E-mail to Brendan about Iraq War

Amigos,

Well, America is going to war!  Remember, if you see any suspicious towel heads about the building to call security immediately. ha ha

Seriously though, all the world is against the war without the backing of the UN security council.  Then on Japanese T.V. they showed some Americans being interviewed on the street saying they were all for it.  As I’m sure you know, Americans aren’t always seeing in good light around the world and Bush just made it a hell of a lot worse.  I know Bushy keeps talking about WMD but they never presented the proof.  From what I’ve read, the proof was: one taped telephone call about one modified vehicle, one drone plane, and a few missiles that flew a little farther then they were supposed to.  If they would have showed a few Nukes, I would be convinced, but from here I can only guess that Bush wants either oil, or to implement Democracy in a backward part of the world (Arab lands) while the ball is still rolling (Afganistan).  I don’t think anyone can guess what the consequences will be.  Hopefully the war goes well and is quick, the French help out, and democracy is established without too much chaos and the West is united again.  If not, I fear that it is going to seriously damage America’s image in the world.  After all it is the first time we have attacked first (disregarding Latin America) and the first time a state has told the head of another state to leave his own country. 

As I’m sure we all know a large part of our countrymen are idiots. I have the feeling if Pres. Bush told them that China was breeding Green Dragons to take over the world and that we had to attack to stop the Dragons he could garner at least 50% of support.  I also have the feeling that the people interviewed who supported the war on the T.V. don’t know where Iraq is and think that the Middle East is somewhere in the Northwest next to Canada.

Don’t get me started about Freedom Fries, and toast.  And to think that the Rep. is from Ohio just makes me want to cry.  You said Liberty Fries.. did they change the name again? 

Ok, enough of my rambling.  Let’s talk about Japan.  There have only been modest protest here in Japan and I saw one on the street yesterday.  Oops that’s talking about war again.  About Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  I think that if you are going to come all the way to Japan you should definitely go to one of them.  My advice is this.  You take the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto (the old capital of Japan).  There you can see “old” Japan and the many many temples and Shrines.  Spend a day or two there since Kyoto is the most important city for tourists.  It takes maybe 4-5 hours to get there on the bullet train.  Then it will take another 3-4 hours from there to Hiroshima (your heading South the whole time).  You can see Hiroshima in one day since the main site is the bombed out “Peace Dome” which is a building blown out by the A-bomb.  There is also a museum near there and some various monuments of importance.  You will also be interviewed by Junior High School girls who hang out there to interview foreigners for their class projects.  They will ask you what you think about peace,……….so um,, maybe you should tell them you are from New Zealand.  I’m not sure if I will go or not yet because I have already been to both places.  But you two should definitely go there because damn, you’re coming a long way.   

About the Foreign Service exam, I thought I’d take it just for the hell of it.  It’s offered only once this year and it’s can’t hurt to take it.   I really don’t want a position now though since I’ll be studying Japanese for another year and a half.  But I want to keep my options open and it’s a good idea to see what the foreign service is about.  However, the events of recent have made me not want to work for the American Gov’t at this time. 

Alright guys, I’m off.  Let me know if you need any info about Japan.  I seriously recommend getting to Kyoto and Hiroshima regardless if I go or not.  Everyone speaks English around here and all (most of) the signs are in English. 

Laters,

Mateo

E-mail to Dad 3.31.2003 – Iraq War

 
Hey Dad.
 
Being out of the country for quite a bit of the last couple of years, I’ve made a lot of new friends and have had the opportunity to see many different viewpoints.  The fact is a good part of the world now really hates America.  This is to be expected.  But I’ve started reading papers in other languages and from different countries.  The American press has painted such a nice clean pretty picture of the war.  I think to be a rational well informed person you should look at both sides of the picture and only then can you have a well rounded picture and form a well educated opinion.  Now CNN and all the other major networks are giving only the news that Americans want to hear so they can feel good about themselves. 
 
Well here are some interesting sites that paint another more horrid picture of the war.
http://www.aljazeerah.info/ <– The main source of information for a huge portion of the worlds Arabs (In English)
 
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info  <– can see the videos the gov’t doesn’t really want you to see about the war.
 
Now there may be some propaganda in these sites but it is good to realize that the American press also spews propaganda that Americans can’t see because:

 

1. They are American
2. The American public is stupid (er) (than most) and know absolutely nothing about the world outside America’s borders. 
 
I also read an article in the Dispatch a couple days ago about what the good folks in Richie’s tavern  think about the war (they are all Pro-War)(“Views of War Fuel Tension, Confrontations” by Lornet Turnbull) and that when someone spoke against the war a patron went outside and beat him up.  The article made it seem almost humorous that the Anti-war protester got beat up.  The same article mentioned that someone reported to police a Middle Eastern person driving down the highway. 
 
I also wish the media would quit interviewing moron Americans about their views of the war which are of course moronic.  The people that should be interviewed are experts on Iraq who have been to Iraq and know Iraqi people.  Then if they could get opposing views then I would consider that news.  I don’t give a flying F#ck about what the people at Richies Tavern on the West side think about the war.
 
One final though about that..  If Saddam did have WMD, don’t you think he would have used them by now?  Or is he just playing nice?
 
Ok, just had to get that off my chest and I prefer to write you about these things because you are my Dad, and have always offered good, level-headed advice and opinions.  I’m just really unhappy about this whole war situation and the consensus outside Americas boarders,, is America is the BAD guy.  So unless George W has something up his sleeve to magically make things turn out great, implement a lasting Democracy and prove that we are all wrong about his only wanting oil, then I’m afraid America is really going to be hated for some time to come.