April 3, 2006

Voting on the war.

Anti-war referenda -- in Wisconsin, tomorrow.

28 comments:

Ricardo said...

Think Vietnam. Do we close this thing down now with moderate economic and human losses, or do we close it down in fifteen more years, with substantially more economic devastation (to the U.S.) and more lives taken? In the latter event, who if anyone will ever be willing to stand up and accept accountability for making the decisions? It's just like Vietnam, only with different faces.

Pete Hallman said...

Good grief. Go ahead and increase your recycling attendant's pay, and raise your (neutered) dog license fees, but......please: leave national defense issues to the people we elected to make those decisions. I'm always amazed at how small town government officials really think we kids half a country away give a rat's behind about their opinions. Lots of people want to be important, but not many of us will be - at least on a national scale. Even fewer of us have the sense to realize it. Kudos to the sole dissenter in the group.

Sean said...

When I lived in Berkeley, this sort of thing was very popular: the Berkeley city council spent a lot more time on issues like the West Bank settlements and Nicaragua than it did on garbage pickup or anything like that. This sort of activism has almost no effect, however--the West Bank settlements are still here, the Sandinistas are gone, I can't really think of a single cause that the Berkeley city council endorsed in the 80s that has had any success.

Thorley Winston said...

This seems eerily reminiscent of the stories we heard about various towns passing resolutions against the implementation of the USA Patriot Act, usually with the specter of John Ashcroft demanding my library records.

While the resolution itself is meaningless and has no substantive value on national policy, I can see two practical benefits. One, by putting a high profile resolution on a controversial issue on the ballot in an off-year election, it can be used to get people to the polls that you hope would be more likely to vote your way on the other resolutions and/or for your candidate. Two, if the resolution passes, it will almost certainly be used as a talking point for antiwar candidates and elected officials (“see all of the people who voted to bring the troops home NOW”).

Personally, I think decision by the council-members who voted to put this to a referendum puts into question whether they were competent enough to make the right decision on the dog neutering issue.

MadisonMan said...

I'm very conflicted. I never bought the notion that we ought to enter Iraq, for reasons that have become all to clear to anyone with eyes: the people executing this war, Donald, are bunglers of the highest order. I don't mean the troops on the ground -- I mean the idjits in the White House.

I very much have a We broke it We bought it feeling though. Is our presence there preventing a scab from healing or would our removal lead to more bloodshed? I'm not sure I can tell a parent of a killed soldier, yet, that their child's death had no meaning. But I'm not sure how long I'll remain feeling this way.

So I'll vote tomorrow, but I'm not sure how. I don't think the White House will be paying attention, much, to the outcome of the vote, however.

ignacio said...

no, there's no "war," it's all imaginary. it's all fear-mongering.

only, what about england last year on 7//7? what about madrid? what about bali?

"you may not be interested in the war, but the war is interested in you."

wait for iran.

Alan said...

Yeah, the Middle East wasn't broke before we ousted Saddam. The whole idea of ousting a thug Middle Eastern dictator then installing a constitutional democracy when everything was fine and dandy really grates on me. If we just made nice and quit buying their oil everything would have been fine and the whole terrorism thing would have gone away. Republicans are so stupid...and racist.

Dan from Madison said...

It's bullsh1t. Sorry for the harsh word on your blog, Ann, but that is what it is, plain and simple. I live in Fitchburg so I don't get to vote on it. I wonder why they don't vote on things like the national budget or social security reform or adjusting the federal income tax rates up and down. Nice waste of time from an awful bunch of time wasting public "servants". The people of Madison should be incensed that their $$ is constantly wasted on this crap.

MadisonMan said...

I live in Fitchburg

Shouldn't you be Dan from Fitchburg then? Or doesn't that have the cachet?

I'll note that it's being voted on in many locales across Wisconsin, so it's not just Madison. I vaguely recall, though, that it was across southern and northern Wisconsin, no cities in central Wisconsin have such a vote tomorrow.

Danny said...

In terms of effect on the actual war, the vote will obviously be an ignored statement. However, statements like these do vibrate the eardrums of presidential campaign managers who might recognize the diminished swingability of Wisconsin come 2008.

nina said...

But would it be equally meaningless if many many jurisdictions put this Q to a vote and the majority came forth with an answer, one way or another? In the long run, I don't think so. It's no more no less meaningless than out vote in April/November.

brylin said...

And I just passed my own resolution requiring that each of the 32 Wisconsin municipalities send me $1,000.

No, let me amend that and make it $2,000. So moved. And seconded. All in favor? Opposed? Motion carries unanimously.

I'm waiting for my checks.

TWM said...

"Yeah, the Middle East wasn't broke before we ousted Saddam. The whole idea of ousting a thug Middle Eastern dictator then installing a constitutional democracy when everything was fine and dandy really grates on me. If we just made nice and quit buying their oil everything would have been fine and the whole terrorism thing would have gone away. Republicans are so stupid...and racist."

This is sarcasm, right? It's too scary to really think you believe this.

Gaius Arbo said...

As the father of a son currently serving his second tour in Iraq, this grandstanding based on biased news reporting offends me to no end.

Sorry to do this, Ann, but I have to post a link here:

http://bluecrabboulevard.com/2006/03/30/a-letter-from-kuwait/

The propaganda crowd uses crap like this local vote to "prove" how righteous their cause is. It is not. They endanger my son when they do this, and I take it very personally. They endanger every member of the armed forces stationed over there and they encourage our enemies to believe we will cut and run.

The media is lying and the "peace activists" are using those lies for all it's worth.

Bah.

Alan said...

Yes, that was sarcasm. ;)

Go Gators!

Mickey said...

Ann-
Lets see, you live in wisconsin? I guess it gets pretty boring up there, eh?

Aspasia M. said...

Ah - you wacky Wisconsinites.

I have a much better idea - we vote to replace Rumsfeld with General Zinni.

Dan from Madison said...

Madison Man: "Shouldn't you be Dan from Fitchburg?"

I suppose so. But I moved from Madison and am too lazy to change my blogger profile. I apologize for any inconveninece this may cause...as they say.

knoxgirl said...

Do we close this thing down now with moderate economic and human losses

Yeah, the human losses after we pulled out were "moderate"

learn some history

R C Dean said...

Think Vietnam.

OK. Lets do. Do we withdraw prematurely, leaving an unprepared ally to face their enemies, with the resulting loss of hundreds of thousands of lives?

I vote no, thanks. Lets learn from history this time.

Ricardo said...

knoxgirl and RCDean: Your argument ... the way I read it ... is that if we had stayed in Vietnam for yet another fifteen or twenty years, say into the 1990s and 2000s, the conflict would have turned out favorably. Is that what you're really saying? Is that what you really believe?

Sigivald said...

Ricardo: South Vietnam held its own without US troops from 1973 until Congress cut its airforce and other support funding.

And given that North Vietnam was only a threat due to the support and funding of the Soviet Union and China, one cannot but imagine that said threat would have gone away as soon as either 1) they realised the US wasn't going to stop aiding the South or 2) their own economic collapse occurred.

In fact, one could argue very plausibly that aiding South Vietnam past 1975 would have both prevented the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (both by keeping them busy on another front, and by not giving them any reason to believe the US was going to let them get away with it) and caused the Soviet Union to collapse even earlier than 1991, by harming their economy that much more.

(Though the last two might be a wash, since IIRC the economic drain of trying to keep Afghanistan was significant.)

In any case, Iraq is nothing like Vietnam, except that they're both countries, and they both have US and indigenous troops. There's no superpower supporting our opponents in Iraq, and no other country openly fighting us there. (And the Iranians are quite happy, it appears, to keep their support very much sub-rosa.)

Wisco said...

"Good grief. Go ahead and increase your recycling attendant's pay, and raise your (neutered) dog license fees, but......please: leave national defense issues to the people we elected to make those decisions."

You're missing the point. Everyone says that the only poll that counts is the vote. Well, here ya go. This will demonstrate not what likely voters think, but what people who actually get up and go to the polls think.

The advisory referenda are technically to send a message to DC. But the reality is that it sends a message to candidates running in november or - god forfend - in '08.

--
Griper Blade- grumblings from the heartland

Palladian said...

"Think Vietnam.

OK. Lets do. Do we withdraw prematurely, leaving an unprepared ally to face their enemies, with the resulting loss of hundreds of thousands of lives?"

More like millions of lives.

Simon said...

Given that our Hostess is the person here who gets to vote, I'm interested in what she thinks about the questions presented, and whether it makes any difference that it is purely symbolic.

This obviously goes for any other wisconsinites who peruse the blog.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: My answer lies in the fact that I didn't vote.

Danny said...

I didn't vote either. I just moved into a new district and I woke up this morning realizing that I didn't have a non-personal piece of mail that was marked with my new address.

For those who are still keeping with this post, the war referendum passed (according to Dane101.com) though I'm not sure what the actual percentages are.

michael a litscher said...

Wisco: You're missing the point. Everyone says that the only poll that counts is the vote. Well, here ya go. This will demonstrate not what likely voters think, but what people who actually get up and go to the polls think.

Had this been a nation-wide referendum, you might have a point. The communities in which these referendums were held were very carefully chosen by the anti-war left so that they would get the results that they wanted.

We could put referendums in every deep-blue county asking if Bush should be forcibly replaced with Kerry, and the results would be equally predictable, and equally irrelevant.