No, Davorg is Wrong (and so is jjohn! and hhb! and ...) :-)

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We are bombing military targets in order to take out people who killed over 6,000 people in an act of war. That is overreacting? I can't see how that is remotely reasonable. You could try to actually back up this belief, I suppose. I say it is not overreacting, but that it is required.

To compare it to bombing Belfast doesn't make sense. You would have to compare it to bombing military and communication and training targets in Belfast. I am confident that if the IRA were murdering 6,000 people in one shot, the British response would have been more significant.

And no, 6,000 people have not died in Afghanistan as a result of the bombings. Not even close. We are barely hitting any people. I'd be surprised if 500 people have died from the bombings, and I would be surprised if more than 5 percent of them were innocent civilians.

But Davorg, I ask you the same thing I ask everyone else: what should we do, then? I simply will not accept "do nothing", as hfb said. They will attack us again if we do nothing. I also will not accept "leave Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and abandon Israel." If Kuwait and Saudi Arabia WANT us to leave, we probably should; but they don't. And we will not abandon our ally, Israel. So what should we do? If we do nothing, they will kill more of us. I do really want to know what you think we should do. You are a pacifist and I respect your opinion on the subject, and I don't see how this can be solved by pacifism. So please enlighten me (I don't say that sarcastically).

America and the UK are doing the bare minimum of what we are obligated to do: destroying their military and communication and training capabilities as a precursor to going in and taking them out, and doing our best to avoid civilian loss of life.

As to jjohn, of course the US/UK response will cause more terrorist attacks in the short run. No one is talking about it much because it is a foregone conclusion. What is there to debate on the point?

The "media" is rallying around Bush because he is doing a damn fine job, by any standard. While I find much of the media coverage distasteful, I don't find it any more distasteful than normal. It's just necessarily magnified by the circumstances. I don't think it is in any way rational, however, for you to compare the lack of virtues of the initial attack to the media coverage thereof. Please, let's have a little bit of perspective.

And what's WRONG with displaying patriotism? For some people it is superficial. But for many people it isn't. What's sad isn't that they are displaying their patriotism, but that so many people -- like you -- can't see the sincerity of it.

I am surrounded by diehard cynics who would rather think the worst of everyone and everything. People actually are patriotic, you know. People actually like the President. People actually know that what America is doing is distasteful but they happen to believe, logically and rationally, that it is necessary. You can hide behind your arrogant and self-righteous indignation at how we are all insincere and moronic sheep, but the fact is that many of us know what the hell is going on as much or more than you do, and we still believe what is going on is the Right Thing. Get over yourself.

Yes, there is a lot of nonsense going on. There are stupid people, and a lot of them. People are using the patriotic sentiment to pressure people into doing things they don't want, to stifle opposing views, to take advantage of others, and to justify evil and immoral acts. But for you to group everyone together in that is just like me saying all Afghans deserve to die ... which is something I'm not doing.

I am GLAD people jumped into the flag business. There's nothing bad about that in any way whatsoever, unless you believe it is wrong for me to want a flag, or you think capitalism is bad. Somehow, jjohn, I don't think you believe either of these things.

But people want flags, for good reasons, whether you like it or not. I want a flag. I had one that I purchased from the Veterans Association years ago and which I've flown on selected occasions every year, but lost it somehow in the last year. I wanted to go buy one and couldn't find one. I want more people to make and sell flags, so I can replace the one I lost. It is simple fact -- again, whether you like it or not -- that my patriotism, and that of many others, is not superficial at all and it is not in any way devoid of meaning.

You don't have to share in my patriotism, if that is your wish. But just because you don't share in my patriotism, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just because hfb don't believe in God, that doesn't mean that He doesn't exist. I don't mind people who don't like what is going on. But when "leftists" turn around and condemn my beliefs as invalid, it is more than just a little bit specious.

Jjohn, I love you. HFB, you scare me ;), but I love you. But dammit, stop being so dismissive of beliefs you don't agree with. This is what we call intolerance and closed-mindedness, the things that liberals often rail against but don't hestitate to jump right into when it suits their purposes. If you disagree with the military action, fine, say so, and tell us what we can do instead. If you disagree with the jingoism -- and I am not immune to the concerns -- fine, say so, but don't lump everyone together, and don't you dare dismiss the patriotic and pro-militrary-action beliefs as invalid just because they are shared with people who rightfully deserve our disdain.

For those of you who think I am, as jjohn said, "UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO HEAR DISSENTING OPINIONS," please don't waste my time. I welcome opposing views. I run this site and don't in any way stifle the views of others, whether they are about the military attacks or Microsoft or Mac OS.

Many of my best friends, on this site and elsewhere, disagree with me. This is just another hypocrisy of the left -- one I hope jjohn is not falling prey to -- as though arguing against what I disagree with is somehow evidence of lack of ability or willingness to accept dissent. It is nonsense, so please, leave it alone, if that's what you're thinking.

And by the way, the US Flag Code states "However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness." Also, you can display "all-weather flags" in foul weather.

Lastly, Davorg (if you've read this far!), I know you won't agree, and I respect that, but I just thought I'd share a quote from James Burnham of the National Review: "You know, it's simply not true that wars never settle anything."

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on October 9, 2001 6:47 AM.

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