as you
would put it, everything would be just fine!
Saddam Hussein was giving Palestinian
families $25, 000 if a family member
participated in a suicide bombing! Are these
the acts of rational people? Granted, the
U.S.A. has made several mistake's in the
past but would you really have this dictator
in power instead? The world has stood
back and watched this type of thing for too
long, its time to fix it! This from a family filled
with "oil men", and damn proud of it. Reply With Quote
Apr 6, 2003 | 08:27 33 OIl ia not my primary business... but watching world events, aswell as those in our country have been most my life. My opinions include such that our country has too many useless politicians . Thankfully with too useless an Armed Forces to get into trouble with, so I never would expect them to send actual troops to Iraq ( on that note, are ther very many countries who can send troops capable of fighting side by side with Americans ? Is that why they send verbal support ? You know, those high tech gadgets and all...

As for mid east politics, I do get somewhat ' confused ' . Such old countries... You would think they would have worked out all the problems by now right ? Just some thoughts... Reply With Quote
Apr 6, 2003 | 09:55 34 I'm not quite sure about the comment on the Palestinians - could you please explain that one a little more?

I agree, that what the suicide bombers do is hard for many of us in the Western world to understand. We need to put ourselves in "their shoes" and try to understand it from the point of view of someone who is starving and who's family will be looked after if they go on such a mission. Martyrdom for the cause is something that is taught from an early age, so it is "rational" to them, whereas we have a hard time understanding it. I'm not for a moment saying that it is right, just that it appears to be right for them.

I also agree that the middle east history is a long one and the tribes of Israel have been fighting for many more years than we care to think about and it seems to me unless you experience it first hand, you can't even begin to fully comprehend what is happening. Even the experts in the Middle East that are at our universities say that by deposing Saddam, it will not end the turmoil that has gone on over there.

Let me reiterate - I don't want to see Saddam stay in power and I'm sure that there are many within his own regime that would like to see him taken out. My question is, what will that open the door to?

Nothing is ever completely black or white and what I am hearing are valid arguments both for and against. Many of the points made have caused me to pause and think about it from a different angle. On the one hand I can certainly understand getting in there and getting the job done, but then I can also see the other side where I wonder what the motivation is and where it will actually end up.

I'm glad that I've heard the opinions that I have and am glad that people feel free enough to express them and stand behind what they believe. I am no less proud to be a Canadian now than I was before the start of this whole thing. I don't agree that people should be standing up and booing the American national anthem - that is disrespectful no matter what spin you put on it. At the same time, however, I don't feel that it is too respectful for some of the opinions that have surfaced about Canadians either. We've been there many times before and will likely be there again in the future. God bless us all. Reply With Quote
Apr 6, 2003 | 12:56 35 Just to add...Canadians (high tech companies) are currently mass producing items required for the war effort (Ie. night vision glasses). Our military is in the general area providing limited support. Our government does not confirm this but family members in contact with Armed Forces members hear differently. I am not convinced we have the population base to provide additional military support nor do we have the equipment. Rookie, you were the first to bring this up-thumbs up! Sometimes verbal support is helpful in building spirits. Do not discount this - but make sure our words are sincere!

Thank goodness for freedom of expression and the ways we can give our views - great things to fight for. It is certainly unfortunate that fighting is still required. Although motivations play a role, they are not the sole aspect with which to examine. In an idealistic and mature society, war would not exist. Reality is that the world does not exist in the idealistic state. The discussions here are bringing these out.

Politics - Our PM was basically elected by a single province and George W. was elected under different circumstances. Yes, different systems I know but still always cause for discussion. However, they are both elected leaders and that is fact. By the populations making their views known to the politicians, hopefully this can help direct policy. Not likely, but you never know. It is through discussion that we do not feel so helpless in a bad situation.

I was disappointed that people in Montreal booed the American national anthem - there are better ways to express opinions without attacking a neighbour. However, neighbours often disagree and say things they regret. It has happened in the past and I am sure it will happen again. I hope Americans can forgive Canadians as a whole for what a percentage has done to offend. Freedom of expression does need to be tempered with compassion for others!!

God bless those involved in this conflict. May a resolution come sooner than later and may all those brave soldiers find a safe way home to their families and friends. Hopefully this part of history will teach us something new!

Great discussion everyone - Regards, Jensco! Reply With Quote
Apr 6, 2003 | 20:56 36 I really dont believe that oil is the motive. There is vast amounts of untapped energy sources in way more hospitable places.
I think the real issue is rid the world of VERY rich and popular nutbars like Saddam.ALSO I believe our old arch-enemy is hideing where his support money came from..Bahgdad. ROLL-EM Reply With Quote
Apr 6, 2003 | 20:58 37 OSAM bIN LADEN THAT IS Reply With Quote
Apr 9, 2003 | 07:26 38 Don't forget the Russians in all this. Maybe the old cold war is going to warm up again? Reply With Quote
Apr 28, 2003 | 23:07 39 We should all remember that the German people in general did not really have a clue as to where Hitler was going to lead them when he was elected. They found out to their hooror much later.
It is therefore only prudent to watch Mr. Bush quite carefully and not to follow blindly where the propaganda wants to lead us ! Reply With Quote
Deb
Apr 29, 2003 | 11:18 40 Perfect analogy Riverboat! Reply With Quote