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2003-04-19 📌 A few general comments on site defacement...

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Don't know if any of you saw this during the few hours it was up but—whilst I was in Aber—some thoughtful individual decided to deface a large number of sites on the BargainHost primary server. You can see the hack here—anyway, it purports to be the work of people who dislike those who try to force their ways upon others. Spot the irony.

Doesn't it strike you as just a little bit daft for them to piss off people who are, in many respects, already on-side? Is anyone's opinion actually likely to be altered, in any case?

Headlining an issue is only part of what's required—how that message is presented is also of incredible importance. Alienating people hurts your cause. There are—always—more productive uses of energy than giving people the opportunity to feel justified for an opinion you disagree with: for example, that anti-war protesters are self-centred, glory-seeking yahoos. Writing people off in this way is—or should be—a last resort, because often there's no going back. So... because I have no time for a minority of anti-war people, does this mean that I don't care, or am suddenly in favour of war as a solution? Of course it fucking doesn't—though that's an easy throwaway slur for some to make.

I'm no fan of the Bush administration. Please let me clarify that this has precisely >> NOTHING to do with party politics: I don't care whether you're Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal or whatever. What a government actually does is of considerably more relevance than its name. Understand also that there are many things I love about America: principally its commitment to freedom of speech and action (where that freedom doesn't result in people being screwed over.) That commitment has been greatly undermined by legislation passed after 9/11 under the guise of 'anti-terrorist' controls: the Patriot Act pisses all over the Constitution. But I digress...

Do I think Saddam ought to have been removed? Yes. Do I think it should have been conducted in the way it was? No. There's a sizeable portion of people out there now thinking that I don't have what it takes to support tough decisions and force of arms. That's nice... be aware that if I was in a position in which I had to kill you, I would. Be assured of one thing, however: I wouldn't have to keep changing my stated reasons for doing so. That's what stinks about the Iraq war: easy assumptions such as the existence of meaningful links between Saddam and Bin Laden. Reports from the frontline that oil could be pumping within a week of taking the capital. Increasingly dubious presumptions about Iraq's military capabilities. What happened to to simply deposing Saddam for documented human rights violations in a police state. Ah, yes... what if US and other citizens looked too hard at provisions made in '1984'-style legislation in their countries?

To conclude... posting graffitti across hundreds of sites trying to persuade people to protest against war is futile. Get out there, do something worthwhile and people will follow. Educate them about things governments would rather forget... such as the fact that a US administration provided Saddam with lots of money and guns in the first place.

Here's a useful starting link:

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