27 March 2007

one million blogs for peace tuesday

Have you convinced anyone else to change their opinion about the Iraq War?

early on, pre-invasion, while working at the bar - yes. as much as the job was a thorn in my side, it did offer me the opportunity to talk with a lot of people on a day-to-day. it amazed me - there were so many people that were under the impression that the whole of iraq had something to do with 9/11. to know that they are still out there, even today... i simply can't get my brain around it.

i can say that many of those that i talked to regularly have overwhelmingly grown to not support the iraq "war" if they were in favor at the start. i don't know if i had anything to do with that, though.

If so, describe that experience and how you convinced them.

i always had a stack of well sourced info with me to share, and a lot to say. many were receptive, i often heard, "why isn't this on the news?" the film showings helped a bunch as well. the most difficult thing was convincing people that they weren't being unpatriotic by questioning the government's motives for war. so many i spoke with seemed to carry the "you are either with us or against us" words spoken by ashcroft as an unquestionable truth - and fear. talking about the alternatives seemed to make a difference as well. pointing out that saddam hussein and bin laden were actually sworn enemies, the geo-political positioning involved, and finally, the oil control aspect all seemed to be things that got others to stop and think. the biggest was the pnac report in which the overthrow of hussein was outlined 15-16 years ago by those who were and are currently advising the president (though it is against international law to overthrow a government (?!).

If not, imagine what would change your mind if you felt differently about the War.

ah, the eternal question that haunts me. i just don't know. every time i think i have the one thing to say that can't be argued or might sway someone - or, at the very least, make them question - there seems to be a rebuttal that doesn't make sense to me - intellectually or otherwise. said rebuttals always seem to be grounded in denial, fear and attacks about my being patriotic or not supporting the troops. it gets distilled down to some sound bite repeated after being heard on fox news or some such MSM outlet.

honestly, i can't even imagine being in support of war - any war.

if i had to guess, though - on a very basic level - it would have to be pointing out the disjunct between 9/11 and what is happening/has happened in iraq.

we were horrified that anyone could take lives so easily and carelessly - not see that those who died on 9/11 were human beings with families and lives...

the same thing is happening today in iraq, as we speak. the 29% still in support of the war in the u.s. feel that those lives are faceless, foreign beings that "deserve" what they get simply because they were born where they were - they are the enemy "just because" they've spent years living under a brutal dictator that we once fully supported and backed. i defy that.

i won't condone 9/11. i also won't condone the largest keeper of Weapons of Mass Destruction IN THE WORLD doing the same to the human beings with families and lives in iraq or afghanistan.

it is the same thing. except now, we're on the giving end and putting tens of thousands of lives in more danger.

those who didn't hate us before sure do now. and i can't say that i blame them in the least bit.

all in all, it's a new sport for the supporters of war to cheer for. home v. away. it isn't that simple. it never is. and swatting at a bee hive only stands to find one getting stung in the end. i have a bebe to think about, and his future. this. is. not. what. i. want. for. him. or any other child that will inherit the short-sightedness and fear and violence this is all creating.


i also want to take a moment and direct you to a post i found via pam's place yesterday. i've been so consumed lately with all things house, that i somehow missed this. i can't stop thinking about it. i urge you to call and sign the petition if you haven't already.

the petition is here. you can contact claire mccaskill here.

i'm going to repost part of what jp posted over on les enrages - i hope it's ok with him to do so. clicking the link above will take you to the rest of it. i can't get lavena out of my mind, no matter how hard i try. please help.

To die unsung would really bring you down
Although wet eyes would never suit you
Walk through no archetypal suicide
Die young is far too boring these days
- “Unsung“, Helmet

With the exception of several administration officials both past and present and every other rabid warhawk in PNAC and the American Enterprise and Cato Institutes, I can’t think of a single American who belongs in Iraq.

And 19 year-old LaVena L. Johnson certainly had no business being there.

If you do even advanced Google and Yahoo searches for LaVena Johnson, who was murdered in Balad, Iraq, a place not notable for either terrorist or insurgent activity, on July 19th, 2005, about half the hits you’ll get were written by fellow Missouri native Philip Barron, aka Shakespeare’s Sister’s Waveflux. I’m getting pissed off more and more seeing Barron going at this virtually alone in asking for real answers that explain this beautiful, intelligent, outgoing and accomplished young lady’s death.

Is it because she wasn’t a safety for the Arizona Cardinals? Was it because she wasn’t male? Or is it because she was black? Yet, these inevitable questions have, of course, already been asked. So let’s ask the questions that the United States Army, who wants to be all it can be except honest and forthcoming, has neither the balls to ask themselves nor answer for her family and the record. And before we can ask these questions, I first have to ensure that my readership knows the basic facts if they don’t already.

On July 19th, 2005, Pfc. LaVena Johnson was found dead in her tent, a single bullet wound to her left temple (she was right-handed). Her nose was broken. One of her lips was battered so badly that a mortician had to reconstruct it. Two of her front teeth were knocked loose. Her shoulder or elbow was dislocated. A trail of blood led from her tent to outside.

A slam dunk, right? You’d think even an Army sawbones half a step ahead of a civilian malpractice suit and the laziest, most jaded and indifferent Army CID officer would rule this a murder, right?

Instead, the Army initially ruled her death a “non combat-related” one as a result of a self-inflicted wound. Not officially a suicide, but a death due to an SIW. When pressed to reopen the case by a St. Louis television news station and Johnson’s parents, the Army then planted its second boot squarely and firmly in Bizarro World and ruled LaVena Johnson’s death a suicide.

And in the act of doing so, they practically begged the Johnson family to hire attorneys to force the Army to reopen the case that they’re now refusing to reopen. Basically, they’re saying, “That’s our ridiculous story and we’re sticking to it.” This, despite the fact that her CO went on record as saying that she was happy, a fact corroborated by her mother who spoke with her on the phone for an hour the day before her death.

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