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2/2/2006 c1 54rainkisser
My e-mail and aim is at the bottom with a little personal note. I would love to hear from you and have a more in depth chat on the piece. For now I'll keep it strictly related to your delivery of this piece.

The introduction is well structured. The questions are good. An actually definition of peace and maybe even war would make it seem immediately more professional making your case more convincing. I would like to see mroe of a thesis, perhaps in the place where you say "They are, without a doubt, worthy of it." restate WHAT they are worthy of and WHY they are worthy of it.

Second paragraph would seem stronger with a couple quotes and references at the beginning before you say that you disagree with what you are hearing in the media.

Please don't use bolded font, it looks unprofessional. Even italics seem weak in an essay. Expect us to know what words you are emphasising. Us readers are smarter than your giving us credit for.

You don't have much supporting evidence through out the essay. Relying on complaint isn't very effective. The readers (or at least the ones who approach things like this openly) want to here what is out there to back you up rather than watch one person stand alone- which is what it looks like to a reader who is expecting the author to entreat them to agree.

aim: peaceblossom17 (Oh the trumpets of surprise ;)!)It'd be great to hear from you. You sound like a good person with good intentions.

However, I think you need to... step back and look at how you are interpreting what it is you see and hear and then think about how other people might interpret the same things. Once you've done that, I would ask yourself why they might be thinking that way. Don't be afraid of going through every possibility. Even though it doesn't change your opinions, it might at least change your outlook and help you learn how to persuade an opposing group such as my group. I am a liberal who is dissapointed in our government (democrats and republicans alike) and our country but still tries to see where the people of America are coming from. I love to have discussions and even heavy duty debates with people with any opinion. It's what keeps me learning and keeps my thoughts changing with time.

With this topic, I do agree with many of your other reviewers. I most definitely support our troops, I just can not support this war.

-Mia
8/22/2005 c1 1Deaf Scout
okay, let's be clear. Ms. Sheehan, in her good intention, miss point. Her son DO die for good cause. Good cause is help Middle East to clean up mess. Happy muslims mean less recuits for Osama bin Ladens's twist vision what world should be. Iraqi is on way of right path. We DON'T know if Ms. Sheehan's son do die for nothing or die for good cause. We should give Bush a beneif of doubt. Only History can judge whatever Bush is right or wrong.
8/22/2005 c1 34Forest Passant
"Do you, as so many Americans, see peace as a lack of war? I cannot say I do."

From Dictionary.com: "Peace: 1. The absence of war or other hostilities." Peace IS a lack of war.

"Our troops are giving their lives for this country’s safety and for the lives of those Iraqis so they might learn what freedom is and learn that it is possible to enjoy a life without looking over your shoulder in fear of a wrong move."

What are you talking about? You have no evidence that the war is making the country safer. You have no evidence that the Iraqis did not "know what freedom is" prior to the US occupation. You have no evidence that it was ever not "possible to enjoy a life without looking over your [sic.] shoulder in fear of a wrong move."

Why would a wrong move be over your shoulder, anyway?

"To have the American media – or any media for that matter – say otherwise is absolutely disgraceful. It is in bad taste for them to sit in their luxury and batter down the troops’ moral."

Morale, not moral. And it is the media's responsibility to report all sides of the issues, not saying they do.

"I thank God in heaven that they have more sense than to listen to them. I spoke with a friend recently on the matter and he assured me that, at least within his cousin’s group in Iraq, that they ignored all of the bull that the media puts out."

What bull? Use examples. And your pronoun references are unclear.

"That is more than I can say for Ms. Cindy Sheehan. She stands out there and disgraces her son. That man died a heroic death and paid with his life to protect men and women and children that he didn’t know. In my book, that’s heroism. But, of course, she is exhausted to a high position of perfection as she puts up her protest outside of Bush’s home in Crawford, Texas. Does this woman not realize just how demeaning it is to her son’s memory? Does she not realize that she is telling the world that he has died for nothing if America pulls out now?"

She feels her son has already died for nothing. She wishes to prevent other people's children from dying for nothing. She's not demeaning him, she's giving her opinion.

"I commend them, and so do many others. But apparently this woman, this soldier’s own mother, does not."

Maybe she supports the troops and opposes the war. It IS possible...

"And if that weren’t bad enough, Larry Northern is made out to be the villain in it all. “Crosses vandalized at anti-war mom’s campsite,” reads MSNBC’s headline. Vandalized… strong word there."

They would have said the same thing if I did it. His views aren't the issue here. He did vandalize them. Let's not sugarcoat. His war record has nothing to do with it.

"Peace can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people."

No, it's a word, and words have definitions. War is not peace.

"Speaking for myself, I see it in the far, distant future. I see a place that is safe and a place that is well, much unlike our sick, perverse world today. I see a place that will be a better future. But we must fight for that future today, not losing sight of it as our men and women fall."

That's what we're doing. Not the government. :-)

"Not blaming our president who is down on his knees daily for us, hoping and praying for the best. Instead, if you must find someone to blame, blame those that cause it. Blame the Sadams of the world. Blame the Osama bin Ladens of the world. Those are the men that cause this."

Bin Laden didn't invade Iraq; neither did Saddam.

"Ms. Sheehan only causes heartache by what she does. She stirs up needless troubles with her screaming and yelling."

LOL. What's wrong with that?

"We will make it. Yes, others will die, but they give their lives for you, for me, and for those that we have never met. May they be blessed for the service they do."

Well, if they're dying for ME, I advise them to stop it.
8/21/2005 c1 Joey Batz
I've never heard anything on TV bashing the troops, only the war. I wholeheartedly support the troops myself, which is why I oppose the war.

The troops merely think they are giving their lives for our country and the Iraqis (which of course makes what they do no less honorable), but they have been given the same lies used to justify murder that we have. Also, many join for things like money for college and have, in turn, been dragged into war. And Mbwun said it best, for the most part, they fight for survival and each other. Nothing more. Which isn't a bad thing. Most people like not dying.

"Our men and women of the military are brave and should be honoured for what they do."

Damn right they do. Maybe one day this country will honor them by not supporting sending them needlessly into harm's way.

"To have the American media – or any media for that matter – say otherwise is absolutely disgraceful. It is in bad taste for them to sit in their luxury and batter down the troops’ moral."

The only people sitting in luxury doing anything to our troops are our politicians, namely Bush. They sit in the comfort of Washington ordering people to their deaths to suit their own perverse and selfish goals. The freedom of the Iraqi people is not one of them. Neither is the defense of the United States.

"That is more than I can say for Ms. Cindy Sheehan. She stands out there and disgraces her son."

No she doesn't. She merely wants to know why her son died. Since we all know that Iraq nor Saddam was a threat to the United States nor did they have a hand in 9/11 or any connection to Al-Queda, why were our soldiers put in harm's way? And no, defending the Iraqi people is not an acceptable answer, and not just because that's a pathetic lie. It's a socialistic line of thought to support the war in defense of foreign tyranny ("if one suffers, all must suffer equally").

Cindy Sheehan wanting to know why her son died and wanting to prevent the deaths of other Americans is the best thing she could possibly do to honor him, because if she succeeds, his death will save thousands of American lives.

"Does she not realize that she is telling the world that he has died for nothing if America pulls out now?"

Actually, he died for nothing anyway. We have killed more Iraqis than Saddam ever did, and the government that we forced down their throats is a puppet government that cannot stand. Our actions have turned more Islamic terrorists against America. His death has not just been for nothing, it has made the world a much more dangerous place for both Americans and Iraqis. If I were Casey Sheehan, I would haunt Bush's ass until he's in a mental institution.

"He, and others like him, have died for a cause they had volunteered for."

Casey Sheehan probably volunteered to get money for college, or maybe because he wanted to protect America, or maybe he just wanted to work with really big guns, or maybe he DID want to help the Iraqi people. I don't know Casey and I don't know why he volunteered for military service. But that doesn't make his or the 1,802+ other soldiers' sacrifices acceptable. We have to start understanding that a person who volunteers is still a person, a human, not expendable cannon fodder. It's about time we started treating them like living beings, not weapons.

"She would rather sit back in the safety of America and scream at President Bush about how she hates this war and how those soldiers must come home."

No soldier can singlehandedly make a difference in the world, only on the battlefield (and that's if he's Rambo). All battles are the same, when one ends, another begins. But those who use words to protest a cause are the people who really do make a difference. It's when you rally people for or against something, that's when change happens. You can go to Iraq and shoot 100 terrorists, it won't make a difference. But you can spread information and truth to the world, gathering public support in order to stop things like war, and that will make a difference. The actions of Cindy Sheehan will make much more of a difference in the world than those of her son, no matter how many enemies he killed.

"While in Vietnam his jugular was cut and he was only saved by the doctor that was close by and slapped a hand over him to stop the bleeding. I’d say he is rated up there with the heros, not some psycho that decided to mow over crosses for kicks."

People were drafted (forced (kidnapped)) into Vietnam. Also, this man nearly dying doesn't make him a hero, it makes him a victim. Yet another person wronged by the callous U.S. Government.

Your definition of a hero is also very loose. Being a soldier and being a hero are not one and the same. Yoda said it best in Empire Strikes Back: "Great warrior? War does not make one great". It wasn't the soldiers, but the students, professors, hippies, and so forth who actively fought against the Vietnam War and the draft that made positive change for the American people. If anyone, they are the true heroes.

"(It might also be noted that some mothers of the heros that died over in Iraq wished for their children’s names to be taken off of the crosses because they didn’t agree.)"

Besides the fact that having the names on crosses might violate the laws of their religion (since not everyone in this country is Christian), if I had a kid, I wouldn't want his/her name associated with this mass slaughter of innocents either.

"I see a place that is safe and a place that is well, much unlike our sick, perverse world today."

Really? Because if we continue on our current political course (the one we've been on since at least the beginning of the Cold War), I see a world engulfed in war. And in a world with thousands and thousands of city-destroying nuclear missiles, I don't see a happy ending for the human race. But let's hope you're right.

"But we must fight for that future today, not losing sight of it as our men and women fall."

That is true. But in today's world, the military is the last place to go to fight for a better future. We live in a world with complete and instant Internet access. The world, and all it's information, is literally at our fingertips. Fight for a better future using the only weapon powerful enough to make a change; words. The truth is more powerful than any gun or nuke. The pen is mightier than the sword.

"Not blaming our president who is down on his knees daily for us, hoping and praying for the best."

You give that mass murdering fascist chickenhawk way too much credit. He is down on his knees daily hoping to put more money into his and his neocon buddies' pockets, in full knowledge of the lives he's wasted or ruined. He truly is praying for the best, his best, which comes hand-in-hand with our worst.

"Instead, if you must find someone to blame, blame those that cause it. Blame the Sadams of the world. Blame the Osama bin Ladens of the world. Those are the men that cause this. Those are the men that we fight against and that our brave soldiers die fighting against."

We do blame those who cause it. We blame the Saddams, Osamas, and Bushes of this world. They are the subhuman swine that cause this, and they are the "men" who we must fight against.

"If you must blame someone, put the blame on the correct person and strive even harder to finish what we started fully."

OH SWEET MOTHER OF GOD, NO! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!

What I mean is just because you don't know everything about everything is not a good reason to continue a war. Information is the key, knowledge is power. To blindly support war, and to blindly rush into it, causes death and destruction on a mass scale. You basically just said if we don't know where the terrorists are or who is behind 9/11, then instead we should just bomb Iraq completely and utterly. Shooting first and asking questions later does not work.

"Ms. Sheehan only causes heartache by what she does."

No more than Mr. Bush causes by what he's done. You know, all the killing and whatnot.

"Though, still saying this, she has a right to her freedom of speech, no matter how disgraceful it is to her son, to those that died, and to America."

Actually she's more patriotic than anyone else who claims to be. An enemy of America is one who threatens our lives and our civil liberties. By sending people into needless wars and passing fascist legislation, all for personal gain, Bush is one of America's gravest threats and most sinister enemies. Those who fight against unjust wars (remember, war = mass murder of innocents) and the stripping away of our rights and freedom are the ones who have shown true bravery and patriotism. Those who run around waving yellow ribbons and blindly supporting the president because he's our president are not.
8/21/2005 c1 Mbwun
I don't feel the protestor is demeaning her son's memory. She feels he died for nothing, and she is doing everything she can to prevent that from happening to other people. In that way, she is standing up for her son's memory.

And just because someone is a veteran does not make them a perfect human being. Our society tends toward hero worship and militarism, and when the two combine, we forget that soldiers are people too, with the full range of faults that go with it. Are some, even many, of them extraordinary human beings? Absolutely. But some are the worst kind of people, as well... and it takes a hell of a lot more guts to say that than it does to clam up and put out your yellow ribbon.

I blame bin Laden for 9/11, but Saddam can't really be blamed for the current Gulf War, aside from being a generally shitty human being. We ought to have every soldier in Iraq in Afghanistan right now. The invasion of Iraq directed the war away from its target for the president's agenda, and only aided Islamic terrorism by giving millions of Muslims the push they needed in the direction of hating America.

And that, I blame on Bush. The soldiers... they just follow orders.

PS - I think if you do some research on it the mentality of the soldier in combat is a bit different from what you think. They're not out there dying for you or me-they're there dying for each other, for the people beside them, ideology be damned.
8/21/2005 c1 Blackhammer
Thank you. This is what I've been looking for for along time.

I think you should split it up it to a few more paragraphs and increase the spacing. The ideas are well organized

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