Play Nice.

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sdfThere doesn’t seem to be a resistance, exactly, to the strike going down on Thursday—but not everyone is happy about it. SGB President Sakib Khan says that, while handing out flyers to advertise the strike yesterday at 7:40 PM outside Carman, a “tall skinny guy” came up and slapped a flyer out of his hand. According to Khan, the kid pushed him in the chest and then the face, identifying himself as “Jose” when asked. He was wearing a grey hoodie with the word “infantry” on the front and “war lords” on the back. Public Safety is investigating.


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  1. whoa  

    I think the same guy did the exact same thing to me while I was handing out strike flyers in Butler. People need to chill.

    • DHI  

      Really he is doing the same thing as you.
      "Handing out strike flyers"
      "Striking flyers out (of) hands"
      It is a FACT that if two things can be said using approximately the same words in any arrangement, then they are the same thing.

  2. He must've  

    forgotten to kick you in the balls. too bad.

  3. David Judd  

    Funny enough, I'd bet those same commenters 3 and 4 were outraged by the "violent" actions of the Gilchrist protesters... though it'll be a hard bet to settle if neither is willing to attach a name to their oh-so-tough internet sentiments.

    I witnessed the attack on Sakib, fwiw.

    • you witnessed it?  

      If there were people around, why did no one attempt to detain or identify this attacker? What, was he packing heat or something?

    • So I guess  

      me and my friends are allowed to stand right next to you yelling over you and at you while holding up banners and physically intimidating you next time you want to convey your opinion? Is that allowed? Because if so, we're in.

      Although I don't want to bring this back to the Minutemen issue. That was so 2006.

    • I thought  

      your little Minuteman escapade was hilarious. Regardless of my opinion on immigration, your ummm "violent actions" as you call them, proved just how civil and mature your organization is. When two groups of morons have a fight, it doesn't make either group less moronic. It just makes them all BIGGER MORONS.

      • Someone else

        I wish all of you conservatives would stop playing naive about this stuff. Whether or not you want to agree with Bollinger's line about 'our community values,' the purpose of disrupting a planned talk is to politicize the fact that it was allowed to happen in the first place and get attention. The purpose of one-on-one intimidation is to scare people on a personal level and force them to stop. There's a world of difference between causing a ruckus and quietly deploying thugs. And don't get me started on who, historically, has been a big fan of the latter.

        • hahahaha  

          wow man, I really can't believe you called me a conservative. Just because I think both socialists and minutemen are morons doesn't make me a conservative. Sorry for ruining your neatly categorized binary world.
          See, when people have a legitimate message to broadcast to the world, they can generally find civilized, peaceful ways of doing this. On the other hand, when you have two groups of backward-thinking, racist, idealogical morons kicking the shit out of each other, perhaps it is a failure of my feeble non-socialist mind, but I truly fail to see how that is civilized, constructive, or legitimate. Whatever message either group wanted to broadcast, the second they stormed the stage and broke out in childish violence, that message was instantly illegitimated and thrown clean out the window.
          ::continues laughing at having been called a conservative::

          • David Judd  

            Usually not a good idea to call people morons when you can't spell "ideological".

          • I know  

            you're out of ideas when you start attacking typos. It never fails.
            Well, at least you're not denying the rest of my argument, which I am sure you, as a rational human being, tend to agree with, despite your political affiliations.
            I always wanted to know -- why do the socialists SELL their propaganda on college walk? Hell, if I'm going to change my mind, it's gonna be because of the loads of free stuff the evil overlords will be handing out to the masses. Having to pay money to be indoctrinated is kind of backwards logic, no?

          • David Judd  

            Argument? Did you make an argument? I read a lot of adjectives - apparently I'm uncivil, immature, moronic, BIGGER MORON[IC], backward-thinking, racist, "idealogical", uncivilized, illegitimate, unconstructive, and childish. Oh, and buried in there was an unargued assertion that our actions were counterproductive for our message. Haven't heard that one before, it definitely stumped me.

            Regarding the selling of the newspaper, how the hell else do you think a socialist group is going to fund it? Corporate advertising? Donations from all our rich alumni?

          • I think  

            the first sign of being DEAD WRONG is when you realize no one is willing to give you financial support. By the way, where ARE all the rich, successful socialist alumni? Clearly even you admit they don't exist.

          • David Judd  

            "I think" - actually, from the evidence of your post you aren't thinking at the moment. And/or you just have no idea what "socialism" means. Hint: it involves some hostility to the present ownership and distributive mechanisms of wealth...

          • then  

            I take it you consider yourself part of the working class? Certainly possession of considerable wealth would go quite against the grain of your very moral philosophy, no?

          • Dear David  

            Good luck with everything! Try not to sell out to the man when you realize the stupidity of your ways. There's nothing sadder than that raging college socialist turned IBM Vice President that I know. Actually, I take that back. That IBM VP is actually adding value to society. There's nothing sadder than aging hippies or unwashed RCPers, who are useless.

          • another person  

            I don't know why I am still posting to this troll pit, but here goes:

            Okay. Your politics were misrepresented. Misrepresentation sucks. You have the right to identify as whatever you want.

            But why did this happen? You posted to a thread which I thought would be about violence against activists (I guess I was naive) and made a bunch of puerile criticisms against activists and accused them of violence. At best, that's equating the ISO and this thug who showed up the other night. At worst, it's a tacit endorsement of the latter. You talk like nothing could possibly be at stake in ridiculing the ISO, that they are just a bunch of marginal fools and that their actions are not important. But my point is: do you know what civil disobedience is? Do you know its history in the US? Doesn't it have to with principles which you'd defend, like racial equality? It has to do with obtaining rights for people who don't have full status as citizens, and therefore cannot participate in a national discussion. People like immigrants.

            Your statements have consequences and historical entailments, and the ISO, love 'em or hate 'em, are raising difficult questions about that stuff.

          • another person  

            Incidentally, I know the difference between not being violent and not physically resisting, so, please, no nitpicking about who is tugging on what side of what banner in those grainy videos.

          • bye teh whay  

            "idealogical" is a standard entry in the dictionary. So much for Judd's attack on my intelligence. My attack on his intelligence however, does not cease!
            Nothing IS at stake when I ridicule the ISO. At best, they are a bunch of ideological (happy?) fools who find Marx just too damned cool to resist. Come on, admit it, you don't find it just a TAD ridiculous when rich white kids walk around screaming about the struggles of the proletariat? As soon as they hit 30 and realize that pot ISN'T the answer to all of life's problems, they'll abandon their entire belief system, and will try to lead normal lives. That is, of course, for the ones who get off the pot. The rest of them will continue being hippie protesters, and will accomplish nothing but creating a greater burden for the rest of society who will have to sustain their out-of-work asses until they get on social security.
            Civil disobedience is ABSOLUTE CRAP, my friend. Especially for college kids who see it as another excuse to get out of class and be "rebellious." People who hit up one or two protests because it seems cool aren't completely off their rockers. People who join organizations like the ISO, on the other hand, have much, much deeper issues to deal with. Going back to civil disobedience -- I don't believe it accomplished anything. Whether your idealized view of our history conforms to the facts or not is irrelevant -- but the fact is, everything in this country is accomplished by politicians, by corporations, and by people who work for a living and thus have some bearing on society as a whole. People who stand in the streets yelling are doing little more than masturbating in public.

          • another person

            "Whether your idealized view of our history conforms to the facts or not is irrelevant."

            Wow, that's really cynical.

          • uhh  

            rosa fucking parks..?

  4. David Judd  

    Oh, and re 4, and the Iraqi people:
    "Most Iraqis want U.S. to leave now"

    And this has been true for years, though the percentages keep going up... what will it take before idiots stop pushing war in the name of the people they've already killed 655,000 of?

  5. Where is Fox News?

    Why haven't they covered this incident yet?

    Oh, wait.

  6. c. rhodes

    Perhaps Columbia students should stop spending their time protesting and start applying for more post-graduate fellowships?

  7. to make it...  

    painfully obvious...in case it isn't already: i thought, and continue to think that what happened when Jim Gilchrist was speaking was abhorrent and inexcusable. I also think that this action against Sakib is abhorrent and inexcusable for the same reasons. and i would venture to say that most people who did not support "those who took the stage," would also not support this "tall skinny guy."

  8. I misunderstood

    My bad, I thought the ISO was protesting the US-led coalition in Iraq ... you're actually protesting Al Qaeda in Iraq, Baathists, the ransom gangs, Sadrists, etc.. Yeah, I agree, those guys seriously need to stop their killing and destruction so Iraq with US and friends can focus on building a Iraq integrated with the international community and a peaceful and economically fruitful future for the Iraqi people. Carry on, ISO.

  9. Josh Arthur

    No, I'm not Josh Arthur (the CC 04 grad who's serving with the US Army in Baghdad right now). I just wonder what he thinks about the Feb 15 "anti-war" protest?


  10. sigh  

    Can't we all just get along?

  11. Killed by US?

    C'mon. Even assuming you believed 655,000 Iraqis have died in the Iraq war, you don't actually believe Americans killed all of them, do you? Wow. No wonder we (Dems) pulled out. I don't support this war, but if this is the kind of crap being peddled by the anti-war coalition, any self-respecting Columbia student would pull out.

    • proud Dem here  

      The "crap" peddled by the anti-war coalition is to get our troops out of harm's way in Iraq, which is probably what you believe. If so, you should join up.

      And no, U.S. troops did not kill 655,000 Iraqis, but if we hadn't invaded, 655,000 fewer Iraqis would be dead. It's still a pretty black mark on our country's political leadership.

      • stop the killing?

        To proud Dem . . . you believe that if the US-led coalition, which isn't just the militaries, leaves, which probably means IOs like the UN and NGOs leave as well, then the bad guys will stop killing and Iraq will be better off?

      • veterans at CU

        to proud Dem: "get our troops out of harm's way in Iraq"

        Did you know that we have a veterans student group on campus? Last March, I attended their panel about Iraq and Afghanistan in Earl Hall. All of them had served in one or both countries, mostly in Iraq. I think they were mostly GS, maybe one was a grad student.

        Excuse me for asking the obvious, but have the Dems or the other anti-war groups actually consulted with the veterans group at Columbia regarding this goal of the anti-war movement to "get our troops out of harm's way in Iraq"? If they haven't, then not doing so seems disrespectful to me.

        Here's their website. Their event was very interesting last year. Really worth it.


        • proud Dem again  

          Can't speak for the CU Dems about coordination, but I know about the MilVets. I've gone to a couple of their events. They seem like a good group.

          Yes, some people in the anti-war movement are under the totally false impression that our armed forces are made up of poor, naive man-children, and so they may speak in patronizing tones. But the Bush administration seems to think that our troops are so fragile that a mere non-binding resolution expressing "disagreement" will shatter their morale. Please.

          And yes, more Iraqis will die after we pull out. We already lost this war; it'll take our exit, a commitment to diplomacy, and (probably) more bloodshed to end the civil war and restore some semblance of order to the country.

  12. troubling

    Question that has troubled me since late 2002. If we are against the Bush-2 (regime change, nation-building) Iraq policy, does that mean we are for the Reagan (Saddam, enemy of our enemy - Iran - is our friend) Iraq policy? Or does that mean we're for the Bush-1/Clinton (indefinite containment, betray the Shiites, 500,000 starving Iraqi kids are worth it, unilateral Operation Desert Fox) Iraq policy?

    Like everyone, I have issues with our current Iraq policy, but I think the anti-war movement has not done enough to credibly answer questions about alternatives to the current policy and the consequences if we pull out. I agree we need to do much better in Iraq and for Iraq, but I was shocked when the recent Dems anti-war statement in the Spectator actually seemed to defend tyranny, which makes me believe the Dems prefer the Reagan Iraq policy - as a liberal, I have a very hard time accepting that alternative. It just seems to me that we are faced with very tough choices, and we should all take a deep breath and think carefully, and pretend like we're a world leader with great responsibilities whose next decision will shape the next era of world history.

  13. Towelie  

    I have one thing to say about this internet argument:


  14. By the way  

    If I was violently assaulting a Columbia student, I would give my real name, too!

    • hmm

      how do we know the iso didnt stage the attack themselves? they have a uber shady track record and theyre all about the whole oppressor-victim thing. i wouldnt put it past them.

      • not to say

        sorry, i didnt mean to imply Sakib was part of it if iso was pulling a con, unless Sakib is also iso, which i don't think he is.

      • David Judd  

        "An uber shady record"

        Uh, are you talking about something in particular, or are you making shit up because, you know, ISO are all weird and socialisty and so you don't really need any specific evidence to say that we would stage an attack on ourselves.

      • Anonymous

        What is up with all this unsubstantiated bullshit? Where are all those Bwog readers that hound people for not providing evidence and making non-fact based insinuations?

        And to the author of comment #13, why don't you just go do it? Your willingness to make unprovoked attacks is commendable, you should get a medal.

  15. I'm a veteran

    Patronizing. The right word isn't "disrespectful". The right word for how the the anti-war groups talk about "our troops" is patronizing. It might be excusable at another Ivy League university that may lack a group like MilVets, but it's inexcusable at Columbia, which has a sizable and accessible veterans population in the undergraduate student body.

  16. Wow  

    Sakib is not ISO at all.....

  17. AHHHH!  

    The anti-war movement is not against the soldier. Soldiers are working people. They did not invade Iraq, it was the leadership. We support the soldier, and therefor we have the audacity to question whether or not his life is being endangered for a good reason. We support the soldier, and therefor we want him or her to come home, without being ordered to commit war crimes, without perpetuating an illegal occupation, without losing life for the half-brained schemes of imperialist adventurers and oil profiteers. Some of my good friends from high school are in Iraq. I hope to god they come home alive. Troops out now means troops out alive.

    • Just curious

      "I hope to god they come home alive. Troops out now means troops out alive."

      Does that mean you want the troops out of Afghanistan and everywhere else they face danger, too, or just out of Iraq?

      • Curious?  

        Force is the elementary constituent of political power. No one in their right mind can be entirely against any use of coercion. That said, I do think we should also bring the troops home from Afghanistan. And I don't think there should be a foreign deployment until there is a draft, so privileged little shits like us here at columbia would get a real sense of what it means to have to fight and die for someone else's profits and political pandering. Poor people, white, black, latino, are getting killed by this war. We could have signed Kyoto - we could have had universal health care. Instead we chose more than half a million dead Iraqis due to US occupation and disruption of the infrastructure.

  18. David Judd  

    At least the internet tough guys have gone away, or anyway stopped talking about people's balls. That's really all I wanted to accomplish with the Minutemen comment, not restart the debate...

  19. friend of matt

    David Judd, aren't you one of the white ISOers who racially attacked Matt Sanchez as a hispanic Marine?

    • David Judd  

      Or not the last...

      No, I am not, because no such ISOrs exist. I know Zach Zill - the alleged "racial attacker" - pretty well, and I trust his word that it never happened over the word of a guy who I've never met and who's story keeps changing: did the table get overturned? What specific words were said? Can you give me the current version?

  20. friend of matt

    Hm, maybe I was thinking about Jonah Birch. I apologize. Anyway, you asked for a particular of ISO bad behavior and there it is. I wasn't there, either, but I do know that the university believed the ISO attack was serious enough to warrant adding 'military status' as a protected category to Columbia's discrimination policy, so besides the blatantly racial aspect of a group of uniformly Northern European white people accosting people of color, there was at least anti-military discrimination by the ISO.

  21. David Judd  

    The fucking Spec article on that was so bad, it's still haunting us...

    The University investigated Matt's complaint and didn't find that it merited doing anything. Then, a few months later, Eric Chen managed to convince them to add "military status" as a protected category. There was no direct relation between the two. Not that adding "military status" to the nondiscrimination list wasn't ridiculous - it's putting an essentially political category on the same level as things people are born with like skin color, gender, and sexual orientation.

    And, while the ISO has a broader understanding of racism than most people - conscious personal bigotry is the least of it - even we wouldn't say that whenever a white person argues with a person of color, racism is automatically involved.

  22. friend of matt

    I suppose if the ISO is going to attack anyone due to military status, hopefully the university would act responsibly to protect based on military status.

    Race-based stereotyping by the ISO was a major theme in the incident, which goes a long way to raise the relevance of the racial identities of the attackers and the victims.

    Look. The ISO ought to lose this bad habit of attempting to shut down your classmates' activities. The whole incident with Matt easily could have been avoided if your ISO colleagues had simply kept their odd, unprovoked anger to themselves that day.

    • David Judd  

      friend of matt - if the ISO would attack anybody, I would expect the university to do something. An argument is not an attack, and this particular argument had no race-based stereotyping, as I hear it. And I don't believe anger at the U.S. military is odd or exactly unprovoked - when one is out in public advocating on behalf of an institution one ought to expect sometimes to face arguments from opponents of that institution (we are anti-military, though not anti-soldier).

  23. perhaps  

    socialism isn't a trend or a hobby or an sgb club that you tire of and abandon, to make you "alumni" and
    perhaps not everyone sees monetary gain and profit as a measure of "success"

  24. Aaron Hess

    All the right wing pro-war froth here is really out of control.

    It's very interesting that none of you even have the courage to list your names when you attack antiwar groups on campus.

    Please come to the strike and rally on Thursday and talk to people in Iraq Veterans Against the War-- a growing national network of veterans who have actually had to serve in this horrific catastrophe.

    They have a great deal to say about the pseudo-patriotic posturing of laptop warriors like yourselves.


  25. Aaron


    I don't conduct debates with adverbs on the internet, as a general rule.

    Come to the walkout thursday and we can talk about moral philosophy all you like.


  26. Columbian  

    I'm not a socialist, but I've already missed 1/3 of my classes this semester to attend finance interviews, so I might as well miss another.

  27. .....  

    wtf is a "masturbatory" walkout?

  28. Anonymous  

    When the anti-war coalition says "end the war now," what does that mean? Is there a specific withdrawal plan that these groups have coalesced around? I ask this because I think we're seriously missing a debate on the consequences of withdrawal, and why one proposal might be better than another. As long as we're opposing the war, doesn't it make sense to debate the Biden plan, the Obama plan, the Murtha plan, etc.?

    Thanks in advance for clarifying.

    • David Judd  

      The coalition agreed on "bring the troops home now", which obviously isn't a detailed military strategy but is the kind of slogan that a movement can unite around. We aren't generals, and shouldn't pretend we are. Debating the finer details of withdrawal plans that you have no direct control over is pretty useless and often can provide cover for Bush to just keep the war going.

      Re 58, 63... It's really amazing to me how many people are willing to say openly "well I really don't give a shit about Iraqis or US troops, I'm focused on succeeding in life financially". It's one thing to make a political argument against the walkout - it's another to just express contempt for everybody but yourself. Well - maybe it shouldn't be amazing, because after all, no names, no consequences...

      • response to judd  

        I understand the "we aren't generals" argument, but it isn't difficult to endorse an actual plan if there's one out there that you all like. I actually think it would give legitimacy to the movement if you all could rally around something concrete. The great advantage you all have it mobilization - unfortunately, that asset is wasted when you mobilize for a slogan. Vietnam-era protests did not change policy, and our generation's protests won't either. At least, then, you all could try to add momentum to an actual proposal.

        Seems to me that you all want to have this 'debate' over Iraq, but it's hard to do so when you don't advocate a specific change, but rather a general and meaningless slogan.

  29. USAT  

    "Americans overwhelmingly support congressional action to cap the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and set a timetable to bring them home by the end of next year, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds — tougher action than the non-binding resolution the House of Representatives is to begin debating today."


  30. dude  

    it seems like not only does david enjoy this controversy but hes feeding off it. i bet hes even got a raging boner when hes responding to you guys.

    • jeez  

      now that's not even necessary and adds nothing to anyone's argument.

      it's like in third grade when the teacher would call on some kid and he'd just make a farting sound with his armpit to cover up that he didn't know that answer.

  31. mee  

    I know the President of the ISO very well, and he does not use pot.

    I also feel like you are detracting from the anti-war movement by conveying it purely in association with the ISO, when the truth is that many professors, student groups, invididual students, and community organizations are in support of the anti-war protest.

    • so many people  

      like to stroke off instead of going to class. That's not news.
      Anyone who is against the war better damn well have a plan as to how to end it. I don't care if your plan involves the troops putting on skirts and marching out in high heels like the Rockettes on Christmas Eve, but you better have a plan. Otherwise it only goes to further prove my point that your constant bitching is unfounded and idiotic. As if my point needed any more proof...

    • youu  

      just because the leader doesn't do it doesn't mean the rest of his cronies don't. And how do you know Judd so well? I thought he spent all his time living and commiserating with the working class about the unjust wealth accumulation of the masses (including his parents, who presumably have exploited enough of the working class in order to accumulate the wealth necessary to send their son to Columbia Heartless thieves, all of them!).

  32. ........  

    Also, I would like to add that I am planning on protesting the war and I have above a 4.0 GPA. If taking any amount of time to be involved in causes will destroy your GPA, honestly you kind of have issues. I know many people who have very high GPA's and also have time to consider things outside of personal advancement.

  33. hmm  

    He has friends outside of the ISO. For example, his friends on his dorm floor and in the Wind Ensemble.

  34. David Judd  

    "Vietnam-era protests did not change policy, and our generation's protests won't either."

    Now see there's where you're wrong. As one example, the Pentagon asked LBJ in 1968 for 200,000 more troops. He pointed out that half a million people had recently demonstrated outside the White House, and that "500,000 angry Americans [will] climb the White House wall out there and lynch their president if he does something like that." Given the sporadic and typically tame, though big, nature of protests this time around, Bush's surge plan was not constrained by the same fears. Something we need to change.

    (Btw, if you Google "idealogical", it tells you you meant "ideological". The spelling may exist in the OED or whatever, but it's not standard.)

    #66 - a boner, no, but I do admit I tend to get into stupid arguments and can't make myself just drop them, and this is a prime example... eg...

    #76 - I'm not the 'leader' of the ISO, my presidency is a purely paperwork thing. But everything else in your description is definitely right...

    • response to judd  

      First, do you disagree with the rest of what I had to say regarding backing a specific policy?

      Going back to protesters and their affect, I think you're confusing public opinion and protests. The public - even those who opposed the war - had a very unfavorable view of the protesters. While I agree that President Johnson was influenced by negative opinion, it wasn't the opinion of the protesters that mattered, but rather the views of the American public.

      My argument would be that policy was affected by the general downturn in American opinion about the war, not the segment of the population that was taking to the streets. President Johnson's comment about 500,000 Americans was probably more of a reflection on low approval of the war and his performance. In fact, his former advisers will now tell you that, yes, he was hurt by the fact that the public had lost so much confidence in him. But I just don't see any evidence that actual protests were the cause.

      So, we don't really know what affect protests have on a president. Where this debate gets serious is on the question of what affect protests have on public opinion (assuming you believe that public opinion may affect policy). Some will claim that the Vietnam protests affected the public; if this is true, then you have a strong case for believing your activism will make a difference. My belief is that protests do not have a strong bearing on approval for a war.

      The political science scholarship I've seen indicates that the single largest factor that changes opinion is the death toll. For example, one study I saw claims that, for every factor of 10 that casualties go up, the support for the war decreases 15 points. Anyway, I don't think you'd dispute this. But I go back to the approval rating of protesters during Vietnam to maintain the argument that protests don't move public opinion much.

      My apologies to other bwoggers who didn't care for this debate, but I think it is an interesting one.

      • David Judd  

        Yes, I do disagree with much of the rest of what you had to say. "End the war" is indeed a meaningless slogan which suffers from the problems you describe. "Troops out now" is different - it's not a plan, per se, but it's concretely in opposition to all theories about staying till after the surge, staying if the Iraqi government meets benchmarks, giving it one last six months, etc. I think that when you're not in the government, you have real power to affect policy, but only in broad terms. You just can't manage details, and if you try, you give too many openings for people to focus on the little points and make it too hard to form a broad coalition. A balance must be struck. (There also isn't a plan from among those you listed that I really support - withdrawal in each is conditional and/or delayed and/or without means of enforcement.)

        I also don't agree that public opinion alone has a great deal of effect on policy. Bush's 'surge' is a recent example, but one of many. Public opinion becomes relevant when it becomes organized and vocal. Protests are not the most effective means of changing people's minds about whether a war is right - I agree, the death toll and other material factors do that - but they are effective at getting people to become politically active in a way that might give their opinions some power. Protest, particularly in the military (see the documentary Sir No Sir or the book Soldiers in Revolt) but also domestically, ended the Vietnam War, along with the military success of the Vietcong, not electoral politics. The troops were almost all gone by the time Congress cut off funding.

        • response to Judd  

          Interesting response, in that I agree but also disagree. I'm glad to see you make statements such as "protests are not the most effective means of changing people's minds about whether a war is right," but then again I would almost dispute the claim that protest "might give" power to anti-war opinions. I say almost because you are technically correct in that marching makes a more powerful statement than sitting at home. Then again, what are we talking about when we say "power?" Is it the power of getting on the evening news, or the power of changing our foreign agenda? I remain completely skeptical of this notion that protests can change policy, especially when it comes to ending a war.

          Perhaps you can convince me if you flesh out the argument that protest ended the Vietnam War. I think the overwhelmingly negative public opinion on the war probably pushed Nixon to draw down troops while increasing bombing, but again this does not say anything about the influence of the protest movement. I think I make my point by the fact that the protesters were not popular, either. Thus, there is a big difference between saying popular opinion pressured the president and saying protests pressured the president. They are actually, in some ways, distinct.

          By the way, just for the sake of being argumentative and covering all my bases, I would agree that public opinion does not always change policy, and yes the current situation exemplifies that. But the statement that protests can empower anti-war sentiment by making it organized is meaningless to me. Hundreds of thousands of Americans protested the Iraq invasion before it occurred, and yet the public was very much in favor of going to war. I just don't see any concrete evidence that protests are effective either way. You seem to acknowledge this when you say they are "not the most effective means of changing people's minds," but even that quote is unclear. Does that make them ineffective, close to effective, almost as effective as the most effective, or what?

          Seems to me that your case hinges on proving that military and domestic protest ended the Vietnam War. I realize you are busy and don't have much time to continue this debate, but please make that case (as I don't have the time or, to be honest, the will to rent Sir No sir or get the book you cited).

    • Saladin  

      You're going to continue to argue that after he pulled out the dictionary? Clearly, you are a douche.

      Also, military status is not the same as political stance. The military is (in theory if not always in practice) apolitical.

      And to describe an organization for veterans as an advocate of the military is quite a leap. Why are you so keen on having rein to attack veterans? Let them go to school in peace.

  35. DHI  

    For Diogenes the Cynic, civil disobedience and public masturbation were one and the same, and Diogenes is still in the books today.

    Don't be too hard on masturbation, people.

  36. .......  

    Why does every convo return to the ISO?!?!

  37. A recent  

    investigation by the Associated Press has revealed that up to 93% of ISO members are also members of NAMBLA.

  38. David Judd  

    Saladin - an attitude towards the military is a political stance. Being gay or Latino is not. Don't be disingenuous.

    They were tabling with ROTC and other recruitment literature. I have no problems with organizations for veterans, in fact I'm in favor of them.

    It's petty, but I reserve the right to mock the spelling of people who call me a "BIGGER MORON".

    • Let it be noted  

      that I did not call David Judd a moron personally. I was merely referring to members of his group who participated in the aforementioned actions. Now, if David Judd himself was a participant, then yes, I suppose he qualifies as a BIGGER MORON than he was prior to participating. I don't know...I've never met the guy. Just going by his "official stance" here. Also I like how he seems to ignore the argument that his lifestyle is the antithesis of socialism. But hey, everyone loves a hypocrite, right?

      • David Judd  

        I fully support the actions of members of my group who participated, no comment on who exactly was involved...

        I'm confused. Is my lifestyle the antithesis of socialism or do I spend all my time "living and commiserating with the working class about the unjust wealth accumulation of the masses"? More generally, you seem to have a systematic problem distinguishing between an "argument" and a "empty insult". That must be difficult for you in class, I'm sorry.

        response to "response to Judd" will have to wait due to time limitations...

  39. SS  

    Basically everyone is privileged to be here. Whether you are here because your parents are paying, because you have Columbia aid, because you have outside scholarships, or some combination, the truth is that we are ALL better off than the majority of the world.

    That does not mean that wanting to change the world is hypocritical. Very few people have the combination of intense passion to change the world, intelligence and skills necessary to do so, and the privilege of being in a place that is influential and has resources (ie Columbia). Being "privileged" does not mean that you should avoid trying to change the world to not be "hypocritical". It means that you have the responsibility to do so.

    An underprivileged, uneducated person living in poverty, whether in Iraq, the United States, or elsewhere, lacks voice to advocate for his or her own rights. We have voice; we have responsibility to society.

    Although you certainly are entitled to your views of what exactly constitutes beneficial changes to society, your argument that it must be hypocritical for anyone who is privileged to want to benefit society is ridiculous.

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