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GrizzlyBear
2003-03-30, 13:44
I'm rather fortunate not to have family or anyone I know "close-up-and-personal" in Iraq, and until this morning, I had been able to maintain a little bit of distance between myself and the war, but this morning I read Top's letter. I've never met Top, other than through his website and this forum. I have extended an invitation - which he's accepted, and to which I am looking forward - to pick him up when he's near my home, during his AT thru-hike, and feed him ribs and beer. It's not like I've ever hung out with the guy, or swapped lies with him, but when I finished his letter, he, all-of-sudden became up-close-and-personal. I suddenly felt that I had to do something other than "preaching-to-the-choir" which my wife always accusses me of doing, as I banter with friends, of like opinions. I felt that I needed to do something more.

I realize that this is a hiking forum, and I won't make it a habit to venture so far afield, but below is a copy of a letter that I just emailed to everyone I know - even casually - even business contacts, which may not be the most advantageous move, but what the hell - if it pisses anyone off - so be it. It won't be the first time I've turned aside business because of my convictions, and it probably won't be the last.

I feel very strongly about the subject, and hope that I can encourage people to take a stand in the matter. If you agree with me, I hope you will help to spread the word. If you don't - well - that's your right - one of those that Top is helping protect.

Thanks.

Grizz
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There's a war going on, and we're handling it like just another version of "Survivors" or "Bachelor" - just another "reality" TV show. Some idiots have made the decision to bring us the war "LIVE and in living (or dying) color. By doing so, these fools have tied the hands of our military commanders. Now, rather than doing what they know how to do, and getting it over-with, they've got to pussy-foot around a bunch of reporters, and try to make us like "good-guys", at the expense of all else.

I'm all for attempting to do what we can to protect Iraqi civilians, but NOT at the expense of our own kids!

Whether you like it, or not, WE ARE AT WAR, and all the liberal whining and demonstrating is not going to cause the U.S. to throw down our guns, and run to hug and kiss Iraqi soldiers! I would rather have not seen this happen - BUT IT HAS!, and because some morons decided to turn loose a bunch of fools with cameras, we've forced our military to attempt to conduct a war - and still look like Dudley Do-right.

WAR IS NOT A PARLOR GAME! It is not entertainment! Portraying it as such, is doing nothing but jeopardizing the lives of our kids, more and more, every day. It's whipping the emotions of Americans (and others throughout the World) into a dangerous frenzy, that is going to get more of our kids killed than the Iraqi forces ever could, without the help of CNN, FOX, BBC, and the ignorant fools who carry anti-American signs, and burn our Flag, in the glory-light of "live" television! Those kids who were killed by the car-bomb, weren't killed because we are at war with Saddam Hussein and his thugs. They were killed because of the pervasive liberal thinking, with which Americans have been propagandized, for the last half-Century. They were killed because we have been led to act like a bunch of pansies, and now have allowed on-site, "live" coverage of war - assuring that even those who's job it is to protect us continue to act like pansies, instead of doing what a war requires. In war, ALL indigenous persons MUST be considered as combatants, until PROVEN otherwise. Those kids died because the military (those are the people who make it possible for you to sleep safely, at night) has been forced to put the welfare of potential killers at a greater value than their own lives - because Liberal America is watching.

Anyone who believes that it's okay to run a "live" blow-by-blow account of the hostilities, and enflame the liberal or incorrectly informed portion of the citizenry; anyone who feels that he or she has a "right" to demonstrate, burn the Flag, spew anti-American statements, and send negative signals to the World and the enemy; anyone who cannot realize that the war IS NOW A REALITY, and is not going to stop until it's over; anyone who cannot realize that all these things will prolong the war - These are the people who killed those boys! The very people who seem to think that their anti-war, anti-American activities, are going to help, are in fact prolonging the fighting, and assuring that more of America's children will be killed!

I, too, would rather that some other means, had worked, to settle the difficulties with Saddam's regime- but it didn't. Try to accept the reality of the situation. We are at war in Iraq! People will be killed. Some will be civilians - it's inevitable. The only way to lessen the body count is to let the military do their jobs as efficiently and as quickly as possible. Please support the American troops! Get the "TV Show" out of Iraq, and let the military get done, and get home.

Go to the following web site, and find your Congressmen and Senators email addresses. Write to them and demand that the "live coverage" fiasco be stopped! Encourage them to allow the military commanders to do their jobs the way they were trained, and to take the handcuffs off our boys and girls in Iraq, so they can protect themselves. Be part of the solution - not part of the problem!

www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html

Walter E. Dellinger - American

CrazyButcher
2003-03-30, 19:39
I think you are right about the media coverage, before it was used in support of the US. Government "boiling up the war", I think the media is just horney for these pictures it is money for them, it brings them in the news. Hence at beginning they made sure everyone thinks the war is necessary (at least that was my personal experience watching CNN and CNBC). But as "bad news" are good news, they have to make a show out of it, just like you say, so negative comments will dominate for a while questioning what was praised before, then they will bring in the positive again and so on... up and down.
with the feelings of the families and the people who are affected as well...
however this is not comparable what the people experience who live there, the children who sit in bunkers and hear the sirens and the bombardment above, not knowing what is going on, but seeing the destruction afterward, seeing those "inevitable civilian casualties". if the war would not be covered, wouldnt that send a sign to the rest of the world that war is "business as usual", that the war was decided on, as "political" solution by some governments of this world, and then it is executed, what message does that send to children ? that war is perfectly okay, not even news-worthy ?

so imo it is some sort of problem, it should not become a "show" like it is now, however no coverage or one-sided isn't working out either.

fact is there is a war, but fact is also the majority of the people out there on this world would have been against it, no surprise, since we all know war is not good and should be avoided at all cost. These are facts and should be reported about without any judgement, we hope that the media are objective, but like you say they tend to take whatever side seems to work best. Media loves to play with fear, cause we all fear, and when people, who were first taught to fear weapons of mass destructions some thousand miles away, are then (after the war started) shown a lot of "doubting factors", it shouldnt surprise that they dont want to see that either, cause that is what they have feared about this decision. not sure if I can make my point here.
anyone who has seen "Bowling for columbine" (I recommend that doc) knows what I mean with this fear factor. And before anyone shoots me down as anti-american, the majority of my online friends and the people whom I dealt with over the web are American, the bigger vacation trips I made where almost exclusively to the Northamerican continent and enjoyed every stay a lot. But I dont think this war is just (if there is a just war) and I do not think it was a good decision by your government. That doesnt make me anti-American, I hope at least, I am sure you do not support your government in all things either, be it taxes, health cuts and so on, but why is it all of a sudden "not patriotic" when you do not support a "war course", something that actually does cost lives of your fellow citizens ? why does one then instantly have to support it sorta ?
isn't it a bit weird that a lot people in the cabinet are big players in the oil biz or have connections to them ? and that iraq has so big oil resources ? or that afghanistan is the place where western oil companies wanted to put a pipeline from teh large oil resource in the caspic sea (?) to the gulf, despite the russians (who wanted it to go to the black sea thru chechenia) ?
I wished someone had stopped Hitler before he did what he did, I wished the countries would have been way more cautious to him, but this doesnt apply here in my opinion. Yes saddam's regime is evil, but the Egypt president is voted with 97%, and saddam with 100%, one supports the west, one doesnt. does that make the difference ?
how many tribal wars in africa dont see media coverage, nor international intervention, simply because there is nothing there to "fight for", no "new market" no "resources".
The regime was under control more than 10 years, they were checked, there are no-fly zones and so on, how could he have dared to start another war without being wiped out full-scale afterwards ? But even as bad as he is, the world or at least a majority has not seen an imminent threat going out and as hard as it might be but the "in dubito pro reo" should still be judicial principle. And despite the situation of pre ww2 germany, there were no "no-fly" zones or satilites hovering over this country and watching every step of the leaders.
You cannot enforce "liberation" on any people, or do preventive wars, especially not when the international community doesnt back it, this will just heat things up and make the trenches deeper between those who already have issues with each other.
Despite Afghanistan were the coalition forces played a big role and made it more clear that the people did want to liberate themselves and that this action was perceived like that by nearly all countries, the resistance wasnt as big in iraq, because people cannot resist and they dont believe in the west, who left them high and dry once after the first gulf war. The kurdes try to fight for their own country and get rid of the threat saddam shows to them, but they would love to get rid of the turkish influence as well (hopefully those parties will stay calm).
The action of a preventive strike does bear so many consequences, it showed the lack of power of the UN, a powerful minority did execute what it planned, nothing could be done against it. what if it goes on like that ? what country is next, or what other countries will act like that reasoning the same way ?
is that democratic ?

As much as this war is intended to get rid of an evil man and regime, as "ignoring and injust" it was started. I am very sure that if Iraq was a poor country without oil, or with a pro-western leader, noone would care, because we would not know or be informed about it. the contracts would run, the money and oil would flow and everyone would be happy not asking where it actually comes from or who has to suffer from it.

we saw this often in the past, and we will likely see it in the next years, In my opinion it is a step back from what we had, I know the UN doesnt have a good reputation in the states, but the US did a good job in founding it, and the idea of President Wilson before the second world war, were good too, we cant go on like that killing each other, there must be ways (and there are) to stop this from happening, not eternally and not in small-scale, I am not a utopist who believes in world peace, nor a pacifist who thinks violence is never needed, but there are ways to limit them and especially in large scale.

when you said, or whoever wrote that text, "the military makes you sleep safe" I think America itself isn't under that big military threat, I doubt mexico or canada would go and invade your country. It is the economic power the US has, the worldwide interdepending economies, who profit from "peace" and running business. the problem is when they both get mixed up, when one party helps the other, when soldiers conquer oil fields, eventhough they come to liberate the people and do their job.

I support the military and in my opinion they have an immense important role in this world, but I see them more as world police acting if the majority decides so, I know the US had to do that a lot in the past, and sometimes it was due to the lack of a stronger European Army (like in Bosnia), and that you often risked your soldiers for others, but in my opinion for the rest of the world and your own reputation this was better and felt a lot more "just", eventhough Milosevic or the Taliban might see it different, the majority of the world hasnt. And seeing how many nations are involved in the peace-keeping missions around the world, they still do.
It is this role of peace-keeping, controlling a at least cooperative nation that works, I am sure the US government sees this happening after the iraq was taken over as well, and they hope the damage done can be healed afterwards, but if we are so much for liberation and peace, why do so many other humans in this world have to wait for that giant support, some 100 000 soldiers coming for them, for decades if not centuries ? just because they are doomed being in a poor country that is far away from international influence.

well to bring this to an end, I stand behind good ole Sarge :) , but not behind his government nor their decision about this, I have a lot of respect towards his profession and his family, and I like America in general, have a lot of friends there, so I am not anti-american at least not in my eyes and heart, but I do think this war is not right, yes it is there now, and the small price we pay watching the images (just turn off) is a fraction of the horror so many people all over the world face daily, and not just in iraq.
No war shouldnt be portrayed as an entertaining show, with clean images, with laser guided bombs blowing some concrete box, with green images of bombs going of in cities, with people celebrating over the death of others.

The only solution war can bring is to solve you from life.
While peace for all is something we can dream of, we can help making at least bits of it come true.

GrizzlyBear
2003-03-30, 21:31
CB - I just read your post, and you would probably be suprised to know that I agree with almost everything you've said, but I'm not going to get into that, here.

I'm not saying that there should be "no" coverage of what is going on in Iraq. I just believe that "live" cameras are pushing the envelope of decency and common sense. A video camera has no compassion, and it can't think. At least with some delay, the media must put a "little" thought into their decisions, before putting something into print, or on the air. If the World sees a group of soldiers being killed, on the spot, then every family who has kids there, is in anguish, waiting for official notification as to whether it was their son or daughter. That is not right!

Trust me, I don't believe that war is a moral endeavor, but once a bell is rung, it cannot be "un-rung". You apparently have faith in human beings, in general. I do not. I believe that we are but a short jump from our wild ancestors, and we haven't yet evolved into the civil and compassionate beings that some want to think we have. I'm not saying that I support "the decisions", or the reasons our Government claims for having made those decisions - but - the bell has been rung, and I support whatever it takes to protect our kids, and get the thing over. Showing the World -in real time - is not going to make our leaders call a halt to this one, any more than it would have in 1942, or 1944. Americans demonstrating against America, in the middle of the turmoil, will do nothing to stop the war. If it were to be over, tomorrow, these same people will have forgotton all about it in six months, and go back to their comfy, cozy "do-nothing" life-styles, and when the next election rolls around, it will be too much trouble for them to go to the polls. The one's who do, won't have a clue regarding the real issues - they'll just vote for whomever appears the prettiest, on television.

I think it would be great if the next time somebody gives a war - nobody comes, but that isn't the case, right now, so I still support the kids who have been thrown into it, and I don't believe that bad-mouthing my Government at this time, or throwing rocks at policemen who are already stressed beyond their limits, trying to prevent another 9/11, is the way to do that.

I do appreciate your response. If you you ever get to my part of America, I'd be honored to buy you a beer, and exchange thoughts. Real beer. Some of us know where to find it - and real thoughts, too. Some of us have those. How do you expect us to make all the "right" decisions, and elect the right people into office, 95% of Americans think Coors and Budweiser Light are beer?

May you always have enough.

chief
2003-03-30, 22:17
GrizzlyBear - seems we can't please anyone. during and after the afgan war (and others), we heard cries of bloody murder from the media and congress for not enough public access. now we hear there's too much access. personally, i believe it should be as open as possible. we're the citizens who pay the bills, after all. as far as the government tying the military's hands - that's their job, although i don't believe it's happening as much as we may think! in my opinion, this war seems a little PC, but i can see the reasoning behind it. with or without the embedded press, we will have casulties. it's a fact of conflict.

CrazyButcher - the USA and our (real) allies are left to do the world's dirty work, because the rest are unwilling appeasers who correctly and jealously believe we don't really need them. of course, in the end, they will ALL stand in line to profit from the blood of our soldiers and the will of our people. the fact that there are thousands of protestors the world over proves, as much as anything, we are doing the right thing. the UN and you are irrelevent.

dixicritter
2003-03-30, 23:40
I have to admit that I'm not thrilled with the constant media coverage personally. Its really hard for me not to sit there watching it and worrying about what SGT Rock is heading into over there.

However, I know that he would not want us fighting that battle here folks. His passion is hiking, as you all know. Please let's not argue politics now. As a favor to me, and to him, I'm asking that the hiking talk be the main focus here.

Griz, I appreciate your sentiments, please don't think otherwise. I just want to keep his site on track for him when he returns.

Thanks everyone. Now go talk gear or trails or mountains or something of the like. :)

dixi

GrizzlyBear
2003-03-31, 10:50
Dixie - No problem here. I was hesitant to broach the subject here, in the first place, and tried to indicate that I really didn't want to start a debate, but merely to express concern. I just felt that I had trod on CBs feelings - and didn't want to do that.

Consider it done.

CrazyButcher
2003-03-31, 13:33
okay grizz, thx for the reply, and I am happy we agree on the media stuff, just some phrases within the copy pasted thing you posted did not sound right to me, hence I ticked off a bit, it was like burning to be written somewhere hehe

sorry dixie for this, will keep discussion private, you are right, these discussions are everywhere, and having a bit calmer areas where "normal life" goes on is nice to have. though I didnt mean it to sound like a battle.

oh grizz I dont drink beer, nor any alc ;)
where do you live ?

dixicritter
2003-03-31, 19:08
Thank you guys, I really appreciate it. Glad you understand. :)