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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by autarch (914) on 2003.02.26 1:37 (#17491) Homepage Journal
    It's not quite telling of much other than the fact that one person that the media interviewed didn't have good answers to their questions. That doesn't say much about those opposed to war in general.

    Also, I think it's a perfectly acceptable position that war is wrong, in all circumstances. It's not incumbent on people with that position to come up with an answer "answer", particularly since this whole goddamn war is a based on the idea that Iraq is a danger to the US, and that's hardly been proved at all. So why the hell should someone come up with an answer to a non-existent problem?
    • Journalists should really stop this annoying habit of asking the man in the street about everything. How can Joe Random, surprised by a camera, possibly come up with a well-constructed opinion ? Moreover, how can his opinion be representative of anything ? Do you like doughnuts ? -- uh, I dunno, that's for the TV ? uh, yeah, yeah. -- Conclusion: The Man In The Street likes doughnuts.
        • How can Joe Random, surprised by a camera, possibly come up with a well-constructed opinion ? Moreover, how can his opinion be representative of anything ?


        A corollary to this is that just because a million people march, it doesn't mean that any of them have thought out opinions, or that their opinions, whatever they happen to be, are representative of anything.

        • A corollary to this is that just because a million people march, it doesn't mean that any of them have thought out opinions, or that their opinions, whatever they happen to be, are representative of anything.

          And just because you hear of people supporting war doesn't mean that they have thought out opinions either. It's very easy to blindly agree with everything you see & hear on CNN.

          You can also ask pro-war advocates why they think war is the answer and you will still get the Joe Random crowd with t
      • How can Joe Random, surprised by a camera, possibly come up with a well-constructed opinion ?

        Because in this case, Joe Random is at an anti-war rally saying that war is not the solution to this problem.

        If someone is going to go out and say "I disagree with this position" then I don't think it's too unreasonable to ask for their thoughts on the alternative.

        I'd have a lot more respect for the protestors if, instead of "BUCK FUSH" and "BUSH = NUCLEAR TERRORIST", their placards read "Disarm Saddam by do

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        xoa

        • If someone is going to go out and say "I disagree with this position" then I don't think it's too unreasonable to ask for their thoughts on the alternative.

          Woah, this has a big assumption built-in, which is that their is a problem to be solved. I'm really not sure that is the case, since I have yet to see any proof that Iraq is actually a real threat to the US. It might be a threat to its neighbors, but I'm not so sure about that either, since at this point Hussein knows that any aggression on his

          • Woah, this has a big assumption built-in, which is that their is a problem to be solved.

            Understood, and the protestors' rhetoric should have addressed this. Where are the placards that say, for example "Saddam is no threat to the US"? I sure haven't seen any. I saw a lot of name-calling Bush-bashing, though.

            I think a lot of the protesters just don't like Bush, the government, the Establishment, whatever, and get off on bitching about it.

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            xoa

            • Re:Anti-media rant (Score:4, Insightful)

              by autarch (914) on 2003.02.26 14:18 (#17525) Homepage Journal
              Where did you see this? Were you at a demonstration, or is this just something you saw on TV or in the paper? At the demonstration I went to I saw lots of signs, some of them addressing serious issues, like "How many lives per gallon?", and some of them a bit more tongue-in-cheek, "Duct tape Bush". And of course, some of them were just outright anti-Bush. I don't really see a problem with that, since I think the man is evil, and opposing him on principle is generally a good position.

              But is it any surprise that the media would focus on the most provocative/amusing/silly? No, of course not. That does not mean that there weren't other things to see, but the media often ignores the serious things in favor of spectacle.

              Moreover, if you want to seriously learn about why people oppose the war, you don't look at their signs from a protest. You listen to speeches, read articles, etc. Demonstrations are not really about communicating an in-depth point, they're about showing that X number of people support or oppose some particular thing. If you're just looking for a reason to dismiss them, then you focus on trivialities like what a few signs said.
              • Please note that I am not pro- or anti-Bush. I just would like to hear the sides involved state their cases meaningfully, especially since I'm pretty undecided on how I feel about the impending invasion.

                Demonstrations are not really about communicating an in-depth point, they're about showing that X number of people support or oppose some particular thing.

                Showing that a mob of people support something. I could just read the Neilsen summaries or Billboard charts and follow that if the unwashed masse

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                • Showing that a mob of people support something. I could just read the Neilsen summaries or Billboard charts and follow that if the unwashed masses with nothing to say counted for anything.

                  It counts to people who need their votes. I don't think the general public is the sole target of mass demonstrations, though it's a useful secondary target. In the particular case of the recent anti-war demonstrations, targetting the public is definitely not the point, given that the majority in most countries which ha
                  • Again, if you want to learn more about why people oppose the war, you need to do some reading, and I'd be happy to recommend some good sources.

                    But I'm not interested in learning more about why people oppose the war. I have my own theories: nihilism, envy of the United States, ignorance, desire for rebellion, desire for coolness.

                    What I'm interested in is why I should oppose the war. By extension, why the United States should oppose the war. And that calls not for generalities of why the United S

                    • But I'm not interested in learning more about why people oppose the war. I have my own theories: nihilism, envy of the United States, ignorance, desire for rebellion, desire for coolness.

                      Those are some pretty poor theories, since they all boil down to "people against the war are immature, stupid, or just jerks." I really don't think the million plus people who marched in London are all envious of the US, or ignorant, or nihilistic, or rebelliousness, or want to be as cool as you. Or the two million in S
      • It's not incumbent on people with that position to come up with an answer "answer", particularly since this whole goddamn war is a based on the idea that Iraq is a danger to the US, and that's hardly been proved at all.

      I think you'll find that this war never ended in 1991. A peace agreement was never signed, only an armistice. Iraq hasn't lived up to the conditions of that armistice. That's what it's 'based on'.

      The war has been 'sold' using the fact that Iraq is a danger to the US. I think this is t

  • Impeach Bush. Oh? You meant the Iraq thing? Remind me again, what is the problem? I just see a president with a political need to deflect attention from the fact that tax cuts for the rich don't solve every economic ill and a desire to throw his weight around and damn the diplomatic consequences.
  • And ask the hawks, how does war solve the Iraq problem?
    • As a "hawk", I'll take this one.

      War appeared to be the best and only solution to the "Iraq problem" in 1991, when Iraq had forcibly occupied an oil rich neighbor.

      When Iraq was forcibly evicted from Kuwait, certain conditions were set at the time of the armistice. Iraq has not met those conditions and it appears that they will not except by force.

      I ask the doves, how are we to solve the Iraq problem short of war? By signing more oil leases with Saddam Hussein so that he can continue to starve and depriv

      • You didn't answer the question completely. Ok, so we bomb Iraq. We send in ground troops. Is the solution to obtaining a disarmed Iraq basically an occupying army until such time every square mile of the country is searched for banned weapons and those who would use them? How does war disarm Iraq?
        • I'm not so interested in disarmament for disarmaments sake. For example, I'm not in favor of making sure that China and Russia have no Weapons of Mass Destruction.

          I am concerned when Saddam Hussein has Weapons of Mass Destruction. The only reason he has them is to threaten his neighbors and the US, through potential terrorist allies.

          If we get regime change in Iraq, we go a long way toward making the world a safer place. I would assume that we would insist upon a Government in Iraq that would seriously

          • I never said I had an answer on how to make sure that the commitments are enforced. The hawk argument, as I understand it, is that war is the only answer to enforcing these commitments. I am struggling to see how war can do this.

            Or I want to see both sides here. Doves when asked how to enforce disarmament don't have an answers, Hawks have the beginning of answer with "Invade Iraq" but don't follow through on how invading iraq will cause disarmament.

            I am very much on the very fence with this issue of whe

            • Also, I am curious to see the evidence that links Iraq to terrorism any more than any of its neighbors.

              You won't see any evidence because no such evidence exists :-)
              • Well, I am not sure about that. We have strong evidence linking Iraqi agents to terrorist groups, and we know that Iraq has funded suicide bombers, and we know that Iraq has had terrorist training camps in its borders. MORE than any of its neighbors? Maybe not, I don't know.
            • Disarmament will still not come easily, but yes, the basic idea is that the military will do it. More advanced surveillance equipment, proper interviews of scientists unafraid of their families being killed by Hussein, etc.

              And, perhaps more importantly, the coalition plans to foster a government that will look favorably on UN resolutions mandating disarmament. I have no idea what form that government will take. Bush gave an excellent speech tonight, and talked about democracy in Iraq, noting that no one