Facebook: A problem with Group-Think

Having talked so positively about Facebook yesterday, I encountered a different aspect today that I wanted to write about here.
Two Staten Island friends –an artist and a poet– invited me to participate in an anti Iraq War demonstration on March 20th, the 6th anniversary of the beginning of that unhappy misadventure by the late inept and disappointed –not to say “disappointing” president. The demonstration would not take us to the barricades: the idea was to switch our photographs for a Peace symbol on that day.
Here is the invitation that they sent me on Facebook and, underneath, the Facebook Message that I sent to them:

THE INVITATION:
Common Interest – Beliefs & Causes
Description: March 20th is the 6th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War, that is a six-year milestone with no known end in sight.

Let’s all band together and show a united desire for peace on this day by changing our Facebook profile photos to a peace symbol on March 20th.

It’s a small gesture, but if enough people show just how strongly they believe in peace maybe, just maybe, it will have an impact somehow.

So please, show a Face For Peace on March 20th.

You can use one of the symbols on this page or you can simply create your own. There will be some other peace symbols added over the next weeks that can also be used. Feel free to create your own and upload them here for others to use.

MY RESPONSE:
Dear Mary Campbell and Wil Wynn –Two people I admire.

You both invited me to join you in this. I am a fan of Facebook but there are some aspects that I am already having a certain difficulty with –I will label them the “Me too/Group think/We think” aspects. Hopefully they can be fixed. Or at least discussed.

“Change Your Face for Peace” is described as an Initiative. But whose? It describes itself as being against the Iraq War: But, what about the Afghanistan War? And, is there an “Against-Bush and Pro-Obama” aspect to this? Isn’t the Afghanistan War also a war “with no known end in sight”? There are a lot of important questions here that need to be settled –and not by “me-too/group-think”.
We have in Facebook the perfect vehicle, the perfect forum to tackle this question. Why not use a Wall-to-Wall discussion of all these issues to argue it out, submit suggestions and then draft a resolution that WE ALL can agree on; we have a month –we could close the suggestion box after say 2 weeks, and then draft the resolution. Just like in an oldstyle town-meeting.

As one who opposed the Iraq War from the beginning –which by the way, has now become Barack’s War to end– I find myself at this stage more interested in laying out a succinct and unambiguous listing of The Sins/Crimes of George W. Bush, 2001-2008 to go into the history books. While I do trust Barack et al to reach the best conclusion in Iraq, I am very uneasy about Afghanistan: I am not sure that Barack was not too much “in Campaign mode” –i.e. to show he was not “soft on terrorism” when he said he would switch back from Iraq to the war in Afghanistan.

Caveat Pre-Emptor,
Malachi

Whose side are you on?


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