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#504457 - 12/23/02 10:48 AM Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Matt Hawes Offline
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I watched PBS's "Charlie Rose" program this past week. I usually check out his show as I enjoy his interviews and there's no annoying commercials to break up the conversation.

Anyway, Viggo Mortenson, Aragorn of the LORD of the RINGS movies was a guest, along with Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson. Viggo had some interesting comments about Iraq, America, and the TWO TOWERS. I don't agree with him, but I'd like to see what others think. I found a transcript at this site:

VIGGO on Iraq.

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#504458 - 12/23/02 10:55 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
ElvisH Offline
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Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 136
Quote:
Originally posted by Matt Hawes:
I watched PBS's "Charlie Rose" program this past week. I usually check out his show as I enjoy his interviews and there's no annoying commercials to break up the conversation.

Anyway, Viggo Mortenson, Aragorn of the LORD of the RINGS movies was a guest, along with Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson. Viggo had some interesting comments about Iraq, America, and the TWO TOWERS. I don't agree with him, but I'd like to see what others think.


Edited to add non-Hawesque content, ie. a question I'm genuinely interested in seeing answered:
What do you disagree with him?

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#504459 - 12/23/02 01:24 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
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Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 842
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I remember seeing this when it first aired and thinking, "Well, here's something of use on television."

Normally I fucking hate bleeding heart Bono/Sting self-righteous types, but Viggo was pretty cool about it. He made no mention of it until asked (not that the shirt was any deterrant, certainly), and he's-

I mean, you NEVER see this POV in the American media. Maybe they'll run a three second piece on some Hollywood yokel now and then:

"...so no snow for Michigan this Christmas season. In other news, movie star Sean Penn goes to Iraq. The CONTROVERSIAL actor, who WAS ARRESTED for ASSAULTING A CAMERAMAN in 1987, and for POSSESSION OF ILLICIT DRUGS later, SO REMEMBER THAT HE'S CRAZY AND SHOULDN'T BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY, visited Baghdad to 'see the human face of Iraq, so that the blood on his hands is a visible thing'. Whatever! Now, ladies and gentlemen, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!?"

Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, whatever other celebrities are big enough to get short blurbs in the press, y'know. But you never really see this perspective full and fleshed-out anywhere in the U.S.

So, I guess I'm putting any 'self-righteous' judgments aside in favor of simply getting this view out there.

Even if I didn't agree with him, it's nice to get two-dimensional news once in awhile.

Besides, he was pretty cool about it.

Ah, Viggo.
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#504460 - 12/23/02 01:27 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
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I'd like to amend my comment about hating self-righteous types such as Sting and Bono.

I really just hate Sting and Bono.
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#504461 - 12/23/02 01:29 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Matt Hawes Offline
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Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1965
Loc: Evansville, IN U.S.A.
I should say I don't agree with everything Viggo said. I agree, like Elijah, that it doesn't hurt to question things. But I do not see America as a villain. Things are not so clear cut in world politics, on either side. I actually do think part of this Iraq situation is that Bush, Jr. is trying to make up for daddy's botched job, but Hussein is no Frodo.
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#504462 - 12/23/02 01:52 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
davidc Offline
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Registered: 09/13/01
Posts: 81
Loc: So. Cal
Interesting comments in that article. Thanks for posting it.

It's an easy connection to make with the movie and current events. I thought of the conflict myself while listening to one of the speaches the Samwise character makes in the 2 Towers movie, but had to remember that the movie was finished long beforehand. Many people have tried to link Tolkien's books to WW2 events, which he always denied. It's a shame that there's another world conflict going on to compare them to.

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#504463 - 12/23/02 01:53 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
ScottChantler Offline
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Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 675
Loc: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, whatever other celebrities are big enough to get short blurbs in the press, y'know. But you never really see this perspective full and fleshed-out anywhere in the U.S.


I don't know...it seems to me that CNN spends as much time covering the resistance to the war on Iraq as they do the war itself. But even if they didn't, let's face it...legitimate news organizations can't drop everything every time somebody questions American foreign policy. I agree with Viggo and Co.'s stance that "questioning is good" (duh!), but besides that he doesn't do a very good job making his point against war on Iraq. There's lots of folks out there who think that the more controversial their opinion is the more true it is as well, and prominent actors are maybe not the people who should be leading the debate about foreign diplomacy.

For instance, every time I see Sean Penn on TV shooting his mouth off about this or that, I just remember the time I saw him passed out next to a vending machine in the Miami airport, and that reminds me to take what he says with a grain of salt.

Myself, I'm not really decided on the whole Iraq issue...I think Iraq deserves a good spanking and has been jerking the US around for about a decade too long. But I also think it'd be about the worst thing the US could do as far as further straining their relationship with the Arab world. It is, after all, the first Gulf War that eventually led to September 11th.

I don't disgree with the US, I just think that they could really use some good PR. Because they're losing the propaganda war. When actors from your hit films are on Charlie Rose spouting your enemy's catch phrases, there's something clearly wrong.
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#504464 - 12/23/02 01:58 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Dan Carroll Offline
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Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 4588
Loc: Chicago, IL
Quote:
Originally posted by ScottChantler:
legitimate news organizations can't drop everything every time somebody questions American foreign policy.


Technically, they're the ones who are supposed to be doing the questioning. (No matter what party's in power.)

Given how little government watch-dogging the news organizations actually take part in, they might as well outsource it to others...

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#504465 - 12/23/02 02:02 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Shoegaze99 Offline
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 5325
Loc: Not Applicable, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Doctor Awesome:
I mean, you NEVER see this POV in the American media.


?

Quote:
"...so no snow for Michigan this Christmas season. In other news, movie star Sean Penn goes to Iraq. The CONTROVERSIAL actor, who WAS ARRESTED for ASSAULTING A CAMERAMAN in 1987, and for POSSESSION OF ILLICIT DRUGS later, SO REMEMBER THAT HE'S CRAZY AND SHOULDN'T BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY, visited Baghdad to 'see the human face of Iraq, so that the blood on his hands is a visible thing'. Whatever! Now, ladies and gentlemen, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!?"


Nice hyperbole, though.

Anyway ...

Matt, there were some interesting discussions on alt.fan.tolkien and rec.arts.books.tolkien when this interview first aired. Both groups are swamped with film posts at the moment, but Google should turn up some interesting (and a slew of not-very-thoughtful-or-interesting) comments regarding the interview. Some are film/Tolkien related, some concern how appropriate the discussion was in that context, and others just debate the politics involved in the situation. Good stuff, if you're inclined to read that sort of thing.

Charlie Rose is a great interviewer, but I was disappointed that he allowed the issue to distract from what could have been some interesting insight into the creative process of these very talented people. Without commenting on Viggo's view, I can only say it was neither the time nor the place, and Charlie Rose could have handled it better. (Viggo was well-spoken on the issue, incidentally)
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#504466 - 12/23/02 02:21 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Matt Hawes Offline
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Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1965
Loc: Evansville, IN U.S.A.
Quote:
Originally posted by Shoegaze99:

Charlie Rose is a great interviewer, but I was disappointed that he allowed the issue to distract from what could have been some interesting insight into the creative process of these very talented people. Without commenting on Viggo's view, I can only say it was neither the time nor the place, and Charlie Rose could have handled it better. (Viggo was well-spoken on the issue, incidentally)


First, thanks for the recommendation concerning the Tolkien boards.

Second, I agree with you that Charlie Rose shouldn't have let the subject of the movie get derailed by a political discussion. Peter Jackson looked uncomfortable during the whole time Charlie and Viggo were discussing Iraq. But, in fairness to Charlie, Viggo's t-shirt was crying out for comment. When I saw what it said I knew tp brace myself for a soapbox discussion about the impending conflict with Iraq.
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#504467 - 12/23/02 04:51 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
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Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 842
Loc: Citadel of Cool
Quote:
Originally posted by Shoegaze99:


Nice hyperbole, though.


It was sarcastic.

Jesus.
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#504468 - 12/23/02 05:07 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
yo Offline
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Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 433
Vigo is right to a certain extent:If American's are relating the LOTR epic to the political climate we are in I can't see how.I do see how it could be related to WW1-WW2 era.Vwry Much in fact.

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#504469 - 12/23/02 05:12 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Shoegaze99 Offline
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 5325
Loc: Not Applicable, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Doctor Awesome:
It was sarcastic.

Jesus.


Yes. Sarcastic hyperbole intended to reinforce your point.

Anyway, I complimented you on your fine use while citing its use. Take the compliment and run while it's available.

Quote:
Originally posted by yo:
Vigo is right to a certain extent:If American's are relating the LOTR epic to the political climate we are in I can't see how.


I don't think any Americans have made that connection, save some media goons.
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#504470 - 12/23/02 05:22 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
yo Offline
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Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 433
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ScottChantler:
[QB]

For instance, every time I see Sean Penn on TV shooting his mouth off about this or that, I just remember the time I saw him passed out next to a vending machine in the Miami airport, and that reminds me to take what he says with a grain of salt.

I don't see the point the media [FOX} makes by demonizing Penn and pointing out his flaws because he has an opinion opposite of theirs.HE's been arrested therefore he's as suspect as Saddam [a fox new's woman SAID this}.You know according to the same station's reporting 1 in 7 American males have been in jail at some point in there lives for something or will be.1 in 7? maybe the law's are a little to ALL inclusive and maybe because you've been arrested and spent a night in lockup it does'nt make your point of view criminal.
Every response to an opinion they don't like is met with "oh that guy's an actor or he's a teacher"what do they know.You have to be a professional politican to have a public opinion these day's and even then if it's not status quo there's a good chance they will destroy your public image.
To me this is a frightening time for civil liberties.

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#504471 - 12/23/02 05:27 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
yo Offline
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Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 433
Quote:
Originally posted by Shoegaze99:


I don't think any Americans have made that connection, save some media goons.

That's good,Vigo had said something to that effect in the interview and I was wondering what kind of bafoon approached him with that interpretation of LOTR's?

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#504472 - 12/23/02 05:28 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
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Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 842
Loc: Citadel of Cool
Oh, I know the media admits to an anti-war movement, but do they ever really give these people some time to explain their position in detail?

Meanwhile, you've got headlines and coverage with Bush claiming discrepencies in Iraq's arms declaration, however, so far, there's been no evidence (as in none whatsoever) to back these claims up.

Secondly (Oh we're in full-on rant right now), it seems they're being a bit hypocritical, anyway. I mean, don't WE have weapons of mass destruction? Doesn't Britain? Or India? Or France?

I mean, if that's our rationale for going to war- because said country has nuclear, chemical, biological weapons- are we going to take on everybody else?

"Oh, well he's a madman."

Oh, yeah? Okay. That's good enough for me. I don't need to think any further on this issue.

I don't think Viggo's point was that the U.S. is clearly evil and Iraq is clearly good. I believe he was just saying, "We have an incredibly arrogant foreign policy, and for all of Iraq's faults (some of which started with us), aggression is not the way to go about this. I think that we are in the wrong in this method."

The parallel to Lord of the Rings was faulty, seeing as how this is the REAL WORLD, with only shades of gray, but I take it with a grain of salt that this was the first thing that popped in his head.

And on principle I agree that political causes and other excuses for self-promotion should not take precedent in a simple film discussion, but:

It just seems (to me) that when there is such a lack of voice for such causes, I don't mind a Lord of the Rings discussion being interrupted.

It's just a fucking movie.

I'm sure any and all creative inputs will be covered in DVD releases and Special Supra DVD releases and other forums ad naseum until the end of time.
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#504473 - 12/23/02 05:34 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
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Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 842
Loc: Citadel of Cool
"Yes. Sarcastic hyperbole intended to reinforce your point. Anyway, I complimented you on your fine use while citing its use. Take the compliment and run while it's available."

Ah. Yes. My uneducated badness. Excuse me.

(gruff gruff embarassed indignation gruff gruff)
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#504474 - 12/23/02 09:02 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
NicholasWyche Offline
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Registered: 10/17/02
Posts: 405
Loc: Memphis, TN, USA
I find it terrifying that I agree with Matt Hawes on this (given how much I disagree with hi on any and everything comics-related.)

I also find it terrifying that people in this country still consistently look at and listen to actors' opinions on politics. Actors get paid to mak-believe and live in an unrealistic world. They are probably as far out of the real world as it is possible to get, but because they are famous some people still think they have opinions worth listening to.

Oh well, at least that gives us an idea of who is worth listening to and who's not.

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#504475 - 12/23/02 09:46 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
yo Offline
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Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 433
Quote:
Originally posted by NicholasWyche:
II also find it terrifying that people in this country still consistently look at and listen to actors' opinions on politics. Actors get paid to mak-believe and live in an unrealistic world. They are probably as far out of the real world as it is possible to get, but because they are famous some people still think they have opinions worth listening to.

well, at least that gives us an idea of who is worth listening to and who's not.


Ronald Regan was an Actor and his opinion's were listened to.

Because so one say's something that may be sensible we should'nt dicount it because they are Actor's or burger flipper's at MickeyD's.Actor's may get paid a bit more than some of you but they are'nt much different,they are affected like we are by the people who make law's and war.When it comes down to it they have as much power as we do so if Sean Penn say's something stupid it has no more effect than if Nick Wyche say's it.If George Bush say's something stupid and uniformed it could cost many lives yet he seem's to take less care with his word's these day's.
People who swallow whatever's thrown at them by Professional lawmaker's without question are the most un american of them all.

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#504476 - 12/23/02 09:58 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
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Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 842
Loc: Citadel of Cool
Quote:
Originally posted by yo:


Ronald Regan was an Actor and his opinion's were listened to.

Because so one say's something that may be sensible we should'nt dicount it because they are Actor's or burger flipper's at MickeyD's.Actor's may get paid a bit more than some of you but they are'nt much different,they are affected like we are by the people who make law's and war.When it comes down to it they have as much power as we do so if Sean Penn say's something stupid it has no more effect than if Nick Wyche say's it.If George Bush say's something stupid and uniformed it could cost many lives yet he seem's to take less care with his word's these day's.
People who swallow whatever's thrown at them by Professional lawmaker's without question are the most un american of them all.


Paula Abdul, is that you?

Seriously now.
_________________________
"I gotta a whole rack of baseball caps- from kids I beat with chains!"

- The Gorch

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#504477 - 12/23/02 10:00 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
NicholasWyche Offline
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Registered: 10/17/02
Posts: 405
Loc: Memphis, TN, USA
I'm not sure what to make of yo's post above, but allow me to clarify my first post:

I should have said that it terrifies me how much members of the American Public allow their own opinions on political matters to be shaped by the opinions of celebrities. They seem to project upon celebrities some kind of super-credibility based upon nothing more than the fact that they are famous.

Having said that, disagree with the government all you want. If you don't like the war speak up about it. I for one support it fully and wish we would stop pussy-footing around waiting for some kind of global approval and just do what needs to be done.
I think blood for oil is a sad, but necessary fact of life in the 21st century. I know this makes me seem heartless and cruel and like I don't value human life. I do value human life, I just realize that nations are not individuals and cannot act as if they are. Nations, also, cannot interact with other nations in the same manner in which they guarantee to interact with their citizenry. To expect otherwise, IMO, is extremely naive.
I feel extremely bad for those innocents who have and will lose their lives, but threats to our nation/way of life are not something I feel we should back down from. I am a hawk and I know that. Others disagree with me and I respect that. That's the neat thing about this country and why I think it needs to be defended at almost any cost.

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#504478 - 12/24/02 06:02 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Wil Radcliffe Offline
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Registered: 01/20/02
Posts: 486
Loc: Fremont, IN
Quote:
Originally posted by Doctor Awesome:
Secondly (Oh we're in full-on rant right now), it seems they're being a bit hypocritical, anyway. I mean, don't WE have weapons of mass destruction? Doesn't Britain? Or India? Or France?


I'm certainly no expert on world events, but I believe the problem isn't that Iraq may be developing weapons of mass destruction, so much as such activities are in violation of the treaty that ended the first Gulf War. At least that's the way I understand it. But I could be wrong, which I often am.
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#504479 - 12/24/02 07:03 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Brian Jacks Offline
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Registered: 01/06/01
Posts: 638
Loc: NYC
Quote:
Originally posted by ScottChantler:
It is, after all, the first Gulf War that eventually led to September 11th.
Nonsense. The Western vs. Islamic Fundamentalist conflict began in the late 70s. Having troops stationed on Saudi soil may have exasperated the situation for the Islamists, but if it wasn't that it would have been something else.

-Brian
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#504480 - 12/24/02 08:54 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
The Cutting Edge Offline
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Registered: 12/23/02
Posts: 4
Loc: The Carolinas
It is my belief that now is a time of reconing for all American citizens. Many Americans are still clueless as to why other countries view the American lifestyle as the "Big Satan" and the answers aren't that hard to contemplate when you really think about it. Recently, several questions have crossed my mind as to why the "War Against Terror" should be regarded as either a good or bad thing with the results weighing heavily on either side depending on which issue is evaluted. By asking myself these questions, I've come to the conclussion that there are no "easy" answers and if the truth be known, it is no one's fault but our own.

#1> Why when we Americans know that there are cheaper, more plentiful, & enviromentally friendly forms of energy that will also create thousands of new American jobs to harvest this energy are we still so reliant on foriegn oil? (Maybe Bush and his fellow Texas politicians can answer that one!)

#2> Why wasn't Saddam and his regieme of terror "dealt with" a decade ago during the first Persian Gulf crisis?

#3> How will a war effect the American economy now that it is so reliant on foriegn consumer dollars thanks to such trade agreements such as NAFTA, etc.?

#4> What will happen to millions more of American jobs when thankless countries such as France and others (who the US has bailed out on so many occassions) decide that they no longer wish to buy American imports?

#5> Why did the American govt. decide to play both sides of the field during the Iraqi / Iran situation back in the 70's & 80's that could be blamed for this entire scenerio we are now faced?

#6> Does anyone still remember the Iran Contra hearings?

#7> Why wasn't Ossama Bin Lauden assasinted years ago seeing as the the UN Resolution of protecting world leaders does not apply to religous fanatics?

#8> Why was the U.S. so intent on keeping a tight leash on Isreal in the past when it is so obvious that, before the issue of bio, chem, and nuclear weapons became a major factor, Isreal could've wiped out governments such as Saddam's years ago?

#9> Other than religous and humanitarian reasons (as the US govt would like us to believe), why did the U.S. even "rebuild" Isreal knowing that it was going to cause so many problems down the road?

#10> Why are the American people still blind to the fact that conservatives are conservative not because they care about morals but because they do not wish to change the way that Corperate America lines their pockets? (Had to throw that one in there! *lol*)
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#504481 - 12/24/02 09:06 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
The Cutting Edge Offline
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Registered: 12/23/02
Posts: 4
Loc: The Carolinas
Don't get me wrong. I love America and everything it stands for....wait...USED to stand for, but the simple fact of the matter is that America has strayed from the moral, civil, and humanitarian foundation inwhich is was built upon.

Over the last several decades since WW2, we've allowed greed and power to corrupt our society and now we are paying and are about to pay a very dear price for our transgressions. Let's face it, we are no longer the "good guy" no matter how we look at it and there's no turning back now.

Being raised in a very religous household, I can't help but reflect on my teachings as a child and wonder if that is in fact the direction inwhich the world as a whole is now heading. I guess if there is a more appropriate time to pray, now is it.
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#504482 - 12/24/02 03:01 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
yo Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 433
Quote:
Originally posted by Doctor Awesome:


Paula Abdul, is that you?

Seriously now.


Seriously you twit don't you know Simon when you here him.

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#504483 - 12/24/02 03:17 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
yo Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 433
Quote:
Originally posted by NicholasWyche:
I should have said that it terrifies me how much members of the American Public allow their own opinions on political matters to be shaped by the opinions of celebrities. They seem to project upon celebrities some kind of super-credibility based upon nothing more than the fact that they are famous.

Having said that, disagree with the government all you want. If you don't like the war speak up about it. I for one support it fully and wish we would stop pussy-footing around waiting for some kind of global approval and just do what needs to be done.
I think blood for oil is a sad, but necessary fact of life in the 21st century. I know this makes me seem heartless and cruel and like I don't value human life. I do value human life, I just realize that nations are not individuals and cannot act as if they are. Nations, also, cannot interact with other nations in the same manner in which they guarantee to interact with their citizenry. To expect otherwise, IMO, is extremely naive.
.

My rant above was'nt directed personally at your comment's except for the part about why dicount someone's value because of the way they choose to earn a living.I don't know anyone that would change there opinion's based on a comment by frodo but many people feel as he does so it's nice to hear that point of view put out in public forum.Ronald Regan a man who GBJR is trying to mirror with his reign was an actor by trade and I pointed this out because his voice was apparently of value to GBJR as we are feeling regan influence today.The rest of that rant just was a general thing not aimed at you

As for the rest of the above that a Quoted from you this time round....It does'nt seem heartless and cruel,It is.GBSR should have done this job back in 91,12 hours away from removing Saddam [from his interview on the history channel] and he pulled out.It was a mistake and he admited to it.
When we use up Saddam's oil then what?who do we go after then?I know I'm sounding Unamerican by current standard's but I don't like where JR is leading us.
Our biggest foriegn concern right now should be relations with Korea and CHina,IMO and keeping hostile people from hostile countries the hell out of our's.

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#504484 - 12/24/02 06:19 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Jimmy Anger Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 316
Loc: Winchester, MA, USA
I love charlie rose transcripts.

Quote:
CR: The idea... you object to the comparison of this film with respect to American involvement with Iraq or--

VM: United States government

CR: --with the Afghanistan war or the war against terrorism--in comparison with the film because of your opposition to American policy.

VM: And the idea is--in that comparison--is that the United States is like the good guys in our movie against the bad guys in our movie and I think the opposite is true unfortunately.

CR: We're the bad guys because we responded to--

VM: You know, the people who are terrified at Helms Deep, who are outnumbered in this incredible violence and desire to control--to destroy--the people of Rohan and the rest of the free peoples of Middle-earth, and to control their wills, to control their infrastructure--

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#504485 - 12/27/02 09:04 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
ScottChantler Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 675
Loc: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Nonsense. The Western vs. Islamic Fundamentalist conflict began in the late 70s. Having troops stationed on Saudi soil may have exasperated the situation for the Islamists, but if it wasn't that it would have been something else.


Well, since it was that, and not something else, I stand by my statement.

Quote:
Don't get me wrong. I love America and everything it stands for....wait...USED to stand for, but the simple fact of the matter is that America has strayed from the moral, civil, and humanitarian foundation inwhich is was built upon.


You sound like my mother-in-law, who insists (in all seriousness) that there was no crime until about fifteen years ago.

Sure, different administrations have their quirks, but your government (like all governments) are basically the same, and always have been. America was built on some grand ideals, but if you could go back in time and pick up a newspaper from just about any time in your country's history, I think you'll find it didn't take long for politicians to start perverting those ideals to their own ends...your history is full of things that couldn't possibly be construed as moral, civil, or humaitarian.

But the nation is its people, not its government. And I like to think that Americans do, generally, still believe in those principles.
_________________________
Scott Chantler
www.scottchantler.com

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#504486 - 12/27/02 09:16 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
ScottChantler Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 675
Loc: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Re: Sean Penn

No one said that you have to be a politicain to comment on politics. But let's face it, the only reason Sean Penn or any other actor gets on TV for voicing their opposition (or support) is because they're Hollywood celebrities. My barber has an opinion on Iraq, but I don't see him on the six o'clock news. Is there any indication that Penn is any more informed than the rest?

Let's face it...political insiders are privy to information that might be hidden from the rest of us. That's why we elect them to make decisions on our behalf. Some people play the piano, some people have a head for the game we call politics. We wouldn't expect Colin Powell to able to do a scene from Hamlet, so why on Earth would we expect Sean Penn to be able to work out any of the US's complex foreign relations problems?

Don't get me wrong, Sean Penn and any other actor are free to comment publicly on whatever they want, and I'm sure there's a certain contingent of the publuc who'll lap it up. The rest of us, though, are also free to mock said celebrities whenever they appear.

Personally, I've chosen to take the stances taken by Penn--who, as I've said, I once mistook for a homeless person--and Viggo "if anyone's going to use this film to comment on politics, it's going to be ME" Mortensen with a grain of salt.
_________________________
Scott Chantler
www.scottchantler.com

"The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its contents seemed to be."
- Arthur C. Clarke

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#504487 - 12/30/02 12:37 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Louis Bright-Raven Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/99
Posts: 185
I think the real issue was that they were supposed to be there to talk about the film, and it was curtailed into the political discussion. I would like to actually see Viggo carry on a more straight-forward conversation where he knows that's what he's there to discuss, and not worry about the LOTR connection.

I don't necessarily agree with the sentiment expressed by his shirt (I think it's too generic a comment and doesn't rightfully address all of the concerns involved in this dispute). But I have no problem with him questioning whether or not America has any business being involved with the Middle East, or expressing himself in such a manner so as to suggest to us that maybe we should be questioning things also. Perhaps Viggo planned to make a statement because as he said, he'd heard a lot of comments about the similarities to LOTR and he didn't like what he was hearing. But I don't think he really intended for the entire conversation to be stilted in that direction. I blame Charlie Rose for that more than Viggo Mortensen. JMO.

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#504488 - 12/30/02 02:08 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Matt Hawes Offline
Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 1965
Loc: Evansville, IN U.S.A.
Quote:
Originally posted by Louis Bright-Raven:
...But I don't think he really intended for the entire conversation to be stilted in that direction. I blame Charlie Rose for that more than Viggo Mortensen. JMO.


In fairness to Charlie Rose, Viggo's shirt was crying for attention. Viggo may not have intended the entire conversation to be about his shirt, but he obviously was making a statement that he knew would invite comment.
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#504489 - 12/30/02 07:34 AM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Finar Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 600
Loc: Boston Ma
Hola Out Luva's

Quote:
Originally posted by The Cutting Edge:
Being raised in a very religous household, I can't help but reflect on my teachings as a child and wonder if that is in fact the direction inwhich the world as a whole is now heading. I guess if there is a more appropriate time to pray, now is it.


Hummm Religion Very good Cutting Edge time to pray and time to reflect on what to do to a people who have vowed to kill us in a Jihad....

Yes I see it now the Muslim people rising up in
moral indignation over being connected to a crime as heinous as 9-11, I didn't see any
dancing in the streets, None at all. I donít see Sadam paying bounty for corpses, I see no gassing of a people I see no wanton
expansion territory grabs nope nothing here.

I suggest we pray that we are successful and no
more 9-11's happen upon our shores....

And on the question of unproven accusations
I'd like to know where the 8 metric tons of Anthrax went to Mr. Sadam and just what went on
with those S. African and Swedish biological
companies Mr. Sadam ??? What was ALL that money
for ???
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Finar
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#504490 - 12/30/02 12:41 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
MerkSAT Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 104
Loc: Point Pleasant, NJ
(Edited to put proper number of posts above for ?s)
Look up about 8 posts for the full questions

Quote:
#1> Why when we Americans know that there are
---SNIP---


Because we like things that are bigger and more powerful. Anyone can buy an electric car now, but no one does. Because it's more important to save money than to make a statement to 99% of the American Public. As long as that's the case, the Big Manufacturers have no reason to change. You realize it well enough it seems, do you have solar convertors on your house and store energy and live solely off this efficient clean and inexpensive source of power? If you do, good for you. I don't. I don't expect many others do.

Quote:
#2> Why wasn't Saddam
---SNIP---


Been asked consistently since then. And it will partially play into my response to Question 7 below.

Quote:
#3> How will a war effect
---SNIP---


Less than you think. A war would have no effect on NAFTA since we wouldn't be at war with any of the countries involved in it and those countries rely too much on US Dollars to keep their populace in their current conditions, for good or ill. Ditto most Asian Countires and European Countries. It would create a temporary Stock Market Drop (for fear of the things you mention above) and a lot of panic in the country, gas prices will go up (they always do), but otherwise it won't change things much.

Quote:
#4> What will happen
---SNIP---


No country in the world among the general populace hates the American Monolith more than France. Always have. They still love to own our products. George W. can't overrun 40 years of hate/love by bombing any Middle Eastern Country. They hate the American Monolith, but they love Americana around the world. That won't change soon. The US is one of the few countries as a whole that has a problem differentiating between the two.

Quote:
#5> Why did the American govt.
---SNIP---


It generated more revenues for munitions manufacturers and guaranteed the US would have an alliance with the winner. It's been done other times throughout our history and will be again most likely.

Quote:
#6> Does anyone still remember the Iran Contra hearings?


Sure. Does anyone remember us putting Bin Laden in power? See my answer to # 7.

Quote:
#7> Why wasn't Osama Bin Laden
---SNIP---


Because you have to have a better solution to put into place. It's why Saddam wasn't taken out in '91, it's why Bin Laden was put into Power way back when and was essentially left alone until 9/11. You take these guys out, what happens? You have the same problems you had in several South American Coup D'etats in the 80s and multiple revolutions where everyone with a dream causes more bloodshed in their own personal quest for power. Say what you will about Saddam (and you can say a lot of bad things that hae been mentioned multiple times), if you are looking for something in Iraq, you at least know it goes through him.

The devil you know...

And among the people we put into power previously were Bin Laden and Hussein. The U.S. has a real good track record at this, don't we?

Quote:
#8> Why was the U.S.
---SNIP---


See # 7

Quote:
#9> Other than religous and
---SNIP---


Because the government at the time belived in the rights of the Israeli people to build their own country the way the founding fathers did so many years before. While they knew there would be problems, I doubt the Eisenhower Administration imagined the problems facing the State of Israel today and it's place in the Region.

Quote:
#10> Why are the American
---SNIP---


Unfortunately, that's not Conservatives, that's those in the political structure that make a living by attending Senate and House Luncheons and being part of the big machine and don't want the Gravy Train to end. That's not a Republican/Democrat thing. That's a greed thing that all parties are heavily into.
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#504491 - 12/30/02 04:29 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Pishkapa Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 27
Hey, I've been reading this discussion for a while. I usually don't like to bud in on conversations like this but I gained some insight on the whole Iraq thing recently by reading Woodward's BUSH AT WAR and Michael Moore's STUPID WHITE MEN in the same week. Basically I think these two books sum up the main arguements for both sides of this argument -Moore being the celebrity, Woodward being the politician.

The interesting thing about BUSH AT WAR is that it basically says (and was mostly written before the US publically stated anything about going into Iraq) that 11am Sept. 11 2001, Rumsfield and others were pushing to forget about the Taliban and attack Iraq and Bush Jr. said no firstly because he didn't want it to seem like he was finishing daddy's war and secondly because the US didn't have any troops ready and wouldn't have any troops ready for at least 5 months. So the plan always was to go into Iraq because (lets face it) Saddam is a bad man and has been screwing around in that country since the 'end' of the Gulf War.

BUSH AT WAR is interesting because it talks about how the US sent the CIA in to Afghanistan to bring together the Northern Alliance, basically buy their temporary allegiance with the US, so they could get the Taliban out of the country. I personally think it was a very smart way to get what they wanted done. Very little bombs, working with the people there to set up an uprising and giving them the weapons and support they needed to help themselves - the whole thing cost around $70 million - less than the cost of one of the LOTR movies.

The problem with Iraq as I see it is that the US seems to be going back to their old ways - it's like there are now all these soldiers who joined after Sept. 11 who have been training for combat and no where to put them since the war on terrorism is basically fought with intelligence and not fire power. So they're going after Iraq because they can and they have the man power to do so.

Meanwhile (as BUSH AT WAR and numerous other people have been reporting for a while) there are somewhere around 200 highly trained Al-Quida members running around the US and very strong indication that they have a nuclear bomb, surface to air missiles, and free access to weapons. And look at how much destruction just 11 of these guys did on the country before with just a few cardboard cutters. The war on terrorism isn't over but everyone's turned their attention to Iraq now - all that's going to do is piss more people off so they'll attack again as a reaction to what the US is doing.

I love Michael Moore and celebrities like Viggo who speak out against the US government but I think their outlook on the situation is somewhat black and white. I don't think Bush and the US government is evil and they're fighting for oil. I think their heart is in the right place but they're not thinking straight. I think they're being ignorant and concentrating on the wrong thing right now. There's this opinion that they have to police the world and they can't. If they really want Saddam out of there, do the Afghanistan thing - send in the CIA and get the people to uprise against him. He's not exactly loved in his own country. Or at least get some other countries involved in the process - get the approval of the UN. The problem is that even if the US does win the war on Iraq, in two years or six years US foreign policies will change with a new president and everyone will forget the long term goals of Bush and company and another Saddam or Bin Ladin will be allowed to flourish. Even as it stands now, there were some really unsavory allies made in the Northern Alliance for the sake of getting the Taliban out of there. The US knows who they are and are presumably watching these people but no one else does so if the country gets distracted with Iraq or North Korea or which oriface a cigar is being stuck into, there's no one around to pick up the slack. The US is making too many enemies and not working with their allies which is just going to end up screwing them in the end.

Again, sorry for butting in. But I learned a lot from reading those two books which has given me a completely new outlook on the situation and compelled me enough to butt into a few other online political discussions too.

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#504492 - 12/30/02 05:18 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Sock Puppet #9.5 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 523
Conversations containing gray opinions do not hold attention like those containing black and white opinions. Such is life.

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#504493 - 12/30/02 07:04 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 842
Loc: Citadel of Cool
I haven't read BUSH AT WAR, so this is a bit unfair, but:

Isn't that book a smokescreen?

I mean- I don't know. It might be me but the book's placement and packaging give it the appearance of yet another little piece of propaganda arriving just in time for the holiday season.

Understand, my quick judgement of its content isn't completely unjustified:

This past summer, as the result of an argument over whether McDonald's was a collection of opportunistic corporate fuckwads, and by extension, over the exploitative tendencies of corporate America in general, my father gave me this book called WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT AMERICA. By Dinesh D'Souza.

It was basically a collection of essays debunking "unamerican" arguements with backwards logic and manifest destiny justifications. Really horribly thought-out stuff, like (and I'm paraphrasing here):

"Black people have it good, folks. They're much better off because of SLAVERY. Y'see, if there was no slavery, they'd still be in third-world africa, dying of AIDS and poverty. So there."

I'm not kidding. That's basically what he said. That was his position, his argument.

Never mind the stupidity of the original assumption that black people have it good, but as for his argument- Y'know, I have a feeling that if the enslavement of Africa hadn't occurred, that would have ALTERED THE ENTIRE COURSE OF HISTORY. So, y'know, who's to say what the state of Africa- or for that matter, the rest of the world- would be today?

But D'Souza doesn't really address that. Hence the poor, ridiculous conclusions he comes to. Hence the rest of the book, which basically follows the same autodidactic train of thought.

Sorry. Didn't mean to get off track, but maybe you can see, with my past experience, how I can be skeptical of such a thing as BUSH AT WAR.

I mean, the cover is intended to make him look heroic, isn't it? He's stoic. Contemplative. At the ready, looking towards the horizon, towards the frontier.

I mean, it's obvious its something he had to pose for, right?

They had to set up lighting and camera angles and put him through make-up and hair and whatever else they needed to keep him from looking like some sort of inbred Damien. It was planned. It wasn't some spur-of-the-moment "This is how he is at any given time" snapshot- It was put together and designed to make him look good.

Not to say that everything in BUSH AT WAR is a planted media spin. Some of it may be very true- I don't know. As I said, I've not read it, but hopefully my doubts aren't entirely irrational, either. Just because it's in a book doesn't mean it represents the truth. I mean, there's glorifying Reagan and Thatcher biographies floating around out there. Shit, I bet Saddam has one. I bet it was a bestseller in Iraq (or at least reported to be).

And I understand defending oneself, but, as a general thought on the War on Terrorism, I'll quote David Cross:

"The War on Terrorism is a ridiculous notion, it's stupid. It's like having a war on Jealousy. At no point are we ever gonna go, 'Whew! Got 'em all!'"
_________________________
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- The Gorch

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#504494 - 12/30/02 09:03 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Pishkapa Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 27
Oh yeah, absolutely BUSH AT WAR is from Bush's perspective but Woodward (he of Woodward and Berstein the Watergate/ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN guys) is a pretty established journalist and as a result got access to the transcripts of the meetings between Bush and his cabinet during the first 100 days after Sept. 11, got access to the players themselves - like Condoleza Rice, Rumsfeild, Cheney, etc. and interviewed Bush himself on two occassions which is a lot for any journalist.

Of course he's going to be biased though because if he doesn't paint Bush in a good light, obviously he's not going to invited to do any more in depth presidential portraits. I just think it's good to get *both* perspectives. Like don't completely dismiss CNN because they're biased against Sean Penn.

Like I said I love Michael Moore, but he brings up a couple points in STUPID WHITE MEN that are completely out of left field for me. Like his Chapter on Women taking over the world for instance, citing the fact that in his family only one boy has been born to his generation of the family - this is the basis for his argument. Personally my family is experiencing the exact opposite - out of 10 children born to all my cousins only one is a girl. If I can point out the holes in this theory of his - why should I take everything he says as gospel.

After reading BUSH AT WAR I have a hard time believing anybody who says that US corporate interests are controlling the government. Honestly I think that's giving them too much credit. The government is run by a group of people all with their personal prejudices and interests - yes some of them are going to be oil related. But basically they're people who are going to have a lot of ignorance when it comes to certain subjects because of the nature of their job, and the nature of their upbringing and the nature of life really because nobody can know everything - not even the President - especially not Bush Jr.

It's kind of funny to hear all of the people who point out all the stupid things Bush has done over the years he's been in office - mispronounciations, waving at Stevie Wonder, not knowing the name of the Canadian Prime Minister, etc. - yet somehow this borderline moron is the mastermind behind an elaborate plan to take over the middle east. I really don't believe the US government has any sinister plan behind attacking Iraq - I think they're just being ignorant and getting caught up in their own image as the 'Freedom Fighters'. Bush I think has his heart in the right place but he's ignorant and has simplistic visions of the world and his role in it and as they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I'm recommending BUSH AT WAR only as a really good way to understanding how the government works during wartime and how decisions are made. The biggest wake up call I got in the book is to learn that the US has all these plans around on how to attack/defend different countries around the world like Russia, North Korea, Iraq etc. that they keep so that if something major happens they can just pull out the plans and go right to war without having to spend years coming up with a good plan - which seems pretty obvious, right - but when Sept. 11 happened they had absolutely no plan on how to go after Al Quida even though Bin Ladin attacked the US Cole and had been basically threatening the US for years.

It just seems to me that the war department is like - look we've got these plans on how to attack Iraq why don't we use them. Meanwhile there's a much bigger threat from the terrorists living in the US who pose a lot more immediate threat not even neccessiarily Al Quida members - there's Timothy McVeigh's everywhere in the US, people who have been stockpiling weapons for a long time and who are just going to get pissed off if the US starts bombing a country. It's just stupid to go to war with a country when you *know* you're so vulnerable at home.

Anyway, I'm not saying BUSH AT WAR is a great book to be taken literally but if you've already read all the other stuff out there - Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, etc. - it's a good book to balance your perpective out a bit and to understand at least a more realistic view of how the government works. I think there's a tendency to think that if you get elected into office, immediately you're let into a secret club like the Masons or something when the reality is that it's probably just like every other kind of job - full of stupid people and burocratic bullcrap and a tendency to do things based only on the fact that they've been done that way for years. Unfortunately in the case of the government when you make stupid decisions it usually ends up screwing up a lot of people.

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#504495 - 12/30/02 10:36 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 842
Loc: Citadel of Cool
Of Woodward and Berstein, huh?

Well, yeah I've been meaning to see some perspectives from the right lately, just to know how it works and all.

The problem with that is that side usually says something completely ignorant and stupid before I get very far with it, discounting anything relevant they might bring to the table, before or after.

I guess I'll try, though.
_________________________
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- The Gorch

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#504496 - 12/30/02 11:18 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Pishkapa Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 27
Quote:
Of Woodward and Berstein, huh?


smile
Sorry dealing with head cold right now. Spelling and grammer are usually the first to go when the cough syrup kicks in.

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#504497 - 12/30/02 11:23 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Doctor Awesome Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 842
Loc: Citadel of Cool
Quote:
Originally posted by Pishkapa:


smile
Sorry dealing with head cold right now. Spelling and grammer are usually the first to go when the cough syrup kicks in.


Oh no, I wasn't- I mean just now I see that I fucked 'Bernstein' up as well.

I mean, "Oh yeah? THE Woodward and Bernstein, huh? Okay."

It had nothing to do with grammar.
_________________________
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- The Gorch

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#504498 - 12/30/02 11:45 PM Re: Aragorn speaks out on Iraq!
Louis Bright-Raven Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/99
Posts: 185
Matt:

Yes, Viggo's shirt invited comment, but it's still Rose's show and as such Rose should know how to control the subject and keep it on topic. The topic was LOTR, not Viggo Mortensen's response to the U.S. Government's political stance against the Middle East.

Had Rose acted as a proper host, he would have acknowledged it, and then said, "While this show certainly deals with subject matter of this nature on a regular basis, I think this week we can break away from that. I would love to have you back in the future, Mr. Mortensen, to discuss your views, and we can certainly incorporate more discussion of this relation to LOTR as you perceive it. But for now, let's focus on more cheerful thoughts and the movie..."

Instead, Rose chose to drive forth and make it a one-on-one with Viggo, really pushing both Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood to the side. Viggo's shirt made enough of a statement to invite him back for a more direct discussion later, and if Viggo had truly wanted to discuss it further, no doubt he would have accepted the invitation.

Such actions probably would have produced both a fun show for us to watch about them promoting the movie and other things, and also could have given us something more to look forward to, should Mortensen have agreed to come back to discuss his views with Rose on a later program.

That's all I'm getting at.

Bright-Raven

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