[LINK] Insight into US war policy - and mailing lists in times of crisis

Robin Whittle rw@firstpr.com.au
Thu, 13 Feb 2003 14:56:38 +1100

Our country is probably about to go to war with the USA, based on trust
and acceptance of the US president's view of the world.  This has been
discussed on Link, as I think such over-arching things will be discussed
on many  mailing lists, no matter how off-topic.  War affects
everything, so perhaps it must be on-topic. 

I think this is a legitimate and vital function of mailing lists. 

Following September 11, on a loving relationships / spanking / domestic
discipline Yahoo Groups list I ran, I threw open discussion to the
discussion of terrorism - and that's all we did for a week.  It was a
mess of conflicting and sometimes angry perspectives, but no-one could
think of anything else, and I think it was important to allow people who
had come to know each other in this group to use the same forum to
discuss what was foremost in their minds. 

This is a way of using the Net to form thoughtful, friendly and
emotionally connected communities, and for people in very different
situations, such as here in Australia, in patriotic middle America, in
nearby New York, and from one person working in a body recovery team, to
compare notes without editorial control, without length limits, without
the restrictions of the mass media etc.   I pretty much suspended the
usual no flaming moderation guidelines too, and allowed virtually every
message to the list.   I think I only rejected one - a rant about
numerology.   If nothing else, the record of discussions might be of
interest to historians and social theorists, since so much of history
gets written from the media reports and other things which may be get
filtered, altered, reproduced and transformed many times.  This was is
in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/1HouseholdDiscipline/ starting with
message 6049.

Here are some insights from a friend in the USA, following on from my
quotes from her in the fridge magnet thread.  She has direct, personal,
experience with US government, so these are not the thoughts of someone
who gains their knowledge entirely through the media or the Net.  These
views are well informed by personal knowledge and insight into
individuals, as well as insights into the psychology of those who form
governments in general, and this one in particular.  

  - Robin

- - - 

I'm sure that Bush is only following the plan that various of the hawk 
neoconservatives came up with way back at the time of the first Gulf War
and that was cut short, I think, by Clinton's election. I've read some 
of those papers, and these people envision a fairly simple series of
wars in which the United States exerts utter hegemony over the Middle
East, to begin with, and then maybe other spots in the world as well.
They think it will be easy, so far as I can tell, and will end trouble
rather than be a horrible new source of it. It's astonishing.

Anyway, in Dubya's tiny mind I think all this stuff hooks up with his
born-again Christianity, and the Christian right pushing him to bring on
the ascendance of Israel -- which Richard Perle [who she previously
described as an outside advisor who is one of the main makers of this
doctrine], Paul Wolfowitz (who is in the administration) et. al. push --
which in the Christian Right's mind, and thus Dubya's, will bring on

So he's worse and more dangerous than his father, I think, because he
doesn't see *any* potential complexity but only the hand of God
propelling him, Bush, to being the ruler of the side of righteousness
when there's the Rapture and the beginning of the end of the world.

Do I sound like a maniac? To some extent, I feel as if I must be a
paranoid lunatic here. But then I see so many signs that these thoughts
really are going on in the people around Bush. And I see no evidence at
all that he's developed even the slightest complexity of mind over the
past couple of years. It's horrible to think that a grown man doesn't
absorb anything about complexity when he's sitting in the most powerful
chair on Earth.