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Opinion

I've been staying away from letting people know my opinion on this war.

I always try and stay out of other people's arguments, and to be honest, that's all a war ever is: An argument.

However, I am seeing a lot of protest against this war. A whole heap of people disagreeing with a whole heap of reasons. Most of them are pissing me off. There's the "Give Peace a Chance" group, and the "What about the Innocent Victims" group, and the "Illegal War" group, and so on. And then there's the "You're Fighting a War without the People's Consent" group. They argue that since more than half of the population is against this war then we shouldn't be at war.

I have two thoughts on this. "So What?" and "You obviously don't know what you're talking about, do you?"

If a couple had three kids, does that mean that they have ice cream for dinner every night, no set bed time, and they don't have to go to school, simply because the kids constitute more than half?

No it doesn't. It's up to the parents to decide what happens, while the kids, who may be listened to and asked advice, have no say at all.

Now some people will argue that this is different, we're a democracy!

Umm, sorry, but we're not. A democracy is where every citizen gets to vote on every issue. We don't do that. We have a Democratically Elected Government. This means that every citizen gets his say on who runs the country, but once they're in, that's the end of your say.

A lot of people keep forgetting what the role of a good government is. The role of a good government is exactly the same as the role of a good parent.

The role of a good government is to do what is best for the entity that it governs.

Notice how nothing was said there about doing what the people want. The biggest problem with doing what the people want is that it usually has absolutely nothing to do with what they actually need.

I want to stay in bed all day. I need to go to work so I can earn money. I want to eat junk food. I need to eat healthily so I can stay healthy. I want to veg out in front of the computer or the TV or read a book. I need to go to the gym so I can loose weight.

What I want and what I need are two totally different things.

It's exactly the same at the government level. The people want the best government in the world, but don't want to pay a cent for it. The government needs to tax so that it can operate. The people want to be able to get from any part of the city to any other part of the city quickly, but they don't want a freeway built near them because it will "ruin the character of the area". The government needs to resume housing so it can keep the transport system up to date. And so on.

What the people want, and what the country needs are often two different things, and the needs of the country must outweigh the wants of the people.

That's why we don't trust politicians. They're the people trying to give us what we need, while trying to persuade us it's what we want.

Of course, all this is on one proviso. This is all true as long as the government has our best interests at heart. If the government doesn't have our best interests at heart, then all bets are off, and it's a free-for-all.

So, to all those people out there protesting that the government is fighting a war the people don't want, shut up and face facts. You are wasting your breath.

However, that doesn't mean that you should stop protesting. Far from it.

You are protesting because the government is doing something you don't agree with. Tough!

To all those people out there protesting the war, and to be honest, all those out there who agree with the war as well, I want you to ask yourself one simple question:

Do you think that what your government has done is in the best interest for your nation?


If you answer yes to this, go home. You have no right to protest. It doesn't matter whether you agree with this war or not, if you think that your government is doing what is best for your nation, you would be a hypocrite to complain.

However, if you answered no, that's a different story. If you think that what they are doing is not the best thing for your country then not only do you have the right to protest, you have the responsibility to protest. Just remember one thing: The reason you protest is to change the governments opinion on whether what they are doing is the best thing for the nation, not anything else.

You may have noticed that at no point have I said anything doing what is nice, or good, or moral, or anything like that. Unfortunately, "good" or anything like it has no bearing on the decisions of a government. If the best thing for the nation is to kill fifty thousand innocent civilians, then that's what they are required to do.

It's may not be nice, but's it's part of the responsibility of being in charge.

This leads me to my second point.

I'm an Australian, and there are a lot of survey's, questionnaires and the like going around asking if people support the war on Iraq. I sincerely hope they all answered yes!

Please remember, to support a war does not mean you agree with it. You support the war by paying your taxes. You support the war by hoping that your best friends husband comes home safely. You support the war by wanting your guys to come home in one piece. You support the war, because to not support the war means you don't care if we lose, and you don't care if our guys are killed.

To support the war is not to agree with the war. So, if you are asked if you support the war on Iraq, and you don't agree with it, then answer the question that should have been asked: "I do not agree with the war on Iraq".

A perfect example of this is politics. The members of the (Prime Minister/President/whatever)'s party support him in every decision he makes. That does not mean they agree with him.

All of us who live in countries that are supporting the war, must support the war, simply because it's our guys over there who are going to die if we loose.

We don't have to agree though.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
aeon16
Mar. 26th, 2003 12:15 am (UTC)
Thankyou.

That was excellent, and raised some points I hadn't thought of.

the_metatron
Mar. 26th, 2003 04:06 am (UTC)
So you're saying that agreement doesn't equal support?

That the actions of our government deserve unconditional support?

Or only those actions that you believe are in the best interest of the country deserve unconditional support?

Like you said, once in power, the government can do as they see fit until their term in office is over, and fortunately/unfortunately our members of parliament are not held personally accountable for the decisions that they make on Australia's behalf while they are in office.

It is certainly clear that many people do not believe that our government is acting in their own interest, and by extension in the interest of their country. I'd agree that the majority of those on both sides of the war issue have not considered the national interest.

But then again, why hope that they do now when they never have before?


msss
Mar. 26th, 2003 06:44 am (UTC)
Slightly confused
There's the "Give Peace a Chance" group, and the "What about the Innocent Victims" group, and the "Illegal War" group, and so on. And then there's the "You're Fighting a War without the People's Consent" group.

Are you pissed off at all the above groups or just the last one? I do sort of see your points about democratically elected government. I can understand that we elect a government (even if it's based on a campaign of lies) and we have to accept its decisions. But how does that make the other arguments irrelevant?

Of course I support the Australian troops over there. I support them so much that I think the government's current attempt to remove Totally and Permanently Incapacitated status (and thereby entitlements to medical treatment) from its Vietnam vets is a betrayal of everything they died and suffered for. But I still think the Howard government's behaviour since 9-11 and in particular the decision to go to war in Iraq is as wrong as you can get.
catdraco
Mar. 26th, 2003 03:31 pm (UTC)
Actually, Aj, I disagree with you. Supporting the troops and supporting the war are two entirely different things.
And the best way anyone can support our troops is by bringing them home.

And while I take your point about governmental decisions, I believe very strongly that this war is *not* in our best interests. Which is why I am powerfully against it.
maelwaedd
Mar. 26th, 2003 07:42 pm (UTC)
All of us who live in countries that are supporting the war, must support the war, simply because it's our guys over there who are going to die if we loose.

You spelled "lose" wrong. Normally I'd say that this invalidates your entire argument, but the rest of it was well written, so I'll give you a level of forgiveness.

If somebody I cared about, I don't know, got hit by a car whilst playing chicken or something like that and died, I would regret the loss of life. However, I wouldn't be able to justify his actions in playing chicken in the first place. It's a damned fool thing to do, and although he didn't deserve to die, he died as a result of something stupid.

Similarly, if our entire defence force were to die during this war, the loss of life would sadden me, but their loss could be easily justified to me in that they were doing a damned fool thing... despite the fact that they were ordered to do it.

I almost wish that the Iraqis have some weapon of mass destruction, that wipes out their military, our military, the American military, and somehow leaves the civilians out of it. I know it's not going to happen, but it would actually be better at the end of the day than having the Americans flounce back into their country, all smug-like.

If there is a benefit to Australia going to war, I believe it is in nothing other than "better" diplomatic relations with the US. But since they're already our allies, I don't see how the government is able to rationalize our support of their war. I doubt that more Americanism is worth any loss of life.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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I dream of rain
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I dream of rain
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I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love

I dream of rain
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I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
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No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of Eden haunts us all
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This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall

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