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Flashpoints USA with Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill Photo: Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill
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America at War - 6.29.04
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"Operation Iraqi Freedom has made America a safer place."


This discussion was active from June 29-July 8, 2004.
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Opinions
Total # of Responses: 72 - 7/6/04
41% 0% 2% 0% 50%

We have received feedback on this issue from people all across America. Review the graph to the left for a quick snapshot of the responses received to date, or read the responses below.

Thomas, CA Strongly Agree

... I remember why we went to Iraq it was for the oil ...


June 30,2004

Let's see, there are al Qaeda in Afganistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia, Phillipines, Spain, U.K. and numerous other countries including good ole U.S.A., maybe they are right, al Qaeda could not have been in Iraq because you know Sadam would have known about it. Yeah right! and no training camps with airline bodies in them. Oh I remember why we went to Iraq it was for the oil, no maybe revenge for Bush 1, no no no it was for Haliburtin (how ever you spell it) so Chaney could get rich, that's got to be it. These are the things I hear from the left so at least one of these theories have to be true.

Minh, WA Strongly Disagree

... This is how the Bush administration wants us to fe ...


June 30,2004

I feel less safe because there are more terrorists (=freedom fighters) than before. This is how the Bush administration wants us to feel so they can be re-elected.

Other, WA Strongly Disagree

... Dubya has set loose a whole host of demons ...


June 30,2004

The whole War on Terrorism is a sham war, and totally unnecessary.

The terrible course of history that the neocons have embarked on could be easily diverted to constructive peace and diplomacy, if the Republicans actually supported truth and democracy, instead of a long history of overthrowing muslim democracies to set up dictatorships.

Instead, Dubya has set loose a whole host of demons, in the form of rude rightwing ragers.

I myself have walked through a number of muslim countries, on my personal individual workingman's tour of the world. I worked in Iran during and after the Revolution, in 1978 -1979, and survived the times of young bazaar bullies looking for Americans to kill, by heeding the Holy Spirit, which counselled me to "Stand in the Light." If America's fundamentalists actually followed Jesus as they purport, they would find the Peaceful path, and not feel they needed to kill and murder and destroy their fellow human beings.

Dexter, CA Strongly Disagree

... power does not only come in the barrel of a gun ...


June 30,2004

The war in Iraq has not only put the United States a risk, but has put the world at risk. As the world greatest super power, we are better prepared to defend ourself, but as we have seen with 911, were not totally safe. The one thing American people most realize, power does not only come in the barrel of a gun, but come in numbers. The Moslem world is very populated, and there belief system has been around long before democracy. The power trip is not going to work in this time. Just watch and see.

Jeff, CA Disagree

... it's now made us a bigger, more desired target ...


June 30,2004

I think it's now made us a bigger, more desired target by the terrorist's groups. Look at the current listings of stopped activities and those are the one's we've stopped.

Paul, WA Strongly Disagree

... Iraq has nothing to do with Al Quaida ...


June 30,2004

Iraq has nothing to do with Al Quaida. It is in Bush's interest to increase the threat of terrorism and our fear of it so he would have a reason to exist.
The Iraq invasion was a failure.

Pm, AR Undecided

... HOW we RESPOND to the experience in Iraq will dete ...


June 30,2004

I strongly agree with Newsweek International's Far. K. [can't remember spelling of his name, talking to Mr.Gumbel in the threesome]; i.e., HOW we RESPOND to the experience in Iraq will determine if we have ultimately accomplished ANYthing positive for the US in relation to the world AS WELL AS to its own governing of its own people, OR, if we fall on our swords[figuratively speaking], and allow hubris to lead us down a self-aggrandising path which ultimately shows us as buffoons to the world for our lack of attachment to world realities and to our own Constitutional Democracy governance principles.
SADLY...most US voters are not astutely tuned in to the importance of self-integrity in world and national affairs [they've been 'programmed' by political parties, media and PR agencies to be 'good little consumers' and behave/think as they're told, including about national Leadership, national Democracy, national Justice.] ...and so, most Americans' minds are firmly locked into the positions, modalities, and mindsets they have been/are being 'fed'. The USA people should rediscover and embrace the principles and thinking which founded the USA nation upon the US Constitution principles, and then put the world's and the nation's affairs into that context, ...THEN demand leadership/vote accordingly. If the nation fails to see/embrace this challenge, then it shall be seen as 'corrupted and imperialist' in nature and a thing to be feared and fought off...thus feeding the arguments of terrorists poloitically, economically, and ideologically. If the US people do not vote to make the appropriate changes in views/positions/attitudes/approaches to the world and our own society, the US could well undermine the position and credibility of the world's democracies and so destabilize the world's politics and subsequently, the world's economies...and yes, so travelling down that road, the US, like the Titanic heading towards icebergs, could never pull the world back into a more Democracy-Justice-Peace footing in time to head off a major conflagration. [refer to Bernard-Henri Levy's book and interview on the charlierose show last week...intelligent people know and understand how dangerous it is for the world and for the USA itself to be "leading" when the USA does not understand these facts, and instead, is misguided by entrenched ideologies and uninformed egoes]

If I've managed to put the fear of God into every reader/voter, then I as a former teacher and consultant have succeeded to open minds sufficiently to give us all a breath of hope for the future of US Constitutional Democracy and world peace; ironically, the health of the former will dictate the likelihood of the latter.

One can but pray...pray that Americans will be inspired appropriately...to see the bigger picture, and demand leadership mend its thinking, and then, vote accordingly.

Frederick , CA Strongly Disagree

... Operation Iraqi Freedom has not only made America ...


June 30,2004

I am dismayed by the fear promulgation of your last piece and the general ''the world is a more fearful place' perspective I perceived as the strong underlying current in the show. Fear, revenge, and retribution serve no nation. I am amazed that you have catered that sentiment for popular consumption on PBS. Do we live in a world that has become even more challenging because our current president believes that superpower implies not just the ability but the authority to decide what is 'right' to decide the course of events in other nations? Sadly, the answer is 'yes'. He believes he has derived authority to kill our enemies and destroy their property as well as sacrifice our own in order to attain that end. He believes his god of good and evil has empowered him to do so. He actually believes that Jesus would support any war but especially his. The missed understandings of Bush the Lesser are nigh on apocraphyl. In return he anticipates continued power and expanding commerce for his allies and supporters. I observe that fear, revenge, and retribution are the tools the president wraps in illusions of patriotism and liberty. Gwen and Bryant, I am stunned that two astute individuals such as yourselves have not stepped to the fore to indicate the obvious: In supporting behaviors and policies in Middle Eastern governments that we would not choose for ourselves, we have reinforced the sense of helplessness and desperation that empowers terrorists, standing on platforms of martyrs, to scream rallying cries for jihad. In waging destruction, death, and discord around the world, we have added 20,000-30,000 collateral martyrs to the platforms on which those terrorists stand. We have further empowered those who would seek our destruction rather than removing bodies from their platforms. The afternoon of 9.11, asking of God how to tell others that revenge and retribution would assuage nothing of the pain the nation felt, I heard on the breeze these words, 'Share Misery, I Will Share!
Misery.
Share Joy, I Will Share Joy. Whatever You Choose, I Will Share. I Will Share because I AM YOU and WE SHARE WHAT YOU CHOOSE." I feel our choices, around the world and, in particular, with regard to Iraq, do not bode well for what we have chosen for ourselves in the near future. Truth was the first victim. That dreams, liberty, and freedom within this nation are being challenged seems only to be the start of misery from within. These consequences from within may pale in comparison to the revenge and retribution that return from without. Look to Israel for a valid comparison of effects and causes. The two of you might do more to shine light on the darkest corners of the current administration. I believe first you'll have to stop sharing the fear the administration is promoting. There is a heart of darkness in this nation. It beats its tatoo in Bush the Lesser's breast. Operation Iraqi Freedom has not only made America a much less safe place but the rest of the world as well.

Sarah, VA Strongly Disagree

... how can we say that we are any safer ...


June 30,2004

When our troops sacrifice themselves for a war on foreign soil that has not eliminated terrorist threats, how can we say that we are any safer?

Erika, AZ Strongly Disagree

... By removing Saddam, George W. Bush has created a v ...


June 30,2004

Tyrranical dictators are very adept at consolidating power for themselves, and eliminating opposition and insurgents. By removing Saddam, George W. Bush has created a vacuum right in the center of the Middle East, and now radicals are flowing into a nation, in that SUPPOSEDLY houses weapons of mass destruction. Great plan, GW. What's next, militant Islamic uprisings in Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons? Instability in Saudi Arabia, the largest oil field in the world? (BTW, these are already happening.) What a geopolitical genius he is! Good thing we (didn't) elect him.

Robert, OR Strongly Disagree

... We should have used our resourses to build a world ...


June 30,2004

We should have used our resourses to build a world coalition against terrorism and to build a mechanism for internal protection. We have spread our military to thin and have made ourselves vulnerable to attack. We also should have address the energy issue as it pertains to national security

Ruth, WA Strongly Disagree

... ...


June 30,2004

Operation Oxymoron has not made the United States safer nor Iraq free. It is hard to take seriously an administration whose defense of killing thousands of Americans and Iraqis is that Hussein was a "really ,really really bad man". I quote Wolfwitz addressing a Senate committee

Mari, WA Strongly Disagree

... George Bush has done more for the cause of Islamic ...


June 30,2004

Why Gwen did you not ask Gondalezza about the 9/11 terroists who were from Saudi Arabia? They were the majority. Why does the press ignore that fact? George Bush has done more for the cause of Islamic extremists than their own recruiting could ever do.

Cynthia, CO Strongly Disagree

... Bush has sown a generation of violence and hatred ...


June 30,2004

We've stirred up more hatred in Iraq. We've killed thousands of innocents on the basis of lies about WMD and non-existent ties associating Saddam with terrorism. And the torture of prisoners has removed any pretense of the US as liberators. In and of themselves, the folks who don't see that Bush has sown a generation of violence and hatred where little existed before horrifies me. It means that there are Americans who will tolerate killing under false pretences (including that of our own brave soldiers), and the complete abandonment of the human rights achievements of the past (those "quaint" ideas), to fuel a bizarre illusion.

Charles, FL Strongly Disagree

... Judeo-Christian American's have shown remarkable ...


June 30,2004

In 1991, the Tenth Crusade began with Desert Storm. 9/11 solidified the resolve.
Fact: There are 8.2 million Muslims in the U.S.
Fact: The Department of Homeland Security knows that there are "sleeper cells" of Al Qaeida terrorists in the U.S.
Fact: The 19 Muslim terrorists of 9/11 operated freely in the U.S. for months and years before they struck.
I believe Judeo-Christian American's have shown remarkable resraint given the threat in their midst.

Jim Dahlbe, IN Strongly Agree

... Terrorist want Kerry ...


June 30,2004

Yes as long as President Bush is President. Kerry wins in Nov so do the terrorist win. Terrorist want Kerry because Kerry and the Democrats will give into terrorist to win a suppose peace.

Dennis, CA Strongly Disagree

... Michael Moore is right ...


June 29,2004

What many of us fail to understand is that many of the problems the Iraqi's now face and what the american tax payers will now foot due to bushes miserable showing at the EU summit in Turkey($151 million and likely 1000+ american lives and 16,000 Iraqi lives) is all due to the ill advised ten-year Iraq economic embargo and bombings by bush #1. That decisiton was devastating to Iraqi infrasturcture; waste water treatments plants were systematically destroyed, electrical generating grids were destroyed and the entire economy was sent back to pre-Ba'th party. Michael Moore is right, bush has to go. And still now WMD.

Joseph, GA Strongly Disagree

... the Cold War has just been replaced by the Tepid W ...


June 29,2004

Didn't you read the newspapers? America hasn't been safe since February 27, 1947 when "national security" replaced the democratic republic...the Cold War has just been replaced by the Tepid War of PNAC.

Lou, FL Strongly Agree

... keep the press at home ...


June 29,2004

America is safer because America is "en guarde." I am a 55 year old ex-Marine and still weigh the same as when I was in the Corps. If you don't want to lose our young men then let the Nam-era guys go. Just keep Washington out of it; keep the press at home and we'll take care of business!

John, CT Agree

... The terrorists must take advantage of weak prey ...


June 29,2004

America is a safer place since 911 and the war. The terrorist cannot harm Americans in America now that she is awake. The terrorists must take advantage of weak prey to flex their muscle. For example civilians like Nick Berg and a young South Korean man. Plus U.S. military who are unconscience when abducted. What a joke to think that a group of people who hide their faces while cutting off heads can cause such fear in these United States of America. NUTS!

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