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RE: [ujeni] FW: War on Iraq Test

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  • Vyrle Owens
    25 March 2003 Dear Elizabeth, Thanks for forwarding this piece of information. I receive a lot of stuff these days, some of it recirculating from two/three
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 25, 2003

      25 March 2003

       

      Dear Elizabeth,

       

      Thanks for forwarding this piece of information.  I receive a lot of stuff these days, some of it recirculating from two/three years ago.  This one I have not seen before.

       

       

      And to Mark,

       

      I appreciate what you said.  I do not worry so much about the details, recognizing that many are wrong, out of context, and in some cases representing a liberal dose of poetic license.  I think what is most important is not what something says, but that something said causes the recipient to “think,” to become engaged in the issues.

       

      I found the piece useful, if not exactly factual.

       

      As for the action in Iraq, words cannot express the depth of my disappointment that our administration not only got us to this point, but actually invaded the country.  Are we making history or simply repeating it?

       

      More later, maybe,

       

      Vyrle

       

       

    • Vyrle Owens
      25 March 2003 Dear ujeni folks, This came across my screen late last week. I think it is worthy of forwarding. Feel free to read or delete as you will. My
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 25, 2003
        25 March 2003

        Dear "ujeni" folks,

        This came across my screen late last week. I think it is worthy of
        forwarding. Feel free to read or delete as you will.

        My best to all of you,

        Vyrle



        HOW TO ABOLISH UNJUST WARS-AFTER THIS ONE IS OVER
        The Elements of World Peace Are Present on Both Sides of the Global
        Debate
        by Byron Belitsos
        Editor, ikosmos.com
        Publisher, Origin Press
        March 19, 2003

        In times of great crisis, opposites often arise together in
        pristine purity. Unleash a great evil in one place, and its nemesis
        arises somewhere else. Knock a dying paradigm off the world stage, and a
        new one kicks up out of the blue.
        But there's one other requirement: On its way out, the old model
        leaves behind an isolated but crucial truth, one that the new paradigm
        must incorporate if it is to be a genuine advance. The Bush
        administration, representing the last gasp of imperialist unilateralism
        in an interdependent world, is perversely teaching us one such isolated
        truth: that firm enforcement of international law is needed in a
        dangerous world.
        In his ultimatum speech on Monday night, Bush's Orwellian
        speechwriters dubbed our invasion of Iraq as "enforcement of the just
        demands of the world." Of course, most of us know better about Bush's
        brazen international antics, but the President is teaching us a cruel
        and bitter lesson about how to achieve a world without war and
        terrorism. The emerging new model, he is showing us, must incorporate
        the concept of decisive enforcement of global law. But in the new model,
        law enforcement will be embedded in the context of a genuine global
        democracy-a global governing structure that represents the will and
        reflects the sovereignty of the world's people.(1)
        Let me put it another way. Right now in our face, Bush's
        horrifying abuse of the high principle of international law enforcement
        is calling forth it's pristine opposite: The need for a genuine global
        legislature that can pass enforceable global laws, binding legislation
        that can be applied by a global executive branch and interpreted by duly
        appointed world courts-supported by a world constitution that jealously
        guards individual and national rights. And the first planks of this
        global constitution will be the abolition of war between nations and the
        binding adjudication of international disputes and criminal acts by
        legitimate world courts.
        The first imperative of world civilization is to outlaw murder
        of all kinds across national boundaries, and to use legitimate force to
        hold individual lawbreakers--and not entire nations like
        Iraq--accountable before legitimate standards of world justice.
        As I see it, the choice is stark: The force of law applied
        against individuals in a governed world, or the law of force applied
        against whole countries in a world of lawless anarchy-take your pick.(2)

        I witnessed a case in point, which I want to share with you as
        we embark on our catastrophe in Iraq. By all accounts, the Bush
        administration had descended last week into an unprecedented diplomatic
        chaos. One typical commentator, presidential candidate Senator John
        Kerry, called it "some of the weakest diplomacy in the history of the
        nation." The New York Times called it "a terrible diplomatic failure."
        But at the height of Bush's diplomatic delirium, what is arguably the
        very best moment in global diplomatic history occurred-the seating of
        the 18 justices at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.
        This happy development is the mirror opposite of what Bush is now
        foisting on the world. It was fascinating to me how it presented itself
        at the lowest point of Bush's chaotic diplomatic frenzy in and around
        the UN Security Council.
        Although opposed with a vengeance at all points by the Bush
        administration, the ICC is as of March 11, 2003 officially inaugurated.
        It is now an operational reality. These 18 justices were elected by the
        90 or so signatories of the historic 1998 Rome Treaty. Remember that
        particular embarrassment? That's the statue creating the ICC that
        President Clinton signed in the final hours of his administration, which
        Bush "unsigned" last May, not long before he announced his intention to
        unilaterally attack Iraq without UN sanction.
        Here it was, the one institution that could deploy the existing
        (albeit weak) instruments of international law to bring the likes of
        Saddam Hussein before the bar of world justice, and Bush was trying to
        derail it. Russia and China balked at signing this treaty, now known as
        the Rome Statute, but the US actively tried to block the court's
        creation up until the moment last April when the treaty was ratified by
        the required number of signatories. No way, the American's said! We were
        going to enforce our own idea of world law, on our own selfish terms,
        and with that manly Texas mettle that knows best.
        Meanwhile, Bush set his Undersecretary of State John Bolton to
        work strong-arming countries into agreeing to exempt US citizens from
        the ICC's purview. The Republicans in Congress followed suit by pushing
        through the stupid (there is no other word for it) American
        Servicemember's Protection Act. But in the end the Bush administration's
        varied attempts to stop the launch of the ICC did not work. And last
        week they were morally upstaged by the event at the Hague, where 11 men
        and seven women--selected from a list of the world's finest
        jurists--were honored at a gala presided over by Queen Beatrix of the
        Netherlands. The inaugural ceremony was attended by foreign ministers
        and international diplomats from 100 countries-and of course was totally
        absent of representatives from the U.S.
        There is much to adjudicate: There are already plenty of cases
        on the docket for the ICC to begin reviewing and investigating. And to
        my Republican and libertarian friends who fear that the ICC is based on
        legal principles inferior to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights,
        have a look at this point-by-point comparison put together by Washington
        Working Group on the International Criminal Court:

        http://www.wfa.org/issues/wicc/factsheets/usconst.html

        Other elements of the emerging global governance paradigm are
        showing up too, again, seemingly out of the blue and just in time to
        refute the doomsdayers and cynics among us. The pristine beginnings of
        world democracy--the innocent and fresh voice of the sovereignty of the
        world's people--a voice that can become one part of the legitimate
        underpinnings of a global democratic federal government, has been
        showing up in the massive peace demonstrations around the world. I would
        suggest that it is on that basis that one can elevate a vision of a
        radical expansion of the goals of the peace movement. This nascent peace
        and justice movement, which first showed its strength and diversity at
        the Seattle demonstrations against the WTO in 1999, should go beyond its
        mere antiwar or anti-imperialist sentiments; it should move toward the
        advocacy of a true global democracy under enforceable global law. There
        is no other sane or realistic way to global peace and justice.
        Today's misguided peace movement is largely marked by a naive
        utopianism that confuses human nature with angelic nature. Angels can
        live in peace without law and government-humans can't. Yes, of course,
        "world peace" is a wonderful ideal, and war is a great calamity. But we
        can't stop or abolish war without the force of law. Peace without
        justice under law is an illusion-a sort of truce until the next war
        comes along (e.g., the intractable Israeli-Palestinian stalemate). And
        justice, too, is unachievable without the just establishment of law by
        elected legislatures along with juridical institutions to apply the law.
        And juridical institutions are almost useless without enforcement
        mechanisms-the impotence of the UN is a case in point of course. On the
        international level, all this means, again, enforceable global law.
        Peace requires justice, and justice rests on legitimate and
        enforceable law. Only when the peace movement understands this crucial
        syllogism, and only when international businessmen learn that global
        commerce is impossible without enforceable global law based on true
        planetary democracy, we will have an end to unjust wars like the one we
        are now fighting. Only then will there be an end to the evil adventurism
        of the American imperium and a genuine solution to terrorism. Only then
        can we really tackle the daunting problems of global pollution and
        grinding poverty.
        A day will come, I have faith, when we will no longer need the
        George Bushes and the Saddam Husseins of the world to teach us their
        increasingly bloody and increasingly obvious lessons about how justice
        and peace are achieved on an all-too-human planet. To do it we will need
        enforceable global law-the crystallization of brotherly love on a
        planetary scale.

        [Read down for sources of more
        information]


        FOOTNOTES

        (1) The people of the world are the true sovereign of the planet,
        inherently; and each world citizen born on this planet possesses
        God-given inalienable rights inhering in their very personhood. The
        question for the 21st century becomes: Who represents that sovereignty?
        Who can legitimately protect human rights at the global level? And who
        is the true upholder and enforcer of global peace and justice?

        (2) The final stage of the insane logic of the latter strategy is Bush's
        plan for the weaponization of space.

        RESOURCES FOR A GOVERNED WORLD

        1. Some years ago, just before the fall of the USSR, I wrote, directed,
        and coproduced a 28 minute educational video about the concepts
        discussed in this essay. It is entitled "Toward a Governed World".
        Norman Cousins said, "the film is done with high professionalism and is
        as rewarding as it is important." I have dusted this off and am making
        copies available tonight for the first time in ten years for $15,
        including shipping cost and tax. (Sliding scale pricing for students or
        people on limited budgets.) Just email me your address and I will send
        you a copy with a bill.

        2. My website, ikosmos.com has a section on global governance, with
        essays and numerous links:

        http://www.ikosmos.com/content/globalgov/globalgov.htm


        I'll be emailing again soon with other information, contacts, and links.
        Any and all comments on this essay are most welcome. Permission to
        forward or copy this essay is granted. --Byron Belitsos
      • Holland, Mark
        Vyrle and ujeni, much as I respect your opinion I don t agree at all. I think the central reason a majority of people in this country support this war is that
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 26, 2003
           
          Vyrle and ujeni, much as I respect your opinion I don't agree at all.  I think the central reason a majority of people in this country support this war is that they've been feed oversimplifications about the threat, and that such representations don't cause people to think but rather cause "anti-thinking", a hardening of opinion to fact.  If I'm going to criticize the administration for its manipulation of the public opinion in presenting the case for war, I have to do the same when the article in question takes the other side.
           
          Mark
          -----Original Message-----
          From: Vyrle Owens [mailto:vyrle@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 12:47 AM
          To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [ujeni] FW: War on Iraq Test

          I appreciate what you said.  I do not worry so much about the details, recognizing that many are wrong, out of context, and in some cases representing a liberal dose of poetic license.  I think what is most important is not what something says, but that something said causes the recipient to "think," to become engaged in the issues.

           

          I found the piece useful, if not exactly factual.

        • Vyrle Owens
          26 March 2003 Dear Mark, Thanks for your reply. I do agree we must be consistent and I appreciate the reminder. As to thinking, non-thinking, and
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 26, 2003

            26 March 2003

             

            Dear Mark,

             

            Thanks for your reply.  I do agree we must be consistent and I appreciate the reminder.  As to thinking, non-thinking, and anti-thinking oversimplification may I ask for a more studied elaboration as to why the “majority” of people in this country support this war? 

             

            By the way, I also appreciate your willingness to continue to engage the conversation.  Among those with whom I associate, the anti-war people are too angry to listen, the pro-war people are too engaged in dreaming about victory to listen, a certain number of others are relieved that some action is finally taking place but don’t know what to say and do not appear to have ever been listening, a certain number are afraid to get involved trusting the leaders to know best, a few continue to be un-decided, and it seems that several are just waiting to see which way the fortunes and tragedies of war turn.

             

            It feels a little like the early 60’s when I myself was mostly clueless.

             

            Stay well,

             

            Vyrle

             

             

             

             

          • Eric Bone
            Vyrle s observation that it is difficult to have a worthwhile discussion of the war rings true with me. I find what I consider much noise and distraction, and
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 27, 2003
              Vyrle's observation that it is difficult to have a worthwhile discussion of
              the war rings true with me. I find what I consider much noise and
              distraction, and little consideration of basic principles and the decisions
              that should come out of them. It is my inclination, as an apprentice
              mathematician, to break down my reasoning into the most basic and most
              clear pieces I can. Usually when I look at the discussion in the war, the
              statements made do not stand up to scrutiny. This is true both for several
              statements in the "War on Iraq Test" and in the list Paul fowarded. Mark
              has already pointed out examples of these.

              Here is the heart of my reasoning.

              1. Assumption: There are circumstances where going to war is a better
              alternative than not going to war.

              a. One such situation is when the lack of
              war would prevent large numbers of civilian deaths. Rwanda stands out as a
              case when going to war would have been better. I believe Bosnia and Kosovo
              also fall in this category.

              b. Another situation is when a country or organization has
              attacked you, or is soon going to attack you and you have no other way of
              preventing this.

              These are the only circumstances that I can think of as legitimate
              justification for war. I have heard other categories of reasons, but I do
              not accept them, and therefore I do not include them in my assumptions.

              2. Question: Do either of these assumptions apply to the relationship
              between the US and Iraq?
              I don't believe situation (a) can be seriously considered.
              That leaves situation (b). Has Iraq attacked us? Will Iraq
              attack us soon?

              3. The Threat:
              Officials of the Bush
              administration have claimed Iraq cooperates with Al-Qaeda, who attacked us.
              The evidence they have presented for that has not been convincing to me.
              That has not been the main claim. The main argument has been that Iraq
              posesses chemical and biological weapons, and that they will use them soon
              against us, whether on their own or in cooperation with a terrorist
              organization. It seems plausible to me that Iraq posesses these weapons.
              I have not heard any evidence that war is the only means by which we can
              prevent Iraq from attacking us with these weapons.

              4. Trust of the Administration:
              I also know that the Bush administration has much more
              information than I do. They are in a better position to decide whether war
              is the only way to prevent an attack. If they have convincing information,
              they have chosen not to make it public.

              5. Conclusion:
              The Bush administration has done nothing to win my trust concerning their
              decisions in foreign policy and security. In fact, most of their decisions
              since they came to power have led me to distrust them. Since I am not
              convinced of their judgment, I do not trust them to make this decision
              about going to war based on information that they do not share. I believe
              that we should not engage in a war unless and until our enemy is an
              immediate threat. I don't believe that is the case here. I believe that
              Michael Moore is correct to say that we are at war for "fictitious
              reasons."

              There is plenty more to talk about, but I've spent too much time thinking
              about this already.

              -Eric
            • Bell, Elizabeth
              Thank you, Eric, for your eloquence. What you ve laid out falls more/most in line with my thinking at this time. I ve worked in countries with horrible regimes
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 27, 2003
                Thank you, Eric, for your eloquence.

                What you've laid out falls more/most in line with my thinking at this time.


                I've worked in countries with horrible regimes and in countries after
                horrible wars. I am not a knee jerk peacenik (although in my idealistic
                youth I was). Two quotes come to mind:

                I believe in peace, but not peace at any costs.
                -Bishop Desmond Tutu.

                War is sometimes necessary, but it is always evil.
                -Jimmy Carter

                The two examples you cite are situations where we knew genocide was
                happening and I was always horrified that the world community did not step
                in. I still believe that Rwanda and Bosnia are almost unbearable
                humanitarian failures, it gives me nightmares to think about it too much.

                I guess the bottom line at this point is that I do not trust this
                administration, nor its stated reasons for starting this war. I do not
                support this kind of unilateral action and think we will pay the diplomatic
                price for years to come. I believe in the UN and wish we had given
                diplomacy and the inspectors more time, but I also can not stand Saddam
                Hussein and what he and his regime have done to the people of Iraq for so
                long.

                I just want this to be over quickly.

                Liz

                Elizabeth Bell, MPH
                STOP Activity Unit
                Polio Eradication Branch
                Global Immunization Division
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


                -----Original Message-----
                From: Eric Bone [mailto:bone@...]
                Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2003 11:36 AM
                To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [ujeni] FW: War on Iraq Test

                Vyrle's observation that it is difficult to have a worthwhile discussion of
                the war rings true with me. I find what I consider much noise and
                distraction, and little consideration of basic principles and the decisions
                that should come out of them. It is my inclination, as an apprentice
                mathematician, to break down my reasoning into the most basic and most
                clear pieces I can. Usually when I look at the discussion in the war, the
                statements made do not stand up to scrutiny. This is true both for several
                statements in the "War on Iraq Test" and in the list Paul fowarded. Mark
                has already pointed out examples of these.

                Here is the heart of my reasoning.

                1. Assumption: There are circumstances where going to war is a better
                alternative than not going to war.

                a. One such situation is when the lack of
                war would prevent large numbers of civilian deaths. Rwanda stands out as a
                case when going to war would have been better. I believe Bosnia and Kosovo
                also fall in this category.

                b. Another situation is when a country or organization has
                attacked you, or is soon going to attack you and you have no other way of
                preventing this.

                These are the only circumstances that I can think of as legitimate
                justification for war. I have heard other categories of reasons, but I do
                not accept them, and therefore I do not include them in my assumptions.

                2. Question: Do either of these assumptions apply to the relationship
                between the US and Iraq?
                I don't believe situation (a) can be seriously considered.
                That leaves situation (b). Has Iraq attacked us? Will Iraq
                attack us soon?

                3. The Threat:
                Officials of the Bush
                administration have claimed Iraq cooperates with Al-Qaeda, who attacked us.

                The evidence they have presented for that has not been convincing to me.
                That has not been the main claim. The main argument has been that Iraq
                posesses chemical and biological weapons, and that they will use them soon
                against us, whether on their own or in cooperation with a terrorist
                organization. It seems plausible to me that Iraq posesses these weapons.
                I have not heard any evidence that war is the only means by which we can
                prevent Iraq from attacking us with these weapons.

                4. Trust of the Administration:
                I also know that the Bush administration has much more
                information than I do. They are in a better position to decide whether war
                is the only way to prevent an attack. If they have convincing information,
                they have chosen not to make it public.

                5. Conclusion:
                The Bush administration has done nothing to win my trust concerning their
                decisions in foreign policy and security. In fact, most of their decisions
                since they came to power have led me to distrust them. Since I am not
                convinced of their judgment, I do not trust them to make this decision
                about going to war based on information that they do not share. I believe
                that we should not engage in a war unless and until our enemy is an
                immediate threat. I don't believe that is the case here. I believe that
                Michael Moore is correct to say that we are at war for "fictitious
                reasons."

                There is plenty more to talk about, but I've spent too much time thinking
                about this already.

                -Eric









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              • Vyrle Owens
                27 March 2003 Dear all, Not to change the subject or anything but just in case you may be interested in something of more permanent relevance than war, I just
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 27, 2003
                  27 March 2003

                  Dear all,

                  Not to change the subject or anything but just in case you may be
                  interested in something of more permanent relevance than war, I just
                  finished an outstanding book about soil and other things. Should be of
                  particular interest to the natural resource and agriculture folks but
                  also relevant to other interests as well.

                  Hillel, Daniel J., "Out of the Earth: Civilization and the Life of the
                  Soil", 1991, The Free Press, New York


                  Part 1 is "For Soil Thou Art"

                  The final part is: "Unto Soil Shalt Thou Return"

                  The Author is a professor at University of Massachusetts.

                  Enjoy,

                  Vyrle
                • Vyrle Owens
                  27 April 2003 Dear everyone, We are planning a get-together, (picnic, potluck, barbecue/braii) for everyone who can come on Saturday, 21 June. Mid-morning to
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 27 9:26 PM
                    27 April 2003

                    Dear everyone,

                    We are planning a get-together, (picnic, potluck, barbecue/braii) for
                    everyone who can come on Saturday, 21 June. Mid-morning to late
                    afternoon.

                    Let us know if you will be in the neighborhood (Dayton, Oregon, not too
                    far from Portland) and come on by. More details and directions to
                    follow.

                    Vyrle and Dolly
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