Friday, March 28, 2003

A Rush Of Argument to the Head. 03.28.03

While we wish for our troops to return from the "pre-emptive" strike our elected governing body has sent them to execute, and while we talk to like-minded people about how shitty this is, remember that we have the power to effect change. That we have the power to spread the word that whether war is right or wrong, there is a problem with completely stepping around protocol and diplomacy.

And this might mean that our short-sighted attempt to "protect our nation" (they were looking at me wrong, so I smoked their ass!) or "free Iraq" (hey, they'll really like occupation, poverty, and our corporate Western styles) may lead us to long-term negative outcomes.

Now, take this (or whatever your opinion is) and think about the converse, the opposition. Think about what arguments can be made for going to war, for avoiding diplomacy. Have a little healthy self-doubt.

Now, take that process and instead of talking to the protester next to you (though brining attention to protests is good work and part of the true American Way), find someone who wholly disagrees with you. Somewhere, you will come across this person. Engage them in conversation, not in argument; get them to lay out their premises and nod your head respectfully as you learn their side of the story.

When they are done, don't rip them a new asshole. Unless you have to. Point out that this is healthy debate, and our government is working hard to take healthy debate and doubt out of the equation; refuses to listen to its own populace or the rest of the world (except for Britain. Why ARE they involved in this?); and that this disables our ability to work with the rest of the world in many other arenas-- including the safety of Americans abroad, the willingness of other countries to keep an eye out for terrorist endeavors, et cetera.

Okay, go!

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