March 21, 2003
Shock and Bomb Homes

I'm sure everyone is sick and tired of hearing about the war, but I'd like to get my opinion on it out of the way. All the rants against war have been voiced countless times by others, so I'll focus on the domestic response to the invasion. It makes me sick that a large percentage of the American population has been swayed by speeches, rather than facts, into believing that this is a necessary and justified action. I used to believe in equality of ideas, so that even though I didn't agree with conservatives, I didn't doubt their intelligence (they merely saw the world in a different way than I did). But those that support the war baffle me. They hang on to reports that have are proven lies. They eat every falsehood offered to them and beg for more. Their fear makes them want to lash out, and they seem to think that will somehow prevent any further fear. For some reason, they think that "setting an example" works on an international level. But they don't seem to realize that an example may soon be made of America. What happens to rogue nations? What happens when a nation that is used to power and unilateral backing simultaneous alienates most of its allies in the middle of a recession and further alienates the very groups that attacked in the first place? It's like poking a stick into an ant hill. We're creating an entire generation of zealots to pour out of the ant hill, ready to give their lives to undermine an expansionist aggressor.

America's current course of action will only provide fuel for the fire of anti-American sentiment. Diplomacy through aggression is never the right course of action. And instating military leaders as "temporary" rulers of conquered countries is the worst idea yet. I thought colonialism was dead, but apparently we've learned nothing.

I want to move to Canada.

Get Your War On

Posted on March 21, 2003 10:08 AM

While we're on the subject, I would just like to share that I was protesting in the city last night with the Ukranian. There were thousands of us and things were 100% peaeful on our parts. Not even 98% peaceful, 100%. In fact, everyone involved seemed peaceful.... even the people whose cars we were blocking when we were jamming up downtown traffic in the middle of rush hour...they seemed pleased that, even though they had sold out and gone to their corporate jobs, other people were speaking out. Oh wait, everyone was peaceful EXCEPT the police. They started tear gassing and beating people with absolutely no provocation. They never once asked us to disperse. They just waited for a chance to catch us off guard and started hurting and arresting people. One of the guys that I was with had been beaten in the back yesterday morning as he was running AWAY from officers.

The worst part of all of this (for me) is that the media refuses to cover any of it. They keep saying that the protesters are getting out of control, while completely ignoring the actions of "law enforcement." I know that this is a long rant for a reply to someone else's post. But I'm pretty disillusioned right now, and I needed to talk about it.

Posted by: Jolie on March 21, 2003 11:13 AM

hmmm....i don't know much but i have to say that even though the people you were with were peaceful, there's a lot of non-peaceful hypocritical "peace" protestors out there. who are throwing rocks at cars in the city with military stickers on them, breaking windows, etc.

from sf chron:
"Though most of the anti-war rallies were peaceful, pockets of protesters in San Francisco scuffled with police, broke windows and heaved newspaper racks and debris into streets. Some protesters hurled rocks at trains, briefly halting service at a station in nearby Oakland. "


and here i like the pukers4peace and the crazy bitches, knitting for peace.:

i'd say the news is covering it pretty well, even if they are frequently contrasting the anti-war protests against the war support demonstrations.

don't get me wrong. i'm against the war. but i'm also kind of against actions that cripple cities. but that's just me. and that's just me who has continued coming to work instead of boycotting business and running rampant on the streets creating creative chaos. i'm stifled and bitter here, people.

Posted by: michele on March 21, 2003 12:30 PM

Do keep in mind that the Chron and other mainstream media has an interest in putting an unfavorable slant towards the protestors, because the Chron itself is an SF business and funded by business interests. Which is not to say their point of view is invalid, just that they are more likely to play up the instances of violent protestors and downplay the instances of police brutality. I read in the Chron that the police were being gentle and kind but I have talked to a number of people who were there and they have a different story. Now these people are obviously biased as well, don't get me wrong, but it does provide other info which might ought to be looked into.

I'm not saying don't trust the mass media across the board, I'm just saying I personally don't side with the Chron on this one and that's why.

Posted by: didofoot on March 21, 2003 01:16 PM

well i think you should be more upset about the complete lack of mention of any police brutality than the slant on how the protestors are overly violent. they had one tiny paragraph, which i quoted, about the breaking of things and then many many paragraphs about the different things people are doing pro-actively.

so possibly they're actually downplaying both by small mentions of crowd brutality and mention of arrests but no mention of police beating people with sticks.

i have to say though, that i'm hell of glad i'm not a mob-control police officer. because one really angry person is all it's going to take to kill someone in uniform. and that will really cause a riot.

Posted by: michele on March 21, 2003 01:53 PM

ok but given the choice between

1. a small girl, wearing glasses and a skirt, out to protest because it's your right to have free speech, NOT hurting anyone and actually TRYING to comply with police orders when they tell you to move, except they are blocking your exit and so you just have to stand there and then they come and slam you against a wall, or

2. a large man in full riot gear with a baton and a gun,

which would you rather be?

I know blocking traffic is disruptive and maybe is not effective, although I'm not convinced one way or the other. but do people deserve to be hit, gassed, body-slammed or arrested and jailed for it? I think not. but I don't think there's actually a right answer so I'm not trying to be, you know, self righteous (being that I was on neither side but was in my apartment).

Posted by: didofoot on March 21, 2003 02:48 PM

ok but given the choice between

1. a small girl, wearing glasses and a skirt, out to protest because it's your right to have free speech, NOT hurting anyone and actually TRYING to comply with police orders when they tell you to move, except they are blocking your exit and so you just have to stand there and then they come and slam you against a wall, or

2. a large man in full riot gear with a baton and a gun,

which would you rather be?

I know blocking traffic is disruptive and maybe is not effective, although I'm not convinced one way or the other. but do people deserve to be hit, gassed, body-slammed or arrested and jailed for it? I think not. but I don't think there's actually a right answer so I'm not trying to be, you know, self righteous (being that I was on neither side but was in my apartment).

Posted by: didofoot on March 21, 2003 02:49 PM

Here's the deal. The reason I mentioned the police being violent toward the people who were being 100% peaceful is because that is what _I_ saw. I don't know what happend at other times and in other parts of the city. And Frankly, I think it's pretty ridiculous to regurgitate quotes from the media at this point when we KNOW how biased they are. This isn't some conspiracy theory. This is blatant political strategy. I don't care what the SF Chronical or anyone else says. I was there and I know what I saw.

Posted by: jolie on March 21, 2003 02:55 PM

argh, sorry. that was totally not worth repeating, or even saying the first time. this browser is fuck.

Posted by: didofoot on March 21, 2003 02:57 PM

Here's the deal. My point about the people I was with being 100% peaceful is that that is the group that _I_ saw the police being violent toward. I don't know what happend at different times and in different parts of the city, but where I was there was ABSOLUTELY unprovoked violence on the part of police. I don't care what the fucking biased ass media says. I was there.

Posted by: jolie on March 21, 2003 02:58 PM

did you read the article about the guy who was being arrested, called his dad, who came to watch, and then dad said, with a tear in his proud eye, "that's my boy."

sometimes they WANT to get arrested.

probably not very often are they that excited about it though.

Posted by: michele on March 21, 2003 02:59 PM

I'm going to throw my two cents in here for the hell of it.

I don't agree with the blocking of traffic and keeping people from getting to work. It doesn't help anything, yes it gets attention, but not good attention and it doesn't get the attention or bother anyone who will actually do anything about it. I would think a march on the state assembly or a march on congress would be more likely to be paid attention to. Stop there traffic, inconvience them, not those living and trying to work in San Francisco.

That's it that's my two cents.

Posted by: Nuala on March 21, 2003 03:16 PM

I hear a lot from both sides about whether or not the protests are effective, and both sides talk as though they have backup data for this, but I haven't heard any of that data so far. I would be interested to see whether anyone *knows* they are right, or if this is all opinion masquerading as facts.

I'm sorry if I'm snippy. I guess I'm just tired of all the absolutism. Either all the protesters are thoughtless hooligans impairing the incredibly important tasks of the lives of good citizens, OR all the citizens are these horrible bloodless monsters for wanting to live their lives and not wanting to institute a state of anarchy? With us or against us? I love Michele and Nuala and I love Jolie and Katie and I can't pick between them and I think they're all justified. And I'm tired, so tired, of watching the radicals and the non-radicals fight with each other, because I don't have the energy to care about that and care about the bombing at the same time.

Posted by: didofoot on March 21, 2003 03:39 PM

#1 the protestors don't want to "institute a state of anarchy"--some of them ARE anarchists.

#2 you don't HAVE to pick a side.

i have said nothing here against them protesting. I have only said i wish they wouldn't break things. i don't CARE if they stop SF traffic cause i don't have to go there, so more power to them. police who beat innocent civilians with no cause are just as bad as a government who bombs innocent civilians with no cause. i COMPLETELY believe jolie that people were getting beaten with no justification and that it sucks ass and that the state of our own nation as a democratic one is going right on out the window. and i think that at least if someone is protesting (though i prefer those who do it with words instead of rocks) than the potential for that helping shaping the future at least has a brighter outlook than no one doing or saying anything.

Posted by: michele on March 21, 2003 04:32 PM

I am glad you think so. I think I think so too. I don't know what I think. Oh I am so bloodless oh I am a cold forbidding fish.

Posted by: didofoot on March 21, 2003 04:52 PM

cold forbidding FOOT. you are the FOOT. don't forget and introduce yourselves as feet now. cause you are FOOT.

boo-yah. saca-waca-jeya.

Posted by: michele on March 21, 2003 09:37 PM

First off, sorry I sent my rantr twice. For some reason it wasn't showing up, so I rewrote it. Second, in response to Nuala's comment about blocking traffic not being effective and troubling people who have no control... The purpose of blocking traffic is two-fold as far as I am concerned. #1, While those in the cars can't tell Bush to stop the war themseleves, they can take a moment out of their busy lives to acknowledge the fact that right now, innocent people are dying because we are invading a country for no reason other than to protect our own selfish interests. If we allow people to go about their daily business without being interupted, it is FAR to easy for them to ignore this fact because they live in a safe little bubble. #2, The more the protesters disrupt, the more visibility we aquire. And visibility is key in our country at this time. The U.S. is suppose to be a democracy and as far as the rest of the world is concerned, we elected Bush and agree with all of the things he is doing. The world has no reason to think otherwise unless we protest in strong enough numbers to gain attention and let them know that we disagree.

Posted by: Jolie on March 21, 2003 10:46 PM

Actually, Jolie, I think I'm going to have to disagree with you on point one. The "safe little bubble" concept is a nice quip to throw around, but really it's just insulting. I don't believe that anyone is living in a safe little bubble right now, but there are a lot of people that disagree with what we're saying for either good or bad reasons. But they disagree...they're not sheltered children. Give people a little more credit.

However, I very very very much agree with the visibility point. There's no way we can stop the war now. But when people (eg - some Congressmen) say, "You need to just shut up and stop protesting because we have to show a unified front," I despair. If this is supposed to be a war to protect our freedoms, why the hell should we stifle our freedom of speech so that everyone thinks we agree? Future generations learn from history, and I never want anyone to think that everyone in the U.S. felt these developments were just fine and dandy.

Posted by: Jacob on March 21, 2003 11:18 PM

I'm not saying I disagree with protesting or voicing your opinion. I'm all for it and I think that the world should know that there are many people in America who are not for the war, I just personally think that blocking traffic in San Francisco is going to accomplish nothing. I'm sorry but that is just how I feel. Those that are causing mayhem and distruction (I know that most of the protestors are non violent) are just begetting more violence and that's not something that I can agree with.

Posted by: nuala on March 22, 2003 12:57 PM

I'm sorry that I have to keep disagreeing with people, but I have to take a quick moment to say that I do not give people who are for the war ANY credit. I do think they live in bubbles of privilege and that their failure to oppose the war is due to the fact that they are far too removed from what civilians in Iraq are feeling right now. A President and military that are supposed to represent our interests is currently invading a country on the other side of the world with ZERO provocation. Civilians are being killed and their cities are being leveled. Right now, an entire country full of people is living in a state of terror. Why??? I think it's a joke to even come close to pretending that this is about Sadaam hoarding "weapons of mass distruction." Where the fuck are those weapons right now??? This is about the United States expanding it's empire. This is about colonizing a territory that is rich in natural resources. And we are the people who will benefit from it.

I don't know about the rest of you, but my conscience won't let me walk around and live my little privileged life knowing that it's at the cost of killing innocent men, women, and children. Not because we had to to protect ourselves. Just for the fuck of it, because we weren't quite wealthy enough already.

Posted by: Jolie on March 23, 2003 10:09 AM

Knock off the bubble of privilege crap. All of us that post on this blog (including you) live in that very same bubble of privilege, so don't try to use that as a reason to look down your nose at those who disagree with you. There are plenty of good reasons to disagree with people, but being condescending about it just furthers the rift between those for and against the war. Do you think you can convince anyone of the legitimacy of your position when you use loaded language to portray them as ignorant children?

Once again, I'm VERY much against this war. But I'm also very much opposed to the view that "anyone who disagrees with me must either be ignorant or an idiot."

Posted by: Jacob on March 23, 2003 10:31 AM

I never said that I wasn't one of the privileged. That was my entire point. The fact that I am benefiting from this war makes me sick and I think that the only way to stop this war is to take responsibility for that privilege. We can't just look the other way and then act like our way of life has just dropped out of the sky and into our laps.

Posted by: Jolie on March 23, 2003 11:54 AM

whew! ok, maybe i should just stay out of this one, but i have to say i am a bit taken aback by the vehemence of your reaction, jacob. jolie is voicing her opinion that she disagrees with the war, and that many of the people (i don't think i noticed any absolutes in her statements) who are upset by the inconvenience of being stuck in traffic, are not thinking it through, and are not taking the time to compare their inconvenience to the "inconvenience" of living in a country with U.S. bombs blowing up women, children, and men.

i don't think jolie was saying you or anyone else on this page are "ignorant children," a phrase that YOU repeated and she never used once. saying someone is in a bubble of privilege is a pretty standard metaphor, one that does not mean that people are immature, but that they are unaware. now when em's mom said she wishes those protestors would just write e-mails to congress, because she got stuck in traffic when she knowingly drove into the protest area because she HAD to drop off her daughter's boyfriend instead of having him take the BART, or the girl on the radio who said "i wish those dirty hippies would get their sorry asses out of the streets 'cause i hate them..." well. those are certainly variations of intelligence and awareness, but do not fool yourself that there are not people, even in the bay area, that are very much still in a bubble of privilege.

Posted by: erica on March 23, 2003 12:36 PM

Yeah, I was a little harsh, but Jolie just hit a nerve. I've been hearing a LOT of ad hominem arguments for and against the war, and I really want them to stop. I repeated "ignorant children" because, even if those aren't the words that were used, that was the attitude that I got from the post. In my opinion, the entire reason that we've reached this stage is that those for/against the war just keep yelling at each other and turning it into an emotional battle, rather than making rational arguments. I think this all could have been avoided if people didn't marginalize themselves into camps and try to do battle with "the other side", whether that other side be Iraq, or the pro-war contingent.

So, if I misinterpreted your words, Jolie, I'd like to wholeheartedly apologize.

Posted by: Jacob on March 23, 2003 12:57 PM