Friday, June 18, 2004

new perspective on politics?

so far i have remained pretty much politically non-affiliated. i have a few viewpoints that i feel strongly about, like abortion is horrible and really shouldn't happen at all. girls who are in trouble need HELP, not a dangerous way out. i also think gun control is pretty pointless. i'm really anti-conflict though, and usually keep things to myself.

meet my supervisor at the nursery, gary. he's a hard-core conservative, and i happen to be on his republican spam list. some of the arguments are good, some are ridiculous, and then there are stories about soldiers and such that are clearly made-up. but he sends jokes and stuff with the propaganda, so i don't really care that much. like i said, anti-conflict.

my best friend adam is incredibly liberal. true, i have a private theory that being a liberal is his own way to rebel against his parents without denouncing his faith, but he has very good points and explanations to way things aren't working out for us. he is entirely against the war, a stark contrast to gary, who wants to nuke the place and be done with it.

but about me...

yesterday morning i was doing my usual surfing the web and general procrastinating between class and work, wondering what i was going to eat for lunch and wishing i didn't have any homework. i stumbled across a link on another weblog that i'd been curious about for a long time. anyone heard about the beheading of nicholas berg? my understanding is he was an american in baghdad who was captured and executed, and the video of his death made the rounds on the internet. i had heard gary say something about it in passing one day.

why did i open the link? was it morbid curiosity? boredom? whatever the reason, i watched it, and it was honestly the most horrible thing i have ever seen. it's not like in the movies.

the video opened with a man identifying himself and naming his family members, then went to him sitting on the floor with five or six masked guys standing behind him. their spokesman talked for about four minutes in another language, and then they started yelling and jumped on their captive. it took them forty-one seconds to cut off his head.

yesterday i couldn't eat or sleep. i couldn't stop thinking about what i would do if that man in the video was someone that i knew, or worse, someone i loved. i can't believe there are people out there that would do such a thing. i was really freaked out all day... and all night.

today i did some research. i read a lot about nicholas berg and his family and the days before he was kidnapped, and a lot of stories about him from people he had known. i also read a lot of angry letters and conspiracy theories. those last two weren't very encouraging. one letter would say, "the liberals are insane to be so blind and blah blah blah" and another would say, "he's dead because the bush administration is a global joke and blah blah blah". even in the face of something so horrible, people can't agree on what needs to be done. and then there are theories out there that this man was actually killed by the us government to create some pro-war sentiment.

what is going on here? something horrible happened, and everyone is using it to serve their own causes. the webposts told me to do everything from march on the white house to join the army and kill a few terrorists of my own. i guess what i'm getting at is that i want to do something to help, but i don't know what needs to be done. no one knows what needs to be done because everyone is so mad that they can only see what they want to do. i don't want something like that to happen again, but what can i do?

really, i want to know! what can i do?

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