Blowin' in the Wind

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Manor

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Feb 16, 2003, 1:02:05 PM2/16/03
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Yesterday, millions of people in cities around the world turned out to
demonstrate against the looming war in Iraq. And, in my sleepy little
Florida beach town, about 500 of us gathered in a riverside park, and then
marched a short route to the steps of City Hall, where a series of speakers
were scheduled to appear. The list consisted of local poets, activists,
and educators, several of whom were making their first public speech. It
would be hard to imagine a more ramshackle affair; even so, the atmosphere
was upbeat and the weather was beautiful, with clear skies and a gentle
ocean breeze. I've lived in this town for 7 years, but have led such a
private existence here, I know hardly anyone other than my
co-workers. Still, I looked around to see if I could spot any friends or
familiar faces.

As I scanned the small crowd, my eyes finally fell on one person who did
seem oddly familiar. He had a lion's mane of curly gray hair, gathered
loosely on his back by a ribbon, the comfortable rounded shouldered
appearance of a guy who had been skinny in youth, and then slowly added
pounds over the years, a Hawaiian shirt, dark glasses, and across his back
was strapped an acoustic guitar. My eyes rested briefly upon him, moved
on, then snapped back. Suddenly, he looked real familiar, the kind of
familiarity that takes years to feel. A feeling came to me like seeing
someone I had once seen as a young child, like maybe a friend of my big
sister, or an older cousin who had once come around the house long
ago. Then, a name came tentatively to my lips.

"Arlo?"

That's who the guy looked like, alright, he looked like Arlo Guthrie. It
made no sense for it to actually be Arlo Guthrie, though, and it was much
easier to figure that it was a local musician who shared the same general
air of the benevolent, ageing hippie. Arlo Guthrie's name definitely was
not on the list of those who were to address the crowd. Nor was he
scheduled to appear in concert anywhere at all close to here, which, had he
been, could have provided a feasible explanation for him being in town and
dropping by the rally. Whoever he was, he had nothing remotely resembling
an entourage. The only people gathered around him were a woman his own age
who appeared to be his wife or girlfriend, and some small kids, maybe his
children, or more likely grandchildren. Some close relationship seemed
undeniable, because they had they same head of hair (though of course
theirs was not gray.) The same kind of hair you see in those pictures of
Woody Guthrie.

Then, the master of ceremonies, a woman who is the main host of the local
NPR affiliate, came to the microphone. And, after some very brief
welcoming remarks to the crowd, she said "and now, to sing a song, we're
very happy to have . . . Arlo Guthrie!"

In the news accounts on the rallies I read this morning, as many as a
million people turned out in Rome. There were said to be 750,000 in
London, and 500,000 thousand in Madrid. In New York City, where the crowd
was estimated to be as large as 400,000, I read that Richie Havens, who had
played on the same stage as Arlo at Woodstock, performed his song
"Freedom." And, Pete Seeger, who often partnered with Woody Guthrie, made
an appearance. Here in Melbourne, as our crowd of 500 looked on, Arlo
Guthrie made his way to the "stage." The stage actually consisted of a 6
foot collapsible office table that shook nervously, with a step ladder set
next to it. The sound system consisted of a $25 microphone plugged into a
15 watt guitar amp. The mike stand looked at though it might topple over
at any minute. It was too short for Arlo to comfortably sing into, and too
tall to readily pick up his guitar. Arlo scrunched up into a funny, but
very uncomfortable looking posture, holding his guitar up next to his face,
with the neck pointed to the sky, and tentatively strummed a few chords,
then stopped and with a look of real concern on his face said "this is the
most treacherous stage I've ever been on in my life." Gamely, he started
again, first laying down a rudimentary rhythm on a C chord, and then he
began to sing

"How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man?"

The crowd began to sing along, scattered voices on the verse, and virtually
everyone on the chorus. And, feeling like a goofball, I did something that
I never do at performances - I began to sing along, too. The voices grew
louder as the song progressed, reaching their height on the closing lines
of the last verse

"How many deaths will it take 'till he knows, that too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind . . . "

I started feeling giddy, and kind of ridiculously warm and happy. For a
moment, I thought I was going to start crying. The song ended, Arlo said
"thank you," and then turned and very carefully edged his way to the side
of the table/stage and came back down the step ladder.

I've heard that song hundreds of times, so many times that long ago I had
stopped being able to really hear it. It is, of course, considered one of
the great protest anthems, something I've always thought of as damning the
song with faint praise. And yet, for all the times I've heard the song,
this was the first time I'd ever had a first hand experience of it being
"used" for that purpose as an anthem at a protest. I was taken quite by
surprise at just how moving it was. The song was doing so many things. On
one level, here I was in a town where I've lived for several years, but
never made any real effort to make it home, and now for the first time I
was feeling like I belonged to this community of people I sang with. I
looked up at the stage as Arlo sang and thought of the tradition he
represents, and that he perpetuates, and as we shared this song that we
both loved, I felt myself tied into that tradition, felt myself belonging
it. And, I thought of the poet who had written these simple, elegant
words, that so clearly gave voice to the feeling that was at the center of
this gathering, and I felt a sense of huge gratitude for this gift he had
given, this song that had been the catalyst for all these feelings.

You know, people of every political ilk lay claim to Dylan. But despite
the Newt Gingriches of the world, it became clear to me as Arlo sang
Dylan's song, that such ideas are pretty silly. This much I know - it is
unimaginable to me for that song to be performed at any kind of rally the
other side might hold.

I also thought about the way some people see the Bush family. With Jeb as
the governor of my state, and with George the father and George the son
occupying the White House, there are some who view the Bushes as a sort of
American royalty. But when I consider the work and influence of Woody
Guthrie, then look at Arlo and realize how he is nearing 40 years in his
patriotic journey, and then see how his children Sara Lee and Abe are
carrying on the legacy, it seems plain to me that the Guthries come much
closer to representing the best values of my country's past, and the most
generous aspirations for its future.

The rest of the program was sometimes kind of amateurish, but always
heartfelt, and at times genuinely moving. A U.S. citizen of Iraqi descent
spoke of his mother, sisters, and nieces who live in Iraq, and the awful
fear they are feeling as they wait for the bombing to start. A retired Air
Force Lt Colonel who had flown over 100 missions in Vietnam appeared in his
dress uniform, and spoke scornfully about how readily "leaders" who worked
hard to avoid combat duty when they were of draft age, are now quite ready
to send our troops into harm's way. When all the speakers were done, Arlo
was called to the stage again. He said he had a final song, but first he
wanted to say (I'm paraphrasing mightily here) that as he looked at us, he
saw people from all walks of life, people of all ages and colors, people in
different kinds of dress, and who spoke in different accents, and how our
diversity represented America, and how our coming together in common cause
represented what was best about America, and how we should be proud of
that. Then, he raised his guitar and played the Ed McCurdy song "Last
Night I had the Strangest Dream":

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war . . .

And the people in the streets below
Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground.


Manor Folsom
Ma...@snez.net

emailsam

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Feb 16, 2003, 1:43:07 PM2/16/03
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great post

PGPearson1954

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Feb 16, 2003, 2:07:02 PM2/16/03
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>From: Ma...@snez.net (Manor)

Manor:

Excellent retelling of facts AND feelings.

Felt like I was there (Wish I was!)

Thanks,

Paul Pearson

SDW

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Feb 16, 2003, 4:33:35 PM2/16/03
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"Manor" <Ma...@snez.net> wrote in message news:5.1.1.6.0.200302...@snez.net...
>
> [...]

Thanks for a wonderfully written post. I have no wish to sow discord
or make anyone feel less than ridiculously happy--but still:

> [...] But when I consider the work and influence of Woody


> Guthrie, then look at Arlo and realize how he is nearing 40 years in his
> patriotic journey, and then see how his children Sara Lee and Abe are
> carrying on the legacy, it seems plain to me that the Guthries come much
> closer to representing the best values of my country's past, and the most
> generous aspirations for its future.

Look, we're talking about a guy with (beyond his very clean P.C. bill
of health) a few good songs and a barrelful of endlessly-recycled
shtick. In what sense does he represent a patriotic "legacy" more
than the next guy, even the next eminently admirable activist?
Because of his dad? The American ideal, as I understand it, renders
all dynastic pretentions equally vain and foolish. I'm aware that, in
practice, it rarely does.

> You know, people of every political ilk lay claim to Dylan. But despite
> the Newt Gingriches of the world, it became clear to me as Arlo sang
> Dylan's song, that such ideas are pretty silly. This much I know - it is
> unimaginable to me for that song to be performed at any kind of rally the
> other side might hold.

"Everybody's shouting, which side are you on."

Here you've lost me. You mean the blood-lusting, foaming-at-the-mouth
"side," I suppose. Judging by some of the sentiments on this group, I
wonder if they'd welcome an additional pre-concert announcement for
Dylan shows, along with the prohibitions on cameras and recording
devices of any kind. Something along the lines of: Dissent will not
be tolerated.

"The A.N.S.W.E.R., my friend, is blowin' in the wind ..."

Po' Trev

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Feb 16, 2003, 4:40:36 PM2/16/03
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Manor. This is one of THE best posts I have ever read in RMD. Im just
thankful you posted it. Its brought a smile to my face, its made rmd much
more interesting for me today in the midst of all this pathetic trolling
going on here.

Id just like to say thanks. Sitting in my chair, at my pc here in England,
somehowbecause of the greatness of your post i feel the same emotions you
felt from that experience. Thanks agian. and thanks for bringing some
greatness back to rmd.

Trev

--

Trevor Gibb : Trev...@blueyonder.co.uk
--------------------------------------------
Webmaster at - www.peterstonebrown.com
Website Queries - webmaster@peterstonebrown
--------------------------------------------

"Dylan. He's so funny. He came up to me in Europe, first time we actually
shared a concert bill
and not a benefit. He'd just done a great fuckin' set. They just slammed.
Bob came over and whispers - 'Well, got'em all warmed up for ya'... Oh God.
I like him.
He's a brutally honest guy. He loves to tell the truth. He even enjoys
it...
I'm like a B student of this fuckin' guy. He's the real thing." - Neil
Young

"Manor" <Ma...@snez.net> wrote in message
news:5.1.1.6.0.200302...@snez.net...

Avylan

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Feb 16, 2003, 5:36:40 PM2/16/03
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There's a lot of talk in the U.S. press now about anti-Americanism, and
perhaps many in the U.S. feel that the rest of the world is ganging up on
you. Certainly the feeling in Germany is one where people stress endlessly
that they have no quarrel with the American people, but just with the policy
of the U.S. government. Heart warming stories like this underline that
borders don't determine whose side you're on.

Mike

"Manor" <Ma...@snez.net> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:5.1.1.6.0.200302...@snez.net...


> Yesterday, millions of people in cities around the world turned out to
> demonstrate against the looming war in Iraq. And, in my sleepy little

> Florida beach town, about 500 of us gathered in a riverside park, ...


BlindWillieCanSmell

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Feb 16, 2003, 8:08:51 PM2/16/03
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Brilliant rebuttal, SDW......

Dylan is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He's just a guy with songs
in his head. The liberals have always thought he was "on their side."


The Wisdom Of Bill Goldman:

"......a brain surgeon with no imagination is a pretty frightening thought;
so if I stirred, say, under the anaesthetic, said brain surgeon wouldn't
have the imagination to realise I might be coming round, and would just
continue to cut up my brain by the book?"

Mr. Goldman,

"You are not in a position to complain about anyone insulting anyone or
anyone else here being arrogant. In the past two hours alone, you have
posted 11 times (8 times after saying you were gone) and 64 percent of your
posts contained rather blatant insults. The arrogance goes without saying.
In fact, since your return to this group a couple of weeks ago, your rather
unfortunate posting history has been one of insults and arrogance from the
start. Perhaps you should consider getting a life." (Peter Stone Brown)

Ray Baldwin

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Feb 16, 2003, 8:51:49 PM2/16/03
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Ma...@snez.net (Manor) wrote in message news:<5.1.1.6.0.200302...@snez.net>...
> Yesterday, millions of people in cities around the world turned out . . . (big snip)

Thanks Manor. A fantastic read.

When you mentioned you almost broke into tears, I was reminded of a
sudden urge to cry for hope and understanding while at the Sydney
protest march yesterday. It was the largest protest, ever, in this
city and it was swelled by a majority of the younger generation which
reminded me so much of the idealism of the youth movement during the
Vietnam protest days. Thirty-odd years later and we'd turned into
small groups of chattering, pleasantly-aged hopefuls that this new
generation is the one which will take over the baton from our tired
hands and instil fresh hope in our frustrated minds. Tears welled into
my eyes and I shivered as I stood there, alone, among 300,000 people
wondering if this might be the last time I had an opportunity to help
turn the tide of an ailing world. It may not have been Blowin' which
set my senses flowing but another song was flowing through my mind,
one which I have come to enjoy as a signal of Dylan's anger and
frustration at the desecration and misuse of his "pretty baby" world -
Band Of The Hand - It's Hell Time Man! - the end bit goes:

For all of my brothers from Vietnam
And my uncles from World War II,
I'd like to say that it's countdown time now
And we're gonna do what the law should do.

And for you pretty baby,
I know you've seen it all.
I know your story is too painful to share.
One day though you'll be talking in your sleep
And when you do, I wanna be there.

It's hell time, man
It's hell time, man
It's hell time, man
It's hell time, man

Though it's not directly pertinent to current events, there's Dylan
reminding us it's up to each and every one of us to rid the world of
the intolerant, the power-hungry and corrupt, history being the
eventual and only truthful witness to how we treated our planet and
the people on it.

Bob's playing in town tonight and, while he probably won't play my
song or possibly even Blowin' In The Wind, he'll hopefully include
Masters Of War to keep that beacon on the hill burning.

Thanks again, Manor, for your story. Methinks you have mistakenly been
left off the list of another thread here where some great rmd posters
have been discussed and praised.

Ray.

Delia

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Feb 16, 2003, 9:28:24 PM2/16/03
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"SDW" <sdwa...@msn.com> wrote in message
news:ffd3477c.03021...@posting.google.com...

A.N.S.W.E.R. is no longer controlling the peace movement to the extent that
it did, for the very reasons that you imply. The following is taken from an
article that appeared in the LATimes on Sat. I've pasted the most relevant
part of the story below :

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-me-peace15feb15001439.story

So far, the turnouts have come despite the anxiety of some participants over
the presence of leftist groups that have played important roles in
organizing early demonstrations.

Some Alienated

Some demonstrators, particularly Jewish dissenters who oppose the war but
support Israel, have been alienated by the virulently anti-American and
anti-Israeli rhetoric of groups such as the radical Workers World Party, a
key member of the International A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition that organized the
big Oct. 26 and Jan. 18 demonstrations. Workers World, which follows a
Stalinist political line, supports Saddam Hussein and calls for the
elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.

Signs of this friction were evident this week when a Bay Area rabbi and
magazine editor, Michael Lerner, complained that anti-Israeli factions in
the movement had blocked him from speaking at the San Francisco rally
Sunday.

But since the October and January demonstrations, mainstream religious,
labor and environmental organizations also have joined the movement, forming
new coalitions that have already diluted leftist influences. More than 80
cities and counties, along with state legislative bodies in Maine and
Hawaii, have passed resolutions urging President Bush not to rush to war.
Campaigns are underway in more than 90 other cities.

Cities that have passed resolutions range from such bulwarks of liberalism
as Santa Cruz and Santa Monica to Des Moines, Tucson, Cleveland, Chicago,
Philadelphia and Detroit.

Typical of the campaign, started by the Institute for Policy Studies, a
liberal think tank in Washington, is the resolution passed Jan. 16 by the
Chicago City Council on a 46-1 vote.

"The Bush administration has failed to articulate a clear strategic
objective or outcome of a military attack against Iraq, and such an attack
fails to enjoy the support of many of our allies," the resolution states.
"Now, therefore be it resolved that we, the members of the City Council of
the city of Chicago, oppose a preemptive U.S. military attack on Iraq unless
it is demonstrated that Iraq poses a real and imminent threat to the
security and safety of the United States."

In an attempt to create what organizers describe as a "big tent" that would
be welcoming to more Americans, particularly first-time demonstrators, some
of the more moderate organizing groups have tried to distance themselves
from hard-line factions such as A.N.S.W.E.R.

Anticipating the internal debate that has historically characterized the
early stages of anti-war and civil rights movements, the San Francisco
nonprofit Global Exchange, which is mainly known for its work on
international trade issues, helped create an alternative coalition: United
for Peace & Justice.

The coalition, which includes Rabbi Lerner's Tikkun organization as a
member, maintains one of the movement's most active Web sites at
www.unitedfor peace.org, which has a state-by-state list of local vigils and
demonstrations.

'The Biggest Tent'

Our decision was to create the biggest tent possible. We did not feel that
A.N.S.W.E.R. could do this," said Global Exchange spokesman Jason Mark,
interviewed in his San Francisco Mission District office as dozens of
volunteers manned phone banks and sent e-mails urging participation in the
weekend demonstration.

When internal divisions surface, as they did in the Lerner episode, United
for Peace has acted quickly to defuse them.

In a news release issued Thursday, United for Peace and Justice announced
that two other rabbis, David Cooper and Pam Frydman-Baugh, "both of whom
hold views regarding Israel similar to those of Michael Lerner, will be
speakers."

"Within the antiwar movement, there is a wide spectrum of diverse and
opposing views regarding Israel and Palestine," the release acknowledged,
"and those views will be heard. We strongly abhor all forms of racism and
bigotry, including anti-Semitism."


tom .

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Feb 16, 2003, 10:18:35 PM2/16/03
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SDW wrote:

> "Manor" wrote a very nice post...

> Thanks for a wonderfully written post. I have no wish to sow discord
> or make anyone feel less than ridiculously happy--but still:

nothing wrong with a sowing a little discord when someone is laying a lot of happy horseshit on
us.

> > [...] But when I consider the work and influence of Woody
> > Guthrie, then look at Arlo and realize how he is nearing 40 years in his
> > patriotic journey, and then see how his children Sara Lee and Abe are
> > carrying on the legacy, it seems plain to me that the Guthries come much
> > closer to representing the best values of my country's past, and the most
> > generous aspirations for its future.
>
> Look, we're talking about a guy with (beyond his very clean P.C. bill
> of health) a few good songs and a barrelful of endlessly-recycled
> shtick. In what sense does he represent a patriotic "legacy" more
> than the next guy, even the next eminently admirable activist?
> Because of his dad? The American ideal, as I understand it, renders
> all dynastic pretentions equally vain and foolish. I'm aware that, in
> practice, it rarely does.

good ole woody...abandons a wife and a bunch of kids and goes off and finds another wife, has
another bunch of kids. what an american hero.


> > You know, people of every political ilk lay claim to Dylan. But despite
> > the Newt Gingriches of the world, it became clear to me as Arlo sang
> > Dylan's song, that such ideas are pretty silly. This much I know - it is
> > unimaginable to me for that song to be performed at any kind of rally the
> > other side might hold.

right. any kind of rally the other side might hold. manor, get your head out of your ass and
quit this saddam-hugging nonsense. good god, man. you sound like a donovan fan.

as for what song the other side is singing...it isn't a pretty song but at least it doesn't
ignore the reality of the situation. how many roads must a man walk down? tell that to the guy
in iraq whose legs are chopped off...over to you, mr. blair:

Yes, there are consequences of war. If we remove Saddam by force, people will die and some will
be innocent. And we must live with the consequences of our actions, even the unintended ones.

But there are also consequences of "stop the war".

If I took that advice, and did not insist on disarmament, yes, there would be no war. But there
would still be Saddam. Many of the people marching will say they hate Saddam. But the
consequences of taking their advice is that he stays in charge of Iraq, ruling the Iraqi people.
A country that in 1978, the year before he seized power, was richer than Malaysia or Portugal. A
country where today, 135 out of every 1000 Iraqi children die before the age of five - 70% of
these deaths are from diarrhoea and respiratory infections that are easily preventable. Where
almost a third of children born in the centre and south of Iraq have chronic malnutrition.

Where 60% of the people depend on Food Aid.

Where half the population of rural areas have no safe water.

Where every year and now, as we speak, tens of thousands of political prisoners languish in
appalling conditions in Saddam's jails and are routinely executed.

Where in the past 15 years over 150,000 Shia Moslems in Southern Iraq and Moslem Kurds in
Northern Iraq have been butchered; with up to four million Iraqis in exile round the world,
including 350,000 now in Britain.

This isn't a regime with Weapons of Mass Destruction that is otherwise benign. This is a regime
that contravenes every single principle or value anyone of our politics believes in.

There will be no march for the victims of Saddam, no protests about the thousands of children
that die needlessly every year under his rule, no righteous anger over the torture chambers
which if he is left in power, will be left in being.

I rejoice that we live in a country where peaceful protest is a natural part of our democratic
process.

But I ask the marchers to understand this.

I do not seek unpopularity as a badge of honour. But sometimes it is the price of leadership.
And the cost of conviction.

But as you watch your TV pictures of the march, ponder this:

If there are 500,000 on that march, that is still less than the number of people whose deaths
Saddam has been responsible for.

If there are one million, that is still less than the number of people who died in the wars he
started.

- excerpt from Saturday 15 February 2003, Speech by Prime Minister Tony Blair at Labour's local
government, women's and youth conferences, SECC, Glasgow

full speech here: <http://www.labour.org.uk/tbglasgow/>


BlindWillieCanSmell

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Feb 16, 2003, 10:40:21 PM2/16/03
to

> There will be no march for the victims of Saddam, no protests about
> the thousands of children that die needlessly every year under his
> rule, no righteous anger over the torture chambers which if he is left
> in power, will be left in being.

Great post of Blair's speech, Tom! I honestly don't know how anyone can
read that speech and feel in their heart that Saddam Hussein can be
contained through U.N. resolutions.

tom .

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Feb 16, 2003, 11:01:11 PM2/16/03
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Delia, in response to agent SDW, wrote:

> > "The A.N.S.W.E.R., my friend, is blowin' in the wind ..."
>
> A.N.S.W.E.R. is no longer controlling the peace movement to the extent that
> it did, for the very reasons that you imply.

sure they aren't. tell that to rabbi lerner.

from npr.org:

Chasm Emerges in Anti-War Movement

A prominent rabbi accuses anti-war organizers of banning him from speaking at
this weekend's San Francisco peace rally. Rabbi Michael Lerner says he's been
blackballed by the chief organizer of the rally, International A.N.S.W.E.R.,
because he supports Israel. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.

for real audio of story, second story from bottom:
http://discover.npr.org/rundowns/rundown.jhtml?prgId=2&prgDate=February/14/2003

Linn Carpenter

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Feb 16, 2003, 11:05:02 PM2/16/03
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Excellent post, as always, Manor. Very moving. Thank you.

Linn

Howard Mirowitz

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Feb 17, 2003, 4:43:18 AM2/17/03
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On Sun, 16 Feb 2003 13:02:01 -0500 Manor <Ma...@snez.net> wrote:

> Yesterday, millions of people in cities around the world turned out to
> demonstrate against the looming war in Iraq. And, in my sleepy little
> Florida beach town, about 500 of us gathered in a riverside park, and then
> marched a short route to the steps of City Hall, where a series of speakers
> were scheduled to appear.

<balance snipped>

Great post. Thank you so much.

H.

Bill Goldman

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Feb 17, 2003, 8:33:13 AM2/17/03
to lebl...@earthlink.net
On 16/2/03 6:02 pm, in article 5.1.1.6.0.200302...@snez.net,
"Manor" <Ma...@snez.net> wrote:

> Yesterday, millions of people in cities around the world turned out to
> demonstrate against the looming war in Iraq.
>

> You know, people of every political ilk lay claim to Dylan. But despite
> the Newt Gingriches of the world, it became clear to me as Arlo sang
> Dylan's song, that such ideas are pretty silly. This much I know - it is
> unimaginable to me for that song to be performed at any kind of rally the
> other side might hold.

Is this representative of "the other side" you refer to?
Bill

Without prejudice
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Left isn't listening

The Stop the War coalition is the greatest threat to any hope for a
democratic Iraq

Nick Cohen
Sunday February 16, 2003
The Observer

When Saddam is sent to rendezvous with a judge in The Hague, or a rope on a
lamppost, the democratic opposition in Iraq will need help. It has many
enemies: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the CIA and the Foreign Office want to
replace the old tyrant with a new, compliant dictator - a Saddam without a
moustache. As the moment of decision arrives, Iraqi democrats and socialists
have discovered that their natural allies in the European Left don't want to
know them. They must add the shameless Stop the War coalition to the enemies
list.

Iraq is the only country in the Arab world with a strong, democratic
movement. Yet I wonder how many who marched yesterday know of the
dissenters' existence. The demonstration's organisers have gone to great
lengths to censor and silence. How else could the self-righteous feel good
about themselves? The usual accusation when whites ignore brown-skinned
peoples is that of racism. It doesn't quite work in the Stop the War
coalition's case. The Socialist Workers Party, which dominates the alliance,
was happy to cohost the march with the reactionary British Association of
Muslims. The association had blotted its copybook by circulating a newspaper
which explained that apostasy from Islam is 'an offence punishable by
death'. But what the hell. In the interests of multi-culturalism, the SWP
ignored the protests of squeamish lefties and let that pass. The Trots
aren't Islamophobes, after all. The only Muslims they have a phobia about
are secular Iraqi Muslims who, shockingly, believe in human rights.

The Iraqis made a fruitless appeal for fraternal solidarity last month. The
Kurdish leader Barham Salih flew to a meeting of the Socialist International
in Rome to argue for 'the imperative of freedom and liberation from fascism
and dictatorship'. Those marchers who affect to believe in pluralism should
find his arguments attractive, if they can suppress their prejudices long
enough to hear him out. Salih explained that the no-fly zones enforced by
the RAF and USAF had allowed his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the
Kurdish Democratic Party to build a fair imitation of democratic state in
liberated northern Iraq. The Kurds promote the freedom of journalists, women
and religious and racial minorities. Naturally, the local supporters of
al-Qaeda agree with Baghdad that this intolerable liberal experiment must
end, and the Kurds are having to fight both Saddam and the fundamentalists.

Salih was prepared for that: what he wasn't prepared for was the enmity of
the anti-war movement. Foolishly, he tried to reason with it. He pointed out
that the choice wasn't between war or peace. Saddam 'has been waging war for
decades and he has inflicted hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.'
Indeed, he continued, the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds who are still under
Baghdad's control continues to this day. 'I do not want war and I do not
want civilian casualties, nor do those who are coming to our assistance,' he
said. 'But the war has already begun.'

What, he then asked, about the strange insistence of the anti-war movement
that Iraqis must not be liberated until Israel withdraws from the occupied
territories? Would the converse apply? If the Palestinians were on the verge
of seeing Israeli rule overthrown, would hundreds of thousands take to the
streets of London and bellow that Palestinians could not get rid of Sharon
until Iraqis got rid of Saddam? Salih doubted it and also had little time
for those who say war should be opposed because 'it's all about oil'.

So what? he asked. 'Iraqis know that their human rights have too often been
ignored because Iraqi oil was more important to the world than Iraqi lives.
It would be a good irony if at long last oil becomes a cause of our
liberation - if this is the case, then so be it. The oil will be a blessing
and not the curse that it has been for so long... So to those who say "No
War", I say, of course "yes", but we can only have "No War" if there is "No
Dictatorship" and "No Genocide".'

Readers with access to the internet can read the whole speech at
www.puk.org. I urge you to do so because you're never going to hear
democratic Iraqi voices if you rely on the anti-war movement. For most of
the time, the comrades pretend the Iraqi opposition doesn't exist.

Harold Pinter is the most striking member of a British Left with its hands
over its ears. In 1988 he staged Mountain Language, a play about the banning
of Kurdish in Turkey. The conceit was all too realistic: the world would
never know of the suffering of the Kurds because the Kurds would never be
allowed to speak. ('Your language is forbidden,' an officer bellows at
Kurdish women. 'It is dead. No one is allowed to speak your language. Your
language no longer exists. Any questions?')

In 2003 when Iraqi Kurds found the words to ask for aid in an anti-fascist
struggle, Pinter turned Pinteresque. He refused to hear the mountain tongue
he had once defended and became a noisy supporter of the Stop the War
coalition. The current issue of the left-wing magazine Red Pepper takes
evasion into outright falsehood. It condemns journalists - well, one
journalist, me - for being conned into believing the Iraqi opposition
supports war. Only American stooges in the Iraqi National Congress want war,
it announces with mendacious self-confidence. The main Iraqi parties - which
Red Pepper lists as the Kurdish Democratic Party, Supreme Council for the
Islamic Revolution and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan - are with the peace
protesters.

It's a convincing case, spoilt only by the fact that the Iraqi National
Congress is an umbrella organisation whose members include the Kurdish
Democratic Party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution and,
indeed, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, whose leader flew to Europe to beg
the Left to get its priorities right and support a war against tyranny.

If evasion and lies won't do, vilification is the last resort. The writings
of the Iraqi intellectual Kanan Makiya have inspired the opposition and
brought him many enemies, not least Saddam Hussein, who wants him dead.
Edward Said has been only slightly less forgiving. Makiya, he wrote
recently, is a man 'devoid of either compassion or real understanding, he
prattles on for Anglo-American audiences who seem satisfied that here at
last is an Arab who exhibits the proper respect for their power and
civilisation... He represents the intellectual who serves power
unquestioningly; the greater the power, the fewer doubts he has.'

I like a good polemic and used to have some time for Said. But he too has
fled into denial. Like the rest of anti-war movement he refuses to
acknowledge that Makiya, Salih and their comrades are fighting the political
battle of their lives against those 'Anglo-American audiences' in the
powerhouses of London and Washington who oppose a democratic settlement.
(See Makiya's article on page 20.) The democrats are struggling without the
support of Western liberals and socialists because they don't fit into a pat
world view.

Here's why. The conclusion the Iraqi opposition has reluctantly reached is
that there is no way other than war to remove a tyrant whose five secret
police forces make a palace coup or popular uprising impossible. As the only
military force on offer is provided by America, they will accept an American
invasion.

This is their first mistake. American and British power is always bad in the
eyes of muddle-headed Left, the recent liberations of East Timor, Sierra
Leone and Kosovo notwithstanding.

Then the uppity wogs compound their offence and tell their European betters
to think about the political complexities. The British and American
governments aren't monoliths, they argue. The State Department and the CIA
have always been the foes of Iraqi freedom. But they are countered by the
Pentagon and a US Congress which passed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 - a
law which instructs the American government to support democracy. Not one
Iraqi I have met trusts the Foreign Office. However, they have had a
grudging admiration for Tony Blair ever since he met the Kurdish leaders and
gave them a fair hearing - a courteous gesture which hasn't been matched by
the Pinters, Trotskyists, bishops, actresses and chorus girls on yesterday's
march.

The Iraqis must now accept that they will have to fight for democracy
without the support of the British Left. Disgraceful though our failure to
hear them has been, I can't help thinking that they'll be better off without
us

Ken Wilson

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 10:22:09 AM2/17/03
to
Manor wrote:
>You know, people of every political ilk lay claim to Dylan. But despite
>the Newt Gingriches of the world, it became clear to me as Arlo sang
>Dylan's song, that such ideas are pretty silly. This much I know - it is
>unimaginable to me for that song to be performed at any kind of rally the
>other side might hold. <

It's so ironic to hear this kind of thing over and over and over from the
self-professed peace lovers. Not that I doubt their ultimate good will. And
Manor's post, like Nate's on the U.N, is moving. But . . . pardon the
pedanticism . . . don't we know that deep and lasting peace only comes when
both sides set aside suspicion long enough to try to see things from the
other's perspective, so that they're no longer other, no longer “despicable”
in their differing views? We find common ground and thus the possibility of
peace when we're willing to search for decency and virtue on the “other”
side. Is it possible that even silver spoon George Bush, for all his obvious
faults, could have the best interests of the country and the Middle East in
mind?

We aren’t going to agree on this war, but we couldn't at least recognize
each other as allies in our larger purposes? Ah, but what fun is that when
we can namecall instead? The “peace” crowd does love to have enemies,
doesn’t it?

Of course they're not all alike, and I don't mean to jump on you, Manor, and
impute views you don't hold. But yes, the “other” side also longs for true
peace, and yes, the "other" side could sing a song that's no mere
simpleminded call for a superficial peace at any cost, but a plea for
freedom, empathy, and the recognition of each and every person's full
humanity. "How many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just
doesn't see?"

On a related note, I see today’s NY Times has a story on the effort by a
group of investors to counter Rush Limbaugh and Company with a bloc of
liberal radio programming. I would just love to hear serious liberal talk
radio, but is that what they’re planning -- sober discussion of the issues?
No, they’re planning comedy and satire, just the thing that cements false
stereotypes and reinforces prejudice.

Al Franken: "I think the audience isn't there for a liberal Rush. Because I
think liberals don't want to hear that kind of demagoguery."

Good grief. They don’t know themselves at all.

Ken

_________________________________________________________________
Protect your PC - get McAfee.com VirusScan Online
http://clinic.mcafee.com/clinic/ibuy/campaign.asp?cid=3963

GW

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 12:52:47 PM2/17/03
to

"Manor" <Ma...@snez.net> wrote in message
news:5.1.1.6.0.200302...@snez.net...
>
> You know, people of every political ilk lay claim to Dylan. But despite
> the Newt Gingriches of the world, it became clear to me as Arlo sang
> Dylan's song, that such ideas are pretty silly. This much I know - it is
> unimaginable to me for that song to be performed at any kind of rally the
> other side might hold.
>

That 'other side' may be grappling with the facts of the case, which doesn't
necessarily make them morally inferior. I've questioned the disarmament
case as well, and I'm noticing the better informed people consider it a
serious matter. If the principle of the peace party is to never take a risk
now to forestall a later risk, then the peace party may be following a
principle that's proven morally disastrous in some past situations. If the
peace proponents believe enforcement of the resolution should be postponed a
few months in hope that inspections might finally work, that's possibly a
morally superior position. But such a stance would involve humility because
of its uncertainty, rather than the spirit of self-congratulation in this
'which side sings the song more appropriately' surmise.


Delia

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 2:49:10 PM2/17/03
to
kfw...@msn.com (Ken Wilson) wrote in message news:<F11TEPcOhNtWZ...@hotmail.com>...


I believe in your good will, Ken. And I can believe in Powell's even
when I disagree with him. But you must believe me when I say that
Bush has a personal air of arrogance and self-righteousness that does
not come off as attractive to outsiders. My personal belief is that
hypocrisy is pretty well evenly distributed throughout the human race
and no sector is immune. But the fact of the matter is, Bush is not
coming across well to the outside world.


Delia

BlindWillieCanSmell

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 3:31:22 PM2/17/03
to

> Bush has a personal air of arrogance and self-righteousness that does
> not come off as attractive to outsiders.

Apparently Delia hasn't heard the French and German speeches of late.

It's too bad Al Gore isn't President today. He would have such a better
grasp of things, considering that he invented the United Nations.

Delia

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 6:25:41 PM2/17/03
to
"GW" <gwal...@columbus.rr.com> wrote in message
news:Pj94a.201741$GF.54...@twister.columbus.rr.com...
I would be perfectly happy if it turned out that this was all an elaborate
game of good cop-bad cop, with Blix and the inspectors playing good cop, and
Bush and Blair playing bad cop in order to force Hussein to give up whatever
he's hiding. I think that might be an effective strategy, actually. But
somehow I think I'm daydreaming.

--
Delia


devorahmuse

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 6:46:39 PM2/17/03
to

devorahmuse

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 6:46:39 PM2/17/03
to

devorahmuse

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 6:57:51 PM2/17/03
to
Yes interesting ideas presented here. I think there is some truth to
it for sure. Duality is an evil thing...it tends to create the
perpetual motion of defeat, since either party keeps the game going
with no real ability to gestalt the real issues. However, there is a
place for strong opposition and we certainly need it Now, so I guees
when all else fails in discourse. The problem with Bush administration
is that they have Not tried the other recourses. He doesn't even have
charm, something of which Clinton managed to use so well in his
creating valuable dialouge with other nations, F0r the most part, as
in the Isreal & Palestine situation (weak term for it), however right
when Clinton was getting things done there, it was the changing of the
gaurds and we got two fuck heads (oops pardon my language)running OUR
country and Isreal...shit then the whole thing Clinton built up went
right out the window.
Yeah I agree Bush has no way with people of other cultures...He wreaks
of self righteousness to the point that he alienates everyone!
It didn't take long for him to alienate virtually every walk of life
in this country. I do think even the upper class can be heard talking
down on Bush...there are enough of them to see his character as
nothing more than a Ivy school league Brat that he is!

love the muse

BlindWillieCanSmell

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 8:06:58 PM2/17/03
to

> I do think even the upper class can be heard talking
> down on Bush...there are enough of them to see his character as
> nothing more than a Ivy school league Brat that he is!

How would you know about "the upper class?" Are you a butler?

Bill Goldman

unread,
Feb 17, 2003, 9:06:57 PM2/17/03
to
On 17/2/03 11:46 pm, in article
5ff4a8ac.03021...@posting.google.com, "devorahmuse"
<devor...@yahoo.com> wrote:

And comedy and satire are among the healthiest expressions of political
interest and awareness - if they're good, of course (which also applies to
"serious discussions"). I speak as one who can enjoy a good rightwing
satirist, even - though God knows they are few on the ground.
Dubya is like a kind of satirical puppet of himself - that's his problem,
imo.

Ken Wilson

unread,
Feb 18, 2003, 1:39:26 PM2/18/03
to
Delia wrote:
>>I believe in your good will, Ken. And I can believe in Powell's even when
>>I disagree with him. But you must believe me when I say that
Bush has a personal air of arrogance and self-righteousness that does not
come off as attractive to outsiders. My personal belief is that hypocrisy
is pretty well evenly distributed throughout the human race and no sector is
immune. But the fact of the matter is, Bush is not coming across well to
the outside world. <<

Bill Goldman wrote:
>And comedy and satire are among the healthiest expressions of political
>interest and awareness - if they're good, of course (which also applies to
>"serious discussions"). I speak as one who can enjoy a good rightwing
>satirist, even - though God knows they are few on the ground. <

Thank you, Delia. Of course I agree there are hypocrites in every camp, and
I too think a lot more of Powell than of Bush. But as for Bush's seeming
arrogance, he may look that way because he's determined, but his
determination is what's forced Saddam to cooperate with the inspectors. As
for his affect, I wonder if that isn't related to his, uh, dispronunciations
and inarticulabilty. He's emotional and his responsibility weighs heavy on
him, but he expresses himself poorly.

Bill, I think political satire is great when people are well-informed and
inclined to thoughtfulness, but not when they happily cling to glib
stereotypes and think with their emotions. And this programming will have an
ideological purpose, so it's not likely to challenge the faithful anymore
than Limbaugh challenges his listeners.

Ken

_________________________________________________________________
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John Howells

unread,
Feb 18, 2003, 4:03:40 PM2/18/03
to
"Delia" <hanse...@attbi.com> writes:

<I would be perfectly happy if it turned out that this was all an elaborate
<game of good cop-bad cop, with Blix and the inspectors playing good cop, and
<Bush and Blair playing bad cop in order to force Hussein to give up whatever
<he's hiding. I think that might be an effective strategy, actually. But
<somehow I think I'm daydreaming.

Even if this turns out to be the case, and Saddam disarms out of
fear of what the US and Britain might do, it is still entirely
unforgivable behavior on the part of of Bush and Blair. Just look
at the damage all of this war hysteria has done to our economy.
People are suffering because of this. And then there's the damage
done to the USA's reputation throughout the entire world - not just
the middle east. It may take decades to recover from what Bush has
done. This game of good cop/bad cop, all done strictly for political
gain, is one of the most immoral "games" any world leader has ever
played. Impeach Bush now.

--

John Howells
how...@punkhart.com
http://www.punkhart.com

Bill Goldman

unread,
Feb 18, 2003, 6:52:49 PM2/18/03
to
On 18/2/03 6:39 pm, in article F18SToVoSrA6h...@hotmail.com, "Ken
Wilson" <kfw...@msn.com> wrote:

> Bill Goldman wrote:
>> And comedy and satire are among the healthiest expressions of political
>> interest and awareness - if they're good, of course (which also applies to
>> "serious discussions"). I speak as one who can enjoy a good rightwing
>> satirist, even - though God knows they are few on the ground. <
>
> Thank you, Delia. Of course I agree there are hypocrites in every camp, and
> I too think a lot more of Powell than of Bush. But as for Bush's seeming
> arrogance, he may look that way because he's determined, but his
> determination is what's forced Saddam to cooperate with the inspectors. As
> for his affect, I wonder if that isn't related to his, uh, dispronunciations
> and inarticulabilty. He's emotional and his responsibility weighs heavy on
> him, but he expresses himself poorly.
>
> Bill, I think political satire is great when people are well-informed and
> inclined to thoughtfulness, but not when they happily cling to glib
> stereotypes and think with their emotions. And this programming will have an
> ideological purpose, so it's not likely to challenge the faithful anymore
> than Limbaugh challenges his listeners.

Well, I think I'd agree with that, Ken, though even sharp, "unfair" parody
and ridicule can serve a purpose and indeed make people think. One rule of
thumb that's just occurred to me is that if it's funny, if it makes you
laugh, it can't be all bad.
The British satire magazine Private Eye has a regular feature which is a
page from the parish magazine of "St Albion's", of which Revd. Blair is the
vicar. It does parody some of Blair's characteristics very well. Each week
there is a short message also, from "the Rev.d Dubya" of the "Church of the
Latter Day Morons", which I find quite funny, though I think you probably
don't. That may be because it's unfair and one-sided, but I don't see what's
wrong with caricature, which is the art of exaggerating one feature of a
person and making it stand for the whole. As long as one doesn't think,
seriously, that Bush is literally a mere "moron", I think it's funny and has
truth-value. It uses a stereotype, to be sure, but for humorous and
satirical rather than ideological purposes.

John Gannon

unread,
Feb 18, 2003, 9:32:11 PM2/18/03
to
I beg to differ. I can easily imagine the "other side" using Blowin'
In the Wind.
-"how many times must the cannonballs fly before there forever
banned?"
Saddam Hussein has refused to disarm for 12 years. He has used
chemical and biological weapons on his own people and others. How many
times will he defy the will of the international community before he
is disarmed? When will the world say, ENOUGH? How many last chances is
Saddam to have? How many more opportunities will he have to fly his
"cannonballs", or to give them to others to fly before he is forever
stopped?

-"how many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?"
The Iraqi people have suffered under Saddam for more than a quarter of
a century, during which time he has impoverished them, killed, maimed,
gassed, and tortured millions of them in order to maintain his rule.
How long will the world, particularly Saddam's apologists on the left,
ignore the cries of the Iraqi people? How many ears have been deaf to
their cries for so long? How long will the "peace" movement turn a
deaf ear to their suffering? When will the left realize that the Iraqi
people deserve peace too? Because true peace is not simply the absence
of war.

- "how many deaths will it take 'til he knows that too many people
have died?"
As Tony Blair aptly pointed out, the total number of people who
marched last weekend was still smaller than the number of people who
have died as a result of Saddam Hussein. How many more must die?
Saddam has killed far more innocent Iraqis than the U.S. would kill in
10 wars against Iraq. The truth is, my &#8220;peace-loving&#8221;
friends, that the U.S. designs its military strategy in such a way and
spends billions of dollars to develop weapons that minimize the damage
to civilian life and infrastructure. The Pentagon has already
announced that it will not target bridges, power plants, and other
infrastructure this time around. Saddam, on the other hand, will
attempt to destroy these assets and kill innocents in the desperate
attempt to paint the allied coalition as barbaric. Will the left once
again aid and abet him by accepting his lies at face value?

- "how many years must some people exist before they're allowed to be
free?"
The Iraqi people have no rights, no freedoms. Any who attempt to
exercise the rights of free expression that so many took advantage of
last Saturday are tortured and killed. That doesn't happen in the U.S.
and Britain, even though most of the demonstrators seem to think that
they are the two most evil nations in the world. How long must the
Iraqis exist before they are allowed to be free? Inspections and
sanctions won't achieve that freedom. They haven't in the last 12
years and they won't in the next 12, 24, or 48. Unless he is removed
from power Saddam will simply hand over power someday to his equally
cruel and repressive son, Uday. It&#8217;s high time that the Iraqi
people are given the chance to experience the same freedoms that all
of the protesters take for granted.

-"how many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just
doesn't see?"
If those who marched this weekend truly wanted peace, real peace, how
come all the demonstrations, chants and slogans were aimed at the
United States and the United Kingdom, at President Bush and Prime
Minister Blair? Why didn't anyone protest the actions of the other
party to this conflict, the one who has it completely in his power to
stop the war by simply complying with 17 U.N. resolutions that have
called on him to destroy his biological and chemical weapons? America
is not the enemy here, Saddam is. When will those who march in the
streets recognize that cruel and murderous dictators and their
terrorist allies and surrogates are the true enemies of peace, freedom
and stability? Judging by the irrational and ill considered rhetoric
of most of those who marched in the streets this past weekend (and of
certain heads of state who have attempted to threaten their weaker
neighbors into compliance with their own anti-American stances) the
answer seems not to be blowing in the wind, but rather to be quite
clear: NEVER.

So you see, we on the &#8220;other side&#8221; can appropriate the
master&#8217;s words for our own arguments just as easily as you can.
Not all of Bob Dylan&#8217;s fans are leftists, you know. I would
humbly submit that this is, in fact, Bob&#8217;s genius. Namely, that
his words appeal to people across all divides of culture, religion,
race and yes, even politics. They are universal and eternally open to
new interpretations, regardless of what Bob himself may originally
have had in mind. That is why Dylan continues to attract new fans
across successive generations, and why his work will last long after
this conflict, and all of us are gone.

P.S. I can also offer an interpretation of &#8220;Master&#8217;s of
War&#8221; from my point of view, but that is for another day.

John Gannon

John Howells

unread,
Feb 18, 2003, 11:13:42 PM2/18/03
to
jgan...@kent.edu (John Gannon) writes:

<P.S. I can also offer an interpretation of &#8220;Master&#8217;s of
<War&#8221; from my point of view, but that is for another day.

No thanks.

tmon

unread,
Feb 18, 2003, 11:20:39 PM2/18/03
to

From: jgan...@kent.edu (John Gannon)
Iraq. The truth is, my “peace-loving†friends, that the U.S.

designs its military strategy in such a way and spends billions of
dollars to develop weapons that minimize the damage to civilian life and
infrastructure. The Pentagon has already announced that it will not
target bridges, power plants, and other infrastructure this time around.
Saddam, on the other hand, will attempt to destroy these assets and kill
innocents in the desperate attempt to paint the allied coalition as
barbaric. Will the left once again aid and abet him by accepting his
lies at face value?
- "how many years must some people exist before they're allowed to be
free?"
The Iraqi people have no rights, no freedoms. Any who attempt to
exercise the rights of free expression that so many took advantage of
last Saturday are tortured and killed. That doesn't happen in the U.S.
and Britain, even though most of the demonstrators seem to think that
they are the two most evil nations in the world. How long must the
Iraqis exist before they are allowed to be free? Inspections and
sanctions won't achieve that freedom. They haven't in the last 12 years
and they won't in the next 12, 24, or 48. Unless he is removed from
power Saddam will simply hand over power someday to his equally cruel
and repressive son, Uday. It’s high time that the Iraqi people are

given the chance to experience the same freedoms that all of the
protesters take for granted.
-"how many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just
doesn't see?"
If those who marched this weekend truly wanted peace, real peace, how
come all the demonstrations, chants and slogans were aimed at the United
States and the United Kingdom, at President Bush and Prime Minister
Blair? Why didn't anyone protest the actions of the other party to this
conflict, the one who has it completely in his power to stop the war by
simply complying with 17 U.N. resolutions that have called on him to
destroy his biological and chemical weapons? America is not the enemy
here, Saddam is. When will those who march in the streets recognize that
cruel and murderous dictators and their terrorist allies and surrogates
are the true enemies of peace, freedom and stability? Judging by the
irrational and ill considered rhetoric of most of those who marched in
the streets this past weekend (and of certain heads of state who have
attempted to threaten their weaker neighbors into compliance with their
own anti-American stances) the answer seems not to be blowing in the
wind, but rather to be quite clear: NEVER.
So you see, we on the “other side†can appropriate the
master’s words for our own arguments just as easily as you can.
Not all of Bob Dylan’s fans are leftists, you know. I would humbly
submit that this is, in fact, Bob’s genius. Namely, that his words

appeal to people across all divides of culture, religion, race and yes,
even politics. They are universal and eternally open to new
interpretations, regardless of what Bob himself may originally have had
in mind. That is why Dylan continues to attract new fans across
successive generations, and why his work will last long after this
conflict, and all of us are gone.
P.S. I can also offer an interpretation of “Master’s of
War†from my point of view, but that is for another day.
John Gannon >

Well written John, but do realize you are wasting your breath with the
anti-war lefties. To them war=evil no matter the circumstances. If
there was ever a land invasion of the US they would wait for the UN to
authorize force to defend themselves. In their simple-minded rose
colored picture of the world, brutal dictators like Hussein are really
misunderstood peaceful men at heart who want peace as much as they do.
This is because at heart they hate the USA. And of course there's the
issue that the perceived enemy of the left Bush is detemined to
prosecute this war. You'd see these limousine lefties singing a
different tune if their boy Clinton was the one going to war.

BlindWillieCanSmell

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 1:43:00 AM2/19/03
to

Impeach Bush now.

You're hallucinating again.

Avylan

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 2:36:02 AM2/19/03
to
I don't think that people appreciate how much broken glass there is lying on
the floor after all these months of tension. Bush has been incredibly
clumsy. Blair's assumption that he could steer Bush along a path which would
keep their trajectory inside international law has in the end been
counterproductive, because Bush has made it abundantly clear how insincere
this effort has been. ('You can give it to me now, I'll take it anyhow.')
What seems likely now is that Bush will go it alone anyway, probably without
a UN mandate acceptable to anyone but himself and his paid-for allies. This
will fuel anger around the world at the usurping of UN power, and it puts
Blair in an almost impossible position. Blair will likely have to follow,
enraging a lot of Britons, and adding to the anger around the world. The
anger will translate to general suspicion of US motives in pretty anything
it does in the international arena. With gaussian behavior patterns, it's to
be expected that there will be a deeper well of desperate people for
terrorists to draw from. This will bring no-one more security, except of
course the people of that future land of milk and honey, and democratic
beacon, Iraq.

I hope that this situatio isn't going to last for decades, although for even
longer people will hark back to this as disastrous examples of crisis
management and international diplomacy. If there were to be a US president
elected (or is that a strict requirement anymore?) who signed up to
international institutions, respected them and tried to work co-operatively
with them it would be greeted with enormous relief around the world. Hey,
she could even pay the UN dues!

And one final thing: I know that the U.S. constitution is often touted as
being superbly crafted by people with incredible foresight, but the way I
understand it, if you impeach Bush, then Cheney replaces him. That wasn't so
smart, was it?

Mike

"John Howells" <how...@punkhart.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:Mcx4a.1332$8Z5....@sea-read.news.verio.net...

Delia

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 1:23:25 PM2/19/03
to

"tmon" <tm...@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:12037-3E...@storefull-2358.public.lawson.webtv.net...


Well written John, but do realize you are wasting your breath with the
anti-war lefties. To them war=evil no matter the circumstances. If
there was ever a land invasion of the US they would wait for the UN to
authorize force to defend themselves. In their simple-minded rose
colored picture of the world, brutal dictators like Hussein are really
misunderstood peaceful men at heart who want peace as much as they do.
This is because at heart they hate the USA. And of course there's the
issue that the perceived enemy of the left Bush is detemined to
prosecute this war. You'd see these limousine lefties singing a
different tune if their boy Clinton was the one going to war.

This just isn't true. Many of us on rmd who question this current
adventure supported the war against the Taliban. Go back and check the
google files. You can wonder why the anti-war demonstrations in the fall
and winter of 2001 were so small and isolated. It's because the great
majority of the American people supported that action and understood the
reasoning behind them. The reason these anti-war demonstrations are larger
and are gaining progressively more support from wider sectors of the
population (not just isolated groups of lefties) is because larger groups of
Americans are questioning the reasoning of the administration concerning the
necessity for attacking Iraq. It's not just pacifists. I myself believe
there are cases in which armed force must be used. There are WWII veterans
who have voiced opposition to this adventure.
Even your own post is not consistent. At one point you say the lefties
claim all war is evil. At another you claim they would be singing a
different tune if Clinton were going to war.

--
Delia


BlindWillieCanSmell

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 2:20:36 PM2/19/03
to


> At one point you say the lefties claim all war is evil.
> At another you claim they would be singing a different tune if Clinton
> were going to war.
>
> --
> Delia

Nice spin AGAIN, Delia......but tmon is not the inconsistent one. This is
truly what the liberal extremists say when a Republican is in office. Then
when "their guy" gets in, they have selective amnesia. Especially if it's
a first term President -- then they'll bite the bullet so that he has
better chances of getting re-elected. Just look at how inconsistent
Democrats were on the Monica Lewinsky / Paula Jones issues vs. how they
crucified Clarence Thomas.

Liberals wrote the book on INCONSISTENCY.

raven

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 2:48:59 PM2/19/03
to

Here's a website where you can do just that....

http://votetoimpeach.org/

tmon

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 2:48:00 PM2/19/03
to
From: hanse...@attbi.com (Delia)
"tmon" <tm...@webtv.net> wrote in message:

Well written John, but do realize you are wasting your breath with the
anti-war lefties. To them war=evil no matter the circumstances. If there
was ever a land invasion of the US they would wait for the UN to
authorize force to defend themselves. In their simple-minded rose
colored picture of the world, brutal dictators like Hussein are really
misunderstood peaceful men at heart who want peace as much as they do.
This is because at heart they hate the USA. And of course there's the
issue that the perceived enemy of the left Bush is detemined to
prosecute this war. You'd see these limousine lefties singing a
different tune if their boy Clinton was the one going to war.

<This just isn't true. Many of us on rmd who question this current
adventure supported the war against the Taliban. Go back and check the
google files.>

And many of you did not. A so-called respected member of RMD, Professor
Scobie, even suggested that the WTC was a legitimate target for the
terrorists because it was a center of economic power. Look it up if
you'd like.

<You can wonder why the anti-war demonstrations in the fall and winter
of 2001 were so small and isolated. It's because the great majority of
the American people supported that action and understood the reasoning
behind them. The reason these anti-war demonstrations are larger and are
gaining progressively more support from wider sectors of the population
(not just isolated groups of lefties) is because larger groups of
Americans are questioning the reasoning of the administration concerning
the necessity for attacking Iraq. It's not just pacifists.>

There was more support for the Afghanistan campaign because 9/11 had
just happened. There hasn't been an attack in almost a year and a half
now. Some people have short memories.

< I myself believe there are cases in which armed force must be used.
There are WWII veterans who have voiced opposition to this adventure.>

Veterans might not be the most objective people to ask about war. My
father is a WW II veteran and has questioned every US military campaign
that I can remember. It scars a man, you know.

< Even your own post is not consistent. At one point you say the lefties
claim all war is evil. At another you claim they would be singing a
different tune if Clinton were going to war.>

OK, what I should have said is that a large majority of the left is
comprised of two types of people. The pacifist types and the partisan
types who will oppose a conservative such as Bush no matter what he
does.

Chad M Schuldt

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 3:16:53 PM2/19/03
to
I see where you're coming from and this just goes to show how a Dylan
song can be interpreted from two very different points of view.

I, however, completely disagree. I've always heard BITW as promoting
peace. That's hardly what Bush and Blair have been doing for the last
six months. GW, I suspect, has wanted this war since the day he was
elected ("He tried to kill my daddy.") I don't think his
administration has seriously considered another possibility other than
war.

I sympathize with the Iraqi people, but is violence the answer? I'm
not so sure. Is doing nothing the answer? I would hardly say that.
However, we as a planet need to find peaceful alternatives to
achieving our goals or we have no real future here -- violence breeds
violence.

Does anyone really think that by bringing war to Iraq, the U.S. will
somehow help its cause in the war against terrorism? Hell no -- this
is going to incite the radicals to bring even more terror.

Or perhaps another state that has nothing to lose will get in on the
action in support of Saddam? (--->North Korea<---)

Or perhaps, GW will see this as an opportunity to show the mainstream
Muslim world the U.S. really wants to bring a better life to the Iraqi
people. That would be the best-case scenario. But it would takes
years (if not decades) to prove it, and by then it may be too late to
stem continued terror attacks against the West and Israel. What has
GW gained? (--->oil<---)

What is the world gaining from this war? Is the goal to disarm
Saddam? I'm not sure we have solid evidence that he needs to be
disarmed. Even if that was the goal, simply disarming him wouldn't
necessarily bring relief to the Iraqi people.

All of GW's actions just seem a little suspect -- his words actions
don't line up with the reality of the situation. This makes if very
difficult for me to personally support a war. I wish he would make a
stronger case, because I really do want to see the Iraqi people enjoy
freedom.


jgan...@kent.edu (John Gannon) wrote in message news:<51b44921.03021...@posting.google.com>...


> I beg to differ. I can easily imagine the "other side" using Blowin'
> In the Wind.

<snipped>

tmon

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 3:11:22 PM2/19/03
to
From: rav...@direcpc.com (raven)


<Here's a website where you can do just that....
http://votetoimpeach.org/>

LMAO, how silly. I wouldn't vote if I were you. John Ashcroft might
take your computer privileges away.

Your Pal Brian

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 5:55:00 PM2/19/03
to
raven wrote:

> > This game of good cop/bad cop, all done strictly for political
> > gain, is one of the most immoral "games" any world leader has ever
> > played. Impeach Bush now.
>

> Here's a website where you can do just that....
>
> http://votetoimpeach.org/

"View The Articles Of Impeachment,
Drafted By Former U.S. Attorney General
Ramsey Clark"

Heh heh heh.

Brian

tmon

unread,
Feb 19, 2003, 8:23:26 PM2/19/03
to
Just as an after thought Delia, why do you think there were virtually
'no' demonstrations when Clinton was bombing the shit out of Kosovo?
Hmm?

Delia

unread,
Feb 20, 2003, 1:27:04 AM2/20/03
to
"tmon" <tm...@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:7117-3E5...@storefull-2356.public.lawson.webtv.net...

> Just as an after thought Delia, why do you think there were virtually
> 'no' demonstrations when Clinton was bombing the shit out of Kosovo?
> Hmm?

Because Milosovic had already used up whatever credits he had in the bank of
world opinion with recent and well-documented episodes of genocide. Clinton
had worked hard at brokering previous peace deals in the region. The forces
under Milosovic's control/influence had already started committing
atrocities in Kosovo. All this was well-documented. There was immediate
danger of a repeat of the earlier massacres. The whole dynamic of the
situation was completely different from Iraq. The Republicans didn't make a
fuss at the time either.

BTW, I read a while ago of an unexpected payoff of the intervention in
Kosovo: the Kosovars have thrown out anti-American Muslim fundamentalists
who tried to establish themselves there. They consider the Americans their
friends and protectors.

--
Delia

>


tmon

unread,
Feb 20, 2003, 2:19:31 AM2/20/03
to
From: hanse...@attbi.com (Delia)
"tmon" <tm...@webtv.net> wrote in message:


Just as an after thought Delia, why do you think there were virtually
'no' demonstrations when Clinton was bombing the shit out of Kosovo?
Hmm?

<Because Milosovic had already used up whatever credits he had in the
bank of world opinion with recent and well-documented episodes of
genocide.>

How many years back do you want to go for documented atrocities
committed by Hussein? Shall we discuss his use of chemical weapons
against Iran and his fellow citizens the Kurds in the north? Or should
we discuss his invasion of Kuwait when his army raped and murdered
thousands of innocent people?

< Clinton had worked hard at brokering previous peace deals in the
region. The forces under Milosovic's control/influence had already
started committing atrocities in Kosovo. All this was well-documented.
There was immediate danger of a repeat of the earlier massacres. The
whole dynamic of the situation was completely different from Iraq. The
Republicans didn't make a fuss at the time either.>

Clinton ordered the bombing of Kosovo strictly for humanitarian reasons.
Bush is going to attack Iraq to protect the U.S.A.. I'd rather have the
president protect the U.S. first and worry about atrocities around the
world later.

<BTW, I read a while ago of an unexpected payoff of the intervention in
Kosovo: the Kosovars have thrown out anti-American Muslim
fundamentalists who tried to establish themselves there. They consider
the Americans their friends and protectors.>

And the Iraqis will do the same shortly.

Timothy Herrick

unread,
Feb 20, 2003, 6:13:57 PM2/20/03
to
From: Ken Wilson <kfw...@msn.com>
Subject: Re: Blowin' in the Wind

>On a related note, I see today’s NY Times has a story on the effort by a
>group of investors to counter Rush Limbaugh and Company with a bloc of
>liberal radio programming. I would just love to hear serious liberal talk
>radio, but is that what they’re planning -- sober discussion of the issues?
>No, they’re planning comedy and satire, just the thing that cements false
>stereotypes and reinforces prejudice.

>Al Franken: "I think the audience isn't there for a liberal Rush. Because I
>think liberals don't want to hear that kind of demagoguery."

>Good grief. They don’t know themselves at all

Excuse me, what planet do you live on? Rush Limbaugh is a "serious"
conservative talk show, he presents a "sober" discussion? You got to be
kidding me. If William F Buckley was dead, he would be rolling over in his
grave over that one. Firing Line is much missed.

Rush Limbaugh is an interesting sack of shit. Any time he is criticized for
his remarks, he falls back on this defense that his genious was to combine
politics with entertainment. He says he’s an entertainer. Ditto heads get
arrested for making death threats against Daschle. No responsiblity, I’m an
entertainer.

I heard an inerview with Franken on this possiblity of a liberal talk show.
He said that the demogoguery wouldn’t work because liberals like information,
want to discuss the issues. Liberal points of view don’t travel well in our
sound bite media world. Is it easier to discuss how the norwood dingle
patient bill of rights would reform healthcare, or Al gore’s plan for
incremental implentation of universal healthcare coverage, or to dismiss it
as "socialized medicine rationing care." What gets the sound bite?

Franken made the point that liberals listen to NPR, not because it is
liberal, (how can it be, they have more business coverage than any commerical
radio station) but because the air the BBC and liberals like news about what
is happening in the rest of the world and conservatives don’t.

Franken is a satirsts. A thinking man’s comic. I am sure his radio show would
be entertaining, but also intelligent. Limbaugh is intelligent, but in a
cynical, abusive way. He doesn’t let his intelligence get in the way of his
talk show agenda, which is to demonize everyone who disagrees with him. A
serious, sober discussion is not on his program.

In fact, I don’t know of any serious sober discussion (BESIDES RMD OF COURSE)
in today’s American media. Sure, I like the NPR news more than other radio
news, and most TV news. But a discussion that’s actually intellectual and
compelling? Those two guys on Mcneill, SOMETIMES. But come on, Limbaugh and
company? Mind numbing crap. If it ain’t demagoguery than I don’t know what
is.

And you do the same thing. The part of this post I snipped. You think all
liberals are democrats, as well as leftists, and now, against the war. So now
liberal is everything from proud clintonites (me) to green party freaks to
the ANSWER coalition freaks. It’s absurb. You use liberal as an insult,
whatever the hell liberal means, and then paint everything Rush tells you to
oppose as liberal.

In other words, hate mongering is righteous when you do it, and hate
mongering when you get a taste of your own medicine.

By the way, last week I posted a comment on Powell’s speech to the UN. I made
the point he barely made his case, but made his case he did and gave my well
known reasons for a war. I get this email (not from Ken) condemming me for
being against the war, and let conservatives do the job so you can have the
freedom to post on the bob dylan newsgroup. Sheer idiocy. If you are not for
us you are against us, has become, if you are not a true believer you are
against us. Well, I am against you no matter how hawkish my mideast views
may appear.

frinjdwelr

unread,
Feb 21, 2003, 12:46:45 AM2/21/03
to

"Chad M Schuldt" <schul...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:6f31d69e.03021...@posting.google.com...

> I see where you're coming from and this just goes to show how a Dylan
> song can be interpreted from two very different points of view.

Not really. He wasn't interpreting the song. He was twisting it into a
pretzel attempting to make it fit his thinking. Song interpretation has to
have some connection to the actual content of the song.


>
> I, however, completely disagree. I've always heard BITW as promoting
> peace.

That's because it does -by it's very construct. It's written from a
position of humility, hope and wonder. It's a search with spiritual
overtones. It asks the hard universal questions. People who support war as
the solution have already decided they know the answers. They're not asking
any more. As Manor said in his original moving and much appreciated post,
this song just can't work as an anthem for marching into war. The questions
are being asked by the people saying "wait a minute... what about...?"

>That's hardly what Bush and Blair have been doing for the last
> six months. GW, I suspect, has wanted this war since the day he was
> elected ("He tried to kill my daddy.") I don't think his
> administration has seriously considered another possibility other than
> war.

Rumsfeld admitted as much in an interview he gave today.

> I sympathize with the Iraqi people, but is violence the answer? I'm
> not so sure. Is doing nothing the answer? I would hardly say that.
> However, we as a planet need to find peaceful alternatives to
> achieving our goals or we have no real future here -- violence breeds
> violence.
>
> Does anyone really think that by bringing war to Iraq, the U.S. will
> somehow help its cause in the war against terrorism? Hell no -- this
> is going to incite the radicals to bring even more terror.

As one of the London marchers was quoted "You can't stop terrorism by
dropping bombs on people." This is just so blantantly, blinkin' obvious.
And it's unforgiveable how the Bush administration is corrupting the memory
of the tragic victims of 9/11 by using them as pawns in their game plan.

> Or perhaps another state that has nothing to lose will get in on the
> action in support of Saddam? (--->North Korea<---)
>
> Or perhaps, GW will see this as an opportunity to show the mainstream
> Muslim world the U.S. really wants to bring a better life to the Iraqi
> people. That would be the best-case scenario. But it would takes
> years (if not decades) to prove it, and by then it may be too late to
> stem continued terror attacks against the West and Israel. What has
> GW gained? (--->oil<---)
>
> What is the world gaining from this war? Is the goal to disarm
> Saddam? I'm not sure we have solid evidence that he needs to be
> disarmed. Even if that was the goal, simply disarming him wouldn't
> necessarily bring relief to the Iraqi people.
>
> All of GW's actions just seem a little suspect -- his words actions
> don't line up with the reality of the situation.

A "little" suspect? You're a much kinder person than me.

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