The fanatical SuperPatriots view contrary opinions and other cultures as
threats. They express exclusive superiority. Their priority is their
ideology, their government. They have convinced themselves that God is on
their side. They don‘t want to hear any correction or gloomy prediction that
might undermine national morale. People who express a desire for peace, free
speech and the right to be heard annoy them!
Are you ready for Armageddon? Do you see the sword of Damocles hanging
overhead? Still have your y2K survival kit? The United States is ready to
blanket bomb Baghdad and abort the lives of hundreds of thousands of humans.
It is said that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, perhaps nuclear
weapons. At least 10 nations have nuclear weapons -- with more than 50,000
nuclear weapons existing in the world. Does the United States intend to take
them all-out or are all our problems in Iraq?
The war that the leaders of our country call vital is not about the weapons
of mass destruction. Petroleum is a more likely cause of this international
conflict. The monstrous convention of politics require us to murder Iraqis so
we can control their oil wells.
All wars are boyish and are fought by boys. Our boys will soon come home in
body bags. The talking heads on TV news will talk of them as mere
statistics. The triumphs of war, planned by ambition, executed by violence
and consummated by devastation.
Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the
defense of peace must be constructed. Peace is not something that you make,
it is something you do, something you are and something you give away.
Many peace loving people have been hurt by the SuperPatriots fingerpointing:
“If your ways are not like my ways, or your political views are not like
mine, you are unpatriotic.“ Would Jesus Christ be patriotic if He were on
Rev. Robert Frost Donaldson East Jordan
Send in the “rough men“
Once again this weekend we had the thrill of a spectacle, not just in Petoskey but also around the world. I am referring, of course, to the myriads marching to protest the impending unpleasantness.
Large crowds came together to bang their drums and voice their opposition to war, George W. Bush and Republicans in general. The usual mantras were chanted with “No Blood for Oil,“ “Not in Our Name“ and “Bomb Texas, not Iraq“ being crowd favorites. In many cities, New York and San Francisco in particular, crowd violence against the police was not uncommon (in San Francisco, a police horse was punched in the face and dragged to the ground by its reins. PETA has been conspicuously silent). All in all, it was a day reminiscent of the “love-ins“ of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Thank goodness our local flock of gulls was better
In the many years that I‘ve followed activities of this type, I‘ve never ceased to be amazed by the fact that the protests are always against the United States and all it stands for. There never seem to be protests against the Fidel Castro‘s, the Saddam Hussein‘s, the Robert Mugabe‘s, or the Pol Pot‘s of the world and that is troubling to me.
No, these protests all seem aimed at a particular political persuasion and also seem to imply that its adherents should be, at the very least, muzzled (I suspect that “re-education camps“ would be more to their liking). The protesters all seem to feel that if, like the characters in “Peter Pan“ we will all just believe, evil will disappear from the earth and well all live happily ever after.
I, for one, disagree. In my humble opinion, we must step up to the plate and resist these tyrants, be they Saddam Hussein or Kim Jung Il, who presently tread the boards of the world stage. Until we rid ourselves of these individuals and their ilk, none of us will be safe to go about our business or raise our families in peace. I have much more confidence in the policies of George W. Bush and the rest of our allies than I do in the masses of street demonstrators.
Lastly, I take comfort in the words attributed to the late George Orwell: “We sleep safe in our beds knowing that rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.“ I believe the current administration, unlike the last, understands this and is deploying those rough men (and women) to accomplish that mission.
Bill Mayer Petoskey
Madness of war
I feel a growing sense of unease and frustration with our leaders on the
course of action this county is taking with regard to Iraq. There is no love
lost on either side of the debate for Saddam Hussein - we all agree he is a
monster, but the arrogance and lack of diplomacy George Bush and his
administration are exhibiting towards the UN mandate and our allies is
After a weekend of still more worldwide protests (over 700,000 in London
alone), our government blithely goes the path it has made for itself since
Bush sowed the seeds of international ill-will with his “Axis of Evil“ speech
during his 2002 State of the Union address. Now Donald Rumsfeld dismisses
France and Germany as “old Europe.“ And Perle (chairman of the Pentagon‘s
Policy Board) says: “France is no longer an ally of the United States.“
Perhaps this government needs a crash course in Diplomacy 101? After many
months of banging the war drum, it is obvious that they have dug a hole so
deep that it is almost impossible for a peaceful outcome with Iraq.
If we go to war with Iraq we risk many things: the untold death and suffering
on both sides; no guarantee that this war will not escalate out of control in
this very volatile region, or drag on for many months; to turn our trusted
allies into enemies and to antagonize our present enemies to commit even more
acts of terrorism, and finally, the estimated cost of at least $100 billion.
To actively choose to ignore peaceful options, including U.N. arms
inspections, to their logical conclusion and to disregard the rest of the
world‘s opinion, before rushing off to war seems an act of absolute madness.
Sally Vander Wall Glen Arbor
I‘m just writing to let you know that your newspaper is listed at
GOPTeamleader.com, a website of the Republican National Committee which
provides pre-written letters to the editor to promote the Republican
talking points. It‘s a practice known as “astroturfing“ to create
“artificial grass“-roots support for the president‘s agenda.
“Sample letters“ and postcards from political and religious groups have
been around for years, and I don‘t know that your newspaper has printed
any of them yet, but as somoene who actually writes letters to the editor,
this practice which through one party gets identical messages directly to
hundreds of newspapers angers me and should anger editorial boards as well
as people who do spend actual time writing lettters voicing their own
opinions instead of parroting the official party line.
You might ask them to either remove your newspaper, or have someone check
the site regularly when particularly partisan cheerleading letters arrive.
Here‘s one source for many of the more obvious Teamleader letters, one of
which did make it into at least 104 papers:
(Incidentally, this letter was sent via GOPTeamleader.com earning 5
“GOPoints.“ Apparently if people send out the official spin enough times,
they can win a pony. My use of their system is meant to help block the
domain, should it be possible on your system using the messages e-mail
Thomas Heald via email
(Thanks Thomas -- we already knew that and are able to easily identify those letters. Following is an honest-to-gosh letter sent by that site. -- ed.)
Letter from Republican spin machine:
I have an idea for a news story that will sweep the nation by its
feet, which in turn will prepare our children for the most wonderful event
they have ever experienced! There will be nothing secret about the second
advent of Jesus Christ; it will be the greatest event the world has ever
seen, and “every eye shall see Him.“ But Jesus warns us that before His
actual return, false Christ‘s and false prophets will arise and showing
great wonders, and deceive many. And he tells us that a false Christ will
impersonate Him, pretending to be the returning Jesus. But we are told how
we can know that it is a false Christ. The real return of our Lord will
take place in the sky, not on the land. So if a prophet showing great
supernatural wonders tells us that Christ is soon to appear on land, we
will know that this is the false prophet the Bible warns about. “But the
day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.“ The Second advent of
Jesus, when every eye shall see Him, will be first seen as a small black
cloud in the east. The cloud will draw closer becoming lighter, glorious,
and still more glorious, till it is a great white cloud. The bottom will
appear like fire with a rainbow over the cloud, while around it will be
ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it will be Jesus
Ricky Barryton Palmdale, CA