February 19, 2003

To Lost Friends

A timely article on losing friends due to our beliefs.

In all my 38 years, I have never before felt such a sense of personal shock. I am shocked that so many of my friends would rather a brutal dictator remained in power — for that would be the direct consequence if their views won out — than support military action by the United States. I am ashamed that they would rather believe the words of President Saddam Hussein than those of their own Prime Minister. I am nauseated that they would rather give succour to evil than think through the implications of their gut feelings.

It is a shocking experience to realise that your friends are either mindless, deluded or malevolent.

I used to think that 9/11 was the most important day of my life. It was indeed a day which transformed the world; its influence will be felt for decades, if not centuries. But however foul the “America had it coming” refrain, that came mainly from the usual suspects. This is different. This time the words come from friends.

I have many friends with whom I disagree politically; it would be a small-minded person who could not say that. But this goes beyond mere politics. This is about fundamentals. And what makes it truly shocking is how many normal, apolitical, otherwise decent people are so deeply wrong, so stridently misguided.

I know there's a lot of stress these days, and a lot of change. I've read on other blogs that people have lost friends due to their stand on Iraq and supporting the President in this fight for our future and our past. We, and this country, are being remade right before our eyes. What will we remember of these days a decade from now? I'm not sure, to tell the truth. I remember growing up in the sixties and seventies, and feeling sure that nothing could be worse than the constant threat of the USSR and couldn't imagine a world without that threat. Boy, was I wrong!

Here's to the future and in praying that the friends we lose are only to ideas and not death at the hands of madmen and terror.

Posted by Ithildin at February 19, 2003 7:50 AM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

My father-in-law participated in the anti-war march this past weekend. Well, no surprise there, since I've known the guy is a huge DIMocRAT. And frankly, I bet my own father would have been at that march, had he been able physically. I don't ask anymore, because when I do, I find out.

You just have to reconcile and go on. And pray for their souls. I believe in a just G-d, and I believe they'll be held accountable for this.

Posted by: Paul A'Barge at February 19, 2003 2:55 PM

Paul, thanks for commenting.

Right now, I'm feeling all wrung out over the situation. It would be nice to be able to turn my thoughts off once in a while!

I just have to keep praying.

Posted by: Ith at February 19, 2003 4:27 PM

There little that is worse that the feeling of loss when one learns the beliefs, attitudes, and values of close friends is so different than ones own. I know that life deals such things, and we carry on. Hopefully, the rift between friends does not gape so wide that it cannot be overcome.

A very good childhood friend and I met recently for lunch. We were speaking about what has happened recently, and I thought that he would know my feelings since he knew I had stayed in until retirement (he got out after six years). I was shocked and saddened when he said that he saw no reason for us to go to war. This is the guy who complained that we left too soon last time. I asked him what had changed his mind, and he said that he just couldn't see supporting "Corporate World" (his words) in this. I love him as a brother, and don't wish to lose contact. So I said that we'll agree to disagree, and dropped the subject.

It sure didn't ease the hurt, though.

Sapper Mike

Posted by: Sapper Mike at February 19, 2003 5:15 PM

Mike, sounds like a similar experience I had with a dear friend of mine. She's also retired military and I consider her a role model. But Iraq isn't a pleasant subject for us to discuss. It doesn't change my respect for her, but the chasm is there and it hurts to not be able to discuss a subject that is such an important one.

But, we go on :)

Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps to make me feel a little less alone.

Posted by: Ith at February 19, 2003 5:31 PM

I don't have any truly close friends who disagree largely with me on this issue. I have known people in the past who would have, but we grew apart before this.
This "corporate" thing has gotten far out of hand. It's so irrational. These people talk as if they believe that corporations are actually trying to control the world (and minute aspects of our lives). At the same time, they still shop at malls, wear trendy clothes, buy new cars, work for corporations, etc. etc. So this corporate boogey-man idea affects their politics, but not any pragmatic decisions in their own lives. That's schizophrenic. If it were only a few people, it wouldn't bother me much, but it seems to be a significant minority.

Posted by: Paul at February 20, 2003 4:51 AM

I try to ignore the idiotic people.

Go Bush!



Posted by: Kel at February 20, 2003 8:51 AM

Is it possible that maybe some of your friends share your beliefs, but are displaying a bit more patience with the situation? Possibly there life experience makes them want to wait a bit longer, or find a peaceful solution? Too many people resort to name calling, which as far as I'm concerned is infantile.

I've been in situations where I've talked people out of killing themselves, I've talked a man into releasing his family, who he was holding hostage, I've talked to sane people and not so sane people and lonely people and I guess for me, Talk works, not being violent has had a positive result. We all come to teh table with a different agenda and different backgrounds. The bottom line, which I'm sure you and your friend will agree on, is a peaceful solution to all this. I'd like to see us cool off a bit and try to meet in the middle somewhere. Not necessarily with Saddam, but with the other nations. I'm not even really sure how Saddam suddenly took over the role of the most hated man, I'm still reserving that spot for Bin Laden. And look at the guy from North Korea, he's gotten to the point where he's going to have to blow something up before anyone pays any attention to him. He's like a overactive 8 year old constantly waving him hand in the air screaming "PICK ME, PICK ME!"

The beauty of the US is not only our diversity, but our freedom to be diverse. I'm not ready to give that up and become a nation of people who all seem to worship the same deity and feel the same way about *everything*, no, that reminds me too much of some other places that I just don't care for.

Posted by: Annmarie at February 20, 2003 9:38 AM

Mickey, was your comment directed towards me? Wasn't sure :)

I haven't lost any friends -- yet. My post was in regards to what other people are experiencing, and the linked section is from a newspaper article.

As to displaying patience -- again I'm not sure if you're referring to me -- I think 10 years is pretty patient myself. This isn't a new subject for me. One of my major beefs with the prior President was his refusal to deal with the Iraq, not to mention just refusing to deal with terrorism in general.

I don't expect everyone to think like me, I do expect my views to be respected and not belittled and marginalized by those who don't agree with me.

It's a do unto others thing.

We have to realize that not everyone in the world is going to be our friend. Countries like France and Germaney have their own agendas and are doing their damndest to protect their turf. And that's all dandy, but it sure has nothing to do with them wanting "peace".

France went into the Ivory Coast recently, but did they ask the world first? Did they check with the UN? Nope. Why aren't there peace protests being staged against France for being "unilateral"? I'm still waiting....

I have plenty of friends who disagree with me, and there are some of those that will never ever ever agree with me, no matter how many years I wait. So I'd have to say no, they don't share my beliefs and being patient isn't going to change that.

As I said, I'm not sure your comment was directed at me, so my reply is based on the assumption it might be.

If it wasn't, then I just typed a whole long reply for nothing!

Posted by: Ith at February 20, 2003 10:06 AM

They were directed at the article. Liked your post though, so it wasn't a waste :)

Posted by: Annmarie at February 21, 2003 2:20 AM

Well, there you go then!

Posted by: Ith at February 21, 2003 10:30 AM