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Old 02-13-2003, 12:43 AM   #1
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Steve Nash Speaks Out Against Iraq War (Great Article)

Finally, someone whose willing to publicly state the obvious!

Nash stands for peace
NBA all-star put humanitarian issues ahead of personal gain and shoe contracts

Jack Todd
CanWest News Service


Wednesday, February 12, 2003

CREDIT: Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press

Dallas Mavericks' Steve Nash spoke out against an expected war against Iraq, at last week's NBA all-star game.


He is a Canadian in an American sport, a short man in a forest, a mop-topped, courageous, creative, hard-nosed point guard for the Dallas Mavericks who came this close to leading Canada's men's national team to a basketball medal at the Sydney Olympics.

And he is a hero. The real kind, not the kind who gets his name in lights for a dozen assists or a falling-down, left-handed, off-the-glass layup in the face of Shaquille O'Neal.

During the NBA all-star festivities in Atlanta over the weekend, Steve Nash did something that highly paid professional athletes simply don't do any more: He took a political stand on a controversial issue. He put concern about the value of his shoe contracts aside and put humanitarian values at the forefront.

With the world watching, Nash spoke out against the determined drive of George W. Bush's administration to find a pretext to wage war on Iraq. While his peers wore expensive throwback jerseys on media day, Nash wore a jersey with a simple but powerful message: "Shoot for peace."

And he backed it up. The spirit of Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe might be rare among today's athletes, but it is alive:

"I believe the U.S. going to war would be a mistake," Nash told the Globe and Mail's Michael Grange. "I think it's something we need to be very careful with. Being a humanitarian, I believe war is wrong in 99.9 per cent of all cases. Especially in this situation. I think war is a self-defence measure and I don't think Iraq is really threatening right now.

"I think there is definitely something misleading going on right now. I think this is about oil or some sort of distraction. Saddam is a scary person, he's a crazed dictator ... but we haven't found any nuclear weapons, no matter what anyone says and that process [the UN weapons inspections] is still under way. Until that process is finished and decided, I don't think that war is acceptable."

Saddam is a crazed dictator -- but we live in a world where crazed dictators are a dime a dozen. This is a situation where the Bush administration (it's important to distinguish this government from Americans it doesn't really represent) decided a long while ago that it wanted a war and it is going to prosecute that war no matter what the UN inspectors find, no matter how many of its allies are opposed.

A long article in the New Yorker a year ago said senior members of the U.S. administration had already decided to go to war with Iraq. The start date? February 2003.

This is not about hidden weapons; it's about finding an excuse to wage a war for oil.

Under the circumstances, it is important that anyone with public status who has taken the time to educate himself or herself on what is involved here speak out to avoid another massacre in Iraq. That means politicians, entertainment figures, sports stars -- and, yes, sport columnists. After the Gulf War, an independent study that was first suppressed and then altered by the first Bush administration, estimated that 200,000 civilians died as a result of the American-led attacks, 70 times the toll from the World Trade Center attacks. That includes deaths resulting from the loss of such infrastructure facilities as hospitals and water purification plants, but it gives some idea of the horror that will visited on civilians when the U.S. attacks again.

Nash spoke out, and he spoke out with class and dignity. "I don't want to sound like I'm on a soap box or sound like I know it all, because I'm still trying to educate myself," Nash said. "But it's something I believe in and I think people should go out there and try to educate themselves, learn what they can about it so they can make an informed decision about what they want to support.

"Unfortunately, I think a lot of what we hear on the news is misleading and flat-out false. We need to dig deeper and find out what's really going on here, and I think, unfortunately, this is more about oil than nuclear weapons."

Precisely. This war is a naked power grab for Iraqi oil under the guise of an attempt to suppress "weapons of mass destruction." the UN inspectors have not been able to find. "Get your sand off our oil," is how someone put the U.S. position a few weeks ago.

For Nash to oppose the U.S. war is doubly courageous, given that he plays his basketball in Dallas, a right-wing bastion at the heart of big-oil country. The people in what John Le Carre calls the "junta" leading the drive to war -- Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Bush himself -- all once worked (and still work indirectly) for the oil industry. Rice was so deeply involved that her company once named an oil tanker after her.

After 36 years of opposition to attacks by the world's most warlike and aggressive nation against Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Iraq and Kosovo (to name a few) I despair of finding a way to stop an administration that needs war the way people need oxygen. Still it's encouraging to see a leading figure in a corporate sport with the courage to speak out, especially when it would be so easy for Nash to simply go along with the party line and not take the trouble to inform himself on the real causes of this war.

"I just feel a responsibility in some way and don't think I've been responsible enough in searching out the truth, educating myself and creating a position and helping others to do the same," Nash said. "I don't mind what people believe in. I'm not telling people to believe in what I believe in. I just want people to educate themselves."

That "responsibility" is something most prominent athletes have been able to duck, at least since Michael Jordan decided that selling Nikes was more important than opposing North Carolina racist Jesse Helms. Jordan and Tiger Woods exemplify the "new" athlete, Ashe and Ali the old. In that sense Nash is a throwback, a breath of fresh air in a world where nothing matters but endorsement contracts and marketing.

Obviously, Nash alone can't stop a brutal government bent on war. But he can use his position as a basketball star to open some minds; we can't ask for more.

Montreal Gazette
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:13 AM   #2
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steve nash needs a hair cut.
steve nash will never be johnny stockton.

ive seen steve play.
ive seen johnny play
and lemme tell ya all-
steve nash 'you are no john stockton' or 'sean penn' for that matter, now please go get a hair cut and stay outta politics

thank u-
diamond
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:17 AM   #3
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Steve should stick to dating former spice girls, and yes a shampoo would probably do him some good...

Nice that a political thread starts to criticize people's hair.
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:18 AM   #4
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....A long article in the New Yorker a year ago said senior members of the U.S. administration had already decided to go to war with Iraq. The start date? February 2003....
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:19 AM   #5
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how can anybody take a a person w a bad hair cut seriously re world affairs?.

Micael-
was that after 9-11-01, this decision?
Go figure.

db9
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
how can anybody take a a person w a bad hair cut seriously re world affairs.
How can anyone not take seriously what Bush is doing with our fate?
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Griffiths

How can anyone not take seriously what Bush is doing with our fate?
the Eclectroial College chose our President.

The Electorial College did not choose Mr Bad Hair Cut to direct foreign affairs

I will listen to a basketball seminar from Steve though.

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Old 02-13-2003, 01:29 AM   #8
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Respectfully, Steve is making a stand which not many of his peers are ready to do (being tied up in sponsorships and their patriotic obligations).

But, I don't remember Steve Nash participating in any moratoriums regarding war, or peace for that matter.

Maybe I would take Steve's opinion to heart if I was naive enough to believe that nothing is going on in Iraq. On the other hand, as a fellow countrymen of Steve's and a member of the human race, I believe we can't sit idly by while the people of Iraq are suffering, and the while the world is in a state of instability.

Great article Michael... I don't think anyone questions your convictions; but most of us do question Bush's rationale.
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:32 AM   #9
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond

the Eclectroial College chose our President.

The Electorial College did not choose Mr Bad Hair Cut to direct foreign affairs

I will listen to a basketball seminar from Steve though.

DB9
I didn't vote in your election (I'm Canadian), yet my fate has never been so tied into any one particular man in my entire life. I could make a strong case for my father, I suppose, but he never applied the liberties I was born into with any political agenda. Also, once I was conceived, he allowed me to create my own destiny, not give way to someone else's power ambitions. (That last part is a joke - well, partly)

Ah, I'm tired. Time for bed.
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Griffiths
I didn't vote in your election (I'm Canadian), yet my fate has never been so tied into any one particular man in my entire life.
I'm Canadian as well, and I share that sentiment that our fates are bound. We will follow America, no questions asked; but, I think we all want to make sure its for real (which there isn't much doubt now) before anything happens.

Everybody should mellow out and wait what the UN and NATO proceedings have to say.

I will now get off my pulpit and stop preaching, because I have no right to do so.

P.S. Steve isn't that bad of a basketball player, lay off him. He's all we've got... maybe I should try out for our olympic basketball team!
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:52 AM   #12
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Originally posted by cujo
We will follow America, no questions asked
I think it's about time we did start asking some questions, to be honest. I think Bush is out of control, and as was the case during Hitler's rise to power, no one said anything. The silence was and is deafening. (And before I get roasted, I'm not saying Bush is Hitler. It's just that there are some similarities in terms the absolutism of this administration.) Okay, I'm really going to bed now!
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Old 02-13-2003, 01:56 AM   #13
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I don't think anyone will hold you accountable for your words, if they read your disclaimer. Unfortunately, I don't have one so what you read is what you get...

Questions should be asked, but by the right people.
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Old 02-13-2003, 03:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond


The Electorial College did not choose Mr Bad Hair Cut to direct foreign affairs

I will listen to a basketball seminar from Steve though.

DB9

hmmm, yeah. I don't think we should listen to Bono with respect to his socio-political agenda, either.

I will listen to a lyric writing seminar from Bono though.
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:00 AM   #15
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Has Bono publicly stated for the USA not to go into Iraq?

or is it speculation by some fans?

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