shipofools, I agree with you completely. I am very disappointed in the behavior of the protestors who are causing havoc in the streets. I wish I could say that I admire them for their conviction, but I can't. It's hard to admire someone whose entire aim is just to inconvenience and piss off other people. It sounds too much like a whiny child, pouting that they aren't getting their way.
Yes, the President is engaging in action that they do not approve of. Believe it or not, I think the point was registered with the weeks of protests closing down Civic Center every weekend. It shows up in the approval ratings, which politicians check obsessively. But still they protest -- illegally, in this particular case. They are endangering the health and safety of the community, and themselves.
It feels like the Village Idiot's way of conflict resolution: shout at people until they get annoyed and do what you say, just to make you go away. It sound like the military solution: bully someone until they give in to what you want. The methods are the same as what they are protesting; only the stakes are different.
And since I'm up on my soap box, I might as well address another point which has been bothering me. Before I get into it, I want to say that I am not endorsing a position for or against this war. I am only asking that people please think about what they are saying, and learn as much as they can about the situation before making sweeping statements.
In recent days I have heard two words used over and over again that, in the words of Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that means what you think that means." First, let's start with "everyone."
"Everyone's against this war." I've heard this so many times. I keep wondering if there is a person named "Everyone" that they are referring to, or if maybe my definition of "everyone" is a little different from theirs. The recent polls I've seen say that within the United States, 66% of the people polled support the President's decision to use force to resolve the Iraq situation. 66% is more than enough to qualify as a majority (which is defined as anything over half -- 50%). It's just about enough to qualify as a two-thirds majority. And yet somehow, the remaining amount has suddenly become "everyone."
It scares me when the minority suddenly becomes "everyone" in a supposed democracy. Democracy has never meant that everyone agrees on a course of action. It means that everyone agrees to do what the majority decides -- even if personally, and individual may not agree with the majority.
The other word I keep hearing that worries me is "unilateral". Often I hear "the US is taking unilateral action." Really? When did Australian become part of the US? Or Spain? Does "unilateral" mean only one's allies? And here I thought that it meant that one took action without allies. Like Britain. Or Japan. Or Kuwait. I'm still not hearing something that sounds unilateral.
It worries me when someone spouts off about a unilateral action that isn't, or talks about everyone when really they are only talking about people they agree with. It makes me wonder if they aren't terribly informed about the situation. I makes me think that they aren't considering all sides of the issue, and then coming to a conclusion about it for themselves. It makes me worry that they are just part of a mob, blindly following along wherever it leads.