Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Some news articles relating to the US election that I feel like sharing.

This one scares me a little, well, a lot. I thought that the 'doctrine of pre-emption' would be a one-off deal, you know, since reckless unaccountable piles of crap should never be repeated, yes? But it seems that during this campaign “Bush appears to have expanded the conditions for a pre-emptive military strike.” The article says that “Taken at face value, Mr. Bush appears to be saying that under his new standard, a country merely has to be thinking about developing illicit weapons at some time” to warrant a pre-emptive attack. So, what's gonna start a war? Vague intent.

This article disturbs me too. It talks about Catholics orgainsing against Kerry because “there is only one way for a faithful Catholic to vote in this presidential election, for President Bush and against Senator John Kerry.” Damn! I always forget how creepy Catholicism is. I always forget that the Pope leads it. I've gotta stop thinking that its faithful people are much different to the Evangelical types I find it so easy to sneer at. I've just gotta get it through my head - Catholicism isn't the 'nice' Christianity. Jesuitical principles of social justice aren't what it's all about. Just because some of the people I love are Catholics doesn't make it okay. It's still hateful, and I should really foul up family barbecues by saying so. I'm not kidding. If they hit back with the Frank Brennan argument, I just gotta hit 'em with the Pope. Er... anyway, back to the article. It's about a section of the American Catholic leadership who are saying that “a vote for a candidate like Mr. Kerry who supports abortion rights or embryonic stem cell research would be a sin that must be confessed before receiving Communion.” A dude called Archbishop Chaput likens voting for Kerry to "cooperating in evil". It's all quite scary, and unprecedented. Whereas liberal Catholics say that the church has traditionally treated voting as a matter of indivdual conscience, “never before have so many bishops so explicitly warned Catholics so close to an election that to vote a certain way was to commit a sin.” And it's so fucking organised. A group called Priests for Life are going from church to church in swing states like Florida, giving fellow priests sample homilies for each Sunday in November, inserts for church bulletins and voter guides. The "non-negotiable" issues are abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage. The death penalty and war are now, apparently, "negotiable". “In theological terms, these bishops and the voter guides argue that abortion and the destruction of embryos are categorically wrong under church doctrine. War and even the death penalty can in certain circumstances be justified.” So the guy who is vehement when he says "One can't hold public office and say it's O.K. to kill some of the public", is nonetheless getting behind pro-death penalty, war-aggressor Bush. This kind of thing isn't dodgy at all, because "We are not telling them how to vote. We are telling them how to take Communion in good conscience." Yes, I see. Hmmm, I ain't no Catholic, but that seems seriously screwy to me.

Anyway, finally, this article is about a film against Kerry that's gonna air a week before the election. The film is about how Kerry 'betrayed' Vietnam POWs when he testified before Congress, since part of his testimony was about atrocities committed by US troops. The film includes interviews with former POWs who say that Kerry's anti-war statements were then used against them by their captors. The experience of POWs here is horrible and sad, but I'm going to be callous and say, like, still, Kerry wasn't lying, was he? Atrocities were widespread in Vietnam, weren't they? Or do I place too much faith in the accuracy of Full Metal Jacket? I mean, I don't think an honest portrayal of what happened should be cast as a betrayal. We need to know that this stuff happens. Like, in Soundtrack To War, the troops talked openly about shooting anything that moved in Iraq. This kind of talk shouldn't be censured, is all I'm saying. The NewsHour has covered this story too.

Nothing's really happening with the cheating thing.

No comments: