My name is Tony and I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada. First of all, I would like to compliment you on your excellent web site. I find it very informative, and it has gotten me out of a few tight pinches. You have really put together an excellent web site. It has anything that any do-it-yourself biker could want. GREAT WORK.
Secondly, after reading your correspondence with Hans from the Netherlands, I felt very compelled to express my opinion on the matter of the war in Iraq. I would like to comment on a few of the things that you said.
I find it interesting that you seem to think that president Bush is going to war with Iraq to "Free the Iraqi people". Although this is what you probably saw on CNN, I doubt that George W. has any moral interest in the welfare of the Iraqis. He's simply there to get Saddam out of there, to stabilize America's oil supply. The whole "Operation Iraqi Freedon" idea was fabricated so that the American people would agree to foot the bill.
You said this to Hans:
"...I see pictures of poor women crying over the bodies of their husbands and children at mass grave sites in Iraq and other places in the world. We in the USA have the ability to help these powerless people and we WILL help them."
Do you think that by attacking them with bombs and rolling through their homes with tanks, the American occupation will stop any of the poor women's crying? How many innocent Iraqis have died because of "Operation Iraqi Freedom"? More women are crying now during Bush's war than ever there were in Saddam's regime.
You also said this to Hans:
"Arrogant ? Perhaps, but the USA has the highest standard of living in the world. Our poor have more things, cars, stereos, clothing, you name it, than the rich have in some countries. Our system works, and it works good. Our way truly is the best way. To think otherwise is to ignore the facts. Think on this. In the USA we just don't kill each other like so many other countries love to do."
Firstly, I don't know that the poor in America are any better off than the poor in Canada, the Netherlands, or anywhere else in Europe. That's a matter of opinion. Secondly, you say that Americans don't kill each other like so many other countries love to do. America has a higher murder rate than Canada, or any country in Europe.
You may think your way is the best way, but I think that YOU are ignoring some of the facts.
A few more points to think about:
-Bush used the 911 attacks as an excuse to go to war with Iraq.
-Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the 911 attacks.
-The Carlyle group of companies was awarded a $1.18 Billion contract for clean up and restoration in Iraq.
-Two of the main shareholders in the Carlyle group of companies are the Bush family and the Bin Laden family.
Well I seem to have ranted as well. As you said to Hans, I'm sorry if I've worded things too strongly. I have very strong opinions about what's going on in the world right now, and have a hard time expressing them without sounding hostile. You don't have to agree with me, I just thought you might find my opinion interesting.
Keep up the great work on the site.
Here is my reply.
Thank you for writing. I love to hear other views, especially when they disagree with me ! Well let's see. I never watch CNN, just too left wing for me. I prefer FOX, but, alas, I don't get the FOX channel where I live. However, I just don't buy the cry of "We did it for the oil" or "He's making big bucks off it" It's easy to say these things but proving them is something else. Saddam was, is, the Hitler of our time. If France and Germany had stopped Hitler when the could have, MILLIONS of people would have lived. And Chamberlin and others would have been accused of war-mongering and profiteering. I noticed you didn't say a thing about the money France, Germany and Russia, and the UN made off the food for oil deal.
War is a terrible thing and if you are the one killed it's a double bummer. But, numbers are numbers. At worst, according to Iraq bodycount.net between 11429 to 13398 civilians have been killed so far in the Iraqi war. Another site ( http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/may/24iraq.htm?zcc=rl ) states Saddams security forces killed over 500,000. Saying more people were better off with Saddam is a bit of a stretch.
On the poor. Well, I feel very qualified. I make almost nothing and most of my friends don't make much more. We are at or below the "Poverty Level" at least according to all the government figures on personal income that I keep reading. Yet we are still awash in "Stuff". I can't believe how rich we in the USA are. Just around where I live, there are dozens of storage facilities that rent out rooms where you can store all the exrta stuff we have.
The higher murder rate then any country in Europe ? Only if you don't count Russia (5th), Lithuania (7th), Estoni (8th), Latvia (9th), Belarus (10th), Ukraine (11th), Moldova (15th), Poland (20th), Bulgaria (23rd). Silly me. I forgot. Europe is only France, Germany, and the British Isles. Oh yes, the USA is 24th and Canada is 44th. Way to go Canada ! Check out http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_mur_cap# for more info. However, I was not meaning the murder rate. I mean World Wars. Also, there's murder rates and then there's murder rates. How exactly do you figure them? For an interesting discussion on this see http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,105954,00.html By a Professor Lott. As you can see things get complicated quickly.
Just a thought, when was the last time my bros and I in Idaho slipped over the border to pillage and burn Calgary ? When was the last time you boys in Canada slipped over the border and tried to grab North Dakota for yourselves ? Been a while, hasn't it. I wonder what the people in Europe would say to that question.
As to the facts I'm ignoring ? Saddam supported terrorists for years. Look up some of the links I've given. We will get Osama, but he is just a small part of the problem. The Carlyle group ? Lots of other world leaders in there too. Could this be a problem ? You bet it could be. Or it might not be. Lots of other people in there too. See http://www.hereinreality.com/carlyle.html. Just to make things interesting... how do we know this site is telling the truth ? Kinda seems like ALL Polititions are on the take. Remember France, Germany and Russia. One things for sure though, Saddam was worse then them all.
You seem to think Bush has a lot more power then he does. Perhaps you just don't really understand the US political system or you are judging us by your own political system. So far you've hit me with a lot of opinion and precious little fact.
Your right. I don't agree with you ! However, who knows... maybe I could, but you sure need a lot more facts.
Thanks for writing. I'm glad to know your getting some use out of the site
Now all this talk is all well and good except for one thing. Facts. I sure would like to know where people are getting all these supposed facts. For example the murder rate in Europe and the USA. I have no idea what that rate is so I ran a search on Google and boom here are some facts. Now you can't just take anyone's word on facts but you can see where they got their facts and consider, do they have a vested interest to lie or shade the facts one way or another ?
I am perfectly willing to consider other facts, but I have to be able to verify them and so should you. This leads me to wonder exactly WHY are people so willing to support bully dictators like Saddam Hussan !
Perhaps things boil down to our world view.
According to my brother-in-law, a University Philosophy Professor, there are two basic world attitudes. A female one and a male one. Think of it this way. When little girls play a game, they are interested in the overall feel of the game. Rules are simply a guide. Everyone has to have a good time. When little boys play a game, they play to WIN. Rules are set in stone. With boys playing Baseball, three strikes and you are out, four balls and you walk. With girls playing baseball, you have three tries to hit the ball, but if you need another swing, because you are having trouble hitting the ball, that's OK. Swing away. If you need another pitch, because you are having trouble getting it over the plate, we change the rule so you get one.
This is perhaps, one reason God ordained marriage to have two people. A man and a women. That way things balance out. Trouble is, national affairs do not work that way. However, people still want them to. No matter how much you give to appease the bullies of this world, changing all the rules as you go, the bully still plays by his one and only rule... give me all you got !
I really don't mind this changing of rules, but bullies do mind. They don't like to let anyone except themselves win. They don't like to share. The only way to deal with a bully is to slap him down hard. ( Oh I'll bet I get E-Mail on that one, but if you are so naive as to think you can deal with a bully by "time outs", or "giving him what he wants" you will have bullies coming out of your ears. ) Then he can be held accountable for his actions and then, if we want to change the rules and show mercy, we can. We can forgive and we can help but as Journalist Kathleen Parker says "You have to be alive to forgive."
Or maybe the problem is somewhat more simple and basic. When 38 good, solid, citizens, refused to help Kitty Genovese they said it was because they couldn't get involved, it was none of their business, and any number of other excuses. The real reason was that they were just plain scared.
Whatever reason you use for not helping people under the boots of these bullies remember this "The only thing evil needs to survive is for good men to do nothing".
Well, the 2004 election is now over and President Bush will stay for four more years. In the past, many people in France, Germany, Russia and other places in the world, have said that he does not speak for the American people. They were wrong ! I volunteer as an election official for the State of Idaho. The last time we had an election, earlier this year, about 150 people showed up to vote. This election had 520 people show up to vote, and that just in one precinct, in a small town. America picked President Bush. He has a mandate from the people of America. He is a good man and he will do something about evil. If this upsets the other people in the world who make so much money on evil or are so scared that they allow it to happen then SO BE IT !