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[P]
The real battle over Iraq is between the USA and the EU

By Pop Top in Op-Ed
Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:18:21 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

As George Bush comes closer and closer to carrying out his plans to "regime change" Saddam, where does the most significant opposition come from?

Not Russia, as Putin seems quite willing to trade the US the right to whack Saddam in exchange for their right to whack the nation of Georgia. And guarantees of debt repayment by a post-Saddam Iraq.

Not China, which will most likely "abstain" from any formal vote. Beijing may well hope America bloodies its nose in Iraq, yet the Chinese are not going to stick out their necks one inch to save Saddam.

No, the harshest critics of Dubya's plans are found in Paris, Berlin and Brussels. Many in the US are utterly amazed at this and want to ask:

"Are you guys daft, or what?"


This diplomatic war is actually over the legal framework for geo-politics in the 21st century. What George W. Bush is trying to do to the United Nations today reminds me of what Franklin D. Roosevelt did to the Supreme Court in the 1930s.

Do what I say or I will render you irrelevant.

The White House press secretary says that no decision has been made on whether to use military force as four carrier battle groups manuever to be in position by early winter. President Bush plays coy with the larger issues of global strategery yet his closest advisors produce websites like this one.

A wonderfully insightful TimesOnline editorial captured the Bush position quite succinctly:

The thesis is simple. The growth of sophisticated terrorism can brook no compromise.

[Those] states that house and train terrorists must be crushed. States that might do so in future must be crushed as well. America has the power. It must do the deed.

The thesis [further] holds that the United Nations concept of national sovereignty is defunct.

To further the point, this author notes:

Last month the thesis was restated in the White House's astonishing and little-noticed National Security Strategy.This asserted America's right to stop any other country "from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing or equalling the power of the United States". It also asserted America's generalised right to take pre-emptive action in support of that hegemony. The assertion acknowledged no external authority. Instead it required a large military budget -- "full spectrum dominance" -- because pre-emptive attack needed more power than mere deterrence.

Full spectrum dominance says it all. The US is asserting the right to use force to assure that no other nation can ever threaten the US with force.

Christopher Hitchens has written that liberals fear John Ashcroft more than they fear bin Laden or Saddam. I submit that this statement is not hyperbole or a blatant troll but rather is quite simply true. Whether this is an unpatriotic stance taken by some (many?) liberals is beyond the scope of this Op-Ed and I decline to offer an opinion here.

Turning to Europe, is it possible that in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and the streets of London (if not the corridors of Whitehall) people fear Donald Rumsfeld and Pax Americana more than they fear bin Laden and Saddam?

A significant difference may be in how the threat from Saddam and al-Qaeda is viewed on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Consider this assertion. Westerners may be hurt by al-Qaeda, but the West is not threatened. How many in the US agree with this? Does George W. Bush want us to agree with this? Do you agree with this?

The TimeOnline editorial I quoted above offers an antithesis to the original thesis, in part as follows:

The terrorist should be treated as a criminal. The tank of envy in which he swims should be drained, not filled with the "blood of martyrs". Americans should show the confidence of the powerful, not the trigger-happy jumpiness of the vulnerable. Westerners may be hurt by al-Qaeda, but the West is not threatened. Those who flaunt their wealth to the world must expect occasional stabs of resentment.

Can there be genuine dialogue across the Atlantic on the proper shaping of the geo-political order for the 21st century? How can these issues be brought to the surface and discussed openly rather than buried beneath rhetoric guided by fear and anger?

As an American myself, I do not believe for an instant that the French or other Europeans are pro-Saddam. Regime change is a worthy goal. But how we accomplish that goal may be more important than the goal itself.

Sadly, in my opinion, most of my fellow citizens are blissfully unaware of the very real political struggle now on-going that involves far more than the survival of Saddam's regime.

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Westerners may be hurt by al-Qaeda, but the West is not threatened.
o Agree 70%
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o Franklin D. Roosevelt did to the Supreme Court in the 1930s.
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The real battle over Iraq is between the USA and the EU | 589 comments (556 topical, 33 editorial, 0 hidden)
Then how? (2.84 / 13) (#20)
by kholmes on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 08:34:40 PM EST

"As a life long American myself, I do not believe for an instant that the French or other Europeans are pro-Saddam. Regime change is a worthy goal. But how we accomplish that goal may be more important than the goal itself."

What would you rather us do, ask nicely?

Should we wait for the Europeans to give us moral support, even with the huge anti-American sentiment there seems to be there? Since when did the Europeans become the moral arbiters of the world?

I am seriously lost between the lines of "Regime change is good" and "but we don't want you to 'attack' him".

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.

Since (4.75 / 8) (#79)
by Craevenwulfe on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:23:24 AM EST

The rest of the world are the people that are "terrorising" you, i suggest you pay attention to what the fuck is motivating them to "terrorise" you.
YA DIG?

Otherwise you just have something called the never-ending story, martyr begats martyr.

[ Parent ]
Terror (2.66 / 3) (#138)
by mmealman on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:24:19 AM EST

Terror doesn't need a reason. What did the Jews do in Germany to provoke the Nazis? What did the blacks in the south do to provoke the KKK? Terror is a political tool used by small people to gain power. There's very little reasoning in it and no matter how nice America is it'll always be a target.

[ Parent ]
Flawed reasoning (3.00 / 3) (#144)
by Pihkal on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:17:44 PM EST

How often do you do things without thinking you have a reason to do them? How often do you engage in massive efforts involving a lot of time, manpower, and money without thinking you have a justification for your efforts? You may not like their reasoning, you may disagree with their reasoning, or you may think their reasoning is horribly flawed, born of ignorance, hate, superstition, etcetera but you cannot deny that the terrorists think that they have a reason. People do not act without motivations.

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"
-- Number 6
[ Parent ]
There reasons, (4.33 / 3) (#235)
by NoMercy on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:34:31 PM EST

They have reasons, most of them are flawed, based on obscure interpretations of their religion. But time and time again we interfear with their part of the world, normally with honorible goals, but we always end up treading on someone, and when you tread on someone you generate ill-will enough of it and people start joining terrorist orginisations, and once there's enough people bad things happen.

[ Parent ]
Who's talking about terrorism? (2.50 / 2) (#212)
by kholmes on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:48:09 PM EST

I know others (most potently certain television pundits) make the hasty connection between the war on terrorism and our aims in Iraq, and certainly all global actions--when taken to an extreme--can be said to be related, especially when such actions happen to coincide on the same face of the world.

But myself, in any debate I would want to participate in, would not want to make that connection.

If there are, in the hypothetical extreme, such potential terrorists who would put their own lives willingly in defense of Saddam Husaine, then I would consider them part of the problem we need to extinguish.

We don't make deals with terrorists because we can't. Their motives are broad and uncertain; their sense of reason always in question. To not take necessary action in fear that someone somewhere might get the wrong idea is stupidity in the extreme.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

road map found here (4.50 / 4) (#110)
by Subtillus on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:04:03 AM EST

"regime change good"->"we don't want you to attack him"

It's simple really, not all problems can be solved instantaneously through the course of violence and propagandism.

What should we do? Tough question, I can only offer a few opinions but I'm sure it involves more than bombing the heck out of anyone we don't happen to like at any given moment.

We might start out by considering some of the following.
What's so wrong elsewhere that terrorism is brought about?
What can we do about this?

It's all well and good to pin it on a few choice individuals who may or not be focal characters but the _REAL_ problems here are borad sweeping social and economic trends that need to be addressed.

The EU just happens to be willing to start considering thinking about maybe planning something about thinking this through at some point in time.

[ Parent ]

Motivation (1.66 / 3) (#141)
by Kintanon on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:41:30 AM EST

The problem is that in some situations the problem is an absolute fundamental difference of belief between terrorists and their victims. The terrorists believe that these fundamental differences are enough justification for the murder of those they disagree with. So not all Terrorists are motivated by actual grievances.
What do you do about them? Alter your entire countries culture at the individual level to conform to the terrorists idea of what's right, just to avoid conflict?

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Since when did the Europeans become the moral arbi (5.00 / 5) (#139)
by tobin on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:28:23 AM EST

Since when did the Europeans become the moral arbiters of the world?

Since when did you? We have our opinions. American's aren't the only 'thinking' people..

[ Parent ]

Please, some context (4.00 / 1) (#207)
by kholmes on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:34:22 PM EST

"Since when did you? We have our opinions. American's aren't the only 'thinking' people.."

I was replying to the notion that we need to get European support before we proceed with our own war-making.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

Context (4.00 / 1) (#302)
by upsilon on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:48:01 AM EST

Yeah, and tobin is implying (or so it seems to me) that the USA is acting as moral arbiter to the world by (somewhat arbitrarily) deciding that Saddam needs to be removed.

And before people jump on me for "somewhat arbitrarily", let me just say that (IMHO) if there are governments in the world that need to be relieved of power, Saddam is among them, but so are a bunch of other countries that the USA is never going to do a damn thing about, so the choice of Saddam is in fact "somewhat arbitrary".
--
Once, I was the King of Spain.
[ Parent ]

Oh my (1.00 / 1) (#357)
by kholmes on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:52:16 PM EST

It has become quite apparent to me lately that many of you people are severely confused. I suppose it may have something to do with the anti-American biases many Europeans are constantly exposed to. I may be wrong however, I am not a European.

No, protecting our national interests does not make us arbiters of anybody. At best, that removing Saddam from power is also in everyone else's best interest as well, which you'd think the international community would be happy about. It seems certain well-minded governments have the capability to stand up to the anti-American sentiment of their constituents and actually support the United States. The rest seem to enjoy bitching and moaning and ultimately, do nothing.

I will not give any merit to the fallacy that we should wage war against every tyrant in the world simultaneously or somehow become arbitrary or hypocritical.

Really, make some sense please.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

Re:Then how? (5.00 / 1) (#265)
by r00t on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:27:10 AM EST

Since when did the Europeans become the moral arbiters of the world

I think it was sometime after the US became world cop

-It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
[ Parent ]

-cough- bulsshit -cough- (5.00 / 3) (#291)
by SlashDread on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:00:34 AM EST

"even with the huge anti-American sentiment there seems to be there?"

Lame American exuse for non-automatic agreement.

Gr /Dread

[ Parent ]

A worthy goal, indeed (3.83 / 6) (#21)
by imrdkl on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 08:37:45 PM EST

Saddam is selling oil and oil rights very cheap right now, and the Russians, as well as several European countries, are buying them up fast. Iraqi exports have increased, and stabilized, much to the chagrin of the Bush administration.

The administration insists that the new Iraqi regime will certainly render these latest agreements null and void, but that's debatable. In fact, by the time our boys get to Saddams house, his harem is likely to be long gone, and his oil will already be spoken for.

But none of that matters, because this war isn't about oil, right?

How do you know? (4.66 / 3) (#44)
by aitrus on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:03:51 PM EST

Once we take over and occupy Iraq, what gurantee do you have that any agreements will be maintained?

They won't, because Tommy Franks and his staff have no incentive for selling Oil rights to foreigners, when his goal is to rebuild Iraq.

[ Parent ]

American Hegemony (2.38 / 21) (#26)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:05:45 PM EST

I apologize to all non-Americans out there, because this is going to sound bad:

Eventually, one government will dominate the entire world. Why would it be bad if this ends up being the US?

I am making this understandably excessive statement based off of modern observations of expanding world unity. Given a larger network of exchanging ideas and trade, a one world government a la Revelations is necessary and, more importantly, inevitable. If we've learned anything about society in the past three centuries, it's that the market drives everything. Right now, the market is driving towards world unity in the form of globalization. This is not a bad thing. People need to let go of national identities. I'm not proud to be an American because of some stupid flag or some persistant name attached to a chunk of land; I'm proud because I live in a country with a system of government in which I believe, damnit. And now I'm going to make my second outrageous statement that will piss off k5's international users:

The U.S. has demonstrated that its system of government is the most effective in allowing for freedom of trade, ideas, and movement.

Currently, the main EU economies, namely Germany and France, are well over their self-imposed limits on budget deficits while the U.S. is below those limits that it doesn't even hold to. America works, why not go with it?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

This is what we *should* be discussing (3.57 / 7) (#28)
by Pop Top on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:13:12 PM EST

I believe this is what motivates the European opposition to the Bush plan for regime change rather than genuine concern for poor Saddam.

That said, I believe Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln helped craft the very best political system ever established. * IF * some day there is one world government, the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address should be at the heart of that government.

Now, are George W. Bush and William Kristol the best examples of who should be enacting a government based on the ideals of Jefferson and Lincoln? Perhaps that is a harder question.


[ Parent ]

Disagree on Lincoln (3.25 / 4) (#30)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:20:06 PM EST

He took Federalism too far. States should have more autonomy, but unfortunately people like him and FDR put far too much power in the hands of the Feds. Personally, I'd like to see the federal budget halved at least and let the states pick up the resulting slack.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
This smaller point reinforces my larger point (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by Pop Top on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:29:59 PM EST

Even if we agree that the US system would be the best system for the entire world, can we agree on what the US system actually is and how it should be interpreted and applied?

[ Parent ]
Jefferson and Lincoln (3.75 / 4) (#69)
by Secularist on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:15:16 AM EST

Jefferson and Lincoln had diametrically opposed political philosophies. Jefferson advocated decentralisation, empowerment of the individual States, and an unfettered free market (capitalism); Lincoln advocated federalism (concentration of power into a central Federal government) and mercantilism aka protectionism aka fascism.

Lincoln's politics won out after he discarded the Constitution and illegally invaded the legally seceded Confederated Southern states (among other unconstitutional atrocities) and won. Since then, things have grown only marginally worse; the only difference is scale.

So anyway, my point is that this:

...Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln helped craft the very best political system ever established.

would be better off excluding and mention of Lincoln, and appending

...and that we should do our damndest to bring about a return to that more perfect form of government.


[ Parent ]
Where do you think they got their ideas from? (5.00 / 2) (#109)
by DodgyGeezer on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:03:52 AM EST

You make them sound very innovative and revolutionary.  But let's get this straight, their ideas were based on ideas that had been evolving for a very long time, they just helped accelerate things a little.  The roots of what you mention easily go back to the 10th century and the Magna Carta.

[ Parent ]
Even if it ends up being the US (3.00 / 5) (#32)
by etherdeath on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:28:41 PM EST

it will probably take on qualities from many European countries.  Our government may not be the best one out there, but it's within a standard deviation of the best.  What am I talking about.. there is no best government.

All I know is if I live long enough to be around when there is one world government and if that government is largely derived from the US, that fact isn't going to make me feel any specific pride as an American.

Culture may be the real issue here... and unfortunately when and if there's one world government, the process by which it will have happened will probably have decimated more than a few cultures.

[ Parent ]

There is a best government (1.83 / 6) (#40)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:48:49 PM EST

This does not necessarily mean there isn't the possibility of a better government. I'm claiming the U.S. is the best government for our time.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Better parts? (4.00 / 1) (#46)
by etherdeath on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:16:42 PM EST

But does that mean currently there aren't any aspects of other governments out there that are better?

[ Parent ]
feh! best overall, sheesh (nt) (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:25:16 PM EST



My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Based on what criteria? (5.00 / 12) (#112)
by Hektor on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:11:00 AM EST

I'd go out on a limb and say, that while the US may not have corruption, per say, it is among the most corrupt countries in the world.

How many people on welfare have been elected into parliment in the US (disregarding the fact that you have a two house system, and neither is a parliment)?

What is the average income for people in parliment, compared to the rest of the populace at any given time?

What is your chance of being elected, if you don't have money to spend?

As far as I can tell (at least at the federal level), the US has a system, that per default only allows the wealthy to run for seats in parliment.

That is not what I'd call "the best system". It's what I'd call "the corrupt system".

I don't know the numbers for Denmark (my home country), but I do know, that one of the most influential politicians right now in Denmark, the political spokesperson for the biggest party in parliment, was on wellfare when he was elected. The arguably most influential woman in parliment was a mere health care helper, when she was elected. Our former prime minister is the son of an unskilled laborer and a cleaning lady. Our current prime minister is the son of a random farmer.

Seems a bit more reasonable to me. But of course, I'm just an ignorant biased Danish liberal communist - right?

[ Parent ]

Grammar [OT] (4.50 / 2) (#159)
by upsilon on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:51:07 PM EST

I'm telling you this not to appear a smartass or make you look dumb, but rather because I'm assuming English is a second language for you, and most people seem to generally appreciate advice and criticisms of their use of foreign languages...

"I'd go out on a limb and say, that while the US may not have corruption, per say, it is among the most corrupt countries in the world."

Actually, the phrase is "per se". It's Latin, not actually English. :^) (But you got the usage right, and that's what's really important, right?)

As a side note, I'm also confused by the fact that you obviously know that the USA doesn't have a parliament, but you keep calling the Congress a parliament anyway...
--
Once, I was the King of Spain.
[ Parent ]

Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#288)
by Hektor on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:50:07 AM EST

I wasn't aware that I spelt it wrong (per se), but thanks for the heads up :-)

Parliment vs Congress - well, that was a two-fold decision on my part:

  1. I couldn't remember the US term
  2. I wasn't JUST refering to Congress but to the Senate as well, and that wouldn't be inferred with "Congress", so I chose a "neutral" word instead. I was actually looking for the word that describes the complete entity that is Congress + Senate (or House of Lords and the House of Commons in the UK), which is parliament:
par·lia·ment
n.
  1. A national representative body having supreme legislative powers within the state.
  2. Parliament. The national legislature of various countries, especially that of the United Kingdom, made up of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
But as you correctly guessed, English is not my maternal language, but I do try my best to use it correctly, which is rather difficult though, as I have never ever received any lessons on how grammar is used in English, and I haven't been able to find any guidelines as to how to punctuate sentences (though I DO know how to use a period :-).

[ Parent ]
Congress (4.50 / 2) (#303)
by upsilon on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:51:49 AM EST

"I wasn't JUST refering to Congress but to the Senate as well"

Actually, "Congress" refers to both bodies jointly -- both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Individually they are generally called the House of Representatives (or more commonly, just "the House") and the Senate.

But yeah, your reasoning is, well, reasonable. :^)
--
Once, I was the King of Spain.
[ Parent ]

Why the hell are you looking at this now? (4.00 / 5) (#42)
by aitrus on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:56:17 PM EST

This is something that will come to pass hundreds of years from now.

Not as a result of diplomacy, but because of economic interdependence.  Technology brings us closer, but that takes time.  What the EU is doing is a mistake, and what the poster implies is also a mistake.

Seperate nations are the best we can have, for now.  Time will change that, not legislative edicts.

[ Parent ]

The future is sooner than you think (3.50 / 4) (#45)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:07:36 PM EST

You think 'time' changes anything? Legislative edicts are EXACTLY what will bring this about. Unions like America's and Europe's will grow and new ones will sprout up - through legislative action and treaties. Eventually, they will grow together and combine provided nothing catastrophic happens. Time is merely a measurement; it does nothing.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Like... (2.50 / 2) (#49)
by aitrus on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:36:54 PM EST

...EU edicts on the disposal of refridgerators?  Which are, then, dumped on the road sides and along farms in the middle of the night?

Legislative eddicts are ignorant of the economic concerns of the people and the corporations.  Every worthwhile action has been motivated by the people and corporations, long before the legislature got their hands on it.

[ Parent ]

Response (5.00 / 12) (#53)
by Tatarigami on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:50:47 PM EST

Eventually, one government will dominate the entire world. Why would it be bad if this ends up being the US?

This isn't meant to be criticism, it's a serious response to a serious question. For you, this would mean the rest of the world changing to become more like the system you're familiar with. You've lived under it, you've studied it, you've arranged your life, your career and your family according to its culture and its rules.

Now: imagine that I came along and, with the best of all possible intentions, suggested that you should make an effort to be more like me.

[ Parent ]
Fair enough, (2.60 / 5) (#56)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 11:03:05 PM EST

but someone has to conform. I'm merely suggesting that the U.S. style of a federalized, free-market republic is the most likely institution to establish dominance, and it's a good system to do it. Sure, it may not be the system the vast majority of the world uses now, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good system.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Well.. i guess so (4.71 / 14) (#70)
by Greyshade on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:44:45 AM EST

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer, eh?

[ Parent ]
Soo.... (3.60 / 5) (#140)
by Kintanon on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:31:05 AM EST

We just waltz into the rest of the world and start re-arranging their furniture so to speak?
What about countries with different systems for marriage? Different standards of decency? Different regulations for business? Different IP Laws? We just stroll in and demand that they change everything to fit under our umbrella of laws or we'll invade and force them to submit?
A one world government of the kind you imply can not and will not happen.
The most plausible one world government involves 7-10 different regions of the world each split into a few subregions (probably 5), each subregion would have a head, the 5 heads of the subregions would be the council that manages that region and makes sure everything goes smoothly within it, then the 5 select one of their number who represents them in the council of 7-10 regional heads that make sure everything operates smoothly within the regions. This does NOT involve changing peoples culture, or even their laws. It only involves facilitating the interoperation of the various world regions for the purposes of economic commerce.
I imagine this would eventually (through the influence of large corporations) result in standardization of IP laws and a few other things throughout the world, which would be bad. So I hope it doesn't work out that way... but who knows.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

That's what worries me (4.50 / 4) (#176)
by Tatarigami on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:57:21 PM EST

I'm merely suggesting that the U.S. style of a federalized, free-market republic is the most likely institution to establish dominance,

Can't argue with that.

and it's a good system to do it.

Maybe, maybe not. Personally, I lean towards 'not'. I think a completely free market encompasses some unhealthy extremes. I like living in a system with socialised health care and government assistance for the unemployed, and I really like living in a system where individuals can't be sued unless they're in violation of a contractual agreement. Admittedly I pay higher taxes than you do, and some of my money goes towards programmes I don't approve of, but that's the system I'm familiar with.

[ Parent ]
Great Idea, except (3.50 / 4) (#80)
by Craevenwulfe on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:26:46 AM EST

I utterly disagree, with just about everything in your post.

[ Parent ]
You know (4.90 / 11) (#84)
by Cloaked User on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:10:57 AM EST

It's questions like this:

Eventually, one government will dominate the entire world. Why would it be bad if this ends up being the US?

asked in all seriousness, that go a long way to demonstrate why some countries and people seem to have such a problem with the US.

As another poster already asked, imagine you were on the other end of the stick. Imagine that you were the one having it suggested to them that their entire way of life should change to be like someone else's, just because they thought it was better. How would you feel?

A great many battles and a few wars have been fought because people who thought like that decided to force people to adopt their ways. A fair few have also been fought preemptively, to prevent that from happening - somewhat like the currently impending war on Iraq, no? One country (the US), rightly or wrongly, feels threatened by another (Iraq), and so is preparing to go to war.

You ask why it would be bad. It would be bad simply because most people would not wish it. Most people would simply wish to be left alone, to live as they are acustomed to. If countries want to change, that change should come from within, and not be imposed by another simply because it suits their purpose.
--
"What the fuck do you mean 'Are you inspired to come to work'? Of course I'm not 'inspired'. It's a job for God's sake! The money's enough and the work's not so crap that I leave."
[ Parent ]

our imperial overlords (4.75 / 4) (#91)
by tichy on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:03:34 AM EST

No one denies the US 'success story'; most sane people in the world already believe that democracy and capitalism lead to prosperity. What many of us disagree with is that american meddling abroad in any way helps others repeat this success. In fact, many arguments could be made that it hurts more than it helps, because the US is not interested in helping the world become like them, it's interested in mintaining its hegemony, often at the cost of other nations' prosperity or even freedom.

Thus we can see that even if a world government is 'inevitable', people do not reject it out of a 19th century notion of national identity, but often because they understand this better than you and are interested in their own future self-preservation and well being, which is threatened by the US.

Lastly... how is a world government 'inevitable'? A real world government (as opposed to an imperial world rule sustained by force) is gained through worldwide consent. We are nowhere near a worldwide consent. If you mean it's inevitable because you got the most guns, that's an undeniable argument, but are you seriously saying that such a government would be beneficial to the world? Who could take that assertion seroiusly? It will just be beneficial to you.

[ Parent ]

Woohoo! Do I get a gun then? (4.66 / 3) (#93)
by werty on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:06:54 AM EST

Just in case that pesky government tries to take over MY world!

[ Parent ]
Wow that's poetic. (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by OzJuggler on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:27:01 AM EST

I love the way you take their own stupid greedy Bill of Rights and turn it around and shove right up their flabby bottoms.

Being told to submit to a USA government so that you can be guaranteed the right to bear arms specifically to defend yourself from an oppressive tyrannical government... the irony is delicious! :-)

I gave you a four out of five. Thank you.
"And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
[ Parent ]

I hope this is a troll... (5.00 / 12) (#95)
by pattern against user on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:25:47 AM EST


"I apologize to all non-Americans out there, because this is going to sound bad"

If someone from MY country said that my country had the best system of government in the world, I would be MORE annoyed than if it was someone from another country.

"Eventually, one government will dominate the entire world. Why would it be bad if this ends up being the US?"

What evidence do you have that that there will be "one world government" ...if anything in the last 100 years nations have multiplied not decreased in number?

"The U.S. has demonstrated that its system of government is the most effective in allowing for freedom of trade, ideas, and movement."

This is a jawdroppingly arrogant statement. As another poster said THIS is the reason why people hate America. Can you imagine a person from any other country saying their system of government is superior to every other government in the world?

Here are a few reasons why I disagree with you that the American system of government is ideal:
- Only 40% of americans bother to vote.
- The country has a massive foreign debt (2.5 trillion)
- "freedom of trade". You forget "the freedom of global capital and resources to flow to America".
- "freedom of...ideas". America has the strongest IP laws in the world. The American Patent system is a self-funding tragedy-of-the-commons joke! Sure, there is the much boasted of right to free speech, but in many other countries you can speak freely as well.
- "freedom of...movement". I'm not even sure what this means, but if you are talking about migration,  America is certainly NOT the easiest country to get into, unless of course you have money.
- America is rich in natural resources. Other countries are not so lucky.
- I won't go into the problems of America's foreign policy, but suffice it to say that there are many.

But governments are not like racehorses. There's no  objective way to measure whether one is better than another, and it is usually pretty pointless.

But I have to admit, your post is so over-the-top I am wondering whether you are actually a brilliant troll...if so top work, and you've got me hook, line + sinker.


[ Parent ]

Oh yeah, and the healthcare system (nt) (5.00 / 3) (#97)
by pattern against user on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:28:42 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Hmm, interesting (5.00 / 6) (#98)
by Rogerborg on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:32:03 AM EST

What are you comparing the US system to?  Communism?  European socialism?  There are plenty of other systems: consider New Zealand, or Brazil.

Also, it seems to me that the checks and balances of US politics aren't working too well right now.  The idea of having a President is to recognise that there will always be people that want to be a monarch, and people that want to live under a monarch.  The US system is designed to appease this desire, while limiting the power (and recently, the term) of the monarch.  Well, given that Bush II publically and under no immediate pressure of time committed the US to a conclusive war before so much as consulting with the Senate let alone seeking their support, and that both houses and the media largely tolerated this shocking display of arrogance, that idea seems to pretty much have gone out of the window.  Seems to me that if you put the crown on the head of the man that fought hardest to get it, he's not going to be minded to play nice once he's on the throne.

As regarding why you view the US as being the epitome of success, I can list a few historical and ongoing reasons that have little to do with the political system (as it's supposed to work):

  • Huge natural resources, including enough oil to bootstrap the economy to the point where it could demand access to foreign oil on its own terms.
  • An ongoing supply of cheap labour in the form of slaves, second class citizens and/or illegal immigrant.
  • The military and economic might to dictate world economics.
US can afford to be generous to its first class citizens.  Some of that wealth is based on good old American know-how, but much of it came from maintaining an underclass.  One of Bush II's few domestic actions has been to legalise the employment and taxation of illegal immigrants.  They can still be deported when it's convenient, they don't get to vote, they can't demand minimum wage, but while they're in the US, they can work and be taxed.  Brilliant ploy.

I'm not saying that the US model is particularly bad, just cautioning against attributing the wealth and freedoms of the highly visible first class US citizens directly to it.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Debt and deficit... (4.25 / 4) (#117)
by PixelPusher on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:36:09 AM EST

"Currently, the main EU economies, namely Germany and France, are well over their self-imposed limits on budget deficits while the U.S. is below those limits that it doesn't even hold to. America works, why not go with it?"

The US has had a rather large difficulty in maintaining a balanced budget.  Have you forgotten the little bit of legislation that passed in May upping the limit on your national debt by 500 billion?  You government was days away from running out of money and defaulting on the debt.

For those who aren't familiar, the debt limit is now set at 6.5 trillion dollars.

The legislation was passed to allow the government enough leeway to make it past the congressional elections next month.  After that, it's anybody's guess.

[ Parent ]

Action (5.00 / 3) (#125)
by Wah on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:28:50 AM EST

The U.S. has demonstrated that its system of government is the most effective in allowing for freedom of trade, ideas, and movement.

And has a relatively poor record when it comes to freedom of action.
--
Life is a strange state of matter.
[ Parent ]

Very simple (5.00 / 3) (#150)
by lugumbashi on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:35:05 PM EST

Ask yourself if the US, in its global hegemony, would be likely to treat the citizens of other countries the same as it does its own.

If you think it would, you are deluded. The US (or any other hegemon) would act entirely in its own interests at the expense of the interests of other countries. It is precisely because of this that many Europeans would like a UN security council resolution before a war is started with Iraq. There are many American Oil companies that want a slice of the action in post-war Iraq. Bluntly, they doubt Bush's motives. Bush has not proved the point about weapons of mass destruction. North Korea would be a better target if this was the real reason. They actually have a bomb.
-"Guinness thaw tool in jew me dinner ouzel?"
[ Parent ]

Why this is bad (5.00 / 3) (#160)
by ethereal on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:51:28 PM EST

"Absolute power corrupts Absolutely."

A U.S. astride the world would by necessity fall so far from its original noble aspirations that it would make the corruption of, say, Rome look virtuous by comparison. I am a U.S. citizen and I say that world hegemony would be the absolute worst thing that could happen for the U.S. The mindset of a leadership that must rule the entire world is not the mindset that can allow the kind of values that normal U.S. citizens value (or at least are told that they should value): liberty, economic and social freedom, privacy.

Oh sure, we'd use all those words in our empire, but you can bet they wouldn't mean the same thing. They're already starting to not mean those things - witness their overuse in any Bush screed about how we must preemptively and unilaterally conquer another nation to ensure our "liberty" and "freedom". He hasn't gotten around to calling for "living room" yet, but I'm not holding my breath. And we're already talking about how to divvy up the oil that we'll conquer.

I'm not saying that European, Muslim, or Chinese world hegemony would be preferable, especially since I wouldn't even be a first-class citizen of those regimes. In that respect, I think all nations should maintain sufficient defenses to ensure that there arises no one world power holder. Because if there is a hegemon at all, that entity cannot help but lose their way and become solely interested in retaining power, even at the expense of the goals that they originally wanted to use the power to obtain. No one entity can be trusted with that power. "Full spectrum dominance" combined with the Bush doctrine of the right to preemptive strikes is a poisonous concept, and I'm ashamed that a U.S. citizen (not you, I meant the Prez) would give voice to or support such an alien concept. The U.S. might as well be destroyed as become hegemon, because hegemony will just as surely destroy the soul of the U.S. - the Constitution.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Is it possible... (5.00 / 2) (#230)
by tangocharly on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:14:07 PM EST

... that you are about 70 years too late? Mussolini and Hitler had the same idea of bringing the one-and-only-system to the world.
I don't need an ineffective, old-fashioned, nationalistic, corrupt media-democracy with people who are unable to count votes.

[ Parent ]
Excellent idea (5.00 / 2) (#258)
by hypno on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:24:11 AM EST

While the concept of the US becoming a world government is repugnant to me and most of the world, its inevitable failure would be a quick and humiliating end to that upstart nation's ideas of empire.

[ Parent ]
Because the U.S. is much worse than it appears (5.00 / 4) (#356)
by kcbrown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:51:27 PM EST

Eventually, one government will dominate the entire world. Why would it be bad if this ends up being the US?
Because the U.S. is not anything like what its founders intended.

Because the U.S. is a corporate-controlled plutocracy that acts on the whims and wishes of its corporations -- its people be damned.

Because the corporate masters of the U.S. are intersted in nothing but money and power, and would turn us all into slaves in every way but name if they could.

Sorry, but I want something better for the world than that.

[ Parent ]

Not anymore (none / 0) (#562)
by Mr Incognito on Wed Oct 23, 2002 at 10:22:15 AM EST

You must be kidding, theres no freedom anymore. Theres an illusion of freedom only where it implies economic benifts to corporations.

I used to think the US would be a good place to move , and planned in doing so.  But these last years I changed opinion.  So much I don't want to step on US soil to even visit friends.. at least until Bush goes out and you start dropping all the fascist cruft you've been recently forcing on your people.

[ Parent ]

Nationalism and the EU (4.40 / 5) (#27)
by Woundweavr on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:07:18 PM EST

Doesn't the EU dissolve the concept of nationalism, at least, as much as any US foreign policy suggested by those in power? It was, in large part, created to compete with the (other) economic superpowers from equal footing. Yet it breaks down the identities (the national sovereignty) of its member states in the name of economic prosperity. The UN does the same thing in the name of diplomacy and peace. The League of Nations failed at this because it did not weaken the sovereignty of its members enough to accomplish its goals. The WTO does the same for economic equality, and free trade(or corporate profit depending on who you ask). International treaties and organizations have a very strong tendancy to weaken sovereignty. The US itself was once a collection of 13 independant states bound by a weak interstate organization for foreign affairs to provide stability. Now, states don't even resemble independent entities. The US federal government may have just been ahead of the curve.

When all these other organizations continue to break down nationalism, is it surprising that the US government is willing to ignore an increasingly weakening abstraction in order to protect the people within its borders and its foreign interests. Especially considering the nature of Sadam(terrorism sponsor, brutal dictator, mass murderer etc) and the events of 9/11, these attitudes arent surprising.

incorrect about the EU (4.37 / 8) (#54)
by martingale on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:54:47 PM EST

The EU was never intended as an economic block to compete with other economic blocks. It looks like this today, but that's a side-effect of the integration.

The real reason the EU (nee EEC) was created was war, pure and simple. No more WWI. No more WWII. You achieve that by leaving no one European country with a full complement of fully controlled industries necessary for war and armament. Industries such as coal and steel.

In simple terms, if France has coal and Germany has steel, neither can build large numbers of tanks to threaten the other. That's the theory, and that's the reason there is ever more political and economic integration in the EU. Some Brits will say it's all about economics and what's in it for them, but deep down even they know this is only about political union.

The UN on the other hand is not intended to break national sovereignty. It's there to express a set of rules, which can be accepted by all, and which allows a more civilized interaction between countries at the international scale. It too (like its precursor, the League of Nations), was a response to WWI & II, and without it or something like it, we are guaranteed anarchy and paranoia between nations.

[ Parent ]

EU (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by Craevenwulfe on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:29:54 AM EST

The European superstate was formally established in order to challenge russia and america in the commerical world.

Of course there is a degree of obfuscation within EC, EEC, EU.

[ Parent ]
history (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by aphrael on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:21:38 PM EST

The European superstate was formally established in order to challenge russia and america in the commerical world.

no, actually, it wasn't.

The origins of the EEC lie in the immediate post-war situation: it was part of an attempt to find a way out --- the continent had split itself apart in a nasty fashion twice within the last half century, and nobody wanted to go through that again. Economically integrating the countries of europe, and in particular integrating their industries, seemed like a good way out.

It's evolved since then, and the post-communist EU has placed a lot of emphasis on economic harmonization, etc. But if you read any of the founding documents, or the writings and speeches of politicians advocating the creation and integration of the union, they're all pretty much unanimous in their indication that the real goal is to make another intra-European war impossible.

[ Parent ]

Nitpick (4.00 / 1) (#257)
by Overnight Delivery on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:17:39 AM EST

The League of Nations was a response to WWI not WWII and it was considered to be a failure (didn't stop WWII).

The UN was built on different rules to try and make it more successful that it's predecessor.

[ Parent ]

And why is war bad? (3.00 / 1) (#292)
by SlashDread on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:02:51 AM EST

One word: economics.

Gr /Dread

[ Parent ]

Germany is actually the precursor ... (5.00 / 1) (#277)
by Chakotay on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:06:58 AM EST

Germany used to be a large collection of small independent kingdoms. They were unified under an emperor, and later under a federal government. The Bundesstaaten still exist geographically as they were many hundreds of years ago, but they have currently less political influence than the states of the USA.

The same thing goes for the four kingdoms of the United Kingdom (for those who don't recall: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), though there they're working on giving more independence back to the individual kingdoms.

See, that too is a pro of the European Union. There are quite a few regions of Europe that would like more independence. Until now they were a part of a country without any independence, but now, while staying under the flag of the European Union, such regions as Scotland and Northern Ireland (UK), Basque and Cataluña (Spain), Sardegna and Sicilia (Italy), Corse (France) and Fryslân (Netherlands) can easily be given more independence, which is generally a Good Thing.

Eventually, in the long run, the EU will probably evolve into a US-like federal body, but I don't see that happening in the next 30 or 40 years or so.

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

How dare you (1.90 / 10) (#31)
by theElectron on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:22:27 PM EST

How dare you compare the United Nations to the Supreme Court. That kind of ignorance is mind-boggling.

--
Join the NRA!
Yet... (4.50 / 2) (#33)
by etherdeath on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:29:39 PM EST

That kind of mind-boggleness is ignorance-inspiring.

[ Parent ]
Actually, I compared Dubya with FDR [n/t] (4.50 / 2) (#36)
by Pop Top on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:38:56 PM EST



[ Parent ]
No (2.66 / 3) (#37)
by theElectron on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:40:16 PM EST

You implied a moral equivalence between FDR's blowing-off of the Supreme Court and GWB's blowing-off of the United Nations. Big difference.

--
Join the NRA!
[ Parent ]
Okay. . . (4.00 / 2) (#38)
by Pop Top on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:45:22 PM EST

and that is precisely what should be the subject of our public debate.

Not whether Saddam is an evil dangerous dude, because we all agree that he is.

[ Parent ]

No. (4.71 / 7) (#39)
by aitrus on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:46:13 PM EST

Quote:
What George W. Bush is trying to do to the United Nations today reminds me of what Franklin D. Roosevelt did to the Supreme Court in the 1930s.

Do what I say or I will render you irrelevant.


I don't see any moral equivalence. I see a comparison of actions and their implications.

[ Parent ]
Half-right (2.00 / 1) (#218)
by theElectron on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:24:21 PM EST

Compare the actions all you want, but there is no comparison as to the implications.

--
Join the NRA!
[ Parent ]
FDR did the "right" thing back then. . (1.00 / 1) (#41)
by Pop Top on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:51:17 PM EST

and maybe Bush is doing the right thing now.

This is the "real" issue that needs to be discussed openly, not buried under flag waving and fear mongering.

[ Parent ]

The UN has been irrelevant for a long time (3.62 / 8) (#43)
by RyoCokey on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:00:49 PM EST

I will admit that occasionally countries do turn to the UN for territorial disputes and such, but for most of the world, it is irrelevant. The idea of a Global Democracy wasn't all that good to start with when you realize that many of your democratic citizens are murdering dictators.

The UN seems most adept at organizing conventions which essentially accomplish nothing. Anyone remember the recent conference on racism that turned into a long anti-semitic (Anti-jew, don't pick nits with me) rant? How about Johannesburg, that went well, didn't it?

How about their long history of peace keeping? Their embarrasment in Seirra Leone actually turned out to be as close a success story as they've gotten. Things didn't go so well in the former Yugoslavia, nor did they prevent war in the least in the Sinai Peninsula. In fact, they've had a rather abysmal record all around.

The entire premise behind the UN is flawed, simply because you have members negotiating and voting as they war amongst themselves. It's not a democracy in any sense of the word, but instead a political power structure to be used solely to further national gain, with the front of being an organization of peace.

The US joined the UN long before I could ever vote (or was alive, for that matter) however I would have certainly encouraged the US not to ratify. The UN collapsing (If indeed this is what one believes would happen if the US bypasses it) would probably be one of the best things to happen to the world in some time.



The issue here is not the facts; Right - so how does this apply to Mr. Scott Ritter?
Like I said, this ain't only about Saddam. [n/t] (none / 0) (#48)
by Pop Top on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:29:24 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Flawed, but not irrelevant. (4.75 / 4) (#113)
by OzJuggler on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:13:59 AM EST

Make up your mind, were you arguing that the UN is flawed, or were you arguing that it is irrelevant? Those are two independant statements.

You moan about how the U.N. has "failed" to stop wars in several instances. In one word my response to that would be: Huh?
The UN was established as a forum for international relations. It is not the world government, and it has very little force of its own, instead deriving most of its power from the consent of its powerful member nations. The UN cannot stop two warlike nations from going to war if that is what they are keen on doing. Further, the U.N. has no ability to mediate disputes which are not brought before it.
Without the UN, there would be no official international forum for all international disputes. The UN is needed, as a forum, for this reason if not any other.

I'll agree the UN is flawed in exactly the way you have pointed out; The UN is not democratic, since it gives the U.S.A. and Russia special veto powers that no country should posess. Given that the U.S. can use its veto power to squash any resolution it doesn't like, then I can see how you might think that from the U.S. point of view the UN seems irrelevant. But step outside your tiny tunnel vision and you will see that very few other countries have such veto powers, making the deliberations of the U.N. very relevant to them.

Let's not forget there are some countries that are quite happy to forgoe membership of the U.N. The UN is irrelevant to these countries because they have little or no role to play in international affairs, or else poorly understand their own significance. I don't see that such irrelevance should be seen as some kind of criticism of the UN. If you're in the game of global politices then you can't call the U.N. irrelevant. Maybe that's why the U.N. seems irrelevant to you - you're not in the game.

This editorial sums it up fairly well: Tom Toles 03/10/2002
"And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
[ Parent ]

Wrong Questions (3.58 / 12) (#50)
by nomoreh1b on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:37:12 PM EST

No, the harshest critics of Dubya's plans are found in Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

The harshest critics of Dubya's plans I've heard so far have come from Muslims outside Iraq and from folks in the military about to fight a war they feel is unnecessary and avoidable. It isn't Preppy carpet bagger trust fund babies like Dubya that are going to die in this war. It is Muslims and US troops from places like Alabama and Harlem.

A significant difference may be in how the threat from Saddam and al-Qaeda is viewed on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Consider this assertion. Westerners may be hurt by al-Qaeda, but the West is not threatened. How many in the US agree with this? Does George W. Bush want us to agree with this? Do you agree with this?

I think this is the wrong framing of the question. The real questions should be:
What is the chance that US Middle Eastern war will lead to an expanded conflict with significant US casualities(say greater than Viet Nam or Korea)? Also what are the chances that Europe may experience significant casualties in such a war? How likely is such a conflict to end in a significant collapse/restructuring of western powers

One big thing to get
In the event of a big war between the West and Islamic powers, Europe is in a much more vulnerable position than the US. Europeans get much more of their energy supplies from the Middle East than does the US. Europeans are also much more vulnerable to the types of missiles that Islamic powers are likely to develop in the near future.

Now, underlying all of this is what Pat Buchanan calls The Death of the west. The west is very vulnerable from a standpoint of demographics. In simple terms: Westerners aren't reproducing-Muslims are. Christianity isn't growing as fast on a world-wide basis as is Islam-and the type of Christianity growing world-wide is something alien to many westerners. China is seriously considering how it can surpass the west.



Would the contemplated "regime change" i (2.00 / 1) (#51)
by Pop Top on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:43:50 PM EST

alter Buchanan's demographic predictions?

[ Parent ]
Re:Would the contemplated "regime change" (5.00 / 2) (#58)
by nomoreh1b on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 11:21:19 PM EST

alter Buchanan's demographic predictions?

Saddam is one of the Middle East's more secular leaders. I suspect that the fundamentalists will spin a defeat of Saddam as "this is what happens when you turn your back on Allah". I can imagine some bozos in the west trying to export MTV-type culture to the Middle East-I don't see it as actually working and instead stirring up a hornet's nest(as did the broadcast of hard core porn by some Israeli troops a few years back).

In the west itself, I can't imagine even a best case scenario of a Middle Eastern war doing anything that would change Western demographic decline. For that, you'd need something much more dramatic like Gerard O'Neill's High Frontier. Trust fund carpet bagger's like Bush and Wall street moguls just don't have any vision-the way they are using the US is like hooking a race horse to a plow. Sure, the race horse might do it-but he's not going to be a very happy race horse.

The big demographic effect I think of this Iraqi adventure may be to bring over lots of Iraqi war brides. Canadian soldiers married about 500,000 war brides during WW II--a semi-automatic weapon is a dang good aphrodesiac. Anyhow, Assuming that this adventure is 1/8th as large as WW II was for the US, 500,000 war brides seems about right. The average US soldier doesn't rate much in the way of marriage opportunities in the US. The traditional way that ever middle eastern power has co-opted an invading army since the days of Anthony and Cleopatra has been by throwing women at the troops. Iraqs wars-and the tradition of Muslims marrying much older women mean there is a surplus of eligible women in Iraq.

Short term, I think this is a drop in the demographic bucket. Long term, importing a culture that isn't in the US to speak of--and specifically importing them via marriage to guys in the military is an interesting twist on the current situation. I think it will spur the growth of Islam in the west and make it much less likely the US military will be used effectively against Islamic powers in the future.



[ Parent ]

With only... (4.00 / 5) (#62)
by maynard on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 11:56:23 PM EST

about 100,000 in support and infantry slated to be deployed in the Iraqi theater, I suspect 500,000 brides coming back might be a bit optimistic. Unless all those soldiers hail from Utah. In which case, yeah -- I guess you're right. *cough!* --M



Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Figures (3.66 / 3) (#71)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:46:05 AM EST

The initial figures for the invading force that I've seen were 370,000 US troops. Now, the real figure isn't how many go in during the first wave, but how many serve over the course of the occupation. I personally suspect it will be a lot larger than 370,000. I doubt very much this will be a quick in-quick out kind of operation. Occupying and rebuilding Iraq is going to take years, if not decades. That is why I'm figuring about the size of the Canadian effort during WW II. Now, given that Iraq is a polygamous culture, I suspect that a lot more than the boys from Utah will want to get into that act. Also, during Viet Nam, it was hard to prove paternity on the part of a US GI. Today, with $200 paternity tests, a kid fathered by a US GI is a relatively easy way to get on track to a US green card. Under present US law, those kids do have the option to get US citizenship rights.

[ Parent ]
let's get this straight (1.66 / 3) (#73)
by Lode Runner on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 02:26:24 AM EST

You're opposing to an invasion of Iraq on the grounds that it may lead to miscegenation and an influx of non-whites into the USA?

[ Parent ]
Get it straight (3.75 / 4) (#76)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:47:57 AM EST

You're opposing to an invasion of Iraq on the grounds that it may lead to miscegenation and an influx of non-whites into the USA?

Personally, I think the US ought to just be peacefully dissolved(not as if that would ever happen). The Constitution has been thrown out the window. Prison Rape is an integral part of the judicial system and the US has one of the largest per capita prison systems on earth.

If I were concerned about Israel or keeping the USA together as one country, I sure as hell wouldn't be sending US ground troops into the middle east with the current sociological situation in the US.

As it is, my prediction is that this middle east adventure will:
ensure that Islam will continue to grow in the US
ensure that Islam will spread into the white community in the US-particularly the groups of whites that tend to serve in the military.
ensure the US continues to be rather polarized-in fact it will probably mean more polarization/fragmentation--Christians will be scared to become a little less conservative for fear that Islam will grab their flocks--and liberals will be scared to become less integrationists because Islam has that turf covered too.
I also expect we'll see quite a few re-runs of McVeigh come back home and use their experience on the US government(as we see more genocidal maniacs like Janet Reno unable to contain their hate and bigotry).

Now, I can personally live with that situation. I am seriously exploring means to establish residency outside the US though. I suspect that the breakup of the US will look quite a bit like Yugoslavia. As it is, I've been sure to be friendly/cordial with Muslims. I like pork ribs too much to be a good Muslim, but I honestly think they are destined to become a force in the US in the long term-or whatever come after the US. At some point, I suspect the US government were persecute Islam in the US-but those guys are tough-and they've dealt with this stuff before.

[ Parent ]

Wildly inaccurate figures. (4.00 / 2) (#86)
by pattern against user on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:48:41 AM EST

500,000 war brides? You have got to be joking!!!
It took me just a minute to google this stats page, which has a figure smaller by an order of magnitude.

[ Parent ]
Not quite an order of magnitude (3.00 / 1) (#158)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:43:41 PM EST

That was the page that I had remembered reading-and my memory did add a zero. Still, I would argue that 70,000 Iraqi war brides married to US military men would still have a significant sociological impact. I haven't seen good figures for Viet Nam, that might be a little more accurate estimate in this case.

January, 1947) there have been reported 87 marriages and 32 births a total of 119 not included in above. It is therefore anticipated that the correct figures when other facts are available will bring the grand total well over 70,000.

[ Parent ]

China just doesn't care (5.00 / 4) (#114)
by Palijn on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:17:24 AM EST

China does not care about surpassing the West. Only the West cares about itself and likes to fear China. China is already the Middle Empire, it has been for more than 3000 years and doesn't give a sh.t to your school-age battles. Let Bush make his own war to whoever he wants to, playing the dictator of a fascist nation : China does not care as long as nobody disturbs them.

[ Parent ]
Question (2.00 / 1) (#247)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:31:51 PM EST

How do you see thinking like that in Unrestricted Warfare in the context of China today?

[ Parent ]
Assumptions (3.00 / 1) (#169)
by Arevos on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:19:49 PM EST

You're assuming that a larger population is an advantage. To a certain extent, perhaps, but over a certain number of people per square mile I suspect it ceases to matter. Look at the respective population per square mile of the EU, Japan and the US. Vastly different, yet all are on a similar economic scale. In fact, the most successful economically, the US, is also the least populated.

Furthermore, a given patch of land can only support so many people. There's a real limit, and, in my opinion, the EU are about at the level of population that could feasibly be self-substained, whilst Japan is a country that probably is too saturated to support itself without buying food from outside. All countries buy food from outside, of course, but if the whole world were as densely populated as the EU, the population would probably be about on the brink of what the Earth can handle in terms of resources.

I'm not an expert, so these are merely uninformed guesses, but it seems to me that this is just a case of assuming too much. Generally, that the greater a country's population the greater is economy, and that population growth for Muslim countries will grow indefinitely. Is there any evidence for either assumption?

[ Parent ]

Re: Assumptions (none / 0) (#248)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:46:14 PM EST

I'm not an expert, so these are merely uninformed guesses, but it seems to me that this is just a case of assuming too much. Generally, that the greater a country's population the greater is economy, and that population growth for Muslim countries will grow indefinitely. Is there any evidence for either assumption?

Well, the fundamental question here is what types of relevancies does population have to warfare. Now, in certain circimstances, technical advantages can overcome numerical disadvantages. When I look at the West vs. non-West, I see a closing technical gap between the west and the rest of the world accompanied by growing numerical advantage of the non-western countries.

The implication of this situation to me is that that either, the west needs to restructure itself rather profoundly so that it can regain a technical advantage or deal effectively with a world in which military actions on the part of the west aren't really an option.

I have trouble imagining the west undergoing a profound restructuring without something profound happening like the evacuation of Israel or the breakup or military defeat of the United States.

I also question if the US is really the "strongest economy" in military terms. A lot of US military hardware is dependent on parts made in places that aren't exactly stable politically-so it is quite plausible the US military might get cut off from key parts or services in the event of a protracted war.

Great wealth isn't always a guarentee of military success. The Byzantine Empire was quite wealthy-but it became decadent and was defeated by folks they would never have take seriously a few generations earlier. The US strikes me as similiarly decadent.

[ Parent ]

More than just War for spOILs... (repost at... (4.84 / 26) (#52)
by maynard on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:45:08 PM EST

..lode_runner's request. I've updated and reposted this comment from a previous failing submission):

Many assume the US wishes to invade Iraq primarily to siphon off the oil from it's fields. This is partly right. However, as many proponents of the Iraqi invasion point out, if all we wanted was the oil we could simply capitulate to Saddam to arrange a huge oil buying spree for British and American oil interests. They make a good point. It's clear that if all we wanted was access to the oil we could simply drop the security council resolutions and negotiate a trade arrangement. Given that we're already buying substantial amounts of oil from Iraq using the oil for food program, and given that any middle east war would likely cause serious oil price fluctuations, one assumes that British and American oil conglomerates would likely prefer a negotiated settlement over even a short war.

I think Bush has something else up his sleeve. I don't think this is about gaining access to middle east oil as much as it's about controlling access such that we can decide who is denied middle east oil, or at least who pays a higher price. First on our list of competitors must be China and India. They are both quickly industrializing, and given their huge human resource advantage over the US and Europe, each with over a billion (one thousand million for you Brits) in population, it's clear that in a protracted economic war, given equal access to energy they would likely win. They are building infrastructure with the latest in technology while the US and Europe are saddled with technology dating back a century or more. Their populations are four to five times greater than both Europe and America, providing plenty of cheap labor and military recruits. Their industrialization is happening quickly, and it's interesting to note that China's GDP growth continues sustained, while American and European GDP substantially diminished, at times even contracted, post our '90s tech bubble bursting. So, the thinking goes: if we control their access to energy, we win the economic war -- period. One asks, why isn't China fighting this at the Security Council, letting Russia and Europe duke it out with America? With Russia and France, both opposing and threatening a veto against another security council resolution in support of sanctions, with triggers leading to potential war, what is it they're both fighting? And will either capitulate to US interests?

At least one country, Russia, has made it known their vote can be bought. Iraq owes Russia substantial sums of money. If the US makes certain they get paid back and then some, Russia will likely step aside. In return they might like to ask a few 'favors' of their western 'friends'. For example, the right to invade bordering states in their own 'sphere of eastern influence', fighting their own 'war on terrorism'. Georgia was mentioned in the submission -- we should remember Russia's brutal actions in Chechnya as well. Russia doesn't want a fight with the west. They're economy is in tatters, and while they have substantial oil deposits, the total capacity is much less than the middle east, and they lack transport infrastructure to get the product to market. Given their huge nuclear weapons capacity relative to all other nations but the US, they must still represent a great potential threat to US hegemony. But they appear quite willing to appease western interests in order to gain back influence over their eastern bordering states. The 'right' to invade Georgia to ostensibly fight Chechen rebels is but one example of a likely new Russian policy toward trading middle east interests and influence for greater autonomy over their local region. They might also demand less NATO and EU expansion.

Why France and Europe have opposed the War so vociferously is something I hadn't considered in the original post. Pop Top makes that point clearly. Clearly, they're not too keen on the idea of the US alone running the show.

Where does this take us ten to fifteen years from now? Likely, this means that America will still be heavily dependent on foreign oil instead of investing in renewable and nuclear energy sources. Without investments in wind, solar, and nuclear fuel reclamation our economy will continue to be heavily susceptible to oil price fluctuations, which will be a weakness our enemies will continue to exploit. The newly industrializing nations have an opportunity to avoid these pitfalls simply because they must already purchase new infrastructure in order to industrialize. While rducing their dependence on foreign energy sources would offer a substantial long term economic advantage, it does so at the price of high energy costs short term, along with high up front capitalization costs associated with building the infrastructure. But the recurring costs are small, nearly fixed, and they don't increase over time as the supply decreases. And control over the energy supply is not monopolized by their competitor. Should China and India successfully build out along those lines, they will be unstoppable. And the west will have spent huge sums maintaining control over a dwindling energy supply our competitors don't need.

So I wonder, does it make sense to spend 5% GDP on the military in order to subsidize energy prices across our economy, given the extreme bad will it generates the world over? How much will the Iraqi conflict cost? I've read numbers that go from $100B to $200B to wage and win the war. After that will be the occupation costs, maybe $10B to $20B a year. Thats 1% to 2% GDP this year plus .1% to .2% GDP thereafter. How much of an increase per barrel of oil must we pay for this cost to be cheaper than paying full price? Someone must have done that cost/benefit analysis. I doubt it's worth the military expenditure, both because of the risk of unintended consequences, and also because it sets a precedent that other countries may follow. It's possible that the game plan is to control middle east oil fields in order to control the pace of industrialization over various newly emerging markets. But if by doing so, US policy makers create an economic incentive toward deploying alternative energy sources, they may create the very circumstances which lead to US hegemonic demise. Particularly if by doing so we embrace a diminishing fuel supply at the expense of building out renewable energy while our competitors backpedel in the opposite direction. Both China and India are filled with smart and well educated engineers and scientists. I think they will seek a third path out from under our thumb. One Bush's foreign policy hasn't even considered. For these reasons, I think his policy is short sighted and stupid. Never mind brutal and throughly immoral. JMO.

Cheers,
--Maynard



Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.

Wrong (2.33 / 3) (#66)
by Demiurge on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:05:35 AM EST

If the US were seeking to control Iraq's oil supplies, then the US would not be busily assuring Security Council members like France and Russia that their business obligations in Iraq will be honored in a post-Saddam regime.

[ Parent ]
US Gov't. doesn't want oil used as a weapon (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 02:08:06 AM EST

If oil is used as a weapon again(i.e. during the oil embargo) we could easily see big oil loose a lot of its political power. Unlike then, now there is a lot of technology on the shelf: high milage, hybrid cars and various alternative energy sources that are just waiting for something to get their quantities up.

Since WW II, one of the main means by which brush fire wars have been contained is regulation of the world's oil supply. Lots of the world's movers and shakers are scared of what comes in the post-oil era.

Persoanlly, I think Middle Eastern oil should be heavily taxed by all western powers(to pay for the cost of these damned wars and $200 Billion in aid to Israel) and that research into alternative energy should be greatly expanded.

[ Parent ]

Predatory patent practices in the energy industry (2.66 / 3) (#108)
by pin0cchio on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:54:52 AM EST

Unlike then, now there is a lot of technology on the shelf: high milage, hybrid cars and various alternative energy sources that are just waiting for something to get their quantities up.

What has happened so often in the case of a promising non-fossil energy source is that one of the big oil companies either buys the patents or buys the company that owns the patents. Then the development of the fuel halts while the oil company sits on the patent.


lj65
[ Parent ]
Ah, conspiracy theories (5.00 / 2) (#165)
by Ken Arromdee on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 02:31:50 PM EST

While you're not allowed to make patented technology, the *contents* of the patent are public knowledge. You can't hide something like this by buying up the patent--anyone with the bucks to pay for copying can get the information from the Patent Office.

Not to mention that patents expire. Unless you think that big corporations started doing this less than 20 years ago, or unless you think that all the patented energy sources from before 20 years ago are no longer useful, we should be flooded with patented energy sources from 1982 and before.

[ Parent ]

Patent evergreening (none / 0) (#543)
by pin0cchio on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 01:54:24 PM EST

Subject: Ah, conspiracy theories

According to Google, I'm not alone in my belief that the incumbent fossil fuel companies buy up patents on competing energy technologies.

Not to mention that patents expire.

Not always. Some companies practice "patent evergreening," or patenting improvements relating to an invention whose patent is about to expire, such as patenting a process, formulation, intermediate product (such as a metabolite of a drug), or use that was not mentioned in the original patent. Read the story of Seldane and Allegra, or ask Google.

Unless you think that big corporations started doing this less than 20 years ago

Make that 25 years ago, even if you ignore evergreening. There's a five-year extension available under USA and EU patent law for new products that need regulatory approval, such as drugs (which need FDA approval) or fuels (which may need DoE or EPA approval). I'd guess that research for non-fossil fuel sources began during the 1970s oil crisis and didn't produce any breakthroughs until at least 1977, which would put the inventions (with the five-year regulatory delay extension) under a subsisting patent.


lj65
[ Parent ]
sure (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by speek on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 02:31:47 AM EST

But the obligations will be to an American holding company instead of to Saddam, and the terms will likely be renegotiated somewhere down the line.

--
I'm full, but I'm going to eat these cookies anyway. That's my whole problem right there, in a nutshell.
[ Parent ]

Actually, it's about alaska (5.00 / 5) (#99)
by criquet on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:09:18 AM EST

Bush has always wanted to drill fr oil in Alaska and the threat of war with Iraq has already caused oil prices to soar. Bush will use this and the war with Iraq as a leverage to drill in Alaska from which the Bush family and friends will profit significantly.

An incredibly unfortunate side-effect of war with Iraq is that it is exactly what Saddam Hussein wants. War will give Saddam open and easy opportunity to attack his local enemies as well as propogandize the "American's evil and illegal invasion" as an attempt to kill Iraqi civilians (which of course he will do himself and claim it's the Americans).

[ Parent ]

not only that (4.75 / 4) (#122)
by Wah on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:58:14 AM EST

but merely threatening war has done wonders for his friend's pocketbooks.  Something they no doubt remember.  Every mention of even the threat of war raises oil prices.  Not a bad way to fund an election...if you don't mind lying to the American public.
--
Life is a strange state of matter.
[ Parent ]
Kinda off topic (2.66 / 6) (#55)
by r00t on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 11:00:49 PM EST

But North Korea just announced it is very close to developing a Nuclear Weapon.

-It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov

North Korea (none / 0) (#124)
by tzanger on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:23:07 AM EST

But North Korea just announced it is very close to developing a Nuclear Weapon.

The timing of this announcement is suspicious to me. Being one of the three countries Bush likes to refer to as the Axis of Evil I wonder what he will do -- continue against Iraq, who he claims may have the capability of WMD, or look to neutralizing North Korea who already can produce weapons-grade uranium and is now boasting that they can make nuclear weapons.



[ Parent ]
Not suspicious at all (none / 0) (#167)
by pmc on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 02:53:41 PM EST

Blatant is the word. It has been an open secret for about 10 years that North Korea had about 20kg of Plutonium - I even mentioned it in a post on this fair website a couple of days ago.

So, why bring it up? The US is not going to attack North Korea. In fact, it is highly unlikely that anything will be done to North Korea beyond harsh words and diplomatic bluster. The only reason to bring it up, I think, is to add a bit more spin to the "Axis of Evil" mentality, and the intended audience is the US people. Having associated N Korea, Iran, and Iraq as the "Axis of Evil" there is a link in the minds of the people between these countries. So coming out a saying that "The Axis of Evil" has nukes makes people a little more afraid of them, and makes it a little easier to attack one of them.

[ Parent ]

How to make world powers happy (none / 0) (#185)
by r00t on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:47:57 PM EST

I think it is more of a worry for China.. I can just see a new deal in the working...

US --> Iraq
Russia --> Chechnya
China --> N.Korea (possibly taiwan too)

-It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
[ Parent ]

Theory (4.16 / 6) (#59)
by godix on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 11:29:14 PM EST

I've long held the theory that sometime in the next 15 to 20 years there will be a new cold war between China and America. The EU, as in the first cold war, will basically be sitting on the sidelines. Unlike the first cold war the EU will be of little strategic value so I suspect that over the next few years the US will act more and more unilaterally since we just don't need or care about EU's opinions anymore.

How does this relate to Iraq? China and the US will fight in middle eastern countries in the same way that Russia and the US fought in central America and Africa. The US wants a power base for the future and is convinced that military is the only way to do it. China will sit this one out because they don't have the influence to do much and really they just don't care at the moment. The first 'shots' of the new cold war will start over Taiwan, or perhaps Chinas neighbors of India and Pakastan if they start saber rattling again.


Love, like god, only exist at orgasm and agnoy


nope. (3.66 / 3) (#64)
by swifty on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:06:38 AM EST

The rules are different this time around. The United States is China's biggest trading partner, and not interested in competing economic ideologies. There's no way the markets would allow another cold war.

China and the USSR are only similar in terms of potential military strength. That alone does not a "cold war" adversary make. Besides, capitalism is changing China almost as drastically as it changed the USSR (urbanization, etc.). Beijing now has little in common with Beijing two decades ago.

Freiheit ist immer auch die freiheit des anderen.
[ Parent ]

Yup (none / 0) (#200)
by godix on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:08:10 PM EST

"The United States is China's biggest trading partner"

The China isn't the US's biggest trading partner. That inequity alone will do more to cause problems than prevent them. Besides China is actively seeking more trading partners than the US, there's no reason to assume we'll always being their biggest.

"China and the USSR are only similar in terms of potential military strength. That alone does not a "cold war" adversary make"

Nope, a cold war also needs a fight over territory. With the USSR it was a fight over Europe. With China it'll be a fight over Taiwan, singapore, perhaps India and Japan as well.

"Besides, capitalism is changing China almost as drastically as it changed the USSR (urbanization, etc.)"

Just because they're changing doesn't mean they are becoming more friendly to the US. I should qualify my statements somewhat though, one of the changes that I can see happening in China is a labor movement like the US had during the early twentieth century. If that happens and it leads to a revolution then god knows who would end up in control of China and their feelings towards the US.


Love, like god, only exist at orgasm and agnoy


[ Parent ]
Nope (take2) (3.75 / 4) (#130)
by Genady on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:54:12 AM EST

I do think that you're right that the possibility for a US/China conflict exists. I don't think that Europe will stay on the sidelines of much of anything in your timeframe and here's why:

Europe is quickly becoming a worldwide economic superpower to rival the US. As the EU expands to encompas more and more of Europe the bargening power it holds against the US and the Pacific Rim grows as well. As it does so it will come into conflict more and more with the US. While direct wars have more splash and fire that appeals to our media fed fetish with violence, what the US really SHOULD fear is a trade alliance with Europe and China.

I'm sure that at some level my Liberterian values are piequed by an idea of a United States of Europe, which functions more as a confederation of states than the US's federal government.

I seriously think however that the danger to the US in the mid to long term isn't from the East, it's from the West.

--
Turtles all the way down.
[ Parent ]

Canada (none / 0) (#135)
by DodgyGeezer on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:11:33 AM EST

I'm sure that at some level my Liberterian values are piequed by an idea of a United States of Europe, which functions more as a confederation of states than the US's federal government.

Perhaps the example that you're looking for is Canada?

[ Parent ]

EU economic power (4.00 / 2) (#199)
by godix on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:00:27 PM EST

You could be right, it all depends on how the EU does economically though. Parts of it are doing fairly well but some of it is doing really poorly. If the strong economies can pull up the weak ones the EU will rival the US economically eventually. If the weak pull down the strong then EU will be sitting on the sidelines as I said. Currently the indications I see point that the weak are pulling down the strong although that could change.

We also have to take into account the economic effects of another cold war. The first cold war spurred much of the US economic development in the twentith century and there's no reason to not expect the same if China and the US go at it. America will have economic growth from the new cold war while EU won't have that effect, or if they do it's secondhand by aligning themselves with one side or the other.


Love, like god, only exist at orgasm and agnoy


[ Parent ]
nation/meta-state power plays (5.00 / 3) (#276)
by millman on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:51:55 AM EST

I'm inclined to agree with the original poster.  Even with economic power, Europe isn't particularly interested in waging war anymore, including a cold war.  All their centuries of misery were finally enough after WW2, IMO.  That idea is now ingrained in their culture.  The downside for them is that putting less focus on the miliary takes away much of their potential power.  They understand this and I think this is why we get a lot of this insecure whining about the potential war in Iraq (I don't want the war either but the Europeans' tone is what is telling).

China still has a long, long, long way to go, and it certainly won't be a linear progression, not that it ever is.  The Sept/Oct issue of Foreign Policy magazine has a great article on the Chinese Communist Party.  The theory is that the party hinders economic growth because the party has no competetion, and is thus quite corrupt, especially at the local level.  Apparently in many cities the local gov't does nothing more than take the citizens money.  Bottom line: in order to have growth on the order that can ever hope to overtake the US, they need institutions and accountability that can seed that growth.  Right now, they simply don't have it.  Go read the article, it's much better than I can state it :p  I'm now almost convinced that China is going to hit a glass ceiling until there is a political revolution.  Not one that necessarily ushers in American style democracy, but a system that allows some political competition and at least some form of personal expression.  

The CCP may be able to adapt.  They've done a much better job than the USSR did, obviously.  But I wouldn't count on it.  The cost of controling information is getting out of control.  It's close to unmanagable.

Regarding the end of the west.  I think the days of any one state dominating the scene are drawing to a close.  But the US isn't going away, even if it is going to decline for a time.  Globalization (think of it in the pure, technological sense, not the polarized sense it is thought of in most current debate) is simply linking economies too tighly for anyone to create enough leverage for total domination, which the US is quite close to having right now.  I can see the US, China, India, and the EU being the big players 50 - 100 years from now.  The third world isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but I think we'll still see the gap between the rich and poor nations closing up a lot over the next century.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

In a world full of thieves, the only crime is getting caught.
[ Parent ]

Why do you think there will be a new cold war? nt (none / 0) (#268)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:07:37 AM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
EU Feeling - Politicans vs. People (4.00 / 2) (#63)
by Timandra on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 11:59:46 PM EST

I would say that it is definitely possible that people in Europe are worried about those in power in US government (Rumsfeld and Bush being just two examples). It appears however, that ordinary voters have a different view on if the US should go to war. One only has to open a paper to see Tony Blair and how he is more than ready and willing to aid Bush in a `regime change'.

I suspect however, that those in the corridors of power on the continent would think twice before taking a stance that contravenes the prevailing sentiment. Most European countries have come out in support of some sort of action on Iraq, as long as it isn't done unilaterally.

On the flip side, the `average voters' appear to be much more apprehensive; a feeling that is echoed here in North America; that the US appears to be taking unilateral action. Is it a case of the voters and politicians marching to a different tune, or do politicians know more than the voters?  

Ted

No problem. (none / 0) (#399)
by Bartab on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 10:48:00 PM EST

Most European countries have come out in support of some sort of action on Iraq, as long as it isn't done unilaterally.

UK, Australia, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Netherlands, Canada, and others.

Not unilateral at all.

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
[ Parent ]

It's not the invasion but the surrounding elements (4.46 / 13) (#67)
by Surial on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:12:05 AM EST

I disagree with the plans to invade Iraq...

But not because I'm against a regime change in Iraq or even against some kind of military action perse.

It's the 'sideshow'. The background. The related events.

A list:

  • The palestinian/israeli 'war', to further abuse a severely beaten dead horse, is a dirty war. Taking sides, either way, is going to make a lot of enemies. Staying out of it, or at least dealing with it very carefully, is prudent from the viewpoint of international politics. In general the US has supported israel. In light of invading Iraq that isn't helping. I'd much rather be at least halfway friendly with other nations in the area. Most nations around Iraq would rather see palestinian support.
  • As far as I know, libya hasn't done anything 'wrong' for a long time now. They don't appear to harbour criminals or terrorists, don't sponsor anything, aren't a fundamentalistic moslim state, they play the diplomatic game, and do it well (they were one of the very first to condemn the 9/11 act), and in general are not at all (as far as I know) in need of having the Libyan Iranian Sanction Act extended for another few years. Yet, that's exactly what happend a year or 2 ago. Why? Libya isn't going to be particularly nice to the USA when the USA could use some help (like, say, in getting oil) this way.
  • In generic international support, the USA has recently 'proved' that they don't give a hoot about international relations (Kyoto, the The Hague incident). Yet now they are at least somewhat looking for international acceptance for an invasion. That kind of macho behavior tends not to get accepted.
  • the list goes on.
It doesn't end there though. Once I start thinking about the goals of the USA versus the proposed actions, I just don't follow. Unless the primary goal is to secure a source of cheap oil, I don't get it, and even if that's the plan, I don't think it'll work.

Saudi Arabia is apparently not entirely stable. The monarchy is pro-US but it's a very fundamentally muslim country and there is some dissidence. If the USA pre-emptively attacks Iraq I would not at all be surprised if the Saudi Arabian monarchy falls. Likely an anti-USA government will form. Probably the country will start generating terrorists. A few years down the line another 9/11-sized event will occur in the USA. Maybe the USA will redouble their War on Terrorism efforts and say 'See, I told you so!'... but it's the other way around.

All in all I just don't see the angle. Because of that I'd rather see Iraq not invaded just now, especially not by the US of A. Regime change? Sure, but not now, not this way.
--
"is a signature" is a signature.

correction... (4.00 / 2) (#89)
by pattern against user on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:38:08 AM EST

"Probably the country will start generating terrorists."

It already does; many of the 911 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

Secondly I strongly doubt whether the Saudi Monarchy would fall if America attacked Iraq pre-emptively or otherwise. Middle East dictatorships on the whole seem pretty stable.. The last regime to be overthrown in the Middle East was the Shah of Iran 20 years ago.


[ Parent ]

Cheap oil and more (4.28 / 7) (#94)
by chbm on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:19:42 AM EST

Maybe by order of relevance:
  • the war of the decade. US seems to need a war every 10 years to be able to function, wars keep the bombs industry happy
  • control of a cheap oil source is imperative for clan Bush
  • keep a war atmosphere going as blanket for arbitrary uses of power
  • remove attention from the financial hole
  • gain votes (I don't understand how this works)
  • Iraq is a regional power - it's a shadow on Israel's (and by proxy, US) dominance of the area
  • remove attention from the interesting laws being passed


-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
[ Parent ]
Reversed Oil interest (3.80 / 5) (#129)
by Kintanon on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:49:49 AM EST

You said:
#  control of a cheap oil source is imperative for clan Bush

I reply:
I think a lot of you have this reversed, Bush and most of his friends/relatives have vested interest
in American oil. Many of them own Texas oilfields, etc... So the idea would be to drive up prices for middle east oil so that they could make more money off of the domestic oil. A war in the mid east ALWAYS drives prices up. Bush and his buddies will make hundreds of millions of dollars selling their American oil. Then once the US has control of Iraq they will "allow" Iraq to sell oil at incredibly low prices to the US, specifically to their oil companies, who can then resell it at a massive profit.
I know we get very little of our oil from Iraq, and not even a majority of it from the middle east, but those two facts are completely irrelevant to the price of oil in the US. With war in the mideast prices go up, no matter where the oil comes from.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

American companies will sell oil from Irak (5.00 / 1) (#294)
by gasull on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:52:04 AM EST

Bush and most of his friends/relatives have vested interest in American oil. Many of them own Texas oilfields, etc... So the idea would be to drive up prices for middle east oil so that they could make more money off of the domestic oil. A war in the mid east ALWAYS drives prices up. Bush and his buddies will make hundreds of millions of dollars selling their American oil. Then once the US has control of Iraq they will "allow" Iraq to sell oil at incredibly low prices to the US, specifically to their oil companies, who can then resell it at a massive profit.

Who will sell the oil? The American companies will be in Irak and they will sell it after the war.



[ Parent ]
Few points (5.00 / 1) (#299)
by Woundweavr on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:32:07 AM EST

The palestinian/israeli 'war', to further abuse a severely beaten dead horse, is a dirty war. Taking sides, either way, is going to make a lot of enemies. Staying out of it, or at least dealing with it very carefully, is prudent from the viewpoint of international politics. In general the US has supported israel. In light of invading Iraq that isn't helping. I'd much rather be at least halfway friendly with other nations in the area. Most nations around Iraq would rather see palestinian support.

While I believe that the Palestine should become a small independent entity(if only because at least theres a chance the violence will end), US support for such a proposal can not stem from the desire of Arab states. First, because those desires are inherently racist (and hypocritical since most of the Palestinians(sic?) were exported from neighboring countries into Israel because they were seen as inferior Arabs). Second, Israel is a friendly state in the area, and the only democracy. While the US should (and has) acted as a mediator, working against Israel would do more harm to its interests than getting points with the non-democratic dictatorships/theocracies in the area. Iraq actually funds some of the "Palestinian" terrorism and provides specialists and bombers, which further destabilize the whole process.

On Libya - Well, it is still a military dictatorship with little civil liberties, and massive ethnic based violence.

On Saudi Arabia - A primary reason that the nation hasn't become another Islamic dictatorship is the presence of the US military (which is often the real reason SA non-government leaders protest it). Sadam remains very unpopular, and has no Arab allies. The termination of Southern Watch(and resultant withdrawl of US forces) would be much more likely to spark a coup than an Iraqi war.

As far as the goals go, I don't see why they are mutually exclusive. The US has no intention of directly ruling Iraq, that is obvious. However, the less tyranical government that would be in place after a regime change would owe the US for helping to get it into power and thus cheaper oil, and maybe a new ally in the region so as to allow the US some leeway in trying to better human rights in SA (which it has been barred from because of its need for an ally in the area). The issue of WMD is a screen to some extent (Sadam would no doubt develop them if he could as it would probably allow him to do mostly what he wanted, ie Kuwait), but combined with his terrrorist connections (to Palestine at the least, and its naive to think they end there) it is also valid. While most US citizens don't see Iraq as a valid threat, a nuke/chem/bio carried into a city by a terrorist is just as effective as a ICBM and even Star Wars won't save you. It may not be able to topple the US, but millions could die.

[ Parent ]

Fight a war on that many fronts? (none / 0) (#428)
by Surial on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:46:31 AM EST

US political stance in any kind of war certainly shouldn't be solely based on what the rest of the region thinks.

Sure, you could say Libya still isn't 100% hunky dory.

Sure, you could say kyoto is misimplemented and just isn't worth following.

I merely pointed out that taking the 'wrong' direction in preparation for an Iraq invasion every turn is strange and doesn't give me the impression of something well thought out.
--
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]

You're half right... (1.38 / 34) (#68)
by skim123 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:14:10 AM EST

As an American myself, I do not believe for an instant that the French or other Europeans are pro-Saddam.

You're right, they're not pro-Sadam, it's that they're anti-Semetic. At least those buggers in Paris. I wonder how many more French tankers will have to be bombed before the French population realizes that not always is the enemy of your enemy your friend.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


French Anti-semitism (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by the trinidad kid on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:48:40 AM EST

Please explain how France is anti-semitic?


[ Parent ]
Read the news (1.00 / 2) (#146)
by skim123 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:23:20 PM EST

There have been a number of synagouge burnings and open violence toward people who are Jewish in France in the past couple of years. This behavior is somehow pro-semitism?

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
The news disagrees with your opinion. (4.75 / 4) (#154)
by Stoutlimb on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:17:11 PM EST

How does this show that the nation as a whole is anti-semetic???  All this shows is that there is a few freaks willing to burn synagogues and beat up jews.  French government policy doesn't support these crimes in any way shape or form.  Nor does popular French opinion.

I find it rediculous that some people still label any disagreement between jews and non-jews as racism.  It's just an unscrupulous way for people to get an upper hand in an argument by putting the other on the defensive.  It's really sad how some bad individuals milk past bad treatment of Jews for all it's worth.

Bork!

[ Parent ]

I see... (5.00 / 1) (#171)
by the trinidad kid on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:22:08 PM EST

There have been a number of shootings in Washington and the surrounding area in the last weeks, therefore all American's are psycho gunmen? No.

What is the attitude of the French Government and people towards the (genuine) acts of violence against the Jewish community in France? Tolerance? No. Approval? No. Support? No.

Are these offenses investigated by the police? Yes. Are the perpetrators jailed if caught and convicted? Yes.


[ Parent ]
there's more to this story (4.50 / 2) (#181)
by Lode Runner on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:25:49 PM EST

I can't blame Jews if they're alarmed that Jospin's government was reluctant to take meaningful action in terms of preventing attacks on synagogues in France.

Conservative editorialists in Israel and on this side of the pond had a field-day when Jospin absurdly claimed that the dozens of attacks on Jews were all "isolated incidents" and that he wasn't going to arouse tensions by confronting France's Arab community --the fastest-growing segment of his support base-- about those who incited such attacks. Also recall that Le Pen cynically (and very successfully) exploited this lack of action to garner Jewish votes.

Even more shameful was the leftist media's treatment of the anti-Jewish attacks. Instead of demanding that Muslims behave properly, they characterized (and, I'm sorry, excused) these attacks as reactions to Israel's policies, smugly adding that anti-Israel violence is not anti-semitic violence. Forive me if I remain skeptical of those who justify bigotry.



[ Parent ]

The response is... (none / 0) (#190)
by skim123 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:34:03 PM EST

What is the attitude of the French Government and people towards the (genuine) acts of violence against the Jewish community in France?

Shrugged shoulders. Not comdination.

There have been a number of shootings in Washington and the surrounding area in the last weeks, therefore all American's are psycho gunmen?

I would say so if the people of that community and the politicians said, "Meh, shootings like this are just part of life here in America."

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
language reflects society (none / 0) (#225)
by martingale on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:46:40 PM EST

I would say so if the people of that community and the politicians said, "Meh, shootings like this are just part of life here in America."
Language is a reflection of society.

"going postal": slang. To become extremely angry or deranged, especially in an outburst of violence. American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed.

[ Parent ]

Not knowing French (3.00 / 2) (#231)
by skim123 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:22:39 PM EST

I wouldn't know a corresponding phrase in their language, but perhaps the definition of Naziism there is: "Yeah, Paris fell, but at least they got rid of the Jews."

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
French definition of Nazism (5.00 / 1) (#298)
by martingale on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:12:02 AM EST

Nazism: the creed of the prewar German national socialist party.

It's the same definition as in English. If you can't take a fair reply to your claim, then explain why you don't think my response was fair.

[ Parent ]

Offtopic (none / 0) (#333)
by jazman_777 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:02:56 PM EST

Nazism: the creed of the prewar German national socialist party.

Aren't socialists leftists?

[ Parent ]

socialist labels (4.00 / 1) (#393)
by martingale on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:37:42 PM EST

The label socialist includes many variations, but essentially it is used by parties which believe that imbalances in society must be dealt with proactively. The "NAZional soZIalistische partei" was both socialist and nationalist. It believed and implemented social policies which placed the German society before individuals in that society (which made it socialist, roughly similar to the various communists or the Israeli kibbuzim) and believed in the superiority, intellectual and physical, but also economic, of Germans over others (which made it nationalist). It was right wing when compared to the communists, which believe(d) in a single world government by and for the workers. But it was left wing compared to say libertarians or those who believe individualism is more important than social progress. The nazis are often called fascists, but that was actually the prewar italians. Mussolini believed in a society dominated by corporations, which to him were the logical next step in excellence and power after ordinary humans. Quite different.

[ Parent ]
Thank You (none / 0) (#406)
by jazman_777 on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 12:03:49 AM EST

For your intelligent reply.

[ Parent ]
You're making this up... (5.00 / 1) (#471)
by the trinidad kid on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 01:45:18 PM EST

Shrugged shoulders. Not comdination (sic).
There are not any anti-semitic incidents in Europe (attacks on individual jews, graffiti, criminal damage to synagogues, etc, etc) that are not condemned across the board by politicians and the press, none.

There is however a consistent effort to claim that any critic of Israel is a neo-nazi and/or a closet anti-semite.


[ Parent ]
none? You're projecting... (none / 0) (#514)
by Lode Runner on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 06:45:58 PM EST

Britain onto the rest of Europe. The French press --I'm referring specifically to Le Monde, which used the synagogue attacks to grandstand on poverty and Israel-- did not roundly criticize the attacks the way the spectrum of British papers did. And no, just because the Guardian condemned the attacks does not mean that Spain's La Vanguardia --which places the onus of guilty squarely on Israel instead of the actual perps-- did too.

[ Parent ]
Cite the articles then... (none / 0) (#528)
by the trinidad kid on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 05:13:34 AM EST

If you have any proof that these newspapers published articles saying that Jews in Spain or France deserved (or were responsible for) attacks on them please cite them...


[ Parent ]
easy enough... now what? (none / 0) (#549)
by Lode Runner on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 06:54:59 PM EST

Some excerpts, courtesy of Lexis-Nexis:

Agence France Presse dispatch: "French synagogue burned down amid spate of anti-Semitic attacks"
April 1, 2002

    "Israel's siege of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West bank has stirred anger at Jews among France's four-million-strong Arab population, leading to protests which officials believe are linked to the attacks."
Le Monde: "A Lyon: Je n'accuse pas les juifs, j'accuse Sharon; Ce dictateur devrait etre devant un tribunal, comme Milosevic" [loose trans: Regarding Lyon: I'm not blaming/accusing the Jews, I blame Sharon, this dictator who ought to be brought before a tribunal like Milosevic]
LANDRIN, Sophie
April 3, 2002
    [Landrin, evoking Zola, editorializes via a conversation she had with Youssef, a young Arab living in France; there are no quotation marks or italics or anything besides a colon or two to distinguish between Youssef's opinion and Landrin's, but the message is clear enough.]

    Pour Youssef, les jeunes des banlieues ne sont pas des antisemites, ce sont des propalestiniens. Pour nous, bruler une synagogue ne sert a rien. Les juifs sont nos amis ici. Mais, c'est vrai que les evenements du Proche-Orient risquent de faire degenerer les relations entre juifs et musulmans dans le monde entier parce que la haine engendre toujours la haine. A force de voir des images de Palestiniens martyrises par Israel, les gamins des quartiers vont avoir la haine. Il faut s'attaquer a la source du probleme et virer Sharon.

    La conversation s'anime. Certains se levent et s'emportent: Personne ne dit rien contre Sharon, ni la France, ni l'ONU, alors que ce dictateur devrait etre devant un tribunal comme Milosevic. Sharon est coupable de genocide, de crimes contre l'humanite. Youssef rencherit: La haine engendre la haine. Moi, je n'accuse pas les juifs, j'en accuse un seul: Sharon. Je me sens concerne par ce qui se passe en Palestine, pas seulement parce que je suis musulman mais pour la justice. Je suis contre la domination des maitres du monde.

    Ouais, tout le monde doit etre egal, reprend un de ses camarades. Aujourd'hui, c'est le faible qui est opprime.

    Un autre: Cela fait des mois que cela dure. En France, on s'emeut d'une voiture belier contre une synagogue, mais on est indifferent a la mort de centaines de Palestiniens sous les balles des Israeliens.

[upshot: Arabs in France aren't anti-semitic but "pro-Palestinian," and would never burn down a synagogue because "here the Jews are our friends." But as you know "hatred engenders hatred" and some folks are furious about Sharon's policies and get agitated when they see images of Palestinian "martyrs" on television, and go burn down synagogues. Some whining that people are getting too upset over the synagogue attacks but ignoring the suffering of the Palestinians. The problem is obviously Sharon (guily of genocide, crimes against humanity etc), who ought to be removed. No more Sharon, no more synagogue attacks... got it?]

Nowhere mentioned in these mainstream French reports is the possibility that there are forces in France's Mulsim community that just maaaaaybe are inciting anti-Jewish violence. Instead, Muslims are cast as purely reactive, and it falls to their victims to remove Sharon, who is identified as the root --not a root, mind you-- of the problem.

[ Parent ]

Don't you read the news? (5.00 / 1) (#501)
by bob6 on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 10:41:56 AM EST

What is the attitude of the French Government and people towards the (genuine) acts of violence against the Jewish community in France?
Shrugged shoulders. Not comdination.
here. You can't read French? Let me translate the headtitle : Mr. Chirac calls on the government after the anti-jew terrorist attacks : the head of the state judged those actions "unforgivable" and asked branches of the executive power to increase the community protection.
Now next time you're going to troll be sure you do it thoughtfully so you won't make a total ass of yourself by exposing ignorance and racism.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Immigrants (3.00 / 1) (#504)
by drquick on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 12:49:12 PM EST

There have been a number of synagouge burnings and open violence toward people who are Jewish in France in the past couple of years. This behavior is somehow pro-semitism?
The crux of the matter is that it's not the French that burn the synagogues. It's the poor muslim north african immigrants. To make it more complicated the political enemy of these synagogue burners is labeled anti-semitic. I mean Le Penn.

[ Parent ]
please elaborate (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by karolo on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:47:07 AM EST

How exactly asking from Israel to comply with UN resolutions is antisemitic? If that is the case then asking from Iraq to comply with UN resolutions is anti-islamic, I should think. Is this the point where the conversation stops because we are being called nazis?

[ Parent ]
Funny, this was answered in a thread yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by Ken Arromdee on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:08:59 AM EST

Economist link here.

Israel is violating Chapter 6 resolutions, which are non-binding recommendations. Iraq is violating Chapter 7 resolutions.

[ Parent ]

thanks to the US veto (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by karolo on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:16:51 AM EST

The distinction is purely academic, the US would never let a binding resolution pass, because then they would loose the foothold they have in the middle east. But morally, both cases are the same, and the non compliance of Israel is as bad for the image of the UN as the non compliance of Iraq, just to follow the other line of reasoning of the US government

[ Parent ]
Oh for Heaven's [sic] sake!!! (4.50 / 2) (#90)
by TurboThy on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:55:25 AM EST

I'm not anti-semitic, I'm anti-Israelic. I'm quite convinced this is the case for many other Europeans as well.
__
'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
[ Parent ]
I'll bite this one (4.57 / 7) (#101)
by bob6 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:13:27 AM EST

Yeah, it's soooo antisemitic to help Israel to build nuclear warheads... Some vital information for you :
  • Not every jew in the world is Zionist or supports Israel policy
  • Not all criticisms on Israel policy are driven by anisemitism
Here's another one for you : I'm jew and I'm French and I think Israel bears all responsibility for the catastrophic current situation and I think the Jewish state of Israel should be maintained. Don't try to figure this out, your brain might just evaporate in fireworks.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
One of those Great Myths (none / 0) (#331)
by jazman_777 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:00:13 PM EST

Not all criticisms on Israel policy are driven by anisemitism

It's become one of the Great Myths of Our Time: if you criticize Israel, it really means that deep down, you wish Hitler had won.

[ Parent ]

French tanker (1.00 / 1) (#503)
by drquick on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 12:44:20 PM EST

Oh, yes....
  • French Tanker
  • Finnish shopping mall
  • Bali Restaurant (Aussies)
  • Russian Bar
  • Filippino ... bus, was it?
  • Child kidnapping drama in Germany
All of this in October! Now, that there's a vote in the security council and some US elections. Is all of this a conspiracy? The French are obvious victims so are the Russians, both threatened to veto the US proposed resolution in the Security Counsil. Aussies haven't been to helpful. Indonesia is a possible Al Quaida base that has remained closed to US Special Forces. Similarly the Filippines have not allowed all the access to muslim areas US "military advisors" wanted. Finland, easy target maybe - too vocal critic in the foreign minister. Germany and its Chancelor Schröder has outspokenly critisised the Bush regime. (There was also a mass killing in a German high school just when Schröder started to openly condemn the US.)

We all know how Americans think we are to react. Suppose the CIA can provoke terrorists or key affiliated groups when, they (the CIA) want the world to feel the US version of terrorism is the right one. Maybe they have a database of weak easilly influenced potential criminals. We had almost a year of no terrorism and just now in front of US elections and Security Counsil voting in the UN, we get a cluster of it! Not a coincidence I think! I actually even expected this!

[ Parent ]

Threats (3.25 / 20) (#78)
by Craevenwulfe on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:17:30 AM EST

Do what I say or I will render you irrelevant.

And we of Europe say: GO STICK IT UP YER ARSE BUSH!

to paraphrase you... (2.00 / 2) (#100)
by martingale on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:10:30 AM EST

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

"Looks like we got a live one here. Someone call Quentin!"

[ Parent ]

Feeble wretch... (2.00 / 5) (#118)
by Rocky on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:44:03 AM EST

...can't even spell "ass" right...

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
I don't know about you... (3.00 / 1) (#174)
by Fiscal Responsibility on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:33:36 PM EST

...but we here in Europe don't like to stick things up our donkeys.



[ Parent ]
Not true.. (5.00 / 1) (#182)
by Rocky on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:29:23 PM EST

...at least according to those magazines you see in plastic behind the cashier at the Circle K...

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
Have you considered ... (4.76 / 13) (#92)
by ukryule on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:06:05 AM EST

... that European countries might disagree with the US policy because they simply think it's wrong in this case?

There seems to be an implied "you're either with us or against us" mentality which makes you ignore the simplest answer - the EU supports the goals of the US but has different views about how to go about it. Of course the European "let's look into setting up a committee to investigate this" approach conflicts quite starkly with the US "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude.

The Times editorial you quote takes exactly this line - " The tank of envy in which he[the terrorist] swims should be drained, not filled with the "blood of martyrs".", but you seem to discard this as a cover story for an attempt to influence the " shaping of the geo-political order for the 21st century "

Do you really believe that politicians are Machiavellian plotters working out 20-year plans for global domination? Or is it more lightly that they're attention-seeking hacks who can't see further than the next election? Remember Occam's razor: Given a choice between two explanations, choose the cock-up theory over the consipracy every time.

My point exactly! (4.50 / 2) (#102)
by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:15:16 AM EST

There seems to be an implied "you're either with us or against us" mentality which makes you ignore the simplest answer - the EU supports the goals of the US but has different views about how to go about it.

I thought this was what I was trying to say.

Of course the European "let's look into setting up a committee to investigate this" approach conflicts quite starkly with the US "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude.

If humanity follows option A then the 21st century world political order will be very different than if the world follows option B. European leaders like Option A. Current US leaders like Option B. That is the conflict.

Do you really believe that politicians are Machiavellian plotters working out 20-year plans for global domination? Or is it more lightly that they're attention-seeking hacks who can't see further than the next election? Remember Occam's razor: Given a choice between two explanations, choose the cock-up theory over the consipracy every time.

No 20 year plan for global domination?

What the heck does "full spectrum dominance" mean? That phrase comes from a White House strategy document.

[ Parent ]

Cart before the horse (4.50 / 2) (#136)
by ukryule on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:14:59 AM EST

If humanity follows option A then the 21st century world political order will be very different than if the world follows option B. European leaders like Option A. Current US leaders like Option B. That is the conflict.

Hmm ... Yeah, but you're implying the US & EU are taking different approaches on Iraq to fit in with their world-domination plans. I think there's little (or no) long term planning in it - the US want to squash a (perceived) current threat, while the EU think it'll destabalise an already volatile situation. Plain and simple.

You can deduce the long-term effects/stratagies from their current positions, but that doesn't mean those strategies are the driving force.

No 20 year plan for global domination? What the heck does "full spectrum dominance" mean?

Sounds like a justification for this years defence budget to me - which will be updated next year to justify next years. But that's just the cynic in me :-)

[ Parent ]

I hate to sound like a conspiracy nut (4.11 / 9) (#132)
by wurp on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:03:59 AM EST

I suspect that US direction is driven, at least on several of the larger issues, by families and consortiums that mostly stay out of the public eye.  The people who control the process of who gets nominated as presidential candidates, the people who can use US TLA organizations to find or manufacture evidence that would ensure that any particular person has no chance of being elected, those are the people running long-term US strategy.  They have a vested interest in US power continuing and growing.  Certainly a president acts in his own interests, but I also believe they act based on influence from a good-old-boys club that persists beyond one presidential term.

I'm not sure how much of this I believe myself, but I think that it merits consideration.  The stakes are just too high, and families with continuing political influence too common (Kennedy, Bush, etc) to disregard the notion that someone might be pulling strings behind the scenes.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

Reasons for split between UK and France/Germany (4.11 / 9) (#96)
by daragh on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:26:21 AM EST

The apparent split between Britain and France/Germany is interesting. Of course there are many historical and cultural reasons for this. But there is another way of reading it. I see Bush's desire to invade Iraq as part of the plans of the Project for a New American Century (was at www.newamericancentury.org, they've apparently taken it down), specifically the goal to create an American power base in the Middle East. I imagine that this is implicit in the National Defence Strategy, though I haven't read it (feel free to correct me). The European leadership are not stupid and can see that this plan is going to happen anyway, Bush and his backers are quite determined to bring this about. The French and Germans are objecting to this as it will leave them and Europe as a whole in a considerably weakened geopolitical situation. Domestic politics also decrees that they object. Blair, on the other hand, can be said to be acting in an intelligent manner (leaving morality aside). He knows that being on the side of the US now will lead to a greater likelihood of staying on their side after their plans are put in place. So it can be argued that he is acting in a manner favorable to Britain in the long run, even if the moral position is debatable.

No work.

poodle tactics (5.00 / 3) (#106)
by martingale on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:35:04 AM EST

In some ways what you're proposing makes sense. It certainly explains Australia's foreign policy of turning its back to Asia in favour of America. However, in both cases it is debatable how the UK and AUS would be treated in a successful American Century.

The current Australian leadership is particularly looking for a Free Trade deal with the US, something which consistently eludes it, even when other countries, with less of a democratic tradition but more strategic importance receive it, such as Jordan. This goes as far as accepting damaged trade with important clients for vocal support of the US.

It seems obvious that without power and therefore leverage, AUS and the UK will be treated in a hypothetical American Century with contempt at best. Perhaps a tidbit here and there.

The UK's best bet for self determination lies with the EU. For Australia, it has to be Asia at least on equal footing.

[ Parent ]

I agree (3.00 / 1) (#111)
by daragh on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:08:34 AM EST

To be honest I don't know too much about Australian geopolitics, but what you are saying makes sense. I believe that Britain knows that it runs the risk of being treated in a second class manner in a new American world order, but I also believe that they would prefer this to being out in the cold. In any event, I imagine that if they stay on the side of the US and maintain their distant status in Europe, they will be more favorably treated than the rest of the EU. And seeing as how they can't stop America's plans, and obviously think they are going to work,they might as well do this.

No work.
[ Parent ]

A better article at The Atlantic (4.75 / 8) (#103)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:15:17 AM EST

The next clash of civilizations will not be between the West and the rest but between the United States and Europe
The End of the West by Charles A. Kupchan, in the November issue of The Atlantic, is a much better article on the thesis stated in your title, and its possible consequences. Also, The Next Christianity, from the October issue, is an excellent look at the unnoticed (by the US and Europe )split between the growing Christianity of the southern hemisphere and that of the North.

On another note, your statement that "Christopher Hitchens has written that liberals fear John Ashcroft more than they fear bin Laden or Saddam." is simply incorrect. He said (italics and bold mine):

When I began work for The Nation over two decades ago, Victor Navasky described the magazine as a debating ground between liberals and radicals, which was, I thought, well judged. In the past few weeks, though, I have come to realize that the magazine itself takes a side in this argument, and is becoming the voice and the echo chamber of those who truly believe that John Ashcroft is a greater menace than Osama bin Laden.

From that context it seems clear that Hitchens doesn't think that liberals fear Ashcroft more than they do bin Laden or Saddam, but that radicals (Trotskyites, Socialists, etc) do.

Earth first! We can strip mine the rest later.

I have already ordered Kupchan's book [n/t] (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:24:53 AM EST



[ Parent ]
The Atlantic is great (5.00 / 2) (#107)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:35:44 AM EST

Their recent series on the politics (workplace, local, and national), emotions, and technology, involved in demolishing the remains of the WTC was something that no one else had looked at. Their commentary on the situation(s) in the world at large, and in the US, with the War On Terror™ and, now, Gulf War 2™. Some of the best writing around. It's interesting that they can make some of the same points that The Nation makes, without sounding like a bunch of 50 year old teenagers.

Not surprising, considering that Samuel Clemens used to write for them.

Earth first! We can strip mine the rest later.
[ Parent ]

My favorite magazine. . . (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:46:23 AM EST

Its a shame I cannot write as well as they do.
;-)
&

[ Parent ]
Yes! End of the West! (none / 0) (#131)
by Genady on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:57:30 AM EST

This is exactally what I posted upstream (sorry didn't read all of the posts before I started replying)

--
Turtles all the way down.
[ Parent ]
We do fear the US (4.79 / 24) (#115)
by the womble on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:19:16 AM EST

Turning to Europe, is it possible that in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and the streets of London (if not the corridors of Whitehall) people fear Donald Rumsfeld and Pax Americana more than they fear bin Laden and Saddam?

Yes, and the same (even more so) in most of Asia.

I would guess it is also true of Africa and Latin America although I have no first hand knowledge of those parts of the world to rely on.

Full spectrum dominance says it all. The US is asserting the right to use force to assure that no other nation can ever threaten the US with force.

Which is very scary for everyone else, and gives the rest of the world a reason to fear the US, and fear leads naturally to enmity.

I do not believe for an instant that the French or other Europeans are pro-Saddam

Of course not, but President Bush will label us as such because we do not agree with him (with us or against us etc.), even those who opposed Saddam back when the US supported him.

It's a good job... (4.00 / 1) (#229)
by NoMercy on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:05:21 PM EST

It's a good job I'm not PM here, ive got this annoying habbit of responding badly to things like 'with us or against us', I'd just ignore em after that, I don't want to play with the schoolyard bully any more, even if he is going to pick on the right person for a change.

[ Parent ]
Subtler forms of regime change (4.60 / 5) (#116)
by pjc50 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:22:47 AM EST

One of the fears of anti-globalisation groups is that the US uses economic pressure to achieve policy changes in other countries. This is particularly evident in the field of intellectual property, but also in the work of the World Bank which pushes privatisation in third world countries. Voters are understandably upset when they realise that their votes are powerless against these external influences.

I think that's what France and Germany are afraid of. To Ashcroft, they must look like dangerous hotbeds of socialism (free medical care for all! effective welfare schemes! state funded university places!). The US does not have the power to influence those core policies. But they want to prevent it ever achieving that power.

Compared to that, terrorists are a small threat. They can only kill people, not influence your daily way of life. And they don't kill comparatively many people at that. (Deaths in WTC: ~3000. Deaths by firearms in US 1999: 28,000) (source NRA)

Eurosocialism (3.00 / 2) (#134)
by anothertom on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:10:10 AM EST

Unfortunately there is no free medical care for all! in the EU. At least not in general.

[ Parent ]
Free medical care (none / 0) (#535)
by Fred_A on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 08:53:42 AM EST

There is in France and AFAIK in several northern (scandinavian) countries.

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

You are wrong! (2.00 / 1) (#539)
by drquick on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 09:58:59 AM EST

There is free or virtually free medical care for all in the EU. It's just that there is no formal EU directive stating that is has to be so.

[ Parent ]
Does the EU have credibility? (3.40 / 10) (#120)
by mveloso on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:51:44 AM EST

One first question to answer is this: does the EU have any real credibility in security matters?

The EU didn't have the political will to intervene in the Yugoslavian disintegration, and it was happening only a border away. The EU knew exactly what was going on in Serbia/Croatia/BH, and did nothing besides perform excessive acts of hand-wringing.

When the US forward-deployed nukes into West Germany and performed its full-court press against the USSR, the EU basically freaked out and protested the strategy as reckless, risky, etc. Lo and behold, the strategy paid off, and now the EU has more members/competitors.

Heck, even back with the first Gulf war, the EU was muttering that they could live with Iraqi control of the Kuwaiti oilfields, as long as there was no further movement of Iraqi forces.

With a record like this, does the EU really matter on security issues? The EU's natural inclination, whenever a crisis occurs, is to wave their hands and hope it goes away because there are more important issues on their radar, such as their inclement immigration problems. And the US will deal with the issue anyway, so we might as well feel morally superior about non-action because there "may be a cost involved for us, and any action would be too risky anyway."

This, of course, is the source of the "remember Munich" statements that the US and UK always use to goad the rest of Europe into action. Munich was a prime example of the failure of "Peace at any price" strategy...or maybe it was "action through inaction."

In the end the US will do what it feels like it needs to do and will drag the rest of the world along, because the US is the only country crazy enough to still want to change the world and naive enough to believe that the changes will be good changes. Western Europe will go along because in the end Western Europe is old, tired, and befuddled. The rest of the world will go along because the US is really good at selling the dream.

Europeans == Spineless Weenies (1.63 / 11) (#128)
by mercutio on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:43:29 AM EST

Just look at WW2.  Hitler was walking all over them, breaking treaties left and right, and they were still willing to compromise and say "Well, as long as they ONLY take Czechoslovakia, it's OK, I guess."

They're a bunch of weenies who don't know when it's time to draw the line and make a stand.  They always want the "diplomatic solution".  Sometimes there's no real diplomatic solution until someone gets their ass kicked hard.  That's what Saddam needs right now.

Just think of how many lives might have been saved had Europe intervened when they should've before WW2?

[ Parent ]

Must..avoid...feeding...troll... (4.70 / 10) (#148)
by Ngwenya on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:27:08 PM EST

Too late.

Just look at WW2.  Hitler was walking all over them, breaking treaties left and right, and they were still willing to compromise and say "Well, as long as they ONLY take Czechoslovakia, it's OK, I guess."

They're a bunch of weenies who don't know when it's time to draw the line and make a stand.  They always want the "diplomatic solution".

What can I say? It's that sort gressive American nationalism displayed with a history a la Hollywood which makes virtually all Europeans shudder.

Just to go over the WW2 territory (The "we had to come over in '42 to save your pansy asses" line) again - did it ever occur to you that the people who appeased Hitler were the same folks who had seen the sheer slaughter of WW1? That the British and French knew that they had to buy time, in order to re-arm?

That maybe, just maybe, the people who had actually to deal with the problem might just have had a damn sight more perspective on the situation, and a sight less willingness to engage in the carnage of the Somme all over again? And that such hesitation isn't spinelessness, but revulsion against human sacrifice?

Just think of how many lives might have been saved had Europe intervened when they should've before WW2?

That 20/20 hindsight strikes again. I've got no idea how many lives would have been saved (if any). And neither do you. Perhaps a larger war would have taken place earlier with an even more bankrupt Europe falling prey to the new Soviet Union?

Anyway, what do you care how many lives would have  been saved? It was WW2 which set the seal on American hegemony for the next 50 years. And since it was just a bunch of "Spineless Weenies" who died (except for the brave American pansy-ass-savers), then God's in his heaven and all is well with the world, isn't it?

Damn, but I hate troll feeding. How a nation as great as the United States, in which many of my friends live, can give vent to such arrant silliness from time to time, strengthens absolutely my determination to see an ascendant EU as a counterweight to such imperialistic nonsense.

--Ng


[ Parent ]

No they didn't (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by los on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:20:02 PM EST

That the British and French knew that they had to buy time, in order to re-arm?

No they didn't. The Germans probably couldn't have waged a successful offensive against the Czechs, much less done that and fought the British and the French. Talk about ignorance of history.

[ Parent ]

Germans unable to beat the Czechs (5.00 / 3) (#286)
by Ngwenya on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:08:50 AM EST

The Germans probably couldn't have waged a successful offensive against the Czechs, much less done that and fought the British and the French.

An opinion, which you will now substantiate with appropriate references. Remember - you have to establish that not only could the Germans not have defeated the Czechs, but that the British and French knew that such was the case, and chose to do nothing.

Talk about ignorance of history.

I certainly will not claim to be a great authority on WW2, but I think I can back my opinion up. The World at War site makes reference to the well armed Czech army (it's Skoda tank works were very useful to the Reich afterwards). However, it also makes reference to the pitiful state of the RAF at the time, as well as the territorial advantage that Germany had since the Anschluss.

In other words maybe we could have defeated Germany in 1938, Czechs, British and French. But the cost because of the depleted nature of our home armed forces might have meant that the slaughter would have been just as horrific as Verdun and the Somme - something which the people who had survived through the carnage were less willing to countenance.

And it's hard to blame them. Let's say that the cost of defeating Iraq could be shown to be around 10,000,000 Allied casualties (yes, I know, I don't think it's even close to that either). Would the allied nations be quite so eager for the fray?

One last point - we (the British and French) did use the time after Munich to re-arm. Both Fighter Command and Bomber Command were massively strengthened, as well as the expansion of the civil defence programme. So the politicos knew war was coming - they just wanted to be sure that they could win it. And, as things turned out, even that looked very shaky in 1940. France fallen, and Britain holding on by the merest thread.

--Ng

[ Parent ]

A common argument (4.33 / 3) (#149)
by Tau on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:27:38 PM EST

But you have to remember that Europe had also just emerged not exactly unscathed from a great and bloody war, and wasn't being goverened by militaristic nutters bending the economy into military power. Declaring war on Germany at that point would have been cataclysmic; we'd probably all be heiling Hitler III by now.

Yes many people died, yes it blasted public confidence. But it put Hitler into a false sense of security while we bided our time amassing munitions. Hindsight is 20:20 but from that standpoint it was a reasonable decision. Or maybe not. Please correct me if this isn't the case.

---
WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
[ Parent ]

Gnab! (5.00 / 3) (#173)
by mahoney on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:26:30 PM EST

And Hitler, as everyone knows, was from Mars. In fact the entire population of Germany and Austria was during the period 1939-1945 robotic copies of the populations of those countries imported from the moons of Jupiter. No Europeans there, fighting and dying by the millions, no siree, none at all.

Moron.

[ Parent ]

Re: Europeans == Spineless Weenies (none / 0) (#327)
by jazman_777 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:42:03 PM EST

They're a bunch of weenies who don't know when it's time to draw the line and make a stand.

It's a good thing we had our peacekeeping forces in Poland in 1939, because when Germany attacked and got us involved, that just flat out saved Europe. Well, half of Europe. The other half was a gift to the Ruskies for staying out of the war.

[ Parent ]

EU military relevant (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by Ngwenya on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:19:59 PM EST

One first question to answer is this: does the EU have any real credibility in security matters?

Not really. It's still in the process of forming the peacekeeping forces, and there's a lot of work to do before the remaining member state nationalists will allow that to happen. Hell, we can't even agree on a common infantry rifle (roll on the HK G39!).

Now - do individual European nations have credibility? Well, some. Germany, France and the UK are still pretty strong. Not as militarily strong as the US, but two nuclear powers make for nasty enemies.

The EU didn't have the political will to intervene in the Yugoslavian disintegration, and it was happening only a border away. The EU knew exactly what was going on in Serbia/Croatia/BH, and did nothing besides perform excessive acts of hand-wringing.

Actually, I think that's a very good example. The RRF was formed very much in answer to that conflict. Surely you can understand why the Germans at least were hesitant about deploying troops in that part of the world? And the Brits have been terrified of operating elsewhere without Uncle Sam's permission since Suez.

But the predominant reason that the EU did not act militarily is because many in Europe still believe that the EU is not a military organisation (whereas NATO is), and thus left it until NATO made a command decision to intervene. After the EU's paralysis in the Balkans, the first stirrings of a federal army - sorry, Rapid Reaction Force - came to light, along with real talk of a common security policy.

For myself, I believe that military strength comes hand in hand with political and economic union. It'll take another 30-40 years, but the EU will emerge as a power - whether it wants to or not, and assuming that the New American Century cabal don't nuke Brussels to stop it happening. (It's funny how much the NAC sound like Rhodes' "Cape to Cairo" imperialists at the start of the 20th century. History repeats itself, as they say).

When the US forward-deployed nukes into West Germany and performed its full-court press against the USSR, the EU basically freaked out and protested the strategy as reckless, risky, etc

Yes, I remember. Basically, the talk was between the USA and USSR fighting a "limited nuclear war". Limited to ... guess where? You got it. Funnily enough neither the Brits nor the Poles fancied being the cannon fodder for the Soviet Union and Uncle Sam.

Western Europe will go along because in the end Western Europe is old, tired, and befuddled.

Keep on believing that. It's all to our good.

--Ng

[ Parent ]

Hmmm. I thought oil was fungible (4.33 / 3) (#121)
by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:52:02 AM EST

The US imports about 10% of its oil from the middle east, Europe imports about 45% of its oil from the same region. The UK is an oil exporter.

Suppose the EU & Japan are willing to spend $100 a barrel for oil due to very tight supplies. Do you believe American oil tycoons will sell North American oil into the US market at $50 a barrel?

Oil will flow to those willing to pay the highest price and where it is drilled is irrelevant.

Has It Maybe Occurred To You That... (2.52 / 23) (#123)
by thelizman on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:58:46 AM EST

"Sadly, in my opinion, most of my fellow citizens are blissfully unaware of the very real political struggle now on-going that involves far more than the survival of Saddam's regime."


We don't give a shit? The UN is irrelevant. It is a bunch of stuffed shirts who tax the nations of the world, then sit around all day and blow hot air. The only thing to come out of the UN are resolutions and bags of rice. For the most part, the US and EU underwrite the UN, but the overwhelming recipients of UN efforts are backwater third world countries that are already receiving direct aid from the US and EU anyway. The only function practically served by the UN at this point is an an expensive channel of aid funds from economically endowed nations to impoverished ones. The UN hasn't pulled off a practical aid mission in years. There is still ethnic strife in the former Yugoslavia, people are stilling getting shot up by "technicals" in somalia...shit, there are still little skinny black kids starving to death in Ethiopia. The UN is irrelevant, and G-dub did little more than poke the UN in the eye when he warned them of this. And still the UN bickers, and conspires in and amongst itself. The measure of it's resolve has been papers with words like "shall" and "may" written all over it.

So what's wrong with America? That one is easy and as plain as the nose on your face. We got punked on 9/11/2001. Sure, the whole world was shocked, and they felt our pain (all except the haters who were dancing in the streets - but nobody put that on television). Then your average American realized that there are more important things than which washington politician is banging which intern. I'm not going to gloss this over; We've got some scores to settle. There is a nice list of tin-pot dictators, thugs, and jihaddies who are either getting squashed, been squashed, or are waiting for the squashing. If you have a problem with the US sticking up for itself, then find a bridge and get over it. Nobody else is sticking up for us.

The question you should be asking is, what the bleep is wrong with Europe? Oh that's right, we've been backing them up for the last 50 years, so their politicians haven't needed a spine in a few generations.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Thanks for sharing. . . (4.50 / 2) (#126)
by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:30:18 AM EST

The question you should be asking is, what the bleep is wrong with Europe? Oh that's right, we've been backing them up for the last 50 years, so their politicians haven't needed a spine in a few generations.

Like I said, the argument is about how international affairs will be conducted in the 21st century.

As wiredog correctly noted, a fellow named Kupchan has made this argument far better than I have:

The EU's annual economic output has reached about $8 trillion, compared with America's $10 trillion, and the euro will soon threaten the dollar's global dominance. Europe is strengthening its collective consciousness and character and forging a clearer sense of interests and values that are quite distinct from those of the United States.

. . .

The transatlantic rivalry that has already begun will inevitably intensify. Centers of power by their nature compete for position, influence, and prestige.

The coming clash between the United States and the European Union will doubtless bear little resemblance to the all-consuming standoff of the Cold War. Although military confrontation remains a remote prospect, however, U.S.-EU competition will extend far beyond the realm of trade. The U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are destined to vie for control of the international monetary system. Washington and Brussels will just as likely lock horns over the Middle East. Europe will resist rather than backstop U.S. leadership, perhaps paralyzing the World Bank, the United Nations, and other institutions that since World War II have relied on transatlantic cooperation to function effectively. An ascendant EU will surely test its muscle against America, especially if the unilateralist bent in U.S. foreign policy continues. A once united West appears well on its way to separating into competing halves.

For the moment America remains largely oblivious to the challenges posed by a rising Europe. Policymakers in Washington tend to view the EU as at best an impressive trade bloc, and at worst a collection of feckless allies that regularly complain about America's heavy hand even as they do little to bear the burdens of common defense. Moreover, most American foreign-policy experts presume that were the EU to realize its full potential as a political and economic power, the geopolitical consequences would be minimal: amity among the Atlantic democracies has been a well-entrenched fact of life, an apparently unalterable product of shared history and values. That the EU and the United States might part ways would seem to border on the unthinkable.

These presumptions are dangerous illusions. (My emphasis)

I am somewhat sympathetic to the notion that the Europeans and the United Nations have been spineless weenies concerning the Balkans, Saddam and other situations. Even that great liberal icon, "Monica Bill" Clinton was infuriated by European hand wringing.

But might American preparation for Gulf War II be preparation to "fight the last war" rather than the next war? Wouldn't it be ironic if after 50 + years of spineless-ness the Europenas finally found some backbone by opposing the United States?


[ Parent ]

Nationalist sentiment... (4.71 / 7) (#143)
by DenOfEarth on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:43:34 AM EST

The question you should be asking is, what the bleep is wrong with Europe? Oh that's right, we've been backing them up for the last 50 years, so their politicians haven't needed a spine in a few generations.

That's because they are only now realizing that the US does not, and should not, control their destiny. Europe will be a world power again soon, and hopefully they will use their power in a more efficient manner, rather than stomp on a few dictators and jihaddies here and there.

I also understand your gripes with the UN, but I still think that it serves a useful purpose, as a forum for discussion at the very least, and supporter of human initiatives around the world, not as a supporter of nationalist ones. And besides, if the United States of America wants to start kicking up dust all over the world, covering their eyes, and allowing even more people to be enraged with its superpower status, that's fine...I'm sure the people of the USA are happy with their government policy causing more scorn towards american people overseas, and possibly, and even more frigtheningly, at home.

[ Parent ]

If you don't give a shit... (3.00 / 3) (#162)
by grzebo on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:53:33 PM EST

...then try keeping your military within your borders.

The UN is irrelevant.

Americans can whine about that, when they finally pay their fees. You don't support the UN, so stop criticising it.

The measure of it's resolve has been papers with words like "shall" and "may" written all over it.

Suuure, who needs all these laws anyway? Besides, Dubya couldn't even spell consensus, so I don't think, he understands the big picture (i.e. something more than: "poor little US oil companies, their losing money over there! Let's go help them!")

Sure, the whole world was shocked,

No, it wasn't. Numerous people knew, that you got that coming - you can't mess with the Arabs for so long, and get away with it just like that. I do think that 11.09 was a real tragedy, but I also think, that the US asked for it.

There is a nice list of tin-pot dictators, thugs, and jihaddies who are either getting squashed, been squashed, or are waiting for the squashing.

And some, if not most of them, used to be US-supported. You think that after you gave some little country a dictator you got a right to bomb them in ten years time, and reconstitute "democracy". Yes, nobody is sticking up for you. Can you guess why? Can it be, that right now most of the countries could use some protection against USA, not the other way round?


"My God, shouts man to Himself,
have mercy on me, enlighten me"...
[ Parent ]
Not supporting == not supporting (5.00 / 3) (#177)
by Josh A on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:59:42 PM EST

Americans can whine about that, when they finally pay their fees. You don't support the UN, so stop criticising it.

Perhaps we don't support the UN financially because we don't support the UN politically. And criticizing is exactly what one should do with something one doesn't support.

And some, if not most of them, used to be US-supported. You think that after you gave some little country a dictator you got a right to bomb them in ten years time, and reconstitute "democracy".

Indeed... this I agree with. I think the war on terrorism can be summed up thusly:

We don't know what we're doing.
This is our fault to begin with.
And we can't solve it by blowing anyone up.

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
criticizing != not paying (3.33 / 3) (#183)
by grzebo on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:34:10 PM EST

Well, what about the taxes? Do you get to not pay them just because you voted for Gore, and don't like Bushes policy anyways? USA has declared to pay the fees when it entered the UN. Not paying them now is just another effect of American politicians believing that they have power over the entire world. And it's extremely dangerous for the international community - if a country that calls itself democratic can turn its back at the UN, anyone can.

As for accidentaly making things worse - I don't buy that. I think many actions undertaken by the US are neither idealistic, as the politicians say, nor stupid - there's simply too much to gain on all those little wars.


"My God, shouts man to Himself,
have mercy on me, enlighten me"...
[ Parent ]

cash is money (5.00 / 1) (#317)
by zeda on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:51:32 PM EST

"USA has declared to pay the fees when it entered the UN."

What, in the 1940's?  They better adjust it for inflation.  How much do we pay, isn't it something like 25% of the total UN budget.  There's got to be some countries that aren't paying what they could.  Cheap bastards. (I'm looking at you Switzerland)

The other way around, some enterprising country should step up and pay more and try to leverage that into more influence.  Because only the people who pay with their own cash get to whine about how it's spent.

For one thing, those silly white ear-cups they use, can't they replace those with some modern ear-buds, maybe wireless bluetooth or something.

[ Parent ]

Switzerland (none / 0) (#502)
by upsilon on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 11:58:05 AM EST

Geez, they've been in the UN less than a month and a half. Give 'em a break! :^)
--
Once, I was the King of Spain.
[ Parent ]
Then we're a bunch of hypocrites... (2.50 / 2) (#354)
by kcbrown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:44:53 PM EST

Perhaps we don't support the UN financially because we don't support the UN politically. And criticizing is exactly what one should do with something one doesn't support.
If we support the UN neither politically nor financially then we can damned well get the hell out of there and leave it to the rest of the countries. Why should we be allowed to participate in, and thereby gain the benefits of, something we don't even support?

What we're doing right now -- participating sufficiently to veto anything we don't like and "persuading" other participants to side with us on various issues, while not supporting the UN financially or politically -- is duplicitous and shameful.

And totally consistent with the overall behavior of the U.S.

Most people don't take much of a liking towards spoiled little children who whine whenever they don't get everything they want. Since the U.S. behaves that very same way, can you blame the rest of the world for not taking much of a liking towards it?

[ Parent ]

Gee, dude (5.00 / 1) (#369)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:50:34 PM EST

If we support the UN neither politically nor financially then we can damned well get the hell out of there and leave it to the rest of the countries. Why should we be allowed to participate in, and thereby gain the benefits of, something we don't even support?

That would be what most Americans want to know. When is the UN leaving? Actually, they want the UN to pay its parking tickets, then leave.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

Reality Check (5.00 / 1) (#395)
by thelizman on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:56:48 PM EST

Americans can whine about that, when they finally pay their fees. You don't support the UN, so stop criticising it.
Newsflash you ignorant arse: the US paid it's dues years ago. Oddly, there are 52 other countries that refused to pay them, and still do to this day. All we were asking is for some reform at the UN. I don't think that's too much to ask considering we, the United States of America, paid more than 25% of the actual operational budget of the UN, and pay for 31% of the costs of "peacekeeping" missions. As much as $15 bn USD goes to pay for someone elses causes. And it's not just the money, you ingrateful bastard. We send out young men and women (ah, that's me included) all around the world to fight and die for UN policies. The total number of American troops serving UN interests right now numbers as high as 68,700 (3,358 of whom serve in UN - not US - uniforms). So let me see if you understand this right. You want more of our money, more of our troops, but you don't want our global influence?


--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Erm... (1.16 / 6) (#127)
by werty on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:38:28 AM EST

Actually I just wanted to shoot watermelons!

u stupid liberal (1.37 / 16) (#142)
by turmeric on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:42:37 AM EST

we have to stop saddam now even if it means
killing every last non american on the planet

sorry? (none / 0) (#166)
by johwsun on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 02:37:10 PM EST

why you want to stop saddam? Stop him doing what?

why you want to kill every last non american on the planet if this is required in order to stop saddam?

I hope you can aswer me to those questions..

[ Parent ]

That was turmeric's idea of humor. (5.00 / 1) (#168)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:07:20 PM EST


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

Are there still Non-Americans? (none / 0) (#240)
by tangocharly on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:04:12 PM EST

Sure that Saddam Hussein hasn't got an US-american passport? I mean - being a long term friend of the USA in earlier times....

[ Parent ]
Nothing to do with the EU (4.50 / 8) (#145)
by lugumbashi on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:21:42 PM EST

Americans are fond of characterising institutions like the EU and geographical entities such as Europe. There are 15 different countries and dozens of different languages. For Europe, or EU the poster probably means France and Germany. For example the British and Italian governments support the US.

The member countries in the EU are so completely different from one another that it is impossible to characterise a single EU position on something like Iraq.

The EU has no seats on the UNSC but Britain and France do. This is one of many fundamental problems with the notion of a common EU foreign and security problem.
-"Guinness thaw tool in jew me dinner ouzel?"

Britain and Italy (none / 0) (#163)
by Logi on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:58:02 PM EST

According to the news this morning (BBC World Service), Italy no longer "supports Bush's war mongering" (direct quote). The Brittish government is, as usual, the quiet little puppy, but the British people aren't much impressed by Bush Jr.'s games.

Not that this invalidates your point in any way, of course :)
Logi Ragnarsson. Some day we all shall be out of scope.
[ Parent ]

Interesting angle which hasn't been touched on yet (3.66 / 3) (#147)
by salsaman on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:25:44 PM EST

I believe Iraq is currently the only country which sells oil in Euros.

Thus by removing Saddam, the US administration may also be seeking to eliminate a threat to the dollar, fearing that other oil exporting countries may follow suit. That could be another reason for a US/European divide on the issue.

Interesting, but I don't think so (4.00 / 1) (#511)
by drquick on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 03:34:43 PM EST

I think Saddam is just trying to make a point about America. He wants to show he doesn't support the USA when he has a choice. All in all, it has no practical significance. It's just a symbolic gesture.

[ Parent ]
Sorry, but no... (3.22 / 9) (#151)
by trhurler on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:48:08 PM EST

I had some sympathy for your direction until you agreed with labelling the slaughter of 3000+ innocent people as "occasional stabs of resentment." Frankly, if that's how the barbarians show their resentment, then off with their heads. Better theirs than mine, after all.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

* I * didn't say that, a Brit said that. . . (2.50 / 2) (#153)
by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:02:46 PM EST

If anyone (European or otherwise) denies the United States the right to grind al-Qaeda into dust, I will join in saying "to hell with them!"

however, does the moral right to destroy the murderers from September 11th justify a publically stated foreign policy of "full spectrum dominance?"

[ Parent ]

Well, (3.33 / 3) (#161)
by trhurler on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:52:31 PM EST

I think you're right about that, but there's something everyone is missing. Once you declare that you are going to be king of the hill, by definition, you are not asking people to approve of that. "Justification" goes right out the window. Do I think that's a bright move? Not really, but I prefer it to the European method of dealing with tyrants and terrorists, which is to hope that the US or Russia(these days, the US, seeing as Russia is in no economic shape to do anything,) will bail their asses out after their appeasement tactics fail yet again. I'd rather have some other way, in which we basically tell the rest of the world that if it can't take care of itself, then fuck you all, and if you attack us despite our leaving you alone, we'll nuke your ass into the stone age, but I don't see that happening as long as Republicrats run the government in the US.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Yeah, thats pretty much right. . . (4.50 / 2) (#164)
by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 02:06:04 PM EST

Bill Clinton was infuriated by European spineless "weenie-ness" concerning the Balkans and Saddam. He had a point then, as do many others today who complain about this same issue.

Solving that problem by playing "King of the Hill" does have emotional appeal, even to me, yet Americans tend to be naive about the unintended and unforeseen consequences of seemingly straightfoward moral actions.

Who, except the most extreme left, objected to regime change of the Taliban? As far as I can tell, no one. Now when most of Europe and even Canada openly opposes unilateral US regime change in Iraq, maybe its time to take a deep breath and think about things a bit more.

[ Parent ]

You, however, are not right. (4.00 / 1) (#203)
by valeko on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:25:14 PM EST

Bill Clinton was infuriated by European spineless "weenie-ness" concerning the Balkans and Saddam.

With the question of the Balkans, this discussion is quite absurd. People left and right (including trhurler, if I remember correctly from one of my discussions with him) are calling Europeans "weenies" because they were "unable" to deal with the "problem" of Milosevic and his awful "ethnic cleansing" themselves. Hence, the US had to intervene in order to solve Europe's "problems", such as "ethnic cleansing" of Albanians in Serbia.

How nice. To anyone with a head on their shoulders and who can analyse the situation within a greater context than that presented in the mass-media, this makes absolutely no sense. Since when is Milosevic Europe's "problem"? And since when is the US responsible for things that are, even by its own [implicit] admission, not a question of the American "national security"? (Of course, I'm completely discounting the utter farce that this "ethnic cleansing" bullshit is and the real reason Milosevic was sacked, but that's not material to this discussion.)

Who, except the most extreme left, objected to regime change of the Taliban?

Difficult question, but I don't think that even the "most extreme left" could deny that putting the Taliban out of commission is a good thing. Likewise, I don't think most "extreme leftists" harbour much admiration for Saddam Hussein, either. There's plenty of reasonable, morally plausible reasoning behind "regime change" in Baghdad, too.

The utter inanity and moral bankruptcy of the "War on Terrorism" as well as "Regime Change in Baghdad" stems from the fact that they are entirely imperialist ventures, and have little to do with the welfare of the people under the subsequent client regimes. Occasionally, "humanitarian motives" can be reconciled with "imperialist motives", which of course immensely boosts the propaganda value of any military adventure (after all, the women in Afghanistan can ditch their burqua now). But it remains an imperialist undertaking for the exclusive benefit of the American elite.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Jesus H. Christ (none / 0) (#209)
by KilljoyAZ on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:39:17 PM EST

I think it's time for the UN to declare a 3 day moratorium on using quotation marks for sarcastic purposes. Let freedom ring.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Yeah... (none / 0) (#318)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:51:56 PM EST

The Balkans were a US imperialist venture and we had an ulterior motive regarding Milosevic - that's it. Because, as you know, the Balkans are really important to the US...

Look, even France went into the Balkans guns first, and there wasn't a UN mandate for that. They did it for three reasons. One, it let them pretend they were a world power again for a little while, which their egos really needed. Two, trouble was brewing in their back yard, and while they of course do not approve of anyone else taking care of troubles such as these, they, being French, are of course exempt from this restriction! And three, because they knew if they didn't, it would happen anyway.

As for imperialist motives in Iraq and Afghanistan, please do tell me when and if you can explain just HOW we gain anything from our expenditure of money, time, equipment, and lives in these shitholes. Don't even say oil, because you know as well as I do that we're going to get the oil regardless of who's in power.

By the way, most imperialist ventures the US could conceivably engage in are not just for the benefit of some elite. Usually, what's good for them ends up being good for most people in the country. This doesn't excuse imperialist crap, but on the other hand, you really need to take this us vs them class warfare notion and stick it somewhere.

A quote for you, from me: "Do you find it at all amusing that self-styled proletarians in the US must be just that - self-styled? That they must deliberately reject wealth in order to remain true to an image they've chosen to worship, and that if they gave up on being victims, they could prosper? And that they do this in a spirit of self-righteousness? I do."

:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
That's right. (5.00 / 1) (#347)
by valeko on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:41:23 PM EST

The Balkans were a US imperialist venture and we had an ulterior motive regarding Milosevic - that's it. Because, as you know, the Balkans are really important to the US...

Sarcasm aside, the Balkans were very geostrategically important to the US, as Milosevic represented the last substantial opposition to US/NATO expansion and domination of the former Soviet bloc. When everyone else is becoming a strand in the US/NATO noose (see small, opportunistic nations like Poland, Bulgaria, Baltic republics, etc) that is the tightening around Russia, Milosevic's Serbia was holding out. This makes the Balkans very important, and it makes removing Milosevic for farcical "war crimes" an integral part of the American New World Order.

As for imperialist motives in Iraq and Afghanistan, please do tell me when and if you can explain just HOW we gain anything from our expenditure of money, time, equipment, and lives in these shitholes. Don't even say oil, because you know as well as I do that we're going to get the oil regardless of who's in power.

No, it's not just oil; I share your (apparent) contempt for people who choose to explain American imperialist ambitions through the narrow question of oil.

I am not an all-knowing foreign policy scholar, and I don't think anyone except the American ruling class itself really knows what's in store. However, the invasion of former Soviet Central Asia - the rapid establishment of a military presence in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and also the trans-Caucasus (Georgia, etc) is a pretty good hint.

The impetus for this sudden encroachment is a confluence of many factors - factors which ultimately fit into a bellicose imperialistic agenda. Some of them are, in the immediate sense, ideological, while others are strictly economic (the same as interventions during the Cold War), but ultimately all of them are advance the expansionist interests of national capital.

Usually, what's good for them ends up being good for most people in the country.

You're absolutely right; the American people belong to quite an aristocracy in and of themselves, and usually have a vested interest in imperialist ventures. This also means that the American people benefit from "stimulating the economy" by revving up the military-industrial-intelligence complex, i.e. war.

The question is, and always will be in the modern imperialist epoch: At whose expense?

"Do you find it at all amusing that self-styled proletarians in the US must be just that - self-styled? That they must deliberately reject wealth in order to remain true to an image they've chosen to worship, and that if they gave up on being victims, they could prosper? And that they do this in a spirit of self-righteousness? I do."

I find that this varies substantially from situation to situation. Overall, yes, self-styled proletarians in America often come from middle-class backgrounds and in fact would not lose out terribly if they decided to worship bourgeois economics instead. At least, they have nothing to lose so far as their material "self-interest" is concerned.

I conjecture that your remark is aimed at me, in which case I'll say that you're right, although I don't like your phraseology. While I am far from being middle-class in background or upbringing, I'm sure if I turned over a new leaf tomorrow and decided to follow the "investment suggestions" you've given me in our most recent thread, I could end up a pretty "successful team player" in today's "fast-paced, ever-changing global economy", have a nice house, et cetera. You're right.

Fortunately, most ideologues of this type have also been endowed (or perceive themselves as having) a social conscience, which enables them to think outside the "enlightened self-interest" framework that they're supposed to function by. It's really a pretty pessimistic view of human nature to say that human actions are and should be guided by this "enlightened self-interest" nonsense. Clearly there are questions of humane instinct here, of comradeship, of friendship, and of morality. Questions which transcend the gospel of the accumulation of wealth.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Hmm (2.00 / 1) (#351)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:08:41 PM EST

I'm not quite so given to overarching conspiracy theories, myself. If an entire "ruling class" knows what's going on with NATO, then one of them would have leaked it by now, inadvertently or otherwise. A secret known by more than one person is not a secret. (This is evidenced by the fact that even top secret compartmentalized secrets leak out on a regular basis, despite the penalty for leaking them generally being a hefty prison sentence.) In any case, NATO itself is not what keeps other nations' militaries in check; the fact remains that the reason the US has military dominance is not NATO - it is that nobody else can afford to compete in that arena while simultaneously doing all the other things they value!

I find that good friendships and morality that actually helps people are rooted in self interest.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Good cop / Bad cop (4.00 / 2) (#152)
by bob6 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 12:51:05 PM EST

I beg to disagree with your opinion. While US and Europe may display a great amount of disagreement, both pursue roughly the same goal economically and politically. These differences are tiny compared to the common goals of both continents. I'd say Europe and USA are in competition but also partners since they want to play in the same game, not China's and not Islam's (for instance).
Now. Since many years Europe had tried the diplomatic way with Iraq and it didn't work. Then the USA threated Iraq of war and violence, and it didn't work either (Saddam never laughed so hard). Then USA threated Iraq and Europe is negociating... suddenly Saddam is willing to welcome inspectors and do what necessary.
It looks like US and EU working together can make any country of the world and beginning to do what they want. Therefore the comment title...

Cheers.
$1/gl to protect supply of Middle East oil (3.75 / 4) (#155)
by DodgyGeezer on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:18:33 PM EST

This is perhaps a little off-topic...

I've just read an interesting story at the Beeb.  Apparently protecting Middle East oil costs us about $1 per [British?] gallon ($15-25 per barrel).  I guess if we had a truly free market rather than using subsidies from other taxes, the price of the commidity would reflect this more accurately, well at least in the US.  I think the US would do well to follow the EU and ratify the Kyoto protocol, because surely this will help reduce dependence on this expensive foreign oil.

I doubt they will ratify right now (none / 0) (#195)
by r00t on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:53:13 PM EST

I doubt it, right now Oil is the key to controlling the world economy.. Which is why the EU wants alternative energy sources(Kyoto) and to keep Saddam in power. America wants to control the Oil, thereby controlling the economy and the world. If the EU is successful and kyoto leads the way to the production of alternative energy sources, then Oil becomes worthless.

-It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
[ Parent ]

Harsh critics (4.66 / 3) (#157)
by Silent Chris on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 01:36:20 PM EST

No, the harshest critics of Dubya's plans are found in Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

Actually, you will find the harshest critics of George Bush's plans (outside of Iraq) in America.  Many people (outside of the strongly conservative set) think Bush is an idiot, and is obviously using "terrorist war" for land grabs.  

You should see all the antiwar sentimism in NYC.  I recall seeing a poster just recently in a subway that said "Our grief is not a cry for war."  Indeed.

Putting up posters (4.00 / 3) (#175)
by kphrak on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:46:36 PM EST

You should see all the antiwar sentimism in NYC. I recall seeing a poster just recently in a subway that said "Our grief is not a cry for war." Indeed.

The problem with basing assumptions like that on the grafitti you find on the landscape is that conservatives, even reactionary conservatives, don't put up signs. They don't write "LIES" over the windows of the newspaper stands with a permanent marker...even if they don't like what they hear. I do not recall hearing of any incidents where they spraypainted "Fuck Clinton" on highway overpasses during his time in office. The closest they came to putting up posters that I have seen is in rural Washington State, where homemade billboards on their own property faced the highway. To my knowledge, moderates don't do this either. The only political leaning that makes a habit of putting up posters is the far left.

I'm not going to go into whether your conclusion is right or not, but the evidence used is at fault. Let's not mistake the unique habits of a group for mass sentiment.


Describe yourself in your sig!
American computer programmer, living in Portland, OR.


[ Parent ]
And the extreme right (think nazis) (5.00 / 1) (#287)
by mikael_j on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:31:56 AM EST

The main reason for this AFAIK is that they have little to no power and the established political parties do everything in their power to keep them getting their hands on some of that power...

/Mikael
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]

True (none / 0) (#221)
by epepke on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:38:42 PM EST

You should see all the antiwar sentimism in NYC. I recall seeing a poster just recently in a subway that said "Our grief is not a cry for war."

True. I actually traveled to NYC a couple of weeks after 9/11 to help out in the recovery efforts. I stayed in Greenwich Village, a brief walk from Ground Zero, which up until just before I got there was sectioned off. Everyone I spoke with expressed that sentiment.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Outside of the conservatives? (none / 0) (#367)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:46:16 PM EST

What, you mean the slightly less than 50% that voted for Gore?


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

This just in. . . (4.00 / 2) (#172)
by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 03:25:56 PM EST

According to YahooNews(sic) and the AP:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Facing strong opposition from dozens of nations, the United States has backed down from its demand that a new U.N. resolution must authorize military force if Baghdad fails to cooperate with weapons inspectors, diplomats told The Associated Press on Thursday.

It seems the proposed US compromise is considerably closer to the French two-step approach to inspections.

So much for scrapping the United Nations. George W. Bush - a "born again" multi-lateralist?

Simple negotiation (4.00 / 1) (#191)
by Torgos Pizza on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:37:39 PM EST

I pulled a similar stunt when I purchased my last car. My objective was simple, I wanted a new car. However, the dealer wasn't too keen on my demands.

I wanted it for considerably less than what the sticker showed and I wanted an extended warranty thrown in. The dealer hemmed and hawed until we reached a compromise.

If I just walked in and paid full sticker price I wouldn't have gotten the nice upgrade package at a discount, floor mats thrown in for free or the extended warranty at a discount. The dealer would have won.

The U.S. obviously used the same strategy. Do you think that if the U.S. came in and said, "Eh, whatever. As long as we get the documentation on your weapons of mass destruction" that would have solved anything? By taking a position of strength and using a bit a sabre rattling, France stepped in and offered a compromise -- which is the deal we really wanted anyway.

This was the plan all along from the beginning. Everyone on the security council knows it as well. Best of all, it's a win-win for Bush. He appeases the hardliners by at first showing his willingness to go it alone. Now he's gathering in the opposition by going along with his original plan of using the United Nations and diplomacy. The timing couldn't be better.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

Dubya's favorite negotiaon style (none / 0) (#215)
by CitAnon on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:02:51 PM EST

What you described has been Dubya's favorite negotiation style since he was a TX governor (did he really do anything before that?).

I'm not sure if the compromise is exactly what we wished for.  It may not be exactly what Rumsfield and sidekicks want, but it's evidently acceptable to Bush Jr.  

[ Parent ]

Update: It's not a compromise (none / 0) (#222)
by Lacero on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:39:26 PM EST

Newsnight here in the UK had a small section on this right at the end, it seemed like they'd only just got real infomation.

It seems the US hasn't backed down much at all, and some commentary suggested that France was unlikely to let it pass, and even if they did it was even more unlikely the resolution would get the 9 votes it needs in total.

Whoever spun that got away with it for at least 4 hours over here.

[ Parent ]

This is all because of IP laws. (2.30 / 10) (#178)
by Fen on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:03:38 PM EST

If we had no IP laws, inventions would happen much faster (dinosaurs disagree, of course, mainly because they are stupid). And we wouldn't have to deal with oil. Abolish patents and this would go away. Abolish copyrights and trademarks too. Unless you are a dinosaur.
--Self.
Large Picture, Larger Picture, Largest Picture (2.88 / 26) (#179)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:04:23 PM EST

First off, I am an American. Secondly, I was employed at 5 World Trade Center until September 11th, 2001. These facts may cloud my judgment. But I owe it to you to describe where I am coming from. Either way, listen to my words and decide for yourself whether the words I say are valuable on their own right, or clouded by my point of view. You decide.

I continue to hear criticism of America as it prepares to attack Iraq. I continue to hear historical allusions and present-day gripes about colonialism, oil-dependency, imperialism, erosion of rights, unilaterism, politicization, etc. Fine. Add your own concern to the mix. It's a big mix.

Say all of these gripes are true and wholesome and well-thought out and valid. Fine. Attacking Iraq has implications all over the place for many reasons and wth many grave concerns. Fine.

Yes George Bush is a warmongering idiot. Yes attacking Iraq is wrong and threatens the stability of the world. Yes this is the end of the hypocritical Pax Americana. Yes, yes, yes to all of your noble and illustrious and doctoral thesis quality analyses. Aren't we all a bunch of wise men sitting in a room here.

Follow the bouncing ball with me now please.

Terrorists attack the US with airplanes turned into cruise missiles killing thousands and destroying landmarks. Do all you wise men appreciate the trauma of that?

No, I mean, do you really? I mean really appreciate that?

Are you getting my point? Can you dismiss the horror and revulsion of the American people on what happened on September 11th?

3 million wise men in a discussion thread on kuro5hin with crystalline, historically-consistent logic be damned. 3 million wise men with well-reasoned arguments be damned. 3 million wise men on kuro5hin calmly lecturing about American hypocrisy, American responsibility, American history, etc. be damned. Fear, horror and revulsion of the people of a large and powerful nation carry the day, I am afraid, over all of your well-reasoned arguments.

Are you beginning to appreciate me here?

Why do I write these words? Because I am a lunatic and I am happy this is happening? No. Because my feelings are hurt and I need a shoulder to cry on and words of solace spoken to me? No.

Folks, I speak these words to you to give you all some clue about what is really going on here! Get a clue! All of your arguments are meaningless in the face of the real driving issues here!

We are on a descent path into Barbarism. The American people are not thinking with their heads, they are acting on their hearts. Please lecture them now on stuffy backroom history and political maneuvering. They are not listening. You are looking for clear, reasonable, and prudent action from a herd of buffalo trampling towards you. Spooked, afraid, hellbent on doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING to give them back their security blanket. You are speaking to a terrified, traumatized, and most importantly, POWERFUL people. Do you recognize the real issue now?

OK, now that some of you are beginning to board the clue train, maybe some of you can begin to address the real problem here. Not the idiocy of the actions of the American Government, past, present, or future, but the terrorists who would drive airplanes into skyscrapers, killing thousands. Terrorists who would gleefully nuke Americans given the opportunity. Do you deny that they would do this?

Do you appreciate the fear now?

If you scoff at my words as rabble-rousing, you just don't get it. If you wish to go back to your stuffy discussions, then fine, you are irrelevant. Because fear and rage are driving the issues here, not historical context. And I don't like a bunch of smart people who don't grasp this and refuse to incorporate it into their understanding of the world. History is not only moved by wise men, it is moved by frightened mobs too.

Do I like this? No! But I am smart enough not to deny it! You are all smart people. Please do not ignore this in your arguments and understanding of the world.

Understand American fear right now or not at your own peril. I am trying to clue you in to your own irrelevancy if you do not.

Folks, if you wish to move the argument forward on Iraq, you must make arguments that address this fear. Because this fear is already being acted on. The terrorists unleashed this fear. You can paint the terrorists actions anyway you like, but you cannot deny the end result: a headless, afraid America lashing out at enemies real and perceived.

The world is truly descending into Barbarism. Not all-of-a-sudden descent into the middle ages, but a teetering, slow meandering path downwards into war. Logic and well-reasoned wise men are not deciding the day here. Fearful, horrified people are. I am not spreading fear and uncertainty and doubt by writing these words, I am merely saying "Oh My Gosh! Look at all of the FUD you are ignoring." It's a 1 ton elephant sitting in the room with you. Don't ignore it in your arguments about Iraq.

If you wish to really, REALLY make a difference on the arguments over Iraq, you MUST address this fear in your arguments. Otherwise, you are all a bunch of stuffy wise men who NO ONE IS LISTENING TOO.

Now I am going to take a baby step forward. Some of you will be able to walk with me if you appreciate what I have said so far, some of you still in denial over this will not.

The terrorists are driving this visceral reaction of the people. The TERRORISTS ARE THE PROBLEM. NOT AMERICA. PRESENT American warmongering and belligerence over Iraq is a byproduct of terrorist acts. Focus your mental energies on stopping the rise of militant Islamic fundamentalism and it's root causes, and you pacify "oh so dangerous" America as well. Attack American belligerence while ignoring it's PRESENT terrorists causes and you don't pacify America.

America can not be reasoned with. America is hurt and afraid. America is acting on emotion, not logic. Use your mental energies to kill the snake that bit America. See the larger picture. Stop one and you stop the other. Terrorism bred in suffering of peoples whose suffering is NOT entirely caused by American policies. Understand that the MAJORITY of the root causes that feed militant Islamic fundamentalism is NOT American policies. Of course American policies plays a roll in the rise of militant Islamic fundamentalism, I am not disputing this. But not the MAJORITY. If you do not see that there are other larger causes of the rise of militant Islamic fundamentalism besides bad ol' America, then you are truly lost to the argument at hand.

Terrorists are destabilizing the world. If you wish to curtail America's idiocies, you will curtail that which makes it idiotic. The terrorism is driving America to act not on a logical, well-rounded, focused path, but on an irrational, fearful, dangerous path. Want to have America act irresponsible? Don't stand there and lecture America! It is not acting with reason, your lectures fall on deaf ears! If you want America to calm down, focus on what is making it act up: the terrorism!

TERRORISM IS THE SOURCE OF INSTABILITY ON THE WORLD TODAY. NOT AMERICAN ACTIONS, WHETHER ILL-CONCEIVED OR WELL-CONCEIVED.

Now, maybe some of you will focus your intellectual energies on the real problem now: terrorism! Not America!

That's my rant for the day. ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Who? (3.66 / 6) (#184)
by jefu on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:34:12 PM EST

"...The terrorists are driving this visceral reaction of the people. The TERRORISTS ARE THE PROBLEM. NOT AMERICA. ..."
The terrorists certainly lit the match, but the Bush administration, the news media and others are fanning the flames. If the white house/pentagon/... people were to stop talking about this so much, if CNN and the like were to be precluded from using it as a way to sell mutual funds, and if anyone using it for their own benefit were to be shut up a bit, we'd find a bit more perspective.

Yes, losing a couple big buildings and (fewer than) 3000 people was a shame and a tragedy to their friends and family, but put in any larger perspective, it was not all that major an event, nor was it anything near "world changing".

The thing that is most likely to be world changing is the way that the politicians are all jumping on the bandwagon to deny americans (slowly, but ever so surely) their constitutional rights, and to deny others in the world any rights at all.

[ Parent ]

you don't get it (2.22 / 9) (#186)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:52:56 PM EST

Yes, losing a couple big buildings and (fewer than) 3000 people was a shame and a tragedy to their friends and family, but put in any larger perspective, it was not all that major an event, nor was it anything near "world changing".

is that the sound of irrelevancy i hear? you posted. you took the time to write a post. you sat in front of your computer and you typed words into a text box.

but you didn't THINK.

to other people reading my reply to this guy's post right now: do you see the problem? this guy is EXACTLY the kind of person i am talking about when it comes relevancy/ irrelevancy on the question of attacking iraq. do you see how all of the disagreements over attacking iraq or not swing on this fundamental issue here? i really think considering the september 11th attacks as important/ not important is the issue which lies at the fundamental schism between those who wish to attack iraq, and those who do not. some people really do discount september 11th. and THEY JUST DON'T GET IT. and in a way, they really just fail to understand human nature.

to the fellow i am replying to: focus on the sentence you wrote and i quoted above very, very, carefully. now, repeat after me: "i don't get it". repeat 1,000x. read my post again. rinse and repeat UNTIL YOU F***ING GET IT.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Whatever it is (3.42 / 7) (#205)
by tonedevil05 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:30:19 PM EST

I certainly don't get it. On Sept. 11, 2001 19 people took over airplanes and crashed into the WTC in NYC. That is not a blank check to attack who ever might be irritating us now. Your comments are arogant and smug, the choir is saying amen but your not getting anybody on board. I am sorry to you for whatever loss you suffered but that is not enough to say go on a kick who ever you feel like till you feel better. So please dismount that horse of yours, he's high as a kite.

[ Parent ]
you don't get it either (1.33 / 6) (#210)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:41:58 PM EST

you can tell me to dismount. i'm not the problem. don't shoot the messenger. listen to the message.

ok, me, the messenger, i got off my warhorse. happy now? now say the same thing to the charging mob of angry, afraid 2 million buffalo behind the messenger coming right at you. go ahead. call a charging mob of startled and afraid people "arrogant" and "smug".

doesn't really change the direction of the mob, now does it? kinda like shouting at an avalanche, huh?

the choir is saying amen but your not getting anybody on board.

dude, listen very carefully now. i am not preaching to any choir. i am not trying to CONVERT you, i am merely explaining something to you, ok? listen to the substance of my argument, and stop trying to be persuaded by it. listen to the logic of my points, and don't worry about how many "hallelujah!"s i throw in. that's NOT THE F***ING POINT.

do you get what i am really trying to say yet? do you REALLY GET IT?

REALITY my friend.

BASIC HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY my friend.

it's not RIGHT. it's not WRONG. it's not ARROGANT. it's not SMUG. it JUST HAPPENS. adjust your perception of reality to take this aspect of human psychology into consideration, this fear, this anger at september 11th, and you will be better off for your time on this planet.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I said that genius (3.40 / 5) (#213)
by tonedevil05 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:58:44 PM EST

Whatever your it is, I don't get it. Using the attack on the WTC as justification for an attack on Iraq makes as much sense as using it to justify an attack on Finland. The two things are not related even though it might satisfy some need for revenge. Please look below you, the high horse is still there and you're still on it.

[ Parent ]
you said it (1.83 / 6) (#219)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:29:33 PM EST

you don't get it.

you may never get it.

there's always hope, so i'll say it one more time and you think about it:

1. america gets attacked by terrorists.

2. america is afraid and horrified. these terrorist will stoop to any low.

3. america sees a madman it once attacked developing nuclear weapons.

4. america is more afraid! america is angry! america wants to do something about it! america attacks iraq!

follow that? #4 there giving you some trouble? read my original post again. you'll get it someday i hope. however, when you talk about america attacking finland, if this really sounds as sensical to you as america attacking iraq, then you may be out of touch with the world on a caring level, a moral level, an interested and engaged level. in short, i seem to be talking to a cynical, highminded type. you don't add to the discussion on iraq, you just sit there and judge. how very nice of you. do you have a conscience? when you actually have a solution to iraq, then you should speak. if all you can do is criticize others who try to posit solutions to the problem, you're really not helping anyone are you? and if you say there is no problem, you don't get it to the point where it's not even funny.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I would have a hard time (2.75 / 4) (#226)
by tonedevil05 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:56:50 PM EST

saying that your 4 point timeline is inaccurate, if that is your point. We may well attack Iraq and pretend that has something to do with 9-11, or pretend that it will somehow make us safer from a repeat performance. If you are saying that there is any sense in that well that would be where I have to say you're wrong. What the hell makes you think there is anything to be done about Iraq, other than maybe try to help the millions of people who's lives we, the USA have made untenable. The threat is in your mind, and of course GWBs, and saber rattling like this is only going to stir something up till we can say "I told ya so" and go in shooting. How though do you see 9-11 justifying an attack on Iraq more than an attack on Finland. Nobody came from Iraq and drove planes into the WTC.

I really want to say above all you are one arrogant ass. You write like you think everyone-someone is hanging on your every word and waiting for the fount of wisdom that is your every utterance. News flash it ain't so.

[ Parent ]

HAHAHAHA (1.20 / 5) (#236)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:39:27 PM EST

I really want to say above all you are one arrogant ass. You write like you think everyone-someone is hanging on your every word and waiting for the fount of wisdom that is your every utterance. News flash it ain't so.

HAHAHAHAHA.

fair is fair. i attacked you personally. you attack me personally.

i am simply posting my thoughts on kuro5hin. that's what i thought this site was for. am i wrong? ;-P i don't think anyone is hanging on my every word. i think it. i write it. end of story.

don't like what i say? that's ok. then don't write back. otherwise, judging by the thread we have developed so far, you are the only one hanging on my every word! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ;-P

What the hell makes you think there is anything to be done about Iraq, other than maybe try to help the millions of people who's lives we, the USA have made untenable.

aw geez. here it comes. the tired, ever-reborn "everything bad that happens in the world is the fault of america" line. i love it. i live it. i eat it up. ;-P

you know what? i won't even argue you on that point. i am so tired of arguing that point. i'll leave it to your bountiful imagination to figure out how in reality THE MAJORITY OF EVERYTHING THAT IS BAD IN ANY GIVEN COUNTRY IS THE FAULT OF THAT COUNTRY! everything that is bad in a country is not the fault of the united states. except maybe in the... united states?! LOL ;-P

i will however ask you a question. if you were smart, you won't answer. but, since you're f***ing moron, you will probably try. LOL

if america invades iraq, will the lives of the average iraqi citizen improve? or get worse? pop quiz tomorrow. ;-P comparisons and contrasts to afghanistan, japan, germany, korea, the philippines, etc. are welcome.

oh by the way, i AM a smug arrogant ass. but your just a moron. LOL

SMOOCHES! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You are right (3.00 / 5) (#238)
by tonedevil05 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:51:27 PM EST

I have come to realize I am mud wrestling with a pig. I'm muddy as hell and the damn pig has enjoyed it too much.

[ Parent ]
the pig speaks (1.42 / 7) (#253)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:28:51 PM EST

this pig is going to attack iraq. learn to love it or get off the f***ing planet asshole. i offer solutions. look back on the thread. what do you offer? answer that question. know thyself. that is the punishment you will suffer, to know the content of your own character and see where it fails you and the rest of us.

this pig rolls around in your negative muck and feels real good. because if you are the best that can be thrown against my position on iraq, then i now really know i have made the right decision.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Wow, you're really stretching it here. (3.66 / 3) (#314)
by Veritech on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:07:04 PM EST

  1. You get attacked by a mugger.
  2. You are horrified, these muggers will stoop to any low.
  3. You see a guy you once attacked developing brass knuckles.
  4. You are more afraid! You are angry! You wantto do something about it! You attack him!

So fine, you agree with attacking Iraq, that's your opinion. Yet psychology is a pretty weak reason to tie the two unrelated events together, and an even weaker stance on attacking a country. It's like that speech good ole Colon Blow gave last night. Pepper it with enough Sept. 11th references to garner support. It's manipulative, disingenuous, and when you look past your sensitivity issue, it means you haven't a leg to stand on.

For the record, I think Saddam Hussein should be fed piece by piece to rabid penguins, but those are for a tangible reason, human rights. Not for the fact that some hillbilly is jumpy about an unrelated event.

[ Parent ]
wtf? (1.00 / 3) (#364)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:36:26 PM EST

so let me get this straight. you agree saddam hussein should go, right?

and you are watching the american doing what you just admitted you WANT to be done and you are calling him a hillbilly while he is doing it (nice slur there) and you are condemning him for doing it!

if you are saying that american arguments are stupid for getting rid of saddam, but you agree we SHOULD get rid of saddam, what the f*** do yu care why he is doing it! let us "hillbillies" get rid of saddam because we want to eat a ham sandwich in the middle of the hanging gardens! we are doing your bidding are we not? but no, americans can risk their lives to make the world safer for you, and the whole time you will sit there and ridicule the hillbillies. absolutely f***ing amazing the attitudes i come across.

there are really no ends to hypocrisy in this world!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Re: hillbillies and hells bells! (none / 0) (#495)
by Veritech on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 08:16:29 AM EST

if you are saying that american arguments are stupid for getting rid of saddam, but you agree we SHOULD get rid of saddam, what the f*** do yu care why he is doing it!

It's the principle in the methods the U.S. gov't plans to use - Which I happen to think is much more important than trying to play a psychology card. It simply takes the gaurd rails off too many slippery slopes. It's a "just because" answer. Unacceptable.

let us "hillbillies" get rid of saddam because we want to eat a ham sandwich in the middle of the hanging gardens!

Another "just because" line of reasoning. How about I get rid of you so I can eat a ham sandwhich in your living room? Make any sense? Hell no.

we are doing your bidding are we not? but no, americans can risk their lives to make the world safer for you, and the whole time you will sit there and ridicule the hillbillies. .

No, you're not doing my bidding. I'm an American, I didn't vote for the slack-jawed man-it that's in office right now. And I will ridicule people who want to go to war as if it's a "God" given right while using any weak argument they can formulate to back it up.

absolutely f***ing amazing the attitudes i come across

Hey, you're the one that's admitted being a smug, condescending ass. Check your own attitude before being bewildered by others. Of course, that's not the American way is it? What we want, we want know, damn anyone else? Come back when you have a real argument, and then we can talk.



[ Parent ]
Re: I said that genius (1.00 / 1) (#324)
by jazman_777 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:24:52 PM EST

Whatever your it is, I don't get it. Using the attack on the WTC as justification for an attack on Iraq makes as much sense as using it to justify an attack on Finland.

Now _there's_ a great idea! We've never beat on the Finns before, we need some variety, and it'll teach all those Scandinavians and other whatevers up there that we are On Top and In Control. Bill Gates would support it, for sure.

[ Parent ]

hahahahaha (none / 0) (#362)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:31:35 PM EST

very funny. very funny. i'm glad we all care so much to make jokes about such a serious issue. really, just really cool dude, you're so cool!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Rational vs. emotional (none / 0) (#475)
by chrisk on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 06:59:24 PM EST

You overestimate the emotional component and underestimate the rational component in the US response to 911. Iraq is entirely rational when you look at it from the hawks' perspective. And DON'T TYPE SO LOUD, it's groce.

[ Parent ]
It's not so absolute (3.50 / 2) (#187)
by inadeepsleep on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:10:01 PM EST

You make a lot of good points and I can understand your perspective, having been more personally affected than most Americans. Certainly what you say provides much of the support for Bush, but that's not the complete picture. Some people view things more dispassionately, and think that dealing with the situation proactively, as Bush is doing, is the right thing to do for maximum effectiveness. That doesn't make him a warmonger.

Certainly we live in turbulent times, but there's nothing unique about that. And we can hope for the future; don't be so pessimistic!


[ Parent ]

thanks (none / 0) (#189)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:14:25 PM EST

thanks for the comment. ;-) i didn't mean to sound so pessimistic. i have plenty of hope for the future. we are doing the right thing by attacking iraq. the world is not so cynical yet that there aren't people who still believe in positive proactive responsiblity. ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Excellent (3.75 / 4) (#188)
by epepke on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:12:57 PM EST

That posting was like a sip of a good lager in a wayhouse on a Bavarian alp after an all-day hike.

It put me in mind of the following passages from The Boomer Bible, which is an essential guide to anyone who wants to understand or at least apprehend the American character. Not that I've seen much evidence that anyone other that Alistair Cooke actually does, of course. Warning: it's kind of long, but the book it's from is around 1000 pages, so it isn't so bad in comparison. And it's offensive, but it belongs to the class of important statements that cannot be said inoffensively.

The Book of Yanks

Chapter 74

  1. Another great Yank cultural accomplishment was music,
  2. Because it was the Yanks who invented jazz,
  3. Which maybe had something to do with all the black people in the country,
  4. And helps explain why black people were almost always allowed to give concerts,
  5. Even though they couldn't buy a ticket to one.
  6. But the popularity of jazz hadn't really become worldwide yet at the time Woodrow Wilson became president,
  7. Because it was Wilson who was responsible for finally making the rest of the world notice that America was there,
  8. Whether they liked it or not.

Chapter 75

  1. Of course, when he started out, Wilson didn't have that much interest in the rest of the world.
  2. For example, it was during Wilson's first term that the Europeans finally went completely nuts and started World War I.
  3. Which most of the Yanks didn't understand,
  4. Or even care about,
  5. At all.
  6. After thinking it over very carefully,
  7. Wilson decided that the best thing to do about World War I was nothing,
  8. At all,
  9. Which was an enormously popular strategy,
  10. And got him reelected to a second term,
  11. With a huge mandate to keep on doing nothing at all,
  12. Which he did,
  13. Until something happened,
  14. Something that wouldn't have happened if the Europeans had known anything about the Yanks,
  15. Which they didn't.

Chapter 76

  1. What happened was that the Krauts sank a Brit ship called the Lusitania,
  2. Which was loaded with Yanks,
  3. In spite of the fact that the Krauts had warned the Yanks to stay away from Brit ships if they didn't want to get hurt.
  4. Of course, the Krauts thought it would be okay to give the Yanks a slightly more serious warning,
  5. Because they had always thought the Yanks were kind of silly,
  6. And undisciplined,
  7. And didn't know anything about fighting wars anyway,
  8. Because after all, just look at that gruesome little skirmish they had back there in the nineteenth century,
  9. Whic proved they didn't know anything about war.
  10. The only problem was, the Krauts had sunk a ship that had Yanks on it,
  11. Which meant that the Yanks would "Remember the Lusitania,"
  12. Forever,
  13. And would find a way to get even,
  14. No matter how much it cost,
  15. Because that's the American Way,
  16. And so forth,
  17. And so on.
  18. Besides, the more Wilson thought about it,
  19. The more he realized that it was up to the Yanks to save the Europeans from themselves,
  20. Because it looked very much to wilson as if the Europeans had just invented the concept of total war,
  21. Only fifty years or so after Lincoln and Grant had invented it.
  22. This meant that somebody would have to teach the Europeans to get along with one another,
  23. Because they couldn't just keep going out and slaughtering twenty or thirty million of each other's troops every few years or so,
  24. Indefinitely,
  25. Without causing major problems for everybody else,
  26. Including the Yanks.

Chapter 77

  1. And so, the Yanks declared war on Germany and Austria,
  2. So they could go over there and fight the war to end all wars,
  3. And save the world for democracy,
  4. Not to mention get even with the Krauts,
  5. No matter what it cost.
  6. Armed with these great principles, the Yanks drafted a whole bunch of doughboys,
  7. And sailed off to Europe to join the Brits and the Frogs in the enormous trench that had been dug in the middle of France,
  8. Where the combined military might of the most powerful nations on earth had been locked in mortal combat for years,
  9. Equipped with the most modern and deadly weapons anyone had ever seen,
  10. Which they fired at each other from point-blank range,
  11. Until the fields of France were soaked in the blood of tens of millions of dead Europeans,
  12. Including the blood of millions and millions of Krauts,
  13. Who should have had more sense than to sink a ship carrying several hundred Yanks,
  14. Because now they were really going to get it.

Chapter 78

  1. One hundred thousand dead doughboys later,
  2. The Krauts surrendered,
  3. Which is to say, they signed an armistice,
  4. Because Krauts don't like to surrender,
  5. Even when they're whipped.
  6. Of course, the actual terms of the peace treaty still had to be worked out,
  7. Which Wilson had a lot of ideas about,
  8. Because he really wasn't kidding about the war to end all wars,
  9. And making the world safe for democracy,
  10. And other stuff like that.
  11. Of course, the other Allies had some ideas of their own,
  12. Especially the Frogs.

Those who get the point of that passage are encouraged to buy the book. Those who want to talk about historical inaccuracy or offensiveness or something like, well, I've learned that there isn't much you can say to someone who seeks to miss a point.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
thanks! (none / 0) (#192)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:39:27 PM EST

so you are comparing the sinking of the lusitania to september 11th? not a bad comparison at all actually. and there is no offense to me in those passages. good read actually, thanks! have another lager in my name, since i can't actually buy a round for you. miracles of the internet are not quite there yet unfortunately! ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Sort of (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by epepke on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:00:06 PM EST

so you are comparing the sinking of the lusitania to september 11th? not a bad comparison at all actually.

Sort of, but not specifically. 9/11 and the Lusitania do both belong to the class of events that you can predictably expect Americans to go ape-shit over if you know anything about Americans at all. I picked that example from the Boomer Bible because it's self-contained and reasonably short. The passages on World War II are much longer and not so self-contained. But since I know where the book is and haven't lost it again, and I'm on a roll, here are two small chapters:

Chapter 106

  1. But then came the day that will live in infamy,
  2. Forever,
  3. Never to be forgotten by the Yanks,
  4. Ever,
  5. As long as there is still a single Yank alive to remember the exact moment when Japan and Germany lost the war,
  6. Which happened at seven o'clock A.M., Pacific time,
  7. On December 7th,
  8. 1940-something,
  9. When about a million Nip planes and ships came out of nowhere,
  10. And attacked Pearl Harbor,
  11. Without warning,
  12. Completely by surprise,
  13. And killed about two thousand Yanks,
  14. For no reason.

Chapter 107

  1. The Yanks were mad about Pearl Harbor, of course,
  2. But maybe not quite as mad as they were surprised,
  3. And offended,
  4. Because how did the Nips ever get the idea that a sneak attack on the Yanks was a good idea?
  5. After all, it hasn't ever been a good idea to make a Yank mad,
  6. Like with the Alamo,
  7. And the Maine,
  8. And the Lusitania,
  9. Which should have tipped off the Nips that if they did something to the Yanks,
  10. Something unspeakable like Pearl Harbor, for example,
  11. The Yanks would remember it,
  12. Forever,
  13. And find a way to get even,
  14. No matter how much it cost,
  15. And now that you mention it,
  16. Remember the Lusitania?
  17. Which explains why the Yanks declared war on Japan and Germany within a few hours of the attack on Pearl Harbot,
  18. Because they were all going to get it now,
  19. As soon as the Yanks remembered where they'd put their army and their weapons and other stuff like that.

BTW, of course you're not offended, because you already get it. I was thinking more of those who didn't already get it.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
LOL (none / 0) (#206)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:31:08 PM EST

oh i am so deeply offended! how dare you! LOL ;-P

sounds more like a beehive of angry bees at work. so if i study insect sociobiology will i have a better understanding of american character? LOL ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Read your history books! (none / 0) (#477)
by chrisk on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 07:12:19 PM EST

No, it's Hitler who declared war to the US about a week after Pearl Harbour. Not few historians believe that the US wouldn't have started fighting on the European front without Hitler's megalomanic move (he had a bad start in the Soviet Union about that time). The US are mostly rational in their foreign policy decisions.

[ Parent ]
Indeed (none / 0) (#470)
by tangocharly on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 01:40:28 PM EST

ROTFL
And those circlesomethings don't get it and will never do. :-)

[ Parent ]
You have a very good point (none / 0) (#193)
by Perianwyr on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:42:09 PM EST

Namely, none of this shit even matters anymore. If Iraq didn't want to die, they should have got ahead faster earlier in the game. I mean, anyone who's played Civilization knows this. No one's fault but the loser's. Remember, the map is now officially closed, and we don't have space colonies yet.

[ Parent ]
;-P (none / 0) (#224)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:45:48 PM EST

everyone knows you should play the aztecs in civilization. their jaguar warrior kicks the regular warrior's ass in the beginning of the game when it really counts ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
No, your judgement has been clouded. (4.50 / 4) (#194)
by Dr Wily on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:52:38 PM EST

You're quite right that all of this (or at least America's willingness to accept this) is about fear.  I'm with you on that.

What you "just don't get" is that terrorism is necessarily a reactionary phenomenon.  Terrorists strike at us because, wrongly or rightly, they believe that we have wronged, debased, and humiliated them and their countrymen for decades.  They also believe, rightly or wrongly, that based on the way we've acted in the past, we're going to keep acting that way unless they take action.  

If we continue to pretend, as you so vehemently proclaim, that the terrorists are the entire problem, and that we are guiltless, we will never solve anything.

[ Parent ]

guiltlessness (1.00 / 2) (#202)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:21:15 PM EST

What you "just don't get" is that terrorism is necessarily a reactionary phenomenon... If we continue to pretend, as you so vehemently proclaim, that the terrorists are the entire problem, and that we are guiltless, we will never solve anything.

no, look at my post again. i was very careful to bend over backwards and include american guilt in my opinion. of course america has blood on its hands. i would be a fool to dispute that. my point is that american guilt, and furthermore the degree of that guilt, does not, by any rough estimate or careful analysis, approach the majority of the causes of the suffering of the people that became terrorists. of course america helped shaped them! but the MAJORITY of their suffering is due to american policy? i mean, c'mon get real. they blame america for their suffering. fine. i blame kentucky fried chicken for giving me a heart attack. doesn't make me right.

but discussions of guilt are tangential to my main point. that is, september 11th figures heavily into american fear and resolve right now to attack iraq, and a lot people don't seem to get that. america guilty/ not guilty, whatever. we would not be typing these posts to each other at all, by far, if september 11th didn't happen. everything else figures into the discussion: history, guilt, hidden agendas, politics, etc. but nothing is so heavy in the discussion of attacking iraq or not as the attacks of september 11th and the fear they created. end of story, period.

it's a 500 pound gorilla in the room. you just can't ignore it when you talk about attacking iraq. september 11th carries more weight than every other issue on the subject of attacking iraq. you either get that, or you don't. i'm not saying that it is RIGHT that september 11th figures so heavily on the issue of attacking iraq, i'm not even saying it makes sense! (even though it does psychologically). what i am saying is simply this: how can you IGNORE september 11th when discussing america attacking iraq? you just can't do that. you fail to grasp fundamental human nature and human psychology if you do. and therefore, if you do ignore september 11th in your arguments about attacking iraq or not, then your arguments are irrelevant.

and as far as your characterization of the nature of terrorism, i would say that it is not reactionary in the majority, it is reactionary in the minority. if you start talking about american guilt, then you have to be intellecutally honest and talk about terrorist guilt as well. that's a door with a lot of guilt behind it! no one will defend terrorists and say september 11th was justified. and if that terrorism isn't even remotely justified, where is the logic that says "well, america did this, that, and other thing, so obviously america deserves to have airplanes flown into its skyscrapers and thousands of its citizens killed." where's the reactionary frame of mind there? that's nonsense to call terrorism reactionary. it's action, not reaction. it's taking things to a whole new vicious level, and it needs to be responded to. it is just inconceivable to expect americans, or any human society, to have something like september 11th thrust upon them and not to expect some sort of irrational, fear-motivated response. simple human psychology. you either get that, and include that in your arguments over iraq, or you don't, and your arguments become irrelevant. end of story.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
So then ... (3.85 / 7) (#204)
by Goatmaster on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:25:18 PM EST

So it's hard for me for what you shouldn't have to hear -- your nation is the terrorist most human beings fear. Nicaragua, El Salvador Colombia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Chile, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and more you have never hear of These are nations of people that deserve peace and security just as much as you do.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
geez (1.83 / 6) (#216)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:05:12 PM EST

ok, listen carefully.

america did bad things in every country you mentioned in the cold war, ok? are you happy now? is america 100% responsible for everything that went bad in these countries? no? how much responsible? 50%? 90%? 10%?

hard to tell? well, that's ok, but america didn't do ALL the bad, right? it was some of the bad? because we know that bad people live all over the world, right? there are bad people in america. there are bad people in brazil. there are bad people in germany. there are bad people in indonesia. right?

with me so far? (i feel like i am talking to a f***ing 8 year old, maybe i am. LOL)

These are nations of people that deserve peace and security just as much as you do.

did i say something that said they didn't? so tell me something. if terrorist america drove airplanes in to the skyscrapers of bogota, what should columbians do? should they fight back? you tell me? beginning to get it now?

so you are pissed off at terrorist america. good for f***ing you. join the big f***ing club. now that we know you hate america, let me ask you one thing. what should americans do about september 11th? lie down and cry about their evil guilt? is that what they should do? no, they should fight back? ok, you see the logic in that. so now what, genius?

i'll tell you what, you play out all the big questions about human nature and evil amerikkka in your head and you get back to us when you make some progress, ok kid? thanks for playing. geez ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
no (5.00 / 4) (#269)
by Goatmaster on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:38:35 AM EST

Well, I don't hate america, I just like pointing out its hypocracy, which you exemplify quite well. Unfortunately, I don't think the millions of innocent peasant Cambodians who died at the hands of the US could do much to fight back. But the resentment is still there I guarentee it. Now, let's apply this to the middle east. Most Arabians (i.e. residents of Saudi Arabia) are quite upset over the US's support of the House of Saud, and see the US as an enemy force occupying their lands. Now, what should they do? They fight back. But because they don't have an official military, they're called 'terrorists' when they fight.

Now that they've attacked their enemy (the US), some small-minded individual makes them out to be something evil when in fact the reaction of your country will be the analogous action.

This is all well and good, an eye for an eye and whatnot - it'll all send us to hell. The kicker is that the US pretends to be civilised and above all that, a true bastion of modern society. If this were true it would realise that going out and hurting people that did have something to do with it will just make the problem worse, because it is those actions that caused it in the first place? See the pattern developing here? I don't think you have to be very intelligent to realise this.

As an aside, I do enjoy it when people resort to personal insults - it indicates that they know they've lost the arguement.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
intellectual charity case. (1.00 / 3) (#336)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:41:50 PM EST

As an aside, I do enjoy it when people resort to personal insults - it indicates that they know they've lost the arguement.

dude i have nothing but smug condescension for you. partly because i am a smug asshole, but partly because you are so blithely out of touch with reason and caring, you are really no more than an intellectual charity case. i am continuing to write to you out of your benefit. how can i say such a thing? have anyone with half a brain who stands AGAINST invading iraq and they will shudder at the words you write. if you my fine feathered friend are the kind of person who stands against invading iraq and your arguments are the reason why we should not, then it is a laughable afterthought that we SHOULD invade iraq because you are so uncaring and so out of touch with reality!

so, my charity case, shall we support my position? look at your statement. your WORDS. what YOU SAY WHEN YOU WRITE. we are examining WHAT YOU THINK RIGHT NOW. ok? we have to move slowly here for you.

Unfortunately, I don't think the millions of innocent peasant Cambodians who died at the hands of the US could do much to fight back.

I am not going to argue with you, i am simply going to give ou a homework assignment. i want you to look up "pol pot" on the internet. i don't want you to read american "propaganda" about what happened in cambodia, i want you to read russian sources about what happened, thai sources, japanese sources, french sources, south african sources, brazilian sources, whatever. so that you can clearly understand what happened in cambodia. i want you to ask your most virulant anti-american/ anti-iraqi invasion friend and i want you to ask them what happened in cambodia. they will probably give a story, gee, i don't know, A MILLION F***ING MILES AWAY FROM THE WAY YOU DEPICT IT.

maybe then you will begin to understand how out of touch from reality you are, and how happy i am people like you exist. because if absolute morons like you so out of touch with reality are the type of people who oppose my views on attacking iraq, then attacking iraq is the best idea in the world!

ok, now that we have established what a moron you are, let us establish what an uncaring asshole you are.

Most Arabians (i.e. residents of Saudi Arabia) are quite upset over the US's support of the House of Saud, and see the US as an enemy force occupying their lands. Now, what should they do? They fight back. But because they don't have an official military, they're called 'terrorists' when they fight. dude, remember now, we are looking at YOUR WORDS. plain for everyone to see. we are examining the way YOU THINK. a way of thinking even the most anti-iraq invasion types are probably shuddering while they read this. that is why i describe you as an intellectual charity case.

ok, the us supports the house of saud right? the us supports the house of saud because they are oil-grubbing fossil-fuel burning assholes right? lets examine your logic, a common logic i have found a lot and just blows my mind: america is to blame for everything that goes wrong in the world.

a buttefly breaks it's wing in china. it is america's fault. why? because american aggression makes the chinese spend money on anti-american aggression efforts that would otherwise go to chinese nature conservancy. clearly, chinese butterflies breaking their wings is the fault of american policy.

a guy falls down the stairs and breaks his leg in sofia, bulgaria. clearly america's fault. why? well, in the cold war america fought communism and bulgarian agents were needed to fight this american aggression so the superintendent of the guys building was away fighting americans when he should have been repairing the stairs. clearly america's fault.

now, has america done evil, bad things in the world?

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYE SYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES!!!!!!

there are you happy now? i have admitted america has done vile, evil monstrous things!

so since i am such a great magnanimous wonderful person for admitting this CAN YOU PLEASE F***ING ADMIT THAT EVERY F***ING BAD THING THAT HAPPENS IN THE WORLD IS NOT AMERICA'S FAULT.

i mean REALLY people! how F***ING hard is it to come to this realization?! since when did america have a monopoly on evil in the world! trace every goddamn grudge you have against america back to it source and LOOK AT THE LOCAL LARGER EVIL AT WORK. the american addition to evil is a drop in the bucket!? furthermore, the good that america does in the world is MUCH LARGER. but we don't look at that do we, no, doesn't fit our propaganda.

so let's get back to the house of saud. i have laid everything out for you. i have been very slow and careful with my intellectual charity case to put all the pieces in front of you. i will ask you a simple question and you think nice and hard about it...

is the existence of the house of saud america's fault? is everything that the house of saud does america's fault? is even a majority of the badness that comes from the house of saud america's fault?

think, my friend. think really hard about this. MOST OF US HAVE ALREADY ARRIVED AT THE OBVIOUS ANSWER. but i am waiting with you and your slow molasses brain so you take your time, ok?

most of the bombers on september 11th were saudis. the MAJORITY of the suffering that made them terorrists WAS NOT THE FAULT OF AMERICANS. are beginning to get this into your thick skull? can you begin to wonder now about what america deserves and what it doesn't deserve?

The kicker is that the US pretends to be civilised and above all that, a true bastion of modern society. If this were true it would realise that going out and hurting people that did have something to do with it will just make the problem worse, because it is those actions that caused it in the first place? See the pattern developing here? I don't think you have to be very intelligent to realise this.

this is why you are an uncaring asshole. you are trying to tell me asswipe terrorists flying airplanes into buldings is america's fault. i have begun to show you why it is NOT america's fault. but EVEN IF america trained the terrorists, gave the terrorists plane tickets and said "kill us please!" YOU are more concerned with EXPLAINING AWAY the suffering of these people rather than EMPATHISING WITH THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT VICTIMS WHO DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE THAT DAY NO MATTER WHAT YOU F***ING THINK.

but you don't care about that. no. you are more concerned with explaining the terroritsts actions as making sense some how. so you are heartless. cold. an asshole. you don't care about human victims. you care about propping up your smug view the world. you have it all figured out. it's all america's fault. so america deserves anything terrorists do it, clearly. it makes sense. because america attacks people. so they should die. NO ONE ELSE IN THE F***ING WHOLE WORLD DOES EVIL THINGS ONLY AMERICANS. and we are to blame for that OF COURSE.

and if people suffer and it goes against the way you think, it is better to explain away their suffering than admit you are wrong. don't give me crap about caring about the suffering of cambodians, nicaraguans, salvadorans, columbians. why? here's the reason why:

i feel absolutely awful about the suffering of these people. everything should be done to make their lives less suffering and less death. AMERICA ACTIVELY IS MAKING THESE PEOPLE'S LIVES BETTER. do you want me to write 100 more pages and illustrate what good america is doing in the world? i'll leave it up to your exuberant imagination to try and think how maybe america does some good in the world. i have faith in you. ;-P

i have demonstrated i care. you have not demonstrated you care about anything except propping up your propaganda-ridden view of the world. you should, if you were a caring human being, admit to me that the suffering on september 11th was awful, undeserved, horrible, tragic, and requires a response! you demonstrate that you actually care about human suffering. i already have. i haven't seen one bit of concern for human suffering in any of your words. if you don't, you are eternally lost to the discussion at hand. you are stupid, and you don't care.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
and you sir (4.00 / 2) (#384)
by Goatmaster on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:15:07 PM EST

Are why Americans are consitered rude and stupid. Do your country a favour and shut your sphincter mouth.

... and so the Goatmaster has spoken.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
HAHAHAHA (1.80 / 5) (#386)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:20:14 PM EST

... and so the Goatmaster has spoken.

HAHAHAHA

do you walk around in a goatmaster outfit too? LOL

i am an american. i am rude. i am an arrogant foul mouthed asshole.

but i am not stupid.

and it is your eternal mistake that you do not see that.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX SMOOCHES ASSWIPE ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
indeed (5.00 / 2) (#387)
by Goatmaster on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:25:10 PM EST

In the parent comment we have an excellent example of the Liar's paradox.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
indeed (none / 0) (#388)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:26:44 PM EST

the following statement is true.

the preceding statement was false.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Sorry to interrupt (5.00 / 3) (#389)
by tarsand on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:49:14 PM EST

But I'm reminded of a quote I'd love to share with everyone after they're done reading the previous insipid comment.

The 100% American is 99% idiot.
      - George Bernard Shaw


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
good argument, but inconsistent (5.00 / 6) (#211)
by tichy on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:42:34 PM EST

You make an interesting argument; unfortunately you apply it inconsistently.

You say that America is reacting irrationally to terrorists. We shouldn't blame America for being irrational, but the terrorists. But why are the terrorists terrorists? You say it's not mainly because of America, but for other reasons. Fine, great. However, the terrorists say it's because of America, so they target you.... In other words, the terrorists also react irrationally to their perceived threat! If we excuse the US from the irrational and wrong behavior and blame the supposed source of this behavior, why not do the same for the terrorists? Therefore, the blame goes back to... you. So to stop the terrorists, we should stop you. And to stop you, we must stop yet another irrational, perceived threat of yours. And so on and so on... So the argument is flawed. When someone acts irrationally, they are always to blame; in this case both the terrorists and the US.

So, to address your conclusion:
TERRORISM IS THE SOURCE OF INSTABILITY ON THE WORLD TODAY. NOT AMERICAN ACTIONS, WHETHER ILL-CONCEIVED OR WELL-CONCEIVED.
Nope... irrationality and immorality are the sources of instability in the world today. In Baghdad and Washington, especially.

The observation you make about irrational decisions now is insightful. But I disagree with the conclusions and prescriptions you draw from it. When large masses act irrationally and let themselves be deceived or manipulated, or even just act out of genuine irrational impulse, the role of the thinking wise guy (as you put it) is not to shut up. It is to be as incisive, rational, clear, and informative as possible in an effort to make their fellow humans snap out of it as soon as possible. The long term goal being that everybody eventually become an enlightened wise guy and make their own rational decisions, and recurrences into irrational 'lapses' stop. This is not done by more disuassion and deceit, but by education and example.

[ Parent ]

yeah but (1.00 / 3) (#217)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:20:26 PM EST

yeah but dude, the moment you stop taking the irrational side of things into consideration is the moment you lose the argument on irrational situations. you can't just say "ok, world, listen me now, we're going to start acting rational now, ok?" and then everyone goes "oh yeah! duh! why didn't i think of that!" this is incredibly naive and ignorant of basic human psychology. i know you don't think this is really possible, but you do say "The long term goal being that everybody eventually become an enlightened wise guy and make their own rational decisions, and recurrences into irrational 'lapses' stop." as if you believe we're evolving into some sort of superlogical creature. not so. we will never be so rational, and we never should be.

human nature is irrational. humans do stupid pointless things. they always did. they always will. this is not pessimistic of me to say! it is, in fact, quite hopeful! we NEED irrational urges in our life to make it worth living. not all irrational excesses of human nature are bad. in fact, some are quite glorious, wonderful, and precious. so we will never be 100% rational.

the point is to channel all of this crazy energy into nondangeorus things. things not like airplanes into skyscrapers. obiviously, this makes no sense. the terrorists who did this were not born with this desire. what warped them into people who did this?

see, the point is that this irrationality, driving airplanes in to skyscrapers, is really not the same as america's irrationality: let's turn iraq into a democracy by force! both are irrational, but one is far more responsible and open to discussion with the world at large. so your whole discussion about terrorist irrationality being equated to american irrationality and feeding off of each other is moot. they are completely different beasts. on the scale of evil irrationality the terrorists past, present, and future actiions are FAR different in scope than anything america does as a nation. they therefore, are not interchangeable. the terrorist irrationalities and the american irrationalities do not interchange as you interchange them in your argument.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
nature of the human creature? (5.00 / 1) (#234)
by tichy on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:31:31 PM EST

the moment you stop taking the irrational side of things into consideration is the moment you lose the argument on irrational situations.
I agree - but there is a big difference between 'taking the irrational side of things into consideratoin' and justifying those irrational things. Taking them into consideration is the only way to understand reality, and maybe change it - justifying it is just a way to admit defeat.

as if you believe we're evolving into some sort of superlogical creature. not so. we will never be so rational, and we never should be.
human nature is irrational.
we NEED irrational urges in our life
I agree... we just don't need them shaping our important decisions, or at least, being the sole elements behind those decisions. Decisions such as how to govern ourselves, what is knowledge and how to find it, wether to lay nuclear devastation on other people, etc. Emotions and faith are very bad counselors for that. I don't believe we are evolving into a superlogical creature - I believe we are one. We are also a superemotional creature, a superreligious creature, a superstupid creature, and many other creatures. The problem is which creature to use at any given time and for what.

I believe it is (or should be) our long term goal to eventually be guided by reason in those decisions. I'm not alone in this belief ... I got Popper with me. And like he would say, human 'nature' is a myth. There is no such thing. It's used to do a magic trick: presto, abracadabra, here's some things we can never change, without ever actually proving they cannot be changed. It's used by the people who do not want those things changed or who've given up hope they can be changed.

The actions resulting from irrational decisions certainly can be measured against each other to see which one is more horrific. But it's a pointless excercise, because they are all horrific enough to warrant rejection from any moral rational human being. Also, I am not be so sure that 'America as a country' would not win this contest. Why do flying planes count and not, say, rigging elections, killing presidents, or giving money and weapons to dictators?

[ Parent ]

cool (1.00 / 2) (#239)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:00:50 PM EST

we got a cool argument brewing.

agreed. every decision we make in life, and therefore, every decision which ultimately defines our character, is written in the constant struggle between our animal gut reaction, and our ivory tower cold logic, that each and every human hears in their head. your concern is with the problem of the gut emotional reaction overwhemling our rational side. agreed, this is a problem... sometimes. sometimes it is not! sometimes it is FAR better to go with the gut!

i say to you there is just as much danger in following the ivory tower logic as there is in following the animal gut. both, when adhered to solely, are dangerous. it is the careful measure of both instincts, and the decision to choose which instinct at which time, which is the tricky part. but it is never entirely emotional or logical, on no matter what level of decision making you cite.

why? because of the unknown. our baser instincts guide us when we are confronted with unknown, new situations. logic guides us on more mundane situations we are used to, or can project past experiences on if the exeperience fits a certain pattern. but since there will always be the unknown out there, we can never completely lose the animal instinct. we will always need it to guide us at some point in the future when we come across a great unknown, whether terrible, or wonderful.

you refer to the hopelessness and the horror of listening only to the animal. bot really, both extremes are bad. cold logic with no heart is no better a guide in behavior than mindless gut reaction. you would probably allude to attacking iraq as an example of listening to the animal side in a horrific manner. you know what? i agree with you. it's not good attacking iraq. but the animal instinct can not be ignored on this issue of attacking iraq or not. it just can not be ignored. it can not be suppressed. you may say "well, amybe in your head, i am more-level headed." to which i say, you are only more lost in logical-decision making dominated helplessness. becuase only the animal on this issue promotes action which promises to right wrongs and ensure our safety. the logical side of things in the issue of iraq only says "wait and see, do nothing." doing nothing about nukes and madmen is the danger. succumbing to the animal madness of war when it comes to the situation of madmen with nukes is not the danger here.

The actions resulting from irrational decisions certainly can be measured against each other to see which one is more horrific... Why do flying planes count and not, say, rigging elections, killing presidents, or giving money and weapons to dictators?

do you see the conflict in your own words? of course they can be compared. there really is no comparison between giving money to a dictator and flying airplanes into a building? i wholeheartedly disagree with you. of COURSE both are bad. but also, of course, one is MORE bad by many orders of magnitude!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
A better Way to Defend against Terrorism (4.00 / 1) (#223)
by tangocharly on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:45:13 PM EST

We have a lot of bad and some good newspapers as nearly everywhere in the world and believe it or not: There have been a lot of reports about the influence of the terrorists attacks on the feelings of US-americans. Although your "rant" is important in this discussion this has already been well understood by most of the people I'm usually talking with.

Understanding these emotions does not mean that I agree with its results. When our government decided to send soldiers to afghanistan last year I was (and still am) strictly against it because military action against a folk will never help against terrorism. Look at the "efforts" in Afghanistan since last year: The taliban are somewhere distributed at the region, some more thousands of people have died, cultivation of opium has grown to 500% in one year, local warlords have increasing influence.
Maybe you should start learn of other countries: We have much more experience with terrorism in our own country than USA has and from that times we got the experience that action against terrorism can only be a combined effort of
  • work by police and justice,
  • public support,
  • understanding the roots of terrorism in order to eliminate the reasons.

    Revenge against poor peoples might be a good medicine for your national mood but will never be a successful way of fighting terrorism. It's up to you and your intelligence which kind of life you will have in future. The centuries of cowboys and nationalists are gone. This is the 21th century and it's one world.

    [ Parent ]
  • huh? (2.50 / 2) (#227)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:57:40 PM EST

    wait, do you really think afghanistan is worse off today than it was 2 years ago?

    Revenge against poor peoples might be a good medicine for your national mood but will never be a successful way of fighting terrorism.

    revenge against the taliban and al qaeda you mean right? because the poor people you refer to are better off now! no? how can you dispute that afghanistan is not better off today than it was before intervention?

    The taliban are somewhere distributed at the region, some more thousands of people have died, cultivation of opium has grown to 500% in one year, local warlords have increasing influence.

    dude! the taliban don't run the country no more! they are scattered and broken and weak. sure they will bomb a few innocents for the next few years, but it's a lot better than if they ran the whole country and made the whole of the ocuntry suffer under their insane tutelage. opium cultivation was cut by the taliban no by them saying "hey nice farmer could you stop growing that please?" do you want to know what methods the taliban used to stop opium cultivation? warlords do have increasing influence. warlords have been running the area for centuries. american/ british/ turkish/ canadian/ etc. tutelage knows they must decrease the influence of the warlords and they won't leave the country until it is certain the warlords won't threaten the fledgling democracy. how in any way can any of this be seen as worse than before?

    if iraq is invaded, much can be said of the fate of the iraqi people. the americans don't hate the iraqi people! they hate saddam hussein!

    The centuries of cowboys and nationalists are gone. This is the 21th century and it's one world.

    dude! what do you call saddam hussein? a pastoral farmer type? there's your cowboy nationalist. we are trying to get rid of him! geez ;-P

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Speak to the People! (4.33 / 3) (#237)
    by tangocharly on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:42:13 PM EST

    Speak to the people! Ask them! Stop believing what the corrupt propaganda is telling you!
    A lot of Iraqi are against Hussein because they fear his regime and his police. And a lot of them are against US-americans and British because they sent them bombs. Having to decide between oppression and death is not really a decision.
    Afghanistan: The new government has never been stable. Most women are still wearing the clothes their religion leaders are telling them to wear. The local warlords are stronger than before. People fear the foreign soldiers because those killed their brothers and sisters. Do you really believe that they will forget? Dude are you! The aggressor in Afghanistan was the NATO, the aggressor in N.Y. were some terrorists. People are simple, they cannot see a causality. They got killed for something they never had influence on. It was just revenge for some thousands american, simple, primitive revenge.


    [ Parent ]
    i agree 100% (?!) (3.00 / 4) (#242)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:19:50 PM EST

    ok, let's talk to the people. no propaganda. what you really THINK. what i really THINK.

    i want you to tell me an afghani is not better off now than two years ago under the taliban. i want you to tell me an afghani doesn't KNOW it was the americans, canadians, british, turkish, etc. who helped them to this better life without the taliban. i want you to tell me that positive results are impossible from military actions which topple insane theocracies like the taliban.

    Having to decide between oppression and death is not really a decision.

    so the americans want to kill iraqis? we hate iraqis? or do we hate saddam? if america invaded iraq, are we going to kill all of the iraqis? or are we going to instill a democracy and stay there until it works like we are doing in afghanistan? decide between oppression and death? or decide between oppression and democracy? is this "corrupt propaganda" coming from my mouth? or maybe it's OBVIOUS F***ING COMMON SENSE? you are the one listening to propaganda if you believe the choice is between oppression and death for the iraqis. do you really, really believe americans hate iraqis and want to kill iraqis? do you REALLY believe that?

    The new government has never been stable. Most women are still wearing the clothes their religion leaders are telling them to wear. The local warlords are stronger than before. People fear the foreign soldiers because those killed their brothers and sisters. Do you really believe that they will forget? Dude are you!

    the new karzai government is stable, it is being sternly midwifed by the americans, canadians, british, turkish, etc. until it grows storenger and can stand on its own. the local warlords have been there for centuries. this is not cause nor effect of an NATO action. this is afghanistan. the warlords will fade into history when the people see their well-being is to be found in democracy rather than barbarism. as far as women wearing burqah's is concerned, of course they are strill afraid of the power fo the taliban! but whose fault is this? and what path will lead the women away from the burqah? letting democracy in afghanistan grow more? or walking away from it and giving the country bakc to the taliban? people fear foreign soldiers? of course they do! they are afraid of the taliban too! they should be afraid of both! but the foreign soldiers are busy working to make their future safer. the taliban was worried more about recreating a 13th century theocracy. i don't believe they will forget, i believe they will REMEMBER THE GOOD THAT WAS DONE FOR THEM BY NATO. duh! dude! ;-P

    People are simple, they cannot see a causality. They got killed for something they never had influence on. It was just revenge for some thousands american, simple, primitive revenge.

    i have more faith in human nature than you. you have no faith in human nature. you are naive and inexperienced in human nature. we will see who is right. the one who belives in humanity, or the who thinks they can't "see causality." as far as revenge goes, if a BETTER life than under the taliban is revenge, please have some revenge on me because that's some weird kind of revenge! NATO did not go into afghanistan to kill people for dead americans. they went into afghanistan to clear up a dangerous place that bred instability in the world. now it is more stable! now things are better!

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Fear (5.00 / 1) (#275)
    by nanobug on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:50:30 AM EST

    I'd just like to comment on something and draw an analogy to clear it up for our liberal readers who dont quite understand.

    Sometimes, as a parent, you've got to instill the fear in a child to do things for their well being. Maybe you've got to yell, maybe you've got to give them a smack on their butt.

    When he stated "They're afraid of us, and of course! They should be!" He was right.  We've got better weapons, a strange language, and we killed a lot of their countrymen.

    However, look at it like this.  WE - America and our Allies in this matter, are the parent.  The civilians in Afghanistan are like adopted children. Adopted TEENAGE children.  They've been around the block, and they are not clueless. Not only do we have the task of giving our newly adopted children a good upbringing, but we must deal with the acting-out that comes with adopting a child, for their former parents were foul and corrupt.  These children were ABUSED.  They're likely to be scared, and not know what to think. They're going to act out.  They're going to want to hang out with bad people, because bad people appeal to their fears. They probbably don't trust us, because we are moral, and they have been raised in an immoral way -- however, that doesn't mean we should be overly compassionate for them and let them do what they want.  We MUST nurture them, and sometimes, love is tough. As a parent, as much as I hate to do so, sometimes I've got to raise my voice and yell to get my point across -- especially if my daughter could potentially hurt herself.


    [ Parent ]

    Re: Fear (4.00 / 1) (#321)
    by jazman_777 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:08:06 PM EST

    However, look at it like this. WE - America and our Allies in this matter, are the parent.

    All I see in your comment is hubris. Yes, Father Knows Best and all that.

    [ Parent ]

    all you see (1.00 / 1) (#340)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:40:09 PM EST

    all you see is hubris. is that his fault or yours? LOL ;-P

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    bravo (1.00 / 1) (#339)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:39:33 PM EST

    bravo. bravo. bravo.

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Abusing children (none / 0) (#469)
    by tangocharly on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 01:21:19 PM EST

    I'd just like to comment on something and draw an analogy to clear it up for our right wing readers who dont quite understand:

    Comparing your own folk with "parents" and another folk with "their children" is the basic element of apartheid and it is the major argument of dictators against democracy.

    [ Parent ]

    Goals of Wars (none / 0) (#468)
    by tangocharly on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 01:07:33 PM EST

    so the americans want to kill iraqis?

    AFAIK killing human beings is a basic element of war, so if you mean that americans who plan to invade Iraq this question should be quite simple to answer!

    NATO did not go into afghanistan to kill people for dead americans. [..]

    Well, of course this is what some western politicians are telling the public and actually this is what you want to hear, isn't it?

    It's up to you whether you believe it or recognize that it's propaganda. We all know that there are some western economical interests in the middle east on the one hand and that there are some western politicians on the other hand who fear to get thrown from the office because of the current economical crisis. Establish an enemy against whom you can unite your nation and your folk will forget their economical situation and will forget to kick you from the throne. Old trick but it still works. And don't forget: USA has the largest professional army of the world and those professionals need something to do. :-(

    [ Parent ]

    Iraq attack being driven by popular demand? (5.00 / 2) (#228)
    by wji on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:57:52 PM EST

    Er, how can this be true given that support for an attack has been hovering up and down around 50%, and the only concerted activist campaign on is a "don't attack Iraq" one?

    American foreign policy is not now and has never been driven by the American people.

    You write that "TERRORISM IS THE SOURCE OF INSTABILITY ON THE WORLD TODAY. NOT AMERICAN ACTIONS, WHETHER ILL-CONCEIVED OR WELL-CONCEIVED." I disagree. I think well-conceieved American terrorism is the biggest source of instability in the world today. Not mistakes, deliberate acts of terrorism by America's leaders. Which are far, far more destructive than anything some punk in Afghanistan with an AK-47 has ever pulled off, or probably ever will.

    But let's forget about that, and say bin Laden's behind 90% of the world's evil and America 10%. Where is it proper for us to focus our intellectual energies? America, of course.

    Bin Laden is not going to realize the errors of his ways no matter how many "bin Laden is a big fat doogie head" op-eds appear in K5 or for that matter the New York Times. But the American government *can* be restrained by the American public. We should concern ourselves with what we can stop.

    In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
    [ Parent ]

    i can't believe some people (3.00 / 5) (#232)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:23:57 PM EST

    American foreign policy is not now and has never been driven by the American people.

    it's a DEMOCRACY, no? if the american people don't like someone in office doing something in their name, they vote him or her out, no? point a. point b. gee look at the line there. ;-P

    I disagree. I think well-conceieved American terrorism is the biggest source of instability in the world today. Not mistakes, deliberate acts of terrorism by America's leaders.

    please, please, PLEASE say that you equate the terrorist actions of september 11th with the "terrorist" United States. please say that this is what you are really saying. then there, for the whole world, will stand a voice which demonstrates the outright uncaring, immoral, disengaged, conscience-lacking attitude which lies behind some do-nothing opinions on the question of action in iraq. PLEASE say you really equate american activities with "terrorism". please say this so it will be on the record what kind of uncaring types exist out there. the more you talk about "american terrorism" the more of an idiot you sound like and the more turn to what i am saying and support action on iraq. so PLEASE keep on talking about "american terrorism", i beg of you. you lack a HUMAN CONSCIENCE if you equate events like september 11th with american foreign policies, no matter how evil. YOU CAN'T BLOODY GET MORE F***ING EVIL THAN DRIVING AIRPLANES INTO SKYSCRAPERS YOU STUPID SOCIOPATH. do you have a heart? do you have empathy? grow a f***ing heart and demonstrate some f***ing empathy asswipe. if you had a heart, there is no f***ing way you would dance into a discussion of "american terrorism" when september 11th is being discussed. absolute f***ing clueless moron.

    Bin Laden is not going to realize the errors of his ways no matter how many "bin Laden is a big fat doogie head" op-eds appear in K5 or for that matter the New York Times. But the American government *can* be restrained by the American public. We should concern ourselves with what we can stop.

    where do you live? becuase the next bomb that happens in the world, like bali, i am certain you will have no feeling for the victims whatsoever, because we can't do anything about bin laden, right? because he has no conscience so he won't listen to you, right? so just let him keep bombing and bombing and bombing, right? while the americans, who are trying to prevent nuclear weapons from getting into his hands, they can be stopped. why? because the americans have a conscience, right? because they listen, so place your energies there, right?

    so, in effect, you are saying, let bin laden keep killing thousands, even though he would love to get a nuclear weapon, becuase he doens't have a conscience so we can't do anything about him. while the americans, in your own words, can be stopped because the governement listens to their people, right? so they have a conscience. so stop those who have a conscience form doing anything about the peopel who have no conscience, right?

    i ask again, where do you live? manhattan yesterday, bali today, paris tomorrow. you obviously don't care about any of these victims. so when someone gets killed by bin laden that you actually know who lives where you live (impossible? do you see him STOPPING?)... and then you actually demonstrate some feelings because it personally affects your selfish self, how are we to weight these words you speak now about bin laden? huh genius?

    go ahead, you go on with your bad self. you keep talking words like these. go ahead. it's all on the record for all to see, and more importantly, for YOU to see. to know yourself. do you know what kind of person you are? do you know what you demonstrate about yourself by these words? the carelessness? to know your own heartlessness. go ahead. keep talking buddy. it only gets deeper the more you dig.

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Oppose *all* terrorism. (5.00 / 3) (#325)
    by wji on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:40:00 PM EST

    it's a DEMOCRACY, no? if the american people don't like someone in office doing something in their name, they vote him or her out, no? point a. point b. gee look at the line there. ;-P
    Well, gee, that's the theory. With empowering, honest media and actual working democratic structures, it might even be the practice. But how are Americans supposed to oppose the invasion of East Timor if they don't know what the hell East Timor is? How do they oppose the sanctions on Iraq if they're being told that the claims of mass civillian death due to sanctions are all coming out of Baghdad? How do they oppose Turkish ethnic cleansing against the Kurds if they've never heard of it? How do they oppose the Israeli occupation if all they ever hear is Arab terrorism, Arab terrorism, Arab terrorism (assuming they even know about the occupation at all, which the Glasgow University Media Group found they didn't even in the slightly more open UK media)?

    Did the American people call for America to restore French colonialism in Vietnam, and then invade once they couldn't prop up their dictator? Did they call for opposition to a peaceful settlement in the Middle East? How about a policy of destroying independent, popular, leftist governments wherever possible (Greece, Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia, Zaire, Cuba, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Greece again, Chile, Jamaica... Venezuela just recently... that's just off the top of my head, there are more...)? Did they demand that?

    please, please, PLEASE say that you equate the terrorist actions of september 11th with the "terrorist" United States. please say that this is what you are really saying.
    Oh no, I would never equate 9/11 with US foreign policy. There's no comparison. 9/11 is like a moderately bad week in American foreign policy. Timor alone is at least a hundred 9/11s, the Iraq sanctions another few hundred... the terrorism against the powerful by the weak doesn't even begin to approach being comparable to the terrorism that goes the other way. The bombing of Afghanistan, alone, not talking about second-order effects like starvation here, almost certainly killed as many or more people as did the 9/11 attacks. And the Afghan bombing campaign was pretty decent as American bombing campaigns go.
    then there, for the whole world, will stand a voice which demonstrates the outright uncaring, immoral, disengaged, conscience-lacking attitude which lies behind some do-nothing opinions on the question of action in iraq.
    Erm... it's the exact opposite of "uncaring, immoral, disengaged, conscience-lacking" to care about atrocities you're responsible for.

    As for doing nothing about Iraq, I don't say we should do nothing. First thing we should do is lift the sanctions. Second thing we should do is stop trying to thwart weapons inspectors. In the long term we should be working with the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam and put in a government actually responsible to them. And of course we owe massive reparations, billions at the least. It's no more a "do-nothing opinion" to say this than to say "we shouldn't invade Canada" is a "do-nothing opinion" on "the question of action in Canada".

    PLEASE say you really equate american activities with "terrorism". please say this so it will be on the record what kind of uncaring types exist out there. the more you talk about "american terrorism" the more of an idiot you sound like and the more turn to what i am saying and support action on iraq. so PLEASE keep on talking about "american terrorism", i beg of you. you lack a HUMAN CONSCIENCE if you equate events like september 11th with american foreign policies, no matter how evil.
    Really? Applying consistent moral standards to your own actions as well as your enemy's is lacking a "HUMAN CONSCIENCE"?

    I have a question. Would you say it's wrong to "equate events like september 11th with Chinese foreign policies, no matter how evil"? I mean, there are a lot of things wrong with statements like that. For one thing it presumes, without even looking, that American foreign policies by definition cannot cause "events like september 11th", "no matter how evil". If you want to know what's "worse" or "more evil", you have to actually look at American foreign policies and examine their effects. But you don't seem to want to do that.

    YOU CAN'T BLOODY GET MORE F***ING EVIL THAN DRIVING AIRPLANES INTO SKYSCRAPERS YOU STUPID SOCIOPATH.
    Of course you can. You could enact sanctions on Iraq designed to destroy the economy and make it impossible for the Iraqi people to eat, killing an estimated 500,000 children under the age of 5. You could deliberately attack Iraqi sewage and water treatment facilities and then prevent their repair -- ie, biological warfare. I don't know how to quantify "evil" but these actions have certainly killed many times more people than died on September 11th. As have others. Nobody knows how many died as a result of Clinton's bombing of a crucial medicine factory in Sudan, but it's estimated in the tens of thousands. That's pretty small as superpower atrocities go. Happens to have killed a minimum of three times as many as bin Laden ever did. There's a man who lives in New York City, in fact, who's been convicted of killing about as many people as bin Laden. Name of Emmanuel Constant, he used to run the Haitian death squads. Trained, if I recall, in the School of the Americas at Fort Benning Georgia, probably the most prolific terrorist training camp in the world.

    If you'd like, go through my 2000+ k5 comments and my stories and my diary entries, and find a single statement that can honestly be said to justify or defend the atrocities of September Eleventh. You won't.

    do you have a heart? do you have empathy? grow a f***ing heart and demonstrate some f***ing empathy asswipe. if you had a heart, there is no f***ing way you would dance into a discussion of "american terrorism" when september 11th is being discussed. absolute f***ing clueless moron.
    Uh, someone who actually has "empathy" has it for all victims, not just those his political rulers claim are worthy of sympathy. September 11th was a horrific, shocking atrocity. The fact that it was pretty small by world standards is a reflection on the world standards of this horrifying planet, not on 9/11 itself.

    The reason I get into "American terrorism" is because it's appropriate. It's appropriate for understanding a lot of the world's reaction to this, appropriate for understanding where 9/11 came from -- the networks presumed responsible were established originally by the CIA -- and appropriate in a general discussion about terrorism.

    where do you live? becuase the next bomb that happens in the world, like bali, i am certain you will have no feeling for the victims whatsoever,
    Of course I'll have feelings, just like I had feelings a couple years ago about Timor (four or five islands down the chain) when it was a US-sponsored atrocity. That reaction is a lot more honest and morally clear than ignoring atrocities that are convenient for your country's political leadership. But I would write an op-ed about Timor but not Bali. Well, the first reason for that is the Timor atrocities were way, way bigger. But say they were equivalent in size. I'd still write about Timor over Bali. Because activism can stop the Timor atrocities (and that's not theoretical, it DID stop the atrocities). No matter how much public awareness and revulsion about acts of bands of terrorists in Bali there is, the terrorists aren't going to stop. Congress is not authorizing arms shipments to these guys. A phone call from Washington DC to Jakarta is not going to cause the head terrorist to retire (which it did in the case of Suharto) and lead to democracy.

    It's a basic moral point. You concern yourself with what you can affect. If I was a Russian I'd be writing about Chechnya, and probably some things I've never even heard of. If I was a Swede I guess I'd worry about Swedish arms sales, or whatever (Sweden has a pretty big "defense" industry for its size -- Bofors guns, domestic subs and jet fighters...) That's why there are anti-war marches but not anti-bin Laden marches. Bin Laden does not care how many "infidels" oppose him. A show of popular opposition is not going to restrain him.

    I'm showing sympathy because we can't do anything about bin laden, right? because he has no conscience so he won't listen to you, right? so just let him keep bombing and bombing and bombing, right?
    Well, no, you try and stop him. There are methods to do that. You go to the appropriate international authorities, or the US courts if you like, present evidence for an indictment, and get it. You ask for extradition from wherever you think he is. If you can't get it you go to the Security Council and get authorization for a police action to extradite the suspect. Note that this would not have been necessary. The Taleban repeatedly made offers to extradite bin Laden if they got some kind of evidence and knew it would avoid war. These efforts were ignored. I wasn't reading the CIA reports, but my suspicion is bin Laden would be awaiting his death sentence right about now if that course had been followed.

    If you accept that the acts of terrorism which bin Laden (presumably) committed against the US entitle the US to bomb Kabul, you had better also accept that the acts of terrorism which Emmanuel Constant committed against Haiti entitle Haiti to bomb Washington. Or that the acts which Bill Clinton committed against Sudan entitle them to bomb Washington.

    while the americans, who are trying to prevent nuclear weapons from getting into his hands, they can be stopped. why? because the americans have a conscience, right? because they listen, so place your energies there, right?
    Umm... insofar as "the americans" are trying to stop nuclear proliferation I support them. Insofar as "the americans" are prosecuting agggressive wars I oppose them. Where are you getting the idea that I "oppose America", as in oppose everything America does, whether or not it happens to do good?
    so, in effect, you are saying, let bin laden keep killing thousands, even though he would love to get a nuclear weapon, becuase he doens't have a conscience so we can't do anything about him.
    Insofar as we can do the right thing about bin Laden, we should. There are other options besides arbitraily bombing countries that have nothing to do with him. I'm not being faceitous or sarcastic when I say that according to all the evidence we have, Germany and Canada played bigger roles in the September 11th attacks than Iraq. Saudi Arabia played a crucial role, for that matter. Shall we bomb Germany, Canada, and Saudi Arabia?
    while the americans, in your own words, can be stopped because the governement listens to their people, right?
    When forced, yes.
    so they have a conscience. so stop those who have a conscience form doing anything about the peopel who have no conscience, right?
    Uh, no. Stop terrorism whoever's doing it, whether it's Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush. And do it in a moral way. Bombing arbitrary countries, killing thousands of people, and replacing their leaders with friendly dictators is not the way to stop terrorism. It is terrorism.
    i ask again, where do you live? manhattan yesterday, bali today, paris tomorrow. you obviously don't care about any of these victims. so when someone gets killed by bin laden that you actually know who lives where you live (impossible? do you see him STOPPING?)... and then you actually demonstrate some feelings because it personally affects your selfish self, how are we to weight these words you speak now about bin laden? huh genius?
    Well, I really won't know until it happens. But I suspect it would strengthen my beliefs. Do you really think that what you had to go through on that morning was different than what a Chechen or Iraqi goes through when they get bombed?

    By all means, oppose terrorism. But oppose all of it.

    In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
    [ Parent ]

    this is cool (3.00 / 1) (#338)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:34:49 PM EST

    you i respect.

    no really, i am not being facetious or sarcastic. you obviously do care. so first, please let me apologize to you for saying you don't care. no really! i really believe you do care! i owe you that apology. you, i respect. i can have a serious discussion with you.

    i think it would be safe to say you think i care to. and i do! so i think we are both in agreement on that, and can have a real discussion possibly.

    so, we both care deeply about the world and it's peoples. yet we arrive at two entirely different positions on iraq. let us honestly see if we can arrive at what divides our positions on iraq. no really, a real discussion.

    first let us assume the words you have written are meant to persuade me to your position. i sit here, i listen. i am not persuaded. why? because you have a way of thinking which paints america as responsible for so many evil things in the world.

    that is ok that you think that. i can work on that. we can start our discussion with this issue: how much is america responsible for in the world? really, i want you to honestly justify your statements about haiti and east timor. i want you to justify america's responsibilities there.

    let me propose something to you. say the earth went into some science fiction universe where one day, america was there, the next day, america wasn't. i want you to describe to me what good things would happen because of this, and what bad things would happen because of this. no really. this will begin to bridge our gap in understanding about america's role in the world.

    i honestly, honestly believe, that too many people ascribe too many atrocities to america. and i think they do this out of simple psychology. truly the us is the most powerful nation in the world right now. being the biggest and baddest thing around, almost everything that goes wrong in the world it gets blamed for. this is ok. ok until things like september 11th happens. then, grumbling about bad ol' america is a serious issue which has to be dealt with. i must, as an american, go out into the world, lsiten to people describe america's evil, and either accept it as my guilt, or, as i really think i will do in the case of talking with you, convince you that you have a convenient psychological ploy in which to attribute the fact that there are a lot of bad people in the world doing a lot of bad things, and america is to blame. really? how is this? think about that. most of the evil in the world has nothing whatsoever to do with america, but you stand in a fairly easy psychological position to be manipulated into thinking "yeah, this that and the other thing: america's fault."

    i say to you the vast majority of evil things that happen in the world have nothing whatsover to do with america. haiti? what of the ton ton moucoute? they train in america? fine. say they trained in samoa. it's the samoans fault what these haitians do to their own people?

    and again, you talk about east timor, yet not even ONCE did you mention the government of indonesia, who clearly is to blame. this is inconceivable to me that you can care so mcuh about the issue and completely miss indonesia's role in it's own territory? but somehow the great invisible hand of american evil reaches around the world and shoulders the majority of the blame there. obivously, right? america is evil, duh!

    let me demonstrate. somalia. remeber the us involvement there? i am not saying by this example "look at the good america does" even though there is no oil there. just an attempt at helping out the people there. but that is not my point. by trying to do good there, americans were killed, and the propaganda in somalia went along the lines of "evil america invading", neocolonialism, they have anti-muslim intentions, etc, etc. when obvious to you and me that whole mission was well-meaning. but if the people of somalia can think that about the americans because of their point of view, do you see how maybe in your mind america's evils are shall we say, a little inflated in a similar way as the average somali fell victim to the propagnada about america's role there? and you let the evil in your mind inflate because blaming evil on america is convenient? by doing that, you don't have to look deeper into true evil which exists in the hearts of all men and women, no matter what their nationality?

    and al qaeda. it opposes america. fine. it wants to create a pan-islamic 13th century theocracy in every muslim country and punish the heathens who live elsewhere. is this america's doing? my point is not to say what al qaeda is right or wrong, it is clearly worng. but my point is that should america disappear off the earth tomorrow, and al qaeda grew and shoved aside people in it's quest for what it wants and hurt thousands more, with no america to blame, whose fault is the evil of al qaeda? do you get my point? if america disappeared overnight, what would al qaeda do? would it say "well, america is gone, so lets sit around and sing camfprie songs." of course not, they would go on in their terrorist struggle. and there is america to blame for waht they do wrong. so where is the original sin there?

    finally, you have to admit something else about balming america for everything. that is, the flip side of doing that. if you blame america, guess what? you are saying we are responsible for it. do you know what that invites? say you say to me, "america is responsible for the brazilian economic crisis. clearly, because of points blah, blah, and blah." ok fine, now that you have said america this is our fault, you are also saying SO YOU HAVE TO CLEAN IT UP. see the problem? your point in blaming america also has an aspect of "america, you are doing bad, butt out and midn your own business." but if you say to america "ameica, you did bad in east timor" you are not saying "america, you did bad in east timor, feel bad about it and go away" you are saying "america you did bad in east timor, go in and fix what you did!" do you see the problem with the implied subtext of blaming america for everything that goes bad in the world?

    basic human psychology. you can't say to a human being "you did bad, there is no way to clean up your mess, go away and feel bad about yourself forever." if you were truly in touch with human nature you would have to understand that if you tell someone they did something bad and they accept the blame YOU INVITE THEM TO GET FURTHER INVOLVED TO CORRECT THEIR EVIL MISTAKES. do you see the basic problem? so by blaming america for everything, YOU ARE INVITING IT TO GET INVOLVED IN EVERYTHING. and by doing that you are creating that which doesn't exist yet and that which you seek to fight: america involved in the situation! see the problem?

    so which will it be, america involved in everything? or america involved in nothing. you can't have it both ways, so you have to attribute america's blame accurately, and i don't see you doing that.

    FINALLY, i want you to paint america's involvement in afghanistan for me. afghanistan now versus afghanistan 2 years ago. the changes because of americna/ canadian/ british/ turkish/ etc. involvement. i want you tell me if you think the afghani people are bette roff or worse because of american (and other's) intervention. i want ot eventually make the argument that the same can be said of the iraqi peopl eif we invade (that is they are better off), but furthermore i want to make the point that caring about the people of the world is proactive, and (unless you are really naive) military action can result in positive change. military action like toppling the taliban is POSITIVE and CARING, do you see that? "but it was just america having revenge." old, obvious argument there. let us say the desire to invade afghanistan was already there BEFORE september 11th but september 11th only bought home to america (and the world) that suffering anywhere is suffering everywhere. if you don't crrect usffering in any out of place corner of the world, it will grow and export itself from kabul to downtown manhattan, or london, or moscow, etc.

    please respond, i sense you really care, and we can have a real discussion. ;-)

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    The U.S. is not really a democracy anymore. (5.00 / 2) (#344)
    by kcbrown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:28:49 PM EST

    it's a DEMOCRACY, no? if the american people don't like someone in office doing something in their name, they vote him or her out, no? point a. point b. gee look at the line there. ;-P
    No. Here's why.

    [ Parent ]
    the us is a democracy (2.00 / 2) (#361)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:29:48 PM EST

    the us IS a democracy. but let's assume for a moment it is not. show me a country that is more democratic in the world right now. and if there is one, tell me how to get there. in the meantime, why are you busy attacking the democracy of the us/ lack of democracy of the us? if you actually CARED about people you would be attacking the OBVIOUSLY nondemocratic countries in the world that are creating so much suffering! keep your mental energies focused where it can do the most good.

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    The U.S. is a democracy ... of its corporations (5.00 / 3) (#416)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 02:50:18 AM EST

    how me a country that is more democratic in the world right now
    Uh ... New Zealand? Australia (though they're getting a lot worse)? Finland? Denmark? Sweden? Switzerland?

    There are undoubtedly quite a few, but most of them are likely to be relatively small. This is not surprising, since people in smaller groups tend to be closer to each other and have more in common with each other.

    in the meantime, why are you busy attacking the democracy of the us/ lack of democracy of the us? if you actually CARED about people you would be attacking the OBVIOUSLY nondemocratic countries in the world that are creating so much suffering! keep your mental energies focused where it can do the most good.
    Well, see, the problem is that the only way I can really attack the obviously nondemocratic countries is through my government. But I have no voice in my government's behavior until the problems with its democracy are fixed. So I have to address that problem first, yes?

    [ Parent ]
    Puh-leeze (2.00 / 1) (#375)
    by cr8dle2grave on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:38:57 PM EST

    America is a spectacularly successful democracy. The point and purpose of a democracy isn't to establish a perfect system for everyone, but to create a system that is tolerable to the overwhelming majority. Your little anti-corporate rant betrays you as a member of a vanishingly small minority. Most Americans are vaguely ok with corporations, we work for them and sense our interests are intertwined such that a system which benefits them benefits us as well. And most of those who are prone to strong anti-corporatism are not so steadfast in their convictions that they are really willing to anything to upset the system which works so well most of us -- getting out college and having to work for a living also does a lot to engender an acceptance of corporatism. That is successful democracy in action, it works to curb radicalism by establishing a system most of us can live with.  

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    read this thread (none / 0) (#382)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:05:52 PM EST

    read this thread! ;-P

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    All governments are successful if measured thusly (4.50 / 2) (#435)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 07:14:08 AM EST

    America is a spectacularly successful democracy. The point and purpose of a democracy isn't to establish a perfect system for everyone, but to create a system that is tolerable to the overwhelming majority.
    Hate to burst your bubble, but if your metric for a successful government is that it is tolerable to the overwhelming majority, then the government in Iraq must be considered "successful", since the people there are obviously tolerating it. Right? Indeed, the same can be said of every government that doesn't get overthrown from the inside in short order.

    People are very adaptable and will tolerate a great deal.

    No, to measure the U.S. requires something more. Fortunately, we have a nice metric we can use: the Constitution, and the writings of the people who put it together. By that measure, what we have today falls far short of "spectacularly successful", for the government of the U.S. does not secure the blessings of liberty (most laws are restrictions on a person's freedom, and there are more of those every day), does not promote the general welfare (except for its corporations), and does not establish justice (unless you consider Dmitri Sklyarov's case, to take but one example, to be "justice").

    Lest you wonder where those phrases I use come from, they're straight from the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.

    Most Americans are vaguely ok with corporations, we work for them and sense our interests are intertwined such that a system which benefits them benefits us as well.
    That's fine, and I would agree with you if it weren't for the fact that our government seems to listen only to the corporations, and pays attention to the people only in passing, if that.

    America may have been a spectacularly successful democracy at one time. It isn't anymore. Why else do you think there is so little voter turnout these days? Why else do you think laws like the DMCA pass so quickly and with such a large support base, when such laws are against the interests of the people? How can such laws pass if the representatives are acting on behalf of the people such laws harm? No, sorry, the only consistent answer to these questions, the questions about U.S. foreign policy, and the questions about campaign finance is that the government answers only to the corporations.

    It is a huge mistake to believe that something which benefits the corporations will benefit those who work for the corporations. They are unrelated at best. In fact, if you work for a corporation, it is in that corporation's interest to pay you as little as possible, if not eliminate you entirely, and to make you as dependent on it as possible, all at the same time. In short, the best possible situation for the corporation is if you are a wage slave for it, such that you end up owing that corporation as much if not more than it's paying you. That's the worst situation for you, however. And that's just one example. There are plenty others, from the number of rights you have to the amount of free time you have. In many (and perhaps even most) cases, what's good for you is diametrically opposed to what's good for the corporation you work for.

    That's because the corporation isn't responsible to its employees, and isn't responsible to its customers. It's responsible to its owners, which usually means its shareholders, and most of the time a very small number of people own the vast majority of the corporation. Hence, relatively few people greatly benefit from a corporation.

    What's needed is balance between the needs of the people and the needs of the corporations. That balance no longer exists, because the government no longer listens to the people (except perhaps in passing). And that is ultimately why we're having this discussion about terrorism to begin with (hint: the people of the U.S. want freedom and democracy for the rest of the world. If they got their way, we wouldn't have overthrown democracies, set up and supported brutal dictatorships instead of democracies, and supported terrorists. And as a result we probably wouldn't be dealing with terrorists now).

    [ Parent ]

    Reality Check (none / 0) (#451)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 03:53:56 PM EST

    Hate to burst your bubble, but if your metric for a successful government is that it is tolerable to the overwhelming majority, then the government in Iraq must be considered "successful", since the people there are obviously tolerating it. Right? Indeed, the same can be said of every government that doesn't get overthrown from the inside in short order.

    Stop being so obtuse. I quite obviously intended "tolerable" to convey a significantly higher standard than is achieved by any dictatorship.

    [T]he government of the U.S. does not secure the blessings of liberty (most laws are restrictions on a person's freedom, and there are more of those every day), does not promote the general welfare (except for its corporations), and does not establish justice (unless you consider Dmitri Sklyarov's case, to take but one example, to be "justice").

    The government of the US does in fact secure the blessings of liberty (we have the most generous and liberal protections of the essential freedoms of expression and worship in the world), does promote the general welfare (we have, by every significant measure, the wealthiest population in the world), and, although by no means perfect, we have a justice system which rivals that of any other country's in the rights it affords the accused.

    That's fine, and I would agree with you if it weren't for the fact that our government seems to listen only to the corporations, and pays attention to the people only in passing, if that.

    Nonsense. I think your complaint is really that the government pays little attention to you and others who hold similar opinions. Why should they? Your opinions, as you've expressed them here, are in no manner representative of the opinions held by most Americans.

    America may have been a spectacularly successful democracy at one time. It isn't anymore.

    Really. I think you need to go back to history class. This once great America you allude to, is this the same democratic and freedom loving America of yore, which statutorily denied voting rights to women, blacks, Asians, and others? Do you refer to the same America that condoned and enforced slavery with the force of law? The same America which guaranteed no rights to individuals under its federal constitution? The same America which routinely and legally interfered in the expression of political ideas and even jailed people for their political beliefs?

    Pardon me, if I thank my lucky stars that I was born into modern America and not its historical antecedent. We've come a long way, baby!

    Why else do you think laws like the DMCA pass so quickly and with such a large support base, when such laws are against the interests of the people? How can such laws pass if the representatives are acting on behalf of the people such laws harm?

    Oh please! Get a grip and some perspective. A stupid and ill considered piece of legislation that is particularly onerous to the geek contingency is hardly reason to declare democracy dead.

    It is a huge mistake to believe that something which benefits the corporations will benefit those who work for the corporations. They are unrelated at best. In fact, if you work for a corporation, it is in that corporation's interest to pay you as little as possible, if not eliminate you entirely, and to make you as dependent on it as possible, all at the same time. In short, the best possible situation for the corporation is if you are a wage slave for it, such that you end up owing that corporation as much if not more than it's paying you.

    You need some remedial lessons in very basic economics. Although an individual employer is motivated to reduce the cost of labor, among other expenses, one net effect of a healthy and competitive marketplace is to reduce unemployment, which raises the value of an individuals labor. I challenge you to present hard economic data for any historical period in the last century for which this basic precept has not held true in America's economy.

    Further, as unemployment rises and real wages decrease, the consumer market necessarily contracts, exacerbating the overall downward trend. Real economic prosperity is a consequence of a strong consumer market as it has the potential to dwarf all other markets combined. Fully 2/3 of America's current economy is comprised by consumer spending, as measured by GDP, making it the most democratic and mature capitalist economy in the world.

    What's needed is balance between the needs of the people and the needs of the corporations. That balance no longer exists, because the government no longer listens to the people (except perhaps in passing). And that is ultimately why we're having this discussion about terrorism to begin with...

    When all you've got is a hammer, everything look like a nail. Listen, your little pet ideological gripe against corporations doesn't define the full spectrum of political reality.

    hint: the people of the U.S. want freedom and democracy for the rest of the world. If they got their way, we wouldn't have overthrown democracies, set up and supported brutal dictatorships instead of democracies, and supported terrorists. And as a result we probably wouldn't be dealing with terrorists now.

    Huh, Americans have historically sought freedom, democracy, and prosperity for themselves and, when possible or convenient, for their close allies as well, but this has quite often come at the expense of others. Sure, we all would to like to live in an ideal world were everybody is fat and happy, but reality often forces us to make more difficult choices; and when so confronted Americans have been consistent in choosing their own advantage over the advantage of others. Seems rather sensible to me.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    Measuring relative to others isn't good enough (4.00 / 1) (#510)
    by kcbrown on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 03:07:54 PM EST

    The government of the US does in fact secure the blessings of liberty (we have the most generous and liberal protections of the essential freedoms of expression and worship in the world), does promote the general welfare (we have, by every significant measure, the wealthiest population in the world), and, although by no means perfect, we have a justice system which rivals that of any other country's in the rights it affords the accused.
    That's all very nice, but if the entire world is getting worse over time then it simply isn't good enough. And the entire world is getting worse over time, if only because laws don't expire, yet new ones are passed every year. And since a law is in almost all cases a restriction on one's freedom, that means that the entire world is getting less free over time.
    Nonsense. I think your complaint is really that the government pays little attention to you and others who hold similar opinions. Why should they? Your opinions, as you've expressed them here, are in no manner representative of the opinions held by most Americans.
    Oh yeah? The Congress recently passed the Iraq resolution. The people are at best undecided about this, yet the resolution passed without any real trouble. If they were listening to the people, how would that resolution have passed so easily (the amount of time it took to pass, a couple of months, is blindingly fast for Congress...)?

    And if you're going to claim that the Congress listens to the people, then you must explain the passage of the CTEA, the DMCA, the USAPATRIOT act, the Iraq resolution, the government's stance that it can declare anyone it pleases an "enemy combatant" and detain him without trial indefinitely (which means, in essence, as long as it wants), the airline bailout, the light-handed treatment of Enron, the complete lack of response to the California energy debacle, the sudden about-face of the government on the Microsoft issue (do you really think the people had such a sudden change of heart about it?), etc., ad nauseum. And those are just the recent examples.

    You need some remedial lessons in very basic economics. Although an individual employer is motivated to reduce the cost of labor, among other expenses, one net effect of a healthy and competitive marketplace is to reduce unemployment, which raises the value of an individuals labor. I challenge you to present hard economic data for any historical period in the last century for which this basic precept has not held true in America's economy.
    That has nothing to do with what I've been talking about. Corporations act as individuals. Sometimes (as in the case of the RIAA and MPAA) they act in groups, but they never do so for the purposes of increasing competition. They do not care about the overall economy except for deciding how to react to it, and they certainly don't take action targeted to improve the economy. Otherwise you wouldn't see so many massive layoffs, among other things.
    Further, as unemployment rises and real wages decrease, the consumer market necessarily contracts, exacerbating the overall downward trend. Real economic prosperity is a consequence of a strong consumer market as it has the potential to dwarf all other markets combined. Fully 2/3 of America's current economy is comprised by consumer spending, as measured by GDP, making it the most democratic and mature capitalist economy in the world.
    You misunderstand. We're talking about the effects of legislation here, not the economic effects of competition. Legislation today gets passed at the behest of special interest groups (hell, most of it gets written by special interest groups). Those special interest groups aren't thinking about the overall economy. And neither are individual corporations or the consortiums they occasionally form.

    I agree with you that heavy competition leads to a healthy economy. It's why I think we're headed towards another Great Depression: there's nothing out there to turn the current downward spiral around. The current trend is towards consolidation, towards reduction of competition, towards reduction of the customer base. And it's the corporations that are doing it, by merging and by continuously adding to the ranks of the unemployed.

    Huh, Americans have historically sought freedom, democracy, and prosperity for themselves and, when possible or convenient, for their close allies as well, but this has quite often come at the expense of others. Sure, we all would to like to live in an ideal world were everybody is fat and happy, but reality often forces us to make more difficult choices; and when so confronted Americans have been consistent in choosing their own advantage over the advantage of others. Seems rather sensible to me.
    So it's your contention that the overthrow of Iran's democracy was supported by the people, that the people wanted it? That they want the U.S. government to continue to support Israel no matter what it does? That they wanted Pinochet to replace the democracy in Chile? That they wanted our government to support the human rights violations in Guatemala? That they viewed all these things as necessary?

    Is that really what you believe??

    I suggest you try an experiment. Ask everyone you know whether they believe our government should be working to increase the amount of freedom and self-determination in the world, or not. Ask them if they believe the rest of the world should have the same amount of freedom and self-determination that they have. Ask them if they think we should be lending support to dictatorships. Ask them if there is any circumstance under which the U.S. should overthrow a democracy and replace it with a dictatorship.

    I think you'll find that people in the U.S. are much more supportive of freedom and self-determination throughout the world than you give them credit for. I've performed this same experiment myself, and almost to a man the people I've asked have said that they want others to have the same amount of freedom and self-determination that they have, and that our government should be working towards that.

    The U.S. already spends hundreds of billions of dollars and commits vast amounts of human resources towards foreign affairs. I think it's only fair that it consistently use those resources to increase freedom and self-determination in the world, even if doing so means that we don't get to control the natural resources of some foreign country.

    [ Parent ]

    Social re-engineering of America (3.50 / 6) (#262)
    by r00t on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:53:13 AM EST

    The American people are not thinking with their heads, they are acting on their hearts ... America is acting on emotion, not logic.

    This is the crux of the problem. Maybe people should focus their intellectual energies on educating the American people about the world that surrounds them and to be more liberal. Otherwise you are only going to continue to piss people off to the point that they start bombing, shooting and terrorizing the population.

    -It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
    [ Parent ]

    intellectual cop out (none / 0) (#332)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:02:27 PM EST

    for someone interested in focusing their intellectual energies you seem to have a nice intellectual cop out. no one seems to be listening to my basic premise. america is not the problem in this world. the terrorists are. it is a fallacy to say that the terrorism is the effect of american policy. did america have a hand in the suffering that created the terrorists? of course they did! i am being intellecutally honest admitting that. let us seem some intellectual honesty in the reply to my admission and admit the MAJORITY of the suffering that made them terrorists had NOTHING WHATSOVER to do with america! if you don't see that, you are not in touch with reality!

    having established that, how can you rightfully say the americans deserved september 11th? that is what you are doing when you say "you are only going to continue to piss people off to the point that they start bombing, shooting and terrorizing the population". september 11th is unjustifiable human behavior. period. beginning of discussion. end of discussion. the terroism that happened that day cannot be justified, rationalized or accepted in any way whatsover with out revealing hypocrisy in any other argument you put forward on american behavior. if the terrorist's actions are explainable and acceptable to you then AMERICA SHOULD NUKE THE REST OF THE WORLD TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM. right? OF COURSE BLOODY F***ING NOT! but if you accept what the terrorist's did, if you try ot justify such atrocious human behavior, what the hell do you expect from the americans if such behavior becomes acceptable to you? why do you hold america to the double standrand that their people should be firebombed but that they should hold hands and sing campfire songs in response to such atrocities?

    if you had empathy, reason, and human concern, you would be concerned with the suffering of september 11th. if you refuse to see that suffering, than your bias is revealed. you are in effect saying, that "well, america had such and such a policy and did such and such a bad thing in this country, so americans deserve to have airplanes flown into skyscrapers." DOES ANY F***ING HUMAN BEING DESERVE ANYTHING LIKE SEPTEMBER 11TH FOR ANY F***ING REASON!? if you continue to dismiss september 11th, you are irrelevant to the discussion at hand. this outrageous act is DRIVING THE AMERICAN BEHAVIOR RIGHT NOW. want to change american behavior? LOOK AT SEPTEMBER 11TH FIRST AND FOREMOST. then list your assorted greivances at american foreign policy SECONDLY. NO ONE NOWHERE DESERVES SEPTEMBER 11TH. until you address september 11th YOU HAVE LOST THE ARGUMENT.

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Stop acting with so much emotion (4.00 / 1) (#474)
    by r00t on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 04:29:16 PM EST

    I have never and would never advocate the mass murder of innocent civilians that DON'T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD.

    But I won't stand here and pretend like American foriegn policy is heading in the right direction. Americans are bullies when it comes to international affairs. The American people, for the most part are caring, loving individuals, but your government is most definitely not.

    It's a vicious cycle, where the people have elected a government, that government has created a bad foreign policy, which has pissed off foreign countries, causing people in those countries to attack, which then pisses off American citizens so they hand over more power to the government(loss of civil liberties, large spending on militar as opposed to healthcare, education, etc.) which the US government uses to bully other countries. Which further pisses off foriegn countries. Rinse, wash, repeat.

    Even here in Canada where our quality of life is great, we too are bullied, on occasion, by your government. The American people, for some reason, don't care about foreign matters or anything that doesn't affect them and their little individual world, leaving everything up to their leaders. Your leaders then use their power to bully other coutries. This just leads to anger and violence, which unfortunately, if not stopped, will lead to more attacks against the American public. If the American public was a little more clued in to what is going on, they would use their voting power to elect a more liberal government which would deal with things in a much different way. I don't see this happening anytime soon because there seems to be a general lack of understanding coupled with a biased media people actually trust, enforcing these views. Take a look at various media sources on the internet outside of the States and you will see a huge difference.

    If you are a kind, gental, peace loving people, you will get your government and your corporations under control with the power of your vote. Your current big parties, (coke and pepsi)(Democrats and Republicans) are not the only options. The whole world is screaming "WAKE UP AMERICA" and I hope that you do.

    I don't understand why the American people have voted in a government which has created a system that puts so much money and power in the hands of so few people? This is stupid and is why everyone refers to Americans, in general, as stupid. The money should be distributed amongst everyone, which means YOU, not just given to a few 'up top' It is a democracy, the power is in the people, so logically, you have to blame the people for the actions of their government. If the government keeps bullying the world, I fear the world will fight back. I really wish this wasn't happening but it is. Socialism/Liberalism etc... isn't going to take away any of your rights and freedoms. If America is as great as your media makes it out to be, then why haven't other democracies adopted the same system, why are most democracies much more Liberal and socialist (with a pinch of capitalism)? I think it is because these democracies have enough sense to distribute the wealth and knowledge amongst its citizens...not just lining the pockets of Corrupt CEO's and Politicians. Afterall, a society should benefit everyone, not just the top 10 percent or so.

    -It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
    [ Parent ]

    I stopped reading after.. (3.75 / 4) (#293)
    by SlashDread on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:09:39 AM EST

    this:
    First off, I am an American. Secondly, I was employed at 5 World Trade Center until September 11th, 2001.

    And then you go on saying we all got the terror threat wrong and you see it clearly now right? Right.

    No matter how much I share your pain, your extremely biased.

    Greetings /Dread

    [ Parent ]

    3 more sentences (1.00 / 1) (#329)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:51:06 PM EST

    you read the first two sentences. here are the next 4.

    These facts may cloud my judgment. But I owe it to you to describe where I am coming from. Either way, listen to my words and decide for yourself whether the words I say are valuable on their own right, or clouded by my point of view. You decide.

    and let me clue you into something about my bias. when you see what happened september 11th, yeah, you have some bias. YOU"RE ALSO PRETTY F***ING MOTIVATED. the world is not carried by unmotiviated, unbiased, impartial observers. the world is carried by highly motivated, biased, angry motherf***ers. so while terrorists do their magic around the world creating people with "biases" what are you smug "unbiased impartial" types going to do about it? because the world is rapidly accumulating a lot of "bias"! the terrorists are polarizing the world. if you are REALLY worried about "bias" in peoples opinions you stay engaged. but of you blithely state ""i share your pain" and then refuse to read my post because of my bias you are going to be spending a lot of your time in the future running away from people with a bias as the terrorists continue to rack up their madness. don't like my bias? do something about the terrorists and their gift of bias that keeps on giving. otherwise, your excuse from disengaging from the conversation at hand is nice cover for your coldness and lack of caring. "bias" is a nice excuse you have to disengage from the conversation and turn off your conscience.

    you share my pain, indeed. where is your outrage at september 11th? liar. i think instead of bias you should substitute the word emotional engagement. you don't seem to demonstrate much of that, nor do you truly seem to care that much about what happened september 11th if the emotional afteraffects of that madness to you is just "bias".

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Are you trying to (4.00 / 3) (#334)
    by tonedevil05 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:12:55 PM EST

    spell FUCK. I noticed that you can't seem to get it out but you have tried several times. Fuck is a simple word that has a lot of uses in the English language and you seem to want to use it, in the worst way.

    [ Parent ]
    nice response (1.00 / 2) (#337)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:46:53 PM EST

    very helpful. we're debating something serious here. go away if you have nothing substantive to add to the discussion. besides, didn't you say yesterday you were tired of rolling around with the pig?

    oh yeah, one more thing. you are right, i really want to fuck someone right now and i can't find anyone so i go on slashdot and rant to relieve my tensions. thanks for the psychoanalysis. say, what are doing saturday night? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ;-P

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox SMOOCHES

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Sorry (4.00 / 1) (#349)
    by tonedevil05 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:04:25 PM EST

    I don't swing that way, not that there's anything wrong with that. It is good to see you got past that spelling problem though. Oh and I probably won't go away, so live with it.

    [ Parent ]
    dude (1.00 / 1) (#352)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:26:46 PM EST

    yesterday you wrote:

    I have come to realize I am mud wrestling with a pig. I'm muddy as hell and the damn pig has enjoyed it too much.

    you can stay, you can go. you can do whatever you want with your bad self. yesterday i thought you were calling me a pig and you were indicating you didn't want to write anymore. today am i to suppose you enjoy wrestling with a pig? ;-P

    doesn't bother me either way. just looking for some consistency LOL ;-P

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Suppose as you like (3.00 / 1) (#355)
    by tonedevil05 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:47:06 PM EST

    You have told me and several others to go away, or shut up. I simply don't let eighth graders tell me what to do. You are insignifigant but it is fun to bait-the-bear sometimes. When I get bored I will walk away. So tell me again how "You" are going to attack Iraq, I don't think "You" could successfully attack a kindergarten, it's Friday and we can all use a good laugh, at your expense. Thank you

    [ Parent ]
    laugh away (2.00 / 1) (#360)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:27:02 PM EST

    when baghdad falls and america turns it into a democracy and the world is safer keep laughing at tired pathetic me. it will provide you with something better to do than actually care about the world, as you seem more interested in laughing at me. go ahead and laugh, i hope i am quite entertaining while more serious shit happens around your pathetic inconsequential uncaring life. my words come from me caring about the world. demonstrate how your words are the same.

    go ahead. laugh and laugh and laugh. i am quite ridiculous, nothing valuable in what i say at all. laugh your heart out. ;-) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX SMOOCHES ASSWIPE

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    I thought we covered your Homoerotic thing (3.00 / 1) (#370)
    by tonedevil05 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:02:09 PM EST

    I don't want to be mean and it's not that I don't support you guys and the gay rights and all, but you'll get no action here big fella. So if your invasion doesn't work out how you want does that mean I was right all along. Don't forget Saddam kicked Geo B. the seinor's ass about 14 years ago and the baby Bush is moving in the same direction, only this time Saddam might get him mad enough to really teach all of us a lesson. Don't think Saddam won last time, who's still president and who got his walking papers.

    One last thing the "I care/you don't care" whine it's silly, even though you don't think I care because I'm not running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, doesn't mean I don't. I just don't care in the same way as you, but you guys are more sensitive than hetrosexual men. Don't be so hard on your self next year when you get to high school you may finally learn to say something valuable.

    [ Parent ]

    wtf? (2.00 / 1) (#380)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:01:52 PM EST

    dude, i am not a homosexual. it doesn't matter if i am a homosexual or not. can i ask you something? why is it so important to you to talk about this? some sort of psychological tension you are dealing with? LOL i love guys who suddenly launch into homosexual/ heterosexual talk. it's like, "uh, dude, no one is talking about homosexuality except you." ;-P LOL

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    You tried to kiss me N/T (none / 0) (#390)
    by tonedevil05 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:57:12 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    *You* don't get it. (3.66 / 6) (#309)
    by upsilon on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 11:20:44 AM EST

    First of all, your condescending attitude ("follow the bouncing ball"; "now that some of you are boarding the clue train"; "Now I am going to take a baby step forward. Some of you will be able to walk with me") is extremely unlikely to win you any allies.

    Secondly, the USA is not acting at all in the way that you imply. Most Americans do not want this war! I'd like to think that most Americans realise that the Iraq-WTC connection is practically non-existant.

    You claim otherwise, that Americans want this war (and that they want it because they are afraid), but you do not offer any evidence of it. Worse, you've set yourself up as someone with whom a discussion is impossible -- clearly, you say, the American agression against Iraq is due to fear, and if I disagree with your premise, you will dismiss me since obviously I "don't get it".

    Now, the American invasion of Afghanistan was everything you claim -- that was, in fact, a reaction on fear and terror. The imminent invasion of Iraq is something completely different.

    In summary, I blatantly deny your claim that American fear is driving the imminent US-Iraq war. It is patently obvious that the imminent war has been manufactured and is not due to any pressing American need for vengeance from last September's tragic events. I read the American press; I see that America is not currently a country looking to blindly lash out at random nations on a map, even if there have been prior disagreements with that nations regime.
    --
    Once, I was the King of Spain.
    [ Parent ]

    i am (none / 0) (#326)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:40:22 PM EST

    i am a condescending smug arrogant son of a bitch.

    fine. so what? call my attitude whatever you want to call it. i don't care. my attitude sucks. SO WHAT! you haven't disputed my basic premise.

    what are you going to do to tell the american people they are safe from september 11th happening again? please inform us how you are going to protect them. i am DEATHLY afraid of a nuclear terrorist attack. before september 11th, i would be a crackpot. after september 11th, IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE.

    so please inform us what you are going to tell the american people about the next terrorist attack. please inform us of what you are doing to make the world a safer place FOR EVERYONE. americans, french, indonesians, japanese, whoever!

    until you pull something out of your ass which makes us feel safer, you will see america attack iraq, then north korea, then iran, etc. i don't think the iraqis, north koreans, iranian etc. will be worse off afterwards than the regime they already have! you reply how dare you with your arrogance to just attack countries like that. i say to you how dare you not care about a fellow human being in these countries and their suffering! it's a win-win situation! what is afghanistan like after we invaded the place? is it better? or is it worse? THINK ABOUT IT AND COMPARE AND CONTRAST TO IRAQ MORON. do you know what north koreans do for food while their government spends billions on pursuing nuclear weapons? THIS IS F***ING OK FOR YOU. oh you arrogant asshole american you say to me. oh you uncaring clueless hypocrit i say to you!

    if terrorists retaliate because of this, that will only make the americans attack more. see the spiral we are in? how can you, with any understanding of basic human psychology, expect americans to do nothing less than try to make the world safe from the kind of thing that happened september 11th? the spiral will keep climbing, not as long as the americans are assholes, idiots, whatever the hell you wish to call them, but as long as TERRORISTS KEEP BOMBING PEOPLE.

    it's so f***ing obvious, why don't people get that? why do they insist on continuing to attack americans!

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Basic premise? (none / 0) (#345)
    by upsilon on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:34:46 PM EST

    "you haven't disputed my basic premise"

    I'm sorry, what the hell was your basic premise? I thought your premise was "Americans are scared and angry, so they're going to lash out at all perceived enemies, whether or not this is a 'logical' thing to do."

    But obviously I was wrong, since I did in fact dispute that when I pointed out that most Americans "believe President Bush should give U.N. weapons inspectors time to act and should wait for support from allies before invading Iraq".

    So, can you state your premise in 25 words or less? Just so MORONs like me can understand you, mind.

    As for what I am going to do to make Americans feel safer: I will continue to point out that by blindly lashing out at nations who have yet to directly threaten America's well-being, America merely stirs up more and more resentment from people like Usama bin Laden. He's still out there, or have you forgotten him in your wrath against Saddam Hussein? He will attack again, and America has yet to do anything to stop him.

    A little history here: When the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Usama bin Laden went there to defend that Islamic nation, becoming one of the first Mujaheddin. America fed missiles and rocket launchers to the Mujaheddin to fight off the USSR. Not because America actually cared about Afghanistan, but merely as a Cold War ploy against the USSR. When the USSR gave up their Afghan invasion, the USA turned the other way. Afghanis suffered for a long time as a result, probably more than they would have had the USSR just rolled in and absorbed the country. Bin Laden and the other Mujaheddin came to deeply resent the USA for using them so blatantly and then turning a blind eye. US presence in the holy land of Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War was the final straw, which led to the bombing of the WTC, the bombing of the Cole, the bombings of the American embassies, and most recently the destruction of the WTC.

    As long as America uses other nations like this (propping up the Saud family, for instance, or being buddy-buddy with the Shah), resentment will fester regardless of what secondary effects US involvement may have on a nation.

    If the US went to the world community and said, "Look, life in North Korea really sucks. We should go in there, get rid of Kim Chong-Il and help the people," I honestly think the world would be with them (eventually). But that's not the American way, now is it? No, the American way is to bluster their way in, alienate the world, and just do whatever the fuck it wants, because it can.

    Admit it: Both ways would make Americans equally safe  from whatever threat North Korea presents, but one way gains Bush a lot more political capital on the homefront at the expense of making enemies like bin Laden, right? Clearly altruism is not what Bush or America care about.

    Oh yeah, and about your attitude: at the moment I (and many others) are far more likely to completely disregard you than we are to actually sit down and think about what you're saying. That's the sort of effect attitude has on people. That's one of the reasons why the rest of the world isn't blindly going along with Bush -- his attitude sucks. He (and America as a whole) so constantly portrays the attitude of a "condescending smug arrogant son of a bitch" that, frankly, I'm not in the least bit surprised that the world dislikes him and the nation he represents.

    And so does yours. I presume you're typing in these lengthy diatribes for more of a reason than mental masturbation, so I suggest you try a little something called "tact". By insulting people, you alienate them; by alienating them, you completely undo anything you might otherwise accomplish with your oh-so-wise observations and reasonings. Thus, this will be my last response to you if you continue treating me and the K5 community-at-large like five-year-olds.
    --
    Once, I was the King of Spain.
    [ Parent ]

    I would add (none / 0) (#353)
    by Amesha Spentas on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:39:34 PM EST

    If Americans are so afraid and headless that they will just lash out at anybody then not only will they alienate themselves from the rest of the world they will also destroy themselves.

    If America acts the way you suggest then it will be only a matter of time before the rest of the world realizes that it will need to "put the US down" just as you would a dog that was tortured as a pup and grew up to be rabid. It doesn't matter that the pup was abused, you have to put it down or it will attack you. Same with the US. If the US attacks anyone without real provocation it will have to be put down regardless of who "abused/terrorized" it, just to keep the rest of the world safe. So it is in the U.S.'s best interest to snap out of it. I believe most Americans have. I as one, certainly have. Close to 50% of Americans are against this war so I think this country is healing. But the damage to the US will be great if we continue with this aggression.

    Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
    [ Parent ]

    response (none / 0) (#378)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:55:10 PM EST

    If Americans are so afraid and headless that they will just lash out at anybody then not only will they alienate themselves from the rest of the world they will also destroy themselves.

    if American are so afraid and headless that they will lash out at TERRORISTS AND THE UNSTABLE DANGEROUS REGIMES OF THE WORLD then not only will they GET THANKS FROM HISTORY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE DOUBTERS they will also MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD A SAFER PLACE TO LIVE.

    as far as your second paragraph, replace every reference to america with a reference to iraq. uncanny isn't it? can i ask you why you reserve your intellectual criticism for america and not the regime of saddam hussein? can you tell me with a straight face that american attitudes are more dangerous to the world than the attitude of saddam hussein? can you honestly tell me america nuking a country is more probable than hussein giving al qaeda a bomb in a suitcase to be left on a streetcorner in chicago? can you please do this genius? huh?

    close to 50% against attacking iraq? so does that mean the MAJORITY of americans are what... for it or against it!? sorry my math isn't good. LOL

    meanwhile what will al qaeda be doing before we attack? look at bali... how many percentage points does that move opinion? look at north korea's nukes. how many percentage points there? by your logic should we wait around 10 years until the percentage point of those in favor of attacking iraq approach 99%, each percentage point paid for in the blood of terrorism's victims around the world? attacking saddam won't stop that? oh, and not attacking saddam is a step in the right direction how? watch the thread of history over the next few years. al qaeda is not stopping my friend. every bomb they drop can be described as blood on the hands of those who oppose actions against evil dictators who would only help al qaeda. the proof is before you. how many more dead due to terrorism will it take before YOU are comfortable attacking iraq. so how much dead can the world afford for your peace of mind? not much my friend, so your peace of mind will have to be left behind right now. bye! cheerio old chap and all of that! ;-P



    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    You seem to be confused. (4.50 / 2) (#506)
    by Amesha Spentas on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 01:23:49 PM EST

    if American are so afraid and headless that they will lash out at TERRORISTS AND THE UNSTABLE DANGEROUS REGIMES OF THE WORLD then not only will they GET THANKS FROM HISTORY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE DOUBTERS they will also MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD A SAFER PLACE TO LIVE.

    Are you really so naive? Do you honestly believe that the US will attack all the "DANGEROUS REGIMES OF THE WORLD" or all the countries of the world that sponsor terrorism? Let's look at your arguments and see if they hold up...

    can i ask you why you reserve your intellectual criticism for america and not the regime of saddam hussein? can you tell me with a straight face that american attitudes are more dangerous to the world than the attitude of saddam hussein?

    Yes I can tell you why I hold the United States up to a higher standard. First, I am an American. As such I have a vested interest in what my country does and why. I also believe that as a Republic, The United States is supposed to listen to me. (In an albeit roundabout way) I have no such illusions for Saddam Hussein. As for why American attitudes are more dangerous then Saddam's, that is an easy question with an easy answer. The United States currently has a stockpile of WMD. (Nuclear, Chemical, Biological, & other) These are the weapons that we are currently admonishing Saddam for trying to possess. However, unlike Saddam we have the capability to target and deploy these WMD against every country on earth. With this power comes responsibility, as the strongest nation we must make sure our reasoning is clear and our motives are just.
    Simply put Saddam can't even attack his neighbors anymore, he certainly cannot nuke/Gas/What have you, the entire world several times over like the US can. So whom should we pay attention to more? It comes down to capability and motivation.

    can you honestly tell me america nuking a country is more probable than hussein giving al qaeda a bomb in a suitcase to be left on a streetcorner in chicago? can you please do this genius? huh?

    Well fortunately it doesn't require a genius to do the math so I have hope you'll understand this. Let's look at Bush's recent proposals to develop nuclear "anti-bunker" bombs. I believe he has a very real intention to use them if given the chance.
    Now Saddam wants Nuclear weapons as a deterrent to prevent anyone from doing what Bush is threatening. Namely, removing him from power. Saddam is not stupid enough to attack the US with a WMD or with any military hardware without expecting an immediate and massive counterattack. He knows that if even suspicion fell on him that he was responsible for an attack on he US he would be killed or deposed faster than you can blink. If you look at the history of what Saddam has done you will see that history bears this out. People like to point out that Saddam used WMD on the Kurds and Iran. That this proves that he has the willpower to use them. However this is perfectly consistent with what we know of him. Namely that he will attack those weaker then him with whatever he can get away with. Remember when he was committing all these atrocities he was doing them with the full knowledge and support of the US. After all that's where he got the majority of WMD he used, from the US. It could be argued that he was tentatively seeking permission for his attack on Kuwait from the US. When he heard no objections, he thought it was authorization or at least a promise of non-interference.
    Now lets look at what he does with his WMD when faced with a superior power. Nothing. That's right; during Dessert Storm when Saddam definitely had biological and chemical weapons mounted on SCUD missiles pointed at Israel and the Coalition bases in Saudi Arabia; what did he do with them? Nothing. He knew if he used them he would have no chance of surviving. Bush Sr, less the dummy than his son, also knew that if he invaded, Saddam might go "Scorched Earth" and use those weapons as retribution.

    As for "probable than hussein giving al qaeda a bomb in a suitcase."

    It has been pointed out numerous times that Saddam has very strong ideological differences with al qaeda and the chances that he would ever support them are as likely as the British Government supporting the IRA. I.E. Not a chance in hell. The CIA has done their best to find/manufacture evidence to support a link but so-far have been unable to provide one that anybody with an IQ over seventy will believe. The best they have come up with is that there may be al qaeda members in Iraq. But you could say that there is a better chance that there are al qaeda members in the US. This doesn't mean a thing.

    If you are really worried about al qaeda getting a suitcase nuke then look to the flourishing arms industry in Russia or the al qaeda hotbed of support in Pakistan. Both of which actually possess nuclear weapons and are 100% more likely to give/sell those weapons to al qaeda. So please get a clue and look at the real threats to the US and not the smoke that Bush is blowing up your ass.

    close to 50% against attacking iraq? so does that mean the MAJORITY of americans are what... for it or against it!? sorry my math isn't good. LOL It isn't.
    You made the statement that " The American people are not thinking with their heads, they are acting on their hearts. Please lecture them now on stuffy backroom history and political maneuvering. They are not listening. You are looking for clear, reasonable, and prudent action from a herd of buffalo trampling towards you. Spooked, afraid, hell-bent on doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING to give them back their security blanket. You are speaking to a terrified, traumatized, and most importantly, POWERFUL people. Do you recognize the real issue now? You believe that America is this frightened thing that is so scared of anything and everything that comes out of the Middle East that it will attack without provocation. What I'm saying is that America is tougher than that. America and Americans are healing. Maybe a year ago Americans would have signed off on attacking Iraq without provocation but now damn near half are waking up from 9/11 and realizing that sticking our noses in everybody's affairs might not be such a good idea and want to see proof of a real connection between al qaeda and Saddam.

    You said, "please tell me saddam hussein will never give osama bin laden a nuke." Well you know that no one can promise what anyone will do but if you look at history the US has given WMD to Saddam much more often then Saddam has given WMD to al qaeda. If your really worried about al qaeda getting nukes then you should be demanding that Bush stops trying to deceive the US public with the B.S. about Iraq and ask him what he's doing with the real threat of al qaeda getting weapons from Russia or Pakistan.

    meanwhile what will al qaeda be doing before we attack?

    Yes and look what they will be doing after we attack Iraq.
    The exact same things. Perhaps with even more support. Because attacking Iraq will not stop or even slow down al qaeda. You would do more damage to al qaeda by attacking France than Iraq.
    So why is Bush ignoring his promise to the American public to fight his declared "War on Terrorism" and instead wageing this personal vendetta on Iraq? Just think about al the resources that are/will be funneled into a war on Iraq. Now wouldn't those funds be better spent finding the real culprits of terrorism before another 9/11 happens? Why don't you stop being distracted by every little "shinny thing" that Bush waves in front of your face and look at the real threats and where they really are coming from and how to really stop them.

    Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
    [ Parent ]

    the hypocrits are out in force tonight (1.00 / 1) (#376)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:41:18 PM EST

    my premise:

    america should attack iraq. for the safety of the world. to better the iraqi people. people should stop attacking america for doing this, they should save their mental energies for attacking terrorist agendas. if they understood the psychology surrounding september 11th, they would see the real source of the instabilities in the world is the terrorists, not the americans. they would support the action on iraq as good for americans, good for iraqis, and good for everyone else in the world.

    is that 25 words? lol ;-P

    please tell me saddam hussein will never give osama bin laden a nuke. please tell me that the idea of saddam hussein giving osama bin laden a nuke is ridiculous. please tell me all of these notions of mine are paranoid schizophrenia after september 11th. please tell me i can trust saddam hussein and the iraqi people are better off with him rather than a turkish style islamic democracy. please tell me these things! ;-P

    your afghanistan rant

    ok i think i have done it about a thousand times already, but one more time for you. i will point out two basic FALLACIES you demonstrate i have time and time and time again pointed out but keeps coming up. #1 america is not the sole cause or even the MAJOR cause of the suffering and injustices and grudge points for all of the evils in the world. rather, it is convenient to posit america as such for psychological reasons and to advance a number of agendas. i really, really, really want you to tell me that events in afghanistan in the eighties and nineties fall squarely on america's shoulders. ok, you agree it doesn't? how much then? 50%? 90%? 10%? really, i am not joking here. give me a number. i tell you whatever the number is it is in the MINORITY of the suffering induced in afghanistan. and americans in the holy land of saudi arabia? i mean, americans just camped there without discussing it with the saudis? does it even approach conception in your brain that the HOUSE OF SAUD bears the MAJORITY of the responsibility here?! i mean it's their f***ing country, isn't it??? really, please explain to me how on earth all of these evil vile things that happen around the world all come like some giant spiral back onto the responsibility of the bad ol' US of A!!??

    #2. whatever america did in afghanistan, or anywhere else, at any time in history, can not in any conceiveable way, for any remotely earthly reason, justify people flying airplanes into skyscrapers, or even EXPLAIN it. original sin with september 11th falls to osama bin laden and al qaeda. you say "america did this that and the other thing so duh! you should have seen it coming!" can i ask you WHY you demonstrate such exuberant empathy with the poor suffering terrorists who so obviously are justified in their september 11th attacks, and yet you can not sympathize one bit with dead americans in office towers? can you explain this MINOR discrepancy here? please, let me hear these words from your mouth. you devoted paragraphs to explaining and justifying the wrath of the terrorists. can we hear you justify the wrath of the victims then? no? we, america, should in our eternal shame at our obvious grand evils in the world go "oh well, september 11th, *sigh*, shoulda seen it coming!" i mean, are you for real so blind?

    the American way is to bluster their way in, alienate the world, and just do whatever the fuck it wants, because it can.

    Clearly altruism is not what Bush or America care about.

    you keep talking. you keep right on down that path. the whole world is reading. i state my case, you state yours. it is here on the record. on kuro5hin. plain for the world to see, recorded for all time if the hard disks don't poop out. ;-P

    and these are the words you use in your argument against america. i would like to discuss with you american actions. i would like you to simply justify these two sentences. i want you to find examples of real life events that run contrary to these two statements you have made above. why? here is why: i say to you that you are correct. america is arrogant. america is wrong. america is stupid. and i also say to you america is humble. america is right. america is smart. see my point? both are true. you can find about 100 examples of both sides of that coin.

    my deeper point is that I AM ADMITTING THE TWO SIDES. i have bent over backwards to paint america good and bad in every single argument i have ever said! YOU MUST ADMIT THIS AS WELL AND STOP THE AD HOMINEM ATTACKS. who loses if you don't? you do. by your own words you destroy your arguments by revealing your bias. i have no such bias. i admit the right, and i admit the wrong. why do i do this? BECAUSE IT'S THE F***ING TRUTH YOU BIASED TURD.

    as far as my attitude? i am an arrogant son of a bitch. i am a godawful meanspirited potty mouthed quick to yell quick to insult foultempered asshole. shall i go on about ten paragraphs what an asshole i am? does it really f**ing matter? i don't matter, my arguments do. you don't matter, your arguments do! so i will continue to call you stupid, and blind, and coldhearted. why? becuase by your own words you demonstrate you are! i will not respect your lack of empathy! i will not respect your shortsighted abilities of analysis of history!

    and i don't like you. i think you are blind. i think you are shallow, and i think your position on iraq sucks and works against the betterment of the people in the world. you stand in the way of progress. and if i dismantle your arguments i have done my job, and i will call you anything i want to call you because i have no respect for you. if you have no respect for me because of this, fine. i can live with that. there are many more reading these words besides you and i. they clearly know where you stand. they clearly know where i stand. i have the force of righteous oturage at september 11th behind me. you have a smug, condescending ivory tower attitude towards september 11th. to you september 11th is just "oh well, shit happens." the outright gall to defend terrorist suffering in the face of the suffering of innocents burnt up in office towers! the unmitigated heartless gall!

    i'm certainly not going to defend bush. i didn't vote for him and i wept when he squeaked into office so narrowly. he's stupid. but he stands right on the position of iraq. and i support him. and i think gore would be doing the same thing right now. bush is not the issue moron. american anger and resolve to make the world a safer place for me, you, americans, iraqis, EVERYONE is the obvious path to take on iraq. bush represents the will of the american people, he is a stupid, idiotic representation of it, but he is merely the instrument of our will. you can thank us or be dragged down history kicking and screaming. either way, you and your children will be safer for it. clear positive conscious action will move the day on iraq. american blood spilt will make the world safer for you and your children. and doubting do-nothing nail biting will merely persist the status quo and embolden the terrorists. simple as bloody f**ing obvious as that.

    I presume you're typing in these lengthy diatribes for more of a reason than mental masturbation, so I suggest you try a little something called "tact". By insulting people, you alienate them; by alienating them, you completely undo anything you might otherwise accomplish with your oh-so-wise observations and reasonings. Thus, this will be my last response to you if you continue treating me and the K5 community-at-large like five-year-olds.

    i don't care for you. i don't like you. i don't care if i alienate you. i don't care if you never respond to a post of mine again and mod everything i ever write forever at -100. i have no desire to demonstrate tact when dealing with you. you are stupid, and you don't care about real victims. you wish to defend your opinions in the face of obvious facts to the contrary. your attitude is a poor replacement for a real conscience about a real crisis in history and the will and rightful desire to right wrongs in the world through positive action. your doubting and second-guessing will not make the world a safer place. you defend the status quo. the staus quo is unacceptable. iraq must be democratized, and doing it by force is clearly the only way to do it.

    i don't treat kuro5hin like a bunch of 5 year olds. i have had many wonderful long debates here with people who were on the other side of the issue and we were always respectful. i repsect plenty of people who share views different and contrary to my own. i just don't respect you my friend. and i don't respect you because of words you have written. i am not "mentally masturbating" if by that you mean shooting my mouth off with a bunch of holier than thou attitude thrown in for self-gratifying affect. i don't care about myself. i don't care about my ego. i could care less about anything about me. here, i am just a bunch of html in a wire. that is all i represent. my words. my argument. my outrage at september 11th. i care about my case on attacking iraq. what feeds my emotion on this issue of attacking iraq is the LACK OF emotion by some people i have come across here! the lack of outrage at september 11th! the lack of a willpower to right a terrible wrong and make the world a safer place so something like september 11th will never happen again. this emotion comes from the cleanest places in the human heart! to lecture against this is to assume a cold position, an uncaring position, a cynical position. "well you know dude, if you were really smart you would know something like september 11th is going to happen again, so just get used to it. terrorism is just a fact life, nothing you can do about it. yawn."

    YOU MUST TAKE SEPTEMBER 11TH INTO ACCOUNT on the debate on iraq OR YOU HAVE ALREADY LOST THE ARGUMENT. you can have an iq of 300 but if you have a cold heart it don't matter for shit. because 2 angry words from someone righteously outraged at terrorism is worth 1,000,000,000 cold cynical historical analyses by an uncaring, unsympathetic person who wishes only to defend their position without taking september 11th into account. those 2 angry words for you my friend right now are simple:

    fuck you.

    you will be dragged kicking and screaming along when america attacks iraq. grow a conscience. grow a heart. lose your smug cold position on issues that really hurt people.

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    I'm glad I could help (none / 0) (#377)
    by tonedevil05 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:54:50 PM EST

    I saw that you were able to spell fuck all by yourself.

    [ Parent ]
    oh my god (1.00 / 1) (#379)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:58:27 PM EST

    who the f*** are you? why do you f***ing have a problem with my f***ing nomenclature for the word f***? who gives a f*** how many times i say f*** or how i write f*** on kuro5hin? what the f*** are you? the f***ing f***word nomenclature police? well then fuck you!

    oops! sorry! i meant f*** you! sorry about that!

    ;-P

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    I just shouldn't have said anything (4.00 / 1) (#392)
    by tonedevil05 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:03:11 PM EST

    I thought you didn't know how to spell fuck, I did not know it was some mental disease. I feel as though I teased you about a facial tic or something, this must be an awful burden.

    [ Parent ]
    I'm done here. (5.00 / 2) (#441)
    by upsilon on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 12:18:42 PM EST

    Bah. You'll not see reason. The CIA issued a report saying that war against Iraq will make terrorism more likely, not less. War against Iraq will only give Hussein rationale to give nukes to Usama bin Laden and his kind. I feel less and less safe every day, as long as Bush and his cronies continue their actions. It'll all end in tears, I just know it.

    As for you... well, it's clear you're not about to have a reasonable conversation with me, or indeed even treat me with a bit of respect. So I have better things to do with my time. Goodbye, and think about these words, applied to you rather than me:

    "STOP THE AD HOMINEM ATTACKS [...] YOU BIASED TURD." You know, I nearly fell over laughing when I saw these in the same paragraph.

    In conclusion: You haven't persuaded me; you've only driven me off. Consider the effect you're having on countless others. Do you really think you've convinced anybody? From your point of view, you've only made things worse, in that more people are convinced you're wrong since you can only resort to name-calling and profanity when people call you to the carpet.
    --
    Once, I was the King of Spain.
    [ Parent ]

    Do you fear terrorism? (5.00 / 4) (#350)
    by kcbrown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:04:42 PM EST

    Do you REALLY FEAR TERRORISM?

    Then you'd better listen up.

    If you really FEAR terrorism, then you want it to stop. Right?

    Okay, then: listen up.

    If you want terrorism to stop then you have to understand why it happens. You'll never, EVER get it to stop any other way. I don't care how many countries you bomb back into the stone age, how many people you kill, how many governments you control, you will NEVER stop terrorism unless you understand why it happens and address the root causes.

    Think that's what you're doing? Wrong!! Want proof? Want a real, live, current example of what happens when you walk the path you're on? Then look no further than Israel and Palestine. Israel has had to deal with terrorism for decades. And the method they have chosen to deal with it is the same method that you're choosing to use right now. You can see how well it's worked for them.

    Is that really the outcome you want? Is perpetual war, perpetual terrorism what you WANT? Then keep at it.

    But if it's not, if you REALLY want the terrorism to stop, then you'd better understand one thing: people don't kill themselves in an attempt to cause harm to another unless they believe that the harm another has done them (or the ones they love) is so great that they have no other good choice. People don't DO things like that unless they feel that their death is worth more than their life.

    So: want the terrorism to go away? Then make the lives of the people who would commit acts of terror against you worth more than their deaths. Make sure that those people are getting what they need to live a happy life.

    And you're a TOTAL IDIOT if you think the way to do that is to go in and kill them. Because by doing that, all you'll be doing is increasing the value of dying for the people that are left. Because the people you kill aren't alone in the world: they have people who love them, people who will want to take revenge for the deaths of those they love.

    Just like you do.

    And if you want proof that that's how it works, look no further than Israel and Palestine.

    If that's still not enough to convince you, then nothing will. If your mind is so closed that you will not think about what you're doing, will not even consider a different course of action, then you are doomed. For those that would commit acts of terror will realize this about you, and will act accordingly.

    And yes, I realize that you personally might not be the problem. By "you" in the above I mean "you and/or those you speak for".

    [ Parent ]

    almost there (none / 0) (#359)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:19:54 PM EST

    you are almost there. here i'll help you along. you are almost ther on the nature of terrorism.

    terrorism is of course motivated by something. the point is though, that when a terrorist resorts to terrorism, he does two things which actually work against him.

    #1: he establishes a precedent. he says in effect, do this or i will bomb you. ok, fine. so, in other words, to get anything changed in this world, you have to go around blowing people up? see, the point is that when you give in to terrorism, when you accede to their demands, you merely indicate that terrorism is the way to solve your problems. this supplies the justification for terrorism?

    you must never accede to terrorist demands, for then you have merely indicated that blowing innocent people to shreds is the way you move your argument forward. i thought it was dialogue. do you think it is dialogue, through which you find understanding between disagreeing parties? i am writing on kuro5hin and you are lecturing me about understanding and dialogue!!?? WHY THE F*** ARE YOU LECTURING ME AND NOT THE TERRORISTS!!??? THEY ARE THE PROBLEM!!!

    you say look at israel and palestine. ok, what progress do you see the palestinians making due to terrorism? hmm? maybe some movements backwards even? why don't they pursue the path of gandhi or martin luther king? meet israeli vioence with nonpeaceful protest. sounds unacceptable and backwards and counterproductive for the palestinians? peaceful protests against israeli aggression won't create any sympathy in the world for palestinians? gee, i didn't know martin luther king and gandhi failed in their approach! but i'm glad we have people like you to champion the wisdom of terrorism in their quest for justice! i now i certainly have a LOT more sympathy for palestinians with every bus they blow up! geez!

    #2: an additional observation is that when you perform an act of terrorism, you sink lower than your enemy's level. want to talk about the atrocities of israel in palestine? ok, fine. let's talk about it. make a big list. establish the guilt. and then have all of that guilt washed away by an equal hearty serving of palestinian guilt on the matter! do you see how terrorism basically responds to one side's guilt with a much larger pile of guilt from the other side? and therefore doesn't solve any problem at all. do you rally expect iraeli's to find more sympathy and understanding in the plight of palestinians as they try to bomb them going about their daily business? apparently you do!

    want to actually change the world? terrorism is not the path you go down. it doesn't create sympathy, it creates hatred. the hatred already existed you say? aw gee, thanks, i guess it makes less hatred then??!! you are lecturing me wonderfully, you are so close! all you have to do is point your lecture AT THE TERRORISTS!!!!!!! get it? are you really getting it now?

    and now, i must attack you for not getting that about september 11th. you tell me to understand the suffering that leads to september 11th. pray tell fine sir, where have the terrorists placed the desire in my heart to do that? or any terrorist victim? pray sir, where are the terrorists understanding of american life? wonderfully insightful person: what the f*** did america EVER do in the middle east to rightfully deserve september 11th? huh? are you REALLY so blind as to rather JUSTIFY september 11th in your mind than PUNISH the terrorists in your mind who committed the crime? is that REALLY what you want to say? not because it is bad of you, or stupid, or whatever, but just UNCARING. demonstrating basic lack of sympathy with the REAL VICTIMS. that is all you are doing with your words. you would rather sympathsize with a terrorist and their suffering than the victims! amazing! absolutely dumbfoundingly amazing!

    well what about the poor suffering souls in the middle east you say? your sympathy for them is noble. and i agree with you. there is suffering there. i agree with you. something good must be done to right their suffering. i agree with you. now ask the terrorists to talk about this like i am. i don't see them talking genius. i see them BLOWING PEOPLE UP. dude, i say time and time again. I AM NOT THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM THE TERRORISTS ARE. if you REALLY have empathy, insight, etc., you will attach the TERRORISTS not the AMERICANS. get it? I AM TALKING, THEY ARE BOMBING AND YOU ARE LECTURING ME ABOUT UNDERSTANDING AND DIALOGUE.

    ok do this, read your entire post again. except this time, make believe you are reading it to osama bin laden about attacking america instead of reading it to me about supporting the attack on iraq. interesting, isn't it? EVERYTHING YOU SAY APPLIES ABOUT 10,000 MORE TRUTHFULLY!

    so again, you are halfway there. you see the continuing cycle of violence, but you don't attribute the cause. terrorism is not the answer for any oppressed peoples. it is a symptom the disagreement has merely moved beyond the discussion level, and the war has already begun. if america attacks iraq, it is not starting anything! it is merely realizing that somebody has already started the war with them! you are so quick and eager to attack the US but YOU NEVER NEVER attribute ANY of the problem to ITS PROPER SOURCE.

    "osama bin laden attacked america, not iraq you idiot!"

    right and when something like september 11th happens again with a nuclear signature, where will i find you? do you DOUBT this? do you really doubt saddam hussein would give nukes to al qaeda. DO YOU REALLY TRUST HIM NOT TO DO THAT. i mean really. i want you, after september 11th, to trust saddam hussein not to give nukes to al qaeda. i want you to tell me with a straight face this would never happen and we should just butt out. i really, really want you to say that. so bad do i want you to stand up and say to the american people, "america, i, whatever your name is, promise that saddam hussein will never give nukes to al qaeda. he is a fine and decent man, just look at his track record. he does need to be removed form iraq. i don't why you would want to attack a prince of a person like saddam hussein." and then smile so they know you are sincere. UNf***ingbelieveable you are!

    you speak so much of the suffering of people in the world and my lack of understanding of their suffering and my desire to just kill, kill, kill. so if the us gets rid of saddam hussein and instills a democracy there on the style of turkey, what of the suffering of the iraqi people then? who is breeding the suffering now? the us is the one breeding it? saddam hussein plays no role in the suffering of the people in the middle east? very interesting. the man who offers $10,000 to the family of palestinian terrorists? very interesting that you see all of america's vile, monstrous scumlike evil, of course! and not a hint from saddam hussein. so easy to attack the country with a CONSCIENCE than the country ruled by a MADMAN. WHY THE BLOODY F*** DO PEOPLE INSIST ON ATTACK AMERICA AND NOT THE REAL SCUMBAGS OF THIS WORLD!!?? i swear i do not understand what twisted logic would lead people to this!

    friend, you do not REASON with a terrorist. you kill a terrorist. sound harsh? sound cruel? sound nonunderstanding? fine sir, what of the TERRORIST. ask him who is killing civilians about his cruelty and harshness and nonunderstanding. why are you attacking my words. why AREN'T YOU ATTACKING THE TERRORIST!!??

    original sin is original sin is original sin. you can not justify september 11th. you can not explain terrorism on september 11th. you can not write a 100,000 page insightful understanding of life in the middle east that justifies or explains men boarding a plane and driving it into a skyscraper! there is no godly fathomable explanation that in the very least gets you to say "oh, yeah, that makes sense to do, we should listen to the terrorists and their suffering now." why can't people see this!

    you can not capitulate to a terrorist. if you truly understand the sound logic of these words, then you must revisit your rant and rephrase. other wise, you don't get it sir, not at all. you don't get it at ALL. you are amazingly out of touch with some very fundamental facets of human nature.

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Looks like you're doomed to eternal violence to me (none / 0) (#400)
    by kcbrown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 11:06:53 PM EST

    and now, i must attack you for not getting that about september 11th. you tell me to understand the suffering that leads to september 11th. pray tell fine sir, where have the terrorists placed the desire in my heart to do that? or any terrorist victim? pray sir, where are the terrorists understanding of american life? wonderfully insightful person: what the f*** did america EVER do in the middle east to rightfully deserve september 11th?
    Oh, let's see:
    • We destabilized the democratic government of Iran and put the Shah of Iran in his place.
    • We backed Osama bin Laden and his people by giving him guns, ammo, and training and then simply left Afghanistan to rot when the Russians pulled out.
    • We gave support (training at the very least, and probably money too, if not arms) to Saddam Hussein so he could wage war against Iran after the Shah was overthrown.
    • We support the Saudi government, despite the fact that it's a cruel, oppressive monarchy.
    • And we give absolute support to Israel no matter what they do to those around them.
    That enough for you? We're probably responsible, directly or indirectly, for the deaths of millions in that region.

    "What have we ever done to deserve Sep. 11" indeed.

    Now, do not make the mistake from this and my other message that I believe that terrorism is a reasonable solution to the problem. It's not. But your suggestion that the Palestinians take the Ghandi approach is laughable. What, exactly, are the Palestinians supposed to do when the Israeli government tells them to fuck off when they ask for something, even nicely, huh? The Ghandi approach might work if it weren't for the fact that the U.S. gives unequivocal support to Israel, so how is the Ghandi approach supposed to work for the Palestinians, huh? Think they can just wave their magic wand like Tinker Bell and the Israelis will suddenly change their mind or something?

    The Palestinians wouldn't even be in this position if it weren't for us and the other western powers that decided to take land that didn't belong to them and give it to the Jews. Did we offer the Jews a homeland of their own within the United States or within any territory that it owns? Oh, no, of course not. Much easier to take someone else's land, especially when it belongs to people who aren't able to defend themselves against you, displace them and then give it away, than to displace your own people and give away your own land, right?

    As far as I know, Japan is the only country that has ever become a democracy by our hand. We've managed to screw up just about every place else. Those places might not be any better off had we left them alone, but you simply do not walk into someone else's house uninvited and mess with their stuff just because you have a bigger gun than they do, and you do not play head games with their kids in order to get them to behave the way you want them to, do you? Because you sure as hell wouldn't want them doing that to you, would you?

    You don't reason with terrorists, but reasoning with or otherwise placating terrorists is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about making sure that the people of the world like and respect you. You do that by helping them, by giving them the ability to make their own decisions, to decide who rules them, and to decide how the resources they command are used. Not by killing them, overthrowing their governments, taking their land, and then leaving them to rot!! It's the latter that we've done, and that is what breeds terrorists. You solve the problem of terrorism by making sure that people have no reason to become terrorists in the first place! You do what we did in Japan. You don't do what we did in Iran.

    If you're too overcome with grief, sorrow, and anger to understand this, then you're doomed to the eternal cycle of violence, for the violence that is done in the name of your grief, sorrow, and anger will generate a great deal of new grief, sorrow, and anger, which will result in more violence.

    [ Parent ]

    Don't get caught (none / 0) (#415)
    by epepke on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 02:43:55 AM EST

    what the f*** did america EVER do in the middle east to rightfully deserve september 11th? huh?

    I appreciate what you're trying to do, but don't get caught allowing critics to determine the playing field.

    Traditionally, bin Laden hasn't given a wet slap about Palestine. The Palestinians, much to their credit, haven't paid much attention to him, either.

    We know bin Laden's stated motivations for doing what he's been doing, which presumably includes 9/11 as well. He didn't like the fact that there are American soldiers in Saudi Arabia, presumably because he perceived them as an obstacle to taking over Saudi Arabia and installing an even more despotic regime, which has been his wet dream ever since he was kicked out of the place.

    Now, you can say what you like about how backward Saudi Arabia is, and it's all true. Unlike Iraq, for instance, women can't drive. Jews and atheists are not permitted to enter the country. Etc. etc. and so forth and so on. But even the critics don't find the evil of Saudi Arabia compelling enough to play it as a trump card terribly often. Instead, they pick whatever they don't like about the U.S. involvement in the Middle East and assume it applies. After all, they're just a bunch of a-rabs, right, and they're all alike? To quote South Park, Iran, Iraq, what's the difference?

    It's much more solid ground to point out that bin Laden was a spoiled rich bastard who was educated in England and that the people who flew the planes on 9/11 were highly privileged people who trained in Florida and went to strip clubs in Florida and met in Las Vegas and went to strip clubs in Las Vegas and were also of an age when their gonads work a lot better than their brains and were full of dreams about umpteen virgins in an automatic Paradise.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Query me this... (none / 0) (#372)
    by cr8dle2grave on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:10:58 PM EST

    ...if what say is true, why isn't Germany currently brimming over with violent groups seeking to avenge their felled countrymen and loved ones killed by the vicious assault of Britain, America, and Russia? Or why has Japan not become a festering hotbed of anti-American violence, as we did, after all, visit a near apocalyptic attack upon them?

    And what really are we supposed to do to ensure the well being of those who inhabit such chronically disastrous and unstable regions as the Middle East? And don't give me some nonsense response suggesting all their problems are caused by America, militaristic despotism has been nearly the sole form of governance in that region for more than 1300 years now.  

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    thank you (none / 0) (#381)
    by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:04:26 PM EST

    bravo. bravo. bravo.

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Nice try... (none / 0) (#402)
    by kcbrown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 11:23:20 PM EST

    ...if what say is true, why isn't Germany currently brimming over with violent groups seeking to avenge their felled countrymen and loved ones killed by the vicious assault of Britain, America, and Russia? Or why has Japan not become a festering hotbed of anti-American violence, as we did, after all, visit a near apocalyptic attack upon them?
    A couple of reasons:
    1. The war that was fought in Germany happened as a result of a dictator who got there much more through political intrigue than the support of the people. The people there know that, and know that if it weren't for the defeat of Germany during WWII they'd be living in an oppressive police state instead of a republic. Even death during war can be forgiven if the survivors are much better off for it.
    2. Japan's situation is similar, but not exactly the same. The people there still have not forgotten our atomic attack on them. But they, too, now live in a society where they have at least some amount of self-determination.
    3. In both of the above cases, the countries in question are doing reasonably well economically and the inhabitants are reasonably well off. In other words, life in either country is reasonably pleasant.
    None of those things is true of the people the terrorists spring from. Those people are at best no better off because of our actions than they would otherwise be, and in many cases they're worse off (Iran would probably be a much better place if it weren't for us).

    Terrorists spring from people who believe that they are much worse off because of you than they would be otherwise. The people of Germany and Japan don't believe that of the United States, which is why you don't see groups of anti-U.S. terrorists originating from those places.

    [ Parent ]

    True, but... (none / 0) (#407)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 12:49:04 AM EST

    ...not especially really relevant to the point I was making. Dropping bombs and killing people in droves need not always lead to long standing enmity. As for the WWII era German government not being popularly supported, I submit that it had far more popular support than the governments of any country the US has recently militarily engaged.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    More relevant than you seem to think... (none / 0) (#410)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 02:01:32 AM EST

    ..not especially really relevant to the point I was making. Dropping bombs and killing people in droves need not always lead to long standing enmity. As for the WWII era German government not being popularly supported, I submit that it had far more popular support than the governments of any country the US has recently militarily engaged.
    Well, my read is that Hitler got into power more through political intrigue than through popular support. But I'm sure he managed to rally the troops once in power. I'm also sure that much of that "support" was given because being shot was the alternative. Any Germans reading this that can chime in with the real story?

    In any case, the main point is that the people in both Japan and Germany are content enough that they don't need to hate the U.S. But I guarantee you that they'd feel differently if they were under the thumb of a murderous puppet dictator that we gave support to instead of having the power to elect whomever they see fit to serve in public office.

    One other thing: after the war, we gave both Germany and Japan a great deal of support so that they could rebuild their countries and get their governments in order. We have done quite the opposite in the Middle East.

    [ Parent ]

    hmm... (none / 0) (#421)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:04:36 AM EST

    In any case, the main point is that the people in both Japan and Germany are content enough that they don't need to hate the U.S. But I guarantee you that they'd feel differently if they were under the thumb of a murderous puppet dictator that we gave support to instead of having the power to elect whomever they see fit to serve in public office.

    And how much credit do the peoples of Germany and Japan deserve for there current situation? I would venture a guess that they are about as responsible for their current straights as are the residents of Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. The Marshall miracle was not a solely an American creation.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    Stabilizing the Middle East (4.00 / 1) (#404)
    by kcbrown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 11:34:07 PM EST

    And what really are we supposed to do to ensure the well being of those who inhabit such chronically disastrous and unstable regions as the Middle East? And don't give me some nonsense response suggesting all their problems are caused by America, militaristic despotism has been nearly the sole form of governance in that region for more than 1300 years now.
    That's easy: actually support the things we claim to stand for. Give those self-determination and, if they want it, democracy (if they don't want self-determination in their government then that's their right, but let them decide that), even if it means they won't support your interests. Trade with them. Let them buy the technology they need to build a solid civilization for themselves.

    I won't suggest that all their problems are caused by us. But we have our hand in a lot of their problems, and it's time we reversed that trend. Being more even-handed in our treatment of Israel and the Palestinians would be a really good start.

    [ Parent ]

    How precisely... (none / 0) (#408)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 01:09:08 AM EST

    ...do we go about bequeathing self determination upon a people? Especially a people who are bound and determined to resist any assistance from us? And as for trade, other than Iraq we trade pretty widely with people everywhere so long as they have something to offer that we are interested in buying. Technology? What technology have we withheld from anyone? The US hasn't even interfered with nuclear technology transfer to Middle Eastern countries so long as they abide by the terms of the Non-Proliferation treaty.

    Politically speaking, the Middle East is in roughly the same place it was fourty years ago: Nasserites, Islamists, and Tribalists, but no viable democratic movements. The only Middle Eastern country to field a truly homegrown democratic movement was Iran, and in that case the US erred seriously, mistaking it for potentially Soviet sympathetic satellite.

    And what does self determination really mean in countries with no real consensus on basic issues of governance? War? Because that is how they have thus far determined who is in power.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    It's not going to be easy... (none / 0) (#411)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 02:20:33 AM EST

    How precisely do we go about bequeathing self determination upon a people? Especially a people who are bound and determined to resist any assistance from us?
    The first thing is to make it clear to the people (the people, not the leaders) that your goal is to give them the ability to choose for themselves how they are to be governed and who is to govern them. If they still don't want your assistance, then don't give them any assistance. It's that simple. But it requires that you have your own people interacting with the average person in the country in question, and you have to listen to your people!

    If they do want your help then give it to them. Listen to them. Do what you have to in order to make it possible for the people to get the government they want. Overthrow their current government if necessary, then give the people the ability to decide what kind of government they want to live under and who they want in it. The trick is to always be in tune with what the people want.

    And what does self determination really mean in countries with no real consensus on basic issues of governance? War? Because that is how they have thus far determined who is in power.
    People really are a lot more similar than they are different, at the core. They all want food, shelter, comfort, and freedom. Nobody likes to be a slave, nobody likes to be uncomfortable, nobody likes to be cold, and nobody likes to be hungry. That's human nature. That's something that can be built on.

    Where they differ is in how they think it's best to achieve those things. Most people want to do so peacefully: nobody likes to get killed or to see loved ones get killed.

    The whole point behind a representative government such as ours is to make it possible for people who have different viewpoints on such things to coexist peacefully under a single government. Because people in a local region tend to have greater similarities, it makes sense for local policy to override national policy except for the cases when doing so would cause major conflict between regions. The purpose of the national government should first and foremost be to keep the peace between regional governments. I think we've done a very bad job of that here in the U.S.: the Federal government has far too much power and control.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that if you want to create a government with the consensus of the people, start with the things that you know you'll get a consensus on and work from there.

    [ Parent ]

    You didn't answer the question (none / 0) (#422)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:13:43 AM EST

    Overthrow their current government if necessary, then give the people the ability to decide what kind of government they want to live under and who they want in it.

    There is no existing consensus on that question, and the contending factions do not have enough in common to reach a compromise. So what do we do? It is not as if the US ever sat down and decided that they would like to deprive the Middle East of rational self governance. The situation the US faced with respect to the Middle East was more one of: Oppressive dictator A and oppressive dictator B are the only viable political entities and A is very roughly compatiable with out interests, whereas B is decidedly hostile to our interests. I think we'll go with A  

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    Guess I need to elaborate... (none / 0) (#434)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 05:36:46 AM EST

    There is no existing consensus on that question, and the contending factions do not have enough in common to reach a compromise. So what do we do?
    Umm...separate them into groups that do have consensus, build local governments answerable to each group, and then put those governments under a larger government whose purpose is to keep the peace between the two and to ensure the rights of the individual?

    That's exactly what the United States was set up to do, after all. The states were to be the primary governments, with the federal government acting as a stabilizing force. That's why, among other things, you have that rather peculiar language in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution that says "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people". It's why the Constitution granted the federal government the power to govern interstate commerce. The federal government in the U.S. is supposed to augment and support the state governments, not replace them.

    And be careful: is it truly a lack of consensus amongst the people that's the problem? Or is it simply that some people follow one dictator while others follow a different one, and the main conflict is between the two dictators? Our primary interests during the Cold War were to fight off Communism and exploit resources (whether natural or human). How likely do you think it is that we actually bothered to send people into these places to figure out what the people living there really wanted, especially since in doing so we might not be able to exploit the resources there the way we wanted?

    Most people simply want food, a comfortable place to live and raise their families, a place where they can gather with friends, worship, etc, and the ability to do the things they enjoy in peace. The basic needs of humans are relatively simple and are essentially universal. This is why the vast majority of wars in human history have been fought over resources: survival of groups of people depended on such things, and there often weren't enough resources to go around.

    As long as availability of resources isn't an issue, why should setting up a government be an issue to the common man, as long as he's able to meet his needs?

    Look at all the issues we have here in the U.S. on which there is significant disagreement (i.e., lack of consensus): abortion, taxes, welfare, etc. Yet despite all the things we as a people disagree on (and sometimes quite violently, at that!), we're still able to live (more or less :-) under the same government. It will work, as long as the government doesn't take obvious sides too much. So why can't it work there as well? What's so fundamentally different about the people there versus the people here that would prevent a basic democracy (or republic, if you'd like) from working?

    No, I think it's more likely that our government (of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations) didn't and doesn't have an interest in setting up such things. The last time we did that was in Japan, and it was hard. And we ended up with a formidible economic competitor on our hands as a result. I don't think the corporations of the U.S. want to make that "mistake" again, even though the average U.S. citizen is probably much better off as a result of that "mistake".

    [ Parent ]

    Why? (none / 0) (#449)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 02:38:24 PM EST

    Umm...separate them into groups that do have consensus, build local governments answerable to each group, and then put those governments under a larger government whose purpose is to keep the peace between the two and to ensure the rights of the individual?

    Why should we undertake such an expensive venture? That is, if it were even remotely possible.

    The last time we did that was in Japan, and it was hard. And we ended up with a formidible economic competitor on our hands as a result. I don't think the corporations of the U.S. want to make that "mistake" again, even though the average U.S. citizen is probably much better off as a result of that "mistake".

    Corporations in America do not make foreign policy decisions. They participate in the process and are not even remotely of a single mind on any issue of not -- except perhaps their collective opposition to a strong command economy. Also, Fear of an eventual local (meaning Middle Eastern) economic competitor is probably the stupidest reason I've ever heard floated for our actions in the Middle East.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    Oh, and about Iraq... (none / 0) (#414)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 02:30:09 AM EST

    I haven't made this clear before but I'll make it clear now: I'm against an attack against Iraq, but not because I believe a regime change over there is the wrong thing to do (it is wrong if the people who actually live there don't want it).

    No, I believe it's wrong because I have no reason to believe that we will give the people in Iraq a government that answers to them, and every reason to believe that we will install a puppet government that answers only to the U.S. (and thus only to the U.S. corporations). In short, I strongly believe that by taking this course of action we will make things no better, and probably worse, for the people living there.

    I believe this because as far as I know, we haven't managed to do anything right with respect to setting up governments ever since we finished with Japan. But we've done a whole lot wrong, and the world is worse off because of it (Iran is a good example, but there are plenty of others).

    [ Parent ]

    Sensible (none / 0) (#419)
    by epepke on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 03:18:48 AM EST

    I haven't made this clear before but I'll make it clear now: I'm against an attack against Iraq, but not because I believe a regime change over there is the wrong thing to do (it is wrong if the people who actually live there don't want it).

    No, I believe it's wrong because I have no reason to believe that we will give the people in Iraq a government that answers to them, and every reason to believe that we will install a puppet government that answers only to the U.S.

    That's a sensible reason, and I almost agree with it. I think that a real puppet government wouldn't be so bad, considering. However, what I think will happen is that Bush will, as in Afghanistan, lose any interest in "nation building" and leave the country in shambles. Iraq is currently relatively progressive in terms of the area. Women can drive, for instance. I don't think a half-hearted approach could do any good. At best, there would probably be an alliance with the people who control the north of Iraq, leading to a lot of "retaliatory" bloodshed.

    You mention Japan, and that's a good point. I see a lot of talk about how the U.S. is too arrogant. However, the restructuring of Japan worked because the U.S. was supremely arrogant about the process.

    I oppose attacking Iraq because I think it's a bad idea. As for the possibility of Iraq having WMD, well, we've dealt with that before. Recently released documents show that we came a lot closer to armageddon even than we'd though during the Cuban missile crisis. But it still isn't as if Iraq had missiles fifty miles from the U.S. or on submarines.

    But in any event, you're right--the trick to Iraq wouldn't be winning the war; it would be winning the peace. I'm not filled with confidence that the U.S. is willing to do that.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Ahhh, the irony (none / 0) (#425)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:25:17 AM EST

    I see a lot of talk about how the U.S. is too arrogant. However, the restructuring of Japan worked because the U.S. was supremely arrogant about the process.

    Dead accurate. And we're going on what? Our 57th year of military presence/occupation in the region. Compare: all it took was a year or two of military presence within Saudi Arabia to galvanize a violent resistance movement with global repercussions. I don't think the facts, as they currently stand, bode well for the prospects of successful nation building in the Middle East.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    I agree (none / 0) (#429)
    by epepke on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:50:54 AM EST

    I don't think the facts, as they currently stand, bode well for the prospects of successful nation building in the Middle East.

    Alas, I agree. As much as I loathe the idea on general principles, a full-out, balls-nailed-to-the wall, "white man's burden," unabashedly colonial approach might actually work. But I don't see anything other than a massive clusterfuck coming out of Iraq.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Big difference between the two, though... (none / 0) (#432)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 05:05:40 AM EST

    And we're going on what? Our 57th year of military presence/occupation in the region. Compare: all it took was a year or two of military presence within Saudi Arabia to galvanize a violent resistance movement with global repercussions. I don't think the facts, as they currently stand, bode well for the prospects of successful nation building in the Middle East.
    Well, be fair. We helped to rebuild Japan after the war and helped to build a government answerable to their people. We took some action to help the common man over there. That probably scored a lot of points with them. Our military presence there is seen by them primarily as an effort to protect Japan from invasion. Perception is what matters, right?

    The (probably correct) perception in the Middle East is that our military presence there is for the purpose of control and access to the resources in the region, and perhaps as a means of preventing military action on the part of the nations in that region against Israel (I'm not sure which of those two is seen by the Arabs as being the dominant reason for our presence there). Point being that our military isn't there for the benefit of the average Arab over there, but for the benefit of ourselves and Israel. Our military presence is viewed by them as a hinderance, not as an benefit.

    That's a big difference. Probably big enough to explain the rather different reactions.

    What have we done in the Middle East to help the average (non-Israeli) person over there? Anything at all? We've certainly done much to harm them (the most notable thing being to help overthrow the Iranian democracy).

    [ Parent ]

    More to Japan than just that, though... (none / 0) (#427)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:41:16 AM EST

    You mention Japan, and that's a good point. I see a lot of talk about how the U.S. is too arrogant. However, the restructuring of Japan worked because the U.S. was supremely arrogant about the process.
    That's certainly true. The arrogance the U.S. displayed proved to be a good thing. It may even have been necessary. But it was not sufficient.

    No, the main reason we succeeded in Japan is that we concentrated on the right things: setting up a truly representative government, listening to and catering to the needs of the people, etc. In other words, spreading freedom. And it worked.

    I'm sure there were complications along the way, and I'm sure that the U.S. made mistakes, too. But I don't think the intentions of the U.S. were to set up a puppet government answerable only to the U.S. and not to its own people.

    But I'm sure that's what the intentions of the U.S. are today, because it's exactly what we've been doing for the past 40 years or so, and the U.S. today stands for freedom even less now than it did during the Cold War, when we were installing and supporting oppressive regimes everywhere we could. As evidence, one need only look at the USAPATRIOT Act and our insistence that we be able to declare anyone we want an "enemy combatant" and detain them on a whim without trial indefinitely.

    If we're trashing the few freedoms U.S. citizens have left, how much respect do you think we'll have for the freedoms of non-citizens?

    [ Parent ]

    I agree 2 (none / 0) (#433)
    by epepke on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 05:07:10 AM EST

    That's certainly true. The arrogance the U.S. displayed proved to be a good thing. It may even have been necessary. But it was not sufficient.

    No, the main reason we succeeded in Japan is that we concentrated on the right things: setting up a truly representative government, listening to and catering to the needs of the people, etc. In other words, spreading freedom. And it worked.

    True, but I don't think that could have worked without supreme arrogance. Consider England. There's still a symbolic ceremony where they shut the doors of Parliament in the Queen's face. That's pretty arrogant, but I don't think that you can do it without that arrogance.

    Otherwise, you wind up trying to please everybody, with the result that nobody is pleased.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Arrogance? Or determination? (none / 0) (#436)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 07:22:39 AM EST

    True, but I don't think that could have worked without supreme arrogance. Consider England. There's still a symbolic ceremony where they shut the doors of Parliament in the Queen's face. That's pretty arrogant, but I don't think that you can do it without that arrogance.
    Very interesting, that. I had no idea.

    But don't mistake arrogance for determination. A great deal of determination was required to get Japan going, and I'm sure some of that came off as arrogance. Hell, I'm sure there was some arrogance involved. But I'll bet it's the determination much more than the arrogance that did the trick.

    The arrogance was required on our part to initiate the project to begin with, though, no question about that!

    [ Parent ]

    In the spirit of honesty (none / 0) (#424)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:18:46 AM EST

    I haven't made this clear before but I'll make it clear now: I'm against an attack against Iraq

    Well, I haven't made this clear before either, but I am opposed the attack on Iraq.

    I believe this because as far as I know, we haven't managed to do anything right with respect to setting up governments ever since we finished with Japan. But we've done a whole lot wrong, and the world is worse off because of it (Iran is a good example, but there are plenty of others).

    I strongly disagree that the world as a whole is worse due the US, but I do agree with you that our inability to deal with a post war scenario in Iraq is sufficient reason to seek another path.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    Hard to see why the world might be better off... (none / 0) (#430)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:51:05 AM EST

    I strongly disagree that the world as a whole is worse due the US, but I do agree with you that our inability to deal with a post war scenario in Iraq is sufficient reason to seek another path.
    Well, when the U.S. is responsible for providing support for numerous oppressive regimes as well as the overthrow of one or more democracies (subsequently replaced by oppressive regimes), it's difficult to see how the world isn't worse off as a result. Some might say that the USSR would still be a threat or that Communism would be a lot more common now if we hadn't done those things, but it seems to me that we basically took the easy way out far too often back in the Cold War days, and as a result the world has a lot more oppression, pain, and suffering than it needs to.

    But I'll grant you that the U.S. has done some good things to offset at least some of that, and I'll also grant you that it's impossible to know whether the world would be any better off had we not behaved the way we did.

    Either way, there must be some reason you don't have any faith in the ability of the U.S. to properly follow through in Iraq. Mine is based on the rather sordid history of this country in the world arena, coupled with the knowledge that the government of the U.S. is controlled by its corporations and not its people.

    [ Parent ]

    Yep (none / 0) (#447)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 02:11:23 PM EST

    Either way, there must be some reason you don't have any faith in the ability of the U.S. to properly follow through in Iraq.

    Because I, as a US citizen, have absolutely no interest in supporting with American lives and money the requisite effort to achieve a goal which delivers to us little advantage and significant risk. The Iraqis can toil and die for their own freedom.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    The Iraqis can't do it alone. (none / 0) (#452)
    by kcbrown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 05:04:52 PM EST

    The Iraqis can toil and die for their own freedom.
    Well, unfortunately, revolution like that of the U.S. isn't really possible anymore (what I state in that article is true for Iraq as well, except for the availability of nukes). The only way the Iraqi people can make it happen is if they get significant military support from someone else, or get the Iraqi military in on their side. As long as Hussein controls the Iraqi military, the people of Iraq will be under his thumb, barring any outside intervention.

    [ Parent ]
    You are PURE SHIT (3.33 / 3) (#446)
    by daftpig on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 02:07:08 PM EST

    Despite all your emotional rants about how the US pple are feeling and reeling after September 11th, perhaps you should even go revise world history and see how many times the US has infiltrated another state's soil. This is only the SECOND time US has been attacked on its own soil. SECOND TIME! How many times did you pple do it to everyone else? It never fails to amaze me how the political theory of Realism is most written about and used for international politics analysis in US. And yet, the Americans don't seem to have any inkling about Realism and instead ask the anal question of "Why do they hate us so much?" Wake up! and get a life.

    [ Parent ]
    Nonsense. (2.73 / 15) (#180)
    by Fantastic Lad on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:09:50 PM EST

    Nope.

    It's very easy to fall for the stage production version of reality and puppet show politics, but I tend to think that ALL the players have already been bought and sold.

    I've said it before and I'll repeat it again:

    This war has ONE over-arching objective. To kill all the semites. (The semites being both the Jews & the Arabs. These bloodlines are a threat to the NWO. I know that sounds nuts, but there are numerous other factors which will come into play over the next few years.)

    Oil, Opium and Warbucks are merely fringe benefits to entice the forces of stupidity into action. The White House doesn't know squat, and the opinions of the EU are utterly meaningless, not just because their leaders are part and parcel of this whole goofball parade, but because while they might have the collective power to do something about the U.S., they don't currently have the collective uniformity of thought or the gonads required to change the current American 'regime'.

    The U.S. citizens certainly don't have the collective guts to impeach Bush and his gang and put them into prison for their endless list of crimes. -Including everything from shadey involvement with ENRONomics, the undoing of the American civil rights, massive corruption in drug trafficing, the whole 9-11 bullshit production, and this current attempt to mold the perceptions of Americans with the current shootings in Washington and various 'terrorist' bombings around the globe. (When France and Germany are holding out from supporting Bush, WHY would Arab terrorists turn around and bomb them? --Unless it's all a campaign to shape public thought). To name but a few items.

    Here's how it'll go, given the current menu. May change as unexpected butterfly wings pop up, but can be generally expected to keep the course. . .

    1) Sadam is too full of himself to capitulate or speak the truth, and so the American invasion begins.

    2) Iraqi terrorist activities begin in earnest, involving, almost certainly, strains of deadly influenza outbreaks.

    3) Israel steps up its genocide activities in Palestine.

    4) SOMEBODY does something to Israel, which is percieved by the Israeli powerbrokers as an Arab attack, to which it responds with great force, possibly nuclear. They've already pledged that this will be their response to any biological attacks.

    5) (Now getting theoretical here) The world is shocked by the Israeli over-reaction. The U.S. FINALLY pulls its support from Israel. In come the wolves.

    6) Iraq has almost certainly bought and posesses Chinese nukes. May actually use some of them.

    7) No more Semites!

    That's the thunk-headed, over-simplified, RedAlert2 version, but I'm looking for something along these lines.

    What I can't figure out just yet is how the Chinese are going to be 'dealt' with. . .

    One way or another, the planet is very likely going to lose about 90% of its population over the next decade while more 'reasonable minds' sit around and blather on about what the EU happens to think. This deal is already done. It was set up a few thousand years ago. The simple fact that the Jews think they are the master race & God's chosen is based on biblical propaganda and religeous manipulation precisely designed to set up this scenario.

    Oh yeah. Don't get a flu shot this season.

    -Fantastic Lad --Somebody has to spout this stuff. You're welcome.

    title of your post perfectly describes it (3.66 / 3) (#197)
    by tichy on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:58:55 PM EST

    The real reason are jews, and not oil, money, power, WMDs, etc? Nowhere in your message you explain why.

    In fact it makes so little sense I'm almost thinking it could be a parody.

    [ Parent ]

    Check back. . . (3.00 / 2) (#233)
    by Fantastic Lad on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 08:27:42 PM EST

    The real reason are jews, and not oil, money, power, WMDs, etc? Nowhere in your message you explain why.

    This would take a HUGE amount of work, but you're point is certainly a worthy one. I'll think about how to phrase something useful and try to get back to you later. If I don't, it's because life continues to pummel me with deadlines.

    For the time being, you might try doing some googling on the following items: Thule Society involving Hitler, Rothschilde & Rockefeller, The Origins of Zionism, History of the Bible, The logic behind the Holocaust (Or lack thereof). Then for fun, look up Greenbaum, Skull & Bones.

    If you're feeling truly adventurous, you might consider what cattle mutilations, UFO's, Atlantis legends and comets might have to do with things. But that's probably asking too much. The fact of the matter is that conspiracy theorists are labeled and discarded out of hand by people whose only reading and thinking in the area is limited to the Learning Channel's brand of propaganda, X-Files, a book on Ghosts read in grade 2, and half a day's total reading of the loudest and dumbest looking websites, (which were only glanced at in order to say, "No, I looked at all that stuff, and it's all total bullshit! James Randi is NOT a hypocrite and I am NOT a corporately programmed jellybeen!"). Be honest and follow ten links or so before calling it a day. Curiosity isn't just a slogon, it really is good for you! And while there is a TON of dis-info, it's there for a reason.

    In any case, keep an eye on how things progress on the world stage, and keep in mind some of my "nonsense". Hopefully you'll still be allowed to visit a library or cruise the web when you start to think, "Hey, now hold on a minute. What was that guy saying. . ? Kuiper what?"

    -Fantastic Lad

    [ Parent ]

    You've been reading Illuminatus again right? (none / 0) (#534)
    by Fred_A on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 07:50:47 AM EST


    Fred in Paris
    [ Parent ]

    You forgot floridation. (none / 0) (#366)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:44:32 PM EST

    You need to get the word out on how floridation fits in their evil schemes!


    --
    Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


    [ Parent ]

    Actually. . . (none / 0) (#423)
    by Fantastic Lad on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 04:14:42 AM EST

    You need to get the word out on how floridation fits in their evil schemes!

    That's 'fluoride' with a 'U'.

    Want to lose more letters? Go swallow another inch of toothpaste. There's a good boy.

    -Fantastic Lad

    [ Parent ]

    I was referring to the election in Florida. (none / 0) (#440)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 12:17:42 PM EST

    WTF are *you* talking about?

    And you call *me* a dumbass.

    Jeez.


    --
    Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


    [ Parent ]

    Now, Now. (none / 0) (#450)
    by Fantastic Lad on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 03:36:55 PM EST

    I was referring to the election in Florida. WTF are *you* talking about? And you call *me* a dumbass. Jeez.

    Now, now, Mr. Porkchop. Nobody called anyone a dumbass. That's just your subconscious talking.

    In any case, if you ever manage to figure out what is being said by what part of your brain, I'd recommend that you capitalize state names in order to minimize confusion for us mere mortals who don't come pre-installed with extra voices.

    -Fantastic Lad --Did you remember to floss?

    [ Parent ]

    Did you have your sense of humor amputated (none / 0) (#496)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 08:59:58 AM EST

    or is this some sort of birth defect?


    --
    Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


    [ Parent ]

    Hey, I'm laughing. (none / 0) (#557)
    by Fantastic Lad on Wed Oct 23, 2002 at 04:42:19 AM EST

    You're a funny guy, in a fish in a barrel kind of way. Mind you, the names in a hat thing was a cute strategic withdraw, though the amputated/birth defect bit was stock lameness. The interesting part is that you have a bit of real muscle. That Florida riff was really cool, but your execution was sloppy, so I nailed you anyway. What a waste! If you figure out how to pull your shit together, you'll be one to reckon with.

    Peace to you. Three exchanges takes stamina.

    -Fantastic Lad --Word Fu!

    [ Parent ]

    Anyway, life has been going a lot better (none / 0) (#497)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 09:00:49 AM EST

    Since I learned how to listen to only one voice at a time. Each morning they put their names into a hat and pull one out. The winner gets to drive.


    --
    Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


    [ Parent ]

    Umm... let's think about this. (none / 0) (#552)
    by JyZude on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 10:27:20 PM EST

    Okay... let's break this down.

    1) Sadam is too full of himself to capitulate or speak the truth, and so the American invasion begins.

    That's quite likely. No argument.

    2) Iraqi terrorist activities begin in earnest, involving, almost certainly, strains of deadly influenza outbreaks.

    Influenza? Thus far there is no evidence of Iraqi influenza research (afaik), and if the Iraqis did release strong influenza, it would be too difficult to link it to them. The public is expecting no less than anthrax. How can Dubya blame the flu on Iraq?

    3) Israel steps up its genocide activities in Palestine.

    They don't need a conspiracy to do that - they do it all the time.

    4) SOMEBODY does something to Israel, which is percieved by the Israeli powerbrokers as an Arab attack, to which it responds with great force, possibly nuclear. They've already pledged that this will be their response to any biological attacks.

    Again, no conspiracy necessary. The Arabs supposedly do all kinds of things. But you know, it probably wouldn't be the Arab gov't doing it, seeing as how Isreal can waltz up to the Palestine compound and take it over in less than a few hours. It would probably be one of those pesky "extremist" groups.

    5) (Now getting theoretical here) The world is shocked by the Israeli over-reaction. The U.S. FINALLY pulls its support from Israel. In come the wolves.

    Are you kidding? What about the JEW RUN MEDIA! (kidding...). But seriously, pulling out support for isreal essentially means supporting the arabs. And, well, the US doesn't ever support arabs unless they have oil.

    6) Iraq has almost certainly bought and posesses Chinese nukes. May actually use some of them.

    Where? In isreal? If Saddam is so completely insane as the US makes him out, wouldn't he attack the US first. I mean, atomic weapons can do a lot of damage even if you are the most powerful country around.

    7) No more Semites!

    In short, I give your conspiracy theory 6 out of 10. It lacks rationality and Stonemasons.

    -----
    k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


    [ Parent ]
    what a lousy article (3.66 / 6) (#196)
    by bolthole on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 05:54:30 PM EST

    Sheesh. I was expecting to read some inciteful commentary about why the EU would be opposed to the US action in Iraq. But all I see is a bunch of whining about "those scarey Republicans".

    This should never have been accepted, let alone put on the front page. I guess we have a lot of knee-jerk democrats tracking the submissions queue.

    OK, so tell me why you think (5.00 / 1) (#245)
    by Pop Top on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:07:45 PM EST

    the Europeans are causing so much trouble.

    [ Parent ]
    Different Need of Oil (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by tangocharly on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:34:32 PM EST

    The US imports about 10% of its oil from the middle east, Europe imports about 45% of its oil from the same region. The UK is an oil exporter.

    All I know is that US-economy is much more dependent on cheap oil than most european countries because the average energy consumption per head of the US is higher and because europe's energy supply is relying more on natural gas mostly from Russia.

    Stop wasting energy avoids wars.

    Where does it stop? (4.42 / 7) (#214)
    by Shovas on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 06:59:04 PM EST

    There were those persons who, immediately after September Eleventh, delved into debate after debate and wondered aloud if attacking Afghanistan and the idea of rooting out terrorism and destroying it once and for all was the beginning of an unwinnable war. Lo and behold, what have we more than a year later? We have not just attacked Afghanistan, killed hundreds of innocent civilians and we have not just ruthlessly labelled it colateral damage. We have not just left Afghanistan in runes while allowing the perpetrator of our nightmares to escape. We have done so much more. We have the Axis of Evil. We have the Patriot Act. We have ethnic profiling charading as an honest, logical method of extracting those persons from society who by looks and origins alone remind us of those who caused our dreams painted black. We now have the war on Iraq which absolutely never would have garnered the will for another round if it had not been for that fateful day when the phallic symbols of freedom and capital fell to the dust and dirt. Endlessly we argue this way and that while the Land of the Free passes bills espousing democratic rights and civil liberties while implying moral and ethical superiority through might.

    When the Home of the Brave involves itself in the Middle East it follows through with deadly direction, for curiously much is riding on so apparently innocuous a region. And still hell-bent as we vie, we will certainly drive our point home into that nest of the rank. We've gone before, we shall tread that path again. And, still, when does this all end? You can not root out terror. When George declared that where The Bombs Bursting in Air would go, so too would terror flee, that terror might be vanquished. Folly and Foolishness! Have we not understood what terror is? Terror is not any person, group, or nation. Nor is it any act, any device, or any weapon. Terror is a mindset, and most assuredly a mindset is something you can never completely root out or destroy. It may never wholely be eliminated though we try our best to cage it in walls. Terror will not be removed because terror is always lurking in every Man, arising when such protests of the mind come rampaging in by the thoughtless, reckless acts of those who see no more than what they may gain.

    And some said this was the beginning of a war we could not win. Where shall we go next? There is naturally a banquet table overflowing with delectable delights. Why, we haven't fully partaken of the Satanic Trinity, the enabled Axis of Evil. There, surely, would remain at least a decade of ripe rife to reap. Perhaps by then we shall be wise enough to deal appropriately with China, the antithesis of our wonderfully idyllic realities.

    This is a war that will not be won as surely as it is a war upon a foe who knows no parish for to call out his dirge. We fight evil at its very heart. What few realize is that its very heart is the sustenance of our being. Man's heart is inherently bipartisan in this duality of dooms. What arises in Man's heart will always arise as surely as there are babies blissfully smiling upon our secretly-reviled world. The terror we live in is by its very essence the terror of our own dreams, for we too are capable of these horrific acts. We can not defeat ourselves. We can not hole-up the pores of our own hearts leaking, reaking, ridden with unknown, unkindly thoughts and visions.

    And some said this was the beginning of a war that could not be won.
    ---
    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    ---
    Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
    erm. (1.00 / 3) (#272)
    by nanobug on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:21:07 AM EST

    There were those persons who, immediately after September Eleventh, delved into debate after debate and wondered aloud if attacking Afghanistan and the idea of rooting out terrorism and destroying it once and for all was the beginning of an unwinnable war. Lo and behold, what have we more than a year later? We have not just attacked Afghanistan, killed hundreds of innocent civilians and we have not just ruthlessly labelled it colateral damage

    We may have killed hundreds of innocent civilians.  That happens in war, and war is as old as mankind. Sure, it sucks, but the fact is that WAR IS WAR. 3000 innocent civilians died on Sept. 11th.  They were just minding their own business, going to work.  What did you expect us to do, just let the Taliban continue to harbor terrorists so we can lose more innocents over here?

    We have ethnic profiling charading as an honest, logical method of extracting those persons from society who by looks and origins alone remind us of those who caused our dreams painted black.

    So what you're basically saying, is that in the interest of being fair, we should devote valuable time searching for bombs or other contraband in the bags of elderly women, former politicians (like Al Gore), and white guys with mullets who are wearing Dale Earnhardt hats. I don't know how that could possibly be logical to anyone.  The OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of terrorists are of arabic descent. FUCK FAIR. Innocent people don't deserve to die because we need to be FAIR.

    We've gone before, we shall tread that path again. And, still, when does this all end? You can not root out terror.

    So we should just give up, thats the answer.  While we're at it, lets just stop putting child molesters in jail, since we'll never totally get rid of that problem either. After all, child molesters can be anywhere.  It's a mindset that causes these people to molest kids.

    Perhaps by then we shall be wise enough to deal appropriately with China, the antithesis of our wonderfully idyllic realities.

    One can dream, can't they?

    This is a war that will not be won as surely as it is a war upon a foe who knows no parish for to call out his dirge. We fight evil at its very heart. What few realize is that its very heart is the sustenance of our being. Man's heart is inherently bipartisan in this duality of dooms. What arises in Man's heart will always arise as surely as there are babies blissfully smiling upon our secretly-reviled world. The terror we live in is by its very essence the terror of our own dreams, for we too are capable of these horrific acts. We can not defeat ourselves. We can not hole-up the pores of our own hearts leaking, reaking, ridden with unknown, unkindly thoughts and visions.

    Nobody wins a war.  If you were ever in a fight, surely sometime afterwards you realized how utterly stupid it was.  Just the fact that you look at war as something that is WON shows your ignorance.

    I look at it like this, and I think I speak for a lot of people.

    Terrorists, Dictators, and Military regimes are bullys.

    You, and everyone else like you in America and abroad, are the kids who always got kicked around at school, and never had the nerve to stand up and take a swing back.

    The rest of us, who get the picture and are supporting this action, are the ones who learned after the first time they had their lunch money taken.  We learned that in order to stop that bully from ever doing it again, and to prevent other bullies from preying on us, we have to sometimes ball our fists up and fight back.  

    Sometimes, we even gotta step in and protect those who cannot protect themselves, or are too afraid to.

    Like you.

    [ Parent ]

    well (4.00 / 5) (#284)
    by martingale on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:20:32 AM EST

    Sure, it sucks, but the fact is that WAR IS WAR. 3000 innocent civilians died on Sept. 11th. They were just minding their own business, going to work. What did you expect us to do, just let the Taliban continue to harbor terrorists so we can lose more innocents over here?
    Exactly. Because WAR is WAR, it deserves to be AVOIDED. You want to do something about terrorism? Stop your government instigating WAR and push for INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION. Terrorism is nothing new. It's a POLICE matter. Go fund INTERPOL.

    Because WAR is WAR, you will get WAR back from those who wouldn't have chosen to oppose you otherwise. If, for example, you fund INTERPOL instead, it will be local police that go after local terrorists. No danger that some kid who lost his family because of a US stray bomb will join a group specifically to attack the US. WAR is WAR.

    So what you're basically saying, is that in the interest of being fair, we should devote valuable time searching for bombs or other contraband in the bags of elderly women, former politicians (like Al Gore), and white guys with mullets who are wearing Dale Earnhardt hats. I don't know how that could possibly be logical to anyone. The OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of terrorists are of arabic descent. FUCK FAIR. Innocent people don't deserve to die because we need to be FAIR.
    OVERWHELMING MAJORITY? Puhlease. Have you forgotten Tim McVeigh? The guy with the turban, right? You're being taken for a ride by politicians who recognize a golden power grab when they see it. Terrorists exist in all shapes and sizes. In England, it's the Irish (IRA). In Spain, it's the Basque (ETA). In Italy, it used to be Italians (Red Brigades). The Germans had German terrorists. And on, and on. You need to be FAIR now more than ever. To show law abiding citizens that they don't need to take the law into their own hands. Be TRANSPARENT and NOT HYPOCRITICAL.

    So we should just give up, thats the answer. While we're at it, lets just stop putting child molesters in jail, since we'll never totally get rid of that problem either. After all, child molesters can be anywhere. It's a mindset that causes these people to molest kids.
    Give up randomly victimizing ethnicities? Sure. You've hit the nail on the head. Terrorists are like child molesters. They must be dealt with LAWFULLY. Put them before a tribunal. Sentence them. It ISN'T a job for the MILITARY.

    Nobody wins a war. If you were ever in a fight, surely sometime afterwards you realized how utterly stupid it was. Just the fact that you look at war as something that is WON shows your ignorance.
    And two paragraphs earlier, you were talking about not giving up? Looks like you've given up resisting your government's ideas, resigned yourself to pay with your own blood the whims of your Washington leaders. The government is there to serve YOU, not the other way around. It makes mistakes, too. Always ask yourself if what they propose is in your own best interest.

    Terrorists, Dictators, and Military regimes are bullys.
    You want to fight bullies? That's great. But don't tread on your friends and turn them into enemies just to give that bully one last punch. Don't ignore your friends and turn them against you because they're either with you or against you. Listen to them when they hold you back. That's what they're there for.

    [ Parent ]
    Overwhelming majority. (5.00 / 1) (#343)
    by nanobug on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:27:31 PM EST

    Further proof that I should not post comments late at night.

    When I said overwhelming majority, what I meant was in the United States.  Tim McVeigh is an exception to the rule, but one man does not an overwhelming majority make.  When you look at all the major acts of terror in the United States, and abroad that are directed at the United States (like the USS Cole incident), you will find that an overwhelming majority of these cases are perpetrated by people of arabic descent who subscribe to the beliefs of militant islamic fundamentalist doctrine.  

    Does that mean that ALL terrorists are of islamic descent?  No.  Does that mean that there will never, ever be a terrorist that attacks us of another race? No.  What it means is that, in order to use our manpower wisely, we should not be looking for 80 year old white women with bombs in their purses.  These people simply don't hijack planes.  If it happens, THEN it would be logical to do so, but until that time comes, we should be looking for terrorists by checking the people who, when looking at statistics, DO carry bombs and weapons on planes.

    I don't think that we should stop checking other people's bags.  I do think that we should be checking every arabic person's bags.  If this inconvenience saves one innocent life, then it's worth it, and to hell with them and you if you dont see it that way.

    [ Parent ]

    heh Can you say "superiority complex"? (3.66 / 3) (#301)
    by Shovas on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:43:19 AM EST

    I thought you could!
    You, and everyone else like you in America and abroad, are the kids who always got kicked around at school, and never had the nerve to stand up and take a swing back.
    Give me a break. If you need to result to petty bullying yourself to argue your opinions, we have bigger problems.

    Let me first state the one point I wished to get across in that lead post. I wanted people to understand that terror is something you can not absolutely destroy. If we attempt to do so, we embark on an unending, necessarily unfruitful crusade which does nothing but strike fear into the populace and stroke our "reason" centres of the brain, allowing us to feel safe because we are being pro-active in the most rudimentary way we know how: Might is Right. While much of the post touched on points other than this core thread, they were side-issues and we must realize terror will never completely die out.

    I do not condone apathetic behaviour in this situation. I actually agree the US was required to attack Afghanistan and to attempt to stomp out the al Queda there. We should have realized, however, that it was perhaps the first and last location we had the right and moral support to unilaterally declare war and invade a country. One, because we don't have due cause for any other country. Two, because of the simple principle that you can not completely destroy terror, therefore no Man has the right to declare and endeavour in a war that can not be won and thus can not end.
    So we should just give up, thats the answer. While we're at it, lets just stop putting child molesters in jail, since we'll never totally get rid of that problem either. After all, child molesters can be anywhere. It's a mindset that causes these people to molest kids.
    No, we should not just give up. At the same time, war is not the answer. A cooperation of minds and resources is required to assuage the violent thoughts of those who would arise in terror. It is only through thought that thought may be changed. There is a reason we are being attacked, and it is that reason we must attack.

    Remember, Iraq isn't about terror. Iraq is about the potential for terror, and do we have the right to play fortune teller with the lives of others? More correctly, why do we throw out reason and logic when looking at Sadam's terrorizing track record and say he must be dealt with in the same way as the al Queda? Iraq is about something else, and this idea that it is about terror is idiocy.

    If you must know, I might support a regime change on Sadam's grand simply due to his past record of human rights violations against his own people. That, itself, is enough to warrant violent and justified response from his peers.

    It is so much more important to realize, though, that declaration of every military operation as terror elimination is foolish and illogical reasoning; It is this corrupt reasoning and herd mentality which will lead onward from Iraq to wherever it might benefit us most to go there and root out terror.
    ---
    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    ---
    Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
    [ Parent ]
    Just a minor point (3.00 / 2) (#476)
    by rmn on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 07:01:34 PM EST

    > We have not just left Afghanistan in runes
    > while allowing the perpetrator of our
    > nightmares to escape.

    You're assuming they were there to begin with...

    RMN
    ~~~

    [ Parent ]

    Well, it was the entire point of the campaign (none / 0) (#479)
    by Shovas on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 09:33:24 PM EST

    Bin Laden was expected to be in Afghanistan and may have been and may have died there. The entire point was to do away with bin Laden and the al Queda operations and manipulations of the government in that nation. Whether he was there or not is besides the point, what we're now told is that we have no idea where bin Laden is or if he is alive or dead.
    ---
    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    ---
    Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
    [ Parent ]
    Another minor point, then... (3.50 / 4) (#488)
    by rmn on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 12:14:54 AM EST

    How do you know Bin Laden was responsible? Do you really think such a well-coordinated attack was controlled from half a world away? Isn't it slightly more likely that the people directly responsible for the attack (who may or may not have links to Bin Laden, or share his objectives) were (and still are) inside the USA, and are perfectly able to decide and act on their own?

    It seems that nowadays, every time someone is killed or a bomb goes off, people automatically blame it on Bin Laden. I really don't think that Bin Laden can be everywhere at the same time. "Bin Laden did it" is becoming more and more synonymous with "we don't have a clue who did it".

    RMN
    ~~~

    [ Parent ]

    Afganistan in runes (none / 0) (#544)
    by Moebius on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 01:59:06 PM EST

    I had not heard about that. We must have really carved them up.

    [ Parent ]
    I don't really care what Europeans think (2.14 / 14) (#220)
    by Delta445 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 07:30:29 PM EST

    Call me a typical "cowboy" American, but at this point in time I really don't care what a bunch of Europeans think. It appears to me that we are truly damned if we do and damned if we don't in the eyes of most liberal Europeans. So I don't really care. I think the US should do what it needs to do in order to defend itself against the Iraqi government. It's obvious that Suddam already has chemical weapons, and who knows if he has other horrendous things up his sleeves? I'm ready to take him out, whether it requires military action or not. I'm not willing to sit around and listen to the UN for months on end. It's apparent to me they can never decide or act on anything. And if this all ends up about how Bush wants oil, or Bush wants to finish up his daddy's job, does it really matter? At least we'll be rid of an evil dictator who harms his own citizens and would like nothing more than to see the US destroyed.
    --Delta445.
    ok. (2.50 / 6) (#241)
    by tangocharly on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:11:31 PM EST

    I don't really care what Europeans think
    Who cares?!

    Call me a typical "cowboy" American
    You are a typical cowboy american.

    [ Parent ]

    good (2.60 / 5) (#246)
    by Delta445 on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:30:30 PM EST

    If my opinions make me a "cowboy" (technically I am) then I'm damned proud to be one. Because that's a hell of a lot better than what a lot of these people must be.
    --Delta445.
    [ Parent ]
    Actualy (5.00 / 2) (#342)
    by Amesha Spentas on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:18:03 PM EST

    I'll just call you stupid.

    I'm from Northeastern Colorado, (Born in Denver) I've ridden horses, shot a gun, (not that I advocate them. But it is good to be familiar with them.) and done some work on a friends ranch. I could be called a cowboy. I have friends that are cowboys, some republican some democrat. Your opinions do not make you a cowboy. But your simplistic view of the world does make you naive. Bush is not a Cowboy, He was not born in Texas he just bought a ranch there. He portrays himself as one to get the votes and sympathy of people who, like you, think that you can make complex issues simple and then just vote for the "Good guy." The real world does not work this way. It is not populated by conspiracies either. (Usually because they are way to hard to keep secret.) I would suggest to you that you grow up. Don't just "believe" in what anybody says, but listen and form your own opinions.

    Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
    [ Parent ]

    Cowboys, Americans, Iraq (3.00 / 2) (#529)
    by TheEular on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 05:55:30 AM EST

    Great as the US may have become, the lives of Cowboys are still very brief in the eyes of those from Europe. A land full of brief Presidents and uncouth people, (although a strain of the divine Europeans still lives on in some Americans, making their land the greatest of the lesser lands). The Americans, becoming jealous of the life of those in Europe, want to invade and take over Europe, but are stayed by the UN and other organisations. Unfortunately I fear that this whole invading Iraq story is just a vent for the frustration and anger of the Americans at the prosperity of Europe. The Americans, sooner or later, will try and invade the EU, which will be pure folly - as it would be a war in which they could never be ultimately victorious.

    [ Parent ]
    problems? (5.00 / 1) (#472)
    by tangocharly on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 01:49:33 PM EST

    How often do you need someone to remind you that your are a cowboy?


    [ Parent ]
    Cowboys and international politics (5.00 / 1) (#533)
    by Fred_A on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 07:44:00 AM EST

    Isn't it wonderful when a medium emerges that lets cow herders publically post their insightful views on international politics ?

    Fred in Paris
    [ Parent ]

    American Spirit vs EU Spirit (1.80 / 5) (#249)
    by Keeteel on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:53:10 PM EST

    Behind all the politics, philosophies and objections it boils down to Saddam is a evil dictator and as a world it is our responsibility to evolve past such forms of government. Studies have proven democracies do not start wars with each other, one of the most basic world politics approach is that democracies promote peace (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM read on democracies by Rummel.) A dictatorship like Iraq lead by Saddam leads to the oppression of his people, terrozing the world, single handed control of oil to do as he pleases with, and the use of weapons of mass destruction on innocent lives. I do not understand about the Europeans objection but at this point I don't see any relevance to us doing what needs to be done. The EU's objections have been based on speculation, a lack of understanding of Americans, and a different moral system. I sometimes wonder if there is a resenment on EUs part that we have the ability to go at this war alone in the name of freedom loving people in the world, making the EU irrelevant. Thoughts on that? As Bush said, if the UN and other countries won't support him, since we have the power it is our duty to use it to protect the free people of this world and US citizens. If these insitutions choose to bury themselves in politics they will be rendered irrelevant.

    You are either with us or you're against us, powerful words spoken by President Bush which speak for the leadership ability he has to represent the spirit of the American people. I've seen some complaining by international citizens and die hard liberals saying that Bush doesn't speak for America, that his policies are a joke, or that he doesn't know how to lead. Never has our country seen a President that captures the values of America in his persona as much as he does, the polls speak overwhelmingly the respect we have for this man. I think that's what it comes down to between the difference of EU and Americans, we have different philosophies and approaches on life. Americans are more willing to go down in a fight, to stand up for what's right even if it means we have to take the loss to protect the rest of the world. Why do you think America is the most powerful country in the world? We have no problem working 60 hour weeks or more than 1 job to better the economy and our personal lives, we have no problem going off to war against evil regimes, we have no problem not backing down when someone challenges us, we're not afraid to pursue our dreams, and we won't be intimidated by fundementalists half way across the world threatening our way of life. It's what makes America the country that it is, who we are as individuals - we're PROUD of our President, we feel he understands us and agree with his politics. He is a MAN, and won't let anything stop this country from protecting ourselves. When you object to Bush's policies, you object to the American people's beliefs. That's why we don't agree with the EU, we DO support our President. I'm under no illusion, protecting ourselves also means economically in terms of getting oil for ourselves to fix our economy.

    Frankly we're the ones with the power, if the EU countries had what we had they'd use the same type of force we're promoting to do which is beyond any doubt a morally justified approach. The simple fact is some people in this world are different and hate those from more progressive, intelligent peace loving societies. It's like the wonderful article I read about Islam on K5 a bit ago - that these countries in the middle east are obbsessed with themselves being the central power of the world, that they will do anything to obtain that status even if it means going to war with any country that stands in their way. You just cannot rationalize or deal with belief systems like that, and in order for the world to evolve socially those religions and attitudes need to be socialized out of them over the next few generations. If that means we have to kill the ones who refuse to not change by their continued to threat world peace, it needs to be done. People will be upset with the US and claim we're the bad guys, but history will look back at this time and Bush as a man willing to stand up for what is right in face of shameful politics and humanity at its lowest through bureacracy.

    If you want to change the course of America, you need to convince us, the people why we're wrong in our beliefs and not just point to the President. I make no attempt to hide on K5 I'm a compassionate conservative (Republican) and my view is to be honest liberal when compared to what most of my fellow party members believe. Our democratic/liberal politicians even voted in support of Bush, people who the EU has argued is on their side and should be the opposistion to President Bush. The fact is what Bush is doing represents what America is all about, we do what's right because it's right - there needs to be no other reason of politics behind it. That's why we're PROUD of our president. Instead of downmodding me (I'm aware of how liberal this community is) why not convince me where I'm wrong in my views, I will factually defend myself on behalf of others who share my view.

    [ Parent ]
    Well said (3.00 / 2) (#270)
    by nanobug on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:45:41 AM EST

    Although I might not agree with everything you said, I am forced to respect someone who speaks with conviction and is solid in their beliefs than most people I encounter, who are afraid to stand up and say what is on their minds.

    I must agree that, although the road we seem to be heading down might not be the one of moral superiority, at the end of the day what does it matter?  I would much rather be known as an ignorant American who stood up for something than an intelligant, moral WHINER.

    Democracy WORKS.  Dictatorships DONT.  Its that simple, and anyone who disagrees is either going to be left behind or eliminated.

    Maybe Saddam isnt a threat -- however, he is a criminal.  The fact that his nation is starving while he's building massive presidential palaces should be enough reason to go in there and take him out.  We should have went back in there the first time he turned a weapons inspector away, then we wouldn't be in this mess.

    I think Howard Stern said it best.  If the parents are too liberal, the children will act out.  Saddam has been acting out for far too long, and we've been far too liberal.  Its time for us, as parents, to put him on permanent time out.

    [ Parent ]

    Are you being sarcastic? (4.50 / 2) (#279)
    by ukryule on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:13:20 AM EST

    Although I might not agree with everything you said, I am forced to respect someone who speaks with conviction and is solid in their beliefs than most people I encounter, who are afraid to stand up and say what is on their minds.

    Umm, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein have pretty strong convictions and are solid in their beliefs. That's kinda the problem ....

    I must agree that, although the road we seem to be heading down might not be the one of moral superiority, at the end of the day what does it matter? I would much rather be known as an ignorant American who stood up for something than an intelligant, moral WHINER.

    Again, this is also the creed of the terrorists you're trying to destroy. Except that lack of moral superiority in the most powerful nation on the Earth is infinitely more worrying than in a few desperate terrorists.

    Democracy WORKS. Dictatorships DONT. Its that simple, and anyone who disagrees is either going to be left behind or eliminated.

    Definition of Dictatorship: <myview> WORKS. <yours> DONT. Its that simple, and anyone who disagrees is either going to be left behind or eliminated.
    Remind me again are you for democracy or dictatorships?

    [ Parent ]

    Try again (2.00 / 5) (#282)
    by nanobug on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:44:18 AM EST

    Umm, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein have pretty strong convictions and are solid in their beliefs. That's kinda the problem ....

    Don't take my words out of context.  A large majority of people are afraid to say what they mean for fear of being judged as an 'ignorant american' or something of the like - speaking with conviction and starting a holy war are two different things, so dont even try to put them in the same ballpark.

    Again, this is also the creed of the terrorists you're trying to destroy. Except that lack of moral superiority in the most powerful nation on the Earth is infinitely more worrying than in a few desperate terrorists.

    What IS moral superiority?  I don't see or hear about Americans hijacking planes and flying them into civilian buildings.   Neither have you, so shut up before you go on about the innocent people who get killed in military actions.  Americans are not killing innocent civilians ON PURPOSE.  Terrorists are.

    Definition of Dictatorship: <myview> WORKS. <yours> DONT. Its that simple, and anyone who disagrees is either going to be left behind or eliminated.
    Remind me again are you for democracy or dictatorships?

    Definition of Democracy: <majority of citizens view> WORKS.  <minority of citizens view> DONT.  

    Definition of Dictatorship: <Dictator's view> WORKS <everyone else's view> DONT.

    When will you liberal whiners realize that the only reason you have the right to whine is because people you complain about have the balls to actually stand up and secure your freedom.

    [ Parent ]

    Not out of context (4.50 / 2) (#285)
    by Cougaris on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:06:34 AM EST

    Don't take my words out of context

    He didnt. And in your counter post, you tried to explain differing types of conviction, but semanctically, conviction is conviction. There are no degrees. Perhaps if you had made your implication clearer, you might not have thought you were "out of context". But as it stands, what he said is not out of context, but merely extending your statement. __________________________________________________

    [ Parent ]
    American Self View (4.75 / 4) (#295)
    by gcmillwood on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:59:16 AM EST

    Everyone who thinks about things for more than a few minutes realises that dictatorship is in general a bad thing, and that democracies are far superior.  That is something that isn't even up for discussion.

    I sometimes wonder if there is a resenment on EUs part that we have the ability to go at this war alone in the name of freedom loving people in the world, making the EU irrelevant. Thoughts on that?

    From my european perspective I don't think that resentment plays a factor in the objections of the EU countries.  So the US thinks that they have the ability to win this war alone?  Great, that means we get the benefits of a regime change in Iraq, but without having to be 'involved'.

    No, the reasons for the lack of support are far more complex than that.  The publicised reasons are true - we don't like war and want a real reason to attack (after all, even US government agencies have produced reports stating that there is no immediate threat from Iraq).  There are other reasons too.  When America goes in shooting it will cause chaos to the world economy, and what happens when Saddam has bee ousted?  Will his successor(s) be any better than him?

    As Bush said, if the UN and other countries won't support him, since we have the power it is our duty to use it to protect the free people of this world and US citizens. If these insitutions choose to bury themselves in politics they will be rendered irrelevant.

    Or in other words "The US is so goddamned powerful we can do whatever we want".  Sounds like a spoilt kid to me.  By all means do whatever you want to your own citizens, but when your actions affect everyone in the world it is your duty to work with them, and not simply impose your own 'solution' to any given problem.

    Never has our country seen a President that captures the values of America in his persona as much as he does, the polls speak overwhelmingly the respect we have for this man.

    I guess I'm reading this completely differently to the way you meant it, but I agree with you absolutely when you speak of Bush symbolising the US people.  When Bush was elected he knew very little about world geography, let alone global politics, and the most recent US polls I have heard about was the Florida election fiasco.

    Why do you think America is the most powerful country in the world? We have no problem working 60 hour weeks or more than 1 job to better the economy and our personal lives,

    If you think working 60 hour weeks or taking multiple jobs betters your personal life then I suggest you sit down and think about what you really want in life.  For me personally, doing what you suggest here would make me incredibly unhappy.  But  different cultures value different things.

    we have no problem going off to war against evil regimes, we have no problem not backing down when someone challenges us, we're not afraid to pursue our dreams,

    And you won't find many people in the EU who would say otherwise about their own country.

    and we won't be intimidated by fundementalists half way across the world threatening our way of life.

    We europeans won't be intimidated either.  In fact, we aren't intimidated.  How does a country which does not have the ability to attack me or my home intimidate me?

    The US, United Nations and the world are intimidating Iraq into giving in to our demands.  Now I don't disagree with this, it has to be done sooner or later.  Saddam is a intelligent but brutal bully who has murdered a collosal number of people already and could do again at any time.
    Even so I would still much rather haved him removed peacefully or by the Iraqi people than having another country send an army halfway across the globe and kill thousands more innocents in the process of removing him.

    [ Parent ]

    seems you've given up rational thought (3.00 / 3) (#256)
    by hypno on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:10:38 AM EST

    As well of any notion of morality or ethics. Of COURSE it fucking matters WHY Bush wants to kill thousands, hundreds of thousands of people.
    Has it even crossed your mind to wonder about the bigger picture, other than the reactionary "they don't like us, let's bomb them" attitude?

    [ Parent ]
    Er, when did this happen? (3.00 / 2) (#305)
    by davidmb on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 10:19:50 AM EST

    ...the US should do what it needs to do in order to defend itself against the Iraqi government.

    So you're under attack by Iraq at this very moment? Or have you repelled their attack? No?

    Oh, I see, you're attacking them before they attack you. Because Iraq would do that. There's obviously no danger of them instantly being wiped off the earth if they do.

    Maybe you've fallen for the propaganda that seeks to associate Iraq with the war on terrorism. Guess what, the Iraqi government is not al-Qaeda. By removing resources from the fight against terrorist organisations like al-Qaeda in order to prepare for an attack on Iraq, the US government made it more likely that they'll get away with outrages like the recent bomb in Bali.

    My guess is that there will now be no attack on Iraq, and they might actually catch bin Laden.
    ־‮־
    [ Parent ]

    What I want to know is.. (3.75 / 12) (#243)
    by synik on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:28:39 PM EST

    If it's a war against terrorism, when is the USA going to invade itself?

    European Motives (3.72 / 11) (#244)
    by egg troll on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 09:32:00 PM EST

    I'm going to set aside for a moment the issue over whether or not Bush's foreign policy is correct or not. I'd rather like to address the motives behind Europe's actions.

    Europe knows that America is going to do pretty much whatever it wants to do, whether or not it receives the backing of the French, the Germans or whatnot. So they choose not to support America and risk getting ensnared in whatever reprocutions the War on Terrorism may have for its supporters.

    By doing this, the European governments can appear to adopt a morally superior stance while still being able to reap the rewards of the outcome of America's actions. Furthermore, they're also protecting themselves by saying "Hey don't bomb the Eiffel Tower! We're opposing America!"

    I believe this has as much to do with Europe's policy as any belief in the inherit rightness/wrongness of Bush's actions.

    He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
    Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

    I can't speak for all of Europe but... (5.00 / 2) (#290)
    by Filip on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:57:38 AM EST

    First; you talk (write) as if Europe was one unit. It's not. The EU are 15 countries (and growing), all with different cultures, languages, and allegiances. This has a lot to do with the inactiveness of the EU, and as a result some members act on their own. In addition Europe is still quite a bit larger than the EU.

    Second; many of us has yet to see how the situation after a war on Iraq will be more stable than before. OK, Iraq won't have nuclear, biological, nor chemical weapons anymore, neither will they have Saddam. But what will there be instead? No analysis I have read or heard about can claim that there will be one democratic state at peace with its neighbours. Probably the opposite, at least three states (one kurd, one shia, and one sunni) - probably at war with each other and surrounding countries. IOW Somalia revisited. And if you do say that the US will ensure that a united democratic state is replacing Saddam's government, I have to answer that that would be a first (we have yet to see democracy in Afghanistan, and past experience with US involvement in Latin America does not encourage).

    In addition tons of civilians will suffer during the war, and what will that be worth, if the result is even more conflict - perhaps spread over a larger area in middle east.

    Third; is there any proven connection between Saddam and terrorist attacks?

    Many europeans view GWB's actions as a cynical elecorial campaign. Prove us wrong!

    /Filip
    -- I'm just a figment of your imagination.
    [ Parent ]

    European government, not Europeans (none / 0) (#319)
    by egg troll on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:59:54 PM EST

    Please bear in mind that my comment is reflective of the governments of several European nations, not their people. I'm certain that most European citizens are as aghast as I am at Bush's policy. As far as proving you wrong that his actions are "cynical electorial campaigning", I doubt I could since I concur with you.

    He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
    Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

    [ Parent ]

    Oh (5.00 / 1) (#437)
    by Filip on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 07:28:09 AM EST

    Sorry, I missed the last sentence in the 1st post...

    /Filip
    -- I'm just a figment of your imagination.
    [ Parent ]

    American Spirit vs Eu Spirit (1.44 / 9) (#250)
    by Keeteel on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 10:54:55 PM EST

    Behind all the politics, philosophies and objections it boils down to Saddam is a evil dictator and as a world it is our responsibility to evolve past such forms of government. Studies have proven democracies do not start wars with each other, one of the most basic world politics approach is that democracies promote peace (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM read on democracies by Rummel.) A dictatorship like Iraq lead by Saddam leads to the oppression of his people, terrozing the world, single handed control of oil to do as he pleases with, and the use of weapons of mass destruction on innocent lives. I do not understand about the Europeans objection but at this point I don't see any relevance to us doing what needs to be done. The EU's objections have been based on speculation, a lack of understanding of Americans, and a different moral system. I sometimes wonder if there is a resenment on EUs part that we have the ability to go at this war alone in the name of freedom loving people in the world, making the EU irrelevant. Thoughts on that? As Bush said, if the UN and other countries won't support him, since we have the power it is our duty to use it to protect the free people of this world and US citizens. If these insitutions choose to bury themselves in politics they will be rendered irrelevant.

    You are either with us or you're against us, powerful words spoken by President Bush which speak for the leadership ability he has to represent the spirit of the American people. I've seen some complaining by international citizens and die hard liberals saying that Bush doesn't speak for America, that his policies are a joke, or that he doesn't know how to lead. Never has our country seen a President that captures the values of America in his persona as much as he does, the polls speak overwhelmingly the respect we have for this man. I think that's what it comes down to between the difference of EU and Americans, we have different philosophies and approaches on life. Americans are more willing to go down in a fight, to stand up for what's right even if it means we have to take the loss to protect the rest of the world. Why do you think America is the most powerful country in the world? We have no problem working 60 hour weeks or more than 1 job to better the economy and our personal lives, we have no problem going off to war against evil regimes, we have no problem not backing down when someone challenges us, we're not afraid to pursue our dreams, and we won't be intimidated by fundementalists half way across the world threatening our way of life. It's what makes America the country that it is, who we are as individuals - we're PROUD of our President, we feel he understands us and agree with his politics. He is a MAN, and won't let anything stop this country from protecting ourselves. When you object to Bush's policies, you object to the American people's beliefs. That's why we don't agree with the EU, we DO support our President. I'm under no illusion, protecting ourselves also means economically in terms of getting oil for ourselves to fix our economy.

    Frankly we're the ones with the power, if the EU countries had what we had they'd use the same type of force we're promoting to do which is beyond any doubt a morally justified approach. The simple fact is some people in this world are different and hate those from more progressive, intelligent peace loving societies. It's like the wonderful article I read about Islam on K5 a bit ago - that these countries in the middle east are obbsessed with themselves being the central power of the world, that they will do anything to obtain that status even if it means going to war with any country that stands in their way. You just cannot rationalize or deal with belief systems like that, and in order for the world to evolve socially those religions and attitudes need to be socialized out of them over the next few generations. If that means we have to kill the ones who refuse to not change by their continued to threat world peace, it needs to be done. People will be upset with the US and claim we're the bad guys, but history will look back at this time and Bush as a man willing to stand up for what is right in face of shameful politics and humanity at its lowest through bureacracy.

    If you want to change the course of America, you need to convince us, the people why we're wrong in our beliefs and not just point to the President. I make no attempt to hide on K5 I'm a compassionate conservative (Republican) and my view is to be honest liberal when compared to what most of my fellow party members believe. Our democratic/liberal politicians even voted in support of Bush, people who the EU has argued is on their side and should be the opposistion to President Bush. The fact is what Bush is doing represents what America is all about, we do what's right because it's right - there needs to be no other reason of politics behind it. That's why we're PROUD of our president. Instead of downmodding me (I'm aware of how liberal this community is) why not convince me where I'm wrong in my views, I will factually defend myself on behalf of others who share my view.

    american hypocrisy (5.00 / 2) (#254)
    by sal5ero on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:50:04 PM EST

    From the article

    Last month the thesis was restated in the White House's astonishing and little-noticed National Security Strategy.This asserted America's right to stop any other country "from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing or equalling the power of the United States".

    From your comment

    ...that these countries in the middle east are obbsessed with themselves being the central power of the world, that they will do anything to obtain that status even if it means going to war with any country that stands in their way. You just cannot rationalize or deal with belief systems like that, and in order for the world to evolve socially those religions and attitudes need to be socialized out of them over the next few generations.




    [ Parent ]
    Would you consider them to be different though? (2.00 / 5) (#261)
    by Keeteel on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:46:43 AM EST

    What do you think about America and Islam being compared in such a sense? My take on it is...

    Comparing America and Bush's policy to Islam is like comparing Apples to Concrete in my opinion. One has proven its willingness to be a respectable member of the international community by promoting freedom, peace, and justice along with a willingness to protect those values if bureacracy interfers with what should be common sense principals. Islam has shown a willingness to kill innocent people, shun the world community, promote primitive and irrational reasoning which has been outdated now for thousands of years. One has done good for the world and wants to continue to do so, one wants to destroy the world for its own religous purposes to see itself as the ruler of all.

    That and what exactly Bush's new policy means has been mostly speculation from what I understand, there are words in place but what countries they apply to remains to be seen. Do you think they'd be likely to use that on Gemerany? The UK? Russia? Or more like countries such as Iraq, North Korea, Iran (The Axis of Evil) and other countries who seek to destroy America and freedom loving people.

    I guess metaphorically it's like who are you going to trust to guide a group of children to a better life - a children's counselor trained through college, has experience working with kids, and wants to see them live to their full potential. Or are you going to trust a child molester who wants to continue hurting kids? Who do you want gently guiding the world to peace and democracy? America is the one with the experience and currently the strongest and argueably best implementation. Or would you perfer Islam to be allowed to conquer and rain suffering upon all who are not from their culture and religion?

    I'm not sure why that's hypocritical but I'd love to know why you feel it is. I think it's just good foriegn policy from a country that has proven it has the maturity and responsibility to implement properly against dangerous regimes.

    [ Parent ]
    The US and Islam (5.00 / 3) (#306)
    by scorchio on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 10:38:02 AM EST

    Comparing America and Bush's policy to Islam is like comparing Apples to Concrete in my opinion. One has proven its willingness to be a respectable member of the international community by promoting freedom, peace, and justice along with a willingness to protect those values if bureacracy interfers with what should be common sense principals.

    The US has repudiated the international community since Bush came to power. Much of the framework that was painstakingly built up to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical and nuclear) was trashed by this bunch of yahoos when they got into power, not to mention the Kyoto Treaty and the International Criminal Court. The detention and torture of prisoners of war from Afghanistan violates the Geneva Convention, despite the legal shimmy of referring to them as enemy combatants. So no, Bush and his mob have not proven their willingness to be a respectable member of the international community.

    Islam has shown a willingness to kill innocent people, shun the world community, promote primitive and irrational reasoning which has been outdated now for thousands of years.

    Categorise, categorize. Islam is a religion, and cannot show any volition whatsoever, any more than the US can make war on terror. Some Muslim fundamentalists, and indeed Muslim secularists (i.e. people from Muslim backgrounds who have disdained the mumo-jumbo) have indeed killed innocent people, but then again, so have many Christians, Jews and Hindus. The crime attaches to the individual, not the culture or the religion.

    I find it amusing that you believe that "primitive and irrational reasoning" (irrational reasoning? C'mon!), by which I assume you mean "primitive and irrational behaviour" has been outdated for thousands of years. One can only assume that you are innocent of history.

    I guess metaphorically it's like who are you going to trust to guide a group of children to a better life - a children's counselor trained through college, has experience working with kids, and wants to see them live to their full potential. Or are you going to trust a child molester who wants to continue hurting kids?

    A stupid analogy, but I think you've missed the point. Many people would elect to choose neither Islam nor America. The world is a large and diverse place, and frequently there are, believe it or not, more than two choices.

    [ Parent ]

    reply (3.00 / 1) (#368)
    by sal5ero on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:47:04 PM EST

    One has proven its willingness to be a respectable member of the international community by promoting freedom, peace, and justice along with a willingness to protect those values if bureacracy interfers with what should be common sense principals.

    I'm assuming you were talking about the US here; I couldn't tell. Promoting freedom, peace and justice? Let me see... Nicaragua, Iran...

    Islam has shown a willingness to kill innocent people, shun the world community, promote primitive and irrational reasoning which has been outdated now for thousands of years.

    You could change Islam to USA and this would still hold true (or rather, begin to hold true - I don't believe that it is Islam that is responsible for this behaviour, only some radical extremists). Kill innocent people - how about Madeleine Albright's comment that the huge numbers of children dying in Iraq due to American foreign policy is "worth it". Shun the world community - how about America's constant shooting down of any attempt at uniting the world in international policy or agreement (Kyoto protocol, constant vetoing of any UN policy that disadvantages America...). Promote primitive and irrational reasoning - "ooh, they hate us because of our wealth and freedom (let's ignore our foreign policy)! let's restrict our own freedoms to fight them!"

    As another poster said, it does not have to come down to the USA or Islamic extremists running the show. The world is not black and white. I prefer neither of those options.

    Oh, and that child molester analogy is ridiculous. America does not want to see the rest of the world live to it's full potential. It wants the rest of the world to do exactly whatever is in the best interests of America. If America is guiding the world towards peace and democracy, how come they keep helping topple democratically elected and popular regimes?

    If you really want to continue that analogy, America is more like the older brother who has his younger siblings constantly do everything for him so he gets things his way. Some do it to curry favour so he will hopefully one day buy alcohol (hehe) for them because they can't themselves, some because they are scared he will pound them if they don't do what he says.




    [ Parent ]
    sigh (5.00 / 2) (#255)
    by hypno on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:04:05 AM EST

    The simple fact is some people in this world are different and hate those from more progressive, intelligent peace loving societies.
    The very fact that you spout such nonsense means that there is no point trying to convince you that you are wrong.

    To draw (another) crude picture:
    There are some in this world who get it, and some who don't. Unfortunately you and a (ever so slowly) diminishing group of people don't.

    [ Parent ]

    Why am I wrong though? (1.80 / 5) (#263)
    by Keeteel on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:56:49 AM EST

    I know you feel I'm wrong based on your post but you haven't explained why I am wrong, which is the failure of most people attempting to argue against my points and other Americans. I'm trying to argue this more rationally than I usually do, and am looking to be proven wrong since I've gone in loops with this debate for months with so called "enlightened" individuals and liberals who denounce Americans as being wrong with out explaining why.

    Islam's existance is to become the power center of the world, they are taught from birth that Islam will rise to be the cultural, intellectual, and spiritual power of Earth. Please refer to this excellent K5 article http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/10/3/143137/617

    The reason it's islamic fundementalists doing it is because they WANT to destroy peace loving, modern intelligent people. Americans like myself being the center of power on earth, with the best capita per person, and an outstanding quality of life for those willing to follow the American attitudes of work and set your own limits go against everything Islam represents with their crushed, primitive and out datted society. Those people from Islam are willing to do ANYTHING to ruin our existance for our values so they can be exactly what we are, the ones with the power but in a FAR FAR FAR worse version of it. Suffering would rain across the world if Islam was to come to the power the US had now.

    So please explain what I'm not getting that so many enlightened individuals understand that I don't. I'm just an average American, why am I supposed to take your word instead of President Bush who has much more credibility than anyone on K5.

    [ Parent ]
    Too simplistic (5.00 / 2) (#308)
    by angrydave on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 11:17:55 AM EST

    I don't know about the previous respondent but my problem with this statement that some people are just different lies in the way it oversimplifies the problem. I do not remember the source but I remember a film I saw about a right wing idealogue running for government and where one of his supporters summed up his appeal as "he makes complicated issues simple and that's what I like" There are a lot of religiously raised people in this world who are angry with what they see as western decadence and arrogant foisting of this on the rest of the world. In this you can include moderate muslims, jews, hindus, christians etc. who wholeheartedly agree with freedom of speech, free press, non discrimination, democracy the values that are meant to be the backbone of our societies but who want to opt out of the drunkeness, drugtaking fetishising of the young and slim and naked that they see as our societies' failings. There are also in our societies as in all, sociopaths who believe that they should be able to dictact how others live in and take violent retribution against those who do not fulfill their ideals. I would include those who bomb abortion clinics as well as night clubs and office blocks. The complication lies in how you isolate and ridicule these sociopaths so that they are not given the opportunity to indoctrinate the poor, disadvantaged, ignorant or just stupid into believing that terrorist violence is the answer. This is why I think you should not go to 'war' with terrorists legitimising them as you would a nation state with such recognition. You should try to eradicate them but from a position of engagement with those moderates who have the same grievances (and you will generally find that these grievances will have some merit). This excludes the kind of "you are either with us or against" us talk which sounds like simple good honest speaking. This positions anyone with these grievances as an enemy when perhaps they would have liked to be a constructive friend. At the moment most predominantly muslim countries are being radicalised by the oppressive condiions under which they live. You I assume would like them to be radicalised towards being revolutionary democrats overthrowing their dictatorial leaders to establish similar representative democracies to our own. But where is the likelihood of this when our representaive democracies are complicit in keeping these regimes in power. Iraq's Baath party which we were perfectly happy to support when it had a fully developed chemical and biological weapons program and proved it by gassing its own people has turned against us by trying to steal our oilfields and so we attacked them and destroyed their chemical and biological weapons programs as well as their economy and there people's dignity. Now we want to use the very hypothetical existence of a fledgling redevelopment of these programs as an excuse to invade and force a regime change. The hypocrasy of imposing representative democracy in Iraq as our enemy whilst not in those regimes which are our friends combined with the myriad of alternative reasons people can think of to invade Iraq which such as having it as an oil depot means the main effect of this policy will be to radicalise more of the moderate muslims we should reach out to and lead to more unstoppable attacks on our society. This is why the labeling of muslims as 'different' seems hopelessly simplistic and I think is why the EU on average sees the solution to the Iraqi problem as based around United Nations (ie. pretty much everyone) backed inspections to root out any reborn weapons program and then perhaps the ending of the sanctions which are destroying the Iraqi people.

    [ Parent ]
    Ok. (5.00 / 3) (#320)
    by hypno on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:01:30 PM EST

    Islamic fundamentalists do not want to take over the world. In their eyes, the US wants to take over the world. They do not like this. Being fundamentalists, they do not have any diplomatic leverage, for all the good that that would do. So they turn to violence to defend themselves.

    This is not about different values. Islamic people generally do not CARE what the US does as long as it LEAVES THEM ALONE. True, the Arab region of the world was once the center of power, and now it isn't. It would rather like to be a center of power again, but most rational people in the region know this will not happen. The *exact* same thing will probably happen in the US once it is knocked off the pedestal it has put itself on.

    That's a grossly simplified version of what I think is the truth. Also:

    Americans like myself being the center of power on earth
    This staggering arrogance and ignorance is *WHY* so many people hate people like you.

    If you don't understand this yet, please wait, evolution will replace you shortly.

    [ Parent ]

    We distrust the govt.... (4.66 / 3) (#264)
    by hughk on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:25:01 AM EST

    In Europe, we tend to regard the government as an unfortunate necessity. We have seen them all from monarchies through to democracy, and we know in our blood that power corrupts (kudos to the US for their two-term presidential limit).

    Overseas people know about the mid-terms and in the worst case that the president is attempting to electioneer. In the best case, the Iraq situation is being used as a distraction away from the facts that Bush's administration is a little too close to the dirtier side of business and other more important international issues remain open.

    If the US was able to at least appear to be less partisan about the Israel-Palastinian issue, a lot of the bad feeling would go from the middle east. However the situation is complicated and Bush can't handle 'complicated'.

    It is not that we don't trust the US president, we don't trust our own leaders. Given the circumstances of ignorance and the president's documented reactions when he was first informed about the 9/11 attack, we feel for him like a drunken driver in charge of a bus full of school children.

    Stangely enough many US citizens realise this, aprticularly those that live and work overseas. They are deeply embarrassed by this President's ignorance about the rest of the world. Between Bush and Ashcroft, they are busy turning the US into an evil empire, mirroring the states that they fear most.

    [ Parent ]

    Why do you think that is? (2.00 / 4) (#271)
    by Keeteel on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:07:01 AM EST

    Out of curiosity why is there a difference between our countries perspectives on their governments? I could not understand living in a country and not having the ability to trust my government, I don't think I could live a comfortable life if I knew I wasn't in safe hands with President Bush. I really don't think he's ignorant though as you state, this is a man who's worked his way up through the political system, and for those who refute his intelligence he attended two of the top ivy league colleges in America. There's no faking intelligence at schools of those magnitued, only the top young scholars get in to them. In fact, I would argue despite the self-proclaimed intelligence in this community that less than 5% here would even meet the admissions qualifications that Bush did.

    The thing is, I trust my government and so do most Americans. They've done good things to protect our interests and national soverignty. He stands up for what Americans believe, and is quite a classy guy who understands America in the 2000s. I can't figure any reason to distrust the guy (please don't go in to media conspiracies that only serve his interests, it's non-sense and I can refute any arguement proving otherwise.) I think people don't like Bush because they resent him. If there's a distrust in the UK and other countries in regards to the government it must be that your governments are unhonorable people who don't represent your citizens, politicians instead of representatives like our admistration is.

    [ Parent ]
    speak for yourself (5.00 / 3) (#266)
    by Gerhard on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:40:48 AM EST

    "As Bush said, if the UN and other countries won't support him, since we have the power it is our duty to use it to protect the free people of this world and US citizens."

    Maybe as the free people of this world we do not want america to protect us. Despite what americans may think we can protect our self should the need arise

    If "with us or against us" is the only options I choose against

    [ Parent ]
    We still have to protect ourselves though (2.00 / 4) (#267)
    by Keeteel on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:54:44 AM EST

    Protecting ourselves as free people would most likely include the same targets that threaten other free people in the world, in fact probably more because of our status and wordly resentment for being Americans. So either way isn't it killing two birds with one stone?

    [ Parent ]
    Protection from what? (4.00 / 1) (#315)
    by upsilon on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:08:05 PM EST

    If the USA didn't go after other countries, the USA would not be a target. When was the last time Usama bin Laden targeted Tajikistan? Or even France (or anywhere else in Europe)? Answer: never. But he's targeted the USA on at least three separate occasions.

    The USA is trying to tell the world that the best defence is a good offence. I think that, rather, the best defence is no offence.
    --
    Once, I was the King of Spain.
    [ Parent ]

    endangering free people (none / 0) (#490)
    by Gerhard on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 01:51:54 AM EST

    Will an attack on Iraq endangering "free people"? No country is threatened by Iraq and this includes America (I have seen no convincing proof). There is no conclusive proof that they pose a danger. Name one way in which they endanger me in South Africa. If Iraq is a danger to the free world why is America not shouting for war with North Korea? They have long range ballistic missles, nuclear warheads and a unstable regime. Nothing will quench Americas thirst for war like the reintroduction of a conscript/draft army.

    [ Parent ]
    Joking ? (4.50 / 4) (#297)
    by cedneve on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:42:55 AM EST

    I read your comment and I hardly could tell if you were joking or not. I am from Belgium... probably with what you call an EU spirit. When you say you are proud to be an American, I can understand. When you say you are proud of your president... I can only wonder if it is the cowboy boats or the plain stupidity you are refering to. And when you say your country has every right to do whatever it takes to protect his own way of life... I am sorry but I can only see this as the same selfish, arrogant, self-centered, protectionist, war-driven, oppressing state of mind you are willing to fight against in Iraq. Do the Europeans want a better world ? Of course they do. Do the Americans want a better world ? Of course they do. Is it the same world they both want... not exactly. Please do not assume you are the ones having the proper definition of rightousness. We are not. You are not. However, together, we might be closer. This is what the UN is all about... Now either you force the game to your advantage because you know you can... Either you play by the rules you helped to make. Either you have a respectful position, either you use your power to do whatever you think is better, without listening to what the world is shouting at you. Proud of my representatives... sometimes. I am proud of my country... sometimes. Proud of Europe... sometimes. Proud of our world... when it is a better place for all of us. Cedric. Dreaming... and sorry for his bad spelling.

    [ Parent ]
    Spirit (5.00 / 4) (#304)
    by scorchio on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 10:16:02 AM EST

    Behind all the politics, philosophies and objections it boils down to Saddam is a evil dictator and as a world it is our responsibility to evolve past such forms of government.

    There are many evil dictators in the world (I use the phrase, though the words 'good' and 'evil' have no place outside fairy tales.) Why choose Saddam in particular? Indeed, the U.S. has been conspicuous in its support for a mob of dictators. Their names and deeds are well known. Why this sudden change of heart?

    Demonizing enemies and exalting friends is propaganda, not analysis, and indeed I have been suprised (as a native of the EU) at the lack of subtlety of Bush's propaganda. The nonsense of "with us or against us" is simply an attempt to suppress debate, and one can only mourn the complaisant attitude of the US media (honourable exceptions as usual, exist).

    A dictatorship like Iraq lead by Saddam leads to the oppression of his people, terrozing the world, single handed control of oil to do as he pleases with, and the use of weapons of mass destruction on innocent lives.

    A dictatorship like Iraq lead by Saddam leads to the oppression of his people, terrozing the world, single handed control of oil to do as he pleases with, and the use of weapons of mass destruction on innocent lives.

    Indeed, dictatorships are by definition oppressive, so there's nothing wise in that, but the remaining clauses of your sentence are far more applicable to the US than to Saddam. I fail to see how Saddam, leader of a poor country with a shattered infrastructure and a military with uncertain loyalties is a threat to the world. I note your use of the word "terrorizing" (or at least you tried), which is emotive. If you mean that Saddam causes terror in the world, I would say you are wrong, that his terror is mostly inflicted on his own people. If you are positing a link between Saddam (a secular dictator), and Al-Quaeda (religious fanatics), I would answer that the relationship is far from proved.

    Indeed, no real effort has been made to prove it. We are encouraged to believe that Saddam, as a Middle Eastern bad guy, and Osama, as another Middle Eastern bad guy, must therefore be in cahoots because, after all, you're either with us or against us, and if you are against us, you must be against us in the same way. It's woefully simplistic thinking. It is far more likely that Saddam views the likes of Al-Quaeda as a serious threat to his secularist regime. It serves the purposes of Bush propaganda to blur all differences, primarily because it increases the scale of the threat in the eyes of the people ("Look, they're all against us, it's a giant conspiracy!"), and provides a convenient figleaf for war on Iraq.

    As Bush said, if the UN and other countries won't support him, since we have the power it is our duty to use it to protect the free people of this world and US citizens. If these insitutions choose to bury themselves in politics they will be rendered irrelevant.

    Ah yes, the "resistance is futile" argument. You should interrogate your notion of "free people", and avoid confusing it with US interests. The two are not identical, whatever your government would have you believe. The sneer at politics is worrying, since politics are the medium of democracy. At the outset of the War on Terror (there's no need to point out the imbecility of the title), the Bush Administration began to try to rule politics (and therefore dissent) out of his adventures. Similarly, Tony Blair has warned British politicians not to play politics with such serious things. If politics is no longer appropriate in certain circumstances, how much of a democracy do we really have left?

    Never has our country seen a President that captures the values of America in his persona as much as he does, the polls speak overwhelmingly the respect we have for this man. I think that's what it comes down to between the difference of EU and Americans, we have different philosophies and approaches on life.

    Interesting that you say "persona", which is precisely the right word. Bush's presentation of himself to America is fascinating: he's aiming for the Reagan touch (simplistic, illogical and emotive), without the B-movie skills. As someone who has visited the US on several occasions, I would argue that Bush emphatically does not capture the values of America, despite his folksy style. He represents hereditary power and big money.

    The simple fact is some people in this world are different and hate those from more progressive, intelligent peace loving societies.

    You don't really hate the EU, do you?

    Objectivity is ultimately subjective in the mind of man.

    Asinine.



    [ Parent ]
    Not so simple (5.00 / 2) (#313)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:01:59 PM EST

    The EU view seems to be one that promotes peace. From your post - "A dictatorship like Iraq lead by Saddam leads to the oppression of his people, terrozing the world, single handed control of oil to do as he pleases with, and the use of weapons of mass destruction on innocent lives"

    Yes, I don't think there's any doubt that Saddam oppresses his people, but I don't see any evidence at all that he's terrorizing the world. Yes, ten years ago he invaded Kuwait, but Iraq has long held the view that Kuwait should really be part of Iraq - I'm not very clear on the details, I merely mention it to suggest that his expansionism is fairly limited (unlike Hitler's expansionism in WWII, for instance). Iraq does not have nuclear capability at the moment. The dossier that the British government put out had the widely quoted opinion that 'Iraq could have nuclear capability in two years' - but the second part of that sentence went ' if it had the help of a large nuclear-capable state', and let's face it - that basically means the US, the UK, China, Russia, France, India, or Pakistan. None of these countries will help Iraq with such things. Iraq has been crippled by war and ten years of sanctions. I don't think they're in any position to do all that much, really.

    There doesn't seem to be any particular link between Al Queda and the Iraqui regime - Al Queda is a very devout, fundamentalist organisation, whereas Saddam is essentially a secularist playing lip-service to Islam. They may both dislike the US & pals, but they're hardly likely bedfellows. So yes, Saddam isn't a nice guy, but that's never before been a suitable reason to invade a country (or not in recent history, anyway...) The US has hobnobbed with loads of nasty dictators before when it suits them - why change that now? Why isn't the US going after all those other dictatorships?

    The US government always talks as if it's motivated by high ideals, but I'm really unconvinced that that is the case. A good example is the pressure that the US is putting on the EU to let Turkey join the EU. Turkey is currently not allowed to join because of terrible record of human rights with respect to the Kurds living inside its borders. The US wants Turkey in the EU so that Turkey will let it use it's airbases for attacking Iraq. They've also said that if they depose Saddam, they won't let the Kurdish north become independent (creating Kurdistan, I imagine), largely because they don't want to piss off Turkey. It has nothing to do with the decent or moral thing to do, just with furthering their interests.

    [ Parent ]

    You are incorrect. (4.00 / 1) (#322)
    by bobzibub on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:11:03 PM EST

    Studies have proven democracies do not start wars with each other, one of the most basic world politics approach is that democracies promote peace (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM read on democracies by Rummel.)

    Hitler was elected.  To say that if a country is a democracy, then it cannot start a war is simply ignorant.  Democracies are less likely to start wars because their press is more free.  What their press doesn't report are degrees of freedom for any government.  Like many countries, US news doesn't report many things it's own country does.  I've lived and worked in three countries so far, and I've personally seen it in all three.  Three democracies no less.  My advice: read other country's media to understand what is happening in your own country.  It is not a conspiracy thing.
    It is simply that there is one major source of state news: the state.  The state has, therefore, monopoly power and can set the price for it's product, which sometimes includes being a "team player" if you will.

    The EU's objections have been based on speculation, a lack of understanding of Americans, and a different moral system. I sometimes wonder if there is a resenment on EUs part that we have the ability to go at this war alone in the name of freedom loving people in the world, making the EU irrelevant. Thoughts on that?

    The US has a GDP of about $B7,894.5, EU  $B10,124.8.  When the next set of countries join, the EU will be closer to the US in terms of GDP.  Don't think that the EU could not create a military as powerful as the US's if it chose to do so.  It chooses not to do so.  Many living Europeans have seen first hand the effects of war.  Their military has the capability to defend, but it is not strong enough to fight a major war overseas.

    we won't be intimidated by fundementalists half way across the world threatening our way of life...... I'm under no illusion, protecting ourselves also means economically in terms of getting oil for ourselves to fix our economy.

    Notice the transition from fundamentalism to oil.  It is true that the world's largest consumer of fossil fuel is hoping to attack the country with the second largest oil reserves.  I submit to you that fundamentalism is at the root of this proposed war, and it is not religious but economic fundamentalism.  To most of the world, the US looks awfully like a rich Mafia don threatening poor shopkeepers for a few extra bucks in his pocket.  Fundamentalists are willing to trade anything (including human life) for their beliefs.  The current US administration is by my definition, fundamentalist.

    Look at your own words:  If that means we have to kill the ones who refuse to not change [sic] by their continued to threat world peace, it needs to be done.

    The above are also the words of a fundamentalist.  Would you not agree?

    Its not that the world would be better off without Hussein.  Hussein, however, can get in line with the hundreds of other nasty dictators of the world.  He's not a big sponser of terrorism, doesn't get along with Bin Laden, and he persecutes and kills Kurds just like Turkey and Iran.  Iraq's WMD program is smaller than Syria's but practically all countries have a WMD program in the region, or are close US allies (who have, you guessed it, WMD).  Peas in a pod really.

    He's got lots oil though.  If Bush wants to go to war for oil, he should really be a "MAN" as you say, and have the guts to say he is going to war solely for Iraq's oil.  Europe may be a bunch of weanies, but GW playing the Christ figure is quite pathetic.  ("Oh! I'm such a victim!  I must bomb those evil Iraqi terrorists!") [sic sic sic!]

    That spin only plays well inside the US, not outside.  This is why the EU is not on your side.  Their value system may not include work long hours but it definitely doen't include Enrich yourself with your neigbour's property by killing him.  I would think that as a Republican, and so a believer in both ideals of "private property" and "human life", that this would not be in your value system either.  

    Too bad one can't say that about all Republicans.

    Cheers!
    -b


    [ Parent ]

    Not so fast.... (none / 0) (#335)
    by Amesha Spentas on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 02:39:35 PM EST

    Their value system may not include work long hours but it definitely doesn't include Enrich yourself with your neighbor's property by killing him.

    Actually it used to. That's why the Europeans started Colonialism. England, France, Spain, Germany and many others all participated in it. Via Colonialism much of the world learned about bad things (The Indians (North American and Asian) learned about disease, suffering and oppression. Those countries also eventually learned good things like democracy and removing their oppressive masters. Europe learned the hard way why Colonialism is a lose/lose situation. Bush and his supporters it seams, have yet to learn this. I just hope the United States doesn't have to learn the hard way.

    Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
    [ Parent ]

    Nobody thought better of it.. (none / 0) (#383)
    by bobzibub on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:15:06 PM EST

    Back then, slavery was everywhere.  Europeans participated and on occasion were even made slaves in North America.  Disease went both ways too: I believe the "Great Plague" came to Europe from India.  For the most part, disease was unintended--They didn't know how it spread even if they wanted to spread it.

    Not that they were nice to natives back then, but they weren't particularly nice to anyone or each other either back then.  

    If I recall, Adam Smith thought that the American colonies were not worth the cost of keeping them at the time.

    In any event, that is ancient history.

    Cheers,
    -b


    [ Parent ]

    A question for the USA ... (none / 0) (#465)
    by alternatist on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 08:41:05 AM EST

    So ...

    If your neighbour has a knife

     - you have a gun and you don't like how he behaves
     - he attacked people with his knife, and you beat him up
     - he just got the money to buy a gun ...

    Is it now ok for you to go and shoot him, to prevent him from maybe buying a gun and shooting someone ?

    [ Parent ]

    I'd go to the police (none / 0) (#508)
    by Cro Magnon on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 02:23:22 PM EST

    However, if the cops totally ignored the problem, even though he had a warrant out for his arrest eleven years ago and nobody did anything, THEN I'd probably shoot the SOB.
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    The war and the sanctions was nothing ?? (5.00 / 1) (#512)
    by alternatist on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 04:04:32 PM EST

    So you say ...

    - it is ok to punish before a crime has been committed - just in case ?
    - it is ok to handle the punishment yourself, if the peer jury disagree ?

    Shoot the SOB ?

    I doubt that a court of law would agree on thoose principles ...

    [ Parent ]

    Wrong example (none / 0) (#513)
    by DingBat1 on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 04:36:29 PM EST


    >So you say ...
    >
    >- it is ok to punish before a crime has been committed - just in case ?

    Wrong example. It's more like you live in a village WITH NO COPS and one guy in the village is acting like an idiot, talking shit and waving guns around. You and a few buddies beat him up a few years ago when he did a home invasion on a neighbour, but he didn't get the point. Some of your buddies who were on side then are getting tired of the cost of watching this guy and would prefer the whole thing just go away. But this guy is still talking shit and waving guns around. Worse, he's helping other assholes come over to your house to do some property damage.

    > - it is ok to handle the punishment yourself, if the peer jury disagree ?

    What peers? A lot of your buddies are waffling on making this guy comply with the agreement that resulted from his first beating. On top of that, you're the biggest guy in the village and therefore it's more than likely it's your ass this guy is gonna gun for first.

    > Shoot the SOB ?

    Dunno. But I'm not gonna rule it out.

    > I doubt that a court of law would agree on thoose principles ...

    Gee, we should get us one of those then, shouldn't we? But until we do...


    [ Parent ]

    Irony (4.00 / 4) (#251)
    by gidds on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:05:06 PM EST

    Interesting; much to agree with there.

    But in some ways the article suffers from exactly the same problems it's discussing.  Does anyone else find it ironic that an article decrying USA self-centredness spends almost all its time talking about the USA?

    Perhaps the best hope for change there is education: the more the people there understand about the rest of the world (and I'm not just talking about the Middle East -- there are hundreds of countries out there!), the more they'll understand their place in it.  A sense of perspective is sorely needed IMO if the USA is to move on from its ludicrous insecure `fortress' mentality.

    (Of course, I'm not claiming that my world knowledge or viewpoint is any better...)

    Andy/

    I totally agree (5.00 / 1) (#259)
    by r00t on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:28:15 AM EST

    ...and a BIG change in their media.

    -It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
    [ Parent ]

    The Poll - Hilarious? (4.00 / 2) (#252)
    by Shovas on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 11:12:33 PM EST

    Looks like a few dozen people didn't read the story for the appropriate effect of the question in the poll. Or perhaps I took it wrong.
    Westerners may be hurt by al-Qaeda, but the West is not threatened.
    I took this to mean that the attacks on the US were like finger cuts, certainly they hurt but they do not threaten. Is that not the correct way to take this story? If so, did the poll backfire on the author? Looks like a majority of people either thought the article was pro-poll-question or we have a lot of people with an opposite view to the story.

    I just thought that was very interesting, since I figured we had a lot American-friendly people here who would've voted a certain way.
    ---
    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    ---
    Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
    Not the attacks, but the reactions threaten us (4.66 / 3) (#283)
    by expro on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:52:42 AM EST

    I agree that there were differing interpretations of the poll question.

    I agree with the notion that the attacks on the US were like finger cuts.

    But I had to disagree with the question because I feel they have significantly threatened the basis of American government in the domestic responses they caused through Ashcroft and others, which was more damaging in the big picture than the attacks.

    [ Parent ]

    If I could do two things (3.66 / 3) (#260)
    by auraslip on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 12:31:10 AM EST

    1#. Leave this hell hole of a planet. I would just go start a civilization some where far away. Not that is matters becuase mankind isn't very likley to get very far. I would found this society on the principles of knowledge and a bunch of other cheasy sounding things. I would make sure that the goverment would take into account the OMNIPRESENT GREED in mankind. I would hope that it wouldn't become shitty like now. Or maybe it would last a couple hundred years before it became so.

    2# take over the world and do the above goverment.

    I'm not sure which one I would do if I had a choice becuase I'm not quite sure yet if I have an obligation to the fucked up human race.

    triumph over evil?
    124

    As a United States Citizen (4.11 / 9) (#273)
    by Mox on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:29:35 AM EST

    I can say that the thing I fear most in this world is our own government and the war hungry monsters (not to mention the corporations) that control this country. It seems to me that our current regime is gearing toward what the German government aimed to do in WWI and WWII: total world domination. At this point it seems to me that any further attacks on the U.S. will be a unanimous assault from the rest of the world in order to prevent the bloody rampage that GWB and his "advisors" (read: daddy and all of his old CIA/war buddies) are hellbent on executing.

    I find it just a little too coincidental that a major terrorist attack occurs just recently after GWB's dubious and questionable election as president, but all conspiracy theories aside, I think with him as our president, we as citizens of the US (and the rest of the world) are in grave danger at this time and must do anything to stop what has already gone too far. Whether it is an upheaval of our current government or massive civil disobedience, something must be done.

    each day I hear more and more about this country's ever increasing belligerence and I am constantly reminded of the words of Albert Einstein:

    "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
     

    Bush is doing what's best for Americans. (1.50 / 8) (#274)
    by Keeteel on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 03:40:16 AM EST

    Everything he's doing is for your interests as a US citizen, you can reject that if you wish but it doesn't change the motivation behind protecting the safety of Americans and their way of life in to the future. Bush is not some dictator like Hitler, he is a strong willed man who represents the American spirit (which you are a minority in your view) and we want Bush to do what he's doing. How could you want your way of life threatened? How could you want Saddam to kill our kids with weapons of mass destruction given through terrorists? How could you support the sniper killing people on the eastern sea board? By rejecting President Bush, you are condoning these actions in that he only seeks to stop them with no bureacratic or political interference. Simply doing what's right because it's right, stopping evil.

    That's why he said "You're with us or you're against us" You seem to be against us.

    [ Parent ]
    Not the way I see it (4.55 / 9) (#278)
    by Mox on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:12:14 AM EST

    My biggest problem with the majority view of US citizens (I wish people would stop using the generalized term 'American,' I don't think Canadians, Mexicans, and people from the many South American countries like being routinely lumped together with the UNITED STATES of America) is that they are unwilling to think for a second that their cause and effects are backwards. You seem to think that GWB's actions are solely because of an unprovoked attack on this country. How do you know it was unprovoked? For hundreds of years the US has been using its iron fist to colonize and exploit territories that have no chance of adequately defending themselves from our imperialistic goals. You got oil? good, because we're going to take it, and there's nothing you can do about it. How do you think a child feels when a kid 3 times his size pushes him down on the playground, takes his toy, and says "whaddya gonna do, huh?" (or more realisticly, the kid also has 10 of his friends behind him waiting to beat the crap out of him if he tries to get his toy back). The US has made many enemies throughout its relatively short history, and they all have their reasons.

    Now, I can almost forgive the naivette of your beliefs, but I cannot forgive the last statement you made. It says to me that history is bound to repeat itself, in horrible ways and without relent, because of the ignorance of the common man.

    "You're with us or you're against us"

    sound familiar? didn't think so. Think 1950's. Think McCarthy. Think Red Scare. Think "Committee on Un-American Activities." Think complete revocation of civil liberties. Either your an "American" or your a communist, there is no in between. You see what I'm getting at here? We are living in a red scare RIGHT NOW, just replace the word communist with terrorist. If you care about your life, and the life of everyone else in the world, you will see that the "American way" of thinking is not a good one.

    The "Us and Them" (U.S. and Them?) is exactly what will destroy this world, and until people realize that there is no "Them", and that there is only "Us", we are headed for certain doom.

    [ Parent ]

    I wish Americans where more open minded (3.33 / 3) (#289)
    by r00t on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:57:11 AM EST

    Not to worry, we (Canadians) are always quick to point out that we are not American :-P.

    ....

    I've already heard associations of Liberalism with Communism (liberal/commies) in the media. Maybe Canada is next on the "axis of evil"...

    -It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
    [ Parent ]

    Unprovoked doesn't matter. (3.00 / 2) (#310)
    by Bartab on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 11:39:17 AM EST

    1) Provoked or unprovoked, an attack like 9/11 demands response. Period.

    2) Iraq has no clear connection to 9/11 anyways Neither the case by Bush nor general sentiment link them in any way. However, any activity against Iraq is not unprovoked either. The 1990 war has never ended. There are incidents every week for the last 11 years. Yes, right through the Clinton years. Removing Saddam would be the first step to end the war, nothing more. Even so, Saddam has an easy out: Let the inspectors in, unrestricted, and allow individuals and their families to be taken out for questioning (taken out so that they and their families cannot be threatened for their responses)

    3) Military action in Iraq isn't about oil. Attacking Kuwait was about oil. French not wanting to attack Iraq is about oil (they have contracts, in violations of the UN resolutions, for oil.) Russia not wanting to attack Iraq is about oil (they don't want future market availability of Iraqi oil to lower world prices.) Dropping the resolutions and allowing them to sell would be about oil, and cheaper in both monetary and life. Military action to stop yet another crazy dictator from generating and using WMD is not about oil.

    --
    It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
    [ Parent ]

    Wrong (5.00 / 3) (#328)
    by Amesha Spentas on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:44:35 PM EST

    1) Provoked or unprovoked, an attack like 9/11 demands response. Period.

    Unless you were sleeping in a cave the war in Afghanistan was the response not any war on Iraq. That's like saying that a war on France would be in response to 9/11.

    However, any activity against Iraq is not unprovoked either. The 1990 war has never ended. There are incidents every week for the last 11 years. Yes, right through the Clinton years. Removing Saddam would be the first step to end the war, nothing more.
    Wrong again, the Gulf war on Iraq was waged by Coalition forces of which the United States was a member. That war ended when a cease-fire was agreed upon. The "No fly zones" are a "Containment action" keeping the Kurds in the North, and the Kuwaitis and Saudis in the south safe. For any American military action in Iraq now to be considered a continuation of that war it would have to be accepted by all of the Coalition forces. Otherwise this is a new war started by Bush.

    P.S. If your argument were valid then you could argue that WWII never happened, that it was just all a continuation of WWI. And if France and Germany go to war it could be considered a continuation of WWI. Ludicrous.

    Military action in Iraq isn't about oil.

    Here you are right, it's about Bush Jr doing what even his daddy knew better than doing. It's about Bush Jr trying to "Wag the dog." and take everybody's minds off the economy.

    Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
    [ Parent ]

    The facts... (none / 0) (#373)
    by Bartab on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 07:14:39 PM EST

    Wrong again, the Gulf war on Iraq was waged by Coalition forces of which the United States was a member. That war ended when a cease-fire was agreed upon.

    Sorry, you're wrong. The war has never ended because conflict has never ended. The resolutions, both US and UN, providing for use of force are still in effect. Furthermore, the terms of surrender have not been followed, which is provocation enough right there even if it was needed.

    P.S. If your argument were valid then you could argue that WWII never happened, that it was just all a continuation of WWI.

    Many notable historians view the two as just that: One single connected event.

    Here you are right, it's about Bush Jr doing what even his daddy knew better than doing. I

    Wrong again, Bush withdrew only because Congress and Europeans felt weak and did not go to Bagdhad. Bush wanted to. The last 11 years of Saddam are entirely on the European and Congressional shoulders.

    I suggest you read some news that hasn't been filtered through CounterPunch.

    --
    It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
    [ Parent ]

    unbelievable (5.00 / 2) (#391)
    by martingale on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:58:10 PM EST

    Well I've read some moronic things in this discussion, but unless you're trolling really low close to the ground, this sorry excuse for an argument is just daft. Leave the thinking for those who can.

    1) Provoked is necessary. Period. Look up the meaning of the word "response". Or get one of these dictionaries on tape if you can't read. You press the "play" button (often a little triangle).

    2) Saddam has been crying out to high heaven that he's ready to let the inspectors in. Bush said no, he didn't want to. New resolution with automatic war as soon as the inspectors step on Iraqi soil. That's what Bush now wants. Why doesn't he do us all a favour and send his troops in to get killed, so that we can get back to a cold war scenario US versus the World this time? See, I'm trolling too!

    3) Do you even know what military action is? I mean you don't know the difference between provoked and unprovoked. You babble something about oil and the French. What, exactly, is US military action supposed to achieve? Stop what? Yet another crazy dictator? Hussein's not crazy, and unless we send inspectors in against Bush's will, we won't know if he has WMD. Using WMD today? Ha! Goto previous sentence.

    [ Parent ]

    Passivity is unbelievable. (2.00 / 1) (#394)
    by Bartab on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:46:48 PM EST

    Being passive in the face of attack is the most unbelievable thing from the leftest idiots. It doesn't matter if 9/11 is because they hate "US" or "the west" or because they had a bad cup of coffee. Response is a requirement, even if some idiots want us to just "understand their position."

    Here's a hint: People who don't agree with you are not trolls. However, claiming such is the first activity of the person with poor reasoning.

    Saddam has said he'll let inspectors in on his conditions. Sorry, no go. Obviously his "presidential palaces" that would be excluded are the sites that are hiding the WMD. Inspectors get unlimited access or its a waste of time, potentially giving Saddam kidnap victims. Saddam lost his aggressive war, and as such lost sovereignity.

    New resolution with automatic war as soon as the inspectors step on Iraqi soil.

    How can you even make this crap up? You're beyond hope.

    --
    It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
    [ Parent ]

    heh (none / 0) (#396)
    by martingale on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 10:13:41 PM EST

    Here's a hint: People who don't agree with you are not trolls. However, claiming such is the first activity of the person with poor reasoning.
    I don't know what you call a troll, but I call a comment a troll when it contains outrageous, possibly illogical, statements designed to elicit a predictable response. Claiming that being provoked or not is irrelevant for a defensive war qualifies, in my opinion. Claiming in the face of constant news stories worldwide that Iraq is not prepared to accept the return of inspectors qualifies, imo.

    Saddam has said he'll let inspectors in on his conditions. Sorry, no go.
    Look it up. Aziz has repeatedly stated inspectors can come in unconditionally. Practical details are about to be worked out, such as hotels and inspection schedules, and what does the US government say? No go, *even before details can be arranged*. Who is hypocritical, now? Logic flash: if you state categorically no even before you give the other side a chance to agree with you, then you can't even pretend to claim you're listening to the other side.

    So I stand by my statement. His comment's a troll, or he's really dumb.

    [ Parent ]

    Indeed (1.00 / 1) (#398)
    by Bartab on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 10:46:05 PM EST

    I don't know what you call a troll, but I call a comment a troll when it contains outrageous, possibly illogical, statements designed to elicit a predictable response.

    The claims are real, only outragous to a euroidiot, and its not my responsability if you're so predictable in your responses.

    Claiming that being provoked or not is irrelevant for a defensive war qualifies, in my opinion.

    Sure, if that was the claim I made. What I actually said is that our response is irrelevent if we "provoked" the 9/11 attacks. The only reasonable response was what happened. "Understanding why they hate us" doesn't matter. Period.

    Aziz has repeatedly stated inspectors can come in unconditionally.

    Repeatably? No. The first offer of "unconditionally" was on the 12th. After the US Congressional resolution passed. Day late (almost literally) and a dollar short. There were a couple earlier offers but they all included such things as "except presidential palaces" and "our sovereignity must be respected." Newsflash: Iraq lost sovereignity when it surrendered. Of course theres no connection to the bill passing Congress and the sudden Iraq acceptance of "unconditional" No connection at all. In Europe, maybe.

    Now it's in the US's best interest to get a firm, recent, resolution enforcing a response for when Saddam stonewalls again. This is required because of certain peoples inability to recognize that previous resolutions (from 1990 and 91) are still in force, and the same people somehow thinking that the UK, Australia, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Netherlands, Canada and probably others I've missed mean "unilateral."

    BTW: If you're at all curious why this is so urgent, it's reasonable to expect that Saddam is as little as six months away from nuclear weaponry. After Feb the heat in the area will be too much to wage an effective military maneuveer while wearing suits to protect from the known quantities of chemical and biological weapons Saddam has. So, if we wait until after Feb or March then it's a minimum of six more months before any action can be taken. This would give a reasonable chance that Saddam would have nuclear weapons late next year.
    That is unacceptable.

    Of course, if the UN wasn't so reliant on the US to do anything, it could send in inspectors now. I won't hold my breath.

    So I stand by my statement. His comment's a troll, or he's really dumb.

    Or the obvious: More informed than you.

    --
    It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
    [ Parent ]

    My Interests... (5.00 / 3) (#323)
    by Amesha Spentas on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 01:20:31 PM EST

    Everything he's doing is for your interests as a US citizen, you can reject that if you wish but it doesn't change the motivation behind protecting the safety of Americans and their way of life in to the future.

    Yes I reject this assertion. I reject it because he is not defending my interests, he is not protecting my safety and he has single handedly destroyed my way of life.

    Let's start by supporting my assertions, however I see that you have given no support to your own.
    First, My interests, my interests are in reducing Oil/Gas consumption, Not in opening up artic wildlife areas to Oil exploitation. My interests are in reducing and mandating the reduction of Oil consumption in the US. My interests are in ratifying the Kyoto (sp?) accords. Not breaking the arms treaties previously signed. My interests are in not antagonizing the rest of the world and hoping the military can defend me.

    As for protecting my safety . Attacking Saddam Hussein is not protecting my safety. Putting hundreds or thousands of American military in what will most likely become a house-to-house search for Saddam to finish Bush's "Regime Change" is not protecting my safety. Saddam has never been a threat to Americans. He was a threat to his neighbors and when threatened, to Israel. But never a threat to the US. Bush has beaten the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" point to death. However history proves him wrong. During the gulf war when Saddam definitely had WMD's he did not use them, against the Coalition forces or Israel. Saddam never has attacked the US. He attacked Kuwait, but not the US. Saddam may be evil, he may have the desire to use WMD but he is not crazy. He will not use them to attack the US unless he knows he has no other choice, unless we force his hand. Otherwise he would just prefer that we forget him. He no longer has the means to threaten his neighbors like Turkey, Iran, and Kuwait.
    So unless you are appealing on the grounds of humanitarian reasons on behalf of the Iraqi citizens who live under his rule, you have no ability to defend the actions of bush as defending Americans or American interests.

    (If you do decide to claim this is for the Iraqi people, please explain how destabilizing the region, killing hundreds possibly thousands of those same Iraqis, ((and If Saddam finds he has nothing left to lose and does use any WMD he has left, the hundreds or thousands of American solders who would then be killed. Not to mention the Iraqis who would be killed in our counterattack.)) would benefit from an attack by the US.)

    Your defense of Bush in protecting the way of life of Americans is also ludicrous. Bush has single handedly destroyed this nations economy, with his tax breaks for the rich he has brought back deficit spending, With just his posturing for war with Iraq he has raised oil prices. With his man Ashcroft, he has created or propositioned government originations that would turn every American into an informant on every other American. He would use the CIA against Americans. (Something they were expressly forbidden to do in their charter.) He would create a police state in practice if not in name. He would force the terrorism of 9/11 to affect everyone in America increasing the effectiveness of Osama Bin Ladins evil designs 100 fold.

    Finally you said, "By rejecting President Bush, you are condoning these actions in that he only seeks to stop them with no bureaucratic or political interference. Simply doing what's right because it's right, stopping evil. That's why he said "You're with us or you're against us" You seem to be against us."

    I would hope this was just a troll, or a sarcastic reply. However I have seen too many people voice the same opinion to believe/hope that you mean anything other then what you say. So I will explain to you why when this country was founded they made sure that no president could declare war "with no bureaucratic or political interference." Why they deemed it necessary that any action that leads to war debated and reasons for its necessity be brought before the public. Instead we get a president that says "Trust me I know what's good for you" even though in his short history he has proven that he doesn't.
    You see you might not realize it but we live in a democracy. That means that if I don't like what a president is doing I have every right to speak out against it. That means that it is my duty to discuss the functioning of my government and argue for or against policies that are enacted by the president. If you honestly believe that "You're with us or you're against us, you seem to be against us." Then you have no idea what a Democracy is, and I would recommend that a dictatorship or other tyrannical government where you can label any opinion that is contrary to your "fearless leader's" as traitorous may be more to your liking.

    Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
    [ Parent ]

    Actually (4.00 / 1) (#385)
    by eccentricity on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:16:37 PM EST

    "How could you want Saddam to kill our kids with weapons of mass destruction given through terrorists?"

    Are you sure you don't mean the weapons the US gave them? You do know we gave them weapons right? The US and Iraq were virtually allies once upon a time. How convenient it is to use countries and ally with them (even ones with human rights violations: china, Saudi Arabia) or attack countries, depending on which serves us best. (Noam Chomsky is very good at revealing such hypocrisy, I suggest you read his writings)

    As for protecting our safety, nevermind the weakness of the proof that they are an immediate threat, fear is NOT to be used as motivation for attacking someone. If I had a neighbor who I argued with and who threatened me, and if I see him buying a gun, am I justified in attacking him? killing ?

    Fear is a human emotion, capricious and arbitrary. One can argue fearing ANY country in this world, since they are after all serving their own interests, competing with us for resources.

    [ Parent ]

    Gave? (none / 0) (#559)
    by Mr Incognito on Wed Oct 23, 2002 at 09:07:38 AM EST

    Gave? You surely mean sold.

    But, anyway, its all Saddam's fault. He was placed there by amerikans as a strong man against communism taking a power stance on the region.  Now that communism is dead, and amerkians want the oil, theres no purpose in having Saddam there.

    So its Saddams fault for not giving its masters a purpose for his existance, and therefore the toys must be returned.


    [ Parent ]

    Hitler was doing whats best for Germans (N/T). (3.66 / 3) (#486)
    by Wulfius on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 11:10:10 PM EST



    ---
    "We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
    http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
    [ Parent ]
    Not only flaming liberals (4.09 / 11) (#280)
    by expro on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:31:14 AM EST

    Christopher Hitchens has written that liberals fear John Ashcroft more than they fear bin Laden or Saddam. I submit that this statement is not hyperbole or a blatant troll but rather is quite simply true. Whether this is an unpatriotic stance taken by some (many?) liberals is beyond the scope of this Op-Ed and I decline to offer an opinion here.

    I am a conservative Republican and John Ashcroft scares me far more than Bin Laden. My positions on most issues such as gun rights, right to life, education, etc. would bear out that I am indeed conservative. I don't, however, believe in the extreme rights of corporations that today seem to transcend the rights of individuals but has no part in the conservativism I grew up with.

    I grew up believing that the constitution was set up to protect, not only from the obvious bin Laden threats, but more especially from the more-insidious threats from within such as Ashcroft, who to me seems to be the clear instrument of bin Laden in carrying out the greatest harm to the USA that has occurred, which was not the destruction of the twin towers, which as symbols represented corporate power, but the destruction of the rights of individuals who did nothing to cause their rights to be forfeit.

    To me, this desire to protect from the likes of Ashcroft is clear from a reading of the Federalist Papers. What was apparently unaccounted for was the ability of a clever president and the press to strike such channeled fear into the hearts of a large majority of the population. Hopefully it cannot be sustained indefinately, and people will return to reason.

    Turning to Europe, is it possible that in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and the streets of London (if not the corridors of Whitehall) people fear Donald Rumsfeld and Pax Americana more than they fear bin Laden and Saddam?

    I have far less fear of Rumsfeld than Ashcroft. In my opinion, he is clearly subject to the civilian government, and where he may go astray, I think he is very competently following orders, and we have to hold the administration responsible.

    To look at the state of foreign affairs today versus 5 years ago and blame it all on bin Laden seems very naive to me. There is a line between standing very strong, striking at those who attacked us or harbor them and the aggressive stances to preemptively strike at anyone who might pose any threat to the US and paying no heed to the European allies, etc.

    For the record, we only have ourselves to thank for indoctrinating the post-war Germans as passivists, and I do not think their voice of reason is such a bad thing.

    Indoctrinating germans. (none / 0) (#485)
    by Wulfius on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 11:07:52 PM EST

    Yeah Firebombing Dresden (no military targets)
    and nuking Japan are wonderful ways to turn an entire nation pacifist.

    Seeing your loved ones as lumps of carbonised flesh
    speaks volumes.

    ---
    "We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
    http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
    [ Parent ]

    Submission (1.00 / 1) (#492)
    by drquick on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 05:38:53 AM EST

    Yeah Firebombing Dresden (no military targets)
    and nuking Japan are wonderful ways to turn an entire nation pacifist.
    No, it's not! It's a wonderful way of createing resentment and hate that lasts for generations. It was not an easy task for the Allied occupation to brainwash the Germans into submission. Witch hunts and mock trials were part of the agenda.

    [ Parent ]
    Umm... (2.00 / 1) (#491)
    by drquick on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 05:35:09 AM EST

    I grew up believing that the constitution was set up to protect, not only from the obvious bin Laden threats, but more especially from the more-insidious threats from within such as Ashcroft, who to me seems to be the clear instrument of bin Laden in carrying out the greatest harm to the USA that has occurred, which was not the destruction of the twin towers, which as symbols represented corporate power, but the destruction of the rights of individuals who did nothing to cause their rights to be forfeit.
    I'm an European liberal but I seem to share many of the values and assements you present here. After all the US constitution is really a liberal paper.

    I just wonder how you think that Bin Laden planned it all? Why would he have a desire to attack the UN constitution - let alone plan it all in this elaborate way? It's not just just coincidence that basic freedoms are threatened in the US as a result of 9/11. The Bush government has a streak of dictature in it.

    [ Parent ]

    Discrepency (none / 0) (#520)
    by r00t on Mon Oct 21, 2002 at 07:37:33 PM EST

    The discrepency I find when talking to many Americans is that they call themselves conservatives/republicans/democrats but on the issues they are very liberal, yet for some reason they don't vote for a liberal party such as the Green party?

    Yes voting for a liberal party will benefit the'group' and not the 'individual', but the only individuals it will affect are the people up top.

    -It's not so much what you have to learn if you accept weird theories, it's what you have to unlearn. - Isaac Asimov
    [ Parent ]

    Obligatory Onion link (4.60 / 5) (#281)
    by Herring on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 04:39:44 AM EST

    Here


    Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
    I almost took it for real (2.00 / 1) (#462)
    by drquick on Sun Oct 20, 2002 at 04:46:22 AM EST

    With GWB you never know but, that site is just a satire.

    [ Parent ]
    What scares me ... (3.70 / 10) (#296)
    by mami on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 08:28:13 AM EST

    are articles and polls like this one and millions of Americans, who believe in the greatness of their own constitution religiously, unwilling to seriously analyse its flaws and unable to get the legislative body to amend some fundamental aspects of it.  

    It's obvious that the constitution doesn't work for the social good of the American people, it's obvious that American people are in denial about what doesn't work in their own country, it's obvious that (like any person who is addicted to some ideas that aren't true), you can't get Americans off their "drug" (their devotion to their own constitutional greatness) without "hitting bottom" first and then "working themselves out of it one day at a time, one step at a time".

    The US constitution does not effectively construct a check and balance system. People think that just by creating an opposition to the party in power, you solve the problem of checking the party in power. May be you check their power for a short while, but that doesn't mean that you ever really solve the problems the country as a whole is confronted with.

    To not believe in the American constitution and "dream" is just too much of an outrageous thought for Americans to ever take seriously or to ever let happen to themselves.

    The only thing you can't afford in America is not believing in their "dream" or losing faith.

    If you stop believing in it, you go "nuts". And believe me the number of people going "nuts" in this country is increasing daily and it's not the fault of the EU or Saddam or North Korea. It's a home made denial and oppression of realities, that show themselves in a lot of very unhappy and depressed and socially disconnected people. It also shows in the ease with which hate is incited and accepted. It's definitely not a healthy emotional status of the population.

    Americans should really take care of themselves first and that isn't done by leading its population into war around the globe, though of course it's a wonderful way to make people feeling better.

    It's not so much that the Americans ARE the good guys, it's more that too many Americans NEED to be the good guys. And many people in the EU don't think that what Americans might get involved with in the near future, will end up them them BEING the GOOD guys.

    What is scary though is the speed (just a year) in which this country's perspective has been shook out of balance profoundly.

    I don't know, I wait for the American people to stand up and get real with themselves first, then they can convincingly get real with others.

    The standard arguments that the EU world isn't getting real with the threats of other rogue nations and are just too coward to face them, I think isn't convincing at all.

    I rather think they know the real threats much better, because they live much closer together with those rogue nations, and are therefore much more careful to go about "containing" the threats more diplomatically.

    It's one of the main arguments the current US administration tries to spread out that won't wash with Europeans. I can't see any "greatness" in the courage of warriors to engage in "wars" that can't be won.

    I can see just some pretty desperate helplessness in it, though. And I hate seeing the American people being used in desperate wars that don't need necessarily to be fought. Pre-emptive attacks are self-inflicted wars, not defensive wars.  

    I think, if you look at the differences between the EU and the US, it's like two peoples, who are worried about the other's psychological well being and health more than anything else.

    When I think of Americans right now, I always have the itch of saying: "May be you should get some professional help with your own problems first". Afterwards you can start to solve the problems of other countries, if they haven't solved their own problems by themselves already in the meanwhile.    


    Without good citizens, it is impossible (4.00 / 2) (#300)
    by expro on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 09:37:01 AM EST

    What is very right about the US constitution is the identification need for checks and balances and meta-law that limits the lawmaker's whims, as documented in the Federalist Papers, however ineffective the implementation may seem today. I am personally not aware of any previous attempt to create a government where these goals were so well laid out and pursued, due to the participants' inherent distrust of governments.

    The modern politicians in power that seem to trust government and politicians much more are going to be quite reluctant to further limit their own power, although there are exceptions who push for finance reform, term limits, etc. (not that all of these are necessarily good in the details). We have seen significant changes since 1789. Some have made necessary corrections, while some have disabled important checks and balances. Tuning this balance of power is a very scarey proposition. Significant adjustments are revolutions in their own right.

    Any citizen in his rightmind will not approve adjustments in these balances of power without knowing and analyzing all the details and possible holes and power shifts of a specific proposal in advance. The devil is in the details. Propose away, but it should be a difficult battle. If there are enough good informed people adjustments can be made. If there are not, I would prefer no changes to bad ones. Can we really afford to have the running political system crash while we figure out what we did wrong?

    [ Parent ]

    If the constitution is so powerful (4.00 / 1) (#401)
    by mami on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 11:07:12 PM EST

    and well designed to protect the citizens from the abuse of the government, why aren't people then more trusting in their government?

    You have a voter turnout in senatorial and congressional races often not higher than in the ten to twenty percent of the population. You have a huge distrust, disconnect and resignation among the population in your fedral, representative system. Why?

    Because people don't believe that they really can change and influence any political roadmap the handful of state representatives might decide to lay out for them.  

    Why is it that the US always has to use a bullet to demonstrate their unwillingness to accept the policies their Presidents and Congress is going to pursue?

    For what reasons do the people insist on their right to bear a weapon other than for their conviction that they don't have ANY real democratic, political power to influence polices?

    I mean everywhere it just slaps you in your face that Americans don't trust their government. If if you can't trust your government, you can't trust your constitution, because one is dependent on the other for its existence.

    Why is it like this? Who has imposed the constitution upon you that creates the government structure you live under and do so much distrust?

    [ Parent ]

    Umm, you're missing a couple big points (3.00 / 1) (#443)
    by br284 on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 01:44:48 PM EST

    If the citizens trusted the government, there would be no need for the Constitution. Distrust and cynicism towards the government is a vital part of how the American system works. Basically the Constitution is written around the principal that the people in power cannot always be trusted. Thus what it does is set up a limit on what gov't officials can do legally. It tries to give the gov't enough power to do things like promote commerce, establish a military, etc. while denying it the unnecessary powers that could be used to oppose the populace. It's good and it's healthy that there is an element of distrust between the public and the gov't. Without this distrust, the people in power would have no problem gaining and using their powers to subjugate the populace.

    And in your original comment about checks and balances -- I think you don't have any idea what this means. The theory of checks and balances has nothing with establishing a two party system. THe checks and balances are built into the gov't so that the legislative may check the executive which may check the judicial and so forth. It has nothing to do with Democrats v. Republicans. Indeed, the Constitution does not even establish any sort of party system -- it's simply something that has evolved in the framework established by the Constitution.

    -Chris

    [ Parent ]