Thursday, September 04, 2008

"Please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static".
Apparently, that's what Republican Pesidential nominee John McCain calls the voices that have been crying out(and I am just one of them) for YEARS for the occupation--and this war--in Iraq to end. At the Republican National Convention tonight, when one protester held up a sign stating, You Can't Win An Occupation, and another protester held a sign with McCain Votes Against Vets on it(McCain's recent record includes voting AGAINST increased medical benefits for returning Iraq & Afghanistan troops, even as the suicide rate due to PTSD is the highest of ANY U.S. war)and that veteran holding the sign is wearing a t-shirt which reads: Iraq Vets Against McCain, McCain manges to ignore them, even when some of the audience notices, and begins to shout in a hypnotic, no-think chant, "USA", "USA", "USA". But when several women manage to state simply, "No More War", and hold their fingers up--not in a sign of hatred-- but in a simple,two-finger PEACE sign, he refers to the movement as--let's see, what was that again?--ground noise and static? How DARE he!
Does he understand that over 78% of the USA says going into Iraq was a mistake, that the war should be over by now, that the Iraqi people should be assisted only in establishing order, schools, humanitarian aid. Even Iraq wants us to set a timetable for withdrawal, which the Bush Administration is finally(reluctantly) agreeing to do. Though they don't call it that, of course. They're calling it a "horizon" for the timing. Democratic nominee Barack Obama said over 2 years ago a timetable should be set, and even as this Administration finally "gets" that, John McCain still. does. not. get. it.
He has the audacity to call legitimate, peaceful protest about a war that has murdered not only our sons and daughters, but thousands--tens of thousands of others' sons and daughters--and made many Iraqis homeless, and created more hatred of us--indeed, has assassinated our once-esteemed reputation around the world and fueled more distrust of the US than ever before in this nation's history, ground noise and static.
To John McCain, I'll say this:
That ground noise and static? On November 4th, it will deafen you.


DeadMule said...

Good post Lisa.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this post. more reason (like i needed any) to dislike mccain and all he claims to stand for.

cellblogger said...

McCain had the floor. In a civilized society one respects that. His comment was a good-natured attempt to regain the floor from both the protestors and the chanters. It was not a commentary on a movement.

Those who listened to his message without trying to inject their own would have heard more compassion and genuine hope for a peaceful end to the conflict.

Anthony said...

rock on ! when he said that i was like "what a dick"

Justin said...

I'm no political scientist, but I'm pretty sure its not an occupation if the sovereign government of that country wants you to be there.

As a mother protects her young, I believe it is a highly noble calling to provide stability and security for a fledgling democracy.

Saddam ruthlessly murdered over 300,000 Iraqis and Kurds (in Nazi Germany they called that an "ethnic cleansing"). The unfortunate reality of the Middle East is that it is a hotbed of despotism, violence and terrorism.

Anonymous said...

To everyone who spent the last eight years hating G.W. Bush - get ready to spend the next four years hating J.S. McCain.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but you're wrong. Disagree with the war if you'd like, but I didn't see any Republicans disrespect Senator Obama at the DNC.

betmo said...

gee lisa, looks like you picked up a troll. apparently, one who doesn't understand sarcasm. or missed the whole derisive 'community organizer' comments from giuliani and palin at the least. but i digress from my original thought.

there is little difference between rethugs like mccain/palin and nancy pelosi. these 'people' don't really care what we, the people, think- they just want access to the power and money. we are 'static and noise' and merely distractionary and that's why the jackboots in st. paul this week simply rounded us up and beat us and arrested us and got us off the street. it is why the media didn't bother to cover the thousands of peacefully protesting people because it would be proof that the mostly empty stadium wasn't due the invented compassion of the conservatives in light of gustav. they tell us what they want us to hear and they don't want us thinking independent thoughts. and the very frightening thing is- many folks buy right in. like your troll.

Lisa Allender said...

Hello, everyone. I stand by my observation, and my feelings. When I chose to post this, I had not yet finished watching McCain's speech(I was recording it, so I had the luxury of stopping to post when I found myself so (justifiably) angry). I found the remainder of his speech typically John-McCain-non-specific, and yet, at times(his "they broke me" moment comes to mind) somewhat touching.
His "I became an American" moment appeared self-serving in the worst way. It implied only military service or war "earned" him that.

Thank you, Deadmule. I'm headed over to your Blog, soon. I love Deadmule.
To the First Anonymous Post:
You're welcome. And yeah, McCain really is the new Dubya.
Cellblogger, thanks for visiting; please come again. Indeed, McCain had the floor, and I will grant you if "civility" and "politeness" were possible, I'd agree with you. The fact is, we're talking about the brutality of war--not as an ideology--but as a FACT. John McCain has NEVER wavered on his "...if it takes 100 years.." comment on how long he's willing to stay(and keep us)in Iraq. In fairness to him, I'm sure he is ameliorating some of the pain he certainly suffered in Vietnam by insisting we "win" at any cost, in Iraq. It makes me very very sad. For him. And for this country.

Anthony-Thank you, please visit again! Glad to know at least another person felt the same outrage.

Justin--Thank you for visiting, and please do return. Your metaphor of a mother protecting her young is touching, but our continued occupation(The Iraqi gov't has already, repeatedly, ASKED US to set a timetable to leave)is more akin to a mother having a fellow in the neighborhood she's "seen around" but doesn't truly know, come into her house with a gun and tell her, "Don't worry, that abusive husband/father you had here? I'll protect you!"
When she protests that it's okay, it's under control, because her brothers and sisters will help her, the "helpful neighbor" insists this is for her own good--and that of her childrens'--and sets up "camp" in her home. That's what all our "protection" is like(Except we've also killed neighborhood children, ruined water, electricity, schools, caused over 1 million educated, wealthier Iraqis to flee--Iraqis who would've been the engineers, the doctors, the officials, the teachers of the future--they're now mostly in Syria, and many have become suddenly political, and Anti-American in this process. And yeah--we also killed some bad guys--but at what cost??).
And I won't say Saddam Hussein was good, or anything close to it. He was an evil, calculating, brutal dictator, But he was NOT a terrorist in the mold of Al-Quaeda, and there were never WMD's and ALL the reasons used to invade were either misinformation fed to us, and/or outright lies to used to justify attacking a country that never attacked us. We don't get to invade just to remove someone we don't like. The Middle East IS a hotbed of what you say it is, Justin. It's also a bigger, uglier hotbed, BECAUSE we are there. We have attracted Al-Quaeda to Iraq, and alliances that never existed, have now formed. The irritation with the USA has become more full-blown, and it is because we are "occupying Middle East soil" to put it in the words of numerous extremist Imam's who've been quoted on this.
To the Second Anonymous Post here--God, I hope to heaven you're wrong!
To the Third Anonymous Post here--
As far as protesters at the DNC, they would have been allowed--possibly even directly responded to--I'm sure. I've attended numerous Peace Rallies, Peace Vigils(holding candles, etc.) and scrappy anti-war protests, and all were orderly, and nearly everyone there was either progressive or left-leaning, Dems, Greens, or Independents. I did not hear of any Repubs joining us, but they are WELCOME to stand up to the hawks in their party!
We certainly had a large share of military folk, both enlisted men and women, AND their parents and other family members, too--all protesting a war, and offering prayers for those who've suffered and died, as a result of us being in Iraq.
To Betmo--Hi there!Please visit again soon.
Yeah, I seemed to incite a bit here, but all commenters are welcome here.
But gee, it's nice to hear a like-minded voice!
THANK YOU for saying what I obviously was not eloquent enough to do: that an awful lot of what we see and hear is incredibly filtered. Interestingly, the television news that is London or Paris-based DID show protesters outside the RNC--which means the REST of the world sees us more as we are, than WE do!

Collin said...

Justin's argument on Iraq holds no water. Yes, Hussein murdered his people, but what about Darfur, Tibet, Zimbabwe? How about Chile in the 70s? You don't see us charging in there, although they are in arguably bigger trouble than Iraq was (and is). We invaded Iraq because we have oil interests there. Period.

It's not about helping a fledgling democracy or helping a suffering people. If that were the case, millions in other far-flung, would-be democracies would still be alive. I'm sick and tired of the Republican Kool-Aid drinkers trying to prop up this war. It was a huge mistake and the majority of Americans want us out immediately. Only the Republicans, who can't let go of this stick, keep hammering it home.

That dog no longer hunts.

Karen J. Weyant said...

Hi Lisa,

Enjoyed your post -- I don't usually comment on political issues (for so many reasons -- can't get in to those here), but I have to say that as someone who teaches at a community college, I was a bit amused about McCain's side remarks on supporting community colleges. (So side -- I almost missed it!) Other government leaders have also promised "support" yet every year, education funding is being cut, and community colleges are often the hardest hit! I could go off about the real truth of No Child Left Behind, but I will stop here.

Thanks again for the post.


Lisa Allender said...

"We don't get to invade just to remove someone we don't like." And as you noted, there are GAZILLIONS of countries we could jump in to help out, but we don't. And besides the oil possibilities(building a "permanent base" ensures that for us) in Iraq, there was also the "Daddy War" of George H.W. and li'l Georgie thought he could make a name for himself, take revenge on Saddam for threatening his father many years ago, etc. etc.
It's sooooo sick. I DO think they're a suffering people now, but that's because of US! One Iraqi woman who said she fears going out at night stated, "When Saddam ruled, we were afraid--we were afraid of that man, and his sons only. Now, there are many to be afraid of--there are many Saddams." She was referring to the fact that strict Islamic laws are being adhered to, because when we insisted they choose--guess what? They choose more Fundamentalism. Under Saddam, yes--there were terrors, but women were educated, held professional positions, never forced into burkas, music was allowed, etc. There was no "extremism" in religion in place, because Saddam himself was simply not doctrinaire, and thought it bad. It will be very interesting to see what the Iraqi people continue to CHOOSE for themselves, once we get out of their way. And their country.
Hi Karen! Thank you for stopping in--nice word-up on Community Colleges. I hope there is more support for education. And soon!

betmo said...

thanks for stopping by the corner lisa :) i like to have that spot for non political time. my other blog is mostly my views on all of the taboo topics- politics, religion, family- you get the idea :)

i also write with other blogs- and those links are on the sidebar over there.

i didn't start out to be terribly political but became more so as i started researching the horror that has been the bush regime. i actually have been finding out that just about everything i was taught in history class was nationalistic propaganda. if you look far enough back in american history, you can see the seeds that were planted that sprouted into bushco. they simply did what any self respecting capitalistic neo con would do-- and capitalized on the situation. my own personal thought is- this fine experiment of a democratic republic is pretty much done. you cannot have any form of democracy and have the secrecy and surveillance- and jackbooted security forces- that america has and be free. we are either an open society or not. it looks like the american people chose to sacrifice freedom for security- and now we have neither.

mark said...

I thought he handled it well with humor, so don't take everything so seriously. It was a horribly inappropriate place to protest and these people have no concept of respect.

Lisa Allender said...

Hi Betmo! Thanks for the follow-up!
I had a REQUIRED class in Senior year of HS called P.A.D.--"Problems in American Democracy". All it was was a rebuttal of all communist/socialist thining. Really strange, and I said so at the time. You were not allowed to choose ANY other social studies or history class in place of it.
I think the US wil be very Socialist-leaning within 15 years or so, if the population keeps increasing. Free markets are fun, but the gov't will HAVE to provide some basic services, or there'll be an uprising.(there already is, actually.)
And kids, listen to me. I am the one who told my P.A.D. teacher I didn't think (communist) Soviet Union could last "more than another 15 years or so" I said that in 1975 and was laughed at. The Soviet Union fell in 1989.
Mark, thanks for visiting. And uh, I really do take things seriously. But I can laugh too. The McCain comment just wasn't funny to me.
Peace, kids.

Justin said...

Hi Lisa and hi all,

Obviously the Iraq war is a very unpopular war and Bush 43 is a very unpopular president. History will probably prove that Iraq was the wrong battlefield for the US, but for now there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the Surge is working, and although Al Qaeda came to Iraq after we did, we now have them on their heels after they tried (unsuccessfully) to control the southern part of the country.

We will never all agree on what course of action the US should take now, 5 years later, but, if it was a "war for oil" as so many suggest, then where is all this oil we're supposed to be stealing from the Iraqis?

I'll leave this topic here and move on to the "protesters" that rudely interrupted senator McCain's nomination acceptance speech. These were not proud Americans attending the celebration of their chosen political party. These were full-time professional activists from the "Codepink" organization, setting out on yet another publicity stunt for themselves.

Under the First Amendment, Codepink has every right to express its views and opinions, in its own forums, marches and rallies - NOT in someone else's. Please don't confuse the freedom of speech with the right to violate or interrupt someone else's freedom of speech.

The RNC paid for the hall and they had the floor on that evening. It is uncivil (and in this case unlawful) for anyone to interrupt someone else when they are exercising their right to assembly.

John McCain had every right to refer to the protesters as "ground noise and static", because no matter how strongly someone feels about this war, purposefully disrupting an event to gain publicity for your own cause is un-American.

Lisa Allender said...

Welcome back, Justin. Hmmm. It sounds like you watched Bill O'Reilly on Thursday, when he welcomed Barack Obama on. (Barack will be on next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I believe, and no, kids, I usually do NOT watch Bill O'Reilly)I mention The O'Reilly Factor because he admitted "history will show Iraq is the wrong battlefield...but we are where we are..."
I still think staying there is a huge mistake, and as far as oil goes, it's to ESTABLISH A PERMANENT BASE--we ALREADY had the Iraqis sign over major assets to us, when we agreed to provide "protection" a few years ago. I'm sure Bushco believe it is a "strategy" to be over there, long-term, etc.
As far as the "legality" of the protesters, yes, they can be arrested. Just as Civil-Rights protesters were arrested, again and again. In the 1960's, blacks were arrested for peacefully protesting at counters that were "White-only". It was "illegal" for them to dine there. Good thing they protestd, though, or the Civil Rights Act never woulda happened!
Gays were arrested simply for gathering in a local bar, etc...and when protesting, because in the 50's, 60's and even early '70's, it was often called "degenerate" behavior for men who liked men to gather in groups, etc.
Thank you for stopping in again. Visit soon.

Justin said...

Hi Lisa,

I missed the Obama interview on O'Reilly but I really did want to catch it (unfortunately I am a NY Giants fan and I had to choose between the season opener and the Obama interview, alas, the lure of the sports bar was too strong... but I digress). A lot of people feel that Iraq is the wrong battlefield for the US on which to be to be fighting the war on terror, of course most critics feel we should be spending more resources in Afghanistan, but of course firing a million dollar missile into a twenty dollar tent doesn't make much sense either. Follow the money trail and you end up (among other places) on Saddam's palaces steps, but lets not go there.

The main difference between the civil rights movements you mention and the anti-war protests at the RNC are that the civil rights movements fought for the inalienable human rights promised by the Constitution, while the "codepink" protesters are really just looking for a camera and some media coverage.

They are free to hold as many organized protests as they wish, and no one will stop them. They could have confronted John McCain on any of his whistle stops in the last two years; its pretty much all he's been doing.

These people chose the most televised political event in history to surreptitiously obtain some national media coverage for their agenda.

You actually do a disservice to the brave civil disobedients who risked everything in the fight for equality and freedom, by comparing them to a group of professional full-time activists looking for headlines.

Lisa Allender said...

Hi Justin, While codepink may have been among the ones arrested most visibly, many other groups including the The World Can't Wait: Drive Out The Bush Regime,in their orange (to represent the horrors of Guatanamo) and several Roman Catholic nuns were also in attendance--one, a 78-year-old nun who in the 60's marched for Civil Rights was arrested at the RNC as well.