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virginia_kyu
08-26-2002, 08:41 PM
Since many people really seem to want to talk about this in other threads I thought it wise to start a thread completely dedicated to this subject. It is also the hot topic of the world as of late.

I for the record believe it is imperitave that we overthrow Saddam as soon as we possibly can in order to avoid a massive Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical weapon catastrophe.

Steven
08-26-2002, 08:54 PM
At what cost? Are you ready to give your life or that of a family member or friend. Why should WE have to be the ones? Why not someone else? Like his own people.

Then what? Will we deal with his successor in the same manner if that person is equal to or worst than him? When do you purpose the circle ends? How long do WE go about removing people from office we don't like and label an enemy of the state and humanity?

Just curious ...

Abasan
08-26-2002, 09:44 PM
What 'massive Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical weapon catastrophe' are you talking about?

So far, the only nation I know that has all these weapons fit to destroy the entire world 10 times over is US. Not to forget, UK manufactures Chemical weapons as well.

Is this the typical american then? Don't know what's that, but lets shoot it anyway kind of attitude.

On the other hand, I agree with you that Saddam should buzz off. But instead of blitzing the whole of Iraq killing millions of innocents, why don't you help them overthrow him instead. Who in the world wants to support the US initiative when everytime you go there, people die? And then you say, oh sorry, its just a mistake.

Steven
08-26-2002, 10:31 PM
I say your list is a bit short don't you think? How about Pakistan, India, China, North Korea and Russia? Hmmmm?

And no .. this is not a typical American. Just one in a few of millions who'd rather not go to war again. That's my two cents anyway.
What 'massive Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical weapon catastrophe' are you talking about?

So far, the only nation I know that has all these weapons fit to destroy the entire world 10 times over is US. Not to forget, UK manufactures Chemical weapons as well.

Is this the typical american then? Don't know what's that, but lets shoot it anyway kind of attitude.

On the other hand, I agree with you that Saddam should buzz off. But instead of blitzing the whole of Iraq killing millions of innocents, why don't you help them overthrow him instead. Who in the world wants to support the US initiative when everytime you go there, people die? And then you say, oh sorry, its just a mistake.

guest1234
08-26-2002, 11:24 PM
We've tried to get his own people to overthrow him, inciting both opposing religious factions and the Kurds. Didn't work, although we did, as a consequence, get the TurkishKurds riled up, and that did nothing to help the Turkish Kurds, or our position with Turkey.

We're working like crazy on other factions within the country...don't know that it will be much better. However, in the 1980's, we liked him well enough to sell him arms with an almost limitless line of credit.

There's a little problem with targeting a head of state...they might turn around and target ours...heads of state tend not to want to get into THAT kind of contest, they prefer the dying to be within the ranks of soldiers.

I have noticed an alarming trend, both in the 91 war and now, of civilians who have never fought in a war, will never fight in a war, will never have someone they love fight in a war, be very much excited about the thought of going over 'there' and "kicking some butt." I've wondered how so many Americans can treat this like some kind of football game, seemingly oblivious to the deaths of our troops, and the deaths of so many women and children that war brings. I guess it is a combination of the sanitized war you all got on CNN, and the fact that with an all volunteer force, Americans have come to see the military as expendible mercenaries, rather than the husbands, wives, parents and children that they are to their familites. If there were a draft, and less loopholes that so many of our leaders of today used in the 60's and 70's, I wonder if so many would still think an unprovoked attack was a good thing.

148 Americans died in battle in the last Gulf War, and a great number more from accidents, and 476 wounded in action (similarly, a great number more injured from accidents). Of those battle deaths and injuries, 23 percent of the dead (35) and 15 percent of the injured (72) were friendly fire. And the main reason our numbers were low---we stopped. Air wars are safer for our troops, looks good when you have to do body counts, but a lot of innocent civilians die in them, and unless you want to level a country, you need to put troops on the ground. A prolonged ground war, with a goal of taking the cities in urban warfare, is going to cost us a lot.

And still, civilians are going to die in great numbers, especially the children. We target key infrastructure to win a war, you want to knock out power. Unfortuantely, that also takes out power to the hospitals, to water treatment plants, etc. In Kabul, disease and diarrhea is growing in alarming numbers; most of the pumping stations and treatment plants cannot run---the power stations are nearly all destroyed.

I'm concerned about Hussein's NBC stash, but I'm also concerned about ours. So far only one country has used nuclear weapons (plural) against another.

So what has changed that makes this so imperitive now? I wish more Americans would pay attention to the rights they once had, that are being slowly (and quickly) eroded, and a little less to trying to control who leads Arab nations.

Deb Fisher
08-27-2002, 12:07 AM
ca wrote:

"I have noticed an alarming trend, both in the 91 war and now, of civilians who have never fought in a war, will never fight in a war, will never have someone they love fight in a war, be very much excited about the thought of going over 'there' and "kicking some butt." I've wondered how so many Americans can treat this like some kind of football game, seemingly oblivious to the deaths of our troops, and the deaths of so many women and children that war brings."

Right on, Colleen! And right on to your parting shot - why does it give us all such wood to kill Iraqis while all the while our democracy is becoming increasingly ornamental?

I am angry that this administration thinks we are stupid enough to believe that it's in our best interests to enter into a war that will further bungle our relationship to the middle east, further strain our relationship with our own allies, that will do more to eradicate democracy in Asia than terrorism...

I'm even angrier that it seems to be working.

So much power-mongering, so much taking over the world.

erminio
08-27-2002, 12:56 AM
Hi, guys.

I think that if one has a great power or strenght, like America has, has the moral duty to protect, other countries too.. but, people's head is strange: you help'em and they think "why did he do it? what's his gain?"..I think simply they don't understand.

Here in Italy, a lot of people think that America goes everywhere there is to shoot and only to protect its interests, claiming that it's to protect: they always say "Oh, Americans, you know, John Wayne, CIA.." and always see "something behind"; this make'em blind, you know, after 11 September someone say, well, they always are in war, they searched it and now they found it.

So I think, that's sad but.. maybe is better stay home but ready to strike back if someone makes the first move: "memo me impune lacessit", that is, nobody stroke me without have my vengeance.

Hope I've been clear, my English is not so good.

Bye

Erminio

BTW: I saw "Black Hawk Down" and I do appreciate it, but someone said "hah, here comes the cowboys..".What did you think of it?

Neil Mick
08-27-2002, 01:39 AM
Michael, if you are so concerned about "massive nuclear and chemical catastrophe," I suggest you look to our own backyard: we are still in the same nuclear stand-off with Russia(!) with thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at each other on hair-trigger alert, with a President who has stated that nuclear weapons could conceivably be used in conventional battlefield conditions (totally against their avowed "deterrent" purposes) and who obviously wants to use US troops without the consent of Congress, in effect making himself a little dictator with his own private army.

Oh! That's right! But we're the GOOD guys!! I nearly forgot...!

chadsieger
08-27-2002, 09:17 AM
As an Aikidoka, I don't want anyone, anywhere to suffer. In the face of adversity, sometimes the situation will call for a tenkan, sometimes it will call for an irimi.

Unfortunatly, world leaders traditionaly lack the wisdom, or desire, to decide which option to choose.

Remember that the world government is an anarchaic system. In anarchy, it is everyone for themselves. This is not right, it is not wrong, it simply is. We should simply do our best to redefine power and success in our immediate environment and pray it cathes on.

Peace,

Chad Sieger

virginia_kyu
08-27-2002, 12:33 PM
Wow, see I knew people really wanted to talk about this.
At what cost? Are you ready to give your life or that of a family member or friend. Why should WE have to be the ones? Why not someone else? Like his own people.

Then what? Will we deal with his successor in the same manner if that person is equal to or worst than him? When do you purpose the circle ends? How long do WE go about removing people from office we don't like and label an enemy of the state and humanity?

Just curious ...
His own people are incapable of overthrowing him if we left it to them then we would be waiting forever. I don't think we are going to accept anything less than a democratic form of government in Iraq, so it will be difficult for another Saddam to come to power. But of course there are no guarantees, but so what.
What 'massive Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical weapon catastrophe' are you talking about?

So far, the only nation I know that has all these weapons fit to destroy the entire world 10 times over is US. Not to forget, UK manufactures Chemical weapons as well.

Is this the typical american then? Don't know what's that, but lets shoot it anyway kind of attitude.

On the other hand, I agree with you that Saddam should buzz off. But instead of blitzing the whole of Iraq killing millions of innocents, why don't you help them overthrow him instead. Who in the world wants to support the US initiative when everytime you go there, people die? And then you say, oh sorry, its just a mistake.
Very absurd comparison. When do we go around shooting anything that moves or launch nukes and chemical weapons at people?

Colleen, many "civilians" join the military to serve and protect the interests of the United States, why would you join the military if yuo did not expect to have to do military things.
I am angry that this administration thinks we are stupid enough to believe that it's in our best interests to enter into a war that will further bungle our relationship to the middle east, further strain our relationship with our own allies, that will do more to eradicate democracy in Asia than terrorism...

I'm even angrier that it seems to be working.

So much power-mongering, so much taking over the world.
And you are going to continue to get more and more angry because it is only a matter a time before it is going to happen. I disagree with your characterisation of the President and his motivations and I hope that we get going with it ASAP.

And Neil, yes we are the good guys, in every respect.

guest1234
08-27-2002, 01:19 PM
Michael,

I joined to defend our country (which in my book does not include an unprovoked attack on another country nor the potential first use of nuclear weapons); that does not mean I agree with the decisions being made by a man who did not even have the majority of this country behind him in the election. He is my CINC, so as long as orders do not violate Human Rights and the Geneva Convention, I will carry them out. But that doesn't mean I won't work toward ensuring the next elected officials think more in line with me.

Your comment about "well, you chose to join" is similar to those I've heard from other civilians about going to war, keeping POWs in open dog cages in GITMO, etc...too many civilians, who know they will never have to pay for wrong military decisions, see no problem because they know it doesn't affect them, and that's what 'they are paying the military to do'. Losses from this volunteer force will not be felt the same as it has been in others wars, there's no risk to the majority of Americans that they might also have to pay that price. So if those Americans don't care how many servicemen are lost, nor about foreign lives (military or civlian) it is going to be a bloody bill to pay.

The fact that despite our efforts, some countries leadership does not change should tell us something. And saying, well, so what, who cares who takes over next is what led to the Taliban taking power after we meddled in Afganistan. Other dictators and strongmen given to the world courtesy of us knowing best (either supported by or taking advantage of a vcuum we engineered): Chaing Kai-shek, Ferdinand Marcos, Ngo Dihn Diem, Nguyen Khanh, Nguyen Van Thieu, General Lon Nol, General Suharto, General Chun Doo-hwan, General Roh Tae-woo, General Pinocet.

I'd say we have a big stake in being responsbile for what grows out of ground we till.

As for "launching nukes or chemical weapons...": Hiroshima. Nagasaki. Agent Orange.

virginia_kyu
08-27-2002, 02:06 PM
Of course we care if we lose servicemen, but that does not mean that we should never act.

Colleen I also don't believe that you are in any position to make decisions whether or not to act if you happen to believe that what you are doing might violate someone's human rights. That is a decision that is made in Washington or by your CO, not yourself. If you do not trust your superiors judgement then I don't understand why you are in the service.

BTW, Clinton seemed to like to use the military alot more then Bush. Did you have any problems with his wars?

guest1234
08-27-2002, 03:23 PM
Our duty as military members is to obey the LAWFUL orders of our superiors. Unlawful is defined as those violating human rights and the articles of war under the Geneva Convention. I guess the idea is to avoid things like actions of the SS, or massacres like My Lai...'hey, I was just following orders'...although I'm sure some would prefer the miltary just be killing machines.

I think close to 80 cruise missles, at $750,000 apiece, to hit a pharmaceutical plant and and empty training camp was not the best use of resources, but they weren't wars. I don't know that our involvement in the Balkans has done any good in the long run, and may have done some significant bad.

By your questioning of Clinton's role, I understand you see this as a Republican-Democrat thing. It is not, both parties have shown they can get us into questionable conflicts. But certainly, one of the companies that profits most from war these days is Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Hallibuton. And oil interests in the area can't be ignored.

Democrats seem to lean towards poor judgment over sides to choose, while Republicans make war with the bottom line in sight at all times.

Neil Mick
08-27-2002, 04:14 PM
Wow, see I knew people really wanted to talk about this.

His own people are incapable of overthrowing him if we left it to them then we would be waiting forever. I don't think we are going to accept anything less than a democratic form of government in Iraq, so it will be difficult for another Saddam to come to power. But of course there are no guarantees, but so what.

Colleen, many "civilians" join the military to serve and protect the interests of the United States, why would you join the military if yuo did not expect to have to do military things.

And you are going to continue to get more and more angry because it is only a matter a time before it is going to happen. I disagree with your characterisation of the President and his motivations and I hope that we get going with it ASAP.

And Neil, yes we are the good guys, in every respect.
Define "good?" We seem to be using different dictionaries... :freaky: :freaky:

Great post, Colleen. Your convictions, and vets who share your views of personal responsibility give me greater respect for our military (this from a sometime "peacenik" ;) ).

There you go, speaking up for ppl whom you have no idea what they want, Michael.

The Iraqi's do not want war and will support their leader, just as ppl will do when threatened: rally round a leader (just as we did).

"Of course there are no guarantees, so what."

Yeah, so what if we lose a few thousand Iraqi citizens, they're just numbers, right? So what if we try to install some deli owner from New York in an unstable region shared by 3 ethnic groups? It's not OUR problem the Iraqi children have suffered under 5 years of an embargo, and NOW they will have to endure several months of the tender mercies of the US military, of which we will receive little-to-no input from the mainstream media!

So WHAT?

But your arguments share one thing with the Pres and VP: a certain cavalier disregard for documentation, or the facts. Cheney's response to charges that Saddam really doesn't have nuclear weapons? "Oh, we can't consider that. If we do, it buys him time to build more weapons."

Why let a little thing like reality get in the way, when it is so much easier to march to the tune of the status quo?

Unfortunately, I do agree with you one thing, Michael. There WILL be an invasion, whether we like it or not. Many ppl will die. There will be much misery, most of which we won't hear about. Instead of spending it on education, alternative energy sources or social programs, we will, once again, send the deadliest army on earth to cause violence to an Arabic people (doesn't this song EVER get old???).

Maybe, though, this time ppl will fight the status quo that allows such casual murder to pass, in whatever fashion they can.

That is my hope: that the blanket corruption finally wakes enough souls up!

:ki:

Neil Mick
08-27-2002, 04:18 PM
...P.S. Republicans? Democrats? Who cares? Clinton was worse, in some ways, than shrub. Gore and Shrub could hardly find any ground to debate it the elections: just 2 sides of the same corrupt coin.

When we take the $$ out of politics, only then will it work.

virginia_kyu
08-27-2002, 08:41 PM
Well Colleen I don't think anyone is asking you to slaughter thousands of unarmed people indiscriminately. There might be occasions that there will be collateral damage but I don't think you will get out of your job with that excuse.

In fact you guys are really huffing and puffing about this being some huge war where hundreds of thousands will die and all evidence cleary shows that it will be a very short conflict with minimal loss of life.
The Iraqi's do not want war and will support their leader, just as ppl will do when threatened: rally round a leader (just as we did).
No they will surrender very quickly as they did in the Gulf War.
Democrats seem to lean towards poor judgment over sides to choose, while Republicans make war with the bottom line in sight at all times
How do you know this Colleen? That Republicans wage wars in order to make money? Give me a break.

I am personally sick of the multitudes of conspiracy theories coming from you guys without any evidence to back it up. All of these sinister plots that you are painting in our heads are pure political propaganda and nothing more.

Yes I know you guys would rather spend our tax dollars on granola bars and "medical" marijuana but I personally would rather be safer from future terrorist attacks.:)

virginia_kyu
08-27-2002, 09:26 PM
Anyway, sorry for the granola bar and "medical" marijuana comment, I might not be that far off base :) but I am just getting silly. I think I have been spending way too much time in these forums,I am going to try posting less frequently before I get too involved in hundreds of different discussions.

Abasan
08-28-2002, 05:21 AM
'I am personally sick of the multitudes of conspiracy theories coming from you guys without any evidence to back it up. '

How about iraq being the country with the second largest oil resource in the world? If you want, I can email you something written by John Pilger, a quite reknown journalist. Maybe it'll open your eyes a bit.

But, as the saying goes... though you can bring a camel to the well, you can't make it drink.

guest1234
08-28-2002, 06:48 AM
Collateral damage are dead civilians---women and children. Is it inevitable in war? Yes, one reason I think caution should be exercised in entering into war. Since in the last war, we managed to hit our own troops fairly regularly, do I think we'll be more accurate when targeting the enemy? No. Since we've hit a Red Cross storage facility twice AFTER they gave us their coordinates, do I think we'll hit other non military targets? yes. Since we've hit several civilian groups in the Afghan war, and managed to kill the first Canadians in combat since the Korean war, do I think other mistakes will happen? yes. These are the prices of war, and if we have to go to war, so be it. But we should be honest that we know this price will be paid, and that we are certain it is worth it. Denying culpability doesn't make it go away.

I am not trying to get out of my job, I already said I would do it, as long as orders were lawful...you were the one who said I should do it regardless of lawful orders. Luckily, I don't take my orders directly from you. Unfortunately, I indirectly take orders from all Americans, many of whom think like you.

To those who are taking the fact that I am in the military too much to heart (in either direction) these are NOT THE VIEWS OF THE USAF, THE DOD, OR THE US GOVERNMENT. They are my own personal views, which is why I try to post in the general voice about the military (except when asked why I joined, how I could refuse unlawful orders, etc). Many others would agree with Michael, which is a good thing that both agreement and dissent can be voiced by all Americans, from those in uniform to the Secretary of State.

guest1234
08-28-2002, 06:54 AM
Oh, and the Iraqis surrendered Kuwait. Surrendering Bagdad is probably going to feel a bit different...kind of like leaving Saigon vs. Arlington, VA.

Guest5678
08-28-2002, 10:54 AM
I guess it wasn’t enough for Colleen, Abasan and a few others that “Saddam Insane” killed his own with chemicals, placed innocent non-military people out in the desert to face the US military while he played hide-in-seek within the safety of the civilians of Bagdad (putting women and children at great risk) Lobbed scud missiles indiscriminately at the Israeli population. Continues to threaten our fighter pilots. He also had to invade Kuwait, killing and raping, then destroying good old mother nature by blowing the oil wells when they finally had to run for cover….. I guess this isn’t enough “just cause” to take him out huh?

Ok, well, lets do it your way then Colleen, lets all sit back and wait for someone else to take action. Meanwhile, don’t worry, I’m sure he probably won’t lob a nuke or chemical weapon at Israel and kill the multitudes……or assist osama’s group in doing that to us.. after all, he has SUCH an admirable track record doesn't he? .. duh!

I personally believe it’s at a point now where America should recall ALL the aide it provides the rest of the world. Bring all the money back into the US and help the farmers and teachers make a decent living. Dump those billions of dollars into alternative energy sources and get us away from our dependency on oil. Bring back all the military personnel providing security to those nations that can’t defend themselves in order to set new perimeters and have them REALLY guard the borders of US interests. Bring back all the missionaries to assist the elderly and needy here at home. Rid ourselves of ALL foreign students and open those seats up to underprivileged American students, those that aren’t afraid to stand up and say the pledge of allegiance in a public place! Let the rest of the world work out their own problems. I would give anything to see this done! It’s way over due!!

But then, people like Abasan wouldn’t have a target to point at and criticize. Oh wait a minute, that’s right, if we were to pull all military aide, Abasan probably wouldn’t be running his cake hole from where he is today, because where he is today wouldn’t exist... Sorry, my bad….

byteme,

-Mongo

chadsieger
08-28-2002, 12:15 PM
Every day in the United States there are around 1,000 fatalities on our roadways. That means a "9/11" every four days.

My point is, you, or someone you know, is "a million times" more likely to be killed by our own devices than a forign threat.

Starvation kills millions, even in America, yet our government pays our farmers NOT to grow food, simply to regulate the market value. Humane?

Aikido has taught me better to see cause/effect, motivations, and to generally be a better judge of situations. I don't know what Iraq is capable of, or what Hussein is hoping to achieve during his life other than what the American media reports. LOL. I have learned to take much of what they report with half a grain of salt. :rolleyes:

I do know this, our country has problems. Problems so great in fact, that we have needless deaths within our own boundries. Perhaps we should reduce those realtities before we worry about possibilities.

Besides, the "invasion" of Iraq is just a smoke screen to cover the fact that our entire Executive branch in knee-deep in corrupt corporate ties. :rolleyes:

virginia_kyu
08-28-2002, 12:36 PM
I guess it wasn’t enough for Colleen, Abasan and a few others that “Saddam Insane” killed his own with chemicals, placed innocent non-military people out in the desert to face the US military while he played hide-in-seek within the safety of the civilians of Bagdad (putting women and children at great risk) Lobbed scud missiles indiscriminately at the Israeli population. Continues to threaten our fighter pilots. He also had to invade Kuwait, killing and raping, then destroying good old mother nature by blowing the oil wells when they finally had to run for cover….. I guess this isn’t enough “just cause” to take him out huh?

Ok, well, lets do it your way then Colleen, lets all sit back and wait for someone else to take action. Meanwhile, don’t worry, I’m sure he probably won’t lob a nuke or chemical weapon at Israel and kill the multitudes……or assist osama’s group in doing that to us.. after all, he has SUCH an admirable track record doesn't he? .. duh!

I personally believe it’s at a point now where America should recall ALL the aide it provides the rest of the world. Bring all the money back into the US and help the farmers and teachers make a decent living. Dump those billions of dollars into alternative energy sources and get us away from our dependency on oil. Bring back all the military personnel providing security to those nations that can’t defend themselves in order to set new perimeters and have them REALLY guard the borders of US interests. Bring back all the missionaries to assist the elderly and needy here at home. Rid ourselves of ALL foreign students and open those seats up to underprivileged American students, those that aren’t afraid to stand up and say the pledge of allegiance in a public place! Let the rest of the world work out their own problems. I would give anything to see this done! It’s way over due!!

But then, people like Abasan wouldn’t have a target to point at and criticize. Oh wait a minute, that’s right, if we were to pull all military aide, Abasan probably wouldn’t be running his cake hole from where he is today, because where he is today wouldn’t exist... Sorry, my bad….

byteme,

-Mongo
That is great stuff, I think Bush should consider putting you in his cabinet. Please consider running for office one day, I will move to your district and volunteer for your campaign. Keep it up.

Guest5678
08-28-2002, 12:55 PM
I do know this, our country has problems. Problems so great in fact, that we have needless deaths within our own boundries. Perhaps we should reduce those realtities before we worry about possibilities.

Besides, the "invasion" of Iraq is just a smoke screen to cover the fact that our entire Executive branch in knee-deep in corrupt corporate ties. :rolleyes:
Chad,

Well no kidding! Show me a country that doesn't have problems...... anywhere people live, there are going to be problems. Welcome to the world..... and yes by the way, I do agree that more should be done to address the serious internal issues America faces.

The "invasion" of Iraq will not provide a "smoke screen" for the greedy butt-heads that are being caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but I have to tell you, we certainly haven't cornered the market on corporate corruption either. Investigate how business is done in other countries.... You might be surprised at the depth corruption can go.

Even with all the problems this great country faces, it's still one of the best places on earth to live. If you don't agree with that then either help correct it or leave. It's that simple...

-Mongo

chadsieger
08-29-2002, 12:04 AM
Aren't you glad we found Aikido?

Mongo wrote:
Welcome to the world..... and yes by the way, I do agree that more should be done to address the serious internal issues America faces.

This is one of the most salient aspects of Aikido. Spreading Aikido betters not only our families, but also our town, coutry, and world. I gladly elect to spread Ueshiba's (among others) vision of peace being the ultimate bridge. Everyone in the world really just wants to find peace, even people that commit "unnatural" acts. The problem is, get confused or misled or simply their environent didn't allow them the luxury of seeing that love is a natural constant.

We as Aikidoka must always be training, even when off the mat. Train and spread.

Sieger

Neil Mick
08-29-2002, 01:11 AM
I guess it wasn’t enough for Colleen, Abasan and a few others that “Saddam Insane” killed his own with chemicals, placed innocent non-military people out in the desert to face the US military while he played hide-in-seek within the safety of the civilians of Bagdad (putting women and children at great risk) Lobbed scud missiles indiscriminately at the Israeli population. Continues to threaten our fighter pilots. He also had to invade Kuwait, killing and raping, then destroying good old mother nature by blowing the oil wells when they finally had to run for cover….. I guess this isn’t enough “just cause” to take him out huh?

Ok, well, lets do it your way then Colleen, lets all sit back and wait for someone else to take action. Meanwhile, don’t worry, I’m sure he probably won’t lob a nuke or chemical weapon at Israel and kill the multitudes……or assist osama’s group in doing that to us.. after all, he has SUCH an admirable track record doesn't he? .. duh!

I personally believe it’s at a point now where America should recall ALL the aide it provides the rest of the world. Bring all the money back into the US and help the farmers and teachers make a decent living. Dump those billions of dollars into alternative energy sources and get us away from our dependency on oil. Bring back all the military personnel providing security to those nations that can’t defend themselves in order to set new perimeters and have them REALLY guard the borders of US interests. Bring back all the missionaries to assist the elderly and needy here at home. Rid ourselves of ALL foreign students and open those seats up to underprivileged American students, those that aren’t afraid to stand up and say the pledge of allegiance in a public place! Let the rest of the world work out their own problems. I would give anything to see this done! It’s way over due!!

But then, people like Abasan wouldn’t have a target to point at and criticize. Oh wait a minute, that’s right, if we were to pull all military aide, Abasan probably wouldn’t be running his cake hole from where he is today, because where he is today wouldn’t exist... Sorry, my bad….

byteme,

-Mongo
Finally, a conservative post-er who documents his points with facts, instead of ignoring them. Unfortunately, you wound up in a full-blown rant. Also, insults only belittle your points.

Be that as it may, you ignore certain, somewhat important details:

-We supplied most of the weapons, materials, and technology to Saddam Hussein to build up Iraq's war machine.

-All of what you said Hussein did was true. Except: we strongly supported Hussein during the period of his worst atrocities, including the gassing of the Kurds, the torture of dissidents, etc. In spite of his crimes, and he remained a favored friend and trading partner until the day he invaded Kuwait, misunderstanding the rules of world order.

-Immediately after the Gulf War, the US returned to strong support for its old friend Saddam as he massacred the resistance movements under the eyes of "Stormin' Norman," with the vocal support of the US press, who explained that the mass murder was necessary in the name of "stability."

-U.S. demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Take the list of current regimes most singled out for U.S. attack, and put it alongside of the list of regimes that have had the longest hold on power, and you will find they have the same names. Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, and others may have faced greater internal criticism if they could not portray themselves as Davids standing up to the American Goliath, and (accurately) blaming many of their countries' internal problems on U.S. economic sanctions.

(many of these passages are loosely quoted from various sources. Apologies for not providing acknowledgements, but I am trying to be brief).
To those who are taking the fact that I am in the military too much to heart (in either direction) these are NOT THE VIEWS OF THE USAF, THE DOD, OR THE US GOVERNMENT. They are my own personal views, which is why I try to post in the general voice about the military (except when asked why I joined, how I could refuse unlawful orders, etc). Many others would agree with Michael, which is a good thing that both agreement and dissent can be voiced by all Americans, from those in uniform to the Secretary of State.
Exactly. I suppose that those who think you should be blindly "following orders" would also take away other freedoms, in case the soldiers decide to...think, before shooting? Should we also take away your right to vote, in case you decide to vote for (gasp!) Nader?

BTW, understand that I was complimenting your standing up for your own personal beliefs, not assuming that you represent the views of the US Army (as if...). There are Israeli "refuseniks" in the IDF who are jailed for refusing to serve in the Palestinian occupation. These soldiers are not raw, untested recruits, but mostly veterans. They are not interested in joining forces with anti-Israeli detractors, as they refuse to meet with any outside press. They simply signed a petition and followed their conscience: would that more ppl in militaries everywhere acted with such positive intention.

But for all of you ppl who think that the US is always right, that we were right for walking away from the Kyoto Protocols and should unilaterally invade whom we please...well, I'm sure that a few annoying facts won't get in the way of your rock-hard ideas.

Guest5678
08-29-2002, 07:14 AM
Neil, you wrote:
Finally, a conservative post-er who documents his points with facts, instead of ignoring them. Unfortunately, you wound up in a full-blown rant. Also, insults only belittle your points.
I certainly did not wind up in a rant. You don't want to see me rant, it's not very pleasant and it hurts my head... What I wrote is exactly what I feel. The facts stand whether YOU try to belittle them or not.
Be that as it may, you ignore certain, somewhat important details:

-We supplied most of the weapons, materials, and technology to Saddam Hussein to build up Iraq's war machine.
Well no kidding? we've supplied many countries throughout history that wound up our enemy in the end. So what? They sold us their oil which we use in our war machines against them... whats your point?
-All of what you said Hussein did was true. Except: we strongly supported Hussein during the period of his worst atrocities, including the gassing of the Kurds, the torture of dissidents, etc. In spite of his crimes, and he remained a favored friend and trading partner until the day he invaded Kuwait, misunderstanding the rules of world order.

-Immediately after the Gulf War, the US returned to strong support for its old friend Saddam as he massacred the resistance movements under the eyes of "Stormin' Norman," with the vocal support of the US press, who explained that the mass murder was necessary in the name of "stability."
Neil, you really should stop reading and quoting those tabloids and get some facts here. Do you honestly believe this crap? Just because the US has political relations with a country doesn't mean they approve or support that countrys actions. I suppose that a favorable trade status whith China means we're also responsible for all those students that were shot in the square huh? I'll tell you what, post some documentation from the US reps that were there in Bagdad during that period, then I might listen to you, otherwise this is all nothing more than someones personal opinion....
--U.S. demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Take the list of current regimes most singled out for U.S. attack, and put it alongside of the list of regimes that have had the longest hold on power, and you will find they have the same names. Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, and others may have faced greater internal criticism if they could not portray themselves as Davids standing up to the American Goliath, and (accurately) blaming many of their countries' internal problems on U.S. economic sanctions.

(many of these passages are loosely quoted from various sources. Apologies for not providing acknowledgements, but I am trying to be brief).
Man, talk about a rant! Hello kettle, this is the pot, you're black! I'd be very interested in your sources Neil. The US is in a no win situation anytine it provides aide to another country. We're criticized for doing nothing and then again when we do. Why? because somewhere down the field you have to drive a stake in the ground and claim your stance. It may be right or it may be wrong, but at some point you choose a side and support it. Where the hell is it written that the US shall not make any mistakes in their attempt to assist other countries? We're all human and we are going to screw up. It's called life, stuff happens...

Let me ask you this, are you still with your first girlfriend Neil? Probably not. Why? Because relationships are dynamic and change over time. Why would you think relationships between countries are any different? They're not...

-Mongo

virginia_kyu
08-29-2002, 08:13 AM
Finally, a conservative post-er who documents his points with facts, instead of ignoring them.
I assume that you are referring to me, Neil I don't see many facts in your posts just raw opinions.

Paul Clark
08-29-2002, 10:55 AM
Wow,

Some of you guys would make great entertainment as talking heads. Here's a few great quotes from previous posters by way of context:

Mongo:
I personally believe it’s at a point now where America should recall ALL the aide it provides the rest of the world. Bring all the money back into the US and help the farmers and teachers make a decent living.

IMHO, that's not a bad idea, it'd have a whole bunch of unintended consequences that would impact directly on the question in this thread--US policy in general in the Middle East, including Iraq. Mongo, do you know where most of that aid goes, and when you figure it out, will you make an exception? Let me know when you sort it out, and how "that's different" figures in your answer?

And again, Mongo:
Just because the US has political relations with a country doesn't mean they approve or support that countrys actions. I suppose that a favorable trade status whith China means we're also responsible for all those students that were shot in the square huh?

Now, I wonder. Would you apply that same logic to, say, Saudi Arabia, which supports charitable causes like widows, orphans, education, and medical care throughout the Muslim world? Or, is that "different" somehow? How? Are you firmly in the newly-erected camp that's convinced itself that Saudi Arabia is an enemy of the United States, despite the fact that the President and his top 4 cabinet officers say otherwise? BTW, ever been to Saudi? Just want to check your bonafides . . .

Last for now (the selection is so great, but I like this one), Mr. Neal:
Colleen I also don't believe that you are in any position to make decisions whether or not to act if you happen to believe that what you are doing might violate someone's human rights. That is a decision that is made in Washington or by your CO, not yourself.

True, Colleen doesn't get to make the decision, any more than I do. Neither do you if I don't miss my guess-and you'll get far less of an input than either of us unless you're a serving officer, which I doubt. Do you happen to have any accredited degrees in international affairs? Military science, perhaps? Middle Eastern History? Ever served as an officer in the US armed forces (above the rank of Captain?) Ever traveled overseas at all? Ever to the Middle East? I guess the question boils down to bonafides once again: other than that you seem to watch a lot of TV talking heads, what do you really know about this subject, and how do you know it?

I can offer a few excellent books if you care to devote the time:

The Middle East by Bernard Shaw

God Has 99 Names by Judith Miller

Clash of Fundamentalisms: Jihads, Crusades, and Modernity by Tareq Ali

Taliban (forget the author and my copy's at home)

That should make a bare-bones start.

Paul

virginia_kyu
08-29-2002, 11:18 AM
True, Colleen doesn't get to make the decision, any more than I do. Neither do you if I don't miss my guess-and you'll get far less of an input than either of us unless you're a serving officer, which I doubt. Do you happen to have any accredited degrees in international affairs? Military science, perhaps? Middle Eastern History? Ever served as an officer in the US armed forces (above the rank of Captain?) Ever traveled overseas at all? Ever to the Middle East? I guess the question boils down to bonafides once again: other than that you seem to watch a lot of TV talking heads, what do you really know about this subject, and how do you know it?

I wonder why you are asking me this question and not the others on this board. Have you checked their "credentials" as well?

Why is it so important that I have a "accredited degrees in international affairs? Military science, perhaps? Middle Eastern History/" and not anyone else on this thread?

Actually, Paul I have 3 years of study in international politics with a focus on middle eastern affairs, not a degree yet but I have been working on it part time. My main field of study now is web development. In addition I worked in politics for over 5 years and during this time I helped put together focus groups that discussed a wide range of international issues including the Middle East. I also worked for several organizations that tackled these issues on a regular basis.

Much of family works for the DOD in command positions that could very well be responsible for the orders issued to Colleen.

I also should mentioned that several of my friends growing up were Palestinians, One of which was also closely related to a high ranking Syrian general. I had many opportunities to discuss the issues here in depth with them as well, hearing every side of the story.

I may not be as qualified as some to talk about this stuff but I think I can hold my own thank you.

Paul Clark
08-29-2002, 11:34 AM
Mike,

Well, I didn't mean to pick on you or anyone else. I also asked Mongo a couple of questions, and I did say the selection was pretty rich. But, you did start the thread, and you have been pretty vocal, and you seem to have pretty firmly held opinions, all of which is great. The thing is you seem to think you're in a better position to judge the issue than Colleen is, so I wondered what might qualify you, as it were, to be in that better position.

I did see your first answer, by the way, and I think that's excellent, or at least I thought so. The change is interesting.

I wondered if you might take a crack at either of the questions I put to Mongo in light of that post? It'd make a positive contribution to the discussion as it might illuminate the complexity of the question on the thread, actually provide some information most people don't yet have, and get us into the business of helping educate each other instead of firing off opinion that mostly comes off the talk shows?

Look forward to it.

Paul

Neil Mick
08-29-2002, 12:55 PM
I assume that you are referring to me, Neil I don't see many facts in your posts just raw opinions.
This odd form of selective blindness is not surprising, nor is it unique (unfortunately). Let's just get a few terms clear:

FACT - A statement or recounting of an event having historical or contemporary significance (my words). We can debate the signiicance (or if it even IS a fact), but what separates the statement from an opinion is the documentation of actual events.

Example: Saddam Insane” killed his own with chemicals

This is a fact, even though he uses a negative label for Hussein, because it happened...only Hussein's gov't might argue otherwise.

(BTW, I do not support Hussein. I agree that he is an evil man, but we do not have the right to unilaterally invade anyone).

Now, the above-statement is an opinion. It may be based upon facts. However, if I say that we would be violating the UN Charter by unilaterally invading a country without the support of the Security Council, this is a fact, not an opinion. In this case, I am supporting my opinion, with facts.
All of these sinister plots that you are painting in our heads are pure political propaganda and nothing more.

Yes I know you guys would rather spend our tax dollars on granola bars and "medical" marijuana but I personally would rather be safer from future terrorist attacks.
This of course is an opinion, unsubstantiated with facts. Since we haven't even discussed medical marijuana, you have nothing to base it on.
Neil, you really should stop reading and quoting those tabloids and get some facts here. Do you honestly believe this crap? Just because the US has political relations with a country doesn't mean they approve or support that countrys actions.
Thank you, Daniel, for giving me the chance to acknowledge that particular quote. That "crap" is almost a direct quote from Dr. Noam Chomsky, professor at MIT. You can say many things about Dr. Chomsky, but one thing he has never done is make a statement without documentation.

You are right: political relations with a country do NOT mean approval, or support. However, in this case you are uninformed. Hussein asked for a "green light" from Washington BEFORE he invaded Kuwait, in 1990.

He would definitely have thought twice before invading, if we had said "back off." We didn't. Here is the conversation between the (then) US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, and Hussein:

"Saddam Hussein:

"If we could keep the whole of the Shatt al Arab - our strategic goal in our war with Iran - we will make concessions (to the Kuwaitis). But, if we are forced to choose between keeping half of the Shatt and the whole of Iraq (which, in Saddam's view, includes Kuwait) then we will give up all of the Shatt to defend our claims on Kuwait to keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be. (pause) What is the United States' opinion on this?"

(Pause, then Ambassador Glaspie speaks carefully)

U.S. Ambassador Glaspie:

"We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."

(Saddam smiles.)"

Eight days after this conversation, Iraq invaded Kuwait.

As the only superpower, the US has a special responsibility to uphold the UN Charter and the Geneva Convention of War (we are, in fact, supposed to be the enforcers of the Geneva Convention). You can selectively blind yourself to the role of the US in the world all you want, but mindless flag-waving ignores many of the sources of the international tensions in the world, many of which were caused by our machinations.

Invading a country and supplanting a leader for one friendlier to US interests has disastrous consequences: it is how Hussein, Castro, et al, got to power in the first place. It's also hypocritical to say that we are the champions of democracy, yet use violent methods to shift the course of foreign governments. Should the UN invade and supplant Shrub, since he was elected by a minority?



Violence solves nothing.

Katie Jennings
08-29-2002, 01:07 PM
OK...

I don't post very often, but this is something i have to speak up on. Firstly, let me say that while i absolulty do NOT support Saddam Hussein or anybody who opresses their people. However, an unprovoked attack by America worries me. They do not have the right to police the world. What do we do when they decide that Tony Blair is an "opressive leader" and invade Britain??? (I know he's a jackass ):D

One other thing- my generation have never been involved in a war, Colleen, but that doesn't mean that some of us don't appreciate how horrific it can be. I have relatives in both the American and English armed forces. We need to think, before our borthers, sons and fathers are killed.

Katie

Sorry about the terrible spelling.

Neil Mick
08-29-2002, 01:17 PM
Let me ask you this, are you still with your first girlfriend Neil? Probably not. -Mongo
"Oh, and honey: on the way back from gassing the Kurds and attacking Iran, can you pick up some milk and newspapers from the corner store?"

Sorry, I just couldn't resist. :D

IrimiTom
08-29-2002, 01:58 PM
Man, I don't know why I'm even posting other than to congratulate Colleen on her clarity of vision and the patience and diplomacy with which she handled some of the crap that some people say in threads like this... from this and other threads I've seen things like "yes, we ARE the good guys" (speaking of the US), and attitudes which pretty much boil down to "let's bomb Saddam, and the world will be a better place".

To all these people I ask: How do you consider yourself Aikidoka? Where the hell is the harmony in your actions/opinions?

Stop and think 2 seconds about what you are about to say before you say it. Turn CNN off and maybe read some real news (if there is such a thing) and once and for all understand that a coup d'etat orchestrated by an external country is wrong, wrong, wrong. Even "evil" communists (the real kind, please, not nazis...) believe that class struggles must be national, before there are supranational movements.

virginia_kyu
08-29-2002, 02:55 PM
FACT: You're ideas are extemely radical and they represent a small minority of U.S. opinion.

See I can play with facts too :)

Actually I can bring as many "facts" as you want to the conversation but honestly I have much better things to do with my time than to cross reference all my posts with quotes and facts from historical sources.

I am done here because I need to get back to my life.

Neil Mick
08-29-2002, 03:30 PM
FACT: You're ideas are extemely radical and they represent a small minority of U.S. opinion.

See I can play with facts too :)

Actually I can bring as many "facts" as you want to the conversation but honestly I have much better things to do with my time than to cross reference all my posts with quotes and facts from historical sources.

I am done here because I need to get back to my life.
If you can bring more facts to this debate, you have yet to demonstrate this.

Please, get back to your life. Thank you for your input; it has been a good experience talking to you, and I hope this debate causes you to question a little more, and "ditto" a little less.

virginia_kyu
08-29-2002, 03:59 PM
Neil, Neil, Neil it has been a good experience talking to you too. What I was trying to say that I could most definately sit here all day and dispute your "facts" and reference my posts with more facts but I think it would be futile because we are both entrenched in our positions. And also, I don't have the time to go into that kind of detail here.

So, you win :)

But regardless, we will be in Iraq before winter.

Paul Clark
08-29-2002, 05:21 PM
It is tough to find good debate. . .

Actually, the most recent polls show, factually speaking, that the country is pretty much evenly divided on the question of an invasion of Iraq. Only 51% of respondents in the weekend Gallup poll favored an invasion if it would likely result in significant US casualties.

It seems to me, though, that most of us agree in principle on one thing--Saddam is not a real desirable character, and left to his own devices, he's likely to cause some trouble. On this point, not surprisingly, all of the surrounding Arab countries are in agreement. If Saddam had nuclear weapons, they would be the first and mostly immediately threatened, and unlike us, they can't just pack up and go home. So, how come they aren't "on board" with the plan?

What you consistently hear from the Arab leaders, and what VP Cheney was told in every capital in the Gulf last Spring, was this: "The road to Baghdad leads through Jerusalem." More directly, "we need to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem before we try to solve the Saddam problem."

Now, they could mean a whole lot of different things by this. They may be telling us what they really believe, which is that the two are inseparably linked. I believe they do. They may simply want to negotiate something they want for something we want: They want the US to enforce UN resolutions on Palestine with the same vigor as it did in Kuwait; we want to topple Saddam and install a more friendly, less threatening government there. I believe they see this as well, and think it's an opportunity.

The interesting thing to note is that neither the US nor these Gulf governments disagree on the objectives. Where we disagree is on timing and the character of the solution to each problem. Part of that is a casualty of the stark political conditions in each state, including the US, part is ideology, most is realpolitik.

So, the US formulation has been, and is in the media here quite often, "the road to Jerusalem leads through Baghdad." But nobody is buying that, from Europe right around the world into the Arabian Gulf (Persian Gulf for Iran-o-philes). Interestingly, so far, there's only one country that agrees wholeheartedly. For those who disagree with the US view on Palestine, there is little reason to hope that our willingness to participate in a diligent, balanced effort to bring about a solution will survive the rush to Baghdad. We have left it by the wayside for 35 years. Why should they trust that after Baghdad, we'll really go after "Jerusalem", by which I mean a restoration of boundaries in accordance with UN resolutions? They don't. So, From Europe to the Gulf, they see the chance to negotiate. We have something they want, they have something we want. They'd like to trade, while they have something to trade. Nothing wrong with that, it's the way business is always done. Some of us here in the US have a beef because we don't get more support our of our friends, but they, in turn, could legitimately say they don't get much support out of us, either.

The thing is that getting rid of Saddam does not, by itself, solve any problem at all. Suppose we go and get him, string him up, or have him tried for something in the Hague. What then? Does Saddam himself know whatever the Iraqis collectively know about WMD? Certainly not. There are a whole bunch of scientists, engineers, and fabricators who know the technical details. So, if we get Saddam, and leave even a little resentment about it in Iraq, or in the other states in the region, who's to say they won't re-build their programs and get the bomb anyway? And if that was what the war was about, what did we achieve?

The only way to achieve a lasting, satisfactory result is to creat the conditions that lead to stability across the region in general and in Iraq in particular. For one thing, that means that Iraq, and all its neighbors, need to FEEL secure within their borders, hence, will not feel they need extraordinary weapons for their own protection. It's a tough neighborhood. The US invading Iraq preemptively does little to instill confidence in even our friends that we won't someday invade THEM if we take the fancy to. All this talk, provoked by a guy working for RAND who by his own admission, not to mention his resume, knows little about Saudi Arabia yet insists on them being our enemy has already had this effect on that country.

Saddam needs to go, on that we can all likely agree, including our many friends in the Arab world, even Iran. It would be far better if done sooner rather than later. But, it would be far worse done without the support and consultation of friends in Europe and in the region. Not because we can't do it alone--we can--but because if we stop and think about it hard enough, we don't want to.

Solve the real problem, don't make it worse.

Paul

virginia_kyu
08-29-2002, 09:32 PM
BTW, sorry I am going off subject here for just a second. For all of you who have been visiting my website trying to see a photo of what I look like, :D, I don't have any of me up yet. I will let you know when I upload any. However, my wife made me put up alot of photos of our cats to show to her friends.

I have been seeing alot of hits to my site from AikiWeb so I started thinking, "wow it must look pretty weird that I have a lot cat pictures on my site."
:blush:

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 08:15 AM
He would definitely have thought twice before invading, if we had said "back off." We didn't. Here is the conversation between the (then) US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, and Hussein:

"Saddam Hussein:

"If we could keep the whole of the Shatt al Arab - our strategic goal in our war with Iran - we will make concessions (to the Kuwaitis). But, if we are forced to choose between keeping half of the Shatt and the whole of Iraq (which, in Saddam's view, includes Kuwait) then we will give up all of the Shatt to defend our claims on Kuwait to keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be. (pause) What is the United States' opinion on this?"

(Pause, then Ambassador Glaspie speaks carefully)

U.S. Ambassador Glaspie:

"We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."

(Saddam smiles.)"

Eight days after this conversation, Iraq invaded Kuwait. .
Here lies the problem Neil. You (and many others) assume that Washington's "green light" as you call it, meant that we would approve of, or turn a blind eye to an invasion of Kuwait, the killings, etc...

But here's the FACT Neil:

The US reaction to this invasion should have given you (and others) an idea of just how ignorant it was to make the assumption that "no opinion" means "do what you want".

Read your own post again Neil. I believe he said "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts" He did not say "Yeah sure, go ahead and invade Kuwait, kill all you can, rape their women, hey, and before you leave, blow the oil wells while you're there...."

Nice try Neil, but this dog won't hunt.

Neither you or I were there Neil so we can only offer an opinion based on what input we get. It's the same for Dr. Chomsky. But thanks for the "grammer" lessons anyway.

My guess (yes, it's an opinion, so hold on here) is that the US was probably hoping for a more diplomatic solution to that situation and that they wouldn't have to get further involved. You know how the world loves to see the US getting involved.... not!

And frankly Neil, I'm not that impressed with Dr. Chomsky. I am aware of the fact that he's a very bright individual, but I'm just not that impressed...
As the only superpower, the US has a special responsibility to uphold the UN Charter and the Geneva Convention of War (we are, in fact, supposed to be the enforcers of the Geneva Convention). You can selectively blind yourself to the role of the US in the world all you want, but mindless flag-waving ignores many of the sources of the international tensions in the world, many of which were caused by our machinations.
Again Neil, it's only your opinion that the US has this responsibility. I don't see it that way. I see it as we CHOOSE to do so. We don't HAVE to do a damn thing. Also, I don't consider standing behind my country and it's actions "mindless flag-waving" either. We do make mistakes like everyone else. I don't deny we look after our best interests, who the hell doesn't? If we don't, who is going to? Saddam? Castro? The Arabs? yeah right....
Invading a country and supplanting a leader for one friendlier to US interests has disastrous consequences: it is how Hussein, Castro, et al, got to power in the first place. It's also hypocritical to say that we are the champions of democracy, yet use violent methods to shift the course of foreign governments. Should the UN invade and supplant Shrub, since he was elected by a minority?

Violence solves nothing.
Neil, you have a real talent for stating the obvious. What solution do you propose then? Continue to turn the screws on the sanctions? This only hurts the people of Iraq. Saddam isn't about to do without whatever it is he wants, regardless of the sanctions.......

Does Shrub have the same track record as Saddam Insane? Does he pose a threat to the region? Does he pose a threat to the US? If so, than yes the UN should take action against him as well.

And this classic: "Violence solves nothing"

Spoken like a true intellectual. Yeah, you're right Neil, we probably could have TALKED Hitler into giving. Perhaps we should have sent a diplomat to Japan instead of dropping the bombs, I'm sure that would have done it.... so many situations throughout history that offered no other choice but violence... and yes Neil, in these cases violence was met with violence and it DID solve a lot....

The fact that you can make that statement tells me you've probably spent much more time in your books reading about life than actually living it. Things aren't always as black and white in life as the print in your books and I'm sure that, as with many other situations, there are many FACTS involved here that we have no knowledge of. We can't know it all, and I don't claim to know everything however, I do know an evil individual when I see one. I do know he needs to be stopped and I'll back my country's decision and actions as I cannot come up with another solution. Let's here yours....

-Mongo

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 09:26 AM
Wow, Some of you guys would make great entertainment as talking heads.

Glad we can be of service. Also glad you've decided to become one yourself!
Here's a few great quotes from previous posters by way of context:

Mongo:



IMHO, that's not a bad idea, it'd have a whole bunch of unintended consequences that would impact directly on the question in this thread--US policy in general in the Middle East, including Iraq. Mongo, do you know where most of that aid goes, and when you figure it out, will you make an exception? Let me know when you sort it out, and how "that's different" figures in your answer?


Paul,

IMHO, "Unintended consequences" are way over due. In regard to the US policy in the Mideast, we're damned either way we go, so I say screw 'em, we should follow our hearts.

I doubt seriously that one single person knows where all the aide in all the various forms are going. But I do know that aide from the US has been too long "expected" by other countries. Pulling back allows for the re-evaluation of realtionships and venues, which is way way over due.

I also believe it would cure a lot of the outstanding "fence sitting" being done by other countries such as Saudi Arabia. They want our protection but don't want to appear to be assisting us directly. What kind of BS is that? Are we simply the ugly bulldog everyone is glad to have protecting them but noone wants to feed? Personally, I don't like this situation and I feel that if we're going to protect these people they should reciprocate in a like manner. It's that simple.
Now, I wonder. Would you apply that same logic to, say, Saudi Arabia, which supports charitable causes like widows, orphans, education, and medical care throughout the Muslim world?
The key words here are, "throughout the Muslim world" Not THE world, but "the Muslim world". Good choice of words Paul.
Or, is that "different" somehow? How? Are you firmly in the newly-erected camp that's convinced itself that Saudi Arabia is an enemy of the United States, despite the fact that the President and his top 4 cabinet officers say otherwise? BTW, ever been to Saudi? Just want to check your bonafides . . .
I do not believe Saudi Arabia is currently an enemy of the US, but history tells me not to assume it will always be this way. The Mideast countries change sides as often as we change our socks... love us today, kill us tomorrow. It's appears to be a way of life over there.

No Paul, I've never been to Saudi Arabia. But then, I've never been the south pole either and yet somehow I know there's ice there. I've never been to Israel but I know there are many Jewish people there and they are also being killed. So what's your point here Mr. bonafide? Are you saying I have to travel there or live there to know whats happening? C'mon you can do better than this... You've read so many books....

-Mongo

guest1234
08-30-2002, 09:51 AM
Mongo,

Chad is pointing out ways we could focus right here in the US without having to insist other countries change to suit us; I am amazed how often anytime the practices of the US are criticised some jump to 'then leave'...I would expect that of Stalin, but not of a democracy. We all love this country, some of want it to be better, others blindly believe it is perfect as it is.

Hussein has had CB weapons for some time. He has not used them on Isreal. To my mind, the closest that region has come in recent years to nuclear weapons use was just recently, when some of the unrest we've manage to stir up pushed India and Pakistan close to the edge.

People totally oblivious to other countries history, culture, ethnic and tribal make-up and values, religious beliefs, etc keep trying to make those countries do what we want them to, and end up surprised when it doesn't work.

I'm not saying Hussein is a good man, or a good leader. Yes, he killed many of his countrymen. But we didn't care when regimes we installed in Korea and Indonesia did the same. Probably in higher numbers. Croats we supported (why we would chose a side that proved in WWII so vicious that the SS was disgusted by them I do not know), anyway, Croats we supported went on to rape and massacre the Serbs. As far as I know, we not only did nothing about those leaders (except pour in more support), but they are one of the reasons the US is so hot to avoid the ICC; the leaders are not worried about the US military. They are worried about themselves.

Afghanistan's location is crucial to piplines a US firm has been trying to put in for years. As for the oil, it's important, but not for the reasons folks superficially think when they announce 'alternate energy sources'. We spend 50 billion dollars a year to protect our access to Gulf oil. %) billion taxpayer dollars. The oil we import comes to 11 billion dollars worth, and accounts for 10 percent of US consumption. OTOH, Gulf oil accounts for 50 percent of Japan's consumption. But our market is so intertwined with the Asian market, it is difficult to cut ourselves loose. Big business in the US is a total mess, and it's no surprise to me that the administration is so vehemently defending the pardons CLinton made in his last days in office---but not because they like CLinton---that right to pardon without explanation is going to come in handy in the next few years.

guest1234
08-30-2002, 10:18 AM
Rats. Still can't get used to this reply feature. Uh, Mongo, as an F-15 pilot, I'd say Paul has done more than read books... on that subject, Taliban is by Ahmed Rashid, and I'd two other books to the list: A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin, and Afgahanistan by Magnus and Naby.

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 10:46 AM
Mongo,

Chad is pointing out ways we could focus right here in the US without having to insist other countries change to suit us; I am amazed how often anytime the practices of the US are criticised some jump to 'then leave'...I would expect that of Stalin, but not of a democracy. We all love this country, some of want it to be better, others blindly believe it is perfect as it is.
Colleen, I've never stated that the US is perfect. Indeed I've stated over and over that we make mistakes. Well guess what? we'll continue to make mistakes as long as we're human. What I can't stand is people sitting on a fence criticizing the US and yet not offering up another solution. If you can't offer an alternative solution, quit crying about the current one...
Hussein has had CB weapons for some time. He has not used them on Isreal. To my mind, the closest that region has come in recent years to nuclear weapons use was just recently, when some of the unrest we've manage to stir up pushed India and Pakistan close to the edge.
What do you suppose has stopped him from using the CB weapons on Israel? His morals? His ethics? PLEASE! Do you believe it's because he's concerned about the opinions of his "neighbors?" somehow, I don't think so..... as far as India and Pakistan goes, what "unrest" are you talking about?
People totally oblivious to other countries history, culture, ethnic and tribal make-up and values, religious beliefs, etc keep trying to make those countries do what we want them to, and end up surprised when it doesn't work.
No, I believe you're way off course here. The US doesn't enter these situations "totally oblivious" to other countries history, culture, etc.... but, do we try and pursuade an outcome favorable to us? Hell yes! and why is that considered such a bad thing?
I'm not saying Hussein is a good man, or a good leader. Yes, he killed many of his countrymen..
OK, this has to be the biggest understatement of your life.
But we didn't care when regimes we installed in Korea and Indonesia did the same. Probably in higher numbers. Croats we supported (why we would chose a side that proved in WWII so vicious that the SS was disgusted by them I do not know), anyway, Croats we supported went on to rape and massacre the Serbs. As far as I know, we not only did nothing about those leaders (except pour in more support), but they are one of the reasons the US is so hot to avoid the ICC; the leaders are not worried about the US military. They are worried about themselves..
As I posted in another reply Colleen, relationships change over time. There are many reasons for siding with one group or another. I would only be guessing why this took place. But hey, you're military, go ask and then post what you find.... it would really interesting to hear the inside story.
Afghanistan's location is crucial to piplines a US firm has been trying to put in for years. As for the oil, it's important, but not for the reasons folks superficially think when they announce 'alternate energy sources'. We spend 50 billion dollars a year to protect our access to Gulf oil. %) billion taxpayer dollars. The oil we import comes to 11 billion dollars worth, and accounts for 10 percent of US consumption. OTOH, Gulf oil accounts for 50 percent of Japan's consumption. But our market is so intertwined with the Asian market, it is difficult to cut ourselves loose. Big business in the US is a total mess, and it's no surprise to me that the administration is so vehemently defending the pardons CLinton made in his last days in office---but not because they like CLinton---that right to pardon without explanation is going to come in handy in the next few years.
The complexity of the situation and the results of being involved (war) combined with the effects we're having on old mother nature is enough reason for finding "alternate energy sources" in the first place. Not just to reduce our dependency on the Arab world for oil. Although, that SHOULD be reason enough in itself.

Also, in regard to US firms in Afghanistan, I got some news for you, the US oil firms would put a pipeline up your nose if they thought there was a profit in it. But the real question isn't their motive, thats more than obvious, the question is how these people got so powerful in Washington? I hate when that happens....

-Mongo

Paul Clark
08-30-2002, 11:14 AM
Mongo,

Sounds to me like we can have a reasonable conversation, no need to get testy, we largely agree.
IMHO, "Unintended consequences" are way over due. In regard to the US policy in the Mideast, we're damned either way we go, so I say screw 'em, we should follow our hearts.

I was deliberately subtle, so much so that I didn't make my point, which was about your suggestion that we quit providing aid to everyone. My point was that I agree in principle, but I'm not sure you'd agree with the consequences of that action. The one which would be immediate, and possibly unintended from your point of view, would be that the biggest single recipient of US grant aid would suddenly get none. Any idea who that is? Israel. With an economy of about $110B a year, Israel gets about $4B in total grant aid from the US government annually, just under 4% of GDP. So, if we cut that off, the first year, the country would have negative growth of 4%. I'm not an economist, but compared to the goal of +3% or so that I hear is the target for US growth, it seems like that might be pretty ugly for the Israelis. If that's not bad enough, $4B represents of 10% of the annual $40B in Israeli government revenues. Imagine the consequences in Israel. Unintended, or intentional?

Now, all this would be just fine with me, and actually a very good idea if your aim is to sort out US issues in the ME. In fact, to the extent the US has any real policy differences with Arab countries (not including Iran, which isn't Arab, but is Muslim), those differences are about our economic and military support for the Israelis who continue to violate UN resolutions and the Geneva conventions in the Occupied Territories.

I know, screw the UN. Also a great idea, as long as we don't intend to use any other UN action/resolution/charter for something we WANT to do. My experience, which includes Saudi, the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Morocco, and Tunisia is that the people love Americans, but they universally cite a "double standard" when it comes to the actions of the US, and by proxy, the UN, regarding resolutions of the security council. So we can screw the UN and just do what WE want, because, well, we can. Maybe a good idea as I've said, but we can't have it both ways forever. Eventually our friends get tired of inconsistency. A Saudi prince whom you're probably familiar with once answered a question of mine about our relationship this way: "We are like a small mouse sleeping next to an elephant. We love the elephant, and we know he loves us. But we sleep about 2 meters away. This is because if the elephant rolls over in the middle of the night, and we're too close, we'll be killed. It won't matter that we died of love, we'll still be dead." Charming guy; witty, too.
The Mideast countries change sides as often as we change our socks... love us today, kill us tomorrow. It's appears to be a way of life over there.
Well that's not quite true, at least if you're referencig the 20th century. Saudi Arabia, for example, has been very closely tied to the United States since Roosevelt met the first King on a US cruiser in the Red Sea in 1943, going on 65 years now. Never has changed sides. Iraq was a friend of ours until 1990, as others have said, since the creation of modern Iraq by the British in 1920. The same could be said for the other states of the Gulf region. Egypt changed to our side in 1979 with the Camp David Accords, and for its trouble is now the 2nd largest single recipient of US aid (the only other Arab state that gets any at all is Jordan, None for Saudi and the rest--they pay cash, their own cash).

Are you saying I have to travel there or live there to know whats happening? C'mon you can do better than this... You've read so many books....

Not at all. You can know there's ice at the South Pole, and that there's sand, and Arabs, in an Arab country. But, if you had been there and spent some time I'm pretty sure your perspective would be richer, which is to say you'd have your own experience to add to what you've been told by others, including by me. Everyone I know who has been able to do it sees it the same (there are by most counts something like 30,000 private American citizens who live and work in Saudi every day, because they love it).

My own experience comes from living there for nearly 22 months. I was on a diplomatic passport and had the run of the whole region. This is getting long so I'll spare you the long version, but suffice it to say that Arabs, and Muslims, greatly admire the US, what it stands for, its values, its people, its spirit, its opportunity, and its potential. All these things are eminently compatible with mainstream Muslim ideology, so it's easy for them to feel this way. They greatly disagree with us on one subject--the Israelis and the occupied territories.

They WOULD wholeheartely agree with your suggestion to do away with 100% of US grant aid. Was that one of the unintended consequences you had in mind?

Now, what all this has to do with the possible invasion of Iraq is simply this: Does the road to Jerusalem run through Baghdad, or, does the road to Baghdad run through Jerusalem? The choice we make will largely determine what "side" everyone's on for the next 50, maybe 100 years. From the current international climate, one might conclude that our circle of friends if we choose Baghdad first is exactly 1 (and they dont' have any oil to sell anyone, by the way, or anything else of significance to trade with us), while we can enjoy broad support for any enterprise if we choose Jerusalem first. To the extent that I have an opinion, it seems to me that for the long term B is the better choice, and not significantly more difficult to achieve. A cutoff of aid would probably do the trick without really having to "solve" anything in Jerusalem. If we did that, I'll bet the Saudi's bases would fling their gates wide open tomorrow. (not fair, I know, but a good friend who is Saudi 2-star base commander has told me so.)

Enjoying the conversation.

Paul

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 11:35 AM
Rats. Still can't get used to this reply feature. Uh, Mongo, as an F-15 pilot, I'd say Paul has done more than read books... on that subject, Taliban is by Ahmed Rashid, and I'd two other books to the list: A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin, and Afgahanistan by Magnus and Naby.
Colleen,

I mean no disrespect to Paul, but being an F-15 pilot means.... he can fly an F-15. Sorry, I work for Lockheed Martin and the ability to fly an assult aircraft is pretty common place around here. His ability to fly a fighter jet does not make him any more (or any less) an expert in foreign affairs.....

-Mongo

Paul Clark
08-30-2002, 11:45 AM
Colleen,

Missed your post while I was writing mine-thanks for the plug, but Mongo's right, being a driver doesn't make me an expert on foreign affairs. I'm always leery about "experts" of any kind. My favorite Apache proberb, which I learned from a fellow (older) Eagle driver:

"It is better to have more lightning in the hand than thunder in the mouth."

No offense taken. I do take exception to the notion of "assault aircraft," though. Those are probably quite common around LM, single engine fighters that haul 2 bombs about 70 miles one-way and all that. I flew the light-grey, air superiority F-15C Eagle, which has nothing whatever to do with "assault".

Paul

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 12:07 PM
Paul,

I'm not going to re-quote all that great information you provided (and I'm sincere in that statement, not being a smart ass), it just takes too long. I will say that yes, pulling ALL aide is exactly what I intended and I do realize what that means. Before you say "cold hearted bastard" though consider that after all the lives lost, the many years of struggle and billions of dollars in support, we STILL have these people going at each other. We have solved nothing besides changing a few lines on a map somewhere. These people have been at each other longer than you and have been around. I'm convienced that given the current course, they'll still be at it long after you're too old to fly and I can no longer fix these computers.

Cut the strings and let the chips fall where they may and rebuild the international relationships from that point (if anyones left). Hard case? perhaps... but it's hard to argue that the UN hasn't become the joke of the century. Saddam has been slapping them in the face for years now. Russia's never listened to them at all and unless we (the US, ok and Britain) are willing to enforce the UN policies and mandates the rest of the world treats it like a red headed step child. Screw it.... you can only repair something so many times, then you have to replace it altogether.

Also, it only appears that Saudi Arabia hasn't changed sides. In truth, they try hard to be on everyones side. It's a good trick and it does fool a lot of people....

They usually side with those that can do them the most harm...at that moment.

-Mongo

guest1234
08-30-2002, 12:11 PM
I guess I should have been more specific, in that I assumed Paul had time in the Kingdom (courtesy of that not-too-impressive skill), not that fighter pilots are necessarily brain surgeons. But his experience is that, experience, not just from books as you imply. I think too many Americans decide how and why Arab countries act without actually knowing anything about them.

This cutting off of US aid to the region question is interesting; I think it was one of the four demands of Al Qaeda. Careful Mongo, there's a move underfoot to put even US citizens in jail indefinately for supporting terrorist goals.

Paul, you've got me beat by 8 months. And the light-grey is nice, but I still prefer a Viper. ;)

guest1234
08-30-2002, 12:16 PM
It's not the enforcement of UN decisions that makes us unpopular, it the SELECTIVE enforcement of UN decisions that causes so much heartburn in the Arab world.

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 12:20 PM
Colleen,

Missed your post while I was writing mine-thanks for the plug, but Mongo's right, being a driver doesn't make me an expert on foreign affairs. I'm always leery about "experts" of any kind. My favorite Apache proberb, which I learned from a fellow (older) Eagle driver:

"It is better to have more lightning in the hand than thunder in the mouth."

No offense taken. I do take exception to the notion of "assault aircraft," though. Those are probably quite common around LM, single engine fighters that haul 2 bombs about 70 miles one-way and all that. I flew the light-grey, air superiority F-15C Eagle, which has nothing whatever to do with "assault".

Paul
Paul,

Well, I only get "thunder in the mouth" after eating mexican food, then the afterburners kick in.... So you flew the fun bird, cool.... couple modifications though and you too could be assulting your way across the skies. I'm still trying to figure out just where the Raptor fits in. Have you flown that one yet?

-Mongo

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 12:35 PM
It's not the enforcement of UN decisions that makes us unpopular, it the SELECTIVE enforcement of UN decisions that causes so much heartburn in the Arab world.
True, but it's really tough trying to be all things to all people Colleen. We also have an obligation to look after what we believe to be in OUR best interest as well, and if given the option, I'd much rather we do that....

-Mongo

Paul Clark
08-30-2002, 12:44 PM
Colleen,

I knew what you meant, I do have the time, and thanks for the plug, again.

Mongo,

Nope, no Raptor, and won't be any for me, by the time that thing sees squadron service I won't even be eligible for flight pay, assuming I'm not retired.
Cut the strings and let the chips fall where they may and rebuild the international relationships from that point (if anyones left).

Excellent. We should talk. I'll run for President, you for vice, or we can flip a coin, doesn't matter. We'll drive the whole Congress nuts, but that'd be a good thing--some who'd like to but can't right now would jump on board immediately. First term, first thing, we cut all aid and "reevaluate US priorities". AIPAC will scream bloody murder, but who cares. Then, we impose a solution in the territories that's good for the Israelis (some of them know it but won't or can't admit it) and good for the Arabs. Then we get the Nobel prize, win a second term, push through a good, republican tax and education package, and settle down to the Pax Americana. See, and I'll bet you thought we didn't agree?
These people have been at each other longer than you and have been around.
For those others who might read this and think he means "ancient hatreds", that's not what he means. I was born in '59, so they've been at it longer than me, since '48. But that's not "ancient." Jews lived quite peacefully as protected persons and served indispensibly as bankers, merhants, statesmen, and traders in Muslim empires from the taking of Jerusalem in 638 until the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.

All we have to do is make a really credible, irreversible step toward Jerusalem, and Baghdad is an easy next step.

Paul

guest1234
08-30-2002, 12:55 PM
What exactly was the good reason we were the only negative (veto) vote on such resolution as humane treatment in occupied territories, to uphold the Geneva Conventions, to respect Muslim holy places? Was that asking us to be too much to too many?

It was looking after OUR best interest (which is to say our oil companies) that forced on Britian the lines that made modern Iraq. How is Iraq going to reach us with a scud? Hussein has his army to worry about his own interests: potential wars with Iran or other neighbors. He's confined to fly only in the middle of his country by the No Fly zones. He's not reaching out to touch us.

Are we willing to invade any country that has or can develop nuclear weapons? What makes us the best judge of who and when, other than we are the strongest (for the time being).

One of the driving forces behind all these armed-to-the-teeth countries is our own US weapons manufacturers, happy to sell to one and all as long as a profit is made. That is also looking out for OURSELVES.

One sensei I had said when doing a technique and it doesn't work, try something different, change at least one thing. To repeatedly do the same thing is stupid. Perhaps instead of looking out for ourselves, we could try looking out for what's right.

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 01:02 PM
This cutting off of US aid to the region question is interesting; I think it was one of the four demands of Al Quaeda. Careful Mongo, there's a move underfoot to put even US citizens in jail indefinately for supporting terrorist goals.
Colleen, I don't EVEN joke about this subject and I do not appreciate your reference. You are initiating something here that you may not be in a position to handle... I would suggest you walk very softly here with me...

-Mongo

Paul Clark
08-30-2002, 01:22 PM
Mongo,
You are initiating something here that you may not be in a position to handle... I would suggest you walk very softly here with me...

Or what? You gonna yell so loud that everyone else stops talking? Maybe we want to see what's in that can-- open it up, do your worst, show us what you got. I'll bet Colleen is just as scared as I am. Sniff sniff. You been eating Mexican again?

C'mon, you'll do yourself no credit with this kind of stuff. Let's THINK, and debate, and learn something.

Paul

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 01:29 PM
Colleen,

I knew what you meant, I do have the time, and thanks for the plug, again.

Mongo,

Nope, no Raptor, and won't be any for me, by the time that thing sees squadron service I won't even be eligible for flight pay, assuming I'm not retired.
This is too bad, it's a fun toy.[/QUOTE]

Excellent. We should talk. I'll run for President, you for vice, or we can flip a coin, doesn't matter. We'll drive the whole Congress nuts, but that'd be a good thing--some who'd like to but can't right now would jump on board immediately. First term, first thing, we cut all aid and "reevaluate US priorities". AIPAC will scream bloody murder, but who cares. Then, we impose a solution in the territories that's good for the Israelis (some of them know it but won't or can't admit it) and good for the Arabs. Then we get the Nobel prize, win a second term, push through a good, republican tax and education package, and settle down to the Pax Americana. See, and I'll bet you thought we didn't agree?

For those others who might read this and think he means "ancient hatreds", that's not what he means. I was born in '59, so they've been at it longer than me, since '48. But that's not "ancient." Jews lived quite peacefully as protected persons and served indispensibly as bankers, merhants, statesmen, and traders in Muslim empires from the taking of Jerusalem in 638 until the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.

All we have to do is make a really credible, irreversible step toward Jerusalem, and Baghdad is an easy next step.

Paul
No way Paul! You're just starting it all over again. Let Israel, Iran, the Arabs, etc.... draw their own lines in the sand. We deal with whos left! and who wants the nobel prize anyway? Jeeez, they just keep expecting great things from you after that and we certainly don't need that kind of pressure....

Also, I was born in '58 and I AM feeling ancient. Well, my kids think I'm ancient anyway....

When you get out of the service, you should teach history.....or host a trivia game show!

-Mongo

Paul Clark
08-30-2002, 01:34 PM
Mongo,

It's all those books, and long hours on airplanes to see exotic places and talk to the people. I've thought about the teaching thing. Does it count if I just give a talk at my 10 year old's class this fall?

Seems to me the challenge of American foreign policy is always about the choice between the polar opposites of isolationism and total immersion in everyone else's problems. Nature abhors a vacuum--If we don't lead, someone else will. If we're not happy with that "other" lead, we'll have to step in at some point and fix it somehow. The lesson of the interwar period, I belive. The real trick for us is to lead in the way that I happen to think, and this is just my own opinion, can be uniquely American. That combination of confidence that comes from what we've achieved and the power we wield, the character that comes from our best values, the humility that comes from our being a "classless" society, by which I mean no aristocracy and no rigidly enforced classes. Anyone can become anything. Where we struggle, IMHO, is that we forget that last part and blow the horn too loud on the first two, when we decide to lead. Then, when everyone else gets tired of that noise, we say "hey, you don't like us leading, we'll take our toys and go home and leave you all to sort yourselves out." Oddly enough, this is an aikido website, and while I'm not a big one for laying aiki on everything I can think of, this is about balance, harmonizing all our strengths, and doing good.


Paul

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 01:43 PM
Mongo,



Or what? You gonna yell so loud that everyone else stops talking? Maybe we want to see what's in that can-- open it up, do your worst, show us what you got. I'll bet Colleen is just as scared as I am. Sniff sniff. You been eating Mexican again?

C'mon, you'll do yourself no credit with this kind of stuff. Let's THINK, and debate, and learn something.

Paul
No Paul, I don't yell. I don't get angry either... At this point I usually purchase a plane ticket... it's been known to happen more than once.

-Mongo

Paul Clark
08-30-2002, 01:54 PM
Great--then you're planning to get out there and see more of the world?

Paul

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 02:03 PM
Mongo,

It's all those books, and long hours on airplanes to see exotic places and talk to the people. I've thought about the teaching thing. Does it count if I just give a talk at my 10 year old's class this fall?

Seems to me the challenge of American foreign policy is always about the choice between the polar opposites of isolationism and total immersion in everyone else's problems. Nature abhors a vacuum--If we don't lead, someone else will. If we're not happy with that "other" lead, we'll have to step in at some point and fix it somehow. The lesson of the interwar period, I belive. The real trick for us is to lead in the way that I happen to think, and this is just my own opinion, can be uniquely American. That combination of confidence that comes from what we've achieved and the power we wield, the character that comes from our best values, the humility that comes from our being a "classless" society, by which I mean no aristocracy and no rigidly enforced classes. Anyone can become anything. Where we struggle, IMHO, is that we forget that last part and blow the horn too loud on the first two, when we decide to lead. Then, when everyone else gets tired of that noise, we say "hey, you don't like us leading, we'll take our toys and go home and leave you all to sort yourselves out." Oddly enough, this is an aikido website, and while I'm not a big one for laying aiki on everything I can think of, this is about balance, harmonizing all our strengths, and doing good.

Paul
Paul,

The fact is that people bring their problems to us. Many here seem oblivious to this fact. They all want help or protection but they want it their way and when they don't get it, they scream foul. So be it.

This has gone on too long already. I'm getting way too involved in this issue and now between you an Colleen, I feel the need to travel. Not again... I'm going to continue to support this country, accept the bad with the good, do what I can to make things better and leave this rhetoric to the intellectuals.

Have a great life and I wish you all well.

-Mongo

Paul Clark
08-30-2002, 02:12 PM
Mongo,

Yup, we've just about got whirled peas cornered here.

Maybe see you sometime at our dojo in Yellow Springs, or maybe I'll find myself TDY to LM in Orlando and look up your dojo.

Enjoyed your comments.

Best,

Paul

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 02:30 PM
Paul,

See now theres another place I've not visited... Yellow Springs that is. I'm actually from the midwest Neb. but only now consider it a great place to be FROM. HA! It's to cold in the winter for me....

Let me know if you make it down. We're always glad to have visitors....

-Mongo

guest1234
08-30-2002, 02:50 PM
Ah, see, now there's that sharp pilot eye...I hadn't realized you're from Orlando, Mongo. I keep getting these invites to come down there...perhaps we'll run into each other.

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 03:17 PM
Ah, see, now there's that sharp pilot eye...I hadn't realized you're from Orlando, Mongo. I keep getting these invites to come down there...perhaps we'll run into each other.


Yes, I'm in Orlando. I see that your in the "east coast" area. Where exactly are you?

-Mongo

Neil Mick
08-30-2002, 03:21 PM
[QUOTE="Daniel Pokorny (Mongo)"]
Here lies the problem Neil. You (and many others) assume that Washington's "green light" as you call it, meant that we would approve of, or turn a blind eye to an invasion of Kuwait, the killings, etc...

But here's the FACT Neil:

The US reaction to this invasion should have given you (and others) an idea of just how ignorant it was to make the assumption that "no opinion" means "do what you want".

Read your own post again Neil. I believe he said "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts" He did not say "Yeah sure, go ahead and invade Kuwait, kill all you can, rape their women, hey, and before you leave, blow the oil wells while you're there...."

Nice try Neil, but this dog won't hunt.
[QUOTE]

I so love apologists. You give them their proof, their "smoking gun," and they tell you that that's not proof, or "this dog won't hunt." When an ambassador of the world's remaining superpower, which has interests in EVERYTHING Mid-East is sitting across from a despot like Hussein, and she says "we have no interest in your doings in Kuwait," do you suppose she was referring to the latest fashion sales at K-Mart, or the local shukh?

Sorry, but I can supply more documentation, if you like, that Hussein was the US "darling" even as he was gassing Kurds.

The US initially gave its green-light to invade Kuwait and then saw an opportunity in condemning the invasion, using this as an opportunity to attack an increasingly uncontrollable leader, that they helped bring to power. To suggest that she was referring to anything else but a potential invasion is to ignore our previous support for Hussein.

[QUOTE="Daniel Pokorny (Mongo)"]
No, I believe you're way off course here. The US doesn't enter these situations "totally oblivious" to other countries history, culture, etc.... but, do we try and pursuade an outcome favorable to us? Hell yes! and why is that considered such a bad thing?
[QUOTE]

Well, that all depends upon whom you ask. If you ask most of the Arab world, they might take exception to our continuous supplanting of their leaders with despots having little more on their resume than an initial support for the US.

We're certainly willing to sacrifice human rights interests for "national" (read: oil) interests. When Madeline Albright, then-US Secretary of State, was asked on US television if she thought that the death of half a million Iraqi children from sanctions in Iraq was a price worth paying, Albright replied: "This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it."

I wonder how the Iraqi children who are paying that price feel about it?

[QUOTE="Daniel Pokorny (Mongo)"]
And frankly Neil, I'm not that impressed with Dr. Chomsky. I am aware of the fact that he's a very bright individual, but I'm just not that impressed
[QUOTE]

"Frankly," I doubt that Dr. Chomsky would be very impressed with you, either. It's fortunate that this is not a popularity contest. His credentials, however, speaks for itself.


[QUOTE="Daniel Pokorny (Mongo)"]Again Neil, it's only your opinion that the US has this responsibility. I don't see it that way. I see it as we CHOOSE to do so. We don't HAVE to do a damn thing. Also, I don't consider standing behind my country and it's actions "mindless flag-waving" either
[QUOTE]

I'm sorry you don't. I've always been under the impression that when the US signs a treaty, that they are under SOME obligation to uphold their end of the bargain. Funny, that does seem to be the basis of international law...

What you consider "standing behind your country" differs from my definition. I'm standing behind my country, too: I just disagree with the direction and motives of my leaders...

I had a lot more to rebut, but I am short on time. Let me say this: your concern for the plight of Iraqi's is "touching," to say the least. But do you really know what the Iraqi's want?

I'm willing to admit that I don't, but I'll hazard a guess that it's not a 5+ year embargo, an invasion by a superpower, bombing of civilians (can't avoid it), and a new leader hand-picked by a foreign power interested only in its precious oil.

Come on, Daniel: you're so big on hearing it "from the horse's mouth:" let's see YOU provide documentation from someone "over there" that they support an invasion...

Guest5678
08-30-2002, 03:35 PM
Neil,

I'm sorry, but we've about beat this horse to death here. I understand your views and Pauls and Colleens. I think we all agree that Saddam is no damn good and needs to be delt with. It's really a matter of how. It's ok to disagree on these matters, thats what it's all about. I don't like a lot of things going on here in the US right now and I don't agree with many people that are running things. But, unless I can offer up a better solution and get it in place, I guess we just do what we can by supporting those we do agree with and then get on these forums and bitch at each other about what we can't change..... it's the way of things....

Good health,

-Mongo

Neil Mick
08-30-2002, 03:46 PM
Thank you for your input, Paul. I welcome all perspectives, and enjoyed our discussion.

It's less about "bitching," though: and more about discussion with ppl with differing viewpoints. I find these discussions invaluable, because they offer me an outlet to discuss a view mostly held in internal dialogue.

Much of the current problems of the world (in my view), stem from misplaced US involvement. Where do many of the dictators originate? From civil wars we supported, etc.

This foreign policy comes from a laissez faire attitude of the American public toward its own gov't...we allow too many evil things to go on in the world, without active debate or involvement, or even unbiased reporting from our corporate mainstream press.

This "sin of omission" is the real source of the problem, IMO.

Good health to you 2. Thx again.

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2002, 06:52 PM
wow,

Haven't had time to digest alot of this, but think I get the jest of it.

I have been in the military for about 18 years now. First in the U.S Air Force as a medic and now as an Army Officer. It has been a very interesting career and experience.

As a medic a patched up and took care of casualities on both sides of the fence, both our troops and the enemies when needed. Saddest thing I did was bring back a soldier from the Gulf that got blown up by a land mine. I also brought back body bags on C-141's that were full of our troops, those were some of the quietest flights I ever flew on...nobody said a word from Germany into Dover AFB. The reality of war hit me first during the Gulf when I was up at McGuire AFB, NJ and was helping to load coffins to go over to the gulf. It make you think about alot of things. I also have watched tracer fire shoot past the windows of a C-130 back in 1993 as we took off from a Bosnian runway with a load of starving, injured kids.

In 1995 I was commissioned as an Army Officer, Infantry...I volunteered and actually transferred because I wanted to lead combat troops. From there I went to Ranger School. Fortunately, all the battles I have fought to date have been with blanks. I hope I never have to go to war and fight.

I volunteered to be a combat soldier because I wanted to lead soldiers that I felt needed good leaders. It was not to kill or fight. But to ensure that I could do everything in my power to ensure that they could do their jobs and go home safely.

I later volunteered as a "Drill Instructor" to train officer candidates in OCS. Many of my former candidates are now fighting wars around the world as well as providing protection for others while they work through their problems and towards peace. Many of my Ranger buddies went to Afganistan, and fortunately for them, all came home.

I had two good friends killed in the Pentagon recently, as well as some fine soldiers I also knew because we all worked together at one point or another.

In the past several years I also realized my calling as a Buddhist. It caused me a great deal of conflict since I felt somewhat hypocritical since deep down I believe it is wrong to kill. My years of practicing the killing arts, watching people suffer, and watching violence go nowhere but to more violence left me at odds with my basic philosophical beliefs.

(I do have a point to this!!!)

I guess my point is this. To the politicians, rhetoric is easy, actions and doing the honorable and right things are difficult. I appreciate the diffcult choices that many of you have to make as to the direction our country must take. As a soldier I have put my faith that you will do the right things.

To the Soldier, you have an obligation to follow the orders of your commander, who follows the commands of the policticians. Doing what you are told is easy, Doing the right and honorable things are hard. I hope that you make the right decisions when your moment of glory comes.

To the citizens of the U.S. You have the responsibility to be accountable for your actions. It is easy to place blame elsewhere, to say someone else is at fault. Making the sacrifices necessary to ensure we have peace are difficult. I hope you have the strength, values, and the courage to do the right things and to hold politicians accountable for their actions.

Talk is cheap. Doing the right thing is hard.

I am prepared to go to war if need be. I am saddened by the events that are transpiring. I hope we are making the right decisions. As a soldier it is not up to me to make those decisions about going to war, only to do what I am told.

I like many in America have doubts about if we are doing the right thing if we attack Iraq. I hope we are doing the right thing. I think it is a failure anytime we must use military action. Only history and time will tell if we did the right thing.

If we do go to war, and if I have to go. My job is to do my job. It is not to kill the enemy, but to ensure that my soldiers can do their jobs by defeating the enemy or causing them to not want to attack and lay down their arms. It is my hope whatever we do that we can spare as many lives as possible. I hope my training will allow that to happen. That is what keeps me at peace with myself and my religion.

Everyone has an opinion, unfortuately very few people back it up with correct action. We seem to throw rhetoric around casually like we all really know we are right and really know what we are talking about, but I find that most of us are full of shit and go about reading the Washington Post, sipping our Starbucks, driving our SUVs with very real regard to the very lives both friendly and enemy that we are putting at stake. But do go on and argue ad nausem about how "right" you are and we are as a country. Same with the liberals, they beat up on the "conservatives" and live their self righteous little lives on the very freedoms that many of my fellow soldiers gave their lives for, in the past spitting on their faces, (I have seen that too).

The point is, we are all wrong in our own ways. We are all accountable as Americans for our failures to secure peace without violence. We should all look inward to see if we are truly part of the problem or part of the solution.

Me personally, I'd rather spend my time trying to figure out how we can truly realize peace and harmony...not talking about politics.

As Boddiharma once said, "all know the way, few walk it".

(I'll come down off my soap box now!) Thanks for the bandwidth and your time.

guest1234
08-30-2002, 09:40 PM
Interesting as always, Kevin...too bad we lost you to the Army...some of my best memories of Tazar are watching a bespeckled USAF medic demonstrate Aikido on 250 pound Army gorillas...well, that and trying to do an engine running load of patients onto the C130 in a whirling mass of snow the day before Christmas---that flight was my own inspiration for life changes. Maybe it is something about C130s...:)

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2002, 10:26 PM
what did you say something?? can't hear you Colleen! Damn C-130's changed my life too!

Yea doing a hot load on a runway with bullets flying at you kind of puts things in perspective as well as landing one of them things in the snow. Makes you religious/philosophical real quick I am sure!

Heck just got embarrassed looking at all the typos in my last post! need to spend more time proofreading! Oh well. Have a nice night!

Neil Mick
08-31-2002, 12:48 PM
Wow, great post , Kevin. I was moved by your accounting of your experiences in the military; thanks for sharing.
I guess my point is this. To the politicians, rhetoric is easy, actions and doing the honorable and right things are difficult.

Politicians, as a group, are interested in 2 things: $$ and votes. They cater to their “constituents (read: corporate contributors to their campaigns)” and listen only to the largest voting block.

To the Soldier, you have an obligation to follow the orders of your commander, who follows the commands of the policticians. Doing what you are told is easy, Doing the right and honorable things are hard. I hope that you make the right decisions when your moment of glory comes.
With all due respect to the military personnel reading this:

I respect your belief that serving in the military is a noble thing; just as I respect your Buddhist beliefs. However, I do not share it. Too many times, the armed services has been called to serve narrow, corporate interests. A noble belief can be twisted to evil ends.

If you were called to active service to fight Iraq, I would resist this action. I would resist verbally and, if necessary: physically (but nonviolently). I have done this before, and so I am sure that I could do this again.

Talk is cheap. Doing the right thing is hard.

Too true. Attempting to get into Palestine was one of the hardest things I ever did. I was scared to death. Before that, I was never even arrested for protesting. There are STILL reports of the IDF shooting reporters, much less ppl getting in their way, trying to stop them.

If we do go to war, and if I have to go. My job is to do my job. It is my hope whatever we do that we can spare as many lives as possible. I hope my training will allow that to happen. That is what keeps me at peace with myself and my religion.

At times, a militia is necessary to keep a society free from invasion and threat.

A free society needs activists to fight entrenched power. Without social activism, we would not enjoy health benefits, voting rights for women, anti-discrimination laws, or Social Security. Our children would be forced to work in deplorable conditions (as they are in other countries, often under corporations based here in the “Land o the Free”). African Americans would still be unable to vote, and more likely than not still be in living in near-slavery conditions.

Without social activism, we might still be a nation, but we would be little better than the most despotic nation on the planet: a brutal dictatorship with widespread misery.

As an activist and artist, I live under a code, as well. It may not have the shiny patina of the military, but it is just as important to the welfare of this country, as yours is.

Everyone has an opinion, unfortuately very few people back it up with correct action. We seem to throw rhetoric around casually like we all really know we are right and really know what we are talking about, but I find that most of us are full of shit and go about reading the Washington Post, sipping our Starbucks, driving our SUVs with very real regard to the very lives both friendly and enemy that we are putting at stake.

I’m nodding a lot, here.

Same with the liberals, they beat up on the "conservatives" and live their self righteous little lives on the very freedoms that many of my fellow soldiers gave their lives for, in the past spitting on their faces, (I have seen that too).


“Liberals,” as you insist on calling a huge stripe of ppl, have many beliefs. We all don’t want to spit in the faces of soldiers, or live “self righteous lives” (and while we’re on the topic Kevin: what makes your life so much better than anyone else’s? I respect your beliefs and think that they make you a better person, but you have no right to denigrate a way of life not your own).

Remember Kent State, Kevin? The Ohio National Guard shot 4 Americans, who were simply demonstrating their right to assemble. Are those ppl who were shot any less noble because they weren’t wearing a uniform?

Do you know what the Posse Comitatus Act is? It’s the 19th C law that forbids the military from being used for civil purposes. Congress is considering repealing this act.

Do you realize the potential catastrophe of this action? It opens up possible conflicts that would make Kent State look like kindergarden recess by comparison.

When I went to Israel, one of the things I wanted to do was go to dojos there and talk to Israeli Aikidoists. I wanted to find out their perspectives on Palestine, and I wanted to ask them if they were in the IDF, and what they would do if they saw activists (such as myself) in the crowd. Would they shoot at ME?

Remember this, Kevin: a dim possibility in the near future is the use of the military force to quell civil unrest. If you or your unit is called into action, it’s conceivable that you could actually be ordered to shoot a peaceful demonstration…it’s happened before.

If that evil thing ever occurs, remember that there are ppl in that crowd with just as high moral codes, as you. Will you follow your orders, or will you follow your morals?

Me personally, I'd rather spend my time trying to figure out how we can truly realize peace and harmony...not talking about politics.

As Boddiharma once said, "all know the way, few walk it".



There are many roads to the Buddha. There are many Ways to walk. Talking about politics means that we need to think about, and articulate, our beliefs. The problem is that ppl are talking less, blindly accepting the status quo, or approaching the issues from a narrow perspective. Their beliefs are untested, when they do not verbalize them. Talking widens that perspective. I may find Michael Neal’s, or Mongo’s, perspectives narrow and historically blind, but I appreciate their views, as they temper my views by debate. It is my hope that they, in turn, broaden their perspectives in discussing it with me.

Again, thanks for sharing.

guest1234
08-31-2002, 02:36 PM
Being a liberal and being in the military are not mutually exclusive (although it can be challenging at times). And being a liberal does not mean I haven't lost friends and relatives in every war we've had since (and including) WWII--- I have. OTOH, I have also seen demonstrators hurl rocks/bottle/Malotov cocktails at the police and Guard; when I heard an FBI agent had been shot serving a warrant on a reservation, I worried about my brother until I heard in which state it had happened. Each side can get out of control, and it is in everyones best interest that those on both sides make extra effort to remember those on the other side are human beings, and behave like it.

Neil, if war is decided upon, we can't choose not to go, not honorably at least. Of course, "Failure to Go" would get us in jail, but besides that, we took an oath to obey the lawful orders we are given. America is counting on us to do our duty when America demands it. So if you'd like to see soldiers not go to war, or not get called up for police action, then do something about it by making sure the politicians do not send us to war or call us up.

I can refuse to follow an unlawful order; I'm not going to refuse to treat an injured enemy soldier, or stand by while prisoners or civilians are raped or tortured. But if AMERICA decides we are going to go to war, then I am going to war.

So again (and this is where I have major heartburn with the Vietnam protestors) if people don't like the war, blame the politicians, vote them out of office, blame yourself if you won't put in the effort to change the laws or end the war...but don't blame the soldier who is, in effect, doing what he is supposed to do as long as he does not violate human rights.

I will not be surprised if on the 12th of Sep the President, when addressing the UN, whips up a spectre of the previous year's devestation, makes tenuous connections with Iraq, and gets us all to the desert with time to spare. But I hope and pray it will not, and have written my Congressmen about my views. If all that fails, however, then my job will be clear.

BTW, do you recall the reason for the demonstrations that led to the shooting at Kent State? Students were protesting Nixon's announcement of the expansion of the Vietnam war by invading Cambodia, with a resultant increase in the draft.

Neil Mick
08-31-2002, 04:50 PM
Being a liberal and being in the military are not mutually exclusive (although it can be challenging at times), and it is in everyones best interest that those on both sides make extra effort to remember those on the other side are human beings, and behave like it.
Agreed.
Neil, if war is decided upon, we can't choose not to go, not honorably at least. Of course, "Failure to Go" would get us in jail, but besides that, we took an oath to obey the lawful orders we are given. America is counting on us to do our duty when America demands it.
See my earlier post, above, about the Israeli veteran IDF "refuseniks" who are jailed for refusing to go to Palestine.
So if you'd like to see soldiers not go to war, or not get called up for police action, then do something about it by making sure the politicians do not send us to war or call us up.
Would that it were so easy. Politicians on a war-bent are notoriously unsympathetic to anti-war activists. War is good business, after all.
I can refuse to follow an unlawful order; I'm not going to refuse to treat an injured enemy soldier, or stand by while prisoners or civilians are raped or tortured. But if AMERICA decides we are going to go to war, then I am going to war.
...and I will do everything in my power to stop you (unless, of course, it's the unlikely event where the US actually IS being threatened and acting in self-defense...that hasn't happened in a long time), nonviolently. I will write my congressppl, march, write in forums, talk to ppl who'd rather sleep, read all I can about the topics, talk to ppl who live there.

In short, everything I do now.

Look, don't get me wrong: I know that both sides have the "bad-apples;" anti-war activists sometimes overstep their bounds, as do soldiers.

But you guys have the guns. Contrast that with Kevin's complaint about being spat upon, versus getting shot...?

It's all very well to say that we should "write our Congressman," while our country commits evil acts, as we speak, and the majority of the US is unaware, or uncaring. Yes, we all have a responsibility to participate in this democracy, but the simple fact is that most of us aren't, or are disenfranchised, pushed to the side. In the meantime, our gov't and its resources are being used by ppl who seem to care mostly about funnelling $$ to their own companies (such as our VP and Haliburton).

Sure, as an activist, I'll do my part, and I will do it respecting those in uniform (so long as they respect me), but the simple fact is that the US military IS being used to further corporate interests, and will, undoubtedly, be used again.

And what about this repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act I mentioned earlier? No one from the military has broached that subject, and I think I know why. It's a touchy subject, even, I suspect, for those with NO moral qualms about being in the military.

I do MORE than respect those military personnel who struggle with the moral issues: I COUNT on it. If it ever gets down to the wire where the military IS called upon to quell a civil unrest, then protests and letters to my Senator are too late...the morality of individual soldiers will be the only thing from preventing unnecessary injury.

Will you follow your orders, or will you follow your heart and lay down your weapons?

I have no answers, only questions.
So don't blame the soldier who is, in effect, doing what he is supposed to do as long as he does not violate human rights.
(BTW, have you heard the recent UN investigation that US soldiers may have been involved in a Taliban mass grave? I just caught a snippet on the radio: Taliban POW's were put in an airtight train-car, on their way to a prison...many of the prisoners died, and the facts repressed. Just FYI).

:ki:

Kevin Leavitt
08-31-2002, 11:04 PM
To my peers in the military, I am a liberal. To liberals I am a conservative.

If you take the time to know me you will find out that I am simply interested in peace.

I agree Neil, being an activist means doing something about the problems. Hopefully the actions activist (the ones whose hearts are truly in the right place) bring awareness to the problems and prevent conflict and start social change for the better.

Soldiers are called when that action fails. I am not sure if the military is a "tool" of corporate interest. I think that is a little simplistic view of things. America is a capitalist society...it is what runs our country, so I guess defending it is "corporate interest".

I assume you live in the United States Neil, I assume there is a reason you are not living elsewhere, so consider the fact that you too are interconnected with all that in "wrong" as well as all that is "right". Seem like you take an active stance in trying to do right and that is good! Our military protects that right, it is not for everyone, but it is an institution that creates the environment for you to voice your opinions.

I don't think all politicians are bad. Some are, some aren't. Some make mistakes and learn from their lessons. They have a purpose, just as the activist and military do.

I think what is important is to not place blame and point fingers at the various roles and institutions that keep our country going, but to look at ways we can improve these institutions.

Read Clausewitz "On War". What Colleen is saying is very true and is very evident in Clauswitz's treatise. The military is the tool of the political machine, the political machine is the tool of the people, so as you see when the military is used, it is the failure of the people in this country as a whole to secure peace.

I think there are many things we can do in this country to keep from going to war and to get along with others. I am afraid that our citizens are not ready to give up the materialism that is bringing so much of our unhappiness. So, if anyone is to blame, it is ourselves. Politicans and soldiers reflect our society.

I am curious about how you define a anti-war activist Neil, I consider myself to be an antiwar activist. I have no problem with them. The only issue I have ever had is where some of them direct their anger and focus, at the military, it is really sophmoric and very juvenile to think that the military is the root cause, it is only the effect. I think that many antiwar protest are simply concerned with furthering their own cause and are interested in the "airtime" and not really trying to solve the problems.

In the same line, I find it ironic that some anti-abortionist result to violence and killing when the supposedly believe that killing and harming humans is wrong. (BTW, I think that abortion laws are not strict enough). It is easy to forget why you are doing what you are doing sometimes.

It is easy to go out and carry a sign, yell at a bunch of people, and go home feeling good about yourself, it is much harder to truly get involved at the root level of the problems and provide true leadership and really try and solve the problems.

Yes, soldiers make mistakes, people make mistakes, activist make mistakes, politicians make mistakes...each person is responsible for his/her own actions, you should not judge an institution for the mistakes of a few humans.

As a full time active duty army officer working for National Guard Bureau, I am very intimate with Posse Comitatus, not sure what you are getting at in your post, but would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Mistakes were made at Kent State, on both sides, in fact all 350,000 Army National Guardsmen study Kent State and the lessons learned from it every year when we do Civil Disturbance Training. It is something that most National Guardsmen are not proud of in our heritage, but have accepted the blame and have moved on to better things.

A real soldier does not possess the choice of laying his weapons down simply because he/she does not agree with the lawful orders given. By taking an oath, they have sworn to do their duty, the duty of the people of the United States. It is why a soldier must constantly weigh the his morality and his philosophy hard before he/she is called to bear arms. If they do not agree with it, then they should make that choice long before it is time to go. (read Book of Five Rings for more on this type of philosophy.)

One of the great things about America today, is the fact that you can choose to not serve in the military, choose to serve, or any thing in between.

The fact is we need activist, politicians, soldiers, and citizens. We also need everyone willing to to the right things which is living a simple life that is respectful of all things and all people, everyday.

Kevin Leavitt
08-31-2002, 11:10 PM
Oh if you want to get fired up about something stupid the Army is doing. They plan to release a multi-million dollar "video game" that shows people what it is like to be a soldier. Sort of like Sim City but with combat.

They stated in Soldier Magazine that they plan to distribute it free of charge to anyone 13 or older.

I am morally opposed to our public dollars in "state sponsored" games of violence period.

Our job in the military is to protect our country from violence, not expose them to it.

I have written my Congressman, and Soldier Magazine about this.

My guess is, that the guys that came up with it got caught up in what they were doing and stopped thinking. It probably will never get released to the public, I would recommend you write your Congressman as well on this one.

See we are not all bad in the military!

guest1234
09-01-2002, 06:28 AM
Kevin, I would say that game is a very inventive way of recruiting, and especially recruiting the kind of soldier the military trains for, one able to kill on orders without hesitation (for more on this I'd recommend "On Killing").

I also find it very scary that it is even coming close to being released. While many say it was a draft situation that allowed My Lai to happen (lack of professional military officers, too many of the 'cream' getting out of service in Vietnam a la Clinton/Bush), and I would agree that a professional military allows us some more time to ensure the military officers and NCOs know and understand the place of human rights, I have some uneasiness about what the lack of a draft has done for the military as well.

guest1234
09-01-2002, 07:08 AM
Neil--

From "Taliban" by Ahmed Rashid, published 2000:

"The use of containers was particularly horrific and they were to be used increasingly as a method of killing by both sides. 'When we pulled the bodies out of the containers, their skin was burned black from the heat and the lack of oxygen,' said another of Malik's generals [one of the Northern Alliance alligned against the Taliban at that time], who added that 1,250 Taliban had died a container death."

UN innvestigations at that time showed Taliban prisoners had been starved and tortured before thrown into wells and grenades tossed after them.

I'm not a fan of many Taliban actions. But I was not surprised to hear charges that the Northern Alliance had used container trucks to kill Taliban prisoners (this has not been proved yet). Perhaps just old charges ressurected. Perhaps old behavior being repeated.

If we don't look at our 'allies' past behavior, then I believe we are responsible for their future behavior. I would like to think that had US soldiers actually been present they would have prevented it. But I think those in power who made the deals we've made should have been able to predict it.

As for Posse Comitatus, yes, I was alarmed to hear about it's possible repeal, one of the many things I had in mind in a much earlier post when I said US citizens should be more alarmed about the erosion of their rights at home than who is in power in Iraq. Changes in wire/phone taps, TIPS, indefinate holding of citizens without due process...

But if people don't like it, don't expect the military to just walk away. Most of us had long self-talks and knew what we were signing up for, and believe in carrying out lawful orders (even those we personally don't like). So if you don't like something, change the law rather than ask us to violate it.

Now, will I just shoot you (unlikely anyway since this is not my primary specialty, but let's say I'm infantry) would I just shoot you, an unarmed protestor if told to maintain order? No, not even if you spat on me, not likely even if you were tossing rocks (now, kill someone with one of those rocks and the story might change). But would I just put down my rifle and walk away? No, I'd stand the line and do my best to keep you from damaging property and harming others.

OTOH, order me to round up villagers so they can be more conviently machine gunned, or to keep silent about a rape, and they'd be making room for me in jail. We all draw our lines in certain places, mine is drawn at violating human rights. Invading Iraq is, in my opinion, not our best option, politically, militarily, or humanely. But it in and of itself, as grotesque as it sounds, is not a human rights violation.

Kevin Leavitt
09-01-2002, 12:39 PM
Colleen, I have read "On Killing" that book is what got me thinking about alot of this stuff. Great book, I loan it out to people from time to time.

I also agree with your last post and feel the same way. Things are getting kinda scary with how far we are willing to go to "protect" Americans.

One of the things that concerns me is that we have trained soldiers to concentrate maximum firepower on the center of the enemies strength. My soldiers are well trained for these kind of missions. Peacekeeping missions in Bosnia too where you have martial law in effect, they do okay to. But put them on the streets in a civil law situation, the rules have changed, but they are not prepared to deal with using "minimum force" and conflict resolution. If we are going to use our troops for these kinds of missions, we need to train them differently.

guest1234
09-01-2002, 02:05 PM
I agree 100% Kevin...or better yet, use police for police action (they get trained to be police) and military for military action. Period. They are not interchangeble parts, despite the fact that both are armed and both wear uniforms. The mission is entirely different.

Brian H
09-01-2002, 02:31 PM
I was in college when the Gulf War happened. One of my professors spent a whole class one day before the air war started telling us how the US was going to loose and how superior the Iraqi military was (combat experienced and how our M-1 tanks were junk compared to soviet surplus etc). I raised my hand and told him he was out of his mind and Iraq would be pounded to dust and break like an egg. History proved me right about six weeks later. (I didn't bring it back up)

When we were getting ready to go into Afghanistan, much the same crap was all over the media. The vaulted afghan fighter would crush the fat, lazy American soldier. Opps, the Taliban fell in days.



Now we are looking at Iraq and the media is mewing again.

FACT: We just cannot stage a massive surprise full-scale attack across the globe. The troops are not available. They are committed to places like Korea etc. and "ear marked" for various global commitments. Troops sitting in barracks in the US are tasked with fighting the next war in Europe. (Troops in Korea and Okinawa have little to do with those places and a lot to do with China)

FACT: we don't have staging areas available in the area. The only alternative is to just use semi-friendly areas that lack the capacity to stop us then capture forward bases inside Iraq. This would work, but would still require a slow build up and a complete lack of surprise. The political fall out in the Arab world would be very ugly.

So what can we do?

Look for strange bedfellows. Muslim troops from the former Soviet Union or even Afghanistan? A new Kurdish republic in N. Iraq? (exists already in all but name and the Turks would not complain if the pressure to create a Kurdish home land in Turkey had a reason to abate)

For the conspiracy crowd: Have you noticed that the media has had a lot of "Iranians are nice people and the Imams are loosing their grip" stories?

Example: http://www.washtimes.com/world/20020828-6961690.htm

Also, I would like to point out that our European critics all do billion-dollar business with the "Axis of Evil." So they have a vested interest in continuing the status quo.

Nice editorial:

http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/commentary-2002911208.htm

I say on the History Channel that we did not loose any M-1 tanks to enemy fire in the Gulf. I think the lesson is we can do more with less in Gulf II.

I read lots of predictions of murder and mayhem in the near future, but do any of you think that Colleen, Paul, and Kevin are unique in the American military? Any war plan will take into account America's first and strongest ally, its own citizen military.

They will do the "right thing," because their commanders can not make them do otherwise (and will suffer in the long run if they try)

Frankly, Iraq is still an egg. A very hard shell that will shatter when hit hard. The remaining question is will we tap the egg and drain it or will the (NBC) yoke get all over everything.

The bad guys don't even need missiles to hit us anymore, airliners and rental trucks will do. Is it very aiki to wait until uke has struck a mighty blow and drive you to the mat before begining to respond?

Neil Mick
09-01-2002, 03:23 PM
To my peers in the military, I am a liberal. To liberals I am a conservative.

If you take the time to know me you will find out that I am simply interested in peace.
Let me say this right up front: I have no problems with ppl in the military. Several of my relatives are in the Armed Forces. There has been an ancestor of mine in every US war, up to Vietnam. Even though I desire for a military to be unnecessary, I am not naive. We live in a dangerous world because we have filled it with dangerous toys. We do not always cause the violence, but do you think that putting a bunch of weapons in a world filled with angry ppl is going to have a peaceful end?
I agree Neil, being an activist means doing something about the problems. Hopefully the actions activist (the ones whose hearts are truly in the right place) bring awareness to the problems and prevent conflict and start social change for the better.

Soldiers are called when that action fails. I am not sure if the military is a "tool" of corporate interest. I think that is a little simplistic view of things.
I am trying to keep a straight face, here. Surely you've heard of the military-industrial complex? The revolving door between the military, the industries that support the Pentagon, and the government? Don't you think this revolving door creates an uncomfortably close relationship between industries making the weapons and the politicians who are supposed to decide if we really NEED those weapons? Do you think those $900 toilet seats were merely typo's? No: they were lining some subcontractor's pocket.
America is a capitalist society...it is what runs our country, so I guess defending it is "corporate interest".
Now here is where we come to the "meat" of the matter.

I fail to see, for instance, how globalization and a world economy is definitively tied to American interests; how is a corporation picking up stakes and moving to Chiapas because there are no labor unions in Mexico, considered to be in “America’s interests?” Or how subverting democratic regimes and replacing them with despots who are more friendly to corporations “in my interest?”

Also, your model of the military is very simplistic. With 52% of the US budget (compared to education, which comprises 14% of what the military gets), its no longer a simple matter of “diplomacy ends, so send in the troops.” In fact, the military itself is more like a corporation, than a simple army to quell unrest. The military’s presence alone, without any violence, has a dramatic effect upon its host country: take for instance, Okinawa, the tests in Vieqes, or the recent Navy request to subvert EPA reg’s for an experimental sonic device.

A 1997 Pentagon study of the present global situation, it was stated that the future purpose of the U.S. military will be to "protect U.S. interests and investments." The document goes on to claim that the military will have to "respond to movements and rebellions spurred by the growing gap between the rich and the poor."

“…respond to movements…?” This does not sound like a military protecting American interests. Explain, please, how quelling growing unrest in some other country is protecting my interest?

Now what's wrong with this? Corporations are our friends, right? Ask the ppl of Flint, MI, who suffered when Chrysler pulled out of their town, creating an economic disaster. Flint was devastated.

Corporations, at least, are easy to understand. No matter how much they say they love you, they really only want you to consume their product. The corporate military is no exception to this rule. 15 years ago when I was working with AFSC’s Youth and Militarism Committee, there were 3 recruiters for EACH High School guidance counselor in the US. I am sure that number is larger today. Why, if we are such a peace-loving nation, is so much of our budget allocated to the military, and so little spent upon education?

All this is nothing new, however. The infamous School of the Americas, a training ground for Latin American soldiers, conditions its students to protect the interests of corporations. These soldiers often join Latin American "death squads", which are relied on to pummel community organizers, unionists, and anyone else who poses a threat to corporate interests.

Perhaps New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said it best: "McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15."

What's happening in the world right now is this: corporations are being granted greater rights than individuals and even governments. The free market system is spiraling out of control, and if we do not do something about it, we will not have a sustainable future. Period
I assume you live in the United States Neil, I assume there is a reason you are not living elsewhere, so consider the fact that you too are interconnected with all that in "wrong" as well as all that is "right". Seem like you take an active stance in trying to do right and that is good! Our military protects that right, it is not for everyone, but it is an institution that creates the environment for you to voice your opinions.
Yes, I am a part of the problem; I acknowledge this…it’s why I have trouble sleeping, some nights.

The military has gone way beyond “creating an environment to voice my opinion (and please: don’t give me that “America: love it or leave it” line. America is the land of the FREE, not the land of the yes-men. I love my country, but I hate what it is doing to the world).” It would be like me hiring a bodyguard to protect me from the gang-members when I go grocery shopping. The bodyguard soon decides that his job needs more weapons, and so he goes to my boss and asks for 50% of my salary. Then, he has so MANY weapons that he starts up a security agency for the whole neighborhood, running out ppl from their houses when they don’t like the way things are shaping up, setting up strip joints for the men he hires, running for City Council so that he can get around the building regulations.
I think what is important is to not place blame and point fingers at the various roles and institutions that keep our country going, but to look at ways we can improve these institutions.

Read Clausewitz "On War". What Colleen is saying is very true and is very evident in Clauswitz's treatise. The military is the tool of the political machine, the political machine is the tool of the people, so as you see when the military is used, it is the failure of the people in this country as a whole to secure peace.
Again, it’s more complex than that. Clauswitz was not alive when the term “military industrial complex” was coined. Once upon a time, maybe: but not today.
I think there are many things we can do in this country to keep from going to war and to get along with others. I am afraid that our citizens are not ready to give up the materialism that is bringing so much of our unhappiness. So, if anyone is to blame, it is ourselves. Politicans and soldiers reflect our society.



No disagreement here. We could start with world peace by cutting this war-machine budget and showing the world that we really mean business when we talk about a free democracy. A free democracy is founded upon education and a rising quality of life, not big weapons, a decaying educational system, floundering healthcare and a Prez just salivating to de-fang Social Security.
I am curious about how you define a anti-war activist Neil, I consider myself to be an antiwar activist. I have no problem with them. The only issue I have ever had is where some of them direct their anger and focus, at the military, it is really sophmoric and very juvenile to think that the military is the root cause, it is only the effect.

I think that many antiwar protest are simply concerned with furthering their own cause and are interested in the "airtime" and not really trying to solve the problems.
Everyone has their own agendas, no question. But do you really think that antiwar activists simply want to get their 15 minutes?? Again, you oversimplify. Peace activists also come in many stripes, but generally they operate under the same motives as neighborhood activists, or environmental activists: they want to live in a world better than this…don’t you?

Perhaps, you feel this way because in so few instances are antiwar activists taken seriously by politicians…except after a long bout of protesting. Their tactics are the way they are because they are disenfranchised from power; they have little choice, except protest. And when an enlightened leader (ha!) does come along, all it takes is one shrub in power to roll back decades of hard-fought reform.
It is easy to go out and carry a sign, yell at a bunch of people, and go home feeling good about yourself, it is much harder to truly get involved at the root level of the problems and provide true leadership and really try and solve the problems.

Yes, soldiers make mistakes, people make mistakes, activist make mistakes, politicians make mistakes...each person is responsible for his/her own actions, you should not judge an institution for the mistakes of a few humans.
OK, let’s nip this one right in the bud: show of hands- how many of you wrote your Congressman…a few, right? Good for you. OK, now how many of you got the feeling that you were simply a number to be checked off for your opinion, while that Congressman went on doing what he was doing? Most of you? Thought so.

NOW, how many of you have a hefty warchest for political spending, work for corporate interests and get immediate attention from that same Congressman? You 3, in the back? Any problems getting your issues addressed? No? Thought not; thanks for sharing.

This is not the “mistakes of a few humans;” this is an institution that has grown well beyond its original intent. The Founding Fathers never envisioned a superpower as the role of the US.
As a full time active duty army officer working for National Guard Bureau, I am very intimate with Posse Comitatus, not sure what you are getting at in your post, but would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
What is there to say? Increasingly, the US military is being used to police action corporate interests around the world. In Waco, TX during the ill-famed shoot-out, US troops lent support to police. The wall between local police and military jurisprudence is thinning.

One day, you may well find yourself shooting at peacefully-protesting Americans. I do not envy you, on that day.
One of the great things about America today, is the fact that you can choose to not serve in the military, choose to serve, or any thing in between.
…unless you’re an African American living in an inner-city project, with the choice to either:

A) Join a gang

B) Become a pusher

C) Join the military

Do you honestly believe that all those ppl unemployed, homeless, or members of gangs are there because they WANT to be?


The fact is we need activist, politicians, soldiers, and citizens. We also need everyone willing to to the right things which is living a simple life that is respectful of all things and all people, everyday.
I agree with you, on this one. I believe that if Americans were more active in politics, more vigilant and aware of the facts, we would have a better society. Personally, I live a (relatively) simple life, voluntarily low-income and work at jobs that are not in a specific corporate interest

Neil Mick
09-01-2002, 03:50 PM
Have you noticed that the media has had a lot of "Iranians are nice people and the Imams are loosing their grip" stories?

Example: http://www.washtimes.com/world/20020828-6961690.htm
No, I haven't. I read your article and I found it unusual in its interest in the Iranian ppl. Mostly we seem obsessed with one option: get rid of Saddam, and who cares about the aftermath?

Pulling out 1 article and using it as an example of media bias is insufficient. Try looking at a week of NY Times and counting the # of pro- and anti-Arab stories. I suspect that you'll find that it's a 1:2 ratio of anti vs pro.
The bad guys don't even need missiles to hit us anymore, airliners and rental trucks will do. Is it very aiki to wait until uke has struck a mighty blow and drive you to the mat before begining to respond?
Is it very aiki to SAY you represent the ideals of democracy and freedom, peddle weapons of war to the world, train terrorists to kill civil leaders, and then supplant world leaders based upon unfounded ("where's the beef?") charges of "weapons of mass destruction?"

Hussein has no nuclear weapons. That simple. If he did, we'd know it for sure. You can't test a nuclear weapon without someone knowing about it.

Also and again: WE helped put Hussein in power. WE had no problem when he gassed the Kurds (see above posts). WE also gave him the "green light" to invade Kuwait, in '91.

Now that Hussein's no longer "our man in Iraq," we want to pull his plug.

But please! Debate the obvious; argue that we are still the "champions of democracy." :disgust: Show me one instance where we invaded a (non-European) country and installed a new leader where it all worked out well, in the end? Where our invasion did not result in terrible misery for the host country?

Neil Mick
09-01-2002, 04:03 PM
Kevin, I would say that game is a very inventive way of recruiting, and especially recruiting the kind of soldier the military trains for, one able to kill on orders without hesitation (for more on this I'd recommend "On Killing").
I have seen that game; it's pretty sick. Aside from a good recruiting tool, it's also a good way to anesthetize young minds to the humanity of the enemy.

How about a game that teaches alternatives, or "a third way" to conflict?

Confessional time, here: it may surprise you all to know that I am a video game junkie...only certain ones, mind you, but I have seen a lot of games that have the generic evil Arab bad-guy. 1 or 2 of these games may be no problem; but I'm talking practically an industry standard, here.

But this is merely an extension of the Hollywood propaganda machine for militarization and violence. You must have noticed how cool Hollywood makes the military seem...but I supsect that this is the subject for another thread.

guest1234
09-01-2002, 04:22 PM
Neil, I think there is no big difference in what we are saying, and I'm glad you are doing your part in trying to bring reason. Just realize some demonstrators get out of hand, as do some police/military. While we're doing our best to not shoot unarmed peaceful demonstrators, please do yours to make sure demonstrators remain (a) peaceful and (b) do not violate the law.

Brian, I don't think anyone thinks Iraq's army will win. The question is over the price we will pay for winning, in US military lives, in Iraqi military and civilian lives, in $ to maintain stability and rebuild (or more lives lost if we don't), in the quality of life to be had under the kind of rulers we've set up in the past(most often bloodthirsty despots), in how future generations view our actions. And as for those selling to the Axis of Evil: Israel is the largest sophisticated arms seller to China, and overall arms seller to China second only to Russia. Weapons pass freely from China to North Korea and Iran. Those arms caches we found so easily in the mountains of Afghanistan---who do you think put them there to start with? And is the US worried about all those unaccounted for Stingers...you bet.

Suggestions being made now that if we reassured Russia that our oil compaines and theirs could oversee the oil in Iraq if they would support us deciding who would rule (and not stand in the way of our invasion) sounds a lot like the deal the US forced on Britian in 1920, to ensure our oil companies were happy.

As for a Kurdish homeland---the Kurds in Turkey don't want to relocate somewhere else, they want the land they own to be free. And the decisions re: the oil compainies above is partly at fault for Kurdistan being divided among Turkey, Iraq, and Iran (but hey, they wanted to be sure those oil fields ended up in Iraq, since the British were going to remain in power there after letting the other areas go).

Anyway, setting up a Kurdish government in Northern Iraq (are you saying create two new countries? Seriously?? Oh, one but with two very different and distinct governments??) is just going to fire up the Turkish Kurds to do even more of what they've been doing ever since we tried to convince the Iraqi Kurds to rebel in '91: fight their own terrorist war on Turkey. Just what that area needs, MORE instability.

We could go with the other group we tried to get to rebel in '91, the Shi'a Muslims. That would be the group that is running Iran. Another stable choice.

As for what weapons he has, and how he will touch us: airliners were used (most of those on them were Saudi, none were Iraqi)--how does this relate to Iraq? Trucks, yeah those have been used, but again, not by Iraq...pretty dramaticly by a couple of white guys from the midwest in OKC, so I guess we could attack the midwest. Has he used chemicals or biologic agents on us, even when we attacked him? no. Some are saying he MAY ALREADY EVEN HAVE NUCLEAR CAPABILITY so we have to act...well, if he has it already, he hasn't used it, so what are we saying? NBC weapons are useful as deterents (especially nuclear). He wants them so no one attacks. Without nuclear capability, what would India's much superior force have done to Pakistan?

Neil Mick
09-01-2002, 09:05 PM
Neil--

From "Taliban" by Ahmed Rashid, published 2000:

"The use of containers was particularly horrific and they were to be used increasingly as a method of killing by both sides. 'When we pulled the bodies out of the containers, their skin was burned black from the heat and the lack of oxygen,' said another of Malik's generals [one of the Northern Alliance alligned against the Taliban at that time], who added that 1,250 Taliban had died a container death."

I'm not a fan of many Taliban actions. But I was not surprised to hear charges that the Northern Alliance had used container trucks to kill Taliban prisoners (this has not been proved yet). Perhaps just old charges ressurected. Perhaps old behavior being repeated.

If we don't look at our 'allies' past behavior, then I believe we are responsible for their future behavior. I would like to think that had US soldiers actually been present they would have prevented it. But I think those in power who made the deals we've made should have been able to predict it.
Thanks for the info, Colleen. Yes, I do believe we see "eye-to-eye" on these issues.

Actually, the radio snippet I heard suggested that US troops may be implicated in digging a mass grave of these Taliban who were sealed up...very disturbing stuff. Let me know if you hear any more about it.

Abasan
09-01-2002, 10:13 PM
I want to be frank with all of you. Prejudices exists within us all. It's how you deal with it that's important. At first, my super-generalisation of American's were that they are blind to the world. After all, 50% of them live within 50 miles of their birthplace. Having seen the world only through CNN or some other 'monopolised' media, your knowledge and views would be greatly skewed. That was my prejudice.

I must say that now, I'm greatly impressed by the depth and intellectual discourse seen here. In particular, from the same soldiers who have been there in those same conflicts. In this, I really really hope that your democratic system of government would allow America to keep its peace.

Its amazing however to see that this open discussion that can have the same bearing as the one held by congress in deciding the fate of an entire nation thousands of miles away being participated entirely by Americans.

It's almost like if you read hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, where the pan galactic highway was going to be built through earth and consequently it had to be demolished. The earthlings themselves weren't represented.

Have you gotten so omnipotent that you alone can decide to give death or life?

And btw, I have no idea about any military aid from US being channeled here allowing me to continue to exist and happily typing away here, eh mongo? We are quite peaceful here thank you very much. Unless of course you decide in your great wisdom that we will be a threat to you by the year 2010 by which then you have every right to blow us out of the sky. :p

Ok... thanks all for listening. I've got to cook up some ICBMs now.

Neil Mick
09-01-2002, 11:37 PM
I want to be frank with all of you. Prejudices exists within us all. It's how you deal with it that's important. Have you gotten so omnipotent that you alone can decide to give death or life?

And btw, I have no idea about any military aid from US being channeled here allowing me to continue to exist and happily typing away here, eh mongo? We are quite peaceful here thank you very much. Unless of course you decide in your great wisdom that we will be a threat to you by the year 2010 by which then you have every right to blow us out of the sky. :p

Ok... thanks all for listening. I've got to cook up some ICBMs now.
:D You go, Ahmad! Very funny :)

Yes, it does sometimes feel as if I fell into some "Twilight Zone" episode and half expect Rod Serling to pop up in a corner.

I think you hit the nail on the head...why are we so bent on attacking Arabic nations? Prejudice & racism.

I also believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has strong racist motivations, but that's off-topic, and so I won't go into it, here.

guest1234
09-02-2002, 08:28 AM
Well, like I said, nothing is proven yet, but I still would find it hard to believe our troops would participate in covering up a mass execution. Difficult, not impossible, but I hope we have learned that nice matters.

The part I find interesting is the newspaper reports (which now say Gen. Dostrum is admitting to the deaths, but in a smaller number and due to an accident (200-400 v. 960-980), and that they were buried in Sheberghan after being transported out of Kunduz.

During the 1997 battles between the Norther Alliance and the Taliban, when the Taliban was attempting to force them out of Mazar-e-Sharif, was when the above quoted atrocities occured, with resultant graves at Sheberghan. Gen. Dostrum, after a falling out between him and Gen Malik, revealed the mass graves at Sheberghan and blamed Malik's forces, consolidating his position with the people in the area.

If this isn't sorted out soon (and unfortunately it does not appear it will be) I can see a difficulty in proving how old the graves are, and just who was responsible.

Brian H
09-02-2002, 09:49 AM
Hey, don't jump all over me.

All I'm suggesting is that when (if?)it happens, it will not be The Invasion of Normandy II.

The Iraqis are suffering worse now than they were in 1991, when the army had no backbone. Somebody like Saddam doesn't want a highly trained thinking army like we have. A dictator would rather have Scary Slacker Thugs With Guns.

I just saying that I would not expect a big conventional battle. When the rubber meets the road, I would expect major battle formations to be isolated and Bagdad to be the principle fallback position. If you were on of Saddam's prime thugs, would you find religion and switch sides (might be arranged before hand - Saddam's biggest fear) The Italians did it in WWII and it was the rule in Afghanistan.

As to Neil's suggestion that "Saddam has not tested any bombs, so he doesn't have them."

This means nothing.

The Manhattan project resulted in type separate types to A-bombs. One we tested in Yucca Flats, one we tested over Japan. The science of nuclear weapons in pretty well established. If you have a sound design and reliable components, it will go bang. (You can test the components without setting off a nuke). The US/USSR testing programs were aimed at making small powerful bombs that could fit into a useful weapon (The WWII "fatboy" would not be able to be fired from an artillery shell or strapped onto a fighter/missile) Smaller bombs use less nuclear material and older big bombs could be salvaged and turned into new smaller and more powerful bombs.

A terrorist would not care about any of that. If a terrorist had a bomb in a passenger liner that failed to go "nuclear," they would still wreck the airliner and shower the target with highly radioactive material. The terror is the aim. Would you be happy if a radioactive plane crashed in the middle of your home town?

guest1234
09-02-2002, 10:48 AM
What makes you think Iraq is planning to crash a "radioactive plane [sic]" in your home town? Other than hyped-up fear blown way out of proportion, I mean.

Besides, for that one would not need nuclear capability, just nuclear material. And we're pretty good at knowing when a nuclear test occurs. But that is beside the point, for if you are saying, as some have, that he already has the capability, then what is the rush? If he has it, and hasn't used it, then he is like the many other countries who have it and have not used it, and like the one country that has it and HAS used it (that would be the US).

guest1234
09-02-2002, 10:55 AM
Oh, and they weren't Scary Slacker Thugs With Guns when we were dumping arms and money on them so they would fight Iran. Don't believe everything the TV tells you.

Brian H
09-02-2002, 11:28 AM
Colleen, yes they were "Scary Slacker Thugs" when it was useful to us. They were "Our Scary Slacker Thugs."

The same is true in Law Enforcement. Some of the most "enlightened" communities employ some of the most boneheaded cops (Scary Slacker Thugs) in the country. It allows the powers-that-be to rant against police abuse (vote for me and I will punish the wicked cops) while dancing around the fact that they hired and (failed to) train their own employees. Much international conflict is the same thing on a larger canvas.

My comment about radioactive planes may have been confusing but you got the point. If a nuclear device was detonated on a plane the results would be mass terror. Even if the device failed to achieve an atomic explosion the plane would crash and the site would be very contaminated.

Even if atomic material was not available, lots of radioactive material is available in any developed country in all sorts of commonly available equipment (try walking around a hospital with a radiation detector). Several of the 9-11 hijackers had obtained Commercial Drivers with HAZMAT endorsements. They could have picked over any material they were transporting for later use in a Radiological Device (conventional bomb used to disperse radio active material)

guest1234
09-02-2002, 12:05 PM
Brian,

The common availability of nuclear material was my point exactly: so what makes you think Iraq is going to send it your way? Why invade Iraq over sloppy control of military/medical devices in our own contry, not to mention Russia? What makes it so necessary to rush into Iraq right now? Did we just figure out that dirty bombs can be made? Nooooo. Did we just figure out we have terrible control over our own NBC stash? Nooooooo. So why take the fact that a dirty bomb can be made and rationalize attacking Iraq over it?

I have met several corrupt police, but I do not categorize all police, or even the entire force that contained the corrupt ones (Las Vegas) as corrupt.

Some Iraqis gave up without much of a fight, some fought very hard, and some killed our troops, and would do it again if given a chance. In a very limited war over Kuwait, not Iraq, over 600 US troops were killed or injured in battle with those "Thugs." And that was nearly all an air war, and not even counting the women and children killed.And they were not defending their homeland. Our military would defend to their last man our homeland against a foreign invader... why do you think it would be so different for others. And why do you think we stopped short of invading their homeland before? Yeah, we will "win" but at what price, and for what reason?

guest1234
09-02-2002, 12:24 PM
Oh, and that 600 killed or injured number does not count those GW vets who feel their illness/deaths post war are related the the US use of depleted uranium ammunition (14,000 tank shells, and 940,000 30-mm rounds--564,000pounds of DU). Talk about contamination. At the end of the GW estimates range from 300-800 tons of U238 (half life 4.5 billion years) had been dumped on the battlefields.

One of the 'useful' traits of DU weapons: it burns on hitting the target, vaporizing over 70 percent of the shell, making the radioactive dust much easier to inhale, ingest, and be blown in other areas.

Brian H
09-02-2002, 04:03 PM
Ok, the US is bad and nothing should be done to protect it. Blood is on our hands and we can not redeem ourselves EVER.

Had the troops in the GW been sitting in their barracks playing soldier and doing the silly stuff that boys do, I bet the casualty rate would have been at least as high as the casualty rate of the GW. They were out in strange places and focused on a mission instead of driving around drunk in the US. (as a military doctor I'm sure you have seen plenty of this) Most of the casualties were as a result of accidents and "friendly fire." Most of our combat losses were to land mines, with very few to direct enemy fire. I have been told by someone that the US killed more US soldiers than the Iraqis did. That sucks, but even including each one of these tragedies, we inflicted a 20-50 (depending on the numbers) to 1 casualty ratio on the Iraqis. Even so, we went out of our way to avoid civilian casualties.

On a more domestic note:

Let us say you have a guy down the block from you who surrounded his house with barbed wire and trenches, parades his kids around with guns, had a "lab" in the backyard and a red laser dot appears on anyone who passes by.

Might you want the "authorities" to get involved, eventhough none of these things are illegal?

Neil Mick
09-02-2002, 04:30 PM
Ok, the US is bad and nothing should be done to protect it. Blood is on our hands and we can not redeem ourselves EVER.

On a more domestic note:

Let us say you have a guy down the block from you who surrounded his house with barbed wire and trenches, parades his kids around with guns, had a "lab" in the backyard and a red laser dot appears on anyone who passes by.

Might you want the "authorities" to get involved, eventhough none of these things are illegal?
Not if the "authorities" sold him the property, set him up with a bank account, agreed to let him gas whom he pleased and then acted "shocked! Shocked!" to hear that he possesses weapons of "mass destruction"

(hmm, WHO is the 1 country that used nuclear weapons, and is now changing its policy to use them in conventional, battlefield conditions? That's Iraq, right? No? So, which 1 of us is the "bad guy," again?). :grr:

Yes, the US has blood on its hands. Redemption? I don't know; the way to redemption begins with self-examination, recognition of the crimes, and repentence.

Do you see the US taking these actions? A criminal actively committing a crime is not repentent.

guest1234
09-02-2002, 06:05 PM
Brian,

I am not saying the US should not be defended, nor the blood on its hands means it "can not [sic] redeem (itself)"; I am saying we should be aware of why we are doing what we do. You have yet to say how you equate the possibility of dirty bombs to a reason to invade Iraq. And some of the things you say makes a country eligible for invasion can apply just as easily, if not more so, to the US. I just think reasons should be reasonable, and am still waiting for your dirty bomb means we must invade Iraq one.

You are right, we had more casualties due to accidents and illness (all wars do); unfortunately, the 600+ were combat injuries/deaths, not related to those who rolled Humvees while drinking, nor STDs caught from each other. They do include friendly fire, which was 35 deaths, 72 injured, so more than 500 not due to us killing/injuring our own (land mines count, especially since the US is about the only first world nation, or any nation, that finds them an essential tool of war), 100 dead and injured due to our own precision weapons and skill.

Some would say the 'domestic' situation you describe is more like the Occupied territories.

guest1234
09-02-2002, 06:11 PM
Oh, and 20-50 to 1 kill ratio. Now THERE'S a number to be happy with. Of course, considering we carpet bombed troops dug into the open desert, I can see how we could get the numbers up. As for collateral damage, don't believe everything you hear on TV.

I believe we will kill many, many more soldiers and civilians of any country we fight than they will of us. And I believe most countries believe that as well. So if we are so invincible (mainly due to enormous advantage in air power and weapons mass), why are we so afraid?

It's not about us killing more of them than they kill of us, it's about why we are doing the killing in the first place.

Genex
09-03-2002, 03:40 AM
I think every last person in this thread has lost the plot, what ppl dont realise is that america are planning to INVADE Iraq, Invade... now when saddam did this in 90 the world damn near declared war on him as one (The UN) and we kicked his ass, rightly so, however what country has he invaded at the moment ? none...

its america that are about to invade another country and off their own back too, without the backing of the united nations, this type of action usualy prompts global outrage, you can be sure that Iran will kick off and the entire middle east too boot. A merica has no right in charging off like this the UN are trying to sort this out and if they think there is a threat then they will act upon that threat by working together why does america assume it must take this role upon itself, why does it think it should know better then all of the countries put together?.

personaly i think bush mkII is the worst thing to happen to the USA and the rest of the world for that matter, he could very well push us to WWIII that really will be the war to end all wars... but what does he care just another bad guy to gun down eh?

Next wednesday is the aniversary of a tragic event and to be honest this will only fuel him further, imagine what he could do, this is a man with nuclear weapons in his control and his most famous quote is "Most of our imports are from abroad" he has no common sense he doesnt realise that by attacking iraq he is effectivly stiring up a hornets nest that the rest of the world is going to have to handle bush needs to be unseated not just sadam, go call al gore maybe he's not such a complete nutcase eh?

BTW if we do get stuck into the middle east and britain gets dragged in we're going in behind the american lines or in another sector intirely Friendly fire is an oxymoron...evileyes

PS. for those against the US invading sorry you havent lost the plot your on the right track i get a little carried away hearing the word 'BUSH'.

Brian H
09-03-2002, 05:11 AM
one, I am not convinced we are going to invade Iraq in the first place. All these "leaks" are just not "right." It all seems like somebody is having fun making Saddam’s army churn up sand in the desert. When Saddam falls it would be best if it was from the inside (but I would not be surprised if we "helped").

two, "We have achieved peace in our time." -Neville Chamberlain

three, can I buy anyone a bus ticket to Canada?

Kevin Leavitt
09-03-2002, 06:45 AM
Wow, miss a day of reading this thread and you guys go crazy! Lots of good stuff.

Neil, real quick....

To some up my argument to you about the military-industrial complex. Yes it does exist, I work in it out of the Pentagon. You are very correct about that..there is abuse that goes on in it, but not all the relationships that exist between contractors and the military are bad...the are necessary one cannot live without the other. You show me throughout history where you don't have that relationship?

I really don't think I am being to simple, all this really is simple, simple logic and Clausewitz is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago, as is the Art of War by Sun Tzu, the names, facts, and technology has changed, but not the basis or principle.

What I read in your replies to me is much, much emotional issues attached to "facts". I think you and I agree on a philosophical level on everything, but I think where we differ is where we believe we should focus our energies.

The military is a "tool" of the polictical machine. Period. It does not operate unless the people want it to operate.

You can really apply the same argument to gun control...do people kill people or do guns? Guns are a tool...I think it goes along way to try and hit the core of the problem which is modifying human behavior versus trying to ban guns. (not that I am against stricter gun laws...let not make it easy on people to get guns). However, my point is that if you have criminals they will commit crimes and kill with or without guns.

Back to the topic. like guns, the military is simply a "tool".

On the same line, I have worked with the School of America at Benning. I think you would be suprised to find out what is really going on behind those doors. We spend a great deal of time talking about core values, and respect, treating people right. In order to have a strong military you must be respectful both of your soldiers and of your citizens. I will not argue that many have taken this training and gone on to organize corrupt militaristic regimes, however, again, it is a tool and not the root cause of the problem.

Is the School of America's relevant and necessary today...that I cannot answer, but it did go along ways in keeping communist and dictatorial regimes out of Central America.

No doubt we could and should do more to ensure the social and economic infrastructure in these countries...it would probably be money better spent than training soldiers...but again, I submit, are the American people really willing to make the sacrifices necessary to redirect funding away from our social programs, military, education in order to do that. So, the School of Americas is a much cheaper option probably a fraction of the budget necessary to really do things the right way.

My whole point is that I think our time and energy is better spent on educating americans on global issues, making them truly understand our interconnectedness to the rest of the world, that we cannot live in isolation, and we MUST be willing to ensure that the rest of the world can live in the same standard as us, until we do, then we cannot realize true peace in the world.

Neil Mick
09-03-2002, 12:49 PM
one, I am not convinced we are going to invade Iraq in the first place. All these "leaks" are just not "right." It all seems like somebody is having fun making Saddam’s army churn up sand in the desert. When Saddam falls it would be best if it was from the inside (but I would not be surprised if we "helped").

two, "We have achieved peace in our time." -Neville Chamberlain

three, can I buy anyone a bus ticket to Canada?
1. While I am loathe to ask this (because it is such an obvious question): if you are so gung ho about starting a war with another country, why are you in a martial art of peace? All his life, O Sensei worked actively to avert war (OK, maybe not in 1904, but he was young). I could provide you with a BOOK of quotes about how war solves nothing, violence is not the answer, etc. Out of context? O Sensei worked to avert Japan from going to war with America, at a time Japanese nationalism was high (sort of like the US, today).

2. Define "peace?" I suspect that Indonesia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Palestine, E. Timor, et al, may disagree. There is no peace while our tax $$ are being used to foment war, no matter how peaceful we are, at home.

3. Save your bus money: this is my home (as I suspect it is yours), and luckily we still encourage freedom of speech, here. I am opposed to what I see happening here, but I don't want to leave. Neither do I wish to see minorities oppressed (here or abroad)simply because they are Arabic...do you?

Brian H
09-03-2002, 02:31 PM
"violence never solved anything" is BS

A whole lot of violence "solved" the Nazi problem in Europe.

To a mugger, violence solves his cash flow problem and to the his victim violence can solve the "this guy is going to kill me for my wallet problem."

How exactly is a person supposed to respond "non-violently" to someone who has the only goal of killing you individually or in a group. "Sir, we can continue this debate after your shower."

If some guy, who has been raping an murdering women all over the county, breaks into my house, should my wife forget about the Arsenal of Democracy (my gunS) and call a mediator?

Is the application of Aikido, in itself, peace? The persons I have taken down and arrested might disagree. Nikko and handcuffing are often less gentle than a kiss from their mother. I have never had to use any "deadly" techniques, but if my life was at stake, that might be a "violent solution to the mater at hand."

As to "Indonesia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Palestine, E. Timor, et al." I happen to have friends that have been sent to each of these places in either a military or law enforcement training capacity at your tax payer expense. They went for "peaceful" reasons to impart "American" training and ideals to the locals. Do you think it is such a bad idea for Cops in Bosnia or East Timor to behave more like American cops? As it stands now, even the most wicked vile corrupt cop in the US would blush at what passes for normal police procedure in much of the world. (Oops can't spend YOUR blood money, because the US in the worst place on earth) After all, riot control in the US generally does not involve heavy machine guns (Kent State is the exception not the rule)

Is war against "people who do not look like me" in itself unjust or racism? You seem to suggest this, when you say: "Neither do I wish to see minorities oppressed (here or abroad)simply because they are Arabic...do you?"

By that reasoning it was "OK" to make war on the "angry white men" in Germany in WWII, but a "hate crime" to fight "misunderstood Asians who inappropriately acted out."



Ultimately, I think a preemptive invasion of a sovereign nation is a "un-American" thing to do (if it were otherwise, I think we would have done it before now, however you can thank your Congressman and Senators for authorizing it on September 14, 2001).

Does Saddam need to go? I say yes, the sooner the better. Is an invasion the answer, I hope not, but the alternative is a coup by some a-hole named General Al Moz Az Evalez Saddam But Em Inbet Wit ZeCIA. Then we are propping up some third world dictator and Gee-Will-Neil-Be-Mad.

Hitler painted pretty little water colors, but that did not stop him from becoming a monster.

Ok, I will now wipe the foam off the corner of my mouth and have a cup of coffee.

guest1234
09-03-2002, 04:38 PM
We did not round up all German-Americans in WWII and put them in camps; we did that with innocent Asian Americans. I got in a heated debate about what-they-should-be-checking-for-on-airlines with a Pentagon friend several months ago. I pointed out the disenfranchised and hopeless come in all races, and they'd better get ready for the next terrorist to be called "Jose". He laughed, until they arrested Mr. Padilla. Another one arrested was called "Lind". Americans are fooling themselves with prejudical shortsightedness if they think this is "an Arab thing". I've got 'til the end of the year, and with 2 Blacks and an Asian I've won my bet.

The excessive violence and brutality of the Japanese in China was felt to be responsible for the rise of Communism, so I guess we could use your analogy and say 'violence causes Communism, although it ends Fascism.' Both are wrong.

Seeing as how some of the police force sent to Bosnia is felt to be related to the rise in white slavery there, yeah, I guess they're happy we exported to their country.

As for the vicious police in Indonesia, yeah, they're bad. We helped train them. Same with the Croats charged with war crimes in Bosnia, got to love that US brand of peacekeeping.

We have a lot of very good men and women doing those jobs, but also quite a few bad ones, and pretending they're not there doesn't make them go away.

Whether we invade or convince others to overthrow Hussein, we will still be proping up some new dictator, as we usually do in these situations: Taiwan, the Phillipines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Chile, all might say they would rather have taken their chances with the luck of the draw than take what the US chose for them.

I am still waiting for what you think makes invading Iraq necessary at this time, and how dirty bombs figure into it.

Kevin Leavitt
09-03-2002, 06:03 PM
I saw some verbage from O'Sensei somewhere this weekend (think it was up at the Takoma Park Dojo, but I am reading so much all the time that I can't keep things straight)...anyway, It appears that he felt very strong and cautioned his students to not teach techniques to "outsiders" for fear that they could use the "art of peace" for bad. I am sure we in the U.S are very quilty of that.

On a different note, I tend to agree with Brian on the Iraq stance. If we were truly bent on simply demolishing Iraq, then why would we announce it? I don't agree with Bush on too much, but one thing I do agree is that we must make our opponent think our attack is very possible and very doable and real. I think the events of the last couple of days speak for themselves.

To quote a John Stevens translation from O'Sensei "The way of a Warrior, the art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony.

I really truly believe that O'Sensei believed in peace, but realized that you must be strong and somewhat invincible as a warrior to prevent your enemy from attacking.

To be strong, you must have all the tools and weapons at your disposal, not only know how to use them, but also be willing to use them if necessary.

Neil, ideally I absolutely agree with you that war solves nothing. I have a few books myself that really debunks the historical models as ways to peace. (Dr Terrence Webster-Doyle, a martial artist in his own right). I happen to agree with them, but how to you pull apart the world long enough to establish a new paradigm. You figure that out and you have my vote as world leader!

I think the answer is one person at a time. You can only improve yourself and influence others through your personal actions.

Neil Mick
09-03-2002, 07:18 PM
Wow, miss a day of reading this thread and you guys go crazy! Lots of good stuff.

Neil, real quick....

To some up my argument to you about the military-industrial complex. Yes it does exist, I work in it out of the Pentagon. You are very correct about that..there is abuse that goes on in it, but not all the relationships that exist between contractors and the military are bad...the are necessary one cannot live without the other. You show me throughout history where you don't have that relationship?
We're not talking occasional abuse, here. We're talking systemized war mercantilism. Our economy is built around the Pentagon's "projects:" with 52% of the budget going to the Pentagon, is that any surprise? The military has gone beyond a simple role as the combat-arm of the gov't; it also manufactures weapons, engages in questionable police actions (CAMP comes to mind), sometimes has radical effects upon the ppl hosting a US base, etc.

Certain obsolete polices are still being executedd by the military. It could be argued that they are just a tool, but a tool that has ripple effects well beyond its immediate intended use.

Nuclear missiles, for instance.
Consider our Hair-trigger alert status with Russia: 1500 nuclear missiles are still pointed at Russian cities.

If the USSR no longer exists, how is it in America's interest to STILL be targeting Russian and European cities?

Sure, there's always a relationship between the makers and the users of war weapons. But never on this scale, nor in this level: you have former officers running for office after they work for McDonnell Douglas, etc.

AND: nonmilitary corporations also rely upon the army to establish stability in countries they wish to develop, often to the detriment of social movements that run counter to outside investments.

I really don't think I am being to simple, all this really is simple, simple logic and Clausewitz is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago, as is the Art of War by Sun Tzu, the names, facts, and technology has changed, but not the basis or principle.

What I read in your replies to me is much, much emotional issues attached to "facts". I think you and I agree on a philosophical level on everything, but I think where we differ is where we believe we should focus our energies.

The military is a "tool" of the polictical machine. Period. It does not operate unless the people want it to operate.

Yes, Kevin: I think we do agree, philosophically. But you failed to respond to my points, in the previous post. The military is big business. ANY big business will vastly outgrow its original intent if enough capital is infused into it, with time. I think I made this point well, above.

On the same line, I have worked with the School of America at Benning. I think you would be suprised to find out what is really going on behind those doors. We spend a great deal of time talking about core values, and respect, treating people right. In order to have a strong military you must be respectful both of your soldiers and of your citizens. I will not argue that many have taken this training and gone on to organize corrupt militaristic regimes, however, again, it is a tool and not the root cause of the problem.

Well, you may all have discussed values and respect inside the School, but the reputation and actions of its graduates speak for themselves. It's all very good to say, whoops: WE didn't know what they'd do with all that counterinsurgency training, but isn't this lack of responsibility exactly what you accuse the American public of doing?

I can see how politicans are partly responsible, but the military is more than a passove "tool."

The US Army School of Americas (SOA), based in Fort Benning, Georgia, trains Latin American soldiers in combat, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. Graduates of the SOA are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. Among the SOA's nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia. Lower-level SOA graduates have participated in human rights abuses that include the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the El Mozote Massacre of 900 civilians.
My whole point is that I think our time and energy is better spent on educating americans on global issues, making them truly understand our interconnectedness to the rest of the world, that we cannot live in isolation, and we MUST be willing to ensure that the rest of the world can live in the same standard as us, until we do, then we cannot realize true peace in the world.
I agree in part to many of your ideas. I think, for instance, that the army is sometimes a simple tool. But that's like saying that the US is simply a nation among nations, and ignoring its superpower status and effects.

Neil Mick
09-03-2002, 07:53 PM
"violence never solved anything" is BS

A whole lot of violence "solved" the Nazi problem in Europe.
When in doubt, wave the flag and summon the ghost of WWII. This seems to be the standard conservative apology for violence.

Well, you fail to answer my question (why Aikido, when you do not believe in peace?), Brian, but no matter: I welcome you into our ranks; perhaps your opinion on the effectiveness of violence will change, as you continue to train. Perhaps not.

In any case, a whole lot of violence CAUSED the Nazi problem in Europe. And I beg to differ; WWII did not solve the "Nazi" problem: note the rise of Neo-Nazism today, and the near election of le Pen in France.
How exactly is a person supposed to respond "non-violently" to someone who has the only goal of killing you individually or in a group. "Sir, we can continue this debate after your shower."

If some guy, who has been raping an murdering women all over the county, breaks into my house, should my wife forget about the Arsenal of Democracy (my gunS) and call a mediator?
ANd suppose she's so hopped up on that "guy" coming in, that she shoots her neighbor?

Peace does not necessarily mean total non-resistance. Aikido is not about wishing your violent perp the best, or singing songs to calm a riot.

It's about a mind-set: are you focused upon death and killing, or are you looking for that "third way?"
Is the application of Aikido, in itself, peace? The persons I have taken down and arrested might disagree. Nikko and handcuffing are often less gentle than a kiss from their mother. I have never had to use any "deadly" techniques, but if my life was at stake, that might be a "violent solution to the mater at hand."
As my sensei said: he'd been thrown very hard by Kato Sensei, but it felt light as a feather. He's also been thrown by others, not so hard, but it "felt" rough.

The difference? Intention. Are you trying to blend, or are you showing what a bad-ass you are? ("you," in the generic sense).
As to "Indonesia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Palestine, E. Timor, et al." I happen to have friends that have been sent to each of these places in either a military or law enforcement training capacity at your tax payer expense. They went for "peaceful" reasons to impart "American" training and ideals to the locals. Do you think it is such a bad idea for Cops in Bosnia or East Timor to behave more like American cops? As it stands now, even the most wicked vile corrupt cop in the US would blush at what passes for normal police procedure in much of the world. (Oops can't spend YOUR blood money, because the US in the worst place on earth)
Hmm, interesting. What WERE US police doing training in these countries? If you know any more, Brian, I'd be interested to hear it.

I'm not sure of your point, here. I brought those countries up because there are various military actions, which we more or less contributed to the violence.
Is war against "people who do not look like me" in itself unjust or racism? You seem to suggest this, when you say: "Neither do I wish to see minorities oppressed (here or abroad)simply because they are Arabic...do you?"

By that reasoning it was "OK" to make war on the "angry white men" in Germany in WWII, but a "hate crime" to fight "misunderstood Asians who inappropriately acted out."

Ultimately, I think a preemptive invasion of a sovereign nation is a "un-American" thing to do (if it were otherwise, I think we would have done it before now, however you can thank your Congressman and Senators for authorizing it on September 14, 2001).
Noo...I don't think so, Brian. Actually, we entered WWII late in the war because of moderate pro-German sentiment here. Also, whom did we go to war with, first? Germany? Nope: Japan. But, Colleen makes this point very well, concerning the racism.

(BTW, "thanking" my Congressmen is not the action I have in mind, when it comes to expressing my feelings about their vote on Sept 14th).

If you cannot see the racist motivations behind this, and many, wars: then you miss much of the mechanism of why wars start. Why bomb Afghanistan, when none of the hijackers were Afghani? Oh, that was to "get" OBL, right? Yah: that makes sense...and we got him, right? NO?...hmm.
Does Saddam need to go? I say yes, the sooner the better. Is an invasion the answer, I hope not, but the alternative is a coup by some a-hole named General Al Moz Az Evalez Saddam But Em Inbet Wit ZeCIA. Then we are propping up some third world dictator and Gee-Will-Neil-Be-Mad.

Hitler painted pretty little water colors, but that did not stop him from becoming a monster.
In small doses, sarcasm adds spice; too much sours the speech sauce, curdling it into a rant.

Well, Brian: I congratulate you...you're the first conservative here to suggest an alternative to an invasion.

And that's my point. So many limited options, all violent. Invade, sanction, or install a new leader (which, if you invade, you'd have to do anyway).

Luckily, the rest of the world from our Secty of State to IRAN, fer chrissakes, is open to the option of weapons inspections. While it has some disadvantages, its far better than overkill invasions with no exit strategies.

You see, Brian? There are nonviolent "third ways" that do not involve "being nice to dictators." Perhaps, in your further studies of Aikido, you will see this method of problem-solving useful for other interactions.

Or: perhaps not.



:ai:

Neil Mick
09-03-2002, 07:58 PM
The way of a Warrior, the art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony.

I really truly believe that O'Sensei believed in peace, but you must be strong as a warrior to prevent your enemy from attacking.

To be strong, you must have all the tools and weapons at your disposal, not only know how to use them, but also be willing to use them if necessary.

Neil, ideally I absolutely agree with you that war solves nothing. I happen to agree with them, but how to you pull apart the world long enough to establish a new paradigm. You figure that out and you have my vote as world leader!

I think the answer is one person at a time. You can only improve yourself and influence others through your personal actions.
Good points, and well articulated. A new paradigm is DEFINITELY what is needed, I think.

More is needed than strength. We also need to be open, awake. Aware of the suffering we cause, and is caused by our lack of understanding. An honest willingness to see the "view" from uke's perspective. But I think we already agree on this, Kevin. :cool:

We need to start thinking of ourselves as intergral to the whole and not separate (starting and finishing with the environment. Much of war is devastating to the planet). But this is material for another thread, I think.

guest1234
09-03-2002, 08:13 PM
Why announce an attack? Well, for one thing, it's not like it was going to be a SURPRISE attack; it will take weeks, if not months, of round-the-clock operations to get enough troops and equipment in place, wherever that 'place' may be. We sure weren't going to sneak up on him. So announce it, loudly and often, and hope it scares people into trying to overthrow their leader. That would be like, oh, say the Nazis convincing Poland to help round up their Jews so the rest of the population isn't harmed. True, the Jews were more defenseless than Hussein, one reason threatening may not work, but worth a try. If not, well, you get to see which way the popularity poll is going, and spin things accordingly.

So we threaten, and arm and train the opposition, and hope it all takes better this time around than it did in 91, and if it doesn't, well, it won't be Americans that will pay the price for instability and civil war. Then, if all else fails and we can't manipulate another country into changing leaders to suit us, we can always invade.

virginia_kyu
09-03-2002, 08:52 PM
We need to start thinking of ourselves as intergral to the whole and not separate.
Pretty scary stuff man.

Neil Mick
09-03-2002, 08:59 PM
Pretty scary stuff man.
Yeah, I know...sometimes I think I've lived in CA for too long.:freaky:

virginia_kyu
09-03-2002, 09:33 PM
:)

Guest5678
09-04-2002, 07:17 AM
I am still waiting for what you think makes invading Iraq necessary at this time, and how dirty bombs figure into it.
Well Colleen,

I see your still at your "Lets blame America for the worlds problems" stance. Well, from someone much more qualified than you and I, heres an answer to your rather obvious question....

"Saddam, like bin Laden, is clearly an international terrorist. He was involved in the unsuccessful effort to flatten the World Trade Center in 1993. He ordered his goons to assassinate the first President Bush. He now bankrolls the families of homicide bombers in Palestine, who killed five young Americans recently.

For years, Saddam provided a safe haven for that godfather of terrorism, Abu Nidal, who was expelled by Moammar Gadhafi for being too vicious and radical (if you can imagine).

While the evidence connecting Saddam to Sept. 11 is less of a smoking gun, it remains significant. Ringleader Mohamed Atta made the 7,000-mile round trip to Prague a few months before Sept. 11 and there met the top officer of Iraqi intelligence, Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani.

But the prime argument for demolishing Saddam rests not so much on Sept. 11 but on the potential for future terror attacks.

Rather than come after America directly, Saddam could covertly hand off chemical, biological or nuclear weapons to any number of terrorist groups. Their attack with his weapons of mass destruction would make last year's attacks pale in comparison.

We can't solve this problem by reinstating U.N. inspections, as Secretary Powell now advocates. Contrary to international law and clear U.N. resolutions, Saddam has barred inspectors for four years running. Even if he were to acquiesce, they would do little good.

His chief nuclear engineer, Khidhir Hamza, identified more than 400 sites in Saddam's nuclear-weapons program -- not counting those making chemical and biological agents.

In his book Saddam's Bombmaker, Mr. Hamza describes how Saddam -- after Israel obliterated his Osirak nuclear plant in June 1981 -- decided not to put all Iraq's nuclear assets in one basket. Iraqi uranium enrichment facilities were spread around -- some behind farmhouse façades, some disguised to look like schools or warehouses. International inspections would need a veritable army to cover this expansive covert program.

Every day Mr. Bush holds off liberating Iraq is another day endangering America. Posing as a "patient man," he risks a catastrophic attack. Should that attack occur and be traced back to an Iraqi WMD facility, his presidency would be relegated to the ash heap of history.

Why risk that? Why risk us?

Kenneth Adelman - was assistant to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977 and, under President Ronald Reagan, U.N. ambassador and arms-control director."

Any more questions?

-Mongo

Paul Clark
09-04-2002, 08:24 AM
The US Army School of Americas (SOA), based in Fort Benning, Georgia, trains Latin American soldiers in combat, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. Graduates of the SOA are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. Among the SOA's nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia. Lower-level SOA graduates have participated in human rights abuses that include the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the El Mozote Massacre of 900 civilians.

Well, I attended a peacekeeping conference at the SOA in the fall of 1995, entirely in Spanish, attended by senior officers from just about every Spanish speaking country south of the Rio Grande. The discussion was all about democratization, peacekeeping operations, the proper role of the military, civilian control, all that kind of stuff. Yes, the SOA does teach short, tactical courses, mostly to junior officers and NCOs. But every course has a strong thread throughout on human rights and the correct application of force IAW the laws of armed conflict. All the longer courses are essentially graduate-level stuff, and they run a year-long staff-college level course, in Spanish, that's also attended by US Army, Navy, and Air Force Majors.

In the military, we find that these mil-to-mil contacts are the best tool going for sharing and teaching US military values, and instilling in other officers those same values and principles, by example, and by longstanding personal relationships. Attendance at these courses is extremely competitive and the slots go to the cream of the crop of those Latin American militaries.

That said, I'm always a little amused by the anti-SOA protesters, many of whom happen to be Catholic, as I am. The beef is often about the 4 nuns and a priest who were murdered in El Salvador. Note that quite likely 99.9% of the SOA students from these countries are also Catholic, and were raised their first 20 years as Catholics, and stil go to mass at least once a week. The US Army had most of those 60,000 "graduates" for a 2 week tactics course, maybe a few thousand more over the course of 30 years for a year long course. Seems to me that if you're going to blame the SOA for some of these guys' becoming notorious dictators and murderers, you also have to place a significant blame, perhaps more, on the Catholic church in Latin America. AFter all, the Church had these guys throughout their formative years, for 20 years, and the SOA had them for at most 1. Who made them murderers?

The point is that neither the Church nor the SOA taught these guys to be murderers--they each taught the same kinds of values (our just-war tradition comes from St. Augustine, after all). But thugs seem to crop up everywhere anyway. Saddam never attended the SOA, for example, nor did Milosevic. . .

You hear about the human rights abuses that were committed by graduates of SOA as though their attendance at the school contributed to the crime, which I think is a non-sequitor. What you don't hear about is the number of incidents that might have happened, but didn't, because the tactical leader on the scene, a staff sergeant, who'd been to a few courses in the US and had many relationships with US soldiers, kept control of his young conscript soldiers and prevented them from running amok and taking revenge for some other event.

Paul

Brian H
09-04-2002, 09:36 AM
Ok Neil. You and I disagree. Why does that transform me into a racist warmonger?

You insinuate racism in the fact that we declared war on Japan before Germany in WWII. This is very strange since Japan attacked us and we declared war on them. Then GERMANY declared war on us.

As to why we attacked Afghanistan, when no Afghans were involved in 9-11? Well UBL was hiding there with his little wrecking crew. (And may or may not be dead and buried in some bunker)

One nice thing about living in the Washington area is you meet all kinds of people who are doing all sorts of cool stuff. One of those people I know was one of the first reporters into Afghanistan and some "other” people who have been there. I talked to them and have been told how much the "regular Afghani" really seemed to like the Americans. This is reasonablely unusual because Afghans HATE foreigners in general. This was largely because everywhere the American troops went they brought tons of food. Also, the American's adopted a rather liberal policy toward the Afghans (not killing Afghans or capturing them even if they were directly associated with the Taliban, which is what the Afghan's wanted). At the same time, the Americans have joined the Afghans in hunting down all the foreign fighters roaming around Afghanistan. Their feelings towards the central government are mixed at best (that whole hating foreign influence thing).

Is dropping bombs on people a peaceful thing to do? No, if it were peaceful and nice to blow people up, then the 9-11 would have been OK.

Frankly, I found the prosecution of the Afghan war to be very "Aiki." We went in without the "traditional" massive display of tanks and infantry. Instead the war was by Afghans for Afghanistan with some Americans, largely limited to providing technical and air support. The battle of Tora Bora was largely fought by Afghans at their own insistence. Throughout the war, Afghans just switched sides and in doing so enemies became "friends." I talked to a guy who saw Taliban soldiers literally change "hats" and become allied fighters (The vaulted third way).

Could the Afghans turn around and throw us out? Hell Yes! Not only do we not have the troops on the ground to prevent it, but we would have no moral mandate to stand in their way. THEY (with our help) got (largely) rid of the foreign terrorists that were maintaining the turmoil in Afghanistan.

The bombing reportedly killed approximately 2000 people. Largely these were soldiers (many non-afghani), but sadly many civilians. Last fall every estimate was for massive famine in Afghanistan. While bombing is terrible in itself, the result was a resumption of civilian aid systems supported by a massive humanitarian military effort. Our troops have cleared thousands of mines (I hate the whole concept of land mines), and military aircraft have delivered much more food than explosives. Had the war not occurred it is likely that much more than 2000 would have starved to death. And because Badguys with guys would have taken what they wanted the deaths would have fallen most among the weak and poor, and their children.

One story I heard was some of our guys snagged a particularly industrious food thief/merchant and took him to the airfield, where a C-5A was waiting fully loaded with food. They told him to load his pick-up with everything he wanted, because everything else (C-5s are BIIIIGGG airplanes) was going to his customers for free. My understanding is the that the gentleman is now an employee of an aid organization.

The Afghans are great people. Washington has a sizable Afghan community, and I regularly frequent many of the locale Afghan restaurants (I think I will go today - boneless chicken Kabob, Chick peas, spicy pumpkin, spinach and an yummy and vastly better than McD's). Every Afghan business in the area displays an American flag and when I go on duty/in uniform I am greeted warmly.

But is everything going great in Afghanistan, NO! Drugs, tribal violence, war crimes and all manner of bad things have happened. But I don't think we can just cry and run home. For better or worse, we need to stick with it and in the long run the Afghans will be better for it. An Afghanistan run by Afghans will not be America's enemy.

As to training third world police and military. These guys already know how to run a death squad. We go and teach them "third way" stuff and try and give them a broader understanding of ethics and tell them "If someone talks trash about El Jefe, you can't just shoot their whole family." I know several police trainers that have gone to some of those nasty little spots to teach the locals "modern and moderate legitimate police techniques." These places cry out for reform and somebody has to do it. Not "death squad 101," or "oppressing people for mid-level managers," actually the opposite is true. But some of these guys are goons to begin with, and a few weeks of classes by international police trainers is not going to make deep changes (but hopefully will inspire some up and coming leaders to change their system from within. This stuff is not limited to Americans. European cops are more experienced in a lot of stuff, especially terrorism and riot control (the Seattle IMF riot hardly holds a candle to an English soccer game).

So when one of these goons falls of the wagon (assuming he was awake in class and was encouraged in anyway by his leaders to reform)it is really easy to sit back and say "Look, we trained and supported those guys. The blood is on our hands!" (just as many is this forum respond to every query: "A true Aikido master would never get in that situation") I taught first aid and CPR for several years to recruit and veteran officers, by your standard I should be held accountable if any of them ever did anything bad on the grounds that I “trained and equipt them.” As it stands I was accountable because all of the training I conducted had to be documented by reams of paperwork.

As to your (snotty) assertion that I not "believe in peace" and your welcoming me to practice anyway until my knuckles stop dragging on the ground. Grow up.

Violence is not an abstraction to me, it is part of my daily life. When violence occurs I can't "run away" as Monty Python (and many in this forum) advise. As a policeman, I must "take hamni, irimi deeply with atemi and take uke's balance." More often than not this is accomplish on a "spiritual" level and no violence occurs. The situation thrust upon me resolves "peacefully." But if "push comes to shove" (it happens) things get physical. If I am ever forced to throw someone outside the dojo, the chance of them taking a nice safe roll or landing on a mat are very low. This process would be violence.

If the destruction of a individual was my goal, I could easily a accomplish that goal with or without the nasty little arsenal I troop around with. My reason so training is that my goal is to find, unbalance and control those that would harm me or others.

I do recognize that this is violence. This realization is very is very important, because to fail to do so, you can fall into the trap of "All that I do in the name of XYZ is good."

A personal example is that I once shook hands with a Badman in and "professional setting" (pre-aikido and when I was a non-cop park ranger) and the guy would not let go. He insisted that I let him (and his buddies) drink beer and harass women in peace. I was able to resolve the situation with a few calm words (it was unstated, but abundantly clear that I was willing to use force to make him let go) and never had any real difficulties confronting them again. (I, to this day, will not shake hands with a suspect) I think it was an "Aiki" solution, but any number of "Aikido techniques" could have been used to bang the A-hole's head into a tree (they were later involved in beating the crap out of a coworker). Also, any number of "Aikido techniques" could have been used to bring him to the ground and pin him.

Three solutions, each would "work," but one would be to use "Aikido" to achieve an immoral goal (punishing someone for being an A-hole). But Neil, I argue to you that both uses of technique would have been "violence" and could each have resulted in harm to the suspect (just because my intent was to take the ground and pin him unharmed, does not prevent an accident or mishap that could cause injury or even death).

In life (and international affairs) "peaceful intent" often fails to achieve "peaceful results." In Aikido, the difficult thing is not to do anyone technique, but to keep moving when something goes wrong.

Do I like war? No, my job is to protect one of the many “sexy” terrorist targets and only time will tell if that duty will make me a “participant in” or “a victim of” the War on Terrorism.

Genex
09-04-2002, 10:06 AM
You insinuate racism in the fact that we declared war on Japan before Germany in WWII. This is very strange since Japan attacked us and we declared war on them. Then GERMANY declared war on us.

ah brian did you know that japan was going to declare war on the US but due to the slowness of their ministers english typing skills (this is a true fact) and the time it took the telegram to get to the war office or the president once it was stateside, pearl harbour had been destroyed.

this however now is a mute point america kicked their butts with the scariest thing known to man problem solved...kinda...

on a different note.

what mongo's point against paula is that the us dont want to sit around when they feel threatened, fair enough but c'mon guys proper channels eh? go through the UN its not as if anybody else is at danger eh? not at all the rest of europe the middle east asia they are all really far away compared to the states eh?and pardon me saying so but quite frankly september the 11th does not give america a ticket to go blowing up whomever they think is naughty and could be dangerous, with that mentality they might aswel blow themselves up and have done. damn we need a hyperspace bypass...

what really bites my ass about this whole invading iraq thing is that everyone else in the UN are just kinda sitting back and letting this happen, they're scared of the USA where as a whole they are far more powerful, one day the US is gonna hit the wall and THEN its going to have to realise it cant impose its rightous philiosiphies on the rest of the world anymore its gonna realise its knee deep in shit.

personaly i think america is a great place filled with patriotism, friendship, beauty, innovation, a large veriaty of life and i think its led around like a blind horse to the glue factory...

yoroshiku, pete

Brian H
09-04-2002, 11:09 AM
ah brian did you know that japan was going to declare war on the US but due to the slowness of their ministers english typing skills (this is a true fact) and the time it took the telegram to get to the war office or the president once it was stateside, pearl harbour had been destroyed.
Absolutely meaningless.

If I say to you "I am going to strike you in the nose with my fist," it in no way absolves me of responsibility for an assault against you. (assuming you are not dressed in funny clothes doing Aikido among friends)

Also, the news was full of reports last week of the discovery of a sunken Japanese sub outside of Pearl Harbor that confirmed that "America fired the first shot in WWII."

The implication of that statement is that in defending yourself, you "struck the first blow" if you were able to strike your attacker before he could land a blow.

It also completely ignores the fact that WWII started with the German invasion of Poland, not with Pearl Harbor fifteen months later.

Neil Mick
09-04-2002, 12:23 PM
Ok Neil. You and I disagree. Why does that transform me into a racist warmonger?
I never said you were. My general approach is attack the belief, not the person.

I can only go on what you write, here. If your core beliefs have greater perspective (as I'm sure they do), I have no way to gauge this, beyond the forum.

In any case, I apologize if I gave the impression that I thought you were racist. My point was that many wars have racist motivations, and the proposed war against Iraq is no exception.
You insinuate racism in the fact that we declared war on Japan before Germany in WWII. This is very strange since Japan attacked us and we declared war on them. Then GERMANY declared war on us.
The racism is most evident in the Japanese internment camps and the propaganda spoused by the US, back then (Not that Japan wasn't guilty of this, either).
This was largely because everywhere the American troops went they brought tons of food. Also, the American's adopted a rather liberal policy toward the Afghans (not killing Afghans or capturing them even if they were directly associated with the Taliban, which is what the Afghan's wanted). At the same time, the Americans have joined the Afghans in hunting down all the foreign fighters roaming around Afghanistan. Their feelings towards the central government are mixed at best (that whole hating foreign influence thing).
This is all news to me. What I heard was that Congress deep-sixed a $20M aid package to Afghanistan, lobbied by several of the family-members of WTC vistims. $20M is about what it took to bomb Afghanistan in a day.

Afghanistan is off topic, but let me say this: if we're being so nice and friendly over there, how come there is a media blackout over our activities there? Sure, there may be some isolated "good deeds," but its the same as Palestine: if you have nothing to hide, why the secrecy (and please: none of this "national security" nonsense).
The bombing reportedly killed approximately 2000 people. Largely these were soldiers (many non-afghani), but sadly many civilians.
Again, I'm going to limit my response. Neither you nor I know this for sure. There was a news blackout, and the only source we have is the military, which is hardly a neutral observer in this situation.

Shortly after September 11th I was leaving a dojo after Aikido class. Spontaneously a conversation erupted (without my prompting at all, imagine that) about the most efficient way to "take out" the Taliban. Bombing? Invasion?

I said no: we shouldn't bomb or invade at all. We should take the matter to the UN, instead of acting as police force to the world. The sensei there immediately came rushing down and yelled that I was full of "sh@t."

Now, if I were to bring up the matter with that Sensei today, I'd say: are you satisfied with the results? Did we do what we intended? Is the world any safer? Do we even know if OBL is alive? Are the Afghani's any happier (stories of American soldiers being charitable is heartening, but why does the Afghani in your story have to steal, in the first place, if everything is so good, over there? Do you think the bombing had a positive effect upon Afghanistan?)

So let me amend my earlier point, Brian: violence solves short-term problems, but in the end, it causes more trouble than its worth.

Violence, in effect, solves nothing.

I wish I could respond to the rest of your post more fully, but I have run out of time. Gotta dash (big art show coming up). Be back later. :do:

Guest5678
09-04-2002, 01:02 PM
what mongo's point against paula is that the us dont want to sit around when they feel threatened, fair enough but c'mon guys proper channels eh? go through the UN its not as if anybody else is at danger eh? not at all the rest of europe the middle east asia they are all really far away compared to the states eh?and pardon me saying so but quite frankly september the 11th does not give america a ticket to go blowing up whomever they think is naughty and could be dangerous, with that mentality they might aswel blow themselves up and have done. damn we need a hyperspace bypass...

yoroshiku, pete
Pete,

My point to Paul was that given saddam's track record, the US cannot AFFORD to wait too long. "Want" has little to do with it. I cannot even believe you wrote this. saddam has totally blown off the UN for the past four years yet you suggest we use the UN as "proper channels"? After four years I think its safe to assume he could give a rats butt what the UN says..... ya think?

You're saying we (the US) should adhere to the UN rules and regulations while saddam ignores the UN, slaps them in the face and does what he damn well wants? Please... I don't think so...

Tell you what, why don't you also inform saddam he needs to adhere to the UN rules?

Have you done that? When he adheres to UN rules, then I say we also need to do that but until then, everything is fair game in my book.

And pardon MY saying so but sept 11 DOES give the US the right to hunt down and destroy those that would repeat that horror. They have made it more than obvious that they are our enemy. Also if a country like Iraq has known affiliations with these people (which has been proven over and over and over), then hell yes, we have a right to seek them out destroy them and those that assist them, (this would be saddam in this particular case)...

-Mongo

Brian H
09-04-2002, 01:52 PM
So let me amend my earlier point, Brian: violence solves short-term problems, but in the end, it causes more trouble than its worth.

Violence, in effect, solves nothing.
Yes, someone trying to kill you is a short term problem. Fail to find a solution and your term is complete.

In police training the "Use of force continuum" begins with "officer presence" and ends with "lethal force." To me, Aikido encompasses all of these options.

I would not choose to be attacked, but can respond to affect (but not mandate) the outcome. I have close friends who have killed people and have stood over the graves of people who did not. I have yet to go to the funeral of a Policeman who died with a gun in his hand. Each died just doing his job.

And yes, a world where people want to kill, rape, steal and harm each other is a long term problem. It will not be solved anytime soon, but a start is to use "force" to stop aggression and attack. When people/nations yield nothing from their aggressions, you will have less aggression (trust me, some people will attack you senselessly).

I have stood in front of the Police Memorial and looked at the more than 15,000 names of fallen law enforcement officers and decided I will do what I have to do to not have my name join theirs.

I practice Aikido so that I will not do unnecessary harm to reach the goal of going home at night.

If war is armed robbery rit large, then can a bomb be atemi?

Last note: Good news is no news. There is no "news blackout," the reporters have just moved onto other bad news. Fear not if anything worthy of criticism happens it will be wall to wall in the media. Fat badies in Afghanistan are not news. (seriously try Afghan food and talk to the people there - great food, wonderful people) All this will we/ won't we crap about Iraq is just the flavor of the day (as child kidnapings were last month - they didn't stop, they just are not “news”). CA is absolutely right, it will take months to set up any invasion (Iraq or otherwise) and none of that has begun in any noticeable manner. That being said, it is still a worthy debate.

Brian H
09-04-2002, 02:04 PM
Mongo rules!

Right after 9-11 I heard a lot of people remark that "9-11 was a crime, not a military issue, it should be handled as a police mater" then they would mumble something about the UN or interpol.

I had visions of me and my 9mm driving around Afghanistan in a squad car looking for UBL. (soundtrack to "the good, the bad and the ugly" playing in the background").

The UN!!! They have Syria enforcing human rights!!

Paul Clark
09-04-2002, 02:20 PM
Hi all,

Regarding the notion that Iraq has been directly tied to support of Al Qaeda and/or any terrorism against the US or its interests:

The much discussed meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta and the Iraqi intelligence guy is very much in dispute not only by the FBI and CIA, but also by the Czech's themselves, depending on what day it is. The bottom line is that nobody has yet proved that it did happen, there has been no direct evidence to date that Atta was in Prague, or even in Europe, on the day(s) in question. There was a great story on the on again/off again status of this meeting in the opinion section of MSNBC's website a couple of days ago.

On the more immediate question of when a war with Iraq will happen, there's this. If we're not postured to do it by Nov/Dec at the latest, I think it's off until next fall. Reason: between April and Oct, it's too hot to fight in chem gear. Now, whether we can make it happen from where we are today to where we need to be is another question, and depends on the strategy we decide to employ. There are some quiet, but noticeable movements that we hear about in the press. What's "enough", or how quickly it can become enough, is a very open question.

Why the UN? Question is, why not? Fact is, whenever we think we can get the votes in the SC to do what we want, we go there and get the votes. When that looks dicey, we're more likely not to ask. The Kosovo deal was a non-starter at the UN because of the link between Russia and the Serbs, so it became a NATO mission, sorry UN, not interested in your opinion. This made most people happy, if not the Russians or the Chinese (:-)) Right now, it doesn't look like any other veto-holding member of the security council would approve a new resolution, specifically not China, Russia, or France. The Brits might, but also might not.

But, not so fast. It seems petty, but there are plenty of examples of each of those guys playing hard ball until they're actually invited to the table for a chance to participate in the decision. They don't expect to change our mind, they just want to be heard. It might be useful for quiet diplomacy to be determining at this point what the real feelings would be in each place if we were to invite a discussion and offer a resolution in the UN. Consultation can go a long way. In the end, if they say "no", as long as we didn't ask publicly, we can still act unilaterally if we really need to. I'll bet that's all happening, and we'll see in a few weeks, probably, what comes of it. In the end, it has often served us to cite international law and the UN charter to either justify our own actions or to demand action from others. It becomes more and more difficult for us to do that over the long term if we essentially operate "extra-UN" whenever and wherever we choose. This may be a long-term strategic loser against a short term tactical win in Iraq.

Meanwhile, as I'm fond of unintended consequences, can anyone think of why the Russians or the Chinese would actually love to see us go "do" Iraq by ourselves, thereby committing the US to the unilateral reconstruction of Iraq afterward, a task that may be a drain on our resources for 20 years or so, and in the meantime has the potential to make us a whole lot of enemies in places with a whole lot of oil?

Does it serve any other great powers' interests for the US to effectively isolate itself in this way? Hmmmmm . . .?

Sun Tzu, after all, was a Chinese. . .

Last, while it's an admirable sentiment, "good men" doing "something" is not the same thing as good men doing something USEFUL to prevent evil from triumph. Activity is not necessarily equivalent to success.

Paul

Neil Mick
09-04-2002, 06:16 PM
Pete,

My point to Paul was that given saddam's track record, the US cannot AFFORD to wait too long. "Want" has little to do with it. I cannot even believe you wrote this. saddam has totally blown off the UN for the past four years yet you suggest we use the UN as "proper channels"? After four years I think its safe to assume he could give a rats butt what the UN says..... ya think?

You're saying we (the US) should adhere to the UN rules and regulations while saddam ignores the UN, slaps them in the face and does what he damn well wants? Please... I don't think so...

Tell you what, why don't you also inform saddam he needs to adhere to the UN rules?

Have you done that? When he adheres to UN rules, then I say we also need to do that but until then, everything is fair game in my book.

And pardon MY saying so but sept 11 DOES give the US the right to hunt down and destroy those that would repeat that horror. They have made it more than obvious that they are our enemy. Also if a country like Iraq has known affiliations with these people (which has been proven over and over and over), then hell yes, we have a right to seek them out destroy them and those that assist them, (this would be saddam in this particular case)...

-Mongo
And when you walk down a dark alley and see a large barking dog, do you get down on all fours and bark back?

No, Mongo: acting like a terrorist nation makes us somehow better or superior to terrorists?

A little known fact: we already ARE attacking Iraq. We make minor incursions into their territory every day. Earlier, someone mentioned Iraq breaking into the "no-fly" zone...who do you think drew that line? (one gues...begins with a "U"...).

And no: I don't pardon you for suggesting we terrorize the Iraqi nation because we have so-far unproven charges against its leader. "Where's the beef," Mongo? Where are all these "known associations" you and several others keep asserting? I provide documentation for my assertions; where's your's?

Perhaps you are referring to the "Evil Axis" coined by shrub: N. Korea, Iraq, and Iran...3 nations who couldn't hate each other worse.

But I suspect my points are falling on deaf ears. Let's take a "what-if" situation:

Suppose terrorists planted bombs around 1/2 of all pharmaceutical companies in the US. The devastation would be pretty bad; not to mention the misery from the lack of medicines. We'd bounce back, but hospitals would be in short supply, operations might be delayed, etc.

Supposing the terrorists said that since we were a terrorist nation, they thought that we were making bombs out of our pharmacies and were pre-empting a strike against their nation.

Do we have the right to bomb them back?

If we do, then I suppose that we'd better kiss Johnson & Johnson goodbye, because we, the US, bombed the Al Shifra pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, which served 1/2 the Sudanese population. They are a poor 3rd world country, and the misery from this loss continues. We bombed this plant on the assertion that they were a terrorist factory manufacturing chemical weapons...a totally ungrounded charge that the US gov't has yet to provide any documentatrion (sound familiar).

Do you think we even apologized, or sent them emergency aid? How do you think the Sudanese feel about the US, now?

I so love it when ppl in this country point fingers and assert that we can attack whom we like...because ppl that WE TRAINED and SUPPORTED turned around and bit us back.

Given the horrendous international track record of the US, can we afford to continue on this self-centered, homicidal path of a "war against terrorism?" (BTW, define "terrorist"...are the "contras" terrorists? Reagon called them the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers." Were the Taliban terrorists, when we supported their actions against the Russians? Or when they stoned women for not wearing traditional dress...and we STILL supported them, at this time).:grr:

Neil Mick
09-04-2002, 06:26 PM
Mongo rules!

Right after 9-11 I heard a lot of people remark that "9-11 was a crime, not a military issue, it should be handled as a police mater" then they would mumble something about the UN or interpol.

I had visions of me and my 9mm driving around Afghanistan in a squad car looking for UBL. (soundtrack to "the good, the bad and the ugly" playing in the background").

The UN!!! They have Syria enforcing human rights!!
...and your point...?

The US has Israel enforcing "order" in Palestine: that's going over like gang-busters, right, Brian?

Simple point: we are the only superpower. We are SO powerful, we can set up "client" nations with weapons to make them 4th, or 5th, most powewrful in the world (I think Israel is #4).

We've had this special status for (arguably) 21 years. You'd think that the world would be a better place due to our involvement, instead of misery every time we try to install a new ruler, or police another country.

Again, I defy to, Mongo, or anyone else: show me where the US policy of supplanting rulers has had a positive effect upon the host nation, since the 80's.

I await your reply.

Kevin Leavitt
09-04-2002, 08:58 PM
Paul, your comments on SOA are very well articulated.

As a army soldier, and a buddhist to boot, I have been to the SOA and agree that from my experiences, they tend to actually do more good than bad.

I can think of many examples in our society where we could indeed label various institutions, religions, and other organizations as "bad" simply because of the actions of a few.

That said, I do feel that as a superpower, the U.S. has not done enough to promote peace. We give these countries the tools to defend themselves and support organized warfare, (which btw is much better than unorganized warfare without rules...which SOA tries to avoid having happen). We do not do nearly enough to discourage war and ensure peace in these countries.

So while I feel SOA is not to be blamed, I am critical that with the SOA comes a tremendous responsibiity to support these countries peaceful and lawful infrastructures. If we cannot do this, we should not be in the business of trainng militaries.

On the history issue. What have we really learned from history. Not much since we still have wars. I submit that we stop looking at historical models and paradigms and work on establishing a new one since we don't seem to learn much from our mistakes. Not that I think we should not teach history of war, we need education have awareness....but it should not be a measure of future conduct and actions.

guest1234
09-04-2002, 09:18 PM
I would agree I think with Paul and Kevin (although unlike them, I've never been) that the SOA does not train soldiers to kill and torture…I do think, however, our leaders are responsible for choosing countries as allies, and hence their soldiers come to train, with poor human rights records if it suits us. We knew what we were getting with the Croats and the Northern Alliance, but went with them anyway. Kind of like those dog owners in California, who said they weren't responsible when their vicious dogs killed a neighbor…

There is that very questionable report of a possible meeting with an Iraqi intelligence officer and Atta. Hmm. Well, it is not questionable that many high-jackers were Saudis, bankrolled by Saudis; UBL is Saudi; it is not questionable that Massouri is French. Atta was Egyptian. We are not invading Saudi, Egypt, or France (nor do I think we should). North Korea is on the edge of having a nuclear weapon (if not already), and I'm not aware of imminent invasion plans for North Korea. So it is not the possibility of having a nuclear bomb while being our enemy that requires invasion. It is not being linked to 9-11 terrorists that requires invasion. It certainly isn't anthrax in our mail (despite early pitiful efforts to tie it in---personally, it looked to me a lot more like someone who just wanted to scare an uninformed public into pushing for the FDA to allow vaccine production to resume---looks like it worked), and despite Brian's several posts about dirty bombs and invading Iraq, he doesn't seem to be able to come up with a reason why dirty bombs are a reason, either.

What countries have things to gain: of course China (where I think, if we find UBL, we'll find him there, not a guest of the government, but of the Uighurs). China must be delighted that they can now clamp down on their western province with the US's blessing in the name of stamping out Muslim extremists. And it will be hard for us to meddle in the East if we're busy in Iraq.

Iran must be delighted, they can continue to back their chosen Afghan warlords who may yet retake Afghanistan, and if we leave a very weak Iraq behind, well….

And after we destroyed Russia's economy with the money we threw into prolonging their war in Afghanistan, in some weird revenge for Vietnam, well, they'll not shed too many tears if we destroy our own economy with war. Wars help arms manufacturers, but soldiers, and security forces (like all the extra in our cities, airports, etc) are not producers of anything. They provide security, yes, but they do not contribute a product, rather they are a drain.

Of course, if we are going to invade, it must be a winter war (chem suits and all), but Desert Shield started in early August, so I think sometime this month will still give us plenty of time…I just hope more rational minds prevail.

virginia_kyu
09-04-2002, 09:24 PM
If all of this were left to Colleen and Neil I believe that millions of people would die instead of thousands. All of this talk makes me thank God that George Bush is in the White House, someone who is doing the responsible thing and defending our nation.

guest1234
09-04-2002, 09:30 PM
So far, Michael, you've gone on record for announcing that someone who disagrees with the President should be exiled, and soldiers should do as they are ordered, even when it violates human rights and the Geneva Convention. What country exactly do you think this is?

virginia_kyu
09-04-2002, 09:43 PM
You are mischaracterizing what I wrote just like you have done here with U.S. foreign policy.

Genex
09-05-2002, 05:08 AM
neil mick wrote: And when you walk down a dark alley and see a large barking dog, do you get down on all fours and bark back?

Well said that man!!!

to be honest i agree entirely with your whole post the USA doesnt have the right to stomp around on ppl, i mean nobody else does! and if they do they get put in their place as it should be. ;)

virginia_kyu wrote:
If all of this were left to Colleen and Neil I believe that millions of people would die instead of thousands. All of this talk makes me thank God that George Bush is in the White House, someone who is doing the responsible thing and defending our nation.
Not true i think if ppl listened to ppl like colleen and neil, LESS ppl would die, if you thank god that bush is in charge then god must be saying 'Erm...yeah sorry bout that'.

Y'know i wouldnt trust bush as far as i could throw him (without using tenchi nage) he isnt defending the nation at all he's acting out of revenge and spite, what he doesnt want ppl to see right now is the fact that all this REALLY boils down too is not

"they're a threat to us" so what they're a threat to others but we're not paranoid like the US .

"They're lying and malicious, they're hiding arms from us." so is every other flipping country in the world what makes him so different?.

"He kills innocent ppl in his country" have you been to china recently? and they're part of the UN! what about south america? same thing happens there too ya know (not everywhere), Cuba is not without blame either...

the simple fact is Bush wants a foothold in the east for the OIL yes OIL, texas tea and whats sad is i think Blair has cottened on to this he wants in. in a day or so blair will fly off to the states to HELP finalise the plans for attack (what a dipsh*t) i would only ever be able to look at his face again if he manages to slap bush and say no to the whole shabang, but alas it looks like this thing is gonna happen weather we argue about it or not so...

I hope those of you who want this to happen are happy justified that it will, know that upon your mind and everyone elses that ppls LIVES are going to end over this, ppl will die and its all very well saying "oh well its not going to be us" that doesnt matter a loss of life no matter who's it is, is still a loss of life. Saddam may be a pric but in my opinion so is bush and his lapdog tony blair they make me sick and angry thinking about what they're about to do.

to hell with it all it really is futile to argue about this its gonna happen, lets just practice aikido and if you pray, pray for those who are going to lose their lives...

I'm now going off to be sick.

pete

guest1234
09-05-2002, 05:16 AM
You are mischaracterizing what I wrote just like you have done here with U.S. foreign policy.

guest1234
09-05-2002, 05:22 AM
I can't find a way to put the post quotes in, so folks can just go back, of course, you edited the post you put in just before my last one (so the edit time and date will show that) when you told Neil to go to Iraq since he disagreed. Not that you would have learned erasing what you've said or done from any of our leaders.

But I doubt you went all the way back to erase the one where you told me it wasn't my choice to disobey unlawful orders (those that violate human rights and the Geneva Convention). Of course, you probably have never sat in a class (as I do twice a year) where we are taught the Articles and our responsibility to human rights). Probably just not important to you.

guest1234
09-05-2002, 05:34 AM
Of course we care if we lose servicemen, but that does not mean that we should never act.

Colleen I also don't believe that you are in any position to make decisions whether or not to act if you happen to believe that what you are doing might violate someone's human rights. That is a decision that is made in Washington or by your CO, not yourself. If you do not trust your superiors judgement then I don't understand why you are in the service.

BTW, Clinton seemed to like to use the military alot more then Bush. Did you have any problems with his wars?
Oops, you missed one Michael. I am going on record as characterizing you as a dishonorable and cowardly man, and man is a difficult word to use in connection with you, for your changing your statement about Neil (note yesterdays date your edit time AFTER my post time calling you telling Neil he should move to Iraq) THEN you post time telling me I was distorting what you said. Prove me wrong, get Jun to post your original, unedited post. Coward. Shame on you.

I cannot stand people who lie. They are the lowest form of life.

Guest5678
09-05-2002, 09:27 AM
Wow Colleen, why are you allowing Michael to take your center so easily? Take the emotion out of it.... While I certainly do not agree with neither you, Neil or Pete for that matter, I do respect everyone’s right to voice their own opinion, regardless of how asinine I personally may feel they are.

The bottom line for me is I do not wish harm on anyone but at the same time I believe it unwise to take a "wait and see" posture with saddam. The UN sanctions have only hurt the people of Iraq and cost us (and others)greatly in trying to enforce them. Should we lift all sanctions and just go about our business until he makes another move? I don't know, I think at one point ubl was not considered a direct threat to the US by many people as well..... anyone care to repeat that mistake? Not me.

I find it interesting that most everyone here at one point or another agreed that saddam needs to go but then offers no other plan to achieve that.

It's real easy to sit back and criticize any plan of action, but it only belittles those who do so without offering an alternative solution.

I have not seen any alternative plans here. What I have seen is a lot of historical facts and personal judgements, but gripes and finger pointing does nothing to resolve the issue at hand.

Let's hear some solid alternatives for dealing with saddam, and the issue of dealing with terrorism for that matter.....

What would you suggest Colleen? Do you believe we should "wait and see"?

-Mongo

virginia_kyu
09-05-2002, 11:05 AM
Colleen, wow pretty hostile stuff. And you continue to distort what I have said and my intentions.

Yes I did delete the post where I asked Neil why he did not go and join the Iraqi army if he loved them so much. That is not "exiling" someone Colleen. Exiling would mean to remove Neil by force from the U.S. and placing him in Iraq. I did not say that. I deleted the post because I thought it was a little too much not because I was trying to get rid of evidence as you are suggesting.

You have a great way of twisting things to make them seem like have sinister intentions. This is true as well with your insinuations about U.S. policy throughout the world.

Now you are accusing me of some kind of plot to go back and edit all of my posts and I have done no such thing.

Mongo, I have not seen many historical facts from them, I have heard their versions of historical facts combined with emotional appeals that somehow the U.S. intentions have been sinister and evil in world affairs.

virginia_kyu
09-05-2002, 11:38 AM
I am also waiting to see an alternative solution from them. I am pretty sure though that they will change direction again and accuse the United States of another conspiracy theory, or me for that matter :)

Paul Clark
09-05-2002, 12:47 PM
Michael and Mongo,

I did propose the broad outlines of an alternate strategy earlier--that we should be working to build a concensus for action against a dictator that even our Arab friends would rather see go the way of the elves of Middle Earth. Seems to me the beef, for those who disagree with you two, is more about unilateral action that may not be in the best interests of the US than with the basic notion of whether Saddam should or should not "go". How it's done is at least as important as that it gets done.

Here's an interesting series that started this week on Slate by a guy who's obviously been doing a lot of hard thinking about what "the problem" really is. I think he's done some pretty good work so far . . .he shows a good grasp of IR theory, history, and how foreign policy gets done in the real world.

http://slate.msn.com/?id=2070210&entry=2070214

Paul

Brian H
09-05-2002, 12:50 PM
...and your point...?
Ahhhhhhh. Didn't have one, just a funny picture in my head.

Neil,

You have repeatedly and strongly argued against America taking direct action (invading and such) and also in using influence (providing aid, material, and training) against nations that we see as threats or when seeking to make allies.

The alternative is to do nothing.

If the world were a big family, than the US would be a "Big Brother" (I love George Orwell). As the strongest child (I just can not see nations as acting as "adults", yet), we have a "duty" to look after our siblings as the family matures. If we fail to do so than we are guilty of neglect. But we are talking about a real dysfunctional family with each "child" having many and varying issues of their own that complicate any action each takes.

When I step onto the mat it is to practice action. I will never stop struggling to do Aikido "right," but you will never find me sitting in the corner sucking my thumb with my eyes and ears covered.

Oldie, but goody,
How exactly is a person supposed to respond "non-violently" to someone who has the only goal of killing you individually or in a group. "Sir, we can continue this debate after your shower."

If some guy, who has been raping an murdering women all over the county, breaks into my house, should my wife forget about the Arsenal of Democracy (my gunS) and call a mediator?
ANd suppose she's so hopped up on that "guy" coming in, that she shoots her neighbor?
What is the difference does it make if the rapist breaking into my house turns out to be a neighbor? My wife is a very good shot, and I try to be a good husband, so I sleep very well at night. Just please, do not break into my house.

And Colleen,

"Dirty bombs" are not the threat, Saddam is.

I have known a number of people who have flown the planes, sat in the silos, and manned the ships that represent the considerable US nuclear arsenal. I was told by a B-52 pilot once "We will never attack as long as there was anything to go home to." Their families lived on the bases and cities that would be struck first in any nuclear exchange. I trust these men and women with my life. I have to.

Can you say the same about Saddam?

Also, Colleen,

Please do not move to Iraq. Frank Doran Sensei is coming back to ANV in the spring and you might miss a wonderful opportunity to toss Michael, Kevin and I around the mat.

.... grrrr, OK, Neil you can come too.
…I just hope more rational minds prevail.
We all do.

Guest5678
09-05-2002, 12:59 PM
Mongo, I have not seen many historical facts from them, I have heard their versions of historical facts combined with emotional appeals that somehow the U.S. intentions have been sinister and evil in world affairs.
Well..... I have to give them credit regarding some of their points. The US has certainly made mistakes in foreign affairs thats for sure. My point is however, who the hell hasn't? At what point were we suppose to become perfect in our decisions? And why do our mistakes always have to have some sort of sinister plot behind them? Nuts. Our mistakes are amplified throughout the world because we're the big kid on the block and everyone's looking. Big deal...

You know, the US has taken great pains at substantial costs to develop things like smart weapons. We did this so we can minimize damage to civilians and increase our ability to actually hit what we're aiming at and yes, sometimes we still miss. Smart weapons aren't perfect but they sure beat the hell out of carpet bombing everything in site huh!? Who else in the world has done this though? saddam? right, his strategy WAS to simply toss a scud over in hopes of hitting something, never mind what or who, just hit something. Now that we've pretty much rendered that activity fruitless for him, I believe he'll hand off some nasty weapon to those those not under the microscope to use against us. It makes perfect sense from his side. It then appears he's not involved and allows him to save face in the Arab and European communities.



I don't believe anyone wants to see any more harm done to the Iraqi people. saddam has harmed them enough by not abiding by the UN resolutions regarding the UN weapons inspections. Even the other countries that oppose our military action against Iraq have pleaded with saddam to abide by the UN decision regarding this issue... that should tell you something....

I say the US, and indeed the rest of the world, has been extremely tolerant with this yahoo over these past four years while he has continuously slapped the UN in the face. UN resolutions are worthless unless all participating parties agree to abide by the decisions put forth by the UN. If one country chooses not to abide, then they leave the other countries with no other choice but to back away from the UN process and find other solutions. Unfortunately, this can result in unpopular military action. It's not that difficult to understand....

Paul Clark
09-05-2002, 01:21 PM
say the US, and indeed the rest of the world, has been extremely tolerant with this yahoo over these past four years while he has continuously slapped the UN in the face. UN resolutions are worthless unless all participating parties agree to abide by the decisions put forth by the UN. If one country chooses not to abide, then they leave the other countries with no other choice but to back away from the UN process and find other solutions.

Here here! Exactly the point. Now, about those 60+ UNSC resolutions on Israel withdrawing from the occupied territories to pre 1967 borders . . .

I mentioned earlier our Arab and European friends' desire to see these things applied with even-handed vigor, especially when it comes to enforcement. That's precisely why, to a great degree, we have so few "friends" at this point regarding enforcement of existing resolutions on Iraq--we don't have a consistent record of enforcement elsewhere.

Now, the US government can unilaterally choose to interpret the existing UNSC resolutions on Iraq as giving us all the license we need to go "do" Iraq. Problem is that the other countries, most noticeably 3 of the other 4 permanent members, don't clearly agree on that interpretation, and their votes were required to pass them at the time. Interpretation of those, at a 12 year distance, should include all the parties to the original question. The argument that one participant can "interpret" as it pleases and still maintain the integrety of the UN and its decsions is the issue. As you point out, if one can do it alone, how does the UN remain relevant to anyone?

Paul

Guest5678
09-05-2002, 01:40 PM
Michael and Mongo,

I did propose the broad outlines of an alternate strategy earlier--that we should be working to build a concensus for action against a dictator that even our Arab friends would rather see go the way of the elves of Middle Earth. Seems to me the beef, for those who disagree with you two, is more about unilateral action that may not be in the best interests of the US than with the basic notion of whether Saddam should or should not "go". How it's done is at least as important as that it gets done.
Paul,

And just what do you think the US, through the UN, has been trying to accomplish for the past what, 4 years? Eventually you have to find another soluton. In Aikido, when one technique fails do you continue to try to make it work or do you switch to another technique? Many feel we don't have the time it takes to formulate a mass consensus. I tend to agree with that sentiment. And in the meantime, conditions for the Iraqi population will continue to get worse. How long do you propose we wait?
Here's an interesting series that started this week on Slate by a guy who's obviously been doing a lot of hard thinking about what "the problem" really is. I think he's done some pretty good work so far . . .he shows a good grasp of IR theory, history, and how foreign policy gets done in the real world.

http://slate.msn.com/?id=2070210&entry=2070214

Paul
I have to agree with many points in this article, thanks for sharing but once again it's really just another person thats extremely good at stating the obvious. Many people can tell you whats wrong, not many can offer a valid solution.

So, what you're saying is that to resolve the current problems we need to work harder at changing the Islamic view of the US. Be more sensitive to cultural environments etc... cool, I can certainly understand that, but the question I put to you and the author of this article is, would that same new street of foreign policy afford travel in both directions? Would they then stop teaching their children to hate Americans? I think you're dreaming of a perfect world here and not facing reality. As this author points out, this has been building for many years, some caused by us but much of it caused by there own opinion of our actions. Either way, this proposed solution will take time in order to achieve the desired affect, it's certainly not a quick solution. In the meantime, what are we to do about the possibility of another 9/11? Sit back and wait for our new efforts to take affect? Somehow, I don't feel real good about that..

-Mongo

Guest5678
09-05-2002, 02:07 PM
Here here! Exactly the point. Now, about those 60+ UNSC resolutions on Israel withdrawing from the occupied territories to pre 1967 borders . . .

I mentioned earlier our Arab and European friends' desire to see these things applied with even-handed vigor, especially when it comes to enforcement. That's precisely why, to a great degree, we have so few "friends" at this point regarding enforcement of existing resolutions on Iraq--we don't have a consistent record of enforcement elsewhere.

Now, the US government can unilaterally choose to interpret the existing UNSC resolutions on Iraq as giving us all the license we need to go "do" Iraq. Problem is that the other countries, most noticeably 3 of the other 4 permanent members, don't clearly agree on that interpretation, and their votes were required to pass them at the time. Interpretation of those, at a 12 year distance, should include all the parties to the original question. The argument that one participant can "interpret" as it pleases and still maintain the integrety of the UN and its decsions is the issue. As you point out, if one can do it alone, how does the UN remain relevant to anyone?

Paul
Paul,

Exactly! Iraq decided not to abide by the UN resolutions so how can the world expect consistent enforcement in this type of environment? On one hand you're saying the US should be more sensitive to cultural environments, which differ greatly, then you say everyone wants consistency. Sorry, thats and impossible request. Also, if the other countries have a problem with the enforcement being provided then hey, supply some people and balance things out..... they do have that option you know...

And excuse me, but I think the US HAS backed the UN with it's decisions regarding Israel by sending many diplomats there with many different attempts on forming a solution, as did many other countries...... noone seems to have a solution to that issue. but hey Paul, throw that on our shoulders as well.... it works for you.

-Mongo

Paul Clark
09-05-2002, 02:17 PM
Mongo,
Many feel we don't have the time it takes to formulate a mass consensus. I tend to agree with that sentiment. And in the meantime, conditions for the Iraqi population will continue to get worse. How long do you propose we wait?

I appreciate your sense of urgency. I happen to think the deed is better done sooner than later as well, but not if it's done badly. WHat matters most is what conditions prevail after it's done.

However, I don't think the kind of consensus and coalition-building I have in mind is a long process. With the right presentation, consultation, and probably some small diplomatic quid pro quos to our interested friends, I think it could be done long before we would be in any position to actually begin hostilities, beyond increased tempo of the daily bombardment already in progress. I also said before a lot of this is pro-forma "good manners" in a diplomatic sense--look at as giving the illusion that we care if you must--it's a lot of that, even if those words don't sound very polite.
So, what you're saying is that to resolve the current problems we need to work harder at changing the Islamic view of the US

Not exactly, but almost. What we need to resolve is the conflict that exists between "American values" and some of our conduct over the last 50 years or so. I'm not talking about honest mistakes like funding the creation of the Afghan mujihaddeen that eventually morphed into the Taliban and Al-Qaeda--honest mistake, expedient at the time, necessary even, unintended consequences, stuff happens. I can tell you from close, long, first-hand experience that the record of the US vis a vis Israel and Palestine is what gives birth to the kind of stuff you read about being taught "in schools" (about which more below).

The thing is from the point of view of many people in the Arab and Muslim worlds, it looks an awful lot like the US is anti-Arab and anti-Muslim; like we hate them and are trying (successfully) to persecute them despite the values they admire in us. So, the US hates us, guess we better hate the US. A natural, if not entirely rational response. But think about it--how many Arabs or Muslims do you know, and even so in your gut do you have the glimmer of the feeling that "they hate us", and doesn't that inspire a reaction a little like "guess I hate them?"

I always marvel at the school thing. I was watching O'Reilly or someone of the same genre one night, and he was interviewing a diplomat from Egypt. The host produced a quoted passage or two from a "textbook" in the guests own country, and it said all kinds of stuff about hatred between muslims and the infidel and stuff like that. The guest didn't repudiate the passages, tried to give an explanation, was shouted down for not giving the desired immediate repudiation and condemnation, and the interview ended on that note. Host had proved, and viewers consumed, his point.

Not so fast. I haven't read the Koran in total, and I'm not a scholar of Islam. I do know more than the average bear about it, though--there are several nice, searchable versions available online. Anyway, from the style of the language, it's pretty clear to me the passages were verses from the Koran, which the host clearly did not know or hadn't thought about very carefully. If I'm right, do you see how the Muslim couldn't give an outright repudiation of those verses, especially on international television? Before you say, "Well, if the Koran says stuff like that, that's just as bad", hold on. Go look at the books of Kings, Chronicles, and Deuteronomy. Strangely enough, they're also replete with justifications that give license to the Jews to kill any non-Jews, and tell great stories of their doing so with God's blessing. The Koran is no more full of polemics than the Old Testament--indeed, many of the same stories are in both places.

If you're interested, I'll give you some examples in a later post, just ask.

Lastly for this time, the school thing seems to me to be way overdone and mostly screamed about by folks with no direct experience. All my Arab/Muslim acquaintances were educated in the public school systems in their respective countries. None of them hates the US, quite the contrary. In tiny roadside villages in Saudi, where I've bought gas, shwarma, snickers bars, bottled water, Mars ice cream bars, and sat and shot the breeze with the locals, none of whom had likely ever been to the West, I got nothing but respect, warm hospitality, and a willingness to exchange ideas. My first hand experience of public school products in the region doesn't confirm what you hear from the media. Maybe my sample size is too small (a couple thousand at most), but I just haven't seen it, I've seen exactly the opposite, and I bet my sample size is bigger than Bill O'Reilly's.

Can't resist a quick anecdote. I was in Riyadh once on a trip from the US with a group of 4 or 5 other guys on business. It was Thursday (which is like Saturday) and time for noon prayer, so the shops were closing and folks heading off to the mosques. We took a seat in the shade on a rock to wait for the shops to re-open. This older Saudi approached us and said in pidgin English, "you go to mosque" and gestured in that direction. I said in pidgin Arabic "please, we're Christian". Whereupon he apologized for his intrusion, smiled, said "peace be upon you, may God give you life" in Arabic, I replied in kind, and he left us alone.

Arabs and Muslims who hate us (and there are quite a few) don't hate us for what we believe or what we are. Contrary to that now-familiar formulation, if they hate us, it's for some of the things we do, and mostly that's about Palestine.

Mike--you live in DC, you can do some easy field research--take a cab ride, try to get an Afghan driver, and just start talking about this and ask him what he thinks. Start with "assalamu alaykum". See what he says . . .let us know?

Paul

Alfonso
09-05-2002, 03:36 PM
Mongo, I have not seen many historical facts from them, I have heard their versions of historical facts combined with emotional appeals that somehow the U.S. intentions have been sinister and evil in world affairs.

Michael, nor you nor Mongo (I checked) have provided any facts about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction.

UN weapons inspectors have protested over this:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12127800&method=full&siteid=50143

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0829/p01s03-wosc.html

The Bush administration has not provided any evidence of this race to end humanity either, which causes consternation among other neighbors in the world:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/middle_east/2231483.stm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26022-2002Sep2.html

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20020829-11829437.htm

When the US backed Saddam iut didn't care if he used Chemical weapons:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=325653

http://www.nytimes.com/auth/login?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/18/international/middleeast/18CHEM.html&OQ=exQ3D1030248000Q26enQ3Db0ae2fbb743e693dQ26eiQ3D5006Q26partnerQ3DALTAVISTA1

Finally per today's news it appears that the intention to invade was set in motion previously..

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/09/04/september11/main520830.shtml

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=578&e=1&cid=578&u=/nm/20020828/ts_nm/iraq_usa_saddam_dc_3

As to shadow conspiracies and evil inten, some of the current administration's actions are freaky:

http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/politics/3993298.htm

Brian H
09-05-2002, 04:21 PM
As to shadow conspiracies and evil inten, some of the current administration's actions are freaky:
Doing stuff like removing "thousands of pages of documents that were available for public viewing" that included the location and amount of toxic industrial chemicals strikes me as "smart" not "freaky". This information would be very useful to terrorists. That several "activist" groups plan to obtain this information and publish it on their own websites does seem "freaky" to me.

AMERICAN civilian deaths don't seem to bother some people, but the use of toxic industrial chemicals in a terrorist act would harm the environment. Saddam has a track record on this score. Remember all those burning oil fields in '91.

guest1234
09-05-2002, 05:21 PM
Brian,

For several posts, you said the reason to invade Iraq was the dirty bomb. Now you say that's not it at all...

And I won't be training there. My word means a lot to me, not to others in your dojo, who after I note they are saying others whould live in Iraq if they disagree, change their posts, then say I'm distoring things, and only admit that they went back and changed entirely the original post when the times of editing show they did. Shades of Nixon's lost 15 minutes. Can't tolerate being in the same room as people who lie. Mongo feels it's OK to lie. Fine. I don't, and don't think it is emotional to say that those who care nothing about the worth of their word or name are beneath my contempt. They are low-lifes, I won't be in a room with them, let alone on the mat with them. For folks who like to talk about budo and samurai values, how about the honor of one's word?

guest1234
09-05-2002, 05:28 PM
And Mongo, pay attention to the edit times. I am not calling Micahel a coward and low life for his views, or I would have done so MUCH earlier. It is for his lies. For him saying I distorted his words after he went back and erased what I commented on. Lies are bad, and so are the people who use them. He has not taken my center, he has so toroughly disgusted me that I have to note his lack of integrity. One's word is important in my line of work, and those who lie are considered very bad people.

Paul Clark
09-05-2002, 05:53 PM
Mongo,
And excuse me, but I think the US HAS backed the UN with it's decisions regarding Israel by sending many diplomats there with many different attempts on forming a solution, as did many other countries...... noone seems to have a solution to that issue. but hey Paul, throw that on our shoulders as well.... it works for you.

No need to get testy. Here's some additional data, just for comparison:

UNSC 242, which was passed unanimously in 1967 and which brought about the truce that ended that war, reads as follows (minus the preliminaries):

1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area . .

UNSC 660, passed 2 Aug 1990, the day of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait reads as:

2. Demands (emphasis original) that Iraq withdraw immediately and unconditionally all its forces to the positions in which they were located on 1990;

3. Calls Upon Iraq and Kuwait to begin immediately intensive negotiations for the resolution of their differences and supports all efforts in this regard.

You can find the full text of the resolutions on the UN website at:

http://www.un.org/documents/scres.htm

660 is under 1990, 242 is under 1967.

Now, to the casual observer who brings no preconceived notions to the fight, consider the following.

1. In both cases, a sovereign nation invaded the sovereign territory of another sovereign nation, all of them members of the UN.

2. In the case of Israel, you correctly point out that the US and just about everyone else has sent scores of diplomatic missions to attempt to mediate a "solution" to the problem presented by the fact that the Israelis continue to occupy the territory they took from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria (WB and E Jerusalem, Gaza, and, and Golan Heights, respectively) 35 years after the invasion. There are a total of 600+ General Assembly and Security Council resolutions to date that require Israeli withdrwal from those territories.

3. By the end of Dec 1990, there were 500,000 US troops, and nearly 100,000 allied troops, on the ground in Saudi Arabia. 8 months after the invasion of Kuwait on 2 August, it was liberated by determined US leadership and the application of military force. Approval for this action was near universal.

The difference, to the un-burdened observer, is pretty stark. In the first case, essentially nothing but talk for 35 years, in the latter, one of the most decisive victories in modern warfare.

There have been numerous attempts to pass resolutions that would introduce UN peacekeepers into the occupied territories, but the US always vetoes them.

Now, is it our fault, do I "throw that on our shoulders too?" Again, no need to get testy. The record speaks for itself in this case--it is what it is. We have made choices, one hopes for good reasons. Those choices now have a definable impact on how "useful" a diplomatic and policy tool the UN can be for the US in situations where we might wish to use it. My reference to the equitable enforcement of resolutions was brought about by your insistence that Iraq cannot be allowed to flout the UN resolutions that demand an inspection regime, unless we collectively want the UN to become utterly irrelevant. I agree. But I suggest that the credibility of the UN, and more importantly the US, is also damaged greatly by our insistence that the edicts of the Security Council cannot be made to "stick" to Israel, it's the US won't let it happen. It's further harmed by the fact that we pay the Israelis $4 billion a year for the priveledge of thumbing their nose at all those resolutions.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the policy choices the US makes regarding Palestine or the rest of the Middle East, one must recognize that those choices create precedents that shape expectations. Currently, those expectations don't reasonably include any prospect for equitable application of UN resolutions in the ME or anywhere else. Thus, citing 12 year old resolutions as sufficient justification for an invasion doesn't wash in the region, not when there are 35 year old ones rotting on a shelf un-enforced.

Paul

Brian H
09-05-2002, 06:14 PM
Colleen,

I am sorry, but the intent of my early posts was lost in the confusion of seesawing back and forth in this little flame war and my own lack of attention to the details of some very complex arguments.

Let me give this the one more shot:

"Dirty bombs" are certainly one method Saddam could use to attack the US or its allies directly or through third parties (as some suspect may have happened on 9-11, in ’93 at the WTC and even in OK city- the only question being “where is the beef”)

If it suited him, he could just as easily send his agents to smother me in my sleep with a pillow.

A year ago, I did not think a small group of people could kill almost 3,000 people with a few box cutters.

If you and I were to face each other on the mat with jo, the intent would be to practice jo.

If you were to put your jo down and leave the mat the jo would not continue to attack and defend until you returned.

So, yes, "dirty bombs" are not the threat. They are just weapons.

Saddam and his inner circle mean less to me than a bucket of spit. On the other hand, I feel a kinship with the Iraqi people and the "grunts" in his army. I doubt they are much different than you and me, so for them, I fear war. But, like having a savage dog on the doorstep, SOMETHING has to be done about Saddam soon.

As to coming to the seminar:

Studying with Doran Sensei is a rare opportunity.

And if your fury has not faded by spring, I submit to you that practicing gentleness in the face of anger is a worthy way to spend the weekend. (or . . . let me know ahead of time if you time if you are just going to show up and kick Michael's ass around the dojo, because I will bring popcorn for everybody).

Paul Clark
09-05-2002, 06:32 PM
Well said!

Paul

Brian H
09-05-2002, 06:35 PM
Paul, thank you for your research.

I have often wondered of late what the Middle East would be like today if Israel had been founded as a secular state devoted to all of the "Children of Abraham." A fanciful notion that would have probably been as impossible then as it would be now.

The people are not that different. In the current war Israeli intelligence agents need only need dress as Palestinians to blend in seamlessly in the West Bank and suicide bombers wearing IDF uniforms can gain access to public targets in Jewish areas.

But the war is not about clothes or words on paper, and I don’t have any answers.

Paul Clark
09-05-2002, 06:38 PM
You're welcome.

As usual, the answers only require commitment to do the right thing, and leadership. The outcome would be the best thing that ever happened to Israel.

Whoa--way too serious.

Paul

Xentilius
09-05-2002, 09:05 PM
I think USA should not attack Iraq. Since US claims nuclear weapons in Iraq. But there have been no proof yet. Iraq has also let the US to come to their country to investigate on whether they have been making nuclear weapons. If the US attacks Iraq, the people in many countries will suffer. It will cause oil prices to rise, as Iraq is a main source of oil. And when oil rises, prices of things will go up. And thus making people live in a more difficult society. Many people will lose their jobs if the prices of oil goes up. And by attacking Iraq, more or less innocent people will die.

I hope that the US seek other ways to solve this problem instead of attacking Iraq.
:mad:

virginia_kyu
09-05-2002, 09:10 PM
And Mongo, pay attention to the edit times. I am not calling Micahel a coward and low life for his views, or I would have done so MUCH earlier. It is for his lies. For him saying I distorted his words after he went back and erased what I commented on. Lies are bad, and so are the people who use them. He has not taken my center, he has so toroughly disgusted me that I have to note his lack of integrity. One's word is important in my line of work, and those who lie are considered very bad people.
Ok, this is enough. I have reported your post to the moderator because I think you are getting out of hand and getting very personal.

You have completely mischaracterized me and my intentions and I think you need to get a grip on yourself. There are no lies here Colleen only your perception of some kind of plot I have had to edit all of my previous posts.

Please do provide the evidence here Colleen, which post did I go back and edit? The only ones I can find were edited on Aug. 27 and 28 on the days I posted them. Since that does not coincide with your claim that I edited them after your post I think your theory now falls apart.

I did delete the one message, where I asked Neil why he did not move to Iraq and join them if he loved them so much. I did so because I did not like what I had said. In fact I deleted it before I even read your post, it is even possible that I deleted it as you posted your message.

So get off of your witch hunt lady. Sorry for being so harsh but I don't think it over the line for someone who is calling me a "coward", "liar", and a lowlife."

Kevin Leavitt
09-05-2002, 09:29 PM
Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here.

Think before you act.

Come on guys. This is exactly how we get into "wars" in the first place. It is all "ego" driven.

I teach karate to a bunch of at risk youths in a housing project They live in a community where it is the norm and their paradigm to fight and provoke conflict.

They are constantly trying to get me to resolve their issues for them. They try to get me to take sides and to tell the other one that he is wrong and should appologize.

My response to them is "I don't care who started it". Both parties are at fault and it takes two to fight. As karateka, I expect one to be the bigger person and put their ego aside and "walk away".

I try to teach them that true strength comes from within, having the self discipline to walk away. It takes more emotional and internal strength to walk away from a fight.

Our failure to break this cycle within human beings is the root cause of conflict and wars.

It is okay, IMHO, to debate, disagree, or have differences, but when we start getting personal, we need to take a step back, breath deep and try to look at things from 5000 feet.

Sometimes it requires us to be patient, overlook shortcomings, or take a time out to see what the real underlying issue is.

Sorry for the lecture, just think it is important as Aikidoka, that we look to understand the situation better before we start "nuking" each other.

virginia_kyu
09-05-2002, 09:38 PM
Also, I would be all for returning the post that I deleted here if that is possible. Because it would show how you have even mischaracterized the content of that as well.

I want to clear up all misunderstanding here. Lets start from where it all began.

I wrote a message asking Neil why he did not just go and join the Iraqi army if he loved them so much. I decided that I did not like my post so I deleted it, meanwhile guess you had already posted the following:

So far, Michael, you've gone on record for announcing that someone who disagrees with the President should be exiled, and soldiers should do as they are ordered, even when it violates human rights and the Geneva Convention. What country exactly do you think this is?

It is not very clear that you are referring to my deleted post when you say "you've gone on record for announcing that someone who disagrees with the President should be exiled." So it is very easy for me to say that you are mischaracterizing what I am saying because I said no such thing.

Even if the post was never deleted my follow up post that has angered you so much would still stand:

You are mischaracterizing what I wrote just like you have done here with U.S. foreign policy

In addition, as I said previously there is simply no evidence that I went back and edited any of my posts after your message. The messages I see have edit dates of August 27 & 28, way before this argument even began.

Your claims of me being a liar are completely unfounded.

Pretoriano
09-05-2002, 09:52 PM
I agree with you Xent, What I dont want is Usa taking enemies for two thousand years or more as it happened Palestinian/Jews conflict.

Pretorian

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 03:03 AM
Also, I would be all for returning the post that I deleted here if that is possible. Because it would show how you have even mischaracterized the content of that as well.

I want to clear up all misunderstanding here. Lets start from where it all began.

I wrote a message asking Neil why he did not just go and join the Iraqi army if he loved them so much. I decided that I did not like my post so I deleted it, meanwhile guess you had already posted the following:

In addition, as I said previously there is simply no evidence that I went back and edited any of my posts after your message. The messages I see have edit dates of August 27 & 28, way before this argument even began.

Your claims of me being a liar are completely unfounded.
For shame.

Name calling and deleting posts are bad enough, but to even suggest that a person move, merely because of their beliefs.

But I must say that I'm not surprised. Since this sorry little drunken binge the country's going through (called the "war on terror" by the press), I have been called a communist, a Taliban-lover, a radical, and a few others.

All these names from Aikidoists, who practice an art of peace.

I have also been loudly told in public that I was full of shit. This from an Aikido Sensei where I trained at the time.

My government and the state of Israel have labeled me a supporter of Arafat and the PLO (a circulated email memo...I saw it), because they suspected me of being part of an American peace delegation (oh, the shame!).

My family has called me stubborn for attempting to go to Palestine, but that they loved me and agreed with my reasons. My father, not the most liberal-minded person, begged me not to go but said he agreed with me.

My aunt works on the staff of a Senator. If that plane hit the Capital, I would have lost two aunts, that day.

For myself, I was born in New York City; never really lived there, but I lived close to it for about 25 years of my life. Let's just say that I feel a connection with the Big Apple.

You see, this is my home. My family has been here since 1687, when my 5-greats-grandfather, Capt. John Read, was given a tract of land around Culpepper, VA. My roots and blood lie in this ground. In VA, there is a graveyard of my ascendants dating back to the late 18th C.

My mother is buried there.

And you wish to deride me and my views because I present facts to support my views.

Believe it or not, this reliance of misquotation and half-truths is becoming a trend, in the mainstream news. Pundits are repeating misquotes from the Washington Times, slanderous (and wrong) charges about the NEA website. It seems that researching the facts is too much work for these pundits.

Most of the conservative posters here, with the exception of Paul and Kevin (whose posts I have admired and looked forward to reading. Kevin's posts seem well considered and comes from his dual paths of Buddhism and a military career, and I like Paul's use of deconstruction and devil's advocate, inverting the argument), express views with no documentation to back them up. IOW: "WHERE's THE BEEF??" I've debated both Mongo and Michael, and they both left, conceding defeat and vowing not to return. Welcome back guys: did you remember to put meat in those sandwiches?

But everyone is born with 2 things: an opinion, and, well...that body part where opinions often spring forth. I could say that Shrub is really Elvis, or the moon is made of cheese, but unless I document this view, my opinion sounds as if it issues from somewhere besides my mouth.

In my last post, I challenged anyone to come up with a past precedent (within the last 21 years!) of a successful end to the invasion strategy suggested by Bush. Funny, the silence was deafening...

And as much as Kevin may suggest otherwise, past historical events ARE important, for stupidly obvious reasons. I don't know how old you all are, out there, but I have seen this stupid ploy done over and over! When Presidential support goes down, find some strongman (usually Arabic) out there to invade. Better if he has a mustache, we Americans seem to hate mustache's...

But to return to my point: dissent makes some of you uncomfortable, yes?

Good.

I, on the other hand, welcome your varied opinions, as long as you can back them up. Michael, you seem to like the "let's yell 'fire' in the theatre" method debate, but it seems diversionary and childish. You've been in Aikido for what, about a year, and you go around this forum ASKING if it's "un-Aiki" to discuss politics, with Aikido?? This is not a "win points" debate, this is a debate to explore alternative views (at least, that's my appoach).

Please :disgust:

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 03:17 AM
Now that I got that off my chest, a few facts:

1. Arab League diplomats today said that a US invasion of IRaq would "open the gates of hell" and that they would side with Iraq.

2. The real source of the Iraqi invasion is not within Iraq, but within the White House.

Shrub wishes to bolster his wavering popularity while ousting a troublesome world leader who, it has been mentioned earlier, is no more or less dangerous than, say, India or Pakistan.

Why, you might ask?

Among other things, Bush is acting on an almost personal family vengeance jag, to "get" Saddam. Daddy couldn't oust him, now its his turn to try.

3. Iraq has said that it's willing to open its doors in exchange for an end to the embargo and the end of this vendetta by Bush; IOW: basic good faith agreements.

(listen carefully here: Michael) This is not a support plea for Iraq, merely a note that they are seeking a way around war, as well.

Who, internationally, is acting Aiki, in this precise moment? The superpower threatening bombs and invasion, or the 3rd World oil dictatorship attempting to resolve the situation diplomatically?

And what good is it going to do to piss off the Arab world anyway, just to oust Hussein?

Guest5678
09-06-2002, 06:16 AM
Michael, nor you nor Mongo (I checked) have provided any facts about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction.

UN weapons inspectors have protested over this:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12127800&method=full&siteid=50143

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0829/p01s03-wosc.html

The Bush administration has not provided any evidence of this race to end humanity either, which causes consternation among other neighbors in the world:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/middle_east/2231483.stm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26022-2002Sep2.html

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20020829-11829437.htm

When the US backed Saddam iut didn't care if he used Chemical weapons:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=325653

http://www.nytimes.com/auth/login?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/18/international/middleeast/18CHEM.html&OQ=exQ3D1030248000Q26enQ3Db0ae2fbb743e693dQ26eiQ3D5006Q26partnerQ3DALTAVISTA1

Finally per today's news it appears that the intention to invade was set in motion previously..

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/09/04/september11/main520830.shtml

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=578&e=1&cid=578&u=/nm/20020828/ts_nm/iraq_usa_saddam_dc_3

As to shadow conspiracies and evil inten, some of the current administration's actions are freaky:

http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/politics/3993298.htm
Alfanso,

You didn't check very well. In an earlier post I listed the name of a gentelman that was saddam's chief nuke engineer that is now over here. He wrote an entire book on this subject listing many facts about saddams nuke ability. And I certainly would consider him an expert on the subject. Please recheck the past posts.

-Mongo

Guest5678
09-06-2002, 06:31 AM
Brian,

For several posts, you said the reason to invade Iraq was the dirty bomb. Now you say that's not it at all...

And I won't be training there. My word means a lot to me, not to others in your dojo, who after I note they are saying others whould live in Iraq if they disagree, change their posts, then say I'm distoring things, and only admit that they went back and changed entirely the original post when the times of editing show they did. Shades of Nixon's lost 15 minutes. Can't tolerate being in the same room as people who lie. Mongo feels it's OK to lie. Fine. I don't, and don't think it is emotional to say that those who care nothing about the worth of their word or name are beneath my contempt. They are low-lifes, I won't be in a room with them, let alone on the mat with them. For folks who like to talk about budo and samurai values, how about the honor of one's word?
Colleen,

Whoa there lady, I never said it was ok to lie. I never even commented on the issue you're having with Michael other than my suprise at your being unbalanced so easley.

For the record, I was raised in an old farm community in Nebraska where a person's word and handshake overrides all else. Contact some people at Shindai that know me well. You'll find that your statement is really quite the opposite....

-Mongo

Brian H
09-06-2002, 06:38 AM
Well said Neil,

It comes to mind how emotional this debate is.

One side expects that Iraqi babies will be thrown into bonfires during any military action and the other acts like they would be asked to raise their chin and quietly submit to UBL slitting their throat with a box cutter.

The truth is of course, somewhere in the middle.

Any large-scale military action would impact the hardest on those that deserve harm the least, i.e. the Iraqi people. This is very true of sanctions and to me is another reason to get rid of Saddam.

At the same time, there are any easy solutions. I doubt Saddam spends much time sunning by the pool when Allied aircraft are over Iraq.

The answer is regrettably somewhere in the middle.

As to proof, Saddam's "bad things" are assets to him. If we publicly acknowledge "proof" than it will be clear that we have direct knowledge, including location. This would cause him to move and hide items that we could have otherwise targeted for precision bombing (I would think that such items would tend to be away from public places and civilians to keep spying down)

It is a time to tread lightly, but also to move quickly and boldly.

Guest5678
09-06-2002, 07:39 AM
Mongo,

I appreciate your sense of urgency. I happen to think the deed is better done sooner than later as well, but not if it's done badly. WHat matters most is what conditions prevail after it's done.
Paul,

To my knowledge nothing has been proposed yet, so I'm not sure where your concern over it being "done badly" is founded ( past experience maybe? ) I don't know, I think we did well the last time we faced him in the Gulf. My concern at that time was that if we didn't go forward and take him out then, we'd have issues later... unfortunately, that has proven true.
However, I don't think the kind of consensus and coalition-building I have in mind is a long process. With the right presentation, consultation, and probably some small diplomatic quid pro quos to our interested friends, I think it could be done long before we would be in any position to actually begin hostilities, beyond increased tempo of the daily bombardment already in progress. I also said before a lot of this is pro-forma "good manners" in a diplomatic sense--look at as giving the illusion that we care if you must--it's a lot of that, even if those words don't sound very polite.
Well, from what I see currently, I would have to disagree with this. I don't think we're going to get total buy off on this regardless of the presentation. It's more than just allowing the inspectors in. Thats actually a small (but significant) part of the bigger picture. saddam is a terrorist, whether he's hiding in a cave like his buddy or hiding in a mansion, he's stil a terrorist and needs to be delt with in short order. It will be interesting though to hear what is presented to the UN. I believe many events have transpiried that we are unaware of. It will be a question of whether we believe what is presented or not...
Not exactly, but almost. What we need to resolve is the conflict that exists between "American values" and some of our conduct over the last 50 years or so. I'm not talking about honest mistakes like funding the creation of the Afghan mujihaddeen that eventually morphed into the Taliban and Al-Qaeda--honest mistake, expedient at the time, necessary even, unintended consequences, stuff happens. I can tell you from close, long, first-hand experience that the record of the US vis a vis Israel and Palestine is what gives birth to the kind of stuff you read about being taught "in schools" (about which more below)..
What conflicts between American values and 50 years of conduct are you referencing here? Can you give me some examples?
The thing is from the point of view of many people in the Arab and Muslim worlds, it looks an awful lot like the US is anti-Arab and anti-Muslim; like we hate them and are trying (successfully) to persecute them despite the values they admire in us. So, the US hates us, guess we better hate the US. A natural, if not entirely rational response. But think about it--how many Arabs or Muslims do you know, and even so in your gut do you have the glimmer of the feeling that "they hate us", and doesn't that inspire a reaction a little like "guess I hate them?"
Again, your talking generalizations here. What events have transpiried that caused these people to take the position that we hate them? "It looks an awful lot like" doesn't give me any idea of what your talking about. And which people are you talking about? Saudia? or Pakistan? Afgan? the term Arab and Muslims cover a great spand of people with very diverse cultures.... Who exactly are you talking about?
I always marvel at the school thing. I was watching O'Reilly or someone of the same genre one night, and he was interviewing a diplomat from Egypt. The host produced a quoted passage or two from a "textbook" in the guests own country, and it said all kinds of stuff about hatred between muslims and the infidel and stuff like that. The guest didn't repudiate the passages, tried to give an explanation, was shouted down for not giving the desired immediate repudiation and condemnation, and the interview ended on that note. Host had proved, and viewers consumed, his point.

Not so fast. I haven't read the Koran in total, and I'm not a scholar of Islam. I do know more than the average bear about it, though--there are several nice, searchable versions available online. Anyway, from the style of the language, it's pretty clear to me the passages were verses from the Koran, which the host clearly did not know or hadn't thought about very carefully. If I'm right, do you see how the Muslim couldn't give an outright repudiation of those verses, especially on international television? Before you say, "Well, if the Koran says stuff like that, that's just as bad", hold on. Go look at the books of Kings, Chronicles, and Deuteronomy. Strangely enough, they're also replete with justifications that give license to the Jews to kill any non-Jews, and tell great stories of their doing so with God's blessing. The Koran is no more full of polemics than the Old Testament--indeed, many of the same stories are in both places.
Television, while certainly a powerful media, is crap....
If you're interested, I'll give you some examples in a later post, just ask.

Lastly for this time, the school thing seems to me to be way overdone and mostly screamed about by folks with no direct experience. All my Arab/Muslim acquaintances were educated in the public school systems in their respective countries. None of them hates the US, quite the contrary. In tiny roadside villages in Saudi, where I've bought gas, shwarma, snickers bars, bottled water, Mars ice cream bars, and sat and shot the breeze with the locals, none of whom had likely ever been to the West, I got nothing but respect, warm hospitality, and a willingness to exchange ideas. My first hand experience of public school products in the region doesn't confirm what you hear from the media. Maybe my sample size is too small (a couple thousand at most), but I just haven't seen it, I've seen exactly the opposite, and I bet my sample size is bigger than Bill O'Reilly's.

Can't resist a quick anecdote. I was in Riyadh once on a trip from the US with a group of 4 or 5 other guys on business. It was Thursday (which is like Saturday) and time for noon prayer, so the shops were closing and folks heading off to the mosques. We took a seat in the shade on a rock to wait for the shops to re-open. This older Saudi approached us and said in pidgin English, "you go to mosque" and gestured in that direction. I said in pidgin Arabic "please, we're Christian". Whereupon he apologized for his intrusion, smiled, said "peace be upon you, may God give you life" in Arabic, I replied in kind, and he left us alone.

Arabs and Muslims who hate us (and there are quite a few) don't hate us for what we believe or what we are. Contrary to that now-familiar formulation, if they hate us, it's for some of the things we do, and mostly that's about Palestine.

< little snip here, no worry, won't hurt a bit >

Paul
No thanks on the scripture examples. For every example you list, I'll turn the page and find something to the contrary. While I certainly believe in a God, religious books just hurt my head.

I don't think it's the public school systems they are directing the complaint at Paul. It's much of the radical religious training they recieve. You've been there Paul and I believe you know full well what I'm talking about...

Also, if you take those same Arab/Muslim people that were so friendly and warm to you and put them in some small towns of the US they would probably be welcomed warmly as well. However, I doubt they'd get the same treatment in other areas of the US. One small town does not necessarly represent a nation as a whole. I am certainly glad to hear you had such a positive experience though. It's proof that people can get along regardless of religious beliefs. This is how it should be in my opinion, unfortunately this appears more to be the exception and not the rule...

In regards to your last comment, what is it they believe we did to Palestine? Have we not sided in favor of a Palestinian state? Have we not sent countless people there to try and negotiate that very end? Or perhaps they are not being told this information? Did you bother to try and inform them of the US efforts in that area?

-Mongo

Guest5678
09-06-2002, 08:00 AM
Now that I got that off my chest, a few facts:

1. Arab League diplomats today said that a US invasion of IRaq would "open the gates of hell" and that they would side with Iraq.

2. The real source of the Iraqi invasion is not within Iraq, but within the White House.

Shrub wishes to bolster his wavering popularity while ousting a troublesome world leader who, it has been mentioned earlier, is no more or less dangerous than, say, India or Pakistan.

Why, you might ask?

Among other things, Bush is acting on an almost personal family vengeance jag, to "get" Saddam. Daddy couldn't oust him, now its his turn to try.

3. Iraq has said that it's willing to open its doors in exchange for an end to the embargo and the end of this vendetta by Bush; IOW: basic good faith agreements.

(listen carefully here: Michael) This is not a support plea for Iraq, merely a note that they are seeking a way around war, as well.

Who, internationally, is acting Aiki, in this precise moment? The superpower threatening bombs and invasion, or the 3rd World oil dictatorship attempting to resolve the situation diplomatically?

And what good is it going to do to piss off the Arab world anyway, just to oust Hussein?
Neil,

If your heart tells you to go to Palestine than perhaps you should go. You may even contribute to the solution there, who knows...?

Good luck.

-Mongo

virginia_kyu
09-06-2002, 08:08 AM
For shame.

Name calling and deleting posts are bad enough, but to even suggest that a person move, merely because of their beliefs.
Neil, who exactly is name calling here? I am not the one here calling people "liars", "cowards", and "lowlifes." It is incredible how it all of sudden it becomes me who is the one name calling here. Again my statments about you two is dead on, you twist the facts to suit yourself at any given time.

And I think since I pointed this out you two got so pissed off you decided the only way to respond is to launch personal attacks against me.

If you guys want to take the gloves off so be it.
But I must say that I'm not surprised. Since this sorry little drunken binge the country's going through (called the "war on terror" by the press), I have been called a communist, a Taliban-lover, a radical, and a few others.
I would like to add to this list but I don't want to use that kind of language here.
All these names from Aikidoists, who practice an art of peace.

I have also been loudly told in public that I was full of shit. This from an Aikido Sensei where I trained at the time.
This aikido sensei seems like a very wise man.
My government and the state of Israel have labeled me a supporter of Arafat and the PLO (a circulated email memo...I saw it), because they suspected me of being part of an American peace delegation (oh, the shame!).

My family has called me stubborn for attempting to go to Palestine, but that they loved me and agreed with my reasons. My father, not the most liberal-minded person, begged me not to go but said he agreed with me.
Maybe its because the think you are nuts.
My aunt works on the staff of a Senator. If that plane hit the Capital, I would have lost two aunts, that day.

For myself, I was born in New York City; never really lived there, but I lived close to it for about 25 years of my life. Let's just say that I feel a connection with the Big Apple.

You see, this is my home. My family has been here since 1687, when my 5-greats-grandfather, Capt. John Read, was given a tract of land around Culpepper, VA. My roots and blood lie in this ground. In VA, there is a graveyard of my ascendants dating back to the late 18th C.

My mother is buried there.


Sorry, but what does any of that have to do with anything?
Believe it or not, this reliance of misquotation and half-truths is becoming a trend, in the mainstream news. Pundits are repeating misquotes from the Washington Times, slanderous (and wrong) charges about the NEA website. It seems that researching the facts is too much work for these pundits.
This is exactly what you are doing here Neil, can't you see it. Yout little withch hunt here against me is precisely a campaign of half-truths, misquotations, and lies.
Most of the conservative posters here, with the exception of Paul and Kevin (whose posts I have admired and looked forward to reading. Kevin's posts seem well considered and comes from his dual paths of Buddhism and a military career, and I like Paul's use of deconstruction and devil's advocate, inverting the argument), express views with no documentation to back them up. IOW: "WHERE's THE BEEF??" I've debated both Mongo and Michael, and they both left, conceding defeat and vowing not to return. Welcome back guys: did you remember to put meat in those sandwiches?
Nowhere did I concede defeat here Neil, I did decide that I did not have all day to do research for my posts here, I did jokingly say "You win" (notice the smiley face next to the original post) but that certainly was not meant to be taken seriously man.
I, on the other hand, welcome your varied opinions, as long as you can back them up. Michael, you seem to like the "let's yell 'fire' in the theatre" method debate, but it seems diversionary and childish. You've been in Aikido for what, about a year, and you go around this forum ASKING if it's "un-Aiki" to discuss politics, with Aikido?? This is not a "win points" debate, this is a debate to explore alternative views (at least, that's my appoach).

Please :disgust:
Again yet again you misrepresent me, saying that "you go around this forum ASKING if it's 'un-Aiki' to discuss politics, with Aikido." That is a complete misrepresentation of my arguments on that thread.

How dare you suggest that since I am new to Aikido that I should have no opinions.

I don't give a crap how many years you have had in Aikido dude, nobody is going to tell me to shut up because they think that they are more qualified to speak on political matters because they have more years of Aikido experience.

If I were attempting to be an expert on Aikido techniques then I would be out of line, but politics? What Aikido experience makes you an expert on politics?

I really think you and Colleen are completely out of line here and you are trying to cover up your own weakenesses here by launching a personal slander attack against me.

I can find no post here of mine or anyone elses that comes even close to being as rude, personal, and childish as Colleens.

And I can not believe that you somehow are trying to twist all of this and point fingers and me for being the one who is name calling.

There are two people here, you and Colleen, that are "dishonerable" and "disgusting."

virginia_kyu
09-06-2002, 08:13 AM
Also, I am still waiting for the evidence of the mysterious edited posts. I think you guys should lay out your "facts" before making your incredible accusations.

Actually, I demand you provide it since you have slandered me here publically before the Aikido community. I want an apology for the false claims that have been made against me here.

Brian H
09-06-2002, 09:03 AM
Neil, I have one serious question for you (I'm not sure if you were involved or not).

One activist group was involved in the incident in Israel where there was a hostage/barricade incident in the Church of the Nativity. They went beyond acting as mere observers and attempted to get into the church and bring in supplies to those inside during intense negotiations.

Setting aside the grievances, merits and baggage that the IDF and the gunmen had, the incident involved a number of innocent civilians inside the church. (The Frontline show about the incident deserves an award)

Was that the right thing to do?

My thoughts at the time were that it mad that they got involved in a circus side show. They were clearly dedicated to helping and willing to risk their lives (no criticism from me there); I just wish they had found ways to directly helping the people instead of jumping into an unstable and dangerous situation. Videotape, educate, witness, provide first aid and comfort to civilians one or both sides: YES!!! But stunts for CNN trouble me because they can make the well meaning activist seem to be acting as a puppet of more malignant interests.

I think the harsh light of public view is good for our leaders. (You will see me smiling into the camera in many a protester's photo album – I’m just doing my job, they are just exercising their rights) There is a place for secrets but actions and motives should be public in the end. Example: I did not vote for Bush I in '88 or '92 based on the Iran-Contra Scandal/cover-up, although I have no qualms what so ever about the arms for hostage deal. Iran got some large anti-aircraft missiles that were generally useless for terrorism and the transaction demonstrated that we had no intent to attack Iran (a diplomatic angle not often discussed - why would we give them something to repel an attack if we were going to attack?).

Paul Clark
09-06-2002, 09:06 AM
Mongo,

Great post, lots of questions, I can't begin to answer them all at once. I'll choose the one's I'm guessing are most important to you, if I miss, fire back.
What conflicts between American values and 50 years of conduct are you referencing here? Can you give me some examples?

The easiest examples are Algeria and Egypt. In Algeria in 1991 or so, there was a free and fair election in which a majority of parliamentary seats were won by members of Islamic parties. With US, and also French backing, the military took control of the government and annulled the election. The appearance given, and the conclusion others make, is that we stand for democracy, as long as folks we like win, and if not, we'll annull elections or topple regimes. See "God Has 99 Names" for more detail. Egypt has a democratic government, but is run as essentially a 1-party state with elections in which Mubarak gets 99% of the vote, much like Saddam does whenever he stands for "re-election". Likewise Syria. There was a time, maybe it's passed, during which Islamic parties would have stood a very decent chance of winning free elections in Egypt at least. The point is that we are staunch supporters of Egyptian "democracy", even though everyone, including us, knows it's not one. Again, a contrast between our values and what we do.

Before you shoot me, recognize I'm also a realist--the world isn't a neat and tidy place, and consistencey is NOT an immutable principle of foreign policy under any circumstances. That said, we toot the democratic values and human rights horns pretty loudly when we want to, and we look the other way a lot of the time when it suits us. That's fine as an expedient, but it has it's own price.
Again, your talking generalizations here. What events have transpiried that caused these people to take the position that we hate them? "It looks an awful lot like" doesn't give me any idea of what your talking about. And which people are you talking about? Saudia? or Pakistan? Afgan? the term Arab and Muslims cover a great spand of people with very diverse cultures.... Who exactly are you talking about?

Palestine is the one issue on which the notion of "Arab Unity" is not a myth--it's the one issue on which all Arabs, from Morocco to Iraq, and Persians in Iran, and more broadly, Muslims in general, tend to agree. Their view is that the US is largely responsible for creating and then perpetuating the Israeli occupation of lands that had been Arab for 1300 years since 638 AD, acts which come at the expense of Arabs and benefit Europeans. (the Jewish population of "Palestine" at the end of WWI was placed at around 60,000 people by a British census, of a total of about 700,000 souls. By 1948, there were 600,000 Jews between the Jordan and the sea, 90% of whom were European immigrants, a significant number illegal immigrants. The Arabs would use the word "colonists" instead of "immigrants"). Anyway, to them, this is an enormous injustice that is inconsistent with our values elsewhere. They logically conclude that we must "hate" Arabs; there isn't any other simple explanation.

Media coverage since 9/11, including a lot of the stuff we read here, tends to support that claim. Again, lots of Joe Sixpacks and Wendy Winecoolers in the US now quite likely "hate" Arabs, if for no other reason than they've been convinced that Arabs "hate" Americans because 9/11 and media stuff seems to say so. That helps more and more Arabs conclude that Americans "hate" Arabs, and around the wheel we go . . .
I don't think it's the public school systems they are directing the complaint at Paul. It's much of the radical religious training they recieve. You've been there Paul and I believe you know full well what I'm talking about...

Here's where it helps to dig a little deeper. The public schools are where all this "radical religious training" is being given. To understand why I put that in quotes, you have to know that it's a great virtue for a Muslim to memorize the entire Koran. As a result, all kids in schools in conservative Muslim countries spend a LOT of their school hours learning the verses by rote. EVERY verse, even the ones that might be construed as "radical", because they're verses and you need to learn all of them. I've seen some figures that say 30% or more of the school day is spent on this. Now, even the middle class in Saudi is saying, hey, we got to fix that, because our kids aren't learning enough real 'stuff' to be able to do useful work and compete in the global marketplace. Notwithstanding all the problems, though, most people there, like most people here, memorize the polemic verses about unbelievers and Jews but stash them in the same places that Christians and Jews stash the polemics of the Old Testament. Some don't, and that's where the wackos are born. So, do they teach the radical verses of the Koran? Absolutely. How do most kids react to that after they learn it? The same as you and I reacted as kids, and every Sunday, the the stories of God's chosen people putting every man, woman and child of the Gentiles to the sword--they stow that away as an interesting allegorical passage, and move on to more useful passages that talk about how to live a good life.
You've been there Paul and I believe you know full well what I'm talking about...

don't know what you were getting at here, can you elaborate?
One small town does not necessarly represent a nation as a whole. I am certainly glad to hear you had such a positive experience though. It's proof that people can get along regardless of religious beliefs. This is how it should be in my opinion, unfortunately this appears more to be the exception and not the rule...

Maybe I gave the wrong impression. I was generalizing about many small towns and truck stops (all of which have a mosque, incidentally) from the Persian Gulf all the way across Arabia to the Red Sea, up and down the coast of the latter for 200 miles either direction, the major cities of Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dhahran, not to mention Manama, Bahrain, Dubai, Tunis, and Rabat, Morocco. Everywhere I've been, it's been the same, and the closest I've ever witnessed anyone being "harrassed" was the anecdote in my last post, which I've never though of as harrassment. I'll bet that anyone you can find who's lived in the Arab world will tell you the same thing, while those who have visited for a 10 day media interview tour, like Barbara Walters, may give you a different opinion. I think those that live there are a much better source, there are 30.000 or so Americans who choose to live and work in Saudi every day, for the last 30 years at least, because they love it.
In regards to your last comment, what is it they believe we did to Palestine? Have we not sided in favor of a Palestinian state? Have we not sent countless people there to try and negotiate that very end? Or perhaps they are not being told this information? Did you bother to try and inform them of the US efforts in that area?

See my remarks above on Palestine. To them, and yes they're very aware, the sending of dipomatic missions to Israel to try to negotiate an end to occupation doesn't carry the water. What they want is that the same standard regarding UN resolutions and Geneva conventions be applied to that situation as is applied by us elsewhere, and it doesn't happen. Instead, we give them a large sum of money every year ($4 billion of their total gross government revenues of only $40 billion) while they continue to build settlements on occupied territory (a violation of the Geneva Conventions)which will untimately make it very difficult for any Israeli goverment to withdraw, even if you could find one that wanted to. Every dollar the US sends is a dollar that's freed up in the rest of the Israeli budget to build settlements. This has been going on for most of 35 years, so Arabs are not real impressed with speaches and rhetoric, especially when we veto UN resolutions that call for any kind of sanction of Israel for their misconduct.

That's the Arab view, in very many ways the facts of history support this view. It's not what well-meaninig, fair minded Americans would want to be true, but most Americans don't know enough to understand what we're doing and how it conflicts with their own ideas of fairness and justice.

Too short to do it justice-one of my professors once said great questions have no answers that are both "good" and "short". Sorry the space doesn't allow "good."

Paul

virginia_kyu
09-06-2002, 10:53 AM
BTW, it has already started. In addition to reports of huge commercial shipments of military supplies to ports in the Middle East, hundreds of British and American warplanes have begun their

missions.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20020906_235.html

Xentilius
09-06-2002, 10:57 AM
Neal, I think u should'nt have learned aikido. Aikido fosters the mind to be more peaceful and harmonious, while u had thoughts of killing people. (On the topic, : Choose Death or Possible Death ) I think u should give up Aikido or any martial arts, and take up hunting instead.

You would like to quarrel with other people and copy the whole chunk of what the person had said and insult the person. A person who is trained in Aikido should be able to reflect on what he has said, and whether he is correct or not. He should be willing to accept ideas from other people. If the other person is wrong, calmy and gently tell the person why you think this way.

Sincerely, if you still do not reflect on your attitude, i think you should stop Aikido immediately.

This is not related to the topic on Invasion of Iraq. Forgive me for posting my views here.

:ai: :ki: :do:

Guest5678
09-06-2002, 11:01 AM
Mongo,

Great post, lots of questions, I can't begin to answer them all at once. I'll choose the one's I'm guessing are most important to you, if I miss, fire back.



The easiest examples are Algeria and Egypt. In Algeria in 1991 or so, there was a free and fair election in which a majority of parliamentary seats were won by members of Islamic parties. With US, and also French backing, the military took control of the government and annulled the election. The appearance given, and the conclusion others make, is that we stand for democracy, as long as folks we like win, and if not, we'll annull elections or topple regimes. See "God Has 99 Names" for more detail. Egypt has a democratic government, but is run as essentially a 1-party state with elections in which Mubarak gets 99% of the vote, much like Saddam does whenever he stands for "re-election". Likewise Syria. There was a time, maybe it's passed, during which Islamic parties would have stood a very decent chance of winning free elections in Egypt at least. The point is that we are staunch supporters of Egyptian "democracy", even though everyone, including us, knows it's not one. Again, a contrast between our values and what we do.
Paul,

Again please, you have provided some great information here but "American and French backing" is not very descriptive and sounds like someone leaning....also what were the other influences that resulted in the military coup.... what was happening in this area prior to '91? You're leaving some information out here. Are you talking about the weapons and training that were provided LONG before these elections? Exactly what support are you talking about?
Before you shoot me, recognize I'm also a realist--the world isn't a neat and tidy place, and consistencey is NOT an immutable principle of foreign policy under any circumstances. That said, we toot the democratic values and human rights horns pretty loudly when we want to, and we look the other way a lot of the time when it suits us. That's fine as an expedient, but it has it's own price.
I wouldn't shoot you. Contrary to popular belief, I'm really a peaceful guy! You are correct we do toot horns when necessary but I believe looking the other way is more yours and obviously others, opinion on certain issues that probably have more strings attached than either you or I are aware of.

It's interesting that when the US tries to limit it's involvement in certain situations we're seen as "looking the other way" when in fact we're trying not to be viewed as a ruling force. Damned if we do and damned if we don't I guess. If we're asked, and we decide to provide assistance in any given situation, I believe we also maintain the right to decide just how involved we're going to get. Perhaps they don't see things this way.....
Palestine is the one issue on which the notion of "Arab Unity" is not a myth--it's the one issue on which all Arabs, from Morocco to Iraq, and Persians in Iran, and more broadly, Muslims in general, tend to agree.
If this is true Paul then why are they not all assiting them? Surly if this many people were to "unite" Israel wouldn't stand a chance.....
Their view is that the US is largely responsible for creating and then perpetuating the Israeli occupation of lands that had been Arab for 1300 years since 638 AD, acts which come at the expense of Arabs and benefit Europeans. (the Jewish population of "Palestine" at the end of WWI was placed at around 60,000 people by a British census, of a total of about 700,000 souls. By 1948, there were 600,000 Jews between the Jordan and the sea, 90% of whom were European immigrants, a significant number illegal immigrants. The Arabs would use the word "colonists" instead of "immigrants"). Anyway, to them, this is an enormous injustice that is inconsistent with our values elsewhere. They logically conclude that we must "hate" Arabs; there isn't any other simple explanation.
Again with the generalizations, what do they actually base this on? How is it we're largely responsible for creating the Israel occupation? As even you stated, they've been there a very long time. The fact that the US position (established long ago) that both Israel and Palestine people should be able to co-exist in this area? is that it? Christ, how many people of Jewish decent live in America? Then and now? I don't know if you realize it Paul but you're saying the Arabs cannot co-exist with the Jewish population. America has done it for years and continues to do so as does many other countries. So, whats their problem? They couldn't manage their relationships, so that's somehow the US's fault. No.... this dog won't hunt.
Media coverage since 9/11, including a lot of the stuff we read here, tends to support that claim. Again, lots of Joe Sixpacks and Wendy Winecoolers in the US now quite likely "hate" Arabs, if for no other reason than they've been convinced that Arabs "hate" Americans because 9/11 and media stuff seems to say so. That helps more and more Arabs conclude that Americans "hate" Arabs, and around the wheel we go . . .
Unfortunately, history is repeating itself. But I blame the media on both sides of the fence here.....


Here's where it helps to dig a little deeper. The public schools are where all this "radical religious training" is being given. To understand why I put that in quotes, you have to know that it's a great virtue for a Muslim to memorize the entire Koran. As a result, all kids in schools in conservative Muslim countries spend a LOT of their school hours learning the verses by rote. EVERY verse, even the ones that might be construed as "radical", because they're verses and you need to learn all of them. I've seen some figures that say 30% or more of the school day is spent on this. Now, even the middle class in Saudi is saying, hey, we got to fix that, because our kids aren't learning enough real 'stuff' to be able to do useful work and compete in the global marketplace. Notwithstanding all the problems, though, most people there, like most people here, memorize the polemic verses about unbelievers and Jews but stash them in the same places that Christians and Jews stash the polemics of the Old Testament. Some don't, and that's where the wackos are born. So, do they teach the radical verses of the Koran? Absolutely. How do most kids react to that after they learn it? The same as you and I reacted as kids, and every Sunday, the the stories of God's chosen people putting every man, woman and child of the Gentiles to the sword--they stow that away as an interesting allegorical passage, and move on to more useful passages that talk about how to live a good life.



don't know what you were getting at here, can you elaborate?
Not all radical religious training is happening in the school system Paul. Let me elaborate, how about the religious training thats encouraging young people there to strap bombs to themselves and kill as many people as possible. Where is that training coming from Paul, the schools? I don't think so....
Maybe I gave the wrong impression. I was generalizing about many small towns and truck stops (all of which have a mosque, incidentally) from the Persian Gulf all the way across Arabia to the Red Sea, up and down the coast of the latter for 200 miles either direction, the major cities of Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dhahran, not to mention Manama, Bahrain, Dubai, Tunis, and Rabat, Morocco. Everywhere I've been, it's been the same, and the closest I've ever witnessed anyone being "harrassed" was the anecdote in my last post, which I've never though of as harrassment. I'll bet that anyone you can find who's lived in the Arab world will tell you the same thing, while those who have visited for a 10 day media interview tour, like Barbara Walters, may give you a different opinion. I think those that live there are a much better source, there are 30.000 or so Americans who choose to live and work in Saudi every day, for the last 30 years at least, because they love it.

See my remarks above on Palestine. To them, and yes they're very aware, the sending of dipomatic missions to Israel to try to negotiate an end to occupation doesn't carry the water. What they want is that the same standard regarding UN resolutions and Geneva conventions be applied to that situation as is applied by us elsewhere, and it doesn't happen. Instead, we give them a large sum of money every year ($4 billion of their total gross government revenues of only $40 billion) while they continue to build settlements on occupied territory (a violation of the Geneva Conventions)which will untimately make it very difficult for any Israeli goverment to withdraw, even if you could find one that wanted to. Every dollar the US sends is a dollar that's freed up in the rest of the Israeli budget to build settlements. This has been going on for most of 35 years, so Arabs are not real impressed with speaches and rhetoric, especially when we veto UN resolutions that call for any kind of sanction of Israel for their misconduct.

That's the Arab view, in very many ways the facts of history support this view. It's not what well-meaninig, fair minded Americans would want to be true, but most Americans don't know enough to understand what we're doing and how it conflicts with their own ideas of fairness and justice.
Well, I don't think they are trying to negotiate the end of an occupation as much as they are trying to establish some peace and boundries for both entities to co-exist in a given area. Period. Stange that the Arab view of this is that it doesn't hold water yet, we don't see them offering another solution other than forcing the Israeli people to leave. The fact that we give the Israeli goverment "large sums of money" has little to do with this. The US gives many nations large sums of money. I suppose the billions we just handed Brazil will also be seen as "backing" some kind of radical government down the road sometime in history...
Too short to do it justice-one of my professors once said great questions have no answers that are both "good" and "short". Sorry the space doesn't allow "good."

Paul
I consider your answers very good and short enough for me, I'm really enjoying this discussion. Also, don't get me wrong. I certainly don't believe the major Arab population hates all Americans. But when a radical group shows up they certainly don't do a lot to discourage them either.... but again, thats just my personal issue....

-Mongo

Brian H
09-06-2002, 11:10 AM
Xent let us not fan the flames.

If you differ from someone in this discussion, that is a reason to ask him to stop practicing Aikido is dead wrong.

I have excised a demon or two during this flame war, largely because being challenged by an opposing view has forced me to more closely examine my own. They have not changed, but because of the struggle have been refined. (And for that I thank you all)

(do to Neal/Neil confusion on my part this post has been edited)

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 11:13 AM
Neal, I think u should'nt have learned aikido. Aikido fosters the mind to be more peaceful and harmonious, while u had thoughts of killing people. (On the topic, : Choose Death or Possible Death ) I think u should give up Aikido or any martial arts, and take up hunting instead.

A person who is trained in Aikido should be able to reflect on what he has said, and whether he is correct or not. He should be willing to accept ideas from other people. If the other person is wrong, calmy and gently tell the person why you think this way.

Sincerely, if you still do not reflect on your attitude, i think you should stop Aikido immediately.

This is not related to the topic on Invasion of Iraq. Forgive me for posting my views here.

:ai: :ki: :do:
You didn't read my post very well...exactly where did I call anyone anything?

Attack the opinion, not the person.

I've been on this thread doing little else but using facts to buttress my argument. It's true, I did say that Michael has only 1 year experience, and I find it kind of funny that he asks if it's "un-Aiki" to use Aikido concepts in politics. I found out about Michael's experience from his earlier posts.

I reflect upon my attitude and Aikido, every day. I wouldn't tell anyone that they "shouldn't practice Aikido" because of their views. That approach, to me, is pretty "un-Aiki (sheesh, what a term).

So please, read my posts more carefully.

virginia_kyu
09-06-2002, 11:20 AM
Brian, I think he was referring to me.
Neal, I think u should'nt have learned aikido. Aikido fosters the mind to be more peaceful and harmonious, while u had thoughts of killing people. (On the topic, : Choose Death or Possible Death ) I think u should give up Aikido or any martial arts, and take up hunting instead.What???

You would like to quarrel with other people and copy the whole chunk of what the person had said and insult the person. A person who is trained in Aikido should be able to reflect on what he has said, and whether he is correct or not. He should be willing to accept ideas from other people. If the other person is wrong, calmy and gently tell the person why you think this way.
Please read my thread on the Misuse of Aikido, I think you can learn from it. Also I don't see people accusing me of being a "liar", "coward", and "lowlife" qualifies as "ideas from other people."
Sincerely, if you still do not reflect on your attitude, i think you should stop Aikido immediately.

This is not related to the topic on Invasion of Iraq. Forgive me for posting my views here.

:ai: :ki: :do:
With all do respect to you pal, please don't lecture me on what is proper Aikido behavior. If you took the time to read the entire discussion here you would find plenty of examples of other people acting in the unholy "un-Aiky" way.

:) This is really funny though that I have people that follow me all over these forums to attack me.

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 11:24 AM
Neil, who exactly is name calling here? I am not the one here calling people "liars", "cowards", and "lowlifes." It is incredible how it all of sudden it becomes me who is the one name calling here. Again my statments about you two is dead on, you twist the facts to suit yourself at any given time.
All I ask is that you use facts, instead of pointles name-calling ("Barbara Lee is a wacko," is my personal favorite) to buttress your views.
And I think since I pointed this out you two got so pissed off you decided the only way to respond is to launch personal attacks against me.

If you guys want to take the gloves off so be it.

I would like to add to this list but I don't want to use that kind of language here.

This aikido sensei seems like a very wise man.

Maybe its because they think you are nuts.

This is exactly what you are doing here Neil, can't you see it. Yout little withch hunt here against me is precisely a campaign of half-truths, misquotations, and lies.

Nowhere did I concede defeat here Neil, I did decide that I did not have all day to do research for my posts here, I did jokingly say "You win" (notice the smiley face next to the original post) but that certainly was not meant to be taken seriously man.

Again yet again you misrepresent me, saying that "you go around this forum ASKING if it's 'un-Aiki' to discuss politics, with Aikido." That is a complete misrepresentation of my arguments on that thread.


I can provide your direct quote, if you like.
You asked this very question, in another thread.

How dare you suggest that since I am new to Aikido that I should have no opinions.

I don't give a crap how many years you have had in Aikido dude, nobody is going to tell me to shut up because they think that they are more qualified to speak on political matters because they have more years of Aikido experience.


Nobody told you to "shut up:" did anyone say anything about qualifications, or being experts? Say whatever you want, just back it up with SOMETHING.

If I were attempting to be an expert on Aikido techniques then I would be out of line, but politics? What Aikido experience makes you an expert on politics?

I really think you and Colleen are completely out of line here and you are trying to cover up your own weakenesses here by launching a personal slander attack against me.

And I can not believe that you somehow are trying to twist all of this and point fingers and me for being the one who is name calling.

There are two people here, you and Colleen, that are "dishonerable" and "disgusting."
Now, looking down this list, you say that this Sensei is "wise" for his outburst. IOW, you think that a person expresses "wisdom" when resorting to name calling.

You also seem to thin that I make personal, slanderous attacks.

I'm going to make this really simple for you, Michael, since you seem to have trouble understanding what "name calling" is. Show me 1 post here where I called you anything negative, where I said, "Michael is this or that."

And as far as half-truths, Michael, I am still waiting for any documentation of your points, any at all.

With respect, opinions with no basis in reality are no better than talk-radio rants. You don't like my facts, then come up with one's that you do.

But you can't, and so you say that I distort the truth.

Sad.:disgust:

Xentilius
09-06-2002, 11:43 AM
I was referring to virginia_kyu

...

virginia_kyu
09-06-2002, 11:49 AM
I'm going to make this really simple for you, Michael, since you seem to have trouble understanding what "name calling" is. Show me 1 post here where I called you anything negative, where I said, "Michael is this or that."
No I think Colleen makes personal slanderous attacks while you then try to "shame" me for some post that I decided I did not like and deleted.
When Presidential support goes down, find some strongman (usually Arabic) out there to invade. Better if he has a mustache, we Americans seem to hate mustache's...
If that is not a great example of you twisting circumstances to your favor I don't know what is. So you are saying we are invading Iraq because we don't like mustaches?

I will entertain your request since you have really annoyed me beyond belief. I will spend my entire night going back and bringing up examples where you and Colleen have twisted the facts and relied on emotional appeal. I will post my reply sometime tommorow morning.
And as far as half-truths, Michael, I am still waiting for any documentation of your points, any at all. Which point would you like documented?

If you want to play this game lets go, for now on I also want to see documentation of your sources for your so called facts. Please go back and provide a bibliography for all of your previous posts and prove to us that you got it all from "legitimate" sources.

akiy
09-06-2002, 11:55 AM
Hi folks,

Please take personal attacks and bickerings off of these Forums. Private messages or personal e-mail would be a more suitable place for such.

Continuation of such personal attacks and bickerings may result in the thread being closed and/or your account being deactivated.

Thank you.

-- Jun

Paul Clark
09-06-2002, 11:58 AM
Mongo,
Again please, you have provided some great information here but "American and French backing" is not very descriptive and sounds like someone leaning....also what were the other influences that resulted in the military coup.... what was happening in this area prior to '91? You're leaving some information out here. Are you talking about the weapons and training that were provided LONG before these elections? Exactly what support are you talking about?

Good questions, I can't do them justice here. If you really want good answers, I again recommend the chapter on Algeria in Judith Smith's book, "God Has 99 Names", which apart from what you may think the title implies, is a first-hand historical account of the birth, and growth, of Islamic movements across the Arab world from Morocco to Iran.
If this is true Paul then why are they not all assiting them? Surly if this many people were to "unite" Israel wouldn't stand a chance

Well, they pretty much all are assisting them. Strangely, for doing so, they've been labelled "sponsors" or "supporters" of terrorism for their trouble. A great deal of the money for running the Palestinian Authority comes from donations of Arab League governments, a great deal also comes from charitable contributions of individuals in Arab countries. Militarlily, there's no point in their uniting against Israel--they would still have to fight the United States if they did, and they don't want to do that, nor could they win.
Again with the generalizations, what do they actually base this on? How is it we're largely responsible for creating the Israel occupation? As even you stated, they've been there a very long time. The fact that the US position (established long ago) that both Israel and Palestine people should be able to co-exist in this area? is that it? Christ, how many people of Jewish decent live in America? Then and now? I don't know if you realize it Paul but you're saying the Arabs cannot co-exist with the Jewish population. America has done it for years and continues to do so as does many other countries. So, whats their problem? They couldn't manage their relationships, so that's somehow the US's fault. No.... this dog won't hunt.

I thought that was rather specific. "A long time" is relative. From the time that the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 73 AD until 1918, there were very few Jews in Palestine (the Romans banned them after the 73 AD thing; that was the start of the "Diaspora" you hear so much about). YOu didn't get my point if you compare the Jewish population of Palestine to that of the US. The point was not that we or they can figure out a way to live together--Jews enjoyed protected status in Muslim empires from the conquest of Jerusalem (from the Byzantine empire, not a Jewish one) in 638 until the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. They lived together quite peacefully for 1300 years (much better, incidentally, than Jews fared in Europe during that same 1300 years). It was only when Jewish immigrants started arriving in large numbers in previously Ottoman Palestine between 1918 and 1947 intent on creating a new political entity called Israel that they met any systematic antagonism from the Arabs.
Not all radical religious training is happening in the school system Paul. Let me elaborate, how about the religious training thats encouraging young people there to strap bombs to themselves and kill as many people as possible. Where is that training coming from Paul, the schools? I don't think so

True, but that's not "religious" training actually, even if someone is convincing these kids, contrary to actual Islamic law, that it's OK to commit suicide, in the name of religion or anything else. The war in Palestine isn't about religioin (except in the case of the Haram as-Sharif, or Temple Mount), it's about land, rights, freedom, self-determination--all good, Wilsonian ideals. A really great book for this, first one I ever read, was Thomas Friedman's "From Beirut to Jerusalem". He added a chapter last year to accomodate the new intefadeh.
Stange that the Arab view of this is that it doesn't hold water yet, we don't see them offering another solution other than forcing the Israeli people to leave. The fact that we give the Israeli goverment "large sums of money" has little to do with this.

Actually, they did offer a solution last Spring--complete normalization of relations, or "peace", IAW 242 (the second bullet in the resolution I quoted earlier), renunciation of all states of belligerency, etc. The Arab league all signed up to it, except Iraq. In return, all they want is what the other part of the UN resolution has always required--complete withdrawal of Israel from territories occupied in the 1967 war. That doesn't mean they want the Israelis to leave anything, except the occupied territories. that's hard for the Israelis to swallow for a number of complex reasons, which I'll save for another post if you ask.

The fact that we give the Israelis large sums of money does matter. Israel is the largest single recipient of US grant aid (which isn't like the loan guarantees we just gave Brazil--we co-signed for their notes, which isn't real money), which means actual dollars we GIVE to Israel, not loan, give. Total since '73 estimated over 100 billion.

That money pays for the Israeli military's weapons which are used to kill Palestinians. the money is used (indirectly, not the exact dollar, but a one-for-one replacement) to fund the Israeli goverment's incentive programs that make it much more affordable for Israelis to build homes and live in occupied territory than in Israel proper. It's OK to say this "should not" matter to anyone, but the fact is that it does to THEM,and to a lot of Israelis by the way, and that's why they blame us--for paying for the Israelis to make the problems progressively harder to solve.
I consider your answers very good and short enough for me, I'm really enjoying this discussion. Also, don't get me wrong. I certainly don't believe the major Arab population hates all Americans. But when a radical group shows up they certainly don't do a lot to discourage them either....

The governments actually do quite a lot to discourage the radical groups, you just don't hear about what doesn't happen. THey miss some of course. It's helpful to point out, for example, that the Saudis didn't figure out how to prevent 15 of their citizens from hijacking airplanes on US soil on 9/11. It's even more helpful to point out that neither did we, and most of them had been in the US legally, not in Saudi Arabia, more or less continuously for 2-3 years. On the one hand folks accuse the Saudis (and others) of not trying very hard, or they'd have succeeded in preventing the attack. But, that means that they'd have been better than our guys if they'd just been trying, since we must presume the FBI and CIA and local law enforcement in the US would have been trying their hardest to prevent the same events, and they didn't succeed. The inescapable conclusion is that no matter how good or how motivated the Saudis might have been in attempting to prevent radicals of their own from attacking the US, they could not have been successful without being better than our people or significantly luckier.

Paul

Brian H
09-06-2002, 12:00 PM
I was referring to virginia_kyu

...
That does not mean anything.

I have been staying away from discussions of "Aikido technique and practice" in this forum. I study that in the dojo. Outside the dojo I just live my life and that life is shaped, in part, by my practice of Aikido.

As the tone of this thread has become harsh:eek:, I have moderated my own;). It seemed like the right thing to do.

I am just saying that it is great to confront someone who you feel is wrong. Try to convince them why instead of sending them away.

:circle: :square: :triangle:

akiy
09-06-2002, 12:04 PM
As the tone of this thread has become harsh:eek:, I have moderated my own;). It seemed like the right thing to do.
And for that, I thank you.

-- Jun

Brian H
09-06-2002, 12:10 PM
Paul,

my head is still dizzy:freaky: because of your assertion than France was united with America on an issue? The whole concept is difficult to hold on to and I think I may drop it. :eek:

Paul Clark
09-06-2002, 12:17 PM
Brian,

Well, figure it has to happen once every 225 years or so. Last time may have been when the French navy stood off Yorktown and helped cement the defeat of Cornwallis and the end of the Revolutionary War . . .

I don't know that we acted in concert with the French--although that may also be, I didn't mean to imply that it happened. Each of us, independently at least, encouraged the military to take over the government and annul the results of the election.

Paul

Brian H
09-06-2002, 12:59 PM
Brian,

Each of us, independently at least, encouraged the military to take over the government and annul the results of the election.
Ahhhh. For a second I thought you were talking about Florida recount. I don't think Katherine Harris was riding around in a black helicopter:)

Paul Clark
09-06-2002, 01:18 PM
Oops,

then to be clear, so I don't get into trouble, we and the French encouraged the military in Algeria to annul their election, NOT in Florida.

Paul

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 01:24 PM
Hi folks,

Please take personal attacks and bickerings off of these Forums. Private messages or personal e-mail would be a more suitable place for such.

Continuation of such personal attacks and bickerings may result in the thread being closed and/or your account being deactivated.

Thank you.

-- Jun
Thank you, Jun, for this post. Personal attacks are a pointless waste of time, and do nothing but get a person defensive.

Again: attack the opinion, not the person...no matter what side of the fence you're on, in this issue.

virginia_kyu
09-06-2002, 01:29 PM
Thank you, Jun, for this post. Personal attacks are a pointless waste of time, and do nothing but get a person defensive.

Again: attack the opinion, not the person...no matter what side of the fence you're on, in this issue.
lol

Brian H
09-06-2002, 01:34 PM
Can we zip our flies and hide the rulers, or are we just done?

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 02:00 PM
No I think Colleen makes personal slanderous attacks while you then try to "shame" me for some post that I decided I did not like and deleted.
Well, you have a point, here. One of the great things about this forum is that you can express a view, and then go back and edit it, later.

So, for "trying to 'shame' you," I apologize.

The old saw: "if you don't like America, then leave," gets me really steamed. I was more commenting upon this line of thinking in particular, and character assasination in general.


If that is not a great example of you twisting circumstances to your favor I don't know what is. So you are saying we are invading Iraq because we don't like mustaches?
It's called "wit," Michael. You know: humor? Do you REALLY think I believe we attack countries for the hair content on the upper lips of their leaders (although...Hitler had a mustache,,,,Hussein has 1....and so does Kadaffiy....hey. Waitaminute... :) )
I will entertain your request since you have really annoyed me beyond belief. I will spend my entire night going back and bringing up examples where you and Colleen have twisted the facts and relied on emotional appeal. I will post my reply sometime tommorow morning.

Which point would you like documented?

If you want to play this game lets go, for now on I also want to see documentation of your sources for your so called facts. Please go back and provide a bibliography for all of your previous posts and prove to us that you got it all from "legitimate" sources.
Oh Michael, Michael, Michael. Please read my earlier post, on "winning points," versus "exchanging ideas."

Please, don't stay up all night to out document me. Your wife will begin to hate you (my girlfriend is already starting to grouse about me), and I don't want a divorce on my conscience. :D

And you don't have to spend lots of time researching. It's easy, and I'll show you how.

When Mongo asked me about Iraq and the US opinion of Hussein in 1990, I went to googol.com and typed in "Saddam Hussein US involvement history" keywords. I went through the websites suggested and started quoting some of their points, especially when they refer to historical facts buttressing my argument.

All told, this took me about 10 minutes to research.

Now, if you disagree (as Mongo did), it's fair to ask where I got that point. If he finds the quote biased or suspect, I can defend the reputation of my source, or I can find other sources to buttress my points.

This exchange can continue until either 1 side runs out of documentation, or s/he simply lack the interest or ideas to outmaneuver their debater. In effect, s/he is verbally "pinned."

A debate is, in many ways, a dojo of the mind. As in a dojo, there are etiquette rules of good conduct, and there are "low blows." Name calling and factless inflammatory rhetoric are all low blows, as is character assassination.

When I train, I am not interested in "destroying" uke. Even if I win, I lose. My major purpose is to test my assertions about certain principles and beliefs I have against the beliefs of others who may or may not agree. If I run out of ideas, I cease the debate.

The SOA, for instance. I no longer comment on it because I have offered my view, and there are others here with more experience than I, about the topic. I've never heard the "other side" before, and now I am richer, for the exchange. If I felt strongly about this issue, I would go and do more research to counter their points.

Guest5678
09-06-2002, 02:19 PM
< Little snip here... >
Well, they pretty much all are assisting them. Strangely, for doing so, they've been labelled "sponsors" or "supporters" of terrorism for their trouble. A great deal of the money for running the Palestinian Authority comes from donations of Arab League governments, a great deal also comes from charitable contributions of individuals in Arab countries. Militarlily, there's no point in their uniting against Israel--they would still have to fight the United States if they did, and they don't want to do that, nor could they win.


Thank you for coming out with this. And this differs from the US giving funds to Israel how.....?
I thought that was rather specific. "A long time" is relative. From the time that the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 73 AD until 1918, there were very few Jews in Palestine (the Romans banned them after the 73 AD thing; that was the start of the "Diaspora" you hear so much about). YOu didn't get my point if you compare the Jewish population of Palestine to that of the US. The point was not that we or they can figure out a way to live together--Jews enjoyed protected status in Muslim empires from the conquest of Jerusalem (from the Byzantine empire, not a Jewish one) in 638 until the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. They lived together quite peacefully for 1300 years (much better, incidentally, than Jews fared in Europe during that same 1300 years). It was only when Jewish immigrants started arriving in large numbers in previously Ottoman Palestine between 1918 and 1947 intent on creating a new political entity called Israel that they met any systematic antagonism from the Arabs.
Does this not sound like normal evolution to you? The Israeli people grew stronger and the Palestine people gave way. Man if I had a dime for every instance of this throughout history.... Still, it does not excuse either entity from not resolving their issues in a non-violent manner. Sounds kind of like our own past with the arrival of the "New Americans" and the resident "Native Americans" huh!?


True, but that's not "religious" training actually, even if someone is convincing these kids, contrary to actual Islamic law, that it's OK to commit suicide, in the name of religion or anything else. The war in Palestine isn't about religioin (except in the case of the Haram as-Sharif, or Temple Mount), it's about land, rights, freedom, self-determination--all good, Wilsonian ideals. A really great book for this, first one I ever read, was Thomas Friedman's "From Beirut to Jerusalem". He added a chapter last year to accomodate the new intefadeh.
Excuse me but it IS religious training when they are convinced that their God will award them in the end. This is what they believe and that is after all, what religion boils down to, what one believes.
Actually, they did offer a solution last Spring--complete normalization of relations, or "peace", IAW 242 (the second bullet in the resolution I quoted earlier), renunciation of all states of belligerency, etc. The Arab league all signed up to it, except Iraq. In return, all they want is what the other part of the UN resolution has always required--complete withdrawal of Israel from territories occupied in the 1967 war. That doesn't mean they want the Israelis to leave anything, except the occupied territories. that's hard for the Israelis to swallow for a number of complex reasons, which I'll save for another post if you ask.

The fact that we give the Israelis large sums of money does matter. Israel is the largest single recipient of US grant aid (which isn't like the loan guarantees we just gave Brazil--we co-signed for their notes, which isn't real money), which means actual dollars we GIVE to Israel, not loan, give. Total since '73 estimated over 100 billion.

That money pays for the Israeli military's weapons which are used to kill Palestinians. the money is used (indirectly, not the exact dollar, but a one-for-one replacement) to fund the Israeli goverment's incentive programs that make it much more affordable for Israelis to build homes and live in occupied territory than in Israel proper. It's OK to say this "should not" matter to anyone, but the fact is that it does to THEM,and to a lot of Israelis by the way, and that's why they blame us--for paying for the Israelis to make the problems progressively harder to solve.

Perhaps you should read back to your own words where you state that the other Arab people are also providing funds to the Palestine cause. Are you going to try and tell me now that those funds are not being used to kill Isreali people? So I guess it's ok for the Arabs to fund palestine in this manner but not for the US and Israel?Interesting...


The governments actually do quite a lot to discourage the radical groups, you just don't hear about what doesn't happen. THey miss some of course. It's helpful to point out, for example, that the Saudis didn't figure out how to prevent 15 of their citizens from hijacking airplanes on US soil on 9/11. It's even more helpful to point out that neither did we, and most of them had been in the US legally, not in Saudi Arabia, more or less continuously for 2-3 years. On the one hand folks accuse the Saudis (and others) of not trying very hard, or they'd have succeeded in preventing the attack. But, that means that they'd have been better than our guys if they'd just been trying, since we must presume the FBI and CIA and local law enforcement in the US would have been trying their hardest to prevent the same events, and they didn't succeed. The inescapable conclusion is that no matter how good or how motivated the Saudis might have been in attempting to prevent radicals of their own from attacking the US, they could not have been successful without being better than our people or significantly luckier.

Paul
We certainly can't blame the Saudis for what the 15 meatheads did. No way to catch that. But you cannot, no matter how hard you try, convience me they didn't know about ubl and the danger associated with that group. Only after we started kicking butt did they denounce them and sever all ties..... little late in my book...

Also, I'd be very interested in hearing some of the ways they have discouraged the radicals because you're correct, we don't hear much... or see much for that matter.

-Mongo

Brian H
09-06-2002, 02:23 PM
I've never heard the "other side" before, and now I am richer, for the exchange.
OUTSTANDING STATEMENT!!!!!

Could you please give me your thoughts about my earlier post concerning the Church of the Nativity (it kind of got knocked back in the shuffle)?

You have been lobbing some stones at actions and missteps by the "hawk" faction and your views concerning what I view as troubling action by the "dove" side would be great.

Brian

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 02:25 PM
Neil, I have one serious question for you (I'm not sure if you were involved or not).

One activist group was involved in the incident in Israel where there was a hostage/barricade incident in the Church of the Nativity. They went beyond acting as mere observers and attempted to get into the church and bring in supplies to those inside during intense negotiations.

Setting aside the grievances, merits and baggage that the IDF and the gunmen had, the incident involved a number of innocent civilians inside the church. (The Frontline show about the incident deserves an award)

Was that the right thing to do?
So much flaming, it's hard to see through the smoke sometimes.

This is an excellent point, and illustrates an essential and missing element in debate in American society.

The mainstream news commented that hostile Palestinian gunmen had broken into the Church of the Nativity and held hostage several of the priests and lay ppl.

As with many issues, there is another side to this story, and Frontline neglected to cover some important details.

The story I heard was that the clergy were not hostage at all; in fact, they were there on their own free will. There were sick and injured ppl inside, and the clergy were there to help minimize the violence against the Palestinians. The "gunmen" offered to let them go (a few did), but the rest stayed on of their own free will.

Why did the media not report this side of the story?

The mainstream media, most of which is owned by 6 corporations, censors the editorial direction of the corporate mainstream media. It's not like 1984, with Big Brother looking over your shoulder. It's more like self-censorship: certain stories get killed or slanted by the editors, or the writers themselves downplay some angles deemed not "newsworthy."

"A circus dog that jumps when a trainer cracks the whip is fine, but best is the dog who jumps, with no whip at all."

Every year, a group called Project Censored (they have a website) lists the 10-most censored stories of the year: stories that should have gotten major attention, but were pushed to the side.

A major example of this phenomenon is the writer Jack Webb, formerly of the San Jose Mercury, who write the "Dark Alliance" series on the connection between Bush I and the crack pipeline from S. America. He wrote of his experience in an extremely well documented book, of the same name as his series.

Anyway, I wasn't involved in that episode (but I was trying to get over there, at the time). The group I was with was composed of Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, and it's conceivable that they would have asked me to go to Bethlehem. If they had, I would have gone.

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 02:38 PM
I was referring to virginia_kyu

...
Apologies for the misunderstanding. I still feel, however, that no one should be told to "go practice hunting, instead of Aikido" because they have views counter to the group philosophy.

Beaten with soft pillows and stoned with water balloons, maybe, but...:D

Paul Clark
09-06-2002, 02:49 PM
Mongo,
Does this not sound like normal evolution to you? The Israeli people grew stronger and the Palestine people gave way. Man if I had a dime for every instance of this throughout history.... Still, it does not excuse either entity from not resolving their issues in a non-violent manner. Sounds kind of like our own past with the arrival of the "New Americans" and the resident "Native Americans" huh!?

Ahh, yes, the "Law of the Jungle" theory of international relation--the strong eat the weak. Strange to hear an American say that out loud as though it represents the "American way" somehow--perhaps it does, but that confirms the Arabs' opinions of our motives. This is a sub-school of the "Realist" school, which postulates a never ending balance of power character to the world system. The contrasting school is the idealists, who believe that human nature is not inevitably disposed to eternal war, and therefore power politics isn't the only way, we can maybe do better. I tend to be a realist, but I'm not a sub-school "Law of the Jungle" guy. Seems to me it's in everyone's interest for that idea to have petered out in the 19th century sometime. That notion that it should have or ought to, incidentally, is the underpinning of the concept of the United Nations as a "system of world governance" of a sort. Itd doesn't work too well, or not real consistently, at least not yet, but it's not a bad idea.
Also, I'd be very interested in hearing some of the ways they have discouraged the radicals because you're correct, we don't hear much... or see much for that matter

Books and journals are the only place to find that stuff--it doesn't show up on TV, nor in the papers. it's the product of scholarly research generally. Here's a good link, though, from a reuptable scholar at a top notch institution:

http://csis.org/burke/saudi21/SaudiWarTerr030302.pdf
But you cannot, no matter how hard you try, convience me they didn't know about ubl and the danger associated with that group.

No point in trying to, then. They did revoke his citizenship in 1996 and he's been PNG in Saudi with a price on his head (quite literally) ever since.
Thank you for coming out with this. And this differs from the US giving funds to Israel how.....?

We clearly proceed from different points of reference on the Israeli-Palestinian thing, is it a chicken or an egg? If we can stake out those points of reference, we might be able to sort that out, but maybe not. What's your opinion as to what the issues are there, how it got that way, etc.?

Paul

virginia_kyu
09-06-2002, 03:30 PM
Oh Michael, Michael, Michael. Please read my earlier post, on "winning points," versus "exchanging ideas."

Please, don't stay up all night to out document me. Your wife will begin to hate you (my girlfriend is already starting to grouse about me), and I don't want a divorce on my conscience.

And you don't have to spend lots of time researching. It's easy, and I'll show you how.

When Mongo asked me about Iraq and the US opinion of Hussein in 1990, I went to googol.com and typed in "Saddam Hussein US involvement history" keywords. I went through the websites suggested and started quoting some of their points, especially when they refer to historical facts buttressing my argument.

All told, this took me about 10 minutes to research.

Now, if you disagree (as Mongo did), it's fair to ask where I got that point. If he finds the quote biased or suspect, I can defend the reputation of my source, or I can find other sources to buttress my points.

This exchange can continue until either 1 side runs out of documentation, or s/he simply lack the interest or ideas to outmaneuver their debater. In effect, s/he is verbally "pinned."

A debate is, in many ways, a dojo of the mind. As in a dojo, there are etiquette rules of good conduct, and there are "low blows." Name calling and factless inflammatory rhetoric are all low blows, as is character assassination.

When I train, I am not interested in "destroying" uke. Even if I win, I lose. My major purpose is to test my assertions about certain principles and beliefs I have against the beliefs of others who may or may not agree. If I run out of ideas, I cease the debate.

The SOA, for instance. I no longer comment on it because I have offered my view, and there are others here with more experience than I, about the topic. I've never heard the "other side" before, and now I am richer, for the exchange. If I felt strongly about this issue, I would go and do more research to counter their points.
In all fairness Neil, how can you say that you don't believe that this is about winning and losing yet post the following:
I've debated both Mongo and Michael, and they both left, conceding defeat and vowing not to return.
I have a project due this evening but afterwards I will have plenty of free time to go back and review those posts. :) I have already dedicated myself to it.

Kevin Leavitt
09-06-2002, 03:46 PM
I am very disappointed in the postings in this thread. There are several members of my dojo that seem to be more concerned at bashing egos than really trying to reach an understanding of issues. and you have to face each other in the dojo!!!!

You may not share my sentiments on this issue, but I think if you consider yourself aikidoka that you should be more concerned with resolving conflict than throwing rhetoric around and nit picking.

I sincerely hope that you continue to study aikido and that one day it may help you see that we humans waste alot of time satisfying our own egos to the point of hating, arguing, and killing.

This said, since I am getting to the point where it is getting difficult for me to say anything constructive or nice so, I am signing off these types of threads until I see a higher level of maturation from some of my fellow aikidoka.

Look forward to training with you on the mat! Hope you can resolve your personal issues and work cooperatively with each other in the dojo.

Brian H
09-06-2002, 04:12 PM
As with many issues, there is another side to this story, and Frontline neglected to cover some important details.

The story I heard was that the clergy were not hostage at all; in fact, they were there on their own free will. There were sick and injured ppl inside, and the clergy were there to help minimize the violence against the Palestinians. The "gunmen" offered to let them go (a few did), but the rest stayed on of their own free will.

Why did the media not report this side of the story?
All true, but the clergy would have "had to stay" if others were not being held hostage.

My original question was and still is (short version);) : "Was it alright for the activists to insert themselves into a gunbattle between Jews and Muslims over a Chistian holy place, where people were getting shot and killed each day and Japanese tourists were wandering in?"

Kevin, don't bail out yet (although I fear Colleen has)

Brian H
09-06-2002, 05:55 PM
OK so I am kind of a jerk for asking Neil about something so close to his heart.

I do not question his selflessly on this issue. His heart is in the right place.

He has (rightly) asked many of us to confront issues near and dear to our hearts, such as "Patriotism”,” Nationalism" and "America's role in the World."

I seek to do the same.

I have practiced with Kevin for a while now and would described his Aikido as "Intense, but sincere." I hope that his how I comport myself in this debate.

Neil Mick
09-06-2002, 07:12 PM
OK so I am kind of a jerk for asking Neil about something so close to his heart.

I do not question his selflessly on this issue. His heart is in the right place.

He has (rightly) asked many of us to confront issues near and dear to our hearts, such as "Patriotism”,” Nationalism" and "America's role in the World."

I seek to do the same.

I have practiced with Kevin for a while now and would described his Aikido as "Intense, but sincere." I hope that his how I comport myself in this debate.
Thank you. I respect the spirit of your response. And no, I don't think that you are a "jerk" for asking.

A questioning mind is all I ask of ppl.

I hope I have the privilege of training with all of you, sometime.

:ki:

I'll get back to your point in a bit (it's a fair question); but for now, I gotta dash: my art show premieres tonight. :eek:

virginia_kyu
09-06-2002, 09:15 PM
Kevin, I really respect you and your philosophy and if I were in the military I would be proud to serve with you. But I disagree with you that I am "bashing egos" here. I am not getting angry because of different viewpoints, I really think I was wronged here with a mean spirited personal attack.

And I also would like to add that I am the newbie here, I am being attacked by people many years my senior in Aikido, some of which claim to be pacifists and against any negative vibes.

I have learned alot here, that my suspicions about the "harmony" crowd was right. They dish out hostility just as much as those they criticise.

I am out of here guys, I apologize for my tone and getting slightly angry here. Neil, I am sorry for the name calling, although I still think you are a bit crazy :). Colleen, I am sorry you feel I was trying to pull one over on you, I honestly was not.

And I aplogize to the rest of you who had to witness all of this.

I am leaving because I really don't think I can learn much from many of you here. I do not mean that as an insult, I just think the prevailing philosophy here is too different than my own and I am tired of the fighting.

Brian H
09-07-2002, 07:27 AM
I have learned alot here, that my suspicions about the "harmony" crowd was right. They dish out hostility just as much as those they criticise.
A side issue comes to mind.

The US has a huge stockpile of aging chemical weapons.

It does not need them because it considers the use of any chemical weapon as a "weapon of mass destruction" (They are), but has a policy of using nuclear weapons as its method of response. I understand why, but it is disturbing in itself. It also would not be practical in a terrorist situation. The weapons themselves are old, dangerous and useless.

We have not developed any chemical weapons since Nixon banned their use and they are in storage facilities in remote places in (now 30 year old and decaying) temporary storage.

Incinerators have been built and have been on standby since at least the Reagan years, but have been largely inactive due to environmental lawsuits.

The same people who criticize the chemical stockpile are also responsible for keeping it around. It is just two political sticks with which to beat their opponents.

And Neil, if you visit your family property in Culpeper, drop in.

This debate has been great. I have been changed by it. (I will no longer advocate that Saddam be impailed in Times Square:eek: and his bronzed nuts hung from the rear view mirror of Airforce One:D)

WOOOO HOOOO. I'm a moderate now!!!

Paul Clark
09-07-2002, 03:48 PM
ahhh, I detect the warbling of a rotund female . . .

Andy
09-07-2002, 08:08 PM
I have learned alot here, that my suspicions about the "harmony" crowd was right. They dish out hostility just as much as those they criticise.
Pot. Kettle. Black.

Neil Mick
09-08-2002, 03:39 AM
On the history issue. What have we really learned from history. Not much since we still have wars. I submit that we stop looking at historical models and paradigms and work on establishing a new one since we don't seem to learn much from our mistakes. Not that I think we should not teach history of war, we need education have awareness....but it should not be a measure of future conduct and actions.
In reading back over these posts, I found one I missed, but deserves comment.

This is an interesting thought; why consider history? The old saw about repeating the same mistakes, comes to mind.

Consider another saying (George Orwell): "He who controls the past, controls the present. He who controls the present controls the future."

And, my collorary: history is unavoidable; all ppl and cultures need it. Remember when the Soviet Union fell, and all the statues were knocked down? The ppl re-wrote their history.

I agree with your statement about looking at historical models: but we need SOME history, to know who we are.

Since history is written by the conquerers, we need to find the hidden histories: the ones where consensual and diplomatic models were used.

In other words, we need to find our lost past, to re-interpret our present.

Neil Mick
09-08-2002, 03:48 AM
A side issue comes to mind.

The US has a huge stockpile of aging chemical weapons.

It does not need them because it considers the use of any chemical weapon as a "weapon of mass destruction" (They are), but has a policy of using nuclear weapons as its method of response. I understand why, but it is disturbing in itself. It also would not be practical in a terrorist situation. The weapons themselves are old, dangerous and useless.

We have not developed any chemical weapons since Nixon banned their use and they are in storage facilities in remote places in (now 30 year old and decaying) temporary storage.

Incinerators have been built and have been on standby since at least the Reagan years, but have been largely inactive due to environmental lawsuits.

The same people who criticize the chemical stockpile are also responsible for keeping it around. It is just two political sticks with which to beat their opponents.

And Neil, if you visit your family property in Culpeper, drop in.

This debate has been great. I have been changed by it. (I will no longer advocate that Saddam be impailed in Times Square:eek: and his bronzed nuts hung from the rear view mirror of Airforce One:D)
Again, the story is usually more complicated than the mainstream press covers.

Questions have arisen about the reliability and safety of incinerators. Alternative methods are possible, and the army seems engaged in a "rush to burn" mentality, trying to hurry to conform to a deadline that they won't meet (even if they do burn).

The biggest priority should be safely disarming the chemicals, rather than getting it done on time.

I'd love to stop by and train at your dojo :)

Peeked at your website: tell Jimmy to smile more for the camera :D

Neil Mick
09-08-2002, 04:03 AM
All true, but the clergy would have "had to stay" if others were not being held hostage.

My original question was and still is (short version);) : "Was it alright for the activists to insert themselves into a gunbattle between Jews and Muslims over a Chistian holy place, where people were getting shot and killed each day and Japanese tourists were wandering in?"

Kevin, don't bail out yet (although I fear Colleen has)
There are two stories here, of one event:

-the version upheld by the activists there was that there were no hostages. Ten activists and one journalist evaded the IDF and brought medicines for the injured. The citizens there chose to stay with the Palestinians. These reports were by the activists in the church, phoning from inside it.

-The IDF story was of monks held hostage by desperate Palestinian gunmen.

Now, I look at both sides, and I ask: which side is telling the truth? I think about the positions of both sides: the IDF has a siege situation, and they are slipping in world opinion, versus activists bringing medicines to injured ppl, phoning inside the siege.

Considering also that the IDF shoots at reporters and ambulance drivers, and it's obvious who's lying.

So, to answer your question: yes, it is absolutely "all right" for the activists to crash the IDF party; I would have done the same.

Brian H
09-08-2002, 08:03 AM
Neil, we will just have to agree to disagree.

My take on your comments is:

Hostage or not, the monks were protecting a holy place. They did so a great risk to their lives, and I admire them for their dedication and courage.

Also, the Christian holy place (we are talking about the reputed birth place of Christ) was not theirs to occupy. What made them decide to "militarize" it escapes me completely.

As to shooting reporters and ambulances, Al Queda has used suicide bombers covered as reporters and there have been a number of reports of ambulances beginning used to smuggle weapons.

So as to who is telling the "truth," I think any search for clean hands in the Arab/Israeli conflict would be long and potentially fruitless.

PS, Jimmy does smile when he takes REALLY hard ukemi or gets punched in the head.

Neil Mick
09-08-2002, 01:23 PM
Neil, we will just have to agree to disagree.

My take on your comments is:

Hostage or not, the monks were protecting a holy place. They did so a great risk to their lives, and I admire them for their dedication and courage.

Also, the Christian holy place (we are talking about the reputed birth place of Christ) was not theirs to occupy. What made them decide to "militarize" it escapes me completely.

As to shooting reporters and ambulances, Al Queda has used suicide bombers covered as reporters and there have been a number of reports of ambulances beginning used to smuggle weapons.

So as to who is telling the "truth," I think any search for clean hands in the Arab/Israeli conflict would be long and potentially fruitless.

PS, Jimmy does smile when he takes REALLY hard ukemi or gets punched in the head.
I guess we will have to agree to disagree. But you did not get my points.

My point is that there were no hostages; that was just a story by the IDF to justify besieging a sacred Christian site. The monks agreed to stand with the Palestinians, not to protect the church.

And sorry: a few Al Qaeda pretending to be reporters is no excuse for shooting at innocents. This crime is clearly in violation of international law (besides, if Al Qaeda were pretending to be reporters in Palestine during this time, it was never reported, even by the IDF).

Again, I never heard of the Red Crescent smuggling weapons, except from the Israeli gov't and the IDF.

Justification for shooting at ambulance drivers is in the same line as an argument I recently had with a woman who felt that since some Palestinians were potential suicide bombers, then all Palestinians deserve to be treated as such (i.e., stopped at checkpoints, have their houses bulldozed, etc).

This argument is, simply, a rationalization for racism.

Brian H
09-08-2002, 01:47 PM
I guess we will have to agree to disagree. But you did not get my points.

My point is that there were no hostages; that was just a story by the IDF to justify besieging a sacred Christian site. The monks agreed to stand with the Palestinians, not to protect the church.
Hey, there are two ways to look to look at everything. No problem. I just take the idea that the monks "chose" to stand with the gunmen Vs. it was forced upon them when the gunmen occupied the church with a grain of salt. While it may or may not be the case that the monks support the Palestinian cause, the situation just looks bad.

The incident put the IDF in a very strong position of being able to claim that they were conducting a legitimate rescue operation (whether or not that was actually the case).

I fully support your efforts to make a positive contribution in the conflict. The situation demands cool and reasoned people.

My only point is that, if I had to pick a fight (and often you don't get to pick), something like that particular mess would not be high on my list.

Brian

Brian H
09-08-2002, 03:31 PM
Again, the story is usually more complicated than the mainstream press covers.

Questions have arisen about the reliability and safety of incinerators. Alternative methods are possible, and the army seems engaged in a "rush to burn" mentality, trying to hurry to conform to a deadline that they won't meet (even if they do burn).

The biggest priority should be safely disarming the chemicals, rather than getting it done on time.
True, but we are talking about a situation almost thirty years old.

While we worry about releases during destruction, we allow risk failures of the storage containers.

Brian H
09-09-2002, 07:58 AM
Nice editorial from Christopher Hitchens (who is about as right wing as Abby Hoffman was)

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=2870

Guest5678
09-09-2002, 02:05 PM
Paul,

I must apologize for letting things hang here. I had quite the weekend. Anyway, Thanks for your link, very informative!

In regard to this statement though;

"Ahh, yes, the "Law of the Jungle" theory of international relation--the strong eat the weak. Strange to hear an American say that out loud as though it represents the "American way".

Paul, please do not make the assumption that my opinion, in any way, represents anyone other than myself. I made that statement as a human observing past events. It has nothing to do with whether I'm American or not. (Which I am by the way...) This has been the way throughout the history of the world though, in every aspect of life. It involves both domestic and international issues of man and also influences the smallest of insects. It’s nature's law, not mine….. I merely pointed out that even the US has gone through this situation (at least) once in history.

Obviously we do not live in an "ideal" world, so for now, the "idealists" school of thought will have to wait until evolution catches up. The UN is a great concept but, as you stated, it hasn't worked out too well...yet. Hopefully one day it will reach it's full potential…

The issue between Palestine and Israel, I believe, has a lot more religious under pinning than most probably want to admit. You stated earlier Paul that you believe it wasn't about this, but I must disagree as the camps divided along the religious lines many, many years ago. If it were just a matter of land, economic freedom, etc.... we probably wouldn't have seen the religious split. Issues would have been addressed more on an individual or regional basis. Religious beliefs, in the case of the both groups weighs heavily on the daily conduct of their lives, and they differ greatly. Because of this, geographic considerations must be made. Then, who has a right to what? When this situation arises, (proven repeatedly throughout history) it then escalates into an issue of the strong over the weak. Is this right? Probably not but then, nature has always provided the final solution when we as humans cannot.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe this situation will be resolved any time soon. I truly wish the loss of life would cease. It’s such a waste of this precious thing we call life……

-Mongo

Neil Mick
09-09-2002, 03:39 PM
Hey, there are two ways to look to look at everything. No problem. I just take the idea that the monks "chose" to stand with the gunmen Vs. it was forced upon them when the gunmen occupied the church with a grain of salt. While it may or may not be the case that the monks support the Palestinian cause, the situation just looks bad.

The incident put the IDF in a very strong position of being able to claim that they were conducting a legitimate rescue operation (whether or not that was actually the case).

My only point is that, if I had to pick a fight (and often you don't get to pick), something like that particular mess would not be high on my list.

Brian
Well, a you said: you rarely get the chance to pick your fights.

It's all in which side do you believe, and the conditions under which they are telling the story. Do you believe a side with clear violations of international law and a slipping world opinion, or do you believe a side that uses questionable methods (i.e: suicide bombers) and harms non-combatants? And how much of each side do you believe?

I also take greater stock in the activist's story because they were reporting their side as it happened: the IDF had a chance to sit down and come up with a plausable spin.

Also, the IDF has been known to lie and exaggerate their motives and actions before (shooting live fire into Jenin, the most densely populated refugee camp in the world, for instance. Their reason? Rounding up dissidents and gunmen. I'm sure the children that got in the crossfire were happy to know that the IDF was looking out for their well-being.

(Oh, and my favorite: using a missile to shoot 1 man in an apartment populated with ppl who didn't even know the guy. Obviously they were just doing their fanatical duty and shielding him with their bodies :disgust: )

Paul Clark
09-10-2002, 08:30 AM
Mongo,
made that statement as a human observing past events. It has nothing to do with whether I'm American or not. (Which I am by the way...)

Hey, didn't mean to accues either you or other Americans of anything nefarious. The point was that "the law of the jungle" isn't what most Americans, in my experience, view as their preferred world view. Conceptually, it's decidedly un-democratic. My observation was meant to indicate that conflict between traditional democratic American values of both governance/international affairs and the willingness to retreat to a "law of the jungle" view when those values cease to function in the real world.
The issue between Palestine and Israel, I believe, has a lot more religious under pinning than most probably want to admit

The challenge is separate the fact that the conflict is between communities of different faiths from the notion that they're fighting about religion, or because of it. As another example, consider northern Ireland. Most of us automatically assume that since the most familiar images of that conflict portray Catholics and Protestants on the opposing sides that they're fighting about religion, but that's not so. There are catholics and protestants on both sides, even if the majority on each side is one or the other. The issue there is whether the countines of Northern Ireland will continue to be bound to the United Kingdom, or whether they will become part of independent Ireland. The fight is political, but since the communities are largely divided along religious lines, folks assume it's a religous struggle-it's not.

The same is true in Palestine. There are, for example MANY Palestinian Arabs who are Christian, not Muslim ( by many, I mean perhaps 5% of the total population).Their goals are the same as the Muslims--return of the occupied territories and creation of an independent state of Palestine. The issue of the sovereignty of the Temple Mount is religiously charged, but for fairly practical reasons. The Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque were built in 682, and have been there in continuous use for 1300+ years. The last Hebrew Temple ceased to exist there in 73 AD--it's an interesting historical fact that ceased to exist nearly 2000 years ago. The issue is a fear that the Israelis might think they can remove the former in order to reconstruct the latter on "their" sacred ground.

gotta go . . .

Paul

Alfonso
09-10-2002, 11:45 AM
So basically the problem is that both Israelis and Arabs (Palestinians in this case) are trying to occupy the same ethnic center.

I'm fuzzy on the history, but it seems the league of nations really caused a major problem by setting up this situation..

While both Israel and Palestinians claim Jerusalem, there will be conflict.

Now, where's the US gov't defining it's center, when it proposes a just attack on Iraq?

Paul Clark
09-10-2002, 12:30 PM
Sorry for the typos in previous post, had to go to a meeting and didn't have time to proof read--and hey, when did we come up with a limit for editing?
I'm fuzzy on the history, but it seems the league of nations really caused a major problem by setting up this situation..

THAT, as they say, is the problem, and a very long, controversial story. Fortunately, there are some good primary sources for information on what exactly was going on and why, done by parties to the process in the UN.

http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpalnew/glossarycollapsible.htm

The link "DPR study: The origins and Evoloution of the Palestine Problem, 1917-1988" on the "Refugees" section (click the dots ont he left hand side to expand each section) USED to be the most comprehensive, factual, and unbiased detailed history, but the link seems to be dead (temporarily, I hope). other pages on the UN site that are good background are:

http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/ec8db69f77e7a33e052567270057e591/3b58e8d0adf62b5f852561230077c62d!OpenDocument

and

http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/ngo/history.html

Happy reading

Paul

Neil Mick
09-10-2002, 02:58 PM
The same is true in Palestine. There are, for example MANY Palestinian Arabs who are Christian, not Muslim ( by many, I mean perhaps 5% of the total population).Their goals are the same as the Muslims--return of the occupied territories and creation of an independent state of Palestine.

gotta go . . .

Paul
It's more than that...but all of these issues play a role.

Paul implied this very well, when he pointed out that Moslem and Christian Palestinians have the same goal. Christian or Moslem, Palestinians are treated with equal contempt by the Israeli government and many (but not all, clearly) of its citizens.

The Israeli government treats these ppl with no respect and fewer rights, grouping them as if they were all potential suicide bombers. The treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints is arbitrary to the point of absurdity (some Palestinians are shot, some let in, some have to wait all day).

Food and clean water are rationed and often unavailable while nearby settlements (more like fortresses, as they have their own militia, high walls and use of roads) get enough water for swimming pools.

Palestinians are forced to wait sometimes for days merely to go to work, school or simply live.

Neil Mick
09-10-2002, 03:10 PM
So basically the problem is that both Israelis and Arabs (Palestinians in this case) are trying to occupy the same ethnic center.

I'm fuzzy on the history, but it seems the league of nations really caused a major problem by setting up this situation..

While both Israel and Palestinians claim Jerusalem, there will be conflict.

Now, where's the US gov't defining it's center, when it proposes a just attack on Iraq?
That's the trouble: we don't have a center. We spout humanitarian rights causes when it suits us, train monsters to destabilize whole societies when we need to expand, and then wring our hands in solemn misery when one of these monsters comes back to attack us.

Why Iraq, now? I keep asking myself? Why is there something that MUST be done, now? What terrible things has he done in the last 10 years that make this such as necessity?

But I believe the "conservative" (not really conservative at all, as the traditional conservative must be horrified at the vast military spending that goes on in the US) argument goes like this: Hussein has built up a stockpile, and if we wait any longer he'll be too big to stomp, later.

But: Iraq has opened the door for weapons inspections. So: the alternative to invasion and bombing is diplomacy and working through nonviolent means. We also risk a war with other Arab nations on an operation with no stated goal, except to remove a foreign world leader from power...in effect, a mafia-style "hit" with lots more firepower.

But let's discuss the REAL reason for all this hype: the boys in the Big House see Iraq as a way to make us all forget about how much we've lost in civil liberties and freedoms in this country, due to quick fix security laws that serve mainly to break down the protections offered to us by the Bill of Rights.

This country is a mess, and Shrub's major contributions to this country are to make it easier for his rich pal's to get richer at our expense.

Neil Mick
09-10-2002, 03:24 PM
BTW: good links, Paul and Brian. I am enjoying reading them. :)

Alfonso
09-10-2002, 04:15 PM
well someone in the parallel thread in Aikido Journal has likened the US-Iraq policy to a foreign policy Atemi.

So the question is, if that is the case, and Iraq is not invaded, whose cause is furthered by sabre rattling?

One could be Neil's interpretation:
the boys in the Big House see Iraq as a way to make us all forget about how much we've lost in civil liberties and freedoms in this country, due to quick fix security laws that serve mainly to break down the protections offered to us by the Bill of Rights

Another could be less sinister but equally deceptive.. I don't have the time to look up the quote, sorry, but I think we all would agree that the Palestinian cause is one of the few things that have complete consensus on the Muslim world.

Well, the other thing in the radar has been the recent actions against the zealot militant fringe in the Muslim world. They also get a lot of their rhetoric in due to the Palestinian cause.

An threat of invasion against Iraq with little meat to the arguments in favor would probably rally the public muslim opinion around Iraq. Which has a secular gov't...

The US has been willing to live with Saddam before..

<http://www.creators.com/opinion_show.cfm?columnsName=miv>

It may be preferable to a united front of people in search of a religious conflict.

The reason I think it's a divertionary tactic is that you're getting way to much dissent on this issue in the media, in the Republican Party, in the military.

Not that I think that there wouldn't be, but the public airing of it would be unthinkable on other issues where the gov't wants to present a united front.

Alfonso
09-10-2002, 04:18 PM
Hmm. on that link I was referring to the article on Tuesday Sept 3, not the one the link takes you to (it's available). I hadn't read the more recent one, but talk about coincidence..more possibilities?

Paul Clark
09-10-2002, 04:24 PM
Niel,
But let's discuss the REAL reason for all this hype: the boys in the Big House see Iraq as a way to make us all forget about how much we've lost in civil liberties and freedoms in this country, due to quick fix security laws that serve mainly to break down the protections offered to us by the Bill of Rights.

Sounds like we may agree on many things regarding the Middle East, but I don't subscribe to any conspiracy theory here. To the extent that civil liberties have been abridged, which I think is an open question whose answer is not to be assumed, I tend to believe that occurs as an unintended consequence of what are prudent and necessary measures designed to enhance security (whew!) No wag the dog for me, sorry.

Now, whether or not this is the right time, and these the right circumstances, to "do" Iraq is another question entirely. I assume that the President has more information than I do, so it's likely there's a compelling need somewhere. My point has been that the HOW of getting it done is just as important, if not more important, than the actual doing of the thing. How will have more impact on the character of a post-war Iraq, and Middle East, than anything else, and on what the US standing will be there.

I favor the road to Baghdad running through Jerusalem; those in the government seem to favor the road to Jerusalem running through Baghdad. In the end, as long as you solve both problems, it may not matter the order they're done in. What worries me is that the road that goes direct to Baghdad may dead-end before it ever reaches Jerusalem, in which case I think we're much worse off.

The selection of strategy probably has more to do with domestic political considerations than anything else: the President cannot formulate a foreign policy with utter disregard for that political climate. It may be, for example, that while Jerusalem-first makes much more sense, it's not politically viable in this country as long as someone believes that Israel is mortally threatened by Iraq. Even if that's not true, it may be that many people believe it is, or that someone would like them to. If that were all the case, it might be easiest to solve Jerusalem with Iraq no longer a threat to Israel--that would leave Syria as the sole adjacent Arab power with no peace with Israel. Under these circumstances, it might be harder for the Isrealis to make the arguments they do about threat, therefor easier for the US to get domestic political traction for a policy that, after Baghdad, pressures Israel to comply with all those resolutions and get serious about a Peace.

The counter argument, that you can get all kinds of Arab backing to do Iraq once you've solved Jerusalem is also attractive, as I've said, probably more so. But if it's a non-starter as a policy for the US government, there's no Arab support to even go looking for since we have no initiative.

I always figure if I'm smart enough (or dumb enough, or imaginative enough, take your pick) to dream up arguments like this, someone else must also be--I'm just not that bright. So, ask yourself--if what seems to be the policy looks really stupid, what would have to be true (necessary and sufficient conditions)in order for it to not look or be stupid? Can those people making the policy know those things to be true? If they can, you may have just divined something that's not otherwise obvious. . .which "they" know, but you didn't, until now . . .

thoughts?

Paul

Deb Fisher
09-10-2002, 05:11 PM
I must admit that I haven't read most of the posts on this thread.

But I'm wondering what's going to happen. Seriously - folks are upset enough about impending war in Iraq to have 223 replies going and a parallel thread in aikido journal...

Anyone out there doing more than writing about this in a discussion forum? Anyone organized? If so, can I join? I've called my representatives, I want to do more.

Neil Mick
09-10-2002, 07:15 PM
Niel,



Sounds like we may agree on many things regarding the Middle East, but I don't subscribe to any conspiracy theory here. To the extent that civil liberties have been abridged, which I think is an open question whose answer is not to be assumed, I tend to believe that occurs as an unintended consequence of what are prudent and necessary measures designed to enhance security (whew!) No wag the dog for me, sorry.

Now, whether or not this is the right time, and these the right circumstances, to "do" Iraq is another question entirely. I assume that the President has more information than I do, so it's likely there's a compelling need somewhere. My point has been that the HOW of getting it done is just as important, if not more important, than the actual doing of the thing. How will have more impact on the character of a post-war Iraq, and Middle East, than anything else, and on what the US standing will be there.

I favor the road to Baghdad running through Jerusalem; those in the government seem to favor the road to Jerusalem running through Baghdad. In the end, as long as you solve both problems, it may not matter the order they're done in. What worries me is that the road that goes direct to Baghdad may dead-end before it ever reaches Jerusalem, in which case I think we're much worse off.

The selection of strategy probably has more to do with domestic political considerations than anything else: the President cannot formulate a foreign policy with utter disregard for that political climate. It may be, for example, that while Jerusalem-first makes much more sense, it's not politically viable in this country as long as someone believes that Israel is mortally threatened by Iraq. Even if that's not true, it may be that many people believe it is, or that someone would like them to. If that were all the case, it might be easiest to solve Jerusalem with Iraq no longer a threat to Israel--that would leave Syria as the sole adjacent Arab power with no peace with Israel. Under these circumstances, it might be harder for the Isrealis to make the arguments they do about threat, therefor easier for the US to get domestic political traction for a policy that, after Baghdad, pressures Israel to comply with all those resolutions and get serious about a Peace.

The counter argument, that you can get all kinds of Arab backing to do Iraq once you've solved Jerusalem is also attractive, as I've said, probably more so. But if it's a non-starter as a policy for the US government, there's no Arab support to even go looking for since we have no initiative.

I always figure if I'm smart enough (or dumb enough, or imaginative enough, take your pick) to dream up arguments like this, someone else must also be--I'm just not that bright. So, ask yourself--if what seems to be the policy looks really stupid, what would have to be true (necessary and sufficient conditions)in order for it to not look or be stupid? Can those people making the policy know those things to be true? If they can, you may have just divined something that's not otherwise obvious. . .which "they" know, but you didn't, until now . . .

thoughts?

Paul
Yes, lots.

This is not a "wag the dog" theory. My mind boggles at the # of countries that we've bombed and invaded when Presidential popularity slips. But here's a brief fact for you number-crunchers:

American forces have intervened elsewhere around the globe 100 times. Indeed the United States has sent troops abroad or militarily struck other countries' territory 216 times since independence from Britain. Since 1945 the United States has intervened in more than 20 countries throughout the world.

Since World War II, the United States actually dropped bombs on 23 countries. These include: China 1945-46, Korea 1950-53, China 1950-53, Guatemala 1954, Indonesia 1958, Cuba 1959-60, Guatemala 1960, Congo 1964, Peru 1965, Laos 1964-73, Vietnam 1961-73, Cambodia 1969-70, Guatemala 1967-69, Grenada 1983, Lebanon 1984, Libya 1986, El Salvador 1980s, Nicaragua 1980s, Panama 1989, Iraq 1991-1999, Sudan 1998, Afghanistan 1998, and Yugoslavia 1999.

Post World War II, the United States has also assisted in over 20 different coups throughout the world, and the CIA was responsible for half a dozen assassinations of political heads of state.

See www.info-ghana.com/facts_&_dates.htm for more.

I agree that domestic political considerations take precedence, but it should be clear that those "domestics" are primarily oil and the military. Your whole explanation of strategy and policy is from a perspective of controlling the almighty river of oil.

And Paul, I do not buy the "prudent and necessary measures" theory. If we feel justified in using terrorist methods to achieve our ends, who are the terrorists, again?

And I'm sorry: the "unintended consequences" of a little thing like running 600,000-700,000 Palestinians off their land in 1947 to make way for Israel was neither prudent, necessary, nor did it create better security. Rather, it creates the problem we see today.

We give top-dollar support to a government intent upon harassing and making insufferable the lives of Palestinians in the west bank, and Gaza. We build the bulldozers, send over attack helicopters, etc. All this is done as a justification for the safety of Israel.

But Israel is not in danger. They are the 4th largest military power in the world, with the only superpower as their strongest ally. If an Arabic nation DID attack, it certainly wouldn't be through Israel.

If this is "prudent and necessary mesures designed to enhance safety," I'd like to see the blueprints for "Plan B," now...

Show of hands: how many of you are tired of having 52% of our budget sent to keep the oil flowing? Yes, many of you and the rest of the world, too. The Pres spent 10min calling all the relevent gov't's, recently to try to drum up support. As you know, the response was less than gratifying for Shrub.

And Paul, I'm afraid that you're probably a lot more intelligent than Shrub appears to be: he appears to think that Sharon is a "man of peace," just to name 1 of the many alternate views of reality to which Shrub adheres (even the most die-hard Jewish settler knows that Sharon is NOT peaceful). Personally, I liked the pretzel-up-the-nose thing: it had style and resembled certain tumbles I've seen on the mat :)

The way I see it (and there's a lot of documentation out there to support me), the ppl in power do what they can to placate the forces that got them to power (i.e., mostly corporate oil and military mfgrs) and then concoct what nonsense the American public will swallow to accept the status quo. It's why the American public is so out of touch with the world: the mainstream media wants it that way (7 corporations control the media. These same executives have stock many companies, including oil...get it?)

My major suggestion? The root of it all: campaign finance reform. Get the fatcats elected on oil $$ out of government, and then we'll see changes.
Anyone out there doing more than writing about this in a discussion forum? Anyone organized? If so, can I join? I've called my representatives, I want to do more.
I wish I knew. I believe that the American public is so cut off from having an effect upon the decisions made in the world that writing your Congressman, sending letters to the editor, talking to others (what we're doing now), and going to marches is the biggest thing we can do.

International marches protesting the IMF, et al, have had a positive effect, and I might suggest boycotts.

Stay informed; ask questions, do not accept the status quo.

Neil Mick
09-10-2002, 11:47 PM
...and one other thing: vote, serve jury duty (did you know, for instance, that juries have the right to veto a law. Trial jurors retain the right to veto, or "nullify" bad laws, though they are rarely told this by the courts), never assume that safety means a loss of civil liberties...what nonsense.

Neil Mick
09-14-2002, 06:14 PM
...a TV show with Saddam Hussein's ex-mistress???

Oh jeez, what next: "Why Saddam Doesn't Floss: Film at 11"

Can you believe the ocean of propaganda that we're being bombard with?

Please Mr. Bush: if you want to send us off to war, why don't you practice what you preach. Put on an NCO army uniform and go to war yourself.

Bruce Baker
09-15-2002, 12:30 PM
Despite the many quips, knowledgable accounts of living in the middle east nations, and military experience of many of you, the obvious motivation intercontinental industrial umbilical chord has quickly been passed over.

We continue to be tied to a petroleum based world economy that causes war, crushes governments, and influences some outrageous events in our historical overview.

Are we bluffing in the anouncement to invade Iraq ... probably not. That situation is awaiting the approval of the world governments and restrictions to their economys to give the green light for an invasion.

The history of the world points to leaders and despots being the cause for change, war, and causeing kaos. The fact that we enable leaders to protect our interests, maintain our society, and intervene on our behalf is the because we do not make ourselves known as a force of power in the arena of individual citizens being able to settle international disputes with talk, not weapons of destruction. For some reason, the weapons are much more effective than words.

As citizens of a nation, we try to speak out when things are not correct, and enable our fellow citizens to unite to effectively cause this change. Problem is, cults, nationalistic pride, and economic necessity cause our best intentions to go awry.

I was hoping to see more of the writers who could step outside of themselves, much as we do for Aikido practice, and put aside our differences so that we would rise the petty emotional baggage of namecalling and insinuation, but then our humanity is a difficult thing to master, isn't it?

My opinion of the present middle east situation is that someone will have to get involved before we can have peace.

Our petroleum based economy if the avatar of our actions, whether we admit it or not. If the actual invention of a non petroleum engine was presented it would throw the world into a depression that would be beyond the writings of Nostradamus. Nearly every phase of our economy depends upon this substance, at least at the present time.

Our personal study of Aikido is the hidden weapon of national strength in moral fortitude as well as national pride. We find both morality in the interaction of practice, and strength in our morality to do the right thing.

American history has already shown its willing ness to commit mass murders in the name of resources, land, and personal wealth.

Our sorrow of manifest destiny shows we will commit genocide either politically expedience or economic expedience, by the slaughtering of the Native American population. I say let 'em set up casino's to take revenge on the white man's natural greed, who shoot Native Indian weekdays while professing the love of their religion on Sunday.

anyway .... there are many undercurrents that affect peoples decisions, and the honest truth of what we have to do is not always the moral or right thing to do, but what must be done for the harmony of the situation.

Not to rationalize killing, but sometimes that is the harmony of cutting off the evil that is uncontained by the morality of its own inconscious acts. It must be dealt with on its own terms with the energy being turned back upon itself.

If we learn anything in doing Aikido, it is that when faced with an evil that does not see the light, it must be dealt with, even if it means doing something we do not wish to do.

Of course there is the other moral imperative of letting them hash it out until one leadership is in charge so it unites the rest of the world into another world war,(bomb the bejesus out of one evil instead of many) but that would not morally acceptable either, would it?

Bruce Baker
09-15-2002, 12:37 PM
Sorry if I wander, but I did read the entire thread in one sitting, and that would make anyones head spin.

Talk of peace never works unless it is more economically expedience than war. Maybe if we all lived two hundred years we could live long enough to learn the lessons of past history, and experience would speak louder than words.

Neil Mick
09-17-2002, 12:59 PM
And so the US shakes its great, imperial fist and the UN is "stirred" by Bush's "speech."

Earlier, Deb Fisher asked what ppl can do, aside from write their Congressman. I've thought about this question for awhile, and I'm still asking it, to myself. I haven't come up with a complete answer.

But something Julia Butterfly Hill (who climbed a redwood tree for 2 yrs, to avert its getting cut down) said, about causing social change first on a personal level, then local, onto national, and finally, global.

I don't know if its so cut and dried like that, but I would think you start, one person at a time.

The war in Iraq is simply the newest bulging of military expansion by a superpower bent upon global domination by the most violent means available.

However, it is important to stop this insanity now, so you talk about the practical considerations. How is this going to help the world, exactly? What plans do we have for Iraq, other than to knock it back to the Stone Age, so we can have our almighty oil? Is this the way we want to exist and raise children, in a world with Presidents who wage wars in virtual media blackouts while whittling our civil liberties to nothing, running after faceless Arabic (ALWAYS Arabic) bad-guys outside the US while jailing 1000 Arabs in the US (still with no charges), setting up concentration camps, and...I could go on and on.

But ask them: how is this helping YOU? NAFTA takes away jobs in this country; do you REALLY think globialization run by ("our friends") the corporations is a good idea?

I disagree with Bruce's statement, above. Talk of peace is the first step to understanding of the problem. Talk ALONE does nothing (I've tried, lol), but it's a first step.

Our civil liberties are under attack. We need to use those liberties to their fullest advantage before they are taken away from us, by our own leadership.

Neil Mick
09-18-2002, 03:29 AM
Finally, this link might be a good last post for this thread, since no one is responding...it had a great run!

Seven Arguments Against Bombing Iraq

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=13898

Hogan
09-24-2002, 04:32 PM
Finally, this link might be a good last post for this thread, since no one is responding...it had a great run!

Seven Arguments Against Bombing Iraq

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=13898
Here is a story from Newsweek that argues FOR a bombing.... An interesting article - what do others think ?


Shock Therapy

Why a U.S. attack against Iraq could launch an era of pragmatism in the region

By Mohammed Al-Jassem
NEWSWEEK IN ARABIC
Sept. 30 issue — Even if the United States launched a full-scale propaganda blitz, it couldn’t convince the Arab “street”—or general public—that overthrowing Saddam Hussein is a just and logical thing to do.

SOME ARABS ARE PROUD of Saddam’s development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. The more the Bush administration tries to prove that Saddam possesses those weapons, the further it gets from achieving its goal of winning converts to its cause. But the irony is that only an actual invasion of Iraq and the overthrowing of Saddam would produce a radical shift in public opinion, changing the terms of the reference of the public debate.

For now, the rhetoric used to convince American public opinion does not work at all to convince Arab public opinion. In fact, this rhetoric has become a source of inspiration for Arab sloganeering. This is in part the result of widespread anti-Americanism. But, more importantly, it’s a result of the fact that the Arabs are living part of their daily lives in a dream world. They sink into a political dream world, fed by the backlash to American rhetoric that is eagerly seized upon and spiced up by Arab intellectuals. The leaders of the Arab world are afraid to dispel or challenge those dreams, since they have no way to justify their own ineffective governments. As they see it, they have to employ doublespeak. In terms of the current crisis, this means publicly rejecting a strike against Iraq, while privately insisting that it should be a painful and final blow to a ruler and regime they all despise.
The Arabs need shock therapy, some kind of tremor that would bring them back to reality and away from their political dreamscape. Egypt’s loss in the 1967 war against Israel was the sort of shock that did away with the nationalist slogans prevalent since the July 1952 revolution carried out by Gen. Gamal Abdul Nasser. If the 1967 shock laid the ground for the spread of Islamism as an alternative to the nationalism, the “Saddam Shock” might be what is needed to launch the era of pragmatism. The Islamist mantra has not been dropped yet, but it was tested in the Afghan war and did nothing for its supporters except spark a few demonstrations here and there, which soon died out.
Then the Islamic movements across the Arab world got busy trying to clean up their image and prove that they were in no way connected to terrorism. Some even tried to condemn the terrorist attack on the United States, and wanted that condemnation to serve as a certificate of innocence.
The Islamic movements also raced to present their approach to Islamic thought as “moderate” in an attempt to escape any connection to extremism. This has resulted in a loss of self-respect among Islamic movements.

But if the Afghanistan war has embarrassed the Islamic movements, there are at least two things that have prevented the collapse of the Islamic credo. The first is that, in purely operational terms, Osama bin Laden’s attack against the United States was successful and very painful, and it changed the face of America. The second is the uncertainty about the fate of bin Laden, the lack of clear-cut evidence that he was killed by American firepower. The mystery surrounding bin Laden’s fate has given the Islamic movements a chance to regain their balance. The fall of the Taliban was not a major coup for America, but the uncertainty about what happened to bin Laden is considered a coup for his supporters.
Nonetheless, the American war on terrorism will continue to weaken the Islamic movements. Most Arab regimes are only too happy to use this opportunity to further diminish their influence. I believe that the Islamic movements realize that it would be a mistake to support Saddam Hussein at this stage, and that they will not repeat the mistake they made when they supported him after the invasion of Kuwait.

Saddam’s fall will cause the Arabs to be shattered psychologically. Political depression will set in. I do not rule out the possibility that some Arab regimes will suffer from domestic unrest, triggered by public outrage. Those regimes will find themselves face to face with their people, forced to deal with domestic issues after the United States succeeds in shutting down the last despot who maintained the illusion that Arab slogans can nurture a people. If Washington should also succeed in making the Arab countries mediators in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than parties to a broader Arab-Israeli endless war, then the region will really be transformed.
The Saddam shock will end an Arab era that has spanned more than five decades, beginning with the war of 1948 against the newly-created state of Israel. The Arabs have tried all sorts of political slogans during this era. The nationalists had the dream of pan-Arab unity. The Islamists had the dream of an Islamic state. I don’t see any new dreams in the works these days. But after Saddam’s fall, the dismantling of the extremist Islamic parties and the containment of the Palestinian issue, most Arab rulers will no longer be able to hide from their people by invoking the dangers of “external threats.” The Arab leaders will lose the rationalization for the use of “crisis logic,” a phrase coined by political scientist Mohammed Jaber Al-Ansari to denote the way the Arabs handle politics, as opposed to the logic of a normal state of affairs.
The next stage in Arab history will be one of internal domestic confrontations. After Saddam, not one Arab regime, including Syria and Libya, will dare oppose the United States, and most Arab regimes will be forced to pledge themselves to slogans like “renewal, reform and change” as a way of keeping their frustrated masses at bay. In this era, the United States will have to find ways to befriend the Arab masses, not the beleaguered regimes.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohammed Al-Jassem is the editor-in-chief of Newsweek in Arabic

Neil Mick
09-26-2002, 08:45 PM
Incredible. I'd expect such virulent racism from someone non-Arabic, but I guess I should not be surprised: consider his employers, after all.

His suggestion launching an "era of pragmatism" is, at best, wishful thinking. If you figure that the Arab nations have said as a group that they would consider an attack upon Iraq as an attack against them all, and you have to wonder how he arrives at the rationale that another US war upon Iraq will settle things down.

Also, the article, even though written by an Arab, is racist and counter-intuitive. Nowhere is mentioned the debilitating effects of the embargo. So now "our friend" the US is going to "liberate" the Iraqi's from Saddam and (no doubt) install a former Iraqi oil executive, friendly to the US. This act is going to instill confidence in the West?

Yeah, right. And I have a lot of Florida land to sell the Iraqi's after the war, if they're interested.

I'm sure that OBL cheered (if, indeed: he WAS the mastermind of 9/11....shrub has yet to produce any concrete proof, on that account) when he heard Shrub call the War on Terror a "crusade:" he'll probably get up from his dialysis machine and dance, if we go to war with Iraq. Plenty of Arabic nations will not take kindly to this assault, I imagine.

And if you doubt the implied racism of this article, just substitute "Iraq" for "America" in the article, for a moment. Do you think that we would "shake off our malaise" and "enter into a new era of pragmatic relations" with the country that invades us and implants their own, hand-picked leader?

If anything, this invasion-idea is exactly what OBL is hoping for.

Brian H
09-28-2002, 05:48 AM
1) How on earth do you find racism in this article? By your standard YOU would be a racist if you disagreed with things people of your own race were doing. Were white you took part in the civil rights movement racist against whites? Vomiting out "RACISM" every time you disagree with someone is a sad move.

2) UBL is likely dead :) and as to any "case"(Bush is President not a bit actor on "Law and Order") made against him, UBL bragged about it on tape (no I don't have to "just believe the man" for translation. I have a number of Arabic Speaking friends).

3) If anything, this invasion-idea is exactly what OBL is hoping for.

UBL would not have wanted a friend and safe haven over-run and removed anymore than a "criminal just wants to be caught."

Brian H
09-29-2002, 05:35 AM
Also, I laugh when I see someone who got all huffy about someone calling Barbara Lee a "Wacko" tossing out the term "Shrub" with such great comfort. :)

Neil Mick
09-29-2002, 08:46 PM
*Sigh*

Let's get a few things straight, OK?

Firstly, no need to get all jumpy on me. I found the article this side of offensive, but did I insult anyone?

I define a racist as ANYONE who characterizes a certain ethnicity with stereotypical characteristics, positive or negative. An African American who calls all other African Americans idiotic is a racist...doesn't matter what color his skin.

Suggesting that all the Arab nations need is a good invasion (by "whitey," it is implied) to shake them of their malaise is a blanket stereotype of the Arabic nations. The writer implies that they'd be much better off, if they got a good slapping from us. That's racist, no matter whose mouth it issues from.

2. I don't care if OBL and the halleluliah chorus all sang it in unison, it's not proof... and besides: did you REALLY hear the WHOLE tape? Why is there no more evidence forthcoming?

I don't know the answer, nor am I suggesting a conspiracy. I just think that ppl take the point too much for granted.

3. If you think Saddam is a friend of OBL, then you don't know your politics in this arena enough. By the account of a British journalist who interviewed OBL several x's before 9/11, OBL detests Hussein. He thinks the man is a stooge for "the Great Satan."

4. I didn't get all huffy when he called Barbara Lee a whacko. I asked him where he gets his information for thinking that she's crazy (notice, that he did not back it up...he was just name-calling). Michael Neal has a tendency to make statements without backing them up, with facts.

5. I, on the other hand, name-call only with good precedent :) . Shrub is the nickname given to him during his term as the Governor of Texas: I'm merely carrying on a tradition. I think he earned this moniker; it suits him.

Brian H
09-30-2002, 05:46 AM
*Sigh*

Let's get a few things straight, OK?
Italian food is delicious .... Oh, God I am a RACIST!!!!!

Your "definition" of racism is a little wanting. It fits everything and nothing. Under those guidelines I see why you find it so easy to find "racism" everywhere (except against Israel).

As to insulting people, it does not take any stretch of the imagination to see that your accusation of racism would taint anyone who found even a nugget of truth in Mr. Al-Jassem's writings. But, that is the point of making unsupported accusations of "racism."

Some of use merely long for the day that race is as relevant to society as somebodies shoe size.

As to your cavalier defense of your insulting language regarding public figures, while condemning others for doing the same. You do not hold out any evidence (the standard you would hold Michael up to) that the President of the United States is an ornamental plant. :)

But I do like you idea about insulting nicknames carrying down through the ages. This is a great exception to create in an all to polite society. Lead the way and change your screen name over to whatever nickname the school yard nasties called you in third grade. ("Mick" has some very cool rhyming possibilities that may bring back some fond memories ;) )

Neil Mick
09-30-2002, 11:26 AM
Oh, please.

And so we descend to the elementary grade-school level. Don't you think I heard every combination of my name, up to the 7th grade (I wasn't much impressed then, either).

Also, I haven't been governor of Texas, presiding over 53 state-sanctioned murders in ONE YEAR. I did not imitate (over talk-radio) the pleas of one grandmother begging for her life.

If I did, maybe I deserve to be called something plant-like (or worse).

Brian, I'm glad you decided to bring along your ruler: obviously, you'll need to use the milimeters to measure my definition of "racism," with your attacks that lack everything but understanding.

Did you actually EXPLORE what I meant by racist, rather than simply attack?

For instance, the claim that the Iraqi's are "happy" with the idea of the upcoming US invasion, is also racist. You're making a blanket statement about a ppl you have no idea about their feelings. Have you read the Iraqi papers, listened to residents of Iraq? No? Hmmm (BTW, when I say "you," I mean ppl who wish to invade because the Iraqi's desire it. I do believe you made that claim earlier, though, Brian).

Now, there are degrees of racist remarks. Some are red-line, some are subtle. The idea of the "noble savage," for instance. While a generally positive stereotype, American Indians hate it, nonetheless, because it is not who they really are.

But you still misunderstand (and mis-measure) my definition by applying a faulty example.

To say Italian food is delicious, is not racist. You're applying a (aesthetic, not stereotypical) standard to a particular ethnic food, not its peoples.

However, if you said that those Italians all know how to make great food...now that is racist. Again, a mild form, perhaps, but still racist.

P.S. Obviously, I straightened out nothing, but not for want of trying. Rather than simply attack my definitions with unsuitable examples, why not try to figure out what I am trying to say?

P.P.S. What did you think of the 650 ppl arrested in DC, last Sunday? Being a police officer, I wonder how you see this wholesale abuse of civil liberties.

P.P.P.S. Funny you mentioned Israel: one of the few countries with no set ethnicity. Where is the racism inherent in a country with no set borders, receiving the most aid from the only superpower on the planet, who (even now) is discussing mass transportation of Palestinians out of a land where many of them can claim direct lineage on the same land for 500+ years...hmm. Yeah Brian, you're right: the racism IS obvious, in Israel's case...

Brian H
09-30-2002, 12:40 PM
P.P.S. What did you think of the 650 ppl arrested in DC, last Sunday? Being a police officer, I wonder how you see this wholesale abuse of civil liberties.
Ahhhh ....

Actually, I was there. I did not lock anyone up, but had to put on my riot gear when a group of marchers with urine filled balloons headed my way (they had run out by the time the got to where I was :) ).

The most fun I had was when the leaders of one of the many protests came over and warmly greated me by name in front of my crowd control detail. (You gain many interesting friends studying Aikido)

About all the people who got locked up ... Igues their mothers never taught them not to play in traffic.

Neil Mick
09-30-2002, 01:30 PM
So you were there, huh? Very funny; if I still lived over in Baltimore, I'd probably be there as well, and I'd say hi to you, too. You'd start to get a rep :D

Yeah, getting locked up for nonviolent, peaceable assembly= playing in traffic.

And black is white, good is evil, and big brother is your friend.

...urine-filled balloons? Also funny, how they ran out, just as they got to you. I have not heard of any balloons, and it's all over indymedia. Where did you hear that they were tossing urine-filled balloons (not doubting you; just curious)?

Brian H
09-30-2002, 01:58 PM
The Pooolice Radio. (Isn't that how they say it in Baltimore?)

I only presume that they ran out because there was no shortage of cops to toss them at.

Sitting in traffic is not really "peaceful assembly," it is a petty crime. If I entered your home and staged a sit-in I would not be "peacefully assembled," I would be trespassing. (you can't REALLY trespass in a public road, but you are required to obey the traffic directions given by a policeman. The same principle applies when an Officer directs traffic at an accident, school crossing etc.)

Playing= people who are running around 1)naked 2) with giant puppets 3) dressed as animals or public figures. 4) place rude objects in the hands of statues or 5) have called in sick to their job at a record store to do all of the above.

DanielR
09-30-2002, 02:00 PM
... Where is the racism inherent in a country with no set borders, receiving the most aid from the only superpower on the planet, who (even now) is discussing mass transportation of Palestinians out of a land where many of them can claim direct lineage on the same land for 500+ years...hmm. Yeah Brian, you're right: the racism IS obvious, in Israel's case...
Hi Neil,

(off the topic, but I just couldn't resist... One of my biggest problems.)

I know that when it comes to Israel vs. Palestine it's a neverending argument. I just figured from your previous posts that you're a reasonable and thoughtful person, and as such, you might agree that the fact that some people in Israel discuss the transfer policy towards the Palestinians is not enough to reach the conclusion about Israel being a racist country. Desperate - maybe. Out of options - possibly. Racist - never. This problem is very far from being black-and-white, and in my view should be treated as such.

Neil Mick
09-30-2002, 08:54 PM
My apologies, Daniel, for creating the impression that all Israeli's are racist. Obviously, they're not.

But let's look at something--you called it: "the transfer policy." We're talking about the mass deportation of a people fiercely tied to their land. To implement a policy would be devastating to all aspects of that people and their culture. It was tried over here, with the American Indians, and that's exactly what happened.

If this policy, targeting a group of people merely because of their ethnicity isn't racist, I don't know what is.

Israeli's are not racist, but their government is set up to limit the liberties of Arabs. The right of return is open to Jews but not Muslims (and likely always will be). Edward Said, an Arabic member of the Knesset, has many interesting insights on the limited freedoms Arabs have in Israel (look him up, if you get a chance).

It's not the Israeli peoples who are racist, its their government.

Neil Mick
09-30-2002, 10:34 PM
The Pooolice Radio. (Isn't that how they say it in Baltimore?)

I only presume that they ran out because there was no shortage of cops to toss them at.

Sitting in traffic is not really "peaceful assembly," it is a petty crime. If I entered your home and staged a sit-in I would not be "peacefully assembled," I would be trespassing. (you can't REALLY trespass in a public road, but you are required to obey the traffic directions given by a policeman. The same principle applies when an Officer directs traffic at an accident, school crossing etc.)

Playing= people who are running around 1)naked 2) with giant puppets 3) dressed as animals or public figures. 4) place rude objects in the hands of statues or 5) have called in sick to their job at a record store to do all of the above.
So then: you really don't know if they had urine in the balloons, or not...?

Stopping traffic, that's a good one. I guess it could just as well have been "loitering." Whatever works, right?

I guess re-directing traffic was too much work for all those masses of assembled police (many bused in from other areas) and military.

No slants to you, Brian, but what can I expect from the Defenders of the Corporate World? Protect those Starbuck's stores at any cost, right?

http://dc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=32332&group=webcast

Chocolateuke
09-30-2002, 10:39 PM
Don't get me wrong but a man in the senate wrote "35 questions about the war on Iraq that will never be asked" one of them really hit my nerve...

" Why is it that our generals are less intrested in going to war, when the politions are trying to make the war start?"

I mean, is it usually the opposite? just a question. cya

Brian H
10-01-2002, 06:07 AM
The urine filled balloons were rather popular in Seattle, when some protesters were seen with balloons, the alert when out to all the cops. There was little we could do, so we just put the visors on our helmets down (clear visors Neil, only the protestors get to hide their faces). Beyond that I was only concerned with the area I could see around me. Everything else was left to the cops that were in all the other places and the arrest teams.

I understand why the protesters do "direct action." It is camera bait and it works. Every TV station started off with heavy coverage of the protests and the arrests. Protests are old news in DC so even the big ones gets short coverage. Spicing things up with a little rough stuff gets the protesters on the news.

But is it a "winning" strategy, I don't think so. Ultimately the protesters are playing the spider's (the Defenders of the Corporate World :) ) game in the spiders web (the streets) by the spiders rules (cut and dried traffic law). I have done crowd control for dozens of protests over the years, and my take on the IMF protests is that they focus to much on stunts and tactics and not enough on getting their message out. Using the Million Man March as an example - it was a moving experience just seeing how focused and intense everyone was, while last week most of the passersby were commenting stuff like "those guys need to get a job and take a bath."

I am not a fan of the IMF/World Bank (although I know some very nice/dedicated people who work there). I just don't like the big money solutions that they favor. Big money means big waste, big corruption, big unintended consequence and only help big companies. As a proud capitalist, I see a global small business administration giving much smaller amounts of money to many, many different small concerns. The help would be more broad based and the gain would be from the bottom up, not the top down.

And finally, yes Neil you got me. I am a major coffee hound. I spent several hours on Saturday down the block from a Starbucks. Though I was not called to action, I would run down there to stand alone and defend the bean.:grr:

Guest5678
10-01-2002, 07:15 AM
Brian,

I'm with ya pal! Save the beans! Save the beans! Starbucks rules!..... well, first thing in the morning they do anyway! Ahhhh.. sumatra, colombia, mocha Java..... hmmmmmm...coffee..!!

DanielR
10-01-2002, 07:51 AM
But let's look at something--you called it: "the transfer policy."
It's a translation of the Hebrew term they use sometimes in Israel for this thing.
If this policy, targeting a group of people merely because of their ethnicity isn't racist, I don't know what is.
AFAIK, this policy is not widely supported in Israel (government or voters). The political parties that advocate it used to get very few seats in Knesset ("used to" being the key words here, I don't know what's going to happen on the next elections).
Israeli's are not racist, but their government is set up to limit the liberties of Arabs.
There's a fair amount of inequality in the Israeli society, that's true. To my knowledge though, there were many signs of improvement (this is judging from my personal experiences, not from my expertise (or lack thereof) of the Israeli social situation).
The right of return is open to Jews but not Muslims (and likely always will be)."Always" is a very strong word. I'd agree that it's not likely to be resolved overnight, just as any complex issue isn't.
It's not the Israeli peoples who are racist, its their government. Unfortunately, as long as the terrorism continues, the support for those "racists" is just going to grow. Again, I think it's a product of desperation, and the sooner the other side understands that, the better it is. For both sides.

Paul Clark
10-01-2002, 01:17 PM
Daniel,

I have a number of questions that you seem qualified to comment on, and maybe answer. None of them is intended to be rhetorical--I want to know what you think and what you think the policy is--please take these in that spirit and do what you can

1. When Israelis talk about "transportation" (the word I've read in most stuff in English), do they usually mean movement of Arabs out of the Occupied Territories, or out of Israel proper, or both, or none of the above?

2.Regarding right of return, a complex issue and no doubt. I've often wondered how an Israeli explains that to himself and to others. Now's my chance-can you take a swing at "why is it "democratic" that any Jew can come to Israel and be a citizen in a week, but no Arab who didn't or couldn't stay through the '48 war can do so?"

3. As an afterthought to 1 above, I guess an obvious question becomes something like "if "transportation" is something that Israelis can contemplate, how would they explain that this would be different from the ethnic cleansing that Milosevic attempted in Kosovo in 1999?"

thanks

Paul