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Creation Date: 2002-09-23
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Tonight my brother had me come to a wedding reception. My congrats go to Robyn and Jeff. My brother smokes way too much. We went out four times to smoke. Each time, I brought up something about burning a flag. For me, it is a normal expression of opinion, covered directly by the First Amendment. What it stands for is that the United States is not the land of the free, home of the brave, or anything that the flag stands for. George Bush Jr. has ensured that with his "Patriot Act". It has led to the mass detention without trial, a direct violation of the Constitution. Also, it has allowed wiretapping that violates the Constitution. It has led to the arrest without trial, many murders, and even deportation of American Citizens. George Bush has burned the American Flag more than I have. But my brother, a US Marine currently serving in the Reserves (and may go to war with Iraq if Bush declares war on Iraq) believes that because many people have died for that flag that it is a sacred emblem. He likened it to me saying the "N" word to a black person. While both are covered under the First Amendment, the "N" word is technically hate speech while burning a flag symbolizes an actual opinion about United States government. When burning the flag is illegal (as it is in many places), the Constitution that makes the flag worth anything is null and void.

But that was hardly anything at all compared to the war on Iraq. I blame it on my brother. He brings me to a place and gets very drunk and gets me very drunk and goes out to smoke and discuss murder vs. peace with a pacifict. I will never, ever admit that any murder is justified. So why is Iraq any different. Let's hear my brother's arguments: 1) "Iraq has gassed 40 of its own cities." Where did you hear that? I read Drudge Report everyday and have totally missed it. Is it a fabrication? I think so. 2) "Iraq forced out UN weapons inspectors in 1998." The fact that that date coincides with Operation Desert Fox is of no importance, right? Iraq stopped 5 of 450 weapon inspectors because Bill Clinton was planning Desert Fox and sent those weapon inspectors to scope out targets. After Desert Fox, Saddam said no more. Why? Because temporary sanctions against Iraq were extended to infinity. The deal was that the sactions would stop as soon as the weapons inspectors found no aggressive non-conventional weapons. Well, we broke the treaty. Why did we? Madeline Albright is completely insane, that's why (Colin Powell will back me up on that). For some reason, Clinton decided that death to Iraqi civilians would be beneficial for everyone involved. Bush agrees. 3) "We have proof of anthrax and nukes in Iraq." Bullshit you do. There is no proof. The so-called proof is that UN inspectors haven't been there since 1998. If Saddam wanted a nuke, the US would have found it being delivered, since we have tight surveillance on Iraq. We haven't seen it and thus there is no nuke. Iraq developed biological and chemical weapons during the Gulf War. They never finished them. UN weapon inspectors found them and they are completely unfunctional. They destroyed them and that was the end of it. Iraq hasn't created any more and will not. 4a) "Saddam is building palaces while his people starve." Right now, the Iraqi population is starving to death due to sanctions. Saddam is not the problem. Medicine, food, and basic human needs are not being met due to sanctions. 4b) "We are buying oil from Saddam and still he allows his people to starve." Saddam is a sadistic sob. But that is nothing new. Bush and Blair (all world leaders) are sadistic sobs. They live luxurious lives while many US and UK citizens starve in the streets. We are not buying oil from Iraq. Of all the countries in the world, US and UK are the only that don't have oil contracts with Iraq. Why? Sanctions, duh. Why would you give money to an enemy leader. The US doesn't need to drive their SUVs that badly. But Iraq is getting cash from other countries. Actually, Saddam doesn't get that money. He's just a fscking government goon. He takes taxes on the oil which is the only export that Iraq has. With that, he is trying to rebuild any part of society that he can. Everyone but anarchists say that the first element to society is government. "People can't survive without government." While I say bullshit, every government on Earth (ie. the US) would build government before it built shelters for homeless children. He certainly isn't building palaces. Bunkers, yes. Palaces, no. How do we stop the massacre of Iraqi civilians? Lift the sanctions. Then they can buy food, medicine, and infrastructure to keep their people alive. At this point, Iraq is happy to trade weapons inspections for lifting of sanctions and peace.

There are a few examples of American war behavior that I could not remember when arguing with my brother. The first is the American invasion of the Phillipines after the Spanish American War. The second is Korea. The third is Vietnam. The fourth is Panama. The fifth is Cuba. The sixth and seventh are Columbia and Venesuela. The eight is the firebombing of civilian populations in Tokyo, Dresden, and Hamburg. Soon after those came the nuclear bombing of civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, counting to number nine. Next up at ten is the cold war. Few people were killed in the cold war (by default), however the threat of nuclear holocaust was passed about as a probability. Eleven is Iraq Desert Storm. Twelve is Afghanistan. Thirteen is the conquest the Western United States. There is not a single point in American history where America wasn't at an injust war.

Am I saying that America is evil? Which part? The war part, of course! You might notice that each of these were protested. Specifically, Thoreau protested the Spanish American War. In the 60's, protesting Vietnam was very central to culture. Currently, historians in colleges around the country are opening the forum away from an American propoganda perspective to a "liberal" viewpoint stressing the fact that these wars that plague American history are all injust. My brother attacks his history teacher for teaching that America's wars are unjustified. Being a marine, he is trained to listen to war propoganda. Specifically, this war propoganda says that the only solution to any problem is a bloody war that involves "expected" civilian casualty. Looking at the facts and weighing them scientifically and fairly shows that America was in the wrong in each of these wars. Of course, the actions of many other countries played a part. It would be unfair to say that Japan was not at fault for attacking Pearl Harbor. The actions of America were injust, cowardly, and directly resulted in massive civilian losses. Ending World War 2 could have been done in a far more civil manner. Seeing that Japan quickly surrendered after the two Atomic bombs were dropped means that a far less deadly solution could have produced the exactly same result.

What I am saying is that the American war machine has consitently attacked without provocation and with massive civilian casualties. They continue to do so to this very day. The war against passive Afghanistan directly produced 3,000 civilian casualties. It will produce hundreds of thousands of more civilian casualties due to famine and disease. All for what? Osama bin Laden, never found. To oust the Taleban, a government who got their original military support from: you guessed it, George Bush Sr. and the CIA against Russia in the Cold War.

My brother Pete is complaining about his liberal teachers teaching that war is injust. I say they aren't teaching anything new. Everyone, even my brother admits that war is injust. He disagrees that injust war by the US is preventable (ends justify means and visa-versa and even bad ends and bad means are justified because the US is good). Specifically, however, America's war machine is terribly injust. It will go down in history as one of the worst creations of the human race. That is, of course, if the US war machine doesn't obliterate the human race with thermonuclear weapons. That is the basis of tonight's picture. You see, Norad was designed to withstand a direct nuclear hit. The internet was designed to withstand a nuclear holocaust. This is a picture of a few computers on the Norad network in 1995. The original picture of the NSI Network is here. Now you know why I don't like the cold war any more than I liked WW2. Casualties were way down, but survival of the entire human species as well as most other species on Earth is reduced to a probability that the temperments of historically very ill-tempered US and USSR war machines would twich the wrong way. They even developed and built two government systems just in case we decided to destroy the entire fscking Earth.

War is not the answer, never has been, never will be. My brother is a Christian and so am I, so these words said by our Lord and Savior should mean something to him: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." [Matthew 5:9 NIV]. "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." [Matthew 5:39 NIV]. "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." [Matthew 5:44-45 NIV]. Isn't He so clear? Jesus was a pacifist, so am I.

Enough tonight. Hopefully if I work all day tomorrow, I can give you Scene 1 as promised. In that case, nothing Sunday.
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