PDA

View Full Version : Invasion of Iraq


Pages : 1 2 3 4 [5] 6

Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Jim ashby
11-14-2003, 06:25 PM
Like I said months ago, welcome to Belfast on the Tigris/Euphrates. Just pray that one of your "special allies" doesn't organise fundraisers for Al Quaeda.

Neil Mick
11-14-2003, 09:06 PM
Like I said months ago, welcome to Belfast on the Tigris/Euphrates. Just pray that one of your "special allies" doesn't organise fundraisers for Al Quaeda.
You got that right. ;)

Neil Mick
11-25-2003, 03:13 PM
Jaime: I am not going to debate you: what's the point? Your mind is already made up, before you typed your first word.

But, I do have a question for you: why are you so afraid? Your post almost smells of "fight-or-flight." Sure, terrorism is an important issue and measures need to be taken: but in my simple experience, it seems that the best recourse to an action is to approach it with a clear head, not with amped-up adrenalin.

Take Iraq, as an obvious example: no matter how you slice it (for, or against, the invasion), the task of "nation-building" was poorly planned. Fear, and spin (http://www.ucomics.com/tomthedancingbug/index.phtml), was one of those motivating factors that pushed the American public, and Congress, to go along with this poorly planned action.

So, there you are, near "ground-zero" that is the "Big Apple:" and you're worried about what to do, in case of attack?? And if your father or brother IS killed in the next terrorist backlash in response to our bombing a town, in response to their bombing a building, etc; THEN what? What will all of your "vigilance" do to stop the cycle, or even to save the lives of your loved-ones?

Absolutely nothing.

Reminds me of what my old German HS teacher used to say (and yes: he was Conservative)--"I don't look for cheating, because I'm afraid I might find it, too easily."

I guess if you were my German teacher: I'd look forward to a daily reading of the rules against cheating, followed (no doubt) by strip-searches and interrogations for Muslim students. In a 45-minute period, that doesn't leave much time for learning German--the stated intention of the class.

Nor, in parallel: does constant "vigilance" leave much time, or money, for improving the quality of life, or freedom, in America.

Neil Mick
11-26-2003, 11:23 AM
You don't understand. I don't need to trade insults with you. Here, I can simply ignore you--which is exactly what I intend to to, as you seem to have no sense of appropriate response, to an honestly-asked question.

Good luck with your "vigilance:" if it makes you happy being so "vigilant," I will not begrudge it of you.

In my world, there's plenty of room for ppl who disagree with my world-views. Clearly, you do not feel the same (or at least, you cannot communicate your ideas with any measure of respect). And, I see no point to the reason to all your vitriol, except as some sort of online therapy for you (or, maybe your aim is to shut down discussions of Iraq, among Aikidoists, in which you seem to be succeeding, quite well).

Whatever your motives, I leave you to them, and to your vitriol.

Another post'er (Fred Little, I think) once wrote of a man who visited the Buddha, and criticized him for all manner of complaints. The Buddha listened quietly for awhile and asked him if, when he goes to visit another's house, does he bring the host any presents?

"Yes," the man said. "It is only polite to bring a gift to a man who house you visit."

"And, if the host did not want the gifts, what would you do with them?"

"I'd take them back home, for my family to enjoy," said the critic.

"Well, you can take your gifts back home to your family. I have no need for such vitriol." My answer to you is the same.

happysod
12-01-2003, 09:31 AM
Firstly, apologies for interjecting here on a thread that I have to look up most of the references for with regard your political examples etc., but I've got a couple of questions I'd like to ask you both.

Jaime - what legislation would make you believe your government has overstepped a line between guarding against terrorism and infringing your rights as a citizen. Basically, (other than trying to remove your right to bear arms) what would be too far?

Neil, I'm still unclear, would you say the invasion of Iraq was wrong altogether, wrong due to the misapplied "intelligence", right done for the wrong reasons, other. I'm not asking about the post-invasion plans (or lack), just the actual removal of Saddam.

FWIW, I've found your discourse very interesting. However, I wish Opher was back refereeing at this point...

opherdonchin
12-02-2003, 02:04 PM
I think Jaime is saying that he opposes the patriot act and thinks that any steps taken by the government to restrict individual liberties to combat domestic terrorism are highly suspect. I'm not sure, though.

I thought we were all done. How'd we get started again?

happysod
12-03-2003, 02:58 AM
Jaime, thank you for your prompt reply. Although I can agree with your wish for the individual to be the primary source of societies moral check and your comment about society being a voluntary institution, I do have some problems with this. Without decent, standardised education I can't see how individuals will have enough information to make a reasoned choice of how their society should operate. The subject of education and topics covered have long been areas of violent strife and "imposition" by the government so I can see examples of a government acting against individuals "rights" in a positive manner.

Opher, the thread was really reactivated by Neil. I'm afraid I took the opportunity to ask a couple of questions which have been nagging me as the very divergent viewpoints expressed have helped me somewhat in my puzzlement over US news coverage.

OT - Opher, where have you been, you haven't been posting much at all?

happysod
12-03-2003, 08:21 AM
Jaime, "total privatisation of education???". Sorry, but that's been a dirty word over here for too long to be credible. The problem as I see it with privatisation in education is a business has to run on quantifiable, recognisable goals. Now currently, private schools have the baseline given to them by the state sector and, no surprise, they can often out-perform them within certain parameters. Remove the state sector and, even with personal choice, the bottom line will become cost of running the school. Slowly, the minimum standards set by the government will be marginilised and the skills needed to gain the higher paid jobs will be "outside ciriculem", thus paid for separately by those who can afford them.

Where I agree with you is actually in terms of choice of the individual in which school they attend, but enabling business's to run the entire education system gives me shudders. I'm even less convinced at either the alturistic or efficient nature of business, considering how so often they need govenment (our) backing for money to survive.

Neil Mick
12-03-2003, 01:39 PM
Firstly, apologies for interjecting here on a thread that I have to look up most of the references for with regard your political examples etc., but I've got a couple of questions I'd like to ask you both.

Neil, I'm still unclear, would you say the invasion of Iraq was wrong altogether, wrong due to the misapplied "intelligence", right done for the wrong reasons, other. I'm not asking about the post-invasion plans (or lack), just the actual removal of Saddam.
Sorry I didn't respond sooner: end of semester and all. I think that it's a good thing to clarify one's position (as I've noticed a little "position-shift" in a few ppl...self included).

The plans for the actual removal of Saddam Hussein was (is) the classic demonstration of folly. But, let's be clear in definitions:

fol·ly



1. A lack of good sense, understanding, or foresight.

2. An act or instance of foolishness: regretted the follies of his youth.

3. A costly undertaking having an absurd or ruinous outcome.

Ari Fleischer's "bullett through the head" declaration to "get" Hussein, was folly because it set dangerous precedents for the President using assassination as foreign policy. Firstly, I think that it's illegal (not sure), but it should be the definition of a leader of government to be law-abiding, right? I feel silly pointing this out, because I think it should be obvious. If a leader cannot abide by laws, then we live in a criminal empire: an empire where the leader can designate assassinations for any reason he likes, and lies about the evidence later (or presents prefabricated evidence, to buttress his cause). Attacking and removing Hussein circumvents the process of international law, which creates a dangerous and destabilizing climate in world security. Also, the credibility of the US is plummetting, and picking up steam, fast.

The stated reason to "get" Hussein--wmd--was folly because, obviously, there are no wmd, which lacks foresight. After the UN inspectors weren't allowed back into Iraq when they were caught spying for the US in '97, the CIA intel of Iraq dropped to heresay (relying on expat enemies of Hussien).

But, "getting" Hussein via invasion was also folly because the Administration was unprepared for the ramifications of invasion upon the area (something I've been saying for over a year, now).

The US going around the dictates of the UN is folly because it violated international law, setting precedents for other nations. Turkey has stated that it might pre-emptively strike Kurds; Java against Aceh.

But what about the good that removing Hussein does for Iraq, you might say? Frankly, Ian: I don't believe that we are in Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi ppl. Historically we seem to view the Iraqi's as some sort of bargaining chip against Hussein. We helped him to power, gave him weapons and money, ignored his crimes when he committed them, allowed him to cut down the Shi'ite uprising (after Bush 1 called for it), premeditatively bombed the infrastructure to blackmail Hussein and then actively employed the Sanctions for 12 years...I think it's safe to say that the US has a bad track record, in its concern for Iraqi human rights.

In short, "removing" Hussein via invasion is costly (http://www.costofwar.com), will result in less, as opposed to more, security, and will certainly not result in a democracy, in Iraq...the stated reason. The very definition of folly.

Neil Mick
12-03-2003, 01:48 PM
FWIW, I've found your discourse very interesting. However, I wish Opher was back refereeing at this point...
Thanks: I was beginning to think that no one was reading these things.
I thought we were all done. How'd we get started again?
Opher, the thread was really reactivated by Neil.
You can't pin that one on me, copper...lol. No, I left it alone for three months, then Abasan came on (post #990) and posted an article. THAT started it up (not that it matters: I just hate for my repution to be besmirched :D )

happysod
12-04-2003, 03:23 AM
Neil, sorry, you're right, I forgot about Abasan's initial post.

I'm still unclear from what you said. I agree, the actual invasion was not engendered by humanitarian concerns on the part of our political leaders. I'm not actually convinced there was a single "reason" behind the invasion, that it was more a confluence of (often competing) viewpoints finding a common (and achievable) target in Iraq. However, I do find the removal of Hussain to be a "good" thing, whether the long term benefits are evinced is another matter, which I think is contrary to your viewpoint?

As regards your view that this has somehow created a precedant for other countries, I totally disagree. Both the now defunct USSR and China have for decades both ignored, twisted and actually used UN directives for their own ends. Now I agree, the US doing it has more shock value, especially as one of the gripes about the UN is that it's too US-centric, but to blame other countrie's subsequent incursions on the US is too great a step to me. I agree, the Iraq invasion may have pointed out the ineffectualness of the UN in preventing incursions across international borders. But I think the subsequent mess that has been created will strengthen the UN in that it is clear without UN backing, any chance for a long-term solution is not achievable by even such a powerful country as the US.

One thing I do find very interesting is that both you and Jaime seem (to me at least) to agree in one major area, that the US should be (and in some cases is) almost an "older/bigger brother" the the rest of the world which seems to be the root of many of your arguments. Jaime has no problem with breaking out the birch when the young'uns get out of line, whereas you're dispairing as you believe you should be setting the best example and providing some much needed nuturing care when they're wayward. Just a musing on my part, please feel free to jump on me from a great height for my presumptions...

Neil Mick
12-04-2003, 05:03 PM
However, I do find the removal of Hussain to be a "good" thing, whether the long term benefits are evinced is another matter, which I think is contrary to your viewpoint?
The removal of Hussein is a good thing; but the ramifications of our actions to achieve this, is not. Also, the Shi'ites and other Iraqi's were not asked as to whether or not they wanted a foreign invasion and occupation.

If you had stomach cancer and you went in to see a Dr: would you find it a "good" thing if he insisted that he operate, right away...to the point of forcing you on the operating table? What if this Dr. had a 100% failure record for this procedure (as the US does, in instituting democratic reform, after invasions (and no: WW2 doesn't count))?
As regards your view that this has somehow created a precedant for other countries, I totally disagree.
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree. The term "pre-emptive strike" didn't exist in the present context, before Bush's action on Iraq: and now other nations (the one''s I listed above, to name a few) are following the US's lead.

The US also sets the stage for limiting civic freedoms in other countries, providing a framework for nations to repress freedom of speech and granting intel-agencies broad, sweeping powers to "combat terror." India, Pakistan, Turkey and Indonesia all have pushed Patriot-Act-style reforms through their parliaments, patterned after the US Patriot-Act.


I think the subsequent mess that has been created will strengthen the UN in that it is clear without UN backing, any chance for a long-term solution is not achievable by even such a powerful country as the US.
We'll just have to see. I agree that the US is not the "only" bad-apple in the global bunch of nations (frankly: I think that they're ALL corrupt), but as the only superpower: the reach of our shadow is very long, indeed.
One thing I do find very interesting is that both you and Jaime seem (to me at least) to agree in one major area, that the US should be (and in some cases is) almost an "older/bigger brother" the the rest of the world which seems to be the root of many of your arguments.
No, I do not find our role as "big brother" to be a good thing. But, we ARE the superpower, and to ignore our effect upon the world is to ignore reality. We have a bloated military and enough weapons to destroy the world many times over; to pretend that these weapons do not exist is irresponsible. Why not use our ill-gotten power (power that was stolen from us, as Americans) for "good, instead of evil." (lol)
you're dispairing as you believe you should be setting the best example and providing some much needed nuturing care when they're wayward.
I believe that we should carefully temper and weigh every option, when we are told to invade. Sometimes (as perhaps in Liberia) invasion is necessary to avert a loss of lives. But you know we are going the wrong way when we are lied to, to justify invasion. We should have learned that lesson in Vietnam, but clearly we need to make that mistake a few more times before we get it (if, we ever do).

happysod
12-05-2003, 03:44 AM
Neil, thanks for the reply

"Also, the Shi'ites and other Iraqi's were not asked as to whether or not they wanted a foreign invasion and occupation" - I have difficulty seeing how this could be done in practice, the closest I can come is still a judgement call based on civil unrest/oppression in the country in question (or perhaps a questionnaire in every happy meal?)

"The term "pre-emptive strike" didn't exist in the present context" - agreed, but I'd consider this more semantics than anything else (living room?) - there's always room for new ways of saying invade. Yep, still disagree here - to infer a "US did it, so why not us" is a cause rather than just the latest rationalisation by other nations is too far for me.

Very interested in your last paragraph, actually more militant than I had expected. I must admit, I'd misread your posts to mean you'd never consider "proactive military commitment" (can't remember where I read that one, but I was impressed by it's weasalness) - I aplogise for my misconception here.

Neil Mick
12-05-2003, 09:35 PM
Neil, thanks for the reply
Sure.
"Also, the Shi'ites and other Iraqi's were not asked as to whether or not they wanted a foreign invasion and occupation" - I have difficulty seeing how this could be done in practice, the closest I can come is still a judgement call based on civil unrest/oppression in the country in question (or perhaps a questionnaire in every happy meal?)
There's the rub. How do you know when to invade? When is the right time...or wrong time? You're right: it IS a judgement call, based upon oppression. But, the thing always ignored is how much the US needs to weigh whether a situation is so dire that human rights is an issue. Never is it examined exactly what effect an invasion has upon a country, post invasion, when all this talk of "nation-buiding" comes up. Afghanistan will NEVER recover, from invasions on its land. How come we never hear about those happy campers in Afghanistan, BTW?

And: individual countries can be duped into attacking out of fear, based upon lies their leaders told, right? Which is exactly what is happening to us, the American's. So: IMO, the only way to insure that international peace is maintained, is to adhere to international law. If the law, or the UN, is weak; then strengthen it. You don't change the world via violent measures and expect anything but MORE violence, for a long time.

In respect to Iraq: the US should have stopped meddling in the inspections process. It was working--Iraq was destroying all of its weapons--and Hussein was on the edge of cutting a deal, before we turned Iraq into a DMZ.
"The term "pre-emptive strike" didn't exist in the present context" - agreed, but I'd consider this more semantics than anything else (living room?) - there's always room for new ways of saying invade. Yep, still disagree here - to infer a "US did it, so why not us" is a cause rather than just the latest rationalisation by other nations is too far for me.
Well, I think that Turkey (http://www.agonist.org/archives/010922.html) might disagree with you. It's all about timing, and linking ppl's fears to terror, when leaders use this term. The US has established that it's OK to justify an action that has no basis in international law. On Dec. 1, 2002: Australian PM John Howard: "Australia would be prepared to launch a preemptive strike on another country as a measure of last resort to fight terrorism." The vagueness of this term is astounding, and can only be attributed to the expanionist adventurism, engaged by the Bush regime.
Very interested in your last paragraph, actually more militant than I had expected. I must admit, I'd misread your posts to mean you'd never consider "proactive military commitment" (can't remember where I read that one, but I was impressed by it's weasalness) - I aplogise for my misconception here.
No problem. I'm not a pacifist: history has a few grim lessons of what happens to powerful nations that turn to isolatonism.

Neil Mick
12-15-2003, 03:20 AM
And so they finally got the Beast of Baghdad: a bedraggled, pathetic little man hiding in a hole. This is the mastermind who is coordinating the Iraqi resistance?

The military has achieved their objective (or...did they? WHERE'S THE BEEF? Where are all the nerve toxins, anthrax and weapons threatening the US? Where are the vaunted wmd's??)--we should turn over leadership of the occupation army to the UN, and negotiate a speedy demilitarization. The US forces are the powderkeg feeding the fires of rebellion, and it can only get worse.

Neil Mick
12-16-2003, 11:40 AM
Even more interesting (if anyone is reading this): now that they have captured Hussein, how will they get him to keep quiet about all the details of the US support he received in the '70's and '80's, in his trial?

If Saddam is out of the picture and there are no wmd, then why is the US still in Iraq (this question posed by Tony Benn, former British MP)?

DanielR
12-16-2003, 11:50 AM
Even more interesting (if anyone is reading this): now that they have captured Hussein, how will they get him to keep quiet about all the details of the US support he received in the '70's and '80's, in his trial?
This is exactly the same thing a (very insightful) colleague of mine said to me yesterday. An interesting dilemma.

John Malin
12-16-2003, 08:27 PM
The question I've always pondered is why Iraq?

The 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

Al Quada is funed by Saudi Arabia.

There is volumes of evidence that 9/11 was a follow up attack to the 93 WTC bombing. The bombers were from Saudi Arabia. The Cole, the embassy bombings, the Taliban, all in some way related to Saudi Arabia.

But, we got Saddam. Why?

I'd answer the question, but I'd probably be thrown in jail under the "Patriot Act."

Abasan
12-17-2003, 02:32 AM
Hey you can't blame me! :)

I just wanted to put a word in for a very long drawn thread which was very informative on both sides of the table. And then somehow the tidal wave came.

As for saddam being caught and tried... well, everyone is calling for a fair trial by an international court. If he were to be judged by the 'iraqis' ie the government placed in iraq now, it won't be much different then being judged by an american court would it? If the powers that be are not afraid of everything being let loose in the courts of law subject to it being 'relevant' then i don't see a problem with having an international court try him. At the sametime, maybe george snr can join him too heh heh.

As for the question why iraq? mannn... that question's been asked since day one even. no reason at all except for the oil. WMD? ahemmm... there must be some here, no here... ah there, somewhere.

Its not war, its invasion. its the way of the new century, the how to conquer a country

a 60days.

Just a question though... i'm not clear on this one.

US invades Iraq.. costs US some money...

Destroys part of Iraq's infrastrucutre ... cost the iraqis some money to rebuild that.

Whose money is being used to pay for the two? US taxpayers money or Iraq's oil money?

If i came to my neighbours house and destroyed it cause i thought he hid some tnt's there... cost me some money to rent a bulldozer btw, and had to rebuild the stupid house because of some puny inhabitants rights and ...

1. used my money... i think thats sort of fair. after all, i'm not paying for the hardship they have to go through... and destroying the house was my idea after all.

2. used his money... jeez. great deal for me! get paid to destroy things.

Neil Mick
12-18-2003, 01:11 PM
Even more interesting (if anyone is reading this): now that they have captured Hussein, how will they get him to keep quiet about all the details of the US support he received in the '70's and '80's, in his trial?
Apparently our fearless leader answered my question, last Tuesday. He ignores international law (again) by denying Hussein PoW status and having his picture taken being humiliated in a medical exam (surprised they didn't make him strip). Then Bush declares that he wants Hussein tried in Iraq, by the Iraqi's!

This show-trial would, once again, make a mockery of the process of international law; but it would also keep Hussein quiet about any details he might provide of US involvement, in his defence.
US invades Iraq.. costs US some money...

Destroys part of Iraq's infrastrucutre ... cost the iraqis some money to rebuild that.

Whose money is being used to pay for the two? US taxpayers money or Iraq's oil money?

If i came to my neighbours house and destroyed it cause i thought he hid some tnt's there... cost me some money to rent a bulldozer btw, and had to rebuild the stupid house because of some puny inhabitants rights and ...

1. used my money... i think thats sort of fair. after all, i'm not paying for the hardship they have to go through... and destroying the house was my idea after all.

2. used his money... jeez. great deal for me! get paid to destroy things.
By international law, US tax-dollars should pay for Iraq's reconstruction. In your example in #1, the money didn't come from "you:" it came from American taxpayers. And: this money gets used to rebuild Iraq, lining the pockets of those companies owned by "your" friends.

And don't forget that lovely pipeline being shunted from Iraq to Haifa. Oil-wars are great business. :disgust:

DanielR
12-18-2003, 01:20 PM
And don't forget that lovely pipeline being shunted from Iraq to Haifa. Oil-wars are great business. :disgust:
Neil, are you referring to this? (http://www.counterpunch.org/eldar04012003.html) Why :disgust: then?

Neil Mick
12-18-2003, 02:05 PM
The disgust was meant for the (by now) obvious reasons for going to war...it was about controlling the flow of oil. The Pentagon cooked (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/12/18/1734209) up this horror-story to feed to the American public, about how dangerous Hussein was. The pipeline to Haifa idea has been around for awhile, and I see this as a form of payback for Bush's ally. There's a lot of Iraqi and American blood on that money--and that's why I'm disgusted.

Now, someone like Jaime might claim that my disgust is specious, as I'd prefer to leave Hussein in power, to kill ppl indiscriminately. I get tired of repeating that yes, it's a good thing that Hussein is no longer in power. But he ignores the source of my disgust: that BushCo spins any lie, and justification, they want, to get what they want. E Timorese being murdered, by Java troops? Not interested, unless we find oil in E Timor. Aceh farmers butchered by Indonesians? Hey, those guys were terrorists! You gotta protect yourself!

Turkey imprisons and kills Kurds? Watch what you say: those are our sainted allies.

But let one of those "sainted allies" (http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17389) veer off the track of being in our "good graces (i.e, doesn't hand over "our" oil, from "their" land)," and suddenly those

10-year-old human rights crimes take center stage.

I have a lot to feel disgust, in these times. My government clothes their lies in spins of fear and loathing to the American public, and the big paybacks are all in plain sight. :disgust:

DanielR
12-18-2003, 02:24 PM
I only wanted to comment that, from a completely pragmatic standpoint, and based on my limited knowledge of the subject, the pipeline is tied to reasonable normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states. Jordan and the Palestinians would probably benefit from the pipeline as well. So given the current situation, the idea of the pipeline seems only logical to me.

Neil Mick
12-18-2003, 04:30 PM
the pipeline is tied to reasonable normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states. Jordan and the Palestinians would probably benefit from the pipeline as well. So given the current situation, the idea of the pipeline seems only logical to me.
I do not understand what you mean by this (particularly the bit about normalization of relations): could you elaborate?

DanielR
12-18-2003, 04:47 PM
...the bit about normalization of relations...
Well, I've read it somewhere and it makes sense to me that activation of such a pipeline would only be possible when Israel has more cooperative relations with the Arab countries (otherwise I can't imagine how would the PR side of it work out). The pipeline goes through Jordan, so Jordanian cooperation is especially important. So, again, assuming the situation in Iraq stabilizes and the peace process gets somewhere, this doesn't sound to me as a bad idea.

Neil Mick
12-18-2003, 05:43 PM
activation of such a pipeline would only be possible when Israel has more cooperative relations with the Arab countries (otherwise I can't imagine how would the PR side of it work out). The pipeline goes through Jordan, so Jordanian cooperation is especially important.
Maybe. But I tend to look askance at any deal with Iraqi oil, involving Israel. I hardly think that the US occupation of Iraq plays very well into peaceful ventures between Israel and the Arab nations. Certainly, Israel endorsed the US invasion. Richard Pearl, Wolfewitz and others in BushCo had ties to the Israel gov't, and few in Israel are mourning the capture of Hussein. It takes only a short deductive step in reasoning to figure that Israel's connection to getting the invasion underway went further than simply cheering on the sidelines.

Yes, I know: rumor and conjecture. But if I am temporizing on what little information I have, how do you think this sits with Arabic leaders, or the "average" Arab?

(OTOH, you could well be right, Daniel--I'm just one guy on a PC ;) )

DanielR
12-18-2003, 06:05 PM
I have no doubt that Israel's connection to the war is more than just proclamation of support. Intelligence assistance would seem natural, for example.

I'm quite sure that the idea of Iraq exporting oil to Israel would rub many Arabs the wrong way. History shows however that pragmatism often overcomes prejudice.

Neil Mick
12-19-2003, 03:56 PM
History shows however that pragmatism often overcomes prejudice.
Based upon recent events, I question whether or not this pipeline was done less for pragmatic, than for acquisitive, reasons. I admit that I don't know the variables behind this gesture, but everything that the US has done in Iraq up to this point has (IMO) been done from selfish motivations.

Michael Neal
12-29-2003, 07:36 AM
LOL that this thread is still going on

Neil Mick
12-29-2003, 12:54 PM
LOL that this thread is still going on
Yes, and you're the proud starter of this long-running forum! Doesn't it make you want to stand up and cheer! :D

Neil Mick
12-30-2003, 01:18 PM
On another note, I'm sure you've all heard about the earthquake in the ancient city of Bam, in Iran. The disaster is worsened by the lack of preparedness of the Iranian gov't.

The Red Cross and Doctor's Without Borders are accepting donations for relief to the earthquake victims. If you are interested in donating to the Earthquake Relief Fund, the contact # for the Red Cross is 1-800-HELP-NOW

Neil Mick
12-31-2003, 02:50 PM
“Readers can’t understand why the Americans won the war,” Hertoghe said in a telephone interview. “The French press wasn’t neutral.”

...and the American press (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2883.htm) was neutral??

Never mind: forget I said anything. You'll just accuse me of Socialist sympathies, tell me all about my "agendas," point out my anti-American sentiments, based upon my disagreements with my government's foreign and civil policies, and tell me how much I value Democratic Presidents over Republicans.

Conservatives good/Liberals bad...isn't that how the song goes?

Sorry I interrupted your usual complaints by changing my "ignore" settings (just thought I'd peek). You may now return to your regularly scheduled Socialistic projections of what you think they are.

Happy New Year, one and all! May the world be a more peaceful place next year, than it was the last!

Neil Mick
01-01-2004, 04:30 PM
I have been waiting for days now since the Earthquake to see if anyone (Ahmed?) would like to point out how Americans (civilian and military) are helping in this disaster relief effort but alas it is silence as usual by the left and others who hate to see Americans in a good light.
OK, my last post may sound a little harsh: for which I apologize. I was actually responding to the general tone of previous posts, and not your last.

Yes, Jaime: the American politicians and soldiers are doing a good thing, in helping the disaster reflief effort.

Happy?

You might think that many do not want to see the US in a good light: but (in my case) you'd be wrong. I dearly want to see the US be a good global citizen, instead of the greatest threat to world peace, as many see this country.

Neil Mick
01-01-2004, 08:33 PM
1. ignore only works for PMs not posts as Jun pointed out to you a while back.
Nope: you are confusing aikiweb, with aikidojournal. Ignore works for posts, here...try it.
3. If I got it all wrong well the Bhuddah would you mind explaining it to me? For one with such a loud uh voice I would thing you wouldn't keep quite for onr moment and all 5 of us here would know what makes you tick isntead of just hearing a DN! yesman....
Sigh.

"Are you now, or have you ever been...?"

Jaime, I don't have to explain myself, or my beliefs, to anyone. And (IMA), neither do you. But the fact is: I HAVE explained my beliefs to you, several times, at your request.

But in short (once again): I follow similar beliefs to the Greens. I suppose you could call some of my beliefs Socialist (I believe that certain laws ought to limit behaviours of corporations and individuals), and I believe that the Welfare program begun in the 40's was largely successful until 80's era pol's messed it up, with their "reforms." You could also call me an environmentalist, a decentralist, or a feminist.

I also believe that foreign policy should be dictated first and foremost by a concern for human rights, and dignity. I think that foreign policy and the election process has been corrupted by narrow corporate interests, and that these interests have latched onto dogmatic, patriotic and populist impulses.

You like to crow about the prospect of "4 more years" of Bush: I believe that this would be the worst thing to happen to the US, from a civil, ecological, and social standpoint. His reign has caused much suffering and endangered the integrity of this country by treading upon civil liberties, for selfish interests. We are rapidly losing our character as a democracy, and becoming an empire, a corporate fascist state.

Neil Mick
01-05-2004, 02:30 PM
Gosh, so we disagree...? I'm shocked. Shocked! to find that we do not view the world through the same political lens.

Now that you've offered unasked-for critique of my beliefs, can you please now offer any reason why I shouldn't just return your name to the ignore list?

Neil Mick
01-05-2004, 02:53 PM
can you please now offer any reason why I shouldn't just return your name to the ignore list?
But, here's a suggestion: why don't we find the areas in politics that we do agree?

I know, for instance, that you and I might find some common ground on the Patriot Act, state's rights, etc.

Neil Mick
01-06-2004, 03:25 PM
I've been hearing a lot of news regarding discontent among the army personnel in Iraq, as well as the lack of resources allocated to reconstruction, in relation to supporting the army. This letter sets the tone nicely:

Hold On to Your Humanity

by Stan Goff

bringthemhomenow.org

Dear American serviceperson in Iraq,

I am a retired veteran of the army, and my own son is among you, a paratrooper like I was. The changes that are happening to every one of you—some more extreme than others—are changes I know very well. So I'm going to say some things to you straight up in the language to which you are accustomed.

In 1970, I was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, then based in northern Binh Dinh Province in what was then the Republic of Vietnam. When I went there, I had my head full of s**t: s**t from the news media, s**t from movies, s**t about what it supposedly mean to be a man, and s**t from a lot of my know-nothing neighbors who would tell you plenty about Vietnam even though they'd never been there, or to war at all.

The essence of all this s**t was that we had to "stay the course in Vietnam," and that we were on some mission to save good Vietnamese from bad Vietnamese, and to keep the bad Vietnamese from hitting beachheads outside of Oakland. We stayed the course until 58,000 Americans were dead and lots more maimed for life, and 3,000,000 Southeast Asians were dead. Ex-military people and even many on active duty played a big part in finally bringing that crime to a halt.

When I started hearing about weapons of mass destruction that threatened the United States from Iraq, a shattered country that had endured almost a decade of trench war followed by an invasion and twelve years of sanctions, my first question was how in the hell can anyone believe that this suffering country presents a threat to the United States? But then I remembered how many people had believed Vietnam threatened the United States. Including me.

When that bulls**t story about weapons came apart like a two-dollar shirt, the politicians who cooked up this war told everyone, including you, that you would be greeted like great liberators. They told us that we were in Vietnam to make sure everyone there could vote.

What they didn't tell me was that before I got there in 1970, the American armed forces had been burning villages, killing livestock, poisoning farmlands and forests, killing civilians for sport, bombing whole villages, and committing rapes and massacres, and the people who were grieving and raging over that weren't in a position to figure out the difference between me—just in country—and the people who had done those things to them.

What they didn't tell you is that over a million and a half Iraqis died between 1991 and 2003 from malnutrition, medical neglect, and bad sanitation. Over half a million of those who died were the weakest: the children, especially very young children.

My son who is over there now has a baby. We visit with our grandson every chance we get. He is eleven months old now. Lots of you have children, so you know how easy it is to really love them, and love them so hard you just know your entire world would collapse if anything happened to them. Iraqis feel that way about their babies, too. And they are not going to forget that the United States government was largely responsible for the deaths of half a million kids.

So the lie that you would be welcomed as liberators was just that. A lie. A lie for people in the United States to get them to open their purse for this obscenity, and a lie for you to pump you up for a fight.

And when you put this into perspective, you know that if you were an Iraqi, you probably wouldn't be crazy about American soldiers taking over your towns and cities either. This is the tough reality I faced in Vietnam. I knew while I was there that if I were Vietnamese, I would have been one of the Vietcong.

But there we were, ordered into someone else's country, playing the role of occupier when we didn't know the people, their language, or their culture, with our head full of bulls**t our so-called leaders had told us during training and in preparation for deployment, and even when we got there. There we were, facing people we were ordered to dominate, but any one of whom might be pumping mortars at us or firing AKs at us later that night. The question we started to ask is who put us in this position?

In our process of fighting to stay alive, and in their process of trying to expel an invader that violated their dignity, destroyed their property, and killed their innocents, we were faced off against each other by people who made these decisions in $5,000 suits, who laughed and slapped each other on the back in Washington DC with their fat f***ing asses stuffed full of cordon bleu and caviar.

They chumped us. Anyone can be chumped.

That's you now. Just fewer trees and less water.

We haven't figured out how to stop the pasty-faced, oil-hungry backslappers in DC yet, and it looks like you all might be stuck there for a little longer. So I want to tell you the rest of the story.

I changed over there in Vietnam and they were not nice changes either. I started getting pulled into something—something that craved other peole's pain. Just to make sure I wasn't regarded as a "f***ing missionary" or a possible rat, I learned how to fit myself into that group that was untouchable, people too crazy to f*** with, people who desired the rush of omnipotence that comes with setting someone's house on fire just for the pure hell of it, or who could kill anyone, man, woman, or child, with hardly a second thought. People who had the power of life and death—because they could.

The anger helps. It's easy to hate everyone you can't trust because of your circumstances, and to rage about what you've seen, what has happened to you, and what you have done and can't take back.

It was all an act for me, a cover-up for deeper fears I couldn't name, and the reason I know that is that we had to dehumanize our victims before we did the things we did. We knew deep down that what we were doing was wrong. So they became dinks or gooks, just like Iraqis are now being transformed into ragheads or hajjis. People had to be reduced to "niggers" here before they could be lynched. No difference. We convinced ourselves we had to kill them to survive, even when that wasn't true, but something inside us told us that so long as they were human beings, with the same intrinsic value we had as human beings, we were not allowed to burn their homes and barns, kill their animals, and sometimes even kill them. So we used these words, these new names, to reduce them, to strip them of their essential humanity, and then we could do things like adjust artillery fire onto the cries of a baby.

Until that baby was silenced, though, and here's the important thing to understand, that baby never surrendered her humanity. I did. We did. That's the thing you might not get until it's too late. When you take away the humanity of another, you kill your own humanity. You attack your own soul because it is standing in the way.

So we finish our tour, and go back to our families, who can see that even though we function, we are empty and incapable of truly connecting to people any more, and maybe we can go for months or even years before we fill that void where we surrendered our humanity, with chemical anesthetics—drugs, alcohol, until we realize that the void can never be filled and we shoot ourselves, or head off into the street where we can disappear with the flotsam of society, or we hurt others, especially those who try to love us, and end up as another incarceration statistic or a mental patient.

You can ever escape that you became a racist because you made the excuse that you needed that to survive, that you took things away from people that you can never give back, or that you killed a piece of yourself that you may never get back.

Some of us do. We get lucky and someone gives a damn enough to emotionally resuscitate us and bring us back to life. Many do not.

I live with the rage every day of my life, even when no one else sees it. You might hear it in my words. I hate being chumped.

So here is my message to you. You will do what you have to do to survive, however you define survival, while we do what we have to do to stop this thing. But don't surrender your humanity. Not to fit in. Not to prove yourself. Not for an adrenaline rush. Not to lash out when you are angry and frustrated. Not for some ticket-punching f***ing military careerist to make his bones on. Especially not for the Bush-Cheney Gas & Oil Consortium.

The big bosses are trying to gain control of the world's energy supplies to twist the arms of future economic competitors. That's what's going on, and you need to understand it, then do what you need to do to hold on to your humanity. The system does that; tells you you are some kind of hero action figures, but uses you as gunmen. They chump you.

Your so-called civilian leadership sees you as an expendable commodity. They don't care about your nightmares, about the DU that you are breathing, about the loneliness, the doubts, the pain, or about how your humanity is stripped away a piece at a time. They will cut your benefits, deny your illnesses, and hide your wounded and dead from the public. They already are.

They don't care. So you have to. And to preserve your own humanity, you must recognize the humanity of the people whose nation you now occupy and know that both you and they are victims of the filthy rich bastards who are calling the shots.

They are your enemies—The Suits—and they are the enemies of peace, and the enemies of your families, especially if they are Black families, or immigrant families, or poor families. They are thieves and bullies who take and never give, and they say they will "never run" in Iraq, but you and I know that they will never have to run, because they f***ing aren't there. You are

They'll skin and grin while they are getting what they want from you, and throw you away like a used condom when they are done. Ask the vets who are having their benefits slashed out from under them now. Bushfeld and their cronies are parasites, and they are the sole beneficiaries of the chaos you are learning to live in. They get the money. You get the prosthetic devices, the nightmares, and the mysterious illnesses.

So if your rage needs a target, there they are, responsible for your being there, and responsible for keeping you there. I can't tell you to disobey. That would probably run me afoul of the law. That will be a decision you will have to take when and if the circumstances and your own conscience dictate. But it perfectly legal for you to refuse illegal orders, and orders to abuse or attack civilians are illegal. Ordering you to keep silent about these crimes is also illegal.

I can tell you, without fear of legal consequence, that you are never under any obligation to hate Iraqis, you are never under any obligation to give yourself over to racism and nihilism and the thirst to kill for the sake of killing, and you are never under any obligation to let them drive out the last vestiges of your capacity to see and tell the truth to yourself and to the world. You do not owe them your souls.

Come home safe, and come home sane. The people who love you and who have loved you all your lives are waiting here, and we want you to come back and be able to look us in the face. Don't leave your souls in the dust there like another corpse.

Hold on to your humanity.

Neil Mick
01-08-2004, 02:58 AM
This article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60340-2004Jan6.html) should drive the last nail in the coffins of any lingering doubters.

Neil Mick
01-11-2004, 07:43 PM
And now the US-anointed Iraqi council wants to establish autonomous provinces in N. Iraq for the Kurds, as payment for their capture for Saddam Hussein.

Two for the price of one! The US gets Hussein and we can shrivel Iraq's power in the region by carving it up into smaller, more easily controlled provinces!

God bless America! He'd better, because after the excrement stops impacting with the oscillator, no one else will... :(

happysod
01-12-2004, 03:14 AM
Neil, have to query you on this one. From my reading of your posts, you're a strong proponent of self-determination, especially where ethnic groups are concerned. Now while I agree your cynical description of why the US is splitting Iraq is probably correct, self-determination for the kurds has long been one of the areas called for by several international agencies to prevent the various pogroms which have been on-going. Aren't you possibly decrying a good thing done for a "bad" reason here?

Neil Mick
01-12-2004, 07:04 AM
Aren't you possibly decrying a good thing done for a "bad" reason here?
Yes, I'd agree with that statement. I think that indigenous ppl's ought to have self-determination, but I also think that the context needs to be carefully considered.

The US hardly cared a fig about the rights of Iraqi's throughout the '80's and '90's. Not a peep from the gov't emerged when Hussein went on his little gassing escapades. Nor do we hear much from our civil servants when Turkey decides to jail or kill Kurds, either.

So why now? Why make Kurdish independence a priority? Kurdish provinces in N. Iraq would weaken any future Iraqi gov't that emerges, also making that gov't easier to control, by the occupying power. This move isn't about recognizing the independence of an ethnic group; more likely, it's about expansionist conquest. We did the same thing to the Indians--the ink was barely dry on some of those treaties before we broke them. I see no reason why the US wouldn't enact a little "regime change" on any new Kurdish provinces in the same manner as the Indians, if the proper reason arose (if a Kurdish leader didn't want to be a US puppet anymore, or if large amounts of oil were discovered in one of these provinces, are a few possibilities).

IMO, context is everything. I'd have more faith in the US's good intentions if they withdrew the occupying forces, before setting up buffer-zones around their newly-acquired Occupied territory.

happysod
01-12-2004, 08:54 AM
IMO, context is everything. I'd have more faith in the US's good intentions if they withdrew the occupying forces, before setting up buffer-zones around their newly-acquired Occupied territory

Neil, bit unsure on this one in that how would you set up a new "homeland" once you had withdrawn your forces? Or were you thinking of a UN force in place to oversee the change of ownership?

Jaime, disagree with you here, I think Neil would be more than happy with a withdrawel under almost any circumstances. For the record, I agree with him as all I can see is the US and the UK forces (sod the politicians and business interests) being drawn into an untenable postion. Mind, going on how the UK is treating it's armed forces, "our" involvement may be moot soon anyway...

Neil Mick
01-12-2004, 09:46 AM
whiningCongratulations! You've just won an all-expense paid trip to my "ignore" list (again)! Wave to mah for me when you get there, will you?
Neil, bit unsure on this one in that how would you set up a new "homeland" once you had withdrawn your forces? Or were you thinking of a UN force in place to oversee the change of ownership?
More likely the latter, but let me elaborate on this, below.
I think Neil would be more than happy with a withdrawel under almost any circumstances. For the record, I agree with him as all I can see is the US and the UK forces (sod the politicians and business interests) being drawn into an untenable postion. Mind, going on how the UK is treating it's armed forces, "our" involvement may be moot soon anyway...
Right you are, Ian: this is a near-classic case of military folly. I like your queries, BTW--they make me think!

I don't believe that an immediate withdrawal of US forces is in anyone's best interest. I think that if we DO pull out abruptly, what little stability we lend to the region via occupation will be flushed down the drain: chaos and anarchy would result.

Ironically, however: the Occupation forces are fueling the fires of rebellion, and Iraqi nationalism. The longer we stay there, the worse it's going to get. Also, tempers have worn thin without clean water, sewage or electricity (most of the money for reconstruction goes to support of the military). IMO, we need to surrender leadership of the Occupation to the UN, which means a gradual withdrawal of US troops, under UN leadership. This also means that we do not shaft the troops already there by forcing them to remain beyond their normal tour of duty. We should also pay our debt to Iraq for the war and open up the contracts to for reconstruction to any company that wishes to enter a bid.

Recognizing the rights of an ethnic group by establishing independent provinces (outside of short-term US military gain) is also risky at this time, from the standpoint of stability for the region. Iraq doesn't even have a constitution yet, and the puppet-gov't, er, Council, is hardly in a position of security to grant anything, that will be approved by the majority of Iraqi's. If, say: you own an apartment complex that has been damaged by fire, you don't rebuild by passing out free rent to tenants who cut deals with you.

Finally, I must confess I'm perplexed as to why the US would so readily agree to hand off a province in the North, to the Kurds. Our leaders must place a lot of faith in the blind loyalty of Turkey, as I'm positive the Turks aren't going to like a province that will be friendly to Kurdish insurgents within Turkish borders.

So, a question for you: what did you mean when you mentioned how the UK was treating its "armed forces?" Could you elaborate?

happysod
01-12-2004, 10:35 AM
Neil, so if I understand you correctly, you're envisaging some sort of scheduled withdrawal based upon either increased stability within the region or UN troops taking over the role currently occupied by US et al?
So, a question for you: what did you mean when you mentioned how the UK was treating its "armed forces?" Could you elaborate?

I'm sure the general unavailabilty/unseability of equipment for the UK forces has already featured in the US news. Well, now we're going one stage further and reducing actual bodies and of course funding (while of course increasing commitments) in favour of a more "technology-based" route. The role of all the armed forces is essentially being down-graded so that they cannot truely act on their own, instead will only be effective as part of a larger multi-national force, I believe the "EU army" is the preferred host.

While this would be fine in theory if the EU army actually existed and UK and EU foreign poilicy were harmoniously in agreement. Unfortunately, the UK is still attempting three things at once, being it's own sovereign nation with a role to play on the world stage, part of EU and of course have a "special" relationship with the US. The latest result has been the resignation of good ol' Col. Tim with great acrimony being voiced. It'll be interesting to read the next round of excuses for ill-equiped troops, ships etc.

Neil Mick
01-13-2004, 05:41 PM
Neil, so if I understand you correctly, you're envisaging some sort of scheduled withdrawal based upon either increased stability within the region or UN troops taking over the role currently occupied by US et al?
Yes, that about covers it. The big thing I see to averting the violence is the removal of leadership of the occupational forces from the US to the UN.


I'm sure the general unavailabilty/unseability of equipment for the UK forces has already featured in the US news. Well, now we're going one stage further and reducing actual bodies and of course funding (while of course increasing commitments) in favour of a more "technology-based" route. The role of all the armed forces is essentially being down-graded so that they cannot truely act on their own, instead will only be effective as part of a larger multi-national force, I believe the "EU army" is the preferred host.

While this would be fine in theory if the EU army actually existed and UK and EU foreign poilicy were harmoniously in agreement. Unfortunately, the UK is still attempting three things at once, being it's own sovereign nation with a role to play on the world stage, part of EU and of course have a "special" relationship with the US. The latest result has been the resignation of good ol' Col. Tim with great acrimony being voiced. It'll be interesting to read the next round of excuses for ill-equiped troops, ships etc.
Hmm. Interesting. We hear very little about the problems of the UK forces, in the US mainstream media. Most of it covers the political fallout of the scandal (almost obsessively so, IMO. They don't investigate deeply enough in other areas: the conduct of the US army is scantily covered, the new story about 4 civilians shot notwithstanding. But these stories seem isolated, and unconnected, in the overall framework of what's going on, in Iraq).

happysod
01-14-2004, 08:53 AM
Whoa Jaime, you strayed into diatribe territory. For what it's worth, in my opinion your arguments are more persuasive without the emotive language.

Anyway, happily as you're back, what criteria would you have for pulling our troops out of Iraq?

OT: how would you use that word in a nice way? As for Fox, while I'd heard it had gained a rather impressive viewing audience for it's news thanks to it's novel approach to objectivity - i.e. it has some - I'd be even more impressed if the owner ever paid taxes somewhere along the line.

Taliesin
01-15-2004, 10:34 AM
Catching the end of this argument. there are a few conclusions and opinions. Firstly George Bush invaded Iraq becasue there were votes in it and because he DIDN'T BELIEVE there were any weapons of mass distruction. Whether or not the removal of Saddam Hussain is in general a good thing is not clear cut. it is not the same question as is he an evil bastard who desrves to be punished (YES). it is the fact that there is a power vacume that various unscrupilous bodies are trying to fill. Saddam is evil, but not stupid, so the argument that he was a threat to world peace does not stand. After all nobody starts a fight knowing they are going to lose.

As far as Iraq being a better place. Is the human rights situation really better - is the risk of dying of disease or of suffing the brutality of crime or 'insurgent' rebels or whaterver so clearly better.

The USA's reputation would have been far better served by obtaining UN approval, simply so that that for once America can be said to be upholding international law rather than breaking it.

and the argument that this was about the people of Iraq would stand a lot better if America had been committed to winnin the peace.

On one last point why would replacing Saddam with the sort of islamic leaders who think the Taliban, Bib Laden (remember him), are far too liberal be regarding as a good thing as far a world peace and the 'war on terrorism'. Becasue on that front all the war in Iraq has done is muster support fro more Islamic terrorists.

Neil Mick
01-15-2004, 11:32 AM
Good points, David.
As far as Iraq being a better place. Is the human rights situation really better - is the risk of dying of disease or of suffing the brutality of crime or 'insurgent' rebels or whatever so clearly better.
Not to mention--is it so much better living under the yoke of US colonial empire (in which the human rights situation may/may not be better, but freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, worker rights are squashed, and the US plunders Iraqi resources until the next puppet-leader who says "no" is squashed in the name of "world peace"); or is it better living under the rule of a sociopath? One thing's for sure--we didn't ask the Iraqi's what they wanted. And now we know that their concerns weren't even the issue.

Bush wanted Hussein out, from the beginning. Whether or not Hussein handed over weapons or not, or turned himself and his sons in (given that silly 48-hour "get out of town" speech) was irrelevant.

The USA's reputation would have been far better served by obtaining UN approval, simply so that that for once America can be said to be upholding international law rather than breaking it.
Exactly. We broke international law; we failed to uphold the principles of the UN charter. In my mind, that makes our leaders (including Clinton, but that's a slightly separate issue) susceptible to war-crime charges by the ICC (or some other body).

I hope Bush isn't planning any trips to Europe, after he's booted out of office, in November. :)
On one last point why would replacing Saddam with the sort of islamic leaders who think the Taliban, Bib Laden (remember him), are far too liberal be regarding as a good thing as far a world peace and the 'war on terrorism'.
Oh, I can answer that one--anyone who is willing to go to bed with the US is our ally. Ex-Taliban, Sharon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia--all are welcome, so long as they tow the company line. Human rights violations? No problem! Easy payment credit terms! Act now...positions are waiting to be filled (just ignore that small print at the bottom, under the heading marked: "regime changes" You look like a good mass-murderer who will tow the line, so that clause is unlikely to be invoked)!

Taliesin
01-16-2004, 08:31 AM
In response to Jamie McGrath. The problem with your rant is that the current USA president's view that he only cares about Human Rights in countries where there is oil. His contempt for human rights when he fells they are inconvienient (Guantanomo bay detention anyone), his deliberate attempt to sabotage the ICC, and his failure to commit the necessary resources to fully restructure Iraq - paint him as a liar and a cynic.

And before you get holy than thou about mines try to remember the USA were quite happy to use cluster bombs (aka airborn mines).

Or are mines only a bad thing when your enemy uses them?

By the way FYI the first thing the Kurds did after the KAA (Kurdish Autonomous Area) was established was to go to war with each other PUK vs KDP.

The point I am trying to make is that getting rid of one evil dictator is no good if there are a dozen fighting to take his place.

a real dedication to human rights would mean a committment to maintaining them even when it's unpopular.

happysod
01-16-2004, 08:42 AM
When the mission is complete. How long were we in Japan? How long were we in Germany? Are these countries and the world for that matter now better off or worse off due to our efforts Jaime, can I phrase it a different way? My view of our stated intention was to remove Saddam, the WMD and then leave after doing the political version of making the beds and putting the cat out. As we have done (1), not found (2) and don't seem to be making much headway with (3), when would you view the mission as done?
The hypocracy piles higher and higher as these elitists look down thier noses at the masses they proclaim to want to save Now this one I can empathise with. I had a rather unedifying discussion a while back where the thrust of their argument was that soldiers were volunteers so were somehow more expendable than the people who were trying to kill them?

Neil, hope you've not yet turned the ignore on yet as it's not the first time I've heard Jaime's viewpoint on media bias and Democratic officials. Your view on this would be helpful.

David, nice to see you here and not just beating me up over rugby. Don't see the relevance of your Kurd example, are you saying that the US should have continued to police the new state? Another quick question for you. Could you ever evisage a point/scenario where individual human rights should not be sovereign over the rights of a society? You are more than aware of the absolute mess we're getting into in the UK concerning human rights matters, so where would your line be?

Taliesin
01-16-2004, 10:15 AM
jamie

In ORDER NOT TO FURTHER CONFUSE YOU. i AM USING SIMPLE WORDS AND BLOCK CAPITALS.

1. I AM NOT SAYING IT WAS WRONG TO INTERVENE ON HUMAN RIGHTS GROUNDS . I AM SAYING IF YOU CLAIM IT IS PURELY ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS THEN THE OBLIGATION IS TO INVEST THE RESOURCES TO MAINTAIN THEM. THIS IS SOMETHING YOUR 'PRESIDENT HAS CLEARLY FAILED TO DO'.

2. THE FACT THAT THERE A VARIOUS EQUALLY EVIL PEOPLE PLANNING TO RISE UP AND TRY AND TAKE OVER MEANS THAT THE ISSUE IS NOT AS SIMPLE AS SAYING SADDAM IS GONE THEREFOE IRAQ IS BETTER.

3. YES WAR IS UGLY BUT CLAIMING IN ONE BREATH THE EVILS OF LAND MINES AND IN ANOTHER SAYING IT IS OK FOR YOUR SIDE TO USE THEM IS HYPOCRACY.

4. YOU IMPLY THAT BECAUSE I DESCRIBE GWB A LIAR AND A CYNIC I READ IT SOMEWHERE. APART FROM THE IMPLICATION THAT READING ABOUT A SUBJECT IS A BAD THING AND SECONDLY THAT I CANNOT THINK FOR MYSELF IS JUST MUD SLINGING.

5. AS FAR A HUMAN RIGHTS ARE CONCERNED. THERE WAS A COMMITMENT BY GWB TO WIN THE WAR NOT TO KEEP THE PEACE (BY THE WAY THAT S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS)

Michael Neal
01-16-2004, 12:59 PM
nuke iraq

Neil Mick
01-16-2004, 02:36 PM
nuke iraq
My first response to this statement is an epithet. In respecting the poster, I shall limit my comment to the post...

--What an idiotic statement!

Neil Mick
01-16-2004, 05:01 PM
There's some lively discussion going while my kangeiko (http://www.northbayaikido.org/kangeiko.html) efforts were felled by the flu. Now, I spend half the day sleeping.

But, to comment on a few points--
Now this one I can empathise with. I had a rather unedifying discussion a while back where the thrust of their argument was that soldiers were volunteers so were somehow more expendable than the people who were trying to kill them?
No one likes elitists. IMO, a human life is as sacred as the next life. I would not want some other nation to tell me how (or what) to run my life, or my government. I definitely wouldn't want a government to alternately bomb my country's infrastructure, starve and bomb my ppl for 12 years, and then proclaim an invasion based upon "giving" me "democracy," when all signs (and past records) show that that country's motives are suspect.

The Philippines were invaded (annexed) with the proclamation to "save our little brown brothers." I see much to compare the US concern for "liberating" Iraqi's now, as they did for "saving" the Philippines, then.
Neil, hope you've not yet turned the ignore on yet as it's not the first time I've heard Jaime's viewpoint on media bias and Democratic officials. Your view on this would be helpful.
Oh, I've had enough of the same frustration in communicating with Jaime, thank you. I got really tired of discussions where I'm "told" that I have an "agenda." No thanks.

I can guess what he has to say about liberal "media bias" and Dem officials. Personally, I think that the media is subtly biased against the Dem's (note Ted Koppel's dismissive questions in the debate to the bottom 3 Dem nominee's), but it's still too early to tell.

My opinion on the Democrats is fairly low. I feel that most anyone (bar Lieberman) is better than Bush, as his systematic attacks on scientific peer review and regulatory agencies endangers us all. IMHO, a re-election of Bush would be a great blow against the American Democratic process, and world peace.

The Dem's are not much better. Clinton certainly helped in the folly of Iraq, as did most every Pres before him. Another Dem replacing Bush would be a good thing, but only because Mickey Mouse is a cartoon, not an electable figure. :)
Another quick question for you. Could you ever evisage a point/scenario where individual human rights should not be sovereign over the rights of a society? You are more than aware of the absolute mess we're getting into in the UK concerning human rights matters, so where would your line be?
Can you elaborate on this? What "mess" are you referring?

Neil Mick
01-16-2004, 05:07 PM
jamie

3. YES WAR IS UGLY BUT CLAIMING IN ONE BREATH THE EVILS OF LAND MINES AND IN ANOTHER SAYING IT IS OK FOR YOUR SIDE TO USE THEM IS HYPOCRACY.
Amen to that. Goose and gander, as Jaime likes to say.

Neil Mick
01-17-2004, 02:41 PM
But, here's something to chew on--

Around December 2002, I had this idea to organize a meeting of Aikidoists, and interested Iraqi's still living in Iraq. I was inspired by a Jordanian who talked about an Italian sensei who organized a seminar like this one, a few years, back.

Of course, I see now that this idea was naive: but what about an "Aikidoist" delegation, to visit Iraq now? What are anyone's thoughts on this? Naive, insane, or visionary? I'd be interested in your comments (understand, I'm not packing my bags. I'm speaking purely hypothetically).

Erik
01-19-2004, 12:18 AM
ROFLMAO..... What a moron.... What is this some kind of "Dorks without Borders" program. I wonder.... While you reap your personal egotistical rewards with these Iraqis and their new found freedom will you be giving credit to President Bush that created this "opening" so you could travel around the world and spread your "vision" and your "art of peace"?

Please my belly hurts from all my laughter...

"yes I'm a new world samurai and a redneck none the less" -Clutch
Interestingly, I was part of an aikido group that went to Moscow, USSR before the walls came down, so to speak. It was a remarkable experience on many levels, all the more so because we didn't have any big cheese with us and could be more down-to-earth.

Anyways, it was a great opportunity to meet people and realize that the great enemy couldn't clean a toilet, provide clean water, or keep a car running, but on the other hand were mostly decent people. It gave me a whole new perspective on that country.

While I feel some sympathy with you in regards to Mr. "my hometown hasn't fixed a road in 30-years" ;) Mick, his idea is not entirely without merit. Iraq, and the Middle East, is in desperate need of learning how to compromise and blend with different people and ideas. Aikido practice, with the right approach, can be a remarkably useful tool for that sort of exposure and exploration. I don't know if it would make a difference but it probably wouldn't hurt.

happysod
01-19-2004, 02:31 AM
Neil, the "mess" I'm refering to with regards to human rights in the UK is that there doesn't seem to be any real common sense in how some very broad-reaching laws are being applied. On the one hand, we deport families who have been good standing members of the community for over a decade, despite strong local opposition due to paperwork problems. On the other hand we are forced to accept Taliban soldiers as they will be "persecuted in their homeland" and currently plans are afoot to give British citizenship to several of the ex-inmates the US has just released.

The application of human rights in the UK seems to totally ignore the rights of the society to protect itslef from people who's stated intentions and actions have been contrary to that society. The main criteria seems to be publicity (and money) for the people involved. Couple this to the fact that our dear old PM's wife is not only a QC, but one of the main barristors for human rights and things do seem to get muddled. Add the fact that EU law courts can overturn UK court brulings and things can get even more protracted.

Taliesin
01-19-2004, 09:45 AM
Ian - Your view of current Human Right's law in the UK is bizarre. At the moment out courts have come up with the the following two charming deciscions. Firstly that deporting a HIV positive person to DRC to die of AIDS does not amount to "Torture or Inhuman or Degrading Treatment" (Article 3 ECHR). Secondly that leaving someone to beg and starve on the streets with out any rights to workl or any type of support also doesn't amount to such rights.

We have a Government that makes a public statement that it will not return anybody to Zimbabwe "until it is safe to do so" and then wastes money arguing in Human Right's cases that that cannot be taken into account.

We have proposals that if an asylum application is refused by the Home Office (as the vast majority are) that their hearing will be without a representative (while the Home Office can send a HOPO [Home Office Presenting Officer} in front of an Adjudicator (Immigration Judge) who probably has no experience of Imigration or Asylum Law (they don't need to for that position, just 7 years practice in any area of law) making unappealable decisions on life and death issues , quite often without even understanding the question they have to answer. (Risk on Return , not Credibility)

As far as "giving citizenship to ex-onmates the US has just released" - there is still criteria to refuse British naturalisation. anda s far as having to supprt Taliban fighters - the background evidnece is that the foot soldiers are not at risk unless clearly linked with the Taliban leadership.

lastly because as an Immigration & Asylum Lawyer i'm interested. Why does nobody ever take account of the people who emmigrate from the UK when considering immigration & asylum issues?

To jamie

cluster Bombs are designated as 'air-born landmines. And I do not object to military intervention to secure Human rights - such as Kosovo - which nobody complained about, or in East Timor (sorry that wasn't the US) because in both those case there was a commitment to mainaning Human rights after the 'bad guys has gone.

In Iraq we were told that it was because of WMD and when they weren't found, it was then claimed to be about Human Rights. But the most damming fact is that the doctrine of sending in vast military resources to prevent insurgency and rebuild essential services was rejected.

So the lessons of history from WWII onwards appears to be if you want to ensure Human Rights you need to make a large long term committment. Not just try and turn the country over to some puppets.

happysod
01-19-2004, 11:09 AM
David, good, someone who may be able to link me to some decent stats pages. Ok, freely admit my info has been gleaned from media on this, but why does the bill for human-rights seem to continue to rise while the net effect is to leave everyone (both asylum seekers and local residents) increasingly unhappy and desparate? There has been some quite strong evidence of fraud perpertrated by "legal advisors" to asylum seekers. The numbers of illegal immigrants has increased dramatically in the past few years without any commensurate ability to either support or even have an idea on where these people have gone, leaving them often to the mercy of the criminal element in our society.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against immigration in any shape or form and I totally agree with you about taking into account emmigration (aren't we losing most of our under 30's to the continent?). However, I do have problems with the means used to adress this issue as there seems to be no middle on commen-sense ground used. I agree, the "hang-em all" directives isssued by our government can and should be overturned. At the same time, managing to enter the country should not automatically ensure even limited residence.

All I can see is a rather monolithic beauracracy which takes too long to process claims, costs too much and does not do the job it is meant to, that is ensure those immigrating either have a real need to not be in their own country or will be useful members of society. This is where the "economic refugee" status blurs the issue further as at what point do you draw the line on immigration under these circumstances?

I do have one are where I do disagree with you, the subject of the Taliban soldier. Sorry, but while I can understand your argument, I cannot emotionally accept that it's right to shelter someone who not long ago was fighting on behalf of a regime I find abhorrent.

Neil Mick
01-19-2004, 11:46 AM
Anyways, it was a great opportunity to meet people and realize that the great enemy couldn't clean a toilet, provide clean water, or keep a car running, but on the other hand were mostly decent people. It gave me a whole new perspective on that country.
Was Jamie Zimron on your trip? I know that she went to Russia about that time...she used to be my Sensei.
While I feel some sympathy with you in regards to Mr. "my hometown hasn't fixed a road in 30-years" ;) Mick, his idea is not entirely without merit.
You're just probably still sore that your pet thesis (that Hussein had wmd's) has been proven to be bogus. But, nice to hear from you again! ;)

ROFLMAO..... What a moron....

Once again, this epithet proves the innate wisdom, of ignore. Thank you, Jun!

Neil Mick
01-19-2004, 12:03 PM
Neil, the "mess" I'm refering to with regards to human rights in the UK is that there doesn't seem to be any real common sense in how some very broad-reaching laws are being applied.
Thanks for the response, Ian. What do you think of my idea?

Erik
01-19-2004, 03:28 PM
Was Jamie Zimron on your trip? I know that she went to Russia about that time...she used to be my Sensei.
Nope! Our group was way, way, way, under the radar. So much so that I suspect at least one person got a little heat for not going through appropriate channels and bringing along a grand poopa.
You're just probably still sore that your pet thesis (that Hussein had wmd's) has been proven to be bogus. But, nice to hear from you again! ;)
Nah, the only thing sore is my head, after it exploded, from reading some of the insightful ideas which have come out of your city on solving traffic problems. I think I'm going to get a job with the Santa Cruz Library system so I can immediately file a workers comp claim (I'm sure the procedures are in every policy manual) and go on a six month vacation. I think they owe it to me.

Neil Mick
01-19-2004, 04:50 PM
I think I'm going to get a job with the Santa Cruz Library system so I can immediately file a workers comp claim (I'm sure the procedures are in every policy manual) and go on a six month vacation. I think they owe it to me.
You'll get NO argument from me, on this one. The library in this town has got to be the worst-run library I've ever seen. Every time I turn around they're closed a week here, a week there. But don't get me started...

For libraries in the Bay Area: my money's on the Palo Alto library. I still use it when I work up there, from time to time.

happysod
01-20-2004, 01:57 AM
Neil, apologies for not replying to your idea re the aikidoists to Iraq. While I applaud the sentiment and accept Eric's view on how personally interesting he found a similar experience in the USSR I'm not a fan of volenteer groups entering a potential hotbed, for two main reasons.

Firstly, the people involved are normally some of the more politically active members of society and I'd prefer them to stay alive and doing some good back home. Secondly, while I can see the benefits of such a visit for the people involved (both the visitors and those in the country visited) I can't see what actual impact on the situation as a whole it will have. In fact, I can see such a visit being misused as good public relations for a poor situation more easily than anything else (yes, I'm a cynic).

Jaime, re eagle-strike clip - sorry, but ugh. After the initial intro I wanted to smack the little darlings producing this... However, let's look at what they actually did, held an unauthorised, unofficial counter rally and got moved on by the police. Good!

I've seen too much of this demonstration/ counter demonstration nonsense in London (and it's attendant violence) to have any sympathy for anyone who does not follow the minimal procedures needed to publically demonstrate a viewpoint. I don't care whether I agree/disagree with the cause being put forward, it's irresponsible and does nothing but harm the cause it it attempts to promote.

Yes, some of the "peace" demonstrators showed how thinly held their views on non-violence were. So what? All demos have a manic fringe attached to them, can you really say evryone in favour is playing with a full deck? Now if you could show me an official protest in favour of the war which had been either stopped by the police or one which had been attacked in a similar manner to the one shown, I'd be more impressed.

Michael Neal
01-20-2004, 06:47 AM
My first response to this statement is an epithet. In respecting the poster, I shall limit my comment to the post...

--What an idiotic statement!


LOL :), I love getting you worked up Neil. You take yourself too seriously sometimes.

Neil Mick
01-20-2004, 11:35 AM
Neil, apologies for not replying to your idea re the aikidoists to Iraq. While I applaud the sentiment and accept Eric's view on how personally interesting he found a similar experience in the USSR I'm not a fan of volenteer groups entering a potential hotbed, for two main reasons.
Thanks for the input, Ian.
Jaime, re eagle-strike clip - sorry, but ugh. After the initial intro I wanted to smack the little darlings producing this... However, let's look at what they actually did, held an unauthorised, unofficial counter rally and got moved on by the police. Good!
God, is he STILL playing that piece of nonsense? :rolleyes: It's like a broken record: I figured that even Jaime would get tired of posting it, by now.
All demos have a manic fringe attached to them, can you really say evryone in favour (of the war) is playing with a full deck? Now if you could show me an official protest in favour of the war which had been either stopped by the police or one which had been attacked in a similar manner to the one shown, I'd be more impressed.

Good point. Sometimes I think that ppl who rail against protestors believe that we're getting our messages beamed into each other's heads, or that we finish each other's sentences.

Neil Mick
01-20-2004, 11:39 AM
LOL :), I love getting you worked up Neil. You take yourself too seriously sometimes.
Glad to oblidge. Sure, I'm the first to admit it--I DO take myself too seriously, sometimes. But, idiotic statements such as "nuke Iraq" are childish and have no place in a mature debate between adults.

Haven't you anything better to add to this conversation other than name-calling one-liners? How about raising the maturity-level of your posts past Elementary School? YOU started this thread, after all...

Hogan
01-20-2004, 12:04 PM
Glad to oblidge. Sure, I'm the first to admit it--I DO take myself too seriously, sometimes. But, idiotic statements such as "nuke Iraq" are childish and have no place in a mature debate between adults.

Haven't you anything better to add to this conversation other than name-calling one-liners? How about raising the maturity-level of your posts past Elementary School? YOU started this thread, after all...
Nuke Santa Cruz.....

(Just kidding, now, don't report me to the Homelan Security folks).

Neil Mick
01-20-2004, 12:17 PM
Nuke Santa Cruz.....
I am Neil's eyes, rolling their full-orbit...:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

happysod
01-22-2004, 10:14 AM
Jaime, ok followed the main link to that website, still didn't find it very useful as I found it just too biased in that there was no objectivity even attempted. While it made for a powerful and very emotive site, it ultimately rang hollow and just a bit too much like adland. I don't see the left or the right as monolithic entities, so this kind of blinkered view just turns me off (feel free to call me a namby fence sitter)

A video (can't recall the link) where the protestors were just asked what they were protesting, asked to define exactly what they were marching for in a reasonably non-judgemental manner by someone dressed in standard business suit was a far more damning study of the protest. The answers given were hilarious. Equally, I've seen some absolutely amazing quotes when defending defence policy which should also be included in this catergory.

Final q, have you ever been on any demos - the reason I'm asking is that, if you haven't and do, you'll be amazed at the complete fruitcake who's probably marching along beside you. Trying to figure out their logic behind joining the protest is like the quest for the holy grail.

Michael Neal
01-23-2004, 07:40 AM
Nuke Santa Cruz.....

(Just kidding, now, don't report me to the Homelan Security folks).
Yes, Nuke Santa Cruz and a few more places on the west coast while you are at it :)

Neil, still taking things too seriously.

happysod
01-23-2004, 08:10 AM
Michael, how come a bjj addict has time to read and respond in an aikido off-topic forum? Anyway, I'd settle for nuking the gracies... (well, it's the only way I'm going to win)

Jaime, in theory I agree with you over protesting. However, I'll have to leave it as "a have to disagree" as I think the praticalities of allowing spontatenous or even non-official counter demonstrations too great to be overcome.

Agree with you with regard any civil disobediance should be treated the same, no matter what the cause. Here, however, I do have a problem as I can see a point where direct action is necessary if the state no-longer represents it's society (american revolution anyone). So, my wishy-washy response would be if you're going to take direct action, you must do so with the full knowledge that existing statutes are to be applied, no matter how worthy your goal.

As regards lunatic views, my two favorites from personal experience were from uni: left - banned a poster of a pizza as it was phallic (?), right - tried to get a white supremicists group sponsored by the university on the grounds they were a persecuted minority.

Couple of questions:

Neil, what's your take on the new UN school books for Palestinians?

David, as you'll have more relevant information available, what's your views on the recent immigration scaremongering following the expansion of EU borders. Can you see it happening and (if the "worst case" scenario being trumpeted does occur) can you see how the UK could best tackle the potential problems.

edit: Jaime: just caught your next post, thanks for the link

Michael Neal
01-23-2004, 08:25 AM
Michael, how come a bjj addict has time to read and respond in an aikido off-topic forum? Anyway, I'd settle for nuking the gracies... (well, it's the only way I'm going to win)
well I actually started this thread a long time ago and I just amazed that it is still going. I have to drop by once in awhile.

I also still like Aikido and maybe I will take it up once again in the future. I wish I had more free time on my hands.

happysod
01-30-2004, 08:40 AM
Jaime, naughty, to be fair here you'd also have to add in the lucrative deals currently being made in Iraq without the consultation of the current Iraqi administration (communications was the last one I read of) then follow with such gems as pipelines in various Easter European dictatorships (definitely Bush) and the rather close US-Saudi role (such as providing transportion out of the country for of all Bin-Ladens rather well connected relatives from the US following 9/11).

Also, there were many questions in the UK concerning Galloway as the original claims against him regarding payoffs etc were proved false. Still, an interesting read if true.

Neil Mick
02-06-2004, 01:06 PM
Iraq is on the path to civil war. And we put them there. If the CPA and BushCo do not work decisively to

1. win the hearts and minds of Iraq;

2. harmonize the political forces beginning to tear Iraq apart;

3. somehow change the Iraqi perception of the US Occupation Army (USOA) away from that of conquering occupiers;

then the likely future of Iraq will be civil war. Violence is increasing in Iraq, and the reports of attempts (http://www.boston.com/dailynews/036/world/Al_Sistani_in_good_health_afte:.shtml) on Al-Sistani's life (http://middleeastinfo.org/article3861.html) are an unsettling sign of the chaos to come.

Considering the condition of the USOA (the tense morale, the overextended tours, the poor quality of food, the low # of troops), it is unlikely that the Army can hold the whole nation together, should a civil war arise. Not, of course: without a lot more blood, on all sides.

Also consider: BushCo has shown itself to be spectacularly uncaring in the finer nuances of diplomacy. Should Iraq go into civil war, I have a hard time imagining Bush to use the USOA as a diplomatist might: more likely he'll try to bludgeon the opposing sides, make allies with the Kurds (and any other factions who deem it expedient), and impose a new "strongman" upon Iraq, whose human rights records will be less important than his (always a "he") nominal allegiance to the US.

All of this in the heart of an election-year, where political grandstanding is ratcheting into 2nd-gear, and the pedal is seeking the floor of that political metal, as BushCo conjures up backtrackings and excuses to distance themselves away from the intelligence scandal, and as Dem nominee's play one-upmanship in their finger-pointing at Bush, while the only nominee with ANY plan toward getting out of Iraq sits in the back row, the media having pulled regular reporters off the Kucinich campaign trail.

Lovely.

I'm not a fortune-teller, but I imagine that darker days are ahead, for all of us connected to Iraq. Whatever the outcome, it appears that 2004 will be a portentious and perilous year, for the MidEast, for the US, and for Britain.

DanielR
02-06-2004, 01:12 PM
Iraq is on the path to civil war.
I've heard some analyses saying that this is the reason for the US pushing the UN to take over. So that when all hell breaks loose, the US will be able to say "sorry, didn't happen on our watch".

Makes sense to me.

DanielR
02-06-2004, 05:45 PM
"And Daniel your response shows that there is no possible outcome for Bush in the lefts eyes.
Jaime - sheesh! - hold your horses... How do accomplishments of republicans of the past make up for shortcomings of the current administration?

Let me rephrase my previous post, in more civil terms. This is my understanding:

- The current situation in Iraq is hurting Bush's chances for reelection. The recent polls of Bush vs. Kerry indicate that.

- It is unclear whether the US forces in Iraq will succeed in stabilizing the security situation before the elections.

- If democratic elections in Iraq are allowed this year, there's a very good chance a fundamentalist majority will come to power. I don't believe this will improve the image of the war in US public's eyes.

- Letting the UN take over some time before the US elections will sound good in terms of PR, and will provide the administration with a certain level of deniability if things go bad in Iraq.

As a logical chain, this sounds ok to me.

Neil Mick
02-08-2004, 12:55 AM
- The current situation in Iraq is hurting Bush's chances for reelection. The recent polls of Bush vs. Kerry indicate that.

- It is unclear whether the US forces in Iraq will succeed in stabilizing the security situation before the elections.
Not to mention, of course: that Bush couldn't give two expletives as to the well-being of Iraq. The June deadline he's set proves that it's all about the November election...not that his self-serving partisanship is any big surprise.

No, I'd REALLY be blown away if I saw some altruistic overtures from the Executive, instead of "what's in it for US?"

I'd sooner expect to see pigs flying, IMO.

James Giles
02-08-2004, 02:29 AM
Yeah, I can't figure Bush out. Sometimes I think he is purposely trying to break the American taxpayer. He gave us all a tax break, that is nice, but then he turns around and deficit spends like a madman.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are really putting a strain on our military, and doesn't leave many soldiers around here to protect the homeland in case of a domestic attack.

It seems that all any of our President's, Democrat OR Republican, really give a damn about is someone on the other side of the globe. And they do all this at the American taxpayer's expense.

And to add insult to injury, just throw in NASA and the space program. Build a colony on the moon? Sure, the American taxpayer can afford it. Give 10 billion to cure AIDS in some foreign land? Sure go ahead. Give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens so that they can take our jobs? Sure why not. Use our military to police the world population? Sure, its just American lives. We can afford it.

James Giles
02-08-2004, 01:14 PM
I tell you what though the UN is no better and the Republican president liberated an oppressed people..
I am glad that an oppressed people were liberated, I am just sad it was done entirely at the American taxpayers expense. Deficit spending does more damage to our country than any group of terrorists could ever hope to do. Deficit spending causes inflation and weakens the dollar. We don't have to worry about terrorists, we have to worry about our own leaders who are working to break us economically. If our economy falls, it doesn't matter how many guns we own. And along the way, lets turn our country into a police state by passing the Patriot Act, and spy on everybody's affairs.


Nasa I support as if we didn't fund exploration we would still be living in a flat world dominated by sea monsters.
We knew that the world was round long before man ever sent a rocket into space, and I don't think there has ever been a point in history where we felt the world was dominated by sea monsters. If this was the case nothing NASA did changed that.
Amnesty to illigal aliens taking your job? Where do you work and which jobs are you concerned with.
I used to be in construction/labor, but now I am in college learning something else because Mexicans have taken over the construction industry and driven wages way down. You can no longer make a living doing it.[/QUOTE]
Use our military... Damn right... Take out the threats "before they become imminent dangers" (oops the libs don't like when you quote the President in his true context!)
Have you ever asked yourself why these terrorists are a threat to us? What spurred 911? What did the U.S. do to Al Qaeda to piss them off so bad. Was it secret dealings with the CIA. Was it support for Israel or some other global concern? The feds don't want the people to know or think about the answer to that question.

If America stayed at home, minded its own business and poured its resources into this nation, there would be no homelessness, no unemployment, and people would be able to afford health care.

The idea that every one in the world is a threat to us, is one based on schizophrenic paranoia. Even if this was the case, wouldn't it make more sense to keep our military at home, build a huge wall around the United States, stop immigration, and say to hell with the UN and other global concerns, and develop our own energy resources domestically?

I knew Bush wasn't serious about fighting terrorism when he bombed Afganistan and Iraq. The terrorists were let in to this country by the INS. If America wants to stop terrorists attacks on the homeland, we need to do away with our humanitarian plan to educate and take care of the world. There are a lot of people here in the States that are denied an education, but we will import someone from the Middle East or Mexico to come over here and go to school for free. It makes me sick! And Bush is no different from the other commie/pinko Democrat leaders.

I am like you, I am a conservative. I am against affirmative action (discrimination against whites), and I voted for George Bush. It was either him or Al Gore. Now Bush is starting to show his true liberal colors. Conservatives deserve someone that will stand up for there issues and Bush is not that person.

DanielR
02-08-2004, 05:12 PM
Hussein killed more people than Milosovic yet that was a good war (under Clinton) and Iraq is a bad war. Nothing's black and white. I don't think this war is "bad" - in my mind, there was enough justification to go after Saddam, and the world, for now, is safer.
...those who do not grasp the very power of the US military and the compassion and dedication of its soldiers.The media with its constant uses of buzzwords like quaqmire lead you to believe in all the doom and gloom.Nah, I'm not easily swayed by buzzwords, and I try not to follow that kind of media anyway. I don't believe it's all "doom and gloom", but on the other hand (not being an expert) I still think that military power is a tricky subject. As mighty as the Israeli army is, it has to carefully balance its handling of the Palestinian terrorists. They could wipe out all Gaza strip and the West Bank if they wanted to. But they still haven't, and so it goes... It seems to me that the US army is in a similar situation right now, so frankly at this time I'm rather skeptical.
Iraq has always been more secular than other nations and I do not see its youth towing the islamo-facist line. Look at Iran and all the reports of an impending revolutionThe shiite majority, which has been an underclass for hundreds of years, will determine the outcome of the elections. And look at the leader emerging from that population - a Muslim cleric. Doesn't look like a good sign to me.
(UN) won't even go in to IraqAt least Annan has agreed to send a team... If they refuse, they're going to have a little PR problem of their own.

DanielR
02-09-2004, 09:56 AM
So why hang bush at any chance? If it is a good thing then its a good thingWell, again - because it's not black or white. I cannot ignore failures of this administration on account of the war being, in my mind and in very general terms, a "good thing".
...military hardware and what I saw was truly amazing. Stuff you see us with now is just the beginning. Israel is not as mighty as you might believe.I wasn't comparing the military strength of US vs. Israel. I was saying that Israel has the most powerful army among its neighbours, and there can be no comparison between it and what the Palestinian terrorists have. Nevertheless, the conflict goes on and on. Because at this stage it cannot be decided by military might alone.
Read how Al-Qaida can not recruit in Iraq, Read how we are doing over there. This is indeed good news, but to me the best indicator of success would be deterioration in the number of attacks and in the number of US and Iraqi casualties.
If its the same Cleric I am thinking of he has backed out and said that religion should not be in politics. Which one are you speaking of?I guess it's the same one - Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. I agree that he's been very moderate and cooperative with the US, so maybe he could be a good influence after all.
At Least? At LEAST? This is supposed to be the world governing PEACE KEEPING body that has been shown impotent in everything they do. They got bombed and ran like scared little schoolgirls...I don't know, this sounds a little harsh. At the time of the bombing the UN had a mostly humanitarian mission in Iraq rather than a peace keeping one, had it not? These were civilians that got bombed for no good reason. I can understand them not wanting to stay there while being a target, but on the other hand I do agree that they should do their job, otherwise what's the point of their existence.

James Giles
02-09-2004, 03:05 PM
Thats a pipe dream, There will always be Homlessness, some unemployment, and NO one is turned away from a hospital if healthcare is needed. The healthcare industry is in chambles BECAUSE of Government regulations, When has the government fixed ANY social problem? Your plans would lead to that socialist utopia the leftist lunatic fringe dream of. Why work when I get my dole and my healthcare for free!!
No you are putting words in my mouth here. I in fact, do not believe in big government or regulations at all. I believe that if we did away with giving everyone else in the world our money, it could be put to better use here at home. I don't feel it is right to tax Americans and then give the money to people on the other side of the globe. That is robbery.
Thats nice but its not the case the fundamentalist Islamo-Facists want a one world Islamic state. Do you really beieve if we left them alone, left Isreal alone, they would stop???
I don't really know what is worse, the Islamo-Facists that want a one world Islamic state, or the Christian/Catholic/Zionist-Facists that want a one world "democracy". The Islamic world population have their own customs and beliefs. Who are we to go over there and bully them around and force our beliefs and form of government down their throats? I guess soon we will give them all TVs and pump MTV and other trash into their homes the way we do here in the States.
And what would we do when europe and the UN fail to curtail the growth of islamo-facism?
If Israel and the Europeans have a dispute with the "Islamo-Facists", let them settle it over there. It is their geography, not ours. If the Islamo-Facists invade our nation's borders, THEN we have a reason to fight.
How can you be more serious.... Bush went after the source. We continue that fight today.
He went after the source huh? That is like bombing the entire south-eastern part of the United States in an attempt to eliminate the Ku Klux Klan. Ten Arabs came over here and killed 3000 people, so that gives us justification to go kill thousands of innocent men, women and children in Iraq, that had nothing to do with 9/11, not to mention the innocents that were killed in Afganistan? Get real!
Columbus at his time the world was flat and dominated by sea monsters.
Okay, you have convinced me that NASA's Moon colonization and Mars program is worth the billions it will cost the taxpayer. It is definitely worth the money to remind people that the world is indeed round (something the Greeks knew 4000 years ago) and that sea monsters do not dominate the world, but rather the United States military does.

John Boswell
02-09-2004, 03:10 PM
I can't believe some of the stuff I'm reading here.

James from Alabama had to go back to school because the mexican's ran him out of blue collar work and he couldn't make a living at it? Hell, consider them doing you a favor! Aside from that: 1) You can make a living at it, we're building a ton in Texas and everyone is making money who is taking the time and effort to do it. 2) The "mexicans" aren't ruining anything. I'm white, many are mexican. All that work for me shortly become friends! We use valid sub-contractors and get good work out of them and pay them a fair wage. If you don't like affermitive action, blame Carter and Reagan and the Unions. Personally, AA served a purpose but has out-lived is usefulness.

As for why the world is pissed at the U.S.? Because we're number one?? What other reason do they need?

American is the land of the free and home of the brave. We go to baseball games and drink beer and eat hot dogs. People are free to speak out against the government (a right you seem to be taking for granted) and praise your higher power and get an education and live whatever life you CHOOSE! Choice is the key word here.

Now look at the middle east: women are surpressed, those that speak out of line are killed or tortured or tortured and THEN killed and buried in mass graves. Children are taken from their families and forced to listen to zealot priest ramble on about the "infidels" when they don't even know what the hell Muahamad even said! They THINK they know, but they don't.

People hate America because we HAVE where they HAVE NOT. We live a good life and they don't. We say anything we want when they can't. We freaking take VACATIONS... and get pissed off when we are denied two weeks out of 52 to go goof off and do jack sh*t! AND WE GET PAID FOR THAT TOO!

Face it: American's live the good life where millions around the world do not. Not all American's do, but then again... there are a TON of slackers in this country and I'll be damned if I'm gonna feel sorry for em. The only difference between ME and that bum on the street... is I haven't given up on myself. AND... I'm sure not looking for a hand out.

Jez... Listen up, people:

Saddam is guilty of ACTUALLY USING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION! He did it before and that means he was capabale of doing it again. The fact that we can't find em means he hid everything really damn well or just gave em away! Now THAT is a scary thought.

Saddam is guilty of human rights violations, mass murder, torture... of women, children and innocent men. He denied basic nessecary essential things such as FOOD, MEDICINE, WATER... just to make a freaking point: that he was in charge!

You want to blame Bush for 9/11? I got two words for ya:

Bite me.

Go play Monday Morning Quarterback somewhere else. I'm not posting in this forum to be "aiki" or blend or anything else. I'm hear to get in the face of those that STILL attack MY FREAKING PRESIDENT when they know damn well he was delt a butt ugly nasty plate (thank you very little, Billy boy Clinton) of LIES on economic status, DECEITFUL treatment of our armed forces, men and women, NO EFFORT in countering terrorism prior to Bush taking office and a freaking "congress" that is just chomping at this BIT to point the blame at a republican president... REGARDLESS of where blame may truely lie.

I'M IN YOUR FACE, PEOPLE! And this goes for that guy with the stupid "the president lied" signature too! Ya... you know who I'm talking about!

I am FED UP with all the petty bickering and whining and BS that the politics of this "wonderful" nation of ours is bringing about. Freaking look at the facts and then PUT YOURSELF IN THOSE SHOES!

I dare anyone to do a better job than President Bush. Anyone who says they can... is trying to sell you something. Period.

John Boswell
02-09-2004, 03:28 PM
PS: Sorry for being so nasty. But seriously, you KNOW what Saddam did! You HAVE to. It is documented fact! When things like he did go on for so freaking long... and the "wonderful" United Nations won't do anything about it... why stand aside and let it continue?

We didn't when Hitler was in power.

We didn't when the Chancelor guy before him started WW 1.

We didn't take it from the king of england back in the 1600's and 1700's and we're not gonna take it now.

MAYBE things could have been done better, but at least Bush is trying... and that's a helluva lot more than I can say for a lot of other people. And he SURE as hell isn't two faced. Each and Every democrat running for the presidency has back-tracked on what they have said at least once if not dozens of times. Hell, if they can't make up their mind on the campaign trail, how are they gonna do it in the White House??

Michael Neal
02-10-2004, 11:39 AM
http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/02/08/wguan08.xml

Prisoner had a good time in Guantanamo Bay

Neil Mick
02-10-2004, 09:26 PM
I can't believe some of the stuff I'm reading here.

As for why the world is pissed at the U.S.? Because we're number one?? What other reason do they need?
Ahem.

Yes, I'm sure that that soothing, comfortable myth gets you to sleep, at night. Good for you: I suffer from insomnia, and even sheep don't help.

IAC, the fact that it is a balm, makes it no less a myth.
American is the land of the free and home of the brave. We go to baseball games and drink beer and eat hot dogs. People are free to speak out against the government (a right you seem to be taking for granted) and praise your higher power and get an education and live whatever life you CHOOSE! Choice is the key word here.

Now look at the middle east: women are surpressed, those that speak out of line are killed or tortured or tortured and THEN killed and buried in mass graves. Children are taken from their families and forced to listen to zealot priest ramble on about the "infidels" when they don't even know what the hell Muahamad even said! They THINK they know, but they don't.
when yoou wi-ish, up-oon a starr! Makes NO dif'rance...

Oh, sorry. We were going off into happy coca-cola land, and I started to nod off. Perhaps, soothing myths ARE the way to go.

Myth#1: Americans drink beer, go to baseball, etc. I do not go to baseball: I think the game's boring. SO that pops THAT 1.

Myth#2: You have the right to freedom of speech. True. Unless, those rights need to be suspended (http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/special_packages/focus/7370083.htm)...

Myth #3: "Choice" is the key-word here. Yeah, sure: our freedoms aren't under attack: we have NOTHING (http://www.markfiore.com/animation/voting.html) to worry about
People hate America because we HAVE where they HAVE NOT. We live a good life and they don't. We say anything we want when they can't. We freaking take VACATIONS... and get pissed off when we are denied two weeks out of 52 to go goof off and do jack sh*t! AND WE GET PAID FOR THAT TOO!
Did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed? :p I'm beginning to think that you surround yourself with many myths, John, as this, too is a myth...actually, Americans work harder than many other ppl in the world.

And this "ppl hate us because we have the good life" is a pretty pathetic assessment. Mayhap that ppl HATE us because we bomb their countries, invade them, and install Hussein's around the world--only deciding to pop them off their tin-pot thrones when it suits their fancy, hmm?

And, I won't even go into deatail over some of your prejudicial rants over "what it's like" in the Middle East. Have you even visited?? Here, just a primer (http://www.alhewar.com/gary_leupp_challenging_ignorance_on_islam.htm) so you don't walk into doorways, in your ignorance...

Or, perhaps you failed to notice that Hussein was a PAID, US AGENT WHEN HE COMMITTED THE WORST OF HIS ATROCITIES, in your sleepytime stories. Twenty years too late, we come in to "save the day" for Iraqi's...throwing the entire region into destabilization. Gosh, what a good humanitarian, the US is. Almost brings tears to my eyes...

Face it: American's live the good life where millions around the world do not. Not all American's do, but then again... there are a TON of slackers in this country and I'll be damned if I'm gonna feel sorry for em. The only difference between ME and that bum on the street... is I haven't given up on myself. AND... I'm sure not looking for a hand out.
Oh yes: somehow I KNEW this "bootstraps" myth was in there, somewhere. And, my grandma once told me about the crocodile she flushed down the toilet as a pet, then it grew and grew and...gosh! sometimes you can STILL hear it lurking down there! No, REALLY!! :D
Jez... Listen up, people:

Saddam is guilty of ACTUALLY USING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!
While in the happy, but anxious, employ, of Uncle Sam. Gosh, ain't the US gov't GRAND? Service with a smile.
Saddam is guilty of human rights violations, mass murder, torture... of women, children and innocent men. He denied basic nessecary essential things such as FOOD, MEDICINE, WATER... just to make a freaking point: that he was in charge!
And what two countries sat on the Special Committee in the UN that governed EXACTLY what was getting Sanctioned...? You know: wmd's like yogurt-makers, fertilizer-spreaders, SMALLPOX VACCINE...

Give you a hint...

Great Britain and...begings with a U...ends in an S...
You want to blame Bush for 9/11? I got two words for ya:

Bite me.
Ooh, nasty! Do you bite the neighbors, too?

Two words, boyo////

SIT DOWN

I have YET to see a single post here BLAMING Bush for 9-11! Not the most extremist Liberal speaker I know, makes this claim. I certainly don't. So, whatever sleepytime myths fueled THIS observation, I'd suggest you excise it from your lexicon.
Go play Monday Morning Quarterback somewhere else. I'm not posting in this forum to be "aiki" or blend or anything else.
No, that much is apparent.
I'm hear to get in the face of those that STILL attack MY FREAKING PRESIDENT when they know damn well he was delt a butt ugly nasty plate (thank you very little, Billy boy Clinton) of LIES on economic status, DECEITFUL treatment of our armed forces, men and women, NO EFFORT in countering terrorism prior to Bush taking office and a freaking "congress" that is just chomping at this BIT to point the blame at a republican president... REGARDLESS of where blame may truely lie.
Rant on, McDuff.

Just remember that handy "ignore" button for those of us who care not to have our faces, gotten into.
I'M IN YOUR FACE, PEOPLE! And this goes for that guy with the stupid "the president lied" signature too! Ya... you know who I'm talking about!
Gosh, now who might he be talking about (*looks around*)...hmmm...who could it be?
I dare anyone to do a better job than President Bush. Anyone who says they can... is trying to sell you something. Period.

OK, I'll take that dare...Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is a cartoon, and so he wouldn't have ordered the African's living at Capetown to be locked up, when he went to visit (as Bush did). Mickey likes ppl to be happy, after all.

Mickey wouldn't have set up a secret Pentagon unit to create the case for invading Iraq, only weeks after 9-11, as Bush did: pushing disinformation and bogus intelligence and led the nation to war (http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2004/01/12_405.html). Mickey is an honest mouse, and wouldn't want to disinform the American ppl.

Mickey wouldn't also have bludgeoned the American ppl with horror stories like "WE CANNOT WAIT FOR VERIFICATION IN THE FORM OF A MUSHROOM CLOUD," as did Bush--fearmongering a skeptical American public into an invasion over phantom weapons, based upon a ficticious international policy, in contravention of international law. Mickey, after all, is only a cartoon, and probably only wants to get with Minnie Mouse, in the end.

But you just rant on and think you're "doing it for patriotism," or whatever excuse you have to act rude, and "get in our faces." In the end, those of us who care about an equitable conversation will just ignore you.

But in the meantime...

anything your heart desires will coomee tooo youuuuu..!

Neil Mick
02-10-2004, 09:55 PM
Actually, on 2nd thought (and discussing it with my gf): I have a better candidate for Pres---Winnie the Pooh. He'd have done SCORES better than Bush! :D :D AND, he has his own ready-made cabinet. So, let's see: I'd fill the Admin positions thusly:

PRESIDENT: Winnie the Pooh

VICE PRESIDENT: Kanga & Roo (Roo can be a "special advisor")

SECTY of STATE: Piglet

SECTY of WAR: Eeyore

SECTY of INTERIOR: Owl

Ambassador to UN: Christopher Robin

SECTY of EDUCATION: Tigger (after all, he's like a case of "ritalin gone bad")

Secty of Agriculture: Rabbit

Heck, give me Piglet over Powell, any day of the week. :D :D :D

Neil Mick
02-11-2004, 12:39 AM
I don't really know what is worse, the Islamo-Facists that want a one world Islamic state, or the Christian/Catholic/Zionist-Facists that want a one world "democracy". The Islamic world population have their own customs and beliefs. Who are we to go over there and bully them around and force our beliefs and form of government down their throats? I guess soon we will give them all TVs and pump MTV and other trash into their homes the way we do here in the States.
Excellent point, James. It's refreshing to hear a similar perspective from someone who does not necessarily share my views.

James Giles
02-11-2004, 01:26 AM
Excellent point, James. It's refreshing to hear a similar perspective from someone who does not necessarily share my views.
Thanks Neil, you have made some very good points as well. Enjoyed the Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh proposals! I think you are right, both of 'em have the Bush administration beat. When I voted for Bush, I thought he was an honest man, but man did I get a wake up call quick. We will be lucky if he doesn't get us all killed. Keep the heat on him!

DanielR
02-13-2004, 09:11 AM
Jaime, I'm missing your point: what are you trying to show by your survey of islamic fanaticism?

DanielR
02-13-2004, 09:55 AM
Everything's so interconnected in this issue that in my experience it almost always boils down to a sort of an egg and a chicken question. It seems that you cannot critisize one side of the conflict without someone from the other side calling you a hypocrite and bombarding you with examples of "your side" doing bad things. So by definition it becomes impossible to make an "objective" statement. There's always a context.

Just ranting.

DanielR
02-13-2004, 10:01 AM
One more thing though: that "anti-american" label that keeps poppping up here - very McCarthyish, don't you think?

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 11:01 AM
Oh, I forgot one Pooh character: Badger. He'd be SECTY of HUD. Obvious choice, huh?
One more thing though: that "anti-american" label that keeps poppping up here - very McCarthyish, don't you think?
Very. As well as vague, and indefinable, as Jaime has failed to define it, in the past (tho he has tried).

DanielR
02-13-2004, 11:27 AM
...As well as vague, and indefinable...Merriam-Webster to the rescue!
an·ti-Amer·i·can

: opposed or hostile to the people or the government policies of the U.S.
Ahem... I would've expected something a little more sophisticated from M-W.

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 12:47 PM
Neil wrote: ...As well as vague, and indefinable...

Merriam-Webster to the rescue!

quote: an·ti-Amer·i·can

: opposed or hostile to the people or the government policies of the U.S.

Ahem... I would've expected something a little more sophisticated from M-W.
Yeah, see? That's my point: it's vague. Limbaugh called protesting "anti-American;" Jaime has called my viewpoints "anti-American;" and other post-er's on other websites have called the Hutton report as evidence of "anti-Americanism," by the BBC (the battlecry begun by FoxNews).

How is criticizing the war in Iraq "hostile to the gov't policies of the US?" I happen to support WIC Programs, American Libraries, Arts-funding and US funding of the WHO.

But, by this vague (and inflammatory) definition: ANY opposition to the policies of the gov't, is cited as anti-American. By this definition, then: Jaime is anti-American, as he opposes US support to the UN, which is a gov't policy.

You see...? Definitions are supposed to clarify: not be muddy catch-all slander's (I have similar problems with the Californian use of the term "energy:" but that might be my East Coast background, talking :) ).

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 12:53 PM
And speaking of cartoons: I have to share this nifty online doll (http://homepage.mac.com/webmasterkai/kaicurry/gwbush/dishonestdubya.html), I just saw on another site.

Enjoy! :D

DanielR
02-13-2004, 01:02 PM
...a poster claiming (rightly so) that the Islamo-fascist dislike us because of our succsess...
Personally I find this argument puzzling. Hating someone/a group of people/a coutry because of his/their/its success? Being jealous - maybe. Success as a basis for hate? I don't know, sound a little too psychotic to me.
This is simple anit-American trash. Scream McCarthyism all you want. I won't fade simply because you choose to associate my opinion ...with so called "mcCarthyism"

Oh, I wasn't screaming, I assure you. But really, could you please explain what in your mind differentiates a dissenting view from anti-Americanism? Because you see, according to M-W, you're free to call anti-American anyone who doesn't agree with some of the policies of the US government.

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 01:53 PM
could you please explain what in your mind differentiates a dissenting view from anti-Americanism? Because you see, according to M-W, you're free to call anti-American anyone who doesn't agree with some of the policies of the US government.
Boy, this ought to be good...I'm almost tempted to turn off the ignore on Jaime, to see if he's coming up with anything better than "opposed to the genius of the US gov't," or some other nonsense.

Almost tempted, but not quite: my computer turns a nasty shade of green, when exposed to an overabundance of vitriol.

DanielR
02-13-2004, 02:01 PM
See above post for difference. ... Tell me one thing he has EVER said that was positive about the American people
I don't know - let's open a thread "What I like most about the American people" and see what everyone has to say :)

Seriously though, if I have a load of criticism against the US, do I need to accompany it with a disclaimer "other countries do bad things too?"
here chew on this50 items?! C'mon... Maybe we can tackle them one by one?

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 02:25 PM
quote: (Jaime) See above post for difference. ... Tell me one thing he has EVER said that was positive about the American people

I don't know - let's open a thread "What I like most about the American people" and see what everyone has to say
Dunno if he's talking about me (don't really care much either), but I've said plenty of positive things, about American's. Most of the things I've said are critical (of US gov't's policies), true: but if your house is burning down, and your cook is responsible, do you pre-amble your warnings about a fire, with a long, admiring listing of his cooking...? Not me.

Sorry if I repeat your point, Daniel.

But just so others don't feel that I slight American's (and: the bulk of my critique is with the US gov't, not American's...there is a huge difference): here's a freebie--

I like some American-style cooking. I like much of American music, and culture. I even like the US Constitution's protection of my freedom of speech, which (as I see it), is why I protest, as I see this much-valued freedom under attack. I admire the personal stands some of my Congressppl have taken, to protect my civil liberties.

Now: no one can state that I've never said a positive thing about America, or the US gov't. So there you are.

DanielR
02-13-2004, 02:32 PM
What is the difference between genuine concern and disagreement and violent hatred for the country you live in.
There's a big difference. An Israeli arab blowing himself up in Tel-Aviv is an example of violent hatred for the country he lives in. I don't equate this to a heated political debate.
ANY dissent and you go on his ignore list.Well, this is simply not true - I had quite an argument with Neil on a different topic, and noone went on an ignore list then.

DanielR
02-13-2004, 02:36 PM
Now: no one can state that I've never said a positive thing about America, or the US gov't. So there you are.Heh... you just couldn't resist? That was a rethorical question! :)

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 02:45 PM
Well, this is simply not true - I had quite an argument with Neil on a different topic, and noone went on an ignore list then.
Yeah: we've gone a few rounds together, haven't we: Daniel? ;) But no: I don't ignore someone merely because they disagree with me (and Jaime knows this, quite well). Just ask Erik Haselhofer.

No, I got tired of being told that I "have an agenda" for the upteenth time; that I'm REALLY some guy named "ham," etc. It just got old...the same-old arguing points. Of course, I'm 50% to blame for the dynamic, as well.

But I'll stop interjecting into your discussion with Jaime: as you make your points well enough, Daniel.

___________________________________________

As I mentioned earlier, I have been chatting on another website. There are a wide range of opinions, but I've seen a fair amount of of "true-blue patriots," defending ad nauseum the invasion, etc.

Refreshingly, I've also find Liberal post-ers with whom I disagree, on various points.

I talked a bit about Iraq's teetering on collapse, and I received this informative email, recently. I'm posting it because I found it touching, and it confirmed some of my fears about the region. Enjoy!
Yes, I'm in Iraq. I am based north of Baghdad. The unit has been in theatre for about a year, and spent most of that time here in the Sunni Triangle. We've just been extended to May or June.

It would be difficult to say exactly what it's like here. I have been all over the country, as I am a helicopter crewmember. I have to really bite my tongue sometimes when I read the political forums and see some of the pontificating by those who have no clue what daily life is like here, or flat out give inaccurate information.

As a soldier, a lot of the speculation and what-fors are inconsequential. Administrative issues are out of my control, and I won't flat out speak against the administration while in uniform...especially on the battlefield (make no mistake, it is very much still a battlefield). This does not mean that I believe the war was necessary. It is simply beside the point in my situation, and my opinions won't change that. My energies are better spent in trying to stay alive.

There is no hope for a unified Iraq. The genie has been let out of the bottle, and anyone who thinks differently needs to spend some time here. The best we can hope for is a reduced U.S. presence here (though anyone thinking we will totally pull out of Iraq needs to wake up), and a means by which the country can re-establish some kind of international credibility.

Regardless of the path from here, one thing is certain: Hundreds more Americans are going to die here in Iraq. How many more are killed is only going to be influenced by the folks at home.

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 02:46 PM
Heh... you just couldn't resist? That was a rethorical question! :)
OK: yah got me :freaky: :cool:

DanielR
02-13-2004, 03:32 PM
Refreshingly, I've also find Liberal post-ers with whom I disagree, on various points.I'd hope that would be the case - "liberal" is too broad a term for all people casted as "liberals" to be of the same mind, isn't it?

The email you quoted is definitely tough to read, as it makes one think about the people risking their lives over there. However, how do you see it confirming some of your fears about the region? Namely, is lack of hope for a unified Iraq one of those fears? If yes, why do you think a unified Iraq is a necessity?

James Giles
02-13-2004, 04:19 PM
James,

While you and jane fonda (mickster) are sucking each.. I er mean patting each others dback. Read my tag line. Mickster uses the ol "well we are on different sides but we get along, and you make some interesting points" only to further his anit-american bull plop.
Yes Jaime, I can see your point. Don't worry, I will never go over to the side of the socialists/communists/progressives that are trying to wreck our Constitution, break the taxpayer, and undermine our sovereignty. But I do think that Neil Mick made some valid points when it comes to the War in Iraq.

When innocent people are killed, I think it is important to consider that it is more than just a statistic. When an Iraqi family is sitting around eating supper and a B-52 drops a bomb on their roof in an attempt to kill Sadam Hussein, it really means nothing to us over here in the U.S. We are only disappointed over the fact that Sadam's body wasn't found in the aftermath. It is easy for us to forget that these people being killed are made of flesh and blood and not just names written on paper.

I do not feel it is justifiable to kill thousands of innocent people for political reasons. I think it would have made more sense to plant assassins (snipers etc.) in Iraq and have them take Saddam and his henchmen out that way, thus minimizing civilian and military casualties. But since we have chosen the present course of action, I still believe that the liberated Iraqi people should pay back their liberators (ie U.S, British taxpayers etc.). It seems like the more money and aid we give to other countries, the more they hate us. Why can’t we get this through our heads?

According to Bush’s plan, to rid the world of terrorists, we would have to bomb almost every Islamic nation on the globe, which will draw even more animosity and hatred against our people. I feel an easier solution would be to ask ourselves why we suffered a terrorist attack on 9-11, find the “real” answer to this question (the root of the problem), and then determine if bombing the world into submission is indeed the best alternative from which to choose.

In my opinion, the US has brought all of this mess upon its own head because of its global interests. We ignore the fact that there are some cultures around the globe that don’t want us meddling in their political, economic, and religious affairs. We have falsely assumed that things are “better” over here in the States and we feel the need to be the hero of the world and force our way of life on other peoples of the world. We also being corporate-minded, are ever-searching for higher profit, thus we entangle ourselves more in the global economy to the demise of our own workers.

Our wake up call is that a lot of cultures are satisfied with the status quo, and they want us to keep out of their affairs. Thus, things like 9-11 happen. The fact that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were the prime targets says a lot. Think about it. The terrorists did not unleash anthrax on the whole population, or attack a bunch of innocent people at a sporting event. They were trying to send a message for us to stay out of their economic and political affairs.

For the most part, I believe in what Bush has done for America. I believe in his tax cuts, his stance on affirmative action, his stance against gay marriages and I believe he even means well when he decides to use military force against Muslim nations to oust the world of terrorists. I just feel he needs to at least attempt to find a more peaceful and realistic solution to the terrorism situation.

Instead of blaming everything on the terrorists, maybe the U.S should at least consider looking at some things that we as a nation may be doing wrong, admit to ourselves that these things are wrong,and correct them. The terrorists are pissed off for a reason, and I think that we here in the US should at least ask ourselves why, and is there anything we can do about it other than to go over there and blow the Muslims off the face of the map. To me that solution seems a little barbaric.

And yes, I am voting for Bush again, but only because I feel he is the lesser of two evils. The Democratic candidates are way more of a threat to our way of life than Bin Laden and Sadam. I would never stoop so low as to vote for one of them as long as they support affirmative action, gay marriages, and the secularization of our culture to bring about world socialism.

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 06:18 PM
I'd hope that would be the case - "liberal" is too broad a term for all people casted as "liberals" to be of the same mind, isn't it?
Way too broad. And, it's a label often cast by the Conservatives (I argued with one Conservative who thought that Liberals are all anti-NRA: until, of course, I pointed out some acquiantances who are Communist, and avid-gun collectors. That shut him up).
The email you quoted is definitely tough to read, as it makes one think about the people risking their lives over there. However, how do you see it confirming some of your fears about the region? Namely, is lack of hope for a unified Iraq one of those fears?

Yes.
If yes, why do you think a unified Iraq is a necessity?
A civil war means that a lot more people will die.

A little-reported aspect of the war is the huge # of ppl made homeless and indigent, by this war, with nowhere to go, and nothing to do. A civil war will create a huge displacement problem and create a bigger human rights sinkhole.

Forget peaceful solutions to multiple partitions: Turkey won't go for a stable Kurdish province next door, and the various leaders will fight for control of the oil-rich regions. Washington doesn't seem to have a clue: and the CPA is blowing smoke, if they believe the "governing council" will pull any magic rabbits out of their hats, anytime soon.

Long-term military actions in the region could pull the US deeper into the quagmire, entangling and extending the process of folly. If we don't come up with a valid exit strategy without destabilizing the region YESTERDAY, we're all in for a long, hard (bloody, costly, and pointless) slog...the path of folly.

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 06:28 PM
And yes, I am voting for Bush again, but only because I feel he is the lesser of two evils. The Democratic candidates are way more of a threat to our way of life than Bin Laden and Sadam. I would never stoop so low as to vote for one of them as long as they support affirmative action, gay marriages, and the secularization of our culture to bring about world socialism.
Scary. I cannot see "supporting affirmative action" can possibly be compared to someone with as devastating a track record (http://www.wage-slave.org/scorecard.html), as his.

I'm no great fan of Kerry (more like: Kucinich), but anyone the Dem's put up there, gets my vote. Bush seems quite happy to dismantle the whole process of the scientific review, and excise all reports that question his leadership.

You look up "transparency of gov't" in the dictionary, and you find his picture under the listing of antonyms. Every step of the way, he puts up roadblocks to review (including, the new 9-11 committee). He "doesn't testify before committee's," he said on Meet the Press. :rolleyes:

DanielR
02-13-2004, 09:08 PM
A civil war means that a lot more people will die...Forget peaceful solutions to multiple partitions: Turkey won't go for a stable Kurdish province next door, and the various leaders will fight for control of the oil-rich regions.
I'm sure there can be no solution that makes everyone happy. It's impossible to stop civil conflicts among different Iraqi factions if they're looking for ones, and frankly I don't think it's up to the US to achieve that. But if the major sectors of Iraq were separated by massive peace-keeping forces, maybe that would reduce the chance of serious conflicts. Some sort of oil revenue sharing might help.

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 09:41 PM
Scary. I cannot see "supporting affirmative action" can possibly be compared to someone with as devastating a track record (http://www.wage-slave.org/scorecard.html), as his.
Onre more thing: you can add the attempted intrusion into the privacy of women's lives, by attempting to subpoena the medical records of these women. I'm hearing it on the news, as I type.

Sorry, but privacy is a right. AFAIC, that guy in the White Mansion is poison. The sooner he's gone, the better.

Neil Mick
02-13-2004, 09:44 PM
I'm sure there can be no solution that makes everyone happy. It's impossible to stop civil conflicts among different Iraqi factions if they're looking for ones, and frankly I don't think it's up to the US to achieve that. But if the major sectors of Iraq were separated by massive peace-keeping forces, maybe that would reduce the chance of serious conflicts. Some sort of oil revenue sharing might help.
It's a thought, and a good one. But, any collapse of order in Iraq right now would be a catastrophe.

If there IS any partitioning of Iraq: it has to come slowly...and ferchrissakes, give them the vote! What utter nonsense and hypocrisy to invade over democracy, then pussyfoot with "governing council's," and promises for democracy, somewhere shortly after we've bled them dry.

James Giles
02-14-2004, 12:28 AM
After reading some of my earlier posts on this subject of the Iraq War, I have to admit that I don't know what is really going on over there or why, and I shouldn't be rambling on about it.

I do hate the fact that we are at war, and I am going to quit dwelling on it because it is a pretty negative situation.

That is one good thing about Aikido. It is really the only thing that brings me peace of mind anymore. I regret getting pulled into this discussion, because I know that my politics probably offend others, and it is a waste of time to even talk about the situation. If I have offended anyone, I sincerely apologize.

I just hope that whoever is elected President, will bring a quick end to our occupation in Iraq, get us out of the Middle East, and try to restore a sense of peace and order in the world.

Life is too short for this kind of stuff, people should be happy and try to get along together. Therefore I am going to devote my time and energy to Aikido from now on, say to hell with politics, and try to focus on positive things.

DanielR
02-14-2004, 07:42 AM
any collapse of order in Iraq right now would be a catastrophe.
The transition from totalitarianism to any semblance of democracy is a painful one. By looking at other countries that recently went through a similar process we can see that there were lots of people that got hurt in one way or another. And, of course, collapse of order in any society leads to a catastrophe, so Iraq is no exception. That's why the US forces should be replaced with a significant peace-keeping force, with the Iraqi army and police reconstructed as soon as possible.
...give them the vote! What utter nonsense and hypocrisy to invade over democracy, then pussyfoot with "governing council's," and promises for democracy, somewhere shortly after we've bled them dry.Well, IMO it's clear that the vote is going to take place soon enough, otherwise the US is risking a serious unrest in the country, much like the British had to face during their mandate. OTOH, any gov't elected now should be a relatively short-term and transitional one, to give groups other than the islamists/nationalists a chance to organize, say within a year or year and a half, and represent their constituencies in the next elections.

Neil Mick
02-14-2004, 09:32 AM
After reading some of my earlier posts on this subject of the Iraq War, I have to admit that I don't know what is really going on over there or why, and I shouldn't be rambling on about it.

I do hate the fact that we are at war, and I am going to quit dwelling on it because it is a pretty negative situation.

That is one good thing about Aikido. It is really the only thing that brings me peace of mind anymore. I regret getting pulled into this discussion, because I know that my politics probably offend others, and it is a waste of time to even talk about the situation. If I have offended anyone, I sincerely apologize.
No apologies necessary, James. I am sorry to see you go: you brought a refreshing perspective to a thread that was suffering from a tendency to "point-counterpoint" every little issue. We ALL have differing opinions, and I, for one, was not offended by your differences of opinion. I am not offended by differences.

I believe that it's important to discuss these issues to become better informed, and to test one's beliefs in the arena of debate. I share your outlook on Aikido--it IS a refuge against the hard realities of the world-events, which can seem pretty grim, at times.
I just hope that whoever is elected President, will bring a quick end to our occupation in Iraq, get us out of the Middle East, and try to restore a sense of peace and order in the world.

Life is too short for this kind of stuff, people should be happy and try to get along together. Therefore I am going to devote my time and energy to Aikido from now on, say to hell with politics, and try to focus on positive things.
If only it were that simple. it is our responsibility, as American's, to become fully informed about the issues. It's why many of our losses of civil liberties occurred--our Congress voted on titles, without looking closely at the substance.

Stay well in practice, and stay informed, in politics. Perhaps we'll see each other on the mat, in time.

*********************************************

Good response, Daniel. I'm teaching class this morning, so I have to dash...will respond to your points, later today.

Neil Mick
02-15-2004, 09:12 PM
The transition from totalitarianism to any semblance of democracy is a painful one. By looking at other countries that recently went through a similar process we can see that there were lots of people that got hurt in one way or another. And, of course, collapse of order in any society leads to a catastrophe, so Iraq is no exception. That's why the US forces should be replaced with a significant peace-keeping force, with the Iraqi army and police reconstructed as soon as possible.
Absolutely. And, I think that replacing the CPA leadership with a UN mission and leaving the troops there, might also be a good idea.

At least, for the next 6 months, just to gradually rotate the troops out.
Well, IMO it's clear that the vote is going to take place soon enough, otherwise the US is risking a serious unrest in the country, much like the British had to face during their mandate.
Yes.
OTOH, any gov't elected now should be a relatively short-term and transitional one, to give groups other than the islamists/nationalists a chance to organize, say within a year or year and a half, and represent their constituencies in the next elections.
I don't think that's for us to decide. I think that the most we should do is keep a constant flow of UN humanitarian, and US non-sole-source contractor (Gods, can you imagine a more crooked game? It's almost exactly like the Carpetbaggers in the South, after the Civil War!) aid. The most important thing, IMO, is to limit the bloodshed by acting as buffer (and neutral negotiator) to the various factions. Also, getting an internationally recognized tribunal of justice (a truth and reconciliation committee, basically) to start investigating human rights violations.

Of course, that would open up too many questions, here in the States (as in: Hussein was Our Man In Iraq, so his henchmen are likely going to rat us out). So, the likelihood of this happening (in BushCo's reign) is about the same as Jaime voting for Nader. :)

Oh, BTW, Jaime: I know you're out there in Ignore Land, dogging my every post (check out his first post on this website, if you think I'm overreacting). So, just to show I still care....

THIS DOLL'S FOR YOU (http://homepage.mac.com/webmasterkai/kaicurry/gwbush/dishonestdubya.html)

DanielR
02-16-2004, 06:21 AM
I don't think that's for us to decide. I think that the most we should do is keep a constant flow of UN humanitarian, and US non-sole-source contractor... aid. The most important thing, IMO, is to limit the bloodshed by acting as buffer (and neutral negotiator) to the various factions.
Not to decide ultimately, but to heavily influence in all possible ways - why not? Democracy doesn't grow instantly on the ruins of a dictatorship. Not overseeing the transitional period and not making sure that all the factions have an equal opportinity to represent themselves is, IMO, risky, as it might turn out that there's a lot more buffering (or worse) to do. The shiites are pushing to have the elections asap - is it because they're so anxious to enjoy true democracy? I rather think it's because they know the sooner the elections take place, the more massive their majority is going to be, and they'll do what they please.
Also, getting an internationally recognized tribunal of justice (a truth and reconciliation committee, basically) to start investigating human rights violations. Of course, that would open up too many questions, here in the States (as in: Hussein was Our Man In Iraq, so his henchmen are likely going to rat us out).I was wondering about this myself. It does seem reasonable that the US and even Europe are not particularly interested in setting up an open tribunal for Saddam. It's more likely that he is handed over to Iraqis for swift and irreversible justice, before he can blurt out anything interesting.

James Giles
02-16-2004, 09:08 PM
Of course, that would open up too many questions, here in the States (as in: Hussein was Our Man In Iraq, so his henchmen are likely going to rat us out). So, the likelihood of this happening (in BushCo's reign) is about the same as Jaime voting for Nader. :)
Hey Neil, I know I said I was going to stay out of this forum from now on, but I wanted to ask you, did we plant Hussein in Iraq? I find that fascinating.

Oh, BTW, Jaime: I know you're out there in Ignore Land, dogging my every post (check out his first post on this website, if you think I'm overreacting). So, just to show I still care....

THIS DOLL'S FOR YOU (http://homepage.mac.com/webmasterkai/kaicurry/gwbush/dishonestdubya.html)
Neil, that is quite a doll! I would say that is a perfect representation of the real McCoy. It is sad that Bush has lost his credibility. Why do all these politicians lie so much? Are they all crooks?

Neil Mick
02-18-2004, 05:34 PM
Hey Neil, I know I said I was going to stay out of this forum from now on, but I wanted to ask you, did we plant Hussein in Iraq? I find that fascinating.
Welcome back, James. Good to see you again.

Hussein was aided by the CIA in a coup, in the late 60's. He attempted an assassination-attempt (and failed, I believe) and was wounded in the leg, before he had to go into hiding. He received CIA support in the later coup.

After that he played to the big-power on the block--alternately selling his interests to Russia, Britain, France and the US, until the '80's: when he became the US's "man in Iraq," as a bulwark against Iran.

The worst of his crimes were done under the reluctant patronage of the US, who--under Bush 1--called the Shia's to rebel against Hussein, and then abandoned them to the vengeance of Saddam.
Why do all these politicians lie so much? Are they all crooks?
IMO, politicians lie because they serve interests divorced (more or less, depending upon the pol) from the interests of the average voter. Wars are in no one's interest except for those who stand to profit from them. And so, our leaders lie, to deceive a skeptical public to agree to policies contrary to their interest.

DanielR
02-18-2004, 05:39 PM
Wars are in no one's interest except for those who stand to profit from them.Well, not all wars...

Neil Mick
02-18-2004, 05:45 PM
Not to decide ultimately, but to heavily influence in all possible ways - why not?
Because, precedent shows that our govenrment cares little for spreading the way of democracy, in other nations: except as a thinly veiled lip-service for guarding their own interests.

Look at Haiti, for instance: if we're so eager to spread democracy, then why aren't we calling for a general election, in Haiti?

Our leaders know that Aristide would win a general election, and so they make end-run's, around the core of democracy...open elections.
Democracy doesn't grow instantly on the ruins of a dictatorship.
No, it doesn't. And, it doesn't grow "instantly" from the ruins of an occupation, either. I trust the CPA to be truly interested in establishing a democracy in Iraq, about as far as I can throw them. All of them...and their Hussein-converted palace, too.
Not overseeing the transitional period and not making sure that all the factions have an equal opportinity to represent themselves is, IMO, risky, as it might turn out that there's a lot more buffering (or worse) to do. The shiites are pushing to have the elections asap - is it because they're so anxious to enjoy true democracy? I rather think it's because they know the sooner the elections take place, the more massive their majority is going to be, and they'll do what they please.
No matter how you shake it, the equation is going to be messy. Better to let them work it out largely on their own, without US interference. The US has a very bad record of influencing foreign gov't's for their own ends, and I for one wouldn't trust any calls for democracy from the US, if they were in my country.
I was wondering about this myself. It does seem reasonable that the US and even Europe are not particularly interested in setting up an open tribunal for Saddam. It's more likely that he is handed over to Iraqis for swift and irreversible justice, before he can blurt out anything interesting.
Yep. I hear, interestingly enough: that Hussein is actually giving advice to the CPA...isn't that ironic? But push comes to shove: the US will take pains to silence whatever Hussein has to testify about his plentiful US backing, in the past, no doubt.

Neil Mick
02-19-2004, 02:22 AM
hmm, interesting. Speaking of elections in Iraq: take a look at this--
Today a meeting of political parties was held in Nasiriyah to organize the process by which local elections will take place. There were no journalists present, but I was invited to attend and came away generally impressed. Though the party representatives disagreed at times, they resolved all their issues through an intense debate lasting almost two hours. Direct elections of the mayor and city council of Nasiriyah was the driving issue, and they all agreed that no political appointments would be allowed; The new political leadership would be chosen democratically at the ballot box.

Discussions were held to decide whether the new city council should have quotas for different religious factions, such as Shia or Sunni Muslims; In the end it was decided that anyone could run for office irrespective of religious affiliation, as long as they had not been a Baathist collaborator under Saddam. Details like whether a candidate should be required to have finished university were also debated: In the end they decided not to require a university degree because so many otherwise qualified candidates were either in prison or in hiding during the latter part of Saddam's reign. The party representatives drafted a memo regarding elections which they plan to distribute to all political parties in Nasiriyah.

It was clear from the meeting that the local parties in Nasiriyah not only have the organizational capability to conduct their own elections without the UN / U.S. supervision or interference - they are determined to do it. Everyone involved in Iraqi politics is acutely aware of U.S. desires to have a new Iraqi government appointed by appointees of the United States, and they have apparently decided to take matters into their own hands to prevent such an outcome.
Iraq Diaries

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

James Longley, Electronic Iraq (http://electroniciraq.net/news/1364.shtml),

11 February 2004

DanielR
02-19-2004, 08:30 AM
precedent shows that our govenrment cares little for spreading the way of democracy, in other nations: except as a thinly veiled lip-service for guarding their own interests... The US has a very bad record of influencing foreign gov't's for their own ends, and I for one wouldn't trust any calls for democracy from the US, if they were in my country.Well, ideally, spreading the way of democracy would itself seem to be in US's best interest, but that's probably not what you're referring to. As far as influencing foreign gov'ts - I would say the US, as any other country, has a mixed record in that department. Things do backfire sometimes, but I don't think this means the US should stay away from foreign affairs.

The story on election affairs in Nasiriyah is encouraging as far as the ability of the local politicians to sit down and talk. The concluding paragraph about the US desiring to avoid elections and rather have the gov't appointed led me to think that no matter how the Iraqi gov't is created, it would still be so heavily dependent on international aid and contractors, that IMO the US would still have enough leverage.

DanielR
02-20-2004, 11:31 AM
Could it be? The missing link that ties the green party ... to the Nazis? Its all beginning to make senseNo, not really. To me the quoted article looks like an attempt to demonize the "Left" (which is ... what exactly?) using an example of a misguided student. I'm sure counter-examples are plentiful (not that they make any more sense to me either). IMHO this kind of propaganda only works on people who are too lazy to think for themselves and are easily convinced by soundbites.

Neil Mick
02-20-2004, 12:56 PM
As far as influencing foreign gov'ts - I would say the US, as any other country, has a mixed record in that department. Things do backfire sometimes, but I don't think this means the US should stay away from foreign affairs.
We'll just have to agree, to disagree, here. The US has a long and disgraceful record of interfering with foreign gov't's. Over and over again on this list (http://www.info-ghana.com/facts_&_dates.htm), the reasons to invade are to "protect US interests." I'm positive that the record of other countries is pretty horrendous, too: but if you throw in the dubious titles of top small-arms dealer and wmd trader in the world, and you're left with a sordid record for the US, indeed.

History (http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17899) has grim parallels to the Iraqi invasion and occupation.
News of "savages" and "barbarians" who had "fired on the flag" soon filled American newspapers. On February 6, the Senate ratified the treaty by exactly one vote more than the needed two-thirds and the Philippines formally became a colony of the United States amid soaring promises of better lives for Filipinos. Yet it would take the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of those same Filipinos in a decade-long orgy of pacification before armed resistance to U.S. rule was finally crushed.

Sound familiar? It does, to me.


no matter how the Iraqi gov't is created, it would still be so heavily dependent on international aid and contractors, that IMO the US would still have enough leverage.
True enough.

DanielR
02-20-2004, 01:16 PM
it would take the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of those same Filipinos in a decade-long orgy of pacification before armed resistance to U.S. rule was finally crushed.Sound familiar? It does, to me.Not that I'm an expert on what happened in the Philippines back then, but I'm doubtful as to usefulness of drawing a parralel with a century-old affair. Same can be said of claims that the US was successful in building democracies in post-WW2 Japan and Germany.

But, if I understand you correctly, you consider the quoted language applicable to the actions of the US military in Iraq? I guess time will tell, but so far it doesn't look that way to me. "Slaughter of hundreds of thousands" is certainly not a term I would use.

DanielR
02-21-2004, 08:47 AM
If you are unwilling to discuss the possibilities then what is your future? If a liberty minded individual touted these things I would say this person is not "liberty minded" not say "oh well this is a fluke we may hold these values but they are hardley "nazi".I'm more than willing to discuss various possibilities, but would prefer concentrating on reasonable and well-founded ones. The quoted passage makes little sense to me, as I fail to understand what being a vegetarian or an animal rights activist has to do with a danger of one becoming a murderous dictator. I also think that it's an outright lie stating that in the US of today a racist or a religious bigot "would find few critics among Democrats".

DanielR
02-22-2004, 05:38 PM
Comments?Ok, I'll try:

- Your response still doesn't clarify the connection between vegetarianism and nazism.

- Although I'm doubtful regarding your theory about democratic policies leading to racial discrimination, I do not possess sufficient knowledge in economics, sociology, social policy and such to agrue with it from an informed perspective. Maybe if you could clarify some of your postulates in layman's terms, I'd be able to provide you some feedback. For instance, I was under impression that a number of educational institutions in the US are private (11.5% of all students are enrolled in private schools according to http://www.capenet.org/facts.html), so what do you mean by "government monopoly on education"? Also, how decentralizing the educational system would help the inner city families get better education?

- What do you mean by a destroyed black family, and how any other family is better off in that context?

- As far as quotas for minorities, I'd rather see equal help to underprivileged families based on financial situation. Still, what parallel are you drawing between this and Hitler's policies?

- My take on Hillary Clinton - Ghandi fiasco is that is was a simple case of bad joke, as usual overblown by the media. A far cry from calling for extermination of Gypsies and Jews, don't you think?

- I don't know a lot about the history of gun control laws, so I'll take your word for it, and there's no point in arguing with that either. Times have changed, so I don't see how you can use that card today, unless you're saying that gun control proponents are essentially disguised nazis.

DanielR
02-23-2004, 09:05 AM
Still waiting for that "vegetarianizm as a source of nazism" theory... ;)

And - this is beginning to consume too much of my spare time - I've got to look for references for all the issues you raise!
These schools still have to follow affirmative action, can only teach accepted material... Ironically, this article - http://www.cato.org/dailys/06-23-03-2.html - argues for the right of private schools to practice affirmative action, so if I understand correctly it goes against your claim. Basically the article says that the 1st Amendment protects private schools' right to determine their admission policies (example - Supreme Court upheld Boy Scouts' right to prevent a gay man from working as a Scout Leader). But if in case of Michigan the Court prohibits public schools to practice affirmative action, then the private schools supposedly must follow suit due to the 14th Amendment. Anyway, looks more like a legislative mess rather than a nazist conspiracy to me.

As for teaching only accepted material, I'm not clear on this one as well - as I understand, many (if not most) of the private schools are sectarian, religious institutions that include religious teachings as part of their curriculum. Is that controlled by the government as well?

As for vouchers, I really don't know much about the Dems' record on this. This article http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp-025.html seems to support the idea of vouchers, especially for bailing out the inner city kids, and it is convincing. Here however http://www.au.org/vouch-bk.htm they question constitutionality of vouchers in regards to separation of church and state. That sounds important too, so I don't have any formed opinion on this just yet. In any case, one might argue that both proponents and opponents of the voucher system have a hidden nazist agenda - opponents want to maintain inner city ghettoes and proponents want the freedom of setting up nazist private schools and educate the next generation of racial supremacists.
Once again her higness gets a pass...What if a republican did this? What would happen then?Please don't make far-reaching conclusions based on my "giving her highness a pass". I don't know what would happen to a Republican - and it doesn't matter. Again, I don't see how Mrs. Clinton's conduct proves anything about the tens of millions of people voting for Democrats in this (or any other) country.

On gun control: imagine conducting an experiment today - take 1000 random average voters who are gun control proponents and ask them whether they're aware of the evidence you suggested about the "nazi connection" of the gun control law. What do you think will be the percentage of those that answer yes? My bet - very low. So again, are you saying they're all liars and that the true reason for their answer is them being hidden nazis?

The article about the link between the current US gun control law and the Nazi one is interesting, but I don't see how it applies today. If the US law limited gun access to Democratic party members and whites - I'd say you have a point. Otherwise, I don't see where you're going with this.

DanielR
02-23-2004, 11:53 AM
Whew!..
1. gun control laws where copied from the nazisDoesn't mean gun control in the US in its current form is nazist (see my previous post).
2. high taxes protect rich democrats from average joes becoming rich.That's one take on it. Another is higher taxes guarantee health care and social services. Let's not get started on this.
3. Vouchers that give school choice are a true equal opportunity solution that suprisingly those democrats are against.. (do not want to disrupt thier power base).To rephrase: Democrats want to keep inner city families poor, so that those poor families continue voting for Democrats? Ok. Time will tell. If this is true, we'll soon see 90% Republican Congress and Senate, because it can't be that the inner city people can't figure that conspiracy out, right?

About the "Famous Politicians" quotes: again, I don't understand who this kind of reasoning - equating Janet Reno's position on gun control to that of Hitler/Lenin/Stalin - is designed for. I interpret this as stating "Anyone who's for gun control is a potential nazist and/or a murderous dictator". Doesn't work for me. I'd prefer a study that proves that gun crime in the US is no higher than in countries with much more stingent gun control.

Regarding the connection between the radical left and anti-semitism - it's an important issue, but it's equally important to distinguish between anti-semitists and those opposing the policy of the state of Israel. Identifying with the Palestinian cause doesn't make you anti-semitic, as opposing the war in Iraq doesn't make you anti-American. Radical extremists exist in any political movement; their existence doesn't prove anything about the (usually more centrist) majority of that movement.

James Giles
02-23-2004, 03:28 PM
About the "Famous Politicians" quotes: again, I don't understand who this kind of reasoning - equating Janet Reno's position on gun control to that of Hitler/Lenin/Stalin - is designed for. I interpret this as stating "Anyone who's for gun control is a potential nazist and/or a murderous dictator". Doesn't work for me. I'd prefer a study that proves that gun crime in the US is no higher than in countries with much more stingent gun control.
Whether or not the gun crime rate in the U.S. is higher than in other countries should not be a consideration in this matter. What should be a consideration, is that the U.S. Constitution grants that U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms. If the U.N. or some other socialist movement feels otherwise, that is just too bad. The reason the Democrats are for gun control is because there agenda is one with the United Nations - to achieve world socialism. If the American citizens are armed, this makes it difficult for property to be confiscated and wealth to be redistributed. If only the police have guns, they can play the role of the KGB and come in and take away our property with no threat of resistance.

Affirmative action is another socialist ploy to achieve the redistribution of wealth. If jobs are taken away from those that are qualified, and given to those that are not, the whole system will be degraded and fall apart. The Democrat party keeps racism alive with its affirmative action policies. They base everything on the color of someone's skin rather than the person's abilities. Also, when you give one race preferential treatment, you necessarily discriminate against another race. Two wrongs don't make a right! But this goes with the Democrat party's agenda to bring about world communism/socialism by bringing down the last obstacle in its way...the Republic of the United States.

Hogan
02-23-2004, 04:15 PM
... I'd prefer a study that proves that gun crime in the US is no higher than in countries with much more stingent gun control....
Are you interested in "gun" crime or "violent" crime ? Numerous studies have shown that "violent" crime has increased dramatically in countries that have banned gun ownership (i.e., Britain), and decreased in areas where the citizenry is allowed to have guns.

But if you are looking for "gun" crime, well, no one will beat the US simply because we have more guns.

If you really want to see the studies, I will try to post, but I am always suspect of gun studies because they can be twisted to anything you want. Rarely do I see a true, honest to goodness unbiased view.

DanielR
02-23-2004, 09:04 PM
James, in no way was I trying to judge gun control laws. I was merely arguing with Jaime's thesis that gun control advocates are racists. You are right, the US law allows bearing guns, but that doesn't mean a legitimate challenging of that law cannot take place, for reasons other than racial supremacism and world domination.

John, just to clarify, my mentioning crime studies was just to support another point, not to say that I doubt such studies exist. And certainly, I'd be very much interested in seeing the studies you refer to. I'm particularly interested whether the study that showed violent crime increase in countries with banned gun ownership offers any explanation for that.

James Giles
02-24-2004, 01:22 AM
James, in no way was I trying to judge gun control laws. I was merely arguing with Jaime's thesis that gun control advocates are racists. You are right, the US law allows bearing guns, but that doesn't mean a legitimate challenging of that law cannot take place, for reasons other than racial supremacism and world domination.
It is more than a "US law that allows bearing guns", it is an inalienable right for Americans to bear arms. It is not a civil right...a right that infers that it is government granted and thus can be taken away. The US Constitution was not written to be challenged, there is no such thing as a "legitimate" challenge to the Constitution. Of course this is what leftist/socialist politicians, judges and special interest groups want people to think.

One of the things that separates America from the rest of the world is that we have the right to own property. We have the right to protect that property, and we have the right to bear arms. These are rights, not LAWS. A law is something that causes one to lose a freedom. If they make a law that says you can't smoke in a restaurant, you have essentially lost a freedom. An inalienable right can't be taken away or challenged. An inalienable right is a freedom that cannot be surrendered.

America is a republic, NOT a democracy. We have a Constitution that is etched in stone and our elected leaders are put in place to protect it. The government serves us, not the other way around, and the Constitution protects our way of life. Anyone that challenges it is an enemy and should be dealt with accordingly.

DanielR
02-24-2004, 07:00 AM
The US Constitution was not written to be challenged, there is no such thing as a "legitimate" challenge to the Constitution... Anyone that challenges it is an enemy and should be dealt with accordingly.Maybe I didn't express my thoughts clearly - by "challenging" I meant utilizing constitutional/legal ways to change the current situation.Article 5 of the United States Constitution (http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Article5) provides ways to amend the Constitution. It is also my understanding that constitutional amendments can be repealed.

Hogan
02-24-2004, 11:41 AM
....certainly, I'd be very much interested in seeing the studies you refer to. I'm particularly interested whether the study that showed violent crime increase in countries with banned gun ownership offers any explanation for that.
Here is one study - there are others, one in particular I have read about in a magazine, but have been unable to find on the net....

http://www.ncpa.org/iss/cri/2003/pd120503e.html


I think that one explanation is that gun laws have no effect whatsoever on criminals who have a habit and ability to obtain illegal weapons, but have more of an effect on the avg. law abiding civilian. And what do you get? Criminals feeling safe that they won't be confronted by an armed victim, so they don't hesitate to increase their crime practice. Think about it - if you were a criminal (and by its definition, that doesn't obey laws, especially gun laws), would you try to rob, beat up, kill, break into a home of, a civilian if there was even an INKLING that they might fight back with their OWN gun?

Hogan
02-24-2004, 11:57 AM
Here is the actual study I referenced above:

http://www.sfu.ca/~mauser/papers/failed/FailedExperiment.pdf

DanielR
02-24-2004, 02:54 PM
Here is one study - there are others, one in particular I have read about in a magazine, but have been unable to find on the net....

<http://www.ncpa.org/iss/cri/2003/pd120503e.html>

I think that one explanation is that gun laws have no effect whatsoever on criminals who have a habit and ability to obtain illegal weapons, but have more of an effect on the avg. law abiding civilian. And what do you get? Criminals feeling safe that they won't be confronted by an armed victim, so they don't hesitate to increase their crime practice.
Very interesting. I absolutely agree that while the data of the study might be unquestionable, there're many ways to interpret it.

One thought that occured to me - if the budget for possible gun control enforcement (the author quoted CDN3$ billion for Canada, so if something like that took place in the US, the costs would be much higher) was instead invested in education and crime prevention programs, wouldn't the results be considerably better?

Neil Mick
02-24-2004, 03:05 PM
Um, yes, well...back to the thread topic...
I'm doubtful as to usefulness of drawing a parralel with a century-old affair. Same can be said of claims that the US was successful in building democracies in post-WW2 Japan and Germany.
I do not agree. It's pointless to try to do things like fit living ppl into historical figures (such as Bush or blair into Churchill), but studies of history and historical settings CAN help ascertain pattens governmental abuse of certain laws, and general patterns of civilization.

One poster, commenting on Peak Oil and the possible fall of this oil-dependent civilization, compared the situation to what happened, after the fall of Rome. I think the analogy applies, and is a reasonable comparison.
But, if I understand you correctly, you consider the quoted language applicable to the actions of the US military in Iraq? I guess time will tell, but so far it doesn't look that way to me. "Slaughter of hundreds of thousands" is certainly not a term I would use.
Not exactly "applicable." More like noticing the comparisons of rationale's and the similarities in certain rhetoric, then and now.

Neil Mick
02-24-2004, 03:14 PM
America is a republic, NOT a democracy. We have a Constitution that is etched in stone and our elected leaders are put in place to protect it. The government serves us, not the other way around, and the Constitution protects our way of life. Anyone that challenges it is an enemy and should be dealt with accordingly.
Then George Bush, and Congress, became the enemy, on October 10, 2002, when they voted away their right to intercede when Bush declares a war.

Is signing away one's rights as a leader a form of treason? Hmm,,,a good question. Especially, if the right you sign away is a protection against unnecessary war, against a country that had no intention (or prospect) of attacking us.

You'll get no argument from me, on this one...although I think the proper term for our form of government is the "oilogarchy." ;)

DanielR
02-25-2004, 07:57 AM
studies of history and historical settings CAN help ascertain pattens governmental abuse of certain laws, and general patterns of civilization.Then, just for the sake of the argument, how do you see post-WW2 Japan and Germany as patterns of civilization?

Neil Mick
02-27-2004, 02:18 AM
Then, just for the sake of the argument, how do you see post-WW2 Japan and Germany as patterns of civilization?
You know, I really shy away from most comparisons of ANYTHING, these days, to WW2, lol. But, for the sake of argument: were I to study MacArthur's reconstruction of Japan, I'd note the reasons for its success--the consideration for winning the Japanese hearts and minds, etc., or even the methods/contractors used to effect reconstruction.

The comparison of what went right (or didn't go right) in reconstructing Japan might have served as a comparative model for analysis against what is going so wrong, with the occupation...at least, for some of the factors.

Taliesin
03-02-2004, 06:12 AM
Doesn't the American Constitution state in it's 2nd Ammendment that "A well armed militia being essential for the security of the state, the peoples right to bear arms shallnot be abolished".

doesn't it leave the question of how many Americans canny guns as part of a body whose purpose is the protection of the United states and it's peoples.

As far as Constitutional Ammendments being immutable - what ever happened to the the Constitutional ammendment to bear arms.

As far as higher taxes imprisoning the poor - in the UK at least higher taxes have meant the ability for kids from poorer backgrounds can attend University and all the advantages that brings (which is why the 'American Dream' is a European Reality as far as improvement of social status and position is concerned.

Of course in the UK we think that guns are made to fire bullets.

DanielR
03-03-2004, 07:16 AM
You know, I really shy away from most comparisons of ANYTHING, these days, to WW2... were I to study MacArthur's reconstruction of Japan, I'd note the reasons for its success--the consideration for winning the Japanese hearts and minds, etc., or even the methods/contractors used to effect reconstruction. I actually liked your reference to "patterns of civilization", but thought of it in historically broader terms, without going into the specifics of what MacArthur/Bremmer did right or wrong. Let's raise the level of abstraction here and see if we take Japan and Germany as examples of the following pattern of civilization: a democratic super-power builds a new order in a totalitarian country after beating that country in a war (reasons for the war aside). Generally, is it a desirable pattern?

Hogan
03-03-2004, 09:42 AM
One of the dumbest things I have heard:

"What Is Your Definition of Freedom?

Saddam Hussein's regime may have been marked by the brutal oppression of women, and numerous human rights groups have detailed the travel and work restrictions, rape rooms, and intimidation once endured by women in Iraq.

But Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said that after visiting post-war Iraq, she's concerned about, "pullbacks in the rights that women were given under Saddam Hussein."

Senator Clinton told the Brookings Institution, "As they stayed out of his way, they had considerable freedom of movement."

Yo-Jimbo
03-03-2004, 05:19 PM
Mass destruction (of money) occurring in Iraq day by day.

http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/1900/1/1/

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=1331

http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=6008

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/03/59755.html

I only chose the links that further my capitalistic autocratic Haliburtonist agenda. Or maybe I was paid by aliens to cause stress in YOUR MIND so that it would be easier to PROBE. It couldn't be that this is a sarcastic reminder of what this thread was started upon and from which has diverged. Maybe I just take the phrase, "The Untied States of America, love it, or leave it the way it was" too seriously.

I don't see why progressives get so upset about the murderous theft of billions of dollars. Oh wait, they don't. They must be too busy debating with regressives about when it is appropriate to lie (personal life vs. business dealings, even though it is a safe bet that most humans do it in both), how big/many arms someone/someplace should/might have (Vishnu vs. the Michigan Militia) or what is the meaning of the word "marriage" is in "legally binding sense" (are naked snakes by any other name just as funny?).

I really didn't want to get drawn into this thread when it first appeared; for after all, little could be said that shouldn't be immediately obvious. Yet it has endured and evolved into a lively if not so healthy discussion. All sides proving that the taste of aikido doesn't confer infallibility. An imperfect being myself, I've grown tired of watching tyranny appeased by the diplomats.



Reading this thread has been a great example of the Koshism, "Understanding is a three-edged sword." (your side, their side, and the truth)

Thank you to those of you that this angers the most. I have learned from your writings. You serve as uke for my mind. Now that I've weighed in, you'll get your chance as nage; I wonder what you'll do with the opportunity.

Peace in, not a word to your mother,

JDC

In the order I came up with them:

Literacy in the face of type is reading.

Democracy in the face of representatives is a republic.

Surgery in the face is cosmetic.

Conspiracy in the face of hype is propaganda.

Privacy in the face of a celebrity is paparazzi.

Money in the face of politicians is corruption.

Fist in the face of me is contusion.

Logic in the face of faith is frustration.

Comedy in the face of audience is cream pie.

James Giles
03-03-2004, 11:24 PM
Jaime,

I have to say, that after hearing the news the other day, I am starting to really see things your way as far as our approach to seeking out terrorist around the world and bombing them to hell and back. I saw this Islamic terrorist the other day on the news and he was talking about how his group planned to wreak more havoc on American soil in the near future. It really made me angry and was a wake-up call to me that we ARE at war, and what happened on 9/11 could happen again.

I am very proud to have a man in the White House like George Bush and not some socialist sissy like Al Gore, Bill Clinton, or even worse, John Kerry.

I also like the way Bush stands up to those wimps in the U.N. and does what is good for America. I guess the few liberal policies he seems to support (amnesty for illegal aliens, money to fight AIDS in Africa etc.) are far outweighed by his commitment to go after anybody that f***s with the U.S.A. with everything we got. GWB has got my vote all the way.

happysod
03-04-2004, 05:11 AM
in the UK at least higher taxes have meant the ability for kids from poorer backgrounds can attend University and all the advantages that brings (which is why the 'American Dream' is a European Reality as far as improvement of social status and position is concerned Up to a point. speaking as one coming from a poorer background, the reality is you're still at a disadvantage university-wise because your school is often unable to offer advice concerning a choice of university (and notice, I'm being nice and leaving the oxbridge question alone). It'll also be interesting to see how the "top-up" fees affect student intake.
I also like the way Bush stands up to those wimps in the U.N. and does what is good for America James, the rest of the world would like to play staying alive too, are we allowed to do this without becoming American? Sorry, but the "good for America" is far too broad a brush for me take lightly, especially in light of the various illegal trade sanctions and subsidies...

James Giles
03-04-2004, 11:55 AM
James, the rest of the world would like to play staying alive too, are we allowed to do this without becoming American? Sorry, but the "good for America" is far too broad a brush for me take lightly, especially in light of the various illegal trade sanctions and subsidies...
Ian, I am not sure exactly what you mean. All I know is that the U.S. was attacked on 9/11 and we are going after Islamic militant terrorists wherever we can find them. The last time I checked you guys were our Allies, and together (along with a number of other countries) we have become the world's police because the U.N. is too wimpy to do the job themselves. Am I wrong here?

Also, what illegal trade sanctions and subsidies are you referring to?

Thanks, James

wawatusi
03-04-2004, 04:26 PM
Also, what illegal trade sanctions and subsidies are you referring to?

Thanks, James
This is typical. When the sanctions on iraq where working they are UN sanctions... When they don't they are american sanctions. Never mind that after hussein was toppled france did not want to give up its Oil for palaces program that reaped billions of dollars for france and co.

Yo-Jimbo
03-04-2004, 04:44 PM
I thought that the ideal of aikido was to seek to destroy the conflict, not to pile up bodies. What ever happened to the sword that gives life? Sure it is an ideal, but isn't it an ideal that is worth striving ever for? I'm game to see if the conflict can be resolved between two "James" without permanent damage to either. Having read the bodies intension, I bravely irimi.
the U.S. was attacked on 9/11 True, but is that the only history or real motivation for the subsequent conflict? Unfortunately, English doesn't have punctuation that indicates a clearly rhetorical question.
we are going after Islamic militant terrorists wherever we can find them
False, a token amount are being sought by ineffective and inappropriate means for the political and economic gains of a privileged few.
you guys were our Allies
True, but how far up our hind end do their noses have to be to fulfill that obligation? Don't allies as good friends have the obligation to let you know when they think you have strayed off course?
we have become the world's police
If only, I doubt we would be very happy if the police in our country acted in the same way on our soil. Policing should be done with police; calling any occupation a "police action" is just political correctness verging on doublethink.
the U.N. is too wimpy to do the job themselves
That is open to debate and interpretation. It was strong enough that we couldn't boss it around at our slightest whim, but it can't stop the only superpower from doing what it wants either. I think if this is the case then the U.S. should take the high road and work to strengthen it, not tear it down. This unilateral attitude sounds amazingly similar to the following:
Under no circumstances should any (word omitted) or sane person resort to the United Nations. The United Nations is nothing but a tool of crime. We are being massacred everyday, while the United Nations continues to sit idly by.
I don't agree with this person I just quoted. Do you? I empathize and understand that people have and are suffering from the pain that they inflict on each other. Assuredly the U.N. has had numerous shortcomings, undoubtedly members of that body have their own personal agendas, but civilization should not tolerate a "blood for blood" attitude. I'm not even asking for anyone to turn the other cheek; at the same time, standing up for what's right needn't be wrathful.

It is both funny and sad that with more than half the U.S. population and almost the entire world population against the policy of this administration the other half still clings to that policy as if they had discovered that the world were round or something and everyone else is clinging to the idea that it is flat. It is also funny and sad that, at the time when my fellow U.S. citizens were most wiped into a frenzy to support the war, with ~90% of the people polled supporting the invasion of Iraq (our nose still bloodied from the old 9/11 no doubt) only ~10% knew where it was on the globe (A failure of our public schools or just plain apathy and ignorance? I don't know and I don't care the "American" says.). I can't say if the numbers are true or not, but it sounds disappointing enough to be believable.

Good news is that peace will prevail soon; as, McDonalds will be serving by next year in Iraq (or so they say). Who knows, they might even have free and democratic elections with their burgers and fries.

Still how can one trust the ideas of a physicist, one of the conspirators that brought you such silliness as a round earth, stars fusing hydrogen and a multi-billion year old universe.

Hypothesis in the face of measurement is either theory or refuted. It is not quite as snappy as the others. I guess some ideas are just a little too subtle and important for sound bites.

Hope you all enjoyed the flight.

Neil Mick
03-04-2004, 05:38 PM
Let's raise the level of abstraction here and see if we take Japan and Germany as examples of the following pattern of civilization: a democratic super-power builds a new order in a totalitarian country after beating that country in a war (reasons for the war aside). Generally, is it a desirable pattern?
Generally, there is "insufficient data," as a Star-Trek-style computer might put it. At its broadest parameters--yes, a "superpower" building a new "order" is a desirable pattern. But, you have to weigh in other factors, as well--

1. Is it possible to have a "democratic superpower?" This point is arguable; certainly, it's arguable in the international arena.

2. Define "new order?" I'd say that the US rebuilding Japan's "new order" after WW2 WAs desirable, as it avoided humiliation of the Japanese.

I'd also argue that the US's attempts to establish a "new order" in Iraq are failing largely for not adhering to respecting the complexity of Iraqi culture and civilization.

The Japanese are hierarchical and bound solidly by an unified traditional value-system. Their minorities are few, and disempowered. In terms of reunification and reconstruction, this is a positive asset.

The Iraqi's, OTOH: have 2000 clans and several powerful and widely suppressed minorities who are aching for their independence. Any attempt at reconstruction that ignores these parameters is the first step on the path to folly.

3. Also, what are the intentions of the superpower? Is it setting up a country with the aim to make it a subservient "client-state," with many of its resources siphoned off to its private concerns? The US has done this many times in the past (Nicaragua, and United Fruit, comes to mind).

Good question, tho: daniel...food for thought.

Neil Mick
03-04-2004, 05:47 PM
All I know is that the U.S. was attacked on 9/11 and we are going after Islamic militant terrorists wherever we can find them.
With respect...nonsense. We go after whomever Bush feels like going after, and makes up the rationale's later.

If we go after "Islamic militants:" why have we not gone after Pakistan's own Dr. Strangelove: Dr. Khan, who freely admitted to selling nuclear secrets to Libya?

Why have we gone after a democratically-elected President (Aristide), over an established, unelected paramilitary organization (FRAPH)...even going so far as to supply US-weaponry to its members?

Why do we give asylum to one of FRAPH'S founders--Emmanuel Constant: yet deny the same liberty to Haiti's President?

Why did the US go after Hussein: who has no proven complicity with 9-11, or even with terrorist networks?

Simply put: because we (sorry--the US gov't...WE are not the US gov't) care less about "hunting down terror," than the US cares about establishing power-bases and client-states.

Democracy takes a backseat to military supremacy. Just as it does with every expansionist empire with dreams of global domination.

Neil Mick
03-04-2004, 05:57 PM
I thought that the ideal of aikido was to seek to destroy the conflict, not to pile up bodies. What ever happened to the sword that gives life?
FINALLY! Finally: someone points this fact out. You'd be amazed at the ppl who argued, pre-Iraqi war, that we need to "atemi" and "irimi" Hussein, before he attacks us.

Now, of course: no one uses such an absurd argument, as he had no means to attack us.

Thank you for bringing this up. Aikido is a martial art of peace. All you pro-war types are entitled to your opinions, but it puzzles me that you practice an art of peace, yet tout war.
True, but is that the only history or real motivation for the subsequent conflict? Unfortunately, English doesn't have punctuation that indicates a clearly rhetorical question.
Exactly. The question of "why do they hate us" was never properly answered. It's one of the few good things that Bush ever said, yet he gave a stupid answer.

Perhaps: "they" hate us, for bombing and invading their countries, hmm? Nah: that COULDN'T be it...
Good news is that peace will prevail soon; as, McDonalds will be serving by next year in Iraq (or so they say).

Which, I might add: is probably the reason for invading, in the first place...to protect US interests. Again. And again. And yet again.
Still how can one trust the ideas of a physicist, one of the conspirators that brought you such silliness as a round earth, stars fusing hydrogen and a multi-billion year old universe.

Hypothesis in the face of measurement is either theory or refuted. It is not quite as snappy as the others. I guess some ideas are just a little too subtle and important for sound bites.

Hope you all enjoyed the flight.
I sure did. Good post: well articulated.

James Giles
03-04-2004, 06:41 PM
False, a token amount are being sought by ineffective and inappropriate means for the political and economic gains of a privileged few.
Sounds like that might be more your opinion than a fact. Can you back it up with sources?


True, but how far up our hind end do their noses have to be to fulfill that obligation? Don't allies as good friends have the obligation to let you know when they think you have strayed off course?
Yes they have that obligation, but I didn't realize that they felt that way (??).


If only, I doubt we would be very happy if the police in our country acted in the same way on our soil. Policing should be done with police; calling any occupation a "police action" is just political correctness verging on doublethink.
Obviously their police weren't doing too hot a job, so we had to go over there and help them out a little bit. We may end up having to stick around there for the next 100 years if that is what it takes to eliminate terrorists, but after some thoughts on the matter, I feel it is worth my taxdollars to support the effort.


This unilateral attitude sounds amazingly similar to the following:
Perhaps you want to call it a unilateral attitude, but the way I see it, we are sending a very clear message to the rest of the world, that we aren't going to put up with attacks against our citizens. If the U.N. and others won't stand up for us, we have to stand up for ourselves.


but civilization should not tolerate a "blood for blood" attitude. I'm not even asking for anyone to turn the other cheek; at the same time, standing up for what's right needn't be wrathful.

Then what exactly are you asking? - what do you feel is the solution to the problem James?


It is both funny and sad that with more than half the U.S. population and almost the entire world population against the policy of this administration the other half still clings to that policy as if they had discovered that the world were round or something and everyone else is clinging to the idea that it is flat.
Where are you getting your statistics from? Dan Rather? I think a lot more Americans are behind this effort to defend our borders than you have been led to believe.


It is also funny and sad that, at the time when my fellow U.S. citizens were most wiped into a frenzy to support the war, with ~90% of the people polled supporting the invasion of Iraq (our nose still bloodied from the old 9/11 no doubt) only ~10% knew where it was on the globe (A failure of our public schools or just plain apathy and ignorance?

Well I suppose our public schools aren't doing a good job of teaching geography, but by God the fighter pilots sure know (knew) where to find Iraq. The bombs didn't get from point A to point B on their own!


Good news is that peace will prevail soon; as, McDonalds will be serving by next year in Iraq (or so they say). Who knows, they might even have free and democratic elections with their burgers and fries.
I can see your point there. I really feel the U.S should help the people over there get on there feet and then get out as soon as possible. I don't believe in the U.S. occupying a foreign land...just ridding it of elements that come over here and mess with us.

James Giles
03-04-2004, 07:25 PM
FINALLY!

Thank you for bringing this up. Aikido is a martial art of peace. All you pro-war types are entitled to your opinions, but it puzzles me that you practice an art of peace, yet tout war.
How do you use Aikido peacefully against a group of fanatics who have sworn jihad against the Christian world?

Exactly. The question of "why do they hate us" was never properly answered. It's one of the few good things that Bush ever said, yet he gave a stupid answer.

Perhaps: "they" hate us, for bombing and invading their countries, hmm? Nah: that COULDN'T be it...
I think they hate us because we support Israel. It boils down to the fact that the radical Islamist are pledging a religious war against Christianity and Judeaism. It is all symbolic to them and their religious system. I suppose if they weren't all wearing bombs strapped to themselves we could all run up to them and use Aikido on them without repercussions. Unfortunately such is not the case. As long as there is jihad, there will never be peace. Their religion is war. How do you find a peaceful solution with someone like that?

DanielR
03-04-2004, 09:04 PM
At its broadest parameters--yes, a "superpower" building a new "order" is a desirable pattern. But, you have to weigh in other factors, as well--I agree. And, since the amount of factors seems to be approaching infinity, I guess we should leave it to historians 1000 years from now.
I thought that the ideal of aikido was to seek to destroy the conflict, not to pile up bodies.What ever happened to the sword that gives life? ...

...civilization should not tolerate a "blood for blood" attitude. I'm not even asking for anyone to turn the other cheek; at the same time, standing up for what's right needn't be wrathful.
James, in my mind both of the above are open to interpretation. When destroying a conflict results in casualties (could happen even if you utilize an "art of peace", couldn't it?), does it immediately become "piling up bodies"? And how can we define a difference between a "wrathful, blood-for-blood" attitude and an appropriate response?

Neil Mick
03-05-2004, 03:07 AM
Thank you for bringing this up. Aikido is a martial art of peace. All you pro-war types are entitled to your opinions, but it puzzles me that you practice an art of peace, yet tout war.
How do you use Aikido peacefully against a group of fanatics who have sworn jihad against the Christian world?

An excellent question.

The first thing you do, is try to understand them. Understanding uke gives you many advantages.

Once you understand uke: you draw him out of his stance, or unbalance him, from his inclination to attack.

How you do this can take many tactics, but penultimately: you draw uke out of his base. As we often study: uke is drawn out by attacking--but there are other ways.

Whatever you do, you do it out of concern for uke, as if they were your kin.


Exactly. The question of "why do they hate us" was never properly answered. It's one of the few good things that Bush ever said, yet he gave a stupid answer.

Perhaps: "they" hate us, for bombing and invading their countries, hmm? Nah: that COULDN'T be it...

I think they hate us because we support Israel. It boils down to the fact that the radical Islamist are pledging a religious war against Christianity and Judeaism. It is all symbolic to them and their religious system. I suppose if they weren't all wearing bombs strapped to themselves we could all run up to them and use Aikido on them without repercussions. Unfortunately such is not the case. As long as there is jihad, there will never be peace. Their religion is war. How do you find a peaceful solution with someone like that?

You're forgetting something critical: fundamentalists run amok in all countries. Islamic society is much more diverse, than a few fanatics (if you can even call it a unified society...too general a term). And, many Islamic's hate fanatic's. Look at the recent suicide bomb that killed 180 ppl in Iraq, to see what I mean. Besides, only a small portion (I mean, a sliver of a sliver) of the Islamic community is fundamentalist fanatics.

Yet, we invade and topple governments that affect everyone in that country. We destroy their public records, their libraries, their water and electrical systems.

That's simply wrong.

Michael Neal
03-05-2004, 08:40 AM
Nuke the commies!

Hogan
03-05-2004, 10:04 AM
Nuke the commies!
Damn straight.... commie bastards.

Neil Mick
03-05-2004, 10:52 AM
Nuke the commies!
Damn straight.... commie bastards.
Silence the peanut gallery! :p

Michael Neal
03-05-2004, 01:14 PM
Nuke Neil Mick

Neil Mick
03-05-2004, 03:15 PM
Nuke Neil Mick
A whole nuc, for little ole' me? Naw, really: you shouldn't have.

*Sigh* It's nice to be loved... :cool: :p

George S. Ledyard
03-05-2004, 03:52 PM
A whole nuc, for little ole' me? Naw, really: you shouldn't have.

*Sigh* It's nice to be loved... :cool: :p
Neil,

I can't believe you are still here pounding away... for what? I had a freind in college who didn't believe in evolution. No amount of factual information to the contrary could challenge this worldview. Period.

Everything that you and I have warned of since the start of this venture is coming true but that won't change any minds here. If things fall apart they'll just blame it on the peace niks who didn't let us win (same ridiculous argument after we lost in Viet Nam). The whole shebang could fall apart and it won't result in even a moment of self doubt, not a second of introspection. Eric Hoffer called folks like this "True Believers". It's simply not worth your time to fight with them...

Neil Mick
03-07-2004, 11:58 AM
Neil,

I can't believe you are still here pounding away... for what? I had a freind in college who didn't believe in evolution. No amount of factual information to the contrary could challenge this worldview. Period.

Everything that you and I have warned of since the start of this venture is coming true but that won't change any minds here. If things fall apart they'll just blame it on the peace niks who didn't let us win (same ridiculous argument after we lost in Viet Nam). The whole shebang could fall apart and it won't result in even a moment of self doubt, not a second of introspection. Eric Hoffer called folks like this "True Believers". It's simply not worth your time to fight with them...
I have given my response to this question some thought. Actually, it's two questions, and let me approach them in turn:

1. Why do I still post here?

Really, I could expand this to "why do I write, in fora?" Argument and debate stirs me to research and document my beliefs. I have learned a great deal about int'l affairs, since I started posting.

Also, I receive input from totally unexpected (and welcome) quarters. The email I received from a US soldier on patrol in the Sunni Triangle was gripping and made me feel that this all was not a total waste of time. I also got a glimpse of what his day-to-day experience of coping with his situation must be like, more by what he omitted, than what he stated in his note.

The last time I checked, he hadn't logged into that website for more than 25 days. I wonder if he's still alive (more likely, just too busy to post on fora).

Then there was the Jordanian Aikidoist who talked about the seminar for Iraqi's, set up by an Italian shihan. It gave me inspiration, and ideas for a similar venture.

While few and far between, the few letters I get are encouragement that I'm not simply blowing out hot air, no matter what certain obnoxious Libertarians might think.

Still, I wrestle with the notion that this IS, largely, a waste of time, and I'd be better off doing something else (and I'm sure that if you're reading this, Opher: you're nodding your head right now). OTOH: I do enjoy debating with post-ers who can carry on a reasonable discussion (as with DanielR, et al--it sharpens the mind).

2. Why debate, when you aren't changing anyone's mind?

Why practice Aikido, when we can't use it to force a violent person to be peaceful?

Contrary to the claims of some post-ers, I am not here to convert anyone to my beliefs. I am here to TEST some of those beliefs, and to learn from the beliefs, of others.

Some of my conversations with a conservative policeman on demonstration control in DC were very educational, in understanding "the other side," for example. There is no way that we could "convince" each other of the "rightness" of our perspectives, but I understand his beliefs a lot better than I did, and I hope the understanding was reciprocal.

Admittedly, sometimes the effort is a big waste. I spent a LONG time talking to a fanatical Zionist on aikidojournal and achieved a "meeting of minds" a few times, but mostly it was a wasted effort.

Then there was the crew from bugei.com who felt comfortable parodoxically calling the human shields in Iraq "cowards;" and asking the telling question, "why can't you just trust your leader to do the right thing?"

And I won't even go into the frequent flames I get from the likes of geniuses such as Mssrs. Neal, et al.

But the internet is no place to attempt to change minds, and I don't. I am here to present a perspective, to test it (or comparatively measure) against other perspectives. Along the way, I learn things I had't considered, often quite by accident.

James Giles
03-07-2004, 11:03 PM
An excellent question. The first thing you do, is try to understand them. Understanding uke gives you many advantages.... Whatever you do, you do it out of concern for uke, as if they were your kin.
Hey Neil, I can see your point. I want to understand why these Islamic terrorists want to kill Christians and Jews. Do you have any idea why that is? Is it something that is written in their religious book (koran?)?

I really am not a barbarian. I hate the idea that a lot of innocent people are getting killed over this conflict. If there was a peaceful solution to it, I am all for that. Just one innocent person being killed is too many as far as I am concerned.

No one seems to have any explanations, This issue is very sensitive and it is rarely discussed in the media, and no one else seems to have any explanations. But, does anyone out there on the forum know just exactly what is it that Israel has done that draws so much animosity from the Muslim world? It really seems that a rational solution could be reached so that all parties concerned could co-exist together in peace.

If it boils down to the fact that these terrorist's desire to murder is based on their religious belief system, it would require reprogramming those persons' religious beliefs. I suppose this could be done, but I think there would be a lot of resistance from the person.

I am all for a peaceful solution, but no one seems to want to talk about the root problem and the source of that problem. Maybe if people could start talking about it, it could be worked out.

P.S. I have learned a lot about myself from these forums. Sometimes I come off like a know-it-all, and a lot of times I put my foot in my mouth. I realize that other people have good points to make, and that really helps to set me straight. Thanks all of you people out there (Jamie, Neil, Daniel, James etc.) for keeping the debate going. This is good stuff. Maybe we can come up with a good solution if we all put our heads together.

Neil Mick
03-08-2004, 12:02 AM
Hey Neil, I can see your point. I want to understand why these Islamic terrorists want to kill Christians and Jews. Do you have any idea why that is? Is it something that is written in their religious book (koran?)?
Is there really any difference between running a plane into a building, or running a bulldozer over an unsuspecting household?

Is there a difference between strapping a bomb to yourself to blow up innocents, or dropping Israeli bomblets on innocent's heads, only to be found later and picked up by children?

You might say that there is: others do not. Some Zionist fanatics don't see the difference, either. And the cycle continues.

But no: it isn't written in the Koran to go and kill (altho I admit I am going on secondary sources...I haven't read the book).

James Giles
03-08-2004, 12:25 AM
Is there really any difference between running a plane into a building, or running a bulldozer over an unsuspecting household? You might say that there is: others do not. Some Zionist fanatics don't see the difference, either. And the cycle continues.
I would say there is no difference. I am just wondering what is really going on. I don't mean to be anti-semitic or anything, but I know a lot of our media is owned by Jewish people, and I am wondering if Israel is doing some bad stuff that we don't know about over here in the States. I mean, the media always makes it look like Israel is walking the straight and narrow.

I believe if Israel is acting cruelly are doing anything unethical toward the Muslim population, the U.S. should withdraw its support of Israel. It is really a shame that we cannot get reliable reports from our media.
But no: it isn't written in the Koran to go and kill (altho I admit I am going on secondary sources...I haven't read the book).
I haven't read it either, but I have heard there are a few passages in there about "jihad" which urges followers to force Islam on the world, even if it requires killing those who resist.

DanielR
03-08-2004, 07:56 AM
Is there really any difference between running a plane into a building, or running a bulldozer over an unsuspecting household?

Is there a difference between strapping a bomb to yourself to blow up innocents, or dropping Israeli bomblets on innocent's heads, only to be found later and picked up by children?

You might say that there is: others do not. Some Zionist fanatics don't see the difference, either. And the cycle continues.Well, I do see a difference; does it make me a Zionist fanatic? Or maybe one doesn't need to be a fanatic, of any kind, to disagree with the above comparisons?

We've been through this. But I'm always up for going through this again.

The cycle continues because noone has a better solution.

The bulldozers are run over houses of terrorists, houses which terrorists use to launch attacks, and territories that are allocated for the security fence (a controvercial issue by itself). Rolling this up into the term "an unsuspecting household" is quite misleading.

Israeli bombs kill innocent civilians. However, they do not target innocent civilians.

If I had to try, the only similarity between running a plane into a building and running a bulldozer over a house I could imagine one might claim is that the 9/11 attack was targeting not innocent civilians but the guilty (in the eyes of Alqaeda) country, and so in this sense there's no difference between killing a number of innocent civilians in a Gaza raid after militants, and the plane attack.

The same logic, however, can be used to justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

DanielR
03-08-2004, 08:13 AM
I know a lot of our media is owned by Jewish people, and I am wondering if Israel is doing some bad stuff that we don't know about over here in the States. I mean, the media always makes it look like Israel is walking the straight and narrow... It is really a shame that we cannot get reliable reports from our media.
James, what in this report (http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/03/07/mideast.gaza/index.html), for instance, leads you to believe that a Jewish CNN editor has left something out?

The facts are all known. It's up to you to interpret them, or, if you prefer a simpler way, to believe someone who'll do it for you.

Neil Mick
03-08-2004, 11:40 AM
Well, I do see a difference; does it make me a Zionist fanatic? Or maybe one doesn't need to be a fanatic, of any kind, to disagree with the above comparisons?
Fanatics DON'T see a difference. This is my point...the fact that you (and I) do puts us out of the fanatic-camp.
The bulldozers are run over houses of terrorists, houses which terrorists use to launch attacks, and territories that are allocated for the security fence (a controvercial issue by itself). Rolling this up into the term "an unsuspecting household" is quite misleading.
ALL houses bulldozed are "houses of terrorists?" Tell that to the household of the Pharmacist that Rachel Corrie was tryin to protect.
Israeli bombs kill innocent civilians. However, they do not target innocent civilians.
The dead civilians are comforted by the knowledge that they weren't the targets, no doubt.
If I had to try, the only similarity between running a plane into a building and running a bulldozer over a house I could imagine one might claim is that the 9/11 attack was targeting not innocent civilians but the guilty (in the eyes of Alqaeda) country, and so in this sense there's no difference between killing a number of innocent civilians in a Gaza raid after militants, and the plane attack.

The same logic, however, can be used to justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I think we agree, here. Understand, I am not condoning suicide attacks: but fanatics (on both sides) see them as roughly equivalent, or the other side's attacks being worse.

Neil Mick
03-08-2004, 11:43 AM
James, what in this report (http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/03/07/mideast.gaza/index.html), for instance, leads you to believe that a Jewish CNN editor has left something out?

The facts are all known. It's up to you to interpret them, or, if you prefer a simpler way, to believe someone who'll do it for you.
Sorry, it's not so simple, as that. The IDF has done its best to force int'l observers out from the Occupied Territories. I have heard numerous eye-witness accounts that speak of systemitized violence upon Palestinians. The full story of this violence often doesn't make it onto CNN.

Neil Mick
03-08-2004, 11:50 AM
I would say there is no difference. I am just wondering what is really going on. I don't mean to be anti-semitic or anything, but I know a lot of our media is owned by Jewish people, and I am wondering if Israel is doing some bad stuff that we don't know about over here in the States. I mean, the media always makes it look like Israel is walking the straight and narrow.

I believe if Israel is acting cruelly are doing anything unethical toward the Muslim population, the U.S. should withdraw its support of Israel. It is really a shame that we cannot get reliable reports from our media.
I agree. But, because the Israeli gov't and their lobbyists over in the States have such a strong pull over here, the chances are that we're not ever going to hear the full news on CNN, or that the US gov't will do more than issue vague warnings and threats to both sides.
I haven't read it either, but I have heard there are a few passages in there about "jihad" which urges followers to force Islam on the world, even if it requires killing those who resist.
The whole thing about "jihad" is miscategorized and taken out of historical perspective. This, from a primer on Islam (http://www.alhewar.com/gary_leupp_challenging_ignorance_on_islam.htm), might help:
The Qur'an does NOT call upon Muslims to KILL all non-Muslims. It calls for the destruction of "infidels," meaning principally Arabs who, during the time of Muhammad, practiced idolatry and polytheism. Again: this is a seventh-century book, produced in a specific historical context! It, and the Muslim religion, should be studied and understood objectively, dispassionately. Islam emerged very quickly, and within decades united under its banner-the banner of monotheism---the various tribes of Arabia. Its violent rejection of idolatry, however offensive to the modern, secular, humanist mind, is hardly unique. It can be compared to the ferocious suppression in Christian Europe of paganism (often associated with witchcraft).

And for perspective, while the Qur'an does call for the extermination of "infidels," the Old Testament is replete with its own exhortations to genocide. According to the Biblical narrative (of dubious historicity, but believed by hundreds of millions), the Hebrews under Joshua's leadership, invading Canaan from Egypt, killed twelve thousand "men and women together" in the town of Ai-because God wanted them to (Joshua 8:25). The Hebrews put all the people of Hazor to the sword (they "wiped them all out; they did not leave one living soul." Judges 11:14). The poetics of hatred are as conspicuous in the Bible as in the Qur'an. A personal favorite of mine, from Psalm 137, refers to the Babylonians: "A blessing on him who takes and dashes your babies against the rock!" Such references are characteristic of Judeo-Christian-Islamic literature, and are best examined in historical perspective.

Neil Mick
03-08-2004, 12:30 PM
James, what in this report (http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/03/07/mideast.gaza/index.html), for instance, leads you to believe that a Jewish CNN editor has left something out?

The facts are all known. It's up to you to interpret them, or, if you prefer a simpler way, to believe someone who'll do it for you.
Actually, quite a lot of significant detail was left out in that CNN report.

For instance, look at a Ha'aretz article (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=402098&sw=Hass) of the same event...

Notice? The CNN report fails to mention that this was a provocative attack, meant to draw out the militants.
According to the IDF, the operation's goal was to strike a blow at armed Palestinian groups involved in firing mortars, antitank rockets and bombs at military and civilian targets in the Gaza Strip - and the method was to provoke these groups into an armed confrontation by the IDF presence in the camp.

In that, the operation succeeded: As soon as news of the soldiers' presence spread, dozens of Palestinian gunmen converged on the site, and the two groups began exchanging fire.
Interestingly, the CNN report also suggests that the attacks were a follow-up of the PA Erez operation, while Ha'aretz reports that the IDF states there was no connection.

Notice in the CNN report that no mention is made of the identities of the children, with the only Palestinian official quoted at all was the PA Interior Minister. Ha'aretz, to its credit, at least gave a beief account of the varied reactions of Palestinian's, and the press.

Most significantly, tho: compare the CNN account of civilian deaths, in the incident. CNN simply takes the word of spokeswoman Batsheva Genut, when she accused Palestinian militants of using civilians as "human shields." The Ha'aretz article (which is hardly a mouthpiece for the PA) goes much farther, and states that
When day broke, hundreds of civilians, some of them throwing rocks, poured into the streets to join the armed men, who continued firing from among the crowd. This is when most of the civilian casualties occurred. In contrast, most of the armed Palestinians were killed during the night fighting, mainly by Israeli sniper fire.
So, sorry Daniel: even by a cursory comparison with Ha'aretz--it is easy to see how CNN leaves salient details out, oversimplifies the Palestinian response, and accepts the foreign ministry account of the incident without further investigation.

DanielR
03-08-2004, 01:12 PM
Fanatics DON'T see a difference. This is my point...the fact that you (and I) do puts us out of the fanatic-camp.Sorry, misundersood your post.

Regarding the Rachel Corry incident - I really don't want to go into that. If there was no military or retaliatory basis for that particular house destruction, I have no problem with those responsible answering for that. However, I don't see this as a counter-argument to my previous statement.
The dead civilians are comforted by the knowledge that they weren't the targets, no doubt. Neil, c'mon. Legitimate military operations often lead to civilian casualties. It is unfortunate and sad. All I can ask is for the military to be more accurate. I will not ask to cease retaliatory and preventive operations.
Understand, I am not condoning suicide attacks: but fanatics (on both sides) see them as roughly equivalent, or the other side's attacks being worse.
Now I'm confused again - so are you saying it's a sign of fanaticism to claim that the suicide bombings are indeed worse (a childish comparison, but let's keep it simple) than the retaliatory and preventive military operations?

DanielR
03-08-2004, 01:50 PM
Sorry, it's not so simple, as that. The IDF has done its best to force int'l observers out from the Occupied Territories. I have heard numerous eye-witness accounts that speak of systemitized violence upon Palestinians. The full story of this violence often doesn't make it onto CNN.Many facts don't make it onto CNN. They make it to other information sources (unfortunately, often presented in a one-sided and inflammatory manner). Your link to the Haaretz article proves it. The facts are out there.
The CNN report fails to mention that this was a provocative attack, meant to draw out the militants.Are you saying CNN withheld this information because it reflects badly on IDF's actions? How's that?
even by a cursory comparison with Ha'aretz--it is easy to see how CNN leaves salient details out, oversimplifies the Palestinian response, and accepts the foreign ministry account of the incident without further investigation.
Again, I fail to understand how not mentioning that the civilian casualties took place because militants were firing from within the stone-throwing crowd indicates a bias towards IDF's actions. If it was mentioned, I think it would provide a reasonable explanation to those unfortunate deaths.

The facts that can be drawn from CNN's article are:

- There was an IDF raid.

- The goal of the raid was to destroy Hamas militants.

- There was a relatively heavy exchange of fire.

- Several Palestinian boys, and a number of armed militants, were killed during the raid.

- A day before there was a blotched attack by Palestinian militants.

Everything else is interpretaion - by the PA representative, the Israeli spokeswoman, the IDF, whoever. You can choose to believe any of those outright, or you can choose to go to a local library and get some books on the history of the conflict (or browse through an infinite number of web sites) and then try to form your opinion. You might find that Haaretz is a source of objective information and well-founded criticism (which I happen to agree with), or you might conclude that it's a biased mouthpiece for the Israeli left (which a large portion of the Israelis agrees with).

Neil Mick
03-10-2004, 11:52 AM
Many facts don't make it onto CNN. They make it to other information sources (unfortunately, often presented in a one-sided and inflammatory manner). Your link to the Haaretz article proves it. The facts are out there.
The facts might be out there, but not in American mainstream journalism.

Take another "Leftist" media-source: NPR (ha!) You certainly don't find the level of detail in NPR as you do in the Ha'aretz article I mentioned, regarding the Occupation.

Again, I fail to understand how not mentioning that the civilian casualties took place because militants were firing from within the stone-throwing crowd indicates a bias towards IDF's actions. If it was mentioned, I think it would provide a reasonable explanation to those unfortunate deaths.

The facts that can be drawn from CNN's article are:

- There was an IDF raid.

- The goal of the raid was to destroy Hamas militants.

- There was a relatively heavy exchange of fire.

- Several Palestinian boys, and a number of armed militants, were killed during the raid.

- A day before there was a blotched attack by Palestinian militants.

Everything else is interpretaion - by the PA representative, the Israeli spokeswoman, the IDF, whoever.

But, the major spin on this event in US media, and events in the OT in general, come from a ditto-head repetition of what the IDF statements.

Journalism is supposed to present a wide range of views, not just one view. Certainly, the oversimplification of the Palestinian perspective into what the PA says ignores the complex Palestinian response, both of this incident and of the Occupation, in general. Oftentimes the Palestinian's do not agree with their government, yet all we get over here in the States is propagandized images of suicide bombers being celebrated, and pictures of ppl dancing in the streets, on 9-11. US media often oversimplifies the day-to-day hardships of the Occupation.

When was the last time you read a "man-on-the-street" account of the Occupation, from the Palestinian perspective, on US media? OTOH, I read about the terrors and the tragedy of suicide bombings on Israeli civilians, all the time.


You can choose to believe any of those outright, or you can choose to go to a local library and get some books on the history of the conflict (or browse through an infinite number of web sites) and then try to form your opinion.

I cannot speak for you, but my local libraries (since I use several) have an incredible pro-Israeli slant, in regards to their books in stock.

You might find that Haaretz is a source of objective information and well-founded criticism (which I happen to agree with), or you might conclude that it's a biased mouthpiece for the Israeli left (which a large portion of the Israelis agrees with).

A large portion...? Hmm.

But IAC, my major contention is that the US media does a poor job of covering the IDF Occupation, often leaving out salient details that might sway the viewer to sympathize with the Palestinian's and often accepting the IDF PR spin. CNN is hardly an exception: more likely the norm.

DanielR
03-10-2004, 01:49 PM
The facts might be out there, but not in American mainstream journalism.Ok, since I don't have numbers on minutes-per-coverage, I'm not going to argue.
Take another "Leftist" media-source: NPR (ha!) You certainly don't find the level of detail in NPR as you do in the Ha'aretz article I mentioned, regarding the Occupation.I remember you mentioning your dissatisfaction with NPR before, Neil. Yet again, my impression is that reports about lives of Palestinians are regular. NPR also broadcasts BBC which is highly critical (again, my impression) of the Israeli policies.
Oftentimes the Palestinian's do not agree with their government, yet all we get over here in the States is propagandized images of suicide bombers being celebrated, and pictures of ppl dancing in the streets, on 9-11.
I take it that "all we get here in the States" is an overstatement used for dramatic effect? Surely it's not all you get, is it? I don't watch mainstream news much, but I honestly don't remember the last time I saw those pictures. Maybe it's just me though.
When was the last time you read a "man-on-the-street" account of the Occupation, from the Palestinian perspective, on US media? OTOH, I read about the terrors and the tragedy of suicide bombings on Israeli civilians, all the time.
I sometimes visit an Israeli internet forum, mostly frequented by people of centrist or right-wing beliefs. Most of them claim the exact same thing about mainstream media bias, only vice versa. It doesn't prove anything, just goes to show how subjective such claims are. It's hard to argue on this without conducting a thorough inspection of CNN reports over the last 3 years.

Just for fun though, I conducted the following Google searches:

"ordinary Palestinians" site:cnn.com : 150 hits

"Palestinian victims" site:cnn.com : 19 hits

"ordinary Israelis" site:cnn.com " : 16 hits

"Israeli victims" site:cnn.com : 26 hits
I cannot speak for you, but my local libraries (since I use several) have an incredible pro-Israeli slant, in regards to their books in stock.Darn, those Jewish conspirators are everywhere!

How about Amazon?

James Giles
03-10-2004, 03:09 PM
Darn, those Jewish conspirators are everywhere!
I was raised up believing that the Jews and Christians have basically the same religious beliefs, but the recent media reaction to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" kind of gave a wake up call to me about not only who seems to be running the American media, but the fact that Jews and Christians don't share the same religious beliefs after all (???).

And it is not the fact that I disagree with Jews for not believing in Jesus Christ, but I do disagree with their intolerance of others who choose to believe in Jesus Christ or Mohammed or whoever.

My immediate thoughts were that if Jews are so intolerant of Christians over here in the U.S., just think how intolerant they may be of Islam and the Palestinians over there in Israel.

And since they own the press (it seems??), why should they let anything get out to the American public that makes Israel look bad?

I do think it is absolutely horrible that innocent Jews are killed by suicide bombers, but perhaps both the Palestinians and the Jewish civilians are both victims of an intolerant, tyrannical Zionist government?

Perhaps Israel not Iraq should be liberated from a tyrannical government or better yet, perhaps the U.S. should stay home and let Israel fight its own wars? Maybe I am wrong here, but I am just speculating.

DanielR
03-10-2004, 03:53 PM
the recent media reaction to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" kind of gave a wake up call to me about not only who seems to be running the American media, but the fact that Jews and Christians don't share the same religious beliefs after all ...
My impression was that the whole ordeal was initiated by certain Jewish organizations (Anti-Defamation League for instance) raising concerns that this film would trigger anti-jewish sentiments. I for one would not make such a fuss about it, especially if I wanted to minimize the possible anti-jewish reactions over this. In any case, what in coverage of this topic made you reach those conclusions? Would you prefer the media ignored the issue completely? Or covered it in a different manner, and if yes, how?
...I do disagree with their [Jews] intolerance of others who choose to believe in Jesus Christ or Mohammed or whoever...And what would be the examples of this intolerance? I hope this is not based on the 2000 years old incident, is it?
...just think how intolerant they may be of Islam and the Palestinians over there in Israel...Again, do you know of any specific examples that would justify such a heavy suspicion? Just in case you're only speculating, here's something you might find interesting:Arabic in Haifa schools (http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=403378&contrassID=1&subContrassID=7&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y)
...perhaps both the Palestinians and the Jewish civilians are both victims of an intolerant, tyrannical Zionist government?..Both Palestinians and Israelis are victims of a very old and complex conflict. It takes a long time and a substantial effort to fully understand it.

James Giles
03-10-2004, 09:39 PM
In any case, what in coverage of this topic made you reach those conclusions? Would you prefer the media ignored the issue completely? Or covered it in a different manner, and if yes, how?
Yes Daniel, I have heard a series of reviews by Jewish writers and reporters in the press put down the movie and say that it is grotesque, violent, bloody and anti-semitic, as if they are trying to keep people away from the movie. But the exact opposite is happening, people are flocking to see the film like there is no tomorrow. Everyone I have talked to, says that there is nothing at all in the film that is anti-semitic.
And what would be the examples of this intolerance? I hope this is not based on the 2000 years old incident, is it?


No, not that I know of anyway (the 2000 year old incident). But then again, I only go by bits and pieces that I hear on the news. It started around Christmas time, when I heard a series of reports that the Jewish communities around the nation are offended by Christmas nativity scenes, but yet they put up their minoras (sp?) and their religious icons all over the place including the public schools.

It seems that the heaviest resistance to Christianity is coming from the Jewish community, NOT the Islamic community, and the recent reaction to the Mel Gibson film just fits in with everything I have already heard to this point. But, like I say, I know the media is good at instigating trouble and fabricating lies. Don't get me wrong - I am just trying to find out the truth about matters.

Both Palestinians and Israelis are victims of a very old and complex conflict. It takes a long time and a substantial effort to fully understand it.
I really wish I could understand the conflict over there. I think every American should be educated in every way about what is going on over there, because I think that is the real issue for us being in Iraq and sending our soldiers over to the Middle East; it is issues with Israel, and not WMDs.

I also believe it was our involvement with Israel that drew terrorists to attack us on 9/11. I would really love to understand the conflict between the Israelis and the Islamic peoples and what is feeding the fire of that conflict for so long.

As far as I can tell, someone is being very hard-headed and stubborn, and I cannot determine if it is Israel,the Muslims (Palestinians etc.), or both. I can't understand why grown adults cannot act reasonably and live in peace and quit killing each other.

Neil Mick
03-10-2004, 11:16 PM
I remember you mentioning your dissatisfaction with NPR before, Neil. Yet again, my impression is that reports about lives of Palestinians are regular. NPR also broadcasts BBC which is highly critical (again, my impression) of the Israeli policies.
Wrong. Consider this (http://www.fair.org/activism/npr-israel-quiet.html):
“Morning Edition” anchor Bob Edwards on January 3 stated that U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni was coming to the region during “a time of comparative quiet.” In another report the same day, correspondent Linda Gradstein referred to “the relative calm of the past few weeks.” Other NPR reports have mentioned the “recent calm” (1/5/02) or the “fragile period of quiet” (1/7/02).

What NPR means by this was spelled out most explicitly by Linda Gradstein in a January 4 report on the envoy’s mission. "You know, there's been actually three weeks of relative quiet,” she said. “Only one Israeli has been killed in those three weeks, as opposed to 44 Israelis who were killed when Zinni was here last time in November and early December."

What Gradstein didn’t mention-- and what someone who relied on NPR for their Middle Eastern news would have little idea of -- was that this has been in no way a period of calm for Palestinians. In fact, in the three-week period that Gradstein referred to, at least 26 Palestinians were killed by occupation forces-- more than one a day.
Neil wrote: Oftentimes the Palestinian's do not agree with their government, yet all we get over here in the States is propagandized images of suicide bombers being celebrated, and pictures of ppl dancing in the streets, on 9-11.
I take it that "all we get here in the States" is an overstatement used for dramatic effect? Surely it's not all you get, is it? I don't watch mainstream news much, but I honestly don't remember the last time I saw those pictures. Maybe it's just me though.
OK, I was being a little dramatic, to make my point. The media does not paint a very

3-dimensional image of the average Palestinian.
I sometimes visit an Israeli internet forum, mostly frequented by people of centrist or right-wing beliefs. Most of them claim the exact same thing about mainstream media bias, only vice versa. It doesn't prove anything, just goes to show how subjective such claims are. It's hard to argue on this without conducting a thorough inspection of CNN reports over the last 3 years.

Just for fun though, I conducted the following Google searches:

"ordinary Palestinians" site:cnn.com : 150 hits

"Palestinian victims" site:cnn.com : 19 hits

"ordinary Israelis" site:cnn.com " : 16 hits

"Israeli victims" site:cnn.com : 26 hits

And this, on CNN and Israel:

But a behind the scenes story coming recently out of CNN suggests that some media are being pressured to designate certain perspectives on Israel and the occupied territories as "unacceptable" Phyllis Bennis, head of the Middle East Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

(audio interview (http://archive.webactive.com/cspin/cspin20001222.html),,,a fascinating acount of Israel putting pressure on CNN)

I dunno, Daniel. I also checked CNN search, and I got very different results. Were you searching on the CNN site...(also, I put my terms in quotes, to get an exact-phase match)

"ordinary Israeli's": 106 hits

"ordinary Israelis": 41 hits (spelling seems to matter)

"ordinary Palestinians": 56 hits

"Israeli victims": 593 hits

"Palestinian victims": 366 hits

It's looking like a 2:1 ratio, isn't it? But, it's only a rough survey.
Darn, those Jewish conspirators are everywhere!

How about Amazon?
Now, why'd you go and bring the C-word into it...? :freaky:

DanielR
03-11-2004, 07:48 AM
I have heard a series of reviews by Jewish writers and reporters in the press put down the movie and say that it is grotesque, violent, bloody and anti-semitic, as if they are trying to keep people away from the movie. But the exact opposite is happening, people are flocking to see the film like there is no tomorrow. Everyone I have talked to, says that there is nothing at all in the film that is anti-semitic.James, please understand that certain Jewish groups and Jewish people in general are very sensitive to this issue. Anti-semitism is on the rise, and some people think that the way Jews are portrayed in this movie could add oil to the fire. So IMO the concern stems from long years of persecution of Jews by other religions, not from Jews being intolerant of Christian beliefs.
I also believe it was our involvement with Israel that drew terrorists to attack us on 9/11.Even if this is true, would you say the best course of action now is for the US to withdraw its involvment and let the Israel and the Arab countries fight it out?

DanielR
03-11-2004, 09:59 AM
my impression is that reports about lives of Palestinians are regular. NPR also broadcasts BBC which is highly critical (again, my impression) of the Israeli policies.Wrong. Consider this:
Ok, ok, I get it, I wanna play too:

WRONG. CONSIDER THIS (http://www.israelinsider.com/channels/diplomacy/articles/dip_0025.htm).

Sorry, but I'm not following this logic. You're saying that my impression (which covers a prolonged period of time) is wrong, and to prove this you give an example of one unbalanced report. We can exchange links till kingdom comes, but, as I said before, I think such discourse is pointless unless we have the full statistics.
I dunno, Daniel. I also checked CNN search, and I got very different results. Were you searching on the CNN site...(also, I put my terms in quotes, to get an exact-phase match)I tried CNN's search, they don't seem to support quoted phrases for exact search but rather search for these words anywhere in the document. Google, on the other hand, performes this search correctly and only presents documents where the exact phrase appears.
Now, why'd you go and bring the C-word into it...?What's wrong with the word? Ok, let's call it a plot. Or a scheme. My understanding of your claims is that there's a focused effort of pro-Israeli individuals and groups to deprive the American public of truthful information on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How do you call it?

DanielR
03-11-2004, 01:28 PM
Mass media is influenced by its owners, ad buyers, competitors and a gazillion of other things. No one source can claim objectivity, although some try (even put it in their motto, which makes them look even more ridiculous). Is there a Jewish lobby - sure. There are many other kinds, too. This is the state of affairs today, and one has to make an effort to make any sort of sense out of the bits and pieces of anything resembling credible information. You may choose smart commentators to side with, preferably those without an apparent vested interest in the issue (I wouldn't recommend an IDF or PA spokesman). If someone comes and shatters their clams with solid undisputed facts, then you move on.

Neil Mick
03-11-2004, 02:31 PM
What's wrong with the word? Ok, let's call it a plot. Or a scheme. My understanding of your claims is that there's a focused effort of pro-Israeli individuals and groups to deprive the American public of truthful information on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How do you call it?
OK, let's get ONE thing clear, before we proceed, shall we? I need to clarify my position a little, before I answer ythe rest of your points.

Plot, scheme, machination: whatever, I am not talking about some funky Jewish plan to blind the American public as to the realities of the military Occupation.

The differences are more nuanced, and significant. But, let me state categorically that:

1. I support the right of Israel to exist, as a state. To argue otherwise is nonsensical. For one: Israel is protected by the greatest military power in the history of the planet, with enough firepower to counter any single bloc of allied countries. To argue for the demise of Israel is to argue against reality.

2. I also support the right of Israel's existence on human-rights grounds. I am opposed to ANY policy that fails the human rights test, and forcing Israeli's to pack up and leave, fails that test.

3. I do not subscribe to any vague suggestions of uber-Zionist plots circulating around the world, whereby every Jew is a willing pariticipant in this conspiracy, against all others (when we finally met face-to-face: Opher and I had an interesting chat on this topic).

4. Having said this, I feel the need to distinguish between Zionists (as in: those who feel that Israel has a right over all other nations to push toward a "greater Israel") and ordinary Israeli's (many of them, Arab) who just want to get on with their lives.

So, when you say that
a focused effort of pro-Israeli individuals and groups to deprive the American public of truthful information on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
you miscategorize me. I wouldn't call the US gov't's squelching of full transparency to the 9-11 Commission a "plot:" I'd call it an obstruction to due process.

I don't call the Israeli gov't's machinations against CNN exec's a "plot," either. I'd call it just another example of spin-making.

So please: if you're fishing to box me into the "world Jewish conspiracy" camp: we can just cease chatting, right now. I take offense to such allegations, as that distorts my intention.

James Giles
03-11-2004, 02:36 PM
So IMO the concern stems from long years of persecution of Jews by other religions, not from Jews being intolerant of Christian beliefs.
I understand Daniel. It just seems that since the Jewish peoples have experienced this persecution themselves, they would not to turn around and dish out the same persecution to other religious groups (i.e. Christians etc.)
Even if this is true, would you say the best course of action now is for the US to withdraw its involvment and let the Israel and the Arab countries fight it out?
Yes, in a certain way I do think that would be the best course of action. I think the American involvement inflames an already touchy situation.

Not only does the U.S. offer no solution to the problem, but its involvement in Israel's affairs draws animosity from Israel's enemies against innocent American civilians who have no part of the conflict whatsoever. I think this is very wrong.

Now we have terrorists groups that are seeking nuclear, biological WMDs to wipe out the U.S. because we support Israel. I don't think it is worth it.

It is like those barfights you see in the movies. Two guys get into a fight and then a third guy gets involved. The next thing you know its one big barroom brawl.

That is what is happening here, but instead of a barroom brawl it becomes WWIII and possibly nuclear annihilation. Not a pretty picture.

The U.S. should stay out of it. I can see that coming next though: U.S. soldiers in Israel fighting Palestinians. This thing is going to escalate into something very nasty if the U.S. doesn't wake up and think about it.

Neil Mick
03-11-2004, 02:50 PM
Ok, ok, I get it, I wanna play too:

WRONG. CONSIDER THIS
Great. After reading your link, what I'm left with is generic claims of pro-Palestinian bias, opened with a picture of a Palestinian kid who's rock-throwing exploits were omitted from the mainstream.

But...how this compares with the month-long FAIR study which notes how NPR TOTALLY ignored the daily deaths of Palestinians (versus the mentioned "period of quiet" for Israeli's) is beyond me.

Let me break it down for you.

1. You stated that
my impression is that reports about lives of Palestinians are regular.
2. I produced a link that refuted that notion, and pointed out that in a 1-month period: Palestinian deaths are virtually ignored, mislabelling the period as a "time of quiet."

3. You produce a link that vaguely attests to pro-Palestinian bias, with the most concrete element being an ommitted pic of a rock-throwing kid.

4. What, exactly: #3 has to do with #2 is totally beyond me.
I tried CNN's search, they don't seem to support quoted phrases for exact search but rather search for these words anywhere in the document.
Try using quotes around the phrase, on CNN. Maybe that will help: it worked, for me.

And, as a final note: you really should have listened to that audio interview. While you may not agree with it, Phyllis Bennis documents a case whereby the Israeli gov't attempted to put pressure on CNN exec's, threatening them with their jobs. Does the PA have that same kind of clout? I don't think so.

Bennis also brings up a highly salient point: the Israeli gov't and the PA are in no way comparable, power-wise. The Israeli gov't has tremendous lobbying clout in DC, as well as tremendous military power in the IDF. The lobbying-power of Palestinians in DC is laughable (the largest pro-Arabic lobbying group in DC has to fight just to get office-space, and I believe is considered a terrorist organization). Comparing them as if they were just two rival powers is misleading, and inaccurate.

DanielR
03-11-2004, 03:29 PM
I'd call it just another example of spin-making.That's semantics, isn't it? Ok, spin-making it is, then.

Let me ask you this: do you doubt that I can produce a link to some organization (which of course claims it's THE fair and balanced media watchdog) that will accuse NPR, the very same Linda Gradstein, of spinning the news the other way?

Neil Mick
03-11-2004, 04:09 PM
That's semantics, isn't it? Ok, spin-making it is, then.
In this case: semantics, with intention, behind it.

At least, the martial art we both study stresses that intention is all-imortant, right? Do you atemi to show an opening in nage's defence, or do you atemi to punch out nage's lights?

The difference is more than just semantic.
do you doubt that I can produce a link to some organization (which of course claims it's THE fair and balanced media watchdog) that will accuse NPR, the very same Linda Gradstein, of spinning the news the other way?
In the words of my least favorite President: "bring it on!" I don't DOUBT that you can produce a link: I'm more curious to see what you present. We'll see, if the accusations measure up, on both sides.

(BTW, you failed to note the differences of power between the PA and the Israeli gov't. What about this facet, then?)

DanielR
03-11-2004, 04:51 PM
the martial art we both study stresses that intention is all-imortant, right? Do you atemi to show an opening in nage's defence, or do you atemi to punch out nage's lights?No lights-punch-out'ing was intended.

I won't "bring it on". Again, I have no interest in this line of argument, I consider this link-throwing pointless. I have already conceded that there are all kinds of influences on the media, which translate into influence on media consumers. I continue to maintain that a reasonable person will always question what s/he is being fed by the media (including FAIR), and take reasonable effort to obtain as balanced a picture as possible by looking for additional sources of information and expert opinions on the subject of interest. In any case, I have somehow managed to maintain a non-black-and-white view of the issue, without any secret know-how.

DanielR
03-11-2004, 05:04 PM
you failed to note the differences of power between the PA and the Israeli gov't. What about this facet, then?
Apologies, I promise to be more attentive in the future ;)
...the Israeli gov't and the PA are in no way comparable, power-wise. The Israeli gov't has tremendous lobbying clout in DC, as well as tremendous military power in the IDF. The lobbying-power of Palestinians in DC is laughable (the largest pro-Arabic lobbying group in DC has to fight just to get office-space, and I believe is considered a terrorist organization). Comparing them as if they were just two rival powers is misleading, and inaccurate.
Comparing them in what context? Media influence? I have no knowledge on the subject, but yes, I'd suspect the Israelis have more muscle. Military power? Yes, IDF is superior. And?

DanielR
03-11-2004, 06:43 PM
I think the American involvement inflames an already touchy situation.

Not only does the U.S. offer no solution to the problem, but its involvement in Israel's affairs draws animosity from Israel's enemies against innocent American civilians who have no part of the conflict whatsoever. I think this is very wrong... The U.S. should stay out of it. I can see that coming next though: U.S. soldiers in Israel fighting Palestinians.
The US cannot force a solution, but it's probably the only country that can mediate. I also doubt that it would do much good to the US's image to back out to get in good graces of Islamic terrorists.

I don't know if it's ever going to come to the US soldiers on the ground. Although a peace-keeping force might be a viable option, and the US military would be much more welcome than, say, Belgian, that's for sure.

Neil Mick
03-11-2004, 09:25 PM
No lights-punch-out'ing was intended.

I won't "bring it on". Again, I have no interest in this line of argument, I consider this link-throwing pointless. I have already conceded that there are all kinds of influences on the media, which translate into influence on media consumers.
I like this term "media consumers." :cool: It evokes an aspect of the media often ignored...that news shows are merely that...primarily designed for infotainment-consumption. Very good.

But, no problem about not wanting to pursue this "line of argument." It interests me: but I have no agendas to "win," and if you prefer, we can just drop the point.
I continue to maintain that a reasonable person will always question what s/he is being fed by the media (including FAIR), and take reasonable effort to obtain as balanced a picture as possible by looking for additional sources of information and expert opinions on the subject of interest.
If only this were so, of the population in general. But, if you consider the number of ppl in the US who swallowed the media-driven

"anti-war=anti-American" pablum, then I come to the uncomfortable conclusion that most of us are not "reasonable ppl." :(
In any case, I have somehow managed to maintain a non-black-and-white view of the issue, without any secret know-how.

I have always enjoyed our discussions, Daniel: even when we hold polar-opposite opinions. It never descends into name-calling, and that in itself makes me value the exchange, more.

Neil Mick
03-11-2004, 09:29 PM
Comparing them in what context? Media influence? I have no knowledge on the subject, but yes, I'd suspect the Israelis have more muscle. Military power? Yes, IDF is superior. And?
And, oftentimes in mainstream media, they're presented as if they are two otherwise equivalent nation-states.

James Giles
03-11-2004, 10:02 PM
The US cannot force a solution, but it's probably the only country that can mediate. I also doubt that it would do much good to the US's image to back out to get in good graces of Islamic terrorists.
I think you are right Daniel. I just saw the news about the train-bombing in Spain and the terrorists responsible claim that the U.S. is next on their list.

I guess we have no choice left other than to join forces,cooperate together and seek out and destroy these murderers before they get us first.

James Giles
03-11-2004, 11:30 PM
Daniel, I also wanted to say that I apologize if I came across a little harsh regarding the Mel Gibson movie issue.

It is amazing how religion can be such a devisive force between people that ordinarily can cooperate and get along together.

I think Neil Mick was right when he said that the Bible, Koran, etc. should be considered in historical context, otherwise you end up with people killing each other in the name of their God. Pretty sick stuff really.

That is the good thing about Aikido I guess. People can get together, laugh, train and have a great time regardless of religious beliefs etc. I am all for that!

DanielR
03-12-2004, 07:01 AM
James, no offense taken. As I said, IMO the whole thing was blown out of proportion.

DanielR
03-12-2004, 07:41 AM
oftentimes in mainstream media, they're presented as if they are two otherwise equivalent nation-states.
And so, Linda Gradstein should begin her reports with the following: "For those of our listeners who lived under a rock for the past 56 years, we remind that Israeli military is the 13th strongest in the world".

Seriously though, in terms of the ongoing conflict, how do you think the fact of inequality should be reflected in the coverage?.

Neil Mick
03-12-2004, 04:31 PM
And so, Linda Gradstein should begin her reports with the following: "For those of our listeners who lived under a rock for the past 56 years, we remind that Israeli military is the 13th strongest in the world".

Seriously though, in terms of the ongoing conflict, how do you think the fact of inequality should be reflected in the coverage?.
Israel is the 4th strongest military, in the world.

And, regarding the inequality...come on, Daniel. If China attacked Taiwan and the US media presented this as "two powers, locked in conflict," without examining the differences of power between the nations, do you seriously consider this to be responsible journalism?

It's the job of mainstream media to give us the broadest, most fully articulated picture of any international situation, possible.

Look at the conflict in Haiti, for example. For a week I kept reading about how the "rebels" decried Aristide's (democratic) rule, etc. As I read, a nagging question kept arising that the media failed to answer:

Who were these "rebels?"

The fact that the BBC downplayed (or excluded) the rebel's shady histories skews the passive observer's understanding of the conflict.

By the same token: the misrepresentation of the Occupation as two roughly equal nations vying for power gives the erroneous impression that all they need to do is sit down and discuss this out, like gentlemen (if, only the mean old Palestinian's wouldn't send their suicide bombers, to foil any attempts to communicate).

Neil Mick
03-12-2004, 04:35 PM
I think Neil Mick was right when he said that the Bible, Koran, etc. should be considered in historical context, otherwise you end up with people killing each other in the name of their God. Pretty sick stuff really.

That is the good thing about Aikido I guess. People can get together, laugh, train and have a great time regardless of religious beliefs etc. I am all for that!
Thanks James: good post. Yes, Aikido is a great bridger of differences. A former post-er here: Opher, described a dojo in Haifa where the Israeli's and Arab's train together all the time. Wish I could go there, sometime (alas: the chances of that happening are highly unlikely).

DanielR
03-12-2004, 05:20 PM
Israel is the 4th strongest military, in the world.Just curious what's the source of this info. I wrote 13th after recently hearing NPR correcting its own statement about IDF being the 4th largest.
The fact that the BBC downplayed (or excluded) the [Haiti] rebel's shady histories skews the passive observer's understanding of the conflict.Dunno about BBC. FWIW, I vividly remember hearing an NPR report that detailed accusations of rebels' drug connections and such. Without any special future-telling powers, I can guess what your response is going to be. Feel free to cut-n-paste: "Among mainstream media NPR is the least of evils. What you're describing was one of the rare, almost accidental, attempts of NPR at objectivity. See FAIR for proof of their bias." Close? :p
"two powers, locked in conflict" ... the misrepresentation of the Occupation as two roughly equal nations vying for power gives the erroneous impression that all they need to do is sit down and discuss this out, like gentlemen (if, only the mean old Palestinian's wouldn't send their suicide bombers, to foil any attempts to communicate).
I wonder what in the news would make someone believe Israel and PA are "roughly equal". The very fact Israel occupies parts of PA seems to indicate PA is unable to kick Israel out, hence Israel is militarily superior.

Regarding "equality", I'd put it this way: in the context of this conflict, both sides have an equal power to disrupt normalization attempts.

Couldn't help but notice a hint of irony in "mean old Palestinians sending their suicide bombers". Irony is used to express an idea opposite to that expressed in the statement. Leaving "mean" and "old" out, it leaves us with "Palestinians sending their suicide bombers". Are you disputing this?

And finally: isn't that what they actually need to do - stop punching each other and make some tough decisions?

DanielR
03-12-2004, 05:35 PM
That is the good thing about Aikido I guess. People can get together, laugh, train and have a great time regardless of religious beliefs etc. I am all for that!
Thanks James: good post. Yes, Aikido is a great bridger of differences. A former post-er here: Opher, described a dojo in Haifa where the Israeli's and Arab's train together all the time. Wish I could go there, sometime (alas: the chances of that happening are highly unlikely).
Neil, curious: I remember you telling how you tried to get to PA and were turned back at the airport in Israel. So are you now blacklisted or something, and can't go to Israel even as a tourist?

About difference-bridgers: everyday life is. In my university days, I worked all sorts of low wage jobs, where most of the employee were Palestinians. There were no politically or religiously fueled incidents, ever.

Neil Mick
03-12-2004, 07:24 PM
A lot of good questions, Daniel! Let's see:
Just curious what's the source of this info. I wrote 13th after recently hearing NPR correcting its own statement about IDF being the 4th largest.
I remember hearing several sources quoting this statistic (don't remember which one's at the moment)
Dunno about BBC. FWIW, I vividly remember hearing an NPR report that detailed accusations of rebels' drug connections and such. Without any special future-telling powers, I can guess what your response is going to be. Feel free to cut-n-paste: "Among mainstream media NPR is the least of evils. What you're describing was one of the rare, almost accidental, attempts of NPR at objectivity. See FAIR for proof of their bias." Close? :p
Lol, no: not really. As much as I slam NPR--they don't do a bad job, considering they're a bootlicking corporation toadying to Conservative Congressmen, some of the time. :P I especially like Terry Gross.

But I shave heard only a few NPR reports on Haiti, so I cannot really say. Give me a sec, and I'll cross-reference my FAIR search-engine, with NPR reports, OK? ;)
I wonder what in the news would make someone believe Israel and PA are "roughly equal". The very fact Israel occupies parts of PA seems to indicate PA is unable to kick Israel out, hence Israel is militarily superior.

Regarding "equality", I'd put it this way: in the context of this conflict, both sides have an equal power to disrupt normalization attempts.
I would nominally agree with this last statement, except that we're not dealing with "two sides." We're dealing with a centralized military power, and a ragtag remnant of leaders who are losing touch with their constituentcy, with no way for that constituentcy to vote in any other leaders. Throw in a few unfettered extremist groups, and there you are.
Couldn't help but notice a hint of irony in "mean old Palestinians sending their suicide bombers". Irony is used to express an idea opposite to that expressed in the statement. Leaving "mean" and "old" out, it leaves us with "Palestinians sending their suicide bombers". Are you disputing this?
There you go, feeding meaning into my statements. No, I guess the use of the term "mean old suicide bombers" is an ironic misnomer...the proper ironic term I should have used was "suicide bombers, who are completely to blame for the mess."

Hope that clarifies ;)
And finally: isn't that what they actually need to do - stop punching each other and make some tough decisions?
I think it might help an awful lot if the IDF were to pull out of the OT, don't you? How can a society crippled by a dehumanizing occupation (with it's GNP totally controlled by Israel) accomplish anything? Many Palestinian's, for instance: despise Arafat (for good reason, I believe). But, the Occupation makes it impossible to have a fair election, to oust the guy. So, like a bad smell, Arafat lingers in the parlour of Palestinian politics, messing up any attempts at negotiations.

But in the end: I agree with you. They both have to stop the violence and listen to reason.

Neil Mick
03-12-2004, 07:32 PM
Neil, curious: I remember you telling how you tried to get to PA and were turned back at the airport in Israel. So are you now blacklisted or something, and can't go to Israel even as a tourist?

Yes. They detained me and locked me in a cell in Tel Aviv airport, for 22 hrs.

I'm told (by others...I have not really tried again) that if I attempt to go back in, I may be denied entry, or I may not: there's no way to know for sure.

The REALLY creepy thing is that they told me that I'd be labelled a PLO- and Arafat-supporter, over my vigorous objections. When I finally met with the American Consul, his Asst. had a memo in her hands from Customs, calling us all (as I was in a group) PLO-supporters. They were trying to get us to write down a list of friends and relatives that "they could contact, to let them know where we are." As soon as we saw the memo (which the Asst. immediately tried to hide from us, saying that it was an "internal memo"), we all stopped writing our lists, and tore them up.

Scary.

(you meet a lot of interesting ppl, in that cell under the Airport, BTW. I kept wondering if that overly friendly French reporter was an Israeli spy. He sure liked taking my pic's...)

About difference-bridgers: everyday life is. In my university days, I worked all sorts of low wage jobs, where most of the employee were Palestinians. There were no politically or religiously fueled incidents, ever.

Good point. Familiarity dispels racism.

DanielR
03-12-2004, 08:37 PM
There you go, feeding meaning into my statements. No, I guess the use of the term "mean old suicide bombers" is an ironic misnomer...the proper ironic term I should have used was "suicide bombers, who are completely to blame for the mess."Well, of course I'm feeding meaning into your statements. Another term that might be appropriate is "comprehension". Kidding.

I have no defence for those who put the full blame on the suicide bombers. As I have none for the opposite.
We're dealing with a centralized military power, and a ragtag remnant of leaders who are losing touch with their constituentcy, with no way for that constituentcy to vote in any other leaders. Throw in a few unfettered extremist groups, and there you are.I agree with your analysis, but the conclusion? There you are... what? A centralized military power doesn't mean much here unless you're willing to use it in order to completely obliterate the resistance together wih a good portion of the general population.I think it might help an awful lot if the IDF were to pull out of the OT, don't you?Heh. And I think it might help an awful lot if the suicide bombings were to stop. I love ping-pong.
How can a society crippled by a dehumanizing occupation (with it's GNP totally controlled by Israel) accomplish anything?
An important question, and I honestly don't know how they can accomplish anything. In the better days they couldn't accomplish much either, which is not particularly encouraging. Those "few unfettered", as you called them, are a factor to reckon with. At this time I don't see a force in PA that can put a rein on them. Quite the opposite - they might very well take over. Forgive me if I don't completely trust Sheikh Yassin when he says attacks from Gaza might stop if Israel pulls out.

DanielR
03-12-2004, 08:45 PM
That must've been quite an experience, Neil. Still curious - did you actually declare your intention to go to PA upon arrival, or were they already waiting for you with broad smiles?

And, about that "overly friendly French reporter"... How good-looking are you? :D(hope jokes of this kind are still allowed. You never know when you're crossing the ever tightening boundaries of PC).

Neil Mick
03-12-2004, 09:40 PM
Forgive me if I don't completely trust Sheikh Yassin when he says attacks from Gaza might stop if Israel pulls out.
Yeah, well: you have a point, there. I think that Israel is just going to have to accept that suicide bombers are going to be an inevitable facet, no matter what they do. But, ifthey DID pull out: the attacks would lessen, don't you think?

Certainly, the recruiting-drive would suffer a severe loss...

DanielR
03-12-2004, 09:40 PM
Reviewed my last post and thought you might not be taking that ordeal so lightly. So in case I was being insensitive, my apologies.

Neil Mick
03-12-2004, 09:57 PM
That must've been quite an experience, Neil. Still curious - did you actually declare your intention to go to PA upon arrival, or were they already waiting for you with broad smiles?
Yes, it was. And no: I certainly didn't go up to the counter and say: "Hi. I'm going to make my way over to the OT: that OK with you?"

No: we were caught for several reasons. Part of it was that we didn't know each other, too well. One of us was a grandstanding limelighter who decided to try and proselytize to several ppl on our plane, who happened to be Orthodox (talk about your Darwin-awards!). I also believe that someone on the plane called Customs before we even left SF.

We were the first wave of a larger group, and they wised-up later, sending in ppl in one's and two's. The second group made it into the OT. If you're interested, I still think I have a press-release of one of the ppl who made it, but it's highly didactic, as you might imagine.
And, about that "overly friendly French reporter"... How good-looking are you? :D(hope jokes of this kind are still allowed. You never know when you're crossing the ever tightening boundaries of PC).
Of course it's OK: I'm not made of paper! :freaky: Sheesh: lol.

When I was in the cell (a dirty 10'x10' room, with about a dozen men in it at any given moment, on the average), I drew a peace mural in oil pastel, on the walls (I'm an artist, and I brought the pastels with me). I had a lot of time to kill, and I figured that that mural was going to be the most significant thing I'd get to do, in Israel.

When the guard saw me he came in and pushed me away, so I drew my mural on the wall next to the door. I seriously doubt it's there anymore, but the French photojournalist couldn't get enough of me drawing on that wall.

But who knows? Maybe he had nothing else to shoot (it was video), and I was more interesting than a dozen sleeping men.

Neil Mick
03-12-2004, 10:08 PM
Reviewed my last post and thought you might not be taking that ordeal so lightly. So in case I was being insensitive, my apologies.
Thank you, but I took it in the lightheartedness it was meant.

After I returned I went into a funk for 4 or 5 days. I did get out and attend a march in SF, the very next day.

I later talked to a few members of the group. Some of them went into a serious emotional black-hole, from their own accounts. One of us still maintains his beliefs but is more leary about actually protesting, as much.

Now, I look on it as a valuable lesson about being careful of understanding the company you keep, as well as one of those little setbacks we euphemistically term "growth experiences."

The biggest problem I had on returning was in how I talk to ppl, about what I attempted. Most ppl look at me as if I were nuts. My Sensei at my last dojo was spectacularly unempathetic, and after a brief discussion with my present Sensei on the subject, I've since learned to keep my mouth shut around the dojo, unless someone asks me a direct question.

DanielR
03-13-2004, 08:07 AM
I think that Israel is just going to have to accept that suicide bombers are going to be an inevitable facet, no matter what they do.Neil, I generally agree that Israel has to pull out. But what you're saying here is tough to sell. You're basically asking Israelis to swallow an unknown number of suicide bombings without retaliating. How many Qassam rockets will fall on southern Israeli towns before IDF goes back into Gaza?
I still think I have a press-release of one of the ppl who made itThanks, but if it's along the lines of the stories at www.palsolidarity.org, then I think I'll pass.

Most ppl look at me as if I were nuts.Well, I think one has to make a distinction between the personal experience and the ideology behind it.

Neil Mick
03-14-2004, 12:01 AM
Well, I think one has to make a distinction between the personal experience and the ideology behind it.
Ideology doesn't enter into it. contrary to what you might think, in person I am pretty soft-spoken...I don't go for proselytizing--left that behind in my 20's.

I just mentioned casually that I tried to get into the OT, and most ppl gave me that level stare reserved for homeless ppl asking ofr handouts. Few ppl really have the curiousity of mind to ask for particulars. They like their boxes to be safe, without unexpected surprises.

Neil Mick
03-14-2004, 12:05 AM
Neil, I generally agree that Israel has to pull out. But what you're saying here is tough to sell. You're basically asking Israelis to swallow an unknown number of suicide bombings without retaliating. How many Qassam rockets will fall on southern Israeli towns before IDF goes back into Gaza?
I know that this is a tough sell. But remember: an Israeli retaliation will injure innocent ppl, and only have limited effect upon the bombers. This has been proven, many times.

I think the main problem with the Occupation-approach is that they deal with ALL Palestinian's as if they were in collusion with the extremists. The IDF needs to come up with another way--a way that deals with the bombers without harming innocent civilians.

Certainly, "security" walls and limited access roads are not the way to go.

Hogan
03-19-2004, 11:48 AM
http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/news_release.asp?NewsRelease=20040341.txt

March 18, 2004

Release Number: 04-03-41

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FROM OIF: THE FIRST YEAR

TAMPA, Fla. – Operation Iraqi Freedom Coalition Forces have successfully liberated 25 million Iraqis from the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.

These highlights provide information regarding the accomplishments of the Coalition throughout the past year.

The OIF Coalition is comprised of 34 countries, including 11 NATO countries, and they have provided over 22,000 troops to support the efforts in Iraq. There are two multi-national divisions in Iraq: one led by the United Kingdom in central-south Iraq, and one led by Poland in south Iraq.

The international community has pledged at least $32 billion to improve schools, health care, roads, water and electricity supplies, agriculture and other essential services.

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and 38 countries have pledged to extend loans and grants to Iraq. Other nations are contributing humanitarian assistance, extending export credits and reducing Iraqi debt.

The UN Security Council on Oct. 16, 2003, unanimously approved Resolution 1511 that calls on member states to support the work of the multinational force in Iraq.

Security:

America's armed forces are taking the offensive against remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime and foreign terrorists, leading more than 1,600 patrols a day and conducting an average of 180 raids a week.

45 of the 55 most wanted Hussein regime members have been captured or killed, including the brutal dictator himself, whose capture sent a powerful message to the Iraqi people that the tyranny of the past will never return. The capture of Saddam Hussein provided a boost to intelligence throughout western Iraq.

The quality of intelligence is cascading as a result of the Saddam capture: the intelligence is of higher quality and allows a higher level of captures. Saddam's capture is allowing the Coalition to apprehend more mid-level financiers and organizers.

More than 230,000 Iraqis now provide security for their fellow citizens, and Iraqi security forces now account for the majority of all forces in Iraq. These forces include Iraqi Police, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, Iraqi Border Police, Iraqi Facility Protection Service and the New Iraqi Army.

Law/Governance:

Since July, the 25-person Iraqi Governing Council has had the authority to: name interim Ministers; exercise government oversight; prepare policy initiatives on Iraq’s national security, including reform of the armed forces, police and courts; lead development of a constitution; and approve Iraq's national budget. 24 Iraqi Cabinet Members also contribute to the business of the government.

First time in 13 years, an ambassador to the US was appointed to restore diplomatic relations.

90% of Iraq’s districts have municipal/government councils with more than 19 million Iraqis engaging in local political discourse

Ministry of Justice has established a Council of Judges to oversee the judiciary and prosecutors. Also, defendants are now provided lawyers.

Public Health:

240 hospitals and most of Iraq’s 1200 clinics have reopened. 70 private hospitals are operating

800 tons of high protein biscuits have been delivered to 15 Governorates for malnourished children and pregnant/nursing mothers.

1.09 million humanitarian daily rations have been distributed to date.

22 million children and 700,000 women have been inoculated against diseases since the war; 90% of all Iraqi children now receive routine vaccinations

Pharmaceuticals distribution improved from 0 to 12,000 tons today, more than $210 million approved for the Iraqi Ministry of Heath for pharmaceutical supplies and equipment, basic health care services, medical equipment and power generators for hospitals

Schools:

Nearly all schools are open and 5.1 million students are attending class

25 Fulbright Scholarships awarded for the first time in 14 years; Fulbright Office added 2 new programs for Iraqis

Over 13,500 school buildings in Iraq; $4.4 million spent to complete 2,299 school renovations; UNICEF and other NGOs are rehabilitating 105 schools; 183K desks, 57K chairs, 61K chalkboards and 25K metal cabinets have been distributed

33,000 teachers and 3,000 supervisors trained in instructional practices and classroom management strategies

Commerce and Trade:

Iraqis use a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years; 4.6 trillion new Iraqi dinars in circulation

Iraq Stock Exchange will open in April; Iraq Central Bank is fully independent and has been opened since Sept 03;

83% of all pre-war bank branches are open

Umm Qasr Port turned over to Iraqi control in Jan 04

393,950 jobs have been generated

Estimated crude oil export revenues exceed $3.3 billion for Iraqi reconstruction.

Telephone service continues to expand with 95% of service outside Baghdad.

More than 170 newspaper are published in Iraq

Power:

4400 megawatts per day is the current seven-day average, this is up from 300 megawatts per day in 2003.

USAID will spend more than $250 million infrastructure repair funds on power rehabilitation and an additional $75 million allocated to power reconstruction.

Water:

Coalition programs have cleared over 16,500 km of irrigation canals, helping over 10,000 farms

Water storage in most Iraqi reservoirs is approaching historic averages

Rehabilitated water treatment plants will treat nearly 800 million liters/day, benefiting 3.5 million people

90% of Iraqis will have potable water by Apr 05

Quality of Life:

Religious rites are being re-established for all sects.

New Ministry of Housing and Construction has started 1,008 new homes and is working with the UN to start 7 housing projects with 3,528 units

Military Supplies Used:

Item Quantity Dollar Value

MREs 42.1 mil meals $285.0 mil

Bottled water 120 mil bottles $31.0 mil

Cots 342,000 $18.2 mil

Lumber 17.25 mil board-feet $6.9 mil

Plywood 750,000 sheets $10.9 mil

Combat Boots 673,000 pair $48.7 mil

Body Armor 191,000 vests $105.0 mil

Body Armor 361,000 plates $180.5 mil

Neil Mick
03-19-2004, 11:52 AM
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the illegal invasion. A huge march is planned, all over the world. I'm hoping to see a large turnout: I'll be attending, of course.

See you tomorrow...

Neil Mick
03-19-2004, 11:55 AM
http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/news_release.asp?NewsRelease=20040341.txt

March 18, 2004

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FROM OIF: THE FIRST YEAR
A press release...? :D :D :D

from the Coalition Authority??? And this "objective report" proves what, exactly?

Hogan
03-19-2004, 12:14 PM
... this "objective report" proves what, exactly?
Proves whatver you want it to prove.

Neil Mick
03-19-2004, 06:26 PM
Proves whatver you want it to prove.
My point exactly: we're in agreement, at last.

And since it proves "whatever" the reader wants: it thereby proves nothing, at all, as it's nothing more than spin, easily
dis-proven.

Neil Mick
03-21-2004, 12:29 AM
In case anyone noticed...

Notice the new number, for journalists killed? There are a rash of journalist deaths recently. You can read about it, here (http://electroniciraq.net/news/1409.shtml)

Yo-Jimbo
03-28-2004, 03:00 PM
Sounds like that might be more your opinion than a fact. Can you back it up with sources?
Only with history, the news and my own reasonable experience (not to mention others and my own earlier posts which have sources), but what is the point of going through the trouble if their not going to be read. It is easy enough to find plenty of evidence along this vein. I'm just tired of dialogs in which one side is allowed to make all the unsubstantiated claims they want and that same side requires the other side to back every statement in triplicate. Once/if that evidence is presented, all that happens is the knee-jerk reaction that all said evidence is fabricated as part of some extremely progressive conspiracy or (hypocritically, but consistently) that it is only the sad imagination that creates conspiracy theories of the non-existent regressive Illuminati. I enjoy the process of teaching and learning when it is done in good faith. I will admit that I have deflected the original question a bit. Although this is a practice that I detest, it is all too common in what passes as discourse these days and I felt there was some value in calling myself out on it instead of someone else. I appreciate that you asked this question more politely than some might have and I apologize that this is the only answer that I have the patience to give.
Yes they have that obligation, but I didn't realize that they felt that way (??).
I was referring to Germany and France as doing so openly. Of course they had their own sweet deals at stake as was mentioned (and yes, I am unhappy about their actions too, but as their governments are not directly accountable to me, I let my opinions be known to the citizens of those countries who are my coworkers). As for countries whose political leaders towed the line more quickly such as England, just as I have not supported many of our administration's decisions, the decision by Blair was not particularly popular in his own country. Often important change is not popular, and perhaps time will show that they made the right decision. What kind of friend would I be if I just rolled over and let this thread die? Tangentially, this makes me think of a discussion on the differences between what we learn from history recognizing that it has had elements of both a science and form of propaganda throughout human civilization. Perhaps another thread for another time...
Obviously their police weren't doing too hot a job, so we had to go over there and help them out a little bit. We may end up having to stick around there for the next 100 years if that is what it takes to eliminate terrorists, but after some thoughts on the matter, I feel it is worth my tax-dollars to support the effort.
I agree. So let's not waste money funneling it into Haliburton with a corrupt occupation of a country that had little to do with terrorism while we let Afghanistan languish and Saudi Arabia slide. Let's spend those tax dollars in a way that doesn't swell two new recruits into terrorism for every terrorist or civilian we kill.
Perhaps you want to call it a unilateral attitude, but the way I see it, we are sending a very clear message to the rest of the world, that we aren't going to put up with attacks against our citizens. If the U.N. and others won't stand up for us, we have to stand up for ourselves.
Amen. I'm just vigilant against someone allowing or plain profiting from those attacks that do get through and then directing retaliation against those that had nothing to do with it to cover personal agendas despite the observations and advice of sympathetic bystanders.
Then what exactly are you asking? - what do you feel is the solution to the problem James?
Arrest or kill terrorists as needed and opportunity allows baring my previous comments in mind. Use every act of terrorism anywhere in the world as a chance in strengthen Interpol and the U.S.'s connection to local police. Work to improve the economic and social conditions around the world that by their atrophy swell the ranks of terrorist groups. Actively call for those who would be sympathetic and financially support terrorist causes to instead support peaceful demonstration as Gandhi, King and others used so well, because it is more effective in sowing general sympathy for a cause. I have been told by someone from the region that they also are frustrated that these fundamentalist are (like in our own country) a small but very politically active and dangerous group. This person could offer no easy answers. Perhaps, in the end, genocide or hundreds of years of conflict are the only way. I'm not saying that you or anyone else is supporting a "Crusade" or other form of cleansing however. Since, we need to start looking beyond Iraq, I hope at least some of the above start happening before we are left with one of the last being perpetrated by one side or the other.
Where are you getting your statistics from? Dan Rather? I think a lot more Americans are behind this effort to defend our borders than you have been led to believe.
Rhetorical and condescending questions beg no answer and receive no answer. What is wrong with Rather? Has he started taking Rush's pills and no-one told me? Rhetoric and condescendence are much like hate and mistrust; if that is all one gives, they are all one can expect to receive in return. I particularly like how what I have been led to believe seems to exist separate from everyone else.
Well I suppose our public schools aren't doing a good job of teaching geography, but by God the fighter pilots sure know (knew) where to find Iraq. The bombs didn't get from point A to point B on their own!
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't teach it to care about how other horses will find water, whether the current population of horses is threatening the supply of water or that its habits in the disposal of waste spoil said water for future use. The pigs like how hard the horse works though and reward it accordingly. It is a frightening habit that teachers are scape-goated for the apathy and laziness of their students. Yes, the pilots were educated, briefed, computer assisted and blessed by God in the extremely manly smiting of the heretics land. So which of us wins the most callous sounding award? Just think of it as a test of whether you can get as good as you give. I know that you can give as good as you get; you've already demonstrated that. (We) Americans are such a giving people, verbally.
I can see your point there. I really feel the U.S should help the people over there get on there feet and then get out as soon as possible. I don't believe in the U.S. occupying a foreign land...just ridding it of elements that come over here and mess with us.
Thanks for bringing this to a point of agreement at the end, James.:D You have changed my mind on several points when your arguments were solid and your fighting clean (most often when you wrote responses to someone else, perhaps I should be less defensive). I agree with many of your comments on how the U.S. policy toward Israel is at the heart of the problem. I suspect that there are other politics that I'm ignorant of that are also fueling the flames of that region. Of all the things in this world that one can fight, one's own ignorance is the healthiest target.

Yo-Jimbo
03-28-2004, 05:07 PM
Hey Neil, I can see your point. I want to understand why these Islamic terrorists want to kill Christians and Jews. Do you have any idea why that is? Is it something that is written in their religious book (Koran?)?
I will look into this more. My impression has been that the doctrine is similar to the following: be nice to everyone, but if non-believers mess with you, kill them all. Sounds like a familiar chant.
[22.39] Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them;
For nice searches of the Qur'an (Koran):

http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/koran.html
I really am not a barbarian. I hate the idea that a lot of innocent people are getting killed over this conflict. If there was a peaceful solution to it, I am all for that. Just one innocent person being killed is too many as far as I am concerned.

I agree whole heartedly.
No one seems to have any explanations, This issue is very sensitive and it is rarely discussed in the media, and no one else seems to have any explanations. But, does anyone out there on the forum know just exactly what is it that Israel has done that draws so much animosity from the Muslim world? It really seems that a rational solution could be reached so that all parties concerned could co-exist together in peace.

The problem is that people (Muslims) were displaced (driven out) when modern Israel was formed (occupied).
1. [2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
The U.S. supports the existence of Israel.
1. [60.8] Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.

2. [60.9] Allah only forbids you respecting those who made war upon you on account of (your) religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust.
If it boils down to the fact that these terrorist's desire to murder is based on their religious belief system, it would require reprogramming those persons' religious beliefs. I suppose this could be done, but I think there would be a lot of resistance from the person.

Islam, like Christianity or Judaism, is as peaceful or violent as its practitioners make it. As a Catholic, I remember the lessons of the Crusades and Inquisition. Murder isn't a part of any of these belief systems. I sympathize and tolerate both Muslims and Jews, but that doesn't excuse the actions of either (or Christians). I'm not willing to die for someone else's ignorance and intolerance (I have enough of my own to wrestle with thank you very much).
I am all for a peaceful solution, but no one seems to want to talk about the root problem and the source of that problem. Maybe if people could start talking about it, it could be worked out.

The other thing I see is fear and the desire to be "correct". Fundamentalists of all three monotheistic religions hate those that are different from them for the above reasons. Of the world population, Christians are ~33%, Muslims are ~20% and Jews are ~0.2% and the slice of their respective populations that are fundamentalist are 25-30%, 10-15% and 20-25%. Christians were oppressed; they turned around and (historically and possibly currently) took the opportunity to oppress both smaller groups. The Jews were historically oppressed... Perhaps the indignity of being oppressed by such a small group adds to the anger of these Muslims. I'm guessing that Jews have the highest and Muslims have the lowest median/mean/mode income of the three (someone please refute if this is incorrect). Perhaps that is why they despise (envy) the materialistic U.S. I'm not trying to justify the hatred, just explain it.
P.S. I have learned a lot about myself from these forums. Sometimes I come off like a know-it-all, and a lot of times I put my foot in my mouth. I realize that other people have good points to make, and that really helps to set me straight. Thanks all of you people out there (Jamie, Neil, Daniel, James etc.) for keeping the debate going. This is good stuff. Maybe we can come up with a good solution if we all put our heads together.
Well, said.

Yo-Jimbo
04-01-2004, 11:23 PM
Well, when I started this post it was still April 1st.
Destroy conflict yes.. Appease it no.I agree; appeasing the conflict doesn't make any sense.
like Hanoi Mick who would simply stand by and let these violent anti everything non Muslim flourishCalling people names and misrepresenting peoples views is a tactic that I can't abide and will not appease.there is never anything anyone on the right can do that is right to protect Americans..No, there are things that they do correctly. These aren't one bit (0, 1) discussions except when they're erroneously reduced to it. I disagree with some policy, true, but that isn't quite a crime, yet. Look at the laundry list.. wtc 93, Kenya bombings, USS Cole bombing, Sept 11th, not to mention hijackings and other terrorist attacks.Idle hands are the Devil's workshop. That kind of stuff needs to be stopped. Hanoi Mick would have us stand back and try to understand them...Captain Un-America is a twisted and devious villain. He runs about calling others by his name (and others he imaginatively thinks up) as a way of confusing pedestrians. If he were ever to look in the mirror and truly see himself, he would work to eliminate his clones and not make more of himself.The sword that gives life takes life...Katsu Jinken Satsu... Or as USAF Pararescue's motto "that others may live", Or as my unit liked to say in GW1 "you gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelet" like Kenny rogers says "sometimes you gotta fight when your a man".This is all good "one sentence wisdom," but the danger of fundamentalism always is putting to much stock in one sentence. "It pays to diversify." Wait, I just... oh well.I bring these up because while you can get all flowery aiki on this issue the fact remains that they do not follow these same principles that you bring forth..

Some of the flowers were strategy. Jump in way to the side, grab their attention, then draw them to the center with you. The Prince claims they'll remark, "Look how he's improved." Yes, they definitely don't follow the same principles. The problem is that the terrorist always seems to forget the coming to the center part.
What is the Aiki response to someone who is willing to die to KILL YOU?Kill me? Depends on our relative skill and the rest of the situation. If I'm quite sure that I have control of the situation, there are numerous options that would most likely involve the aggressor's hospitalization and the authorities. If I doubt my control of the situation, I would fight to the death; until, I either take control of the situation, the other person(s) are dead or I'm dead. There is a lot of land between a psychotic 14 year old with a knife, a 20 year old with TNT and a 50 year old on a tower with a rifle. All of these are of course much easier to deal with if they are nipped in the bud. "Good Ma Ai, two blocks (and the day before)."
OP Ed? how do you back up this claim? France and Germany were making billions off of the oil for palaces programs at the expense of the Iraqi people... Where is YOUR outrage to this?
My outrage was held back by my lack of attention on and knowledge of their activities. I'm also concerned that the President of Italy owns almost all of their media. Russia, France, Spain and Taiwan's election troubles are also unsettling. So, we type in this international forum about it; still, I can only vote in the U.S.
61 countries "Unilateral"??!?!?!?!
Which countries and on what date did each of them sign/pile on? I would have conceded the use of the word "unilateral," but that might be viewed as appeasement. I will outright sacrifice the word "appeasement" to avoid it entering into negotiation. 61 is about a third of the nations (one would think one could get over half on something so important), but which ones and why is still a valid question. It is interesting to note that there are 53 nations in Africa alone.
We did not do anything wrathful. We waited almost a year before we went after osama to give the taliban time to give him up.If they had him to give up (which they may), that would make them accessories after the fact at the very least. Like the mob, what you finally get them on is usually anti-climatic. Was there a statute of limitation on wrath? If the anger of 9/11 was gone, that would just promote it from 2nd or 3rd degree right up to 1st. Or, it was justice. That is entirely possible too. Those that danced in the streets when the Two Towers burned don't get any of my sympathy, but those that stayed at home (and weren't making soap) do. The International House of Dictators are a bunch of Bison Frises that have a wet dream for global dominance....What chief executive doesn't get served those pancakes? Bichon Frises have low self-esteem like all (toy) dogs who were breed just to look silly. You are asking to turn the other cheek...
May be you should look back at what I actually said which was, "I'm not even asking for anyone to turn the other cheek" which is the exact opposite of what you are claiming I said. (...and then they wonder why I get so upset.)Please, please give an alternative solution to the present problems... You would immediately go up 1000 notches on a respectability scale as I have yet to hear a lib offer up an alternative solution.
The only hard and fast solution is to nuke the "Holy Land" and nuke it hard. On the plus side, fewer people would be able/want to live there. On the negative side, fall-out, the relatives of everyone who wasn't in the blast radius and sky-rocketing gas prices. All in all, not a good solution. In pursuit of those 1000 notches, I would say that part of the solution is continued globalization and free trade (Does that fit into your labeling me "lib?" ...perhaps it means Libertarian.). Democratization (as an aside, we should engage Cuba) will also be important, but I would prefer to leave the revolutions to the citizens of the countries whenever possible. If the citizens of the U.S. make the dream of democracy more of a reality at home and show more general, genuine empathy (I'm not talking about just throwing money) to the 3rd world, change should be positive and self-motivated. That and the occasional air-strike/commando operation against well researched, unambiguous targets, but occupation always aggravates the locals (no matter what book they read). There is no easy solution that can be summed up in one sentence (other than everyone converting Islam or to just stop fighting, neither of which would work in the real world).
Do you have facts or just lib media reports for this claim? Again what would your alternate solution be?
This lib media barb holds more water if one hasn't actually payed attention to the corporate media over the last four years and watched it drift across the center into the land of propaganda and kid gloves. I tried to cover the second point in previous and subsequent posts.
shows your bias and dare I say racist view that those "towel-heads" don't want democracy and by the US giving it to them we will force McD. on em? Sad...
You owe me an apology here. I was referring only to the following (and similar sites):

http://www.hullp.demon.co.uk/SacredHeart/thought/Oct25th98Speace.htm

http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/saideman/news%20articles/ir%20stuff/mcdonald%20peace.htm

Be a little more careful when claiming to know someone's motivations enough to label them a racist. Dare not call me a racist when you don't know my mind or any of my actions that deserve such a title. If I am a racist, it has nothing to do with the "peace field" created by the Golden Arches or whether Muslims like beef, chicken or fish.
***yawn*** for one who is preaching the non conflict route comparing dissenting views to thinking the world is flat is rather confrontational don't you think?
...and the "yawn" isn't? I'm not going to apologize just because my views are painted as some sort of absolutism. The point was valid. Some people treat any idea different from their own as ludicrous as that the world is flat. Human beings will go to absurd lengths to hold on to the feeling of being correct. This is an idea at the heart of many of your allegations of bias against your "facts." While you are quite right to point out that many Democratic politicians are shady, it seems strange the idea that the Republicans are somehow pure as the driven snow. I am a bit ashamed that I tried to lend credence to my arguments by association in that comment though.
Haven't you heard... Fat birds don't fly....Nice self-deprecating humor, instead of the "chicken hawk" (the one from the Leghorn cartoon, not the vulgar slang) he is instead a simple "turkey."

Your "Pop Quiz" post was one of your strongest; you didn't sully the point by saying anything (other than that famous signature).;) Seriously though, you seem like a well meaning person. I like your "What the Lunatic Fringe doesn't want you to know" type posts; even though, it is a matter of perspective that keeps them from being "What the Lunatic Fringe wants you to know." I'm sorry I got off on the wrong foot with you by making fun of your sig. The humor was meant in good fun. Still, your discourse would be more solid without the name calling.

Yo-Jimbo
04-02-2004, 12:21 PM
At last we understand each other (at least a little bit better). I'm personally tired of bickering about what "could have been" or "should have been done." Perhaps later I'll regain my strength; but until that time, how do you think this democracy building should go down? I'm not trying to bait anyone. I'd like to learn what all of you know based on your backgrounds in politics, economics, business and the military, etc. I have little to no experience in most of these areas. Education and science tend to be my answer to everything; because, if you only have a hammer, all problems start looking like screws (all the nails are long since pounded in). The obvious things are already started or should be eventually in the works:
1) trying to allow free elections under their new constitution.
2) helping to rebuild their infrastructure so their economy can get going on its own.
3) keeping the present factions from tearing each other apart while stopping the old regime from reforming.
Still, what are more subtle things that need to be accomplished?

James Giles
04-05-2004, 04:23 PM
I would say that part of the solution ( to Islamic terrorism etc) is continued globalization and free trade There is no easy solution that can be summed up in one sentence (other than everyone converting Islam or to just stop fighting, neither of which would work in the real world).
Hey James, glad to see you back. I think you brought up an interesting point here and the key words are "neither of which would work in the real world".

I don't know if these statistics are accurate, but I heard on TV the other night that there are roughly 1.2 billion Muslims in the world and about 1.6 billion Christians and it didn't mention the number of Jews out there.

My theory is that rather than "more globalization" being the answer to the problem it is actually the cause of the problem.

In my opinion there is NOT "strength in diversity". America and Israel are prime examples of that.

In America, Republicans (conservatives - mostly Christian, white and traditional) and Democrats (liberals - mostly Jewish, black, hispanic, atheist, socialist etc.) literally hate each other. This nation is split 50/50 and I would not be surprised if civil war eventually breaks out in this own country.

Generally, the underlying hatred seems to revolve around religious issues. The Christian conservative right is at odds with the more secular,atheistic left.

In Israel, similar racial and religious tension is ongoing between the Jews and the Palestinians.

My theory is that for there to ever be peace, different cultures, religions and races should be separated from one another. To mix together just causes tension and war. And at the root of all this mess is religious beliefs.

So, regarding your suggestion that the world convert to Islam as a possible solution, wouldn't it make more sense to just let the Muslims have their own piece of the world as well as the Jews and the Christians?

That is why I feel that the U.S. should withdraw its support of Israel and just get out of the globalization business in general.

I think that what we are doing is taking sides in a fight that has been going on for centuries, and that is a dangerous move on our part. If we quit supporting Israel, terrorism would no longer be an issue for the U.S.

And our occupation of Iraq is a life and money-wasting approach to bring about something that isn't ever going to happen. We need to get the hell out of there. We have about as much chance of defeating racism there as we do here in the U.S. It just isn't going to work. The white man has no business over there in their land. It is just making things worse in my opinion.

In my opinion, Israel is fully capable of handling their own situation. The Muslims should accept the fact that Israel is a state and just go on with life and leave them alone. They have the entire rest of the Middle East to occupy.

If necessary Israel should just build a wall around their country and not let anyone from any other race or religion enter their country. I think this will save many Palestinian, Jewish and American lives.

The Islamic people should just be satisfied that the Jews are staying in their own country and minding their own business.

And most importantly, the U.S and Israel both should stay out of Islamic countries and not bring in their immoral influences like Hollywood, MTV, blatant homosexuality and other sexual perversions that offends Muslims (as well as more than half of the U.S. population!). I think Bush's idea to bring "democracy" to Iraq is whacky. He will have about as much luck with that as the "war on drugs" or bringing about a healthy diverse America. What a joke!

Neil Mick
04-05-2004, 08:15 PM
My theory is that for there to ever be peace, different cultures, religions and races should be separated from one another. To mix together just causes tension and war. And at the root of all this mess is religious beliefs.
Hello James. I agreed with most of your post, except this part. The problem with your logic here, IMO, is its basis in reality: how do you move ppl off their land, when to do so would cause massive suffering?

There has never, in history: been a mass, forced removal of an indigenous population, which didn't involve suffering. Not even, the aborigines off Bikini Island (even tho: they received compensation for removal, if I recall).

Every forced removal involves suffering, and systemitized suffering fails the human rights test.

No, I think the way to go would be to allow as much intermixing of cultures, religions, and mores as possible; AND to be flexible enough to grant isolated communities (such as the Amish, Hmong Indians, the Ainu, etc) their continued isolation, if they want it.
So, regarding your suggestion that the world convert to Islam as a possible solution, wouldn't it make more sense to just let the Muslims have their own piece of the world as well as the Jews and the Christians?

That is why I feel that the U.S. should withdraw its support of Israel and just get out of the globalization business in general.
Yes, respect diversity: but the barrior should be porous.
If we quit supporting Israel, terrorism would no longer be an issue for the U.S.
Yes, I think so, too.
In my opinion, Israel is fully capable of handling their own situation. The Muslims should accept the fact that Israel is a state and just go on with life and leave them alone. They have the entire rest of the Middle East to occupy.
Israel should also stop telling the US what to do.
If necessary Israel should just build a wall around their country and not let anyone from any other race or religion enter their country. I think this will save many Palestinian, Jewish and American lives.
I don't. The Israeli wall caused suffering before the first stone was laid. Israel walling itself off will do no good in any case, as you look to history, again: there is no wall built that ever held off an invader. Building a wall would be pointless, inhumane, and an incredible waste of Israeli resources.
And most importantly, the U.S and Israel both should stay out of Islamic countries and not bring in their immoral influences like Hollywood, MTV, blatant homosexuality and other sexual perversions that offends Muslims (as well as more than half of the U.S. population!).
Interesting. You bring up several good points here.
I think Bush's idea to bring "democracy" to Iraq is whacky. He will have about as much luck with that as the "war on drugs" or bringing about a healthy diverse America. What a joke!
Well said.

Neil Mick
04-05-2004, 08:38 PM
how do you think this democracy building should go down? I'm not trying to bait anyone. I'd like to learn what all of you know based on your backgrounds in politics, economics, business and the military, etc. I have little to no experience in most of these areas. Education and science tend to be my answer to everything; because, if you only have a hammer, all problems start looking like screws (all the nails are long since pounded in). The obvious things are already started or should be eventually in the works:

1) trying to allow free elections under their new constitution.

2) helping to rebuild their infrastructure so their economy can get going on its own.

3) keeping the present factions from tearing each other apart while stopping the old regime from reforming.

Still, what are more subtle things that need to be accomplished?
Hey James, good post. Well, first a little background. I'm a teacher, amongst other things (I teach a college class in Aikido); history and politics is a bit of a passion for me. I was active in the '80's as an activist...small stuff--talking at fairs, marching in the protests about Nicaragua, etc.

Currently, I listen to, read, or watch about 3 hours of news, day (OK, today I took a break, lol). Since the Iraq invasion, I've been far more active, politically. Just recently I'm involved with aiki-extensions (see below).

From my perspective, "democracy-building" is a joke: a brand-name the corporatocracy slaps on as a thin label, to mask its true motive: profit, and "protecting American 'interests'" (read: investments). The Bush Admin has shown itself so clearly to care not a whit, for democracy in Iraq. Or even, the Iraqi's.

But, I really don't blame Bush solely for attempting this sham power-grab: Clinton, Carter, Reagon...ALL of them, back through the invasion of Cuba were invading "to protect foreign interests," in the name of "democracy." ALWAYS: they claim that "we're doing it, becuase they cannot seem to govern themselves, the poor savages (little brown brothers, etc).
Still, what are more subtle things that need to be accomplished?
We need to get the hell out of Iraq. OR, we need to turn over occupational leadership to the UN. Yesterday.

In the longer term: we need to win the hearts and minds of the Arab people. Why should the Iraqi's want to try out a form of government, used by the same occupiers that employ cruelty and incompetence, in their occupation? We need to convince them that we are a more positive force in the world, than simply a bunch of careless, gluttonous bullies.

We need to win their hearts and minds.

And all the other ideas you mentioned were good one's, too. But, I hear that the new "principles" for a constitution hasn't much of a chance, of making its way into the constitution.

Neil Mick
04-05-2004, 08:44 PM
This just in:

I've recently had the honour of joining www.aiki-extensions.org I shall also attend the peace seminar, mentioned below. WoW! :)
If not now, when? When better to counter the daily barrage of scenes of hate and cruelty between Arabs and Jews? Why not work harder to cultivate scenes of cooperation and friendship despite all, and to show those different scenes to the world?

At Jerusalem in November I met with two groups of aikido practitioners-Jews at Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, Arabs from the Palestinian suburb of Beit Hanina. Members of both groups have been training together for over a decade. In the face of enormous political stresses, these aikidoka embody what can be accomplished through the practice of aikido. And now, they yearn to broaden their collaboration and foster a network of like-minded practitioners. To do so, they came up with the idea of bringing five or six aikido practitioners from each of the two dojos to a weekend seminar in a third country. And then, happily, we found a seminar in Istanbul the weekend of April 30.

What this means is that the Arabs and Jews will have an opportunity to develop the mutual trust that comes uniquely from aikido practice together, and that they will then form a core group willing and able to continue this initiative. We have agreed that the two delegations shall work together at Istanbul to forge a two-year program of activities, with an eye to organizing an international aikido conference, with participants from several Arab countries and Israel, and a permanent Salaam Shalom Peace Dojo in Jerusalem. We'll also produce film footage for an evolving video, "A World of Difference." What better way to honor the memory of aikido's founder, who held that this art offered a way to promote harmony within the human family?

With no budget in hand, I volunteered to find the funds to bring them. The cost of travel and seminar registrations for the 12 participants will be $6,000. For funds to keep the program going, another $6,000. I firmly believe that if I can raise at least the first $6,000, we shall keep on rolling and find one or more organizations to sustain the project. In addition, out of my own funds, I shall fly to Istanbul to help orchestrate the event.

I have never done anything like this before; but if not now, when? I'm asking you and many other friends to send $25, $50, or $100 (entirely 501[c] 3 deductible) payable to Aiki Extensions, earmarked 'Mideast project,' in an envelope addressed to:

Aiki Extensions, Inc.

c/o Karl Hakken, Treasurer

5010 S. Dorchester

Chicago, IL 60615

James Giles
04-06-2004, 03:33 AM
Hello James.

No, I think the way to go would be to allow as much intermixing of cultures, religions, and mores as possible; AND to be flexible enough to grant isolated communities (such as the Amish, Hmong Indians, the Ainu, etc) their continued isolation, if they want it.
Hey Neil, yes, I think I came across a little harshly on this matter. I really don't expect anyone to remove people from their land, but the fact remains that different cultures and religions have a matter of clashing with one another in a very bad way.

In my lifetime I have just observed that there is rarely ever a healthy mix of cultures and religions in a society. One culture will always dominate and will be shoved down the throats of all the unwilling citizens that do no want to accept it, or either the different cultures will bicker amongst themselves because of inequalities, special treatment etc.

Some foreign cultures introduced into a society can actually degrade the moral standards of that society For example, consider the hip/hop/rap culture here in the U.S. Although the listeners of this garbage are a very small percentage of the overall population, there music is pumped through on every ad on TV and is "force fed" to the population in every way possible (grocery stores, malls, loud car stereos, restaurants, bars, etc.)

Not only is the music primitive and stupid, it encourages our young people to become thugs and whores.

I don't think the Israelis or the Arabs would want this culture forced on their peoples? Can America set a good example of a "democracy" for these people, when our society promotes such lax morals on to our young people.

Yes, I think Aikido is an art for all races to practice together. It promotes discipline, kindness, respect for others, and self-control. I think that any culture that promotes these values is a healthy one and would be a positive asset to any community. Unfortunately, I can't say that for all cultures!

I do agree with you about us getting out of Iraq and not being yanked around by Israel. Basically, we have worked ourselves into a situation where the world's terrorists are no longer focused on Israel, but rather the U.S.

It kind of seems like Israel is using us to do all of their dirty work. There must be some big payoffs happening behind the scenes.

I also find it incredible that we let a handful of politicians get us in such a mess, and prey off of the ignorance of the taxpayers to fund there grandiose corporate schemes. I think you are right; they only care about big profit. Even if that means sending all of our jobs overseas, or sending soldiers over to Iraq to get blown up, they don't care as long as they are lining there pockets.

You are right Neil, America has become an oligopoly. Too much power is in the hands of just a few. It scares me how much power the President of the United States has. I don't think one man should have that much power. It reminds me almost of a monarchy or tyranny. Very scary stuff! Good to hear from you again.[/QUOTE]

Neil Mick
04-08-2004, 04:18 PM
Very scary stuff! Good to hear from you again.

Thank you, James. Good post!

Taliesin
04-15-2004, 10:03 AM
Amererica doesn't appear to be a pure Oligargy (please excuse spelling) so much as a Plutocracy. It does appear from my British view that the American electoral system promoted endemic corruption. It seems to go like this - to win elections you need to advertise on TV far more than your opponents, which means you have to raise more money, which leaves you dependant upon Big Money. Add onto that the frequency of elections, it appears there is a continious need for more money and therefore a continious need to keep Big Money(business) happy.

My suggestion to attempt to remedy that would be to put forward the argument that political office is far more important that the sales of soap powder and state that each candidate is entitled to X amount of prime time advertising per week and Y amount of off-peak advertising so that both sides have an equal opportunity to put forward their arguments an no more.

After all how can it be said to be equal opportunity to put forward your argument if the money you get from Big Business effectively allows you to drown out your opponent.

Just an outsiders' suggestion.

Neil Mick
04-16-2004, 06:17 PM
It's a weird time, to be an American.

You sit and watch in the midst of a polarized society, both sides definite that they know the "answer," while our President flails and splutters in the midst of the developing chaos, that is Iraq. Talk about major snafu!

And then, as our President surges on, "boldly" confronting his detractors (*ahem!*) in committee and damage-spin, out of all this chaos....what does he say?

"Oh, it's OK, Sharon. Yer doin' fine. Bring it on!"

Well, Mr. Bush: they sure DID "bring it on," didn't they? A lot of dead ppl sure got what they (and we) "brought on." :disgust: Ppl whose photographs the President has taken pains to shield us from these pictures of misery, and from himself, as well, no doubt. No counts of Iraqi-dead, no pictures of their-- or our--funerals. Why should a few "unintended casualties" interfere with the President's version of a sanitized, "terrorist" (read: bad-guy of the term club)-free world?

No apologies, not even a hint of remorse, for the loss of Iraqi and American lives. And now: the President crowns his "achievements" in the ME with a hearty wave to the illegal settlements, in total disregard for the peace process, on any scale.

It is truly interesting to be visiting another country soon, where I am so deeply embarassed by the actions of my leader.

OK, rant aside: it will also be interesting to see how Muktadr al Sadr is to be handled, by the CPA. If they try to capture or kill him: all hell will break loose. The situation continues to become volatile, daily.

James Giles
04-23-2004, 03:01 PM
The news is that the war in Iraq is going to cost billions and billions more dollars. Is it worth it? Can the American taxpayer afford this? Why are we there anyway? They say we are fighting terrorism over there. It seems to me that we are only fighting people that don't want us in their country. Don't get me wrong, I am all for fighting terrorism, but why Iraq?

PeaceHeather
04-23-2004, 08:42 PM
Bush has managed to spin the invasion of Iraq as a way to fight terror. A surprising number of people truly believe that there is a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida, but one has never been proven. In fact, there's quite a bit of evidence to suggest that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein wouldn't be able to stand one another: bin Laden is something of a fundamentalist, and Hussein is known to drink alcohol, hang out with loose women, etc.

Anyway: "why Iraq" is a question that Bush ought to be asked, and asked repeatedly, until he can provide an answer that can't be shot down by factual evidence.

Just my opinion, naturally. Oy, now I'm talking politics in public... :rolleyes:

James Giles
04-23-2004, 09:58 PM
I agree, Bush needs to be asked some questions. I guess he feels that he is untouchable now that he is running against someone like Kerry.

It really scares me how Bush is redistributing the wealth of the American taxpayer to third-world countries. It would be nice if that money was circulating right now among us taxpayers so that we can afford the $2.00 per gallon gas prices in this country.

For a "conservative" Bush sure is "liberal" when it comes to spending our money. We taxpayers definitely needs to start asking questions before this man totally breaks us.

Abasan
04-26-2004, 02:18 AM
"It really scares me how Bush is redistributing the wealth of the American taxpayer to third-world countries."

James,
I doubt that Bush is actually redistrubuting American wealth to third world country. If it was so, he must be a major philantrophist, which he ain't. The only people really getting that billions of USDs are the arms suppliers & dealers and the engineering firms attached to the rebuilding of Iraq, Afghan, whatever... You know them, Haliburton, Boeing, etc etc...

You, know... I don't understand why America is so afraid of having WMD loosed about in these 'rogue' countries anyway. Its left to be proven that the WMDs are loose, but nevertheless, why this fanatical fear and hysteria? Isn't the concept of WMD armament based on, I have something that would hurt as you much it would hurt me if you had it... so lets not use them eh? Lets be pals instead :P.

Well, America has bloody loads of WMDs not just defending their country, but also lurking in those dark deep waters of other continental waters. They have practically covered the world with their WMDs. Whereas for countries like Iraq and Afghan, it would be near impossible for them to send a lousy nuke and reach US soil... Its puzzling.

Those billions of dollars need not have been spent to purchase those arms, machines, ammunition and stuff from the mmm american companies owned by the President's friends that supplied it at all as explained above. And you taxpayers would get some sort of tax rebate/holiday this year! (hah... that'll be the day). Nah... I have the power to make war. You guys who voted me in power are so angry about what happened to the WTC that I can make unreasonable demands and wage preemptive wars/invasions on other countries, and you won't bat an eyelid. So if I do, and make me and my friends richer at the same time, why the hell not? After all, it isn't as if I'm going to do the fighting. Yeah, some poor sod of an American soldier is gonna die, uh,,, maybe loads of them, but hey I don't know them. That's life! I did afghan, and it wasn't enough for my oil boys. Guess I gotta do Iraq now. So there!

And lastly James, here in Malaysia, an intermixing of culture, races and religion is already happening. In fact it has been here for close to 40 years. 50% predominantly muslim, but followed closely by Christianity (and its ilk), Buddhism and Hinduism. All religions are free to be practised except I think, Satanism... We ain't fighting each other. We school together, live and work amongst each other, all in the name of unity and peace. We don't have this religion text book that says, all naysayers will be put to the sword, neither does it say, all of those not of the blood are heathens and little more than animals: Therefore rape, pillage and plunder away in the name of God! Go figure.

Abasan
04-27-2004, 02:27 AM
Oh my God Mcgrath, You totally hit the nail with that one there. 13 guys were arrested in Malaysia, suspected as members of a terrorist group therefore all Malaysians must be Islamo-fascists people then whatever that means. Boy oh boy, I wonder when US is coming to bomb us to kingdom hell. Oppss.. can't do that, there are some holy christians in Malaysia and gentle buddhists around too.

You want proof? What exactly is happening in Iraq right now? Fiction, fantasy, the mad spewing of someone halfway across the world?

Get it straight for once. No one likes terrorists. You, me the world, whatever. Yes they come in many forms, Muslim, Jews, Christians, Hindus whatever... its not the religion, its the ppl and their hatred of each other.

Look, I apologise if I come across as cynical or sarcastic or crude. I don't intend to be argumentative and will redress my case if you feel its leaning in that direction. I put my thoughts as I see it in a simple step by step storyline. It becomes a term of reference to what I'm driving at. In my last post, I'm not criticising the US and keeping quiet on Islamicfacsists whatever. I'm perplexed as to James's idea that US is pumping billions of dollars to third world countries. Its actually pumping billions of dollars into war. And the businesses in direct benefit to that are US businesses. Thats all.

James Giles
04-27-2004, 12:49 PM
James,
I doubt that Bush is actually redistrubuting American wealth to third world country. The only people really getting that billions of USDs are the arms suppliers & dealers and the engineering firms attached to the rebuilding of Iraq, Afghan, whatever... You know them, Haliburton, Boeing, etc etc...


I never thought of it from that angle Ahmad, but that does make sense, and I would not doubt it. The point I was trying to make really was that, in my opinion, Bush's plan to build a democracy in Iraq is unrealistic and a waste of taxpayer's money.

First of all I don't think the American taxpayer can afford to build a democracy in every land that harbors terrorists, and second I don't think it will work in the first place.



You, know... I don't understand why America is so afraid of having WMD loosed about in these 'rogue' countries anyway. Its left to be proven that the WMDs are loose, but nevertheless, why this fanatical fear and hysteria?


I think that is pretty much self-explanatory. If a terrorist group will fly a plane into a building and kill not only themselves but 3000 other people, why wouldn't that same group launch a nuclear missile in the hopes of annihilating an entire nation?



And lastly James, here in Malaysia, an intermixing of culture, races and religion is already happening. In fact it has been here for close to 40 years. 50% predominantly muslim, but followed closely by Christianity (and its ilk), Buddhism and Hinduism. All religions are free to be practised except I think, Satanism... We ain't fighting each other. We school together, live and work amongst each other, all in the name of unity and peace. We don't have this religion text book that says, all naysayers will be put to the sword, neither does it say, all of those not of the blood are heathens and little more than animals: Therefore rape, pillage and plunder away in the name of God! Go figure.

I think that is great that Malaysia is living in peace. You have to understand, over here in the U.S. we can only go by what we see on the news.

One image that sticks in my mind, is this report I saw where Palestinian children are taught to hate Jews as early as kindergarten. They parade around in the recreation yard carrying mock AK-47s and dressed in suicide bomber attire chanting "Death to Israel". The report suggested that these children are taught to kill Jews in the name of Allah.

I don't think Christians or Jews teach their children such things. I know that the Christian religion promotes love not murder. Now I will admit that there have been nutcases, like some of these guys that think Jesus wants them to go out and bomb abortion clinics, but these are very isolated incidents and I don't think such people are Christians to begin with.

I also hear (fabricated?) reports all the time of how Muslims are killing Christians in Africa, and the Middle East. The reports hint at the idea that Muslims want to bring about a world Islamic state using brute force if necessary. I don't know if this is true, but if so, I think it is wrong. I know that all of the Muslim people I have met in America seem very polite, and I have had no problems from them. But then again, no one can see inside another person's head to see what they really believe(??)

I feel that people should be free to believe as they wish, as long as they aren't hurting other people. Any religion that advocates using violence against non-believers should be stamped out. That is why I like Aikido. It is a religion that teaches love and understanding for others and promotes peace. I am really trying to follow Aikido's philosophy, but I will admit I have a lot of my own prejudices to deal with. Thanks for your response Ahmad, James.

Neil Mick
04-27-2004, 08:59 PM
Look, I apologise if I come across as cynical or sarcastic or crude. I don't intend to be argumentative and will redress my case if you feel its leaning in that direction.

I'm not criticising the US and keeping quiet on Islamicfacsists whatever.

Thats all.

Well-done, Abasan. Don't you love it when he links all those words together? Kind of like his own private, Fascism of the English language: "Islamo-fascist network;" "Int'l House of Dictators;" "Hanoi Mick," etc, et al, ad nauseum. :crazy: :yuck: :yuck:

Neil Mick
04-27-2004, 09:06 PM
Not meaning to hijack, but I posted this on another thread, and I tohught it might interest, here. It's amazing, the differences in media reportage on Fallujah, between the US, and outside.

Talk about media blackout! [:O]

Here's the skinny from the BBC: (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3659979.stm)

Humanitarian workers speak of US gunmen firing at ambulances and civilians.

They say makeshift clinics were overwhelmed because of a bridge closure which cut off access to the main hospital.

US military officials have described the US operation as "humane" and say they "do everything possible to protect non-combatants". But they say insurgents' tactics are increasing the risks for civilians.

Why isn't CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/04/26/penhaul/index.html) reporting any of this?? Reading this article, it becomes obvious. And, in a microcosm: explains why we're going to lose this war.

(Of course, as far as CNN* is concerned, Fallujan deaths aren't part of the "bigger story"). (http://www.fair.org/activism/cnn-aljazeera.html)

Simplistically put, the whole point of view is from the embedded journalist. And, this is how the bulk of America is getting their information--it's sanitized. Not by the White House, not by the editors, not by the CIA: but by the journalists, themselves.

Did you notice the last 2 paragraphs in the CNN article? The reporter mentions a mosque being destroyed. But he reports it in totally unemotional terms, almost as if it were a Burger King, and not a sacred building.

We're going to lose, becuase we don't understand the hearts and minds, of these people. And because we don't: we don't understand the nature of this war. We won't: until the pictures of coffins become commonplace, and the relatives of the dead begin to speak out against this increasingly ugly occupation. This quote proves my point, very well:

"Bad guys don't follow rules - that's why they are bad guys," says Lance Cpl. Russ Vansteel, from Detroit.

"We don't speak Arabic, we don't know what they broadcast from the mosque [at prayer time]," says Corporal Vansteel. "Maybe they say: 'Americans are over there, and pray a little bit.' It's annoying."

But, of course: the USOA is carrying on its vehement denials, and spinning (from the Christian Science Monitor): (http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0427/p07s01-woiq.html)

"They've been using the mosque and the minaret to sight us," says Lance Cpl. Edward Day from Corpus Christi, Texas. Five hours after fighting erupted, the marines said, radio traffic indicated that the battle had not yet come to an end.

Lt. Gen. James Conway, the US Marine commander in Iraq, charged last Thursday that the rebels often "violate" the rules of war. [:O][:O]

He listed the use of ambulances to move fighters and weapons, and the "use of mosques to stage weapons, place snipers in the minarets, conduct meetings, and use as command and control sites."

US troops "honor the mosque" [:D][:o)] until it is used for such purposes, General Conway said, and "has lost its sanctity."

Are we already using DU, and cluster bombs, against the Fallujan's??
More information about the USOA's evildoings, in Fallujah:

Iraqi doctors, health minister confirm US war crimes (http://health-now.org/site/index.php?menuId=1) (sign the petition!)

Baghdad Doctors Reporting Cluster Bombs in Falluja, Harrassment of Patients by Troops (http://blog.newstandardnews.net/iraqdispatches/archives/000211.html)

Taliesin
04-30-2004, 06:41 AM
Jamie haven't you learnt yet that inconvienient does not equall irrelevant. Or that a desire to hold your county to the highest standards is patrotism, while 'my county right or wrong' is jingoism. And if you are doing such a wonderful job why does the US government want us Brits to take over peace keeping.

By the way "we're not trained to deal with people who shoot at us" ain't a brilliant excuse for any army.

Taliesin
05-02-2004, 04:50 AM
That doen't surprise me. - check the Times, Independant or Guardian Newspapers from the UK or the BBC

Neil Mick
05-03-2004, 04:32 AM
Greetings to all from Istanbul! I am over here participating in a Seminar, with members of an ASU dojo. Wonderful! The Turks are so polite, and gracious.

I just narrowly avoided a carpet-salesman who had me in his sights to be his first customer of the week. Whew! After a round of apple-tea I quıcky irimi'd out the door (as soon as polıtely possible), when he paused to draw breath. :) Sorry I wasn't able to make a side-trip to pay a visit to Abasan's dojo. Who knows, ın the future, tho?

I try not to mix polıtics with trainıng, but you know something? EVERYONE who brings up the subject has a similar perspective, about the folly of the invasion and occupation. It's not really a surprise, consıdering the 95% Turkısh opposition to the war, per-invasion. But there you are. Everyone else seems to see what 'deep doodoo' the US (read: Bush) has swan-dıved ıtself into. Everyone, of course: but BushCo and certain goose-stepping portions of the American public.

I'll check ın when I return (and the jetlag fades to a blur). Günaydın!

Neil Mick
05-06-2004, 08:20 PM
I'm sure you've all heard the news...terrible, and shameful. It's funny, tho: if I (or someone else) had posted those photos from the net, guess what label would be slammed down our throats?

Yep, got it in one. "So how long have you been an anti-American??" So, now that Bush "wants justice,* (yet, cannot seem to find it in him to apologize, through all his lame attempts at damage-control) where are all the cries at HIS being anti-American?

Oh yeah, that's right: he's our FL (Fearless Leader). And, it just doesn't do for patriots to criticize our FL, does it?

If it all weren't so shameful, I might write something along the lines of "I told you so." As it is, I feel sick...it is NO FUN, being Cassandra

makuchg
05-06-2004, 08:56 PM
I have read with interest all the responses to this thread. I would like to start with the understanding that I appreciate everyone's right to be for or against the war.

With that said, I hope that the political views regarding actions in Iraq don't reflect the views toward the brave men and women who have been called to attempt an impossible task-rebuilding a nation without a plan. As a soldier in Iraq, and stationed at the Abu Ghuraib prison (I arrived after the atrocities you see on TV), it sickens me to see this type of behavior and the majority of the soldiers here feel more strongly about these acts than you imagine. We volunteer to be away from our families for sometimes over a year in support of our military mission and their actions take away from all we trying to accomplish. I hope we view these acts for what they are, the sadistic nature of a few, not the sentiments of the whole.

From those here serving proudly, I thank you for your support and I respect your right to disagree with why we're here.

From Abu Ghuraib Prison,

Gregory Makuch

Neil Mick
05-06-2004, 10:44 PM
I have read with interest all the responses to this thread. I would like to start with the understanding that I appreciate everyone's right to be for or against the war.

With that said, I hope that the political views regarding actions in Iraq don't reflect the views toward the brave men and women who have been called to attempt an impossible task-rebuilding a nation without a plan. As a soldier in Iraq, and stationed at the Abu Ghuraib prison (I arrived after the atrocities you see on TV), it sickens me to see this type of behavior and the majority of the soldiers here feel more strongly about these acts than you imagine. We volunteer to be away from our families for sometimes over a year in support of our military mission and their actions take away from all we trying to accomplish. I hope we view these acts for what they are, the sadistic nature of a few, not the sentiments of the whole.

From those here serving proudly, I thank you for your support and I respect your right to disagree with why we're here.

From Abu Ghuraib Prison,

Gregory Makuch

Excellent, Gregory: welcome. I was always hoping someone would come by, who is actually in the area, and make their comments.

It's too soon to point fingers. I don't accept the notion that this is just the doing of a few "bad-apples." But, I am curious about your take on whether the CIA interrogators were responsible, and how much?

Taliesin
05-07-2004, 08:38 AM
Another intellegence free post from Jamie McGrath relying on his unquestioned (in his own mind) telepathic powers.

Jamie A patriot is someone who loves his country and wants it to be the best it can be. Not an apologist for its failures like you.

makuchg
05-07-2004, 10:25 AM
I would like to start by saying I am who I say I am. I have been in the military since 1990. I have served in Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and now Iraq. I have also trained in many more countries, from Japan to Norway. I have found Aikido as a bridge that crosses cultural gaps.

With that said, I am in the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion. This is my units third deployment since the onset of 9-11 (Afghanistan, OIF I, and OIF II). I enjoy the free exchange of ideas and will be more than happy to comment on anything regarding life here at Abu Ghuraib. However, due to ongoing investigations and intelligence operations, I am not permitted nor would consider discussing operational matters.

As for Jamie and Nick, do either of you believe that you will change the other's opionion in this forum? I doubt it. You both have the right to believe the things you believe and I'm willing to give up my freedom, and life if necessary, to ensure you continue to have those rights. I believe you two may have to agree to disagree. A lot of individuals don't understand why we are here and many who do understand don't agree with this operation. That is their right, as it is the right of those who do believe in this operation to openly support it. I would like to think two intelligent aikidoists would be able to use the non-confrontational blending of aikido to see the others point of view.

from Abu Ghuraib,

Greg Makuch

James Giles
05-07-2004, 01:15 PM
The perverse treatment of Iraqi prisoners is a reflection of America's perverted culture. Is anyone really surprised that these young people are such sick puppies? They grew up watching MTV and other trash that they ram down American's throats on our sicko TV networks.

I am not surprised that they tried to cover up the situation. For one thing, a female is in charge of the prison. It would be politically incorrect to make a female or a minority look "bad". America protects feminists and minorities at all costs. Second, we wouldn't want the Muslim population, who have religious values, to see what kind of scumbags Americans can really be. We are too busy trying to brainwash them into accepting the idea that the "democracy" we are building for them is a good thing. Thirdly, we are used to covering up the truth. It is becoming an American tradition.