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Taking positive action-write to Congress

katlaughing 16 Sep 01 - 12:16 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 16 Sep 01 - 12:32 PM
catspaw49 16 Sep 01 - 12:38 PM
The Shambles 16 Sep 01 - 12:53 PM
catspaw49 16 Sep 01 - 01:07 PM
The Shambles 16 Sep 01 - 01:29 PM
katlaughing 16 Sep 01 - 01:39 PM
catspaw49 16 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM
The Shambles 17 Sep 01 - 08:34 AM
Murray MacLeod 17 Sep 01 - 05:58 PM
DougR 17 Sep 01 - 07:08 PM
CarolC 17 Sep 01 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,just a nobody 17 Sep 01 - 09:56 PM
katlaughing 17 Sep 01 - 10:05 PM
DougR 18 Sep 01 - 01:22 AM
The Shambles 18 Sep 01 - 02:53 AM
DougR 18 Sep 01 - 11:30 AM
The Shambles 18 Sep 01 - 02:14 PM
DougR 18 Sep 01 - 07:25 PM
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Subject: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 12:16 PM

WyoWoman sent me this by email and with her permission, I am sharing it with you. Also, please see the article following her petition, with her comments prefacing it.

Friends and family,

The President and senior executive branch officials yesterday and today (Friday) are using the word "war" and admit they are enlarging its definition. The last thing we need is more kinds of war. Here is a petition I have been circulating and sending to my elected officials. Will you send it or similar to yours as well?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Click here: Congress.org -- Write to Congress and State Legislators

[Use this link to easily email them. A clear re line will help to convey your position]

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Mr. President, Senator, Congressman [fill in yours], Secretary of State Powell,

I respectfully ask you to show your leadership by not rushing to war.

American citizens like me do not support the killing of yet more innocent civilians to fight these terrorists. War brings out the worst in all participants. Do not fall into the trap of accepting a challenge to "war" by an individual or band of murderers. Do not start the new millennium by enlarging the definition of war.

Criminals, even those called "terrorists," will not intimidate New Yorkers or other Americans. We are very resilient. Capturing them and bringing them to fair American justice is the right course of action. Law will prevail, not the inevitable lawlessness of war which has failed repeatedly in our lifetime.

As for certain nations, using much more intense pressure to punish their support of terrorist criminals -- short of international violence -- is the right course of action. Killing the civilians of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Pakistan or others deemed "terrorist" nations will, inevitably, lead to the same cycle of misery and generational hatred we see before our eyes right now. Admit, please, that you and we and they are already trapped by past violence -- undertaken in the name of retribution and righteousness -- in Northern Ireland, Palestine, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Central Africa and elsewhere. Do not follow into those black holes.

You and we must stop succumbing to these evil cycles. This is a time to lead in a new way.

No "war" in my name.

Respectfully,
Kathryn Compton
*********************************************************

Again, this is Wyo Woman introducing an article, as seen at salon dot com:

I wish I were a pacifist. I'm not. I'm not a good enough person for that. But I am a pragmatist and I don't think war against Afghanistan is going to make a gnat's ass worth of difference in this situation. I'm all for going after the Taliban and Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, whose handprint I see all over this, but not "Afghanistan." Here's why:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/09/14/afghanistan/index.html

An Afghan-American speaks
You can't bomb us back into the Stone Age. We're already there. But you can start a new world war, and that's exactly what Osama bin Laden wants.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Tamim Ansary

Sept. 14, 2001 | I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on San Francisco's KGO Talk Radio, conceded today that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived in the United States for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.

But the Taliban and bin Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats' nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan -- a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and healthcare? Too late. Someone already did all that. New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans; they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban -- by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time.

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that, folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: That's bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the West. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the West wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose; that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong -- in the end the West would win, whatever that would mean -- but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours.

Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 12:32 PM

Thanks, Kat. I had already written to Bush, but I followed your link and wrote to my senators and congressmen as well.


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 12:38 PM

I got both too, and the second has been posted here before, an excellent article. I have written to DeWine and Voinovich and can only hope that there are enough others inn my state that have similar feelings for it to be effective. I was encouraged at the services yesterday at Ohio State that many were voicing at least somewhat similar sentiments. There was much flag waving, but the saber rattling was comparitively small. Though many are not averse to the idea of a "war," at least they are asking that the right type of war take place and not a massive retaliation. For the average citizen of this oft conservative state, that was VERY encouraging.

That was a good rally BTW, as it looks like, by the time they do the replays and all, will have raised about a million to go to NYC. Altogether about a third of the stadium was filled at one point (30,000 in a newly remodeled stadium that seats a 103,000)....More folks arrived during the day and it was a pretty good event.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 12:53 PM

I don't seem to be able to send my message without a US zip code and State. Can someone send me a personal message with one I could use?


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 01:07 PM

Done

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 01:29 PM

An American friend has kindly provided his zip code to enable me to use this service, and give this personal view from the UK.

To strike back, just because your people may expect you to, would not be seen as strength.

Too often the victims of bombing have received the sympathy of the world. The bombers, the world's condemnation. Sadly the latter is usually the USA.

This time it is not. The world is different, let us not change it back. This at least is owed to those that have perished.

If this is war, as you say it is, is it wise to do exactly what your enemy wishes or expects you to do?


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 01:39 PM

Shambles, thank you, that is excellent. I hope many of your countrymen and women will do the same.

Thanks, Spaw, Animaterra, and thanks esp. to Wyo Woman.

kat


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM

Excellent Sham....Simply, but eloquently excellent!

Any others of our worldwide members wanting to do the same are free to use my address. It's been posted here many times so posting it now is no big deal:

City: Bremen
State: Ohio (abbreviated=OH)
Zip Code: 43107

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 08:34 AM

They do answer too.


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 05:58 PM

"Too often the victims of bombing have received the sympathy of the world. The bombers, the world's condemnation. Sadly the latter is usually the USA."

A tad contentious, I would have thought, Shambles. Or am I misunderstanding what you are trying toi say?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: DougR
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 07:08 PM

If it makes you feel better to send such a petition you should, of course. It would be far more effective, I think, were you to write personal letters rather than a generic one though. The politicians do not pay as close attention to generic messages as they do personal letters, or even hand written cards.

I won't be participating of course.

I think our Leaders are handling this situation very well, and unlike you folks, I don't view Bin Laben and his followers as criminals. Criminals rob banks. These people are terriorists, and THEY have declared war on the United States. I think the U. S. must approach this as they would any war, because that's what I think it is.

I do not believe you will see mass bombing of civilian populations in any country by the U. S. though.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 07:29 PM

I have just sent a message to President Bush. I asked him to tone down his rhetoric. I told him that since the Pakistani government has committed itself to helping us, we should be careful that we don't do anything to contribute to the destabilization of that country, thereby creating a situation in which they couldn't help us even if they wanted to.

I said that we have the goodwill of many countries in the world right now, that this is a precious thing, and that we shouldn't squander it on a need to recklessly vent our anger.


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: GUEST,just a nobody
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 09:56 PM

DougR,

Of all the posts I have seen, I agree with you. Thank you so much. I was beginning to feel a bit like an outcast over this whole thing.

I think people should follow thier hearts, if they wish to let thier voice of protest be heard, that is great. I just hope they will respect mine without referrence to 'War-monger' 'racist' and other rather nifty callings I have seen lately.


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 10:05 PM

Neither WyoWoman, nor myself, demanded that anyone use her exact petition or anything else. This was provided as information and a suggestion to do exactly as I titled the thread: take positive action and write to Congress. YOU write whatever you feel is appropriate. No arm-twisting here.


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: DougR
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 01:22 AM

Nope, Guest, these folks see things their way, and you and I just see it differently. There's nothing wrong with that. As the old song says, "To Each His Own."

DougR


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 02:53 AM

The point I was try to make is that in Iraq, Lybia and elsewhere reprisal bombing and cruise missile attacks by the US (supported by the UK) have been widely condemmend.

The public sympathy going to those bombed, whatever and however bad the original offence was, and this is over shadowed by the new civilian losses.

The USA has the moral high-ground for about the first time ever and must keep it, if yet more of these 'crazies' are not to be created.

How's that?


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: DougR
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 11:30 AM

Well, Shambles, I'll tell you what I think. I think you're right. Indiscriminate bombing of civilians is not the answer. I will be most disappointed if that happens, and I don't think it will.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 02:14 PM

Nice to see we agree on something but it is not important for us to agree, just that we all think things through. When we have done that, it is important to let those in power know what our thoughts are.

That is what this thread is about. I posted what sent on this thread, because as a guest, I thought I should and it was short.

It is not important for anyone to know what you say, but I think it is important to let those in power know what you think.

Some people do not have this choice.


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Subject: RE: Taking positive action-write to Congress
From: DougR
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 07:25 PM

Sorry, Shambles, I thought when you asked, "How's that?", you were invitiing people to respond to what you wrote.

DougR


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