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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • First of all, I do think that it's worth saying that other nations are just as bad, inspections may work (for certain value of "work"), and that it is just about oil.

    But if you don't buy all that, another point that could be made is simply that it is in our (the US's) own best interests to _not_ go to war, no matter what. To make this point successfully, I think it's simply necessary to show that the consequences of the war are worse than not going to war. The consequences of war would include _massive_
    • And you therefore will not convince very many people. You are not addressing, in any way, the primary issue of disarmament, the issue which has been the primary focus of the UN resolutions, the issue which is before our leaders. You will only convince those people who already tend to agree with you, which isn't very helpful to your cause.
      • My goal (and the goal of protests in general) is not to convince other people to think like me. The goal is to convince the current administration that there is a large segment of the population that doesn't support their endeavors to go to war.

        The latest polls (NYT/CBS) show the majority of Americans as unsupportive of military strikes without UN approval, and they show the majority of Americans supportive of more time for the inspectors. Bush has said repeatedly that he will gain the support of the A
        • The goal is to convince the current administration that there is a large segment of the population that doesn't support their endeavors to go to war.

          And, what do you hope to accomplish by that? Do you think lack of support will change their minds, that they will wake up and say, "Well, we know inspections failed and that Iraq is in material breach, but because a large segment of America -- that knows who Joe Millionaire is, but has never heard of Hans Blix -- thinks we need to continue with inspections, let's do it!"

          I don't think so.

          To be perhaps more blunt: that Americans say they are supportive of more time for inspectors just shows the government they are not worth listening to.

          You need to convince the government not that you don't support war, but that there are other options to address the real issue of disarmament. That is the only way you will make progress in this discussion. Your numbers do not matter. Your complaints about American foreign policy do not matter. Your feelings about war and death do not matter. All that matters is how to disarm Iraq.

          You might feel better after the protest is done, but you won't have made any progress toward changing anything.

          And one more thing: Americans were more against the Gulf War than the currently impending action. And yet when we first attacked, the Americans overwhelmingly supported it. Food for thought.