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[P]
Some thoughts on the fall of Bagdad

By X-Nc in Op-Ed
Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:34:35 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Did you see or hear the reports on the toppling of the big statue in the center of Baghdad? It reminded me of another monument of dictatorship that fell not so long ago.

[Originally posted as a diary entry]


If you saw or heard the new reports, they kept comparing the pulling down of the statue to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I grew up in the shadow of the Wall. Born in Germany, I lived most of my early life there. We were in the States when the wall came down. I remember standing in my parents family room watching it on TV with everyone. My sister was standing next to me. We were both completely stunned. We all knew the Wall was going to come down, it was inevitable. We just didn't think it would happen in our lifetime. I remember turning to my sister and trying to say something but nothing came out. We stood there looking at each other for a few moments, not speaking. When we finally were able to talk we both said the same thing, we never thought we'd live to see it fall. Now it was coming down.

Today I watched as the US Marines took Baghdad. I watched as the Iraqi men climbed the statue and put a big rope around its neck. Then, this big guy came over with a sledgehammer and started pounding away at the base of the statue. Others took turns hitting it. At this point I needed to leave for a doctors appointment. I listened to the rest in the car on the radio. I heard when the reporter said the Iraqi men were asking the Marines for help. Listened as they described the work the Marines and the Iraqi men did to attach a chain or cable to the statue. When the news reporters described the moment the statue fell I had a great swell of emotions fill me. It brought me back to that day when the Wall came down. Now, the Iraqi people would be able to feel the joy of freedom that had been kept for them for so long. It won't be easy and it will take a lot of work to make a stable government & economy in the years to come. Just ask the Germans. But the chance is there now for the people to rebuild. The opportunity exists.

Most of the people in the US don't know what it's like to live with guns and tanks and missiles aimed at you. Most have no idea how crushing is can be to live in a police state. I had the fortune to see the former East Germany and other Eastern Block countries in the 70's and 80's. To see the weight of oppression bearing down on the people you pass in the streets. Seeing it in their eyes; hearing it in their voices. Knowing that if they were seen talking to you they could be arrested and jailed. I wish there were some way to teach the people of the US what it is really like to live in this kind of world and not just read it in books or see glossed over images on TV. Maybe then they would have a small understanding of how the people in Baghdad felt as that statue came falling down.

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Some thoughts on the fall of Bagdad | 738 comments (696 topical, 42 editorial, 0 hidden)
I read (2.42 / 7) (#5)
by CodeWright on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:21:41 PM EST

That the US forces precipitated the tearing down of the statue...

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --
No forces were around at first. (5.00 / 7) (#10)
by Work on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:26:43 PM EST

A small group of iraqis were standing around it, throwing shoes at it. Then a larger iraqi man came with a sledgehammer and knocked chunks out of the base before handing the hammer to others.

A couple more people brought a tall ladder and a rope was fastened around the neck.

They continued swinging the hammer and damaging the base. This was about an hour or so after the first people arrived.

Then some US military equipment (a tank recovery vehicle and some humvees) arrived and they helped pull the statue off its base.

[ Parent ]

I started watching as the rope went up (5.00 / 4) (#20)
by Lacero on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:41:55 PM EST

After a while it seemed like all the people had gone, and then they all ran back just before the Americans drove up to the statue.

It looked very much like they had gone to ask for help, but of course I can't tell for sure.

[ Parent ]

Symbolism (none / 0) (#166)
by Symmetry on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:10:03 PM EST

Is it just me, or is the way in which the statue of Saddam was torn down, and the way in which the Berlin was was torn down symbolic of the differences in the two events? Not that I'm some primitivist who disapproves of heavy machinery or anything :)
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume you opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you. -M.N. Plano
[ Parent ]
nah (none / 0) (#529)
by Work on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:00:12 PM EST

Berlin Wall was taken down with a combination of heavy machinery and people wielding sledgehammers. You see alot of images of people beating it with hammers, but if you look in the background, you'll also see cranes and wrecking equipment.

So was this statue.

[ Parent ]

Where? (5.00 / 4) (#12)
by jjayson on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:29:36 PM EST

This morning I heard the story was that Iraqi civilians were trying to tear down the statue with some rope and some US troops came along and asked if they wanted to take it down. They called in a crane and a couple Iraqis helped bring it down.

_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
I watched it live... (5.00 / 7) (#17)
by Work on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:36:50 PM EST

There were no troops around for half an hour or so that I watched. When I turned it off to head to class, they were just arriving.

[ Parent ]
pretty convenient (1.87 / 8) (#71)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:06:36 PM EST

Right on cue, a few curious Iraqis decide to destroy the statue of Saddam, assisted by their tireless and stoic liberators. Cut, print it, we're done.

[ Parent ]
Paranoia is often a symptom of schizophrenia (4.60 / 5) (#109)
by Demiurge on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:09:16 PM EST

Why do you even bother to post? It's become clear that ANY evidence that fails to support your worldview is haughtily dismissed as propaganda and lies, while you conjure the most elaborate fantasies and half-truths to try and prop up your argument.

[ Parent ]
The alternative (4.00 / 1) (#119)
by CodeWright on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:25:23 PM EST

Isn't as much fun. Seriously, if you don't exercise your imagination, it'll atrophy. Then where will you be? You'll be covering bare-breasted statues on national TV!

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
Oh, like when you're so connected to reality (1.57 / 7) (#146)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:29:55 PM EST

that you are able to accept a ludicrously rushed official statement on the matter ("idiotic Arab journalists"), and that all the information sources at your disposal conveniently fall in line with your preconcieved notions?

And you think my position, that an inquiry is needed, is "paranoia". Hmm. You're an idiot.

[ Parent ]

Thats what I thought of too (4.10 / 10) (#6)
by Work on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:21:54 PM EST

First thing I turned on this morning were live images of the sledgehammer taking chunks out of the statue base.

My first thought was, "The iraqis have their own Berlin Wall to take down too"

lucky them (4.00 / 2) (#134)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:01:11 PM EST

Let's build more walls out of straw so we can knock them down too.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Saddam fall down go boom (3.85 / 7) (#14)
by b1t r0t on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:32:57 PM EST

This morning before leaving for work, I turned on the TV for no particular reason. They were showing various things done about the war, including a short clip of that Madonna video, the one where she looks like a RAmarl from PSO, only without the thigh-puff in the pants. I hadn't seen anything but a couple of stills from it before, since I don't watch TV much any more.

Soon after that, they (ABC) cut to a special report about US forces reaching the Palestine Hotel, significant because that's where a lot of reporters were. They chat for a few minutes, then the camera (on the Al Jazeera/Kuwaiti TV feed at the time) showed some Iraqis a nearby square throwing shoes at a Hussein statue. Then they started ripping the two plaques off of the base. It was about this time that I was thinking this could be another Berlin Wall moment.

While I was out of the room, I heard about them getting up there on a ladder. When I came back, they were up there putting the rope around his neck. I had to leave then.

Later I saw the pictures and read the accounts of the statue being pulled down a half hour later. I think the wierdest picture has to be the one of the statue hanging horizontally off of the base.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.

the network editors needed an excuse (2.09 / 11) (#63)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:49:51 PM EST

They needed an excuse to crudely wallpaper over a much bigger story: the "accidental" killings of journalists that has been going on in the city and area surrounding Baghdad. A lot of journalists are threatening to strike unless there is a formal inquiry into this recent tank shell incident. This very convenient event was seized upon with such speed, so unanimously, that we all must wonder how much objectivity is left in the US media.

[ Parent ]
Excuse me? (4.20 / 5) (#72)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:10:05 PM EST

The burden is on journalists to prove that they were not in the line of fire. The burden is not on the young men and women that are rolling through the city in armor attracting enemy fire. How can you be so arrogant as to think that journalists should be treated any differently than other civilians? How can you dismiss so easily the probability that the Iraqis used journalists as human shields? Journalists are often dupes, and are not reliable from the point of view of a soldier making split second decisions.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

you really scare me (3.00 / 4) (#77)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:18:20 PM EST

Hopefully that was a troll. Because if you actually believe this:
The burden is on journalists to prove that they were not in the line of fire.
And not this:
The burden is on the military to prove that they were justified to fire.
You have a serious problem with your moral prerogatives, kiddo.

[ Parent ]
Be afraid, be very afraid (3.00 / 6) (#100)
by PullNoPunches on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:55:36 PM EST

Yes, he meant it, and he is absolutely right.

You are right to be afraid of anyone that lives by reason instead of emotion. You don't stand a chance in our world.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)
[ Parent ]

reason!?!?!? (3.20 / 5) (#104)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:02:16 PM EST

We're talking about the military firing a tank shell at journalists, you know, the kind of thing we all associate with Tienanmen Square, and you people snap to the conclusion that it's the journalists that were at fault?

What the fuck is happening to my country?

[ Parent ]

See, I was right (2.57 / 7) (#108)
by PullNoPunches on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:07:16 PM EST

This was a purely emotional response, with no reason behind it whatsoever.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)
[ Parent ]

your version of "reason" seems to be (3.00 / 4) (#114)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:12:51 PM EST

That the military doesn't need any reason to kill Arab journalists.

[ Parent ]
haha (2.50 / 10) (#117)
by PullNoPunches on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:23:29 PM EST

Keep it up, yer killin' me!

Only raw, untempered emotion could have led you to that conclusion. Reason finds many gaping holes in it through even the most cursory examination. I'm so sorry for you.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)
[ Parent ]

Polly want a cracker (4.00 / 1) (#269)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:42:30 AM EST

Please explain this "reason" thing you're using. It seems incompatible with things like "liberty", "freedom", and "justice", which, of course, cannot be arrived at via use of reason.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Oooh, "of course" (none / 0) (#444)
by PullNoPunches on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:22:47 PM EST

Gosh, you used "of course", that means that you are entirely correct! How silly I would be to even question it!

Of course, freedom, justice and liberty can only be arrived at through reason, and furthermore (of course), the concepts of freedom, justice, and liberty are only arrived at and only suppoortable through reason, so I don't really understand what your point is.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)
[ Parent ]

Prove it. (none / 0) (#476)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:10:20 PM EST

Prove that the concepts "justice" and "liberty" and "freedom" can be arrived at via reason. Please define the concepts using a rational system. Please state the postulates of the logical system that you use to arrive at those concepts, and please provide the set of logical proofs needed to arrive at those concepts.

Can't do it? That's because concepts like "justice" and "liberty" and "freedom" are inherently religious constructs, that we accept on faith as good things, not because they've been "proven" in some rational way. As constructs of faith they are not amenable to reason.

I'm not saying that "justice" and "liberty" and etc. are not good concepts. I'm just saying that your faith in reason is a religious concept in itself, and that your inability to apply this religious belief to the concepts "justice", "liberty", etc. shows that your religion has its own limitations that you should think about before tossing it out as the solution to all world issues.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

On why freedom is a rational value... (none / 0) (#574)
by kcbrown on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 12:29:27 AM EST

Prove that the concepts "justice" and "liberty" and "freedom" can be arrived at via reason. Please define the concepts using a rational system. Please state the postulates of the logical system that you use to arrive at those concepts, and please provide the set of logical proofs needed to arrive at those concepts.
I address that here.

Freedom is an irrational value only if it is also irrational to value happiness. while I cannot prove that it is rational to value happiness, I can say that it is instinctive to do so.

[ Parent ]

Ah, we make progress. (none / 0) (#578)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 01:35:35 AM EST

Your postulate appears to be that "if it is instinctive, it is rational". Now we are getting somewhere, grasshopper. So: throwing feces (or, rather, its verbal equivalent) is instinctive, has been ever since we were just clever monkeys a million years ago. This means it is rational? If so, then Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information (currently on administrative leave), is the most rational man alive ("There is no presence of American infidels in the city of Baghdad," he declared to journalists on the roof of the Palestine Hotel as gunfire echoed across the city and tanks fired from the banks of the Tigris just a few hundred yards away).
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Err...not quite... (5.00 / 1) (#681)
by kcbrown on Sat Apr 12, 2003 at 02:37:34 AM EST

Your postulate appears to be that "if it is instinctive, it is rational".
No. If something is instinctive, it simply exists. Nothing more. So it can be treated as a fact, and thus as an input into the reasoning process.

When something is "rational" it is, by definition, something that has been derived using reason and facts. Reason is a well-tested tool which is used to operate upon facts in order to derive conclusions. That something is rational simply means that it has been derived using the rules of reason as applied to the facts at hand and has not been found wanting in that regard. The reason we tend to value rational conclusions is that the process of rational thought has consistently produced conclusions that have proven useful in the real world.

But something which is instinctive is something that cannot be said to be "rational" or not, because it simply exists. The desire for happiness is instinctive, so it can be treated as a fact. Certainly, that most people value happiness is a fact because it's something that is readily observable, as well as being something the observer probably already knows, as the observer is probably human and thus probably shares this same value. :-)

So: that happiness has value to people is a fact. It is not something that can be disputed or debated, really, because it is readily observable. Hence, it is also a fact that happiness has value in the general case (at least as regards people), since most people value it.

And thus, the value of happiness is a legitimate starting point for the rational derivation of the value of freedom.

[ Parent ]

You first (none / 0) (#680)
by PullNoPunches on Sat Apr 12, 2003 at 02:05:42 AM EST

Prove your assertion. But do it without using reason, since reason is just a matter of faith.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)
[ Parent ]

You believe this?!? (4.20 / 5) (#123)
by X-Nc on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:34:15 PM EST

Have you ever been in a combat situation? Have you ever seen what those guns are like when they are used? In the actual battle, anyone who is not directly involved in the fighting has no business being there. Period. Anything that happens to anyone in a fire zone is their own responsibility.

--
Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
[ Parent ]
Fire zones (4.00 / 4) (#241)
by Krazor on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:16:32 AM EST

By your logic any army that creates a firezone no longer has a responsability for what occurs in it to the civilians. So if a tank goes into a residential area and shoots a house, any civilians killed in that house were at fault because "In the actual battle, anyone who is not directly involved in the fighting has no business being there. Period. Anything that happens to anyone in a fire zone is their own responsibility."

Lets use your logic in a slightly diffrent way. If I believe my self to be in doing the work of the armed forces, I could walk into my local Mall and start shooting cops, an armed target. However, by your logic, any people in the mall that got gunned down by myself were at fault, not me, because once I've created a firezone NOONE has any business being there. Forget the fact that the people there didin't know it was going to be a fire zone and so couldn't move out before shells/bullets starting hitting the area.

[ Parent ]
no (none / 0) (#420)
by one time poster on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:44:25 AM EST

In your scenario, you are a simply a terrorist.  You are acting as an individual not an organized army. You have not publicly declared war. You have not provided a means for anyone to know that they might get shot if they go to the mall today.  You have not given anyone a chance to leave your war zone if they do not want to get shot.  

If criteria for shooting people were simply carrying a weapon, then I would expect far more Coalition casualties as many of the Coalition forces are in fact carrying weapons, just as is your security guard.  The Coalition should be shooting each other under your scenario. (Heh, well, they are at times aren't they?) I would also expect far more civilian casualties than have been reported since civilians are all over Baghdad and the Coalition should be shooting all of them also under your scenario.

I am quite grateful that you are not a military or political leader as you evidently do not know the difference between an armed combatant that is trying to kill you and anything else.  If you were leading our military, I also suppose that your military budget might be higher than you think since you would be shooting anything that moves, you would need to spend more money on ammunition.  In fact, you might have already used nuclear weapons as life seems to have no value to you as evidence by your indiscriminant shootings in the mall.  I certainly would not want to live in your dictatorship as you may be using all our national wealth to procure or produce these weapons so that you can support your attack the mall.

This will be our little secret and I shall not tell GWB about you as he seems to have an itchy trigger finger for people like you right now.  You, sir, appear to be a terrorist and the US is currently at war with terror (among many other things).

___________________

That does it, I wont post again...


[ Parent ]
Re: Fire Zones (none / 0) (#481)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:21:27 PM EST

Lets use your logic in a slightly diffrent way. If I believe my self to be in doing the work of the armed forces, I could walk into my local Mall and start shooting cops, an armed target. However, by your logic, any people in the mall that got gunned down by myself were at fault, not me, because once I've created a firezone NOONE has any business being there. Forget the fact that the people there didin't know it was going to be a fire zone and so couldn't move out before shells/bullets starting hitting the area.
If I was a soldier, and the "bad guys" took cover in a local mall and started shooting at my troops, I'd have little choice but to shoot back. It would suck for the civilians, but it would be the fault of the guys that used the mall as a battlefield.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
I have no reply to this (none / 0) (#552)
by X-Nc on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:15:12 PM EST

It's impossible to have a discussion with someone who's as irrational as you seem to be judging by this post. If you stop and think for a moment you'd see how your analogy is apples and oranges.

As for the civillians/non-combatents, it's only due to US Military policy and international convention that they aren't just blasted where they stand. If you take a look at what war really is, not the pretty pictures on CNN or the John Wayne* movies, you'd have a much better uunderstanding of this.

* The Duke rules! His movies were not about war but about the human sprit of the soldiers.

--
Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
[ Parent ]

I bet a lot of things scare you. (1.00 / 4) (#165)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:08:18 PM EST

You seem like a pantspisser.
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By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

I happened to be watching (5.00 / 3) (#99)
by duffbeer703 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:54:54 PM EST

The coverage when the hotel was attacked... all of the US media reported on it nearly exclusively for hours.

The story was legitimately superceded with the complete collapse of the Iraqi government.

Try taking off your rose-colored glasses.

[ Parent ]

Might not have been the coalition anyway. (5.00 / 3) (#122)
by ffrinch on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:34:14 PM EST

From this Guardian article:
The BBC's defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan has cast doubt on whether the missile that killed two journalists in Baghdad today was fired by a US tank, speculating that Iraqi soldiers may have launched the lethal attack.

He added that after examining the scene he concluded it was virtually impossible for the US tank to have fired on the 15th floor room.

"The angle that the tank would have to have reached to hit that roof, it would more or less have had to have shot just round the corner and I don't think even the Americans have got those kinds of weapons."

Regardless, though, the tank fired on the building because it was "receiving small arms fire and RPG fire from the hotel". If they did accidentally hit some journalists, it should be a non-issue: being a war correspondent entails some obvious risks.

-◊-
"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick
[ Parent ]
okay, I can accept that (3.00 / 4) (#126)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:39:51 PM EST

I don't have any special knowledge of what really happened. I'd like to see an inquiry made with due dilligence. But what bothers me is all of these people who immediately want to say "stupid journalists", without any thought of negligence on the part of the soldiers.

And by the way, what about those checkpoint killings? Is that all going to be swept under the rug, too?

[ Parent ]

I guess the reason is... (none / 0) (#415)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:33:14 AM EST

...that we are more willing to forgive negligence committed by a scared 19 year old sitting like a target in a tank parked in the middle of an enemy city than we are to forgive some self-satisfied rumor-mongerer for poking his nose in where it doesn't belong. Anyway, both soldiers and journalists have inherently negligent jobs. The ONLY question worth answering is whether the Americans deliberately targeted journalists. I think I know the answer.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

So which is it? (none / 0) (#213)
by swr on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:09:32 AM EST

From this Guardian article:
"The angle that the tank would have to have reached to hit that roof, it would more or less have had to have shot just round the corner and I don't think even the Americans have got those kinds of weapons."
Regardless, though, the tank fired on the building because it was "receiving small arms fire and RPG fire from the hotel".

So the tank did fire on the building? But could not have hit it? And yet the damage did occur...

So we're left with a "magic bullet" theory which involves the shot rounding the corner, or... what? A second tank? On a grassy knoll, perhaps?

I guess history really does repeat itself.



[ Parent ]
Which journalists are threatening to strike? (none / 0) (#181)
by bsimon on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:50:07 PM EST

...and if they did strike, wouldn't that be just fine with the US military..?

you have read my sig
[ Parent ]

weirdest shot (none / 0) (#128)
by kpaul on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:43:20 PM EST

for me was the little boy riding around on Saddams head as they dragged it through the streets.

Also wonder if whoever draped the US flag over the statue before they toppled it is being reprimanded or secretly praised?

Finally, while the moment was about 'freedom' and what-not, Journos were being beaten and robbed.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
The Head (none / 0) (#186)
by b1t r0t on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:59:29 PM EST

I finally got to see that this evening. The wierd part of that wasn't that the kid was riding it, it was the kid slapping the head repeatedly with his sneakers like he was spurring a horse.

As for the flag incident, it can be retconned into being symbolic of us wiping Saddam's butt into the ground, then turning things over to the Iraqis afterward. Yeah, that's it.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

Washington Post (4.75 / 8) (#15)
by wiredog on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:34:42 PM EST

Has some interesting op-ed tidbits from various arab news sources. Including an interesting piece from the Arab News which leads me to believe (especially the last sentence) that the author actually has been reading the op-ed pages in the American press.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

Interesting (none / 0) (#19)
by X-Nc on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:41:41 PM EST

FWLIW, I do not read any newspapers or news magazines. Not in print, not online. If anything in this editorial is remotely similar to what they have it really is a coincidence. That I can not do anything about.

--
Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
[ Parent ]
Not just the last sentence (5.00 / 3) (#28)
by nosilA on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 04:08:45 PM EST

I found the best part to be this quote:

Yes, there will be more terrorism, and Osama Bin Laden -- or at least his infamous voice -- was heard once more yesterday, calling for suicide attacks and thus giving more easy justification, as he did on Sept. 11, to America's imperial ambition. Thanks, Osama, you've done us all about as much good as George W. Bush. Both are two sides of the same coin.

This sounds a lot like the centrists in the US, or for that matter anywhere in the world would say... "we don't like what's going on, but you nutballs on the other side are just going to make it worse."  Not that I should be surprised, but in a way I am, that something so logical and balanced would exist in a place where freedom of the press is at best a half-truth.

-Alison
Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

What is interesting... (4.00 / 4) (#29)
by On Lawn on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 04:10:41 PM EST

Is how well it aligns with what some have considered very heavily "western" perspective also, outlined in a diary of mine. In fact it was considered so western, that one asked the question "has that author even met an Arab," and now here is an Arab commentator expressing much of the same feelings.

But thats just the first half of the "interesting piece". The rest of it seems to play on a dogmatic paradigm that "might makes wrong." It claims that America is an unmolested superpower, shame shame shame.

A rather short sided commentary don't you think? After all, very few countries in the world have the track record of conquest and then retreating to let native populations create their own rules as the US. (Note: I'm not saying every US venture was this way, just that it happened at all is a miracle. That it happened more then half a dozen times is something beyond miraculous).

[ Parent ]

Those guys are nuts (4.75 / 8) (#40)
by MSBob on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:14:32 PM EST

Referring to the link from ArabNews: I was in agreement with some of the points until I happened upon this:

those on the Left suddenly found themselves disenfranchised after the Berlin Wall came down and Stalinism was replaced in Eastern Europe with that cruder system of exploitation, undiluted capitalism, so now those on the side of basic justice and human rights know that the international, independent judges have been bought off, and there is no longer any recourse to moral argument.

Now this is such a blatant misrepresentation of facts mixed in with outright lies, it's not even funny. The countries that lead in the fight against their respective communist governments are all much better places now. If anyone tries to tell me that Poland in 1985 was a better place to live than it is now (with all its current problems) I would send them straight to a psychiatric ward or to PyongYang for an "Indoctrination Immersion" camp.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
an even better example (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:39:55 PM EST

Romania.

Q: What did Romanians use for light before the adoption of candles?

A: Electricity.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Yes (4.50 / 2) (#103)
by MSBob on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:00:13 PM EST

Romania is far from being out of the woods but what's there now is still miles better than the tyranny of Ceausescu and his 'Securitate'.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
you know it sucked when (3.40 / 5) (#113)
by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:12:41 PM EST

Your country is actually better off under the rule of the Mafia.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

I lived through Martial Law in Poland (4.75 / 20) (#26)
by MSBob on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 03:51:31 PM EST

I know what it's like to live in an oppressive regime and I understand what you're trying to say. The trouble is that Americans are not view by Arabs the same way they're view in Eastern Europe. They are seen (rightfully or not) as opporessors. Same way that Poles felt about Soviets before 1989. I don't think comparisons with the Berlin Wall collaps e are quite justified yet.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

Disinformation (4.00 / 4) (#41)
by n8f8 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:25:15 PM EST

Largely what the Arabs believe vcomes from being exposed to media controlled by regimes afraid losing their power.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Resistance to propaganda (4.50 / 8) (#43)
by MSBob on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:36:01 PM EST

That surprises me. Polish people, while ruled by communists, never really bought into the "Evil West" propaganda spewed by those puppets of Moscow. I remember when I was wathing the Gorbachov-Reagan summit on tv in 1985 (I think) and I was really upset at Reagan until my parents pointed out that it's usually people from Gorbachov's country seeking refuge in Reagan's and not the other way round. I nodded with understanding.

So, I'm suprprised that Arabs are giving their governments and media that much credit. I always believed that most people were cynical enough to question the official line as a matter of principle. Maybe that's just a Polish trait :)

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
it would seem... (4.25 / 4) (#45)
by Work on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:48:06 PM EST

that the arab peoples are learning to do just that, this very moment.

you must remember, much of this area of the world is still living in an effective stone age. Monarchs and warlords run the place in an almost feudal fashion. Also, the lack of an islamic equivalent to the protestant reformation (though Islam doesn't really have an equivalent to the Catholic Church either) hasn't really led to a questioning of the authorities there either.

[ Parent ]

Arrogance (2.66 / 6) (#56)
by jman11 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:11:01 PM EST

This whole thread is amazing, the condescending and superior attitudes expressed.  You should be careful not to judge too harshly what is the cradle of civilization, lest yours be judged.  

Yes, this is Houston - I think we've found your problem.

[ Parent ]

Arrogant? (5.00 / 5) (#58)
by Work on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:17:21 PM EST

Nowhere did I write or hold the idea that the very people are inferior - only their history is different than the rest of the world's, and they have not had many of the historical shifts in culture and attitude that the rest of the world has.

We can all only hope that the middle east becomes an area where its citizens no longer live fearfully under the rule of dictators, and no longer scrape by for a living. Where they no longer live with a sense of fatalism and that they have no choice over their fate and destiny.

Arrogance is those who would have millions living under cruel dictators, all in the name of their own pseudo-intellectual ideology.

[ Parent ]

Arrogance? (5.00 / 5) (#59)
by MSBob on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:19:40 PM EST

Who is being arrogant? National pride is one thing but oppression is another. I am and always will be loyal to Poland but never was loyal to the communist regime and was very glad to see them go as most Poles were. Iraqis are behaving in the same way and I'm happy for them. Not feeling superior, just empathic.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
hey, idiot (4.50 / 4) (#88)
by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:38:56 PM EST

Arabs are not Sumerians.

HTH

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Hey, they're typical Bush Fedayeen (1.00 / 3) (#400)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:21:42 AM EST

Just a bunch of ignorant "morans" who think history started 200 years ago and that Fox News is "fair and balanced". They don't even realize they're being lied to by their American presstitutes, the poor bastards. They think they're free, at the same time that they can't fly from Chicago to L.A. without producing their internal passports.

The fact that we just rubbelized 1500 year old cultural icons in Baghdad means nothing to them. They cannot conceive of 1500 years of history. The fact that the Muslim world was exploring mathematics and astronomy at a time when we Westerners were burning scientists as witches means nothing to them, because they've never studied history. The very word "algebra" means nothing to them, because they don't realize that it's a Westernization of a Western term. And they have no idea how the word "crusade" affects Muslims, because they do not realize that the Crusades destroyed a Muslim civilization that had been growing and thriving for 500 years of peace, weakening it to the point where the Mongols could waltz in and raze entire cities (and, incidentally, causing the Muslims to invent the concept of "jihad").

They are, in short, typical propogandized tools of a Bushevik Party that, like the Bolshevik Party of old, has the same basic goals: the looting of entire countries for the benefit of a Party elite (or why is Halliburton getting the subcontracts for virtually all of the post-war rebuild?).
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Who are the savages? (4.00 / 1) (#397)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:14:30 AM EST

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do." -- Samuel P. Huntington
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
The difference. (4.00 / 2) (#48)
by i on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:28:08 PM EST

(Some of) Polish people knew both democratic and communist rule. They could compare.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
They don't give credit to Arab media (5.00 / 3) (#396)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:12:32 AM EST

The Arabs don't really believe everything they see in Arab media. But when the Spanish, French, English, Canadian, and German media is reporting the same things, they do believe it. It is only us Americans who get the sanitized view of the war here in the 'States ("Look ma, no blood! War is just a new reality TV show!"), as our presstitutes suck Bush's dick in order to not lose their embeds (what word!) and the nice little pictures of Survivor:Iraq that they beam into our living rooms every day.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Remember that Poland was... (5.00 / 1) (#520)
by x3nophil3 on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:47:26 PM EST

the first nation to revolt against Stalinish Communism. The fact that the people weren't totally sold on the idea is probably why a grassroots movement like Solidarity was possible.

So it's probably not quite the same under an oppressive regime that isn't about to collapse...
 

[ Parent ]

in France, Germany, the US, and the UK? (4.80 / 5) (#69)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:04:49 PM EST

The footage I saw showed Egyptian and Saudi Arabs watching western media sources. Deutsche Welle, BBC, CNN, and so forth. They get the same information that anyone in the west does, and a lot more that we don't.

[ Parent ]
Don't make me laugh (3.63 / 11) (#102)
by chu on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:59:07 PM EST

Americans are the most utterly indoctrinated on the planet. The Soviets for example at least knew they were being lied to.

[ Parent ]
You are the liar. (4.00 / 1) (#405)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:24:27 AM EST

You are fooling yourself if you think that Americans are unable to receive balanced news coverage. Although many Americans prefer to watch CNN or Fox, the US government will not stop them from watching whatever else they want to watch, and everything is readily available.
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[ Parent ]

availability largely irrelevant (none / 0) (#464)
by chu on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:43:47 PM EST

The power of the system is that significant numbers don't choose to receive balanced coverage. Self-censorship and indoctrination are by far the most effective kind. Breaking that kind of control can be psychologically unbearable as you have to face that you have been complicit in your own conditioning. During the Cold War, the US was said to be the envy of Soviet propagandists in this regard. The reason that countries like China feel they have to block information is only because they know their people will choose to access it. The US is no better in this respect. For example, if people in the US started to read and discuss aljazeera.net in significant quantities there would first be an attempt to rubbish its credibility by mainstream media and make reading it into a marginal kooky activity. If that wasn't effective enough, you would find that it became unavailable there - or did that all happen already?

[ Parent ]
So... (none / 0) (#606)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 09:23:01 AM EST

...what you're saying is that Americans have voluntarily ceded their opinion to the government. Even that is a willful act, isn't it? If people choose to believe the propoganda, that means it's effective propoganda. The point is that there are alternatives that are available and that are not actively suppressed by the government. The availability of alternatives is not irrelevant at all. In fact, the availability of alternatives is what separates the USA from most of the rest of the world. The Arabs you see looking at CNN are often doing so via personal satellites and are probably breaking the local law and subject to imprisonment and punishment for doing so.
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[ Parent ]

reading comprehension (none / 0) (#627)
by chu on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:57:56 AM EST

read the whole post. I explained why availability isn't generally the issue and I explained that in cases where availability does have an effect, the US will actively suppress just as much as China. Take a look at this for example.

[ Parent ]
LOL (none / 0) (#701)
by SPYvSPY on Sun Apr 13, 2003 at 02:15:02 PM EST

You are fucking joking. The US government shits down a site called "ISO news" and you cry censorship?! Best laugh I've had all month.
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[ Parent ]

Thin end of the wedge (none / 0) (#705)
by chu on Sun Apr 13, 2003 at 05:19:14 PM EST

Yes, ISO news is not an obviously political example like aljazeera. To explain in simple terms, it's just another concrete example that they can and will take control of the flow of information. Seeing impounded domain names was pretty unthinkable just a few years ago. We are not just talking about an isp shutting down a dubious domain here. This is before any crime has been proven in court and all the accused's email and logs will be going into a government file already. Right now it's iso news and guys selling waterpipes. Tomorrow it may well be someone closer to home and by that point you won't even dare to protest. Americans really need to wise up fast if they want to avoid that possibility. What does it take - black lines through half the text?

My point is that, one way or another, the government do suppress anything they don't like and that you find a much wider availability of information outside the US. You might not believe this if you are a USian as you are likely to be indoctrinated already and genuinely believe that you are living in 'the land of the free'.

[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#714)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 10:26:27 AM EST

...there's certainly no point in discussing this matter further, as I have been hopelessly indoctrinated by my government. Never mind the fact that I've been lots of other places in the world and have yet to see anywhere with a more pervasive and reliable freedom than America.

Your argument has a name. It's called the "slippery slope". Actually, it has another name: "the sky is falling."

Are you aware that if you break the criminal laws in the USA, you may be required to forfeit your home, your car, your boat, your cash, etc.? Please explain to me how this is any different (or worse) than having your domain impounded for operating what is (at least on its face) a criminal violation of copyright laws?

I'm sorry, but the whole 'America-is-one-baby-step-from-being-a-dictatorship" line of reasoning lacks credibility for the number of times it's been trumped. Next your going to tell me that arrogance and complacency lead to ruin. But I really don't think your fearful fantasies have any traction in my reality.
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[ Parent ]

Bullshit. (2.33 / 3) (#340)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:34:59 AM EST

Arab countries have full access to western media.

Explain why the US choose Iraq over North Korea as an immediate threat, justify why Israel can do as it pleases when it comes to Palestine and then try to convince Arabs that the US is not biased against Muslim-Arab nations.

Might is right

[ Parent ]

One reason why Americans are not biased... (none / 0) (#409)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:28:23 AM EST

...we just liberated a whole shitload of Arabs from an oppressive regime. Muslims also tend to overlook instances where America has fought alongside them (e.g., Afghanistan, the balkans, etc.) America is biased against the strain of extremism that has captured the Arab imagination as a result of thug dictators and religious frauds being in charge of their communities. Fortunately, DKNY and Burger King are like acid in the eyes of thug dictators and religious frauds, and we will flush them out of the middle east beginning in Iraq.
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[ Parent ]

Read the foreign media (none / 0) (#423)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:46:40 AM EST

Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Indian... you get a far different view of the world than you get from the U.S. presstitutes. We are the most effectively propogandized populance in the entire world -- and don't even realize it, the propogando is so good and so pervasive.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
The point is... (none / 0) (#445)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:24:39 PM EST

...that my government will allow me to read other viewpoints, which is not true in oppressive regimes. The fact that American media is propoganda does not bother me. Any nation that does not wield the power of propoganda is foolish. It is nations that prevent full disclosure of viewpoints that are evil.
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[ Parent ]

Arabs get world news (none / 0) (#471)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:03:35 PM EST

The Arabs watch CNN, BBC, etc. too. You seem to think they only get one viewpoint, of their local press. They don't. On all the reporting I've seen from Jordan, Egypt, etc. about the reactions of Arabs to the war, most of which is done in taverns of some sort, they're all gathered around watching CNN or BBC, and only occasionally al Jazeera or a local station. It's not like here in the United States, where the only way we can get foreign views is via the Internet.

I know you like to believe all Arabs are ignorant savages who drive camals across sand dunes, but that simply isn't true. While they have suffered under years of exploitation by lousy governments, they're not stupid -- they can see American policy towards Israel, contrast with American policy towards Arab states, and draw conclusions. The fact that you disagree with their conclusions doesn't mean that they're ignorant savages... it just means that you're coming at it from a different historical perspective, one where the Crusades did not destroy the first and greatest Islamic civilization, a civilization that was developing mathematics and observing the stars while the Europeans were still huddling in cold castles and eating rotten meat and drinking stinky water without a school or book in sight, one that had occupied the Middle East peacefully for 500 years before the waves of northern barbarians crashed upon their northern shore.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Gee... (none / 0) (#602)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 09:15:20 AM EST

...thanks for repeating what Tezcatlipoca said about five posts ago. The topic is whether the USA is biased against Arabs, which it is not.
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[ Parent ]

news flash (2.56 / 32) (#34)
by zzzeek on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 04:43:19 PM EST

Same police state, New Corporate Sponsors ! (tm)

Time for Truth and Reconciliation in Iraq (2.20 / 34) (#47)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:19:52 PM EST

Specifically, it's time for the spineless anti-war vocal minority liberals to admit the truth that they were utterly totally wrong.

We need honesty before we can move on.  Just admit that you were self righteous cretins, and we can begin to forgive you.

--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman

Oh, shut up! (3.80 / 25) (#55)
by Sleepy on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:01:21 PM EST

Wrong about what, exactly? When were we wrong? Every single argument put forth in favor this war is still based on a lie or in utter defiance of logic. We said this, and we were right. What we never denied, on the other hand, was that the positive aspect was that Saddam Hussein would be gone.

Remind me again, how many iraqis have died so far? How many will die in what's left of the war? How many people will die because they had to pay for their new-found freedom with their electricity and water supply?

"Minority", by the way? Not in this part of the world, we're not...



[ Parent ]
Re: Oh, shut up! (2.33 / 6) (#168)
by F8alist on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:12:03 PM EST

Remind me again, how many iraqis have died so far? How many will die in what's left of the war? How many people will die because they had to pay for their new-found freedom with their electricity and water supply?

Much fewer than would have died had Saddam remained in power.

[ Parent ]

Over what length of time? (1.00 / 1) (#220)
by Merc on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:30:50 AM EST

Did Saddam routinely kill thousands of people a week? Maybe so, but it seems unlikely.



[ Parent ]
I doubt he did (none / 0) (#502)
by F8alist on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:38:54 PM EST

But then, neither are we. This war is a one time thing, not a routine event.

[ Parent ]
Not if the sanctions would have been lifted(n/t) (4.00 / 2) (#369)
by Sleepy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:00:05 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#500)
by F8alist on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:33:12 PM EST

My point was Saddam is responsible for more deaths than this war. What exactly do sanctions have to do with that?

[ Parent ]
That's not what you wrote (none / 0) (#517)
by Sleepy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:30:27 PM EST

You said that more Iraqis would die if Saddam would remain in power than have died(or are about to die) during this war. Now, why do I bring the sanctions into this, you ask? Well, because they have been the primary reason for people dying in Iraq over the last 12 years, that's why.



[ Parent ]
And you conveniently forget (5.00 / 1) (#528)
by ckaminski on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:29:58 PM EST

That the condition of the relief of those sanctions was that Saddam Hussein prove beyond all shadow of a doubt that his WMD's were destroyed.  

Something, I might add, that he has had 12 years to do.  

[ Parent ]

Remind me again... (none / 0) (#536)
by Sleepy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:26:21 PM EST

...wasn't the argument for getting rid of Saddam Hussein that he doesn't give a damn if his people are dying and miserable? Then how, exactly, are the sanctions justified when all they accomplish is making the Iraqi people dying and miserable?

There's an old saying: "Two wrongs don't make a right."



[ Parent ]
Yes. You are a minority. (1.00 / 3) (#323)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:47:01 AM EST

Most Americans support the war.  If you're not American, you don't matter, because you live in a country paralysed with socialist inertia.

As I've said repeatedly, you can claim a moral victory over this war all you want.  While you recite your smug dogma, real men can get on with acting.

--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman
[ Parent ]

Oh sorry (1.00 / 1) (#368)
by Sleepy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:59:25 AM EST

I took you seriously for a while there. My bad.

[ Parent ]
Are you really that dumb? (3.60 / 10) (#60)
by daliman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:21:17 PM EST

As Sleepy said above (that's a 5 from me, BTW) the arguments put forward against the war are still valid. What he didn't mention was that the war was a gamble; this outcome certainly seems good, but it could have been much worse. It's like flipping a coin, betting heads, and then saying that the person who bet tails was an idiot for doing so. Just because it happens to have gone your way doesn't mean that it was destined to do so.

That said, I am definitely glad that it went as well as it did. The Iraqi people can now rebuild their country, and if they're lucky it might not end up being 90% owned by US corporations.



[ Parent ]
One other thing (4.87 / 8) (#74)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:12:27 PM EST

Besides what these other two people mentioned, I have some thoughts.

What it boils down to is: this is not the end.

Sure, Saddam appears to be gone, and everyone knows that is good in terms of life for the Iraqi people.  But there are a lot of concerns that still remain, and these are the concerns I had before the war.

What cost did/will this action have in terms of the world's view of the USA?  How will Arabs in other countries react, as well as terrorist groups?  What will the burden of paying for this war, tying up the loose ends, and the ensuing rebuilding of Iraq do to the economy of our country?  What will happen to the UN?  How will other countries like Russia interpret our endorsement pre-emptive strike in terms of their own conflicts?  And so on.

You cannot just look at the removal of Saddam in a vacuum and ignore the other implications of what we have done,.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

Also note (3.50 / 2) (#125)
by kpaul on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:38:26 PM EST

AFAIK, we haven't 'found' the WMD we sold them years ago. I'm sure they'll pop-up, though, even if they're not there. Would be an outrage if they didn't find any.

Come on, tearing down a statue does not mean it's the end of the war. I imagine the difficult part is coming up. They're still fighting in the catacombs under the city and the fedayeen and other fighters are still arouns as well.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
True (1.50 / 2) (#322)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:45:08 AM EST

What if they start surrendering faster than we can disarm them?  They could drown us under waves of jabbering, piss stained surrender monkeys.

--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman
[ Parent ]
Whatever (2.00 / 3) (#321)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:44:15 AM EST

So a bunch of hand-washing cowards hate us now.  Who cares?  They fear us more.

Arabs?  Fuck 'em.  They're brave when they're waving AKs and chanting, or when they're blowing up women and children.  Beyond that, they don't seem much good at anything.  Quote me any recent achievements.

Russia?  Have they still got a military?  China now, that might be more of a challenge, because they share our view (wrong in their case) of a manifest destiny to rule the world.

Get back to me if they ever get around to doing anything about it.

--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman
[ Parent ]

Barcelona (3.00 / 2) (#105)
by chu on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:03:24 PM EST

News in from Barcelona. The entire city has been going out into the streets and on balconies and banging pots and pans every evening for a couple of weeks now in protest. No change tonight.

[ Parent ]
Do the spanish ever work?? (2.12 / 8) (#111)
by StormShadow on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:09:57 PM EST



-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
That's LIBERTARIAN, you moron (4.50 / 4) (#265)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:37:36 AM EST

As in, small government, no wars of foreign aggression, friend to all, enemy to none, like that dude George Washington said?

Given that most of us Libertarians are better armed than the Iraqi military apparently was, calling us spineless is probably better done electronically. And, BTW, we still believe this war was wrong.

As for being wrong: Are you seriously demented? I am sick and disgusted at the way that people are treating war as if it were just a case of Survivor:Iraq, where the cast all gets out of their shallow graves at the end of the day for champagne and canapes at the shooting shed. War is an ugly, vicious, bloody thing. It may be necessary sometimes. But to go into a war without a serious national discussion of the cost in blood and gold and lives, on the say-so of people relying on cribbed masters' theses and forged documents, without any discussions of the objectives and other possible ways to meet them... that is obscene. And the fact that we won the war (a fact never in doubt) does not make it any less obscene, sir. We've killed over 3,000 civilians who would be alive today if our Fearless Leader hadn't been so intent on showing that there was lead in his pistol. Not a whole lot, true, but tell that to the mother of a child whose lower half was turned to hamburger meat. Tell that to the little girl crying over the bloody body of her mother. Tell it...

Oh never mind. It doesn't matter. You Bush Fayadeen don't listen anyhow, except to your Bushevik Party commissars (Rush Limbo, Michael Sewage, Shawn Hammity, etc.), who tell you what to think and what to feel and what to say every day on the AM radio dial. After all, those weren't really PEOPLE we just killed. They were, like, just electrons. Just ink on paper.

As for our Esteemed Leader: I place the blame for each and every child that has died because of this war onto George W. Bush's head. He went into this war without exploring alternatives, because like the American people, he viewed our soldiers and Iraqi soldiers as just tin soldiers to move around on a map, and forgot that people die in war. I think it is quite fair to remind him that these people died because he chose war rather than bribery, war rather than assassination, war rather than espionage, war rather than covert operations, war rather than diplomacy. He chose this war, and the blame for the innocent lives forever removed from this Earth due to Bush's decision lies squarely on the shoulders of the President of the United States. If not for his incompetence, if not for the hubris of Bush II and his advisors that this would be a clean and easy strike and the Iraqi government would "collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder" as Richard Perle suggested last summer, if the administration had instead chosen some other way to achieve this nation's goals, those children would still be alive. And that, sir, is the bottom line.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Ah, libertarians (1.00 / 1) (#316)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:31:15 AM EST

The only creatures more thin skinned than liberals.

--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman
[ Parent ]
I accept most of your points (1.25 / 4) (#320)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:40:04 AM EST

We made a lot of enemies doing this.

The thing is, it doesn't matter.  They're all cowards.  China, Russia, the Eurotrash, and the Iraqis most of all.  Worthless hand-washing whiners, the lot of them.

Don't you think that the President is aware that people die in war?  He served his time in the military.  Did you?  Do you doubt that he prays for their souls every night?

Now, do you pray for the souls of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Iranians and Kuwaitis killed by Saddam Hussein over the years?

What probably bothers Mr Bush more is the billions of people that still need his help, not the few thousand that died because Saddam's regime was foolish enough to put up a fight to try and save its own skin.

I too feel that I'm wasting my words.  I rather suspect that libertarianism boils down to "not my problem".  Fine, but if you won't even contemplate contributing in any way, then you really don't have much of a voice to raise in protest.

--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman
[ Parent ]

President served his time in military? (none / 0) (#393)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:07:33 AM EST

That was a joke, right? Mr. AWOL Man served?! Hell, a whole year of his "military" service was spent holding Republican fundraisers for his daddy! Oh yes, those black-tie events just give him SOOOO much perspective on what bombs do to little girls a few hundred feet away.

But it doesn't matter. We "liberated" her. What does she need legs for, all she is to be in the future is a beggar at the American plate anyhow, right, and beggars don't need legs, right?
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

One of his best! (none / 0) (#712)
by tekue on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 07:40:39 AM EST

I've also loved that thread, but this one is just hilarious. Long live FSH!
--
A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither. -Milton Friedman
[ Parent ]
Synopsis of the replies (3.33 / 3) (#318)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:33:24 AM EST

We're still too spineless to acknowledge the necessity of war, but at least we're hypocritical enough to welcome the results as though there was somehow no connection between the two.

--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman
[ Parent ]
Actually, I wish both sides would just shut up (4.00 / 1) (#425)
by Silent Chris on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:49:15 AM EST

I had extremist politics, right or left.  Cram it.

[ Parent ]
chickenhawk (none / 0) (#652)
by melior on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 04:29:06 PM EST

I assume you enlisted? How many did you kill?
-Melior

- That's OK, I wasn't really using all of my Constitutional rights anyway...
[ Parent ]

I'm skeptical (4.18 / 11) (#53)
by the77x42 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:52:40 PM EST

I must admit, I'm impressed that the US was able to get rid of Saddam that quickly. I was against the war from the start, but I actually think that Iraq can be repaired now. Silly me, look at that, I changed my opinion.

My next question: Does this give the US rights to go into any country and clean it up? I hope we aren't going to be living in a world where the US just goes door to door declaring wars.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Answer from Mr. Bush (1.80 / 5) (#73)
by aldjiblah on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:10:28 PM EST

I hope we aren't going to be living in a world ...

That can be arranged.

[ Parent ]

DON'T PRESUME TO ANSWER FOR ME (2.00 / 12) (#75)
by President George Bush on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:12:31 PM EST



[ Parent ]
mental note for you... (1.66 / 3) (#138)
by the77x42 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:04:55 PM EST

i don't think his first name is President.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
I suppose it'll change to... (1.00 / 2) (#139)
by StormShadow on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:06:43 PM EST

Ex-President George Bush when he's no longer president!


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
in other news... (none / 0) (#183)
by bluehead on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:53:09 PM EST

Saddam joins 'pantheon of failed brutal dictators' says Rumsfeld

Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft et al to join the pantheon in 2004.
Hopefully before they earn the 'brutal' adjective.

Hard like a criminal.
[ Parent ]
wait (1.50 / 2) (#187)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:04:35 AM EST

did you actually put me in your sig?

i am so flattered! ;-P

who are you and why are you quoting me in your sig???


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

who are you? (1.00 / 2) (#191)
by bluehead on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:23:01 AM EST

and what the f*ck gives you the right to respond to my posts?

Hard like a criminal.
[ Parent ]
i got the right (1.50 / 2) (#196)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:30:18 AM EST

as soon as you assumed my words in your sig lol ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
you win! (nt) (1.33 / 3) (#203)
by bluehead on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:40:54 AM EST



Hard like a criminal.
[ Parent ]
You are on crack (none / 0) (#188)
by StormShadow on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:08:14 AM EST

If you really truly believe that Bush can be equated to Hitler and Hussein. Show me the torture chambers, government approved rapes, chemical baths, concentration camps, etc and I will believe you.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
how long (none / 0) (#192)
by bluehead on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:24:59 AM EST

were Hitler and Hussein in power?

Patience friend...

Hard like a criminal.
[ Parent ]
Casus Bellie (2.50 / 2) (#159)
by Symmetry on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:57:05 PM EST

I think that the only reason we got involved with Iraq was that we had an outstanding cassus belli: they had manifestly not followed all the terms of the Gulf War I cease fire agreement. The Taliban in Afghanistan wasn't in total control of the country, it was just the dominant side in a civil war that we intervened in. The only other country we have pretext to invade is North Korea, and given that that would be much, much messier and given that China would probably take steps to prevent us from winning (like last time) I don't think we'll be going that way.
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume you opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you. -M.N. Plano
[ Parent ]
Latin 101 (5.00 / 1) (#280)
by 6hill on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:07:06 AM EST

Accidental Bellie? Worthless wars?

If you're going to get all fancy and use Latin terminology, at least get it right. Causus bellum. The misspellings of "causus" were amusing, though, since "cassus" means empty or worthless, whileas "casus" means accident, downfall, fortune, and other such things.

[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#429)
by Symmetry on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:54:57 AM EST

Lol, thank you for the correction. I'm sure you've saved me a likely greater future embarrasment.
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume you opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you. -M.N. Plano
[ Parent ]
right now Iraq = casus belli [n/t] (none / 0) (#562)
by martingale on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:27:35 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Ah yes... (5.00 / 1) (#262)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:23:29 AM EST

Operation Iraqi Freedom is going well, but due to conflicts of interest, we've had to cancel Operation American Freedom. This has been a presentation of Rule The World Productions, courtesy of the United States Government, remember our slogan, "Hi, we're here from the government, we're here to help you!".
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
I didn't change my opinion (4.50 / 2) (#361)
by drquick on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:30:29 AM EST

So you were against the war and changed it because Iraq can be repaired? Huh? I'm still positively sure that:
  1. We would not have had a Saddam problem in the first place had the CIA not fought teocratic Iran at any price. Including a tyrant and a war and selling mustard gas to Saddam and CIA telling him (Satellite intelligence) how to use it against pro-Irani Kurdish rebels. (vacant spot for some pacificm here!)
  2. Iraq could have been democratised by cooperating with Iraqis at an early phase. Say emmediately post Iran-Iraq war. Saddam would have found it hard to fight personal international commitments by Iraqis and Iraqi companies. Vehement protests against Saddams violent oppression could then have been dealt with by economic punishments. You'd have some economic strings to pull if you had some trade relations. Still the US put higher priority to strategic interests again! Why sell weapons but no civilian stuff?
  3. Isolating Iraq would have worked in the long run. Containment is worse the the two previous alternatives, but still workable. Thanks to the US there was no reasonable path for Saddam out of this containment. Thus a workable option failed again.
  4. There was no inspections ao any active UN effort for 12 years. Contrary to warhogs claims there had not been inspection efforts for twelve years. Inspections worked exellently both in proving no WMD and in curbing Saddams possibilities for internal opression. Inspections were allower to work only for a few months and were unreasonably aborted by US/UK.
Four failures that didn't have to be! All of the above altenatives would not have killed a thousand civilians and crippled a lot more, destroyed infrastructure, thrown the middle east into political turmoil, cloaked atrocities in Palestine, created five new Al Quaidas, Alienated the Chinese and the Russians, etc. That's what this war was good for! I'm still firmly against the war and I doubt Iraq will be allowed to develop into a democracy. I bet pro-Ametican puppets will put up a democratic facade. We are going towards failure no. 5 here.

Peace is better than war! My opinion is still firm!

[ Parent ]

US screwed it up (5.00 / 1) (#404)
by wurp on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:23:46 AM EST

But that should have no bearing on the right way to fix it.  I'm not sure I agree with the war (but I'm no longer sure that I disagree), but I am sure that the issue of bad stuff the US has done in the past is separate from the issue of whether or not the way we're fixing it is right.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
See the pattern (5.00 / 1) (#479)
by drquick on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:17:16 PM EST

I think the opposite. USA's past is a good indication for what the USA will do in post war Iraq and also the next war and the next and the next and.... There is bearing all right.

[ Parent ]
This is not the Berlin wall (4.30 / 13) (#61)
by riptalon on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:37:28 PM EST

I think these comparisons with the fall of the Berlin wall and the like are taking wishful thinking to a whole new level. These pictures that the media is showing of some Iraqis celebrating and toppling statues in no way compares to such events. Some random quotes grabbed of the web about the fall of the Berlin wall: "over five million people milling around in delirious joy celebrating the reunion of the city after 21 years"; "millions of people, armed with hammers, picks, cranes, and jackhammers, tore down the Berlin Wall amidst great celebration". You will notice the key word million. In contrast the crowd in Baghdad was reported to number "several thousand" out of a city with a population of 5 million.

There is no reason to assume that they are any more representative of ordinary Iraqis than say anti-war demonstrations in the US. Whatever way you try and spin it Iraq has been invaded by a foriegn country with great loss of life on the part of ordinary Iraqis. The arrival of US troops in Baghdad has forced the Red Cross to pull out because of its workers being shot at and the hospitals are overflowing with civilian casualties. The number of Iraqis that bitterly hate the US is growing by the day. Given the problems the IRA has caused with less than a thousand members and the support of a small fraction of the population of Northern Ireland, even when all the territory of Iraq has been conquered, a low intensity guerrila war dragging on for decades seems the best that can be hoped for.



Curious (4.50 / 2) (#65)
by mmealman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:54:15 PM EST

I'm curious to hear your reasoning why this "drag on for decades" scenario didn't happen in Japan or Germany after WW2.

Especially in Japan, when you consider we were the bastards that firebombed Tokya and nuked two big civilian filled cities.

Did the women and children in Horishima think they deserved to be nuked. How about the people that died from cancer years later? I mean, after all they started the war, right?(Or really, did they?)

And yet both countries are close allies with the US today. How do you keep an Ireland from happening and instead create a new Japan or Germany?

[ Parent ]
Many differences (3.40 / 5) (#124)
by JahToasted on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:36:43 PM EST

Japan was a cohesive nation state on the verge of democracy. They just took a little wrong turn and tried to take over half the world. When they lost the war they realised that trying to take over the world probably wasn't the best of ideas, so they decided to go back to being a democracy. Then later tried to take over the world through capitalism, which resluted in far fewer casualties.

Also I think the whole honour code thing that the Japanese had going on prevented it. They lost, and they just accepted it. Saw the error of their ways and went about rebuilding.

Contrast with Iraq, a nation made up of 3 ethnic groups, none of which like each other. Neighbours such as Iran, Syria, and possibly even Saudi Arabi and Turkey will more than likely interfere in Iraqi politics. Not to mention how much the US will fuck things up by trying to keep their people in power. It is very likely that there will be a civil war in Iraq in the coming years and / or a revolution similar to Iran's.

[ Parent ]

Guilt? (5.00 / 1) (#344)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:52:06 AM EST

Japanese and Germans were showed convincingly all the attrocities perpetrated on their name. They knew their countries had been in the bad.

Now again, where are all those WMDs?

Might is right

[ Parent ]

Good question (none / 0) (#521)
by riptalon on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:04:00 PM EST

I'm curious to hear your reasoning why this "drag on for decades" scenario didn't happen in Japan or Germany after WW2.

I see a number of major differences compared to the situation of Japan or Germany after WW2. But before considering that it should be noted that the occupation Japan or Germany were not as simple as they are made to look now. I know less about Japan than I do about Germany, but certainly in the German case there was guerilla warfare that lasted for years and some extremely repressive behaviour on the part of the occupying powers. German prisoners of war were kept as slave labour for years after the war and the US sold hundreds of thousands of its POWs to France since it had little need for such labour. Many millions of germans were forcably displaced from their homes as borders were redrawn and while the number of POWs and civilians that died is controversial it appears to have been very high. It seems unlikely that similar measures to crush the Iraqi people would be possible, even in the present climate.

However there are a number of differences in the current situation that will play against the US this time round. A major one is their objective which why I say "drag on for decades". The US objective is not to get rid of the Baathist regime or they would not have invaded. That could have been achieved with the combination of the decapitation stikes we have seen and some CIA interference to organise the take over of a replacement. It might have taken a while but it would have cost less and the people really would be happy about it, as would the rest of the world. However regime change is clearly not enough, hence the invasion and so the US cannot just hold some elections and pull out in order to achieve its objectives.

In the case of West Germany and Japan there was an external threat, "communism", and the west was mainly interested in building West Germany up (and to a lesser extent Japan) so it could be a bulwark against possible Soviet expansion (or at least that was the perception anyway). Provided they weren't communist the west soon allowed West Germany and Japan to do what they liked and welcomed it into their clubs. Contrast this with Iraq where the US cannot allow the Iraqis people much freedom if it is to maintain control over their oil supplies. The dream government of Iraq for the US would be a Saudi like monarchy which would invest the dollars they got for their oil in the US rather than spending them on the Iraqi people. However imposing such a government on Iraq would be a public relations disaster.

Also Germany and Japan were isolated and alone with no moral, let alone material support from other countries, after WWII. This is not true for Iraq which will obtain a lot of both moral and material support from the Arab world to resist the US occupation, even if it isn't state sanctioned. Overall a comparison with the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe would be more relevant to Iraq, only more so. More like if the Russians had invaded Eastern Europe unprovoked, if the Russians were much more culturally different from the Eastern Europeans and if Eastern Europe was surrounded by unoccupied countries with similar populations that were supporting them to rebel. Installing a puppet government in Iraq that is popular enough with the Iraqi people to avoid any rebelion will be far from easy.



[ Parent ]
heh (3.33 / 3) (#66)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:56:30 PM EST

Yeah, I'll be interested to see how the US plans to phase in elections for their planned installed government. That should be instructional. I'm sure we will have many pro-democratic safeguards in place to prevent Baathists or other undesirable candidates from trying to enter politics.

Given the problems the IRA has caused with less than a thousand members and the support of a small fraction of the population of Northern Ireland, even when all the territory of Iraq has been conquered, a low intensity guerrila war dragging on for decades seems the best that can be hoped for.

At least in Northern Ireland, there is some kind of political representation that is selected by the people. They can elect their own MPs. What we're doing here is letting the Royal Army Brigade Commander have total control over Belfast, and then letting the British hand-select a governor, which I'm sure wouldn't go over too well.

[ Parent ]

No guerilla warfare against U.S. troops (5.00 / 2) (#261)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:20:48 AM EST

We defeated them. Crushed them. The best weapons they have can't even scratch the paint on one of our M1A1 tanks. There will be no more shooting at American soldiers once the current bunch of nutballs imported from Syria suicide themselves by charging a M1A1 with a Kalishnikov in hand, other than the occasional sniper who does it "just because".

Where the guerilla warfare wil come in will be against the occupation government. After a few months, officials of the occupation government won't be able to walk out of their homes without a U.S. Army escort. I doubt the Iraqis will accept an occupation government in the long term with any more ease than I would accept an occupation government in the United States, no matter how evil and twisted I believe the Bushevik regime is. They will make the country ungovernerable, unless we reply with repression that kills hundreds. I do not see the American people tolerating the regular killing of hundreds of Iraqi citizens without there being some serious regime change in Washington D.C. in the aftermath.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

What? (none / 0) (#270)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:46:39 AM EST

Goebbels is spinning is his grave and gnawing at his fingernails with utterly bitter jealousy.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Afghanistan (5.00 / 2) (#284)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:12:53 AM EST

Look at the situation in Afghanistan right now. The Taliban has declared war -- not on the U.S. soldiers, but upon our hand-picked puppet president, who has to ask the U.S. troops who guard him whenever he wants to take a piss. As a result, President Karzai's power barely extends beyond his palace.

There's differences between Afghanistan and Iraq that make the correspondence imperfect -- e.g., Iraq is an urban nation rather than a rural nation -- but the same principles apply. The Taliban melted away into the countryside because they saw they could not take on U.S. power head-on. But they did not go away, and they have made the country largely ungovernable as far as the U.S. installed puppet government is concerned.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Are you aware of the massive losses... (none / 0) (#341)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:36:07 AM EST

...of U.S. troops in Afghanistan right at this moment? Some estimate that as many as 3000 casualties since the start of the operation in Afghanistan.

Right at this moment, Afghanistan is quickly degenerating into another etho-civil war, like in the eighties.

Good thing MSNBC will never, ever report on the meltdown of the U.S. policy in Afghanistan. That way, y'all will be safe believing that Eastasia has always been at war with Oceania...

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Links? (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#534)
by ckaminski on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:11:06 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Untrue (none / 0) (#465)
by riptalon on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:44:07 PM EST

The best weapons they have can't even scratch the paint on one of our M1A1 tanks.

The Iraqis appear to have some Kornet-E anti-tank missiles, which are the export version of a modern Russian weapon that is capable of penetrating the armour of Abrams tanks. The Iraqis also have plenty of large calibre guns that would do the job although they are obviously less portable and accurate. Also without penetrating its armour you can disable an Abrams by blowing its tracks off, with mines or rpgs. Finally tanks are fairly useless in hit and run guerilla warfare, especially in urban areas, since they can be avoided and softer targets hit. Tanks are not the sort of equipment you can rush to the scene of a guerilla attack that will only last a minute or two, since they are not exactly fast. See this description by a British reporter of an Abrams destroyed on the outskirts of Baghdad to show that US tanks are not indestructable.



[ Parent ]
Kornets (none / 0) (#580)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 01:53:41 AM EST

The Russians apparently gave the Iraqis a couple of examples to try out, but we haven't seen any more Kornets since then. I have to assume that they're all gone. Kornets aren't exactly man-portable weapons, BTW. They were invented by the Russians after the first Gulf War where Saddam discovered (the hard way) that the Kornet's predecessor wouldn't even scratch the armor on a M1A1. But the Russians were basically building this thing with early 80's technology, so they had to go at it the brute force way -- by making it bigger, with a heavier warhead to punch through the first layer of the spaced-layer armor, then the brute force of the explosion to finish the job. So they're *big*. They basically take two people to haul them around, and they have to be set up on tripods with a high silhouette, and they aren't fire-and-forget so the shooter has to keep the eyepiece on the tank until the missile reaches it so it's basically suicide for the shooter to use one of these things. Still, they're good enough that I'd be worried if I thought Saddam had any more of them.

As for the tank that Robert Fisk described, most of the damage was actually done by an airstrike. An RPG fragment managed to hit an oil line in the engine compartment and caused a fire, which they couldn't put out since they were under fire at the time. So the tank was abandoned and its crew evacuated to a Bradley, and an airstrike called in to total the tank. The M1A1 is not invulnerable, especially if it slows down enough that someone can get behind it with an RPG and makes a lucky shot on the engine compartment, but if used the way it's supposed to be used it's near enough invulnerable against anything the Iraqis got left as to be close enough.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Similar but different. (none / 0) (#531)
by ckaminski on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:07:12 PM EST

Berlin wasn't a warzone when the wall fell.  Asking 5 million people in a city filled with tanks trying to oust your regime to take to the streets is to beg for a massacre.

[ Parent ]
Just like the Berlin Wall in 1989, except (3.14 / 21) (#62)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:45:48 PM EST

...you have to imagine the Soviet Army standing behind the people on the East Side as they tear it down. Ask any European or Canadian what they would think about the US Army "liberating" their country, whether they would expect to have more freedom than they have now. Before long the Iraqis are going to have law and order imposed on them, Texas style, and we'll see how much jubilation there is then.

In this little made-for-US-TV interlude, we see the Iraqis cheering as the statue is brought down. I noticed that Fox doesn't show the part where the crowd scattered in a panic when the soldiers arrived, or when a marine put a US flag over Saddam's head and the crowd booed and jeered him.

People are being manipulated like wooden puppets and they don't even fucking realize it. The only really good thing to come of this: the wall-to-wall stories about "Saving Private Lynch" can finally cease. Even Rummy is saying that the war isn't over, so let's not lose our heads just yet.

Ah yes... (3.75 / 4) (#64)
by mstefan on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:52:31 PM EST

People like you are living proof that every silver lining has it's dark cloud, just itching to rain on their parade.



[ Parent ]
you fool (2.11 / 9) (#67)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:00:38 PM EST

You think this isolated spectacle is a silver cloud? Probably tens of thousands of troops already massacred in a 100% no-chance fight, who knows how many civilians dead, and the stage is being set for a civil war over leadership. The planned hedge against this contingency: a provisional military government followed by an installed government made up of former crooks, criminals, and creeps. That's the "parade" you cite that I am itching to rain on.

Oh, but I suppose we'd rather not think about those things because it would be hard on our national conscience.

[ Parent ]

Doom and gloom (4.20 / 5) (#79)
by mstefan on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:22:16 PM EST

Don't you people get tired of singing the same fucking song, over and over?



[ Parent ]
reality is ghey (1.45 / 11) (#80)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:24:23 PM EST

Show me more of the soldiers getting sum Iraqi love! Little Massouds and Leilas holding US Flags! More, baby, more!

[ Parent ]
Man (3.66 / 3) (#101)
by Grognard on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:57:13 PM EST

sucks to be wrong

[ Parent ]
Yes, the destruction of the Baath Party..... (4.33 / 6) (#83)
by Yanks Rule on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:29:28 PM EST

and those who helped enforce their rule is truely the greatest tradgedy in recent memory.

As for the rest....Well, i'd bet you predicted doom and gloom for the war. Why don't you wait and see what happens instead of whining about it?

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller
[ Parent ]

whining (2.60 / 5) (#85)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:35:04 PM EST

Yeah... do you really believe it's all over, that we can all go back to watching MUST SEE TV and that the city of Baghdad will be perfectly fine from this day forward? The "war" isn't over, and people like me predicted doom and gloom for the Iraqis, not necessarily for GWB, Rummy, and the soldiers.

So the US military crushed Saddam's obsolete army... BIG F'N SURPRISE! Are we all just going to change the channel now, content that justice has been served, the damsel is safe, and peace will reign until it is threatened next time.... TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER HEART-POUNDING ADVENTURE!

[ Parent ]

If we destroy the Ba'ath Party, we destroy Iraq (none / 0) (#260)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:15:04 AM EST

They are the elite of the country. They are the doctors and nurses, they are the engineers, they are the accountants, they are, yes, the government bureaucrats who know how to make the busses run on time. We cannot de-Ba'athify Iraq without destroying Iraq, because if we prohibit anybody who was ever a member of the Ba'ath party from holding a government job, there will be nobody there who knows how to fix the toilets.

And a few Shia ghetto dwellers pulling down a statue isn't going to do anything about that. Like ghetto dwellers everywhere, they haven't the education or experience to take over running a country. It would be a disaster. You need those educated people if you want to rebuild Iraq.

But perhaps the goal is that we do NOT want Iraq rebuilt...
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Ever heard of De-Nazification? (none / 0) (#264)
by ti dave on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:34:34 AM EST

You should do a little research and then get back to us on how this will relate to the Baath Party.

HINT: GERMANY IS CURRENTLY A DEMOCRACY.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Yes. (none / 0) (#273)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:49:50 AM EST

Sir, good thing you know how and when to apply teh historical parallels! Because, as we all know, teh history always repeats itself!!1

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Ignoring your sarcasm... (none / 0) (#287)
by ti dave on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:29:40 AM EST

You may not be aware of this, but the vetting of former Nazis during the re-construction period of post-war Germany is a well-documented affair.
The precedent is set.

Now, I don't know what you do for a living, but I'll assume that you don't do the exact same thing every day.
What I do know about you, is that when you face different challenges, you apply general principles that you've learned.

I think it's only fair to consider that the authorities that re-build Iraq will take into consideration that what they do ought not render the new Iraqi government unable to govern their nation.

There are parallels, but I didn't state that they were identical challenges.

That said, I anticipate that the degree of Baath involvement by individual Iraqis will be the greatest factor in considering how they will be involved in post-war Iraq.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

What you miss... (none / 0) (#339)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:32:00 AM EST

...is the fact that Baath is no Nazi party.

Baath is infinitely more similar to the Democratic party of the U.S. than it is to the Nazis.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Hrmmm... (none / 0) (#513)
by ti dave on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:17:54 PM EST

I seemed to have not noticed the Torture Chambers of the DNC when I took that particular tour.

Which fascist, central European, twentieth-century government used torture as a tool of the state?

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Serbia?[nt] (none / 0) (#581)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 01:58:33 AM EST


--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Wow! (4.14 / 7) (#78)
by Yanks Rule on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:19:04 PM EST

"you have to imagine the Soviet Army standing behind the people on the East Side as they tear it down." Ok this make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Wouldn't that be the same as the Iraqi Republican Guard "standing behind the people"? Your statement is a total contradiction. And maybe FOX didn't show that footage, but CNN sure did, and they had a picture of it on their home page.

You know what? Some people are so blinded by their own prejudices and philosophical "world view" that they don't even realize how rediculous and irrelevant their statements are. When you view everything through a filter its no wonder you think everyone who sees things differently are "puppets".

Not everything is black and white, right and wrong. So why do pretend it is? But of course, everyone is a puppet. Except you and those who agree with you. But I think you've just never looked above your head to find the strings.

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller
[ Parent ]

rediculous (1.83 / 6) (#82)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:28:17 PM EST

I'm more than just rediculous and irreverant. I'm actually concerned (gasp) with what will happen to all of the Iraqi people that have to live in that turmoil-ridden country after the journalists have packed their bags for a holiday in Mallorca. I'm sure that they will be fine under US martial law. They will understand that, in one way or another, it's better than living beneath the iron fist of Uncle Saddam.

You're the person being manipulated, pal, not me.

[ Parent ]

small typos (1.60 / 5) (#86)
by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:36:28 PM EST

My corrections in bold:

They will understand that, in one way or another, it's better than living beneath the iron fistings of Uncle Saddam's rape squads.

HTH

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Tell you what. (3.60 / 5) (#91)
by Yanks Rule on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:44:44 PM EST

Why don't you wait a few months, and see what really happens. Or maybe try and make a difference instead of bitching and moaning. After all, you are the enlightened one, free from the strings of The Man.

US Martial law? Please! Oh wait I forgot, the US is an oppressive regime. Its very hard for me to remember that, what with the all government agents not breathing down my neck, and Congress passing all kinds of laws that don't affect me. Oh but wait, after they've come for terrorists, and the guys with links to terrorists, and the guys who fund terrorists, and...well...that's about it...they are going to come for me. Except they aren't.

Funny how life works isn't it?

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller
[ Parent ]

at the risk of sounding pedantic (1.00 / 1) (#93)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:49:03 PM EST

...they are going to come for me. Except they aren't.

Google for the word "niemoller".

[ Parent ]

Close enough (3.00 / 2) (#98)
by Yanks Rule on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:54:29 PM EST

Besides, its not my fault! I'm a puppet remember? Only you can save me from The Man(tm)!!!

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller
[ Parent ]

The Man is da man! <n/t> (none / 0) (#174)
by carbon on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:21:30 PM EST



Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
re: U.S. Martial Law (none / 0) (#266)
by ti dave on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:37:42 AM EST

The Haitians survived it and seem to be making progress.
Do you honestly think this would be some permanent situation?

Do you really believe we want to stay in Iraq that long?

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Whatever (4.00 / 4) (#90)
by duffbeer703 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:42:55 PM EST

Watch the arab networks. Even the al-Jazeera reporters are visibly moved by what has happened.

You are the wooden puppet -- excepts your joints are frozen up and you keep performing the same old tired dance.

[ Parent ]

How can I? (5.00 / 1) (#153)
by Eccles on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:43:59 PM EST

Watch the arab networks.

Resolving host english.aljazeera.net...

The evil DDOS censors keep us from doing that.

[ Parent ]
Satellite TV <EOM> (none / 0) (#154)
by duffbeer703 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:45:25 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Some Americans feel differently (4.22 / 9) (#68)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:00:40 PM EST

Most have no idea how crushing is can be to live in a police state.

But some Americans seem to think we already live in one. The title of this provocative article? "Liberate America Next".

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
Lord save me (5.00 / 2) (#81)
by X-Nc on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:25:56 PM EST

... from idiots like Fredinburg. I don't think he's ever stepped outside of his own street let alone seen what it's really like out there.

--
Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
[ Parent ]
Perspective (4.66 / 6) (#112)
by Grognard on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:10:27 PM EST

it's the concept that allows you to realize that laws banning the smoking of marijuana are not as egregious as the imprisoning of children for failing to join the youth wing of the Baath party.

[ Parent ]
Here's your perspective ... (2.33 / 3) (#130)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:51:46 PM EST

... right here. and here. By the way, it sure looks like there's more than 100 child drug prisoners in Chicago alone, much less the U.S.

But I guess it's alright when we ruin the lives of our own citizens, isn't it?

I had a purpose in posting a link to this article - I'm not for the man's politics, or agreed on everything he says. Still, he does make a good point - there are many places in the U.S. where power and law are abused terribly. If we spent half the energy and money rescuing the victims of these abuses that we are doing in Iraq, don't you think we'd have a lot better country? Why is it wrong for Saddam Hussein to lock a child up for years because he wouldn't join a political party, but right for us to lock one up because he was selling something that's disapproved by our politicians?

And then there's another argument the writer touches upon - you call the imprisoning of children egregious. That's still quite a bit better fate than most of the children at Waco got, isn't it? More collateral damage, I suppose ...

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Still not getting it (none / 0) (#372)
by Grognard on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:05:06 AM EST

Equating juvenile criminals to juvenile political prisoners shows a stunning lack of balance.

Perspective allows you to see that a fallible system where abuses can lead to injustice needs work, but a system designed to inflict injustice needs scrapping.

And as far as Waco, how many more have occurred?  In your view, is a single incident equivalent to policy?  Once again, perspective.

[ Parent ]

Crimes are relative (none / 0) (#394)
by JahToasted on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:11:12 AM EST

Drugs are bad and people who use them are criminals.

Not joining the Baath party is bad and the people who don't are criminals.

As far as Waco, how many more have occurred?

As far as gassing Kurds, how many more times has that occured?

[ Parent ]

Absurdity (none / 0) (#412)
by Grognard on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:30:15 AM EST

last refuge (or where they've been all along) of the left.

[ Parent ]
Oh come on (none / 0) (#433)
by JahToasted on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:04:14 PM EST

at least make an argument. I don't think it is at all absurd to say the US has committed the same level of atrocities as Iraq. While I don't think Waco is a good example (bad judgement, but I don't think an intentional atrocity), I do think the US commits many atrocities by proxy. The gassing of the Kurds is one of many. No it wasn't an American that did it, but it was Americans pulling the strings.

Arrests of drug users probably isn't the best of examples of American injustice either, I think the torture of the POW's in Cuba is probably a better one. Suffice it to say, the US is no better than Iraq, France, Russia or any other nation out there. You just have better propaganda.

[ Parent ]

The original premise (none / 0) (#442)
by Grognard on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:18:15 PM EST

was that America is or is becoming a police state.  A bunch of pitifully inadequate examples were thrown out and refuted.  

Now you resort to bring up the gassing of the Kurds and the treatment of those in Guantanomo.  How are either related to the way the US treats its own?

[ Parent ]

What were we talking about again? (none / 0) (#485)
by JahToasted on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:34:27 PM EST

Too many tangeants... ack.

Anyways I though this was an Iraq flamewar, not a "US is a policestate" flamewar. I'll have to readjust my flamethrower.

[ Parent ]

"At least we're freer than so-and-so" (5.00 / 2) (#253)
by Ray Chason on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:39:54 AM EST

Being freer than the so-called People's Republic of China isn't exactly something to aspire to.  Why can't we be freer than the Netherlands?
--
The War on Terra is not meant to be won.
Delendae sunt RIAA, MPAA et Windoze
[ Parent ]
that's just retarded (4.50 / 4) (#120)
by scatbubba on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:25:39 PM EST

If the people of the US want to change drug laws, someone can build a political party around the idea, and run for office. Just because that party would be unable to gain majority due to the lack of interest most have on that particular issue, doesn't make the US comparable to Iraq. When they start pulling the fingernails off of pro-drug activists, or imprisoning their children, or making them watch as their wives are raped, maybe then you can make a comparison.

[ Parent ]
How about when they burn alive ... (2.20 / 5) (#132)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:58:01 PM EST

... children in a religious compound in Waco? Can I make that comparison then?

By the way, he was talking about a hell of a lot more than just drug laws, wasn't he? In any case, our illustrious leader felt that using a political party to change the regime in Iraq wasn't a sufficient solution.

I wonder - will there be a time in our country where building a political party won't be sufficient for those who want to be free of an abusive government?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
waco was a crime, ruby ridge too (in my opinion) (4.25 / 4) (#136)
by scatbubba on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:02:30 PM EST

George Bush wasn't president during Waco. That was clinton, and I think it was a crime just like you do. Your comment about bush using a political party to change regime in iraq is infantile. There could be no other political party in iraq, which is the point of all this. If a time comes when there can be no alternative political parties in the US, i'd be as anti-american as some on this site seem to be.

[ Parent ]
Don't be so sure (3.00 / 3) (#142)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:15:15 PM EST

George Bush wasn't president during Waco.

I don't see him investigating it, do you? Do you really think that he couldn't do similar things in this country, using the same kinds of justifications? I don't. Let's see, a Muslim organization with suspected "terrorists" living with their children gets raided and give unexpected fierce resistance which is ultimately overcome by ... You think it couldn't happen under his leadership? It could.

Your comment about bush using a political party to change regime in iraq is infantile.

Not exactly - he used force to achieve what he thought was right. Now if others see no other way to achieve what they think is right ... There's just all sorts of ugliness that can result from that kind of thinking, and our President's set a great example for the rest of the world to follow. In the long run, we will regret it.

If a time comes when there can be no alternative political parties in the US, i'd be as anti-american as some on this site seem to be.

Right now, we have a country in which alternative political parties have trouble getting on the ballots or having their candidates covered by the media or being able to participate in debates. But you don't have to be anti-american - no, you can love your country, but hate the political system.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
these are all good points (3.50 / 2) (#158)
by scatbubba on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:54:44 PM EST

There is really no more point in debate. I know what you are saying, although i have a much less cynical view of things. I have to use the term 'anti-american' because i'm not an american. I agree you can love your country yet hate the government. Just take a look at iraq ;)

[ Parent ]
Why did you link off K5? (3.00 / 1) (#131)
by godix on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:54:55 PM EST

I can think of plenty of comments on K5 itself to prove your point, why'd you link offsite? Hell, some of those comments are in this very story.


"You think we're arrogant, and we think you're French."
- George Herbert Walker B
[
Parent ]
I happened to run across the article ... (2.00 / 2) (#135)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:02:22 PM EST

... and thought it raised some interesting points. I could have, of course, linked to a site from the left, but it's valuable to show that it's not just left-wingers who distrust our government and the direction it's taking.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
america is a prosperous democracy (3.00 / 3) (#149)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:34:41 PM EST

of course america can improve.

the influence of money in the democratic processes warps its sense of equality and justice, for example. that is disgusting.

but compare all of the horror of america's failures to democracy to that of other places in the world.

exactly.

get it?

100 pounds of force applied to improving america will not do as much good as applying 100 pounds of force to places a LOT worse off. like basket-case worse off.

so it is a question of being efficient. sure, america can improve, but not as much as a lot of other places, and not without a lot more effort.

so save your criticisms for places in the world where your criticism can do more good. where you can get more bang for your ideological buck.

does this make you complicit in the evils that happen in america under the guise of "democracy?"

no. but america is doing fine. leave it alone. it will be dealt with in due time. roll up your sleaves and get to work where it really counts. the basket cases of the world. not the richest, most stable democracy. to apply your efforts there is just hubris.

you are not american. you are not european. you are a human being. fuck america. you are a citizen of a world before you are a citizen of some dipshit nationalist geographic region.

put your effort where it counts. america does not matter. humanity does.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I work from where I stand (none / 0) (#164)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:07:11 PM EST

but compare all of the horror of america's failures to democracy to that of other places in the world.

Such as Europe? Japan? Which, by the way, have less people imprisoned per capita than we do and less poverty in relation to the overall population. Not to mention less murders.

but america is doing fine. leave it alone.

I live here. Therefore I participate. That's the idea of a democracy isn't it? I'd have to leave the country to leave it alone.

?you are a citizen of a world before you are a citizen of some dipshit nationalist geographic region.

You know, yesterday or the day before, someone was telling me that I should grow up and not indulge in "utopian idealism". You should talk to that person and either he can set you straight or you can set him straight.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
well said. you got me. (4.50 / 2) (#176)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:28:21 PM EST

i admit it

i wish to have world democracy

i think we will have it some day

this is my idea of utopian idealism

i think we will have it some day, maybe hundreds of years from now

so i judge myself against that ideal, i consider myself a citizen of the human race first, and an american a distant second.

this is my utopian idealism. global democracy.

you were 100% correct to point out that hypocrisy on my part. well done. i admit my hypocrisy.

but i do so happily. i will be a fool for what i believe is best for man's future. as i would expect anyone else who has convction in their beliefs to do so.

the difference is, i think there are more fools like me. citizens of the planet before citizens of some stupid country. ;-)

nationalism should rightly die. it is foolish human pride based on the same principles as racism, sexism, homophobia etc. "i am better because i am {fill in name of your tribe}"

yes, i was born in america. who gives a shit. i wish to the world all of the principles of democracy that made this country so powerful in such a short span of human history.

i am not an american. i am a human.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Well Said! (none / 0) (#189)
by mberteig on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:10:09 AM EST

and I agree: "The world is but one country, and mankind its citizens." (Baha'u'llah) I really wish I could get Earth citizenship :-/




Agile Advice - How and Why to Work Agile
[ Parent ]
well... (none / 0) (#195)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:29:44 AM EST

i am passionate about my beliefs, but i am not religious. i don't believe in god.

bahai is an interesting idea, a "master faith."

but it strikes me as a little arrogant. it assumes the traditions of the religions of the world as its own. bahai smells a little like some sort of "masterplan" bullshit.

religion seems to me to be a kind of traditional folklore. but it should never rise above the value of aesop's fables: a nice set of moral parables to learn from. never to live by. religion should be cute, quaint, lovely. you should never place more than a token amount of support in religion of any kind if you are already a moral member of your society. most of morality is just common sense teachings about simple things like doing good, reciprocity, etc. no religion owns common sense.

when religion attempts to dominate how you should live your life, it gets kind of dangerous. because its teachings can very easily be warped to do evil instead of good. it can be commingled with nationalist, racist, or sexist foolish human pride if you place your allegiance in the hands of one central human charismatic leader type. dangerous stuff.

don't get me wrong, give me the company of an honest christian, muslim, or buddhist, etc., anytime over a cold, distant, passionless atheist. there really is mystery in the world, and everyone needs a humble appreciation of their own insignificance in the universe. i find that more often in honest religious types than intellectually haughty atheists who believe in superiority.

i am the equal of all human beings. atheism tends to be a tool of feelings of superiority over other people/ groups of people just like fundamentalist christianity/ islam/ hinduism/ etc.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Religion [o/t] (none / 0) (#215)
by mberteig on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:19:54 AM EST

Hmmm... I really strongly encourage you to take everything I am about to say with a huge grain of salt - I'm no authority on religion in general or the Baha'i Faith in particular.

That said, I agree with your comments in their generality to the effect that any sort of fundamentalism or fanaticism is dangerous regardless of its focus. The idea of the Baha'i Faith as a "master faith" is a little bit weird. Baha'u'llah emphasized that "The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity." The only way I see the idea of a "master faith" coming out is that "There can be no doubt that whatever the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God. The difference between the ordinances under which they abide should be attributed to the varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they were revealed. All of them, except for a few which are the outcome of human perversity, were ordained of God, and are a reflection of His Will and Purpose." (Baha'u'llah) and "Know thou assuredly that the essence of all the Prophets of God is one and the same. Their unity is absolute. God, the Creator, saith: There is no distinction whatsoever among the Bearers of My Message. They all have but one purpose; their secret is the same secret. To prefer one in honor to another, to exalt certain ones above the rest, is in no wise to be permitted. Every true Prophet hath regarded His Message as fundamentally the same as the Revelation of every other Prophet gone before Him." (Baha'u'llah)

As for your other comments, I don't really have much to say since I agree with their intent if not their details... your comment about honesty in particular since "truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues" (Baha'u'llah - again :-)




Agile Advice - How and Why to Work Agile
[ Parent ]
you speak honestly (5.00 / 1) (#228)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:52:40 AM EST

you speak honestly.

so i will not disrespect your words.

baha'i is an interesting faith.

religion, in my life at least, does not rise above that of quaint little cute folklore stories to learn little nuggets of wisdom from. and a student of all religions of the world is gathering in effect the greatest collection of little nuggest of wisdom. that is a positive aspect of baha'i.

the path to peace and prosperity lies in moderation. and moderation in all things. including taking anything too seriously, including baha'i. ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The truth is somewhere in the middle (4.18 / 11) (#70)
by StormShadow on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:05:08 PM EST

There are two major camps here and both are wrong. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Some Iraqis are understandably elated and others are not. The reasons for each side are varied -- nationalism, politics, religion, history, etc. Draping the American flag over the statue was probably not a good idea but what soldier to resist poking one last stab at Saddam -- I bet you he is rolling in his grave from that image (or will be soon).

As I stated before, the US military's mission is over and they should come home. I don't want them to be some sort of glorified police force -- M1A1s are designed to mow down the enemy and not to chase donkey thieves. The one thing I take heart from is that I am pretty sure President Bush will most of them home quickly. The UN is clamoring for a role in Iraq -- I say let them have it.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


Stay in denial (3.66 / 6) (#87)
by duffbeer703 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:38:48 PM EST

The populace of Iraq has taken to the streets in elation now that their corrupt government is no more. Even the Arab news networks have been moved by this.

Your statement regarding the US military mission is even more ignorant. The US & British Armies just dismantled the Iraqi government and we have a duty as civilized people to rebuild.

We must stand and rebuild Iraq as we rebuilt Japan and Germany. Let the US Army rebuild the country and let the UN eat cake.

[ Parent ]

I partially agree (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by StormShadow on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:51:48 PM EST

I didn't say we should leave the country completely I said most of the US troops should come home. They are an army not a police force and I suspect the Iraqis will want the same. Iraq is not Japan or Germany so do not compare situations. The UN has been clamoring for a role and they should have it. The US cannot shoulder the entire weight of reconstruction nor should we. We should provide help and guidance but within limits -- short of a huge occupation force in the country it cannot be done and it will not be accepted.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
No. (3.40 / 5) (#115)
by subversion on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:14:19 PM EST

The UN has been clamoring for a role, but we need to take our stand.

If the US is going to claim the UN is irrelevant, then we need to prove it.  If we want to be the world government, then we need to shoulder this burden, aided by those who believed we were right - Spain, Britain, Australia, a good portion of eastern Europe, etc.  Let the third-world dictators and the uninvolved old-world countries rot.

Equality is a great idea, but it only works if it exists.  People are equal - countries are not.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

That would be consistent (5.00 / 1) (#210)
by Merc on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:59:57 AM EST

But you should realize that some of these old-world countries, like Canada, think the US is a poor choice for the world's government. We prefer the UN, and we're one of the best friends of the US. It's nothing personal, well, sometimes it gets personal, but mostly it's not. We just have a different perspective on things.

Most of the world thinks the US is too concerned with itself, and that's not a good quality for a world government. It's no surprise either. If my country generated most of the world's movies and TV shows; had the biggest economy and biggest military; and so on, I'd be pretty blind to the outside world too.

If the US wants to be the world's government, it better be a representative government. If it governs people without fairly representing them there will be trouble. A while ago there was a certain tea party in a city named Boston that was the result of a government that didn't properly represent its people. These days the message is less likely to be a few barrels of tea dumped into a harbour, and more likely to be a terrorist killing a bunch of people. Being the world's government bears responsibility and risk. If the US is ready to assume those, go right ahead, nobody can really stop you, just don't say we didn't warn you.



[ Parent ]
Fair representation (none / 0) (#301)
by subversion on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:29:11 AM EST

Is one thing.

But you know, I have to lack respect for a 'world government' that lets known human rights abusers (and hey, I'll be honest and include the US in that) serve on the human rights commission.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

Ok then... (none / 0) (#427)
by Merc on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:52:27 AM EST

So you think that a government that abuses human rights is a better world government than one which allows human rights abusers to serve on the human rights commission?



[ Parent ]
Hypocrits (none / 0) (#469)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:53:11 PM EST

I think a government that overlooks the most brutal dicators on Earth to bad-mouth a flawed but not evil country is a terrible choice for a world government!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Well. (none / 0) (#514)
by subversion on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:24:35 PM EST

If you're asking me if I'd support China as a world government, I'd have to say no.

If you're asking me about the US, I'd be willing to live with that.  Because we aren't perfect, but we're the best thing currently going.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

As an American, I disagree.... (none / 0) (#540)
by ckaminski on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:45:18 PM EST

I've seen (okay researched) a lot of equally open and robust societies out there.  The Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, hell, even Japan is a arguably better than the U.S.

Just because we have the biggest dicks in the Western Hemisphere (or think we do) doesn't make us the best.  There's been this argument in another thread about nationalism... I think said poster was right on the money.  We're all so attached to our nations and our customs that we fail to remember that we're all human beings, with human needs and desires.  Yes, call me utopian, I'd like to see one world, one people, rather than one world, United Nations.  

Good, yes.  Best thing going, far from it.  

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Arguably being the key (none / 0) (#553)
by subversion on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:16:47 PM EST

Australia has some problems with censorship/free speech issues (well, so do we) and their own DMCA equivalent.  Probably about the same as us, given that their politics are very similar to ours.

Netherlands and Swiss, I don't know a ton about their political systems... but I suspect that in the long run they may not be worse, but they're probably no better.

And with all that said, I'd be OK with those 3 as world governments - but I'll stand by my statement of the US as the best thing going.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

Only according to American presstitutes (5.00 / 1) (#258)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:05:34 AM EST

If you read the foreign press, you will find that the people celebrating in the streets are Shia ghetto dwellers. You will also find that they are rioting all over, smashing shop windows and breaking in and stealing things. The educated class is right now huddled in their homes wondering when it'll be safe to come out, while the shops are being looted and streetlights shot out. Think L.A. riots after Rodney King cops were acquitted. The Shia ghetto has risen, and done what ghetto dwellers always do -- smash and steal.

I realize that you rely on American presstitutes for your news, but they are not the only source of news out there -- and they have a very poor reputation worldwide.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Ah yes... (none / 0) (#304)
by ender81b on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:31:42 AM EST

And obviously we don't care about the ghetto dwellers - who make up the vast majority of the population - we only care about the rich and wealthy. Who are, most likely, members of the ruling elite.

Blah. Don't even have the energy to argue that prejudice.

[ Parent ]

Have you ever lived in a ghetto? (5.00 / 1) (#389)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:00:40 AM EST

Have you ever been poor? Have you ever looked with envy at the world beyond your fetid pesthole and felt like smashing it all to rubble? Do you even know anybody who lives in the ghetto?

Ghettos breed resentments as fast as they breed cockroaches, my friend. When I taught in a ghetto school, I got to know many of the students' parents as well as the students themselves. There was a lot of anger there, and no respect for property, as they had no property themselves. The only reason they did not just leave their ghetto, invade the neighboring rich neighborhoods, and loot some of that wealth for themselves was the fear of arrest. But if law and order ever collapsed...
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Heck Yes! (none / 0) (#532)
by ender81b on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:07:23 PM EST

Heck yeah, I live in the ghetto right now. I'm a poor college student man it's all I can afford. While I agree that that might be the attitudes of some people making sweeping generalizations like that is a bad idea.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#338)
by duffbeer703 on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:19:47 AM EST

Your profoundly ignorant and elitist commentary pretty much sums up the thinking of the antiwar radicals.

Out of curiosity, where do you get your unvarinished and accurate news? IndyMedia?

[ Parent ]

Foreign media (none / 0) (#387)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:56:56 AM EST

I don't believe anything I read in the American press anymore. I've caught them in too many lies. I rely primarily on the Indian and U.K. newspapers, and toss in a little Paki and Arabnews for perspective (but trust them about as much as I trust the American presstitutes).

And if you don't see the difference between ghetto dwellers and the educated classes, it is because you probably don't know any ghetto dwellers. I taught school in one of the worst parts of the 3rd Ward of Houston. I got to know the kids and their parents. There was a lot of submerged anger there, and respect for property? They owned nothing, so there was no such respect. They saw nothing wrong with looting and pillaging other than the fact that they'd get arrested, because after all, it was nobody that they knew. The only reason the shopkeepers could even open up in the morning was because they hired "bodygards" from the local gang to "protect" their store.

You can sneer about "elites" all you want. But facts is facts. The ghetto breeds resentments as swiftly as it breeds cockroaches. And when law and order collapses... that is when the resentments boil over to looting and rioting.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Nail on the head (5.00 / 4) (#206)
by Merc on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:46:13 AM EST

Cuz if the US hands things over to the UN now and says, "please ensure that the Iraqi people elect a fair democracy", then leaves, they might just end up with the goodwill of the Arab world. For a while, people will focus on the dead Iraqis, but once it is clear that the US wasn't going there to grab Iraqi oil, or to hand over rebuilding contracts to American companies, or to make sure that the next government was an American puppet, they might hate the US a little less.

On the other hand, if the US occupies the country for a few years, holding "fair" elections that ensure that no religious leaders, former Ba'ath party members, or anti-American candidates get elected; making sure that the US controls the reconstruction of the country, and makes all decisions about how that reconstruction happens, handing the contracts to American companies. In this case, I'd suggest Americans stock up on duct tape, cuz Al Qaeda's recruiters are going to have a great few years.



[ Parent ]
Military mission is not over. (none / 0) (#276)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:53:30 AM EST

In fact, it only barely started.

Both sides haven't yet started actually fighting the war, preferring to constrain themselves to insignificant squabbles and pillaging.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I got my list whose next? (3.23 / 17) (#76)
by President George Bush on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:17:55 PM EST

That little Hitler in Syria?
That pudgy Mao in North Korea?
I have an eye on you two. Slither under a rock, stay off my radar and you'll live a natural life.

Where's Raed? (4.00 / 5) (#84)
by Netsnipe on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:30:00 PM EST

Now if only we could hear what our dear friend Raed has to say on what he's seeing and feeling right now. Too bad his blog has been down for days now. Oh well, at least the world finally has a real chance to freely meet this guy.

--
Andrew 'Netsnipe' Lau
Debian GNU/Linux Maintainer & Computer Science, UNSW
Yeah, where IS Raed (3.00 / 1) (#92)
by OmniCognate on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:46:27 PM EST

Salam Pax doesn't seem to have updated his blog for over two weeks. I guess he probably just hasn't been able to access the internet.

I hope he's OK.



[ Parent ]
Moving to Syria ... (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:04:00 PM EST

... so he can report on THAT war.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
We know where Raed is... (4.00 / 1) (#107)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:06:59 PM EST

Raed is Salam Pax's friend - they're not the same person. Raed is safe in another Middle Eastern country. I forget which.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Jordan (none / 0) (#324)
by Gully Foyle on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:48:25 AM EST

And I think that they're more than 'friends'.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Dead (none / 0) (#418)
by Silent Chris on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:43:17 AM EST

I was under the presumption that he was dead.  He was in Baghdad after all, and his last few blogs talk about bombers coming.

[ Parent ]
representation (4.31 / 19) (#110)
by chu on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:09:47 PM EST

From the BBC live raw footage, that crowd around the statue looked like about 3-500 to me when the camera pulled back. All the TV items I saw were close shots so it looked like a great mass. Also the people saying 'Bush good, Saddam bad' (or similar) seemed to be from the same small group of about 7-10 shot from different angles and cut to look like different scenes. I just wonder how many are sitting scared at home wondering what will happen next. (Especially considering that a large number of the percentage were implicated in the regime).

Also caught the tail end of a spokesguy(?) in America who said 'we want them to have a democracy - but we want them to vote for the right sort of people'. Whether or not he was an official representative, this seems like a very eloquent summary of US foreign policy and something that democracies around the world should take note of.

just like the 'massive' peace protests? n/t (3.60 / 5) (#116)
by scatbubba on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:20:34 PM EST



[ Parent ]
'massive'? (3.00 / 2) (#118)
by chu on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:23:39 PM EST

you mean like the 1-2 million in the center of London?

[ Parent ]
i was speaking of inflated counts in the US n/t (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by scatbubba on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:32:51 PM EST



[ Parent ]
not in Florida by any chance? [nt] (2.60 / 5) (#127)
by chu on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:40:58 PM EST



[ Parent ]
snore. you are a crank. (2.06 / 16) (#140)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:10:57 PM EST

what was done in iraq was the right thing to do.

that observation is a greater, larger observation then your taking note of minor american manipulations.

celebrate the greater good that was done.

instead of poopooing the birth of a nation into democracy with snivelling details such as these.

i suppose there will always be cranks, never happy at anything good that happens in the world.

so know thyself: a great good thing happened in iraq, and you poopoo it with pithy sly cynical observations of minor details.

you are a crank. does anything make you happy? or will you always find something to complain about, no matter how much good that is being done. snore.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

poopoo (2.33 / 3) (#162)
by chu on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:04:05 PM EST

what was done in iraq was the right thing to do.

that observation is a greater, larger observation then your taking note of minor american manipulations.

Is it greater or larger? - I'm afraid you can't have both. I'm discussing the story - it's about the toppling of the statue and the fall of Baghdad.

celebrate the greater good that was done.

Did you get this from a Christmas card or something?

instead of poopooing the birth of a nation into democracy with snivelling details such as these.

'birth of a nation' eh? I think we can see where you're coming from.

i suppose there will always be cranks, never happy at anything good that happens in the world.

so know thyself: a great good thing happened in iraq, and you poopoo it with pithy sly cynical observations of minor details.

you are a crank. does anything make you happy? or will you always find something to complain about, no matter how much good that is being done. snore.

ech - boilerplate

I hate to poopoo your poopoo but I will take great pleasure in the fall of Saddam's regime and the establishment of a stable and popular government when and if it happens - particularly as I have been pro-intervention for some time.

[ Parent ]

go ahead attack me (1.83 / 6) (#167)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:11:40 PM EST

know the truth, know yourself

great good was done by ridding the world of saddam hussein

that observation lies greater than all others

and you find something to complain about instead of celebrating

go ahead and shoot the messenger, attack me

choose not to admit that your words are cranky

but attacking me does not change the gist of what i say: you are a crank. you choose to whine and moan when the world celebrates the death of an evil tyrant.

living in angst is not wisdom.

you do not bring wisdom in your observations. you only bring cynicism.

more boilerplate for you ;-)

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

A few facts: (3.60 / 5) (#255)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:57:39 AM EST

Let's start first. The crowd pulling down the statue were Shia. They were happy that now they are free to set up a Taliban-style regime in Iraq (all nicely elected of course). There were no Sunni there, and no educated people, those were Shia ghetto dwellers. I got that info from the foreign press (I especially like the Indian press, which is fairly neutral in all this unlike the American or Arab press), since the American presstitutes are too busy sucking Bush's dick to give us facts like that.

Secondly, nobody argues that Saddam was a nice guy. All that we have ever argued is that there were better ways of taking him down besides killing thousands of Iraqis, whether diplomacy, spies, espionage, big payoffs to military generals willing to overthrow him, assassins, whatever. We have killed probably around 3,000 civilians. We have injured probably around 30,000 more, if the injury to kill ratio is as usual for these kinds of actions. We've killed probably 20,000 Iraqi soldiers, mostly young draftees who were told to take on a charging main battle tank with a Kalishnikov, and threatened with shooting if they surrendered or tried to run. We've probably injured another 40,000 more. All of these people have mothers, and brothers, and sisters, and fathers, who are grieving for their dead and coping with the injuries of their living, some of whom are horribly mangled by the phosphorus that we spewed all over their city (to foil infrared-guided anti-aircraft missiles) and many of whom will never be right again. These are not huge numbers. Our soldiers did their job professionally and with as little loss of life as possible for achieving their goal. But war is what war is -- an ugly, dirty, vicious business, murder on a mass scale, no matter how we try to glorify it. Even Iraqis who welcome the departure of Saddam have to be wondering about whether it was worth the cost in their blood, for they don't have the option of turning off the television. They're living it, and for many of them, the horror is only beginning, as the dysentary and starvation sweep through the country and start to kill. But that's okay, we can turn off our television, or turn to Fox and watch happy happy news that tells us exactly what we want to hear, and nobody will ever wonder whether there was a better way to achieve our goals -- or care.

So I hate to put a damper on your celebration, but things are not as simple as you put it, and your reliance upon American presstitutes means you're only getting part of the story. It's fine to celebrate. But let's not forget the cost as we do so.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

be intellectually honest (1.00 / 2) (#519)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:40:54 PM EST

you shine your observation on the bad that was done

was any good done?

huh?

is that even possible to conceive of to you?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Interesting moral question (none / 0) (#585)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 02:45:59 AM EST

Is it okay to murder people to capture and punish a murderer?

No no, don't come up with any pat answers here. I don't have a pat answer here myself. It's a hard question, and one worthy of discussing, far beyond the "saddam bad, U.S. good" soundbites that are all we get from the U.S. presstitutes.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Don't forget, they haven't caught him. [n/t] (none / 0) (#611)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 10:38:26 AM EST




Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Your arguments make sense.... (none / 0) (#545)
by ckaminski on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:30:13 PM EST

Yet your continued use of the vitriolic made up word presstitutes betrays your POV.  What would you have had us do?  Sanction Iraq a little bit more?  Bribe his generals to betray him?  What sort of precedent does THAT set?   Send in a squad of SEALS or DELTA or Army rangers to snipe him out of existence?  And what of the PR nightmare THAT was going to cause if the plan failed or the sniper team got captured?  Release the sanctions?  Let Iraq restart it's nuclear weapons program?  

Iraq didn't want to comply with inspections (which arguably could have lasted forever under any of the conditions I've read about), and the U.S. wasn't about to let Iraq get away with having WMD...

Actually, the more I spin this whole thing in my head, the more I'm absolutely convinced it's just Baby Bush cleaning up after Daddy, so Daddy can't get tried in the Hague for selling those chemical weapons to Iraq.

You make good arguments.  You do.  Don't think I'm trying to attack you.  I'm attacking this whole "presstitute" thing you've invented.  It REALLY detracts from your otherwise well-reasoned arguments (whether or not I agree with them).

Anyhow, we couldn't have elected a more nasty set of people into office in 2000.  Bush/Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld... I'm on the fence on whether Colin Powell is good or evil... :-)

[ Parent ]

what good came of september 11th? (3.85 / 21) (#129)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:50:27 PM EST

it gave the american people the willpower to knock out a tyrant. you may not be able to give americans a piece of east germany, but that little piece of hell that evil september day was enough to move them.

i just hope there is enough public willpower and political mandate left to knock out kim jong il.

unfortunately, human progress is not a direct line, but one of fits and starts.

so that corner of insanity will continue probably for years to come, the people of north korea will continue to suffer as you describe east german suffering. maybe the next september 11th will bear a nuclear signature.

please america: knock out that worm now. we don't need to see that day. reunite the korean peninsula in democracy now.

the world is slowly inching closer to pandemocracy. the day we arrive there will be the beginning of a new era of peace and prosperity for mankind.

long live democracy. death to tyranny. know the real struggle that is human progress in the world, do-nothing leftists. your inaction and obstructionism only serves to prolong the suffering of peoples under tyranny from your lack of courage, your fear of taking risks, your lack of a moral backbone. there is no moral superiority in denial and a lack of understanding of human nature. childish idealism is your false reality, you do not understand human nature. you do not understand the sacrifices that need to be made to enjoy the fruits of the world you live in. you enjoy the fruits of democracy, and yet you will not support it. you eat the meat, and curse the butcher. you are blind, you are hypocritical.

do-nothing leftists: you do not get something for nothing. the societies you live in, the democracies you belong to, are something, something worth fighting for. something worth spreading. iraqis deserve to enjoy the benefits you enjoy. and you would deny them that because you do not understand the sacrifices that need to be made in life. you would rather let saddam hussein live than take action against him, to make the sacrifices necessary. there is no leadership in your position. there is no conscience. there is no moral superiority. just weakness and rot and more death. do-nothing leftists: know thyself.

watch the unfolding of democracy in iraq and learn your lesson: positive action is required in the world. vacillating in doubt serves no one and only prolongs suffering. the leftist agenda is in tatters. you rescue it by becoming leftist hawks. the leftist agenda is not served by kneejerking against anything conservatives suggest.

sometimes, unity is needed against a common foe: tyranny. tyranny crushes both conservatives and liberals, because it crushes debate, it crushes democratic, community-driven forces under the will of a single megalomaniacal human being. know that, or know nothing. your opposition to the war in iraq means nothing except that you are complicit in the further suffering of the iraqi people. you are irresolute. you offer no progress, no solutions. you dither, you falter, you halt. you do not serve mankind. you deny iraqis their due. you deny them prosperity so that one tyrant should benefit. your hesitance is the doom of your ideology. embrace action. or fall into historical irrelevance.

we need the left. we need both sides of the coin. we need debate in democracy so that democracy should survive. so serve humanity. fight for what you believe in. DEMOCRACY IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

the leftist agenda is served mightily by birthing the world's peoples into democracy. know that truth if you know nothing else.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

You are an anti-capitialist! (none / 0) (#145)
by QuantumG on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:27:22 PM EST

In that you don't CAPITIALISE. It's a simple part of the english language. The redundancy is NECESSARY. Do it!

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
i'm just lazy and i don't care (nt) (2.00 / 2) (#152)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:39:18 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#163)
by kjb on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:06:18 PM EST

I see that circletimessquare has a fanboi, otherwise known as composer777.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

what does that mean? (nt) (none / 0) (#172)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:15:46 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Okay, I'll bite... (4.25 / 8) (#150)
by Skwirl on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:36:02 PM EST

what good came of september 11th?
You know, last night I was watching a documentary about Ground Zero where they panned across several walls of graffiti. "REVENGE!" cried the walls. I literally felt sick to my stomach.

I remember the immediate response of congressmen who were interviewed by the media that day. "This is an act of war." No one cried "mourn," and no one cried, "why?" All they wanted was revenge. Revenge at any cost.

Maybe you believe vengence is a virtue. I do not and the religions and philosophers of the world tend to agree with me. Notice how the students of human nature are the most likely to be labelled as horrible, cowardly leftists.

The (not) funny part is that Saddam had nothing to do with September 11th. Sure, he was an evil man and notice how nobody's debating that. Nevertheless, the Bush administration had to purposefully instill a fear of (fictional) weapons of mass destruction in the population in order to gain support for this war. The idea of "liberation" is a rationalization for this war and not a cause. The US has supported a hell of a lot of tyrants and demagogues in its day, and I have yet to see any reason to believe this trend has changed. Hey, remember when we funded Osama bin Laden against the Soviets?

You believe that democracy is a cure all: The end of history. I say, why are there still millions of starving, homeless and impoverished people in the richest democracy in the world? Why is there such strong "leftist" dissent against your ideal system? Why is there an epidemic of depression and listlessness in the richest countries? Maybe you're happy with this system, but many, many people are not.

So, what tyrants do we topple after North Korea? What are your thoughts on China, hm? If you believe so strongly in taking risks to secure pandemocracy, why aren't you out in the trenches fighting that fight right now? Are you ready for world war?

What you declare as progress, I see as history repeating. Real progress won't begin until people learn the lessons you're ignoring: turn the other cheek, promotion of self-determination and self-actualization and peaceful cooperation.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

you run the risk of being a crank (1.80 / 5) (#155)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:48:42 PM EST

saddam hussein is gone from the world

that is good

celebrate it or you are a crank

there are wise observations

then there is cynical blindness

do not lose your humanity by failing to see good that can happen out of any situation. the world is messy. it is not perfect. it never will be. but you can be depressed by the weight of it all. or you can grow up and accept humanity in all of its bittersweet qualities. people can smell like roses at one moment, and shit the next.

everything you say is true. you are right. it would be folly to argue with your observations.

but recognize that they are subservient observations tot he good that was done in getting rid of saddam hussein. the sum total of the evil you have noted does not rise higher than the good that was done. do you see?

none of what you point out should move you more than the good that was done in getting rid of saddam hussein.

or you fall victim to cynicism. this is not wisdom. it is merely losing contact with your humanity.

do not stand in an ivory tower and look down on the ugliness of humanity and despair. humanity is what it is. love humanity in all of its glory and failure. do not remove yourself form the ugly sruggle that is human progress, or you lose touch with your humanity. you become vulgar in your vanity. you elevate yourself over the human condition at your folly, not at the folly of the rest of humanity.

do not fail to see that progress does not happened. it really, really happens.

and do not fail to see that progress does not happen without sacrifices.

that is true wisdom. abandon your cold cynicism. embrace humanity in all of its beauty and ugliness.

because humanity is all we have.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

you run the risk of being a crank (1.00 / 2) (#160)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:59:20 PM EST

saddam hussein is gone from the world

that is good

celebrate it or you are a crank

there are wise observations

then there is cynical blindness

do not lose your humanity by failing to see good that can happen out of any situation. the world is messy. it is not perfect. it never will be. but you can be depressed by the weight of it all. or you can grow up and accept humanity in all of its bittersweet qualities. people can smell like roses at one moment, and shit the next.

everything you say is true. you are right. it would be folly to argue with your observations.

but recognize that they are subservient observations tot he good that was done in getting rid of saddam hussein. the sum total of the evil you have noted does not rise higher than the good that was done. do you see?

none of what you point out should move you more than the good that was done in getting rid of saddam hussein.

or you fall victim to cynicism. this is not wisdom. it is merely losing contact with your humanity.

do not stand in an ivory tower and look down on the ugliness of humanity and despair. humanity is what it is. love humanity in all of its glory and failure. do not remove yourself form the ugly sruggle that is human progress, or you lose touch with your humanity. you become vulgar in your vanity. you elevate yourself over the human condition at your folly, not at the folly of the rest of humanity.

do not fail to see that progress does not happened. it really, really happens.

and do not fail to see that progress does not happen without sacrifices.

that is true wisdom. abandon your cold cynicism. embrace humanity in all of its beauty and ugliness.

because humanity is all we have.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

i'm confused (1.00 / 2) (#170)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:12:54 PM EST

i posted something, then it disappeared...

so i hit the back button and reposted

now what i originally posted reappeared!

what is going on?!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

a tip (none / 0) (#178)
by bluehead on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:32:06 PM EST

reinstall your windows 98...
if that doesn't work reinstall your aol...

HTH

Hard like a criminal.
[ Parent ]
haha (2.33 / 3) (#180)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:43:57 PM EST

apparently, someone is zero rating my comments

apparently, this is to fight spam on this site

but someone is using this priveledge for ideological reasons

whoever is zero rating me: know that your refuge to censorship does not advance your point of view. it only reveals you to be a coward rather than debate me. do you fear my words? that is the only conclusion that can be drawn by zero rating me rather than debating me. if you do not believe in my words, say so, don't zero rate me. you prove only that you lack conviction in your beliefs and think that you must censor me to defeat me. this does not work, and only eventually leads to your disgrace, not mine.

whoever has sysadmin rights here: know that whoever is zero rating me is abusing their priveledges for ideological reasons. their actions weaken the democratic spirit of this site. their refuge in censorship is not in the spirit of open debate. they should lose their priveledges.

anyone who is reading these words who does not agree with my words in my other posts: chime in and support me here. we need to root out censors for the health of kuro5hin. if you think i am an ass, fine, but say something against those who would censor, rather than debate.

because today they are censoring me. tomorrow they are censoring you. on ideological grounds. what i wrote was not spam. it is not right to censor me.

call me an ass. denounce my words. but support my right to say them. otherwise it is me today, you tomorrow.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

thanks for replying (none / 0) (#190)
by bluehead on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:11:25 AM EST

even though it has nothing to do with my post, which was obviously a (not very well crafted) troll.

That said, it's a democracy dude -- live with it!
Or are you one of those damn liberal anti-american saddam lovers?

Hard like a criminal.
[ Parent ]
censorship is not democracy (nt) (none / 0) (#198)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:31:14 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Please stop posting (5.00 / 1) (#290)
by tetrode on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:39:45 AM EST

Not because I want to stop you, just because 30 posts per article seems a BIT much. Don't you have a job to do?

Mark
________ The world has respect for US for two main reasons: you are patriotic, you invented rock'n'roll (mlapanadras)
[ Parent ]

that i have a job (none / 0) (#511)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:14:53 PM EST

is why i AM posting so much ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Do you suport violence to "do good"? (5.00 / 2) (#288)
by OldTigger on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:33:37 AM EST

The problem with leftists is this: their idea of doing good for the common man is like Robin Hood: stealing from the rich, to give to the poor.

Look at that first word: stealing ... Using violence (gov't tax collection is NOT voluntary) to get money, which is then spread around to "the right folks". But of course, once such a system is in place, there is effort spent by the power-hungry to become the politicians with the power of choosing the right folks.

It is the LEFT which has given too much power to the gov't, and has castrated the true civil society of voluntary associations, to be replaced by uncaring state bureaucracies.

Why are there homeless in America? Because the leftists do NOT start businesses, and do NOT offer those poor people work.

Do you?
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

Leftists (5.00 / 2) (#156)
by Dr Ted on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:51:24 PM EST

I am a proud leftist. Leftists promote change. Right wingers simply try to maintain the status quo. Hussein's regime and all facist dictatorship regimes are right wing. Get your political science correct before profesing to know how the systems work. Quite personally, I hate what america has become. If the founding fathers of the United States knew how their great constitution would be used and abused, it would be a document the size of the entire volumes of encyclopaedia britannica. The counrty has since then been set up by politicians and corporations and their lawyers to ensure that said politicians and corporations maintain their places of power at the expense of the common man. leftist politics embrace the will of the common man for the common good. Early communism was branded leftist because of it's reformist policies by giving each and every man equality, however, once in place, the politicians and beauraucrats gave themselves complete autonomy basically turning a once leftist, or reforming system into a right wing, or 'do-nothing but help ourselves' system, which is basically what america is today. It wasn't always like that. Read the constitution. I'm glad I live in Australia which has not become as bad yet. If you want a bit of proof of this with relation to the war, read the story which is still on the front page about congressman Issa (who happens to be a republican, the USA's right-wing party) who beleives the Iraq will be better off with a CDMA phone system using Qualcomm products, which he has business ties to. Read the bigger picture rather that the propaganda that MSNBC/CNN constantly pushes

[ Parent ]
you're funny (1.57 / 7) (#161)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:03:59 PM EST

LIFE SUCKS I'M GOING TO DIE WHY OH WHY OH WHY! IT IS ALL THE EVIL AMERICANS FAULT WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD WE ARE GOING TO HELL IN A HAND BASKET EVIL AMERICA MANIPULATES THE ENTIRE WORLD FOR THE SAKE OF EVIL WHY MUST I SUFFER SO...

blah blah blah

on and on and on

you are a crank

whine whine bitch and moan


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

If he's a Crank.... (none / 0) (#306)
by ender81b on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:34:10 AM EST

Can I be a cam?

[ Parent ]
no, crankshaft lol ;-) (nt) (none / 0) (#510)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:13:36 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Boxing (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by Merc on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:21:48 PM EST

You seem to like fighting analogies. You're talking all about "knocking people out", so let me counter with another one.

Right now the US is acting like an enraged fighter, and a pretty strong one to boot. There are a few people helping out, and a few people on the side cheering him on, but the vast majority of onlookers are watching people they know get the crap kicked out of them.

Have you ever seen a barfight end when the onlookers decide they're tired of watching a bully pound on some poor guy's face? It's generally not pretty for the bully.

The ends don't always justify the means. While the lives of most Iraqis will probably be better off in 10 years than they were before the Gulf war, there's more to this situation. Like it or not, this is as much about PR as it is about "regime change" or "Weapons of Mass Destruction". The US populace might be trusting enough to believe that, but Arabs are a lot more skeptical. While it barely made the US news, a lot of other western countries covered the story of the Umm Qasr docks. British forces were already interviewing people to run the docks at Umm Qasr when they found out that an American company had already been given the contract to run them. If western media outside the US covered this as possible US profiteering, you can imagine how it must of played out on Al Jazeera, about how an "American company stole the Iraqi's jobs" and such.

Right now is not a good time to make enemies in the Middle East. There are far too many people who hate the US and love Osama bin Laden. Seeing fellow Arabs dying by the thousands is a really good way to convince them not to join Al Qaeda. If the US has decided it's in its best interests to kill those thousands of Iraqis, so be it. But unless they want people to join Al Qaeda, they'll need to do some pretty good PR moves to convince the rest of the Arab world that despite all the dead Iraqis, this was an altruistic move.



[ Parent ]
good analogy (none / 0) (#182)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:52:31 PM EST

however, i will not debate you by countering your assertions, or your analogy.

instead i will say this: looking out at the world and seeing nothing but doom and gloom is not wisdom. there are always people who will hate you. if you only acted in the world based on who hates you by your actions, you get nothing done.

instead, i will merely say that all of the risks and pitfalls you point out are balanced out by benefits you don't point out. i can generalize this observation of mine to that of a principle of any positive action that is taken. good and bad things happen. mostly in equal balance. but where there is more good than bad, progress happens. i think that is what is happening here in iraq. perhaps you believe otherwise.

so, therefore i can bring home this observation to your point of view: don't be a chicken little. know that friends are being made too.

in intellectual honesty, i will admit that you are right: enemies are being made right now.

now, in intellectual honesty, rather than with words in which you have already established your angst and cynicism, admit to me that friends are being made right now too.

see that? life is not a cycle of violence. progress really happens in the world. it is messy by nature. but that fact should not dissuade us from action, or depress us. for it is only through action, messy as it may be, that progress is made.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Friends being made (5.00 / 2) (#247)
by Merc on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:32:19 AM EST

I will admit that there are friends being made. There are probably a whole lot of Iraqis right now who really love the US, probably a lot of women in Afghanistan too. But outside these countries, I can't think of a single place where public opinion of the US is higher now than it was before Sept 11th. It jumped super hight right afterwards, but instead of using and building on that support, the US managed to get everybody much angrier.

My biggest problem with everything now is not that the US is not making friends, but that it's throwing away so many easy opportunities for doing so. From the outside world, the American attempt at diplomacy was pathetic, and the reasons for going to war were confused and contradictory.

Canada is one of the biggest friends the US has, we're a huge trade partner, and mirror the US in most important policy decisions. Canadian public opinion was strongly against the war, and our elected leaders did what elected leaders are supposed to do -- they decided to follow public opinion and not enter an unpopular war. How did the US react to Canada saying "We're not going to send troops because the UN didn't authorize it?" The US lashed out, having its ambassador act as if we'd stabbed them in the back. Meanwhile, our ships continue to lead an anti-terrorism task force in the Persian Gulf.

If the US ambassador had instead said "We strongly believe this war is necessary and wish Canada had chosen to take part, but accept its decision. We hope that Canada will agree to help pay to provide humanitarian aid and relief instead." it would have done wonders. There would have been much more sympathy for the US and a lot more money raised for relief efforts. What purpose was served by lashing out like that??

If the US had appeared willing to compromise at the UN maybe France would have backed down as well. There were a number of diplomatic solutions on the table that gave the US 90% of what they wanted, but apparently a 1 week delay to the start of the invasion was unacceptable. A problem that had been allowed to fester for 12 years was suddenly on such a strict timetable that 1 week was too much.

Now since the war has started, I can't really fault the US for how it has been waged. There have been no true massacres and very few civillians have been killed for a war of this scale.

But what about the next step. Is it more important that the rebuilding of Iraq become a stimulus package for the US economy, or that the US is not seen as a colonizing force? I'm not saying that US companies shouldn't be allowed to help rebuild Iraq, but at least allow the semblance of competition.

You say that when there is more good than bad, progress happens. And I agree, but I'm not convinced that there is yet more good than bad. If the US becomes an occupying force, and US companies are seen to be profiteering off the war, then it's not more good than bad. And really, this is all about PR. A few nods towards multilateralism will go a long way. I just hope the US isn't so blind that it ignores them the way it has so far.



[ Parent ]
I'd say right now is not a good time to... (4.50 / 2) (#184)
by StormShadow on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:53:32 PM EST

make enemies of the United States. The bastards who crashed those airplanes into the Twin Towers caused the opposite effect of what they intended. Instead of cowering in fear the United States finally woke up and decided the good times are over for the trouble makers of the world. You know who last made that mistake and what happened to them? Japan -- and it didn't turn out too well for them.

September 11th happened because the United States was complacent and too willing to shrug its shoulders --- the terrorists blew up embassies and we did nothing. The blew a hole in a US Navy ship, and we did nothing. They finally crossed the line on September 11th. I am willing to bet money that the result was not what Osama and his henchmen expected -- they were quoted more than once as basically stating the Americans are pussies.

Saddam brought this on himself by thumbing his nose at the UN and taking every opportunity to poke the US in th eye. Had he stayed quiet, stop firing at American and British fighter planes patrolling the no-fly zone, and generally behaved for the last 12 years -- he'd still be enjoying the good life.

With reference to the Arabs, I've worked with people who've lived years in the Middle East, speak fluent arabic and are know the local people well and they all have one thing to say: The Arabs have some legit complaints (the Israel/Palestinian fight) but over all they behave irrationally because they basically have a failing society that every year falls further and further behind -- and they resent that. They refuse to lay the blame at the right door step (their own) and look for anyone else to blame. What does the Middle East produce besides oil? Nothing. Have you ever thought of that? What about their education system? In the Middle Ages it was the best in the world, now education to them means memorizing the Koran. I have nothing against Muslims but, with due respect, the Koran doesn't say anyting about engineering, physics, etc.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
folly (4.12 / 8) (#133)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:59:10 PM EST

East Germany had West Germany to catch them as they "fell into freedom." It took all the might of the whole of Germany to reunite them. All Germans are still paying the cost.

Where will the people of Iraq fall? In the hands of America? A proxy? Or will it "balkanise"?

There was allready a "falling people" in the middle east, but nobody cares.

So let's not celebrate too much. It's rude.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT

bullshit (3.28 / 7) (#137)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:03:18 PM EST

what was done in iraq was right

you are complaining about what comes after what was done

celebrate all you can now, it is NOT rude

there is a lot of hard work ahead, you are well aware of that

but that fact should not depress us, nor should it move us to inaction, nor should it prevent us from celebrating the defeat of tyrant


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

so ... (4.00 / 3) (#224)
by gdanjo on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:40:38 AM EST

Can we assume that Afghanistan will also be "looked after"? We already celebrated that one.

nor should it prevent us from celebrating the defeat of tyrant
Perhaps you should celebrate in private. We're not all in the mood.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

not in the mood (5.00 / 1) (#231)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:57:53 AM EST

if you are depressed:

look at the good that happens in the world

it happens

it really does

don't focus on the bad news at the exclusion of the good

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I don't ... (2.00 / 1) (#257)
by gdanjo on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:58:57 AM EST

... watch TV. Come over and see what we find good. Our goodness is very different to yours.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

you are being intellectually dishonest (nt) (5.00 / 1) (#506)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:08:15 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I'm not even intellectual (n/t) (none / 0) (#588)
by gdanjo on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 03:59:09 AM EST


"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]
What depresses me (4.60 / 5) (#226)
by michaelp on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:49:06 AM EST

is the billions more added to the US Debt. by this action & the cost of rebuilding Iraq.

& the knowledge that the oil based economy is like the drug industry: the exploitation of a single resource invites the domination of nation's economy by an elite, who will behave brutally to protect their power and can behave brutally because there is only one game that matters & it doesn't take civility and kindness to succeed in it.

And the knowledge that all these billions and the billions to come are wasted treating the symptoms of the problem rather than the root of the disease.

& I'm depressed by the fact that the US could be winning the battle against worldwide tyranny by leading the push to find alternative energy sources and giving the knowledge to the world rather than pushing to the head of the line for the last gusher.

& depressed by the fact that burning oil in the first place is the act of a culture hardly enlightened more than a slash and burn farmer: the stuff has serious value as a source of complex hydrocarbons which could be put to alot better purposes than pushing tons of steel to one place and back again...

& the fact that folks will probably think I'm saying the war was for oil when I'm really saying the war was caused by the kind of society that comes along with total dependence on a single controllable resource.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
depression (1.50 / 2) (#232)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:58:46 AM EST

your observations are sound.

now, focus on the good that happens to.

your mood will improve.

if you only focus on the negative, you will be depressed indeed.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Much better to leave them under Saddam's fist (3.28 / 7) (#141)
by Demiurge on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:13:13 PM EST

Is that what you're suggesting?

[ Parent ]
no fuck head (3.88 / 9) (#143)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:23:42 PM EST

He's suggesting that just because the military slaughtered the remnants of Saddam's army, Iraq isn't going to become a modern, first-world, open democratic state overnight. Especially with Wolfowitz and the Bush crowd hand-picking the new government. Look who they picked as US Attorney General, over the vehement protests of Congressmen and citizens. You think they know what is best for Joe Iraqi?

[ Parent ]
a great good was done, and you complain (2.00 / 10) (#144)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:26:21 PM EST

a great good was done by invading iraq

that observation is a greater, more important observation than every observation of yours

so you are a crank. does anything make you happy? or while the iraqis dance in the streets, you frown because of smaller, more minor details.

know thyself: you are a crank.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

small minor details (4.33 / 6) (#147)
by jvcoleman on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:32:27 PM EST

Like the fact that they will soon be under US military rule, and ANYTHING could happen. You people don't seem to understand that just because "the regime has crumbled", the war is not over. Look over at our dirty backyard in Afghanistan right now for more sobering images of a successful US regime change in progress.

[ Parent ]
exactly (2.00 / 9) (#151)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:37:16 PM EST

keep talking.

you support my assertion.

you complain about truthful observations that are minor, smaller, than the great good that was done.

admit it. good was done in getting rid of saddam hussein.

if you don't do that, then you are just a crank.

some people will always whine and complain. but that gives you no moral high ground. it just makes you funny looking.

whine, whine, bitch and moan.

you are a crank.

say something positive and celebrate the victory over tyranny. or lose your relevance.

crank.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

you are 100% correct (2.71 / 7) (#157)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:53:55 PM EST

but why do any of your observations rise above celebrating the good that was done in iraq by getting rid of saddam hussein?

they don't!

so why do you whine and moan when you should be happy!

why are you being a crank?

again: YOU ARE 100% CORRECT

but you focus on the bad, when there is also good, and more good than bad, at that.

don't be a crank! humanity is all we have. in all of its glory and folly. notice the glory, as well as the folly. both exist at the same time. make peace with the duality of human existence.

life is short. smile sometimes when good happens. there is plenty more to do to rid the world of evil. but we do not live on angst alone. we will roll up our sleeves and get to work in good time. but do not deny us our celebration over the fall of evil.

and that is exactly what happened in iraq.

accept that, or know that you are just a crank, and lie outside the realm of positive human existence, and have nothing valuable to add, only angst and cynicism, not wisdom.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Huh? (5.00 / 3) (#252)
by KlausBreuer on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:37:48 AM EST

Now where have I heard this talking style before?

Uncohesive, weird, full of strange ideas, seemingly monotone?

Ah!
http://www.timecube.com/

The use of the word 'Crank' for a discussion opponent now makes sense, too.

Bah. Can I filter you somehow?
---
"What, I need a *reason* for everything?" -- Calvin
"Should I or shouldn't I? Too late, I did!" -- Hobbes
[ Parent ]

i love that timecube guy! lol (none / 0) (#516)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:29:27 PM EST

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=58906&cid=5623911

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
i'm confused (5.00 / 1) (#171)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:14:23 PM EST

i didn't mean to reply twice

why are my posts disappearing and reappearing?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I don't want a Great Good (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by gdanjo on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:46:36 AM EST

a great good was done by invading iraq that observation is a greater, more important observation than every observation of yours so you are a crank. does anything make you happy? or while the iraqis dance in the streets, you frown because of smaller, more minor details. know thyself: you are a crank.
My country (the former Yugoslavia) was bombed. When you celebrated, I felt more rage than you will ever know.

Then you left and we had to fix everything. We got rid of Milosevic for The Greater Good. Now a Great Man is dead.

Don't fucking tell me how we should feel about being bombed.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

im curious... (none / 0) (#229)
by Work on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:53:47 AM EST

this is a real question, not meant to be sarcastic like most of my posts.

Would you really have preferred to continue to live under Milosevic than pick up the pieces and start all over? Personal tragedies aside, how did you view what the long run of things would be like with him still in power, over him being deposed?

[ Parent ]

balkans (5.00 / 1) (#248)
by gdanjo on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:33:21 AM EST

Would you really have preferred to continue to live under Milosevic than pick up the pieces and start all over? Personal tragedies aside, how did you view what the long run of things would be like with him still in power, over him being deposed?
The people in the Balkans are very patient. The youth was very sarcastic and denegrating toward Milosevic - the only people that supported him were "old school" (communist) and old.

Milosevic, like all "evil" in the balkans, would have fallen and taken out all supporters with him (or, the supporters would have fallen taking milosevic with him).

"Quick fixes" to "slow problems" just adds pressures in a system that does not value what the west values.

So we used Precision Poison Shpritzers; and even then we missed - we took out some weeds but the roots are still there. Infact, it wasn't even the west that "got rid of milosevic", it was milosevic himself. By cracking down on the Albanians, he wrote his retirement certificate.

The Albanians in Kosovo, also "balkan smart", saw the American Thirst for war and used it against us. So they antagonised milosevic who, stupidly, fell for it (he thought the Russians would save him).

You were played.

They tried it on Macedonia but gave up when they found it was full of Macedonians (sorry, a little balkan/yugo humor ... couldn't let that one pass :-)

Finally, about "personal trageties aside": To me, only the personal matters. Fortunately, my family was not hurt. But their zest for life was crippled.

So we don't want anyone else saving us. The Iraqi's may well feel differently - they may want the Americans in - but euphoria at this time is inappropriate.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Y'all must be *bery* patient... (1.00 / 1) (#271)
by ti dave on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:47:54 AM EST

Milosevic, like all "evil" in the balkans, would have fallen and taken out all supporters with him...

Please remind me, how long was Tito in charge of Yugoslavia?

How long would you have waited for Milosevic to fall?

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

you (none / 0) (#370)
by gdanjo on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:03:07 AM EST

Please remind me, how long was Tito in charge of Yugoslavia?
Only a lifetime.

How long would you have waited for Milosevic to fall?
My lifetime.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

That's quite selfless of you... (5.00 / 1) (#508)
by ti dave on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:12:06 PM EST

Hopefully, your children would have outlived Milosevic's legacy.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Who do you mean by Great Man? (none / 0) (#240)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:15:02 AM EST

The Prime Minister who was recently assassinated?

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

kind of (none / 0) (#251)
by gdanjo on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:37:47 AM EST

But not in the way you think. He was wily, sneaky, but most of all he was smart.

Whether that cleverness was good or bad for the country really doesn't matter. What matters is that everyone (most) mourned - and that either makes him Great, or makes the place very, very sad.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

What Great Good? (none / 0) (#281)
by kraant on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:07:28 AM EST

Look you brainless twerp.

Lots of innocent civilians died. and people are starving.

Now tell me how that's a Great Good?
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

hey moron (none / 0) (#518)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:32:14 PM EST

compare that to the dead and starving under saddam hussein (past and future, should we follow your lead and do NOTHING)

but a drop in the bucket in comparison

do you understand the notion of sacrifice? or do you think that in life everything can be done without ever anyone suffering even remotely for the common good? what fantasy world do you live in?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Sacrifice. (none / 0) (#555)
by kraant on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:37:58 PM EST

A sacrifice ain't no sacrifice when you're sacrificing other people.

If the US wanted to sacrifice something so the Iraqis could be free it should have sacrificed more of its troops to avoid civilian casualties.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

you don't understand your hypocrisy (none / 0) (#557)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:02:57 PM EST

no american should ever go to arab land and sacrifice arab lives.

right?

ok, tell that to 19 arabs on the morning of september 11th.

we are all human beings, citizens of one small planet. you stick to your pastoral fantasies of neoisolation and nationalism. i'll stick to reality: it's a small world, and getting smaller. america means shit. arab identity means shit. i talk in human beings. it's the only unit of measure i understand.

nationalism is just like racism, sexism, homophobia: another tribal stupid reason for thinking you are superior to someone else. ok? so if some human beings who are free go and break the rule of a bunch of other human beings under the foot of a tyrant, then what happened was good. end of story.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Don't put words in my mouth (none / 0) (#563)
by kraant on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:35:46 PM EST

Where in this thread did I say that it was alright for those Arabs to smash into the WTC?

Killing lots of people is bad and I don't see where you're getting off saying a Great Good has happened in Iraq.

All I'm seeing is a lot of dead bodies that wouldn't have been dead otherwise.

And just wait till starvation kicks in and America won't foot the bill.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

afghanistan. hello? (nt) (none / 0) (#564)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:40:54 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
And? (none / 0) (#566)
by kraant on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:58:10 PM EST

What about Afghanistan?

I haven't heard much about its reconstruction.

Maybe because it hasn't realy happened.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

good lord (none / 0) (#568)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:03:58 PM EST

it has been months in afghanistan, and you are ready to pass judgment?

and iraq? hours? you are ready to judge us reconstruction efforts already?

or more exact to the point: you would rather that the PREVIOUS STATE of these countries be returned? is that what you want? what exactly is the source of your cranky whining?

face it, both countries are better off without the taliban or saddam hussein. do you in any way refute this?

improvement right there.

period.

it's like a brick wall of truth. go ahead and crash your cranky bullshit on those walls. you can't deny that getting rid of the taliban and saddam hussein is a quantum leap in the peace and prosperity of these countries.

end of story.

you lose.

whine, whine, bitch and moan. you don't have much else riding on your pov.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Thing is (none / 0) (#570)
by kraant on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:36:33 PM EST

Currently neither of them are an improvement on their previous incarnations.

Now lets talk about all the dead people in Iraq.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

yes lets talk about all the dead people (none / 0) (#571)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:49:23 PM EST

killed by taliban and saddam

not an improvement? you are a fucking cold hearted evil motherfucker, you know that?

IT IS A FUCKING IMPROVEMENT

IF YOU DON'T SEE THAT YOU ARE BLIND AND/OR EVIL AND/OR STUPID


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Elaborate. (none / 0) (#572)
by kraant on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 12:02:48 AM EST

See before this in Iraq they had y'know, food, water, electricity, and sometimes even Internet Access.

Now tell me how their situation now is an improvement on their situation then...

Go on, convince us.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

for the idiots (none / 0) (#573)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 12:04:13 AM EST

saddam=bad

getting rid of saddam=good

no water, electricity=bad

no water, electricity=temporary

ok, now balance it all out carefully and think hard and concentrate.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes (5.00 / 1) (#576)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 12:51:22 AM EST

That would be the way that an idiot would go about trying to understand what's going on.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
i'm glad we agree then ;-P (nt) (none / 0) (#586)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 02:47:57 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Afghanistan... (none / 0) (#699)
by Znork on Sun Apr 13, 2003 at 11:14:11 AM EST

Have you actually looked at the news lately about Afghanistan? Someone who would be able to pass judgement on the so-called reconstruction effors would probably be Karzai. And he's screaming his head off at deaf ears for help. The countryside isnt in Kabuls control, every warlord is armed to the teeth, Kabul is like an armed camp, almost no help is forthcoming and Karzai doesnt know what to tell people anymore.

It's been almost a year and a half now. The country is a complete disaster. Worse than the Taliban in many ways.

To quote Karzai's brother; "What was promised to the Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business."

[ Parent ]

So the war was a good thing for Iraq. (3.00 / 2) (#497)
by Demiurge on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:28:59 PM EST

That's what you're concluding, right?

[ Parent ]
I am sorry, but I don't feel the same way as you (4.80 / 35) (#148)
by mami on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 10:34:28 PM EST

I am not quite sure if I understand your article correctly, but from what I read I deduct that you lived in Berlin in the shadows of the wall in your early years of your life. I assume you lived on the Western side of the wall, am I correct? I assume too that you were pretty young, correct? I deduct this from your following sentence:
Most of the people in the US don't know what it's like to live with guns and tanks and missles aimed at you. Most have no idea how crushing is can be to live in a police state. I had the fortune to see the former East Germany and other Eastern Block contries in the 70's and 80's.
I deduct you have been visiting East Germany and Eastern Block countries as an adult during the seventies and eighties, correct? I also deduct that you didn't live in Eastern Germany in your childhood or teenage years? Correct? All in all that makes you a person in the age range of fourty years plus having lived on the Western side of the Berlin Wall during the late sixties and seventies. Correct?

If all my assumptions should be correct, I doubt that you ever have experienced truly how it feels if guns and tanks and missiles are aimed at you. I have lived in the same shadows of the Wall in my twenties and I can honestly tell that I didn't fear any moment, that there would be ever a major shoot out of Eastern and Western tanks along the "No Man's Land" line and the Wall. Nor did I fear that there would be any missiles destroying West or East Berlin. I never felt oppressed as well. I enjoyed perfect freedom in West Berlin.

I do know that East Berliner's felt oppressed, but I doubt that any, who didn't actually grew up in the communist East Germany knows what that oppression was really like.

This sentence of yours is also a bit strange sounding to me:

Seeing it in their eyes; hearing it in their voices. Knowing that if they were seen talking to you they could be arrested and jailed.
I actually went over to East Berlin every two or three months or so (mainly to buy some science books, which were in my field cheaper and also very good) and I have never experienced that any East Berliner was afraid to talk to me fearing he would be jailed. I also was allowed to visit my relatives a couple of times (to get permission was cumbersome, but not impossible), I still had in the Eastern German part, and they didn't get jailed talking to me. So, I wonder where this comes from. Anyway...

I think I didn't regret anything more in my adult life than the fact that I didn't live in Berlin anymore, when the Wall came down. Like you, all I could do is watching it from the US over TV, which means you get just one small spectrum of images over and over again. Luckily I have still lots of family in what was former West Berlin and now is Berlin. And I got lots of more eye-witness reports from them.

I can't say that I share your feelings. I watched today almost the whole day the images on CNN, MSBNC, Deutsche Welle TV. The toppling of Saddams statue in Baghdad has absolutely not the same meaning as the fall of the Berlin Wall.

East Germany and its Wall fell, because the East German system and its communist regime imploded, collapsed from the inside out, it has had itself starved to the point it was almost dead. It was truly unexpected, that there was an "opening crack in the wall (politically, not literally)" and all of the sudden East Berliners took the chance and used the opening to pour through the cracks, absolutely stunned not to be shot at. This was due almost to a mistake that was not intended to happen.

The fall of the wall was not caused by US Armed Forces invading from West Germany or West Berlin into East Germany and East Berlin, then arriving at East Germany and helping the East Berliners to topple a statue of Honnecker. There were not looting East Germans stealing the furniture out of offices of communist's party buildings etc.

I really don't see any resemblance to the current situation in Iraq. In East Germany you had oppression by a totalitarian communist system. In Iraq you had oppression by a self-engrandizing ruthless dictator, who didn't shy away from the worst atrocities against his own people to keep himself in power. I think it's a bit different.

The greatest achievement of the US Armed Forces in Germany was that they had the patience and stamina and resolve to stay put WITHOUT invading and just assure the people that if the Eastern side's tank would try to shoot at the Western side they would be assuredly completely "toasted" as people like to say here in the US. That worked so well, that nobody really felt threatened at all.

The Berlin Wall was a great place to take a walk with your date, if you ask me. You also could play ball at the Wall (on the Western side) if you wanted to and you could write great songs about the Wall. (There are a couple I loved so much that I almost feel sorry, because these days you can't imagine anymore the athmosphere of those days)

The US Armed Forces and the other Allies were so great in their achievements to secure West Berlin, that we didn't even realize what and extraordinary and outstanding job they performed for all these years.

Don't get me wrong. I am VERY happy for Iraqis, who are celebrating the downfall of the Saddam regime today and I am very glad that the Marines and US Armed Forces are greeted with gratitude. At least that will lift their fears that they might have been viewed as invadors without being seen as liberators. The US and UK Armed Forces have accomplished to handle a very difficult and risky task with great care and have done an outstanding job. So, they deserve all a big hug for their military success so far.

But then also think that first the military part isn't over until it is really over, and second the political part of this exercise of regime change hasn't even started yet. So don't get carried away.

Let's just hope that politically it will be as successful in bringing security, stability and democracy and rule of just laws to Iraq, as it was militarily successful in destroying the oppressive regime.

Berlin wall is simply an icon (4.00 / 1) (#169)
by MSBob on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:12:04 PM EST

That most westerners like to remember because it was very symbolic. However, the collapse of communism really began with Poland and its Round Table talks of early 1989 followed by the first democratic elections on that side of the iron curtain. Sure, people talking around a table may not be as glamorous as charging at a wall but it was historically more important. By the time the East Germans stood up it was all over in Poland and in Czechoslovakia if I remember correctly.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Yay they're free! (2.25 / 4) (#179)
by daishan on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:35:34 PM EST

Okay, the US has spent about a hundred billion on this war so far, and the Iraqi's have lost much more than that dollar value in critical infrastucture. I'm sure all this debt will be honored along with the existing debt Saddam incurred.

It will be interesting to watch them pay it back with oil at ten bucks a barrel.

Yep they are as free as the homeless guy I pass on the way to the office everyday, whoop de friggin do!

[ Parent ]

hmmm. (5.00 / 2) (#212)
by Work on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:04:57 AM EST

the Iraqi's have lost much more than that dollar value in critical infrastucture.

I question this. What critical infrastructure did iraq have to begin with worth over 100 billion dollars? The power went out in some places, some water pumps in basra broke, and probably the telephone exchange got knocked out in baghdad.

None of this adds up to '100 billion dollars'. All the more so since most of Baghdad has had power restored, and the water pumps in basra are being repaired (or may already be). And with the exception of the telephone exchange, most of the damage done to these pieces was done by iraqis.

[ Parent ]

War Costs (3.00 / 2) (#307)
by ender81b on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:37:54 AM EST

Much of that 100bn dollar figure you quote (which is probably about right) is from transportation costs. Shipping 300,000 soldiers 5000 or so miles and then supplying them costs a wee bit amount of money.

Also, US weaponry is damm expensive. Tomahawks costs 1 million apiece.

At any rate I doubt Iraq has lost 100 billion in infrastructure from this war. Now, from the last war and the decade of embargos? Probably. Heck, easily. Iraq is basically a third world country, they didn't have that much infrastructure to begin with.

[ Parent ]

I served proudly in the Berlin Brigade. (4.50 / 2) (#275)
by ti dave on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:52:41 AM EST

and I thank you for your kind words and respect.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

hey, you are welcome (5.00 / 1) (#359)
by mami on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:27:43 AM EST

and thanked mightily post-Wallian times ... :-)

I think I had to come to US to really understand what your Armed Forced did for us. Takes a while to grow up for me. I am late bloomer it seems.

Too bad we didn't meet and had a nice chat somewhere in Berlin in those days.

[ Parent ]

Fear-free is great - re: "not the same" (5.00 / 4) (#282)
by OldTigger on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:08:29 AM EST

My Slovak wife's father was imprisoned for two years under the terrible commies. She and I DO feel that toppling Saddam IS like toppling the wall -- as a symbol of communism.

Your statement that you "had no fear" is ... extraordinary. To be not afraid of the commies, is, frankly, stupid. BUT -- if you are one of the anti-war protesters, I wonder if you, too, have the idiotarian "fear" of a hegemonic US?

You say you're glad the Iraqis are free -- but imply, strongly, throughout your reply, that it was wrong to use violence to free them. Implying that the right thing to do was to leave them be tortured, oppressed, doomed to daily fear. And you seem too intellectually cowardly to face the consequences of your anti-violence "do no evil, do nothing, live and let dictators live" unspoken philosophy.

Don't get me wrong -- I don't yet want the US to be the world's policeman. But when they DO use war to free oppressed folk, I think celebrations are called for.

I think the fall of every terrible system has some similarity to the falls of other systems. These two, coming some 14 years apart, ARE both great.

(But don't mean ALL the people's lives will be hugely better, immediately, either.)
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

You read something into my comment (3.00 / 1) (#458)
by mami on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:17:22 PM EST

which isn't there.

I didn't say I don't fear a totalitarian communist regime. I said I didn't fear a shoot-out of the Western and Eastern Allies' Armed Forces during the seventies and eighties at the Berlin Wall. That's something completely different, and your conclusions that I am stupid to not fear a communist regime are not a fair interpretation of my comment.

I also never said that I am against the use of force (as a last resort) to defend democracy, civil and human rights, and the rule of just laws for all. I am neither a peace-nik at all costs, nor do I think I am particularly coward.

I have though reservations about a superpower using its military might on its own terms for protection and liberation of other countries without going through an international political process of democratic and human rights abiding nations (listen! that doesn't apply to the UN in these days) based on international law.

I could go into more detail, but as this is my fifth time to post a comment to your response, I stop here and try to see if the comment gets posted.

[ Parent ]

Didn't mean to be unfair (none / 0) (#710)
by OldTigger on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 04:18:28 AM EST

Right, not fearing a shoot out is different than not fearing a bad regime.

I'm glad you're willing to use force to defend democracy, et al, but there's likely to be disagreement on when is "last resort".

Your reservations about using military might unilaterally are prolly the most important.  But as you imply, there is no political judge of democratic and human rights abiding nations.

*** In fact, I'd support the US and the UK to create a "Council of Democratic Countries", as an explicit alternative to the UN, to which the US might, in the future, cede some sovereignty.  The point of such an org would be to put some democratic international moral "blessing", or not, on such military adventures. Almost certainly yes for against Kosovo; and Afghanistan; likely yes against Iraq (after 1441); unlikely against N. Korea? Iran? Syria?

[Somehow, I thought I'd see that you had responded to this, but didn't until today/ later]
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

try the ghetto, dumbass (1.08 / 23) (#173)
by turmeric on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:17:54 PM EST

fucking krauts

classic troll! thanks for pointless bile! (nt) (2.33 / 3) (#177)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:31:06 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Somewhat different (4.00 / 4) (#185)
by strlen on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:59:06 PM EST

I wouldn't say East Germany, as besides the gaining of liberty, the triumph was also for freedom from Soviet Control (East Germany, by all means, was pretty much a sattelite) and somewhat of a nationalist triumph in there not being two Germanies any more.

I'd compare what happened this time, with the removal of a statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky (sp?) (google for Iron Felix), in the USSR. While I didn't see it live, indeed I saw it on TV as well, I was at least located in the same country as where it happened.

Of course, I wasn't mature enough to understand the signifance of it (being 8 or 9 at the time), but it seems a lot more logical to compare it with that event: the average "Soviet" could go in the streets and argue about politics, without thinking about KGB (although glasnost has been moving in that direction, but slowly), because he could no longer see the icons of tyranny pointed at him.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

Whaaat? (4.00 / 1) (#194)
by MSBob on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:29:34 AM EST

The statue of Feliks Dzierzynski was located in Warsaw, Poland and definitely not inside USSR!!!

You know that Poland has always been a separate country (at least on paper) with its own government and parliamant, right?

On the flip side I agree with you that Poland led the tidal wave of change in Eastern Europe, quickly followed by Czechoslovakia and then East Germany.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
This was a statue of Feliks in Moscow or Leningrad (5.00 / 1) (#199)
by strlen on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:31:59 AM EST

There was a statue of Feliks in Moscow or Leningrad as well, and it was that one specific statue that I saw being toppled. I'm not denying that there was a statue toppled in Poland as well, but this isn't the event I'm reffering to.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Of course (none / 0) (#201)
by MSBob on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:35:11 AM EST

Yes. I googled for Felix and found out that he had statues all over Russia. I didn't know that. Pardon my ignorance.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Ooops (none / 0) (#200)
by MSBob on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:34:01 AM EST

It seems that Dzerzhinsky had his share of monuments in Russia too. You may well have been right. Disregard the parent comment.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Dzerzhinsky square (4.00 / 1) (#207)
by Work on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:54:16 AM EST

Home of the KGB. Great place... or not.

[ Parent ]
Thailand Is Next (1.30 / 13) (#193)
by Baldrson on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:29:33 AM EST

I heard that Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Chinnawat hit his wife.

Send in the Marines.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


They're already there (nt) (none / 0) (#197)
by KWillets on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:30:48 AM EST



[ Parent ]
do you know what perspective means? (nt) (3.66 / 3) (#209)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:57:29 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
What's with this guy? (1.75 / 4) (#218)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:23:22 AM EST

do you know what perspective means?

Yes, I'm sure he does. Do you know what 'posting' means. Look asswipe, you obviously have an opinion. I DARE you to express it in a cogent manner without looking like a fucking imbecile.

I have found that the most ardent defenders of Evil Politics are also so mentally challenged that they can barely hold a conversation. The more able and willing to think and express themselves with clear, non-rhetorical, clean-logic and rational argument a person is, the more often such a person is going to be labeled and sneered at as being, 'Socialist' or 'Liberal'. Gee! Why do you think that is????

Of COURSE Bush is going to be able to convince guys like you that he's not an asshole. DUMB PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO BELIEVE IN LIES.

How fucking hard is that to grasp?

Sheesh.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#305)
by Wafiq Hamza on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:32:38 AM EST

I now see the truth!
I am dumb.

[ Parent ]
hmm (5.00 / 1) (#414)
by kjb on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:32:47 AM EST

you obviously have an opinion. I DARE you to express it in a cogent manner without looking like a fucking imbecile.

I take it your credo is "do what I say, not what I do".

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

This is not the end, far from it (3.40 / 10) (#202)
by Eater on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:38:39 AM EST

The Iraqi people have still to shoulder the greatest price of Bush's war. It is most fortunate that the actual war came to an end as soon as it did (though I should point out that it is not actually over), and that the civilian casualties only numbered in the thousands, but the chaos that may well emerge from this will make it not much better than it was under Saddam. At least under Saddam there was order to go with the fear. Now who knows what may replace it, but my bets don't lie on a happy, prosperous democracy, but rather on another Afghanistan.

Eater.

people modding you down (5.00 / 5) (#235)
by jvcoleman on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:05:46 AM EST

Now who knows what may replace it, but my bets don't lie on a happy, prosperous democracy, but rather on another Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and Iraq are very similar, politically, in that they are both a loose collection of tribes that was united by a British declaration. Comparing Iraq to post-WWII Germany is bad enough, but the comparisons to Japan are the most grating. Both countries were much more homogeneous, more accustomed to central rule, fully industrialized by the standards of the 1940's first world, and had been stable for centuries within a strong national identity. Iraq is riven with ethnic, racial, and religious divisions, and these people who think all of that will simply disappear overnight when a US-appointed government takes charge... Heh.

[ Parent ]

That doesn't explain why people are modding me... (none / 0) (#543)
by Eater on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:28:19 PM EST

...down, though I would really like to know why... I mention none of those things, so thanks for the clarification. Another difference between the modern "rebuilding" and what took place in Germany and Japan is that the US now has little motivation to put effort into rebuilding the Middle East - Germany, and to some degree Japan, were rebuilt as part of Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union - the two nations were very close to it and, especially in the case of Germany, somewhat threatened by it (though I don't want to get too far off topic by straying into a Cold War arguement). All Iraq has is oil, and you don't have to hold the whole country and give it peace and prosperity just to extract its oil.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Afghanistan? Come on. (4.33 / 3) (#238)
by koreth on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:12:11 AM EST

Afghanistan: A mostly rural, illiterate, poverty-stricken, landlocked nation ruled by a combination of a theocratic oligarchy and a series of feuding warlords' private armies, with few natural resources to speak of and no infrastructure after decades of civil war.

Iraq: Largely urban and well-educated, with valuable natural resources at its disposal, a largely intact modern infrastructure, a sea port for international trade, a history of religious tolerance (pre-Saddam, anyway), and a civil tradition of a stable central government.

Equating the two is really not supported by the evidence in my opinion. Iraq is much better positioned to become a credible, responsible member of the international community. All it was missing, really, was a leadership structure that both its citizens and the rest of the world could accept. Afghanistan was, and still is, missing just about everything.

I agree that most of the hard work ahead will be up to the Iraqis, but I don't think a situation like what's shaping up in Afghanistan is very plausible.

[ Parent ]

Lebanon might be a better analogy (4.75 / 4) (#244)
by danny on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:24:59 AM EST

One common feature with Afghanistan is the presence of major ethnic tensions in which several neighbouring states like to meddle. Iraq is certainly much better off economically, though.

Incidentally, the last Bush budget had no money at all allocated for humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Afghanistan...

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

Slight correction (5.00 / 2) (#437)
by Blah Blah on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:05:15 PM EST

Iraq: Largely urban and well-educated, with valuable natural resources at the United States' disposal

[ Parent ]
Do you actually believe that Afghanistan is over ? (5.00 / 5) (#295)
by Builder on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:05:55 AM EST

Coz it's not. There are still US troops there. There is still fighting on a weekly basis at least. That war has been going on for over a year now !
--
Be nice to your daemons
[ Parent ]
Yuh, and? (5.00 / 1) (#542)
by Eater on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:22:00 PM EST

How does my post suggest that I believe that there isn't fighting in Afghanistan?

Eater.

[ Parent ]
You betcha. (5.00 / 1) (#480)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:21:04 PM EST

Between Iraq and Afghanistan, this is going to be on the order of the Marshall Plan. My biggest fear is Bush's determination to do it on the cheap...


--
Note that the depiction of the president as a deranged or Nazi paranoid is coming mostly from people who constantly tell us how passionately they
[ Parent ]

Holy fucking shit. Is this guy serious???? (2.63 / 19) (#204)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:42:04 AM EST

Jeezuz. Of COURSE the U.S. media is going to spin it this way. What the hell did you expect? But to actually buy it?

First it was "Saddam helped cause 9-11!"

Oh, hold on. Well maybe not. We don't have any proof of this. . .

Grumble. . . Oh, oh! I know!

Weapons of Mass Destruction! Yeah! --Forget the fact that Saddam probably doesn't even have any, (They didn't get used, after all.), and forget that a country like North Korea not only does have them, but has threatened to use them. --No, the U.S. backs carefully away from Korea and pussy foots around on that front. No, Saddam is the guy who has to be taken out, because he has WMD's. Even though he doesn't. And even though, unlike North Korea, he hasn't threatened to use them. . . (And in fact, bent over backwards to satisfy the UN demands, unlike North Korea which spat in the world's face. Nah, let's pick on Iraq.) Oh, Oh! But we have Top Secret Documents which prove our case! (Oh, they were lifted from a several year old university paper written by some student? Oops.) Hmm.

Okay, okay! Forget all that stuff about the WMD's then. You'll buy this one! This one for sure! Just listen. . !

EVIL TYRANT! Yeah! We're spreading democracy! ('Cus here in the West, with a shredded charter of rights and freedoms, and people held indefinitely without trial on some loophole 'enemy combatant' bullshit, we SURE know about freedom! Heck, we shoot our own reporters because we're so damned free!) But yeah, that's the ticket! Evil Tyrant. Everybody knows that Saddam is a nut-bar. It's our responsibility to proceed with the illegal invasion of a foriegn country and kill its leader. --You know, because he MIGHT threaten us in the future. Not like this doesn't set up any precendents. (Yeah! -Hey, maybe somebody will come and do that for us! Bush is an asshole, too, so why not? He MIGHT randomly threaten another foriegn power in the future, so doesn't that give anybody with a rifle the right to come and drop cluster bombs on American citizens and blow Bush away?)

What? Ulterior motives in this illegal war? Nahhh! (We did NOT shoot at two Americans in the Desert! We did NOT! Who said so? The Minister of the Interior? Well how would HE know?!)

Look, ass-face, ANYbody who sucks in this unbelievably botched up propaganda charade is a child.

So what's really going on? How about, "Welcome to Poland, 2003."

And the games are just starting.

-Fantastic Lad

your post is the definition of denial (nt) (1.00 / 4) (#208)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:56:30 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Heh? Try explaining that. Type slowly. (2.50 / 2) (#214)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:11:37 AM EST

your post is the definition of denial

Oh is it no? I notice that you didn't bother to justify that with any actual content or thought. (Which I suppose isn't exactly ironic, is it now?) So how exactly is my post the "definition of denial?" Pray tell, what am I denying, oh fluffy sheep-like one?

Am I denying that Bush is a "righteous dude who isn't a psychopath"? Am I denying the rah, rah, hard-on glorious right for America to kill brown-skinned people the world over, bankrupt the Father-, er, Homeland while building oil Empires?

What exactly am I denying?

Take your time. Hunt and peck with care.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

hum.. (3.66 / 3) (#216)
by Work on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:20:20 AM EST

So, its okay for brownskins to continue to kill other brownskins for oh i don't know, wanting to vote for their leaders...or frowning at a poster of Fearless Leader...

Yeah, we shouldnt get involved with them brownskinner's affairs. Obviously, other motives must be at work, and so, we'll just ignore the whole morality of leaving people - scuse me, brownskins - to butcher one another. I mean, thats just the way their culture is right? Who are we to say 'no, you shouldn't do that'? Maybe, after a few million more brownskin deaths, they'll figure it out on their own. Yeah.. thats a great policy.

Man. Thats really racist if you think about it.

[ Parent ]

Oh, please! (4.20 / 5) (#230)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:56:34 AM EST

Yeah, we shouldnt get involved with them brownskinner's affairs. Obviously, other motives must be at work, and so, we'll just ignore the whole morality of leaving people - scuse me, brownskins - to butcher one another. I mean, thats just the way their culture is right? Who are we to say 'no, you shouldn't do that'? Maybe, after a few million more brownskin deaths, they'll figure it out on their own. Yeah.. thats a great policy.

That is the DUMBEST pile of shit I've heard this week!

Is your attention span REALLY that short? When Bush started selling this war last year, 'liberating' the Iraqi people was the last item on the fucking table. It was only put there to pad out the list of other meagre reasons for going to war. But as each of those other reasons proved to be false on the world stage, it soon became the only thin straw for Bush and Co to grasp at. Can you say, "Last-Second justification?"

If you believe for a second that "Saving the Iraqi People," was Bush's honest, real and primary intent when he started beating the war drum, then you have Leggo jammed in your ears! There are a LOT of nations where people are being treated FAR more poorly. Like say, oh, PALESTINE!? But does Bush and crew send somebody over to stop the Jews from the daily butcher of innocent civilians? No? Oh? What do they do? Why, they give Israel 10 Bn dollars a year to buy the guns and tanks being used to shoot women and children. Yeah. Bush is in this, 'Stormtroop The World' game because he has high morals.

This is a power/resource-grab. It has NO moral high ground. Anybody who believes it does is a simpleton living in the land of wishful thinking where Americans really aren't television zombies who traded away their ability to critically think for Satelite Dishes.

And you have the fucking gall to call me racist? Are you BLIND? I'll tell you what racism is; It's when you genuinely, deep down, believe that you are so superior that you actually have the responsibility of playing Daddy to another country and culture without even being asked. THAT, my friend, is racism.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Dammit... Fantastic. (5.00 / 1) (#317)
by bars on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:31:20 AM EST

"But does Bush and crew send somebody over to stop the Jews from the daily butcher of innocent civilians? No? Oh? What do they do? Why, they give Israel 10 Bn dollars a year to buy the guns and tanks being used to shoot women and children."

listen.... occuping other people is an awfull thing, i stand against it in any form and place.
still....your way of describing Israel is, for itself, far too LOW!

I respect you, and you know it,
I just hope that you do'nt say such things in such a way because you are too close geographicly to the fucking...HAARP.

I worry to you, man.

we have a greate deal off work to do...don't you fall asleep to me now.

 

[ Parent ]

Yo. (1.00 / 1) (#530)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:07:10 PM EST

Yeah, yesterday I was coming off a little harsh around the edges. I was quite steamed at just how effectivly so many people had been wool-pulled regarding the taking of Iraq. --National pride swelling in their little hearts, comparing this illegal & chaotic mess with the taking down of the Berlin Wall, one of the genuinely proud moments of humanity. I was angry, and this was reflected in my prose with perhaps a few too many profanities and too much verve.

But I'm afraid I still feel that Israeli policy towards Palestine is horrific. It's quickly becoming genocidal. And every time public opinion seems to be swaying a little too far away from favoring the Israeli actions, What do you know? Another suicide bomber walks into a Jewish mall.

I think it is a VERY strong possibility that at least some of the key suicide bombings were the result of black-ops, manchurian candidate activities designed to propell the whole drama along. --I've studied Neuro Linquistic Programming, and even with that low-level stuff, I can assure you that it is EASY to program people in such a manner. And it's so much deeper; I live a stone's throw away from McGill University where the MK Ultra Zombie Wards existed thirty years ago. I live in a town where people were plucked for those experiments. I know their stories. This stuff is quite real.

In any case, the Israeli response is vile, their treatment of the Palestinians since the beginning, has been provocative, unfair and, frankly, quite evil. Of course, you only see this if you read the less biased world press on the matter. Everything coming from within Isreal is pure bullshit. --Plain and simple, the actions of the Zionists is creepy and ironic; Full circles and all. They were even tatooing ID numbers on the forearms of Palestinian prisoners for a while last year! The son abused by his father often goes on to abuse his own children in the same way. Patterns as old as time. (And notice how Germany is this time around playing peace-advocate in every respect to the various crises burgeoning in the world? These cycles DO exist.)

Anyway, I hope I don't upset you too much with my views. I am open to discussion on these matters.

Peace, man.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Peace...peace....and only peace....! (none / 0) (#631)
by bars on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 12:12:31 PM EST

Forget it , man.....you didn't upset me at all. :) I got only "moved" by the signing ISRAEL as a ONE collective evil being. the bad mental mecanism of "defineing your enemy" is aproblem of humanity, and it has nothing to do with cultures/states/regions/reces. the Israeli people do this to the Palestinians and opposite. under the inspiration of this mecanism....genocites becomes a real threat for peoples in one hand...and a real option to execute to other people in the seconed hand. I am an original Israelian native, i have almost never visited in any other place on this planet...and i'm writing this from my home wich is located near Tel-Aviv...wich is where i work for my liveing. I even do my army service...and i konw a greate deal of Palestinians. we live together. and we live this conflict on a dayly basis. (I wake up to the sounds of the Muazin from the village near my home and smile with true "partnership feeling and understanding" to the Palestinian that fules up my car (when ever i have enugh money to do this basic operation;)). and from here...i can tell you that things are much worst then they apears and much better and hopefull too. now, as far as regarding with the "balance" of the Israelian/Palestinian POLICIES i can not hold to another "state of point" than the one that says that every "side" is eating the dise that he "coocked" by himself. it is hard to agry with that statment according to our so caled senses of justice....but reality is much more objectivly stubern :) the trajedy of such conflicts, as in our region, is that the actual active players in the game are the fanatics from both sides....and every one else are suffering from the results of their actual trajedic actions. as an open minded peace wisher i see the main enemy to my hearts call....in the form of actions and sayings that can be interpertated easily for a falls understanding that...gosh, yeah...Israel is Evil, or opposite. i hear tons of this crap from inside of this conflict, and i do my best to calm things down to the basis ratio of the inteligens of the heuman heart. ! people are very easyly "sell their soles" ... for a spoon of cheep rigtness sene. i need their soles fimly connected to their own being....for winning in this bizar battle betwin the dark and light. I, myself, like to attitude my life as the last reincarnate chance for myself...so i do not give up ...no matter how bad things can turn to get. i also have this vision that me and some of the similars to me...will stay here to "clean up the mess" after that the lunitics will butcher each other...so my job as i see it, is to help to stop as much good people as i can from joining the lunitic circles....so we'll have less to clean up afterwords....you can see it as a very selfish point of view ;) oh...and yes...indeed! the American "trip" to Iraq is a lowest joke. dammit, in the real game (life) this kind of jokes hearts...badly. it just make me understan how much cleaning work will be to do. does any one wants to help??? :)

[ Parent ]
Wow, dude! (none / 0) (#663)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 06:12:05 PM EST

I sometimes forget that the good guys ARE out there, each doing their bit.

Thanks for brightening my day.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

shine on! :) (none / 0) (#664)
by bars on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 06:18:58 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Missing the point. (5.00 / 1) (#381)
by Work on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:36:20 AM EST

This is a power/resource-grab

Maybe. Maybe not. If it is - so what? How will the iraqi people be WORSE off as a result?

Either way, the Iraqi people are going to be a hell of alot better off than they were under Saddam. And they know it.

Why do I bring racism into this? Because of the left's constant infantile assessment that iraqis are too dumb to know whats 'good' for themselves. Why do you think they cheer in the streets? It must break your little heart to see iraqis so damn HAPPY that the US is marching down their streets.

The left would have you assume that iraqis would've been much happier if we'd left saddam in power and the whole place alone. They were wrong. Iraqis know that life under america is a hell of alot better than life under Saddam.

But I see what your rants are about. They're not about the iraqi people - you couldn't give less of a shit about how these people's lives will be improved.

Instead you pull out some increasingly pathetic 'argument' that the US is bad 'oh, they're just after resources' blah blah blah. Instead of giving two shits about some desperately oppressed people, you CONTINUE to harp on and on about your beliefs on the US's supposed intents, entirely ignoring the current reality. When you see the reality - you go so far as to actually declare it an illusion!

That is the most utterly selfish thing i've ever read. Shame on you. You represent the worst of the anti-american brigade, not because you're a fool, but because you're so damn callous as to not even give a shit about the improvements on real people's lives so you can continue to spout your bullshit.

Shame on you, you sad sick little sorry excuse for a person.

[ Parent ]

Racism (1.00 / 1) (#236)
by Sciamachy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:08:20 AM EST

Imperialism during the 18th and 19th century used as its excuse the idea that dark-skinned people were somehow like children, and couldn't effectively run their own affairs or they'd make a mess of things. The idea that it is somehow immoral to "leave them" to "butcher one another" seems to me to smack of the same. Let's not forget that Saddam came to power with American help, via the CIA and all-too-willing arms deals, and it was the US who propped him up during the Iran-Iraq war, which CNN cites as one of Saddam's great crimes despite the fact he was doing it with American approval and with American weapons against an enemy of America.
--
Fides Non Timet
[ Parent ]
you are a racist moron (1.00 / 1) (#222)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:32:28 AM EST

brownskin?

i will debate people i think i have a chance of convincing.

but someone who injects racism into the debate repulses me. i can not convince you because you are so morally beneath me. and so i will not debate you. i will leave you to rot in isolation for your disgusting low-intelligence pathological way of thinking.

i'll tell you what: what happened in iraq has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with racism. pure fact.

i won't write 100 paragraphs trying to convince you of this obvious, simple fact. i will instead instruct you to try to figure out why you are wrong to inject disgusting racism into the debate. if you are capable of doing this, you are redeemable. if you hold fast to your racism, you are morally repugnant and not someone i wish to speak to.

you must retract your racism and apologize to me and the kuro5hin community for injecting this disgusting display of idiocy. at that point, i will consider talking to you again.

until then, you repulse me and you are beneath me, morally, for being a racist moron. at this point, on the weight of your words and they way you speak, you are filth.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yup. I was right. An idiot. (4.00 / 4) (#249)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:33:28 AM EST

you must retract your racism and apologize to me and the kuro5hin community for injecting this disgusting display of idiocy. at that point, i will consider talking to you again.

Okay, first off, that's the LAMEST attempt to dodge a debate I've ever encountered. If you don't have anything, don't pretend that you do and walk away in a theatrical display of 'disgust'. That's so kindergarten, it's painful.

Second, how in the world does my describing the killing of brown-skinned people make me a racist? There is a rather huge flaw in your, um, 'logic'.

Or are you one of those people so immature and poorly developed that you actually have a bit of an emotional flip-out and want to curl into a ball if somebody happens to acknowledge such a defining racial attribute of a race of people as skin color? Gee? You'll hate this then, "Chinese have black hair!" (Ooh! Shudder!) "Africans have really brown skin!" Oooh! Look out! I'm being bad because I don't walk around pretending that everybody on the planet is fucking white; I might hurt people's feelings, 'cuz, obviously anybody who isn't white must feel really bad about it. (Oh, but notice how if I point out that "Nordics have fair skin", you don't even break a sweat? Interesting.)

Now, you tell me, jack-ass. Which of us is Racist?

Though, you are right in one respect; This conversation is basically over. You've demonstrated the quality of your 'thinking' quite well enough to show just how insightful and wise the quality of your view points really are. Thank you for making my time easier.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

hmm. (1.00 / 1) (#211)
by Work on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:01:21 AM EST

*cough*

[ Parent ]
i must add... (3.00 / 1) (#221)
by xo0m on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:32:05 AM EST

...although i am a republican and i support the troops in iraq, i will concede that the war in iraq is not toally justified...at least to most americans.

i noticed that you mentioned north korea having weapons of mass destruction and iraq not having them.  although we have no proof of this, it is a little sketchy when saddam doesnt allow inspectors to do their jobs.

furthermore, it isnt necessarily the fact that north korea has weapons of mass destruction and iraq does not.  im sure if the U.S. wanted to, we could take out north korea as swiftly as we have iraq (and im half korean!).  so dont call us pussies.

the fact of the matter is that iraq has a heck of a lot of OIL.  let me say it again - OIL.  seeing that dear old george w. bush is a lover of the environment (sarcasm?), im sure that had at least something to do with the current campaign in iraq.  and NO, im not the first one to realize this.

as a half german, i definitely can see how this relates to the fall of the berlin wall. although i was born in the united states, i did see the reaction from my father and kind of felt what he was feeling.  disbelief...

[ Parent ]

You are pussies....but smart ones (4.00 / 1) (#242)
by synik on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:22:16 AM EST

furthermore, it isnt necessarily the fact that north korea has weapons of mass destruction and iraq does not. im sure if the U.S. wanted to, we could take out north korea as swiftly as we have iraq (and im half korean!). so dont call us pussies.

You are pussies. Saddam was basically no threat, whereas North Korea can fight back.

It is however, better to be pussies in this case. We all know that North Korea are insane enough to launch nukes at America or her allies.

Really, it'd be like a 7 foot tall football player taking on a geek with a sword. The geek will probably lose, but the ape will still have quite nasty injuries.

---
The human race has suffered for centuries and is still suffering from the mental disorder known as religion, and atheism is the only physician that will be able to effect a permanent cure. -- Joseph Lewis
[ Parent ]

Well yeah.. (4.00 / 1) (#285)
by Kwil on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:23:08 AM EST

..there was a reason they avoided calling it Operation Iraqi Liberation, after all. Even though when you watch them on the news, they're always going on about "Liberating" Iraqis rather than "Freeing" them.

Somebody probably realized that it wouldn't be a good thing to have the American public constantly being reminded about OIL during the news.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Why Poland? (nt) (none / 0) (#267)
by qba on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:41:46 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Re: Why Poland. (none / 0) (#550)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:05:34 PM EST

Actually, after thinking about this, I realized that Afghnistan is more accurately described the new Poland; it was the first country to fall to the new Eagle Empire. --And certainly there have already been atrocities gallore! --11 tractor trailers filled with dead Taliban prisoners, all now burried in the desert and caught on film in the documentary, "Afghan Massacre". Look it up. Anyway, Afghanistan is a closed book to the world. The public has no idea what's going on over there, but I suspect that the genocide is just beginning. I have a brother serving over there, so I've got a bit more insight into the affair.

In any case, I can't say off hand what parallel to the WWII German advance Iraq is standing in for. (I'm sure that despite the repeating patterns, it's perhaps not quite so direct).

But this is the kind of thinking I had in mind when I said, "Poland" We can expect several more countries to fall before Europe jumps in to fight against America. --They'll win, too. Just watch!

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Almost saw one correct statement there! (3.50 / 2) (#277)
by dflux2140 on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:56:50 AM EST

First it was "Saddam helped cause 9-11!"

I did hear the administration say that Iraq had connections to Al Queda (and low and behold we found documents linking a terrorist training cell in Baghdad to Al Queda) but I never saw anyone say that "Saddam helped cause 9-11" Can you please provide proof on that from a viable source?

Weapons of Mass Destruction! Yeah!

Have you not seen any news? It is not 100% certain (They are doing extensive testing) but it looks like we found stockpiles of Chemical weapons in and around Baghdad. We also did tests in rivers that came back positive for dumped chemical nerve agents. So we are not certain whether or not we have found any WMD yet but it looks like we did. Before any military action was taken U.N. weapons inspectors found missiles that violated U.N. resolution. That one discovery right there was reason enough for Military action. So why no one can say for sure that WMD were found in Iraq it is just ignorant to say that Saddam has no WMD. But the part of your post that makes me laugh the most is when you state "And in fact, bent over backwards to satisfy the UN demands", that is so ignorant I do not even need to respond to that.

EVIL TYRANT! Yeah! We're spreading democracy

Saddam is an evil Tyrant and we are spreading Democracy. Are we going to see true elections in Iraq next week where a just leader is elected and life becomes perfect for Iraq? NO! Of course it is not that easy, no one ever claimed it would be. Bush never said that liberating the Iraq's was his first objective but it was a good by-product of this war.

Look, ass-face, ANYbody who sucks in this unbelievably botched up propaganda charade is a child.

Even a reasonably intelligent child would not resort to calling someone an ass-face because their argument is weak.

[ Parent ]
But why Iraq (4.00 / 1) (#286)
by tetrode on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:23:17 AM EST

there are more countries that
 - helped Bin Laden
 - have WMD
 - and whose presidents are nuts

Mark
________ The world has respect for US for two main reasons: you are patriotic, you invented rock'n'roll (mlapanadras)
[ Parent ]

Reasons (2.00 / 1) (#308)
by ender81b on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:40:56 AM EST

I'm not for this war but they did have their reasons.

Those other countries with piss poor 3rd rate dictatorships and WMD (N. Korea) are not under UN sanctions nor did they sign a treaty saying they would get rid of WMD and obey certain things.

More skeptically, N. Korea wouldn't be an easy fight... and I imagine China wouldn't look to kindly upon it. To say the least.

[ Parent ]

North Korea?? (none / 0) (#345)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:52:41 AM EST

That's strange. Explain to me why Halliburton would be interested in occupying North Korea?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Reality-proof proofs (none / 0) (#303)
by nictamer on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:31:30 AM EST

(and low and behold we found documents linking a terrorist training cell in Baghdad to Al Queda)

Did those documents come from the same place as the "proofs" of Iraq buying Uranium from Niger?


--
Religion is for sheep.
[ Parent ]
A CNN viewer, I see. . . (3.00 / 2) (#587)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 03:27:17 AM EST

I did hear the administration say that Iraq had connections to Al Queda (and low and behold we found documents linking a terrorist training cell in Baghdad to Al Queda) but I never saw anyone say that "Saddam helped cause 9-11" Can you please provide proof on that from a viable source?

Of course I can't do that, you nit-wit. It was a hyperbolic statement through which I was attempting to sum up the direction and intent of the propaganda being used at the time. But you knew that, so thank you for pretending to take a satirical phrase at face value. An act which, dare I say it, is well worthy of an 'ass-face'.

Look,

America was still smarting from the 9-11 attacks and the fact that Bin Laden supposedly hadn't been caught. The mood in America was still one which could be harnessed and directed into the next stage of the Bush Gang's play for world domination. So YES, the jingoism, was very much designed to play on those feelings.

Do you think for half a second that Bush would have been able to launch a war on Iraq if 9-11 hadn't happened? That this war was launched for the sole purpose of 'Freeing Iraq From Evil'? Puh-lease.

So why no one can say for sure that WMD were found in Iraq it is just ignorant to say that Saddam has no WMD. But the part of your post that makes me laugh the most is when you state "And in fact, bent over backwards to satisfy the UN demands", that is so ignorant I do not even need to respond to that.

Uh huh. You were obviously not tuned into the world press AT ALL, were you? You were plugged into that nice, sanitized and comfy US media, eh? Go find your own damned links. --I'm sorry, but I didn't think to keep a library of all the news pages I've visited for your benifit, and I'm certainly not going to go searching through my history list for the next two hours just so that your little denial chip can re-write for your brain any data I might pull up.

I would suggest during the soon to come future invasions that you actually absorb and cross-examine some real news. That candy coated American shit is clearly rotting your brain.

EVERY time Saddam backed down and met Bush's demands, (and the world laughed at Bush), Bush just upped the ante. He needed his damned war. Where the heck were you looking? --The final demand was that Saddam actually leave Iraq and, (and presumably), that his command structure surrender control of the country. (And Gee, To whom, I wonder?) --Essentially, the final Bush demand, after all others were met within reasonable bounds, was that, "Iraq surrender and prepare to be boarded". Which, if I must point the obvious out to you, is the same as losing a war to Bush without firing a shot. Talk about a non-choice!

I mean, for crying out loud! --Ask anybody outside the US borders whether or not Saddam was complying with the UN demands! Whole legislative assemblies of several nations certainly weren't convinced enough of his 'failure' to launch a war. In fact, a couple of countries felt so strong that he was that they had the balls to tell the U.S. to go soak its collective head! They were not impressed in the slightest with the obvious lies and hypocritical bullshit spewing from Bush and from Britain's Blair, (Designed, as always, to appeal to the all-powerful dull-witted masses, and not the intelligent.) And, golly! Britain is the only European nation which hasn't adopted the Euro. Gee whiz, I wonder if THAT'S significant in the fight to determine whose oil-floated fiat currency stays on top? When Iraq started trading oil for Euros rather than dollars, a real change of world power started to threaten. But, no, this is about "Liberating the Poor Iraqi People."

Did they mention that on CNN? No? What a surprise.

But then, most countries in the UN don't care what CNN has to say about, well, anything.

Oh, and here's where you indignantly claim that, really, you were sampling news feeds from outside the US and that you gave them serious consideration. Save it. If you were doing that, then you would hold a similar opinion to virtually EVERYBODY living beyond the boundaries of the U.S. miasma of propaganda, wouldn't you? Or do you actually believe that your stalwart John Wayne attitude is somehow a genetic extension of your nationality?

And you call me ignorant.

Ass-face.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Why yes I do! (none / 0) (#706)
by dflux2140 on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 12:43:15 AM EST

And you call me ignorant.

Yes I do.

Do you think for half a second that Bush would have been able to launch a war on Iraq if 9-11 hadn't happened? That this war was launched for the sole purpose of 'Freeing Iraq From Evil'? Puh-lease.

The current administration could have gotten public support for this war with or without 9-11. It would not be at the 70% that currently supports it but it would be over 50%. The mention of terrorism tends to sway peoples minds.

Uh huh. You were obviously not tuned into the world press AT ALL, were you? You were plugged into that nice, sanitized and comfy US media, eh? Go find your own damned links. --I'm sorry, but I didn't think to keep a library of all the news pages I've visited for your benifit, and I'm certainly not going to go searching through my history list for the next two hours just so that your little denial chip can re-write for your brain any data I might pull up.

I am very well tuned into the World press and I spent 3 years in europe so go ahead and make assumptions. Did you catch the Chinese newscast which reported that Coalition troops were surrounded at the airport in Baghdad? How about the Indian newscast that claimed that Bush was openly anti Islam in his speeches? Or even better the French newscast that discussed about how the French government was just so worried about the Iraqi people in the war and that its anti-war stance had nothing to do with the EU or their current contracts with Saddam. It must have not have been those newscasts you were talking about. What I do remember from American and Foriegn press I remember Saddam repeatedly kicking U.N. inspectors out of the country, not meeting set schedules for inspections, Declaring certain areas off limits to inspectors, refusing to let certain Iraq scientists be interviewed, etc... The only time he started to show a hint of compliance was when we began to station troops outside Iraq's borders. What would you propose? We just leave our troops stationed indefinitly outside of Iraq to make sure he complies? I am sure Turkey and Kuwait would love to let us put permanent military bases up in their country next to the border. I keep corespondnce with several people in Europe, Africa, and South America that I went to college with. There is a widely varying opinion on the war.

[ Parent ]
Very well then. . . (none / 0) (#723)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 06:04:57 PM EST

Okay. So you are capable of being a dupe even with the aid of a full(er) spectrum of news coverage. That's your business. I stand in awe.

I would be curious to see how you manage to justify the continuing U.S. blitzkrieg across the Middle East as it will undoubtedly unfold. --Leaving a swath of American 'freedom' in its wake.

Did you know that DynCorp, the private mercenary company, has been awarded the contract by the U.S. to take care of the policing of Iraq now that the U.S. military has done its bit? That's right! The same DynCorp involved in various scandals in other war zones, including the ever proud, sex-slave trade. --Cuz, you know, international law only applies to countries. Not corporations. But of course, you'll need the heavy hand of Corporate American Force, (unfettered by annoying international law) to keep those rambunctious Iraqis in check! --If, that is, you believe the reports. As published in a Swedish news daily, (Translation here) some of the items reported in the American press might not be entirely worth their face-value. Of course, a news savvy fellow like yourself is certainly already tuned into such things.

--Not that anybody is going to be paying any attention once the war in Syria begins, anyway. After all, the Americans got to see their flag draped over the fallen statue of Saddam while a hapless crowd of camera-ready Iraqis (All Shiites from the slum areas of Bahgdad, you'll note) did their country proud by providing the Americans their Hollywood half-time show. We'll see how happy they are in the occupied hell which is soon to follow.

Hell? What hell? --Think Afghanistan. Kinda fell off the radar, didn't it? --Not that it takes much to distract the average American dupe already jonesing for their all-artificial National-Pride Propaganda High. What's going on in Afghanistan? Watch the documentary, "Afghan Massacre" if you have the stomach for what your mighty country has been/is involved with. Or perhaps the renewed opium trade is more to your liking.)

Ahh! The American Dream!

Listen. You are either a twit, or you are a Nazi, (though I'm not sure there is much difference, except that low-level Nazis were for all intents and purposes merely twits with guns who pointed them where they were told to).

These patterns are unfolding again. Luckily, this also means that the U.S. will be invaded and bombed into submission by the good guys when the wheel finally turns. You think I'm kidding? Oh, you'll love the next seven years or so! It is a terrible thing, however, that the U.S. will also take part in wholesale extermination practices. But I'm sure your ability to rationalize and lie to yourself will render you immune to such concerns if you only give it half an effort.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

You're a little delusional! (none / 0) (#727)
by dflux2140 on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 04:34:03 PM EST

I would respond to your comments but I am sure you will call me a Nazi Assface and not address any of my points so I will not even bother.

[ Parent ]
I hope that... (2.00 / 1) (#298)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:17:19 AM EST

I hope that, for the sake of your children, grandchildren, and children's grandchildren, that the Internet, and comments like these, are not readily available for them to read, else they be ashamed of their heredity.

It's for similar reasons that last names like "Arnold" were changed to something else after the Revolutionary War in the US, and while "benedict" has taken an entirely new meaning since then.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Uh. (none / 0) (#347)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:55:06 AM EST

Long live the thousand-year Reich an all...

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Don't worry. . . (none / 0) (#589)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 04:06:25 AM EST

I hope that, for the sake of your children, grandchildren, and children's grandchildren, that the Internet, and comments like these, are not readily available for them to read, else they be ashamed of their heredity.

Not a whole lot of anything is going to be around in another ten years.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

The Totalitarian Garden Gnome Recycling program (4.66 / 12) (#205)
by KWillets on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:45:58 AM EST

The UN could make money and help the environment by recycling these statues.  Kim Jong Il would pay good money for a few more stookies, with the head altered to look like him, of course, and he would save on the cost of building from scratch.  Even those billboard-sized portraits are pretty valuable, and most garbage collection companies won't take anything that size.

If the UN imposed a small deposit on each totalitarian statue sold, it would create an incentive for people to return them to recycling centers instead of using up diminishing landfill space.

Ebay! (4.00 / 1) (#417)
by Ricdude on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:42:15 AM EST

Yeah, that's right!  Sell the paintings, statues, and anything left in the "palaces" on Ebay!  If Kim Jong Il wants them, he can outbid the rest of the world for it.  Keep an eye out for seller ID liquidate_saddam@baath.ir .

I bet you could raise enough money to pay for this stupid war.

[ Parent ]

Oh sweet vindication (3.93 / 15) (#217)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:20:41 AM EST

Not saccharin, just good old sweet!

I've long advocated removing Saddam Hussein and I've also believed that due to the nature of his regime the use of force was the only realistic mean to this end. So I found what I would have considered at any other time a mawkish scene of cheerful fraternity deeply satisfying. And, yes, politically it was frankly exhilarating to see scenes like this.

Let there be no illusions: helping Iraq transform into a humane democracy will not be an easy task. It's going to be an immense undertaking with only the vaguest parallels to postwar Japan and the former DDR. But bringing down Saddam is a huge and necessary step in the right direction.

To the "Not in my Name" crowd who sanctimoniously lectured us about the dangers of toppling Saddam, I can only say this: the images of Iraqis celebrating the end of Saddam happened not because of you, but despite of you. Did you see how happy those Iraqis were? Would you want to live in "contained" Iraq still in the grasp of Saddam's iron fist? The simple, cruel truth is that we would not have today's scene in Baghdad if we chose to heed the anti-war marchers here in the West.

Staying the course of calling for Saddam's swift removal, even at the terrible cost of using force and alienating friends, was sometimes hard. Could a million people in the street all be wrong? Of course not, but their doubts and anger can't hold a candle to the joy--even if it is at times anarchic--of the Iraqis I saw today in the street.

The Iraqis have tasted freedom, and I'm proud to have backed the effort to bring this about. But the intertwined battles of securing Iraqis' freedom and mending US international relations loom large.



Hey come on now. (2.12 / 8) (#219)
by Work on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:26:11 AM EST

The white minority intellectuals (protestors of course), clearly know more about how these brownskinned people should conduct their affairs.

We the WMIs are clearly superior to anyone who disagrees. And when we say these people should continue to live under their oppressive despot, then obviously we must be right. After all. Peace is what we want. Peace for brownskinned folks the world over, even if they're too dumb to know how to hold an election. Its not their fault their dumb - its their culture. We should celebrate it in the name of diversity! If they really wanted elections - they'd have them! Torture chambers? Propaganda! Sickening!

Because if theres no war, theres surely peace in these countries... right?

[ Parent ]

lol (3.00 / 3) (#234)
by xo0m on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:00:25 AM EST

i love your terminology!  white minority intellectuals (being the protestors, apparently)??? brownskinned people???  you might as well should have called them honkees and sand n---ers.  jeez.  here - i have this enlightening email for you protestors out there ;)

-------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------
With all of this talk of the Iraqi war, many of us will encounter "Peace Activists" who will try and convince us that we must refrain from
retaliating against the ones who terrorized us all on September 11, 2001, and those who support terror.

These activists may be alone or in a
gathering.....most of us don't know how to react to them. When you come upon one of these people, or one of their rallies, here are the proper rules of etiquette:

1. Listen politely while this person explains their views. Strike up a conversation if necessary and look very interested in their ideas. They will tell you how revenge is immoral, and that by attacking the people who did this to us, we will only bring on more violence. They will probably use many arguments, ranging from political to religious to humanitarian.

2. In the middle of their remarks, without any
warning, punch them in the nose.

3. When the person gets up off of the ground, they will be very angry and they may try to hit you, so be careful.

4. Very quickly and calmly remind the person that
violence only brings about more violence and remind them of their stand on this matter. Tell
them if they are really committed to a nonviolent
approach to undeserved attacks, they will turn the other cheek and negotiate a solution. Tell them they must lead by example if they really
believe what they are saying.

5. Most of them will think for a moment and then agree that you are correct.

6. As soon as they do that, hit them again. Only this time hit them much harder. Square in the nose.

7. Repeat steps 2-5 until the desired results are
obtained and the idiot realizes how stupid of an argument he/she is making.

8. There is no difference in an individual attacking an unsuspecting victim or a group of terrorists attacking a nation of people. It is
unacceptable and must be dealt with. Perhaps at a high cost.

We owe our military a huge debt for what they are
about to do for us and our children. We must support them and our leaders at times like these. We have no choice. We either strike back, VERY
HARD, or we will keep getting hit in the nose.

Lesson over, class dismissed.
-------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------

dont try this at home ;)

[ Parent ]

Just terrific (3.50 / 2) (#239)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:12:30 AM EST

That would have a point if Iraq had anything to do with the destruction of the Twin Towers or if the author realized the difference between self-defence and a preemptive strike.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

yes... (none / 0) (#274)
by xo0m on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:50:13 AM EST

...yes i know, which is why the email is hilarious!

[ Parent ]
WARNING: (3.33 / 3) (#279)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:05:52 AM EST

Don't try this with a Libertarian anti-war protester. Since Libertarians are non-interventionists, rather than pacifists, and tend to be better armed than the Iraqi Army apparently was, you will either end up beaten to a bloody pulp, knifed, or shot dead on the spot ("he assaulted me, I feared for my life, I defended my life", Get Out Of Jail Free card in my state of Arizona, buddy).

See, Libertarians believe in not throwing the first punch -- but if someone punches us, we take exception to it. That's why I had no trouble with us going into Afghanistan after bin Laden -- he threw that first punch. Back in 1993, in fact, with his first attempt at blowing up the WTC. But Saddam had not done diddly to America or Americans, and we believe that the purpose of the U.S. government is to serve Americans, not to serve Iraqis. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" may have been a stunning success, but "Operation American Freedom" appears to be indefinitely delayed while the Bush administration takes on other priorities.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

hey now... (none / 0) (#289)
by xo0m on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:37:37 AM EST

"...better armed than the Iraqi Army apparently was, you will either end up beaten to a bloody pulp, knifed, or shot..."

...i consider myself to be more physically fit than the average human being...i think i can take you libertarians.  BRING IT!!!   GRRRR  ...  :D

[ Parent ]

'Physically fit' (5.00 / 2) (#302)
by synaesthesia on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:31:27 AM EST

He's talking about 'physically fitting' a bullet into the space where your brain should be :D


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
fit for trial (none / 0) (#596)
by Ragica on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 05:44:45 AM EST

I congratulate you on your physical fitness. Unfortunately you have made a rather strong case by this comment for your moral and intellectual lack of it however. Luckily, the smily afterwards was cute, at least... so you may get points for that.

[ Parent ]
Game Theory - Prisoner's Dilemma (4.50 / 2) (#353)
by SimonTzu on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:14:54 AM EST

The strategy you describe is an extremely effective life strategy.  Computer simulations of the prisoners dilemma have shown that the most effective strategy is tit-for-tat or tit-for-two-tats or tit-for-tat with forgiveness after a period of time.

Try playing the prisoner's dilemma with a pre-emptive strike strategy and you will be far less sucessful.

--
Simon Tzu
Storyteller
www.deeptalent.com
[ Parent ]

Straw man conversation... (5.00 / 1) (#546)
by dforsey on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:57:09 PM EST

What a staw man argument, but let's go with it.

4. Very quickly and calmly remind the person that violence only brings about more violence and remind them of their stand on this matter. Tell them if they are really committed to a nonviolent approach to undeserved attacks, they will turn the other cheek and negotiate a solution. Tell them they must lead by example if they really believe what they are saying.
---------------------------------------------------
Of course the anti-war protester at this point replies with:

Because of the punch, I am now enlightened - and believe your point of view....thus I will go home and tomorrow I'm going to kill your wife, your family, burn your home and the homes of all your friends - just to be sure.
---------------------------------------------------

Now how do you respond? How do you get out of the mess you've put yourself into?


[ Parent ]

Nice strawman (4.16 / 6) (#278)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:58:55 AM EST

Of course, it overlooks a few facts. Like, if we white people don't know best, why did we go in and overthrow Saddam instead of letting his own people overthrow him? What, you say brown people aren't as good as the white people of East Germany who overthrew the Berlin Wall with no help from American soldiers at all? Boy, you are a racist.

But beyond that, you rely on the Big Lie: that anybody who opposed war was pro-Saddam. I don't blame you for falling for the Big Lie, because you've been told that every day by the presstitutes and talk radio pundits all around you. But the truth is that even if our objective was the removal of Saddam (and his two vicious kids), there's a helluva lot of ways to do that besides blowing the hell out of Iraq's infrastructure and turning thousands of Iraqis into smashed up piles of blood and gore. Assassinations, espionage, spies, commando raids, billion-dollar rewards for their heads on sticks... gimme a few minutes and I can think of even more.

But no, Dubya had to prove to the world that he had lead in his pistol... great for you, who is watching this all on television smug in the knowledge that it's not YOUR relatives on the line. Not so nice for the people there actually living it, who had bullets flying around and bombs falling for days upon end never knowing whether they would end up alive or dead -- or whether their relatives were still alive or dead -- and some of those relatives *are* dead now. Thanks to Dubya shooting his pistol rather than finding some other way to achieve this nation's goals.

And oh, since you're about to mention the *OTHER* Big Lie, the Big Lie that anybody who opposes war is a Liberal (or LIEberal as you Bush Fadayeen put it): one point. I'm a *LIBERTARIAN*. Note that most Libertarians are better armed than the Iraqi Army apparently was, and can be called pacifist only in your worst nighmares. We do not, however, believe in wars of foreign conquest to bring liberty to foreign lands, especially when it appears that Operation American Freedom has been cancelled indefinitely thanks to Patriot Act and Patriot II Act.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

ever heard of the cold war? (none / 0) (#512)
by Burning Straw Man on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:16:18 PM EST

the white people of East Germany who overthrew the Berlin Wall with no help from American soldiers at all?

Have you not even heard of the Cold War? East Germany was heavily funded and controlled by the Soviets. If the US hadn't spent billions (perhaps trillions?) opposing the Soviets in various ways over the course of several decades, including the lives of many thousands of American soldiers, Soviet control over Berlin would never have weakened to the point to allow for that wall to come down.
--
your straw man is on fire...
[ Parent ]

So why not use that model for Iraq? (1.00 / 2) (#538)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:32:51 PM EST

Seems to me, that if that model worked for freeing East Germany, why not make it work for Iraq? [Except, doh, the Iraqis have brown skin, so obviously they couldn't have freed themselves from their dictator the way the East Germans did... and you say you're not a bigot?]
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
wtf? (5.00 / 2) (#560)
by Burning Straw Man on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:55:45 PM EST

Did you read what I said? The East Germans had a LOT of help over several decades to get to the point where they could overthrow their oppressors.

Is that what you want? To wait 30 years more of suffering? Who is the bigot?

You sir are a moron for calling me a bigot, that's all I've got to say. I didn't start the name-calling here.

Let's face it: Iraq was under the thumb of an oppressive regime and there was no end in sight, whatsoever. Similar situation to Spain a while back, but luckily the successor to their particular evil despot turned out to be a good guy, and returned the government to the people.

Any chance one of Hussein's sons was going to do that? No.

Ever read 1984? There are some societies which are simply too far gone to be recovered from within. I for one am not willing to wait 50 years while friends of mine die in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Israel. There is a lot of horrible, horrible crap going on in the area, and I've lost friends to it, call me a bigot, sure, big tough guy.
--
your straw man is on fire...
[ Parent ]

millions of protestors, hundreds of Iraqis (4.38 / 13) (#227)
by jvcoleman on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:52:27 AM EST

At least it looked more like hundreds when the camera (briefly) pulled back. They did seem happy, that is, until the marine tried to put the US flag on Saddam's head. Sometimes self-hypnosis is good though; it will help you sleep better.

To the "Not in my Name" crowd who sanctimoniously lectured us about the dangers of toppling Saddam, I can only say this: the images of Iraqis celebrating the end of Saddam happened not because of you, but despite of you.

The protestors weren't protesting Iraqi freedom, you dullard. They were protesting Bush's methods of achieving that putative goal, and whatever other covert goals he may still have waiting in the wings. Utter contempt for the UN and even our own allies, irresponsible jingoistic braggadocio, and an all-out assault on democratic rights in our own country, alternately in the names of defense, WMD containment, and regime change... There was good reason to take to the streets, as people did in numbers unprecedented in history. That you would either ignore or belittle that fact is very telling.

The Iraqis have tasted freedom, and I'm proud to have backed the effort to bring this about.

That's great. Now let's hope that Iraq likes having a retired US general run the country until Wolfowitz's minions take over. Hopefully the rest of the world will remain utterly static and unilateral US intervention in Iraq will not precipitate any other burgeoning regional crises. You're pretty sure of that, right?

[ Parent ]

sour grapes (2.50 / 4) (#237)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:11:44 AM EST

The protestors weren't protesting Iraqi freedom, you dullard.

They were protesting the only effective way of bringing Iraqi freedom about. So in effect, they were protesting Iraqi freedom.

Also, you (and Robert Fisk) failed to mention that the American troops who toppled the Saddam statue used the Stars and Stripes for a quick photo-op, but then replaced it with a pre-Saddam Iraqi flag.

The US action in Iraq may indeed bring about crises in the region, but these I welcome as opportunities for much needed change. Since when was the Middle East's status quo worthy of the left rushing to its defense?

[ Parent ]

that's not how BBC described it (4.50 / 4) (#246)
by jvcoleman on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:30:41 AM EST

used the Stars and Stripes for a quick photo-op, but then replaced it with a pre-Saddam Iraqi flag....

Erm, you forgot about the boos and jeers before the US flag came down. I'm sure none of them were thrilled about having thousands of their fellow citizens slaughtered in the process of their liberation and future colonization by corporate America.

The US action in Iraq may indeed bring about crises in the region, but these I welcome as opportunities for much needed change.

So the potential for civil wars, religious and ethnic strife, and inevitable border conflicts make you start licking your chops? Where does it all stop with you people?

Since when was the Middle East's status quo worthy of the left rushing to its defense?

What!? You don't think it could get much worse in a very short time? 10 months ago Palestine was a ticking time bomb, now Sharon is settling Jerusalem and launching missiles at apartment buildings again. Wait until Pakistan shares some of its nuclear secrets with its erstwhile friends bordering India.

[ Parent ]

the beeb? (3.00 / 4) (#254)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:52:17 AM EST

I suggest you consider the source, Cassandra.

[ Parent ]
Yes, the beeb (5.00 / 2) (#272)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:49:26 AM EST

the most reputable source in the world at the moment. But also agrees with what I read at the Times of India, the Independent, The Guardian, and several other foreign sources.

You don't get real news out of American presstitutes anymore. For example, the American pressitutes didn't mention the little fact that the people pulling down the statue were Shia ghetto dwellers from the ghetto immediately to the south, rather than a cross-section of Iraqi life. Ghetto dwellers do what ghetto dwellers do when they riot, whether it's Watts or Baghdad -- they smash things up, loot, and steal. The fact that it was Saddam's statue probably helped too, but did you know they also burned libraries and looted schools? In one story in the Independent, a university professor sadly looked at the smoldering remains of his university, and said "They burnt the library this morning. The poor ignorant brutes, they think this is all Saddam's."
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Can't speak for the ToI (none / 0) (#335)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:59:59 AM EST

but the Guardian and Independent (Fisk) have been hellbent on portraying the American side of the war in the worst possible life. What really gets to me is how practically every article is just saturated with sneering lefty paternalism.

Right now Tony Blair is having a niiiice long laugh at the the Grauniad's expense.

[ Parent ]

You were not there for Iraqi freedom. (5.00 / 1) (#355)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:15:36 AM EST

Check the main objective of the war. Iraqi freedom came as an afterthought once the politicians responsible of all this realized militar intervention was unpopular.

This is not the time to talk freedom, the US has a mixed history as an occupyong power, many cite Germany and Japan but conveniently forget the Phillipines.

Freedom will come to the Iraqis later if at all.

The crude reaity today is that their country is invaded by an occupying foreign power, that situation under most standards does not qualify as freedom.

Might is right

[ Parent ]

Whoa, there mister... (5.00 / 1) (#411)
by sramkrishna on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:29:52 AM EST

Remember the original reason why we were over there. Bush had convinced congress that Iraq presented a clear and present danger because it possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. That was why we attacked Iraq in the first place.

We weren't there to free the Iraqi people at first. I'm frankly quite amused how the mood has changed. People have forgotten that Iraq has yet to use any WMDs during this war nor has any been found. (although in that network of tunnels under Baghdad, but frankly only a fool would put dangerous chemicals underground like that unsecured..he would have cut his own throat if something happened)

I will say that if no WMDs are found in Iraq I will be very pissed. We've spent money, blood on the promise that Iraq was a clear and present danger to the world. I'm not seeing it yet.

I speculate that Bush will be after Syria next due ot that countries support of the regime. (hell, I'm sure they should go after the Palestinians too since they were involved) I hope the web doesn't go any further.

sri

[ Parent ]

Uhm, only the Shia were celebrating (4.25 / 4) (#250)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:36:48 AM EST

One thing you got from the foreign press, but not from the American presstitutes, was that the people celebrating were the Shia, who now are free to set up a Taliban-style Islamist regime in Iraq. I seriously doubt that there were many Sunni celebrating in the streets today. After all, under Saddam they were the priviliged elite. They got the best education, the best Party positions, the best of everything.

Which points out a big problem. We can't de-Ba'athify Iraq. Everybody there who knows anything about running a country was a member of the Ba'ath party, by definition. Virtually all of the educated elite are members of the Ba'ath party. Virtually all the doctors, all the lawyers, all the engineers, all the accountants, are Ba'ath Party members. Putting poorly educated Taliban-style Shiites in charge would be a disaster because they literally have no clue about how to handle road maintenance, get bus service running again, handle emergency food distribution, get water and sewer and power running again, run medical services, and generally run a government. Yet if we insist on democracy in Iraq, that's who's going to get put in charge.

The Shia are celebrating like the blacks did in the American South when they were freed in 1865. By 1876, the former Confederates were back in charge again, and the blacks were back in slavery again (albeit it was called "sharecropping" and enforced by "vagrancy laws" that forced blacks to work on plantations or go to jail, but the net effect was the same). The blacks were the majority in the South, but did not have the education or experience in government to set up viable governments. The moment the U.S. troops left, their governments collapsed and the former Confederates came back in.

I think I can confidently predict that within the next 15 years there will be another Ba'athist regime in Iraq (perhaps under a new name, but the same basic faces minus the top leadership), and it will not be a democracy.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

where to begin? (4.33 / 3) (#259)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:13:55 AM EST

If Debaathification is anything like denazification, then the little apparatchiki will stay in their jobs, but will do the bidding of a democratic-oriented government. Shia view the Taliban as a Sunnite phenomenon.

Be that as it may, the ayatollahs may indeed seize power and bring with them unsavory elements from Iran and Lebanon (read: Hizbollah).

Or maybe they won't like the fact that both the Iranian ayatollahs [astounding, isn't it?] and the Hizbollah leadership backed Saddam in the current war.

[ Parent ]

Why the zero, Fantastic Lad? (4.50 / 4) (#256)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:58:24 AM EST

It only reinforces my belief that anti-war types whining about marginalization from the discourse don't want a voice so much as the means to silence their opponents.

[ Parent ]
LA 1992 (5.00 / 2) (#326)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:00:32 AM EST

Anywhere law and order breaks down some people will be celebrating, looting, pillaging, burning and bringing down statues.

[ Parent ]
Exactly. This demonstates something clearly: (5.00 / 1) (#343)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:51:17 AM EST

The coalition troops do not control the situation.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Thanks. I am glad you see it. (none / 0) (#435)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:04:57 PM EST

A few people will always exploit lawlessness. Why celebrate this?

I even saw this on one of the cable news stations :
"Taste of Freedom"
"Looting in Babylon"

Which in essence, (to me at least) equates looting and vandalism with freedom.

In a way they are promoting the virtues of anarchy. Which I will never argue with. However, I find it ironic that those who support the lawlessness in Iraq would be the first to scream bloody murder if it happened in the U.S.

LA 1992

oh well.

[ Parent ]

The pro-war people's memory is feeble. (2.66 / 3) (#350)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:07:57 AM EST

No wonder one of their pantheon heroes is a guy called Ronald.

What was the reason of the war?

1984+19.

Re-writing history, all was to liberate Iraq.

WMDs? What is that?

Might is right

[ Parent ]

Truth, Principles, Reason, Honesty, Morality (5.00 / 1) (#449)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:36:41 PM EST

Truth, Principles, Reason, Honesty, Morality...
Who wants anything to do with those things when you are winning a war?

Don't you know man ? You are raining skepticism and reality  on our dance of phantosmagorical victory.. .. Stop you, you....

Besides....
THe Wmd's are probably in Syria now. Because Saddam
who  had the power of many threatening armies and the ability of a great magician moved them to Syria, and he will attack us from there..

Don't you see? the Continental U.S. is constantly threatened from a plethora of evil masterminds who "might" use WMD's against us, just like they used our tools of everyday commerce against us. We might die from something that we have no control over so we must gain mastery over it, before it is to late.
We must conquer everything,  to preserve our precious lives at any cost even if it means the death of others.

Freedom? Who needs freedom we will trade our freedom for just one more day in this mortal coil.

Don't you see. They are all hiding there, No , I mean there, or there--> in the unknown thoughts of  our  fellow human beings that we interact with in the course of any given day.

Not only that but these people! That are a menace to us are not free, and they are not allowed to vote, like most of the people in the U.S. are allowed to vote.... And we sure excercise this right to vote vigourously don't we?

 So we must liberate them so that they can vote like most of us do. So that they can take an interest in the fate of their nation like most of us free and democratic U.S. citizens do.

right?

Ah, the taste of freedom in the spring air.

The surge of adrenalin in the evening.

The mourning and light of reason and reality....

Will the morning ever return????

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself"

---Franklin D.Roosevelt..

[ Parent ]

Yes, sweet vindication (none / 0) (#547)
by bradasch on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:57:10 PM EST

One always see what one wants.

I saw what I thought was maybe a couple hundred iraqis. You saw a million.
You see pride in bringing "freedom" to Iraq, I can only see the civilians in the hospitals, and think about the dead. Are you "proud to have backed that effort" too?

Remember, somewhere there is someone watching a video of the WTC falling and saying "Oh sweet vindication".

[ Parent ]
I saw hundreds too (none / 0) (#565)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:47:24 PM EST

and I thought their joy is worth much more than the doubts of a million Western naysayers. I thought I'd conveyed this in my original post . . .

I also think the terrible price the Iraqis have paid for the downfall of Saddam mustn't ever be forgotten; but I also think that it was a price worth paying.

The difference between me and the 9/11 cheerleaders is that I support three things they don't: freedom of thought, tolerance, and gender equity.

[ Parent ]

It's never worth paying (none / 0) (#599)
by bradasch on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 07:48:13 AM EST

I also think the terrible price the Iraqis have paid for the downfall of Saddam mustn't ever be forgotten; but I also think that it was a price worth paying...

Civilian casualties is a price never worth paying. Maybe you say that because these deaths are in Iraq, not in the U.S. I mentioned it in another post. The polls indicate that most americans back the war, and I repeat: this would never happen if there was a slight chance of the U.S. being bombed or invaded by enemies.

The difference between me and the 9/11 cheerleaders is that I support three things they don't: freedom of thought, tolerance, and gender equity.

No, you don't. you support your freedom of thought, with your (american) way of thinking. Saddam was, with no doubt, an evil dictator, but it's not the U.S. role to remove and punish him. That's the main point of anti-war protesters. Nobody (aside some hawks in the U.S.) elected the U.S. as the international police, keep that in mind.

[ Parent ]
the grace of doing nothing (none / 0) (#613)
by Lode Runner on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 10:51:35 AM EST

The desire to wait for perfect motives translates into the inability ever to act.

As for the price, you seemed perfectly willing to sacrifice thousands more Iraqis to Saddam's security machine in the name of preserving a few decrepit international institutions. Not did the Saddam-free Iraqis pay a lower price than the one the anti-war crowd proposed, but they now have the historic opportunity to take their future into their own hands.

[ Parent ]

Historic... history... (none / 0) (#623)
by bradasch on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:48:29 AM EST

Let me state my point again: I'm not pro-Saddam. Period. And I'm not willing to sacrifice any lives at all. What I'm trying to say is that the political problems of Iraq are Iraqis problems. Not american. You seem to naively think that G. W. Bush waged this war with altruistic motives in mind only.

As for the historic moment, the U.S. already has a plan for "reconstruction" of Iraq, involving (oh what a surprise!) american companies only, mostly by major contributors of the Bush campaign. There are big bucks going to roll on this one. And not for the Iraqi people.
Besides, I read somewhere (don't have the link now, sorry) that the Iraq before the 1991 war was a much better place for the Iraqis, both socially and politically speaking. That war did nothing but increase Saddam's chances for dictatorship.

Again, the problem is: if the U.S. can take control of a country like it did with Iraq, what's next? I don't like the idea of a militar-american-controlled world.

[ Parent ]
. . . histrionic? (5.00 / 1) (#657)
by Lode Runner on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 04:55:45 PM EST

I'm not pro-Saddam.

Rhetorically you may oppose Saddam, but through your actions, you're objectively pro-keeping-Saddam-in-power. The only way out of this quandary for you was if you could've presented an alternative way to get rid of Saddam. You didn't do this--or even try, because carping about the US seemed to be a more worthwhile use of energy, non?--so here we are!

You seem to naively think that G. W. Bush waged this war with altruistic motives in mind only.

As someone who voted for Gore, I'm perfectly willing to entertain arguments that Dubya was interested in Iraqi oil. But I also recognize and applaud the humanitarian goal of ousting a dangerous maniac. I firmly believe that I, Iraqis, and the whole world is better off without Saddam.

Reconstruction will almost certainly be a UN-led effort. It's unjust that pro-Saddam French oil firms will be able to exploit Iraq during reconstruction, but that's politics.

Pre-1991 Iraq: Before Gulf War 1, Iraq was arguably a second-world nation. But that didn't mean that it was a nice place to live. The Iran-Iraq War persisted through the 1980s and Saddam was quite the oppressor.

the problem is: if the U.S. can take control of a country like it did with Iraq, what's next?

Well, now that the "Axis of Evil" is down to two points--making it a real axis instead of a sort of parabola thingee--I'm hoping the leadership of at least one of the points doesn't survive the Bush administration. Both Iran and North Korea can be secured via non-military means.

[ Parent ]

Agreed (none / 0) (#686)
by bradasch on Sat Apr 12, 2003 at 07:39:01 AM EST

Rhetorically you may oppose Saddam...

You seem to misunderstand my anti-war feeling. I can't speak for every anti-war protester, but what I think is that this situation could and would be resolved without war. As we all saw, Saddam didn't have any means to counter-attack or even to defend himself from the invasion. WMD are still to be found, and I don't think they will find anything that can justify the war. Remember, Iraq is (was?) under severe economic sanctions, and lacked means to develop those weapons. Plus, the inspections *were* working, despite anything Dubya said.

As someone who voted for Gore...

I'm glad you didn't vote for Bush. But, as I said before, is it humanitarian to cause so much destruction, including the loss of civilian lives when you could solve things in another fashion? The U.S. didn't even try diplomacy seriously.

Reconstruction will almost certainly be a UN-led effort...

I hope so too. But that's not what "the hawks" want. Mostly, the U.S. wants to secure some "compensation" for what they are spending in war, and, more importantly, to secure control of Iraq's oil fields. We'll see the outcome of that.

the "Axis of Evil"

I really hope Dubya can secure Iran and North Korea via non-military means (as he should have done with Iraq too). But, does he want?

[ Parent ]
removing Saddam (none / 0) (#690)
by Lode Runner on Sat Apr 12, 2003 at 11:26:30 PM EST

Saddam's army may not have put up enough of a fight to stop the Americans, but that's more of a testament to the vastly superior firepower of the Americans than it is to the absolute weakness of Saddam's military.

There was no way for Iraqis to overthrow him from within. Saddam's regime had the means available to preserve itself in the face of any peaceful international pressure. Thanks to illicit oil revenue Saddam's police state would've been able to contintue to oppress Iraqis in perpetuity; it would never crumble and therefore needed to be smashed.

[ Parent ]

removing Saddam only? (none / 0) (#718)
by bradasch on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 04:59:08 PM EST

I guess there is no need to continue our debate, since you seem hard-minded on the idea of the need of the U.S. to "liberate" the Iraqis (on the other side, maybe I am hard-minded on the opposite :-). But please, keep something in mind: things are not going to stop in Iraq: there are accusations flying across to Syria now; the Bush administration seems to like this idea of sending soldiers to Middle-East for "liberations". This is not going to stop, more casualties and damage will come. What will be the consequences?

[ Parent ]
Bah. (none / 0) (#653)
by speedball on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 04:42:58 PM EST

but they now have the historic opportunity to take their future into their own hands.

That is rhetoric, something the idiot President might say. Iraqis have always had the opportunity to take their future into their own hands. They have less opportunity today, but a greater opportunity to endure civil wars, foreign occupation, humanitarian crises, and a hemorrhage of their resources. An American military victory is of benefit to America, not Iraq; and not coincidentally, every U.S. invasion since WWII has deepened the misery of the people it meant to "liberate."

--
We will glorify war -- the world's only hygiene -- militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for women.
[ Parent ]

context-free Marinetti (none / 0) (#662)
by Lode Runner on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 05:28:15 PM EST

Kuwaitis liberated by Americans during Gulf War were dramatically better off living in a sovereign nation than they were under Saddam.

Afghanistan is still in poor shape, but nobody except Pakistani nationalists are seriously arguing that it's worse off post-Taliban.

Kosovars are better off liberated from Slobo as well.

Marinetti's hiers designed the Saddam posters and sculptures that're being ripped down. It's almost a perfect fit; and no, it doesn't equally or even significantly apply the American discourse.

[ Parent ]

But. (none / 0) (#666)
by speedball on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 06:49:38 PM EST

Kuwait and Yugoslavia were not invaded or conquered by the USA, and bombing Afghanistan successfully blew things up in Afghanistan. Your examples fall short of the reasons American forces went into Iraq and why they will not leave. Unlike in Kuwait and Yugoslavia, the immediate future of Iraq is in the hands of neo-conservative theoreticians without a constituency. As for the sig, its words have found a new context: "militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for" is the rhetoric, ideology and foreign policy of America in the post-cold war new world order.

--
We will glorify war -- the world's only hygiene -- militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for women.
[ Parent ]

the Serbs (none / 0) (#676)
by Lode Runner on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:32:17 PM EST

see things differently. We and the Albanians called it liberation, Serbs called it conquest.

Many Pashtuns certainly regard Afghanistan as occupied.

Marinetti's quote loses its power when you truncate it in order to demonize the neo-cons. If you're really going to engage the William Kristols, you'd do well not to cacircature them as proto-fascists.

[ Parent ]

The sig is just a sentence. (none / 0) (#677)
by speedball on Sat Apr 12, 2003 at 12:02:42 AM EST

I like the way it ends on an absurd note from left field, and I think it looks nice on kuro5hin. But the neocons - they are not fascists for their dour convictions and hubris, but they are two for three, and if people have a problem with that, "oh yeah, them and what army?"

--
We will glorify war -- the world's only hygiene -- militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for women.
[ Parent ]

inages of victory - we told you so (none / 0) (#692)
by drquick on Sun Apr 13, 2003 at 02:12:36 AM EST

You have a strawman approach to the anti-war side. We told you we would be shown propaganda images of celebrating Iraqis. Children kissing soldiers and such images. The remarkable thing is that we told you, we told you, we told you, this would happen and still you take this propaganda for real.

Check this to balance you lollipop propaganda images out a bit! This big victory celebration is part fake, part unreal, part just naive.

The Middle East is right now in a volatile state, explosive as it has never been. You talk about democracy when the USA opposes the only democracy in the area; Iran. Do you realise what the middle east would look like if all Arabs actually had democracies? It would be goodbye Israel for a start. I think the Bush administration is very dishonest in talking about Iraqi democracy. They intend to install a puppet government. Iraqis are just supposed to say thank you. You might find a few morons who do but wait till the honeymoon is over.

And just why should I not have opposed this war? It was just a war of American conquest and domination. No democracy will follow. There would have been peaceful means to deal with Saddam. CIA not installing him as a dictator in the first place for instance and recently allowing the UN inspections to continue. Mind you, there was not 12 years of inspections just a few months.

[ Parent ]

IndyMedia bullshit, I'm afraid (none / 0) (#702)
by Lode Runner on Sun Apr 13, 2003 at 02:27:15 PM EST

No less than Brian Whitaker, the Guardian's resident Saddam apologist, admits that it's impossible to tell when the aerial shot was snapped.

I also agree with Josh Chafetz's conclusion that the photo was taken after the statue was ripped down. His analysis should put to rest any anti-war arguments that rely on that photo. Mind you, there are strong anti-war arguments, but this isn't one of them.

I'm disgusted by your equation of morons with Iraqis who thank Americans for ridding them of Saddam. It really makes me feel like you don't care the slightest for Iraqis' rights. Again, have you considered that maybe they didn't want to live under Saddam in your "contained" Iraq?

[ Parent ]

Morons? (none / 0) (#709)
by drquick on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 04:10:03 AM EST

I'm disgusted by your equation of morons with Iraqis who thank Americans for ridding them of Saddam.
I didn't use that word. Any critisism was directed at those who consume propaganda. I'm talking about propaganda not the Iraqis. It's those who believe this lollipop uprising I critisise.

As for the Iraqis: Of course, there are those who thank US/UK, but is it a majority? I'm sure a majority of them hated Saddam but I think they hate the US even more.

[ Parent ]

yes, morons (none / 0) (#722)
by Lode Runner on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 11:18:39 PM EST

I didn't use that word.

I invite you to look at your post again.

[ Parent ]

in nyc... (4.33 / 6) (#223)
by xo0m on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:37:43 AM EST

"Most of the people in the US don't know what it's like to live with guns and tanks and missles aimed at you. Most have no idea how crushing is can be to live in a police state."

this is definitely true for most of america, but have you been to penn station in new york city lately???  i dont think ive seen guns that large, up close, in person, ever...any other new yorkers agree?

I have (none / 0) (#296)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:09:00 AM EST

I have. I live in SD currently, but visit NY regularly. They have big guns out here.

Montana and Nebraska more so.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Assault rifles -- sure as hell freaks me out (none / 0) (#422)
by Silent Chris on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:45:48 AM EST

I know what you're talking about.  I've seen one guy with an assault rifle at Penn Station the past few days.  Reminds me of the airports in Israel 20 years ago.

[ Parent ]
My father's quip about the National Guard ... (5.00 / 1) (#639)
by HypoLuxa on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 01:48:00 PM EST

... when they were posted in every airport with machine guns was, "I'm amazed they haven't accidentally killed anyone yet."

--
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.
- Leonard Cohen
[ Parent ]
Firing an assault rifle (5.00 / 1) (#678)
by Silent Chris on Sat Apr 12, 2003 at 12:17:37 AM EST

You know, I know little about firearms, but from what I've seen and read, assault rifles aren't terribly accurate.  I'm just wondering why they would bring that weapon in particular to a crowded bus depot.  If a terrorist runs in with a bomb, they'll shoot him and probably 5 people around him in the process.

[ Parent ]
Assault rifles (none / 0) (#726)
by epepke on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 11:17:12 AM EST

Assault rifles aren't very accurate compared to other rifles. The definition of an assault rifle is a rifle with shorter than usual barrel and lower than usual charge. They are sort of compromises between pistols and rifles, intended to be used during assaults--i.e., where a groop of soldiers is running into a situation. An assault rifle is generally easier to use more accurately than a pistol with less training. It also looks scarier.


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


[ Parent ]
Iraqis are finally free... (2.45 / 11) (#233)
by nusuth on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:58:47 AM EST

from themselves. World's big brother have brought democracy to them, let's cheer!

Get real, Iraq has been invaded. They will be governed by appointed guys. USA will dictate whatever he pleases. There is absolutely nothing to cheer about that, unless you are an US citizen.

Other examples you give were liberated by their own people. They removed oppressors from power and seized the power themselves. That was something to cheer about. Iraqi people are not an ounce more free today compared to yesterday. Only the tyrant has changed.

Sorry, our mistake (3.66 / 3) (#294)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:05:43 AM EST

Hrm, you're right. Too bad we made that same mistake during WWII, and decided to "invade" France and the other German-occupied lands. We should have let them deal with it themselves. After all, they're no more free now than they were then. Only the tyrant has changed.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Just refresh my memory (4.00 / 2) (#297)
by salsaman on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:14:01 AM EST

Did the US install a puppet government in France after the Germans were defeated ? Did the US take France's oil to pay for 'reconstruction' ?

[ Parent ]
liberating france? (5.00 / 2) (#300)
by paulio ecosse on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:27:59 AM EST

Excuse me but since when was it the US that liberated France? Do you believe, as Saving Private Ryan, Band Of Brothers, etc would have you, that the US was the sole army in WWII. Anyway, the world would probably have been a lot better off if France had installed a puppet regime in America after they liberated it from the English. There may have actually been some peace in this world rather than it being run by a gun-crazy cowboy of a nation.
--She was one in a million so there's five more just in New South Wales (The Whitlams)--
[ Parent ]
Bully! (4.00 / 4) (#309)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:41:43 AM EST

No, the US military wasn't the only one in WWII. But it was the only one in WWII with sufficient arms, troops, supplies, yes. By the time the US intervened, the only mentionable fighting force -might- have been the British, who were already heavily relying on US handouts just to keep Hitler out of Britian - to say nothing of fighting him back.

As far as our "gun-crazy cowboy of a nation" (very creative and original insult, I must admit), it's just that nation that has single handedly carried out more humanitarian aid than any other, and it is just that nation, that has upheld the rights of human beings more than any other.

If you know otherwise, I'd love to hear from you about it. But since you can't possibly, since it simply isn't true, please keep it to yourself.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

What about the Soviet Union? (5.00 / 1) (#312)
by Space on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:52:27 AM EST


<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Please. (none / 0) (#328)
by Bridge Troll on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:14:56 AM EST

Spare us all the bullshit. You know as well as I that the Soviet Union was an oppressive totalitarian regime, and in addition every bit as imperialistic as the United States was and is, perhaps more so. The United States hasn't ever, say, attacked striking workers with tanks or anything.

I can imagine some people piping up, their hackles risen, and screaming, "What about Guantanamo Bay?!?!" While a tragedy of human rights, it's a single event -- not comparable to the systematic repression the USSR practiced.

The USSR is not some glorious savior of the world, nor was it ever. I'm aware of its good points -- free universities and health care, not having to worry about work, no homelessness. But how many were allowed to attend those universities, and how much freedom were they given to explore subversive doctrines? Is a faceless bureaucrat really better than a faceless accountant when deciding whether you live or die? Is having your job pretty much laid out for you better than having to find one? Is being crammed two or three families to the apartment really much of a success story? What about the fact that said apartments could easily go without power? Many regions of Russia went totally without during the experiments that produced the Hydrogen Bomb.

So, think whatever you like about the USSR -- you probably live in a free country. Me, I'll use my freedom, and my own ability to think to be glad I live in a nation free enouch that I can protest the war in Iraq, and that I can go out and vote for better canditate than Bush. Whether you're European or American, I'm sure you appreciate those very same freedoms yourself. So please, don't put the USSR up on a pedestal. It really doesn't belong there.




And besides, pounding your meat with a club is a very satisfying thing to do :) -- Sleepy
[ Parent ]
USSR in WWII (5.00 / 1) (#401)
by paulio ecosse on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:22:15 AM EST

I think you got the wrong end of the stick there - I believe Space was making the point that it was largely due to the huge Russian army that the Germans were defeated. The Nazis were consistently worn down and demoralised on the Eastern Front, something not many people remember as not enough films have been made about it :) In fact far more Russian soldiers died fighting Hitler's armies than any other nation, most estimates but the figure at around a staggering 10 million out of a total 19 million combined allied and axis deaths. I whole-heartedly agree that Stalin, in the wise words of Ediie Izzard, was a mass-murdering f**k-head but that doesn't mean you can belittle the stunning sacrifice of the people of Russia. I'd say they did a hell of a lot more than America to defeat Hitler, especially given the amount of time they were in the war and the fact that they tied up such a huge portion of his armies. If the Russians hadn't been there the German forces in France would have been enormous, Saving Private Ryan (D-Day to us Europeans) would never have existed and we would possibly be speaking German right now. Boo for Stalin! Yay for Russians!
--She was one in a million so there's five more just in New South Wales (The Whitlams)--
[ Parent ]
Heh, yeah, wow. (none / 0) (#509)
by Bridge Troll on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:13:12 PM EST

I took that amazingly out of context. I saw it as a reply to another part of the comment Space was replying to the part where the parent said that no nation has upheld human rights better than the U.S. I feel like an ass. Sorry Space!


And besides, pounding your meat with a club is a very satisfying thing to do :) -- Sleepy
[ Parent ]
I think he meant that... (5.00 / 1) (#432)
by Gully Foyle on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:02:00 PM EST

Russia was mostly responsible for the Allied victory in WW2. Not the US. They were responsible for keeping the Russians out of Western Europe afterwards though, which I think we're all grateful for.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Well, (5.00 / 2) (#337)
by it certainly is on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:13:48 AM EST

let's see how depleted YOUR army looks if it has to fight for 3 years continuously before some spineless coward jumps in at the last minute and reaps all the glory for landing the final punch. Perhaps we should have just waited it out 3 years after declaring war before starting to fight Hitler?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Except! (none / 0) (#504)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:49:46 PM EST

If you recall, the US didn't even start preparing for WWII until 3 years into the conflict. We took peace seriously after WWI, and didn't have much to speak of for armaments, etc. But somehow we still managed to get a bloody lot of equipment together ASAP, and mobilize.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Oh, and smoething else. (none / 0) (#561)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:22:11 PM EST

After and during the  3 years of fighting in Europe, Americans were in the Pacific fighting back the japs. Not only a double-fronted far, but a double fronted war on two continents, across two seas. And we won both of them.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

human rights? (none / 0) (#395)
by paulio ecosse on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:11:58 AM EST

You talk about upholding human rights - what about the McCarthy witch-hunts? What about the Patriot Act? You can't even preserve rights in your own country! How about the fact that the USA is the only country in the world apart from Israel which refuses to sign the international treaty to prevent torture? I won't go into the other treaties you decide aren't worthwhile such as Kyoto, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, countless chemical/biological weapons treaties, the list is endless... I suppose your support for such despicable regimes such as Pinochet in Chile was part of your incredible human rights program? Or the Shah in Iran? Or Saddam when you decided you didn't like the Shah anymore? Or when he was gassing the Kurds? How about your support of human rights abuses in East Timor, Cambodia, etc? Or just about any South American country you care to mention? Should we even start about the number of UN resolutions condemning human rights abuses carried out by the Israelis in Palestine that the US has vetoed? America a champion of human rights? Don't make me laugh! PS I'd love to hear where you get that "most humanitarian aid" idea - had me rolling on the floor! PPS I'm not French either as some seem to think. I am Scottish - hence 'ecosse' - and am simply proud of the historical alliance between my country and France.
--She was one in a million so there's five more just in New South Wales (The Whitlams)--
[ Parent ]
One question (none / 0) (#407)
by Grognard on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:27:25 AM EST

How many people do you see risking their lives in leaky boats to escape from the US?

[ Parent ]
That means what? (none / 0) (#416)
by paulio ecosse on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:39:53 AM EST

I don't see what this has to do with my comments on the US disregard for human rights. Simply because people envisage the US as a place they can earn higher wages, escape persecution from a US-sponsored foreign regime, whatever, doesn't make it so. These people, once caught, will tend to be either incarcerated or sent home, especially true given the current world climate caused by US foreign policy. Does the existence of illegal immigrants in any way change what I said? In any case, you will hear the same sentiments echoed by a great many Americans. They, like me, are not anti-American - I am at pains to point this out because in the past few years you only have to criticize an episode of Friends to be labelled anti-American. Rather, we love what America supposedly stands for - freedom, democracy, etc - but realise that your Government's actions have no relation whatsoever to those ideals. They want to stay in this idealised America and realise that to do so means questioning the Government's current actions, protesting against their human rights abuses, etc and trying to restore democracy and freedom. For the record a great any of my favourite books and albums are American, as well as a few films. I also loved the country when I visited a few years back (1999). Just wanted to make it absolutely clear that I'm not anti-American.
--She was one in a million so there's five more just in New South Wales (The Whitlams)--
[ Parent ]
Very simple (none / 0) (#436)
by Grognard on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:05:03 PM EST

if the US were such an abuser of human rights, we would be an exporter rather than an importer of refugees.

I don't see people lining up to leave.

[ Parent ]

Human rights (none / 0) (#446)
by paulio ecosse on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:26:43 PM EST

Well the facts as I stated still stand. I think whether or not a country is an abuser of human rights deoends on the actions of that country, not whether people want to leave - you'll notice anyway that the US prefers to fund abuses elsewhere and stick to more subtle erosion of existing rights on it's own territory.
--She was one in a million so there's five more just in New South Wales (The Whitlams)--
[ Parent ]
I see (none / 0) (#450)
by Grognard on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:44:59 PM EST

Removal of Saddam = Abuse
Removal of Taliban = Abuse
End of Kosovo genocide = Abuse
End of Bosnian genocide = Abuse
Removal of Saddam from Kuwait = Abuse

[ Parent ]
effects of all this? (none / 0) (#595)
by paulio ecosse on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 05:34:08 AM EST

Take a look at Afghanistan now. They are far worse off than they were under the Taliban, the country is now ruled by warlords and their gangs. They use the weapons sent to the country by the US to rule by force and terror. You may have tought the Afghan peple disliked America before but now they hate everything to do with the US. The same will most likely happen in Iraq - yes the people are happy to see the back of Saddam and so am I but wait till the US starts its 'democracy'. And isn't the guy first in line to run things (I forget his name) a hardcore Zionist? Is that not the stupidest and most insensitive thing you've ever heard? Only from the US government... There's also the US taking over Umm Qasr and forcing Iraqi merchants to pay US companies to use their own port. How about letting merchants sell water to a starving population? Don't even get me started about the 'humanitarian aid' - according to aid agencies which have been operating in Iraq for the past decade or so the current levels of aid are less than a tenth of what they were even during the genocidal sanctions regime. And the only thing the UN bombings in the Balkans accomplished was to escalate atrocities. Well there was that and the war crimes such as deliberately targetting civilian buildings (TV stations, etc), the enormous civilian casualties, the fact that both sides were bombed. You really should read about these things before talking about them. I realise that your media isn't too comfortable with concepts like 'truth' but you could make the effort to find a book on the subject.
--She was one in a million so there's five more just in New South Wales (The Whitlams)--
[ Parent ]
Afghanistan now (none / 0) (#607)
by Grognard on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 09:40:26 AM EST

This poster lists some of the horrors of Afghanistan, but you probably didn't see these on Indymedia.  Not to mention that the much vaunted UN is taking the lead in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.  As to the level of hatred of the US, do you have any real evidence of this or are you just blowing hot air?

Chalabi's a zionist?  Once again, evidence or hot air?

And as to bombings accelerating atrocities, give me a break.  This translates to "had the US not intervened, the Serbs could have carried out a more leisurely program of ethnic cleansing" - clearly a better deal for all involved. Sheesh.


[ Parent ]

Face it, paulio (4.00 / 2) (#366)
by djeaux on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:55:37 AM EST

If it weren't for a bunch of American, British & Canadian kids who got killed liberating France, you'd be eating sauerkraut & speaking German today. At least those "gun-crazy cowboys" thought France was worth it -- the French certainly didn't.


djeaux
"Obviously, I'm not an IBM computer any more than I'm an ashtray." (Bob Dylan)
[ Parent ]

Why are people always slamming sauerkraut? [n/t] (none / 0) (#477)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:12:39 PM EST




Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Don't look at me... (none / 0) (#478)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:15:32 PM EST

Sausages, saurkraut and mashed potatos: the food of the gods!


--
Note that the depiction of the president as a deranged or Nazi paranoid is coming mostly from people who constantly tell us how passionately they
[ Parent ]

Did I "slam" sauerkraut? (none / 0) (#717)
by djeaux on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 03:02:31 PM EST

Nope. In fact, I didn't say that it wouldn't have been an improvement for the French to switch to beer & sauerkraut. For sure their language would be easier to understand "auf Deutsch" ;-)

djeaux
"Obviously, I'm not an IBM computer any more than I'm an ashtray." (Bob Dylan)
[ Parent ]

Perhaps you need to read a book. [nt] (1.00 / 1) (#403)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:23:24 AM EST


--
Note that the depiction of the president as a deranged or Nazi paranoid is coming mostly from people who constantly tell us how passionately they
[ Parent ]

The game is over (4.41 / 12) (#243)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:23:05 AM EST

As for civilian casualties, there's probably around 800 or so in Basra. Our soldiers were less circumspect than the Brits, so I figure we probably killed around 500 in Nasiriyah, and probably around 1500 in Baghdad. That's not mass carnage. But it's not trivial either. Neither are the thousands, probably tens of thousands, of Iraqi soldiers killed, most of them draftees, all of whom have mothers and fathers and sisters and uncles and aunts who will grieve them. Our President wanted his little war to prove to the world that his pistol wasn't shooting blanks, and our soldiers did their job professionally and with as little loss of life as possible for achieving their goal. But war is what war is -- an ugly, dirty, vicious business, murder on a mass scale, no matter how we try to glorify it. Even Iraqis who welcome the departure of Saddam have to be wondering about whether it was worth the cost in their blood, for they don't have the option of turning off the television. They're living it, and for many of them, the horror is only beginning, as the dysentary and starvation sweep through the country and start to kill. But that's okay, we can turn off our television, or turn to Fox and watch happy happy news that tells us exactly what we want to hear, and nobody will ever wonder whether there was a better way to achieve our goals -- or care.

I do not wish to throw a damp towel over the joy that this war is (mostly) over and Saddam is apparently gone. I just wished to point out the other side -- that this war cost lives and caused suffering, and the suffering isn't over yet. It's fine to celebrate. But let's not forget the cost as we do so, or the work that still needs to be done in the days ahead.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...

Complete and baseless conjecture. (3.00 / 3) (#495)
by Demiurge on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:28:16 PM EST

Considering Iraqbodycount.net places the total between 1100 and 1300, and they actually have some sort of methodology other than "pull numbers out of my ass to the make the US look evil", I'd say you're way off.

[ Parent ]
Basra (4.00 / 1) (#537)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:28:52 PM EST

The Basra hospital quit counting at 400, and it is estimated that at least that many were killed in the heavy fighting in the 4 days after that. So that's 800 in Basra alone. The Canadian Red Cross reports Massive civilian casualties in Nasiriyah, including dismembered women and children, but has no count. Expect at least 200 casualties there. The totals from Baghdad have not yet even begun to be totalled. There is still heavy fighting there, with hundreds of civilian dead, perhaps as many as 1,000 by the time all is said and done. Then add in the pounding that the various Iraqi army units were subjected to. There were close to 200,000 men in the units that were pounded. Even if 90% of them broke and ran, that's 20,000 dead, mostly young draftee soldiers forced into battle at gunpoint, right there.

Note that we will probably will probably never know how many Iraqis we just killed. How convenient. Nothing to see here, move along, there are no dead bodies here... so all that we have, in the end, are estimates. And frankly, I think that 30,000 Iraqis dead either in battle, collateral damage, or from the diseases that will follow now that hospitals no longer have supplies and looted or closed and Iraqi civlians are drinking water out of ditches (with dysentary and the deaths of more Iraqis, mostly children, soon to follow), is probably *underestimating* the carnage if anything.

There are a lot of people hurting in that country, a country of tight-knit extended families. Rejoice at victory, because it means that maybe we can start fixing the damage that was done, what damage can be fixed (who can bring back to life someone's son?). But when you ignore the costs, you delude yourself about the saintliness of yourself and your cause.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

There's a difference between civilian and military (3.00 / 3) (#556)
by Demiurge on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:45:29 PM EST

casualties. It's idiotic to moan about the thousands killed in the war when you neglect to mention the vast majority of those deaths were combatants.

[ Parent ]
Those were humans, not tin soldiers (4.50 / 2) (#577)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 01:18:50 AM EST

Most of them were scared young draftee soldiers, plucked out of some village, handed a Kalishnikov, and told to stand off a charging main battle tank. 90% of them had the sense to cut and run as soon as possible. We slaughtered the other 10%. They were combatants, certainly. But they are no less victims of our Great Leader's little war than the civilians were.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Saddam killed those boys (5.00 / 1) (#590)
by jjayson on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 04:24:27 AM EST

They were victims of Saddam Hussein. Count them as human shields that he used to try and selfishly prevent the fall of his brutal regime. You can't blame the deaths cause by Saddam and his death squads on Coalition forces.

They had guns and fired on our troops. What do you expect the Coalition forces to do? Stand there and die?

There were two choices. Either we could let hundreds of thousands of Iraqis die from sanctions and at the hands of Saddam or we could try to throw him out. Either way people die. Just pointing to one side of the issue is intellectually dishonest.

There is a story in the Bible about God giving the Pharo of Egypy a decision to make. God knew the Pharo's choice ahead of time, yet still asked him, and was still right in punishing him. People must take responsiblity for their own actions and do the right thing in situations like these, even though we may already know the outcome.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Nobody's blaming coalition soldiers (5.00 / 1) (#609)
by jolly st nick on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 09:57:15 AM EST

however the politicians -- that's a different story.

You just can't wash your political hands of any moral responsibility for the predictable consequences of your actions. You just can't say: if the other side simply gave up without a fight, then the war would be bloodless and costless. To do so is to make moral decisions based on the conditions of a fantasy world. In the real world, real wars a bloody and the costly, and the blood is shed and costs are borne by people other than the decision makers. The decision to wage war should be treated as a grave one.

If we accept your line of reasoning, then war becomes the first recourse in any situation instead of the last one, because our decision to go to war has no real bearing on subsequent events.

The basic moral fallacy here is that in any conflict, one side must be purely right and the other purely wrong -- that blame is like a hot potato that can simply be tossed into somebody else's hands. Rather, I see it more like a stain that contaminates everything it touches unless handled with the utmost care. I agree Saddam should simply have capitulated given the predictable consequences of resistance, however this doesn't automatically exonerate the coalition leadership.

The key question in my mind is whether that leadership had any other less brutal means at its disposal. Any reaonable moral examination of a decision must take into account the alternatives available to the decision maker. The alternatives available to the other parties in a situation are relevant to examining their decisions.

I am willing to entertain the argument that President Bush had no less damnable course of action open to him, although I will take some convincing. However, I will not entertain the argument that the other side automatically bears the entire blame for the consequences of our decision, because this sense that our decisions have no moral consequences justifies going to war as a first option on any pretext, no matter how light.

[ Parent ]

It is a pitty (1.66 / 6) (#245)
by PC1 on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:28:02 AM EST

It is a pity that a civilization with such a rich history came to the point of giving up their fortunes, their independence and freedom of their country just to get rid of a dictator. These people did not play the main role in these events will not decide the future...

It is a pity that such "mad men" can invade sovereign nations in violation of international laws all in the name of freedom.

Wiser people did not prevail, and the future is gloomy...

I have my doubts that even if the US/UK were able to get rid of this dictator, keeping him in power to ensure this current outcome is (in their opinion) justifiable.


Not true at all. Please go back to school. (none / 0) (#292)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:01:14 AM EST

Iraqis didn't have any fortunes, independence, or freedom to give up, you dimwit. They were functionally enslaved by their president.

Also, please learn how to write and form sentences that are comprehendable.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

He's talking about hundreds of years ago (none / 0) (#299)
by epepke on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:18:50 AM EST

And it's "comprehensible."


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


[ Parent ]
ooooo (2.00 / 1) (#310)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:44:27 AM EST

Oh, a spelling error at 4am on a hsatily scrawled post. So sorry.

Also, if I recall correctly, the US wasn't around 'hundreds of years ago' to cause such squalor in the Middle East, let alone to remove such things as freedom from their people.

Though I do recall France, England, and Germany having several large investments in the region over the last 100% years that ended up causing a lot of problems in the long run, which the US is still trying to clean up.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

It's 4 AM, the fear is gone (none / 0) (#313)
by epepke on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:56:20 AM EST

Well, not really. But close enough.

Also, if I recall correctly, the US wasn't around 'hundreds of years ago' to cause such squalor in the Middle East, let alone to remove such things as freedom from their people.

True, but I saw the response as regretting the fall of a once-proud people. It is worth thinking about. The absence of the U.S. hundreds of years ago isn't the point. A long time ago, the area that encompasses Iraq used to be the bomb instead of the recipients thereof. So, ubi sunt? and quo fuckin' vadis? and all that jazz.


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


[ Parent ]
Say what? (none / 0) (#362)
by djeaux on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:31:46 AM EST

PC1 expounded:
It is a pity that a civilization with such a rich history came to the point of giving up their fortunes, their independence and freedom of their country just to get rid of a dictator.
This is nonsense. In fact, it's self contradictory.

If Iraq was ruled by a dictator, the people had no fortunes, independence, or freedom to give up. But it seems to me that they now have a shot at fortune, independence & freedom.

One thing for certain: Iraq is no longer being saddamized.


djeaux
"Obviously, I'm not an IBM computer any more than I'm an ashtray." (Bob Dylan)
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#413)
by kjb on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:30:47 AM EST

Freedom? Under Saddam? What have you been smoking?

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Perspectives (4.54 / 11) (#263)
by emmons on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:31:48 AM EST

In general, there are two ways of looking at every situation: Life is great, and life is horrible. Many people prefer to take a rather pessimistic, cynical view of the world. Others seem to prefer the opposite. This is evident in their stance on many topics, especially the war in Iraq.

Many have chosen to ignore or discount the possibility that great things can happen. Some believe that the motives of the US and UK are purely ulterior and therefore the results of action on those motives can only be bad. The efforts must be opposed becaues of the motives. Others look to other nations and conclude that since they are opposed, it must be a terrible thing to do. Many believe that nothing good can come of war- they can only imagine millions of refugees and thousands civillian casualties. Children lying dead in the streets, hospitals, mosques and schools burning to the groun. Years of famine, desease and death. To them, life is horrible.

At the same time, many can see more good coming from the war than bad. Granted, there's always a chance of things going terribly wrong, but they believe that the chance is sufficiently small to make the effort worth undertaking. They see a people being liberated. After order is restored, they see that the people will be given the chance to elect their own government. The sanctions will be lifted, the oil will be sold, the nation will once again be the prosperous star of the middle east that it was 20 years ago. The people will again live comfortably, free from fear of an oppressive government. They will have freedom.

The war, while not over, has gone very well. There have been few civilian casualties and most of the regular army wasn't engaged in combat. Primary only those loyal to the horrible regime have been killed. I am an optimist. This is what I have thought will happen, and this is what I have begun to see. The people are beginning to have freedom, and they are celebrating. We should celebrate with them, it's a joyous time. Life is truely great.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

My perspective (4.25 / 4) (#315)
by Kuranes on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:12:04 AM EST

In one part you are right: Yes, the demolition of the Baath regime is a great thing.

But my question is: What next?

I do not see the US willing to finance the expensive rebuilding of Iraq, leaving alone the oil wells. They are not interested in rebuilding democracy: Appointed future interim government leader Jay Garner is under the command of Gen. Tommy Franks.

The United States government will be building up a military regime in Iraq, designed to looting the country of its oil. If they can get the UN's approval, they're even more happy with it, but Freedom has got nothing to do with it.


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Ok, what is this... (4.50 / 4) (#333)
by br284 on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:52:05 AM EST

... two out of three, five out of nine, eleven out of twenty-one? "Let me try again, I'll win this time!"

I'm sorry for picking your post to make this reply to, but I just wanted to say that all the people predicting the ultimate fall of Iraq to the American corporate machine sound just like the people predicting that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would be killed in the war, that the Americans would not be welcomed as liberators, and that protracted street fighting would last for months in Baghdad.

What next, indeed? So, there will be an interim military administration. Big deal, it's necessary for the eventual transition to a civilian government. The coalition is already working in the southern parts of Iraq working to begin the transition. The signs from the coalition thus far have indicated that they will be working with the people of Iraq to get them back on their feet. But I'm sure that all that food coming in is just a clever ploy to manipulate the Iraqis so the coalition can steal and plunder their country.

Did you ever stop to think that the value of a free and happy Iraq is vastly more than the oil contained within? For the first time in a while, there's hope that there'll be an Arab nation not ruled by the same corrupt Arab means, and there's a chance that this nation may actually pull itself to its feet and become something better than its neighbors and peers. It's not going to happen overnight, but it will happen.

I realize that this is more of a train of thought than a carefully structured argument, but I remember listening to the anti-war folks predicting all these scenarios of gloom and doom that would happen if we did go to war in Iraq. Thus far, I have yet to see any of them come to pass. The war has been a striking defeat for the anti-Americans everywhere. Not only has America and the coaliton shown that it has the power to act in these situations, it has shown that it has the will, and that it is able to exercise that power quickly and precisely. Now, I don't know if I'm comfortable with Bush directing that power -- I've never been a big fan of the man or his administration -- but I fail to see anyone else on the world stage who is competent enough or ethical enough to exercise that power. Not the French, not the Chinese, not the Russians, and not the UN. I'll be the first to say that Bush fucks up enough times for anyone, but this time he and his administration did the right thing. Which is more than I can say for the anti-war crowd. You wish for a million Mogadishus? What planet are you guys living on?

In closing, I just can't help but view the anti-war naysayers as that little kid who would play rocks-paper-scissors and always lose. They would always come back saying, three out of five, nine out of seventeen, and so forth. At some point, you just ignore the kid and go on with your life. The anti-Bush/war/Iraq crowd has done just that for me. There are things that need to be done and things to be changed, but I'll be damned if I waste the same amount of time to listening to and considering the arguments of that movement.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

You are playing the same game. (5.00 / 1) (#492)
by Wah on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:04:29 PM EST

And picking a point when the pendulum is on one side.

I realize that this is more of a train of thought than a carefully structured argument, but I remember listening to the anti-war folks predicting all these scenarios of gloom and doom that would happen if we did go to war in Iraq.

The argument isn't about right now, but over a longer period of time.  To look at a recent example, the U.S. has stopped caring as a nation about the state of affairs in Afghanistan.

An American bomb intended for enemy fighters missed its target in southeastern Afghanistan yesterday morning, killing 11 civilians including seven women, an accident likely to stoke simmering anger here over civilian casualties inflicted by US forces in the nearby Iraqi battlefield.
We are still fighting for that regime to change, and peace to come to the country, and still killing innocent people for political change.  And we will still be fighting in Iraq for at least a year, at the very least, and doing the same kind of stuff.  The reserves coming into the region now, from buses in Syria and Palestive, to fight the American invaders/liberators aren't just going to disappear with the death of Saddam.  And the Iraqi army that melted away won't entirely disappear for years.  Yes, many will try to ingratiate themselves with the new regime, but many others will continue to resist.

My point here is only that to declare victory for the policy of exporting freedom through military conquest is pre-mature.  We don't know how successful it will be, or has been, for a number of years.

To declare, "See, see, they pulled down the statue and are cheering.  Therefore the policy of pre-emption is a smashing success." is to just call the game while you are ahead.  

Which is not to say that it isn't a great thing.  It brought a smile to my face to see those people beaming with the joy of freedom.  As it should to anyone with a functioning soul.  I truly hope that we are able to build that spirit and let it grow to a point that it can sustain itself, and isn't surviving solely because of U.S. steel and fire.

But it would be a really bad time to remind those people that we supported Saddam for a good long while, so we won't.  Showing pictures of Rumsfeld shaking Hussein's hand, covered in blood from chemical attacks, really wouldn't do at all, so we'll keep that quiet for a bit.  It's hard to tell someone slapping you on the back that you are partly to blame for the pain they've felt for so long.  So you don't, and hope that when they find out, they have the light of forgiveness in their hearts.

And the people looting and stealing and taking advantage of the anarchy inherent in violent regime change don't usually hang around for the sound crew to set up, so we won't have pictures of those.  And those dieing because of infections caused by a lack of water in hospitals are just more broken eggs on the way to a self-congratulatory omelette.

Reminding folks that this war wasn't about Freedom until it started would also be the wrong thing to say about now.

There are things that need to be done and things to be changed, but I'll be damned if I waste the same amount of time to listening to and considering the arguments of that movement.

And when they come back in 10 years and show you 10,000 Iraqi civilian deaths, 100 suicide bombers, a struggling democracy with extremists tendancies, and some very rich oil execs, are you going to continue to ignore those arguments?

Which is to say, you've just gotten ahead in the game, called it, and retired.

But this is the part where most people stop watching, and stop caring.  Because they think the game is over, when it has just started again.
--
My home on your eyes and in your head.
[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#539)
by br284 on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:35:49 PM EST

Thank you for your reply. You make some points that I agree with, and you make some points that I disagree with. Since I'm leaving work soon, and am unable to compose a more complete reply (one will be coming when I can sit down to compose it), here are a few examples of positive things happening in Afghanistan that dispell much of the myth that Afghanistan has been forgotten:

Scholars Open Minds to Afghanistan

Afghanistan Beats a Path to the Info-Highway

Afghan Gov't Aims to Reduce Poverty

Helping School Children in Afghanistan

I take these instances to be signs of a (slowly) improving Afghani situation. How many of these things could have occurred while the Taliban was in power and fighting the Northern Alliance? However, for the sake of honesty, this is a story about the Taliban's new resurgence in Afghanistan. So I'll agree with you 110% that the US should be doing more in Afghanistan. The fact that civilians were recently killed is terrible. However, looking at the larger picture -- that these civilians were killed while the US has increased operations due a resurgence in the Taliban -- does not suggest a larger pattern of neglect.

I'll address this more later when I have time.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

thanks for your patience (5.00 / 1) (#544)
by Wah on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:30:08 PM EST

sorry, I kinda vented on you.

Two things, and I look forward to what else you have to say.

  1. I didn't really catch much in those links in support for Afghanistan except from individuals and academics.  Not the people who are usually pro-war, at least in my experience (this is just in regards to your earlier expression of lifetime pessimism of peaceniks.)
  2. That fifth 'honest' (your word) link is the cause of so much of my cynicism regarding Iraq.
However, looking at the larger picture -- that these civilians were killed while the US has increased operations due a resurgence in the Taliban -- does not suggest a larger pattern of neglect.

This I would basicly disagree with.  It is the neglect that is allowing the resurgence, which leads to the bombing, which leads to the deaths.

We (U.S.) spent $75,000,000,000 to start the war with Iraq, and yet couldn't find the $290,000,000 to continue the hard part of the one in Afghanistan.  This gives me so much pause that I stop.  The fact that Afghans were celebrating just like the Iraqis are now computes in bad ways.  My joy at seeing the smiles is tinged with the worry about what happens when our attention wanders off, and the fear at what may happen if we abandon the folks in Iraq a second time.  And of course, the fear about what happens if we stay too long.  Like I said, the hard part is just starting.

Bah, like circletimessquare keeps saying, focus on the positive, so I'm headed out to have a couple drinks and forget about this stuff. At least till tomorrow.
--
My home on your eyes and in your head.
[ Parent ]

pshaw (5.00 / 1) (#619)
by br284 on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:31:15 AM EST

Venting is what this place is all about. Some time off also gave me time to think about how I was planning on replying to your comment.

The reasons that I view Afghanistan (even in its current state) and Iraq as successes at this point is that they are key tests in a larger war. The larger war does not have anything to with military force or WMDs or anything like that. It's essentially a war of ideas.

The conflicts that we are seeing now is essentially the US's response in a war against tribalism. The US was content to ignore the tribalisms in places like the Middle East, thinking that the US is not the right people to go in and be the world's policeman. (Witness Bush's presidential campaign.) The events of September 11 (and I'm not making any connection between Iraq and al Qaeda here), was a brutal display to the American people that the tribal societies in the Middle East were boiling over and had to be dealt with. Essentially, the conflict is between the tribalistic way of life (whether your tribe be a religion, a nation, or an ethnicity) and the American-sponsored consumerism type of life. (A good description of this is the book "McWorld v. Jihad".) The two ideologies are in direct conflict with each other and in the long run, the both cannot coexist. Jihad will attack McWorld as the followers of Jihad tend to be ill-educated and poverty-striken people who will lash out at McWorld because of its commerce-driven expansion and general prosperity. McWorld will try to subvert Jihad as Jihad resists the commerce-centric morals and lifestyle of Jihad. Jihad thrives on a subservient culture that is easily led by charismatic people like bin Laden, or easily conquered by people like Hussein. McWorld thrives on a subservient culture that is given the illusion of control through things like economic and political freedom, but are controlled by the media and viewpoints made available by media cartels.

Neither scenario is ideal, and the optimal scenario (IMHO) lies between the two extremes. However, if given the choice between living in a complete McWorld society and a complete Jihad society, I would choose McWorld because open dialogue is encouraged to project an illusion to the masses of a free society. This open dialogue can still be used as a tool to educate and combat the effects of extreme McWorld. In a Jihad society, no such dialogue is allowed. Since the optimal situation lies somewhere in the middle (that is to say that we must combine the positive elements of McWorld [free commerce, association, and similar things] with the positive elements of Jihad [preservation of worthwhile local cultures, an affinity for community, and a moral counterweight to pure commerce-driven morality]).

So back to Afghanistan and Iraq. In my opinion, the West (while tending to McWorld) has not strayed as far from my ideal central scenario as some of the Jihad-driven societies in the Middle East and elsewhere. So, I support the actions in these areas as they serve as to bring these societies closer to that optimal area than they would have otherwise. It is true that Afghanistan is ruled in large parts by tribalistic powers such as the warlords, but for the first time since the Soviet invasion in the 1970's, the country is free to move from that fierce tribalism to something more ideal. I'm a believer that as people become more educated, they tend to be less likely to fall into the extremes, and more likely to work towards more central (central refering to the balance between McWorld and Jihad) societies. So, while Afghanistan's improvements have been largely in the areas of academics and education, it's these areas in the longterm that will serve to prevent the country from descending to the tribalistic chaos that engulfed the country for the past few decades. Is there still more to be done there -- absolutely.

Now, Iraq... The reason that I support the actions in Iraq is that it frees Iraq from its own tribalistic prison where the Ba'ath tribe was the one calling the shots. As many others have mentioned, Iraq already has a more educated populace than the rest of the Middle East, and it has the crucial industrial infrastructure and resources to speed its recovery on a scale that is unimaginable in Afghanistan. With the advent of more freedoms for the Iraqis in the post Hussein era, and the inevitible injection of global commerce-driven elements, Iraq as a society is also pulled closer to that ideal center. With the collapse of the Hussein regime, the Iraqi people will be able to take part in the global market place of commerce and ideas. It is my expectation that Iraq will reach a point closer to that happy middle and become a local example in the Middle East of the failure of the way of life that has dominated the Middle East since the end of World War II.

However, all of this comes with one large caveat. While the conflict between McWorld and Jihad have been useful in bringing the extreme elements of Afghanistan and Iraq to a more reasonable area, we shouldn't allow it to completely dominate the growth and transformations of these countries. So, while McWorld has been battling Jihad in the Middle East, the population of McWorld needs to be aware of the larger conflict and  McWorld from within in order to not devolve too far in the opposite direction. This includes opposing things like media consolidation at home and preventing the domination by corporate elements in developing areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, I'd better wrap this up as this is becoming too long winded and too much of an unstructured train of thought. However, this is the big-picture viewpoint that I'm coming to this situation from.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

don't worry be happy (none / 0) (#357)
by chu on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:22:09 AM EST

Well on the one hand, all most of us actually know about it is what we see on TV and read. Much of the mainstream media in the 'coalition' countries has been demonstrated to be about as biased as Soviet-era Pravda. Of course their portrayal of events is more attractive and optimistic. You're welcome to suck it all up but it's a pretty weak criticism of others that they don't.

On the other hand, the US and UK governments have been far more cynical than anyone here could ever manage. They have been caught out lying on several occasions and changed their reasons for invading weekly. In the case of the UK, they have gone to war against overwhelming public opinion. Bush has a huge financial conflict of interest with family and friends in the oil business. Both countries also have the most appalling track records in the Middle East.

It is a simple matter of risk-assessment to examine the worst-case scenario and try to weigh it up. Cynicism is just a way of reading the intentions of governments (any of them). Anything else is just wishful thinking. I'm not against hope but it's no secret that you will be very easy to manipulate when it's all you have.

[ Parent ]

blind optimism (none / 0) (#489)
by emmons on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:52:45 PM EST

I never said that I'm blindly optimisitc, I weighed the risks against the potential good and decided that the war is worth undertaking. I'm far less manipulatable than those who only need to see a few pictures of dead civilians to go march on the street.

Some believe that the motives of the US and UK are purely ulterior and therefore the results of action on those motives can only be bad. The efforts must be opposed becaues of the motives.

I was tempted in my origional post to include The Americans want to do it, it must be wrong. But I think that's generally too simplistic, in some cases it's true however.

You fall in to these two categories it seems- although in more the former than the in latter. The US/UK governments want a friend in the region. Liberating the people of Iraq and rebuilding it to be a prosperous nation is a way to achieve this goal, and I'd argue it's one of the strongest arguments within the US administration for going ahead with the war. Merely toppeling the government, occpuying the land and stealing the oil won't achieve the goal, and the cost of a prolonged significant occupying military presence would be higher than the oil we could get out of the place.

Perhaps going to war in order to attain an ally is a bit greedy, but in the end the people of Iraq will end up in better shape than before. How is that so horrible?

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
ends justifies the means (none / 0) (#507)
by chu on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:10:35 PM EST

You seem to be making an 'ends justifies the means' type of argument. The usual counter to this is that it sets a very bad precedent and could lead to some real horrors in the future. I think that's what most people were demonstrating about. You might also want to ask why USUK need a friend in the region. Are Arabs naturally hostile? Or have we done something to provoke hostility without making amends?

Aside from that, of course USUK, like any govs, have ulterior motives - that's just how it works. The people of Iraq may end up in better shape - I really hope so - but I think that is just a matter of luck as far as USUK are concerned. Do I really need to point out that Saddam was put in power by the US - the welfare of the Iraqis is simply not a factor in these areas. All this flowering of democracy stuff is for the birds - just look at any country where the US has intervened e.g. Afghanistan, Chile.

[ Parent ]

in part (none / 0) (#522)
by emmons on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:09:26 PM EST

Yes, I am- with the consideration that the means aren't terrible. If I believed that we were doing this only for oil, only because we wanted to show off to the world how powerful we are or some other purely despicable reason, I'd be completely against the war.

We want friends in the region because at the moment we haven't many, due in part to our past treatment of the region and due also in part to the influential religious fundamentalism in the region that easily sturrs up the population against us, based primarily on the West's predominiate religions. Our past one-sided support of Israel hasn't made the situation any better. I seriously hope that a plan will be set in place soon and followed through that will establish a Palestinian state and finally take care of this remnant of WWII.

On to your second point: Saddam wasn't put in power by the US, but we didn't exacly try to prevent it either. And as despicable as it was, we did support him in the Iran/Iraq war. We did many shitty things during the Cold War, but try to put those things in context of the time. We were at war. The threat of Soviet aggression was very strong, and any nation/government that we didn't support would be supported by the USSR and come under its sphere of influence. Remember, this was a government whose premier went before the UN, pounded his shoe on the table and proclaimed "We will bury you." So, as the saying at the time went in respect to dictators allied with the US/NATO at the time, "He may be a bastard, but at least he's our basterd."

I don't mean to say that many of the things we did during the Cold War were in any way good, but they were necessary to prevent or contain conflicts that would have escalated into world war. We supported Iran for a time to repel the growing power of Soviet-sponsored Iraq, but after the Iranian revolution we shifted our focus to making Iraq our ally rather than the Soviet's. Iran had been all but lost to us and having both nations under the influence of the USSR would have tipped world power too far in the Soviet's direction. The welfare of citizens brought under the US/NATO's sphere of influence was second to the fact that the governments were allied with us, keeping the balance in place and preventing all out world war.

People like to bring up the things we did during the Cold War as examples for why we shouldn't do other things today- I say put everything in context. The Cold War was exactly that, a war. It was ugly, and a lot of people suffered and died as a result of two superpowers fighting each other for control of the globe. Thank God it's over, and thank God the stalemate stayed equal enough to prevent nuclear exchange.

Today is a different period of history. We no longer need to meet the threat of Soviet aggression and can focus our efforts elsewhere- namely cleaning up the messes left behind by the Cold War. Liberating Iraq and Afganistan are part of that. For the last ten years or so we've thought that the world would clean itself up- or at least that we could ignore the problems. 9/11 awoke us to the fact that we need to take an active role in cleaning up the mess. Hopefully freedom and democracy will be spread throughout the world as a result.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]

Voltaire would be proud (nt) (none / 0) (#503)
by pyramid termite on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:46:09 PM EST


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Everything is not either or (none / 0) (#515)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:27:07 PM EST

I feel very happy for the people who feel happy and free in Iraq. However, I have many of reservations concerning the approach by which this was brought about.

By that I mean that, I hope the means by which we decided to approach the problems in Iraq do not become the rule rather than the exception.

 

[ Parent ]

Either everything's either-or or nothing is [n/t] (4.00 / 1) (#524)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:15:30 PM EST




Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
=) [n/t] (none / 0) (#526)
by emmons on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:16:56 PM EST



---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
of course not (none / 0) (#525)
by emmons on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:16:00 PM EST

But I presented my idea that way to make my point clear, one which I hope is not lost on you.

As to the liberation the Iraqi people- how else could it be brought about? Believe me, I hate war as much as anyone else. If I believed there were a better way to achieve the goal of changing the government to be more friendly to its people and the world at large, I would be completely against the war. However, I do not see any other way it could be done.

War is hell and always undesireable, but sometimes it's the only way to achieve a greater good.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]

Baghdad didn't fall yet. (1.33 / 9) (#268)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:41:47 AM EST

So far all there is are maraduing bands of coalition troops pillaging stores.

Both sides are at this point too squeamish to start actual street warfare.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

Literally no content. (4.40 / 5) (#311)
by ender81b on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:44:36 AM EST

maraduing bands of coalition troops pillaging stores.

Any proof of this whatsoever? Nope. It's not even being reported on some of the non-us friendly news outlets. It's random groups of civilians plundering stores. Both sides are at this point too squeamish to start actual street warfare.

They hold most of the city. The republican gaurd has been destroyed. The US has sent in troops throughout the city. The Iraqi UN ambassador cannot contact his government. The city is toast, goodbye. The government has collapsed.

[ Parent ]

bbc reporting it (none / 0) (#332)
by chu on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:48:43 AM EST

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2934625.stm

Baghdad resistance

In Baghdad, US troops are continuing to face sporadic resistance, coming under fire in several parts of the city on Thursday.

Iraqi civilians and US soldiers pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein, Baghdad, 9 April 2003
The toppling of a huge statue was a symbolic moment
One battle broke out on the banks of the River Tigris at dawn as a convoy of marines and US special forces turned into a wide road leading to one of the presidential palaces.

Iraqi troops - thought to be members of the elite Republican Guard - fired machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades at the convoy, killing one American soldier.

The marines later began searching a nearby mosque, where it was thought the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein might be hiding.

There was also gunfire overnight as people barricaded themselves in their blacked-out homes, fearing looters after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's control of the Iraqi capital on Wednesday.

The US does not have enough troops on the ground in Baghdad to maintain order, BBC correspondents in the city say.

[ Parent ]

The U.S. doesn't hold anything. (none / 0) (#342)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:44:54 AM EST

The Iraqi military allowed U.S. troops to enter the city, provided the U.S. grunts act nice and do not incite too many race riots.

Look, the Iraqi army has at least a tenfold advantage over coalition troops in manpower and equipment. The Iraqi army hasn't lost any significant portion of its resources (a couple percent losses only) and still retains all their command and logistics infrastructure.

Basically, both sides do not wish this to degenerate into a "real" war. The U.S. needs flashy, substanceless propaganda fodder, (like this statue idiocy, for example) the Iraqi military command wants to remain in power.

At this point, the U.S. and Iraqi high command struck a mutually-advantageous deal. This is an uneasy alliance, though, and could easily degenerate into "real war".

P.S. Saddam is at this point dispensable and unnecessary. The real people controlling Iraq at this point are the people who have control of the Iraqi military.

With or without Saddam, the initiative at this point is on the Iraqi side; currently, they are opting for a peaceful way out. This could change at any moment, though.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Do you really believe this?[nt] (none / 0) (#348)
by acronos on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:03:00 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Objections? (none / 0) (#473)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:04:30 PM EST

D'you have a valid point to make?

Obviously the Iraqi high command has struck a deal with the coalition troops, possibly selling out Saddam. Or maybe not; in any case, Saddam is now out of the picture.

The Iraqi military, though, is definitely not, and that is what matters now.

At this point it is important for the U.S. government to not make any sharp moves -- the situation is very loaded and unstable.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Sources? (none / 0) (#626)
by br284 on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:57:24 AM EST

What are your sources, or are you simply speculating?

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Look everyone! . . . (4.20 / 5) (#351)
by Dphitz on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:09:05 AM EST

Iraq's information minister has joined K5.  And it seems he's still smoking that fine shit that causes delusions of grandeur (and makes US troops and tanks invisible, thus making you not see them in your capitol).


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
Sir, (none / 0) (#475)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:05:26 PM EST

What grade are you in?


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

what grade are you in? (none / 0) (#491)
by Burning Straw Man on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:59:17 PM EST

What grade are you in?

Probably at least a grade level which would allow him to refute your comment about a tenfold advantage in manpower and equipment on the part of the Iraqi Army.

You're saying that the Iraqi Army has over 2 million troops, and several hundred tanks and armored vehicles, hundreds of B2 bombers and fighters, a massive Navy fleet?

Maybe they had about a hundred Soviet-era tanks at the start of the war, but most of those are lying in smoking ruins across the desert. They have no Air Force to speak of.
--
your straw man is on fire...
[ Parent ]

Hello. (none / 0) (#582)
by tkatchev on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 02:14:27 AM EST

Care to back that up with numbers?


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

im a junior are you cute (3.00 / 2) (#551)
by hethrbritnyfan on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:11:25 PM EST

and do you live in indiana im looking for high school conservative bois who play football and dont listen to nasty music like korn and love our president are you conservative
baby, take the time to realize I'm not the kind to sacrifice The way I am - britney spears
[ Parent ]
and I am Elmer J. Fudd, Millionaire. (4.00 / 4) (#410)
by kjb on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:28:40 AM EST

I own a mansion and a yacht.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Ack! Rabbititus! (3.66 / 3) (#430)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:55:34 AM EST

I see spots before my eyes!


--
Note that the depiction of the president as a deranged or Nazi paranoid is coming mostly from people who constantly tell us how passionately they
[ Parent ]

I must confess (3.50 / 8) (#283)
by RaveWar on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:08:48 AM EST

I watched the Iraqis dancing on the wreckage for a while, expecting that if I waited the TV would show a US helicopter fly over the horison and lower a twenty foot statue of "Dubya" onto recently vacated pedestal, to much rejoicing.
We don't need freedom. We don't need love.
We want Superpower, Ultraviolence.
Think bigger. (none / 0) (#501)
by speedball on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:34:33 PM EST

I was hoping they'd lower Dubya into the middle of Baghdad.

--
We will glorify war -- the world's only hygiene -- militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for women.
[ Parent ]

No no, not Dubya (5.00 / 1) (#622)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:38:50 AM EST

I was expecting the helicopter to lower a 50 foot tall statue of Ronald McDonald.

We have now made Iraq safe for Coca-Cola and McDonald's. And Halliburton and Exxon. Amen.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Gawd no (none / 0) (#647)
by Grognard on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 03:57:11 PM EST

not the evil corporations!  Anything but that!

A bit of perspective would do wonders for the left's credibility.

[ Parent ]

Uh, you do realize... (none / 0) (#654)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 04:45:36 PM EST

that our pet puppet that we're about to install as the Iraqi president says he wants to sell off the state oil company to two or three American oil companies, right?

This war has a lot to do with making the Middle East safe for American corporations, my friend. Ever since Saddam's predecessor nationalized those oilfields back in the early 70's, the U.S. oil industry has wanted them back.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

One problem (none / 0) (#695)
by Grognard on Sun Apr 13, 2003 at 10:21:17 AM EST

although it lacks the sexiness of a huge corporate/political/military conspiracy, the easiest and quickest way for Bush to give a bennie to the oil industry would be to push through a fuel tax cut.  The industry could inch up wholesale prices slightly to increase their margin while the resulting consumer price cut would encourage greater consumption.  Best of all, given the Republican stance toward taxes, it would look like he was doing it for ideological rather than venal reasons.

But the black helicopters are so much more exciting.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, me too... (none / 0) (#660)
by gjetost on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 05:10:00 PM EST

After they took over the "Saddam International Airport", I figured they'd change the name and cover up all the big posters of Hussein with ones of Dubya.

[ Parent ]
BbAeGrHlDiAnD ... just mixed up (4.30 / 10) (#291)
by mutex on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:00:10 AM EST

The wall was build because of the self-interests of two world powers fighting their war of deterrence on the german playground - not by the germans themselfes. The wall has been teard down by protest of the german people - not by violence of a foreing army. The germans decided themselfes to become a united and democratic nation - they have not been forced to become free because some other nation thought it was best for them. It took decades of diplomacy(!!!) to make the fall of the GDR possible and now it shows that it will take decades to realy unite germans with germans: How long will it take to unite Kurds with Sunits and Sunits with Sheits? Installing an united german democracy in germany by the germans has been supported by most if not all of it's neighbor states - how glad will the islamic nations of the near and middle east be, to have a US democracy of US-Interests installed by the US-Army directly in their neighborhood?

Who can decide wich nation must be liberated? If every dictator must be fought by us to free the people you would have about 30 wars around the world right now. If the arabic nations would decide, that the US president came to power by a manipulated election, that the US government just supports economic interests of the big industries instead of the US people, that the US owns weapons of mass destruction ... if so, would this give them the morally right to free the americans by throwing tons of bombs on Washington D.C., the Pentagon and FOX?

Can a few pictures of some dancing and grinnig iraqis make you forget, that there is war in Iraq? The opinion of some opertunists is not of importance - more importend will be the opinion of those children who are sitting in the bomb shelters since weeks while hearing tomerhawks exploding over their heads and while they are freed by the US-Army by killing their fathers.

There have been such a lot of military interferences of the americans in many nations - how much of them are stable democratic states now? Freeing Iraq by destroying the UN, international right, long grown international relationships and provoking conflicts in interessts of the worlds most powerfull nations - will this make the world a better place? I'm absolutely not pro-Saddam but I'm as well not pro-US-Propaganda. Much has been destroyed by this war - not just Baghdad. The Iraqis and the whole world will have to pay for it - not just Saddam.

The fall of the Berlin wall was a joyfull thing that changed the world in some points. 9/11 was a terrible thing but it united the western and the arabic world in a war against terrorism - this could have been such a great chance for a more secure future. Now again things are changing and those things will change the world - but I can't see the positiv side on US aggression and arbitrariness making some Iraqis grin: There are thousands of miles between Berlin and Baghdad.

The wall.. didn't fall because of Germany.. (1.00 / 1) (#499)
by biggeezer on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:32:48 PM EST

Lets really be honest, the wall fell because of NATO and a Russian president that was actually a human being. Hell.. the Americans had more troops in Germany than the Germans.

I think your kinda reaching here

if so, would this give them the morally right to free the americans by throwing tons of bombs on Washington D.C., the Pentagon and FOX?

Lets not forget, that 70% of the people in the US actually support the war, You only hear about the loud miniority, not the silent majority. And for the most part, our freedoms haven't changed.

There have been such a lot of military interferences of the americans in many nations - how much of them are stable democratic states now?

I think Japan is a rather stable nation, as well as S. Korea, I think Panama is doing pretty good right now also, Grenada is doing alright as well. Haiti is also doing good.

Most places where America has entered alone is actually doing good.. the places where we went in as a force for UN is where it is doing bad.. Bosnia, Serbia(improving..?)

Although I agree with you in theory.. But, Freedom isn't free, it takes blood, sweat and tears to have it.. it is a right, but some poeple on this planet think, only verbage is going to settle things.. when in fact action usually is the out come that makes it work.



[ Parent ]
Strange (5.00 / 1) (#535)
by Eric Green on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:13:42 PM EST

I didn't see a single American or Russian face pulling down that wall in Berlin, and not a gun in sight. And certainly not any American flags, or American armoured repair vehicles with cables hooked to them to pull things down.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
American (none / 0) (#594)
by Ragica on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 05:28:22 AM EST

Repsectfully, your head is very far up your ass. I am no expert by any means either and many things i say are ignorant. But nontheless...

While the elements you state (NATO, Gorbachev) certainly have their parts (especially the latter), the point the original poster makes is entirely true. There was no military or violence directly involved in the actual overthrow of the government or topping of the "monument". This is a key difference. You also ignore the poster's insightful comments regarding the political aftermath of even that relatively peaceful "liberation".

Your 70% statistic, no doubt you get from Fox News. Did you miss the part where this artificial conflict generated the largest war protests in history... even inside America itself? Is this insigificant? And so what if 70% of americans did agree with the war: what about the democracy of nations? In the UN virtually all other nations were against this action. The US does not recognise any democracy except that which it DICTATES however, it seems. We see this over and over and over.

Japan: no comparison. There was a world war on at the time, in case you didn't notice. I will refrain from any discussion regarding the USA TERRORIST TACTICS of willfully incinerating civilians en masse.

Grenada: the term invation here is a bit overblown. It was more of a police action. One may quibble about the details. It was certainly minor: there were no weeks of bombing.

Panama, Haiti. You might want to look up someday the reasons these governments got into the state they were in which required "liberating". You'll find that in these cases, as iwth Iraq, the US policy is deeply involved. Without going into detail of the events themselves, or even your rather overly optimistic and ignorant in some cases view of the current state, suffice it to say that as with the "liberation" of Iraq, the "liberated" people are kissing not just their liberators, but also their enslavers... the people more responsible than any others for having put the powers and corruption in place to oppress them in the first place... and there's no reason to believe the US (especially with these unilateral actions which spit in the eyes of the world) will not do it agian in the future if it suits them... which is to say, if they feel they are not being given enough "tribute" politically or financially.


[ Parent ]

Not all that true... (none / 0) (#615)
by biggeezer on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:14:07 AM EST

Lets be honest.. since my head is up my ass, There where many circumstances that brought down the wall. The 2 major ones is where NATO being a force to be reckon with as a deterant(sp?) and Gorbachev. Being stationed there for over 3 years.. I can tell you this.. I was there when the wall fell, I even got a piece for myself. And as for no guns being fired, as that might be the case for the day it fell, I guess the other battles to stop communisim spread in the world weren't a factor. That and the freedom are the real reasons the wall fell.

And no.. I actually got the 70% pole from several news source, I don't even watch Fox News, because they are just like Al-Jazeera.. not impartial.

I guess the dropping of a atom bomb on a country was pretty bad, hell... It saved litterly millions of there lives as well as american lives. Lets not forget they attacked us first and killed civilians on the raid of Pearl Harbor. Or did you forget that part.

I agree, alot of the problems stated could easly be caused by the US. On the Panama factor, the panama canal was one of the reasons.. and after the invasion(which I took part in), The country was given back to the people.

You make a big claim about the US putting Saddam in power.. please link me a source where we did that. I mean hell.. Did we befriend him when he was fighting Iran(people holding our people for over 12 years in captivity). Lets also put the blame on France, Russia, Germany, Britian as well as other countries not only the US they all befriended him as well.. and stood on the side lines, as well as the UN.

Everyone gots this idealogy that america is bad because we back someone because its in our interist. Hell, EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD DOES THAT. Not just america. We are bad, because when a earthquake happens in another country we send help. When the earthquakes happen here, we take care of it alone. We are bad because in almost every country where there is a natural disaster we help, but, when we have them ourselves, we get no help.

Get off your american bashing, and put the blame where it belongs.. I am not saying America doesn't deserver its blame, but so do alot of other countries.. we just get the blunt of it.



[ Parent ]
National interests (none / 0) (#620)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:36:57 AM EST

Going to war because it's in our national interests is one thing. If this was the first shot of the Gold War (black gold, my friend. Iraqi tea. Oil), so be it. At least that means our leaders aren't insane.

But to wrap ourselves in the flag and pretend that this is a war of liberation is freakin' nuts. You don't go in and kill thousands of people and tear big holes in a country in order to liberate it from its own ruler. Even Vietnam was not nuts enough to say that they were invading Cambodia in order to liberate it from Pol Pot, Vietnam was pretty blunt -- it was not in their national interests to see a nutball on their western border, and they would maintain an occupation government there until it was possible to turn the country back over to a government that was sane. And Pol Pot killed close to a quarter of the population of Cambodia before Vietnam stepped in -- if anybody had the right to call an invasion a "war of liberation" it was Vietnam! But even Communists had more honesty than the Busheviks in Washington have.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

How is this a war over oil.. (none / 0) (#630)
by biggeezer on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 12:10:59 PM EST

We already are the biggest buyer of there oil anyways.. 80%.. sheesh.. with the federal money going to a tax decrease for citizens with a electric car. Yea, that doesn't make since in the least. Is our gase prices that important.. no they arent. To even think its over oil and only oil is just stupid.

These are the reasons I think the war happened. One, Revenge for SH trying to kill his father, I think this is rather stupid reason but a reason none the less.

Two, Liberation, one of the only true reason I back the war.

Three, WMD, the other reason I back it.

Four, Because SH is totally insane.



[ Parent ]
It all comes back to oil (none / 0) (#640)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 01:56:46 PM EST

The oilfield services business (of which Halliburton is the biggest company) is a big business, one of the few industrial areas where the United States is still a leader. But we were losing out to France and Russia on Iraqi oilfield contracts. In addition, Iraq had announced that from now on, they would only accept Euros, not dollars, as payment from their oil.

As for your motives:

  1. Revenge: Nobody spends $100 billion (what this war is going to cost us) for revenge.
  2. Liberation: You truly believe that the U.S. government gives a gnat's ass for liberation? When they're pushing draconian laws like the Patriot Act and Patriot II upon the United States? The whole "liberation" speil was just pure propoganda. What I have to say about that whole liberation spiel is Liberate America First .
  3. Weapons of mass destruction: Unless you consider Mohammed Saeeed al-Sahaf to be a weapon of mass destruction (more like a weapon of inadvertant comedic entertainment), we haven't found any. I have no doubt that we'll eventually find a few warheads or rockets in some dusty warehouse that are left over from the Iran/Iraq war (Saddam was an evil dictator, not an accountant, and things slip through the cracks), but "mass destruction" they won't be. The arms inspectors all pretty much agreed that Saddam didn't have any WMD, Hans Blix's last report said as much, Bush invaded anyways.
  4. Saddam insane? On what evidence? What, you sent a psychologist to psychoanalyze him? Sheesh. Saddam was an evil dictator, not Pol Pot or Idi Amin. He didn't boil his opponents' brains then eat them. You've been watching too much Faux News, "We Decide, We Distort". Saddam never had a gnat's ass on "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who we supported in Haiti for years who really *WAS* certifiable.
I've been trying to think of other reasons to invade Iraq. But in the end, it all boils down to oil. We want stable governments in that region? Oil. We want pro-Western democracies in that region? Oil. Let's face it, if Iraq had no oil, we wouldn't have given a gnat's ass about Saddam. Look at Africa, where there are some vicious bastards all over the place that we don't give a damn about because they don't have (gasp) OIL.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Ah... the Hans Blix nut case.. (none / 0) (#658)
by biggeezer on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 05:03:31 PM EST

He himself said they had it.. that they just didn't find it.. Like they just didn't find the nice silkworm cruisemissles as well.. another weapon banned by the UN Resolutions. Also.. RISEN the poison found at the Terriost camp, is also considered a WMD.

True.. Saddam didn't boil then eat his people.. he just covered them up with honey and fed them to dogs.. yea.. that is a mark of a man in total control.

But.. I did like your little speil on the oil thing, and I tend to rather agree with you to some extent.. but.. hell, lets face it. We invaded Panama, No oil. We invaded Grenada no oil. We invaded Haiti no oil.(just a sorry excuse of a human being). We fought and died in Somalia no oil, Bosnia no oil, Serjavo no oil.

That oil trump.. can only go so fare.



[ Parent ]
Silkworms were not banned (none / 0) (#672)
by Eric Green on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 09:19:06 PM EST

First of all, Silkworms are *NOT* cruise missiles. They're anti-ship missiles. Secondly, they were NOT banned. Thirdly, the Iraqis did *NOT* fire one at that Kuwaiti shopping mall -- that would be ridiculous, they're radar-guided and go towards the biggest radar blip in front of them, they can't be aimed at things onshore, the only way one would hit a target onshore is if it were fired at a ship offshore and missed, at which time it'd just keep going. However, from the writing that was on the missile fragments, it has now been concluded that it was an off-course American cruise missile that exploded near that mall, not even a Silkworm. Other than the Al Shamud missiles (which were being destroyed but the destruction had not be completed by the time Bush declared war), not a single banned weapon was used by the Iraqis in this action.

I'm tired of cutting and pasting links off my my BadTux site to correct misinformation that keeps getting repeated here, so you just go over there yourself. It's four or five pages back (keep hitting the "Previous News" links). Or just go to Google and type in the search term "kuwait cruise missile english writing".
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Nice site.. (5.00 / 1) (#704)
by biggeezer on Sun Apr 13, 2003 at 03:56:23 PM EST

But.. it has no balance.. On your site, you condem the US saying it is going to wage war on Syria or Iran, and hint at the reason because you say we are bringing in more military Divisions. But... a few links down, it is also said, that there isn't enough people there to stop the looting. So, how do you propose we fix the problem, I don't know.. MAYBE SEND MORE PEOPLE IN!!! your site is so off balance, its just a bush bashing session, and everything on the site contradicts itself.

And for your information, the Silkworm comes in a varity of diffrent configurations, the most popular being the anti-ship version of course, But, N.Korea and China have both made modifications to the systems to enhance there surface to surface capability. The CSSC-8 "Saccade" after all there best anti-ship missle was even changed to have surface to surface capability with ranges up to 400 kilometers. They where after all modelled after the Soviet Styx(anti-ship)system which had a dual role as a surface to surface missle as well. And you are wrong about there radar homing.. they are C-band radar controlled from the battery which performs surveillance and target tracking



[ Parent ]

Unlike Faux News... (none / 0) (#707)
by Eric Green on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 01:55:07 AM EST

I don't pretend to be "fair and balanced".

Regarding radar homing on Silkworms, I'd like your source of information. I checked on a couple of sites like John Pike's GlobalSecurity.org , and it appears that they have a terminal guidance radar (i.e., that the battery tracks the target and fires the Silkworm in the direction of the target, but that the Silkworm's own radar then takes over). But details were lacking as to when its own terminal guidance radar takes over from shore-based guidance.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Oh.. I do agree.. (none / 0) (#716)
by biggeezer on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 02:06:51 PM EST

Fox is way off balance.. hence the reason I don't watch them or Al-jazzera..Both.. are just propaganda outlets for both sides.

And on your Silkworm guidence systems. This link talks about what the guidance system.Here Link And here is another link..stating that the weapon has a projected range of 100-200 km which is against the seize fire agreement and that was a modified varient system for surface to surface attacks in the pre-1991 area.



[ Parent ]
Now the game starts (4.00 / 14) (#293)
by drquick on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:02:30 AM EST

Now it starts! The game about what kind of Iraq we'll have in the future. In reality that means what kind of Middle East we will have. It has a great significance to the whole world. The Palestinian issue for a start, then oil and thus the world economy, but don't forget the geopolitical issues. US global strategy of allowing no one to match or threaten its dominance is greatly affected by oil and Middle Eastern affairs.

In the midst of all this are the Iraqis and other Arabs. It boils down to three issues: Economy, Strategic Interests and Democracy. US/UK have a lot of promises to hold. The benign unselfish interest in helping Iraq needs to be proved.

The Economy:
I fear the US will rip of Iraq and the Middle East economically. Humanitarian aid to Iraq is cheap. Especially if UN funds and Iraqi oil is used to finance it. Countries who oppose the war might easily end up paying for rebuilding, administration (occupation, really) and aid. Favourable trade contracts for oil and even antiquities that Iraqis never would accept will go to the US. Now there is a post Saddam honeymoon, but hatred toward USA will arise if Iraqis don't control their own economy. I didn't mean those exile Iraqi puppets gathered by the Bush administration. Will Iraqis really get the profits and the political powers that come with oil. Reconstruction will be dire too for Iraq itself.

Strategic Interests:
We will see US military presence in Iraq for a long time. Bases in Iraq are demanded by the US geo-strategy (used against Syria and Iran, anomg others). Bases in Iraq pose no limitations on their use, like bases in other Arab states do. This military presence will be seen as an unjust and hostile occupation by other Arab states and by Iraqis too. Hatred toward the US on the rise again.

Democracy:
To achieve its goals in the Middle East the US needs an Iraqi government that's supporting US foreign policy. No Arabs are really favourable to US pre emptive doctrine right now. They are anti-Israel and anti-US at heart. I don't think the Iraqi government will be ddemocratic. It might seem so at first glance with public elections held after all critical decisions are already implemented. Further, an election is democratic only if anyone can campaign for office on equal terms. I suspect candidates will be blocked by a number of means. One way is to deprive anti-US candidates of access to the media and to under fund their campaign relative to a preferred candidate.

Maybe this... (3.00 / 2) (#488)
by biggeezer on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:52:07 PM EST

First.. if the UN funds.. that means US money, lets not forget that the US pays in 1/3rd of the UN total income. Also.. the US was already the largest buyer for Iraqi oil 80% if I am correct. Now I can see, the US saying.. let us have the oil cheaper.. but, I doubt it is going to be cheaper than the Food for Oil(failed) program

The geo-strategy and iraq will likely see a small force in Iraq once it is stable, And if the Iranians or Syrians step out of line, we will atleast have a base of operation, but chances are, not even as friendly as Kuwait.

And on the Democracy... I don't analysis is correct. I think, that no matter what Democracy will rise in Iraq, but.. chances are it won't be always friendly.. Hell, even Turkey bucks us every now and then.



[ Parent ]
Compare statues to statues (4.86 / 15) (#314)
by ensignyu on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:57:43 AM EST

As others have pointed out, this doesn't nearly equate to the fall of the Berlin wall. Especially if you compare Berlin to Baghdad.

Rather, compare it to the destruction of statues during the fall of the USSR. I saw a video with a giant statue of Lenin being dragged away by air to a scrapyard by a metal rope around its neck. I think that would be a more appropriate comparison.

Not that the fall of another totalitarian government isn't a good thing. But this seems like quite a different situation. For instance, the direct involvement of the US in this situation, as opposed to the implosion of the USSR.

Statue was massive (4.66 / 3) (#388)
by StrifeZ on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:59:41 AM EST

The statue was simply too big for any civilian vehicle. It was like 50 feet tall, brand new, and with a base of sold concrete. Trying to pull that with a Dodge pickup truck and a steel chain would have ripped the Dodge pickup truck appart. So, it was either going to be a Tank Recovery vehicle which took it down now, or an M1A1 tank that shot it down later.

Its not so much the taking down thats important. Theres lots of statues of Saddam to take down that a car or a few strong men could do easily(and Iraqis were doing it around Baghdad and in other cities as well). Its what the Iraqi's did after. The started dancing on the fallen dictator and then got up on the concrete platform, stood in Saddam's feet and held their original flag up. That is the first important step. They realize this is their nation and they'll have to build it and emerge from Saddam's legacy.

But this statue was just too big to take down by any civilian vehicle. Perhaps the right way of thinking about it is is what we'll be doing in the future with the Iraqis: We'll be working togeather to take Saddam's face off every wall and in ever square and build a new iraq where people can dance freely and dream. They'll need our help, so we'll help them.

So perhaps its better than them taking it down by themselves. Perhaps this is the first step in what will hopefully become an important friendship.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
Looting and Liberation (2.25 / 4) (#325)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 06:54:57 AM EST

Liberation and looting. Are you liberated?

Helmets and Heads versus Lawnchairs and Pillows (5.00 / 1) (#386)
by StrifeZ on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:52:38 AM EST

Give the soldiers a break. They just spent the last 3 weeks eating MREs, sleeping in dirt for 2 hours at a time every 15 hours or so, and getting shot at nearly 20 hours a day while wearing bulky bio-chem suits in 95 degree heat. Soldiers are probably going to come home 5 - 10 lbs lighter off that alone. They've earned the right to steal a pillow from Saddam's palace after that shit. Heck, I saw a picture of a Bradley with 2 lawn chairs tied to its side. Lawn chairs. Not paintings. Not silverwear, not jewelry. $10 lawn chairs.

Cut the soldiers some slack. Their predacessors would talk helemts and weapons from enemies they killed. In World War II, soldiers commonly beheded Japaneese soldiers they killed and placed the rotting heads on the front of their tanks as a "warning".

Wars always ugly and some times necessary. Lets be happy our soldiers are taking pillows and lawn chairs instead of helmets and heads, okay?


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
I am not talking about the soldiers (none / 0) (#424)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:48:25 AM EST

I am talking about the poor people of Iraq.

Of course they are happy  and looting freely wouldn't you if you had nothing and your were oppressed for years?

They have been denied everything.

So looting is their expression of freedom. GOD Bless them.

They had nothing for years now they have something.
Because they took it!!!

They couldn't say anything and be listened to.  Now everyone is paying attention to them.

I admire them and love them, for they are my brothers in spirit.

Also, if the soldiers take a few things i don't blame them, some of them eat via food stamps . It's about time they get paid!!

After all it's better than being in jail.

[ Parent ]

Bush administration DOES NOT support our troops (1.55 / 9) (#327)
by gr00vey on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:14:17 AM EST

They lie and deceive, but they don't really support our troops. They (bush and GOP ruled house)cut veterans benefits HEAVILY in february, and then they cuts taxes. If they truely supported our troops, they would back it up with some cash. http://www.vetsforjustice.com/index.htm http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/article.asp?id=628 Quote from a vet. "SOME MORE BUSHITE PROPAGANDA , WE VIETNAM AND WWII VETS HAVE FOR YEARS TRIED TO GET RECOGNITION FOR POW , BUT WE DONT WANT IT FROM YOU GEORGE CAUSE THEY AINT NOTHING IN YOUR HEART FOR VETERANS NOW YOU STOOP SO LOW AS TO USE POW FOR VOTES AND TO WIN HEARTS AND MINDS , WANT WORK GEORGE SOME OF US WENT TO SCHOOL EVEN THOUGH WE ALMOST STARVED TO DEATH WHILE DOING SO , WOULD YOU PLEASE WITHDRAW THIS AND LET SOMEONE WHO CARES ABOUT POW AND VETS DO THIS LATER "

re-allocated (5.00 / 2) (#384)
by StrifeZ on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:46:46 AM EST

Actually the money was reallocated to the Pentagon who will handle the money for veterans. It wasnt cut. It was moved laterally. The Veterans will still be getting the money, albiet from a different souce.

Heard this on NPR. I'll get a link later if I can find one.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
Turn off your CAPSLOCK and try again. (5.00 / 2) (#428)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:54:30 AM EST


--
Note that the depiction of the president as a deranged or Nazi paranoid is coming mostly from people who constantly tell us how passionately they
[ Parent ]

It was a quote, he used caps... oh well (none / 0) (#738)
by gr00vey on Tue Jun 10, 2003 at 06:09:13 AM EST

you l33t h4x0rs really get your panties in a bunch about caps lock, dontcha! ;)

[ Parent ]
I think Americans CAN feel the same way (3.71 / 7) (#329)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:27:13 AM EST

When I saw the statue fall my Eyes welled up. I was so happy for those people and I was also happy that (no matter the origional motivation) the outcome of this action was good.

I realy think that at this point it does not matter what your oppinions were before this moment. to deney the fact that it is good for people to be free is dishonest.

It does matter (4.00 / 1) (#330)
by gr00vey on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:35:30 AM EST

To allow The Bush regime to continue in the path they have been following will likely be the downfall of the USA. Please read my post below about how Bush REALLY treats veterans....

[ Parent ]
it *does* matter ... (4.00 / 4) (#336)
by jope on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:08:35 AM EST

in most civilized countries there *is* a difference if a criminal gets caught by police, arrested, and convicted by a judge, or if the neighbor uses his pumpgun to kill him, for whatever reason. For those US citizens who have watched too many Hollywood movies: the former is legal and morally acceptable, the latter is not, even if the effect in both situations is that the criminal subject is removed from society.

[ Parent ]
Self Defense (none / 0) (#392)
by MrAcheson on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:05:47 AM EST

So in your example self-defense is a bad thing and morally wrong?  No sorry don't buy it.  Perhaps you should think up a better example.

Also for consideration:  Morality and legality are independent.  Legality means a higher political authority justifies something.  Morality has nothing to do with politics and is often the antithesis of it.  Moral "law" and social law are not necessarily the same.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
you are watching too many hollywood movies (none / 0) (#421)
by jope on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:45:05 AM EST

i am always amazed on how present the notion of self-justice and the barbaric law of the stronger is in the US. Seems to go right from the average fight with your neighbor up to US world politics. Just to mention it though: self-defense certainly cannot be claimed as a reason for the war against Iraq.

[ Parent ]
The attitude comes from our history (none / 0) (#575)
by Wateshay on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 12:40:24 AM EST

If you look at the whole reason for the U.S.'s existence, you'll see that our whole reason for existence is because a group of people decided that our moral rights ourweighed the laws of the governing authority that ruled (i.e. the British) and fought to assert that. That attitude runs very deep in the American culture, and you find that there are many of us (myself included) who feel that moral law always trumps social law, and that the only reason for social law is to codify moral law in order to promote social order (note: I do not mean legislate morality...that's something completely different, and the domain of the religious right who by and large tend to put more weight in social law, not less).

I don't know whether Bush & Co. started this war for the reasons they stated, or because they want to make money off of the oil. I hope their reasons are pure, because I strongly agree with those reasons, and will support them as long as they do truly strive to create an Iraq as free as I am today (or preferably even more free). That is a noble goal, and the will of the UN can be damned. There is nothing right now that makes me more proud to be alive than to see Iraqi people toppling Saddam's statues and American soldiers raising the Iraqi flag. There are a lot of other countries in the world that are not free, and a lot of dictators that need to be ousted from power. I don't think we can succeed in getting them all, at least not right away. That is no reason, though, not to get one we can get.


"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."


[ Parent ]
Yes, but. (5.00 / 1) (#439)
by aphrael on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:08:58 PM EST

I think you can perfectly reasonably condemn the US for invading and celebrate the collapse of the Iraqi government as a great day for mankind.

[ Parent ]
I agree (5.00 / 1) (#462)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:32:22 PM EST

the problem is that I have never heard anyone who is anti-bush/anti-war say..."well we should not have gone in, but it is good that the Iraqi people are now free from Saddam, and for that reason I am happy for them."

most people I hear cannot bring themselfs to make that type of statement because they feel that it will make their position against the war weaker or they willnot be considered credible because in there head being happy about the outcome of the war is the same as being happy there was a war.

[ Parent ]

Not true (none / 0) (#505)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:03:03 PM EST

I am very happy for the people of and their liberation. however i still disagree with the means used to bring it about.

As an example of liberation by self determined and and dedicated people i will use the american revolution as case.

In the American colonies there was;
1) The desire of a small but dedicated group of people to throw off the rule of the British empire.
2) External support from countries or people  who had an  axe to grind with the British empire (france, prussia)

My question which is purely hypothetical now is;

Would it have been possible to stoke a rebellion in Iraq and supply the revolutionaries with the materials, some troops (sort of like the hessians were in our revolutionary war) and the know how to liberate themselves as our forefathers did with the British?

of course i don't know.

[ Parent ]

take this into account though (none / 0) (#559)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:12:57 PM EST

1) it took months to get news to England and Months for England to mobilize. that gave us Months to prepair both domesticly and internationaly. If Ben Franklin had not gone to France before the Brits got here I doubt that the french would have made it in time for York town.
2)if the Brits could have flown a gun ship over rebel positions or launch missles with high yeild conventional warheads at rebel positions, do you think there would have been a chance to organize or even alert colonial forces? if the brits had murdered and tourchered anyone who looked at King George the wrong way do you think that there would have even been revolutionary leaders?

I must say though, I can not say I have not heard anyone now since youhave said it :-p.

now I will say "I heard one person on K5 say..."

[ Parent ]

on the contrary ... (none / 0) (#527)
by jope on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:18:32 PM EST

at least in these parts of the world (central europe) i hardly know a person who does NOT have this opnion: the war was wrong, but it is good for the Iraquis to have got rid of Saddam and his regime. The average (over countries) percentage of people opposing the war here is about 80%, the average percentage of people thinking that the removal of Hussein is good is about 99% percent.

[ Parent ]
Fuck yea. (4.00 / 1) (#438)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:08:29 PM EST

I see where they are coming from. I am learning from them as well.

Freedom ah sweet freedom.... To do what you want...
and not fear being observed or ridiculed or called a traitor because of your heartfelt opinions..

Boy would i love that.


[ Parent ]

hey crack head (none / 0) (#461)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:28:50 PM EST

freedom works both ways, just becasue some a-hole calles you a traitor becasue you speak your mind does not mean ou have lost your freedom. that a-hole has freedom to call you a traitor just like I can call you a crack head.

[ Parent ]
crack----head+1 (none / 0) (#496)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:28:34 PM EST

Calling someone a crackhead and calling someone a traitor are two very diffrent things.

For the record.

I am not saying you or anyone else couldn't or shouldn't call people traitors or crackheads.

To clarify my previous post I would like you
to consider the gravity of the word traitor and it's legal meaning and consequences.

Please consider the consequences of being accused and convicted of being a traitor.  

Hypothetically, if you were to see  one of your fellow citizens  convicted in a court of law for  being a traitor or even accused of being a traitor in the public sphere for expressing an opinion contrary to the common will or the policies of our government what would you think of this?
What would the consequences be for that person and or our society as a whole. Would dissenting opionions just wither away or be hidden in the minds of their thinkers? Is this the kind of society you want?

All I ask is that insults and accusations be chosen with some consciousness of the results of what they actually mean.

Expressing  opinions contrary to the current  views
of our leadership/ government do not constitute traitoruos acts in my opinion.

Perhaps the opinions of the contrarians are stupid? Perhaps they signify an addiction to crack? Whatever the case may be.  Dissent is not a traitorous act.

It is my belief though that calling people traitors for expressing dissenting opinions acts as a   repressive agent on society and it inhibits views that are unpopular. Especially if thse views are not in favor with the establishment or state one finds oneself in.

Also this insult tends to cutoff discussions concerning the important issues that face us.

The question  in my mind is; does this insult lead to greater freedom for all of us? Or less freedom for all of us? What if people started to get convicted or ruined just by being accused of being a traitor by prominent media personalities?

How would this affect our freedom?

How would your life change if you were accused in avery public way of being a traitor for expressing a dissenting view?

[ Parent ]

yeah, that is nice (none / 0) (#558)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:05:11 PM EST

but those ass holes calling you a trator are no more teping on your freedoms than I am calling you a crackhead.

[ Parent ]
No one has ever said that to me personally. (none / 0) (#579)
by thePositron on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 01:46:21 AM EST

I have seen it said to others. I also know that when individuals like us call each other, crackheads, traitors or whatever else that it doesn't mean much and i don't feel my freedom is threatened by the namecalling. I usually just laugh at it.

Or
As has been a  rule of thumb lately I usually try to avoid conversations about Iraq and this war.

I have a wait see attitude about the whole thing in general.

[ Parent ]

well then why did you even bother (none / 0) (#625)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:53:29 AM EST

posting your origional message?

[ Parent ]
Why? (none / 0) (#656)
by thePositron on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 04:55:03 PM EST

Sh*ts and giggles :-)

I also have opinions and thoughts on this stuff so I find myself drawn into discussions/ debates about it on occasion. This is usually against my better judgment.

[ Parent ]

well..... (none / 0) (#679)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Apr 12, 2003 at 12:23:04 AM EST

ok then :-)

[ Parent ]
It's not over yet... (5.00 / 2) (#454)
by thePositron on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:52:17 PM EST

Our will must extend beyond token gestures we must implement a functional government and get the hell out of there as soon as we can!!!!

[ Parent ]
confused in the smoke (3.00 / 11) (#331)
by jope on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:37:35 AM EST

obviously no comparison is stupid enough not to be made some time during the noisy buzz of people discussing the war while the thunder of media propaganda is ringing in everybody's ears. Maybe we should come back to the facts: this war was and is against international law. The moral excuse behind the war claims to remove exactly the regime the US were bringing to power. There are a lot of reasons why the US did this, but freeing of the Iraqui people is just a nice side-effect that is usable for propaganda. I am happy for the Iraqui people that they got rid of one of the most cruel and inhuman regime around. But what legal grounds does the US have against the members of that regime? How can they argue to punish them on the basis of exactly the same international law they were violating repeatedly themselves and violating through and during this war (and innumerable times before)? How can they talk about morality and lawfulness when at they same time the reject, or indeed sabotize the ICC? When they do everything to weaken the UN? Are people in the US really that uninformed about politics and history, or are they just blinded by the all-encompassing media hype of patriotism? The bottom line is: the US do what they please. If morality can be used to justify their steps, all the better. If it is necessary to commit warcrimes and violate human rights, they wont care either. A country like Iran, Cambodia, Iraq, or Chile at one time might be unlucky because the US think it is good for them the support a US-puppet who is a dictator, overthrow a democratic government, illegaly bomb their country, or support an illegal aggression against them, or be lucky, because they think it is good for them to support a US-puppet in a democracy. At some time, the US will get to pay the bill, no matter ho many biological, chemical, atomic, and convetional bombs they have stacked, no matter how many of their puppets the have installed all over the planet, no matter how overwhelmingly rich and all-controlling their companies will be.

Really? (4.20 / 5) (#346)
by darthaggie on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:54:48 AM EST

this war was and is against international law

You make this claim, but what is the justification?

Keep in mind that Saddam's regime signed a cease-fire agreement in 1991 to end Gulf War I. Not a peace treaty, but a cease-fire. Part of the terms of that agreement was the dismembering of their WMD programs - nuclear, biological and chemical. They failed to comply.

And they had 12 years to comply. Former members of the Soviet Union who inherited such weapons/programs where able to remove such things in under two years.

And on top of that, on numerous occassions, Iraqi air defense assets would engage Coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones. How is that not an act of war?

But if that's not enough to convince you, then what about the US-lead campaign against Serbia concerning the recent unpleasantness in Kosovo? was that also illegal?


I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

yes (5.00 / 2) (#352)
by jope on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:14:39 AM EST

You are bringing moral arguments, not legal ones. However, I admit that the question of what is "legal" is hard to answer, especially when the violator is permanent member of the security council (which means that there is no effective way of imposing sanctions on a violator, because he has the right to veto). However, when we analyze international agreements and the UN-charta, it is clear that this war would only have had legal backing if there would have been a resolution which clearly threatens war as a consequence of continuing non-compliance. Resolution 1449 simply does not do this (neither does 688 give the right to bombing, let alone war). The UN charta clearly states that consequences have to be described in detail - you cannot simply threaten with "severe consequences" and leave it to the fantasy of anyone what that might mean. Another aspect is that, unless any bombing or agreesion is backed by a resolution, any act from the side of the Iraqis was actually legal self defense (violating the law times and again through other deeds, does not make this self defense illegal - even a dictatorship does have the right to self-defense). As to Serbia, I do not know enough details to comment on whether it was illegal. People from civilized countries that are based on a working law system should realize that obeying law can lead to bad things and ignoring laws could lead to good things. However, this is not an excuse to violate laws, it is a reason to work towards better laws. The US, however is using the fact that international law is a terrible mess without the proper backing of a legitimate force to enforce it as an excuse to ignore those laws that exist and worsening the situation, instead of working towards a better situation (e.g. by bluntly reecting the ICC). As I said in my first post: you might be lucky to actually benefit from what the US decides to do. It is more likely, judging from history, that you will terribly suffer, however.

[ Parent ]
hmmm (1.00 / 1) (#365)
by biggeezer on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:49:07 AM EST

Well, I guess we should just stand around and wait for the UN to do there job, (which they never do). Secondly, the first war was a cease fire, NOT A TREATY. We had every right to go in. We do not need UN resolutions, the UN is a baised in all its judgemental bull shit.

Its really hard to pose sanctions on countries where the vetoing power, to include France, Russia and China and Germany where doing business with Iraq. Everyone blames the US, when in fact other countries had there hand in the pocket as well. Can't use the war for oil bull shit, because the US was already getting 80% of Iraqs oil, in the oil for food programs.

And I for one am glad that the US rejected the ICC bull shit, it was a waste of time and resources, because the UN hasn't done shit, and if the UN was going to do anything, it will be American/British/Cannadan/Australian lives to actually go out and enforce the ICC, not african, not Saudi's, not Belguims, not Germany, not France or any other country. And lets not forget that the american people are already flipping 1/3rd of the UN money anyways. So, in other words, we will be paying other countries to inforce there views on us. I don't know, that just doesn't sound smart to me.



[ Parent ]
wtf (none / 0) (#379)
by kableh on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:28:10 AM EST

Everyone "blamed" the US because US delegates to the UN repeatedly vetoed lifting the sanctions on Iraq. Sanctions which can be linked to a much higher infant mortality rate. Sanctions which reinforced Saddam's rule over Iraq.

And of course we don't need UN resolutions. It's not like we give a fuck when they make resolutions against Israel.

I'm glad the Iraqis will get a chance at democracy, believe me. That doesn't change the fact that the US managed to piss of all of the free world, and probably a good chunk of the radical Islam world.

[ Parent ]
You bet your ass we did... (none / 0) (#441)
by biggeezer on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 12:16:53 PM EST

The resolutions where doing its job to hamper SH in getting weapons, it didn't stop him, but it hampered him. Lefting them would have done the complete diffrent thing than you implied. It would have helped SH in keeping his hold on Iraq, By giving him money to buy weapons, develop his nuclear program and help him, just like a tic to dig deeper and get richer off the people of Iraq. Even with all those sanctions he was still able to withstand a ordeal longer than he should have. And what makes you think, if he didn't use what money he had to help his country that if he actually got money he would still help his country. Think.. it isn't a hard concept to grasp.

Ok.. tell me.. what sanctions where linked to the higher mortaility rate? I find that very interisting, that something that was linked to sanctions sure wasn't linked to him spending his money on others things besides his people. He is going to take what he wants for himself, always had. Lifting the sanctions wouldn't have saved much if at all.

And on the Israel bit...The first resolution passed agaisnt or for Israel depending on how you look at it.

General Assembly resolution 181, of Nov. 29, 1947:

It calls for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem to be controlled by a "special international regime" to protect its holy places. The Zionist movement seeking to establish a Jewish state accepted the partition, the Palestinians rejected it. After Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, war broke out pitting the nascent state against Palestinians and the surrounding Arab states that invaded. Israel gained more land than it would have had under the partition resolution. Neither Israel nor Jordan, which controlled the divided parts of Jerusalem after the war, accepted control of the holy city by an international body.

Blame this on the ones where the blame belongs, the Palestinians and the Arab states that invaded, it also saids Jordan didn't want to accept the resolution also. Now Israel is getting blamed for not helping the Palestinians when they themselves are the ones that caused the problems and now they want what they turned down in 48. If your going to invade, don't cry if they turn around and beat you and in the endterm take your land to.



[ Parent ]
Disarming (2.75 / 4) (#356)
by salsaman on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:16:17 AM EST

Part of the terms of that agreement was the dismembering of their WMD programs - nuclear, biological and chemical. They failed to comply.

The point of legality is not whether they complied or not, but whether there was or was not proof of compliance or non-compliance. It was never decisively proven one way or another - both governments of the UK and US were caught fabricating evidence (remember the aluminium tubes, the plagiarised and exaggerated papers, and so on). If the evidence was there, why was it necessary to lie ?

The fact is, there was no conclusive evidence at that time that Iraq had indeed failed to disarm. Hence the position by most countries in the UN that a war was not justified.

Even if WMD's are now discovered in Iraq, the war is still illegal. You can't convict and punish someone, and *then* produce the evidence.

[ Parent ]

We didn't have to have proof. (3.75 / 4) (#360)
by biggeezer on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:27:56 AM EST

Well.. lets see, they apparently had silkworm cruise missles, which 2 hit kuwait, Which is agaisnt the cease fire and UN resolutions because of there range.

They had Assumond(sp?) II missles, which they started dismantling only after janurary when we started to show force, Which is against the cease fire and UN resolutions because of there range.

Umm.. lets see what else, oh yea.. in november the whole security council signed a resolution saying that the use of force will be used if they didn't disarm.

Even if WMD's are now discovered in Iraq, the war is still illegal. You can't convict and punish someone, and *then* produce the evidence.

Well .. if you read the above, the proof was already made, before the war, because they had Assumond II missles, which where never claimed, and if they where willing to hide those, what else where they willing to hide.

And you completely forget what the weapons inspectors jobs where over there, they weren't there to find things, they were there to watch them destroy and say "Yup.. you have destroyed the Weapons that you where supposed to.". Get a life, stop playing that no evidence bull shit, it was already there.



[ Parent ]
Use of force (3.50 / 4) (#367)
by salsaman on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:58:48 AM EST

Umm.. lets see what else, oh yea.. in november the whole security council signed a resolution saying that the use of force will be used if they didn't disarm.

I keep reading this, so I guess the idea is if you repeat a lie long enough, people start to believe it.

The UN threatened serious consequences if Iraq was found to be in material breach of 1441.

There was no debate on what 'serious consequences' meant, or whether Iraq was in fact in breach of 1441. The normal UN code for the use of force is 'all avaliable means', and that language was deliberately not used in 1441. You can claim what you like, but you will not convince me that this war was either internationally sanctioned or legal.

[ Parent ]

What is the legal governing body... (4.00 / 1) (#375)
by biggeezer on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 10:17:22 AM EST

The UN..?

I don't know, I guess a cease fire is considered a treaty? If you want a play on words, a cease fire is just that, a still waring party not firing, that is what the US had with Iraq. By the resolution that the UN passed during GulfWar I, we where still at war, because no treaty was signed, only a cease fire. We didn't have to go to the UN for a new resolution but we did, 14 times, 15th threatend to be vetoed. Lets see, seriouse consquences, what was that supposed to mean, another useless UN resolution that wasn't going to get followed, or a embargo that no one was going to follow, hey wait.. we where already doing those things. So, I guess the UN was just repeating itself? I guess seriouse consquences in the US means a different thing then it does in the other parts of the world.

I guess "seriouse consquences" in the Germany means, wait if you don't comply we aren't going to build you any more shelters SH. I guess "seriouse consquences" in France means STOP or we will not talk to you anymore. Please, there is no need for a debate, everyon