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OP/ED: With US or against US

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posted on Nov, 20 2004 @ 03:35 PM

Originally posted by UM_Gazz
There are those that will always take one clear side of any given issue.

There are those that are neutral or in the middle of an issue, which are actually undecided or ignorant.

There are some of us who will actually take time to inform ourselves as to all aspects in any given issue before taking a stance.

Some simply look at one side of an argument.

Some are neutral because they chose to be, not because they are ignorant or undecided.

Some of us don't feel the need to take a stance at all, because neither side of an issue is 'right'.


posted on Nov, 21 2004 @ 09:24 AM

Originally posted by Muaddib
You yourself already fell pray to your own argument Kano, by branding the other side "as ignorant." You drew a line and made two different sides in your own argument. The "ignorant", as opposed to the.. what, "enlightened"?

No, that was the very point of my post, there is no strongly defined 'sides' nor should those who disagree on issues therefore be exact opposites. Calling a type of behaviour ignorant is not saying that any other behaviour is englightened. Thats a perfect example of whats wrong with the us and them mentality.

Theres brilliant examples of bad judgement and ignorant behaviour on all sides of any issue hidden in threads around the board. We all know that. We've all fallen prey to it at one stage or the other too. But the ideals of ATS and the reason we are all here is to try and work our way through the mists of ignorance and rhetoric. Not to dig trenches and search for enemies amongst ourselves.

[edit on 21-11-2004 by Kano]

posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 05:36 PM
Kano, I think I finally got it (your source of frustration). I have re-read this thread a few times and something bothered me with my understanding of your opening opinion statements. While I disagree with the label of binary thinking I agree with the main jest of your statements.

The one point I disagree with is somehow missing. That point is that disagreement does not have to be either rational or considerate. People tend to quickly develop strong feelings about few things, those few things then become adamantly pursued or defended.

As marge pointed out in a post referring to poor people being lazy, I have seen this all too often on this board and in life. While their song may sound good to them it is the song of those that marginalize others. This is bias and as denigrating as any epithet, racial or otherwise. Elitism at its best.

This same marginalization is what has occurred on the Iraq War, American politics and a few other mainly American related issues. Americans like to marginalize their opposition. On the Iraq War one only needs to read the headlines, no reading between the lines is required.
    IF the war were popular within America combat bonuses (up to $30k) would not be needed and the ready reserve (those oldies that previously served) would not be called. IF the Iraqi's had desired a regime change (one of the many arguments laid in favor of war) there would not be massive resistance there now. A list like this could on for a page or two.

The world is being measured by Americans against American perceptions. America has no definitive public purpose at the present so slogans are used in the interim. Slogans have short life spans and must be replaced or refueled. One need only look at the obvious dichotomy of the American Secretary of State making claims about voting irregularities (Ukraine).

America has historical precedence against it at the moment. Helping or saving others is what America has felt the best about in the past. The stated war against terror was a rallying cry, and reason for action. Most of the world supported America in Afghanistan- it seemed just. Now, with two sidelined wars and no end in sight, frustration supports all views. The pro- and anti- camps rant and rave at each other.

For a sitting politician this is a perfect situation. If they can't have everyone support them then have the defenders marginalize the detractors. This is now happening on all sides of these American-centered issues. This is not conservative and liberal, it is just typically American.

After all- why should people have sensible disagreements? One or neither viewpoint is right and the other is marginalized as a footnote.

posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 09:25 PM
While the capacity for abstract thought is admirable and necessary to live fully, the necessity for concrete thought is not thereby negated. There comes a time when one must perforce choose sides, even when one may not be in full agreement.

"...I assert that no man can serve two masters; either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to one while he despises the other."--Jesus of Nazereth

posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 10:05 PM

Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
While the capacity for abstract thought is admirable and necessary to live fully, the necessity for concrete thought is not thereby negated. There comes a time when one must perforce choose sides, even when one may not be in full agreement.

Well it depends on your view of what the two sides are...

Some see it as USA vs. terrorists
or USA vs. Iraq
or USA vs. Islam
or Christians vs. Muslims
or freedom vs. oppression
or the powerful vs. the weak
or Conservatives vs. Liberals
some may even go as far as saying it's Civilty vs. barbarism
or you could go with the pacifists vs. warmongers

I guess it's all in how you percieve it...

You say to pick a side, well ok I don't support the war in Iraq, but then again I don't want our troops to die. I don't want Iraqi's to die either...but I am against terrorism...

I'm not sure what side that puts me on. I'll never be able to justify to myself of innocent civilians dying just because it's war...just can't accept it. Guess that makes me one of those naive pacifists

If someone wants to believe that I am anti-American because I don't support the war in Iraq...I don't really care...being labled an anti-American simply doesn't bother me, it's not going to change my mind to support this war at all. Maybe it would be different if I felt Iraq to be a threat to our lives...

posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 11:55 PM
Being anti-war is American. Even though America is a warrior nation anti-war sentiment was rampant and has been pervasive from the beginning. Fully 1/3 (some claim ) of those inhabiting what became the US were against the Revolutionary War. The War of 1812 as well had its naysayers.

The Mexican War, Civil War, War against the Indians, Spanish-American War and every other war has had its supporters and detractors- all were Americans. The detractors just say America as meaning something that the supporters didn't. America is good for about a four year war- then detractors tend to grow in numbers and the supporters arguments fail due to a lack of fulfillment.

America is a nation built on protest and enlivened by the controversial. The worst thing that could happen to America is a lack of dissent. When people begin to not care, as happened in the late 30s and during Carter's term then the American fabric unravels. America has a history of attempting to conquer harsh tasks. Many failures but the few successes have been shinning. Americans can deal with lose and defeat, they wallow not in self-pity but in strife. Success is the only thing that can ruin America.

While the successes of the past have helped shape and build America so too have the failures. As the space shuttle disasters have taught, too much success leads to complacency. For every disaster there are hundreds of unsung heroic conquests. As Enron and the rest of the recent business excesses have shown, unbridled power (greed for-) destroys that which it sought to control. There are now more corporate controls and a renewed interest in oversight as a result of these corporate nightmares.

America struggles for equilibrium. Thrusting to one excess and then another small bits of workable progress that endure for decades emerges. Out of the the Iraq War, violations of personal rights under color of law and excessive business practices the American fabric will seek an enduring balance. The road will be strewn with disasters and pot-holed with mistakes but Americans have never let the fear of mistake halt their national journey.

The worst sin in America is failure to try.

posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 01:13 AM
Has anyone ever thought more simply about this idea of"with or against"?

Perhaps this statement by the President was designed to get other nations from FENCE SITTING. Mabey this is not JUST about being with the USA policy or against it, but a trigger to force other nations to stop jerking around verbally, and actually DO something one way or the other.

To make their position on the issues involved in terrorism/mid east peace more clear...

To do so in an OPEN way for all to see, so that flip flopping would be noticable on the issues....

to determine who would do more than just lip flap or abstain.

It sounds like a statment of "put your policy where your mouth is for all to see" than it does, see who agrees with us and who doesnt.

posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 03:43 AM
Caz, I believe I understand your point.

It is however, still the same point (one of anyway) that Kano made when he opened this thread.

(I am not familiar with the Presidential statement to which you refer)

All too often people become fixated (past reason?) on a point of view or other ism. witness what happened when the French and Germans refused to invade Iraq with Bush2. I read stories of people refusing to allow French's brand mustard to be served in restaurants, French wine quickly became 'non-grata,' French ancestry was - - - -

Why the Germans did not suffer the same ill will I can not appreciate. I do understand the difference in (American) view regarding France and Germany. Americans do not want to like the French but want to like the Germans. This feeling goes back to some point in the 1800s I suspect.

Here's my view on the two vis-a-vis America:
    France saved the American revolution,
    France sold America the central third of the nation (Louisianna Purchase) that allowed America to 'become,'
    *France installed a rival government in Mexico,
    *France called on American help in WW I and II
    *France turned over Viet Nam to America,
    *France refused to roll over after WW II to America's new view of the European world,
    *France was occupied in WW II (loser)
    *France embroiled America in European wars contrary to Americas stated policies towards the world,
    *the French don't speak American (some call it English)
    *France refuses to be ordered around like a lap dog

    German troops killed revolutionaries under the guise of the British government (Hessian mercenaries),
    Germany killed thousands of Americans in two world wars,
    Germany builds fine automobiles,
    German scientists made America's moon race possible and winnable,

*(asterisk) represents perceptions many Americans feel are negative.

There are many more examples but these seem to be the high points for many people. Most Americans do not want to realize that with out France there would be no America. France made Yorktown possible. Also, most Americans do not believe that Germans fought against American independence.

At some point in time an admiration for Germany evolved while at some other point a disregard for all things French. I fully suspect the British had a fine hand in the anti-French feelings as it is in the nature of Empires to maintain ascendancy over previous foes.

Back to your point (Caz), similar polarizations are being played presently in America. This is politically expedient for politicians and business. Look at the recent Boeing/Airbus fiasco. While Airbus is not French only it is treated as French and therefore unfairly. American political leadership strove to award contracts to U.S. firms (Boeing being the only one) while maintaining a 'fig-leaf' of full and open competition. Since the awards to Boeing all manner of chicanery has surfaced and some Boeing officials are presently inhabitants of club-fed. In the meantime, the French company lost out on the sales.

posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 11:17 AM
Looking at things in a "black/white" prespective can be dangerous, it's a way to create many enemy's for your list, and coerce friendly nations to conform to your ideals.

A great orator saw things in this "black/white" view 60 years ago. That man was Adolf Hitler.

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