Monday, January 23, 2006

Is Bush Fighting The Right War?

Web_loafer, you can find his blog here, left a comment on my post about America's unprovoked attack on Pakistan the other day and a couple of things struck me from what he said, that have given me some food for thought over the weekend. One was where he said "I know you hate Bush", and I will address that statement in a future blog.

I was more concerned about his heartfelt plea: "I too long for peaceful times in America....", and it is this statement I want to talk about here.

Why has George W. Bush gone out of his way to make, clearly, loyal patriotic people like Web_loafer so frightened? Why has terrorism become such a major issue in American politics that grown men are almost hiding under the bed in fear? Why is it that these people generally accept that it is Muslims that are terrorists, and need to be dealt with without recourse to the rule of law?

I'm sorry, but the facts just do not stack up. There are no hoards of Muslim terrorists ready to attack, rape and pillage the infidel America, as the administration would have you believe, and on the back of that, I see no need for America to act, as it presently does, illegally and foolishly at the cost of international respect.

Lets look at a some undisputed facts.
  1. In the four years since al-Qaida launched its war in earnest, fewer than 5,000 people have lost their lives in terrorist attacks - throughout the world! (That is less than double the number of US troops who have died in the illegal and, as far as the West is concerned, unnecessary war in Iraq).
  2. In 2002 alone, there were 30,242 gun deaths in just the USA!
  3. Comparison of U.S. gun homicides to other industrialised countries: In 1998 (the most recent year for which this data has been compiled), handguns murdered:
    373 people in Germany
    151 people in Canada
    57 people in Australia
    19 people in Japan
    54 people in England and Wales, and
    11,789 people in the United States
  4. Taxpayers in America pay more than 85% of the medical cost for treatment of firearm-related injuries.

The above is just an abstract from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence which contains further facts that would shock and sicken most people.

So, Web_loafer, perhaps you should not be railing against those who have seen through the vail of lies that your administration puts out, but start asking Bush to declare war on the real danger to you and your fellowAmericans, - guns.

One final point that imerges out from what Web_loafer said, and in particular, the way he said certain things. Now, I'm sure Web_loafer is not a rasict, but there is an under current of racism when he talks about terrorists, and I think that has come directly from the way those, who should know better, talk about the subject of terrorists. The sad fact is that, internationally, the Stars and Stripes is being seen by an increasing number of Muslims, in the same way that Jews regarded the swastika. Americans may see this war as some honourable, but ill-defined "war on terror", but for a good quarter to a third of the world's population, Bush is conducting a "war on faith", - the Muslim faith.

If honest, but understandably frightened people like web_loafer are so fearful of terrorists that they allow Bush to dismantle freedom and justice in America without question, then I believe it is time for Bush to go and to vote in a President that deals in hope, not fear.


Jay said...

I'm aquainted with Web_loafer, and I don't believe he is a racist. I see him as somebody who initially believed all the BS that was fed to him by his president and reacted as any patriot would have. I think he is starting to realize the lies and beginning to try and reconcile what he wishes was true with what is becoming more apparent every day. This is hard, to admit being misled so badly for so long.

I believe Web_loafer is a good man with a good heart and a good head on his shoulders. He will come around sooner or later and will probably vent his anger where it rightfully a government that has betrayed our country.

sandegaye said...

Wow Mark! One of your best blogs I've read! Great investigative work (re;guns, et al)
Keep up the good work. I love reading your stuff..

bonnie said...

good post. I can't take long to comment, past bedtime, but I thought I'd just get out what's bothering me about this - it's not very well-reasoned but the thing that bugs me is this:

Even if you accepted as true the statement "3 high-ranking terrorists were killed in the raid" - well, 6 innocent children were killed to accomplish that end.

I have a very hard time swallowing that ratio as acceptable, and I think that's part of the problem - a lot of Americans manage to blind themselves to how many completely innocent people are being hurt or killed by this - or at least say "well, Saddam was worse".

Well, yes...but these ones are on our hands, not Hussein's.

Jackie said...

Thanks for that Mark. I too love the statistics. It does rather put everything into perpective doesn't it.

Any loss of innocent life is unacceptable whether it be through a national act or through terrorism. The other very sad outcome of all this is the hate and distrust which grows between nation and nation because of the war... and even here in East Lancs the hate and distrust which grows between neighbours and workmates because of the terrorism.

jane said...

Unfortunately, the present regime uses fear as a huge motivator for people. The most patriotic of Americans support them because they don't believe anybody would be so evil as to mislead an entire nation. I think it's kind of like doubting the bible. It's a place a lost won't even go.
Too many Americans don't take the time to research & actually learn what happened as opposed to what the media tells us. Our nation has become so split with the, If you're not for us, you're against us attitude. And they're also being mislead from the pulpit as preachers back anything Bush says.
I've never been to web_loafers site & I'm not saying anything about this person personally; I want to make that clear. Even without being to their site, I don't doubt they have honest intentions & love this country.
Fear & Distraction are quickly stripping away our civil rights & by the time it effects Average Joe American, it's going to be too late.
We're in deep shit.

web_loafer said...

I stick with every word I posted here. Thanks Jay (and I really mean this) for giving me a break on the racist thing. And about the cowering, scared thing......I drive a 80,000 pound 18 wheeler 400 miles each work day, at an average speed of 60 miles per hour. Some of it is urban driving....(I drive through what is known as the 'Bermuda Triangle' four times each day. But I also drive on skinny, Class B, Missouri roads) Do you think I fear anything? I don't, with one exception.....God's Wrath. You should too. Perhaps you don't like truck drivers, may I suggest you drive along side of a loaded truck someday and give the driver the finger. Or are you scared?

Mark said...

I'm sorry, web_loafer, but you seem to have blinded yourself to the point I was making. You do seem scared of terrorists, - that comes clearly across in the way you speak about the absolute need for Bush to throw all legal and moral responsibility out of the window. That strikes me as fearful. And when that fear glorifies in the death of children, women and men living in a remote village in pakistan, then I think you have lost some measure of judgement.

I also don't believe you are racist, but you have allowed others, who probably are, to convince you to follow their arguement.

Driving a lorry doesn't mean that your not scared of things. It's OK to be frightened. All I ask is that you fear and take action against the things you should be frightened of, - and in your country, I would suggest that it is your administration and the boy Bush. I'm not scared of lorry drivers, but I am far more scared of what Bush and Blair are doing to this world than the remote possibility that I or my family are caught up in a terrorist attack. As I tried to point out, and clearly you missed that point, you are in far more danger from death or injury from your fellow Americans carrying guns, than from bin Ladin, and Bush is too scared to take on the gun lobby to do anything about it.

Bag said...

I'm not sure I follow your logic on the gun issue. I think you are implying that Bush would save more lives by chasing guns. You also visited an Anti Gun site for your facts. As you know facts can be interpreted a variety of ways. It's the US mindset that generates all the killing although if you look at the crime figures, published on the BBC not too long ago, the US is now 23rd on the list of violent crimes. Scotland and England are higher up the list. We are picking up this mindset fast. I believe we are importing ours. And, we don't have guns. No point in counting raw numbers gleaned in different ways that don't take into account populations either. Banning cars would reduce deaths significantly. So why go for the small ones first.

I agree with what you are saying though. The war on terror is a distraction and probably works out at £1B per life saved. A bargain I'm sure.

Mark said...

Thanks Bag, I agree that the site is an anti-gun web page, but the sources of their facts seem pretty impeachable.

Secondly, I was trying to make the point that more people have been mudered in one year in the US than in five years through world-wide terrorism. I was just looking at gun related deaths, and by any measure, the US is top dog.

If Bush really wanted to bring freedom from fear to people, he would be moving in the direction of stringent gun control, but the people who have paid for him to be President would not want heim to do that.

Tillerman said...

Good points Mark. 911 was terrible but it has generated a disproprortionate fear of terrorism in the USA. You are so right to point out that other things are much more real dangers to American citizens.

There is little outrage in America about that awful raid on Pakistan. But I can imagine what the American press would be saying if, say, Iran had bombed some American town in Ohio on the grounds that some supposed enemy of Iran might be there.