I guess there has been a little bit of controversy on E2 recently regarding some people's views on the war in Iraq and its repercussions. I must say that the tenacity displayed by the opponents of the war and their ferocity in trying to essentially silence the anti-war E2 users (and one user in particular) was surprising, saddening and somewhat contradictory to me. Furthermore, I find the increasing homogeneity of views expressed by E2 users, and the insistence on these being the only correct views, to be rather distressing and detrimental to the overall quality of E2 (this refers to a somewhat broader scope of issues than only the recent mini-scandal).
Surprising, becasue I have always considered the vast majority of E2 users to be somewhat more open to dialogue than what I have perceived in the last few days. Surprising, because I have always considered that sharing opposing views in a civilised manner was a major advantage of E2 polemic as oppossed to many other public fora.
Saddenning, because the anger and ferocity displayed by supposedly intelligent and educated individuals does not bode well for similar discussions among the somewhat less intellectually gifted members of society at large. Saddenning, bacause reading a statement like: 'you are essentially not welcome here fucker' directed at an opponent are very reminiscent of relatively recent historical occurences where many 'fuckers' were also unwelcome because of their views.
Contradictory, because it seems strange to me that someone who is so idealistically oppossed to violence and war can be so aggressive and violent to another person holding an different view.
I would like to point out that the above is a result of my perception of some people's tactics and may not neccessarily be truthful. I am more of an E2 reader than a frequent catbox contributor or an active E2 community member, which is why I base myself only on some nodes that I have read as well as some homenodes. Maybe I am wrong, which in this case I wouldn't mind at all. I do have to admit that I have always been somewhat uncomfortable with the (in my view) very much leftist orientation of E2. Many users have views that go against my nature and that literally cause me physical discomfort. I was always able to handle these views, though, because, and I am repeating myself here, they were generally presented in a civil and courteous manner. I hope to see more of that in the future and hope that my perception of recent goings-on will turn out to be false.
I cannot stop myself from adding a quick personal note on Iraq. I will limit it to a short personal observation since all that can be objectively said about the topic has most likely been covered in a node or 10,000. I am from a country that has been invaded several times in the last century. No, I have not experienced it first hand but have heard a lot of stories and accounts from people who did experience it all first hand. All of them to the person, wished that the Allied/Western countries gave more than only moral and ideological support during the early stages of WW2 and soon after. Maybe a proper and earlier use of force would have spared many lives and would have prevented the enforced spread of the Socialist ideal on major parts of Europe and outside...just maybe. I am absolutely convinced that the majority of Iraqis do welcome the expulsion of Saddam Hussein, no matter what other ulterior motives the coalition forces may have had. I am therefore proud that my country too, is involved in the operation.