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People With Honor




--- begin forwarded text


Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 17:55:59 GMT
To: "DaveNet World" <[email protected]>
From: [email protected] (DaveNet email)
Subject: People With Honor
Sender: <[email protected]>

-------------------------------------
>From Scripting News... It's DaveNet!
Released on 12/28/98; 9:55:55 AM PST
-------------------------------------

  Seasons Greetings DaveNet readers!

  I've been keeping up on the issues of impeachment, reading
  newspapers and websites, and considering ideas that have not been
  showing up in these places. I've also been talking with people and
  listening, and I think people in the US are overlooking something
  that we may not be able to ignore much longer.

  First, there is definitely a serious split in this country. Some
  people blame the Republicans for what happened, I've even heard
  people say they're so angry with the Republicans that they'll never
  vote Republican again. To them, I want to say, save some of your rage
  for Clinton. Understand that there are two sides here.

  Clinton screwed up, the Republicans responded, and Clinton did
  more, and on and on. How far has it gone? That's what I want to think
  about now, logically, precisely, and not emotionally or
  expressively. And I want to consider other points of view,
  especially those from outside the US.

  If we're ever going to work together again, there will have to be give
  on both sides, sooner or later. We'll have to see ourselves as one
  country, responsible for what we do, no matter what party you belong
  to or support.

  ***A tough question

  I was going to bag this piece, it's not worth the trouble, I said to
  myself, until I saw CBS's 60 Minutes last night, and listened to Andy
  Rooney talk about how far it's gone. He asked the same question I'm
  going to ask here.

  ***What happened in Iraq?

  The question: Was the US bombing of Iraq an attempt by Clinton to stay
  in power? This question has to be asked, although I do it with
  trepidation, imagining that some of my fellow Americans will accuse
  me of treason, or not pulling behind our leader in a time of crisis.

  But as I sort thru this, I want to know, where is the crisis? Does Iraq
  threaten us? If so, how? Oil prices are now lower than they have ever
  been, as if oil prices were an honorable reason to bomb another
  country. How would we feel if Iraq had bombed US cities? How would we
  feel if Iraq found a way to retaliate now that we have bombed their
  cities? Could we blame them if they did?

  Did Israel ask us to bomb Iraq? Clearly if Iraq attacks Israel, that's
  a problem for Israel, and we're an ally and protector of Israel. Did
  Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan or Egypt ask us? How come they're
  staying silent on this? Or are they not silent and we're not hearing
  about it?

  If timing was a big issue, as Clinton says it was, why choose to bomb
  Iraq just as the House was convening to decide impeachment? Are we to
  believe that the decision was made without considering
  impeachment?

  At some point in the deliberation, someone must have said "But Mr.
  President, couldn't this backfire on us? Couldn't it look as if we're
  doing this to bolster your Presidency?" It's the first question that
  pops into a thinking mind.

  The question has barely been raised on TV or in the newspapers or on the
  web. Why? This is supposed to be an open country. I can't believe that
  anyone who's really thinking about this hasn't asked themselves
  this question. It's on my mind, I can tell you that for sure.

  ***Carole King?

  These are very strange times.

  This came home in a new way when I saw a TV clip of Carole King
  entertaining the troops on a US warship. What was she doing there? Did
  I miss something? Is this the Bizarro World? Next is it going to be Bob
  Dylan, Jesse Jackson, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams and Whoopi
  Goldberg?

  What am I missing? What are we supporting? If you had a debate with a
  thoughtful person from outside the US, what would you say about how
  our military is being used? Justly, fairly, wisely, respectfully,
  honorably? And is it really still just about sex? Can Clinton blame
  the Republicans for this? Where will the buck stop this time?

  The appearance of dishonorable militarism is enough to cause some
  people to draw their own conclusions. If it walks like a duck, quacks
  like a duck..

  ***Did you know?

  I'm reminded of those who said they knew that Clinton was lying when he
  said he never had sexual relations with that woman. I wonder if
  they're listening carefully to his words now. Are they really this
  gullible? How will you feel if it escalates, and you or your children
  are asked to fight a war in Iraq? What will you be fighting for?

  This is very bad for the US. We are being irresponsible. We let a
  dishonored president bomb foreign countries and we look the other
  way. I keep watching the Op-Ed pages for a clue to this, but they are
  silent. I wonder why?

  ***A failure to communicate

  Over the weekend I watched a great movie, Cool Hand Luke, starring
  Paul Newman. He's a tragic Christ-like figure, making it an
  appropriate movie to watch during the big Christian holiday.

  He says and does things the other inmates wish they had the courage to
  say and do. The warden breaks his spirit, but it returns before the
  movie ends. Cornered, resigned to dying, he repeats, with a twinkle
  in his eye, what the warden said in an earlier scene. "What we have here
  is a failure to communicate." Then the jailkeeper shoots him. As they
  carry away his dying body I wonder whether it was worth it.

  In the end the prisoners are still in prison, but they have the memory
  of his courage to warm them. Luke is gone, the truth is gone, but at
  least they had a glimpse of what it's like to be alive.

  ***People with honor

  Compared with perjury and obstruction of justice, it matters more to
  me that the President looked into the camera, with induced outrage,
  and denied doing something that he later admitted doing. It was his
  outrage that did it for me. He's an emotional manipulator on a mass
  scale. Looking at the film of the Cabinet officers saying they
  believed him, I wondered "How could they?"

  If this country ever had courage, now is the time for it to surface.
  Don't wait for a hero, no one person can do it. We all have to decide if
  honor counts. Or at least a good portion of the electorate has to get
  there.

  The Democrats point to Clinton's historic 70 percent approval
  rating, and they're right to do so. We preach the value of democracy,
  but are we hypocrites, do we get any benefit from democracy in our own
  country? The man lies. Even his supporters acknowledge that. We
  accept that, but what's the limit? How far will we go? Consider that
  seriously, as you try to understand the news, as you try to understand
  the country you live in and how it relates to other countries.

  If Clinton stays, do we have a system based on lies? None of us know how
  deep it goes. We may be fighting a war as a by-product of this, a real
  war, with battleships and bombs. Don't blame anyone but yourself.
  You could have stopped it and you still can, it's not too late, yet.

  Dave Winer

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Scripting News: <http://www.scripting.com/>

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-----------------
Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'