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[P]
Human Right group condemns US

By jd in Op-Ed
Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:15:08 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The group "Human Rights Watch" has issued a detailed report outlining allegations of torture, abuse and violence against prisoners. Prisoners who have been made to "vanish" by unaccountable agencies.


According to the report, the accusers include the US army and the FBI, both of whom have stated that "Other Government Agencies" have openly flouted the rule of law - indeed, any rules at all, in order to get what they want.

Or, at least, try to. The report documents cases where information "extracted" from prisoners under duress has proven to be fabricated. A means of giving the torturers what they want to hear, to avoid further anguish.

Anyone familiar with the history of torture will immediately recognize this argument. Torture has long been banned, not because of "humanitarian reasons" (since when did Governments ever care about the rights of individuals?) but because the technique was so horribly unreliable that keeping it as an acceptable method of interrogation was tantamount to informational suicide.

The same reason is why courts don't permit information extracted under duress. Anyone'll sign a confession, or even give a confession, even if ludicrous, to avoid continual pain. Indeed, the requirements by many countries (such as the US and UK) that a prisoner be read their rights and have access to a lawyer is to prevent the situation where a person is simply brow-beaten into confessing to something they didn't do.

Those from the UK will remember the case of the Birmingham Six, where the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad used coercion and torture to secure confessions by the accused men. It took a long time, but forensics showed that confessions had been tampered with, that wholly improper practices had been used, and that the men had likely nothing to do with the crime.

So why carry out the torture? Simple. The West Midlands unit was under extreme political pressure to get results and to get them fast. No matter what. As they had absolutely nothing to go on, and minimal time to do any real investigation, they chose the only way out - find people they could beat into confessing, and have them convicted instead.

It worked, too, for about 20 years. After that case came back to trial (with the release of five of the men - the sixth had died in prison) many other cases by the same unit were re-examined. Of those, many of the people convicted were convicted on unsubstantiated, uncorroberated and unwitnessed "confessions" extracted by dubious means and often subsequently altered to fit the facts as they became better known.

Does this apply in the case of the "War on Terror", though? After all, we must surely be a lot more certain as to the identities of the people involved!

Apparently not. Once Abu Garab was reassigned, all torture stopped, all prisoners given adequate treatment, and lawful interrogation practices used, the quantity of intelligence gathered more than doubled, and the quality of that intelligence skyrocketted.

That, alone, should be proof to even the most hardened skeptic that the practice of using torture to extract information was a disasterous failure - not just from a humanitarian perspective but also a military one. If the information you obtain is worthless, then you might as well not have obtained it. Indeed, it would have been better not to have, because you can't then act on incorrect beliefs.

Now we get to the other part of the report. The refusal by the US to register prisoners with the International Red Cross or any other agency, the refusal of the US to account for any treatment given, the willful attempts to conceal prisoners from International observers, the deaths of prisoners under "interrogation" and subsequent concealment of the evidence, the refusal of any kind of accountability whatsoever...

These are acts more often ascribed to dictators and war criminals. Indeed, many of the crimes former Serbian officials are under trial for in the Hague involve crimes along these lines. Many South American and African dictators have likewise been accused for precisely this kind of attrocity.

So why is it so acceptable for the US to do the very things the world has repeatedly and openly renounced and rejected as abhorrent and unacceptable?

We'll probably never know. The US doesn't recognize the International Court of Justice and has shown no inclination towards prosecuting any current or former members of the intelligence community for flagarant violations of US and International Law.

Indeed, the only ones they have shown any sign of prosecuting are a few petty soldiers who, by all indications, came to believe that abuse was OK because it was openly practiced in front of them, daily. The US Army has openly accepted and acknowledged this to be the case.

From a political standpoint, the use of torture could become a hot potato. We're extremely close to the US elections, and the race is very tight. Less than 1% divides the two candidates, at present. If either candidate mishandles this scandal, it will utterly doom their campaign. It is simply not possible to recover from a blunder in the remaining time. And it wouldn't take much of a blunder for the gap to widen enough to secure victory for whoever was left standing.

Present opinion polls put the candidates at 49% each, with 1% undecided and 1% for Nader. One single vote more to one side than another, in a key State, could decide the election. It is that close.

Bush, with this report, has two choices. Defend the practice (and risk alienating the moderates) or condemn it (and risk alienating those who are further to the right). Likewise, Kerry has those same two choices, with the same consequences.

But the election isn't the only thing happening in the world. Nearly 2/3rds of people in key countries allied to the US are opposed to the current methods and tactics being used. With the release of this report, that number is likely to increase substantially.

9 out of 10 Italians are convinced that the "War on Terror" has backfired badly, putting them at greater risk. Their confidence is unlikely to improve, on hearing claims that the US is abusing prisoners en mass.

This creates the situation where the US is in real danger of becoming completely isolated. If it looses the support of its allies, and looses the trust of key countries it is relying on, it would not be good. Terror groups would likely take that as an open invitation to attack the US, on the grounds that other countries are likely not to give a damn.

History shows that that's not uncommon. Pacts between nations only last as long as those nations feel there's a benefit to it. And it only takes one to quit. Much of the US' security depends heavily on cooperation with other Governments. US bases and US listening posts can only exist in other countries for as long as they are welcome. That is why Turkey was so crucial to the war on Iraq. If the US had been forced out of Turkey, it would have lost much of its ability to attack the north of the country.

Trust is eroding, and the angry statements by the International Red Cross and Human Rights Watch can only accelerate the process. If the eventual winner of the US Presidential elections is to have a country worth being President of, they've got to do something to reverse the process. Fast.

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Display: Sort:
Human Right group condemns US | 538 comments (514 topical, 24 editorial, 2 hidden)
A bit off topic, (2.80 / 26) (#3)
by Kasreyn on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 03:20:30 AM EST

but you know what I loved? What I really, really loved?

In the second debate, Bush started to try to explain why he refused to bring the USA into the International Criminal Court, and he wound up saying something like, "because our soldiers could be brought up before a judge we didn't appoint" or something like that, but before that, he started to say, "our soldiers could be brought up on charges of-" and then changed tack after a stuttering moment to talking about judges instead. Is it just me, or was Bush about to say "war crimes" with regards to U.S. soldiers, and suddenly thought to himself, "Woah! Karl would really bust my nuts over that one!"

You could almost HEAR the smoke pouring out of his ears.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Ha...yep. (2.28 / 7) (#12)
by kcidx on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 09:44:22 AM EST

You could almost HEAR the smoke pouring out of his ears.

It was either smoke, or the radio transmission of Karl screaming "SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU CURSED IDIOT!!!"

[ Parent ]

Gee. (none / 0) (#310)
by losthalo on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:01:15 AM EST

What're we gonna do tonight, Dick?

[ Parent ]
Your comment and ratings (1.00 / 2) (#313)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:20:55 AM EST

I see you really got a lot of people excited with almost unanimous 3 ratings.

Its pretty pathetic to see that so many US citizens are so enthusiastic about sending US soldiers off to face war crimes in an international court when there are already courts here in the US. I have no problem with people calling for soldiers to be punished under US Law, but sending them off to the ICC is totally unconstitutional.

I love how a Chinese judge recently ruled the Israeli wall violates international human rights standards. Regardless of what you think of that wall, China is a country where criticising the government in the open streets is illegal. The hypocrisy is astounding.

But its a free country so of course I didn't rate you down for your view. I'm sure I will get a bunch of 0's from the pseudo-intellectuals of k5, which will prove one more time who really supports freedom of speech and who doesn't.

[ Parent ]

Misconceptions about the ICC (3.00 / 4) (#320)
by Chakotay on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:03:09 AM EST

The ICC would only kick in if a suspected war criminal is not taken to justice in his own country.

So if an American soldier does something horrible, and he is judged for that in an American court martial, the ICC will not intervene. Only if that solder were not to be put to a US court martial, or if there is very good reason to believe that the US court martial ruled unjustly, the ICC would intervene.

I say again: the ICC will only go after suspected war criminals that are not put on trial in their own country. So if the US military is doing its job correctly, there will never by a US soldier on trial in The Hague. The only reason why any country could possibly be against the ICC, would be if they want their military to be able to commit war crimes and get away with it.

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

[ Parent ]
Oh thats so nice of them (none / 1) (#325)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:59:17 AM EST

...the ICC will not intervene.

But if he is not prosecuted by the US courts then what? A French commando team will come to the USA and snatch him up?

So what happens in this scenario: Country A wants to appear to be one of the "good guys" (not like those filthy, evil Americans) so it decides to sign onto the ICC. At some point Country A finds itself engaged in war. General X from Country A commits war crimes. The world is outraged and calls for him to be prosecuted. In order to keep him from being sent to the Hague, Country A exercises its right to try him in their own courts. After a 1-day farcical show-trial, General X is found innocent of all charges. Country A thumbs its nose at ICC and calls them a bunch of suckers. ICC can do nothing. Country A couldn't give two shits because they technically followed the treaty.



[ Parent ]

Now lets get the facts straight :) (3.00 / 5) (#331)
by Chakotay on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:11:11 AM EST

By signing the acknowledgement of ICC, Country A also gives the ICC the right to look into the documents concerning any war crimes trial. So in your described hypothetical case, the ICC would then ask Country A to hand them the documents concerning General X's trial. The ICC will conclude that the trial was bogus and ask that General X be delivered to them unless a true trial is mounted in Country A.

And no, there would not be a French commando team coming to the US to snatch alleged war criminals. First of all, The Hague is in the Netherlands -- at least, The Hague where the ICC is is in the Netherlands. Or at the very least, last time I checked, the ICC was not in La Haye Fouassière close to where I live ;)

Seriously though, if it were to happen that the US fail to try an alleged war criminal, the ICC would seek political means to get that person to The Hague. And since the US would have signed the ICC treaty, they would be politically obliged to do so. And so, to save their face, and the constitutional rights of the alleged war criminal, they would try him in the US. And thus never a US soldier would stand trial in The Hague.

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

[ Parent ]
I see (none / 1) (#350)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 02:12:22 PM EST

So now your telling me that if the ICC isn't happy with the results of a court martial then they can apply pressure to force the country to either convict the person or hand him over. So in effect we have a kangaroo court.

If General Y commits a "war crime" that country A disputes is an actual war crime, then country A must either (a) convict him of war crimes against their beliefs, or (b) be obligated to convict him of war crimes as a result of international pressure. General Y is automatically guilty then. What a wonderful system.

[ Parent ]

I'm too late (3.00 / 5) (#352)
by kmcrober on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:26:38 PM EST

I'm sorry I came in so late on this particular thread.  I studied the ICC in law school, including a fairly rigorous examination of American perceptions of and reactions to the Court.  Chakotay's done a great job of presenting the arguments in favor of the ICC.  He's set out the basic doctrine of "complementarity" particularly well - that's the practice, often misunderstood and usually entirely ignored by the Court's opponents, of always allowing sovereign states to try their own criminals before defaulting to the ICC's jurisdiction.

So what I'm going to say here isn't really anything more than Chakotay's already said.  I like to put it a little bit differently, though.  The Rome Statute, that created the Court, specifically uses the words "unable" and "unwilling" to describe situations in which the ICC can take jurisdiction from a sovereign state.  A state is "unable" to try a criminal when its legal system has collapsed.  Rwanda would be one example of this.  A state is "unwilling" to try a criminal when the prosecution is clearly fraudulent or conspiratorial.  It's odd that you think that this makes the ICC a "kangaroo court."  The Court is intended to prevent "kangaroo courts" by providing an open and accountable judicial process to backstop faltering judicial systems.  

But you suggest that the ICC would declare American courts "unwilling" to try suspects and demand its own jurisdiction.  That's unlikely for two reasons.  The first is that the ICC can't seize suspects, or demand extradition from non-States Parties.  I go into that a little more below.  The second is that the judges elected to the ICC are extraordinarily well respected international jurists, and not subject to political pressure from radical governments.  It's just not happening.  Will it, in the future?  Anything is possible, but the outlook is very positive for a truly independent Court.  That's not surprising - courts in general are jealous of their credibility, and very rarely try to stretch their jurisdiction beyond reasonable limits.

There are two good tests of this.  The first is recent history and current practice.  NGOs have been pushing the international judicial system (the ICJ and various nations with extranational judicial systems) to try American figures and institutions for war crimes for some time now.  Respectable courts and judges, such as those that now comprise the workings of the ICC, just haven't gove overboard in the way conservatives fear.  The quaking terror of international judges that you hear so often from the Helms brigade is simply unjustified.

The other test is more distant history.  We've had trials for what would be called war crimes today - My Lai is a good example.  The lieutenant convicted (I believe his name was Cally, but could be wrong) was pardoned by Nixon for purely political reasons.  He was found guilty and sentenced to a term at hard labor, but pardoned because it was embarassing for the U.S. to have a convicted war criminal coming out of Vietnam.  So the trial, from one perspective, was a sham - it was common knowledge that he was guilty, and common knowledge that he would never be seriously punished for his crimes.  Sounds like a perfect chance for the ICC to step in and quash our sovereign jurisdiction under your analysis, right?  Except it wouldn't happen.  All the procedures and prospective practices of the ICC indicate that it would not have sought jurisdiction in that case even if it could (if, say, Vietnam was a State Party).  The ICC is very, very defferential to sovereign nations that are able and willing to investigate and try legitimate crimes, and just isn't the political tool that you suggest it's become.

Chakotay makes another great point - the ICC doesn't have an enforcement arm (other than, by certain interpretations, the general international police forces).  So no commando squads seizing foreign nationals.  To be tried by the ICC, you have to be given to the ICC willingly.  From the perspective of an American soldier, that's a great thing.  It's one reason some JAG academics are all in favor of the Court.  An American soldier in the custody of a foreign government that wants him tried for war crimes is much, much better off before the ICC than before the courts of a hostile state - the Rome Statute has been called the single greatest accumulation of due process rights ever drafted (by the American Bar Association).  

[ Parent ]

That all sound soooo good. (1.50 / 2) (#356)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:06:03 PM EST

I wonder what how it will sound in 20 years.

Hell, how will it sound in two years? I can just hear the headlines now:

Poll: 60% of Allies' Believe Bush a War Criminal"

"Amnesty International calls for ICC to take custody of Gen. Tommy Franks"

"BBC, Have Your Say: Does US Refusal to Hand Over Rumsfeld Tarnish US Image?"

"Poll: 80% of World Citizens Believe US Ignoring ICC Obligations by not Procecuting Former President Bush"

On and on and on. Tell you what. When the rest of the world wakes up from their loony LSD trip then come and wake me up and talk to me about the ICC. Until then, joining the ICC is a total sellout.

If criticism of the US over Guantanamo and Abu Garaib is any indication, the ICC will be a total disaster for us. The Euro-dolts have lumped the stuff at Guantanamo in with the "worst atrocities committed by Stalin and Hitler". They can go fuck themselves.



[ Parent ]

You're a little off-base (3.00 / 5) (#358)
by kmcrober on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:30:11 PM EST

And more than a little paranoid.  

First, in my opinion, criticism of Abu Ghraib isn't a "loony LSD trip."  Prisoners were tortured, and the process was covered up.  Regardless of who is doing it and why, criticism of torture is appropriate and to be encouraged.  That's mostly irrelevant to the discussion at hand, though.  The soldiers at Abu Ghraib would not ever be subject to the ICC, even if we were signatories.  They were investigated and tried, or investigated and relased on lack of evidence to support charges, as per their individual circumstances.  That's all the Rome Statute asks - an honest investigation.  The behavior of the military and political leadership at Abu Ghraib after the fact was more than sufficient to preclude ICC jurisdiction.  As to their behavior before the fact, well, maybe the distant specter of international scrutiny would encourage less torture in the future.  I don't know.  It hardly seems like it matters, given that no crime, action, policy or strategy the U.S. has pursued since Vietnam would realistically involve the ICC in any circumstances.

Second, as I've said, it's vanishingly unlikely that the ICC will ever "demand" the turnover of American political figures, even in the case that we sign and ratify the Rome Statute.  There are several layers of barriers in between, including the investigative process and the jurisdictional issues I already outlined.  It's a difficult point to make in a bulletin board post; I guess all I can say is that I've never read or spoken to any international jurist or scholar who thought that was a reasonable possibility.  You can reject that as the opinion of "sellout" academics, I guess, but bear in mind that the vast majority of FUD regarding the ICC comes from people who don't know a whole lot about it.  Those that have studied it are usually surprised by how poorly American politicians regard it.

Finally, you have a very common approach to the Court - "Europeans criticize us, therefore the Court would be an enemy and a tool of that criticism."  As I've already said, that's a non sequitor.  The judges that have been elected are independent and well regarded by the international community, including the American legal community.  They have not in the past, are not now, and will not in the future allow their role to be coopted for political purposes.  There's no evidence to suggest that the ICC will become a tool of public relations warfare - it's too esoteric and rareified for most people to care about.  There's plenty of evidence that strongly suggests that the ICC is totally unconcerned with public opinion as to the behavior of the U.S. or any other state.  The ICC is concerned with factual accounts of genocide and war crimes on the order of the ongoing Sudanese tragedy.

Maybe an analogy is in order.  I'm from Texas originally, where a radical (and lunatic) organization called The Republic of Texas maintains that it is the sole legitimate government of the sovereign nation of Texas.  They file lots of lawsuits against state and federal officers in the federal courts, alleging that the officials are enemy agents engaged in an illegal occupation.  The suits are totally frivolous, although they often have interesting obscure little bits of legal merit in them.  (Arguments about sovereign immunity, for example.)  The courts they file these cases in are therefore presented with a ton of cases that have to be sifted and examined for merit, and then eventually dismissed as frivolous.  Does that mean that the Eastern District of Texas is a kangaroo court?  No, even though it addresses a lot of ridiculous, political, public opinion cases.  The court is more legitimate, and worthy of more respect, because it filters the cases honestly, openly, and forthrightly.

Whining that the ICC is "a total sellout" is misguided.  Lots of jurists feel the U.S. should wait a few years before attempting to join the Court, to make sure that it has a chance to prove that it's as independent as I say it is.  I think that's a very prudent, if perhaps unnecessarily cautious, approach.  But the current approach, which is to treat the ICC as an enemy, is entirely without merit.  

[ Parent ]

I'm a little off base? (1.00 / 2) (#391)
by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 07:00:47 AM EST

You're telling me that I'm off base? Sheesh. We had people suing the govt because the prisoners at Guantanamo weren't getting their bagels toasted properly and because there were too many mosquitos. Most of these prisoners had been living in caves and mountains for the last two years for christ sakes. Not to mention our own soldiers live in tents in Afghanistan where I'm sure they have to deal with plenty of mosquitos themselves. So pardon me for being a little cynical over human rights issues.

People say that the US has lost some credibility in the world over Abu Garaib, the ICC, and Guantanamo. Fair enough. But the world has lost a lot of credibility with us due to the insanity surrounding the coverage of those issues. If these human rights groups want to talk about restoring credibility then they should build some credibility for themselves first.

[ Parent ]

HarHarHar! (none / 1) (#398)
by Nursie on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 10:19:02 AM EST

You dismiss guantanamo as if it's perfectly acceptable. It isn't!

Holding people for years without trial in solitary confinement, depriving them of sleep and doing god-knows what else to them, is not OK in my book, and if it is in yours then kindly stop criticising communist russia because this smacks of WEXACTLY the sort of thing they used to do.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Your post is exactly what I'm talking about... (none / 1) (#416)
by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:49:12 PM EST

...when I say "insanity surrounding the coverage of those issues".

then kindly stop criticising communist russia because this smacks of EXACTLY the sort of thing they used to do.

Are you sure about that? Google for "guantanamo russia". The first two news headlines:

"Guantanamo Inmate Wants to Stay"

"Russian Mothers Plead for Sons to Stay in Guantanamo"

I love this quote from one of the mothers the best: "there is no health resort in Russia that can compare". But there are several others like this: One inmate wrote in a letter to his mother, "Nobody is being beaten or humiliated".

Go ahead and read the articles. They are rather enlightening. But I'm sure you will deny it. After all, Amnsty International said they are being routinely tortured, so it must be true!

[ Parent ]

Whatever man (none / 1) (#475)
by Nursie on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:12:48 PM EST

Either way they're being held without charge and no access to representation (until very recently, after several years), on foreign soil so that they aren't afforded prisoner rights.

The whole thing stinks.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Well, yes. (3.00 / 3) (#462)
by kmcrober on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:46:35 AM EST

That's entirely off base.

Leave aside the issue of whether American human rights abuses deserve public criticism or not.  It's entirely irrelevant to the discussion.

The point I've been trying to make is that international courts in general, and the ICC in particular, are not controlled by public relations.  International courts don't instigate a prosecution because of newspaper editorials.  The ICC in particular is designed to tackle war crimes and crimes against humanity - generally speaking, there would need to be mass graves and/or a ton of evidence of a massive rights violation before jurisdictional questions were ever raised.

The idea that "foreigners hate us, therefore an international court would persecute us" is common, but nonsensical.  As I said, the judges elected to the ICC are extremely well-respected jurists, and not out there with axes to grind and an anti-American manifesto.

The response to a fear like that, even if it were legitimate, would be to wait a few years and let the Court prove its independence and mettle.  That's the position of Ambassador Sheaffer, who led the American team at the Rome Statute negotiations.  He started off as an opponent of the wide jurisdiction the Court eventually received, by the way - he wanted Americans effectively exempted from the Court's jurisdiction.  Once he saw how it was coming together, though, he changed his mind - he's now a fairly outspoken critic of this administration's paranoia and irrational hostility to the Court.

I think it's simplest to put it this way.  You said, "But the world has lost a lot of credibility with us due to the insanity surrounding the coverage of those issues. If these human rights groups want to talk about restoring credibility then they should build some credibility for themselves first.

The "coverage of those issues" has nothing to do with the Court.  It might encourage some groups to file charges against American soldiers or commanders with the Court, but there are strong procedures in place to make sure only valid and worthwhile cases are pursued by the office of the prosecutor.  And as for credibility, the ICC has credibility.  It doesn't have a track record, yet, because it's so new, but there just isn't a solid and reasonable criticism of its processes and jurisdiction beyond "no foreigners will ever pass judgment on an American, no matter what that American has done."

If that's your position, fine.  But don't get the impression that the ICC is some sort of political agency waiting to create PR headaches for the U.S.  

Look at it this way - you make a big stink about how crazy foreigners make a big stink about how Guantanamo prisoners don't get their bagels toasted.  (I've never seen that complaint, by the way - I'd appreciate a link.)  Do you really think the ICC cares?  It's a court geared to crimes of genocide and wanton torture.  To start an investigation into culinary conditions, the judges would have to be incompetent or out to get the U.S.  Neither of those things are true.

If you're interested in learning more about the Court, which you should really do before tearing off on irrelevant tangents, I can recommend some reading.

The ICC at a Glance is a good, but slightly outdated, basic overview.  It includes some frequently asked questions as well as an overview of two of the initial investigations (in Congo and Uganda).

The USA for the ICC is a great source, and has even better links to more information.  

And finally, you can't go wrong by reading the Rome Statute itself.  Very technical, very long, and very detailed.  It's probably better to use the basic info at the other sites to get an idea of what articles are particularly important.  Part 2 covers jurisdiction, and is probably the most relevant.

Finally, here's a great resource I just found:

Information and biographies of the 18 ICC judges.

"The ICC's newly elected judges are diverse in their gender, their nationality, and their legal specialties, but they all have one thing common: every one of them hails from a free, democratic U.S. ally."

But, of course, they're still dirty foreigners, so what the hell.

[ Parent ]

Guilt By Association (none / 1) (#481)
by femto on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:59:45 PM EST

> I love how a Chinese judge...

Because China violates human rights, does that invalidate the opinion of every one of its citizens?

The answer is no. You are making the error of guilt by association.

Using such logic, I could state that the US applies the death penalty and locks up people without trial, therefore every US citizen is a hypocrit when they advocate human rights. Clearly that is a load of crap, as is your statement about Chinese judges.

[ Parent ]

Heard of My Lai? (none / 0) (#538)
by thaths on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:30:20 AM EST

I have no problem with people calling for soldiers to be punished under US Law, but sending them off to the ICC is totally unconstitutional. Have you heard of the "justice" that was handed down to the perpatrators of MyLai? Thaths

[ Parent ]
Wow, big surprise... (1.50 / 2) (#4)
by SamBC on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 07:04:09 AM EST

The only surprising thing is that it's an American human rights group that says this.

Amnesty International (none / 0) (#311)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:02:34 AM EST

Amnesty International USA has been reporting on the US for quite a while now. This is not suprising at all.

Prior to the Afghanistan War their focus was our drug war in Colombia, along with capital punishment, prison abuse, etc. etc. The war on terror gave them fresh meat.

[ Parent ]

Politically motivated (1.11 / 17) (#7)
by minerboy on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 07:42:41 AM EST

and timed. But it will help Bush in the end, because no one cares if we do this sort of thing to Al-queda. It will look like just more left wing kooks There's never been a case in Human history when this kind of thing was not done during war time. It happened in WWII all the time. THis is only a problem if you refuse to see the terrorist issue as a war.



I disagree (none / 1) (#10)
by phred on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 09:30:27 AM EST

I'm not thrilled with the conduct of the US thats described in the article. Additionally, I don't see any reason for the US to conduct its business that way. If that makes me a left wing kook then thats fine with me.

I do understand that many citizens of the US are fearful enough to support your views. But if the US citizens are willing to live their lives in fear, then the terrorists have achieved their goals anyway.

[ Parent ]

The biggest fearmongers I've seen to date are... (none / 0) (#309)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 02:58:49 AM EST

The biggest fearmongers I've seen to date are from the left. Every time I turn around I have to endure another George Orwell quote, or another quip about how bush is using 9/11 in the same way Hitler used the Reishtag fire, or another rediculous assertion that voters are being intimidated and the press is being stiffled.

Hell, just look at Michael Moore's latest film. From the start of the movie (the title is drawn from Ray Bradbury's book about a dysutopian police state) to the very last words (an Orwell quote), the fearmongering never lets up for a second.

[ Parent ]

Disagree (none / 0) (#15)
by GenerationY on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:09:03 AM EST

But it will help Bush in the end, because no one cares if we do this sort of thing to Al-queda
I assume this is trolling, or has, now, the presumption of innocence also been repealed (along with the right to trial) in the Land of Free?

NB.
The U.S.'s prisoner is Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, the alleged principal architect of the September 11 attacks.

Not even bothering with show trials puts the Bush administration slightly behind Stalin and Mao in the human right's stakes.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have been reporting similar things at regular intervals against the US as long as I've been aware of their existence. If you think America has only used torture in the last two years, you are wrong. It appears to be SOP, which is basically what you are saying anyway I guess.

[ Parent ]

Almost (none / 1) (#19)
by minerboy on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:28:40 AM EST

Every government uses these tactics when it is in their interests. If they don't do it themselves, they find surrogates to do it for them



[ Parent ]
Yes, I agree. (none / 0) (#35)
by GenerationY on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:49:41 AM EST

That doesn't mean its a good or even an acceptable thing just because everyone does it. There is also the issue of matter of degree which is what this is really about I think, although I convientently disregared this in comparing Bush to Stalin...

The war for human rights is also perpetual in nature , but not less worthy for it.

[ Parent ]

Al-Queda (none / 1) (#29)
by levesque on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:08:30 AM EST

because no one cares if we do this sort of thing to Al-queda

Al-queda is becoming the word used to name your target when you want to do stupid things.

[ Parent ]

I don't think Americans are that stupid. (none / 0) (#43)
by cburke on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:18:48 PM EST

Americans may not care if Al Qaeda members get tortured.  But I think Americans are smart enough to question whether the ones being tortured are Al Qaeda.  If more of them knew that when the government was forced to provide a hearing to determine exactly that, the government instead decided to let this supposed terrorist go free, they certainly would.  Ignorance of such things may be a huge problem, but I don't think stupidity is.

[ Parent ]
You give USians too much credit (none / 1) (#77)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 05:11:55 AM EST

But I think Americans are smart enough to question whether the ones being tortured are Al Qaeda.
Really? I don't I think if the Pres and the media just say "These are bad people" then a good proportion of USians would just unquestioningly accept that these just *must* be bad people and deserve everything they get. (I don't think this is unique to the US, the western world contains a hell of a lot of people that blindly trust anything the current political leader has the balls to say with a straight face.)

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Only without the ignorance factor... (none / 1) (#87)
by cburke on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:21:20 AM EST

Yes, you're right, a lot of people blindly trust what the government says.  At the same time, I also think that if they knew more about the situation, they'd become suspicious.  Why would we let one of these terrorists go?  All the court wanted is a hearing to show that they are, in fact, bad people.  Instead they were set free.  Most people I know, even ones who are predisposed to trust whatever the government says, would find that suspicious.

[ Parent ]
why was this comment censored? (none / 1) (#288)
by Lode Runner on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 10:43:01 PM EST

I'm beginning to notice a strong positive correlation between giving 3s to comments critical of George W. Bush and attempting to hide anything that could show him in a good light. A word of advice: if you want to participate in a purely partisan discourse then go to an echo-chamber like LGF or Kos. Please stop trying to erase opposite views here.

[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda??? (none / 0) (#321)
by Chakotay on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:09:04 AM EST

All reports show that the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda is purely incidental, at best. Al Qaeda is Sunnite. The Iraq dictatorship was Shiite. Have you checked the news about Pakistan lately? Sunnites and Shiites busy bashing eachother's heads in. They're like cats and dogs. A Shiite dictatorship (like Iraq) would never acknowledge Sunnite radicals (like Al Qaeda).

The people being submitted to torture are for the most part innocent Iraqi citizens who have nothing to do with the Saddam Hussein administration, let alone with Al Qaeda...

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

[ Parent ]
Partially wrong. (none / 0) (#326)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 05:04:50 AM EST

The dictatorship in Iraq was Sunni. It was the shiites in the south who were largely oppressed by them. Al Qaida is also Sunni, but they are Wahabbis, an extremist brand.

According to the 9/11 commission report there was a weak link between Saddam and Al Qaida, but I agree that it appears that there was no ongoing collaboration. It was only a meeting here or there to explore cooperation, which didn't go very far.



[ Parent ]

Thanks for the clarification (NT) (none / 0) (#332)
by Chakotay on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:12:32 AM EST

.

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

[ Parent ]
It's a conspiracy (1.05 / 17) (#8)
by Magnetic North on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 08:27:54 AM EST

Human rights groups always bitch and complain about the US. Since the US invented human rights and is the only country in the world where they are respected, surely this is yet another libural conspiracy?

God damn hypocrites.

--
<33333
It's A Consipiracy, Alright... Of Trolls. (none / 0) (#9)
by DLWormwood on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 09:29:18 AM EST

Since the US invented human rights
Oh, really now?

The US during our first century of existence was too busy enslaving Africans and herding American Natives to care much for "human rights."
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
[ Parent ]

Um.. (1.00 / 3) (#13)
by Magnetic North on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 09:51:28 AM EST

Most Americans seem to believe that.. I don't.

--
<33333
[ Parent ]
Believe what? (none / 0) (#21)
by DLWormwood on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:42:04 AM EST

That this, this, or this didn't happen?
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
[ Parent ]
stfu (1.00 / 6) (#23)
by DominantParadigm on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:42:48 AM EST

dumbass

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
Why? (none / 0) (#26)
by DLWormwood on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:55:05 AM EST

The original poster was misusing the term "hypocrite" when a term like "introspection" or "self-deprication" would have been better.

Why is it wrong to point out your own country's shortcomings if that is your job? We, as a country, have to remove the "plank from our own eye" before we remove the "speck" from another's.
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
[ Parent ]

Good link. (none / 0) (#49)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:51:33 PM EST

I was going to object that the concept of rights goes back a lot further than the article indicates at first, but it certainly covers all the bases; the magna carta, Locke, etc..

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]
What is a governments first Duty (1.00 / 4) (#11)
by minerboy on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 09:38:17 AM EST

to its people? - To protect them.

Being mindful of your enemy's Human rights at the expense of your peoples safety is a trade off I don't want my Government to make. No Government has ever made or ever will make this trade. Most sensible Americans don't care about the Human rights of our enemy, and, of course they care nothing for ours.



[ Parent ]
Yes.. (2.00 / 3) (#14)
by Magnetic North on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 09:54:20 AM EST

Because treating you enemy captives like humans would endanger your safety. Or what about just treating US prisoners as humans? Would that endanger your safety too?

--
<33333
[ Parent ]
Where do human rights come from ? (1.83 / 12) (#20)
by minerboy on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:38:57 AM EST

I am curious how K5ers explain why we even have (or should have) human rights, or do we? There's alot of talk here about these rights. It also would be nice if you could enumerate the most important few, since I suspect that there is some question as to what Human rights actually are.



The only human right you want (1.00 / 2) (#22)
by DominantParadigm on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:42:10 AM EST

Is the right to slaughter mudslimes. Drink up your tea.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
In other words (none / 1) (#24)
by minerboy on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:48:05 AM EST

You can't answer the question - It should be easy for the super moral leftists



[ Parent ]
hah (none / 0) (#25)
by DominantParadigm on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:49:58 AM EST

Your posting history speaks for itself, and I don't need to defend myself in any way.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
In other words (none / 1) (#47)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:41:00 PM EST

because you don't like him, you're free to behave like an ass.

Great way to demonstrate moral superiority.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

super moral leftists? (3.00 / 3) (#195)
by speek on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 07:38:17 PM EST

Geez, I can't keep up. I thought the leftists were godless moral relativists? Can't you right-wing nutjobs keep your stories straight?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

The UN has a list (2.50 / 4) (#33)
by squigly on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:31:51 AM EST

http://www.hrweb.org/legal/udhr.html

It seems to be generally agreed by those nations that are considered civilised that in general, humans should not be deprived of these rights.

[ Parent ]

The fact that the UN has a list (none / 1) (#45)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:25:21 PM EST

doesn't answer his question. The question was why do we have rights, not where can he find a list.


I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]
Nope. Why, what, where. (none / 0) (#54)
by squigly on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 06:07:18 PM EST

The question was why do we have rights, not where can he find a list.

There were several questions.  I answered this one.

"It also would be nice if you could enumerate the most important few, since I suspect that there is some question as to what Human rights actually are."

[ Parent ]

The UN Declaration of Human Rights (none / 0) (#381)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:01:09 PM EST

In which you only have rights when you agree with the UN.

I mean, if the First Amendment said, "The freedom of speech shall not be infringed except when the speech is against the U.S. government," everyone would flip a shit. But the UN can do that.

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

human rights is an UN charter (none / 0) (#38)
by dudsen on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:46:09 PM EST

The Human Rights charter was witten mostly by the western powers including the US as a meen of justifying war and sanctions on rogue states, and as an document that condems non kapitalistic states, both property and copyright are human rights.

The human right decleration was tha main reason the US actually went into both the kosovo and bosinan conflict's
Saddam''s human right violations was also an magor part in the US defence of the 2 gulf ware[1]

The funny thing is that now that america are asked to actually follow their own guidelines they are suddenly suspicius.

[ Parent ]

LoL. I notice that you couldn't list them. (none / 0) (#44)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:23:25 PM EST

I also notice that you seem to think that we have rights because the UN gives them to us.

What an interesting way to think!

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

It's ot my way of thinking (none / 1) (#160)
by dudsen on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:37:37 PM EST

Tha whola basis idea of the human right charter is that once you get enoug countries to sign it in the UN forum you can use it becomes universal lav is the way the UN works.
In the real world there are some democratic werstern statet that did not sign the treaty's in it's full lenght among them the US and my own country Denmark, but that hasn't stopped either the US or denmark for complaining or even going to war when some other country did'nt followed them to the letter.

I newer said that i was in favor of the whole human rights game, i do beleave that it's an expresion of western(not just US) arogance and imperialism.
I simply dont lik the idea that someone can define what mankind is by putting enough state leaders signature on an traty.

[ Parent ]

Do you mean logically or historically? (2.50 / 4) (#46)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:39:36 PM EST

My understanding is that the logical derivation originally came from Christian theology and morality - the idea that "all men and women are Children of God and loved equally by Him."

By the time of the American revolution people were trying to put them on a more material foundation but still needed to invoke a "Creator" to explain why all men were equal under the law.  The modern method is to argue that rights derive from "Natural" law, which is a fancy way of saying "just because".

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 1) (#56)
by mcc on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 06:29:12 PM EST

which is a fancy way of saying "just because".

How is this in any way different from "God"?

[ Parent ]

None at all, really. (none / 0) (#95)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:58:51 AM EST

Both are attempts to establish an absolute frame of reference for morality.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]
nature (none / 1) (#64)
by gdanjo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:32:19 AM EST

[...] The modern method is to argue that rights derive from "Natural" law, which is a fancy way of saying "just because".
The way I see it, the "Natural" method of invoking human rights has a little more foundation than "just because." The argument goes like this: assuming the person that invokes human rights is a human, if that person did not invoke human rights as a "natural right" (that is, if a person stood up and argued that there is no logical basis for human rights to be invoked) then, immediately, by his admission, we can bash the person where they stand - with no consequence whatsoever, moral or otherwise. Thus, a human cannot deny human rights, unless they wish to have the snot beaten out of them ... only an animal (or some other non-human entity) is able to deny "human rights" without consequence.

This is a form of cognito ergo sum - where the mere act of a person saying X, proves X ... that there is no other possible alternative.

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

Doesn't work (none / 0) (#81)
by minerboy on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:38:49 AM EST

On an individual basis, there are some people you can't "bash", since they are more powerful than you. Sure, you can gang up, but so can they. Dictators that deny human rights are a good example. If human rights are natural, it is because they are a result of a creator, or maybe evolution. Otherwise their arbitrary. On a practical level, we only have them, because we can defend them.



[ Parent ]
assertion (none / 1) (#206)
by gdanjo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:36:54 PM EST

On an individual basis, there are some people you can't "bash", since they are more powerful than you. Sure, you can gang up, but so can they. Dictators that deny human rights are a good example. [...]
A dictator that stands up and says "there are no human right", but uses non-human entities to assert this, is asserting it as a para-human entity - that "there are no para-human rights."

In other words, to make an assertion about human rights using non-human means to assert these rights (a gun) is to make an assertion about humans-with-guns, not humans. When a dictator asserts there are no human rights, and backs them up with guns, then he is asserting that a man with guns has no human rights - in which case, let him make the assertion, and let other humans-with-guns "argue" the finer "points" (bullets) of the "debate."

This does not - can not - invalidate the naked human's assertion that human rights exist.

If human rights are natural, it is because they are a result of a creator, or maybe evolution. Otherwise their arbitrary. On a practical level, we only have them, because we can defend them.
Pragmatically, you're right. But we need not invoke neither a creator nor evolution to assert the "seed" of human rights.

This is what I believe "natural rights" to mean.

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

Extrapolate (none / 0) (#291)
by qbwiz on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 11:13:26 PM EST

What about a very strong person asserting "there are no human rights?" How about a very smart person (able to trick others into killing themselves, following, etc.) claiming "there are no human rights?" Secondly, how can you get from "I am human, therefore I have human rights" to "People have a right to a fair trial?"

[ Parent ]
existence (none / 0) (#306)
by gdanjo on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 02:42:12 AM EST

What about a very strong person asserting "there are no human rights?" [...]
This is the "natural right" that animals assert - a lion forcibly removes (kills, chases away, etc.) his competition to assert "I am the king." Obviously, we, as humans, as social creatures, no longer make these type of "forceful" assertions - we make assertion through language.

Thus, a strong person may implicitly assert "there are no human rights" and if he is able to defend this assertion through his strength, then he will be correct - for he will assert his authority over everyone else, and thereby make his assertion true. However, if he makes the assertion "there are no human rights" through language, and attempts to defend this position through language, then he can no longer make his assertions true - he can no longer prevent the counter-assertion that "human rights exist" false.

How about a very smart person (able to trick others into killing themselves, following, etc.) claiming "there are no human rights?"
If such a person is able to trick everyone, then he hasn't actually tricked anyone - unless you're a fatalist, and believe in some inherent stupidity of all persons. But if just one person asserts, in language, that he has human rights, then he has human rights.

Secondly, how can you get from "I am human, therefore I have human rights" to "People have a right to a fair trial?"
I never made such a claim. I'm opposing the belief that "natural rights" are abitrary. I'm asserting that "natural rights" come out of existence, and only their instantiation is arbitrary. In this case, "people have a right to a fair trial" certainly cannot unambiguously be extracted from such a small seed of legitimacy, and is therefore arbitrary - I'm saying that one's "natural rights" are asserted upon coming to being, and extrapolated (through unspecified means).

These "natural rights" are not arbitrary - once you come into existence, you cannot make the assertion "I do not exist." Likewise, if you consider yourself human, you cannot make the assertion "humans have no right to exist."

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

how can you say this crap? (none / 1) (#194)
by speek on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 07:34:56 PM EST

Don't you recognize it's simply false? Here:

"I have no human rights, and there is no logical basis for human rights to be invoked".

Please, come bash me sir, after all, there will be no consequences.

Sometimes, you've just gotta step back and ask yourself, "did I just say some bullshit there?"

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

figurative != literal (none / 1) (#203)
by gdanjo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 08:37:52 PM EST

"I have no human rights, and there is no logical basis for human rights to be invoked".

Please, come bash me sir, after all, there will be no consequences.

Oh please. If you can't extrapolate a literal example into a general principal then please don't enter the debate. You see, debate is about the abstract, not the concrete.

If you missed it, then the principal is this: if you are a human being, you cannot make the claim that "human rights do not exist." Similarly, if you are a mortal being, then you cannot claim that "murder should be ok." As a final example, you cannot claim "nothing exists," for something must exist for you to be able to make the claim.

This is the principal Descartes used when he proved that he himself is (or was).

In other words, self-denial is a falacy.

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

hmm (none / 0) (#257)
by speek on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 09:29:31 AM EST

I am a human being, therefore, I cannot claim that human rights do not exist.

Stop and analyze that, sir. Does it really follow?

I am a mortal being, therefore I cannot claim that "murder should be ok".

Again, does that follow?

If you want to be logical, you have a lot to learn about what it means to be rigorous, precise, and thorough. For a start, have a look at everything that goes into the scientific method, and learn just how difficult it is to go from "literal examples" to a "general principle".

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

ugh (none / 0) (#272)
by gdanjo on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:13:00 PM EST

I am a human being, therefore, I cannot claim that human rights do not exist.

Stop and analyze that, sir. Does it really follow?

I see no problem with it whatsoever.

I am a mortal being, therefore I cannot claim that "murder should be ok".

Again, does that follow?

E-gad, I think you may be catching on!

If you want to be logical, you have a lot to learn about what it means to be rigorous, precise, and thorough. [...]
I don't want to be "logical" (whatever that means), I want to explain the origin of a natural right. There is no possible rigorous, precise, thorough, logical explination of a natural right - if there was, we would not be arguing about from whence our natural rights came.

In the absence of a formal logical foundation for the existence of natural rights (whatever that means), I'm proposing that we use the Descartes method - that being a human implies having "human rights." And I back this up by claiming that self-denial is a falacy - that one cannot be a human and promote human desctruction/degradation at the same time, just like one cannot argue for murder if they themselves are a mortal being.

This argument falls over if you believe cognito ergo sum is false. So, do you?

For a start, have a look at everything that goes into the scientific method, and learn just how difficult it is to go from "literal examples" to a "general principle".
If you were familiar with my writing, you'd know that I have a beef with the uber-scientific-methodists, especially those that take it as granted that the scientific method is universal.

We are not arguing in a domain where the scientific method is king - in fact, we are in a domain where the scientific method is not applicable, since there is no repeatable, falsifyable test that can either prove or disprove the location/application of "natural rights" (whatever that means).

I also claim that the argument which says "human rights are arbitrary" or "human rights have no natural foundation" are false - since I claim that they can, indeed, be based on a "natural right."

Given this, what fault can you find in my argument? (hint: if the only fault you find is that it's not a "scientific conclusion" or that the domain is imprecise (non-scientific) and therefore all conclusions are impricise, then you're not really adding anything to the debate at all ... I already know this, and I make my conclusion despite it).

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

focus on just one thing (none / 0) (#278)
by speek on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 08:05:13 PM EST

I am a human being, therefore, I cannot claim that human rights do not exist.

Stop and analyze that, sir. Does it really follow?

I see no problem with it whatsoever.

The problem is that you've formulated this as a logical argument - given A then B, but it doesn't follow. In your premise, you posit "I am a human being". From that, you conclude humans have rights. How did rights show up? If I say "She is a dog", could I then conclude, "Dog rights exist"? If not, why not? You and I both know that to answer that question, you're going to introduce some new premises that you overlooked previously. And these new premises aren't going to be nearly as simple as "I am a human being".

I apologize for bringing up the scientific method with regards to extrapolating from the specific to the general. You completely missed the point and that caused you to ramble on for a bit.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

logic (none / 0) (#287)
by gdanjo on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 10:16:23 PM EST

The problem is that you've formulated this as a logical argument - given A then B, but it doesn't follow. In your premise, you posit "I am a human being". From that, you conclude humans have rights. How did rights show up? [...]
I've already told you this - thrice.

Let's analyse Descartes' argument: given "I think" then "I am" - how did "am" show up? How can you go from "think" to "am"? The answer is that implied in the statment "I think" is the statement "I am making the following statement ...", which is where you get the "I am" from. Similarly, implied by the statment "I am a human" is "I will continue to be a human" - wherein the "natural right" of existential momentum is implied.

This is my assertion. You can reject it if you want to, but rather than asking me where my conclusion came from, you should be telling me where my assertion fails.

If I say "She is a dog", could I then conclude, "Dog rights exist"? If not, why not? [...]
If you say "she is a Dog", then the statement is externally referential (not self-referential) and therefore it doesn't apply to the reasoning presented. Now, the existence of a Dog implies that Dog's have "Dog rights", and these rights cannot be self-denying - but we're getting off the track here ... for the Descartes method to work it must be self-referential.

You and I both know that to answer that question, you're going to introduce some new premises that you overlooked previously. And these new premises aren't going to be nearly as simple as "I am a human being".
Nope, sorry. If you have some "other premises" that are applicable to cognito ergo sum that make it more valid than it is, then they are superfluous ... unless you're saying that Descartes' argument is invalid to begin with and is only validated by the addition of more premises.

Now, you could argue that natural rights are not self-asserting as Descartes' argument, but that's a different story, and I'm prepared to back up this assertion with other arguments. I just can't figure out what you consider the problem in my argument to be.

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

no (none / 0) (#336)
by speek on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 10:32:51 AM EST

Descartes' argument has nothing to do with yours. And learn what it is (ie, not cognito ergo sum). If one has, as a premise, "I think", then one asserts "I am" simply because the existence of 'I' was already posited in the premise. In other words, it's a circular argument.

You are asserting "I am X" and then concluding "X has Y", and you can see that Y comes out of nowhere - it was not assumed in the premise and has no logical explanation. Not even a circular argument, like Descartes'. There is no similarity between the two, other than that both are insufficient to prove anything.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

I am teh lamer (none / 0) (#377)
by gdanjo on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 09:44:59 PM EST

Descartes' argument has nothing to do with yours. And learn what it is (ie, not cognito ergo sum). [...]
Kkkkkkssssssst! You're such a bitch! :-)

If one has, as a premise, "I think", then one asserts "I am" simply because the existence of 'I' was already posited in the premise. In other words, it's a circular argument.

That's what I said.

You are asserting "I am X" and then concluding "X has Y", and you can see that Y comes out of nowhere - it was not assumed in the premise and has no logical explanation. Not even a circular argument, like Descartes'. [...]
You completely miss my argument. You're twisting it to prove yourself right, instead of attempting to understand what I'm saying. Let me restate it one more time.

The statement "I think, therefore I am not" is false, is it not? It's self-contradictory, no? Circular arguments may not prove anything, but self-contradictions are proof enough that they are incorrect.

Now - stay with me here - the "I think" portion of my argument is "I was a human a moment ago, I am a human now, and I will continue to be a human a moment from now." Given this, I cannot now say "I do not have the right to continue to be a human" - that's a self-contradiction; a self-denial. Therefore, my very instantiation of "humanness" gives me a "natural right" to existential momentum - to continue to exist as a human. To say otherwise - to allow that I have no right to continue to exist - is self-denial, which is a falacy.

Now, I'm making a few leaps here that may be "sketchy", but, as you can hopefully see, I'm not a fucking moron - so please don't attribute your simpleton interpretation of my arguments to me. It does nothing for either of our intelligences (d'oh!).

There is no similarity between the two, other than that both are insufficient to prove anything.
I guess that depends on your definition of "prove" - if you're going to be pedantic and require a "mathematical proof", then I can be pedantic and disprove all your mathematics as well. After all, if you allow self-denial in an argument, I can then use mathematics to deny itself, no?

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

I'm a simple pedant (none / 0) (#379)
by speek on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 10:25:49 PM EST

You're statements are very clearly untrue, as I know you almost certainly will someday stop being a human being, so the "I will continue to be a human being" is false. And, why does being something automatically include a right to continue to be it? If I say "I am a murderer, I was a murderer yesterday, I am a murderer today, and I will be a murderer tomorrow, therefore I cannot say 'I do not have the right to continue as a murderer'", does that all follow?

As far as being pedantic enough to not accept circular or non-sensical arguments, well, some of us just have ridiculously high standards, I guess.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

ugly hacks (none / 0) (#389)
by gdanjo on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 06:06:23 AM EST

You're statements are very clearly untrue, as I know you almost certainly will someday stop being a human being, so the "I will continue to be a human being" is false. [...]
First, by this reasoning, all mathematical results will one day cease to be true, since the universe will one day end (either the big crunch, or the big entropy drain), and there will be no-one around to assert a mathematical truth.

Second, I specifically said "continuing to be a human a moment from now" without stating how large that moment is - that is, differentially, I will continue to be a human, and we can be reasonably certain that this will be true for any given moment where the pre-condition ("I am a human") is true ... it will fail in precisely one moment, but succeed in all others. It's a statistical certaintly, kinda like they use in them new fangled "relativity" and "quantum mechanics" thingamajigs. That this will one day not be true does not invalidate the near-infinite amount of moments where it is true.

Third, you're once again falling for the self-denial falacy. By your reasoning, no laws - whether man-made or scientific - have any foundation whatsoever: Since you will one day die, what does it matter that someone murders you a little early? Since our sun will one day explode, what does it matter that animals evolved - so what is the point of the theory of evolution at all? Since you're made of atoms, what rights do you have over and above a rock? Since the world's gonna end, why do I need to think, or to make logical, useful critiques?

Perfect, infinite extrapolation - like uber-skepticism - is as big a falacy as self-denial. It may work in mathematics, but honestly, who gives a shit?

If I say "I am a murderer, I was a murderer yesterday, I am a murderer today, and I will be a murderer tomorrow, therefore I cannot say 'I do not have the right to continue as a murderer'", does that all follow?
"If I combine two colours - blue and yellow - the result is one colour: green. Therefore, one plus one equals one."

Existential momentum refers to existence, not action. I never made any claim to a "natural right" to act in any specific way - I'm simply claiming that existence implies differentially-continuing existence - and that this is as much a "right" as Newtonian mechanics is a "law."

As far as being pedantic enough to not accept circular or non-sensical arguments, well, some of us just have ridiculously high standards, I guess.
So high that you're out on the edge of the universe talking about the morality of ants.

It's fine to have high standards in areas where it is conducive to do so - it's stupid to expect that complex problems like morality to have clean, crisp, elegant "mathematical" solutions. And it's even stupider to put your head in the sand and pretend that "ugly hacks" don't exist, or that they don't have any role in the world whatsoever.

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

you've had this argument before (none / 0) (#393)
by speek on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 09:27:28 AM EST

I can tell because I see you arguing against things I never said most of the time. Funny thing is, you're losing against the invisibile opponent too.

But, just a question: are you a vegetarian? Does the cow have the right to continued existence? Does the tomato have a right to continued existence? Do you use this word "right" in any way related to morality, such that, it would be wrong to violate something's right?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

you're used to being "right" (none / 0) (#453)
by gdanjo on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 08:40:36 PM EST

I can tell because you never bother to directly address or concede any point whatsoever - you expect that spouting a logical tautology will prove you right, because you believe that all your arguments are as water-tight as any self-evident assertion. One wonders why you even bother arguing at all; you're always "right", so what have you got to prove?

But, just a question: are you a vegetarian? [...]
No, I'm a bloody-rare steak eater, a smoker, a drinker, a (former) drug taker, I swear, I offend, and I often have sauce stains on my ripped t-shirt.

In other words, I'm about as far from vegetarian as you can get - I'm a bogan.

Does the cow have the right to continued existence? [...]
A "right" - and specifically, the concept of a "natural right" - is a cultural concept that we we humans use to "predict" future behaviour and measure such behaviour to determine it's legality/morality. I'm arguing that a "natural right" comes from a "right to continue to exist" that all entities, by their very existence, have. So yes, cows, dogs, rocks, and shit all have a "natural right" to exist and continue to exist - after all, nature itself has deemed this to be so, otherwise it would not have "given" existence to the entities in the first place.

But I've also said that this reasoning requires that the "natural right" be self-asserted; that only a human can assert "human rights." A cow, if it has "human rights" -like rights, must be asserted by a cow. Externally referential assertions are arbitrary, and therefore no better than the assertion that "natural rights are arbitrary."

You could say that a rock assert's it's "natural right" to continue to exist by being difficult to destroy - if we wanted to, we could use force to destroy "all rock's natural rights" and then rocks, by their absence of existence, will no longer have "rock rights." Similarly, we can implement such a self-denial policy and declare that humans have no right to exist, by destroying all humans - and we will have made the prophecy true. But what we will not have done is to disprove that existential momentum is a "natural right" - all other things that we do not destroy will continue to exist, as they always have.

There - you have what you wanted, an assertion that "rocks have rights." As before, I'm sure you'll remove the context and be comforted by the self-belief that you are, and always were, "right", and that I'm a greenie kook. So go ahead, summarise, re-interpret, remove all meaning, and show yourself to be right - but don't bother replying; I've already mentioned "Nazi's" so, by Godwin's law, this argument is done.

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

it's true, you are a kook (none / 0) (#454)
by speek on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 08:54:24 PM EST

But I'm not being right about anything here, as I'm not really asserting anything. I'm simply saying your argument makes no sense. You have lots of words, but they don't seem to mean a thing.

And my original point still stands. I am like the cow - I do not assert my "natural human right to exist", so come eat me.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

fine (none / 0) (#463)
by gdanjo on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:52:16 AM EST

But I'm not being right about anything here, as I'm not really asserting anything. [...]
It must be wonderful to be as delusional as you. Of course you didn't make any assertion - you didn't assert that I am wrong, you didn't make an argument that I made a logical faux pas, and you're not asserting that I'm a dumbass. No, what you did was magical, outside of the scope of criticism - the unobserved observer, the para-rightious of the rightious, the dog of all cows - because you are Right, and Right you'll always be, and that's how it is. You can't help that you're right all the time, can you? That's just how God made you!

It must be wonderful to be you. Or suck. Can't make up my mind.

And my original point still stands. I am like the cow - I do not assert my "natural human right to exist", so come eat me.
You're right. You're a cow. What more do you want?

You're right. You're right.

You're right.

Mu.

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

Bah (none / 0) (#380)
by DominantParadigm on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 10:56:08 PM EST

Not even a circular argument, like Descartes'.

This is so cute. For as long as you actually ponder the possibility that you exist, you know for certain that you exist. As soon as you stop pondering this possibility, you cannot be certain that you exist. Lick my balls, biatch.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
bah all you want (none / 0) (#382)
by speek on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:03:58 PM EST

For nearly 400 years, western philosophy has been trying to solve the problem of self inherent in Descartes' argument, with little luck. If you think you can do better, there's plenty of people who'd like to hear it. The problem isn't in proving existence, it's in demonstrating what the hell this "I" thing is, and it's not clear it's not fictional.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

I would lean more toward the Greeks and Romans... (3.00 / 2) (#82)
by araym on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:40:49 AM EST

The idea that "all are created equal" has been around significantly longer than Christianity I would say. You have to go far back as least as far as Athens 2500 years ago and possibly farther than that. Athens had a direct democracy whereby all citizens had an equal vote on every matter that came before the assembly. The Romans built on this idea with their Republic which they found to be more pratical when governing large amounts of people.

And though I agree that some Christian theologians did mention the idea of all men being created equal there was certainly no greater repressor of the common people than the Church until at least the Reformation. Most of the people who ended up being revolutionaries did not do so from reading the bible but from reading the Greek and Roman philosophers. They would of course include God in these ideas to "bring them up to date" and convert natural rights to those "endowed by the Creator".

-=-
SSM

[ Parent ]
Greeks are a good point (none / 0) (#92)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:54:16 AM EST

But the Athenian democracy was relatively short lived, and neither they nor the Romans extended rights to non-citizens.

Ignoring the theology for the moment, Christianity set forth the idea that all men are equal - citizen or not, enemy or not. It took 1500 years for the idea to really become part of mainstream political thought, but that's where the idea originated.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

Church oppression (none / 0) (#94)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:56:20 AM EST

As to whether or not the Church lived up to their own creed - I might quibble with the "no greater oppressor" comment, but I certainly can't argue that the Church never oppressed anybody - just as many "democratic" societies (including the greeks and romans) still had slaves.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]
'cause things work better.. (3.00 / 3) (#57)
by Kwil on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 06:46:12 PM EST

..if we do than if we don't.

Basic human rights reduce the level of unavoidable risk that comes along with being alive. Unavoidable risk manifests itself as stress and as non-productivity as we devote personal efforts to minimizing said risks rather than other matters.

When societies, as a group, agree on what basic human rights are, and agree not to violate them, people in general can operate more efficiently as they can devote their energies to things beyond those risks.

Or in short, if you know that everyone around you agrees they won't use torture, you don't spend much time worrying about being tortured.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
why you ask that? (none / 1) (#85)
by noproblema on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 07:57:45 AM EST

Are you really interested?
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Also you can find a list of the more basic human rights, as
Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


[ Parent ]
I've seen this interesting document (none / 0) (#115)
by minerboy on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:28:36 AM EST

Boils down to the "conscience of Mankind" - basically guilt, that leads to Human rights, according to this preamble. By the way, my favorite is article 16 = "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State."



[ Parent ]
Take a look at this version (none / 0) (#316)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:36:02 AM EST

UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Did you notice the date? December 10, 1948.

Did you notice the part (the very top, in bold)where it says: "Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and 'to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.' "

I wonder how many countries have done this since 1948. I wonder how many have made even a half-assed effort at it. Not many, and especially not many in the Middle East. This document is a total farce. Just read the first four articles and you will see that it has no credibility.

Moral of Story: Please don't go around peddling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to us, as if somehow the US needs lessons on human rights above and beyond the thugs we are fighting against. I'll start paying more attention to this document when our enemies have put forth 5% of the effort that the US has toward human rights.

[ Parent ]

Uh? (none / 1) (#347)
by noproblema on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 01:13:19 PM EST

why are you angry? the parent has asked a question (off topic IMHO) and I answered to him. If they are out of date, if they are followed or if they where originally flawed is another question.
I'll start paying more attention to this document when our enemies have put forth 5% of the effort that the US has toward human rights.
what "human rights" are you refering to? who are "our" enemies? and why? what effort are talking you? that include killing, kidnapping and torturing? I think that that is the 5% that "your" enemies are embracing.

[ Parent ]
that's nice (1.18 / 27) (#27)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:00:10 AM EST

the us should try hard to emulate some other states

like china, iran, saudi arabia

yes, let us criticize the us, and ignore countries like these

because if you actually CARE about human rights, the us is the natural country to start with in terms of criticism, right?

clearly ignoring these other countries when criticizing human rights abuses in the world doesn't speak of another agenda, at all


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

Remove the plank from your own eye (3.00 / 8) (#30)
by Nursie on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:15:26 AM EST

Seriously dude, this line of yours is getting tired.

If you're going to march around the world removing bad people from office (Saddam for instance) on the premise that they kill their own people and torture them and stuff, then you shouldn't be doing the same yourself because it makes you no better than them.

That's pretty much all there is to it.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
this is the truth (1.36 / 11) (#32)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:24:40 AM EST

if you ACTUALLY CARE about human rights

you will CRITICIZE THE BIGGEST HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS

but if you have ANOTHER AGENDA

then the us is the place to start

it really is that simple, and if you can't see that, then you don't understand why people reject your pov, or you unaware of your own bias due to lack of understanding of world history, reality, or essential human nature: good, bad, and ugly

you don't actually help the cause you either profess to care about, but don't really, or you DO you really care about human rights first and foremost, but you really don't understand what is really going on in the world

for real

you are maladaptive: all of your pov, all of your words, don't actually helpt he cause of human rights in the world

i can only hope you will understand this someday, but for now, by all means, you go on with your bad self, and huff and puff, and regurgitate your lowest common denominator propaganda, but don't think you are actually helping anyone but yourself


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

[ Parent ]

If I actually care about human rights abuse (3.00 / 11) (#34)
by Nursie on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:36:25 AM EST

Which I do, then I will criticise all abuse of human rights.

What I will criticise more is the disingenuous british and USian regimes, which claim to be the moral arbiters of the modern world, doing things just as badly as places like Syria, but on the quiet and trying not to let the people know.

I, as a british citizen, am responsible for voting the british govt into place. When they then slaughter Iraqi's under the dubious claim that saddam presented some sort of nebulous undefined threat then they do it with my supposed mandate. I don't like that. I can do something about that. People I talk to CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT EASILY, with little more than the power of speech and persuasion then we can stop some evil in the world simply by exercising our democratic rights and responsibilities.

JUST BECAUSE THERE ARE WORSE THINGS GOING ON DOESN'T MEAN I CAN'T TURN MY ATTENTION TO THE BEHAVIOUR OF GOVERNMENTS REPRESENTING ME AND PERPETRATING EVIL WITH MY GODDAMN TAX MONEY.

Yes there are worse human rights abuses going on in the world. But I'm not fucking paying for them or implicitly endorsing them. We're supposed to be the civilised ones, remember?

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Like Syria ? (1.33 / 3) (#50)
by minerboy on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 03:20:17 PM EST

With a statement like that, why should anyone take you seriously. While you certainly have a right to vote for a change in the British government, regardless of what other countries do, to characterize it (or the US) as evil is wrong - evil is a relative thing, particularly in the real world of government policy, so comparisons between different governments are quite appropriate. The UK, and the US have the best record on human rights, relative to other governments. The only exceptions may be the do nothing governments, like Sweden, that are isolationist and don't take any responsibility for the rest of the world.



[ Parent ]
DO nothings? (none / 0) (#69)
by The Amazing Idiot on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 02:23:44 AM EST

---The only exceptions may be the do nothing governments, like Sweden, that are isolationist and don't take any responsibility for the rest of the world.

At least we're not bombing them. They arent "with us". That means "they're against us".

I hate that damned saying"

[ Parent ]

Whatever dude. (none / 0) (#76)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 05:06:26 AM EST

With a statement like that, why should anyone take you seriously.
With a question like that, why should anyone answer? (hint, use question marks.)
The moment the US ships anyone off to Syria for interrogation (which seems to have happened), then they are as bad as Syria, they are giving implicit approval to whatever rights abuses go on there.
That's it.

Comparisons with other governments are NOT relevant. The fact is that my government is doing evil shit that I don't like. Ii can do something about it by exercising my democratic rights. I can influence others by moaning about it. Therefore I will.

The fact that worse regimes exist in the world does not mean I should not turn my critical attention to my own government who commit abuses with my mandate and my money.

As someone else has already said - why arrest me for simple bank robbery when there are murderers out there? Surely the police would be wasting their time?

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
there is a dam in front of you (none / 0) (#99)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:29:22 AM EST

one fire hose size hole gushes water

another pinky size hole squirts it

which do you fill? where is your effort most valuable?


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

[ Parent ]

Easy (none / 0) (#108)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:22:00 AM EST

A allegory in reply:
Why do the police arrest me for robbing a bank when there are murderers and terrorists out there?

But to answer you more directly, my effort is most valuable where it will save the most water fastest and with least effort.

In that case it is appropriately aimed at the democratic process in the US and UK, where a difference can (alledgedly) be made without military intervention or any sort of uprising or sanctions, solely on the will of the voting public.

Who in the hell said that I think china or any of the other countries you have mentioned are just fantastic and don't need change, anyway?

I think the whole stinking globe is a fuck-up on a massive scale, but I also think that places that claim to hold honour and integrity so highly should try and avoid slipping down the path to an amoral police state if they can help it.

Basically, STFU, we're not blaming the US for everything, but calling it on things that are properly its fault.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
the us has honor and integrity? (none / 0) (#114)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:27:47 AM EST

you mean the chinese don't claim honor and integrity? the indians don't claim honor and integrity?

you're blind to how deep your racism goes

you are a provincial bigotted fuck

no really: you are only capable of seeing the world through the pov of the us

you need to be educated, you need to see the world

you are a racist xenophobic fuck, for real

for you, the world ends at the rio grande

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

[ Parent ]

You really think so? (none / 0) (#119)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:32:42 AM EST

"you are only capable of seeing the world through the pov of the us"
Dude, I'm British!

And nowhere did I say that the US has honour and integrity, I think it's a selfish materialist militarist sore on the face of the planet to be quite honest with you.
I said it claims to hold honour and integrity extremely highly. I'm sure other nations do as well. But no-one shouts about it quite as much as you buggers which is why it's twice as offensive when we see what you're really like.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (none / 1) (#122)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:36:35 AM EST

no one shouts it quite as loud as us buggers?

it doesn't possible have to do with the fact that we are both english speaking countries next to each other with a shared history?

you haven't heard chinese han imperialism propaganda at work on the issue of taiwan or japan?

you haven't heard the loud nationalisticx tripe pakistan and india scream at each other? i'm sure you can find that in london?

no the simple truth is, you are a racist wasp: your concerns and your pov are inordinately centered on your tribe

you can't conceive of a world out there beyond wasphood: all of your media, all of your concerns, all of your castigation: centered on your own little patheitc tribe

you are a bigot

you are a racist

you are xenophobic

for real, as evinced in your words and how you have made totally clear in your pov


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

[ Parent ]

Racist? (none / 0) (#123)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:38:55 AM EST

Where did I mke a racist comment you stupid brainless twat?
Nice range of unfounded insults you have there.


Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
here is your racism (none / 0) (#126)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:45:54 AM EST

I think the whole stinking globe is a fuck-up on a massive scale, but I also think that places that claim to hold honour and integrity so highly should try and avoid slipping down the path to an amoral police state if they can help it

the chinese don't hold honor and integrity highly? the indians don't?

only wasps can?

the fact that you WOULD EVEN THINK THIS only shows you HOW FUCKING INSULAR and PROTECTED FROM THE WORLD you are

you are blind to your own bigotry

you stupid racist fuck

it's nice to know how FUCKED UP and BLIND those who disagree with you are, it fills my heart with resolve that i am on the right path

keep it up fucktard, you bring light to my soul: i am on the right track

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

[ Parent ]

Me blind? You would have us blind ourselves! (none / 0) (#130)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:52:11 AM EST

You would have us look the other way from US indiscretions whilst dictating how the rest of the world should behave!

You stupid us-apologist asshole!
(I can do insults too! look how far it advances th argument!)

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
the simple truth for you (none / 0) (#134)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:58:52 AM EST

blind love for the us is stupid, there we both agree

however, what you don't seem to understand is that the mirror image of stupidity is equally stupid: blind hatred of the us

the truth, the only perspective on the world that ACTUALLY HELPS TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD IS A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

one that takes into account the bad the us does, the good it does, the bad that russia does, the good it does, the good europe does, the bad europes does, the bad china does, the good china does, etc.

that's the real truth there jack

but you go on with your bad self, you keep frothing at the mouth about the us

be my guest

but don't for a second think you actually help to solve any problems in the world

you only serve to prop up your blind, inward, wasp-centered racist pov, you REFUSE to admit there is a world out there outside of the us, great britain, canada, australia... a non-eruopean,m non-british empire centered world capable of original sin and capable of vast good

a world that does not revolve around the us

as you do

;-)

you don't understand how blind and stupid you are

and you fill me with such glee, because your words are here for everyone to see, you, hard at work in your own stupidity, disenfrachising your own pov, revealing your blind hatred, as equally moronic as blind love, for the stupid us ;-)

i care about the world

what will it take for you to care about the world?

stupid selfish racist fuck

self-serving povs and bloated self-important egos, how i love to bash them

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

[ Parent ]

You stupid fuck (none / 0) (#137)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:03:04 PM EST

You have yet again called me racist without reason.

I do see the problems in the rest of the world. I don't deny they exist or are important. But I think the country that claims to be the defender of the free world should set itself higher standards than a fucking dictatorship you damned idiot.



Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (none / 0) (#138)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:06:09 PM EST

"defender of the free world"?

where did that bullshit come from?

the free world

IS

THE

WHOLE

WORLD

YOU

DUMB

FUCK

or am i to understand that you understand "the free world" as only wasp-birthed states?

you mean those poor brown people below the rio grande are not in the free world?

you mean those crazy iraqis don't have the right or ability or the responsiblilty to protect and maintain human rights? that white blood should be spilt in promotion and protection of the rights of brown people? is that you understanding?

ah, i understand, the free world only applies to wasps

(snicker)

such a racist, so blind to your own racism

;-)

keep it up, PLEASE keep it up ;-)


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

[ Parent ]

For fuck's sake, at least try to answer the point (none / 0) (#143)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:17:58 PM EST

I don't define the free world. I was simply using an example of US rhetoric and the position the US holds itself in. I don't think the free world is only WASP states, not there is really such a thing as a WASP state any more, I sit in my office in London here with people from the US, the middle east and and eastern europe, of varying skin tones.

I must admit I don't know what or where the Rio Grande is, if you are referring to the US border with mexico then no, I don't think the free world stops there, nor do I think it extends only to europe and north america. I wouldn't count china, or any theocracies or dictatorships though, they are not free by definition.

As for where you get the utter shit that I don't think Iraqis are capable or deserving of democracy and human rights, I don't know. Maybe the acid you dropped earlier is kicking in stronger than you thought.

Basically, fuck off CTS, you don't argue properly any more, you just set up straw men and then insult them. I'm sure there was a time when you used reason and intelligence.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
if you honestly believe everything you wrote (none / 0) (#147)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:27:17 PM EST

then your obsessive hatred of the us would not make sense

you'll work it out, you'll find your logical fallacies, i have faith in you

but right now, you're pretty useless to the problems you profess to care about, but don't essentially understand: global ones, needing a global perspective

not your obvious racist and nationalist rancor addled brain

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

[ Parent ]

Seriously, why the racist allegations? (none / 0) (#152)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:33:27 PM EST

I'm not a racist, fucktard.

Neither am i nationalist, have you heard me spouting off about how great britain is and how we need to rebuild the empire and throw out all the "darkies"? no.

I do not have an obsessive hatred of the US. I do think it is a culture that encourages corruption and avarice, militarism and materialism and that that has reprecussions all around the world.


Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
you're not talking about the us (none / 1) (#162)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:42:51 PM EST

you are talking about human nature

what you lay at the feet of the americans you should be laying at the foot of the world

same with the whole "defenders of the free world" crap

why do you believe that?

why don't you believe that every human being deserves basic human rights and every human being should fight for them?

the only possible explanantion for your viewing of the world through the prism of americans, when a lot of your complaints have to do with essential human nature is due to a nationalistic, racist tilt

america means nothing, it's just a dumb country, so your obsession with it is clearly nationalistic, and racist in consideration (only wasps fighting for freedom, for example, while all the darkies cower under tyranny)

loose your blinders, think globally, not locally, tribally


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

[ Parent ]

Your straw men are crumbling again CTS (none / 0) (#248)
by Nursie on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 06:26:52 AM EST

where do i say I don't believe everyone across the world should have the same rights and priveliges?

Also, in case you didn't spot it - the whole "defenders of the free world" crap was a criticism of people that even try to claim that they are.

I'm not saying that the us should be "defenders of the free world", in fact mostly I think it should stop interfering (as I have said in this very thread several times).

I'm not saying that if the US choose to be "defenders of the free world" then they should do it better.

I'm saying it should never be claimed in the first place and the immense hubris that is commited by the US as a nation needs to stop.

yes I think human nature sucks. But I also think the US culture has particular way of bringing it out in a vulgar, violent and stupid way.

CTS, why not give it a rest now? you've lost whatever spark you used to have, now you're just a repetitive troll.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Both of them... (none / 0) (#110)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:23:26 AM EST

...because if you only plug the gusher and ignore the pinky sized one, it will contiue to grow. And despite your efforts, you will still get wet and the dam will still collapse.

Then you'll be standing there wondering why you didn't plug the little hole when it was the easiest to fix...


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

clarity: (none / 0) (#117)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:30:41 AM EST

you cannot talk about an international problem from a domestic perspective

you either get an international perspective

or you constrict your pov to domestic problems

therefore, you criticize the largest human rights abusers on the issue of human rights, or you in actuality don't care about human rights: you have another agenda, or you don't understand the world

that really is the truth of the matter

you cannot hope to solve global problems from a domestic pov

you cannot even hope to begin to understand them!

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

[ Parent ]

This is not a black or white issue (none / 0) (#133)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:57:44 AM EST

Its not "us or them" or a "you are either for us or against us" issue.

I can be outraged by China's treament of it's citizens and the people of Tibet at the same time I am outraged that the US is "disappearing" people, or holding people indefinitely without charge or trial. Both are gross human rights violations and should be viewed as such, no matter who is commiting them and why.

What makes the US slightly more agregious in this is that they claim to be the "land of the Free" or, as another poster put it "the originators of humans rights". At least China doesn't go around claiming to be the beacon of human rights an freedoms while committing their crimes. But the US does. Remember the Soviet Union? When I was kid they were the "Evil Empire" because the committed torture, "disappeared" people and invaded a soveriegn nation. Why should the US be held to a different standard?

And the right-wingers claim the left is guilty of moral relativism...jeez!

BTW, Your cut-and-paste trolling is really unbecoming. I've read these very comments in at least 6 different spots today. And they don't really address my original post. I've come to expect more from CTS. You really disappointed me today...


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

what racism! (none / 0) (#142)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:16:42 PM EST

so chinese don't claim to uphold human rights, but the us does?

only a waspy nation can understand the need for this principle?

i think if you told a chinese person these words, they would spit in your face

do you even see your own racism at work?


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

[ Parent ]

Where exactly the fuck do you get off (none / 0) (#156)
by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:51:44 PM EST

On your allegations that anyone who disagrees with you is a racist?

Also i'd be suprised if a chinese person spat in your face for those comments, him having no access to democracy, fredom of information, freedom of speech, freedom of association or any of the other good things we enjoy.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
the breakthrough becomes closer (none / 0) (#164)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:46:54 PM EST

and what exactly is in the way of the chinese and democracy

the americans?

lol

;-)

your blinders are so dense

it is racism, tribalism, nationalism, xenophboia, to be so obsessed with nations, when the world, the globe, is the only morally defensible pov to take on issues like human rights

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

[ Parent ]

Riiiiiight (none / 0) (#246)
by Nursie on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 06:12:11 AM EST

Where do I lay any claim that the US is in the way of chinese democracy?
Where do I lay any claim that the US is the root of all evil?
Where do I lay any claim that all other nations are perfect?
Where do I put the blinders on?
You're the one advising we turn a blind eye to abuse. Not me.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Chill Nursie... (none / 0) (#167)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:56:30 PM EST

CTS is an incredible troll, but he's losing his edge. The racism thing is the best he can come up with in light of my catching him doing some cut-and-paste trolling.

Just as patriotism is the last bastion of the idiot, racism is the last gasp of the dying troll.

Too bad, when he's being serious, CTS makes some pretty decent points. Of course, he's rarely serious.


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

no, its'really racism (none / 1) (#169)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 02:04:45 PM EST

some people here apparently think only the west can stand for justice

i guess trhey think that that the chinese govt openly insists that, while the us stands for justice, they stand for dementia, or some sort of insanity

ALL HUMAN SOCIETIES FIGHT FOR JUSTICE

but i guess here that concept is called "trolling"

it is far more fashionable to be blind anti-us here, which is the same stupiditiy, with the same stupidity and potential for evil, as blind pro-us

silly me, i believe only a global pov, not a tribal, nationalistic, racist xenophobic pov is the right pov on issues like human rights

yes, that's me, such a horrid troll, championing a global pov

the nationalists and xenophobes, you insist, are the clear-headed ones

got you,thanks for the heads up


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

[ Parent ]

Once again, your straw men are very poor quality. (none / 0) (#247)
by Nursie on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 06:19:51 AM EST

I don't think the west can or should stand for justice
Never have I said that, in fact I have even criticised the US for setting itself up as policeman, judge and jury in the world.

And whilst most human societies fight for what they consider to be justice, not all ruling regimes do. some are purely selish, cult-driven dictators. And even amongst those that do consider themselves to be good and strive for justice/freedom/whatever, not all of them try to impose it around the world militarily or through trade. And not one other country spews forth the volume of cheap throw-away rhetoric about how great they are and how they're gonna save the whole world (from islam/communism/the french/whatever) that the US does. I find it offensive, especially when underneath they are behaving in a dishonest, abusive, and profit driven way.

No they're not the only ones. No they're not the worst. No that doesn't mean we should just ignore it.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
CTS lost it a couple of years back (none / 0) (#249)
by Nursie on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 06:29:15 AM EST

but that doesn't mean he doesn't annoy me and make me want to try and get him to back down or retract something.

You are right, there was a lot of intelligent debate back then, and it impressed me, even his trolling was well thought out and usualy a reasoned (if unreasonable) attack on the arguments he was facing.

Now he just spouts about how racist everyone is because they dare criticise the "land of the free"

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
uhmm, not chinese but China.. (none / 0) (#165)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:50:55 PM EST

as in the Peoples Republic of. If you'd care to quote me a time when the government of the PRC claimed to be the upholders of human rights or when they become the self-described "home of the free" I'd love to see it.

You strawman needs some more stuffing.....;)

So sad when a troll loses their edge....


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

ok, let's take you to your logcal conclusion (none / 0) (#168)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 02:01:29 PM EST

show me where the chinese govt insists that, unlike the us, it does not stand for all that is good and right, and only the demented and evil

ALL human beings of ALL societies insist upon justice

but i'm sorry, according to you, i guess only wasps can understand the concept


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

[ Parent ]

Uhmmmm (none / 0) (#174)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 02:58:28 PM EST

China doesn't say anything at all, for or against human rights most of the time. The US, on the other hand, claims to do everything for "freedom and liberty". "They hate us for our freedom", remember? Not a week goes by with out the US being refered to as "the home of the Free" and "freedom loving Americans" by the Bush-Cheney gang. So while they claim to be about these things, they act no different than the government of the PRC, which you yourself has claimed to be a 'bigger' violator of human rights than the US (along with Iran and North Korea, remember, way back before the 'You are standing in front of a dam' bullshit).

ALL human beings of ALL societies insist upon justice

And they insist on it from all countries and governments, thus, I will criticise the US for violating human rights whenever I damn well please.

Also, by your own logic, if I am a racist for insisting that China does not stand up for human rights or claim to be a protector of human rights, then you are a racist for claiming that I should not be concerned about the US violating human rights, but rather turn my attention to China. After all, I guess the waspy USians are superior to the Chinese and therefore can violate human rights with impunity....

Its been fun playing CTS, but you are becoming derivative of your self. What is your next post? Will you mod-bomb me for not not apologizing to the Chilean, er, Chinese people for insulting them? Did I somehow make your Grandma stub her toe?

Better effort this time...


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

it's really very simple (none / 1) (#175)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 03:12:06 PM EST

if you criticize the us on human rights, and not the likes of china, iran, and syria, you don't understand what human rights are

i believe all human beings are fundamentally equal

so if china does something like machine gun its own citizens who just are protesting democracy, or outlaw an entire religion like falun gong, then i think that maybe i am more honest about my understanding of human rights than you

because IF ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE EQUAL, THEN THE VIOLATION OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE'S RIGHTS RATHER THAN HANDFUL OF MOSTLY TERRORSIT ASSHOLES IN PRISONS

IS

MORE

EFFECTIVE

AND

REAL

it's very simple:

mountain

versu

molehill

by all means, you go on with your bad self, you obsess over the us, there's a lot like you

i'll be concerned with real issues, how's that?

here are the fruits of your human rights agenda

oh my god, the fucking islamonazi has to see female guards!

claerly a bigger fucking issue then something like myanmar, where the fucking generals keep their drug trade well oiled with the blood of their citizens

clearly, i'm a trollish asshole, and you're a beacon of truth

fact: you are a provincial, tribal fuck, obsessed over your little region of the world

while i am global on my pov

i believe that all humans are equal, the whole world over, not what some rich fuck in the west is concerned with because he saw it on his teevee

global

versus

local

only one pov is morally defensible


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

[ Parent ]

There are TWO dams.. (none / 0) (#217)
by stormie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:30:54 PM EST

..one in front of you, with a pinky size hole squirting water.

..and one on the other side of the world with a fire hose size hole gushing water.

Do you plug the hole in front of you, or do you shrug and say "the one on the other side of the world is worse, I'll let this one leak all over me" ..?

[ Parent ]

there is no spoon (none / 1) (#221)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:41:18 PM EST

snore...

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

[ Parent ]
in the age of internet and jet air travel (none / 1) (#222)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:42:24 PM EST

there is only one small world

a global perspective is now the only morally defensible perspective in today's world


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

[ Parent ]

Truth: Focus on what you CAN ACTUALLY CHANGE (3.00 / 8) (#39)
by cburke on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:56:20 PM EST

Here's the truth that you will not accept:  China, Iran, Saudi Arabia are NOT going to change because you CRITICIZE them.  They don't give a fuck that you think they are evil.  Everyone knows they are, but criticizing them for it is pointless.

We live in a democracy and that is our only advantage over those regimes.  Unlike any of those other countries, us citizens of the U.S. have the ability to hold our leaders accountable for whatever atrocities are committed.  Out of all the countries you mention, we are the only ones where the people can say to their government "Hey!  What you're doing is wrong, so fucking cut it out!" and actually have the desired effect instead of being shot.

But you don't want to hold them accountable, because other people, who you can't hold accountable, are worse.  The ones who are angry about it, who want to change it, you say have an anti-U.S. agenda, and they don't care about human rights.  Because they merely want to effect change where it is possible, they don't care about change at all.  Doesn't the ludicrousness of this stab you in the face?  Obviously it doesn't, and I think I know why.

A man beats his wife, and is arrested.  Do you decry his arrest because he merely hit a woman a few times while prisoners are being asphyxiated to death while in the hands of CIA interrogators?  Do you say to the District Attorney "What agenda do you have to prosecute this man, while much worse things are going on in places you have no jurisdiction over?"  No, of course you don't, because that would be utterly retarded.

But when a report detailing abuse by U.S. agents -- people allegedly under the control of our democratically elected leaders -- using torture comes to light you cry "Don't pay attention to that!  Pay attention to the other guy, he's worse!  You must have an agenda to want to stop this abuse that you can stop while other abuse you can't stop is occuring!"

When it's the United States that we're talking about, not your neighbor down the street, you'll make the still utterly retarded claim that the abuses don't matter because worse things are occuring.  You'll say "don't hold us accountable, because you should be raging at these others".  You'll say "You must hate the U.S. if you want to stop our abuses while other abuses are going on.  We are the good guys because we're not as bad, and you don't hold the good guys -- that's us -- resposible for their actions!"  You don't care about what's actually happening, you don't care about what reality says you can change and what you can't.  You don't care about holding accountable the ones who are in our power to hold accountable.  You only care that we don't pay attention to U.S. abuses, that we keep believing that the U.S. is golden and right, keeping our eye and ire instead on far away places (that you'd like to invade).  There's a word for that:

PROPAGANDA.


[ Parent ]

wow (none / 1) (#98)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:28:16 AM EST

criticize those who have a conscience, because they will listen to you

and ignore those who won't listen to you, who are doing the most damage

just wow

you don't really haver a human consicence

no, for real: a human conscience about human rights abuses honestly does not function that way

outrage at human rights abuses is simply that: outrage at human rights abuses

and it naturally gravitates towards the greatest abuse

do human rights end at the rio grande?

no?

you mean they extend to everyone in the world?

really?

why does your human conscience end at the rio grande then? huh asshole?

believe it or not, the world does not revolve around the united states

the fact that your entire rationale does simply means you are maladapted: you can't conceive of the world outside the us as consequential to the fight for human rights

therefore, you are nationalistic, tribal, racist

just because people are brown, doesn't mean the fight for their rights is any less than the fight for yours, or should be held to a lower standard: they're brown people, they can't fight for rights with the same ability us wasps can

that doesn't make sense?

THAT IS BASICALLY YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT YOU STUPID FUCK

you are provincial, you xenophobic, you are inward, you are backwards, you are naive, you are uneducated: you need to study the world: it is a big world, there actually exists a world outside the united states

you need to learn that

wow

just wow

boy are you fucked up you fucking xenophobe


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

[ Parent ]

Your racist hypocrisy sickens me. (3.00 / 3) (#198)
by cburke on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 08:10:24 PM EST

You're an ignorant hypocrite who lies about what others say.  But we both knew that, didn't we?  Anyway, let's get this started:

criticize those who have a conscience, because they will listen to you

Conscience?!  You idiot, who do you think has a conscience?  If the abusers had a conscience, they wouldn't be abusing, you moron!  No, if you'd pay attention and read (not bloody likely) you'd understand that we have a system that allows us to hold those conscienceless bastards accountable!  That's the only thing that differentiates our government from every other government that abuses.  The only thing, but it only works if we, the people choose to use it.  Why won't you?

You fucking pose and pontificate about how other countries are so much worse and you won't even use the one thing that actually gives us an advantage in stopping abuse.

and ignore those who won't listen to you, who are doing the most damage

Hypocrite.  The only one suggesting we ignore any abuse anywhere is YOU.

I'll repeat that:  THE ONLY ONE SUGGESTING WE IGNORE ABUSE IS YOU.

no, for real: a human conscience about human rights abuses honestly does not function that way

A human conscience tries to stop whatever wrongs it can.  YOU are the one without a conscience because YOU don't care about the abuse that YOU could stop if only YOU gave a fuck.  Hypocrite.

You would walk past a starving man on the street, uselessly pondering famine in Ethiopia, because your conscience doesn't work that way.  You sick bastard, it only works that way because you don't care about actually helping.  If there was button you could press to end his suffering, you wouldn't, because you would demand we focus elsewhere!  Hey idiot, why don't we do both?

outrage at human rights abuses is simply that: outrage at human rights abuses

This isn't about outrage, it's about stopping abuse, you fool!  There's an infinite supply of outrage, and I can be outraged about every abuse on earth without neglecting any.  Does this concept escape you?  Yes.  Yes it does.  Do you actually give a fuck about stopping abuse wherever you can?  No, no you don't.  Because that's what a real human conscience would care about.  You only care about sorting abuse in order of severity so you know what to be most outraged about on some philosophical level.  That's not even human.  A fucking machine would find that contemptable.

If you won't even hold accountable those you can easily hold accountable, how the fuck do you expect anyone to think you're sincere when you say the worse abuses outrage you more?  It obviously doesn't outrage you at all, because you won't do anything to stop it where you can, you heartless bastard.

If you were sincere (which you're not) what kind of damned idiot would you have to be to think you can only fix U.S. abuse or abuse by other governments?  What kind of moron would you have to be to think that stopping U.S. abuses would in any way harm the fight against the abuses of other governments?  If you were sincere and not a moron (neither of which are true) you would know that stopping U.S. abuses can only help.

It's because of stupidity and hypocrisy just like yours that Iraqis still don't know what it's like to be ruled by someone who isn't into torture.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Idiot.  And that's your only idea to bring human rights to other people -- invasion!  You idiot, if you're going to invade, shouldn't you fucking clean up your tool of invasion?  No, that would require a non-hypocrite.

just because people are brown, doesn't mean the fight for their rights is any less than the fight for yours, or should be held to a lower standard:  they're brown people, they can't fight for rights with the same ability us wasps can

That tears it.  Pop quiz, asshole:  What color is this guy?  Fucking racist hypocrite.   You are the one who thinks WASPs are better, and their abuse doesn't matter.  You are the one who think our WASP torturers have a "conscience".  Does that bitch look like she has a conscience?  When Rumsfeld banned digital cameras, was that due to his conscience?  It was weighing so heavily on Bush's conscience he forgot the fucking name of the place it happened at.  YOU think only other countries have consciencesless torturers!  YOU think only "brown people" cannot be reasoned with and must be invaded.  Hypocrite.

And how do you frame your nonsense?  "they can't fight for rights with the same ability wasps can".  Who is it who advocates invasion to bring these "brown people" their rights by U.S. force of arms?  That's right, YOU, you hypocrite.  It's obvious who believes they can't fight for themselves.

you are provincial, you xenophobic, you are inward, you are backwards, you are naive, you are uneducated: you need to study the world: it is a big world, there actually exists a world outside the united states

Naive?  Ha!  Idiot, you think you can ignore the abuse done by your own soldiers and expect those soldiers to do anything about abuse elsewhere?  Fool!  As usual, you have nothing but philosophy and no connection to getting things done in reality!  You can do something about real abuse and help prevent it from happening again, and make future U.S. interventions you're so fond of work better, BUT YOU REFUSE because it ISN'T AS IMPORTANT to you, the sick fuck.  The fucking warhawk thinks he can use his military to fix the world's problems and he won't even fix his military.  He won't even admit that it is broken!  He says you have no conscience if you want to fix it!  He won't even take the simplest of steps to improve the world, and thinks he can say anything about fixing the truly hard problems?  My god, how fucking sick are you?

Myopic idiot, you think your false dichotomy of help those abused by the U.S. and help those abused by everyone else means I am inwardly focused?   Advocate another invasion, idiot!  Maybe this time, we won't see pictures of the abuse resulting from your stupidity!

I remember vividly the news footage of Tianamen Square, from when it happened, and I've hated the Chinese government ever since.  Are you now going to cry "Why do you only care about China, when torture also goes on in Syria?"  No, you're not.  Suddenly you're going to be smart enough to realize someone can hate China and also hate Syria.  Why this sudden burst of non-idiocy?  Because YOU ARE THE ONE WHO THINKS THE U.S. IS SPECIAL.  YOU are the one who groups everything into "U.S." and "All those other conscienceless bastards who we have to invade to fix".  YOU are the one who thinks your choices are "hate U.S. government abuses" and "hate all other governments' abuses".  YOU are the one drawing lines.  I don't care about the Rio Grande, why do you?  I want to stop abuse wherever I can, why don't you?

Answer:  You're a racist hypocrite propagandist who cares nothing about actually stopping abuse and everything about keeping your favorite and only tool -- the U.S. military -- free from blame.  

Pathetic.


[ Parent ]

i am not an american (1.50 / 2) (#218)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:36:59 PM EST

i am a human being

let me ask you something, you hotheaded fuck:

what have you done?

no really

i will be in surigao in january

do you even know where that is?

do you want to ask me what i will be doing there? >:-)

c'mon you hotheaded fuck, you go ahead, ask me

ask me what i was doing in aids education on the lower east side of manhattan in the early 1990s

GO AHEAD FUCK

you have come out guns ablazing, doubting the sincerity of my views, so i come right back at you fuck, full fucking force:

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE

c'mon asshole, we're all ears

because you are like every other spoiled rich child of the west: you only understand human rights as far you can reflect them through the prism of "how does it affect me and my little western world"

god forbid your hands get messy!

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE IS THE ONLY PERSEPCTIVE TYHAT HELPS HUMAN RIGHTS

OBSESSING OVER A FEW MOSTLY TERRORIST ASSHOLE WHILE FALLING DEAF ON THE FATE OF MILLIONS

IS

NOT

A

HUMAN CONSCIENCE

for real you fucking fuck!

SO COME ON FUCK!!!

YOU FUCKING TELL ME

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE

huh??????

YOU FUCKING HOTHEAD

DOUBT ME

DOUBT MY WORDS WILL YOU

LET'S HEAR IT FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OUT WITH IT

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

selfish stupid inbred rich western fuck

GOD I HATE YOU STUPID SPOILED RICH WESTERN FUCKS

DON'T KNOW SHIT EXCEPT YOUR SPOILED RICH WORLD

c'mon fuck, out with it!

YOU GO AHEAD AND DOUBT ME FUCK

YOU PLAY THAT GAME

GO AHEAD, DOUBT ME, I RELISH IT

YOU HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHO I AM OR WHAT I AM DOING

YOU DOUBT ME FUCK, YOU DON THAT, JUST YOU DEFEND YOUR OWN CONSCIENCE, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NONE EXCEPT HOW BEST TO COVER YOUR RICH SPOILED WESTERN ASS

YOu DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CLUE WHAT THE REAL WORLD IS REALLY LIFE

GOD I HATE YOU SPOILED FUCKS

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

[ Parent ]

Stop lying about surigao (none / 0) (#250)
by Torka on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 06:31:23 AM EST

You're not going anywhere.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for agreeing with me. (none / 0) (#252)
by cburke on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:47:25 AM EST

i will be in surigao in january

do you even know where that is?

do you want to ask me what i will be doing there? >:-)

Now that it sounds like you may be talking about doing useful things in reality, why yes, I really would like to ask what you will be doing there.  You wouldn't be bringing it up now if it wasn't interesting and worthwhile.

If your answer isn't "solving the absolute worst problem in the entire world" then I'm going to assume that despite your vitriol to the contrary that we actually agree that the only rational thing to do is to address those problems you can address whenever and whereever you are able to do so.  Here or there, it's all the same.  It's the only realistic way to deal with things.  Rankings of sin and strife and outrage are completely irrelevent; it's what you can do to make things better that matters.

Isn't that right?

ask me what i was doing in aids education on the lower east side of manhattan in the early 1990s

That's commendable, but to listen to you one post prior you'd think it was contemptable to pay attention to such an insignificant tribal problem, wouldn't you?  Why are you obsessing over aids education in manhattan, a molehill next to the mountain of northern africa!  Human consciences don't bah whatever it's too silly to repeat even in jest.

OBSESSING OVER A FEW MOSTLY TERRORIST ASSHOLE WHILE FALLING DEAF ON THE FATE OF MILLIONS

You keep raising this feeble strawman.  It's not either or, I'm not deaf at all to the much worse problems elsewhere, so this is entirely your invention.  Rage at the scarecrow all you want; I'm standing over here.

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE

Not much, bordering on jack shit.  Tutoring in a kindegarten several years ago is hardly going to change the world, but I know damn well that's my problem.  If you want to call me a useless fuck, go ahead, because we'll still be in agreement on reality.  Thanks for proving my point.

[ Parent ]

You're right. (3.00 / 2) (#346)
by DavidTC on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:23:52 PM EST

What kind of soulless bastard would be helping stopping AIDS in Manhatten at a time when half of a continent was dying of AIDS over in Africa? What kind of spoiled rich child of the west is he, to place Manhatten over Northern Africa?

In fact, what kind of fucktard helps stop AIDS when East Timor could have really used his help during that time? There were people being tortured to death, there was a genocide, over 200,000 people died, and he was living in Manhatten, one of the most prosperous cities in one of the most prosperous nations in the world, and giving out fucking pamplets while living in an apartment instead of fighting a guerilla war in East Timor.

You know, forget the earth. In billions of years, the sun will go nova, and kill every person and animal, and wipe all human knowledge from existence. Who the fuck has time to be online, talking about a few meaningless people being tortured, people who, while some of them may not be terrorists, are at least being tortured by the greatest country on planet! Everything anyone ever did is going to be rendered meaningless, and this idiot is going to be lounging around in Surigao next year.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

that's right (none / 1) (#227)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:01:00 PM EST

i can only care about my pathetic little corner in the world

if it happens elsewhere, it's not my problem

in the age of jet air travel and the internet, only a global perspective is morally defensible on any problem

believe that fuck, believe it

any subset of the world, any concern with a subset of the world: a pro or anti us stance for example, is racism

nationalism

insular xenophobic provincialism

i am not an american, i am a human being

that pov informs my perspective

that makes my pov superior to your tribal one


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

[ Parent ]

Believe it! (none / 0) (#254)
by cburke on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:58:13 AM EST

if it happens elsewhere, it's not my problem

History doesn't repeat, it rhymes, and the last stanza ended with "Rwanda".  I thought the reason we didn't do anything in Rwanda is because we didn't know what was going on until it was too late, or rather it was covered up until it was too late.  Turns out it wouldn't have mattered; nobody gives a fuck anyway!

You know what's really cute?  When I can corner someone into admitting we should actually do something about Sudan, they say "but we're stuck in Iraq!"

Damnit.  Maybe if we cooked up some evidence that bin Laden was hiding there, maybe running the militias personally?  No, because bullshit begets bullshit begets clusterfucks like Iraq II.  Can't escape cause and effect, and little white lies can have big consequences.

For once your warhawkery and I are in complete agreement, but will you notice that?

in the age of jet air travel and the internet, only a global perspective is morally defensible on any problem

Damn straight!  God, when we agree, we agree.  Now tell me again why stopping U.S. abuse precludes fighting for human rights from a global perspective?  Tell me again how these goals aren't one and the same?

Don't talk about outrage because I have plenty for everywhere you could mention.  Don't talk about criticism, because there's plenty of that to.

I honestly want to hear what you want to do about human rights in China.  I care a lot about China;   some of my friends are going to have to go back, and they no more know what to do about the government than I do, or I think you do.  I hear you say "focus on the worst abusers!" but I have heard nothing about what we are going to do about China.

In the meantime, is it really so wrong to try to fix lesser problems elsewhere?

any subset of the world, any concern with a subset of the world: a pro or anti us stance for example, is racism

I don't believe that.  Only caring about a subset, or caring about a subset to the exclusion of others, is racism.  Or should I call you a racist for focusing on aids education in Manhatten instead of, say, Morocco?  No, that'd be really stupid, wouldn't it?

And how do you reconcile that statement with advocacy of U.S. military intervention while dismissing what that military has done?  That's a very pro-U.S. stance.  Or so it seems to me!  But I think you can admit something is broken and want to fix it without being anti-, which you don't seem to believe is possible.

Here's your mistake:  You think because I don't ignore abu Ghraib that I do ignore Sudan, China, Syria, Iran.  Well you are,  as you have been in the past, completely wrong.  You seem completely incapable of understanding how this is possible, skipping over where I actually say it directly to your face.  I don't get it.   Is it because I'm posting on K5 in response to you, and thus won't be distinguished from the anti-U.S. hordes around here regardless of what I say?  Or just not worth your bother to read?

[ Parent ]

I see the problem. (none / 1) (#282)
by DavidTC on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 08:57:59 PM EST

A man beats his wife, and is arrested. Do you decry his arrest because he merely hit a woman a few times while prisoners are being asphyxiated to death while in the hands of CIA interrogators? Do you say to the District Attorney "What agenda do you have to prosecute this man, while much worse things are going on in places you have no jurisdiction over?" No, of course you don't, because that would be utterly retarded.

What you have failed to realize is that cts is, in fact, utterly retarded.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Dumbass... (3.00 / 2) (#53)
by kcidx on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 05:30:41 PM EST

Actually...if you care about human rights, you will critisize ALL HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS!

Clearly, people criticize Saudi Arabia, Iran and China all the time.

Just because people also criticize the US for their abuses doesn't mean anything terrible. It just means that we violate peoples human rights like so many other countries we try to act superior to.

[ Parent ]

there is a dam in front of you (none / 0) (#97)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:21:11 AM EST

a firehose size hole gushes water to your right

a pinky size hole to your left

which do you fill?

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

[ Parent ]

Both. (none / 0) (#135)
by kcidx on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:59:07 AM EST

Or the dam will break regardless...

[ Parent ]
some clarity for you: (none / 0) (#141)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:13:14 PM EST

you cannot talk about an international problem from a domestic perspective

you either get an international perspective

or you constrict your pov to domestic problems

therefore, you criticize the largest human rights abusers on the issue of human rights, or you in actuality don't care about human rights: you have another agenda, or you don't understand the world


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

[ Parent ]

I'll turn your favorite troll on you.... (none / 0) (#179)
by kcidx on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 03:54:39 PM EST

I AM LOOKING AT THE ISSUE FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE.

Human rights abuses are human rights abuses. Discussing them, and attempting to stop them wherever they occur is the right thing to do.

You are an idiot.

[ Parent ]

when you see (none / 0) (#180)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 04:13:30 PM EST

1 mllion well meaning fools obsessing over the rights of people like this

while ignoring the likes of this

doncha think maybe some attention needs to be turned elsewhere?

i'm really nutty that way

yes, i'm just fruity in my approach, it's just so wrong


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

[ Parent ]

Nuance... (none / 0) (#188)
by kcidx on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:25:30 PM EST

No one here is ignoring the abuses of anyone. I'm saying whats fair is fair. A human rights abuse is a human rights abuse. Some of them are used as an excuse for a superpower to invade and occupy a foreign coutry when its other lies are exposed, and some are committed by that very superpower. Some are ignored because dealing with them doesn't serve a political goal, and some are accented because they do.

They are both wrong. Thats my only point.

The only people ignoring human rights abuses are the same people that are committing them. One can not make the argument that Human Rights Watch does not in fact watch and report on Human Rights abuses elsewhere in the world. But, like I and many other people with the stupidity to argue with you have said, America is the government we can most easily change, and they are representative of us. (Us USians anyway..)

[ Parent ]

unlike you (none / 1) (#189)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:40:00 PM EST

i am a citizen of the world

a global problem, like human rights abuses, can only be solved from a global perspective, a global agenda, for about a bajillion reasons: logical ones, moral ones, political ones

yo go about a global problem from a domestic pov is ultimately fruitless and maybe even sefl-defeating

but you go on with your bad self, and make sure guantanamo assholes get their proper diet

i'll be worrying about things that effect millions on a life or death basis like this

i'm really nutty that way

i'm sure the handful of guantanamo assholes that forms the only nexus thousands of well-meaning but clueless people like you concern yourself with appreciate all you are doing for them

and you know what? to concern yourself witha  fucking anthill like guantanamo while ignoring some of the mountains of abuses out there is, in fact, ignoring abuses

no really: you say you aren't ignoring huge problems at the cost of little ones?

put your fucking money with your mouth is

i think your concern should be proportionate to the size of the problem

again, with my global perspective and my proportionate concern level, i must be just a crazy kook


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

[ Parent ]

You are such a fucking idiot. [n/t] (none / 0) (#267)
by kcidx on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 03:13:27 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Why do you think that was the reason? (none / 0) (#61)
by cdguru on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:05:45 PM EST

Just because it is one that is given to the public? Hardly a good reference. I suspect you will find the real reasons for Iraq a lot more convoluted than you would think.

For instance, what about the idea that "regime change" in Iraq was to impress upon Iran or Saudia Arabia that the same thing can happen to their government. Yes, the people in Iraq are causing problems but the former government is gone. One thing that governments don't like much is the idea of being gone - screw the people, the government exists for the benefit of the people in power. It is far too simplistic to think Iraq was invaded for Iraq's sake. Or just for Iraqi oil.

[ Parent ]

Good idea (none / 0) (#73)
by sholden on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 04:39:17 AM EST

Let them see them see the reaction to Iraq and the reaction to North Korea. And conclude that the USA could invade and impose "regime change" unless they get a nuke quick smart.

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
You have to start somewhere... (2.66 / 6) (#31)
by DLWormwood on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:23:19 AM EST

because if you actually CARE about human rights, the us is the natural country to start with in terms of criticism, right?

Why not? Being an organization based in the US (New York, specifically), HRW is not very likely to be heard in China, Iran, or Saudi Arabia. I've already alluded to Luke 6:42 once in this discussion, and I'm not even Christian...

If we have any hope to maintain our place as Reagan's "Shining City On The Hill," we must maintain the moral high road in our foreign diplomacy. The US only wins wars where the citizenry provides moral backing and our allies provide solid support; our morale status is what won us the World Wars and cost us Vietnam. You would think that the Republicans would remember that lesson. I regard Bush The Second as a betrayal of everything that Bush The First and Reagan strived to achieve, and a regression towards the GOP's dark days under Nixon.
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
[ Parent ]

there is a dam in front of you (none / 1) (#101)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:32:08 AM EST

one fire hose size hole gushes water

another pinky size hole squirts it

which do you fill?

if you are going to talk about the us on the world stage, it is a fallacy to constrict your criticism to the us

you cannot talk about an international problem from a domestic perspective

you either get an international perspective

or you constrict your pov to domestic problems

your choice, but don't think that your current opinion makes any sense: it's foundation is logically inconsistent

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

[ Parent ]

Plugging The Dike (none / 0) (#120)
by DLWormwood on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:32:46 AM EST

one fire hose size hole gushes water
another pinky size hole squirts it
which do you fill?

If one only has the ability to fill the small one, you fill the small one that you can, and hope somebody who can fill the large one will come by later. "Firehose" strength water would usually be beyond the efforts of an individual to patch, the act of plugging the small hole may help to draw attention and offers of assistance on the larger one.

In this case, to paraphrase the folk saying, one needs the courage to change what can be changed, the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference. HRW and Amnesty are using their wisdom to fix the small problems that have the power to influence, while hoping that the example they provide will pressure Europe & Asia into starting the long process in fixing the bigger problems.
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
[ Parent ]

how can (1.33 / 3) (#129)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:50:09 AM EST

you have a proper persepctive on a global problem if you refuse to look at the problem from any other pov except a domestic one?

doesn't this strike you as counterproductive, in the very least, and lacking a true human conscience on the issue, at the most?


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

[ Parent ]

These people (none / 1) (#444)
by jubal3 on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 06:45:37 PM EST

are the same idiots who apologized for the Soviets all during the cold war.
Stalin was an abeerration, things are really great in the workers paradise.

You're wasting time with these guys,they'll NEVER get it, until the either grow up (and most people lose this silliness after age 30 or so) or actually go live in one if their little utopias.

In the meanwhile they sit and bitch about the rampant evil in the best actors on the stage, ignoring everything else especially if it might interfere with their little preconceptions.

They aren't even good marxists for christ sakes. At least a marxist would aadmit to such a thing as objective truth.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Balls... (3.00 / 9) (#36)
by GenerationY on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:52:47 AM EST

"Clearly ignoring"..what a pile of arse.

Are you saying one should worry about things only when you are the absolute worst in the world? I thought Americans were an aspirational people, my mistake huh.

Human rights groups concerntrate the majority of their efforts on the countries you name, but no-one could or should be immune. I'm confused as to why you think the US should get a free pass...because it has the most money? Prettiest flag? Biggest cars? C'mon.

[ Parent ]

An Imperialist's Brain (2.00 / 1) (#124)
by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:41:07 AM EST

CircleJerk (my pet name for "circletimessquare") DOES think the US should get a free pass since in his opinion, the "right people" are getting tortured. Since CircleJerk is an apartment dwelling yuppie living near Times Square in NYC, his heavily Imperial stance makes perfect (though selfish and destructive) sense. A lot of energy is required to support the infrastructure that makes CircleJerk's highly urban life possible. And that requires a lot of American military intervention abroad. Occasionally, the people living above the oil and mineral resources (that America wants to steal) get uppity about things as silly as "Human" and "sovereign" rights, so they try to force the Americans to leave. So they must be bombed, shot at, captured and eventually tortured. It's all for the American Way, don't you understand?

Rush Limbaugh's "boys will be boys" quote from the Abu Ghraib incidents are good summaries of CircleJerk's attitude towards the rest of the world. In that worldview, torture is perfectly legitimized.

Really, given CircleJerk 's living example, we should starve the cities and force all those sociopaths out of their nests and holes. We should make them live with, and adapt to, other people for a change. Then they'd find out they are actually in a society, and their sociopathic behavior cannot be sustained.


[ Parent ]
HAHAHAHAHAHA (1.50 / 1) (#166)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:53:32 PM EST

dude: i'm a liberal: gay marriage, marijuana legalization, stem cell research: all ok

the difference between me and you is that i am a globalist, while you are a localist: tribal, nationalistic, xenophobic, racist in your pov

so it is your assertion the us is rich because of sweat shops in indonesia?

it has nothing to do with it's SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT of course

i mean it's been around 200 years: clearly enough time to dominate thousand year old civilizations! how did it do this? channelling satan of course!

and when some asshole dictator does something in the world, it is of course the us pulling the strings in the background

it of course has NOTHING to do with the local bribery and corruption: it's the us's fault, we control everything: we made aids, we made chernobyl, we are responsible for the corn on your grandmother's toe

now if you will excuse me, i have to go put on my cowboy hat and go drink oil from the skull of an iraqi child, YEEHA!

you are really one of the dumbest fucks i have met here in a long time

your view of the world is cartoonish, you are about as useful to the subject matter you involve yourself in as a tit on a crocodile

no really: you are a racist, cartoon-addled fuck

you bring a smile to my face: knowing how FUCKING STUPID the likes of you really are

you link me with the likes of that sleeze rush limbaugh, because in your world, the opposite of blind love of the us, which is fucking stupid, is blind hatred

HEY MORON: BLIND HATRED OF THE US IS JUST AS FUKING STUPID AND HURTFUL AS BLIND LOVE

THE

ONLY

MORALLY

DEFENSIBLE

POSITION

ON

HUMAN

RIGHTS

IS

A

GLOBAL

ONE

but you go on with your bad self, you label me an apologist for the us, an... imperialist? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA can we upgrade our proganda beyond the cold war please (snicker ;-)

anyone who isn't blindly hateful of the us must be in love with it

yeah right

you're a dumb asshole


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

[ Parent ]

A Neo-Liberal is NOT a Liberal (3.00 / 3) (#172)
by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 02:34:26 PM EST

Don't tarnish the historical cause of Liberalism with your Neo-Liberal (Fascist) philosophy. You have implied time and time again that you have essentially no trouble killing and exploiting other nations as long as your lifestyle is supported thereby. Along with the morally bankrupt Rush Limbaugh and his now-legendary "boys will be boys" comment, your postings really shine in the annals of Fascist history.

And you STILL haven't explained away your favored use of the False Binary Choice. The entire Two-Party Duoploy exists from your kind of mindset. You are despicable. Who actually spends time around you with your murderous political impulses? Does anyone actually love you for the warmth of your compassion for other Humans? I find that difficult to believe. Do you lay in bed at night with someone, cheerily chatting up the daily murder of Iraqis who had the effrontry to be born above the oil deposits that you so covet?

Get over yourself. You are a Fascist, and should simply admit it. Cheney is utterly unapologetic about it; why not be as honest as he is? Just don't dress is all up with allegedly Humanistic concerns as Liberalism was historically linked with. Your Neo-Liberal philosophy is one wing on the same bird of prey that is busily eating the innards out of the cooling corpse of American society. Enjoy the fruits of your viciousness while they last. If you truly DO live near Times Square, chances are a nuclear explosive device of "tactical" size will go off near you in the next 8 years, in a fully righteous assault from one of the curiously darker-skinned peoples your military has killed, tortured and belittled over the last generation. It'll be appalling, but the honest and observant man can't say that he doesn't expect it.


[ Parent ]
dude (none / 1) (#173)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 02:52:14 PM EST

why do you loop me with these neocon bastards?

when i say to you i have a globalist pov, and i could care less about the united states, who does it serve to deny me my honest words and go right on characterizing me as someone i'm not... except yourself?

open your eyes, the world is not a cartoon, because i don't fit into your black and white cookie cut outs, you cannot reject me outright

you cannot fit a round peg in a square hole

capisce?

i'll be in surigao in january, i need not defend who i am or what i believe in to the likes of you: blind, deaf, and dumb

who apparently is only able to digest my words according to simple black and white constructs that has nothing to do with what i am or what i stand for... nor does your simpleton understanding of the world actually help to solve any problems in the world

your simplistic cartoonish notion of the world serves no one but yourself

wake the fuck up asshole, your selfishness is showing


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

[ Parent ]

Stop lying about surigao (none / 0) (#235)
by Torka on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 12:39:39 AM EST

You're not going anywhere.

[ Parent ]
Bad Extension (3.00 / 7) (#37)
by virg on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:18:34 PM EST

> yes, let us criticize the us, and ignore countries like these...

Um, I don't ignore human rights abuses in the countries you mentioned, or in others you didn't. However, in this case the U.S. is committing human rights violations, and so it doesn't matter if others do it, too. The criticism against the U.S. for this sort of thing is appropriate, and since this discussion centers around things like Abu-Ghraib, which is the fault of the U.S. military, it doesn't make sense to bring up China.

Just because I don't mention other countries in this particular discussion doesn't mean I think the U.S. is alone in committing human rights violations. But they are being committed nonetheless, and something needs to be said about it. Since I'm a citizen of the U.S., it's more likely I can have a positive effect on the state of human rights in this country's affairs than any of the others you mentioned or didn't, so I make my concern known.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
there is a dam in front of you (none / 1) (#100)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:30:21 AM EST

one fire hose size hole gushes water

another pinky size one squirts it

which one is more important to fill?


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

[ Parent ]

Simple (3.00 / 2) (#112)
by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:27:21 AM EST

That's the classical, False Binary Choice. The answer is: all of them.

If you think that American torture of prisoners is something we should just ignore (while being a lot closer to American citizens, and more accessible to American controls), while assaulting nations like China for theirs, then you are living in an Imperial dreamland.

C'mon, CircleJerk, you're makin' this waaaay too easy to discredit your "arguments".


[ Parent ]
simple clarity: (none / 1) (#118)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:31:54 AM EST

you cannot talk about an international problem from a domestic perspective
you either get an international perspective

or you constrict your pov to domestic problems

therefore, you criticize the largest human rights abusers on the issue of human rights, or you in actuality don't care about human rights: you have another agenda, or you don't understand the world

that really is the truth of the matter

you cannot hope to solve global problems from a domestic pov

you cannot even hope to begin to understand them!

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

[ Parent ]

Still No Explanation From You (none / 1) (#131)
by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:54:35 AM EST

Despite your "can't", I certainly can and DO speak on international topics with a local perspective. Accept it or fuck off.

And you STILL posed the False Binary Choice. You are caught by that logical error and you STILL haven't argued yourself out of it.

Out of curiosity, can you exactly explain why an American citizen should NOT exert control over his own government and military when they torture prisoners? I'm sure we'd all be interested in your explanation for this. Note that the invalid argument "go and stop it in China first" is not the way to stop your own government and military from torturing people.


[ Parent ]
fair enough (none / 1) (#145)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:23:54 PM EST

a lot of the criticism of the us is disproportionate: a million assholes obsessing over guantanamo, for instance, when there is a lot worse going on in china, and a lot of good defending the rights of guantanamo assholes has done us

you agree with me BOTH holes in the hypothetical dam needs to be filled, but yet YOU INSIST ON FOCUSING ON ONLY ONE SIDE OF THE ISSUE

is the author of this article being fair? proportionate? where is your false binary choice in regard to the author of this story? it's right there! only a focus on one side! where is the author's focus on syria, iran, china, where MUCH worse is going on?

I AM SAYING THAT IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS YOUR EFFORTS WILL GO TO THE BIGGEST ABUSERS

and nitpicking molehills, while ignoring mountains is NOT A HUMAN CONSCIENCE

a global problem requires a global perspective!

you WILL NOT solve the problem of human rights unless you take a global perspective on them!

thewre is no morally defensible position on human rights that is one-sided, regional!

the ONLY morally defensible position on human rights is a global measure

really!


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

[ Parent ]

Citizen Involvement and Exclusion (2.00 / 1) (#109)
by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:22:05 AM EST

Gawd, CircleJerk, your Imperial American blinders are measured in hundreds of square meters for this kind of thing.

Americans have direct involvement in America. Hence, criticism of such is just a process of direct control of their own government. Hence, said criticism is perfectly valid, and is in fact utterly dutiful and necessary. But of course, like most New York Liberals (i.e. Neo-Liberals), you don't actually want popular control of the processes of government; you instead want Neo-Liberals like yourself in charge, like any Fascist asswipe will want. After all, you're the best guy to make governmental decisions ... all we have to do is ask you, right? You remind me of one of my police friends, who has a sticker on his car's back window that says "QUESTION AUTHORITY (ask me anything)".

Secondly, there's no political or natural law that says criticism of America must be exclusive of criticism of other nations for the same topic. In short, we can criticize the lot o' you -- Americans, Chinese, Saudi Arabians -- and all in the same breath. Torture is morally wrong regardless of who does it for whatever reasons.

Your pro- "Imperial America" agenda is hanging out in the breeze like 2000 square meters of American flag. Flap, flap. Aren't you even the least little embarrassed by your support for America's Fascist tendencies? Doesn't torture by anyone disturb you? How on Earth do you live with yourself for failing to address and then correct America's Fascism?


[ Parent ]
american fascism? (1.50 / 1) (#149)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:30:06 PM EST

you can say that with a straight face?

that's the whole problem: the us us a stable prosperous democracy

REALLY

places like iran are THEOCRACIES

places like china are AUTOCRATIC OLIGARCHIES

and yet... you talk about american fascism with a straight face

do you see how i can only puzzle at the likes of you, so addled by propaganda that the phrase "american fascism" makes sense, while places like iran and china? they get a free pass...

fascism is your concern?

REALLY????

do you know what fascism is?

how can i talk to someone so far afield of some simple aspects of reality?


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

[ Parent ]

Fascism (none / 0) (#182)
by Ogygus on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 04:48:01 PM EST

Definitions abound. Let's start with the classic from the Italian Encyclopedia version, authored by Benito Mussolini (you may have heard of him) in 1932. Certain quotes stand out:
Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts
and
Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere.

Interesting.

An extremely well written and balanced definition can be found here. An interesting comparison of current political leaders can be found by comparing this graph with this graph. Interesting to say the least.

The possibility of a fascist form of government taking the reins of power in the United States may be remote in the extreme. The fact that it is not impossible and in fact is becoming more and more likely should be of serious concern to all freedom loving people in the world. After all,
The Fascist State expresses the will to exercise power and to command.
and
Fascism sees in the imperialistic spirit -- i.e. in the tendency of nations to expand - a manifestation of their vitality.
Imagine a fascist superpower.

The doctrine of Mussolini is loathsome. That it appears to be finding fallow ground in the supposed "land of the free" is doubly so.

Never before have the peoples thirsted for authority, direction, order, as they do now. If each age has its doctrine, then innumerable symptoms indicate that the doctrine of our age is the Fascist. - Benito Mussolini

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
erm (1.50 / 1) (#184)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 05:48:40 PM EST

so we have your fud that the us might become a basket case

and we have states who are actually basket cases now, actually committing major human rights abuses

by all means, let us worry about the us becoming fascist, and ignore real evil happening elsewhere in the world right now

apparently, according to you, the vague possiblities of what might happen are more pressing than the real genuine evil regimes today

wow

where do these weird obsessions wth the us come from?


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

[ Parent ]

Same Place (none / 0) (#190)
by Ogygus on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:44:47 PM EST

Your obsession with defending it. The endless well of nationalism.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
i'm not defending the us you fucking moron (none / 1) (#191)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:51:05 PM EST

fuck the us, the us is just another fucking country, i'm not defending anything the us does or did!

i'm saying that we need a global persepctive on a global problem you fucking blind asshole!

geez, can you take off your fucking prejudicial blinders for a fucking second?

DO I HAVE TO TYPE IN CAPS UNTIL YOU FUCKING UNDERSTAND WHERE I AM REALLY COMING FROM?

in your world the oinly balanced pov is anti-us?

cluebat for you:

blind pro-us: morons

blind anti-us: morons

intelligence: global perspective, intellectual honesty, the only morally defensisibly pov is global!

the us does good in this world, the us does bad in this world, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER FUCKING COUNTRY

you blind, bigotted prejudicial stupid provincial fuck!

WAKE THE FUCK UP

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON GLOBAL PROBLEMS

god you stupid propaganda addled fucks! you breed like cockroaches!

anti-us IS JUST AS STUPID AS PRO-US

get it you fucking moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????


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

[ Parent ]

I always know... (none / 0) (#196)
by Ogygus on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 07:38:29 PM EST

The argument is over when logic and reasoned debate leave the building to be replaced with hatred and personal attacks. North Korea is evil. They don't pretend to not be. The United States does.

Hypocrisy is what I despise the most. Perhaps if you took the time to consider my position before spewing vitriol, you might see that we are closer in viewpoint than you might think. When you asked if the previous poster knew the definition of Fascism, I thought it might be instructive to supply one. Nothing more, nothing less.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
BWAHAHA (none / 1) (#205)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:17:04 PM EST

north korea thinks its a fount of goodness against the vile evil us

for real

there's some good propaganda and fascism

want to know about fascism? north korea is a good place to start


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

[ Parent ]

Really (none / 0) (#207)
by Ogygus on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:45:48 PM EST

Can you not identify propaganda when you see it? You think the NK leadership actually thinks that? It matters not what they say, only what they actually think.

As for NK being fascist? Possibly The list could also apply to a lot of other countries around the world. It is a common misconception that all fascist governments are totalitarian.

The transition to outright dictatorship was more gradual than in Germany a decade later, though in July 1923 a new electoral law all but assured a Fascist parliamentary majority, and the murder of the Socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti eleven months later showed the limits of political opposition. By 1926 opposition movements had been outlawed, and in 1928 election to parliament was restricted to Fascist-approved candidates.

I'm sure in 1920 they thought it couldn't happen in Italy either.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
BWAHAHA (1.50 / 1) (#216)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:26:59 PM EST

  1. you have an insiders line to pyongang? cool! can you get me some rare films from kim il jong's private collection for me? thanks
  2. you REALLY believe that the north korean regime doesn't think that what they fight for is right?
are you actually that insular in your world view?

the soviets didn't believe in communism?

the nazis didn't believe in fascism?

you mean tojo or mussolini woke up one day and said "let's act really mean for the hell of it, shucks the "real" good guys will win in the end, we're just play acting for fun"

yes, i'm sure kim il jong is just a stage actor, reading from a script, he longs for starbucks and an suv an ipod and 2.3 acres in suburban denver? is that what you are telling me when he retires from the the funny north korean game?

great googly moogly are you insular and inbred in your views!

no really, you're alternately hilarious and frightening! there are people like you out there actually that fucking naive!?


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

[ Parent ]

Nazis? (none / 0) (#225)
by Ogygus on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:54:00 PM EST

the nazis didn't believe in fascism?

Do you actually think about these things before you type? It's Nazi, not Fazi. Nazi is shorthand for National Socialist. Again, because of the close association between totalitarian Nazi Germany and totalitarian Fascist Italy, many people suffer the misconception that Nazis and Fascists are the same thing. They're not. Fascists are definitely anti-democracy. The Nazi platform actually incorporated many pro-democracy reforms. What they both shared was a hatred for communism. Neither started out as totalitarian regimes either.

As for North Korea, if you think the men running the country actually believe their own propaganda... oh wait, you were defending the US. Sorry.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
good lord (none / 1) (#228)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:06:51 PM EST

you think you are defeating me on semantic bullshit instead of concepts?

oh dear lord! nazis are fascists becuase of the deravation of the word!

SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU NITPICKING ASSHOLE!

Nazism or National Socialism (German Nationalsozialismus) or Hitlerism is the totalitarian ideology of the dictatorship which ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945: the 'Third Reich'. In this ideology, the German nation and the purported "Aryan" race were considered superior to all other races. Nazism is usually associated with Fascism and Totalitarianism.

geez!

and once again, for the MILLIONTH FUCKING TIME

i am not american

i am a human being

i am not pro us

i am not anti us

i am global in my perspective

i think pro us people are morons

i think anti us people are morons

get it you blind fuck?

can you even conceive of the concept out of your stilted prejudicial pov?

or can only think in historical modalities as defined by strict readings of word definitions?

it's nice to know that those who oppose my pov are so dense and brittle as you demonstrate yourself to be

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

[ Parent ]

Loss of Control (none / 0) (#236)
by Ogygus on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 01:13:41 AM EST

Is the hallmark of a brittle mind. Let me know when you have a point. You started with the profanity as if we were at the end of a long discussion that you were losing. Where did that come from? I think your emotions are getting the better of you. It is just a discussion on a website. Hardly worth losing control over. You say that both pro and anti US people are morons? Than why spend so much time redirecting the discussion away from an anti US viewpoint? Are you including yourself in one of these groups?

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
oh my god (none / 0) (#238)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 02:38:37 AM EST

is your ivory tower scorn a superior tack to my honest anger?

i yell at you fuck, because i don't respect you, understand?

You say that both pro and anti US people are morons? Than why spend so much time redirecting the discussion away from an anti US viewpoint?

wtf?

homophobes and racists are stupid... so i apparently i shouldn't "redirect the discussion away from racism"

if you are anti-us, when that is STUPID, i will call you a STUPID FUCK

capisce?

i am... what is the term? "redirecting the discussion away" from your moronic viewpoint to an intelligent one: a global one

how the fuck does your verbiage change the essential nature of my argument: anti-us=stupid, pro-us=stupid, global pov=only morally defensible pov

my argument is clear and direct

you seem to be the one waffling around with semantics becuase your blind pride doesn't allow you to concede the merit of my point

understand fucktard?

(snicker)


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

[ Parent ]

Hypocrisy (none / 0) (#261)
by Ogygus on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 09:55:50 AM EST

you seem to be the one waffling around with semantics becuase your blind pride doesn't allow you to concede the merit of my point

If your point is to take a global view of problems, then I got it long ago. My point was having zero tolerance for hypocrisy.

Profanity and scorn just make you look stupid. You may want to evaluate your approach.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
It goes without saying... (none / 1) (#258)
by BobaFatt on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 09:42:00 AM EST

...that countries like China have abysmal human rights records. The point about things that go without saying is that you don't need to say them.
The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
[ Parent ]
Keys to understanding CTS (none / 0) (#365)
by skotadi on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 05:37:04 PM EST

1. He's a human being, citizen of the world first, USian
second.

2. "Bigger/est fish to fry" is a key part of his human
rights stance

3. "Think globally, act locally" is an acceptable,
but less favorable idea, unless you are in
one of his "big fish" countries".

Also, very likely, there's an "abuse ranking system"
involved, and as each country gets "fixed", the
next big fish moves to the top. Eventually, the US
would bubble to the top. It's just that to him, its
abuses are smaller fish for now.

He's a true, angry, passionate liberal who cares deeply about people and real equality.
He's just incoherent at times, and is prone to
outbursts of pure vitriol. He's not a nationalist
by any means, and eschews the idea entirely
in favor of being a globalist. If he lived in any other country or on the moon, he'd have the same ideas (well, probably).

Also, he's easy to bait because of his passionate
stance, which is why he gets into these flamefests
so often.


[ Parent ]

US haters hate US (1.21 / 14) (#40)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 01:11:29 PM EST

Big surprise? I think not.

Dude, its an US group saying this. (none / 0) (#304)
by Wulfius on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:45:01 AM EST

I think its called DEMOCRACY when your own people criticise the actions of the gummint.

.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

And its also democracy when... (none / 0) (#392)
by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 07:02:15 AM EST

we point out what a bunch of lunatics some of them are.

[ Parent ]
But... (none / 0) (#485)
by Wulfius on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 08:41:55 PM EST

we point out what a bunch of lunatics some of them are.

I thought you just jail them without trial for unamerican activities ;)



---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (none / 0) (#494)
by lordDogma on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 10:20:45 PM EST

Strange you would think that. I'll admit that locking all left-wing lunatics up in prison without trial and abolishing freedom of speech for them is one of my dark fantasies (BWAHAHAHA!) but a dark fantasy it will always be. I'm sure there are plenty of Lefties who fantasize about the same thing WRT the right. But I can unequivocally say that I would never want to do such a thing even if I had the power to do so. If I ever became that fed up, I would move to another country first or fall into a depression and commit suicide over the insanity of it all.

Now, given the dark history of communism and the incredible stench of hatred we see coming from the left these days, I'm not so sure they would remain committed to the freedom of speech if they ever came to power.

[ Parent ]

Two incorrect premises (2.69 / 13) (#41)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 01:29:14 PM EST

Torture has long been banned, not because of "humanitarian reasons" (since when did Governments ever care about the rights of individuals?) but because the technique was so horribly unreliable that keeping it as an acceptable method of interrogation was tantamount to informational suicide.

You are letting your rhetoric carry you into the territory of falsehood. The existing legal prohibitions on torture, at least in Western countries, are explicitly justified on humanitarian grounds. I suspect that what you meant to get at is that were torture actually demonstrably efficacious, the humanitarian arguments against its practice would likely be less compelling.

The same reason is why courts don't permit information extracted under duress.

Same thing again. Here in the US, confessions made under duress are subject to exclusion by a legal rationale which is entirely dependent upon the rights of the individual and limitations on the state's authority. For instance, read the Miranda decision, the case which established that the police must inform someone of their rights prior to subjecting them to a forced interrogation.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


splittin' hairs (none / 0) (#307)
by wrinkledshirt on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 02:43:54 AM EST

I think it's safe to say that the humanitarian ramifications of allowing torture would be considered moot if it was thought that torture was an effective method. I don't think the writer was correct in saying it was outlawed because of its ineffectiveness, but at the same time, I think a lot of the humanitarian reasonings behind outlawing torture would be ignored if it proved effective.

[ Parent ]
I disagree (none / 1) (#384)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:26:31 PM EST

There are many things that have been outlawed on humanitarian grounds, even though they are effective. Torture is just one of them (torture can be effective under some circumstances, ineffective in others).

Take land mines and cluster bombs for example. Cluster bombs are extremely effective but they have been outlawed. (In this case the US continues to use them because they are so effective, which sort of supports your claim WRT the US).

How about laser weapons designed to blind troops? The US abandoned efforts at such a weapon because it is inhumane, dispite the fact that it could be very effective. A powerful airborne laser with an appropriate beam spread could be used to permanently blind entire battalions on the battlefield. But do we really want to go there? Not really.

[ Parent ]

Interesting you should say that (none / 1) (#472)
by jd on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 05:45:25 PM EST

The US military is actively working on "projected energy weapons", microwave-based non-lethal weaponry and other laser-based technology.

Much of that experience could very easily be applied to a blinding weapon, and it would be extremely easy to append the development and construction of such a device to the other projects I mentioned.

I'm not surprised it's not openly being worked on (although the Russians have used such devices against US spy-planes in the past), but I would probably not die of shock if it was discovered that the Americans had covertly developed systems for blinding the enemy.

American use of cluster-bombs is questionable, but they have a tendancy to paint them the same color as the food packets they drop for civilians. That's when it moves from being unethical into being a terror tactic or war crime.

[ Parent ]

Erm (none / 0) (#474)
by lordDogma on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 06:55:46 PM EST

Much of that experience could very easily be applied to a blinding weapon

Blinding lasers were already built and demonstrated years ago. Google for "Falklands laser". The US has already decided that lasers designed to blind people will not be developed, although we still use lasers for many other purposes like ragefinding and target designation. These lasers can still be somewhat dangerous to the eye, and there are reports of some eye injuries resulting, but it is by no means so commonplace that they should be banned. In fact laser designators can reduce the chances of unwanted harm/collateral damage by ensuring that bombs and rockets go where they are supposed to. (By the way, China has developed and specifically marketed to third world countries a tactical laser designed to purposefully blind opponents called the ZM-87. They even sold the system to North Korea, which secretly tested it out on a US helicopter last year. Perhaps you should take that issue up with them. I'm sure that if the US had fired a ZM-87 at North Korean troops there would be half a dozen K5 articles on it by now.)

American use of cluster-bombs is questionable, but they have a tendancy to paint them the same color as the food packets they drop for civilians. That's when it moves from being unethical into being a terror tactic or war crime.

With all due respect this this is an outrageous claim. A terror tactic? This would be like saying that using camouflage is a terror tactic because civilians can't tell where bullets might be coming from and therefore might wander into the wrong places in the middle of a battle.

The painting of cluster bombs and cluster bomblets similar colors are in no way intentional. In both cases the objective is to make them easy to find, not to trick people into blowing themselves up. I do think it would be prudent (now that the concern has been raised) for the US to paint our cluster bombs a different color (perhaps orange), but the implication that we are trying to terrorize people by mixing food rations and cluster bomblets is silly. Not to mention, after the issue was raised the US has made sure not to drop cluster bombs in places where food packets are also dropped.

[ Parent ]

I'm going to vote this up (1.50 / 10) (#42)
by jubal3 on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:13:12 PM EST

because I think its fairly well written and an interesting debate.

I'm really tired of the (relative) nit-picking that gets done about the U.S. when people far worse receive much less criticism.

I understand that in a democracy the chance to make change by protest is greater than that experienced by castigating dictatorships.

What I guess I'm getting at is that the practices people are getting so exercised about in regard to the U.S. are either abberations or fairly minor violations compared to about 75% of the world.

Human Rights watch and Amnesty International both lost my donations over this Iraq mess, and I was an Amnesty member for over 20 years.
The idea that overthrowing a rotten bastard like hussein was somehow immoral is just plain ludicrous.

Say all you want about the Bushies and their inexcusable incompetence, I'm with Christopher Hitchens on this one.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***

This is an outrage! (3.00 / 3) (#51)
by GenerationY on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 05:01:25 PM EST

I can't believe I got arrested for robbing a bank...
There are child abusers, rapists and murderers in the world, deal with them and stop bloody nit picking. You people make me sick, you just don't care about anyone but yourselves do you!? Get your priorities straight!

Put it another way, do you want this sort of thing to go on in your name or would you rather it didn't? If you don't care, then don't sound so outraged. If you do care even the slightest about human rights, why are you prepared to put jinoistic pride before mitigating or preventing other people's unjust suffering? There isn't a government in the world that doesn't get criticised at some point, why is the USA specially exempt? It doesn't really make any sense.

[ Parent ]

Because (3.00 / 1) (#52)
by jubal3 on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 05:21:49 PM EST

no one (barring nutjobs) is complaining about some criticism, we're complaining about criticism that is vastly out of proportion with the accusations.

For instance, I lived in Germany for several years back in the old days of the early 80s.
Everyone knew you DID NOT piss off the Polizei, because you would receive a tremenous beating.
Seriously, I had friends get dogs and nightsticks used on them for BEING RUDE.

Now this shit was not cool by any means, but the same thing (in propotion) happens in the U.S. and human rights groups go bananas. We're not comparing USA and Saudi, this is a 1st world "democracy" for God's sake.

I'm getting tired of listening to wackos compare the U.S. with Hitler's Germany and the Taliban.
And I'm just as tired of hearing about every niggling ALLEGATION (nothing's been proved in most cases) broadcast as though its a fucking Genocide, when the same human rights groups don't say shit about "human rights" violations by people like the FUCKING FRENCH. HELLO, can you say OAS?

Do you have ANY idea how the wonderful Libertie Fraternitie, etc people's security services react when they think they're under threat? People talk about ASSCROFT like he's Satan incarnate? Try living in Paris in 1962.

Point being, there's no perspective. I'm tired of hearing it. I DAMN sure got tired of paying for it.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

So basically (none / 0) (#55)
by GenerationY on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 06:08:25 PM EST

you have no real justification other than you ARE ANGRY. And OTHER PEOPLE DID STUFF (once, in 1960s, not that it has any bearing on what happens in American if they are still doing it today).

What did you think Human Rights Watch and Amnesty were for if not to raise issues and publicise allegations until such time as they are addressed? Nobody cares (well other than you) if there is the odd false positive, it can be addressed fully by the authorities, we can all move on. Better a dodgy story in a newspaper than someone gets hurt or worse.

Perhaps you should check out who you are posting off money to next time. Careful, in the states you can be held without trial or representation for 3 years (and then maybe go missing altogether) for that getting that sort of thing wrong.

I kind of suspect you didnt actually RTFA here the way you are talking about 'relatively' unless you are saying that the USA is a hundred times more dangerous a country than Germany in the 1980s, in which case, well...

[ Parent ]

One more time (none / 0) (#158)
by jubal3 on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:17:37 PM EST

And this time try to actually READ the post.

I never comlained EVER that the U.S. gets criticized. I object to criticcism out of proportion to the allegatins, and the outright ignoring of other countries, also western, also democratic.

If you think there are no human rights abuses in France, Germany, Britain, etc. you're kidding yourself.

What about French troops actions in Chad? In Sierra Leone, etc. etc.

When an organization routinely runs huge front-page spreads about the evil american human rights abuses and mostly or entirely ignores other countries who are far far worse, it doesn't mean trying to adopt change in a democracy. After a while it becomes apparant that the organization has an agenda other than human rights.

That's why I quit Amnesty, that's why I've started to ignore these people. I don't trust them to be objective aanymore because they DO have an underlying agenda and they have repeatedly told outright falshoods and distortions since Bush came into office.

And I DON'T support Bush. I DO however, support honesty, and I expect human rights organizations to be objective and honest.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

No, I read it (2.00 / 1) (#161)
by GenerationY on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:38:49 PM EST

it was you who ignored me. Look at my first comment. I conceed nobody is immune from this sort of criticism. I don't see why saying the French are just as bad makes you feel any better.

If you want to see other countries criticised, buy their newspapers. We've had British squaddies up to things all week on the front of ours, this story hasn't made it in at all.

And look at the climate created for human rights organisations in America; opting out of the ICC, holding prisoners in Cuba shamelessly, claiming that deposing Saddam was a humanitarian act. Etc.

Not surprised the finger of suspicion is pointing. Again, the odd wrong media story seems a small price to pay if it is the cost of publicising the general abuse of human rights.

[ Parent ]

That's funny (none / 0) (#305)
by hesk on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 02:25:03 AM EST

when I lived together with an ai girl, she would get all kinds of letters every week calling for her support in various countries on all continents. I think, they were called "urgend action request" or something like that. I'd hardly call that ignoring other countries. Maybe ai in the US is running these front-page ads about American abuses because it thinks that this might matter to the average American the most. Rightly so, I'd say.

--
Sticking to the rules doesn't improve your safety, relying on the rules is
[
Parent ]

Immorality and naivety (2.33 / 3) (#59)
by driptray on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:35:22 PM EST

The idea that overthrowing a rotten bastard like hussein was somehow immoral is just plain ludicrous.

It's not ludicrous when you consider that the alternative to Hussein was both predicted to be worse, and has been shown to be worse.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

Worse??!! (none / 0) (#63)
by jubal3 on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:29:15 AM EST

50,000 Iraqi children under age five died EVERY YEAR from the sanctions because Hussein was spending the oil for food money on propping up his regime.

An estimated 15,000 Iraqis were murdered by the regime every year, except for every 8 years or so, when they massacred a couple hundred thousand.

Please show me in ANY reputable source where there's more deaths per year under the occupation.

And by the way, none of the Iraqi blogs I'm reading, including ones harshly critical of the U.S., claim it's "worse" now than under Hussein.

Tell it to the Kurds, tell it to the marsh arabs. Please, PERSONALLY go tell them you think they were better off under Hussein. I hope someone takes a picture of you getting socked in the mouth.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Broaden your terms and your timeline (3.00 / 2) (#66)
by driptray on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:21:46 AM EST

Prior to the Iraq invasion,

  • Iraq was no threat to the US. Now it is.

  • Ordinary Iraqis didn't have a burning hatred of the US. Now they do.

  • Ordinary Iraqis were not being tortured in US-run jails. Now they are.

  • There was a basic agreement throughout the world that invading a sovereign country was wrong. Now there isn't.

  • Most of the world supported the US. Now they don't.

  • Iraqis had stable (if oppressive) government, food, water, and electricity. Now they don't.

The future? I predict a US withdrawal from Iraq within 5 years, leaving the place in an unstable warring mess. This will be spun by the US as a victory (or alternatively as the Iraqi's own fault for not naking the most of their opportunities), and most Americans will swallow this unthinkingly because they don't really care anyway.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

Cool (none / 0) (#185)
by xria on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:05:26 PM EST

Sounds prophetic to me. Or exactly what happened in vietnam in broad scope. Got a line on the lottery numbers this week though, just in case?

[ Parent ]
Moron (none / 0) (#295)
by kurioszyn on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:09:08 AM EST

Stable if oppressive.
Heh

That single sentence is enough to dismiss you as a clueless idiot .


[ Parent ]

Wow... (2.00 / 1) (#68)
by The Amazing Idiot on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:36:25 AM EST

---50,000 Iraqi children under age five died EVERY YEAR from the sanctions because Hussein was spending the oil for food money on propping up his regime.

50k die under 5?  Not that impressive. The US has   27,451 infants die per year, and thats not counting abortion. Check CIA worldfactbook and do calculations yourself.

Also, if Hussein didnt like the UN, why'd he deal with them for soo long?

---An estimated 15,000 Iraqis were murdered by the regime every year, except for every 8 years or so, when they massacred a couple hundred thousand.

Not very impressive either. The US has over 2 million IN JAIL. Most of them are non-violent drug   crimes. And we're in the same class of "retributions" along with countries like Iraq. We , unlike civilized nations, still have the death penalty.

---Please show me in ANY reputable source where there's more deaths per year under the occupation.

And who defines reputable? That's right... You do. SOunds like answering that question is a fools' errand.

---And by the way, none of the Iraqi blogs I'm reading, including ones harshly critical of the U.S., claim it's "worse" now than under Hussein.

Wow, I read blogs and and I blindly believe everything in them. Guess what? The Iraqi blog writers are probably a VERY SMALL minority. You know, rich merchant Iraqi kids?

---Tell it to the Kurds, tell it to the marsh arabs. Please, PERSONALLY go tell them you think they were better off under Hussein. I hope someone takes a picture of you getting socked in the mouth.

Why should we talk to them? They can iniate guerilla war againt Saddam is they wanted to..

Anyways, why are soo many "insurgents" picking off our troops?

Why are we "gaining ground" we had a year ago?

Why did we need ONLY 10k troops for Afghanistan while 150k troops arent even proving enough for Iraq?

Why hasnt ANY high profile Muslim come out against what Saddam did? Not even some "cleric of the holy cow", but somebody who claims to be islamic...

[ Parent ]

What an appropriate nick (none / 0) (#157)
by jubal3 on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:10:40 PM EST

The 50,000 kids was OVER and ABOVE normal mortality rates genius. That number was supplied by people like Human Rights watch, the UN, etc. before 9/11.

Even if you're numbers were correct, counting a country like the US with 10 times the population and half the infant mortality numbers is a silly-assed reply.

15,000+ people butchered arbitrarily by the regime every year is no big deal? Ya sure.

Reputable means simply NOT Al-Jazeera or some other wacko source. Try the New York Times. Hardly a bastion of conservative pro-Bushism.

You anti-war people are so goddamned self-absorbed you don't give a shit about anyone else. You're just anti-war, period, cause um, war is bad, mm'kay.  You bastards would have opposed the Abraham Lincoln brigade too.

I've never defended the Bushies on competence or honesty. The goal -Ridding Iraq and the region of Hussein- was and is noble. Opposing islamo-facism is hardly an evil calling.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Opposing islamo-facism (none / 0) (#177)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 03:27:27 PM EST

with USian Neo-con facism is hardly the answer.

Would you rather be raped and tortured by Saddam and his Baathist thugs or by Paul Bremmer and his neo-con carpetbaggers?

Not really a choice, eh?


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

Right... (none / 0) (#181)
by jubal3 on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 04:18:09 PM EST

Let's say that "USian Neo-con facism" is comprable with the Baathists and Islamo-fascists.

Oh yes, you're making so much sense....

Jesus, andyou idiots wonder why people ignore you.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Goals, callings, and the real world (none / 0) (#219)
by driptray on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:38:00 PM EST

The goal -Ridding Iraq and the region of Hussein- was and is noble. Opposing islamo-facism is hardly an evil calling.

But these goals contradict each other. Hussein was a bulwark against Islamo-fascism in the region. He was an enemy of dudes like bin Laden, and he kept the Shiite masses down.

Getting rid of him has furthered the goals of Islamo-fascists by creating a failed state.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

Nope (none / 0) (#537)
by jubal3 on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 04:47:13 PM EST

Iraq wwas already a failed state, and was going to get worse if nothing happened.

Eventually, Saddaam was gonna die or get killed, then we could have watched the Uday/Qusay power struggle, and resulting total collapse of the country.

Sadaam was NOT a bulwark against the islamists. On the contrary, he recently changed the flag to appear friendly to them, he funded hamas/IJ suicide bombers with $10,000 checks for the families, he harbored FUCKING ABU NIDAL.

He isn't personally an islamic nutjob, but he saw in them the potential to get the world off his back and give him more popularity in the region.

pre-1980s, I agree, Sadaam was someone the U.S. might have been able to use in opposition to the Islaamists. After the gulf war, that was not going to happen.

Besides, if Bush wasn't such an incredibly incompetent fuck, the whole thing would have gone much smoother and we wouldn't have nearly the problems we have today.  The problem isn't really invading Iraq, the problem is in doing it in the most criminally incompetent way possible.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

So the estimated 300,000 killed by Hussein (1.50 / 2) (#91)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:49:53 AM EST

during the 1990's don't count?

The guy was gassing the kurds in the north and draining wetlands in the south to drive out the people who lived there. While he may not have been the threat to the US that we thought he was, he was certainly a mass murderer on a level Bush could never approach.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

Small Correction: (1.00 / 1) (#176)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 03:17:59 PM EST

"Human rights groups believe about 300,000 people were killed during Saddam's 24-year rule, which ended when U.S.-led forces toppled his regime in 2003." empahsis mine from CNN.

So your assertion that Saddam is responsible for those deaths in the 1990's is false. A great many of those were killed during the Iran-Iraq war, when the the US government sold him the weapons to do it (I seem to remember a picture of someone shaking his hand...oh yeah, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld). So, at least partly, the US administration of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr. share some of that responsibility.

But of course, as bad as Saddam was, even during the 90's, he wasn't so evil that a certain corporation headed by Dick Cheney would do business with him, making millions.

If you don't think that US policy is directly responsible for more than 300 000 deaths of innocent people around the world over the past 24 years, you are seriously deluding yourself. If you don't think that the Bush family and many of the people now in Bush's cabinet directly profitted from having and keeping Saddam in power all that time, you are again deluding yourself.

Saddam is indeed evil, but Bush and Cheney are just as evil, they just aren't as over the top about it.


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

A distortion by any measurement. (none / 0) (#298)
by RyoCokey on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:29:53 AM EST

A) The Iran-Iraq war doesn't even constitute a third of those casualties.

B) Saddam had more then enough money through sanctions to care for his people. He murdered them in much the same way that Stalin dealt with the Ukranians.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
[
Parent ]
1/3? (3.00 / 2) (#348)
by JohnnyCannuk on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 01:28:39 PM EST

Check your sources. According to this "The war turned out to be a war without progress on either side for most of the 8 years -- it resulted in heavy losses on both sides with 600,000 Iranian and 400,000 Iraqis dead, and an estimated total economical loss of 1,2 billion US$."

Most other sources I found concur with these numbers.

Now, to put this in context, the post I was replying to stated that Saddam murdered 300 000 people in the 1990's. This is false. Its 300 000 over the entire 24 year period of the regime, not the 10 in the 90's.

You might also notice that the Iran-Iraq war drained billions from the economies of both countries. Coupled with the sanctions imposed after the first gulf war, Saddam may have horded and cheated to get money, but he would hardly have had enough to "care" for his people. The point is really irrelevant, I'm not defending Saddam. He was a vicious, bloodthirsty killer.

But 300 000 over 24 years is about 12 500 per year. How many Iraqi civillians have died at the hands of the US during the war and the occupation of Iraq? More than 12 500. From an Iraqi perspective, more people are dying than before.

The poster I replied to also tried to bring up the gassing of the Kurds and repression of the Marsh Arabs as a reason to oust him. I would like to point out that the gas attacks took place during the Iran-Iraq War, in 1987, when Saddam was supported by Reagan (and later Bush Sr.). They even vetoed and attempt to censure Iraq for the atrocity in the UN. Not surprising considering the cozy relations memebers of the Reagan (and current) administration had with him. The repression of the Marsh Arabs occured after the end of the Gulf War when Saddam crushed the Shia uprising in the south, after Bush Sr. called on them to do it, but let Iraqi helicopters fly in and wipe them out.

So despite all this clear evidence that Saddam was a bad guy, the current Vice-President of the Unitied States, while he was the CEO of Haliburton from 1996 to 2000, made millions trading with Saddam (and Iran) in direct contravention of US law.

Saddam was a bad guy, but the Bush regime didn't go there for "freedom" or to stop a phantom WMD program or to destroy fantasy links to terrorists. It went there for oil and the economic opportunity taking over Iraq has given them and their corporate pals ($7 Billion no-compitition contract to the VP's old company being only one high-profile example).

If you still think it's not for oil ask yourself this: Why is it the people of Baghdad have intermitent water, electricity and very little safety, while at the same time oil pipelines are built, secured and working even as the war was still being fought? Are they really there for the people of Iraq?

How is the invasion of Iraq different than Mussolini invading Ethiopia or Hitler rolling into Czecheslovakia?


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

Did you fail math or something? (none / 0) (#473)
by RyoCokey on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 06:48:53 PM EST

If the Iran-Iraq was considered in the count, you'd have 400,000 alleged casualties but only 300,000 iraqi deaths. This is ridiculous.

The 300,000 number is disappeared under Saddam, which doesn't involve the Iran-Iraq war at all. I thought you were referring to his own people killed during that war, but even that number wouldn't be included in the statistic.

You also seem to be mathematically challenged regarding ongoing casualties in Iraq. The current loss of life (Of Iraqis) would be 697.4 a month (3487 in 5 months) which is well under the rate Saddam murdered his people (That's assigning all Iraqi casualties to US forces as well.)

So despite all this clear evidence that Saddam was a bad guy, the current Vice-President of the Unitied States, while he was the CEO of Haliburton from 1996 to 2000, made millions trading with Saddam (and Iran) in direct contravention of US law.

Where's the evidence for this?

Saddam was a bad guy, but the Bush regime didn't go there for "freedom" or to stop a phantom WMD program or to destroy fantasy links to terrorists. It went there for oil and the economic opportunity taking over Iraq has given them and their corporate pals ($7 Billion no-compitition contract to the VP's old company being only one high-profile example).

You're apparently rather ignorant on the issue. The no-bid contracts (LOGCAP) to Halliburton agreement predates the Bush administration. Do I really need to quote Halliburton's continual failed attempts at profitability during this time?



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
[
Parent ]
Perhaps I need to be clear... (none / 0) (#483)
by JohnnyCannuk on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 08:08:58 PM EST

but wasn't it you that claimed that 300 000 was 1/3 or 400 000?

I was attempting to say that most of the "disappearances" occured during the Iran-Iraq war, not as a result of it. This was a directly to refute Mr. Porkchop_d_clown who claimed that total number occured during the 90's, which it didn't. Saying that Saddam made these "dissappearance" occur during the time after the First Gulf War is disingenuous, as it furthers the propoganda of the Bush Regime that Iraq was about "freedom". Most GWB supporters don't like it when you point out that most of the "bad" stuff they use as an excuse to invade Iraq ("He gassed his own people!" or "He repressed the ${Kurds,Shia,Marsh Arabs}") occured when Iraq and Saddam was their buddy, when the Secretary of Defense was happily shaking his hand.

As for evidence regarding Haliburton, I prefer to get my information from a trusted, national news source that has won awards for investigative journalism, rather that an apologist, right-wing shill site. But to each their own. Perhaps if you actually read the link in my original post, you would not have had to ask such silly question. But of course, if the CBC isn't enough, try a Google search or visit a local bookstore. There are plenty of other sources of information. I also stated that this was just one high-profile example. There are plenty of others.


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

1/3rd during the Iran-Iraq war (none / 0) (#514)
by RyoCokey on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 12:59:56 PM EST

1/3rd of the disappearances were during the Iran-Iraq war, that'd be 100,000, which is what is quoted here. I suppose your original comment was more or less correct, "A great many of those were killed during the Iran-Iraq war," although I considered it an exaggeration given the ratio.

As for Halliburton, you're dodging the issue entirely. The site you named didn't even address the awarding of the LOGAP contracts during the Clinton years, instead focusing on a minor ($41,000) contract that was most likely due to a legal misunderstanding. The reason I cited an "apologist, right-wing shill site" was that it addressed the issue. If you'd care for another cite, here's one from the NY Times:

The real story is that the Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root, won an open competition to provide the service support for overseas troops. This contract is called the Logcap, and is awarded every few years. KBR won the competition in 1992. It lost to DynCorp in 1997, and won it again in 2001. Under the deal, KBR builds bases, supplies water, operates laundries and performs thousands of other tasks. Though the G.A.O. has found that KBR sometimes overcharges, in general the company has an outstanding reputation among the panoply of auditing agencies that monitor these contracts. But some circumstances are not covered under Logcap. During the Clinton administration, the Pentagon issued a temporary no-bid contract to KBR to continue its work in the Balkans. In the months leading up to the Iraq war, Defense officials realized they needed plans in case Saddam Hussein once again set his oil wells ablaze. KBR did the study under Logcap. Then in February, with the war looming, Pentagon planners issued an additional bridge contract to KBR to put out any fires that were set. KBR had the experience. Its personnel were in place. It would have been crazy to open up a three-to-five-month bidding process at that time.

The LOGCAP no-bid process originated under President Clinton.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
[
Parent ]
"has been shown to be worse" (none / 0) (#215)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:20:09 PM EST

really? it's been long enough to make that deduction?

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

[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#223)
by driptray on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:46:43 PM EST

So far, yes, it is worse. News reports and Iraqi opinion polls support that judgment.

As for the future, I'm pessimistic that things will get any better. The US presence is the problem rather than the solution, but I'm not convinced that life will be roses in Iraq when the US leaves, as they surely will sooner or later.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 0) (#224)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:52:11 PM EST

what are you saying? that removing saddam was wrong?

are you saying iraq would be roses still with saddam around?

talk about a waffle...

i mean right there, the waffle in your response indicates the hollowness of your pov


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

[ Parent ]

Clear (none / 0) (#230)
by driptray on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:49:05 PM EST

what are you saying? that removing saddam was wrong?

Yes.

are you saying iraq would be roses still with saddam around?

No.

talk about a waffle...

It's quite clear really.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

ok, let's fly with this (none / 0) (#231)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 12:15:12 AM EST

was saddam hussein a problem? yes or no

does his existence in iraq (assuming you agree his a problem) one that required a solution? yes or no

assuming that he requires a solution, what is that solution?

this should prove interesting fun...


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

[ Parent ]

Regretting this already (2.00 / 1) (#232)
by driptray on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 12:26:22 AM EST

was saddam hussein a problem? yes or no

Yes.

does his existence in iraq (assuming you agree his a problem) one that required a solution? yes or no

No, it didn't require a solution. It could have and should have been left as it was. There are a bunch of reasons for this, which I've stated elswhere in this article's comments, but they can basically be summed up by the fact that the solution imposed created a worse situation than the situation it was intended to solve.

Not only that, but I don't believe the "solution" imposed was ever intended as something to benefit the Iraqi people, or to advance their human rights position. Iraqis were quite external to the whole Iraq invasion, and to somehow start speaking in terms of human rights and the Iraqi's "liberation" from Saddam is to swallow the (retrospectively applied) spin from the Bush administration.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

i'd like you to frame (none / 0) (#233)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 12:33:37 AM EST

your response in the context of gulf war i, in 1991

how were the actions taken then any different than those taken now?

are the events in 2003 therefore legitimate? or are the actions in 1991 illegitimate

because it is my opinion that gulf war ii is really an aborted continuation of gulf war i

in 1991, the ameircan people could not stomach hundreds of body bags, a requirement of saddam's overthrow

after 9/11, hundreds of bodybags in baghdad suddenly became more palatble then hundreds of thousands of body bags in seattle or baltimore

the desire to remove saddam was always there in the intervening years, but the popular and political will to do so was not, until 9/11

because the middle east exports its loonies here, so their problem is our problem

and fixing the middle east is a long term problem

and no one else has the will or resolve to fix the middle east except the us

do you deny the middle eas tis basket case that exports it's madmen?

do you deny it is a complex problem requiring a complex solution?

invading iraq is but step 1 in a decades long struggle

9/11 make sit clear that the current state of things in the middle east is unacceptable

you say it got worse after invasion

i say to you that "worse", after something like 9/11, is more evident by NOT invading iraq after 9/11

because the status quo was, and still is, completely unacceptable

for americans and iraqis

only the us had the willpower, desire, and ability to do something about it

so that's what happened

for example: can you tell me, with a straight face, that gulf war ii would have happened even if there were no 9/11?

of course you can't because it wouldn't have happened

but even if 9/11 hadn't happened, finishing the aborted war that was gulf war i was still the right thing to do

there was just no willpower to do it

now there is


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

[ Parent ]

Just a Cotton Pickin' Minute! (none / 0) (#106)
by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:08:33 AM EST

The idea that overthrowing a rotten bastard like hussein was somehow immoral is just plain ludicrous.

Soooo ... killing 10000 Iraqis during the invasion, and wounding at least 20000 more, is somehow a moral act? Just to remove 1 man? Or just 1 administration?

Deposing Hussein was a job for the Iraqis. If you don't think so, then I'm sure you'll be all for the UN sending in troops to depose Bush (for the same reasons: he's a murderous, authoritarian leader who assaults other racial groups, but whose own people will not overthrow him).

Honestly, can I get the phone number of your parents? I just want to remonstrate them for their failure in your moral training.


[ Parent ]
Bet yer ass (none / 0) (#159)
by jubal3 on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:22:06 PM EST

Killing 10,000 Iraqi troops, a large number of which were Baathists aand supporters of the regime beats the SHIT out of 50,000 kids under age 5 dead EVERY YEAR from sanctions.

2 years (roughly)= 100,000 kids NOT dead.
2 years= 30,000 civilians NOT DEAD

Do the math.  Invasion=less dead.

War is immoral under all circumstances is a morally bankrupt position. And please, feel free to contact my (now dead) father. You know, the one who went to Spain in 1936 because War is not always wrong.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Can You Even Hear Yourself Talk? (3.00 / 3) (#170)
by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 02:19:29 PM EST

Again, the False Binary Choice. We are not restricted as moral men to (1) war or (2) sanctions, both of which kill.

America did not liberate anyone or stop any killing whatsoever. A country plunged into a war zone is as fatal to children as any economic sanction imaginable. Furthermore, all that depleted uranium fired all over Iraq is arguably a present for future Iraqi generations, and that present is a knife in their DNA's throat.

You have no legitimate moral argument for war or attacks of any kind, over anything else. Period. You have advocated killing using false arguments against death, and are therefore responsible (if an American citizen). You simply liked the idea of flexing your military dick and using it to fuck an entire country with it, and are just scrabbling for justifications after the fact ... much like the Bush Administration (WMDs, imminent threat, harbor for terrorists, link to Al Qaeda, we're not really in it for the oil -- ALL DISPROVEN) does every day.


[ Parent ]
what does it take (1.50 / 2) (#214)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:17:16 PM EST

for you to fight for what you believe in?

for if you never have a reason to fight, then you must be devoid of passion, or belief

this is about human nature, not the us:

  1. human beings have beliefs
  2. human beings have passion in their beliefs
  3. human beings will go to deadly force over their passion in their beliefs
don't like that? fine

so divorce yourself from the argument, and shut the fuck up

because you apparently are devoid of any passion or belief, because you won't go to force to protect what you believe in

i will

and that means my beliefs will survive, while yours will die

welcome to reality

it's not the us you have a problem with

it's aspects of essential human nature you have a problem with

you simply have a maladative view of human nature

human nature is good, bad, and ugly

but you go ahead and shoot the messenger

yes, i am telling you these words because i like to drink oil from the skulls if iraqi children- does that fit your fucking cartoonish understanding of the world as you describe it above enough?

why is it that when i say to people like you that unfortunately, UNFORTUNATELY in this world you must go to force to protect what you believe in that people like you hear "yeehah! let's nuke some innocent people! yeehah!"

why are you so out of touch with true human nature?

you are simply OUT OF OTUCH WITH REALITY

you bring nothing to the discussion except this: "folks, don't fight, there's nothing worth fighting for in this world"

excuse me, there is a heck of a lot worth fighting for! human rights! human dignity!

in your world, shit happens, oh well

some dictator kills thousand so fhis countrymen, oh well

"it's not my problem"


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

[ Parent ]

Global View = Imperialism (3.00 / 2) (#263)
by Peahippo on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 10:47:19 AM EST

The only morally valid reason to fight is self defense.

But America's assault on Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with self defense. All the reasons given to support self defense, were proven wrong (not that we didn't know it was all bullshit to begin with, but I digress).

I have no problem with shooting you if you come through my window. The key points here are (1) YOU came through (2) MY window.

If America really wanted to follow the path of self defense, it would have at least partnered with Saudi Arabian authorities to nab all those extremists who were busily planning attacks on Western targets ... as they are STILL doing. But since this "war on terrorism" is really about (1) American-Israeli supremacy in general, (2) oil, then America is going to just continue attacking weak, oil-involved and non-Western-aligned countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, until the tac nuke goes off in NYC (probably killing YOU, CircleJerk) and the American civilization drowns in its own form of Balkanization. But, hey, Saudi Arabia still sells oil to America at a good price, so it must be worth it, right?

As for dictators ... what a dictator does in his own country is a matter for his own population to solve. Anything else is Imperialism. But you love Imperialism, CircleJerk. You've hundreds of postings, if not thousands, that paint this in bright colors for us to see. Your "global viewpoint" (essentially taken from the "Project for a New American Century" and DLC playbooks) is just an excuse for American (as well as British and Israeli) Imperialism. Like I said before, Imperialists just loooove to take that throbbing American military dick and fuck other nations with it. Well, if you can't see the wrapped-up nuclear present that buys you, then I throw up my hands and await the crucial morning when all news will be sparkling with the sudden bombing of NYC (or London or Tel Aviv) ... a day for which I'm prepared since I'm WELL ARMED.

Enjoy your highly urban lifestyle. In all probability, you're gonna burn for it, and I mean literally.


[ Parent ]
We agree but.. (none / 0) (#351)
by generaltao on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 02:31:50 PM EST


While I suspect you and I are on the same side of this argument, I take issue with one point you made:

"The only morally valid reason to fight is self defense. "

It is also morally valid to fight in defense of someone who cannot defend him/herself.  Unfortunately, that's exactly what the administration is now claiming it did/is doing.

Damned shades of grey!!


[ Parent ]

amen! (none / 1) (#213)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:06:59 PM EST

some people only know how to criticize, they don't know how to do

so they will always criticize, and never act, and be one with the dust of history: never made one difference in their world

whining losers, always uick to nitpick, not a single fucking clue about when to stand up and actually take a stand

and it was right to get rid of that fuck saddam hussein

for real

bush is a fucking moron, but he is not a truly evil man like hussein, so let the moron do our dirty work


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

[ Parent ]

Why ppl "far worse" get less criticism (none / 0) (#323)
by Chakotay on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:47:20 AM EST

The reason is simple. Countries like China, Libya, Saoudi Arabia, etc, etc, etc, are not sending out their military forces in the whole wild world proclaiming to bring freedom and democracy. They do not claim to be an enlightened example to the world.

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

[ Parent ]
Neither does Israel (none / 0) (#327)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 05:26:18 AM EST

And yet over 60% of the UN General Assembly resolutions passed since the UN's creation are targeted at Israel.

Here's a couple:
- General Assembly Resolution 250 "calls on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem."
- General Assembly Resolution 251 "deeply deplores Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250."

Dispite that, there isn't a single resolution condemning actions by Palestinian militants or the failures of the PA for crap like this: Palestinian Militants use UN ambulances in operations (video)

Do a google search for "International Criminal Court Israel". Now do a search for "International Criminal Court Palestine". You will be treated with a whole slew of attacks against Israel and will be hard pressed to find an article documenting Palestinian atrocities. Hmmm... I wonder why.

[ Parent ]

Who's the oppressive power there? (none / 0) (#330)
by Nursie on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:06:52 AM EST

You'll find a lot criticising israel because thhety behave terribly. they bulldoze houses, take out women and children, and whole groups of people just to get at one person.

The palestinians are by no means blameless, but the destruction and oppression rained on them by Israel is immense and vastly overshadows Palestinian violence.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
This is why the wall is good (none / 0) (#386)
by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 01:38:58 AM EST

The Israelis should have built that wall years ago. It is probably one of the most humane things they have done to reduce the conflict dispite all the crap we hear about it, and dispite the effect that it has on some people's lives.

Amazingly, the ICC then rules that it is illegal. So they prefer we go back to the endless cycles of suicide bombings and military incursions.



[ Parent ]

No (none / 1) (#395)
by jubal3 on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 10:01:15 AM EST

The ICC prefers Israel just give up and die.

For all israel's stupidity in dealing with the arabs over the last 10 years, it's clear as day and night who's the Good vs. Bad actor here.

If the arabs had any sense, much less were part of "a peaceful religion" *cough* they'd sit down in front of tanks in front of CNN on a daily basis singing "we shall overcome."

The Israeli occupation is just a stupid idea, for Israel. The problem is that Israeli's among other things, see occupation as the only way to counter terrorism. (wrongly, I agree, the wall is the best idea they've had in many years).

And non-violent civil disobedience has always been the clear winner here as far as tactics for the arabs.

The problem is that the arab leadership doesn't want peaceful co-existence or Israeli withdrawal. The arab leadership wants the destruction of Israel and the continuance of occupation to manipulate their own population's attention away from the rampant, hopeless fuckedupedness of Arab society.

That's why the Saudis fund Hamas, that's why the Iranians fund Hizbollah, that's why the PLA does everything it can to foment hatred.

If they really wanted simple withdrawl, and that's all, non-violent civil disobedience is the no-brainer solution. Regardless of a powerful Israel lobby, Americans aren't gonna have a lot of spunk to fund the guys in tanks, running over civilians who are singing songs and holding flowers. No American money or support, no more occupation, because the Israeli's can't fund the occupation isolated from the world economy.

If I believed for a second that ending the occupation would solve the problem, I'd be for cutting off American economic ties. But again, ending occupation of the West Bank is not the goal of the arabs.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

In a way, I agree! (none / 0) (#405)
by crunchycookies on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 01:29:18 PM EST

You might ask where are the Palestinian Ghandi's or Mandella's? If there were such a leader, one who would lead the Palestinians in a non-violent overthrow of Zionism, then the entire world would cheer him on.

Unfortunately the Israeli's are smart as well as violent. They know that a Palestinian Ghandi would be far more dangerous then an ineffectual Arafat. The Israeli's would never let such leader emerge.

The answer to the question is that they are all dead! The Israeli death squads insure that no such leader would exist. The Israeli's are experienced in dealing with the usual insurgent types. A renown non-violent Palestinian leader would be something the Israeli's could not deal with.



[ Parent ]

And how do you know that? (none / 0) (#450)
by Peaker on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 07:58:39 PM EST

Or are you, as usual, spouting empty air?

Perhaps Islam is simply not as peaceful as they make it out to be?

If non-violent oppisition was to take place, Israel would simply not re-enter the territories (in the occupy/leave/terror/... cycle) thereby ending the occupation, so your claim is just baseless.

[ Parent ]

I strongly disagree (none / 0) (#457)
by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 09:39:01 PM EST

This sounds like another bizarre conspiracy theory. In fact, one of the reasons they don't want to get rid of Arafat, even though they consider him to be the master terrorist (so to speak), is becuase then they have no idea who will take his place. And there is a 90% chance that the successor will be much, much worse. Not only that, but offing Arafat would be roundly condemned by the whole world, sinking Israel into a bigger hole than its already in.

[ Parent ]
You're pulling (none / 0) (#491)
by jubal3 on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 09:57:00 PM EST

that out of your ass.

You're telling me the Isralis are:

1. So stupid as to assasinate a palestinian MLK?
Jesus, the ISRAELI's wouldn't stand for that aciton on the part of their Govt.

2. So prescient that they can root out and kill such a leader before he gets attention. -But they can't stop suicide bombers. um sure....

Why don't you just face the reality, which is exactly what I'sm saying.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

it blatantly IS illegal. (none / 0) (#397)
by Nursie on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 10:07:31 AM EST

because it is built so massively in Israel's favour as to be ridiculous. It seperates people from their farms and means ogf income, and it treats them like criminal animals that need to be caged up, both of which can only make the situation worse.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Oppression (none / 0) (#390)
by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 06:46:56 AM EST

Allow me to analyze this further:

They bulldoze houses

They bulldoze houses of terrorists and militants. In some cases they have bulldozed entire apartments, when those apartments are used by militants. Ok, bulldozing an apartment building to take care of a few militants is a problem I admit. What would you suggest? Perhaps, the palestinian militants should not use apartment buildings to shoot from/smuggle weapons/build bomb belts to begin with. I think that would be a fair criticism against palestinians even if you consider leaving innocent people homeless to be worse. But of course we never seem to hear it from the oh-so-fair human rights panderers. Question: If Israelis stopped bulldozing apartments, would militants stop using them to shoot from/smuggle/build bombs? Answer: No. They would increase the use of apartments because the know they won't be targeted there. Question: If militants stopped shooting/smuggling weapons/building bombs in apartment buildings would the Israelis stop bulldozing them? Yes, because there is no point to leaving entire families homeless for no reason.

take out women and children

Right because we all know that the palestinians don't just attack women and children. They make it a point to attack women and children.

and whole groups of people just to get at one person.

Yes you are right. This is a terrible thing to do. I have an idea. Since the Israelis are so evil and terrible, and their methods "vastly overshadow palestinian violence" I suggest that the Israelis adopt palestinian tactics. It would be so much more humane. Instead of taking out whole groups of people to get one person, they should take out whole groups of people just for the hell of it. You know, just like the palestinians. Blow up a bus, not because it will target a soldier or military agent, but because killing people of absolutely no military value is just sooooo much more fsking humane.

My last comment is regarding the whole "The palestinians are by no means blameless" line. I just love that line. So people go out of their way to rake Israel over the coals, filing news reports, calling for action against them, passing resolutions, demonizing them at every turn and for every action. In all of this there is virtually nothing critical said of the Palestinian militants. Then whe someone points this fact out, and asks why, the response is, "Well of course the palestinians share some of the blame, but...", which is followed by more stories, more reports, more calls for action against Israel.

[ Parent ]

So blinkered (none / 0) (#396)
by Nursie on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 10:06:02 AM EST

Do you really believe they limit the bulldozing to those they know to be terrorists?
The israeli's bulldoze house to open up roads for themselves to get into palestinian territories, they bulldoze whole blocks of houses because they suspect that one may be used by Hamas.

Do you know why people call for action about israel? Put youself in the shoes of a Palestinian. About 50 years ago a group of western countries took pretty much half of your land and let other people live on it. If this wasn't bad enough, these other people believe it is their duty to settle the whole planet, so they immediately start rapid expansion into what territory you have left. The world doesn't seem to care about your plight, and in fact some of the richer nations are funding those who have displaced you.
The displacers have within their culture a "seperatism" meme, such that integration seems a hopeless effort.

You must be kept seperate.

In this situation you can see how people would get pissed off can't you?

Now This is not justification for murderous terrorist acts, but the fact is that Israel repays any violence with disproportionate responses, punishment of whole populations instead of individuals, and great big assault helicopters against people who have not been proved terrorists. Something else people object to - the state of israel treats palestinians as if they were all evil and looking to destroy it, such that they feel no justification or remorse for killing them and destroying their homes.

As I said before, the palestinians are in no way blameless and their culture of dislike for the Jewish people exacerbates the whole situation. The suicide bombings are a terrible thing and resuolt in so much more unnecessary death, but it is Israel that is taking the military hardware in against civilians, it is Israel that has the power to stop pissing them off by taking more of their land, it is Israel that can stop treating all palestinians like criminals. And it is Israel that can keep to its word, just for once, and do something to help the palestinian people rather than abuse them.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
You have a very warped view of what happened (none / 0) (#456)
by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 09:33:40 PM EST

About 50 years ago a group of western countries took pretty much half of your land and let other people live on it.

What do you mean *your* land? What makes you think the land belonged only to Arabs? It was part of the Ottomon Empire until that empire collapsed after WWI, at which time the area known as Palestine became a British/French mandate. It was never a country of its own. After WWII it was spilt (by the UN) into a Jewish part (Israel)and an Arab part (retaining the name Palestine), but this split was rejected by the various arab countries around it.

If this wasn't bad enough, these other people believe it is their duty to settle the whole planet

This is quite an outrageous claim (and ironic), especially given the bloody imperialist designs of the other side. And, quite contrary to wanting to settle the whole world, many Jews *retreated* to Israel after centuries of persecution in Europe culminating in the Holocaust, of which many countries in Europe were all-too-willing partners in order to save their own hides from Hitler's army. Secondly, something on the order of 800,000 jews have been kicked out of the Arab dictatorships in the region for simply being Jews. Many of them settled in Israel. Will the UN ever pass a resolution demanding *their* right of return?

so they immediately start rapid expansion into what territory you have left.

Immediately? They did not start expanding into the other territories until 1967, when it became clear after several wars that the Arabs would never accept the existance of Israel. That said, I wholeheartedly agree that this expansion was really stupid because of the complications it brings to resolving the current crisis.

punishment of whole populations instead of individuals

Actually I would say that is a tactic of Hamas as much as it is the IDF.

and great big assault helicopters against people who have not been proved terrorists.

As opposed to suicide bombs against people who are most definitely known to be civilians?

the state of israel treats palestinians as if they were all evil and looking to destroy it, such that they feel no justification or remorse for killing them and destroying their homes.

I strongly disagree with this statement, but even if true, the same can be said of the Palestines and the surrounding countries WRT Isreal.

it is Israel that has the power to stop pissing them off by taking more of their land

I would support this position entirely if I believed that the Palestinians would reciprocate in good faith. I'm not so sure they would. My fear is that Israel would relinquish control of the West Bank and then the Palestinians (or a faction of them) would demand more.

[ Parent ]

Maybe I do have a warped view (none / 0) (#476)
by Nursie on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:16:46 PM EST

But maybe that's because the very idea of it all depresses me and has pretty much made me lose all faith in humantiy because of the constant news reports about tank and helicopter attacks, and the suicide bombs.
There's a lot wrong with both sides, but I think Israel needs to be the bigger nation in a petty squabble and take the first move by removing the (illegal) settlements.

It looks like it's going to happen now, but every time I hear of a new assault it seems further and further away....

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
I will agree with you on this (none / 0) (#480)
by lordDogma on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:57:54 PM EST

I think Israel needs to be the bigger nation in a petty squabble and take the first move by removing the (illegal) settlements.

I think they are waiting for Arafat to die or something (why do all these dictators seem to live forever???) when they might be able to get someone more trustworthy to deal with. And Arafat is just waiting for Israel to finally get so tired that it gives up. Hopefully armageddon does not occur in the meantime.

In any case, I think you may be right about the Israelis making the first move. The Islamic fanatics will never give up, and decades of Israeli military incursions have achieved little.

The only thing I will say, is that if the Israelis complete their Gaza withdrawal plan, and if they ever make a good faith effort to withdraw from the West Bank (perhaps removing all but 10 or so of the 200 settlements), and if some sort of compensation/rebuilding package is offered by the international community to the Palestinians, then the Palestinians should agree to that. To not do so, and to choose to continue fighting over tiny pockets of land here and there would show that they are not interested in peace.

[ Parent ]

Don't worry (none / 0) (#492)
by jubal3 on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 10:07:51 PM EST

there's virtually no one in a leadership in the arab world who actually wants peace.

At best they want Israeli's living as third class citizens in an arab ruled state that used to be called Israel.

Seriously, calling for a safe, secure, JEWISH Israel is political suicide in the Arab world (And plenty of places in the Western Left).

Israel is the great cause that keeps arabs from having to look at their own miserable, uterrly failed societies.

If the Jewish state imploded tommorow, the whole region would remain a mess, and probably get even worse, in a short period. -Until another bogieman could be conjured up by the Arab ruling elites.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

you must admit though (none / 0) (#511)
by Nursie on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:54:29 AM EST

that the current boogieman is certainly living up to their violent repressive expectations!

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
You ask, "What would you suggest?" (none / 0) (#404)
by crunchycookies on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 01:11:14 PM EST

Here is the answer; give them their rights! End the oppression!



[ Parent ]

Its not Israel's to give (none / 0) (#451)
by Peaker on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 08:02:38 PM EST

They are part of Palestine, not Israel. Palestine is to provide them with rights. Unfortunatly, Arafat is enjoying the current situation too much to stop the terror/occupation cycle thereby placing the Palestinians in a horrible situation while Europeans are flooding money into his wife's pockets to fund her castle in France, in the name of helping Palestinians.

[ Parent ]
The difference between two wrongs (none / 0) (#333)
by Chakotay on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:18:33 AM EST

is that generally one wrong will be greater than another.

Israel is occupying Palestinian land. The Palestinians are defending their land. Both of them commit atrocities - but the solution is in the hands of the Israelis: pull back out of occupied territory.

How can you ask somebody who has lost his home and everything he owns to stop fighting to regain it? However, somebody fighting to hold on to something that isn't righfully his, one can very well ask to stop whining and just give up already!

Of course the whole situation isn't all that simple, but down to basics, that's about it. Both sides are behaving like barbarians, but one side is occupying the land of the other using high-tech weaponry, while the other side is trying to defend their land by all low-tech means available.

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

[ Parent ]
Occupation (none / 0) (#448)
by Peaker on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 07:53:11 PM EST

Of course the whole situation isn't all that simple, but down to basics, that's about it. Both sides are behaving like barbarians, but one side is occupying the land of the other using high-tech weaponry, while the other side is trying to defend their land by all low-tech means available.

Israel has again and again attempted to leave those lands and hand control over to the Palestinians, and every single time the response of the Palestinians (Hamas specifically, but also the PA who were responsible for preventing their operations from their territories) was to bomb Israeli women and children.

So its not as simple as "Israel is occupying Palestinian lands".. Its more of "Palestinians are killing Israeli women and children thereby forcing Israel to occupy their lands and prevent Hamas's operations"

[ Parent ]

The Israelis are the oppressors. (none / 0) (#403)
by crunchycookies on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 01:07:16 PM EST

The situation in Israel is not much different than other liberation struggles around the world. Even though both sides commit crimes you should not be confused as to who are the "good" guys and who are the "bad" guys. Don't be confused about who should win. The Israelis are the oppressors. They have created a country that denies people their rights based on religion and ethnic origin. No one should consider them the "good" guys.

The Palestinians are resisting oppression. They are fighting with what little resources that they have. They have been fighting for half a century and they will continue to fight until the oppression ends and they gain equal rights. We Americans should support them in their struggle.

Israel has the power to end this struggle today. All peace negotiations have been an effort into negotiating them into subservience of one sort or another. The "Road Map" is an effort to push them into the desert. Remember that all the good land and water has been taken by the Israeli's. If the Israeli's want peace they must give the Palestinians equal rights in Israel. The Israeli's continue to believe that they can have peace through oppression, they cannot.

During the struggle against Apartheid both sides committed crimes but we were not confused about who were the "good" guys and who were the "bad" guys. Why are we Americans so confused about the situation in Palestine?



[ Parent ]

You are confused (none / 0) (#447)
by Peaker on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 07:49:48 PM EST

Israel's purpose as a country is to serve as a refuge for Jews from all around the world. The only place Jews can be safe from persecution.

If Israel is to accept all Palestinians into Israel, it would destroy it as a refuge for Jews and there would no longer be a Jewish majority over there.

Thus, a solution that at large is accepted by both sides is to create a separate country for Palestinians, with the territorial situation it is today. Its just that Arafat accepts this solution (The roadmap) only if Israel is flooded with refugees of the arab invasion to Israel in 1948 (Then requested by the arab leaders to leave Israel to make place for ethnic cleansing of the Jews).

This flood would also destroy Israel wrt its original purpose of serving refuge.

That's why you are confused.. Its the Palestianians who have the power to stop this today, it is simply their dictator's refusal to do this. Its the Hamas and Arafat who are the bad guys, and Rabbin, Peres, Barak who are the good guys. Sharon is simply a direct result of Hamas's operations.

[ Parent ]

You are great! (none / 0) (#458)
by crunchycookies on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 10:33:50 PM EST

The only place Jews can be safe from persecution.

The Israeli's seem to think that oppressing someone else will make themselves safer. That line of thinking has not worked out too well. Why would anyone think that persecuting someone else would save you from persecution? What goes around comes around.

If Israel is to accept all Palestinians into Israel, it would destroy it as a refuge for Jews and there would no longer be a Jewish majority over there.

I understand that the Israeli's don't want too many people of the wrong religion and ethnic origin wandering around. They might not accept their place at the bottom of society. They might not even believe in Zionism! They might not vote for Sharon! So we do agree that Israel is a racist state.

That is exactly the same way that the KKK feels about African Americans. You would not argue with them would you?

Don't get me wrong, I want you to continue justifying Israel. The more excuses you make for them, the more you expose the reality of Israel and Zionism. When we Americans realize what Israel is, the sooner we will fix the situation. America is not Israel's friend; America is Israel's dupe. We will not be fooled forever.



[ Parent ]

Israel will not be a binational state (none / 0) (#460)
by Peaker on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 12:53:40 AM EST

The Israeli's seem to think that oppressing someone else will make themselves safer. That line of thinking has not worked out too well. Why would anyone think that persecuting someone else would save you from persecution? What goes around comes around.

Is that why Israel has been trying to sign peace agreements with the Palestinians for the last 12 years? Israel does not want to occupy Palestinian areas, and those Palestinians who live inside Israel have full citizenship, full rights, and vote.

I understand that the Israeli's don't want too many people of the wrong religion and ethnic origin wandering around. They might not accept their place at the bottom of society.

Israel does not want the people of the wrong religion or ethnic origin at all, not at the bottom of society or anywhere else. Does the US or any other country for that matter allow just anyone to enter and receive citizenship? Why should Israel be different?

If Israel were stupid enough to allow anyone to receive citizenship, as Hamas/Arafat demand, then it would simply be destroyed as:

  • A Jewish state where all Jews can come to, to escape persecution. This was the situation in the past, and it led to the holocaust.
  • A democracy. With 3 million refugees who never saw democracies in their primitive arab states of origin becoming a new majority in Israel, there is no way democracy will take place.

    Also, with the history of the conflict and hate in the region, there is absolutely no way for Israel to be a bi-national state, and very few (you among them) suggest it should be.

    Virtually everyone agrees that the Palestinians need their own state, where all the refugees can happily come to, leaving the status quo in Israel, and gaining full citizenship and rights inside the Palestinian state. Unfortunatly, the insistency on the destruction of Israel with the stream of refugees, and the terrorizing that will continue for as long as Israel refuses to be destroyed, will prevent the Palestinians from having their own state, while obviously failing to destroy Israel.

    Some of us still have hope, however, that Hamas and Arafat will lose their popularity, the corruption in the Palestinian authority will disappear, and Palestine will become an attractive place for the refugees to return to, rather than the Jewish state of Israel.

    [ Parent ]

  • Are you really sure? (none / 0) (#489)
    by cpghost on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 09:41:27 PM EST

    Countries like China, Libya, Saoudi Arabia, etc, etc, etc, are not sending out their military forces in the whole wild world proclaiming to bring freedom and democracy. They do not claim to be an enlightened example to the world.

    This may not be true in the case of Saudi Arabia, who are financing mosques worldwide to preach and spread their extremist version of islam (wahhabism). In a sense, they ARE actually trying to force their beliefs upon the rest of the (not only muslim) world. They don't do it with conventional military means; it's actually more subversive than that.


    cpghost at Cordula's Web
    [ Parent ]
    Let them throw us out! (1.40 / 27) (#48)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:47:10 PM EST

    Why should America care what Italians think of us? Why should we care if Turkey closes their bases to our troops?

    Seriously, I think the vast majority of Americans would be happy to let the rest of the world go to hell.

    Let Europe pay for it's own damn defense for a change. Let Europe step up to the plate and stop the genocide in Sudan. Let Europe take a crack at healing the wounds in Africa - wounds that Europe created in the first place. Let China and Japan start handling the tough problems in their corner of the world.

    No skin off our nose.

    I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort

    "No skin off our nose" (3.00 / 8) (#58)
    by driptray on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:23:30 PM EST

    You make it sound as though US troops throughout the world are there solely for the benefit of the poor unfortunates who don't live in the US. That the US is engaged in one big humanitarian adventure that those foreign ingrates are too stupid to appreciate.

    How about this dose of reality - the US troops stationed throughout the world are there to support and enforce US interests, and that it would be a very large amount of skin off your nose if they were all told to go home.
    --
    We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
    [ Parent ]

    So what? (1.75 / 4) (#60)
    by cdguru on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:53:28 PM EST

    I present the argument that the US would be far, far better off economically and socially to let "US Interests" overseas go to hell in a handbasket. Should other countries - especially China - decide they would rather not trade with the US any longer, so what?

    As for US military overseas, we should bring them all home. The most threatening situation now could be China vs. Taiwan, North Korea vs. South Korea, or perhaps US Military spending vs. German merchants. I'd say let the rest of the world work it out.

    What would happen in the US? Well, Wal-Mart would evaporate overnight. That would be interesting, but not serious. There would be a struggle, but manufacturing (and most importantly) manufacturing jobs would return to the US. Within two years things would have recovered and more people would have jobs in the US than before.

    As for the rest of the world, maybe someone would use the word "Muslim" in relation to Sudan. Maybe China would figure out that squashing Hong Kong and Taiwan would be economic suicide. North Korea? I don't think anything is going to fix that place anytime soon. But I am sure the rest of the world would be just fine without the US to kick around.

    [ Parent ]

    Why don't you put your money where your (3.00 / 5) (#62)
    by rob1 on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 11:18:55 PM EST

    mouth is? If it's so great to be isolated, then you can stop buying cheap foreign products and commodities, including oil. Nobody's forcing you to buy Chinese products.

    Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
    [ Parent ]

    They arent??? (3.00 / 3) (#65)
    by The Amazing Idiot on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:15:10 AM EST

    ---Nobody's forcing you to buy Chinese products.

    Well... since everybody "else" goes to 3'rd world countries for manufacturing, it forces the rest that're based the US to go there too.

    Not soo amazingly, its cheaper to make components here, ship to mexico or china, build there, then ship back than it is to have people here assemble them. A big problem linked to that is "minimum union wages". Once you bring current-day unions into this mix, salaries/per hour that are associated with this are thrown out the window. Worst is when the union threatens the company to raise or not cut.. and then the company moves to #nasty_place to avoid the union and wages altogether.

    Just as some anecdotal evidence, I looked for things in my room that MIGHT have been made here, even partly.. Here's some I got:
    ATI pci card: Canada
    TDK dv-r's: China
    calendar: China
    Vandoren reeds (for clarinet): France
    Some wireless USB dongle: Taiwan
    2'nd edition Niven "Ringworld": cover made in US, rest China
    Microsoft sidewinder controller: Malaysia
    Charlie Parker Omnibook: All made in USA....

    BTW, I was just grabbing what was in hands reach.   Most everything was out of the USA, except for my  alto sax parker music.

    Personally, getting out of every country sounds nice, but I dont even know if that's manageable now...

    [ Parent ]

    Money, mouth, location... (none / 0) (#72)
    by sholden on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 04:34:22 AM EST

    Well... since everybody "else" goes to 3'rd world countries for manufacturing, it forces the rest that're based the US to go there too.

    There is nothing stopping you buying significantly more expensive locally made products. Products that are not made locally at all will start being made locally when people notice people are willing to pay a massive premium for "American-made" and hence realise they can make a profit even with the costs that go with setting up in America.

    --
    The world's dullest web page


    [ Parent ]
    Actual goods present... (none / 1) (#86)
    by The Amazing Idiot on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 08:12:44 AM EST

    ---There is nothing stopping you buying significantly more expensive locally made products.

    Sure, there is. They arent there. Having something made all the way in the US is an oddity, no matter which way you sugarcoat it. When it comes to common household items, I know of NO SOURCE which has everything made in the US. Even the "made in US" is usually assembled in some 3'rd world country..

    ---Products that are not made locally at all will start being made locally when people notice people are willing to pay a massive premium for "American-made" and hence realise they can make a profit even with the costs that go with setting up in America.

    Like I said, almost NOTHING is made here purely in the USA. Parts made in US with assembling in  Mexico are most common. Sad, I know.

    [ Parent ]

    Isolationism (none / 0) (#88)
    by xria on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:41:12 AM EST

    Funny thing is: more jobs that the sum total of all Americans in work have probably been exported abroad. So that means all Americans are unemployed right?

    Or maybe it means that it frees up Americans (who have access to better training/education/infrastructure) to do higher value work than basic tasks as a whole (although some lower value work tends to be location specific).

    So the US can end up being an economic superpower instead of a nation that has most of its population stuck in menial labour that anyone in the world can do for a few cents an hour (but thats relatively fine in some parts of the world, as the cost of living is equally low).

    Sure the transfer of these jobs around the globe can be harsh on the individual, or even communities - thats why you have things like governments and insurance to allow people to not get caught out by these things, and have access to the resources to adapt via training schemes and income support if necessary.

    [ Parent ]

    There you go with your high falutin .. (none / 0) (#315)
    by mrt on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:33:58 AM EST

    reason and rational. The great grandparent had a wonderful soapbox, and you had to go and ruin it with some sound socioeconomic theory.

    Or maybe it means that it frees up Americans (who have access to better training/education/infrastructure) to do higher value work than basic tasks as a whole (although some lower value work tends to be location specific).

    Tada!

    Sure the transfer of these jobs around the globe can be harsh on the individual, or even communities - thats why you have things like governments and insurance to allow people to not get caught out by these things, and have access to the resources to adapt via training schemes and income support if necessary.

    Actually, usually the biggest obstacle is the denial of those who lost their incomes to change their lives. They sit around the house for 15 years waiting for the steelworks to "come back".


    -

    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
    [ Parent ]
    It's not all or nothing (none / 1) (#90)
    by sholden on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:45:17 AM EST

    You just have to buy the things which can be found locally made. The market will see the sales and people will start making more things locally in order to sell them at the higher prices they will be able to get.

    Choose something which is partly made locally over something completely foreign. Some local jobs are better than none, right?

    Publicity doesn't go astray to make sure the market gets the right message and doesn't think people are demanding things which happen to be orange in colour.

    Of course everything will be more expensive, but that's the price you pay for rejecting trade.

    --
    The world's dullest web page


    [ Parent ]
    Really. (none / 0) (#89)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:44:15 AM EST

    Please show me where to buy an American made pair of jeans, please. How about a pair of underpants?

    Growing up, I used to buy both from the local knitting mill's "outlet store". They closed in the mid-70's.

    I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
    [ Parent ]

    really (none / 0) (#96)
    by sholden on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:00:24 AM EST

    http://www.tradewear.com/Carhartt_Jeans.html - though how much is American made I have no idea...

    Or find a local tailor, get them to make your clothes by hand. Get them to buy only locally produces cloth as well - they'll charge extra, but that's the point of the exercise.

    if there are no tailors, keep increasing the price you offer until someone decides to become one.

    --
    The world's dullest web page


    [ Parent ]
    The catch (none / 0) (#340)
    by pyro9 on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:07:13 AM EST

    Products that are not made locally at all will start being made locally when people notice people are willing to pay a massive premium for "American-made" and hence realise they can make a profit even with the costs that go with setting up in America.

    Americans would be able to pay that 'massive premium' if wages weren't driven down by third world sweatshop labor. There is some evidence that there is demand for 'American made' as well since so many products proclaim it loudly (and weasel out of it with fine print about assembled in wherever). Were there no demand, there would be no reason to risk lieing about it.

    It might be interesting to see the economic effects of negative unemployment. That is, more jobs than people looking for work. There would certainly be bad effects, but there would also be good effects. For one, it would encourage mechanization. While it would harm some business interests, it would help others. Service businesses that are able to attract employees and work efficiently would thrive in such an environment. The businesses that would be harmed are the ones that operate by producing a mediocre product or service dirt cheap through crappy jobs and poor working conditions. Machines should work, people should think and enjoy.

    Note that I am not an isolationist. The U.S. should be part of the world community, it just needs to scale back and quit insisting on dominating every conversation.


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    withdrawing military != economic isolation (none / 1) (#197)
    by speek on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 07:44:29 PM EST

    How about we just buy our goods at the prices offered, and not keep our military handy everywhere just in case we want to use a few cruise missiles as bargaining chips. Look, free commerce, what a concept.

    The US would be hugely better off withdrawing all military support from all non-US soil. But I would still want to trade with the world.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    Sort of (none / 1) (#202)
    by trhurler on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 08:36:32 PM EST

    Most of them aren't really doing anything anymore. They used to, back when we had a Big Enemy[tm], but now that our biggest opponent is a loosely organized band of terrorists here and a third world tinpot dictator there, and now that our carrier groups are both mature and built out the way we need them, really it isn't necessary for us to have land bases all around the world. We can achieve our objectives without them, and they're really expensive.

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

    [ Parent ]
    That is already happening (3.00 / 7) (#75)
    by Patrick2 on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 05:01:46 AM EST

    On a much smaller scale than you propose, but the US is withdrawing troops in Europe. Also the influence in Europe is weakening. Both are interrelated.

    Correct me if I am wrong but your tone seems to suggest something to the effect of "they'll regret it when they see what they're missing".

    That used to be true during the Cold War but things have changed since then.
    The US had a lot of int'l power by forming a counter weight to the Soviet Block. With that unifying threat gone, the US is not the only one offering regional stability out of a "democratic hand". Other democratic forces(e.g. EU) are emerging and continuously assuming these "local police" tasks. With the current foreign policy the US is seeking new areas where it can exercise such a strong role. Whether this is motivated by retaining geopolitical power or the love for mankind is up to the perspective you choose.

    On a second note you fail to recognize the amount of financing the rest of the world has provided for American wars. see The US paid only about 10% of the first Gulf War. So in retrospective it was a worldwide subsidy to the US considering the fact that most of that money went to American companies.

    Other wars such as in Bosnia and Afghanistan were also substantially supported by allies. So don't expect to be able to do those adventures in the future with your allies discarded. Maybe a war-tax might help, who knows.

    [ Parent ]

    No problem (3.00 / 4) (#83)
    by dhk on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 07:21:09 AM EST

    As others have pointed out already: I do not think that the idea of US soldiers leaving their bases in Europe - a process which is very much underway already - is that frightening to European citizens as you seem to think. "Fine with us" would be the most frequent comment to this.
    But I can't see the point in the argument "Let Europe step up to the plate and stop the genocide in Sudan." Maybe you should try to see the difference between fighting for ones own interests on one side, and UN mediated peace keeping missions on the other. The US involvement in Iraq belongs to the first category (at least in the eyes of most Europeans), Darfur should belong to the second. Do you really think that refraining from the first type should automatically lead to ignoring all possibilities where the US could do a service to peace, side by side with nations from the rest of the world? And if so, why?

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    Yeah (1.50 / 4) (#201)
    by trhurler on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 08:34:30 PM EST

    Easy to say, now that Europe has no enemies it can believe in. No worries though; Europe is quickly on its way to being one big unelected fascist dictatorship in the disguise of federalism. (Ever notice that in the US, we ELECT federal officials?) Once that happens, Europeans will have plenty to worry about without any external enemy. I for one am glad we won't be there with them.

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

    [ Parent ]
    LOL (none / 1) (#237)
    by codejack on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 01:15:05 AM EST

    It would be nice if the federal officials we elect got into office. Oh, yea, Bush "won" in 2000. For me to poop on.


    Please read before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    So... (none / 1) (#275)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:56:49 PM EST

    You don't believe in the US Constitution, eh? Fine, but then I hope you're not too upset about it when Bush violates the thing.

    Also, as has been pointed out many, many times, the recounts NEVER DID include Florida's military absentee ballots, which, had they been added in, would have given Bush a clear win.

    So really, you're wrong AND you seem to think it is ok to use the courts to try to "win" an election you've lost by the rules that have been in effect for a couple hundred years.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Thanks... (none / 0) (#283)
    by codejack on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 09:07:37 PM EST

    For putting words into my mouth. Would you like to tell me what to think, next, please, be my guest.

    In the meantime, let me point out that had the (full) recount shown Bush to have won, I would have one less point to make when criticizing him, and if that were true, what was the big deal about getting the Supreme Court involved? Especially from the party that advocated states rights!

    The rules clearly state that a recount may be requested, and must be granted. Those are the "rules that have been in effect for a couple hundred years."

    And finally, when did I say I thought it would be OK to use the courts for anything?

    How do you expect to get any more brain cells when you won't use the two you've got?


    Please read before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    Um... (none / 0) (#371)
    by trhurler on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:18:07 PM EST

    A recount was granted. Several were, in fact. They were all controversial, because both sides cared more about winning than about the truth.

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

    [ Parent ]
    No... (none / 0) (#402)
    by codejack on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 12:37:15 PM EST

    Go read your history; Each recount was stopped by Katherine Harris (Florida Secretary of State) every time they started to show Gore pulling ahead. Bush's lawyers got the Supreme Court involved after Gore went to the Florida Supreme Court (the legitimate final arbiter of the situation), who said that Katherine Harris had no choice but to allow the recount to continue.

    Between that and the other irregularities of the election (butterfly ballots, boxes of ballots in democratic counties "mysteriously" disappearing and later turning up in dumpsters, swamps, etc), Bush's claim to victory in untenable, and his subsequent behavior should have him out on his ass. But, as I hear every day: "Well, he's a good christian, and he hates Bill Clinton."


    Please read before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    Tell-tall-phrase: "believe" (2.50 / 2) (#240)
    by dhk on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 03:08:54 AM EST

    You made a damn good point here: You believe in an enemy. I am sure that this kind of manichaeism lies in the very heart of the current behavior of the US on the scene of military action. Coupled with the absurd notion that one could fight a "war against terrorism" in the way one could fight a war against the soviet imperium in the days of the cold war. This is a misconception so utterly evident that I still can understand that anybody adheres to it.
    *** *** ***
    its way to being one big unelected fascist dictatorship Sorry, I live in Europe and may thus be to close to see this development. Could you kindly elaborate on this? For instance:
    Which federal official of the European Community has not been elected? (I understand that you meant "EC" when you wrtoe "Europe" which is a bit off the mark) - Could you explain the term "fascist" with respect to any EC-official?
    *** *** ***
    I for one am glad we won't be there with them.
    Here we have a consensus. I still entertain the hope that European troops would try to follow the ideas of
    - the Geneva Convention
    - the List of Human Rights
    - plain, simply humanity
    when they build up detention camps and war prisons. Any experiences in this business, acquired in Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib, would be less welcome here, I presume.

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    So (none / 1) (#274)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:54:46 PM EST

    First of all, name one EU/EC/whatever official who IS elected. They're ALL appointed, either on a rotating basis or by a "vote" of bureaucrats chosen by elected leaders from each country. Now, you could claim that because the national leaders are elected, and because they pick the bureaucrats, therefore it follows that the federal leadership of Europe(make no mistake: even if Europeans have not yet accepted it, the European federal entity will be Europe just as the US is "America,") is "elected," but this is the most perverse, distant, untenable sort of "democracy" ever invented, if indeed it is democracy at all. The end result is that the federal leadership of Europe is about as "accountable" and about as "representative" as, say, the very much more democratically elected leader of Germany in the early 1940s.

    As for war crimes, check out what your peacekeepers have been up to in Africa. Rape, murder, theft, extortion - but hey, at least a few of the LESS dastardly ones only do it to adults. I know you WANT to think your countries are morally superior, but the facts don't bear that out. France and Germany stayed out of Iraq because, as it turns out, they had lucrative deals going on at the highest levels of their governments with Saddam, laundering profits from the oil for food program so Saddam would get cash instead of his people getting food. Oops. Funny how much of the REST of Europe DID participate, and still IS participating, isn't it?:)

    Yes, indeed, the pretense of Europeons is entertaining. The reality is, your governments are just as selfish, corrupt, and generally reprehensible as the rest, and your soldiers behave just as badly.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Pleased to be of service (none / 1) (#337)
    by dhk on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 10:33:35 AM EST

    name one EU/EC/whatever official who IS elected. They're ALL appointed, either on a rotating basis or by a "vote" of bureaucrats chosen by elected leaders from each country.
    This is called, as far as I know, a "representative election". Simple thing: The citizens elect somebody who then elects somebody else. You call this this is the most perverse, distant, untenable sort of "democracy" ever invented. I see. Would you like to explain to a naive european fellow how, say, the president of the US of A is elected? As far as I know, again, a candidate receives not the electoral votes which favour him, but only those from the states where there is a majority in favour for him. You would call this, I have no doubt, the most direct, clear and just form of democracy, rite? By the way, I'm sure you would agree with me that, for instance, "Foreign minister of the US" is one of the most powerful jobs anybody can get, right? How democratic, then, is the process to become foreign minister? Some stronger terms than your "perverse, distant, untenable" should be in place here if you stick to your line of argument.

    However, EC officials are elected not by the countries' leaders, but by those elected in a separate "Europawahl" (European election). Thus, the citizen is free to split his vote wrt national and european priorities. I can't see a problem here. As for the war crimes: I am aware of the fact that there are things which amount to what you hinted at. But you should see two points:

    - The level of systematic violence which shows up in Guantanamo bay and Abu Ghreib is just another order of magnitude.
    - At least one can say that those european soldiers who committed war crimes are subject to the International Criminal Court. You surely are aware of the fact that this can not be said about the US soldiers (US policy on ICC). Could you explain why? To be quite frank: I do not think that Germany is morally superior to the US. The category of moral superiority is simply inapplicable to countries. I do, however, think, that every countries government has still a lot of work to do. And that war crimes of US soldiers are not a single bit less grave when "others do it too". This is a kind of argument I am not inclined to.

    France and Germany stayed out of Iraq because, as it turns out, they had lucrative deals going on at the highest levels of their governments with Saddam
    So you think that France and Germany kept out of Iraq and thought that Saddam would remain in position? Come on, not really, do you?

    Funny how much of the REST of Europe DID participate, and still IS participating, isn't it?
    Well, this is not funny. It is not even remarkable. Different governments follow different interests. You are free to insinuate that the Germans hat their motives of trading with Saddam as well as many people think that control of the oil in Iraq was Bush's leading motive. I am sure that both positions are short sighted. By the way: How do you explain the notable fraction of US citizens who opposes to the US engagement in Iraq?

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    No... (none / 0) (#373)
    by trhurler on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:37:30 PM EST

    The president of the United States is in practice elected very nearly directly. Electors have no real freedom to do what they want - anyone who might do that simply isn't allowed to be an elector. So, while the Electoral College does result in presidential elections being held based on winning states instead of winning the simple majority, the effect is still that the people are choosing a president.

    On the other hand, when the bureaucrats who pick European leaders are chosen, they are either people who will do the bidding of those who appoint them, or(for elected electors:) people who will do whatever they want once they get done making promises that get them chosen(like all elected officials, they get to lie if they want to, and not much can be done except not voting for them again.) It would be so easy for a dedicated group of present leaders to perpetuate the rule of those with whom they agree by rigging this system that it is insane.

    As for systematic violence, it is asserted by people who were there that this happened, but the only evidence we have suggests sporadic crimes committed by a limited number of individuals. Captives GENERALLY exaggerate and/or lie through their teeth about conditions of their captivity afterward; why would you assume they're telling the truth without even waiting for the facts to come out?

    And this ICC: the answer is simple. The US is a soveriegn nation. Europe may have one-world dreams, and there are those in the US who do too, but the majority of US citizens are against the idea that a court made up mostly of foriegners can assert its authority over US citizens - and we don't care whether you like it or not. Add to this the very legitimate concern that since the US does most of the military work in the world, US soldiers would be disproportionately exposed to bogus claims from people who just hate the US and are looking for a way to "get" at us, and it isn't hard to see why your average well informed US citizen regards foriegners clamoring for US submission to the ICC to be ungrateful morons.

    Regarding the dissent in the US over the war: there has been substantial dissent in the US over every war we've ever fought. This means nothing except that Americans are slightly(but ONLY slightly) less sheep-like and blindly trusting in their government than other people.

    Regarding France and Germany: I honestly think they thought that if they blocked success at the UN, Bush would back down. I don't think they understood who he is and just what he stands for until he chose to ignore their wishes. By then, if they backed down, it would be a horrible diplomatic problem AND a sign of weakness that would encourage ignoring them in the future, so they couldn't do that. Now they're privately hoping it'll be as big a disaster as possible while publicly going around talking about how they might get involved "in a few years." If they cared, they'd get involved NOW. What they care about is trying to humiliate the US; clearly they could send peacekeepers to Iraq, and they could train Iraqi police and military, and do many other things that do not amount to combat duty - and clearly if they were being honest about believing in the need to stabilize Iraq, they'd do those things, not just a bit here or there, but on a massive scale. The truth is worse than not caring: they are acting out of sheer spite, at the cost of thousands or tens of thousands or more lives and untold human suffering.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Thanks for your... (none / 0) (#388)
    by dhk on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:26:50 AM EST

    clarification on the US election system. Could you give me a small comment on my assertion that "becoming foreign minister of the US" is at least as undemocratic as becoming an EC official? Thx in advance.

    but the majority of US citizens are against the idea that a court made up mostly of foriegners can assert its authority over US citizens
    Do you have any idea why the states backing the ICC don't have this "reservatio mentalis" though they are in the same position ("foreign authority over their citizens")? As you can see from the list, this are states which partly do extraterritorial missions. By the way: I regret that you wrote and we don't care whether you like it or not. Not only does this lack a certain politeness, it is also downright wrong.
    Like some citations (all from USA for ICC)?:

    "I and many others around the world are shocked and dismayed by the unilateral, confrontational approach that this administration has taken in the world arena." (Representative Baldwin (WI) in Congressional Record, March 6, 2003)

    "By sitting on the sidelines, the United States is losing out on its ability to influence the structure and culture of this important new institution. Each time we refuse to join another treaty or international organization, which has become a pattern of this Administration, we erode our international leadership."(Senator Leahy (VT) in Congressional Record, May 5, 2003)

    read more...

    One more point. You write clearly they could send peacekeepers to Iraq. This is correct. But what if the entire idea of being able to construct a democratic Iraq is beeing questioned? Enter now Mr. J. le Carre, a british citizen and may less under suspect of a retrograde justification of germanys behaviour. Just read: Probably no American president in all history has been so universally hated abroad as George W Bush: for his bullying unilateralism, his dismissal of international treaties, his reckless indifference to the aspirations of other nations and cultures, his contempt for institutions of world government, and above all for misusing the cause of anti-terrorism in order to unleash an illegal war - and now anarchy - upon a country that like too many others around the world was suffering under a hideous dictatorship, but had no hand in 9/11, no weapons of mass destruction, and no record of terrorism except as an ally of the US in a dirty war against Iran.
    IF you subscribe to the view that the current situation in Iraq is rather anarchy than freedom and peace, if you subscribe to the view that abolition of a dictatorship like Saddams without any idea of what should come in place of it, and if you further entertain the belief that only a large, multilateral alliance, backed not only by the UN but by a reasonable plan for reconstructing Iraq could do the job, then the invitation to send peace keeping troups to Iraq to support the adventure of George W. Bush looses its justification.

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    Heh (none / 0) (#417)
    by trhurler on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 03:05:27 PM EST

    We don't have a "foriegn minister." The job you're thinking of is basically done by the president. He does have people who work for him in various specialties who are not elected, but they are NOT independent - they work for him, period.

    Why do other countries participate in the ICC? I don't care. It does not matter if the question is whether the United States should participate and why. I suspect they participate because they see themselves as weak, and the ICC as a chance to gain influence in the world through allying in sheer numbers. The US is not weak, and does not need nor should it adopt the moral priorities of a herd animal.

    As for Leahy and friends, I didn't say EVERYONE in the US is anti-ICC. I said most people are, and that's true. And most of us don't care what the rest of the world thinks about this issue, because the rest of the world is whining plaintively on the outside while slavering behind closed doors at the prospect of bringing US soldiers to trial as a way to exert leverage over our foriegn policy. Screw them.

    Finally, the idea that Iraq cannot be made a stable country by the US, Japan, and Europe but COULD be made a stable country if only the UN were to take the reins is... um... fucking really retarded, and I know you don't actually believe it. What, some backwater hut haven like Namibia is going to contribute the vital element that all the world's great powers don't have? Yeah, right. Oh, wait, you mean China and Russia are going to help. Yeah, they could send in their tanks and flatten everything, just like they do to their own citizens - it'd be great!

    No, the fact is, with the US, France, Germany, and Japan alone, along with some locals, we could solve this problem. We can solve it without France or Germany too, but it'll end up taking longer and costing more. France and Germany are not participating because to do so would be to grant, willingly or otherwise, that they must have been wrong before. In other words, spite and the pursuit of power is trumping good judgement.

    The envy of smaller countries is a pattern running through this discussion. "Oh big US, why won't you chain yourself down with international treaties and give up your soveriegnty to bodies composed mostly of foreigners, so that we who are weak will not have to face the fact that you are not? And why do you go around using your strength? It makes us feel bad." Of course, they don't say it quite like that, but that is obviously what they're saying.

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

    [ Parent ]
    You're totally paranoid! It's so funny! (none / 0) (#478)
    by Nursie on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:32:15 PM EST

    the rest of the world is whining plaintively on the outside while slavering behind closed doors at the prospect of bringing US soldiers to trial as a way to exert leverage over our foriegn policy.
    Oh My God. You have such a high opinion of yourself!!! Such a fucking huge nationalist ego!!!

    Whilst you are a big player in the world, you are by no means the only one. Seriously, if you thing "the rest of the world" would stoop to that just for trade opportunities then you seriously overestimate your value.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Contra (none / 0) (#507)
    by dhk on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 04:59:25 AM EST

    they are NOT independent - they work for him, period.
    An interesting statement. This would mean, that there would never be a practical dissent between, say, C. Rice and D. Rumsfeld, rite? Because they are merely the puppets on the strings drawn by the president. He "does the job". That would mean that any responsibility is on the president. Always. No need to sack anybody, or only in the case he had thoughts on his own, correct? I must say that I always had another picture of a government and yours fails to please me. But, for sure, this is only a europeans view.

    rest of the world is whining plaintively on the outside while slavering behind closed doors at the prospect of bringing US soldiers to trial
    Doesn't it strike you as odd that you always seem to insinuate negative motives for all people outside the US? IS it unthinkable for you that somebody else may have as valid and as justified a motive as you have?

    Finally, the idea that Iraq cannot be made a stable country by the US, Japan, and Europe but COULD be made a stable country if only the UN were to take the reins is... um... fucking really retarded, and I know you don't actually believe it.
    You must be a great mind reader. But let us get to the facts. Maybe a quotation could illustrate my point a bit better:
    Meanwhile, America's longstanding defensive alliances were weakened, and the bulk of America's ground combat troops tied down in Iraq for what now appears to be many years to come. If that is making the country safer, it is hard to see how.[...]Before the Iraq fiasco..."
    (Source: The New York Times, 27.9.2004, "Opinion&commentary: A failed doctrine")
    If one subscribes to this view, obviously a position entertained not only by non-us-citizens, then it should become clear that the action called for is not a bashing of reluctant allies but a process of finding a consensus in order to establish a safe Iraq. No easy thing, for sure, but imho the only way to leave behind the "disaster Iraq".

    The envy of smaller countries is a pattern running through this discussion.
    Once more you insinuate motives, negative ones: Envy. If I may say so, I think that this tells more about your person than anything else.

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    Iraq problem (none / 0) (#530)
    by thejeff on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 01:42:09 PM EST

    No, the fact is, with the US, France, Germany, and Japan alone, along with some locals, we could solve this problem. We can solve it without France or Germany too, but it'll end up taking longer and costing more. France and Germany are not participating because to do so would be to grant, willingly or otherwise, that they must have been wrong before. In other words, spite and the pursuit of power is trumping good judgement.
    Perhaps they believe that adding more forces to the American approach is not the way to solve the problem.
    The difference between your suggestion of European countries pitching in and letting the UN take over is not one of additional force. As you say, Namibia could not make a significant contribution to an occupation run by America. Transfering control of the operation to the UN might help change local perception of the situation. It won't stop the current insurgents, but it could cut heavily into local recruitment.
    If France and Germany believe, not only that the initial invasion was a bad idea, but that current US strategy is also failing, then supporting it doesn't make sense. The US has asked for help, but has showed few signs of allowing real input into the top level decisions. Why should they help with a failing plan?

    [ Parent ]
    Heh (none / 0) (#294)
    by kurioszyn on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 11:50:06 PM EST

    " "Fine with us" would be the most frequent comment to this."

    Good, then there is an agreement.

    " Do you really think that refraining from the first type should automatically lead to ignoring all possibilities where the US could do a service to peace, side by side with nations from the rest of the world?"

    Refraining ? You mean nations are not supposed to take care of their own interests ?
    That's a fucking novel idea ..

    As far as doing "service to peace" , given hundreds of thousands of US lives lost and billions of dollars spent, all of that trying to keep Europeans from annihilating each other...
    I think that's is more than enough for another 300 years.

    Your turn my friend ..

    [ Parent ]

    My turn: (none / 0) (#521)
    by dhk on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 10:42:13 AM EST

    Refraining ? You mean nations are not supposed to take care of their own interests ?
    No, there is a misunderstanding here. I meant that it should be possible for a nation to find a course of action which allows a coordination with its allies. This, after all, is what the entire idea of alliance is about.

    I think that's is more than enough for another 300 years.
    You may say so. But, then, who is leaving the alliance?

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    Wrong Constituency, Pal (3.00 / 5) (#105)
    by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:50:01 AM EST

    Seriously, I think the vast majority of Americans would be happy to let the rest of the world go to hell.

    Contrary to that, the minority in America who control most of the wealth, require constant American intervention (military, insurgent (i.e. CIA), economic (i.e. statist corporate)) to keep the outsourced colonization process stable, and to continue the process of exploiting the rest of the world resources in order to keep America's standard of living high.

    If you don't understand this now, I'm sure Bush will let you know soon enough when he wins the election then sends your kids to die in Iranian and Syrian deserts. Your gasoline will eventually be cheaper, and I'm sure tooling around in your even-larger SUV will make up for those empty seats in back (when your sons are killed, you can tote around more camping gear anyway).


    [ Parent ]
    Anyone who believes this... (none / 0) (#300)
    by RyoCokey on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:33:16 AM EST

    ...fails to grasp history at even the most elementary level. The US has never had colonies even in the most philosophical sense of the word. Kindly note the decline of colonies in Africa, the nationalization of Middle Eastern oil reserves, and increasing free trade agreements with countries everywhere.

    Spare me the tired stupidities of IndyMedia.



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    [
    Parent ]
    No ? (3.00 / 2) (#312)
    by mrt on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:09:22 AM EST

    The US has never had colonies even in the most philosophical sense of the word.

    I seem to recall that the Phillipines was a colony. There was also something called a "concession" in Shanghai, through which American traders sold opium, but I guess that wasn't a "colony".

    Now tell me this. Does Germany have a military base in the US? Does Japan have a military base in the US? Does Turkey, South Korean, Cuba or Saudi Arabia have a military base in the US, where they can land planes, troops, weapons anytime they choose?
    I'm sure it doesn't mean that those countries are a "colony" of the US, but it certainly gives the US the military opportunity to enforce it's will in those parts of the world. I guess the fact that the Carlyle Group, the Bechtel Corporation and Halliburton also do very good business in those parts of the world has got nothing to do with the US military presence there?

    and increasing free trade agreements with countries everywhere.

    Just because it's called a "free trade agreement" doesn't mean it's "free". It usually means that you are now "free" to be subject to US law, in a US court.

    Spare me the tired stupidities of IndyMedia.

    Why, when you are not even smart enough to understand them.


    -

    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
    [ Parent ]
    I'll waste a little of my time on you (3.00 / 2) (#344)
    by RyoCokey on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:42:46 AM EST

    The Philliphines was a possession, but it provided little in the way of resources. It was more an economic drain on the US than any benefit, or use in force projection. To imply that it helped the US rise to power is absurd. The US didn't even bother to try to keep it after WW2.

    Our allies do not need individual bases in the US, we have a base-sharing agreement through NATO. They often have permenant stations at US bases.

    I guess the fact that the Carlyle Group, the Bechtel Corporation and Halliburton also do very good business in those parts of the world has got nothing to do with the US military presence there?

    That has to do with stability in the area, only marginally related to US troops.

    Free trade agreements have rarely been a means of imposing US will. See the multiple WTO rulings against the US, as well a judicial independence of our trading allies. Heck, the US adopted new laws with the Berne Convention to adhere to the European model of artists's rights.



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    [
    Parent ]
    Well, gee. (3.00 / 2) (#187)
    by mcc on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:23:38 PM EST

    I'm pretty sure that in 20 years when America is involved in a conflict where U.S. troops are being tortured by some foreign country or other that might have been following the Geneva Convention were it not that the U.S. led the civilized world into discarding it as inconvenient, this sort of logic ("Why should [X other country] care what Americans think of us?") will not be very comforting.

    [ Parent ]
    Grrr! (2.33 / 3) (#70)
    by jd on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 02:52:23 AM EST

    I wasn't quite quick enough to do the editing I wanted or that others had requested. Apologies for that. For those interested in such things, the section on the Iraqi prison can be found at the end of section III. They give some references to sources, but no URLs.

    On the subject of the US being able to survive wholly independently of any nation, I had actually written out quite a substantial piece on the subject. Depending on how voting goes, I may either resubmit the story with it added, or write it as a new story.

    In summary, a substantial amount of oil and food is imported into the US. Oil is vital not only for gasoline and road tar, but is key to the manufacture of synthetic materials such as plastics. Given how much plastic the US goes through each year, I think you'd notice if the country could no longer manufacture any.

    Oil and natural gas are also used to supply the US with electricity. Very little power is provided by nuclear energy, coal or alternative fuels. It would simply not be possible to build the additional power stations needed to keep the country going, if the US had to rely solely on what it alone could provide.

    Food-wise, much of the US is non-arrable. You have deserts, swamps, mountains, extremes of climate, cities in areas that might have been arrable, etc. Areas that are agriculture are largely turned over to cash crops, such as tobacco, corn, etc. The pilgrims survived famine, thanks to the donation of corn given by the natives (whose "reward" is well documented!) but it would be somewhat harder for Americans to survive solely on such a diet until enough land had been freed up to supply them.

    (Also, with no oil, transporting said food across the continent may prove rather awkward. Horse-drawn wagons really wouldn't cut it.)

    eh? (2.66 / 3) (#71)
    by khallow on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 04:24:24 AM EST

    On the subject of the US being able to survive wholly independently of any nation, I had actually written out quite a substantial piece on the subject. Depending on how voting goes, I may either resubmit the story with it added, or write it as a new story.

    Er, you should drop that. You need to research the issue first. I see several mistakes in your post.

    • Significant power comes from non-oil sources. In particular, you should research nuclear, coal, and hydroelectric. Oil makes up little electric power in the US, but virtually all transport.
    • Virtually all natural gas comes from the North America. This is starting to change with the construction of terminals for off-loading natural gas.
    • The US has significant reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal. It's just more expensive to extract most US oil than it is to extract and export Middle East oil.
    • The US has a lot of land for its inhabitants and is a net exporter of food. I just can't imagine how someone could think that the US needs to import food to feed its inhabitants.
    • Finally, there are more substitutes for oil. Eg, replacements for oil can be extracted from coal and biomass. They aren't currently because they are more expensive.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    Few nitpicks (none / 1) (#308)
    by mrt on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 02:56:04 AM EST

    Virtually all natural gas comes from the North America. This is starting to change with the construction of terminals for off-loading natural gas.

    By North America, I assume you are including Mexico? By "off loading" do you mean importing or exporting? The US is a net LNG importer. The largest *known* natural gas fields are Saudi Arabia, Russia and Australia. There is speculation that there is a HUGE natural gas field somewhere in central asia (one of the 'stans), but dozens of experts and millions of dollars have not been able to find it yet.

    The US has significant reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal. It's just more expensive to extract most US oil than it is to extract and export Middle East oil.

    With the exception of Alaska, all major US oil fields have already peaked, the US natural gas fields are not significant on a world scale, but you got one out of three correct, US still has plenty of coal (hey, here's some acid rain for you to enjoy). Better get working on that sequestering technology.

    The US has a lot of land for its inhabitants and is a net exporter of food. I just can't imagine how someone could think that the US needs to import food to feed its inhabitants.

    The US imports about 50% of it's stock feed from Canada. The US could easily independently feed it's population, but burgers would get a whole lot more expensive.

    Finally, there are more substitutes for oil. Eg, replacements for oil can be extracted from coal and biomass. They aren't currently because they are more expensive.

    Yes, but there is currently about 1.5 trillion dollars worth of oil infrastructure, which is not immediately suitable to the substitutes you mention. And that isn't even taking into consideration the massive cost/organisation/time it would take to bring the production quantity of those substitutes to anywhere near the current petroleum usage.

    For the best overview of the current state of energy resources around the world, I would recommend Paul Robert's book The End of Oil


    -

    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Few nitpicks (none / 0) (#486)
    by khallow on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 08:58:37 PM EST

    By North America, I assume you are including Mexico? By "off loading" do you mean importing or exporting? The US is a net LNG importer. The largest *known* natural gas fields are Saudi Arabia, Russia and Australia. There is speculation that there is a HUGE natural gas field somewhere in central asia (one of the 'stans), but dozens of experts and millions of dollars have not been able to find it yet.

    I also refer to Canada and the US. And I mean "importing", of course. US fields do still provide a significant minority of US oil still.

    With the exception of Alaska, all major US oil fields have already peaked, the US natural gas fields are not significant on a world scale, but you got one out of three correct, US still has plenty of coal (hey, here's some acid rain for you to enjoy). Better get working on that sequestering technology.

    But the US still has significant fields of oil and natural gas. My point here isn't that the US will blissfully forge on, but that the US won't run out of oil as long as it's willing to pay the price.

    The US imports about 50% of it's stock feed from Canada. The US could easily independently feed it's population, but burgers would get a whole lot more expensive.

    Doesn't change my point. The US is a net exporter of food. More expensive hamburgers (and more expensive food in general) isn't relevant.

    Yes, but there is currently about 1.5 trillion dollars worth of oil infrastructure, which is not immediately suitable to the substitutes you mention. And that isn't even taking into consideration the massive cost/organisation/time it would take to bring the production quantity of those substitutes to anywhere near the current petroleum usage.

    You're handwaving here as bad as I was. "immediately suitable"? "massive cost/organisation/time"? Yes, that's true as far as you go. More words but the same meaning "more expensive". Plus, you ignore that much of that infrastructure can be "immediately" reused as long as gasoline is eventually produced at the refineries. Ie, if I can burn whatever it is in current engines or furnaces, then there's no need to change the distribution architecture or the machines consuming the fuel. I imagine that's a significant portion (if not most) of your infrastructure right there.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    Couple of things (none / 0) (#517)
    by mrt on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 08:04:44 PM EST

    But the US still has significant fields of oil and natural gas. My point here isn't that the US will blissfully forge on, but that the US won't run out of oil as long as it's willing to pay the price.

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "pay the price". The US does not currently produce enough oil and natural gas to meet current US demand. So going "cold turkey" from foreign oil/gas would require a significant change in US energy consumption patterns. Is that what you mean by "pay the price"?

    You're handwaving here as bad as I was. "immediately suitable"? "massive cost/organisation/time"? Yes, that's true as far as you go. More words but the same meaning "more expensive". Plus, you ignore that much of that infrastructure can be "immediately" reused as long as gasoline is eventually produced at the refineries. Ie, if I can burn whatever it is in current engines or furnaces, then there's no need to change the distribution architecture or the machines consuming the fuel. I imagine that's a significant portion (if not most) of your infrastructure right there.

    Well, I've mixed up distribution/consumption and production infrastructure, so let's separate them out.

    As for distribution/consumption infrastructure, you have refineries, transport, retail pumping stations (which we call petrol stations, and you call gas stations) and cars. Plu the infrastructure in place to make internal combustion engines, fuel injection systems and transmissions.
    So for that investment to be preserved, your substitute would need to be close to a 1 to 1 match for petroleum (gasoline). Can you give me a reference, web or otherwise, that describes the type of fuel produced from coal and biomass. Is it low/high cetane fuel?

    As for production, the US currently consumes approx. 20 million barrels per day of crude, of which roughly 40% is imported. That means a production of 8 million barrels per day (about 2 billion barrels per year) would be needed to be oil self sufficient. Again, if you can give me link to information about petroleum production from biomass or coal, then I would have a better idea of the magnitude of the cost of building enough coal/biomass refineries to produce 2 billion barrels of crude substitute per year.


    -

    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Couple of things (none / 0) (#520)
    by khallow on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 09:13:37 AM EST

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "pay the price". The US does not currently produce enough oil and natural gas to meet current US demand. So going "cold turkey" from foreign oil/gas would require a significant change in US energy consumption patterns. Is that what you mean by "pay the price"?

    It's not magical. The cost of gasoline and other oil derivatives would go up. Supply goes up and demand goes down. Currently, a lot of the oil that can be extracted in the US just isn't economical. You would see a substantial more or less immediate jump in domestic oil production followed by significant increases as new investments in oil wells and such are made.

    My point here is that there's a lot of oil and oil substitutes in the US. We don't use them now because they are more expensive. As the price of crude oil increases, new or existing sources become economical to exploit.

    As for distribution/consumption infrastructure, you have refineries, transport, retail pumping stations (which we call petrol stations, and you call gas stations) and cars. Plu the infrastructure in place to make internal combustion engines, fuel injection systems and transmissions. So for that investment to be preserved, your substitute would need to be close to a 1 to 1 match for petroleum (gasoline). Can you give me a reference, web or otherwise, that describes the type of fuel produced from coal and biomass. Is it low/high cetane fuel?

    Hrmmm, here's a study comparing emissions of coal derived fuels to industry equivalents. The coal derived fuels appear to include US "regular" gasoline, several variants of diesel, and "Jet A" fuel. That pretty much covers the fuel types used in most of US transportation. For diesel engines (for which the cetane number is valid) they get cetane numbers between 42 and 47.5.

    As for production, the US currently consumes approx. 20 million barrels per day of crude, of which roughly 40% is imported. That means a production of 8 million barrels per day (about 2 billion barrels per year) would be needed to be oil self sufficient. Again, if you can give me link to information about petroleum production from biomass or coal, then I would have a better idea of the magnitude of the cost of building enough coal/biomass refineries to produce 2 billion barrels of crude substitute per year.

    Well, I too lack sufficient enthusiasm. As I mentioned before, the price of crude oil will go up, domestic supply will go up, and demand will decline. It will stabalize somewhere. I imagine that we would (hand-wavingly) be talking hundreds of billions in new investments (ie, a significant fraction of existing oil infrastructure) at the least depending on what can be reused and adapted. It's stupendous, but short term investments of that size can be managed by the US.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    not arable?? (2.50 / 2) (#93)
    by cronian on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:55:54 AM EST

    Look at a map of the US. There is tons of arable land in the US. However, food prices have been low, and many farms have been going out of business. In case you haven't noticed, urban sprawl has been eating up more and more arable land.

    In the US, water for irrigation is a much more important issue, than non-arable land. However. the issue is worst in the west. Throughout, the midwest, south, and about everywhere else in the US, there is tons of arable land. Food consumption in the US is high, and lots of land is used for feeding cattle, and the US still exports grain. Most US food imports are speciality items, while the staples foods are grown in the US including corn, wheat, soy beans, rice, along with everything else.

    We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
    [ Parent ]
    Whaaaaaat? (2.50 / 2) (#102)
    by Peahippo on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:39:23 AM EST

    Oil and natural gas are also used to supply the US with electricity. Very little power is provided by nuclear energy, coal or alternative fuels. It would simply not be possible to build the additional power stations needed to keep the country going, if the US had to rely solely on what it alone could provide.

    Since the electricity generation shares for America, by fuel source, are coal 50%, nuclear 20%, and natural gas 10%, I'm extremely curious what your definition of "very little" is. Also note oil accounts for 2%.


    [ Parent ]
    Email editors@kuro5hin.org with your changes. (none / 1) (#154)
    by mcc on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:36:22 PM EST

    Or hunt aph or ct down on IRC. They have the ability to alter stories that are already in voting, or move them back to editing, and will do so if you ask nicely. And fixing the title is probably worth the bother if nothing else.

    [ Parent ]
    I'm tempted (2.50 / 2) (#226)
    by calimehtar on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:55:10 PM EST

    To vote this up just so I can join the debate about whether the US should give a damn about human rights as long as there are other countries that torture.

    I think, though, that you just kill the story and resubmit it with your edits, so I'm voting it down. Sorry.

    +++

    The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


    [ Parent ]
    Agricuture & Energy (none / 1) (#292)
    by alaplume on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 11:24:33 PM EST

    Just want to add that factory farming techniques widely used in the US are highly dependant on petrochemical inputs including fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, not to mention the diesel required to run the equipment. A severe oil shortage would essentially roll back the green revolution and reduce crop yield significantly.

    [ Parent ]
    Yeah that's all well and good, (1.53 / 15) (#79)
    by Esspets on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:26:25 AM EST

    but "Human Rights Watch", an organisation whose principles are dubious and highly subjective have little to no concern over the hijinx of UN soldiers in foreign lands, which range from roasting Somali children over pit fires, to running prostitution rings in almost every UN-occupied country, widespread rape, and indifference to genocide. All I see is pleas to the organisation and praise of the US's treatment of handicapped retards. Where's the outrage girls, where's the outrage?


    Desperation.
    what outrage? (2.33 / 3) (#84)
    by Patrick2 on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 07:55:17 AM EST

    an organisation whose principles are dubious and highly subjective
    Elaborate on that highly subjective statement of yours.

    ...have little to no concern over the hijinx of UN soldiers in foreign lands
    Get your facts straight.

    What is the connection between your unsubstantial comment and a report for human rights violation by a specific country?

    If you want to discredit the HRW you have to come up with *some* substance. Weak trolling, better luck next time.

    [ Parent ]

    My people, they are outraged. (none / 1) (#186)
    by Esspets on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:16:43 PM EST

    P.S. it was flamebait not a troll, mark.


    Desperation.
    [ Parent ]
    Esspets has quotas to meet, but meanwhile (3.00 / 5) (#193)
    by mcc on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 07:25:46 PM EST

    Back in reality, Human Rights Watch has an entire page dedicated to the shortcomings of the U.N.'s human rights program worldwide, and has a number of reports discussing or condemning sexual assault, rape and participation in the sex trade by U.N. peacekeeping forces. They also came out in strong opposition to a modification to ICC rules that would exempt U.N. peacekeeping forces from being charged with war crimes.

    You can perhaps find specific incidents of various sorts which Human Rights Watch has not covered. This is a very poor basis on which to attack either them or their methodology. Like any organization they have limited resources and you cannot expect them to cover absolutely everything.

    [ Parent ]

    the truth for the propganda-addled (1.32 / 28) (#104)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:45:14 AM EST

    there is a dam in front of you

    one fire hose size hole gushes water

    another pinky size hole squirts it

    which do you fill?

    many say "i'm an american citizen, i can't influence china, syria, iran"

    well, if you are going to talk about the us on the world stage, it is a fallacy to constrict your criticism to the us

    you cannot talk about an international problem from a domestic perspective

    you either get an international perspective

    or you constrict your pov to domestic problems

    it's your choice, but don't think that criticism of the us while ignoring syria, iran, china makes any sense: it's foundation is logically inconsistent

    http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/10/12/2335/1476/39#39

    Here's the truth that you will not accept:  China, Iran, Saudi Arabia are NOT going to change because you CRITICIZE them.  They don't give a fuck that you think they are evil.  Everyone knows they are, but criticizing them for it is pointless.
    We live in a democracy and that is our only advantage over those regimes.  Unlike any of those other countries, us citizens of the U.S. have the ability to hold our leaders accountable for whatever atrocities are committed.  Out of all the countries you mention, we are the only ones where the people can say to their government "Hey!  What you're doing is wrong, so fucking cut it out!" and actually have the desired effect instead of being shot.

    simple outrage at human rights abuses should naturally gravitate to the largest outrages

    otherwise, there is no real human conscience about human rights abuses at work

    another agenda, or a misunderstanding of the world, is at work instead if criticism of the us makes sense to you on the issue of human rights abuses

    criticize those who have a conscience, because they will listen to you and ignore those who won't listen to you, who are doing the most damage?

    just wow

    to do that is not to really have a human consicence

    no, for real: a human conscience about human rights abuses honestly does not function that way

    outrage at human rights abuses is simply that: outrage at human rights abuses

    and it naturally gravitates towards the greatest abuse

    do human rights end at the rio grande?

    no?

    you mean they extend to everyone in the world?

    really?

    then why does your human conscience end at the rio grande then?

    believe it or not, the world does not revolve around the united states

    this is what many critics of the us apparently believe: they can't conceive of the world outside the us as consequential to the fight for human rights

    therefore, such people are nationalistic, tribal, racist

    just because people are brown, doesn't mean the fight for their rights is any less than the fight for yours, or should be held to a lower standard: "they're brown people, they can't fight for rights with the same ability us wasps can"

    those words make sense?

    THAT IS BASICALLY THE ENTIRE RATIONALE BEHIND CRITICIZING THE US AND IGNORING PLACES LIKE CHINA, SYRIA, IRAN ON THE ISSUE OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    such a pov is provincial, xenophobic, inward, backwards, naive, uneducated... such people need to study the world: it is a big world, there actually exists a world outside the united states

    plenty of people need to learn that

    they need to visit, live in, or study: djakarta, dili, dhaka, dakar

    it's a big world out there, it does not revolve around the us, as critics of the us apprently believe, due to a stilted agenda or poor education or simple bigotry or racism

    once again, plain and simple:

    you cannot talk about an international problem from a domestic perspective

    you either get an international perspective

    or you constrict your pov to domestic problems

    therefore, you criticize the largest human rights abusers on the issue of human rights, or you in actuality don't care about human rights: you have another agenda, or you don't understand the world

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

    same tired old crap there CTS. (none / 1) (#107)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:12:25 AM EST

    Seriously, give it a break.



    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    it is tired old crap (1.20 / 5) (#111)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:24:01 AM EST

    it functions as boilerplate response to the same tired crap i keep hearing: focusing on the us on issues like human rights when if you REALLY CARED ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS, the us wouldn't be your primary focus

    i'll stop regurgitating it when people stop being such utter morons on issues like this


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

    [ Parent ]

    Y'ever think you're in the minority there? (3.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:27:45 AM EST

    With tat particular viewpoint? I have yet to se anyone come out in agreement with you.

    I think it's because people get upset when their own government do this shit, with their tax dollars. People who are, y'know, supposed to be the very embodiement of the american way.....

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    fuck the american way (1.00 / 5) (#116)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:29:25 AM EST

    fuck the us

    i am a citizen of the world

    it's interesting that in world problems, you can't conceive of a global pov

    you're hoplessly inward and xenophobic

    do you honestly believe that a us-centered pov is helping the global situation you profess to care about?


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

    [ Parent ]

    Nope i don't (none / 1) (#121)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:34:50 AM EST

    I don't have a us centred view. I think the US is a major force for evil in the world through raping the developing world of resources and fucking the rest of us with restrictive trade agreements if we don't fall into line with the ultra capitalism you preach.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (1.00 / 5) (#125)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:42:22 AM EST

    yes, the us is rich because of sweat shops in indonesia of course

    it has nothing to do with it's SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT of course

    i mean it's been around 200 years: clearly enough time to dominate thousand year old civilizations! how did it do this? channelling satan of course!

    and when some asshole dictator does something in the world, it is of course the us pulling the strings in the background

    it of course has NOTHING to do with the local bribery and corruption: it's the us's fault, we control everything: we made aids, we made chernobyl, we are responsible for the corn on your grandmother's toe

    now if you will excuse me, i have to go put on my cowboy hat and go drink oil from the skull of an iraqi child, YEEHA!

    you are really one of the dumbest fucks i have met here in a long time

    your view of the world is cartoonish, you are about as useful to the subject matter you involve yourself in as a tit on a crocodile

    no really: you are a racist, cartoon-addled fuck

    you bring a smile to my face: knowing how FUCKING STUPID the likes of you really are


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

    [ Parent ]

    Fuck off until you get a brain (none / 1) (#127)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:46:13 AM EST

    The amount of shit the US has pulled in the last hundred years is immense. I don't care if you think it pales in comparison to other places in the world, i think it ought to stop. When you post an article about abuses in china, then I'll pitch in on that topic too. until then - STFU.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    ah yes, the cold war demons (1.00 / 4) (#128)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:48:20 AM EST

    what the us did in the cold war is focused on by the likes of you, but what the soviet block did?

    well, i didn't hear about all of that

    mainly because i'm so insluar and inbred i can't conceive of a world outside the wasp sphere

    (snicker)

    i only see the bad the us does, and the bad everyone else does: well i don't hear about that, so it doesn't inform my opinion

    because i'm so insular and xenophobic

    that's you dude, that's you

    ;-)

    keep it up, you have no idea how bigots and xenophobic assholes like you fill me with glee ;-)


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

    [ Parent ]

    I'll keep entertaining you then (none / 1) (#132)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:55:15 AM EST

    I know the horrors comitted by others in the cold war. I know of the evil oppression that engulfed russia and most of eastern europe. I DON'T THINK THAT SOMEONE ELSE'S EVIL EXCUSES YOUr OWN
    You fucking apologist.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (1.16 / 6) (#136)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:02:19 PM EST

    ah yes, the pov that thinks that you can solve conflict by disavowing yourself from it

    you're very self-centered, you know that?

    you really don;t care about much except yourself?

    let us begin the basic education of nursie:

    1. human beings have ideas
    2. human beings have passion in ideas
    3. human beings have enough passion in their ideas that they will go to deadly force about them
    IT'S NOT ABOUT THE US YOU STPIUD FUCK

    IT'S HUMAN NATURE YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH

    but that's ok, you go t me now, we can reeducate you about simple human nature and reveal you racism and selfishness and remove your psychological obsession with the us as the embodiment of your problems with the world

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

    [ Parent ]

    I do have a problem with human nature (none / 1) (#139)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:06:51 PM EST

    I think it's dumb, base and violent. But I also think it need not be, and should be more cerebral.

    I think that a country that claims to be the land of the free and defender of the free world whould be doing that.

    Still have yet to be persuaded that I'm racist though. Repeating something doesn't make it true.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    yes, you have a problem with the us (1.00 / 4) (#140)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:10:21 PM EST

    we know that

    but it's a psychological symbol of a deeper problem you have with human nature

    and you are still obsessed with the us as being the defender of certain principles

    dude: YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE HERE SUPPLYING US WITH THAT POV

    therefore, you are the one hung up on that, you are the one with that issue

    NO ONE ELSE HERE LABORS UNDER THE ASSSUMPTION THE US IS A BRAVE DEFENDER OF THE WORLD EXCEPT YOU

    perhaps because, as a wasp-heavy state, you buy into the us as being "more able to defende all that is good"

    eg, all that is white

    you are a racist, you really are

    only a racist pov WOULD LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE THAT THE US IS SOMEHOW MORE ABLE TO DEFEND LIFE AND LIBERTY

    the truth is, it is the responsibility of every human being on this planet

    you can stop hating the us, as soon as you recognize the us IS JUST ANOTHER COUNTRY


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

    [ Parent ]

    Ah-ha-h-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!! (3.00 / 2) (#144)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:23:41 PM EST

    Keep buildin those straw men, eventually you'll burn yourself to death!
    NO ONE ELSE HERE LABORS UNDER THE ASSSUMPTION THE US IS A BRAVE DEFENDER OF THE WORLD EXCEPT YOU
    What about half the fucking US population! You ought to hear the rhetoric that spews from your own figurehead!
    I don't think the US is or should be a defender of anything, but I do think it tries to set itself up as one.

    The US may well be able to defend stuff better than anyone else, but that's because it's run by war mongering militarist fuckheads! I sure as fuck don't think that's a good thing!

    I don't think the US should be the world's policeman! I think it should pack up it's shit and quit interfering most of the time.

    Come on now, I know you can manage another straw man!

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    we already wnet over this (1.33 / 3) (#146)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:24:48 PM EST

    blind love of us is stupid

    blind hate is too

    intelligence is this: the us does good and bad in the world

    get it retard?


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

    [ Parent ]

    WOW! some common ground! (none / 1) (#148)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:29:29 PM EST

    I never said it didn't do good things, and I don't blame the US for all the world's ills!

    What I don't like is people telling me I should STFU about the bad simply because worse goes on elsewhere.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    common ground? (1.33 / 3) (#151)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:33:08 PM EST

    i think not

    The amount of shit the US has pulled in the last hundred years is immense. I don't care if you think it pales in comparison to other places in the world, i think it ought to stop. When you post an article about abuses in china, then I'll pitch in on that topic too. until then - STFU.

    http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/10/12/2335/1476/117#117

    you are apparently in need of a good argument with yourself, the hypocrisy evident between the parent comment here and this linked comment further convinces me of exactly how fucking stupid some of the people i meet on kuro5hin are

    no really, you got serious problems

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

    [ Parent ]

    How is that inconsistent. (none / 1) (#153)
    by Nursie on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:35:34 PM EST

    I think the US has pulled a lot of shit in the last hundred years - I never said either that the US was responsible for all the shit in the world, nor that it was entirely bad! Yet another straw man!

    You're nothing but a whiny apologist who can't actually fault my position so you resort to attacking things I'm not. Fine by me, makes you look all the more like an asshole.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    what you miss abot me (1.33 / 3) (#163)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:45:05 PM EST

    i am a globalist, america means nothing to me, it's just a stupid country

    why must you view the world only through the blinders of nationalism and racism? why can't you see the world? why you are you obsessed with its stupid tribes?

    the us does good, and bad in the world, and has done good, and bad throughout the 20th century, and continues to do so, as does much of the nations of the world and its peoples

    any other pov is nationalistic tribal racist propaganda


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

    [ Parent ]

    I don't miss what you claim for yourself. (none / 1) (#245)
    by Nursie on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 06:10:28 AM EST

    "i am a globalist, america means nothing to me, it's just a stupid country"
    You're pretty quick to try and turn attention away from the actions of its administration though aren't you?

    I've never claimed other than the us does good and bad, and that it is most certainly not the only source of bad in the world, any other view is plain stupid.

    It's you that is the racist though, because you cannot consider that a so called WASPY nation could commit serious human rights abuses and seek to ignore them when they do.

    Anyway, as I have said many times, you used to be entertaining, now you're just a one-line arsewit with a vendetta against straw men and a seemingly pro-bush agenda.

    Just for the record - one more time - I'm not american, so you can quit your whining about my us perspective. Also I agree with you that nation states are an outdated and divisive concept, but the are there whether you wish to recognise them or not.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    it really is true (1.75 / 4) (#210)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:53:49 PM EST

    the issue front and center about focusing on the western world, and anti-us is focusing on the western world, is the the obvious thought showing through their transparency: "how does it affect me"

    these people don't actually genuinely care about human rights or the third world

    they only care about the concept as far as they can understand it through their own selfishness

    they are genuinely inbred, provincial fools

    it is usually the right that is considered xenophobic

    the sad truth is, there are plenty of really dumb, clueless, never been outside the us retards on the left too

    blindly embracing the us is stupid

    BLINDLY ATTACKING IT IS TOO

    ONLY A TRULY GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE, WITH ALL ABUSES BY ALL COUNTRIES IN PERSPECTIVE, SCALE, CONTEXT IS TRUE HUMAN CONSCIENCE, TRUE HUMAN MORALITY

    all else is self-serving tripe

    anti-us bashers, who ignore the mikes of syria, iran, iraq, to obsess about a handful of mostly terrorist asshoels in guantanamo: they honestly do not understand the world, they honestly do not understand human rights


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

    [ Parent ]

    I agree with him (2.50 / 6) (#204)
    by godix on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 08:54:58 PM EST

    The majority of times I hear people complain about 'rights' of any sort it means one of two things. Either some law has just been passed that they don't like OR it's a convient excuse to bash somebody they already don't like.

    K5 is full of people who bitch that the Patriot Act violates rights while ignoring that many here live in a country that has closed circuit cameras on street corners to track what their citizens are doing. People here used to whine about how sanctions in Iraq were killing millions (or so they claimed) but now claim that sanctions weren't given enough time and war killed thousands. Bush is compared to Hitler or Stalin but the mass graves in Iraq are waved away as unimportant. Bush is accused of making policy based on his oil connections but the recent accusations of France, Germany, and Russia being influenced by oil voucers in exchange for their support of Hussein doesn't even get covered here.

    CTS is right. K5 in actuality don't care about human rights: K5 has another agenda or K5 doesn't understand the world.



    - An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
    [ Parent ]

    C'mon, noone CTS is arguing with says that! (3.00 / 2) (#251)
    by Nursie on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 06:38:08 AM EST

    "People here used to whine about how sanctions in Iraq were killing millions (or so they claimed) but now claim that sanctions weren't given enough time and war killed thousands."
    The sanctions punished the people as much as saddam, so were bad. The war has punished the people more than saddam and so is bad. Two things can both be bad you know!
    It does appear that the sanctions did stop him getting any WMDs though, and you'll find that most people weren't crowing about sanctions being given any more time, but Hans Blix, who needed a few more months to complete his report.

    If you find anyone that says the mass graves are unimportant or should be ignored then give them a slap for me, there's a good chap. It's ridiculous that anyone would consider those topics to be unworthy of horror.

    However it does not excuse the actions at abu-ghraib, nor does it obscure the stench of corporatism and cronyism that's coming from the current US administration - and the factor that clinches it is that Bush (and others) spend almost as much time trying to weasel out of allegations as they do shouting their virtues from the rooftops.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Few are agreeing with it either (2.50 / 2) (#270)
    by godix on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 06:20:42 PM EST

    The sanctions punished the people as much as saddam, so were bad. The war has punished the people more than saddam and so is bad.

    So what you're saying is that no matter which action the US took you'd still whine about how bad it is? This is the type of thinking that makes me lumped K5 into the 'doesn't understand the world' catagory.

    If you find anyone that says the mass graves are unimportant or should be ignored then give them a slap for me, there's a good chap. It's ridiculous that anyone would consider those topics to be unworthy of horror.

    I can point to dozens of recent articles about how bad America is. Can you point me to a single recent article on K5 dealing primarily with the Iraqi mass graves, Darfur, or other non-US human right issues? That is the type of thing that makes me lump K5 into the 'has another agenda' catagory.

    However it does not excuse the actions at abu-ghraib, nor does it obscure the stench of corporatism and cronyism that's coming from the current US administration

    You respond to someone critizing you for bashing US and ignoring other, worse, events by bashing the US. Thank you for providing further proof that you have an agenda and it isn't human rights.

    For the third time, K5 in actuality doesn't care about human rights: K5 has another agenda or K5 doesn't understand the world.


    - An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
    [ Parent ]

    Well, I'll agree with one small piece... (none / 0) (#280)
    by jd on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 08:14:05 PM EST

    For the third time, K5 in actuality doesn't care about human rights

    K5 is a computer program. As such, K5 doesn't care about anything at all. It is even arguable that, as computer programs have no physical existance (they are represented by the flow of electrons in a circuit, but there is no direct relationship between the two) that computer programs don't even exist in any meaningful sense.

    After that, however, I can't agree with much that anyone has said. First off, no man (or woman) is an island. Total isolation doesn't exist. It is an illusion, if not a delusion. You are affected by the actions not just of every person but of everything on this planet. You cannot avoid it.

    As such, understanding the world is not merely an academic exercise, or even an option for those with the time. It's essential and inescapable if you want to live by more than pure chance and happenstance every day of your life.

    Was it right to remove Saddam? The jury is out on that one. He was cruel and sadistic, but if we end up replacing him with someone worse, then what have we achieved?

    (And by "replace", I don't just mean whoever wins the elections, but who actually runs the country. And not just in January, but for as many years as Iraq is pivotal in Middle Eastern affairs.)

    So far, the level of chaos is on the increase. Entire buildings, containing nuclear material, are missing. the Interim President's chance of staying in power are growing weaker, as he not only fails to deliver anything, but as the US is diverting money from reconstruction to chasing the insurgents they let in in the first place.

    The place is a mess. A mess with a large amount of nuclear material missing, presumed stolen, with the US and Iraqi authorities largely ignoring the situation.

    [ Parent ]

    Why so black and white? (none / 0) (#284)
    by Nursie on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 09:29:57 PM EST

    "So what you're saying is that no matter which action the US took you'd still whine about how bad it is? This is the type of thinking that makes me lumped K5 into the 'doesn't understand the world' catagory."
    Who said the US had to take action? who said there wasn't a third way (such as making damned sure he got no foothold with WMD programs whilst allowing food and meds through) ??
    " I can point to dozens of recent articles about how bad America is. Can you point me to a single recent article on K5 dealing primarily with the Iraqi mass graves, Darfur, or other non-US human right issues?"
    Perhaps you'd like to write one?
    Can you point me at a single story that says they aren't important?
    "You respond to someone critizing you for bashing US and ignoring other, worse, events by bashing the US. Thank you for providing further proof that you have an agenda and it isn't human rights."
    Actually I don't, I respond to someone criticising me for even thinking about bashing the US with reasons why we should basjh the US, sorry if I reply to an argument with a counter argument there...... does a little intelligent debate disturb you or something?
    I'm making the point that he is not right to try and turn attention away from the US, nor any other rights violating nation. Seriously, I don't think the US is all bad, neither do i think the US is responsible for all te world's badness. But I don't see why I shouldn't turn my attention to it as much as I do to anything else. Especially when it expends so much effort telling the world how great and free it is.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Then show me I'm wrong (none / 0) (#299)
    by godix on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:32:47 AM EST

    I'm making the point that he is not right to try and turn attention away from the US ... I don't see why I shouldn't turn my attention to it as much as I do to anything else.

    Care to provide an example of this attention to 'anything else' (human rights related) that wasn't about the US? I'll make this easy for you, I won't ask for proof of an equal amount of attention you gave the entire article. Instead just link to 12 previous posts about non-US human rights to counter the dozen posts you made in this thread alone and I'll freely declare I was wrong about you. If your agenda really is human rights instead of bashing the US then this should be an easy challenge for you.


    - An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
    [ Parent ]
    Why I have made a dozen posts in this thread. (none / 0) (#328)
    by Nursie on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 06:24:52 AM EST

    I have made a dozen posts in this thread because CTS and now you both keep denying that the subject is worthy of any attention. I have not made a dozen posts all seperately slagging off the US, I have been having a fucking discussion, retard.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Oh, incidently (none / 0) (#303)
    by godix on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:42:43 AM EST

    Have you been around enough to recall the gag 'but Saddam gasses his own people' that was being run into the ground about a year ago and was used to mock humanitarian concerns in Iraq? While it's not an article about how K5 doesn't care about non-US commited mass murder in Iraq it is a long running series of comments about it. I'm still waiting for a recent article that shows K5 is concerned about non-US commited mass murder. Just provide me the link(s) and I'll publically appologize to you and anyone else I may have insulted with my comments.


    - An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
    [ Parent ]
    Cough up those apologies (none / 0) (#322)
    by rob1 on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:23:09 AM EST

    Oops!

    Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
    [ Parent ]

    Alrighty (none / 0) (#452)
    by godix on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 08:05:55 PM EST

    As rob1 indicated, if you go back three months (and past 9 US human rights stories) you will find that K5 did indeed have a story about Sudan. Obviously I was wrong. I appologize to anyone I've insulted by indicating 100% of the time K5 discusses human rights it's about the US when the true figure is a mere 90%.


    - An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
    [ Parent ]
    Well it appears we will have the opportunity (none / 0) (#329)
    by Nursie on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 06:57:36 AM EST

    to talk about abuses elswhere in the world now, because we have a story on Sudan.

    I have been around since about the beginning of k5, but only sde-lurked about two years ago. I do not recall the jokes you are referring to.
    I have never considered the humanitarian crisis in Iraq to be a joke, I do however object to the US and UK govt's disingenuous and incorrect propaganda to try and sell an unwilling (in the Uk at least) public on the idea of invasion.

    FYI I don't just US bash, I think Russia has a lot to answer for with abuses in chechnya, I think China has a lot to answer for everywhere it touches, I think North Korea is probably in need of a lot of help and in fact I think (as I have said in other posts in this thread) that the whole world is pretty fucked at the moment.

    None of this means I can't discuss the US on some flimsy pretext that it's not as bad as the others. ANY ABUSE IS BAD, EVEN IF DONE IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND WHAT IS RIGHT, because if abuse is perpetrated for those causes, the cause is lost.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Useless pov (none / 1) (#264)
    by bradasch on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 11:18:37 AM EST

    You know, the same back at you: you agree with cts because he sings the song you want to hear.

    It's useless to take extremists as the rule. cts is one, the author of the article is another and both are utterly useless for the real world.

    If you think K5 has "another agenda", then welcome, but beware, the illuminati are coming for you.

    If K5 "doesn't understand the world", while obviously you do, the please, say something to enlighten us. I've seen nothing of that in this thread.

    ;-)

    [ Parent ]

    Wasting my time (2.33 / 3) (#271)
    by godix on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:06:27 PM EST

    If K5 "doesn't understand the world", while obviously you do, the please, say something to enlighten us.

    While I'm sure you meant that insultingly I'm at work and bored so I'll waste my time and respond.

    Human Rights Watch and other similar groups have much to say about a lot more subjects than this one article covers. Human right issues don't suddenly appear once someone puts up an article and they certainly don't disappear once the article gets old. If you really want to gain a better understanding of how the world works then
    pay more attention to the world, you could start by seeing what Human Rights Watch has to say on other issues since that's somewhat relevent to the topic of this article.

    It'd also help if you started thinking for yourself instead of mindlessly spewing out whatever the groupthink complaint of the day is. I imagine that's probably to much to ask from the typical K5 user though.



    - An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
    [ Parent ]

    Let me waste mine too... (none / 0) (#285)
    by bradasch on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 10:10:07 PM EST

    You fall for the same bullshit cts does. This article (and I never said I agree or disagree with it) is about Human Rights Watch on the US abuses. If you, like cts think this kind of thing should not be written without bringing up everyone who is or has ever abused human rights anywhere, then I, sincerely don't understand you.

    "While I'm sure you meant that insultingly"...

    No, I didn't. You see, to defend cts pov you brought several issues about Iraq, and said that human rights aren't really what is important for the K5 groupthink (as you call it). That is bullshit. You accused me (and a lot of people) of being insensitive to human rights and everything else because I didn't buy *your* agenda.

    Seriously, I don't mean to insult anyone, but if you consider disagreeing with you insulting, then I guess it would be too much to ask from the typical K5 basher.

    If you think we should vote down this article because it speaks badly of the us without mentioning other "evil" countries, then you should too, like cts, remove the plank from your eye. The article has a point, even if you disagree with it. If you think there are bigger issues, write an article about them or point good articles about them, but don't stand bashing this one. It makes you look silly.

    [ Parent ]

    You just don't get it (3.00 / 1) (#296)
    by godix on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:09:41 AM EST

    It's not that I think every article about rights should be 'bringing up everyone who is or has ever abused human rights anywhere', it's that the ONLY time K5 talks about human rights is if it directly involves the US. If you see a group of people totally ignore what the UN states is the worse humanitarian crisis currently (Darfur for those who don't know) get so worked up about US abuse of rights you gotta wonder. Until someone can point me to a recent human rights article that is NOT about the US then CTS is correct, K5 has an agenda and it isn't human rights.


    - An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
    [ Parent ]
    Hey biff (none / 0) (#317)
    by rob1 on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:42:51 AM EST

    ever notice which country is the focus of 90% of the non-human-rights related articles on this site? Hint: It ain't the Sudan.

    And maybe you should get off your high horse and actually read the site if you believe that K5 "totally ignored" Darfur.

    Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
    [ Parent ]

    YOU are K5 (none / 0) (#319)
    by Patrick2 on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:00:31 AM EST

    just like everyone else around here. If you, CTS or anyone else thought there is a subject worth discussing then bring it up!

    Stop complaining about agendas you have an influence on, be it on K5,UK,US,whatever. Start participating by writing articles.

    [ Parent ]

    It's like I said (none / 0) (#334)
    by bradasch on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:46:18 AM EST

    If you feel like bringing up other issues, then, by all means, do so, and if you write a decent article, it will be voted up.

    I remember seeing articles and discussions here on K5 about Sudan. If you don't, maybe searching on google will bring it up to you.

    cts is right in pointing that there are other issues beside this article, but is wrong to criticise who wrote the article because of other issues. It's that simple.

    [ Parent ]

    If you really cared about human rights (none / 1) (#229)
    by mcgrew on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 11:42:15 PM EST

    you would support [insert appropriate entity here]

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Good grief is it ever.. [n/t] (none / 1) (#150)
    by sudog on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:30:37 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    why? (none / 1) (#265)
    by bradasch on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 11:25:47 AM EST

    why would he?

    he has audience for the old crap!


    [ Parent ]

    How funny (none / 1) (#200)
    by trhurler on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 08:31:22 PM EST

    You realize that if the American people cared, they'd do what they always do, right? I mean, do you really want to invade China?:)

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

    [ Parent ]
    what is right in this world (1.00 / 3) (#212)
    by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:01:58 PM EST

    is also aboout the cost involved to make it right too

    before 9/11, americans could not stomach hundred of body bags coming from iraq

    after 9/11, it is apparent that it's either hundreds of body bags in iraq, or hundreds of thousand body bags in baltimore or seattle, because the middle east exports its loonies over here, so the middle east needs to be fixed by americans, because the middle east has made their problems our problems

    if china invades taiwan, it will be koreans and japanese and russians and mongolians who have the most to lose: they are next on the han imperialist's list, but i think americans won't give a fuck: exactly how does it affect them?

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

    [ Parent ]

    heh (none / 0) (#255)
    by phred on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 08:24:56 AM EST

    after 9/11, it is apparent that it's either hundreds of body bags in iraq, or hundreds of thousand body bags in baltimore or seattle, because the middle east exports its loonies over here, so the middle east needs to be fixed by americans, because the middle east has made their problems our problems

    Sure, yeah, the americans can "fix" the middle east, yeah, sure buddy.

    [ Parent ]

    One way or another, indeed (none / 0) (#281)
    by cdguru on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 08:47:16 PM EST

    The problem in Iraq is now down to the level of a police force dealing with lawbreakers. The insurgents aren't going to out-gun the police, and we will see in January if the population supports a government or the insurgents. I'm betting they would like to have a government, but I could be wrong.

    The question is what happens if they hold elections and nobody comes? If the Iraqi people really do choose to "vote" for rule by insurgents and Islamic clerics, maybe Kerry would decide to pick up all the marbles and go home. I don't think Bush would, though.

    Short of that happening, Iraq was just the easiest target to begin with. When the insurgents are stopped - by whatever means necessary to do so - the rest of the middle east can see the object lesson. They can behave or they can be wiped out. Yes, the insurgents in Iraq are going to be wiped out, but anything short of that will lead to them being convinced they "won". They can't win, because winning automatically means they will try elsewhere. Egypt. Eliminate Israel. Spain was once rules by the "moors" and could be again. How about France or Belgium?

    [ Parent ]

    Nice trolling (none / 1) (#286)
    by bradasch on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 10:15:07 PM EST

    If you believe what you wrote, then I have to slap you on the face and shout "remember 9/11?".

    Dude, please. Get a grip. Treating Iraq like a bunch of savage kids is not the best way to achieve a better world. Seriously.

    [ Parent ]

    get real (3.00 / 3) (#262)
    by Patrick2 on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 10:02:16 AM EST

    the middle east has made their problems our problems
    LOL, how could one twist history more than that?

    With all due respect, consider renaming to spintimessquare.

    [ Parent ]

    Hmm (3.00 / 2) (#273)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:46:41 PM EST

    Yes, exactly why did Americans give a fuck about those silly Russians for fifty years? They're on the other side of the planet, for crying out loud!

    You, sir, are a moron. I cite World War II as proof of your stupidity.

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

    [ Parent ]
    CTS backs himself into a corner... (3.00 / 2) (#324)
    by kcbrown on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:52:11 AM EST

    what is right in this world is also aboout the cost involved to make it right too

    Yeah? Well, this is the first time I've seen you say anything of the sort.

    You constantly preach down to us that we should concentrate our efforts on the biggest problems first.

    And you constantly preach to us that we should give concrete suggestions on what to do to fix those problems.

    And you constantly defend the invasion of Iraq as the proper course of action for dealing with the oppressive regime that existed in there prior to the invasion. I didn't see you didn't give any alternative suggestions about what to do about Iraq, so the only thing left to conclude about this is that you believe that invasion and occupation is, in general, the best way to rid the world of an oppressive regime, particularly because you've never (that I've seen) given any indication of why Iraq is any different than any other oppressive regime in this regard.

    Combine all that together and the only reasonable conclusion one can come to is that you believe the U.S. should invade China, because China is the world's biggest oppressive regime right now and you clearly believe that invading oppressive regimes is the best way to rid the world of them.

    And now, after your constant preaching and belittling of others, trhurler backs you into the corner with this conclusion and you finally realize that you have nowhere to go -- and you finally admit that the cost is actually important too!

    Well, no shit Sherlock, that's what we've been saying all this time, but nooooo, you haven't given any indication that you've been listening, just mouthing off.

    If cost is really an issue then we can combine that with another of your famous sermons, namely that it's easier to change the actions of the U.S. government than to change the actions of any other government because the U.S. has the Best Democracy In The Whole World, and conclude that changing the oppressive actions of the U.S. will yield by far the biggest bang for the buck -- a reduction of oppressive, morally wrong actions without any cost (since elections happen no matter what) -- what a deal!

    That is a conclusion that follows directly from your own statements. Since you've been constantly mouthing off about how we shouldn't bother with the wrongs the U.S. does because there are much worse wrongs in the world, you clearly must disagree with the above conclusion. That means either you're a liar or you're a fucking hypocrite. Which is it? Or would you care to change your mind now?

    [ Parent ]

    The US Government is supposed to know better. (3.00 / 3) (#239)
    by gordonjcp on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 02:53:02 AM EST

    You know, it's supposed to be a civilised country.

    Ah, never mind. We begin bombing in five minutes.

    Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


    [ Parent ]
    Meanwhile... (none / 0) (#421)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:11:37 PM EST

    ...the other side is a bunch of barbarians who just can't help themselves. You know, beating women with clubs who dare to show their faces or leave their homes. Pouring acid on their legs for daring to walk around without a full-length Burqa covering them from head to toe. They're not civilized like us, so how can we expect them to know better?

    Instead we will roundly criticize those who "are supposed to know better" while handing a blank check to the barbarians. Because, after all, its just so uncivilized to imprison an uncivilized people without making sure their bagels are properly toasted and that they have a copy of the Koran to read.

    What a wonderful argument. I can just imagine this argument in 1942: "You know those Nazis are so uncivilized. They might be roasting jews by the trainload, but how can we expect evil people like the Nazis to know any better? On the other hand, the US soldiers who claim to be civilized, have been blindfolding German POWs for extended periods of time. This sensory deprivation is reminiscent of the style of Ghengis Khan and must be stopped immediately!"

    [ Parent ]

    Wow. You miss the point by so much... (none / 0) (#442)
    by gordonjcp on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 06:26:10 PM EST

    ... that you've actually come close to reaching it.

    The US is supposed to be civilised. You're not supposed to be torturing prisoners. You should be leading by example.

    Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


    [ Parent ]
    Its so wonderful to live in a fantasyland... (none / 0) (#446)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 07:30:25 PM EST

    ...where we condemn this and condemn that. Where the civilized world leads by example and everyone else follows.

    Unfortunately, in the real world, it isn't so easy. Lead by example you say? And will our terrorist enemies follow our lead?

    Leadership is meaningless when there are no followers.

    [ Parent ]

    abundant: binary pigeonholing (none / 0) (#466)
    by Patrick2 on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 10:29:40 AM EST

    It seems to be popular to continuously pigeonhole everything into binary categories. While this filtering might serve as a powerful screen in mental models it is greatly flawed for any non-imminent-life-threatening situations. Point in case: Moral interrelations are too complex to fit into such simplistic models.

    Lead by example you say? And will our terrorist enemies follow our lead?
    How childish is the underlying principle: only adhere to the lowest common denominator? If you lower your standards to those of the terrorists you don't have the 'outrageous moral luggage' but you also lack *any* moral superiority. This moral flip-flopping removes the credibility permanently. The hypocracy starts when the same people later claim e.g. to remove dictators to make the world a better place.

    Moral is not the thing you continously adapt when some bully/terrorist comes along, that is called strategy. Moral is the framework limiting strategy. There seem to be deliberate attempts to blur that distinction.

    Leadership is meaningless when there are no followers.
    Right, and there is certainly no country in this world that is currently developing its democracy by observing the more mature ones.

    [ Parent ]

    ok, now you've got me too (none / 0) (#522)
    by jubal3 on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 12:41:20 PM EST

    If you've read my comments on this thread, you know I don't support what I consider to be the out of proportion condemnation of the U.S. by human rights groups.

    HOWEVER....

    Abu graib and prisoner torture is NOT a small thing.
    Fortunately it seems to be a fairly minor role, and also has been quickly aboloishedwhen brought to light.

    But this did more to damage the U.S. than anything I can think of, including the invasion itself. It's a HUGE deal, because you cvan'tgo into a country to bring order and topple a despotic regime and then torture prisoners and still have any credibility.

    We SHOULD know better, and frankly it was a despicable, disgusting thing. I hope everyone involved in any substantial way gets court martialed and sentenced to 30 years in Leavenworth.

    because the barbarians do it, doesn't make it ok for us to do it, or we really are no better than the people we're supposedly "better" than.

    Abu Graib doesnt make the U.S. comparable to Hussein, but it sure as hell took a lot of moral authority from any claims we will EVER again make for regime change as a moral duty. (The main argument I always made for toppling Hussein).


    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]

    Yeah, right (none / 0) (#525)
    by GenerationY on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 09:38:01 PM EST

    Eight months.

    He might as well have jumped a red light.


    [ Parent ]

    Eight months... (none / 0) (#527)
    by lordDogma on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 12:29:01 AM EST

    ...in a military prison. Not fun. Also he is getting a bad conduct discharge, which will make it pretty hard to find a decent job afterwards. Its less important to punish this guy than it is some of his superiors.

    [ Parent ]
    I hear ya (none / 0) (#528)
    by GenerationY on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 12:52:06 AM EST

    I just don't think it was enough. They should have at least gone for the full twelve months.

    I'm not saying 20 years in the slammer and his nuts in a grinder (poetic justice?), but 8 months...how long have as yet uncharged and thus innocent people been in Gitmo (or yeah, Bellmarsh) now?

    [ Parent ]

    Yep, I'm disappointed (none / 1) (#531)
    by jubal3 on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 03:16:16 PM EST

    too.

    Seriously, you get 2-3 years for very minor drug infractions in the US military. The idea that these people would get off with less is just disgusting.

    I think the reasoning was that in FACT, these people were acting under what they thought was official policy.  Unfortunately, they're not court martialing every officer in the place, which they certainly should.

    The platoon and company commanders, at the very least, should be court martialed for dereliction of duty. The failure to catch this and stop it is inexcusable incompetence on the part of the command, AT THE LEAST.

    I'd like to see every officer in the place drummed out of the service on this one, with a jail term for anyone who knew what was happening.

    Slamming the enlisted personnel, while I think important, sends less of a message than cashiering officers. Jesus, it seems the U.S. military continues to slide back into its worst cultural habits every time there's a war. As a veteran and student of U.S. Military history, it's disappointing to say the least.


    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]

    drugs (none / 0) (#532)
    by lordDogma on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 07:16:39 PM EST

    Jubal,

    I don't know about the other services, but in the Navy, if you are caught using drugs they simply kick you out with a less than honorable discharge. Usually they reduce you in rate, restrict you to the ship for a few weeks, and assign extra duty as well. But you're pretty much kicked out after a few weeks. Generally there is no jail time.

    Now, if you are dealing hard drugs onboard a navy base or something, well thats a different story.

    [ Parent ]

    When I was in (none / 0) (#533)
    by jubal3 on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 12:04:10 AM EST

    the service, albeit some years ago, I saw several people get General court martials and multiple year sentences for possession of very small amounts of cocaine and LSD.

    This was frequently a pratvice at the time.

    If the military decided it was sending a message this week, anyone who got arrested was going to jail for at least SOME time.

    I've heard nothng from my active-duty friends to contradict this impression.


    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]

    Much improvement (none / 0) (#534)
    by GenerationY on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 11:59:53 AM EST

    Breaking news:

    Here

    Eight months becomes eight years as the highest ranking soldier involved. I guess this is what you were saying.

    Indeed I'm left wondering if eight years is a little too long to be quite honest.


    [ Parent ]

    It CAN'T (none / 1) (#535)
    by jubal3 on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 12:37:07 PM EST

    be too long.

    These fuckers engaged in behavior that Americans universally despise.

    People got sick of hearing it, because on U.S. news, it was ALL Abu Ghraib, ALL the time, for months.

    In other words, because it was a a disproportionate amount of coverage to a fairly isolated instance. The president got on national TV and said he was disgusted and horrified and apologized on behalf of the American people.

    People, I think resonably, said "What do you want? shit happens, we're fixing it."

    That doesn't make it less important, however, or less serious.

    These fuckers gave the whole country a black eye and will probably wind up costing American's their lives because of the scandal. There's no WAY a person could justify this shit.

    Seriously, if it was up to me, EVERY officer in that batallion would be cashiered, and everyone who knew or should have known what was going on would receive a jail term. It was THAT big a deal.

    I've never felt shame to be an American until that crap came out. I felt personally betrayed in a way that even traitors haven't been able to accomplish.


    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]

    Lots of urinalysis tests now (none / 0) (#536)
    by lordDogma on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 08:14:19 PM EST

    The military has stepped up its urinalysis testing to the point that very few people do drugs now (at least in the Navy. I don't know about the others). Its somewhere on the order of 6 or 7 out of 1000 by urinalysis testing statistics. Of course the numbers might be slightly higher because infrequent users might not get caught right away. However these 6 or 7 that are caught are subsequently thrown out of the service.

    I think the reason we don't do a lot of courts marshals is because urinalysis doesn't provide enough evidence for a conviction at a court marshal. Thus, they just use NJP instead. Its faster, easier, and generates less god damned paperwork.

    Sailors who've been in for a while can still remember stories back in the 70s and 80s of people regularly getting high while on duty. I've even heard stories of flight deck crewmembers on acid while helicopter operations were going on. Those days are long over. That much I can assure you.

    [ Parent ]

    Hey, brush up on your history... (none / 0) (#501)
    by Elendale on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 02:48:33 AM EST

    It might make you look like less of an idiot, though it might not make that appearance the truth.

    The Nazi ideology of genetic purity and "social darwinism"/eugenics was adopted from American thinkers.

    So how could we have expected the Nazis to know better? I don't know, do you have a plan?


    ---

    When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


    [ Parent ]
    In summary: (3.00 / 5) (#242)
    by bml on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 03:24:07 AM EST

    Ignore Human Rights abuse in the US as long as there are countries with a worse abuse record.

    I suppose we can only start caring about the US when it reaches the top 3 or something, which is likely to happen if everyone keeps turning a blind eye as you suggest.

    Democracy is not a nice soft type of dictatorship. It is a system in which the citizens have the RIGHT and the RESPONSIBILITY to run things or, at the very least, to watch their government very closely.

    The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
    [ Parent ]

    You fix the small one first. (2.50 / 2) (#253)
    by cburke on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 07:55:15 AM EST

    Because you created the small one, and until you show you can fix at least your own screwup who on earth would trust you to be able to fix the large one?

    The rest of your post is just you pretending nobody criticizes China, Syria, Iran, etc.  Why should anyone care about your strawman?

    [ Parent ]

    Dam repairs 'R' us. (3.00 / 2) (#259)
    by BobaFatt on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 09:50:35 AM EST

    That rather depends on the current availability of Hole-In-Dam fixing equipment and know-how. It could be that I lack the equipment to fix a large hole, but can plug the small one using materials available. It could be that knowing relatively little about dam fixing, it would be more sensible for me to fix the small hole first, and use my experience of how to solve the problem to guide me in a more ambitious future hole-fixing effort.
    The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
    [ Parent ]
    How about some on-topic comment of yours? (3.00 / 6) (#260)
    by Patrick2 on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 09:52:19 AM EST

    This is about the HR record of the US. By now you have made lots of entertaining distraction attempts while omitting discussing the more article related topics like how to improve the US's HR record.

    There are several points you miss:

    • This is not www.rank-world-problems.com
      If it was, your notion to focus on countries with more HR abuse would be justified. This is a discussion site. Any well founded topic fits such a site and this is one.
    • China, Syria and Iran have not invaded a sovereign country in recent history on the grounds of bringing human rights to them. If they did, you could rightfully bring their track record on human rights into this discussion.The US did so.
    • simple outrage at human rights abuses should naturally gravitate to the largest outrages
      Correct, the quantitative discrepancies. But it should equally gravitate towards the largest qualitative discrepancies between facts and claims. This can be successfully argued for the US.
    • you have another agenda...
      The agenda of an author does not matter if the article has a factual point. Even if the lovechild of Hitler and Stalin would post that story: if he's got a point, he's got a point. You seem to accept that, hence your smoke screening and lack of topic related critizims.


    [ Parent ]
    Blahblahblah... (none / 1) (#500)
    by Elendale on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 02:33:55 AM EST

    The US government is (purportedly) held accountable to US citizens through mass elections of government leaders.

    Unless i missed something the following governments are not held accountable to US citizens, some don't care about anyone but themselves:

    • Syria
    • China
    • North Korea
    • Zimbabwe
    • Cambodia
    • Sudan
    • Many others not mentioned here

    ---

    When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


    [ Parent ]
    Oh, Human Rights Watch... (1.00 / 17) (#220)
    by foon on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 10:38:33 PM EST

    Well you might want to point out also, I believe the Communist Party is not terribly fond of the United States either.

    Woah. (none / 1) (#234)
    by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 12:36:52 AM EST

    you posted a comment. It's disjointed and the point isn't clear, but you actually posted. . . maybe I'll try reposting that story you voted down.

    No no thanks no
    Je n'aime que le bourbon
    no no thanks no
    c'est une affaire de goût.

    [ Parent ]
    Bwahaha! (nt) (none / 1) (#243)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 04:15:23 AM EST



    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]
    Save time. (none / 1) (#302)
    by Wulfius on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:40:48 AM EST

    Rather than list who is NOT fond of the US,
    list who IS fond of the US. Saves time.

    ---
    "We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
    http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, holy shit (1.71 / 7) (#244)
    by regeya on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 05:31:10 AM EST

    All my neighbors have been disappeared. Also, there are roadblocks everywhere. Martial law is in effect, and I'm told that the Presidential elections have been canceled in favor of making the Bush family into the Royal Family.

    Long Live the Chief!

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

    Hmm (3.00 / 6) (#266)
    by mcc on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 12:59:33 PM EST

    In that case perhaps you should consider moving away from Baghdad for a little while.

    [ Parent ]
    Wowie zowie. (none / 1) (#518)
    by regeya on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:51:21 PM EST

    Several low ratings, and one sarcastic comment from some sap who consistently Doesn't Get It.

    I know, I know; my refusal to pretend that things are worse than they are marks me as a filthy idiotic conservative. Bah. "The conservatives" hate me, too.

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
    [ Parent ]

    Dearest mcc: (none / 0) (#529)
    by regeya on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 12:19:57 PM EST

    FOAD.

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
    [ Parent ]

    Bloody Libertarians (1.66 / 3) (#268)
    by walwyn on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 03:35:04 PM EST

    What happened to good old fashioned conservative values? Its a sorry ass state when you can't disappear a bunch of whining bastards, or hand them over to the good ol boys for a good kicking.

    Bring back capital punishment.

    ----
    Professor Moriarty - Bugs, Sculpture, Tombs, and Stained Glass

    Good! It's about time!! (2.35 / 20) (#269)
    by darcy poirot on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 03:38:03 PM EST

    it's time for the US to get out of the 1970s Kessinger warcriminal mindset! Somebody needs to slap some sense into Bush and the rest of the fucking murderers in this administration!

    "The Geneva conventions don't apply to this guy, that guy, and these other guys over there... etc." What does this sort of "realpolitik" bullshit get us? Raped kids, electrocution, and torture in US prisons, that's what.

    i'm sicking of getting tarred as an imperialist everytime i laeve the US. this is a FUCKING NIGHTMARE. I'm not the one killing brown people so i can join a better country club, but I sure get blamed for it everytime i go to Germany.

    NOW LISTEN UP ALL YOU BUSH SUPPORTING ASSHOLES: You may think it makes you big and tough to watch idiots on the history channel shoot watermelons and slobber over how fucking cool guns are, but foreign policy isn't a fucking John Wayne movie. Maybe you hicks are content to sit in a rocking chair with a shotgun to keep the "coons" off your property, but some people actually want to get out and see the world without constantly having to answer for your dumb asses!

    Every one of you who voted for Bush or Nader or were just too lazy to vote at all made this happen. The United States is a pariah because you assholes.

    FUCK YOU.

     


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—

    I prefer to think (2.25 / 4) (#289)
    by Lode Runner on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 10:58:02 PM EST

    that the Germans have been misinformed. I don't mean to pick on Der Spiegel; I've actually quit reading all mainstream German news sources because the bias in reporting anything related to the USA is so profound. I'll add that you'll still be called an imperialist even if Bush loses (not bloody likely). Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't been to Germany in the last 20 years.

    [ Parent ]
    Fuck off, troll. (1.33 / 6) (#293)
    by darcy poirot on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 11:42:09 PM EST

    if you want to quibble and equivocate about torture vs abuse, there are plenty of sites for morally bankrupt freepers like yourself to have your little circlejerks. Americans do not gamble their national honor on word games. You'll find an audience far more receptive to your kind of bullshit where the rest of the right wing vermin congregate.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    Man. What hatefull ranting. (1.00 / 3) (#314)
    by Wallas A Hockpock on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:24:01 AM EST

    I tell you what. You take your hate filled, fact devoid ranting some place else instaed to telling folk to go some freeper frendly site.

    I can see you with a pair of pliers working someone over you are so freekikng hate filled. Your hate drips off your every word.

    Relax and get your brain in gear.

    [ Parent ]

    The new generation of K5 (none / 0) (#318)
    by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:49:17 AM EST

    Well if this kind of hate filled lunatic ranting is what we have to look forward to with the new generation of k5 then perhaps I'll have to move on to somewhere else. The lunatics have arrived!

    [ Parent ]
    Whatever. (none / 1) (#342)
    by darcy poirot on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:30:02 AM EST

    If you actually read his little site and especially the comments on the article, you'll find out exactly where this guy is coming from. That blog is a slightly more literate version of free republic.

    It's nothing but whining some German newspaper was too harsh on the US over the Abu Ghraib torture incident because of some cultural/media bias. The whole argument is hairsplitting about whether Abu Ghraib is or is not really torture, is or is not comparable to the Gulag system, is or is not comparable to this or that historical atrocity. They call that moral relativism.

    I'm sorry, but i'm not comfortable sinking to arguments like "At least we're better than terrorists" or "We're still morally superior to Hitler" just to keep my political sentiments afloat. America stands for principle and moral fiber, exactly the opposite of what these right wingers want to hang their hats on.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    you missed something: (none / 0) (#355)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:56:36 PM EST

    most Germans want the USA to fail in Iraq, and their reasons for this have little to do with the USA's actions or Iraq's welfare.

    Me? Well, I think it's great that Germans are finally asserting themselves in the realm of foreign policy, but it would be nice if, just for once, they asserted themselves against a fascist dicatatorship.

    [ Parent ]

    That's quite a mouthful, lode runner. (none / 1) (#363)
    by darcy poirot on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 05:03:45 PM EST

    Do you have another blog to back that up?

    Let's make sure we understand each other, shall we? you propose Germans simply favor dictatorships over the United States because fascism is their kind of bag? Would you like an order of freedom fries with that?

    Oh, but wait, your position is a lot safer than that, isn't it? Innuendo is a weasel's game.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    oh dear! (none / 1) (#367)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 06:07:58 PM EST

    Are you actually under the impression that your political opponents aren't capable of innuendo and wit? Last time I checked over at the Wall Street Journal, the "weasel" in the "Axis of Weasel" was a metaphor for certain governments' unctuous equivocation (and sometimes outright perfidy), not command of language.

    Is fascism alive and well in Germany today? I can only point to the results of the latest election. But the real dig I was taking was at the we-have-learned-the-lessons-of-war-so-listen-to-us rhetoric coming out of Germany today. If they've internalized the horror of life under the Nazis so well, then how come they wouldn't lift a finger against Saddam or do anything to help Iraqis recover from totalitarianism?

    [ Parent ]

    Ridiculous. (none / 0) (#368)
    by darcy poirot on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 06:28:48 PM EST

    They didn't go for it because they wanted to see inspections completed. They didn't help because Bush told them their help would be rejected.

    Honestly, this is just moronic. Are you telling me this is the content of your argument?


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    the question is (none / 1) (#369)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 06:46:58 PM EST

    why do you believe they're being candid about Iraq? Note that Germany still opposed any sort of military operation to remove Saddam even if the UN authorized one. There's a rather nasty subtext to Germans' ranting about "imperial neo-cons"; let's see if you're familiar with it.

    Honestly, this is just moronic.

    Hey, you're the one who said it. . .

    [ Parent ]

    Take your paranoid bullshit (none / 0) (#399)
    by darcy poirot on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 10:49:42 AM EST

    Back to freeperland. I had a fine time over in Germany before a couple years ago. That's changed. It doesn't take a fucking genius like yourself to figure out what's going on, even if the particular fucking genius in question can't.

    Germans don't hate America, or at least they didn't. Not until the president told them all to fuck off over some fucked up war.

    Your declarations and bullshit do not negate experience with real Germans, so just fuck off. It doesn't make a fucking difference if I'm familiar with your right wing victim complex narrative. If Germans don't like our leaders, that's a-okay with me. Neither do i.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    Listen here. (none / 0) (#407)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 01:54:34 PM EST

    Darcy,

    Lode Runner has been posting here on k5 since at least June 2003. Your first post was two days ago. So for a newbie like you to come here and start bossing people around, telling them to "Take their paranoid bullshit back to freeperland" is a bit laughable.

    As someone said in another post, K5 isn't about creating another echo chamber for idiots to preach to the choir about their favorite gripe of the day. Its about people of different views debating each other and sharing their views.

    If you want a good echo chamber then why don't YOU "just shut the fuck up" and "take your paranoid bullshit" back to Democratic Underground?

    [ Parent ]

    Didn't I just tell you to shut the fuck up? (none / 0) (#410)
    by darcy poirot on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:22:22 PM EST

    Listen moron, this guy is smearing an entire country on the evidence of some right wing blogger's take on an article in the Spiegel. I realize provincial idiots like yourself have trouble stepping outside of your narrow experience to think about what's actually being said here, rather jump to defend whatever seems to support your politics.

    I don't need any fucking lectures from you. When I run into some asshole spreading lies and gross misrepresentations, i'll handle it in whatever way i see fit. If you can't handle that, then maybe this isn't the place for you.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    You go girl. (none / 0) (#413)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:30:55 PM EST

    Please, keep spouting your insane hatred. Its getting rather amusing.

    I like this one the best.

    Maybe you hicks are content to sit in a rocking chair with a shotgun to keep the "coons" off your property,

    [ Parent ]

    Smearing? (none / 0) (#418)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 03:15:40 PM EST

    this guy is smearing an entire country on the evidence of some right wing blogger's take

    And since when has the extreme left been so concerned with smearing entire countries based on [insert favorite gripe here]? They do it all the time.

    [ Parent ]

    "They"? (none / 1) (#420)
    by darcy poirot on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:09:40 PM EST

    What the fuck are you talking about? "The extreme left." What bullshit.

    If all you have is strawmen, my call for you to shut the fuck up was even more appropriate than I originally thought. Lode runner seems to be able to carry on something like an argument, but you can't even stay on topic. Recrimination via strawman? Good God, you should be embarassed post bullshit like that.

    In conclusion, fuck off.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    So peaceful. So tolerant. So inclusive. (n/t) (none / 0) (#422)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:17:14 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Just can't accept that it's about you, can you? (none / 0) (#423)
    by darcy poirot on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:23:39 PM EST

    Look, lode runner, wrong as he may be, can at least provide a reasonable argument. You are just a moron popping off and hanging on his coattails.

    This not about left or right anymore. This about the fact that you, "lordDogma," are a fucking idiot. You float strawman arguments and cry like a little bitch when someone calls you. That's why you need to shut the fuck up.

    You do not need to be tolerated or included. You need to either get a brain or shut the fuck up.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    What strawman arguments? (none / 0) (#425)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:27:23 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    I have nothing more to say to you. (none / 0) (#429)
    by darcy poirot on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:34:35 PM EST

    You are worthless. Fuck off.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    I am worthless? (none / 0) (#431)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:37:41 PM EST

    So much for equality. The mask of equality has now been ripped off and the face of hatred is revealing itself even more.

    [ Parent ]
    hahaha!! (none / 0) (#432)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:42:28 PM EST

    how precious. "the mask of equality." you can't make this stuff up!


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    The mask of equality refers to (none / 0) (#434)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:45:05 PM EST

    I thought it was pretty obvious but... By mask of equality, I am refering to the left's extreme obsession with equality - social, economic, political, etc. etc. When she said I was worthless, that mask came off, and we saw what was underneath. And it wasn't pretty.

    [ Parent ]
    oh, i understood the remark fully. (none / 0) (#435)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:46:41 PM EST




    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    You're very mysterious, Ghost of RMG (none / 0) (#436)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:50:45 PM EST

    By the way, what do frenchmen call quarter pounders with cheese? Let me guess:

    Bush = Hitler Burgers? Americans-Are-Fat-Pig Burgers? Imperial Burgers? Halliburgers?

    I give up. Who is RMG anyway?

    [ Parent ]

    ask lode runner about me. (none / 0) (#437)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:53:50 PM EST

    i'm sure he can tell you who i am and why i'm here.


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    to answer both questions: (none / 0) (#445)
    by Lode Runner on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 06:58:04 PM EST

    I'm sorry but I've never been able to tell one anklebiter from the next.

    [ Parent ]
    you should really know better. (none / 0) (#449)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 07:54:23 PM EST

    for all your talk about intellectual and emotional maturity, you sure got off on beating up on poor little darcy.


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    yeah, it's not like we're on dKos or anything. (none / 0) (#467)
    by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 12:25:45 PM EST

    Then it would be OK.
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]
    oh, i'm so nice to kossacks it's sick. (none / 0) (#468)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:42:53 PM EST

    besides, at least there i'm not acting as a legitimate user. i think we just found out what a smug nerd lode runner really is.


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    awesome (none / 0) (#469)
    by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 02:51:38 PM EST

    You were surprised? I'm a smug nerd too, aren't I?
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]
    well, you shouldn't be. (none / 0) (#484)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 08:39:36 PM EST

    no one likes a smug nerd. you should be a shepherd to lost children.

    peace, love, justice.


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]

    /s/justice/smoke dope (none / 0) (#496)
    by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 12:25:04 AM EST

    Anyhow, yeah, but how are you going to shepherd a sheep like darcy?
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]
    by being her, of course. (none / 0) (#512)
    by the ghost of rmg on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:56:07 AM EST




    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    i'm sorry, that was flip... (none / 0) (#513)
    by the ghost of rmg on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:07:08 AM EST

    i know how i shepherd darcy very well, but others like "her"? well, i think people choose their own shepherd. i think people like darcy have theirs. maybe that means she isn't lost.


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    Reasonable arguments (none / 0) (#430)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:35:43 PM EST

    "Look, lode runner, wrong as he may be, can at least provide a reasonable argument."

    You mean the same reasonable arguments that have prompted you to tell him to take his "paranoid bullshit back to freeperland?"

    And to tell him to "fuck off, troll"?

    [ Parent ]

    Yes they. (none / 0) (#424)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:24:44 PM EST

    With regards to smearing entire countries based on lies and gross misrepresentations, *this* is what I'm talking about:

    http://www.zombietime.com/hall_of_shame/

    I wouldn't be suprised if you were one the people holding these sings.

    [ Parent ]

    Wow, you really are stupid. (none / 0) (#427)
    by darcy poirot on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:31:17 PM EST

    You think those people are typical of "the left" whatever you think that means? You're just a god damned idiot who's been reading too much littlegreenfootballs.

    Your opinions are worthless. I have no interest in discussing any matter with a moron who thinks democrats support terrorists.

    Fuck off.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    Thats why I said EXTREME left. (none / 0) (#428)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:34:30 PM EST

    And speaking of strawman arguments, where did I say that I thought democrats supported terrorists? Doesn't that qualify as a lie and a gross interpretation, or is it fine to throw out strawman arguments as long as they support your politics?

    [ Parent ]
    If it were just Iraq, I'd agree with you. (none / 0) (#372)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:31:19 PM EST

    But this is just another continuation of Europe's steadily increasing anti-anything-the-us-proposes; stuff that began in the 1960's and has been getting worse ever since.


    I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
    [ Parent ]
    inspections (none / 0) (#383)
    by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:11:55 PM EST

    Just keep in mind that there would not have been any inspections without the dead-serious threat of war by the US.

    It took months of "warmongering" on the part of the US (going around with secret war plans and trying behind the scenes to enlist a coalition) before inspections were restarted. Only when the Europeans realized, "Oh shit the Americans are dead f*cking serious!", did they finally come around and demand inspections in a UN vote. Clearly, the main motivation was to avoid war, NOT to ensure Saddam was disarmed.



    [ Parent ]

    Can't you have both? (none / 0) (#394)
    by Nursie on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 09:44:03 AM EST

    And what's wrong with wanting to avoid war at nearly all costs anyway? War is expensive, destructive and murderous. I rather like the idea of avoiding it.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    I wasn't trying to imply that it was bad. (none / 1) (#409)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:21:51 PM EST

    I wasn't trying to imply that it was bad to avoid war. Trying to avoiding war is certainly noble on its face, but if your ONLY intent is to avoid war and not solve the underlying crisis then you might wind up with a worse scenario. I won't bother to repeat the stories about the Munich conference or the over-used references to Neville Chamberlain's "Peace in Our Time", but you get the drift.

    I was saying that the fact that the Europeans only renewed their call for inspections after the US threatened war, shows they were being disingenuous. Prior to the renewed call for inspections, many European countries had been trying very hard to get sanctions against Iraq lifted even though they had no idea whether Saddam had a weapons program or not. Was it an attempt at peaceful reconciliation - a different approach that would save Iraqi lives? Or was just an attempt by bribed and corrupt officials to open up trade agreements and make money? Who knows. Probably both.

    I would agree that the US acted too quickly in rushing to war. But part of the reason for this is because the US leadership had come to the conclusion that the Europeans would find excuses to delay no matter what. Keep in mind that at the time, the CIA was telling the president that this was "a slam dunk case". There was no question in their minds that Saddam had WMD. Seems incredible now that virtually every claim has been shown to be flat out false or overstated, but that was their belief at the time, which explains, but perhaps doesn't excuse their actions.

    It was also the belief of the Clinton administration that saddam had a WMD program for eight years. That is why the Clinton Administration worked hard to keep sanctions in place for the entire two terms, and why Clinton fired dozens of cruise missiles into Iraq in 1998.

    [ Parent ]

    Well, jumping to conclusions a little fast (none / 0) (#477)
    by Nursie on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:18:23 PM EST

    the US leadership had come to the conclusion that the Europeans would find excuses to delay no matter what.
    I could understand that if they had tried a couple of stalling tactics already, but the US didn't even wait to see what the result of the first one!

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Those stalling tactics occurred... (none / 0) (#479)
    by lordDogma on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:37:55 PM EST

    ...over the course of 12 years. It was quite clear that the Europeans wanted to end the sanctions and would be extremely reluctant to go to war even if solid evidence did turn up.

    This is not to say such reluctance was wrong. In hindsight it was clearly correct.

    [ Parent ]

    Oh shut up. (none / 0) (#400)
    by darcy poirot on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 10:53:59 AM EST

    It's fine to be deadly serious about going to war. It's not fine to hurry up and go to war just to circumvent what might have made the war unnecessary. There's nothing wrong with trying to avoid going to war. Somehow, even conservatives used to know that, but now you dumb bastards actually advance the desire not to go to war as an indictment.

    look, why don't you just shut the fuck up and let you're little troll buddy do the talking for you. He's doing a much better job.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    Oh shut up. (none / 0) (#406)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 01:43:46 PM EST

    Oh shut up.

    why don't you just shut the fuck up

    Ah, now the mask of tolerance is lifted from another left wing wacko. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech for the left. Everyone else should " just shut the fuck up".



    [ Parent ]

    Idiot. (none / 0) (#408)
    by darcy poirot on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:01:05 PM EST

    What kind of moron appeals to freedom of speech in a situation like this? Fucking pathetic.

    I told you to shut the fuck up because you're full of shit. I didn't call up the national guard and tell them tie and gag your sorry ass. You're spouting off nonsense about how there's something sinister in trying to avoid war. In my book, that calls for a tall glass of shut the hell up.

    people don't have to listen to your crazy shit just because you say it. THat's not what free speech is about.

    like i said, maybe you ought to get lode runner to explain this to you since he seems to be able to string a couple sentences together saying something completely stupid.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    Ad hominem attacks... (none / 0) (#411)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:24:02 PM EST

    are the ultimate sign of stupidity.

    [ Parent ]
    oh, i can think of better signs than that. (none / 0) (#412)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:30:47 PM EST

    much better.


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps. (none / 0) (#414)
    by lordDogma on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:33:04 PM EST

    But this one is a sure winner:

    Maybe you hicks are content to sit in a rocking chair with a shotgun to keep the "coons" off your property

    [ Parent ]

    the hamburger.. (none / 0) (#415)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 02:36:31 PM EST

    an essential part of any nutritious breakfast.

    this is a tasty burger.

    you know what they call a quarter pounder with cheese in france?


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]

    I did read it. (3.00 / 2) (#360)
    by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:36:31 PM EST

    "They call that moral relativism."

    Actually I wouldn't call that moral relativism. Moral relativism is the belief that there is no objective right or wrong; that each side in a conflict or argument is right as long as they are acting consistently with their own value system.

    Instead, I would say that they were arguing that there is a continuum by which atrocities/war crimes can and should be judged, and that it isn't just black or white. Shooting up a church service on Sunday and killing dozens of people is far worse than killing a someone in a bar fight after he insults you. Both are bad, but one is worse. There is nothing un-noble about recognizing that fact. WRT Abu Garaib: clearly, handcuffing someone to a bed in an awkward pose, while reprehensible, is not as bad as cutting a civilians throat with a knife while jubilantly shouting, "God is Great!". Beating five or six prisoners until they are dead in an effort to extract intelligence is obviously wrong. But gassing thousands of civilians to death is far worse.

    And so it is outrageous to say, "The Americans are just as bad as Zarqawi's Monotheism and Jihad Group" or "The Americans are acting with the same sadistic bent as the Nazis," etc. etc. It would be like saying that someone who gets in bed with a prostitute is as bad as a serial rapist. Again, both may be crimes, but which is worse?

    The issue is not about justifying the torture and prison abuse at Abu Garaib. Its about doing a reality check. When a magazine equivocates Abu Garaib to Nazi death camps, then it is the magazine staff who have lost their moral fiber, not the people who call them on it.

    [ Parent ]

    the lefties here have always been like this (3.00 / 2) (#359)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:32:10 PM EST

    the only difference is that there are now far fewer voices from the center or the right to counter them.

    [ Parent ]
    Where did they all go? [n/t] (none / 0) (#361)
    by lordDogma on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:40:02 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    back to slashdot /nt (none / 0) (#362)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:58:37 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Please excuse me, but... (3.00 / 4) (#345)
    by dhk on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:02:44 PM EST

    I have been in Germany the last 42 years. And yes, there may be a bias in reporting anything related to the USA. I simply can't deny that because I don't read the entire spectrum of German newspapers. Anyway, when I scroll through the discussions on K5 I do not think that the positions held by the newspapaers (if I may say so) are very much away from what I read in many a comment here
    But, more important, your point (you'll still be called an imperialist even if Bush loses) is wrong. It is quite common to make a distinction between the politics of the government and the citizens. We are very much aware of the gap between official politics and public opinion in GB or in Spain, for instance. As you probably know, the books by Michael Moore stayed/stay quite long on the "best seller lists" in Germany.

    Thus, the accusation of antiamericanism in Germany doesn't really hit the mark. We still are thankful for the engagement of the US in peace keeping or peace establishing missions in the history. On the other hand, most Germans are in line with a large fraction of US citizens when they complain about Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghreib or the invasion in Iraq. There may be germans who generalize from the politics to the citizen,but, hey, idiots are ubiquitous, rite?

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    I could not have said it better (3.00 / 2) (#354)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:49:17 PM EST

    Anyway, when I scroll through the discussions on K5 I do not think that the positions held by the newspapaers (if I may say so) are very much away from what I read in many a comment here.

    I rest my case.

    the books by Michael Moore stayed/stay quite long on the "best seller lists" in Germany.

    And what's Moore claiming in those books? That the USA is an empire. He's not just criticizing Bush, you know.

    German carping about the Abu Ghraib abuses strikes me (and many other informed Americans) as somewhat disingenuous. First, there's the problem that nobody in Germany had heard of the prison until Americans abused prisoners there; there was not a single story in the German media during the 1990s about the atrocities Saddam committed there. Before the war, Ian Baruma and Christopher Hitchens both called Abu Ghraib a compelling reason to oust Saddam; Germans never talked about that stuff. Second, there's the problem of Germany's categorical refusal to rid Iraq of Saddam. You may say you're against Saddam, but if you refuse to do anything about him, you're objectively pro-Saddam. Finally, what do you think chances are of Germany becoming significantly involved in reconstructing Iraq if Kerry wins? My estimate: none.

    [ Parent ]

    And so it comes out. (none / 0) (#364)
    by darcy poirot on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 05:14:04 PM EST

    Here we have our "informed American," Lode Runner. Informed? Well, he reads Christopher Hitchens! He must be very smart.

    A glance over Hitchens' work in the past several years quickly reveals who he's carrying water for. His columns are full of lies, distortions, and other kinds of Republican talking points crudely disguised as coming from a left leaning perspective. In one of his recent columns he was even so stupid as to claim the debates would have no effect on the election. If this is where you get your information, i don't think "informed" is the right word for you.

    It's an easy formula you see everywhere. show up at a liberal blog, start throwing out Hitchens and some of the less blatant forms of right wingery (like you're little blog) you can find in the various cracks and crevices of the internet and watch people stumble over the big words. fun fun. Instant troll. how facile.

    It looks like you have a history of trolling here, so i think that's about all i'll say.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    I think there's some confusion here (none / 1) (#370)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 07:07:40 PM EST

    as to Hitchens's politics and the authorship of Davids Medienkritik (and the difference between "your" and "you're").

    As much as right-wingers love him, Hitchens is still a Trot at heart. This'll bit them in the ass at some point. Nevertheless, the more dogmatic lefties hate him for abandoning The Nation and St. Noam during their hour of need. He's in a lonely position, but that's what happens when you have a conscience and a backbone.

    I'm not sure how you convinced yourself that I'm David Kaspar, the main author of Davids Medienkritik. I admire his work, but he's not me. He's also hardly a right-winger; it's just that there are no voices on the left making similar calls.

    As for the trolling accusation, you'll find that trying to crush dissent by labelling it "trolling" is not an adequate surrogate for being able to refute an argument. I realize the latter requires effort and knowledge, but hey, ainsi va la vie!

    [ Parent ]

    YOU'RE A FUCKING GENIUS! (1.50 / 2) (#374)
    by darcy poirot on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 08:09:32 PM EST

    your rapier wit is astounding. Well done noticing that typo. Everyone else (myself included) probably missed it!

    It would take a imbecile to read Hitchens and call him anything but a born again Republican, but I know how you guys love to say he's a leftist and even he agrees with you. All he can manage is pathetic potshots at various democrats (especially Kerry). What takes backbone is standing up to an administration that'll out your wife or sent you to prison if they don't like what you have to say. We all know how much backbone Hitchens has by that reckoning.

    Maybe you are a troll and maybe you're not. A quick google search shows you are at least formerly a troll (something called "medham"). Even if you believe all this shit, it doesn't make you're opinion anymore worthwhile, so either way, fuck off.


    —♥— D'Arcy —♥—
    [ Parent ]

    agh why would you give it away like that (none / 0) (#375)
    by demi on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 08:35:54 PM EST

    my guess is that you are LR.

    [ Parent ]
    'fraid not (none / 0) (#419)
    by Lode Runner on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 03:52:56 PM EST

    And I'm tickled pink by his claim and yours. Man, this is the stuff that keeps me coming back to K5!

    [ Parent ]
    very well (none / 0) (#440)
    by demi on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 06:11:47 PM EST

    Nevertheless his style is amusing. The future really is in biting, not trolling. It's just too bad that account wasn't introduced properly - new blood for the sacrifice comes along so rarely.

    [ Parent ]
    I'll buy that. . . (none / 0) (#443)
    by Lode Runner on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 06:27:45 PM EST

    but I've never liked the trawling analogy. I've always considered myself an angler.

    [ Parent ]
    you made that "typo" again (none / 0) (#439)
    by Lode Runner on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 05:50:32 PM EST

    The word you're looking for is "solecism".

    If you dig deep enough you can see me debating Harry Browne.

    [ Parent ]

    Refutation? (none / 0) (#387)
    by dhk on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 03:45:47 AM EST

    I can't see any: I would readily concede that "German carping about the Abu Ghraib abuses [might be] somewhat disingenuous.". I hope you will concede that this in no way renders it less justified. Could we agree on this?

    if you refuse to do anything about him, you're objectively pro-Saddam
    This is rhetoric, and a "black" version at that. You know better than me how long the list of dictators would be if I would start to compile it on basis of the distinction whether the US are pro-him (because they do nothing against him). I refuse to argue on such a basis.

    what do you think chances are of Germany becoming significantly involved in reconstructing Iraq if Kerry wins? My estimate: none.
    Your estimate is as good as mine. Both will be heavily influenced by the answer to the question "What will be possible for non-alliance states in the first place?"

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    I can agree up to a point (none / 0) (#426)
    by Lode Runner on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:28:06 PM EST

    I'm happy to condemn the treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and to call German criticism of US actions in Iraq disingenuous. I do not, however, buy the argument that the current US administration is comparable to the NSDAP's Germany or the effort to oust Saddam was unjustified.

    As for German help in Iraq, I would welcome it; and I'm certain the Iraqis would too. But if Germany keeps refusing to do anything constructive at all I see little reason to continue calling that nation an ally.

    [ Parent ]

    OK, at least a small achievement. (none / 0) (#508)
    by dhk on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 05:07:37 AM EST

    We can extend this a bit, because I never, never ever compared US administration to NSDAP's Germany. If you got this impression, then I am sorry for this, it might be due to my suboptimal English.

    But if Germany keeps refusing to do anything constructive at all I see little reason to continue calling that nation an ally.Ahhhhhhm, well...., YES. IF, and that is a big IF, a country fails to do anything constructive then you correctly question its status as an ally. However, we differ in the question whether Germany (and other countries for that matter) has any other option now. Let's put it this way: If there were the possibility to get all the players at the conference table and have a constructive and unbiased discourse on the future actions in Iraq, then I would be ashamed of my country if it would not participate. But this scenario is still not very probable, is it?

    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    just to clarify: (none / 0) (#524)
    by Lode Runner on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 08:52:04 PM EST

    Der Spiegel is regularly comparing Bush to the Nazis, not you. My complaint is therefore addressed to the German media, not you.

    As for helping Iraq, Germany has dithered and prevaricated for 18 months, so I'm not sure when this "constructive and unbiased discourse" is going to magically appear. The desire to wait for perfect motives translates into the inability to ever act.

    [ Parent ]

    So tell me, (none / 1) (#376)
    by ksandstr on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 08:44:28 PM EST

    If your president were caught eating the flesh of unborn human fetuses and no Americanistan-based newspaper or TV channel reported on it, how would you tell a German TV channel's honest, factual news report on the matter from your own expectation of flagrant "bias"?


    Fin.
    [ Parent ]
    or what if (none / 0) (#433)
    by Lode Runner on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 04:44:29 PM EST

    a dictator--we won't mention any names here--were caught torturing and murdering children because he wanted to leverage their parents and no Zeropean media reported on it? How would you tell the USA media's honest, factual news report on the matter from your own expectation--doubtless fuelled by repeated assertions in your own media to that effect--of flagrant "bias"?

    But hey, your sig says it all. It's silly enough that you analogize Bush to Hitler, but if you're going to oppose efforts to remove actual totalitarian regimes, well, then I have to wonder.

    [ Parent ]

    Next time you go to Germany.... (1.00 / 5) (#349)
    by jubal3 on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 01:50:36 PM EST

    please stay there.


    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]
    RE: Good! It's about time!! (1.50 / 2) (#357)
    by aanderson on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 04:27:24 PM EST

    I don't know if your rant made you feel better, and I'm sure it will generate a lot of whining and posturing from RW wackos,...

    But it sure made me feel better!  Thanx.
    Anything NOT worth doing is NOT worth doing well.
    [ Parent ]

    Meanwhile... (none / 1) (#290)
    by Skywise on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 11:06:16 PM EST

    In peaceful, loving, Iran they're rounding up bloggers and putting them into solitary confinement:

    bbc

    finally, a blogger policy i can relate to! (none / 1) (#297)
    by the ghost of rmg on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:19:08 AM EST

    the blogger question has been the elephant in the parlor in media and political circles for at least a year and a half. those with the vantage point to see the widespread destabilizing effect blogging has and will likely continue to have on society recognize this threat, but a lack of moral fortitude amongst the elite (the media elite, especially) has stayed their various shadowy hands for the most part.

    we saw a glimmer of a more decisive stance from the FBI in its recent move against the Leftist activist/agitator weblog "indymedia." unfortunately, they seem to have been somewhat scared off by so-called "popular" resistance. "resolute" indeed.

    the contrast with iran is obvious: say whatever you like about islamic theocratic regimes, but you just won't find this sheer strength of will in the west. the religious leaders see a threat and they take decisive action. imagine if you will an America without obnoxious bloggers expressing their indifference to the deaths of our soldiers and crashing our online polls. imagine!

    it seems to me that rather than trying to defeat iran in some grand misguided quest for democracy, we should be considering a strategic partnership with the ayatollah. an intermingling of western ideas of capital and military industrialism with the persian mastery of law and order would doubtless prove mutually beneficial. the united states would finally achieve the goals implicit in the cold war project without the inconvenience of its latest hobbled incarnation, the war on terror. this would be particularly advantageous as it would cut out the various domestic religious elements that have played such a large role in recent years.

    yes, this news from iran is very encouraging indeed.


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]

    Decisive Action (none / 0) (#441)
    by Mikus1220 on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 06:19:02 PM EST

    "[I]t seems to me that rather than trying to defeat [I]ran in some grand misguided quest for democracy, we should be considering a strategic partnership with the [A]yatollah."

    Listen:  The United States, as much as it purports to be democratic and have an open media, falls far short of the cry of First Amendment freedom of speech and press.  The perpetual rub against biased profit machines like AOL Time Warner?  Individual and informal groups expressing their voices through the Internet.  

    Now, freedom of speech is a double-edged sword.  In order to support such a freedom, you have to support the right of people to say things you don't agree with, you despise.  Why?  Because if you don't, then who decides the standard of what gets said and what doesn't?  Not you.  Not me.  More than likely some bureaucrat in a Washington office that neither of us agree with.

    Obnoxious bloggers, as much as they may, for whatever reason, be a pain in your ass, have a right to say whatever they want.  U.S. troops are all homosexuals.  George Washington didn't exist.  Your online polls are bullshit and need to be crashed.  Whatever.

    What they say isn't the point.  It isn't even that they say anything at all.  If you have a problem with an idea, and therefore the expression of that idea, that's your problem.  And you've got full right to express your problem, too.  Isn't it great?  Ironic, too, that the same thing you dream of controlling, through the FBI, the media elite, or even the Iranian theocracy, is exactly what you're employing e-v-e-r-y d-a-y.  
    The gears and circuits in your body run and purr and you have to follow. You aren't a person anymore.
    [ Parent ]

    oh come now. (none / 0) (#455)
    by the ghost of rmg on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 09:31:20 PM EST

    as a member of the ruling class, obviously i would be engaged in deciding what could and could not be said. this handwringing about "liberty" is getting really tiresome, i tell you.

    we really need a more aristocratic mouthpiece in the whitehouse. this bush imbecile is giving people all the wrong ideas. honestly...


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]

    Yeah, Iran's bad too, we all know that (3.00 / 6) (#339)
    by nebbish on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:05:30 AM EST

    Does that make the US OK?

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    exactly (none / 0) (#341)
    by mxmattil on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:24:32 AM EST

    exactly what I was going to ask.

    [ Parent ]
    and Human Rights Watch is on the case (3.00 / 3) (#366)
    by jbuck on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 05:55:28 PM EST

    Read here for Human Rights Watch's extensive coverage of human rights abuses in Iran.

    Whenever a human rights group condemns the US for something, someone will point out that, somewhere in the world we can find worse regimes. Sorry, I have higher standards than that.

    [ Parent ]

    You don't have that high of standards then (none / 1) (#378)
    by Skywise on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 10:20:26 PM EST

    Germany abuses 1 page
    Cuba abuses 2 pages
    Haiti abuses 2 pages
    France 2 pages
    Iran 5 pages
    Sudan (70,000 dead this year alone) 7 pages
    Mexico 9 pages
    Israel (and the occupied territories) 9 pages
    UK 9 pages
    China (including Tibet) 14 pages
    US 47 pages

    47 pages... 40 pages MORE than Sudan which is a defacto lawless land.

    Britain has about the same human rights abuses as Israel (Palestinians anyone?) and 4 times more than France or Germany!

    What's being "watched"  The US because it has an open system for monitoring abuse?  Because it certainly isn't a good percentage of ACTUAL HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.

    Oh, and they haven't said squat about the bloggers being arrested yet...

    [ Parent ]

    Congratulations! (3.00 / 2) (#438)
    by Patrick2 on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 05:47:54 PM EST

    You have just proven to yourself that the evaluation method (page count) is utterly useless.

    What is wrong with constructive critism (the article's point)? Self reflection used to be a highly-valued trait.

    [ Parent ]

    Why do you hate america so much?! (N/T) (1.00 / 12) (#301)
    by Wulfius on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 12:38:31 AM EST



    ---
    "We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
    http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
    OTOH... (none / 1) (#335)
    by RangerElf on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 10:31:24 AM EST

    As an american I suppose you'd ask that, but as a citizen of another contry, I'd ask: Why does America hate the rest of the world so much?

    [ Parent ]
    Nope. (1.66 / 3) (#343)
    by abegetchell on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:31:45 AM EST

    We don't hate the rest of the world, we just hate you.

    --
    Every time you "2" a comment, god kills a kitten.
    [ Parent ]
    Because it's shit [nt] (2.00 / 2) (#338)
    by nebbish on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 11:04:49 AM EST


    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    Vote Labour! (none / 0) (#465)
    by Esspets on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 09:15:41 AM EST

    Vote for the gossipy warmonger!


    Desperation.
    [ Parent ]
    Ignore them (1.50 / 2) (#385)
    by maccha on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 01:02:55 AM EST

    They are all communists anyway. The US is God's nation and I'm not going to waste my time reading the words of satan.

    Instead of complaining, foreign scum should be honoured to lick the boots of our boys. Basically, everything good that's ever happened to the world came from Uncle Sam, starting with Jesus.

    The other chickenshit nations would collapse overnight without us, but we don't need them at all. I mean, what have they ever given us in return?

    The only foreign movie I ever watched was 'Kill Bill' and it was shit.


    (Or am I just talking a load of crap?)


    [ Parent ]
    in other news. (1.20 / 5) (#401)
    by /dev/trash on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 11:11:34 AM EST

    Bears shit in the woods and the Pope is Catholic.

    ---
    Updated 02/20/2004
    New Site
    The Pope is Catholic? (none / 0) (#471)
    by jd on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 05:36:19 PM EST

    When did this happen?

    [ Parent ]
    Who's the Pope? (none / 0) (#487)
    by cpghost on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 09:34:02 PM EST

    Who's that "Pope" everybody talks about every now and then?
    cpghost at Cordula's Web
    [ Parent ]
    According to the IMDB (none / 1) (#488)
    by jd on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 09:41:14 PM EST

    There's a Bill Pope (starred in Team America, Spiderman 2, Matrix Revolutions, Enter the Matrix, Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revisited, The Matrix and a bunch of other stuff).

    Maybe that's the guy.

    [ Parent ]

    Prevent toture: hold America's feet to the fire. (2.50 / 2) (#459)
    by guidoreichstadter on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 12:52:23 AM EST

    Concerned citizens of the US should take advantage of that country's liberal laws allowing free speech, and freely criticize the US human rights record because it can have an immediate and lasting effect in preventing torture and other human rights abuses around the world.

    For example, if not for the US public's opprobium of human rights abusers, then last July the US government probably wouldn't have cut $18 million from the $86 million of aid that the US gives to the military and internal security forces of the dictatorship of Uzbekistan .

    Don't let up, American citizens! Keep the pressure on the US government and its allies, and the US will keep the pressure on the dictatorships that it props up- it's working already in Uzbekistan, where the average sentence for members of peaceful religious organisations is now just 7-12 years, down from 12-19 years a few years ago!


    you are human:
    no masters,
    no slaves.

    mmmhhmmmm (none / 0) (#461)
    by lordDogma on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 01:09:31 AM EST

    If we deal with a dictator then we are proping him up. If we destroy a dictator then we are committing an illegal atrocity. I suppose your view is that we should just pretend they don't exist.

    Remember, there are different factions in the US Government. There is the DOD and there is the state department. The DOD needs Uzbekistan for bases, but once a relationship is established the State Department can move in. The state department can have a strong influence on that dictatorship and make it less brutal. The state department often works behind the scenes, they don't get a lot of news coverage because negotiations and discussions don't sell stories as well as bombs and bullets.

    [ Parent ]

    Right (none / 0) (#523)
    by thejeff on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 04:20:47 PM EST

    So there is no middle ground between arming a dictator and attacking him?

    Diplomatic pressure, non-military aid, trade deals. There are plenty of ways to deal with a dictator without propping him up.

    [ Parent ]

    you are overestimating the character of Americans (2.83 / 12) (#464)
    by misanthrope112 on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 07:36:24 AM EST

    In short, they don't care.  Well, that isn't exactly accurate.  It would be more accurate to say that many Americans, perhaps even most, WANT these people to be tortured, beaten, and disappeared.  People don't vocally support the policies because to do so would make it obvious that they don't actually believe in or live by the Christian principles they claim to.  How many people were actually outraged over Abu Ghraib?  Not as many as you think.  Most people I know said "They deserved it, the bastards.  Don't fuck with us next time."  That many of the people involved may have been innocent doesn't even register.  Why would it?  We don't suspend capital punishment just because innocent people may die after receiving a racist or otherwise bogus trial.  

    You underestimate the sadism and indifference of the population of the United States.  Human rights are a 'liberal' issue.  Do you really think that a salt-of-the-earth red-blooded Republican from Utah, Montana, or Kansas is going to give a damn about any of this?  They will take to the streets if you let Paul marry Steve, but they don't care about some rag-head with a field telephone clamped to his testiicles--the moral outrage that you are expecting is a figment of your imagination.  

    It's actually worse than that--not only don't they care about tortured or disappeared Iraqis, but they don't even care about torture or opression in the U.S.  They are more likely to support it than oppose it.  Would you like to poll the heartland to see how many people think confessions extracted  under "duress" by police (aka torture-induced confessions) should be excluded?  More people than you care to think really believe that cops should have the right to rough up the undesirables, and play smacky-face until the "truth" comes out.  You are living in a fictitious make-believe world where Americans actually have a passion for freedom and a distrust of government power.  That died a long, long time ago, if in fact it ever existed.  The U.S. government is growing more fascist only because the American population is growing more fascist--it is a reflection of our character.  

    If these things offended Americans President Bush would have a 5% approval rating and no chance of re-election.  For that matter, if half-trillion dollar deficits, the loss of jobs for the first time in 70+ years, Wilsonesque crusades to democratize the world, harmful environmental policies, and a cowboy "we run the world, so get in line" approach to foreign policy offended a meaningful slice of America, he would stand no chance in hell of being re-elected.  That he might, and in fact probably will, be re-elected really says all you need to know about the character of our people.  More Americans than you're willing to admit really do find the fact that Kerry used the word "lesbian" in the debates more offensive than what happened at Abu Ghraib.  

    I really, really hate to say this... (none / 1) (#470)
    by jd on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 05:35:10 PM EST

    ...but you're probably right. I was feeling a little hopeful, when some of the soldiers and administrators at the US prison over in Cuba started speaking up today about prisoner torture, et al, because that does show that some people are bothered.

    Unfortunately, the seem to be the only ones who ARE bothered. Despite increasing evidence of extremism and sadism within the Administration and those who implement Administration policy, neither the report I mentioned nor this latest round of revelations has stirred up much of a reaction.

    In the past few days, President Bush has lost two points of popularity. Worldwide condemnation of tactics and strategy, flagarent violations of US and International law, Georgia rules that the US Government has been abusing Sept. 11th to illegally harass protesters and it's doubtful the two point drop was even due to any of those factors.

    You describe America as fascist. Well, I can see that for the country as a whole. One reason I think the US is likely to collapse as a superpower - and, indeed, as a nation - within my lifetime. Fascism is notoriously unstable and self-destructive.

    The American Government is another matter. I don't think they're fascist. Emperor Caligula declared himself a God, in the days of the Roman Empire. I'm not sure if it's Bush or Cheney who sees themselves that way, but it's at least one of them. I doubt they'll openly declare such a belief before the election, but it wouldn't shock me if they did afterwards, if they won.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm scared (none / 0) (#482)
    by svampa on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 08:03:50 PM EST

    I think the US is likely to collapse as a superpower - and, indeed, as a nation - within my lifetime.

    I'm not USA citizen, and I wonder how many countries will drag within the collapse. How many countries will damage before its fall?. If it really falls.

    I've heard, at least twice, Rumsfield declare "We don't discard the use of nuclear weapons against bunkers or extreme resistence"

    I don't think it was a real threat, he was just testing the reactions. Next years we will hear someone in USA adminstration saying "Surrender or will drop the bomb"



    [ Parent ]
    The US military (none / 1) (#493)
    by jd on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 10:09:31 PM EST

    ...is developing "low-yield" nuclear bombs, designed to take out deep bunkers and other highly reinforced buildings. Given that they already have plenty of conventional explosives that'll bust through 40+' of reinforced concrete, it seems odd that they'd put in the R&D for this kind of thing.

    The deadliest conventional bomb that has been used in was was the T14/M110 Grand Slam. This was a 22,000lb bomb containing Torpex explosives as a shaped charge. Dropped from high altitude, it would hit the ground at about Mach 4. The combination of impact and explosion would literally blast a hole through 20+ feet of reinforced concrete.

    After World War II, the Grand Slam was upgraded to the T12 Demolition Bomb, weighing in at 44,000 lbs and designed to be carried by a B36. This would give it the ability to bust through 40' of concrete. Remember, though, this is using explosives available in the mid 1940s. More modern explosives are likely to be many times more powerful, so the ability to destroy bunkers should be scaled accordingly.

    Given that there really aren't many bunkers anywhere in the world with walls thicker than a four storey building, the need for far more powerful bombs is odd, to say the least. Unless you assume that such bombs aren't being built for strategic reasons, but for the purpose of instilling fear.

    Of course, nobody is going to fear a bomb if they don't know it exists. They particularly won't fear a bomb they don't believe the US will use. Ergo, the only way the US is likely to get anywhere with such a weapon is by using it. Since, to get maximum effect from a weapon of terror, it would need to be seen by the maximum number of people, it seems reasonable to conclude the US is considering the use of such weapons against civilian targets.

    Why civilians? Because strategic bunkers are not going to be anywhere that coup plotters can get to. That makes the use of nuclear weapons against them useless for intimidation purposes. (See: Death Star, first use of, for more details on this line of thinking.)

    A battlefield/tactical nuclear weapon, used against a civilian population, would likely have a similar effect to the one achieved against the Japanese. It would likely force the target population to capitulate unconditionally almost immediately.

    There is no other point in their use, and there is no point in building them if you don't plan to use them.

    [ Parent ]

    Sorry, but that is one of the stupidest things... (none / 0) (#495)
    by lordDogma on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 11:58:25 PM EST

    I've ever heard. That really takes the cake, man.

    [ Parent ]
    Pray tell. (none / 0) (#498)
    by jd on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 01:38:22 AM EST

    You don't seem to dispute the historical data. (Well, it's not as if you couldn't look it up - it's very well documented.)

    Assuming that to be the case, then I think it's likely we're both pretty much agreed that the US is quite capable of taking out virtually any military installation they're likely to come up against. As I said, there aren't many structures out there with forty-plus foot thick walls. The only structure I can think of that even remotely qualifies is NORAD's infamous mountain bunker, but it seems unlikely the US is going to target that any time soon.

    Provided we really are agreed up to this point, then I don't see why the rest should be crazy. Perhaps it's a little different in the interpretation, but that's a very different thing.

    If there are bunker-buster conventional bombs that can demolish those bunkers the US is likely to need to target, then the need for bunker-buster mini-nukes is unlikely to be a purely military one. The military are many things, but stupid isn't one of them. Throwing money away is, at least in my books, stupid. Ergo, developing a technology they could never use does not make sense. Ergo, there are situations in which they would use it.

    So far, I don't see where any overwhelming problem is. We seem to both be agreeing that the US is developing such technology and that they may be willing to threaten the use of it. The sole new element in what I wrote is that nobody is going to believe they would, unless there are some clear strategic or political reasons why they might believe otherwise.

    It seems to me that a 44,000 lb. supersonic (bordering hypersonic) bomb offers enough of a tactical menace to deal with any battlefield scenario. Unless you can give me a clear example of a case where a mini-nuke would be more useful on a battlefield than a Grand Slam or T14, I'll remain convinced that the bombs are not intended to fill the same role.

    And unless you can give me a role I've not thought of, then their utilization in the same way as the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki would seem to be the most likely option. After all, you can hardly claim there is no historical precedent!

    [ Parent ]

    The B61 with EPW Mod... (none / 0) (#502)
    by lordDogma on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 02:50:31 AM EST

    ...has been discussed to death in military circles and journals for years. The project was started in 1989. Keep in mind that the B61 has already existed since 1966 or so. The EPW version has modifications specifically designed to penetrate deep into the ground. If the real intent for this weapon was for nuking civilians then we could have had it in service a decade ago simply by putting a smaller warhead on the B61. Instead we have been spending millions trying to design the thing (and carrying out live drop tests) so it would penetrate deeper into various terrain including frozen soil. The structure of the EPW version is reinforced so it can remain intact while penetrating. Why the hell would we go through such trouble if this wasn't what we wanted to use it for? Maybe I don't understand your argument - are you alledging a conspiracy theory?

    I'm telling you straight up. The sole reason for the B61 EPW is to be used against extremely heavily protected underground bunkers, particularly control centers from which the enemy might launch his nuclear weapons at us. By extremely heavily protected, I mean deep inside of a mountain. I'm talking about a situation where you pretty much have to destroy half the mountain in order to take out the bunker. Even a grand slam can't do that. From FAS:

    "When configured to have a 10-kiloton yield and detonated 4 feet underground, the B61-11 can produce a shock wave sufficient to crush a bunker buried beneath 100 meters of layered rock."

    If there are bunker-buster conventional bombs that can demolish those bunkers the US is likely to need to target

    This is where your argument falls apart. We all know we have conventional bombs that can slice through tens of feet of concrete and use a delayed explosion to detonate inside. But we aren't talking about above-ground aircraft hangers. We're talking about deep, deep bunkers buried under tens of meters of solid granite.

    The B61 EPW works differently from the 5000lb bunker buster. Instead of penetrating 40 feet of concrete and using a delayed fuse to explode inside, the B61 isn't designed to unleash its hell inside of the bunker structure. It is designed to penetrate 20 feet or so, and then to transfer the shock wave of the nuclear explosion into the rock below. This shockwave is what destroys the bunker.



    [ Parent ]

    Continuing on... (none / 0) (#503)
    by lordDogma on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 02:54:48 AM EST

    It seems to me that a 44,000 lb. supersonic (bordering hypersonic) bomb offers enough of a tactical menace to deal with any battlefield scenario. Unless you can give me a clear example of a case where a mini-nuke would be more useful on a battlefield than a Grand Slam or T14, I'll remain convinced that the bombs are not intended to fill the same role.

    You are absolutely right. The B61 EPW isn't designed to fill the role of a grand slam/T14. Who ever suggested it was (besides yourself)?

    [ Parent ]

    Furthermore... (none / 0) (#504)
    by lordDogma on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 03:04:57 AM EST

    And unless you can give me a role I've not thought of, then their utilization in the same way as the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki would seem to be the most likely option.

    As has been stated by its proponents, the role of the B61 is the obvious one for which it was designed: To penetrate and destroy DEEEEEP underground bunkers by using a nuclear shockwave efficiently transferred into the ground, instead of "wasted" above-ground as it would be in a normal nuke.

    After all, you can hardly claim there is no historical precedent!

    This is just plain dumb. This is the part that I was referring to when I said "takes the cake". There is absolutely no fucking way we're going to drop a nuclear weapon on a city unless we are engaged in a nuclear war. In which case, using a piddly B61 EWP would be the worst choice of a weapon. Not only is the warhead tiny, but the bomb (after penetrating) would send most of its energy into a ground shockwave instead of where it counts - into destroying the city.

    If we really wanted to develop a new weapon for another "Hiroshima" we would take the original B61 and develop a smart-weapon package for it that would turn it into a satellite guided airbursting weapon.

    [ Parent ]

    Sources (none / 0) (#497)
    by maccha on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 01:02:56 AM EST

    This is really interesting but please could you give links to some of your sources? And what's that stuff about the Death Star?

    (Or am I just talking a load of crap?)


    [ Parent ]
    Ok, some sources.... (none / 0) (#499)
    by jd on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 02:06:58 AM EST

    Let's start with the Tall Boy and Grand Slam. These were invented by the British bomb expert Barnes Wallis, who also developed the "bouncing bomb" used in the famous Dambuster raids.

    For the bombs as deployed by the US, these are the links of interest:

    • Very Heavy Conventional Bombs, including the "Tall Boy" and "Grand Slam" as built and used in the US.
    • The T12 as built and deployed in the US. This is the super-massive 44,000 lb. bomb I mentioned - the largest conventional bomb ever built. Or, at least, that anyone seems to know about.

    I can probably dig up additional information, if it'd be useful, but this should make for a good start.

    [ Parent ]

    Don't click any of his links. (none / 0) (#519)
    by Fon2d2 on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 09:06:20 AM EST

    The link "More history and theory" to www.bomberhistory.co.uk [212.227.127.93] is attempting to take advantage of a JPEG processing buffer overflow vulnerability.

    [ Parent ]
    i told you guys he's a troll... (none / 0) (#526)
    by the ghost of rmg on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 10:43:05 PM EST

    and what happens? i get modded down for my trouble!


    rmg: comments better than yours.
    [ Parent ]
    I cannot believe that is true (2.33 / 3) (#490)
    by GenerationY on Sun Oct 17, 2004 at 09:42:07 PM EST

    I honestly believe the vast majority of Americans want to do the right thing. I think the problem is that with the present administration, the nature of the 'right thing' has been somewhat perverted, particularly as GWB offers crazily simple solutions to endlessly complex problems. For people who aren't really global citizens (and as residents of a vast superpower, why should they be frankly) its easy to see the attraction. Combine this with the disproportionate degree of fear that 9/11 instilled, again not surprising given a lack of experience with terrorists, I think this is a short-term blip, not a long-term problem of character.

    [ Parent ]
    You are so wrong. (none / 0) (#505)
    by mr strange on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 03:58:07 AM EST

    Democracy may be flawed, but it works. The torture, rape and killing, the suppression of dissent and the increasingly belligerent foreign policy... Bush and Rumsfelt and the gang are not to blame.

    There are politicians as bad as them in every democracy. It is the electorate who choose to make them the mainstream with a realistic chance of winning a second term in office, rather than an extremist fringe.

    I fear that the battle for the United States is over. Only a terrible reverse will shake the American people from their collective hysteria. The real battle now is to oust the appeasers in Europe and elsewhere. I fear for my own country too - Blair stands a very good chance of reelection.

    intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
    [ Parent ]

    Yes. (none / 0) (#506)
    by lordDogma on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 04:26:06 AM EST

    shake the American people from their collective hysteria.

    You mean the collective hysteria of the lunatic left that thinks we have become a fascist dictatorship and that equates George Bush with Hitler and Guantanamo with the worst of the Soviet Gulags?

    You are right. We must definitely shake the communist scum from our midst. I think the best thing to do is to round them up and ship them to the gas chambers (bwahahahahha!), starting with that fat slob Michael Moore.

    [ Parent ]

    Nah (none / 0) (#509)
    by GenerationY on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 06:24:43 AM EST

    I live in hope. I really do they think they were rattled, scared and had the wrong guy in the job at the time. If nothing else I think the financial cost will pour cold water over them in time; Bush can't keep up this level of military expenditure indefinitely without it beginning to hurt (not like there is anything left in the saving account, right).

    Blair OTOH...I wish he'd just quit. You notice recently he has clearly got the notion of his 'legacy' on his mind. Worrying times indeed. If this keeps up I'm going to have to vote for Charles Kennedy come the day. Personally, and I know some people find this amusing, I want Gordon Brown as PM.

    [ Parent ]

    I think you underestimate the people (3.00 / 5) (#510)
    by misanthrope112 on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 07:19:25 AM EST

    People aren't sheep.  They are complicit in the decisions made.  Even before the Iraq invasion/liberation, there were plenty of articles in world newspapers where you could find information that differed starkly from Fox news.  Before the invasion I was reading that a) the CIA's evidence on WMD was inconclusive, b) the invasion would increase terrorism, c) Saddam was not a danger to the U.S., or even his immediate neighbors, d) Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz had wanted invasion long before 9/11, e) there was no evidence of Iraqi collaboration with Al Queida at all, much less in the 9/11 attacks, f) the Iraqis would not greet their occupiers with open arms, etc etc.  It was out there.  All of the things that happened were predicted.   Some of the predictions were wrong, some were exaggerated, but nothing happening now comes as a surprise to anyone who read articles in the world press, articles which you could easily find en masse at sites like antiwar.com.  Yes, Bush and Cheney misled--politicians do that.  I have no sympathy for those who wring their hands now and say that we're only where we are because Bush lied.  All politicians lie--it is the responsibility of the population to check the goddamned facts.   The American public made no effort to do so.  They got swept up in the nationalistic orgy of flagwaving and dissident-bashing and completely abandoned all pretense of skepticism.   It wasn't even difficult.  The prevarications and half-truths were transparent.  The lies were BAD lies.  The logical and factual incosistencies would have been obvious to a ten-year old.  But they wanted to get swept along, wanted to prove that they were as, or more, patriotic than the next guy, and they wanted blood.   You may think it's selling Americans short to think they think nothing more nuanced than, "It's time to kick some ass!" but that pretty much pegs most people.  

    Yes, everyone wants to do the right thing.  What the right thing is differs with who you're talking to.  I give money to the ACLU and Amnesty International.  I think what happened in Abu Ghraib was horrible, and that this is one of the darker periods in our history, possibly the worst since the civil rights movement when cops were using attack dogs on children.  But I am admittedly in the minority.  People only cared for a little while when the pictures were on the news.  Now that they don't have to look at it, it isn't offensive, and in fact it doesn't matter at all, and will have zero affect on the election.  As long as you keep the comforting assumption that everyone in that prison was a confirmed terrorist, then there is little to make people feel bad about.   Even if you raise the idea that some may have been innocent (as evidenced by the fact that most have been released) people just shrug their shoulders.  It wasn't them, so it doesn't matter.  If it was their mother or child, then yes, it would obviously be torture, a gross violation of human rights, yadda yadda yadda.   People don't care, and that isn't Bush's fault.  He's a person too, just as capable as everyone else of making a meaningless abstraction of other people's pain and loss.


    [ Parent ]

    depends on the people you talk to (none / 0) (#515)
    by speek on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 04:10:54 PM EST

    If you spend most of your time talking to urban, upper-middle class, educated folks, you get the impression you just described. If you talk to rural, lower-class, less-educated folks, you get some very extreme views on how we should be responding to the threat of terrorism. The latter is very much the majority, but you might not recognize it if you live in a big city.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    Absolutely right (3.00 / 2) (#516)
    by speek on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 04:24:41 PM EST

    And it's high time we recognized it. If you live in a big city, you may not be seeing this aspect of America. But out in the country, in rural towns, in more blue-collar towns, and amongst less-educated people, these attitudes absolutely dominate. I will say that Americans do generally distrust government, but that that mistrust has been successfully redirected at Europe and their highly socialistic governments and at foreigners in general, and their "conspiracy" to control the US government (ie, jews, illegal immigrants getting entitlements, driver's license and voting, and them evil liberals kow-towing to the Europeans).

    I think Americans are reaching a point where they would feel happier, and more fulfilled, as a militaristic conqueror, righteously bringing justice to all, than in continuing to watch their boring TV shows and arguing about health care.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    Human Right group condemns US | 538 comments (514 topical, 24 editorial, 2 hidden)
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