Politics, Testimonials

C-130s in the Sky!

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/1998/02/18/c-130s-in-the-sky/

You know, with all the saber-rattling that we’ve been doing to threaten Iraq, I’ve felt very uncomfortable. I’m generally opposed to bombing the hell out of what are likely to be mostly innocent civilians, as well as to the embargo, which really just hurts the poor people worst.

And yet, I haven’t a better solution to offer, or do I?

Yes, howzabout the President makes a speech … something where he addresses the American people and the world and starts off about how evil Saddam Hussein is, and the terrible things he’s done, and the threat posed by the weapons programs, and how he’s fucking his own people in the ass, thumbing his nose at the whole world, and generally deserves whatever he’s gonna get from the United States.

There is no doubt that measures must be taken against Saddam Hussein. As I address you tonight, American and British war planes are being launched from their carriers in the Persian Gulf towards targets in Iraq. There is much opposition to the use of our force on the part of France, Russia, and many of our allies. Nevertheless, the course has been set, and we must never give Hussein the impression that we will allow him to worm his way past the standards of the world community and the UN.

Our war planes and cruise missiles have a variety of targets, including air defense systems, command and control centers, munitions depots, presidential sites and suspected chemical and biological weapons sites which Saddam is denying UN inspectors access to. These targets will suffer heavily from the powerful ordinance that our military will begin inflicting on them momentarily. There will certainly be innocent Iraqi lives lost in these attacks, and long-term negative repercussions as a result.

However, it does not satisfy us that these targets be eliminated. Our problems will not be solved with a few airstrikes, or any other use of military force. Our problems can only be solved by a change on the part of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people – a change that would benefit not only them, but their neighbors in the middle east, and the entire world as a result.

This change would be reflected in cooperation with UN weapons inspectors, to remove from their nation the poisons on their current regime. This change would be reflected in responsible government, which concerns itself first with feeding its people instead of continued military spending. This change would be reflected in a government that responds to the needs, both material and spiritual, of its people.

Governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. We have, since the invasion of Kuwait, taken this idea and applied it in the form of sanctions to cripple the Iraqi people and coerce them to change their government. It hasn’t worked. Today, more than five years since operation Desert Storm, Iraqi children are undernourished and without vital medicines, and world opinion is more concerned with the plight of these innocent, good people than with the evil intentions of their leader. And it is right that the world should be concerned for them.

While the United States will never support lifting these sanctions until Iraq has complied with the directives of the UN Security Council, we realize that the Iraqi people have been weakened too far. That instead of throwing off the yoke of their tyrant they are bound to him as their only source of hope. To be honest, none of us can accurately guess the mindset of the Iraqi people, but we know that we can do something to help him.

So tonight, and for the indefinite future, American planes will be flying in to Iraq not only with deadly munition to use against Saddam Hussein and his evils, but also with humanitarian aid packages that will be dropped for civilians. For every bomb that falls from the sky there will be meals for hungry children, medicines for the ailing, clothing and books and other supplies that can feed not only mouths, but also nourish minds.

For it is the way of a tyrant to starve a population in to submission. Saddam Hussein is starving his people not only of food, medicine, and material welfare, but of intellectual and spiritual nourishment as well. It is this starvation which has caused the stagnant, hopeless situation we see in Iraq today, and it is this stagnation we must actively address.

For too long we have been playing games with Saddam Hussein on his turf by his rules. He is a warlord, and we have been responding with our war. We realize though that Saddam only feeds off of the destruction we can inflict. Now we will fight him with peace. We are putting our faith no longer in our own soldiers, who are foreign to Iraqi soil and can not themselves affect change. We are now putting our faith in the Iraqi people, that they are good people that need to be supported. If we support them, we support the idea that all oppressed people in this world must be freed.

It was Churchill who once said that given the supplies, he would finish the job of fighting fascist oppression. It is with our supplies again that we hope this time the Iraqi people, allies we do not yet know, but who we are putting faith in as human beings, can finish the job of fighting their oppressor, of changing the face of their nation from one of the world’s worst and most threatening totalitarian regimes into something that inspires hope. The Iraqi people are the only people that can effect this change. It is the Iraqi people that we now charge with and will support in our endeavors.

Hokey? Risque? Stupid? Well, good thing I’ve not been elected president. The way I look at it though, fucking Iraqis in the ass doesn’t help anyone. Saddam is trying to show them just a faint glimmer of hope in his leadership, in his own twisted, corrupt way. We have the materials, the supplies, and the moral superiority to show them a greater hope that does not rest in their dictator, but in moving past him. Saddam is a master of military oppression, especially when his subjugates are people without hope. If we give them hope, good will and love, and treat the Iraqi people with the respect that they deserve as human beings, they will persevere, and they will persevere to a better form of government.

Yes, dropping supplies on civilians will end up to a lot of the bounty being hoarded by Hussein’s goons, but the people will know that these great things have come from the sky, and where they have come from. And they’ll know who has taken them away, out of greed. It will become clearer who the enemy is. My enemy, as an American, is Saddam Hussein and his people. But the people of Iraq are not his people, I am sure, and the people of Iraq are the ones who can best finish the job of taking him out.

I would have to think this out a lot more to make the reasoning clearer.

Feedback Welcome

About Me, Free Style

The Man Who Sold the World

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/1998/02/22/the-man-who-sold-the-world/

I’ve been reading up on Roman history. There’s an exam on Tuesday. I think I’ll do alright. I’ve done a decent job with mostly keeping up with readings, and it’s a survey course, so hopefully my relaxed attitude will be better reflected by my peers in the grading curve.

Recently I developed for myself a new … thing.

Yeah. In my home directory there’s a file called scorecard.txt which I fill out every day … something like at the end of the day looking back and reviewing what has or hasn’t been accomplished. The categories I’m keeping presently include something I’ve read, outside of class, a good deed, my “high point”, a “lesson learned” and an “Idea for Tomorrow”

Reading, that’s important to me. I’d like to be able to say most any day that I voluntarily read something I had some reason to find interesting.

The good deed … well, it’s not even a Boy Scout thing so much as it reflects a belief on my part that we live for others. We’re social creatures and all, and if I can’t think of any good thing I’ve done for my community or some person, well … This way I can also keep track of what I’ve been doing good, make sure I don’t “fall behind” as it were. For Friday, for example, the best I could offer was “held a door open”

I’m thinking I won’t keep this public on the web page just yet, but for now, for understanding, howzabout a sampler?

22 February, 1998

   Discover - article about building microscopic robots

Good deed:
   I was prepared to give up a seat on Tim's couch for Jacob, when Eric
finally gave in and did as he was asked. I handed him the husband I had
prepared to use.
   Complimented Ganita on her emerald crushed velvet shirt.

High point:
   Idea drawing parallel between Apostle Paul and Gandhi in that they both
desire above any other capability of man "love" or "charity"

Lesson learned:
   Hypothesis - Moral altruism may be a consistent end of philosophers. To
catch popular acceptance though, they must tie this to a material benefit -
heavenly reward for Paul, national self-reliance and peace for Gandhi ...
racial equity and personal piety for MLK, etc.

Idea for tomorrow:
    Catch NetDev AM meeting, study more for history, microtheme.

I just filled that out right now.

Feedback Welcome

Politics, Religion

23 February, 1998

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/1998/02/23/suppor/

This is not unlike my own thoughts.

Leaders of the National Council of Churches, representing mainline Protestantism, joined with Catholic leaders in appealing for an aggressive humanitarian and diplomatic response to Hussein’s intransigence, giving Iraq food and medicine rather than dropping bombs.

“We believe the key lies in allowing the Iraqi people to see the United States and the community of nations as compassionate friends, not agents of injury, threat and pain,” council leaders said.

Religious community against U.S. air strike
Daily Illini, 23 February, 1998
via AP

Feedback Welcome

Arrr! . . . Avast!
Site Archive