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Anti-Anti-War-Protest Protest, Part II May 25, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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So another Saturday came and went, and with it, the Anti-War protest on the Greenfield common.

And along with that, the response from the ideological opposition, camped out across the street on the sterile concrete sidewalk in front of a bank, the irony of which was not lost on beatgrl.

And as it happened, the pro-war saber-rattling this week was particularly feeble, being expressed as it was by two Genuine ‘Mericans® and ten or so five gallon pails of sand holding incendiary signs, the latter group of which seeming to be somewhat lacking in the requisite enthusiasm one might wish for if one is going to make an impact in the deep-blue backwaters of decidedly blue Massachusetts.

And so, after a hearty round of manhugs on the common, I headed over to offer a bit of moral support to the two guys and ten sand-buckets who had given up a portion of this beautiful Saturday to try, as they saw it, to make the world a better and safer place.

I connected first with the organizer of the anti-anti’s, whose name presently eludes me.

Yeah, I took it over the edge in the 70’s. And I have to admit that I’m paying for it now.

Anyway, The Man and I talked about the weather for a bit, then got down to brass tacks.

“I’m really grateful that you have the courage of your convictions to be here week after week, supporting your point of view. But I’m concerned that you may not be operating on the same information that we Peace People are operating on.”

Blank stare.

“I’m sure you have some reason to believe what you believe. Do you ever go ‘on line’ to find information, and can you maybe share some links with me to get me up to speed on why you believe what you do?”

Blinks.

“I don’t do that.”

“Oh” says I. “Then how do you get the information to back what you believe?”

“I read a lot.”

And he pointed me to a book I’d never heard of, written by a retired General whom I’d never heard of, which assured it’s readers that Al Qaida was indeed based in Iraq and had been supported by Saddam Husein.

Contrary to everything our own administration has been able to discern, despite their best efforts.

I proffered that a lack of real information was causing a lot of well-meaning Republican-Americans to believe things which weren’t true; he countered that “You Lefties” were blissfully ignorant of the facts of the matter.

Like, for instance, that American troops had so far found over fifty of Saddam’s nuclear weapons…

And now it was MY turn to blink, stagger backward from the abyss which separated us.

But you know, he reads a lot. And I don’t. So maybe I missed something along the way.

But I have to wonder – if we’d found ANY “nucular weppinz,” wouldn’t this (mis)administration be crowing and strutting like drunken frat boys, instead of positing that they’d been “misled by faulty intelligence?”

So as a sort of “Question Of The Day,” I’m asking you, just how many nucular weppinz did we find while I was out picking flowers?

And for ten bonus points, what might I say to this guy to get him to question his absurd assertion? Have you any references to weapons inspectors’ reports and suchlike which I might point him at?

Thanks in advance for helping me with this; I’m a bit dazed by the informational divide.


Comments»

1. Christina - May 25, 2008

I think you are giving credit where no credit is due. You are assuming that the opposing view has a rational reason for their beliefs.

Not everyone is rational. Once upon a time, those non-rational people would have been dismissed as cranks. Now, they are taken seriously and so have gained a voice in the national discourse.

2. littlebangtheory - May 25, 2008

Ah, My Quick One! I’m still editing the original post, and now I have to deal with comments too??? 🙂

I’m actually grateful for that. And I’m choking on the reality that this one may indeed be unreachable. But I also had a less absurd interaction with his co-protester, Matt. He surprised me by agreeing with me on several small points, and indeed I may have misunderestimated him.

So despite the divide I’m faced with in my conversations with Mr. Big, I’ll be back next weekend for more ethical jello wrasslin’, and no doubt I’ll get some right on me. But I hear that copious soap and hot water takes care of that.

3. Bob - May 25, 2008

I honestly don’t know if they would accept any information that didn’t fit their preconceived worldview, CR. It’s unfortunate, but a large portion of the human race is … narrow in their thoughts.

However, if anyone can “open their eyes”? It’s you.

4. Elder Progeny - May 25, 2008

Oh joy…

I hate to burst out the sarcasm, but at times I am not entirely sure what you, or I, or anyone could say to change the minds of people who are so thoroughly entrenched in this mindset about any issue. Specifically one involving war.

“I read it” is one of the more common responses to the types of provocative questions you are posing; however, what you might not be able to convey is the importance of what is being read where, why it was published, biases of those providing the information, and who the intended audience of the publication is. These are basic things, middle-school level research project requirements, even, but to many people they are slightly less than obvious [hence the US general populations’ reliance on Faux News for their perspective on the world…]

In terms of whether you missed something- my guess is that you haven’t. While I would never go around pretending that any of us, including those at the tippity top of government agencies, have the full scoop on anything that is going on in Iraq, I think it’s a safe bet to say that anything that would PROVE the Bush administration right would be brought to the table immediately. To the contrary, all of the findings of basically every committee, inspector, etc have been swept under the proverbial rug. Why? Well, it’s not saying what they want it to.

The closest thing I can come up with on short notice and in just-out-of-second-semester-into-summer brain capacity are the reports by Duelfer, the top US weapons inspector from the CIA that worked in Iraq. They were published in 2004 and 2005 [the Addendum].**

This link here covers initial response to and excerpts from the Duelfer Report that came out in 2004:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12115-2004Oct6.html

This is the full report posted online:
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/duelfer/index.html

The last document there, the Addendum, was published after the fact, in 2005.

Here is some coverage and excerpts from that:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7634313/

The only problem I see with all of this is that, short of the press briefs, etc, which are short, it’s all over 1,000 pages long. I am not sure we can quite get the folks you are speaking with to stomach that many pages of reports that honestly *I* don’t even want to read, all for the purpose of educating them so they can be proven wrong. Getting educated is time consuming and complicated and involves topsy turvy diving around all of the bullshit that we’re fed by the government and the media. Is it bad that this feels hopeless?

** Super cursory research, but from what I read of it before I commented [probably about 100 pages] it checks out, and the press releases don’t seem especially convoluted. 😉

5. FranIAm - May 25, 2008

Great post and comments!

Oh CR, someone lumped you and I together in the comments of one of my posts today and I do not feel worthy. You amaze me.

While it is true – what Christina says – that not all people are rational, I love you deeply for believing that they just may be after all.

6. DCup - May 25, 2008

I know it’s not easy, but I like your approach of whittling away at his support. May you have the strength to carry on. Small victories.

7. littlebangtheory - May 25, 2008

Bob, you’re right – the doors of perception have long since shut for the Dedicated Right, and I may not make any headway with them, but…

EP, thanks for your response; in true collegiate form, you’ve earned an “A+” for your diligent research into the topic at hand. And while I’m more than positive that the target population won’t read a hundred pages showing them to be wrong, I’m equally sure that somebody reading this will pursue your links and learn something of significance regarding this topic.

Fran, I missed that comment, but really, I’m humbled to be somehow tossed into the same pot as you – but you know, we do strive toward the same light. Namaste, my friend.

And DCup, though I’d rather change this man’s mind, I’ll settle for isolating his viewpoint to one sad individual filling buckets with sand and lies. If any of his followers question his veracity, I’ll have made a small difference.

8. QuakerDave - May 26, 2008

They were faith-based weapons.

If you believe hard enough, they must be there.

9. littlebangtheory - May 26, 2008

QD, LOL!!!

10. Dusty - May 27, 2008

A big, heavy sigh escaped from me as I read this CR. Its so sad and yes, tragic to me when people are so misinformed and run headlong into the world with this bogus bullshittery, screeching and railing away.

I wish you much luck in your quest to reach those on the other side of this huge chasm that separates our nation.

11. johnieB - May 27, 2008

CR,

I admire the effort and the hope, but I believe yer spinning yer wheels; “Eyes and see not; ears and hear not”, as one of the old-timers remembered it.

I’m here to solicit feed back on grub, Bub, so I’m taking to the next thread down.


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