Comments on Patriotism
commentson 15 February 2003 : 18:39, randy sez:

Dave Winer nailed this War for Oil argument- see I think the contention that we're war mongering to control oil doesn't withstand scrutiny.

Having said that, there is certainly room to question the merits of going to war wihout being attacked directly. I assume that there are also people who support Iraq's rights to preserve their cache of dangerous weapons. Both of these arguments are more valid in my mind than the contention that the US is acting too aggressively and motivated by greed.

commentson 16 February 2003 : 17:38, Rob sez:

I agree it isn't entirely about oil at all. The neocons have had an Invade Iraq agenda for years, even the ones who were employed in the private sector. I tracked down this letter they sent in early 1998, 3 1/2 years before 9/11, urging Clinton to attack Iraq. Check out some of the signatories:

Paul Wolfowitz
Don Rumsfeld
Richard Perle
(Perle and Feith used to be advisors to Netanyahu, they prepared a policy paper for him, one of the suggestions in it being restoring the Hashemite throne in Iraq; check it out at; they also wanted to destabilize the entire Middle East for Israel's benefit )
Douglas Feith (currently undersecretery of defense)
Elliot Abrams (convicted criminal in Iran/Contra affair, now appointed senior director for democracy, human rights(!!!) and international operations by Bush)
Richard Armitage (currently Deputy secratary of state)

The 1998 letter is at

This isn't a new war, it's one that many people have been wanting for years. In Bush and 9/11 they got the perfect vehicle and excuse to carry out their plans.

commentson 16 February 2003 : 18:34, Liz Fine sez:

Hi Justin,
Just got back from the anti-war demonstration in NYC. It was really thrilling to be a part of democracy in action. I'm not anti-American and no, I didn't vote for Bush, I just think this war will be a loose/loose situation for all. Will it really oust Saddam? That I'm not so sure of and how many lives will be lost trying?

commentson 16 February 2003 : 18:48, Frank sez:

I guess all those patriotic flags hanging off the back of cars couldn't weather two cold winters.

I'm proud to say that I flew an American flag off the porch of my house long before 9/11 and well after 9/11.

To answer Liz's post; yes, he will be ousted. It will take less than 2 weeks. Stop wasting your time and attending anti-american peace demonstrations.

commentson 16 February 2003 : 18:50, chris sez:

But proving that this isn't about oil doesn't do much to prove that it's necessary.

Sketchy, arbitrary "intelligence" and bombast from Powell still doesn't provide any more linkage between Iraq and Al Queda (or whatever the latest vogue spelling is) than Iran. If Iraq isn't posing a unique threat (which they haven't in ten years) to Middle East stability and we have only suspicions about their involvement with international terrorism, questioning the decision-making that has us heading toward heavy military incursions doesn't seem unpatriotic whatsoever. In fact, protecting US lives and seeking to avoid catalyzing more terrorist opposition seems more patriotic to me. The goal is to decrease terrorism and loss of life, right?

As far as the pop culture shift from 9-11 flags to no war signs, I don't really think it speaks to the question of "patriotism" at all. An analogy: murder victim's families that don't support the death penalty for the murderers aren't subordinating justice.

Don't fall victim to this "100% support or treason" rhetoric -- it's meant to chill dissent, nothing more.

It's all political, same as it ever was.

commentson 16 February 2003 : 19:01, MarkPaul sez:

I have very mixed feelings about this very topic. I wanted to join in the rush for peace and declare my patriotism, but I also wanted to lodge my complaint about the indefensible behaviour of Sadaam while still being a patriot. So, I didn't join in any demonstrations. And I didn't buy any duct tape and plastic sheeting. For now, all I'm doing is posting my thoughts here. I still think of myself as a patriot.

commentson 17 February 2003 : 00:51, wayne sez:

anyone who thinks the iraq situation is about oil, yet owns a bumper to put a
"no war for oil" sticker on, has already cast their vote for the war.

it's a funny thing; in san francisco they often seem to be on subarus and old beetles. i guess these are the cars that do not run on oil.

it reminds me: once in the 1980s i saw a volkswagen with a bumper sticker that read "remember pearl harbor - don't buy japanese!"

commentson 17 February 2003 : 07:44, OtherJustin sez:

Mark- It's really disapointing to hear that you couldn't find a way to express your ideas with out feeling unpatriotic. There is this attitude lately that we should support our country 'right or wrong', but isn't actually improving the country more patriotic?

Wayne- You have a point, but I think it's unfair to equate using a car with voting for this war. By that argument every person in the country has voted for the war, provided they are hooked into the economy in any way. If you buy something from the market, it was delivered by a truck that ran on... oil.

commentson 17 February 2003 : 07:51, Outlandish Josh sez:

Might I inquire, Mr. Hall, what exactly your feelings are on this issue? I've been enjoying your website for years now, and while I still find your writing and posting to be "lively" and entertaining, the fact that it seems to occur in a more or less complete political vaccum is strange to me.

My own position is strongly opposed to war for highly patriotic reasons, but I'm not posting to get involved in any kind of flamefest. I'm really just curious what the propriter of thinks about the whole 9 yards.

commentson 17 February 2003 : 10:34, justin sez:

I've enjoyed all these comments here. And finally felt provoked to more deeply explore some of my own feelings.

commentson 17 February 2003 : 15:13, MarkPaul sez:

OtherJustin posted, "...but isn't actually improving the country more patriotic?"

Well, yes, but you see the core of the problem is that everyone seems to have a different idea of what will really be an improvement and there are different camps forming, rather quickly, so that it's not really clear at all what the nature of improvement really ought to be. I do not endorse war-monger behaviour, yet I don't condone pacificity at all costs either. History has already delivered us the outright knowledge that war won't solve our problems. But, that same history has proven time and time again that appeasement is one step closer to the formation of a world calamity of our own construction.

The key point I want to make is that I don't think this issue conforms to a nice fitting right or wrong. I hold no malice to those who demonstrated nor to those who are exerting their authorized might by taking us closer to war. I think war is inevitable, less because of the issue and much more because of who we collectively are: human. I'm not religious by any measure, but am compelled to file my request that whatever happens, God have mercy on our souls.

commentson 21 January 2004 : 22:27, Figueroa Grace sez:

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.

February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.