PDA

View Full Version : Anti-Americanism


Pages : [1] 2 3 4

Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


Michael Neal
01-27-2003, 11:43 AM
Tony Parsons - UK Daily Mirror September 11, 2002

No matter what your views on President Bush's statement of upcoming war, this is from an English journalist, is very interesting.
Just a word of background, for those of you who aren't familiar with the UK's Daily Mirror. This is a notoriously left-wing daily that is normally not supportive of the Colonials across the Atlantic.

ONE year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting -- the mass murder of thousands, live on television. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's mountain of skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps.
An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing - nobody deserves this fate. Surely there could be consensus: the victims were truly innocent, the perpetrators truly evil.

But to the world's eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America's comeuppance. Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year. There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country - too loud, too rich, too full of themselves and so much happier than Europeans - but it has become an epidemic. And it seems incredible to me. More than that, it turns my stomach.

America is this country's greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We are bonded to the US by culture, language and blood. A little over half a century ago, around half a million Americans died for our freedoms, as well as their own. Have we forgotten so soon? And exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women and children - not just Americans, but from dozens of countries - were butchered by a small group of religious fanatics. Are we so quick to betray them?

What touched the heart about those who died in the twin towers and on the planes was that we recognised them. Young fathers and mothers, somebody's son and somebody's daughter, husbands and wives, and children, some unborn.

And these people brought it on themselves? And their nation is to blame for their meticulously planned slaughter?

These days you don't have to be some dust-encrusted nut job in Kabul or Karachi or Finsbury Park to see America as the Great Satan. The anti- American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering from power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what it likes without having to ask permission.

The truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since September 11.

Remember, remember.

Remember the gut-wrenching tapes of weeping men phoning their wives to say, "I love you," before they were burned alive.

Remember those people leaping to their deaths from the top of burning skyscrapers.

Remember the hundreds of firemen buried alive.

Remember the smiling face of that beautiful little girl who was on one of the planes with her mum.

Remember, remember - and realise that America has never retaliated for 9/11 in anything like the way it could have.

So a few al-Qaeda tourists got locked without a trial in Camp X-ray? Pass the Kleenex.

So some Afghan wedding receptions were shot up after they merrily fired their semi-automatics in a sky full of American planes? A shame, but maybe next time they should stick to confetti.

AMERICA could have turned a large chunk of the world into a parking lot. That it didn't is a sign of strength. American voices are already being raised against attacking Iraq - that's what a democracy is for. How many in the Islamic world will have a minute's silence for the slaughtered innocents of 9/11? How many Islamic leaders will have the guts to say that the mass murder of 9/11 was an abomination?

When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom-loving Palestinians were dancing in the street. America watched all of that - and didn't push the button. We should thank the stars that America is the most powerful nation in the world. I still find it incredible that 9/11 did not provoke all-out war. Not a "war on terrorism." A real war.

The fundamentalist dudes are talking about "opening the gates of hell," if America attacks Iraq. Well, America could have opened the gates of hell like you wouldn't believe.

The US is the most militarily powerful nation that ever strode the face of the earth. The campaign in Afghanistan may have been less than perfect and the planned war on Iraq may be misconceived.

But don't blame America for not bringing peace and light to these wretched countries. How many democracies are there in the Middle East, or in the Muslim world? You can count them on the fingers of one hand - assuming you haven't had any chopped off for minor shoplifting.

I love America, yet America is hated. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle. But I would rather be a dog in New York City than a Prince in Riyadh. Above all, America is hated because it is what every country wants to be - rich, free, strong, open, optimistic. Not ground down by the past, or religion, or some caste system. America is the best friend this country ever had and we should start remembering that.

Or do you really think the USA is the root of all evil? Tell it to the loved ones of the men and women who leaped to their death from the burning towers. Tell it to the nursing mothers whose husbands died on one of the hijacked planes, or were ripped apart in a collapsing skyscraper. And tell it to the hundreds of young widows whose husbands worked for the New York Fire Department.

To our shame, George Bush gets a worse press than Saddam Hussein. Once we were told that Saddam gassed the Kurds, tortured his own people and set up rape-camps in Kuwait. Now we are told he likes Quality Street. Save me the orange centre, oh mighty one!

Remember, remember, September 11.

One of the greatest atrocities in human history was committed against America.

No, do more than remember. Never forget.

Michael Neal
01-27-2003, 12:12 PM
The above is a repost from Aikido Journal, it really got me thinking about why there is so much opposition to the war. I suspect that it has more to do with political agendas rather than the war itself. Think about it, every day that attention is given to terrorism and Iraq, other political causes don't get as much publicity. This might not be the only reason but I am sure it plays a big part.

I find the current wave of Anti-Americanism callous, politically motivated, and generated from hate-filled envy.

Abasan
01-28-2003, 02:08 AM
'Think about it, every day that attention is given to terrorism and Iraq, other political causes don't get as much publicity'

Agreed. And who exactly is calling attention to that whilst getting away with mass slaughter of innocents, violating oslo accords, violating human rights, skirting problems in its economy, and etc.

Does Iraq want to be in the mess they are in? Are they trying to wag the dog? More likely your president is the one who needs this war more then anyone else in this world.

'the mass murder of thousands, live on television. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's mountain of skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps.

An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing - nobody deserves this fate. Surely there could be consensus: the victims were truly innocent, the perpetrators truly evil. '

Putting it up there among the nazi camps is really pushing it. How many died there in the towers exactly? 4,5 thousand? I'm not saying those lives don't mean anything... but put it into context here ok. How many ppl died in the nazi camps? hundreds of thousands... do the maths. And oh yeah, how many died in afghanistan? in Iraq since having economic sanctions for the past 10 years? in Sudan? in iraq alone, 500 thousand children died as a direct result of american actions.

When exactly did anti americanism arise? Before this, no one in the world despised the US aside from the communists governed countries i suppose. after the cold war, i guess US had to create more enemies in order to justify its billion/trillion dollar defense spending.

opherdonchin
01-28-2003, 05:50 AM
Actually, the figure for the death camps is 6 million Jews plus I don't now how many non-Jews. The gypsies as a people were virtually wiped out. Vast numbers of homosexuals were interred, as were many poles and other slavs. There were also people who got to the camps for political reasons.

I've never understood why the sanctions are blamed on the U.S. instead of on Iraq, personally.

Michael Neal
01-28-2003, 07:43 AM
again, where is this "mass slaughter of innocents"?
Putting it up there among the nazi camps is really pushing it. How many died there in the towers exactly? 4,5 thousand? I'm not saying those lives don't mean anything... but put it into context here ok. How many ppl died in the nazi camps? hundreds of thousands... do the maths. And oh yeah, how many died in afghanistan? in Iraq since having economic sanctions for the past 10 years? in Sudan? in iraq alone, 500 thousand children died as a direct result of american actions.
That is 4 or 5 thousand (civilians not combatants)in one day. People are not dying due to American actions, they dying due to the actions of ruthless and cruel dictators and madmen.

George Bush did not create September 11th, there is no way that you can claim that he is wagging the dog when his intentions have been clear about Iraq for well over a year. If he were all of a sudden caught in some kind of scandal then he, out of nowhere, decided to attack Iraq then you would have a point, but this is not the case.

opherdonchin
01-28-2003, 08:59 AM
There has been a noticeable tendency for the administration to push the Iraq agenda more fiercely when other, difficult items where making them uncomfortable. They also seemed to time some of their announcements vis a vis Iraq in a way that was sensitive to the timing of the elections. I'm not sure if this is considering legitimate use of timing or 'wagging the dog.'

Michael Neal
01-28-2003, 11:14 AM
There are always difficult items that make an administration unconfortable on a daily basis, this is not reallly comparable to - lets say the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Regarding the elections, sure, I think raising the issue of Iraq during an election is a prefectly legitimate, if he went to war a few days before the election then I would see your point. I sure saw the other party leadership try to make an issue out of it then back down when the polls did not favor their point of view. Is it ok for one to make an issue out of it and not another?

As I said before, Bush made it clear since his last State of the Union address that Iraq was going to be one of his top priorities. As we all know, we will be going to war shortly, what is the big suprise about Iraq being the main subject at the White House?

Anyway, how are you Opher? It has been a while.

Abasan
01-29-2003, 02:50 AM
'again, where is this "mass slaughter of innocents"?'

I thought I've been posting it... I don't know how you keep missing it.

How many people died in Afghanistan. Of those tens of thousands... were they all terrorists? Most of them were soldiers of Afghanistan. A lot of them were civilians. Definitely a lot more then the civilians who died in 9/11.

That's the recent example. Like it or not, US either directly or indirectly by means of the after effects of war (loss of employment, loss of family, infrastructure, etc), economic sanctions and etc are contributing to the loss of lives and degradation of human living in those countries attacked by it. (Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq and etc).

God man... US is a bloody big country. 80% of each state's residents don't even explore beyond their state much less the world. Why is it that US is fighting and putting their bases on all corners of the world? Is it trying to conquer the world? Are you running out of resources? Fresh water? Clean air? Petroleum? Gold?

Michael Neal
01-29-2003, 09:42 AM
I don't consider the soldiers of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, "innocents." They are combatants. For you to compare the people working in the World Trade Center to the ruthless thugs of the Taliban and Osama's organization is absurd. The "soldiers of Afghanistan" were fighting with the terrorists and protecting them so I consider them to be one in the same.

On a side note, how many innocent afghanis were killed over the years by these "soldiers of Afghanistan?" I bet a whole lot.

We are putting bases throughout the world because people are trying to kill us, it is pretty simple really.

Abasan
01-31-2003, 03:12 AM
Afghanistan did not attack USA. Their soldiers died defending their country against an invasion by USA. In this respect i believe they are innocents being wronged by the invaders. Afghanistan offered amnesty to Osama, yes. Any country offering amnesty, and has guts, will keep the faith. Even though they know full well of US's arms capabilities.

They also offered to hand over Osama if US provided convincing proof that he was guilty of the attacks. Only spurious allegations were made and very doubtful circumstantial evidence that would probably fail a close examination. So why would they actually hand over Osama whom they feel is innocent until proven guilty.

Secondly, you are missing the other point where civilians died in your attacks. Or do you think that the entire nation of Afghanistan is made of soldiers one way or the other.

After the attack on Afghanistan, US continued its media bombardment in revealing more and more so called proof. More like trying to justify its ruthless actions.

"On a side note, how many innocent afghanis were killed over the years by these "soldiers of Afghanistan?" I bet a whole lot."

And what numbers do you have or is this just pure conjecture. And if its true, that makes their deaths by US actions incidental, since they're going to die anyway?

Oh, so its now have bases everywhere in the world, because people are trying to kill americans. You've convinced me already.

All hail the conquering heroes. If not, there's always the nukes.

Michael Neal
01-31-2003, 08:12 AM
Afghanistan offered amnesty to Osama, yes. Any country offering amnesty, and has guts, will keep the faith.

Spoken like a true terrorist sympathizer. That is a very creepy statement.

Afghanistan did attack the US, if a country protects someone who is launching attacks against another nation it is just as guilty.
They also offered to hand over Osama if US provided convincing proof that he was guilty of the attacks. Only spurious allegations were made and very doubtful circumstantial evidence that would probably fail a close examination. So why would they actually hand over Osama whom they feel is innocent until proven guilty.
Osama took credit for the attack, is that not enough proof that he did it? The idiots that flew the planes into the building trained in Osama's camps and all had connections to Osama's organization. What is it that you really need to convinve you that it was him? Everyone else in the world knows it was him.

I have a question for you, do you really think your friends can win this war? I say this becuase I think your words have revealed your motivations.

Judd
01-31-2003, 11:17 AM
You know what's great about this country? I can be opposed to war if I want to. I can stand on a street corner with flyers and protest if I want to. I can disagree publically with our leaders, and not be afraid of censorship. Hell, I can paint "NO WAR" on my car in huge letters with flashing lights and streamers if I want to. Why? Because this is a FREE country. You are forgetting, or are unaware, that with freedom comes acceptance. Acceptance of ideas that you may be totally against. THAT'S what America is. That's what democracy is.

Michael Neal
01-31-2003, 12:40 PM
No, freedom means that I have the right to say what I want as well. Freedom is not "acceptance."

Michael Neal
01-31-2003, 01:12 PM
I don't see anyone physically restraining him from voicing his opinions, am I supposed to forfeit my rights to speech in order not to offend him or you? Where is this censorship you speak of?

I would like to add the Mr. Abas goes much further than opposing the war, he is praising the Taliban for shielding Bin Laden. This is why I call him a terrorist sympathizer.

Michael Neal
01-31-2003, 01:36 PM
And another note...

He is from Malaysia, not the US. So no he can't stand on his street corner and shout whatever he wants.

Judd
01-31-2003, 02:23 PM
I'm simply arguing against the labeling of "Anti-Americanism" simply becuase one does not support the actions of the current president. I didn't mean you have to accept the ideas of others, but rather accept the fact that we all have the right to think what we want.

Neil Mick
01-31-2003, 05:23 PM
Michael, Michael, Michael (*sadly shaking head*)...

I participate in a kangeiko for a week, and you start labelling ppl "terrorist sympathizers," while I'm gone. You've got to be careful of labels; they have a tendency to bite you back, as they did in the Iraq thread.

While I do not share Abasan's view that the Taliban is noble for shielding OBL, I also note that you totally sidestepped his point about the Taliban offering to hand over OBL, if the US could come up with some proof of their allegations.

And, sorry: OBL saying he was culpable for 9/11 is not the same as proof. Ask any policeman (where's Brian Heanue, when you need him?): if a person admits to a crime, that makes him a suspect, but no legal system worth its salt will convict a man purely upon an admission of guilt.

Now, before you sling the "terrorist sympathizer" label at me: my OWN belief is that OBL was, at the very least, guilty of complicity of 9/11.

You, and other "patriots" who seem to think that US unilateral, pre-emptive invasions are a good thing, always ignore the important "side questions," like:

- Who trained OBL and gave Al Qaeda enough money to further his global agendas?

- What country is the primary agent of the UN Sanctions: Sanctions since proven to be ineffective in ousting Hussein, yet continue to be enacted, in spite of their genocidal effects?

- What country is the deal-maker for 60% of the weapons-deals in the world?

- If the US is not guilty of any "slaughter of innocents," what about the damage done from the US bombings, infrastructure, etc?

Sure, the US can't be blamed for ALL of Afghanistan's woes, but isn't the US responsible for some of the damage from the last bombing? If so, why haven't we come up with any suitable aid packages?

See http://postconflict.unep.ch/high1.htm for the latest UNEP report on Afghanistan.

- If Iraq is part of the axis of evil, why aren't the US, and the American corporations who helped Saddam in his time of need, part of the axis of evil for helping him out?

(BTW: if you have trouble answering this one, you're not alone: Ari Fleischer couldn't be bothered to answer it, either:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0127-10.htm ).

- And, what does this thread's name, "Anti-Americanism," mean, exactly? Who are the "Anti-Americans?" The rest of the world sees the US as losing its values, its way.

Almost every time I chat with a foreign visitor (or, when I go to visit myself, as when I travelled to Mexico, last month). I ask the same question:

"What is the sentiment toward the US, in your country?" Almost universally, the answer is "not good." I question them further, and they explain that most ppl from their perspective do not feel animosity toward Americans per se, rather it is the US government who receives most of their rancor.

They feel that the US has lost its way.

Considering the callous disregard the US takes toward human life and suffering, of late, I can only agree.

Why, if you disagree (and I suspect you do), does W not ever discuss the cost to human life, this war in Iraq will demand, of Iraqi's and Americans? What is the big hurry for invasion, when Hussein wouldn't DARE an offensive military action now, unless W's REAL concern is how he'll look, come election-time?

Michael Neal
01-31-2003, 09:33 PM
Neil, great to have you back. I was wondering why you had not responded to this thread yet. I was expecting you to be the first to jump in.

Yes, Ahmad Abas in my view is a terrorist sympathizer for the reason I explained above. I can't see where I am out of line for this, he admitted being a sympathizer to the Taliban for shielding Bin Laden. In fact, I think you are out of line for trying to be an apologist for him and letting him off the hook like that.

I think you are so preoccupied with defeating Bush, because of your ideological differences, that you are willing to overlook anything that may distract from your anti-Bush campaign.

To me, this is anti-American because in my view you are putting your selfish political wants before the safety of the people of this country.
- Who trained OBL and gave Al Qaeda enough money to further his global agendas? Yes we trained lots of people to fight to soviet army,we did not train them and encourage them to become terrorists and fly planes into buildings full of innocent civilians. We also funded much of Iraq's military to fight the Iranians, so what. We did not give them resources so that they could invade Kuwait, build NBC weapons, or fund terrorists.
- What country is the primary agent of the UN Sanctions: Sanctions since proven to be ineffective in ousting Hussein, yet continue to be enacted, in spite of their genocidal effects?
Exactly, a great reason to get this war over with as soon as possible.
- What country is the deal-maker for 60% of the weapons-deals in the world?
That does not mean anything Neil, there are alot of friendly countries in the world. If you can bring some evidence that we selling nuclear weapons to Iraq or Bin Laden then maybe you would have a point there.
- If the US is not guilty of any "slaughter of innocents," what about the damage done from the US bombings, infrastructure, etc? "slaughtering" implies a purposeful murder of innocents which I have seen no evidence of whatsover, have some innocens died in this war so far, yes, but I place sole blame on the Taliban and Osama for this. However those who you are rushing to the defense of like the Taliban, Bin Laden, and Iraq have a long clear record of slaughtering innocents.

The people dancing in the streets after Kabul was liberated and the money and resources that have poured into the country from the US and from around the world have made the country a much better place than it was before, even with the occasional destruction of infrastructure.
See http://postconflict.unep.ch/high1.htm for the latest UNEP report on Afghanistan.
Why do I care what some environmental organization thinks of the war in Afghanistan?
- And, what does this thread's name, "Anti-Americanism," mean, exactly? Who are the "Anti-Americans?" The rest of the world sees the US as losing its values, its way.
I would refer back to the original article regarding this because it says it better than I can.
- If Iraq is part of the axis of evil, why aren't the US, and the American corporations who helped Saddam in his time of need, part of the axis of evil for helping him out?

You will have to be more specific here, what aid and when? If this is the war against Iran then I aready covered this.
Why, if you disagree (and I suspect you do), does W not ever discuss the cost to human life, this war in Iraq will demand, of Iraqi's and Americans? What is the big hurry for invasion, when Hussein wouldn't DARE an offensive military action now, unless W's REAL concern is how he'll look, come election-time?
So when would be a good time Neil? There are no elections going on so should we wait till the next one so you could then pop up and say that it is for political gain? Should we wait till Saddam puts a nuke in the hands of some whacko Bin Laden fanatic?

Or maybe it is you and your crowd that is politically motivated here. Hmmmm?

BTW: Please try and focus on a few points rather than throwing out tons of little tidbits hoping one will stick. There is no way that am going to continue and try and make a counter argument to every point you try and make, and then if I miss a few, allow myself to be accused of dodging issues. If you want me to address something in particular then stick with a few short points. Otherwise I will argue what I think is most important in the mix.

Glad you are back Neil, it would not be the same without you.

Michael Neal
01-31-2003, 11:08 PM
I'm simply arguing against the labeling of "Anti-Americanism" simply becuase one does not support the actions of the current president. I didn't mean you have to accept the ideas of others, but rather accept the fact that we all have the right to think what we want.
Where did I say that you or anyone else did not have the right to think what you want? Do you think that me being critical of what someone else says amounts to censorship or stopping someone's right to free speech? Remember, you have a right to speak all you want but others also have the right to knock down, disregard, criticize, or dispute what you are saying.

Abasan
02-02-2003, 02:14 AM
I don't need anyone to apologise for me or let me 'off the hook'. Although I do appreciate Neil's effort of actually reading through ALL of my above post. The fact that you straight away labled me as terrorist symphathizer because of our disagreement is understandable given your prejudices.

Compounded with your ridiculous notion that I'm not free to voice my concerns out loud in Malaysia gives me a brief idea on your close mindedness and inability to learn beyond what the mass media has force fed you. Malaysia is a free country and a very peaceful one actually. Unlike some countries I know.

You have totally missed the point of what I was trying to bring into discussion. I'm for fairness and justice. Not, X is wrong or Y is right. If Osama was founded guilty in a fair court of justice and all evidence is indisputable then let him pay for his wrong doings. I have not seen proof beyond doubt that he is guilty, and the way you seek to bring that justice is totally wrong. You do not destroy a country to get at one man.

Unfortunately, US thinks that it is beyond the law and decorum. Not in this just one respect but many many times over. Pure arrogance I would say so myself.

Doubtless were I to continue explaining away my reasonings in the hopes of finding an intelligent discourse, I would not get it from you as I suspect you have already made up your mind no matter what.

To keep it civil, lets put the name calling behind us and carry on like the intelligent adults we are. Unless you want to nuke us too for daring to voice our dissent?

And since you want to make my point succinct, let me ask again... didn't you realise that Afghanistan was willing to hand over Osama if they were given proof of his wrong doing? They even agreed to have him extridited to a neutral country to be tried. US refused and wanted him on their own terms. And that of course led to the attack. I sincerely doubt that the attack on Afghanistan would have been avoided even if Afghanistan did acquise to US terms. It probably would have led to an unfair incarceration of Osama just like the thousands of Arabs you are imprisoning now reminiscent of the "Nazi's Jewish Camps' that you like to drivel about;and a full scale assault on his remnant followers.

Michael Neal
02-03-2003, 12:06 PM
The fact that you straight away labled me as terrorist symphathizer because of our disagreement is understandable given your prejudices.
No, I called you a terrorist sympathizer becuase you praised the Taliban, not beceause of our "disagreement." Lets not try and rewrite history here.
Compounded with your ridiculous notion that I'm not free to voice my concerns out loud in Malaysia gives me a brief idea on your close mindedness and inability to learn beyond what the mass media has force fed you. Malaysia is a free country and a very peaceful one actually. Unlike some countries I know
Really?

http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/Recent/ASA280312001!Open

http://www.hrw.org/wr2k1/asia/malaysia.html
If Osama was founded guilty in a fair court of justice and all evidence is indisputable then let him pay for his wrong doings. I have not seen proof beyond doubt that he is guilty, and the way you seek to bring that justice is totally wrong. You do not destroy a country to get at one man.

Unfortunately, US thinks that it is beyond the law and decorum. Not in this just one respect but many many times over. Pure arrogance I would say so myself.

Just how do you propose getting him to a "fair court of Justice?" The Taliban did not hand him over and depite your humorous claims that they would have if we had just given them more evidence, they would not have under any circumstances. Why would they hand over the very person who was responsible for the Taliban being in power? In addition, the Taliban did not have the means to bring Osama Bin Laden in even if they wanted to, they would have had to fight his army first. And since the Taliban and Al Queda are essentially the same it makes this whole point irrelevant anyway.

"beyond the law and decorum", what law and decorum would this be? The US has the right to wage war to defend itself under international law, plain and simple. The people who are "beyond law and decorum" are those who attacked us.
To keep it civil, lets put the name calling behind us and carry on like the intelligent adults we are. Unless you want to nuke us too for daring to voice our dissent? There is no name calling going on here, I am just describing what think you all about. It goes to the root of my argument. I think you are a terrorist sympathizer plain and simple.
It probably would have led to an unfair incarceration of Osama just like the thousands of Arabs you are imprisoning now reminiscent of the "Nazi's Jewish Camps' that you like to drivel about;and a full scale assault on his remnant followers. Wow, so you are an anti-semite as well, I should have figured, you are a terrorist sympathizer. So you think that the 6 million Jews murdered by Germany is all just claptrap? And you want to compare the Al Queda prisoners of war who are receiving food, medical attention etc. to what happened during the holocaust?

How can I take you seriously?

Abasan
02-05-2003, 05:20 AM
So the Taliban are now terrorists because they defend the right of someone accused of being a terrorist.

As I said before, he wasn't proven guilty, he claims his innocence, therefore at the point in time when Afghanistan provided him the amnesty, they did nothing wrong. There is nothing to praise or fault.

The fact that they did not hand him over was because US never took them up on the offer. Instead they wanted Osama on their own terms. Don't color the issue, US was bent on attacking afghanistan anyway. Why would I not surrender Osama to a neutral place for judgement if it would avert the threat of war? No reason at all. But for US, it was imperative that they got the attack ongoing because Bush had to sate your bloodthirsty desire for revenge. It doesn't matter on whom, as long as they resemble an arab its fine.

As I mentioned before... on the Malaysian issue. "gives me a brief idea on your close mindedness and inability to learn beyond what the mass media has force fed you."

Yes go on, believe everything on the net. You like to read one side of the story and print them out here anyway. Why not read other prints as well. For that matter, why don't you read The Independant and the Daily Telegraph in answer to the Iraq war issues that you posted in the beginning. Apparently, there are some other Brits out there who do not agree with your Tony Parsons. Incidently, the Daily Mirror is more like a tabloid then a full blown newspaper like the two I mentioned earlier.

Right... so you want to defend the US. That's fair. Afghanistan wants to defend its country... oh no, they're bloody terrorists.

Iraq wants to defend their country.. .oh no, they're bloody terrorists. Its you who are the terrorist sympathiser. You want the US to prey on weaker countries. You want to kill innocent people. You want to grab all the oil you can get your hands on.

And how is it that I ended up being anti semite? Btw, Palestinians, Arabs are semites too. Or are you too rascist to see that?

And you call your imprisonment without trial, without visits, stuck into a sweat suit, without light, shackled, without any sort of accusation or crime even to be fair? to be just? where's the so called human rights you like to shout about.

Call me what you like, I know that I'm for peace and justice. You can call yourself whatever you like, you are the one to vote for war, for plunder and for hypocrisy.

Here's a telling:

QUIZ ON THE MIDDLE EAST: ANSWERS MAY SURPRISE YOU (By

Charley Reese, of the

Sentinel Staff, The Orlando Sentinel, Florida, USA).

Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has

nuclear weapons?

Answer: Israel

Q: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign

the nuclear

non-proliferation treaty and bars international

inspections?

A: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East seized the

sovereign territory of

other

nations by military force and continues to occupy it

in defiance

of United Nations Security Council resolutions?

A: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East routinely

violates the international

borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and

artillery and naval

gunfire?

A: Israel.

Q: What American ally in the Middle East has for

years sent assassins into

other countries to kill its political enemies (a

practice sometimes called

exporting terrorism)?

A: Israel

Q: In which country in the Middle East have

high-ranking military officers

admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were

executed?

A: Israel

Q: What country in the Middle East refuses to

prosecute its soldiers who

have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?

A: Israel

Q: What country in the Middle East created 762,000

refugees and refuses to

allow them to return to their homes, farms and

businesses?

A: Israel

Q: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay

compensation to people

whose land, bank accounts and businesses it

confiscated?

A: Israel

Q: In what country in the Middle East was a

high-ranking United Nations

diplomat assassinated?

A: Israel.

Q: In what country in the Middle East did the man who

ordered the

assassination of a high-ranking UN diplomat become

prime minister?

A: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East blew up an

American diplomatic facility

in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship in international

waters, killing 33 and

wounding 177 American sailors?

A: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East employed a spy,

Jonathan Pollard, to

steal classified documents and then gave some of them

to the Soviet Union?

A: Israel

Q: What country at first denied any official

connection to Pollard, then

voted to make him a citizen and has continuously

demanded that the American

president grant Pollard a full pardon?

A: Israel.

Q: What country on Planet Earth has the second most

powerful lobby in the

United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine

survey of Washington

insiders?

A: Israel

Q: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of

69 United Nations

Security Council resolutions and has been protected

from 29 more by U.S.

Vetoes?

A: Israel.

Q: What country is the United States bombing for

years because "UN

Security

Council resolutions must be obeyed?"

A: Iraq.

Veers
02-05-2003, 09:18 AM
Its you who are the terrorist sympathiser. You want the US to prey on weaker countries. You want to kill innocent people. You want to grab all the oil you can get your hands on.
Hahahahahaha!

You should be a comedian...

Neil Mick
02-05-2003, 04:19 PM
Hello everyone, sorry I have not been able to keep up with the posts. Even now, I only have time to dash off a quick note before I go teach class.

Michael, you've got to watch slinging those names around. Calling ppl names and suggesting that they're terrorist sympathizers is no way to make your points, in a debate. Mud-slinging only alienates the listener, as low voter turnouts prove, when the candidates resort to sleazy tactics.

Attack the opinion (or the post), not the person is my motto.

I'm currently engaged in a similar debate over at aikidojournal.com. I'm pasting a post I wrote that broached a similar subject, regarding mudslinging.

Enjoy!

"You got to watch those quotes, Mah: you made me sound as if I were arguing with myself, in the last post.

Good to hear from you again, Brian. At last, a voice from the conservative side who knows a thing or two about etiquette.

quote:

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

Originally posted by Editor:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

May I ask you to refrain from personal attacks and display what aiki skills you may have learned in a verbal context?

Thank you,

Stanley Pranin

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

When Mr. Pranin posted this notice, I interpreted this request to mean that we display the qualities of etiquette found in an Aikido dojo. You say: "Gomenesai," when you feel that you've injured someone (even if there was no injury); and you respect their style of training, even if it is not yours (unless, of course, it is injurious, or a power struggle).

You certainly do not try to marginalize their perspective, or fire a salvo of labels at them. At the closing circle, do you seal off those "not worthy?" No, the circle is opened to include all.

Would I expect the same attempts to marginalize my perspective from James and Mah, were I to visit their dojo? Would they be so rude as to tell me that my technique was "whacked out," or representative of an "extremist fringe?"

When I took issue with James's poor taste in lampooning the mentally disabled, did he apologize? Did he show any remorse, at all?

If I learned one thing about Aikido, it is that an apology is, in itself, a form of blending. You get to show your grace and respect for the other person. When I apologize, I certainly do not feel as if I am capitulating.

And, the other person feels that I am considering them as an equal and not engaging in some ego-battle.

James and Mah, you really should take a page from Brian's book. He and I conversed in great depth on Iraq in the aikiweb forum:

www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2457&perpage=25&pagenumber=13

Even though we hardly agree on the issue, we tended to avoid labels and negative slurs.

Mud-slinging only denigrates the force of your argument, IMO. I find it a general indicator of the moral poverty of the Right, in the Iraqi issue: they (and the White House) can't seem to be bothered with evidence or facts, and so they use emotionally charged language, and innuendo.

It hardly buttresses the case for your argument, to slur your opponent. It only alienates the audience (which is why voter turnout goes way down, when candidates resort to sleazy tactics).

P.S. Good gods, Brian: who'd have figured we'd ever come to each other's defence?"

Michael Neal
02-10-2003, 11:37 AM
So the Taliban are now terrorists because they defend the right of someone accused of being a terrorist.

As I said before, he wasn't proven guilty, he claims his innocence, therefore at the point in time when Afghanistan provided him the amnesty, they did nothing wrong. There is nothing to praise or fault.

The fact that they did not hand him over was because US never took them up on the offer. Instead they wanted Osama on their own terms. Don't color the issue, US was bent on attacking afghanistan anyway. Why would I not surrender Osama to a neutral place for judgement if it would avert the threat of war? No reason at all. But for US, it was imperative that they got the attack ongoing because Bush had to sate your bloodthirsty desire for revenge. It doesn't matter on whom, as long as they resemble an arab its fine.
No, the Taliban are terrorists because they give them safe harbor, a place to train, and they fight right along side of them. I am glad the Taliban are mostly dead or scattered, it is a better world because of it.
Michael, you've got to watch slinging those names around. Calling ppl names and suggesting that they're terrorist sympathizers is no way to make your points, in a debate. Mud-slinging only alienates the listener, as low voter turnouts prove, when the candidates resort to sleazy tactics.

Attack the opinion (or the post), not the person is my motto.

I'm currently engaged in a similar debate over at aikidojournal.com. I'm pasting a post I wrote that broached a similar subject, regarding mudslinging.
Neil, you are so full of it!

You sit around and engage in all kinds of name calling and labeling (even within the statement you made above criticising it) yet you flip out when anyone says anything to describe your motivations or those that you sympathise with.

The tactic you are using here and on Aikido Journal is in fact mudslinging in itself.

I call him a terrorist sypathiser because that is what I think he is, there is no mudslinging in that. It is a perfectly legitimate opinion and well founded based on his own words.

Neil Mick
02-10-2003, 12:40 PM
Neil, you are so full of it!

You sit around and engage in all kinds of name calling and labeling (even within the statement you made above criticising it) yet you flip out when anyone says anything to describe your motivations or those that you sympathise with.

I call him a terrorist sypathiser because that is what I think he is, there is no mudslinging in that. It is a perfectly legitimate opinion and well founded based on his own words.
Well-founded in your own eyes, perhaps, but I disagree. Look at these 2 statements, and tell me if you see the differences:

1) I call him a terrorist sypathiser because that is what I think he is;

2) I think that his posts sound as if he supports terrorists.

If you'd have used #2, Abasan could debate you without a feeling of being attacked. It doesn't get personal. And yes, ALL opinions are "perfectly legimate," but you have a tendency to lamblast ppl with these labels (I STILL get a chuckle over "Barbara Lee is a whacko"), with little basis, or fact, to back them up.

Rather than explore the possible complexities of ppl's positions, labelling a person pretty much assures you're getting into a "yes I am/no I'm not" form of argument.

In fact, I did not agree with all of Abasan's posts, as I mentioned. Had you not resorted to name-calling, we may have eventually found several points of agreement.

And, regarding my "name calling and labelling," again: we're going to have to agree to disagree. I do not generally use name-calling in political discussion...with the exception of 1 anonymous post-er over in Aikidojournal, who resorts to negative labelling (some of them get quite personal) with every post.

IMO, the conversation has ceased with this post-er, and after flagging the posts for review failed, I just flame him with a joke post, hoping he'll either go away, or learn how to communicate.

So, sue me. But, I don't equate my flaming with discussion. Neither is name-calling.

You can do better, Michael: and that's all I'm asking from you.

Michael Neal
02-10-2003, 03:03 PM
we're going to have to agree to disagree
This is one point in which I think we can agree.

Neil Mick
02-11-2003, 05:45 AM
I don't know about you, but this news scares me. If this is passed, an American could have his citizenship revoked, if you even give 1 penny to an organization the AG has labelled terrorist:

"JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SECRETLY DRAFTS LEGISLATION TO STRENGTHEN THE PATRIOT ACT

The Justice Department is drafting legislation that would strengthen the already sweeping powers granted by the USA Patriot Act.

Under the bill, the government could strip people of their citizenship and expatriate them if they provide material support to a group the government decides is a "terrorist organization." All municipal and state laws that regulate police spying on domestic groups would become invalid. The bill would automatically deny bail for anyone accused of terrorist-related crimes. All governmental agencies would be barred from releasing any information about individuals detained in terrorism investigations. A DNA database would be set up to include suspects not convicted of any crimes.

The bill is entitled the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003. A draft copy was obtained and released on Friday by the watchdog group Center for Public Integrity."

-Democracy Now broadcast:

http://www.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20030210.html

-The Center for Public Integrity report:

http://www.publicintegrity.org/dtaweb/report.asp?ReportID=502&L1=10&L2=10&L3=0&L4=0&L5=0

Michael Neal
02-11-2003, 07:16 AM
I have no problem with the legislation, I heard both sides of the argument last night. The only people that have to worry about this are terrorists.

Jim ashby
02-11-2003, 08:23 AM
If you really believe that legislation this far-reaching cannot and will not be used by your government for it's own ends, or that it will not be perverted and twisted by lawywers in your courts, could you please lend me your rose-tinted spectacles?

Have fun

Neil Mick
02-11-2003, 01:23 PM
I have no problem with the legislation. The only people that have to worry about this are terrorists.
Uh, right. Better pass those rose-tinted spectacles over here, too. Better yet, give me a huge shot of sodium pentathol; I'm going to need it to accept that "the only ppl to worry are terrorists."

I have trouble even believing that you believe this, Michael. I don't pretend to know you (beyond these posts), but I do know you're a history buff.

The number of times in the past a demogogue in US gov't used newly granted powers to jail and persecute otherwise innocent ppl, boggles the mind. I could provide lists of books on the subject, but Mr. Akiyama would probably get mad at me for typing a post that used up so much of his hard drive.

Either you're sayng this just to be contrary, or you really don't know what time it is, IMO... :freaky:

Michael Neal
02-11-2003, 02:50 PM
I personally don't think I have to worry about it because I don't belong to or aid in any way, terrorist organizations.

I am more worried right now about a nuclear bomb being set off or a biological weapon being unleashed than I am about the possiblity of someone being wrongly accused of a crime.

I generally think that powers of the govenment should be limited. If you asked me whether it was ok to let 10 murderers or armed robbers go free to prevent one innocent man from going to jail I would say yes. But the answer is not the same it involves mass murder or the use of NBC weapons. Right now there are too many restrictions holding our government back from perusing terrorists in our country and I am perfectly willing to bend a little to allow them to do so. After this mess is over then we should talk about rolling some of these things back.

Williamross77
02-11-2003, 03:35 PM
OK SINCE I AM AN AMERICAN,

I AM CUREOUS IF ALL THE TERROR ATTACKS PLANED WOULD STOP IF ALL AMERICANS JUST PACKED UP AND CAME HOME AND ONLY SPENT OUR MONEY HERE? WOULD THEY STOP? NO THEY WOULD NOT...

Neil Mick
02-11-2003, 04:33 PM
OK SINCE I AM AN AMERICAN,

I AM CUREOUS IF ALL THE TERROR ATTACKS PLANED WOULD STOP IF ALL AMERICANS JUST PACKED UP AND CAME HOME AND ONLY SPENT OUR MONEY HERE? WOULD THEY STOP? NO THEY WOULD NOT...
But, perhaps if we stopped handing out weapons like candy to all the good little leaders who tout the US-party line while ignoring human rights, do you think that might help the terrorist situation in the world, just a little bit, Bill?

Or, do you think that going around the world with our uber-army, loaded for bear (and wolf, and Arab...), motivated by fear and misinformation, is a good way to conduct diplomacy and spread democracy?

Just a thought, to insert in your "either-or" notion of terror...

Neil Mick
02-11-2003, 07:36 PM
I personally don't think I have to worry about it because I don't belong to or aid in any way, terrorist organizations.
How nice for you: a white Republican, born in the USA. No Michael, I'd say that you're well down the list of ppl slated to be harassed by INS and the Justice Dept.

But, if you, as are the majority of Arabs who travel and live in the US, were innocent of any terrorist connections, yet had to be fingerprinted, questioned by the FBI and possibly jailed without due process, representation or access to a lawyer, in many cases; I suppose you might feel a bit differently.

Of course, it's all right because they're Arabs, right? The FBI compiling lists of Arab population centers and mosques, in the same procedure done pre-WW2, with the Japanese-Americans, that's OK too, right?

After all, the Japanese-Americans had nothing to "worry" about, either. What's a little loss of jobs, confiscation of property and herding of your family in crowded, poorly sanitized rooms going to hurt, right? At least, they knew they did nothing wrong. That fact must have provided a little comfort (if not their basic rights and freedoms...)

After all, we're the "leader of the free world;" and we have good reasons to do what we did then, just as we do now...right??

Unless, of course, the CIA decides that you really DO have connections to a terrorist organization, and they decide to whisk you off to a fun-filled holiday in some nation that uses torture methods to get information (but, that will never happen, because we don't imprison innocent ppl, and anyway: an innocent person has "nothing to fear," right?)
I am more worried right now about a nuclear bomb being set off or a biological weapon being unleashed than I am about the possiblity of someone being wrongly accused of a crime.
Then, I worry about your sense of reality.

The chance of someone getting wrongly accused, arrested on false charges and losing everything, over a police-state law?

Quite good, since it is happening even now.

The chance of "a nuclear bomb being set off?" Not quite so high.

Sure, I could worry about getting kidnapped and executed by terrorists, but if I don't worry about giving away, wholesale, my rights and freedoms to a group of ppl who hand out offices of power to convicted criminals, who routinely lie, block FOIA requests and cover up their ties to crooked and bankrupt energy companies, well...I'd say I needed a serious reality check.
After this mess is over then we should talk about rolling some of these things back.
Like WHEN?? The Powers That Be are notoriously bad at signing off their new-found police-powers. It's doubtful that they will simply say: "Oh, OK: we're done stomping Arabs in the world; here's some laws limiting our power."

Likely, they'll scream that the "war is not yet over," ratchett up the alert to high status again, and ask for a few more billion to bomb the next winner of the "regime change" lottery.

And ppl like you, with nuclear bombs and anthrax on your minds, will probably cheer.

Williamross77
02-12-2003, 03:57 PM
ok and stop handing out weapons...

it still would not reverse the situation.

so now right or wrong the situation exists.

right or wrong we know the plans and motives.

right or wrong we must try to assume we can wage a war without vengence in mind.

yes war is wrong,

but i liken it to a group of neighbors on your street that consistantly harras you as you walk home. one day you actually are assaulted by one, as an aikidoka you handel it and do not hurt the guy but have injured his pride. later as months go by he begins to harras your kids, and you notice him target practicing in his back yard, the police say well if hr does attack you call us we' respond as quickly as possible.

in the mean time you have gone to court and gained an in juction that says he cannot posses a fire arm, every time the police show up to search his home he has no arms to show, but you still see him target shoting after they leave.

so now the court says it needs proof to arrest him...

it is all there. but they cant see it.

now let's sy yo are a sherriffs deputy, yo can it you need to go ahead if you have too...

well we are like that sherif's deputy, in my opinion.

Neil Mick
02-12-2003, 09:16 PM
ok and stop handing out weapons...

it still would not reverse the situation.

so now right or wrong the situation exists.

right or wrong we know the plans and motives.

right or wrong we must try to assume we can wage a war without vengence in mind.
Firstly, I thank you for expressing your opinion with respect. Too often I find ppl of conservative stripe resorting to name-calling and a lack of etiquette.

However, I disagree with several of your points:

1) We DO wage war, with vengeance in mind. Much of the motivations in the White House towards Iraq has been from a place of "revenge." George Bush Sr did not oust Hussein in '91, and this caused a loss of face, in the Republican camp (Bush, Sr referred to Hussein as "the next Hitler" in '91).

Also, we bombed Afghanistan with a focus upon civilian targets. The result? 5k-6k casualties. Revenge has to be considered as a possible motive, in this action, as well.

http://www.cursor.org/stories/civilian_deaths.htm

2) I disagree that not handing out weapons will not change the situation. Where did OBL get all his good training? Where did Hussein get his superior missile tech, his biological weaponry, etc? In fact, who backed Hussein in his rise to power (...begins with a "U"...ends with an "S"...)

Why does the US gov't know so much about Hussein's WoMD? Because, we GAVE it to him!

So, do you think we should give weapons to dangerous ppl, and then yell "human rights violations" when they don't want to play ball, with us? Or: maybe we should reconsider our weapons policies, as a deterrent to terror.

Also, we seem to be color-blind about terrorism. Our #1 ally, Israel, has plenty of WoMD (even, nuc's), does daily acts of terror against the Palestinians; yet is the US talking about "no fly zones" for Israel?

No: we give them $14B in military aid, just because they ask nicely.
well we are like that sherif's deputy, in my opinion.
Bill, the situation (from my perspective) is much more complicated than that.

To change your metaphor a little, the situation in Iraq would be more like this:

A group of neighbors are on your street. They harass you a little, but you have a lot of money and power, and you use it to set one against the other, try to spur on rivalries. You secretly arm one guy with shotguns and mace, and (when he uses these weapons) blame it on the other guy, saying that the other guy used the mace.

Later, you say to this guy that whatever he does on the street is OK by you, but then you scream blue murder when he acts exactly as you expected he would.

And so, you organize a vigilante mob and tear up his household, banning him from going to the grocery and hardware store, claiming that he needs to be thrown out of the neighborhood.

This action only makes his wife and kids starve, but the court imposes a house arrest on him, and sends over police inspectors to make sure that he does not have any more shotguns and mace left over. Since they can't find anything, they're pretty satisfied that he's harmless.

But you're not. You tell everyone around that he's got to go, he's a neighborhood menace, etc. But, no one seems to listen. So, you use your pull at the courthouse, intimidate witnesses, etc to get them to see your way, but still most of them don't wish to push him out: especially since the wife and kids will likely be killed in the confusion.

Bombing and invading Iraq will cause a lot of pain, and death, to a people who have endured a lot, under the Sanctions, forthe past 12 years. If we're REALLY so motivated to help the Iraqi's, how about letting the inspections process--a method with PROVEN results--work, over the method of invasion and war, which does not seem to work (didn't work against "getting" OBL, and I suspect that the Iraqi war will make us less safer, in the long run).

Williamross77
02-12-2003, 10:42 PM
That is not what happened there in Iraq.

It started with the cold war and if we helped anyone it was the Iranians,the Soviets Helps Saddam, we got shaky and did not STOP Hussen because of the newly hostile Iranians after the oust of the Sheaw. If you concider the Kurds in the picture it is even more comlicated, I am no conservative, but i do believe that my Aikido instructors taught a principle call Seoudo O Seiso, or seize the first movement, the key word is movement, and yes i belive that a peaceful result is possible, but not with the current BATH party leader, LOGIC not revenge.

Williamross77
02-12-2003, 10:48 PM
"dorry 4 all dem tiepoes"

thanks for the compliment, again i am not liberal or concervative,... in my humble opion..

of course neither one of us will convense the other about the best out come, but what is the Aiki thing to do? I stated my opinion, and many might agree that letting this go unchecked is beyond reasonable expectation at this point...

yes the inspections would be an alternative but i fear more of a stall, than a capitulation.

Neil Mick
02-13-2003, 03:47 AM
That is not what happened there in Iraq.

It started with the cold war and if we helped anyone it was the Iranians,the Soviets Helps Saddam, we got shaky and did not STOP Hussen because of the newly hostile Iranians after the oust of the Sheaw. If you concider the Kurds in the picture it is even more comlicated, I am no conservative, but i do believe that my Aikido instructors taught a principle call Seoudo O Seiso, or seize the first movement, the key word is movement, and yes i belive that a peaceful result is possible, but not with the current BATH party leader, LOGIC not revenge.
No, we're BOTH right.

This is what happened in Iraq, but we're talking different time-periods. You're referring to situation around the Cold War, late 60's to 70's, when Hussein played off the Soviets and the US against each other, first getting Soviet aid, then moving onto the US, when Soviet aid was not forthcoming.

But Hussein was definitely helped by the US, in his rise to power: he was a protege of the CIA, in 1963.

"Iraq’s first dose came in 1963, when a young CIA protege named Saddam Hussein helped overthrow Gen. Abdul Qassim, who had nationalized some of the country's foreign oil interests two years earlier.

According to one history, “CIA assistance reportedly included coordination of the coup plotters from the agency’s radio station inside the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait and solicitation of advice (on who) should be eliminated once the coup was successful.” "

http://www.independent.org/tii/news/021020Marshall.html

I was talking about the late 80's, when the US aid to Hussein was astounding.

"Dennis Bernstein, a journalist who wrote extensively on the role of Western corporations in supplying arms and equipment to Iraq, reported that in 1987, Vice President Bush not only encouraged Iraq to produce chemical and biological weapons, but was willing to commit U.S. financial and strategic resources to assist Hussein in doing so. According to Bernstein, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted low-interest loans to Iraq which were used to purchase "strategically sensitive" exports. Further, he reported that the U.S sent technicians to Iraq to advise and train in the development of nuclear weaponry. All of this was done with the international community fully aware of the horrific actions of Hussein against the Kurds and Iranians.

In 1992, a U.S. House Banking Committee investigating U.S. dealings with Iraq, found that the Bush administration deliberately helped Iraq with military equipment and training while remaining silent on Hussein's human rights atrocities. Fuel air explosives, nuclear plant equipment, bacterial research technology—all were sold to Iraq, sometimes directly to the Iraqi Defence Department."

http://www.zmag.org/CrisesCurEvts/Iraq/aussieiraq.htm

But no, we're going to have to disagree on helping the Iranians, over the Iraqi's. In the Iran-Iraq war, we were definitely siding with Hussein, even blaming an Iraqi shooting of American's on Iran (also in the article link).

And, the only logic I see in the rush to war is to satisfy the pockets of certain members of Brown & Root, the parent company for Haliburton, not to mention bolster Bush's popularity in the polls, once Baghdad is bombed into the stone age.

Once that happens, Bush can push any new bill he likes, such as the an addition of the Patriot Act, with sweeping new powers.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/dtaweb/report.asp?ReportID=502&L1=10&L2=10&L3=0&L4=0&L5=0

If you want logic for a strategy toward Iraq, it's down to what will cost the least, for the most gain. We'll be in Iraq for a long time after the invasion. A lot of Arabs in that area won't particularly like the US presence, no matter how much money we throw at them, or whatever nice speeches we'll make about restoring deomocracy.

Even if our intentions were good one's, there's the inevitable casualties of war, which never get discussed in the mainstream media. The huge numbers of refugees, the toll of life on a populace starved for 12 years, the threat to other countries (Israel is suggesting we attack Iran right away)...

Not to forget, that the concept of a pre-emptive strike is a flat-out violation of UN protocols and iternational law.

We'd basically destroy the UN, if we went in alone. Not a pretty picture for the world, post-invasion.

Neil Mick
02-13-2003, 04:07 AM
many might agree that letting this go unchecked is beyond reasonable expectation at this point.

yes the inspections would be an alternative but i fear more of a stall, than a capitulation.
Many might agree with you, Bill: but I don't.

All this talk about Hussein's "weapons" is smoke: Powell's speech was an embarassment, praising Brisish IQ doc's plaguerized from 12-yr old grad-student papers.

Bush has lied about existing IAEA documents concerning Iraq's nuclear readiness.

There is, simply, no proof.

But, OTOH: Hussein needs to be brought to line. So, why ARE inspections a holding pattern? They're cheaper ($80M vs. $150B, for invasion); they follow international law; they respect the human rights of Iraqi's.

The invasion idea is expensive, long-lasting, dangerous to everone (as the # of terrorists will increase, in the world...OBL must be dancing for joy, right now), arrogant and dismissive of int'l law, divisive (notice how our allies are falling to the wayside?), and a cynical, racist pattern of pushing up approval ratings by President's dropping poll figures.
what is the Aiki thing to do?
Ah, the million-dollar question.

Congrat's, Bill: no one, in months of debate, has asked me that question. But I ask myself that, every day. I never quite come up with an answer.

But, I'm going to sleep on your question, and I'll get back to you, tomorrow, on my thoughts.

In the meantime, don't forget your duct tape... :)

http://www.markfiore.com/animation/alerts.html

Williamross77
02-14-2003, 03:12 AM
Excellent history, i agree that we backed Hussen in the Iran Iraqi conflict(war). I thought i qualified that with the post Shaw comment, truely the truth is beyond any one man and if I have to renounce anything it would be that this has gone too far in the speculation aspect. I might be an idiot but i know a used car salesman when i see one. i know,... simplistic, but i have children and i belive the more room that is given at this point is sorta like the old Judo gi kubishimi.

"i still like to believe that the American eagle flys with two wings , the Left and the Right..." quote Me circa 2002...

Very Good point to ponder, i will sleep on them too...

opherdonchin
02-14-2003, 11:51 AM
Also, we bombed Afghanistan with a focus upon civilian targets. The result? 5k-6k casualties. Revenge has to be considered as a possible motive, in this action, as well.

http://www.cursor.org/stories/civilian_deaths.htmI figured I'd follow this link and, feeling a little off put by the 'feel' of the page tried my own search on 'civilian casualties afghanistan.' I found a thoughtful article that uses a figure of around 1,000 civilian casualties resulting from the bombing campaign, and mentions up front that the real number has been estimated from a low of 300 to the high quoted by Neil's link.

The article seems to indicate that the relatively high civilian death count in Afghanistan results from a combination of a difference in the armaments used (for military reasons) and a difference in demographics.

The idea that the U.S. was intentionally targetting civilian centers strikes me as fanciful and would be a very difficult thing to cover up in the modern media age.

http://www.comw.org/pda/0201oef.html

Neil Mick
02-14-2003, 01:04 PM
I figured I'd follow this link and, feeling a little off put by the 'feel' of the page

The article indicate that the relatively high civilian death count in Afghanistan results from a combination of a difference in the armaments used (for military reasons) and a difference in demographics.

The idea that the U.S. was intentionally targetting civilian centers strikes me as fanciful and would be a very difficult thing to cover up in the modern media age.
A difficult thing to accept...? Look again.

Welcome to the 21st Century: a century of eternal "wars on terror" (meaning US-led attacks on 3rd-World nations too weak to defend themselves), and...something you missed...US selective media blackouts on specifics of their military actions.

The reasons why the civilian casualty figures are so unclear...? The mainstram news did not consider civilia casualties to be "newsworthy."

http://www.fair.org/activism/fox-civilian-casualties.html

Also, the difference between your source (which was hardly a great defence for Operation Enduring Freedom :disgust: ) and mine is the media sources used. In the beginning your source states that it only quoted American and British media; my source (Dr. Herold) uses American, British, Indian, Afghan, French and Pakistani sources.

"Apparently, the only casualty reports considered "real" by the mainstream U.S. press are those either issued by a western enterprise or organization, or "independently verified" by western individuals and/or organizations. In other words, the high levels of civilian casualties reported elsewhere (for example reports by Robert Fisk, Justin Huggler, and Richard Lloyd Parry of The Independent and Tayseer Allouni of al-Jazeera.) are simply written off as "enemy propaganda" and ignored."

http://www.media-alliance.org/mediafile/20-5/

And, I ran that same word-search. The results I found were hardly a feather in the cap of the US military. Once source pointed out that since:

"we have at least 11 times the population of Afghanistan, 300 civilian deaths in Afghanistan would be proportionally equivalent to the U.S. death toll. So even if Professor Herold's figures are off -- indeed, even if they are off by as much as 10 times -- the impoverished, war-ravaged Afghan population has already suffered at least a WTC-level of mass murder from U.S. bombing. Of course, to the extent the study is accurate, the U.S. has inflicted the equivalent of up to 10 WTC death tolls on the people of Afghanistan.

Second, the U.S. mass media are deliberately ignoring this study. Indeed, The Washington Post chose today to run a story with the opposite implication, at least as applied to one Afghan city: "Kandahar Bombs Hit Their Marks , Few Civilian Deaths Evident." "

http://www.therationalradical.com/dsep/1201/3500-deaths.htm

More to the point, why hasn't the US military reported the # of Afghani casualties? Why are we having this discussion? If this were a "just" war, why be ashamed of doing a regrettable, but just, thing? Why the media blackout, even now?

Even if the figure is wrong (which I doubt), the environmental damage is so bad that Afghanistan may be beyond repair, in spite of the conservative motto of "we'll kick some money back to them, and that will fix everything."

http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?ArticleID=3201&DocumentID=277

Perhaps, Opher, sources should be investigated more closely than simply discounted because the website "doesn't feel right."

Just a thought...

Neil Mick
02-14-2003, 01:32 PM
the truth is beyond any one man and if I have to renounce anything it would be that this has gone too far in the speculation aspect. I might be an idiot but i know a used car salesman when i see one.
I'm not quite sure of all you refer to in this post, Bill, but let me respond to a few points I think you're making:

I'm not trying to "sell" anything. I have debated, argued and harangued with people who disagree with me on websites for months. In doing do, I have discovered one fact:

No one is converted by political email discussions. And, if I were trying to convert ppl, I'd be wasting a lot of my time.

No, I debate online because it helps me to articulate my ideas, and it helps me understand the thinking of the "opposition."

Plus, I like to question ppl's basic assumptions. Too often ppl just blanket-assume that our leaders are "doing the right thing," merely because they're our leaders (I recently talked to one man with this viewpoint, in the RW). Questioning the status quo is a healthy thing for society.

So, if my ideas don't "sell" for you, great; but I hope they cause you to re-consider some issues.

And, I don't think you're an "idiot" or "simple" for disagreeing with me. I believe that everyone has a good reason for their perspectives, reasons that I'm not always privy to.

Mistaken ideas of the world usually come about from misinformation, or a lack of it, however. The mainstream media does a good job of misinforming the American public.

The truth is definitely bigger than 1 man, certainly larger than my little brain can hold.

opherdonchin
02-14-2003, 01:58 PM
More to the point, why hasn't the US military reported the # of Afghani casualties? Why are we having this discussion? If this were a "just" war, why be ashamed of doing a regrettable, but just, thing? Why the media blackout, even now?

Perhaps, Opher, sources should be investigated more closely than simply discounted because the website "doesn't feel right."Perhaps, although perhaps not. We've been around a few times, Neil. Like you say, no one is likely to be convinced by things people say in these forums. On the other hand, I think the odds of your convincing would be greater if your information had a more balanced and considered 'feel' to it.

I have to admit to not caring enough about civilian casualties in Afghanistan to follow the question any further. There are standards by which 300 is too many and others by which 4000 is hardly any. My opinions regarding the war in Afghanistan will not be affected much by any number in this range. Would yours?

Neil Mick
02-14-2003, 02:31 PM
In a time of war, what is the aiki thing to do? This question poses no easy response.

Simply put, there IS no one answer, as O Sensei did not set out to define a path of "right livelihood." There are many paths of the Way, and I would be wrong for trying to dictate to anyone, what is aiki in their lives. We all perceive aiki differently, and (I believe) we all posses a piece of the puzzle, as we are all manifestations of aiki, IMO.

Also, politically speaking, aikido is a harmonizing force (properly applied), while politics tends to be divisive, as several of my Sensei's have pointed out. As such, political discussion has no place in the dojo.

But, can the principles of Aikido be applied to a political situation? What is our appropriate course of action, as aikidoka?

Discussion can be divisive, but what about your actions in the face of this war? Since I feel that the principles of Aikido can be applied to any discipline or mode of thinking, I believe it can be applied to politics. Political discussion may be divisive, but action may not.

My observations are, of course, my own, and you might consider them not in accord with your practices. To which I say, fine: if my ideas don't work for you, don't use them.

But, I use a metaphorical model for applying Aikido to other disciplines. For instance, I find that being aware of what happens on the mat, and keeping a good posture are important. And so, I transfer this idea to maintaining integrity, respecting the opponent (when he plays fair), and keeping a level of alertness, above the simple surface information available (this part is critical). I also consider the integrity of my opponent (in this case, the Powers that Be, or the mainstram media). Are they acting honestly? Or, are they being deceptive, and why?

The key, of course, is blending. Understanding. Seeing the perspective from others' eyes. Also, I take this ability to blend and use it for blending with the different perspectives in a situation.

But, for me, since aikido is love and means preserving life, then whatever political perspective that advocates the value of human life is the path with the most aiki. And so, I discard any perspective that values an "us over them" approach, since this idea downplays the value of human life.

Sometimes, a training in Aikido can lead you to step into the path of danger, with the intent to avert harm to intended victims. I remember a new student once told me that she saw some guys on a street chasing a woman, near her house. She got their attention by yelling: "Hey! Chase me!" and then ran into her house when they did, calling the police and giving the victim a chance to get away. She thought of this distraction as a form on atemi, before the iriminage.

In May, I journeyed to Israel with the intent of being an international observer and human shield to ppl being shot at by the IDF. I I was caught and detained by Israeli Customs and held in a crowded cell for 23 hours before I was herded back onto a plane. While in the cell, my first, angry thoughts were: "All Aikidoists should be doing what I'm doing!!" I quickly realized that this idea is absurd: should parapalegic Aikidoists come to Palestine? Or, ppl with kids, should they drop their lives and come to a war-zone (even, one we helped to make?)

You see? I was practicing Aikido in that cell, by considering the perspectives of others.

But, there's another aspect of this situation that really bothers me, and I express the conundrum in this question:

"How can we, as Aikidoists, practictioners of a martial art of peace, sit by and allow violence to occur in our name (and our tax dollars)? Why is this violence so acceptable when the victims are Arab (or other ethnicities), when we feel such outrage over 9/11?

Is it aiki to allow such a double standard to rule the world?"

And so, I begin to realize that Bush, conservatives, or the military are not my opponent, my uke. In this sense, uke is an idealogy, a laissez-faire acceptance of violence as policy, of undervaluing human life, merely because they live somewhere else. Uke is also the idea that the press can fail to accurately report the current issues, as a full awareness of the situation is essential to blending.

In short, the uke's of political aikido are ideologies and rigid forms of thinking, of seeing.

My apologies for my incomplete and poorly articulated views on Aikido. Even in the context of my own philosophy, there is so much more, that I could discuss. But I will not try your patience on my imperfect understanding of a subject that I continue to study.

Understanding and acknowledging how little you know is also important to aiki. Terry Dobson said it well: "O Sensei was asking questions and unsure, all his life. If he had answers, I wouldn't have stayed with Aikido, so long as I did" (paraphrased)

Neil Mick
02-14-2003, 03:12 PM
Perhaps, although perhaps not. We've been around a few times, Neil.

I think the odds of your convincing would be greater if your information had a more balanced and considered 'feel' to it.

My opinions regarding the war in Afghanistan will not be affected much by any number in this range. Would yours?
I'm not surprised that my posts do not change your opinion. And no, numbers alone do not affect my opinion, either. In mid-October 2001, I stated that we shouldn't bomb Afghanistan. Instead, we should have gone through the UN and proscecuted al Qaeda as criminals. I would have felt that way, no matter what the numbers of victims were, in the bombing.

What numbers do provide is documentation and "weight" to my argument. As I mentioned, the difference in the two numbers (300 vs 5000) is reflective of what sources we each cite. My source is higher because it cites other sources besides American and English papers: the same foreign powers who played the biggest hand in the invasion. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

Now, whatever your opinions on our actions, I doubt that they are much changed now. Mine aren't. But one thing I have over the alternative view is results. What's left, post-Afghanistan? A shattered country, spotty media coverage, an increase in heroin traffick, no OBL and al Qaeda still at large.

While we are ready to do it again to Iraq, over a process with proven results (inspections achieved far more success in disarming Iraq, than Gulf War I ever did, with far fewer casualties and far less cost).

And so, you discount my sources because they don't 'feel' right? Well, I'll take this into consideration the next time I post, but since you stated that nothing I say will change your mind, I won't hold my breath.

DaveO
02-14-2003, 11:34 PM
Hello friends; I would like to make a brief departure and answer the first post and its column from the Daily Mirror.

1st, let me state that as a Canadian, I am no friend of many of the US's policies or programs throughout the world. I believe the US government is at times overbearing, bullying and thoughtlessly self interested. It is quite capable of going to war for oil, or political diversion, or simply because they want to.

But does that make me 'Anti-American'? No. Let me explain this way: I have travelled and studied throughout the United States, and in many places of the world. With the exception of Canada, I have yet to see any other major country whose inhabitants are so open and friendly. Americans, by and large, are nice, generous people. They are kind and well-meaning. When my car broke down in Wyoming, a farmer in his field noticed, came out and picked me up and collected my car with his friend's tow truck. Finding they had the appropriate part the fixed me up, had me stay for dinner and gave me a place to sleep for the night - the only charge was that I helped with morning chores; a service I volunteered; they did not ask. No-where else have I seen this kind of generosity. I could mention the motel owner in Michigan where I stayed while being transferred from Calgary to Nova Scotia - I dropped my pocketknife while there. He knew I was a soldier, and spent three months tracking me down via phone calls and mail to return a $10 item - wonderful.

Americans are great people. It's their government's policies I disagree with, strenuously. To state that America is wrong to force war with Iraq is not anti-americanism, it is an opinion. Too often, and now most of all, the general feelings seem to be totally polarized - either love the Americans, agree with everything they do, pick up old Glory and wave it around, or hate the US, say they're the problem, burn their flag.

Where has common sense gone? Basic courtesy? I don't love the Americans, I like them. I don't agree with the US's policies in regards to Iraq, but I can wish their soldiers luck - luck they're going to need in spades. Somewhere along the line - and certainly not helped by Bush's 'You are with us or against us' speech - this polarism crept in; and it is the cause, I think, of a large part of this bad will.

My own feelings on this matter are clear: Iraq is, in this case, the Bad Guy. Hussein is a tyrant. He and his regime is evil. But, while I like our friends to the South, I believe the US should not in any way continue to force war on Iraq, not without providing better reasons than they have. They are making a mockery of Dr. Blix's hard work; twisting his research to their own ends by stating, essentially, 'If the inspectors find weapons of mass destruction, we will go to war with Iraq. If they don't find any, Iraq is hiding them and we will go to war anyway'.

The thing to be done is to get rid of Hussein and his leadership - that's a given. Will war in Iraq accomplish this? No; of course it won't - all it will do is create a massive slaughter while the targets slip the coop. Due to Hussein's depradations and the US's sanctions, Iraqi's are suffering enough already; to make war upon them - the people - is a cruel irony, killing them to save them.

There are other ways. "What other ways" you will ask, I throw the question back - what other ways? Sit down and think about that question.

The main reason I have for not going to war on Iraq, however, is (and yes, I know the howls of protest I'm about to recieve) that the US military is not set up to fight such a battle. Should the US military attempt to go into Baghdad, they will be faced with the one form of combat for which they have little real ability - urban combat.

Look; the US crows about its fancy tanks, its cruise missiles, its powerful warplanes.

Tanks do not operate well in cities. Cruise missiles are useless against urban resistance. Warplanes are powerful, and notoriously inacurrate - this is a sore point for me; one of the Canadian soldiers killed by a US bomb in Afghanistan was someone I knew - not well, but enough.

You can have tanks roll over a city, you can have planes bomb it. You can bombard it with ships and artillery, but to take it, you need to put men on the ground; and frankly (and I know this is going to pi$$ Americans off), moderately-trained US infantry will die in vast numbers to accomplish something that could've been done without war. THAT's why the US should not choose war - they stand a VERY good chance of losing and I for one would not want to be the man that has to tell so many mothers their sons died for no reason.

Sorry for the over-long ramble, I hope I was able to communicate my feelings properly.

Neil Mick
02-15-2003, 12:40 AM
Thank you, Dave: for a thoughtful post. Well written!

Of course, I'm not "pissed" off about your opinion, at all. I agree with 98% of it, in fact.

But, what I do agree is the tremendous casualties (on both sides) this war will cause.

Good news on the UN front (depending upon your opinion, of course): Blix and el Baradei will say there are no WoMD, FWIH.

Going to the march on Sunday...see you all there :)

Williamross77
02-15-2003, 04:46 AM
NEIL I MENT HUSSEN WAS THE USED CAR SALESMAN NOT YOU, YOU NKOW WITH THE WE DON'T HAVE IT BIT, SORT LIKE EVERYONE IN JAIL IS INNOCENT.

SORRY FOR THE MISUNDERSTANDING.

Neil Mick
02-15-2003, 05:05 AM
No problem :)

Erik
02-15-2003, 05:32 PM
Or, do you think that going around the world with our uber-army, loaded for bear (and wolf, and Arab...), motivated by fear and misinformation, is a good way to conduct diplomacy and spread democracy?
This is an interesting statement. Most of the misinformation is coming from the anti-war crowd. Really, it by a tremendously wide-margin.

Fear? More interesting. That's precisely what Saddam is best at. Well, that and killing thousands of his own people. Ok, maybe that's not it. It's killing them in creative ways that he's best at. Or, maybe it's duping weapons inspectors.

By the way, since the UN inspectors were pretty much totally duped in the mid 90's, why does anyone think they'll do better this time around?

Neil Mick
02-15-2003, 07:01 PM
Most of the misinformation is coming from the anti-war crowd. Really, it by a tremendously wide-margin.

Fear? More interesting. That's precisely what Saddam is best at.

Or, maybe it's duping weapons inspectors.

By the way, since the UN inspectors were pretty much totally duped in the mid 90's, why does anyone think they'll do better this time around?
Misinformation?? Sorry Eric: referring to a duck as a bear still, IMO, means it quacks and flies. And so, for you (as with Brian, Michael Neal, et al), I loudly cry...

WHERE'S THE BEEF???! Where's the proof of this allegation of misinformation, Eric? From Powell down to Bush, right down to you, the Republican's who nay-say the inspection process simply have no proof.

Would you like to go down the list of Powell's allegations, Eric? I assure you, they don't hold up well, to the light of objective investigation.

But, I fear that neither you, Opher or the rest of you will be convinced, because they don't "feel" right, or the State Dept, or the NY Times, hasn't said it's necessarily so.

To wit I reply, as I did earlier: I'll keep your skepticism under consideration, but since NOTHING I say will convince you, I won't hold my breath...

Erik
02-15-2003, 08:37 PM
Snipped!
Neil, take a deep breath and count to 10? Are we there?

Inpections have largely failed. Or, am I missing something in wondering why the inspections ended in 1998? Oh, I forgot, in your world their ending in 1998 was part of a US master plan and had nothing to do with Iraq's intransienge.

Interestingly, in 1995 the UN inspectors thought things were progressing quite nicely. Yes, indeed, inspections were working nicely. Then along come Hussein Kammel's defection and oops, seems they were not doing quite as good a job as they'd thought.

Or, could part of the reason the inspections will fail is that France, Russia and China all have gained, and are continuing to gain, by dealing with Iraq? The missle gyroscopes Iraq illegally acquired in 1995 came from the USSR. Chinese firms have sold to Iraq. France is one of Iraq's largest trading partners and has been either the largest or second largest recipient of the oil-for-food program. Yup, sounds like folks that will put real teeth into an inspection program.

It's the funniest damn thing. Everyone rants about US involvement in the early years but no ever talks about how France, Russia and, to a lesser degree, China have been bought. All we hear is about how it's about Bush and oil when it's probably the exact opposite.

The one reason we are even talking about inspections is because President Bush sent the military over there. Inspectors are in Iraq because, and only because of the military threat.

Some history on inspections:

April 18, 1991: Iraq declares it has no biological weapons programme.

followed by

August 2, 1991

Iraq declares to the first biological inspection team that it had conducted "biological research activities for defensive military purposes".

then...

September 6, 1991

The first UNSCOM inspection team which intended to use helicopters is blocked by Iraq.

then...

September 21-30, 1991

IAEA inspectors find large amounts of documentation relating to Iraq's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The Iraqi officials confiscate some documents from the inspectors. The inspectors refuse to yield a second set of documents. In response, Iraq refuses to allow the team to leave the site with these documents. A four-day stand-off during which the team remained in the parking lot of the site ensues. Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents following a statement by the President of the Security Council, threatening enforcement action by members of the Council.

then....

March 19, 1992

Iraq declares the existence of previously undeclared ballistic missiles (89), chemical weapons and associated material. Iraq reveals that most of these undeclared items were unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991, in violation of resolution 687 (1991).

June 1992

Iraq provides its first full, final and complete disclosure for its prohibited chemical weapons programme.

then....

March 1995

Iraq provides the second Full, Final and Complete Disclosures of its prohibited biological and chemical weapons programmes.

oops, we did have an offensive program...

July 1, 1995

As a result of UNSCOM's investigations and in the light of irrefutable evidence, Iraq admits for the first time the existence of an offensive biological weapons programme but denies weaponization.

then...

August 1995

Iraq provides the third Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited biological weapons programme.

followed by....

August 8, 1995

General Hussein Kamel, Minister of Industry and Minerals and former Director of Iraq's Military Industrialisation Corporation, with responsibility for all of Iraq's weapons programmes, leaves Iraq for Jordan. Iraq claims that Hussein Kamel had hidden from UNSCOM and the IAEA important information on the prohibited weapons programmes. Iraq withdraws its third biological Full, Final and Complete Disclosure and admits a far more extensive biological warfare programme than previously admitted, including weaponization. Iraq also admits having achieved greater progress in its efforts to indigenously produce long-range missiles than had previously been declared. Iraq provides UNSCOM and the IAEA with large amounts of documentation, hidden on a chicken farm ostensibly by Hussein Kamel, related to its prohibited weapons programmes which subsequently leads to further disclosures by Iraq concerning the production of the nerve agent VX and Iraq's development of a nuclear weapon. Iraq also informs UNSCOM that the deadline to halt its co-operation is withdrawn.

March 1996

UNSCOM teams are denied immediate access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites after delays of up to 17 hours.

and....

June 1996

Iraq denies UNSCOM teams access to sites under investigation for their involvement in the "concealment mechanism" for proscribed items.

more...

April 8, 1998

The report of the biological weapons TEM is transmitted to the Council. As with the other TEMs, the experts unanimously conclude that Iraq's declaration on its biological weapons programme is incomplete and inadequate.

finally....

December 16, 1998

The Special Commission withdraws its staff from Iraq.

and about 100 other incidents along the way...

inspections aren't going to work.....

The full text of the above can be found here....

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_102926,001300180003.htm

Neil Mick
02-15-2003, 09:46 PM
Neil, take a deep breath and count to 10? Are we there?

yep. we sure are.
Inpections have largely failed. Or, am I missing something in wondering why the inspections ended in 1998? In your world their ending in 1998 was part of a US master plan and had nothing to do with Iraq's intransienge.

Interestingly, in 1995 the UN inspectors thought things were progressing quite nicely. Hussein Kammel's defection and they were not doing quite as good a job as they'd thought.
In quoting you I cut out the most annoying and sarcastic remarks. Whatsa matter, Eric, still smarting over the bit about the Sanctions?

"My world" happens to be your world, too. It's a shame that you imply that there's a difference.

I did a word search for Kamal Hussein. You want to know the first thing I find? An interview with Scott Ritter, former head of UN inspections team, '94-'98. He talks about Kamal Hussein and the US reaction:

"Hussein Kamel's defection added a definite sense of urgency.... Suddenly, Hussein Kamel defects, and it's out there, laid before the world: Iraq is cheating, Iraq is lying, Iraq has not complied, and not complied in a big way. What are you going to do about it?

Now, all the breaks are off. Ekeus said, 'Go,' and we started running, and almost immediately we ran into a brick wall called the United States Government, because the U.S. Government went, You want to do what? When? How?

And what we were talking about was UNSCOM moving out of the realm of just being an assessor of intelligence, to UNSCOM getting actively involved in the collection of intelligence, and using techniques and methodologies that it normally only associated with national governments, not with international organizations, not with a bunch of guys with blue hats and funny sounding names"

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/unscom/experts/defectors.html

Now, Scott Ritter has a very different take on the ousting of weapons inspectors in 1998. Brace yourself, Eric: this might be hard to take. You sitting down? Good.

Here it is:

HUSSEIN DID NOT OUST THE INSPECTORS. THEY WERE RECALLED ON US INSTRUCTIONS

I found it quoted by Scott Ritter, and also over here:

"Before UNSCOM was withdrawn on US instructions (see R. Butler, Saddam Defiant, p. 224..."

http://www.viwuk.freeserve.co.uk/library/derailing.html#coercive
Or, could part of the reason the inspections will fail is that France, Russia and China all have gained, and are continuing to gain, by dealing with Iraq? The missle gyroscopes Iraq illegally acquired in 1995 came from the USSR. Chinese firms have sold to Iraq. France is one of Iraq's largest trading partners and has been either the largest or second largest recipient of the oil-for-food program. Yup, sounds like folks that will put real teeth into an inspection program.
Gimme a break, OK? Brown & Root, parent company of Haliburton, are going to make a KILLING off this war. Talk about Cheney being motivated! And you sit there, and tick off a series of weapons deals that other countres have done, in the past, as if this some damning retort?

Look up your, history, Eric: where did Saddam get all those nice toys, in '88? Who kicked off his nuclear program, blamed his gassing of the Kurds, as well as a shooting of an American vessel, on Iraq...?

Give you a hint...begins with a "U"...ends with an "S"... :grr:
It's the funniest damn thing. Everyone rants about US involvement in the early years but no ever talks about how France, Russia and, to a lesser degree, China have been bought.
"Bought??" ...by IRAQ?? :D :D :D

Now who's in "another world??" Sure, I guess China, France and Russia were "bought" by the lure of eevil lucre, at the risk of pissing off the only superpower in the world.

Right. That must be the reason why they're all lining up against the US. They were bought.

Bought, by a starving nation with (*halleliuh chorus behind*) NO WoMD! , barely able to feed itself, a nation subjected to no-fly zones and stuck with getting by on white and black markets.

Yeah. That makes sense. :rolleyes: Much more sense, than inspections working, the US being waay off base on this one and currently breaking up long-standing alliances in its singlemindedness. Better to find something to hang on those bad, evil "old" Europeans, right?

And: better check on that history you posted...sometimes reality is much more complicated than mainstream headlines. It's missing a few of the finer points.
The one reason we are even talking about inspections is because President Bush sent the military over there. Inspectors are in Iraq because, and only because of the military threat.
yeah, and your point...? Oh, I see, you still labor under this "world is flat" idea that the inspections "don't" work.

Well, let's look at only one aspect of it, logically.

The inspectors found weapons in the 90's, right? They got Hussein to admit to these violations and to dismantle the weapons.

Now, by all accounts this eliminated at least some (I say "at least some" because this is where we disagree) of the threat.

Gulf War did not eliminate the threat, because he still had the weapons afterward

(another side point: suppose he DOES have WoMD and we invade? Suppose that some of these get smuggled out in the chaos? Where's your big "war will make us safe" idea NOW?).

And so, I have to conclude that, in terms of results: weapons inspections work over war.

If you want to prove otherwise, you have a long way to go.

Neil Mick
02-15-2003, 10:10 PM
sorry. The shooting of an American vessel was done by Iraq, and blamed by the US on Iran, in the media.

Neil Mick
02-15-2003, 10:49 PM
I MENT HUSSEN WAS THE USED CAR SALESMAN NOT YOU, YOU NKOW WITH THE WE DON'T HAVE IT BIT, SORT LIKE EVERYONE IN JAIL IS INNOCENT.
Maybe, Bill, but what if he doesn't have weapons of WoMD, and he is telling the truth (for once in his life)?

It means that we're going to kill a lot of ppl (and be killed) for someone else's gain.

Does this sound familiar?

But, I'm sure Hussein is just looking out for #1, as always. I'm guessing that he's hoping to ride this one through, and do some sneaky "under-the-table" deal with some 1st world nation (maybe the US, later).

He definitely bears watching, and, IMO, the inspections (tougher than they are now) is the way to stop him.

Williamross77
02-16-2003, 02:27 AM
OK ALL WARS KILL PEOPLE,?!

BUT BACK TO AIKIDO, IS SHOUDO O' SEISO THE RELVANT POINT OR DO WE EMBATLE AFTER HUSSEN HAS LAIN AN ATOMIC WEAPON IN TO THE HANDS OF THE FUNDAMENTALIST MUSLAMS? I WOULD NOT RISK MY CHILDREN TO SPECULATION...

Neil Mick
02-16-2003, 02:46 AM
OK ALL WARS KILL PEOPLE,?!
Well, yeah, but some wars are preventable. Why kill ppl unnecessarily?
BUT BACK TO AIKIDO, IS SHOUDO O' SEISO THE RELVANT POINT OR DO WE EMBATLE AFTER HUSSEN HAS LAIN AN ATOMIC WEAPON IN TO THE HANDS OF THE FUNDAMENTALIST MUSLAMS? I WOULD NOT RISK MY CHILDREN TO SPECULATION...
I don't quite understand your post. In terms of the "aiki" thing to do, I wrote a long post, above, about my ideas in aikido and war.

But, Bill: here's the thing...this idea that Hussein is going to put an atomic weapon into the heands of "an Islamic fundamentalist" is a fear. Maybe justified (more likely not), but still a fear.

Now let me put this in another context: when you wake up in the morning, do you worry about your kids crossing the street every second, till they do it? No, might walk them up to the street (depending upon their ages), or tell them to be careful.

You certainly wouldn't advocate shooting someone, even a dangerous driver...? No, you watch for danger, but you don't use violence to "make the danger go away."

So, yeah, Saddam is a threat, but on the scale of threats, he's pretty small at the moment. Pakistan, or ex-USSR weapons being sold on the black market is a much bigger threat, in terms of WoMD.

And, you can't go about the world working from fear. For Hussein, you need a policy of "watchful guidance" that works.

But still, you're right: we can't let him just go unchecked. That's why we need a really strong inspections program. To go against the UN is to become outlaws, ourselves: no worse than any other breaker of international laws.

And if we start a war for no good reason, killing for no reason, aren't we as guilty of murder, as Saddam is of gassing the Kurds?

DaveO
02-16-2003, 07:25 AM
Hello, Neil; one sec....

BILL, TURN YOUR CAPS LOCK OFF!!!!

Thank you.

Anyway, back to Neil. :) Hello! I agree with all your points except the last - the Kurds were to my knowledge utterly helpless. As horrible as this coming war wil be, it will be war, not mass slaughter of the helpless. Otherwise, I agree completely, Neil.

A few other points I'd like to add to all - this campaign has been driven by weak comparisons, old cliches and emotional histrionics on both sides - rationality is a small voice largely ignored. Bush takes every opportunity to use the words 'murderous tyrant', 'axis of Evil', and other tired cliches - certainly Hussein is a tyrant and evil, but such repetition is for one reason only: to reinforce the emotional message against Iraq, diverting attention from the facts.

Hussein and Iraq has been compared, time and again, to Hitler's Germany. What a farce! And, if I may say, a serious insult to Germany. The Nazi party was evil, and Germany must - and has - taken responsibility for the horrors of WWII, but one must remember: Germany's military - the Wermacht, the Luftwaffe, and the Kriegsmairne - (sorry if I misspelled) was a huge, superb fighting force; filled with dedicated, skilled and courageous men. That they were The Enemy does not detract from their quality.

Iraq, on the other hand, is contained. It is poor, and getting poorer. It has no friends, it is for all intents and purposes the pariah of the world; and justifiably so; with apologies to the innocent Iraqis trapped in a terrible situation. It has no effective army, no air force, no navy. Almost no infrastructure. Iraq couldn't invade a broom closet much less a country. Question: Why are we going to war? Answer: to protect the world against Iraq. Hmmm - see above; just what threat does Iraq represent?

WoMD? Hah - right. If the US is interested in ridding the world of WoMD, why have they not made war upon those countries that not only have been proven to have such weapons but are fully prepared to use them? I could make a list, but for the moment, let's look at another hotspot - North Korea. They have nuclear weapons. They have demonstrated their intent to use any means necessary to invade the south. They are listed among Bush's 'Axis of Evil'. They are, unlike Iraq, a very real, very dangerous threat. Why is the US not invading them?

There is only one possible answer,given the information provided - Bush wants to invade Iraq. That's all; no other reason - he wants to invade. Millions around the world have protested against it, in the largest demonstrations the world has seen since Viet Nam, and maybe larger. (The response from Mr. Blair was, I thought, quite humorous.) Dr. Blix delivered the report the US didn't want - I'm waiting breathlessly for Bush's response.

To say the US is acting in the world's interest is ludicrous; stopping terror and/or getting Hussein are exactly the last things that would happen.

Gen. Schwatzkopf (sp?) is scared of the outcome - this is telling. A General that decorated, that experienced, with that much of a fighting nature says he's terrified of what will happen, why is no-one in his government listening? The reason can only be that rationality - that ever-diminishing commodity - is being pushed aside in favour of imagined righteousness.

opherdonchin
02-16-2003, 07:39 AM
But still, you're right: we can't let him just go unchecked. That's why we need a really strong inspections program.Well, one of the few things I am sure about regarding this ongoing conflict is that the American policy towards Iraq has been the chief reason behind a return to a real inspections program. Further, I can see no other way the UN or Iraq would have returned to these inspections, short of the threat of imminent war.And so, I transfer this idea to maintaining integrity, respecting the opponent (when he plays fair),I think that this is one of the main places where you and I disagree, Neil. I believe that my respect for my partner needs to be there whether or not my partner 'plays fair.' I need to maintain appropriate posture regardless of whether my uke is being a good uke.I also consider the integrity of my opponent (in this case, the Powers that Be, or the mainstram media). Are they acting honestly? Or, are they being deceptive, and why?Here, also, I see things differently. My job is not to judge my partners AiKiDo. Rather, I try to recognize those places where my partner IS doing AiKiDo -- to see the integrity they do have and the flexibility and the responsiveness that is in their movement -- and to find a way to connect to this. Ultimately, AiKiDo is about accepting a situation which is not ideal and finding a way to make progress by thinking creatively within the constraints of that situation.But, I fear that neither you, Opher or the rest of you will be convinced, because they don't "feel" right, or the State Dept, or the NY Times, hasn't said it's necessarily so.I don't like it when you impugn ideas and thoughts to me, Neil. There's nothing wrong with it in general, but you seem to rarely 'get me.' My feeling is that you don't really know where I'm coming from on these issues.

Erik
02-16-2003, 10:06 AM
Neil, you should have mentioned the second, third and fourth articles. Here's the second one from your link at:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/unscom/experts/defectors.html

Iraq had a big problem on its hands, because it needed a new explanation for [Kamel's revelations]. And the explanation they hit upon was, "We are shocked, shocked, to discover that under our very noses, Kamel all this time has been hiding all kinds of weapons and documentation. We've discovered it on his chicken farm, and here it is. You may have it all."

And they deliver to UNSCOM one million pages of newly-declared documents, which show a lot of biological weapons programs, which show a lot more chemical weapons programs, which show material shortfalls, which show missile stuff, which show nuclear stuff. But -- and it took a long time to do this -- as UNSCOM went through these million pages of documents, and hundreds of crates, they found that there were interesting gaps.

For example, all the biological stuff was described as research. There was nothing on weaponization, that is to say, nothing on taking what you know to be a toxic bug -- anthrax say -- and putting it into a warhead that can be used as a military weapon. That's a big part of the problem. ... So in each case, Iraq kept back something important. Usually the most important thing.

Hussein Kamel's defection tells UNSCOM that not only have they been missing something, but they've been missing a huge, huge amount of what they were supposed to be finding. Way more than they had ever suspected. Their worst nightmare scenario was eclipsed by the documents on this chicken farm, and it meant the beginning of a major new phase of biological, missile, chemical, and nuclear investigations.

Without Kamel, none of this.
HUSSEIN DID NOT OUST THE INSPECTORS.
Conceded, in the abstract. More in a second.
THEY WERE RECALLED ON US INSTRUCTIONS
Here you are pushing it. I was unaware that the UN inspectors acted solely on US authority?

Try my link,

http://www.irak.be/ned/archief/exit_UN_%20weapons_%20inspectors_1998.htm
Gimme a break, OK? Brown & Root, parent company of Haliburton, are going to make a KILLING off this war. Talk about Cheney being motivated! And you sit there, and tick off a series of weapons deals that other countres have done, in the past, as if this some damning retort?

Look up your, history, Eric: where did Saddam get all those nice toys, in '88? Who kicked off his nuclear program, blamed his gassing of the Kurds, as well as a shooting of an American vessel, on Iraq...?

Give you a hint...begins with a "U"...ends with an "S"... :grr:.
From France....

http://www.1upinfo.com/country-guide-study/iraq/iraq95.html

From the USSR / Russia...

http://www.1upinfo.com/country-guide-study/iraq/iraq94.html

From the rest of the world...

http://www.1upinfo.com/country-guide-study/iraq/iraq93.html

Looks like a lot of folks joined that party.
Better to find something to hang on those bad, evil "old" Europeans, right?
Nope, just wanted to make sure that certain facts got mentioned. These countries have a history with Iraq. If you and others feel it’s fair to mention our history, then their history needs mentioning. I'll have to look for some numbers on the oil-for-food program. I bet the results would be interesting.
And: better check on that history you posted...sometimes reality is much more complicated than mainstream headlines. It's missing a few of the finer points.
The point is easy. History repeats itself. Many times when looking at that sever year period.
The inspectors found weapons in the 90's, right? They got Hussein to admit to these violations and to dismantle the weapons.

Now, by all accounts this eliminated at least some (I say "at least some" because this is where we disagree) of the threat.

Gulf War did not eliminate the threat, because he still had the weapons afterward
The Gulf war never intended to eliminate the weapons because no one really knew how much he had. More accurately, it wasn't the inspectors that did it. It was the big stick of the US and Great Britain that did it. I said it before; there would be no inspectors in Iraq today without 150,000 US troops in the region. When they leave, you will see a repeat of 1991 through 1998 all over again.
Where's your big "war will make us safe" idea NOW?).
I wouldn't argue for a war on that basis. This is where I think Bush has erred. Saddam is really not a direct threat to the US today. It's the man's actions; his threat to the region, and the inevitable and far higher price you will pay to do it later. Those things are what matter. He has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people directly in forms too numerous to mention, and indirectly through his determination to maintain WOMD which have kept the sanctions in place. It's easy to portray Bush as the evil oilman but it doesn't fly. The history is plainly writ and this debate has gone on since 1991 through 3 US presidents.

It may also be that we will be safer because of it. Imagine a US military response that quickly removes Saddam from power. The US steps in and rebuilds the country. Everyone knows what Saddam is. His neighbors know what he is. His removal would be well received. In rebuilding the country we do it right. We provide the money, rebuild the infrastructure and provide Iraq with a democracy. That could conceivably go a long way towards improving our position in the Arab world and it could well make the US a safer place.

The simple truth is that without a change, we will almost certainly wake up in 5 to 10 years with a nuclear-armed Iraq. Ask yourself why he never came clean with the WOMD? Five times he changed his declarations. First he had no biological weapons. Then he only had defensive weapons. Then he had not weaponized his offensive weapons. Over and over and over it goes. The only reason he even admitted most of this is because of Kamel. It’s very likely that without Kamel the UN inspectors would have left in 1996 unaware of what they should have even been looking for. Why are the weapons so important to him? Why does he fight so hard on an issue that when resolved would have ended sanctions? Why are we even talking about inspectors today? What happens in a year if the US military has to stand-down if we drag this out? Where will the inspectors be in a year? He's shown a full and complete willingness to use chemical weapons. He did it regularly against Iran and the Kurds. Surely he'd use a nuke if threatened.

The anwser to those questions are why you go to war. You go to war today for the same reason that France and Great Britain should have gone to war in 1938. You do it because the price you pay today, though painful, is a 100 times less painful than the price you will pay in a few years. You do it because if you don’t many more people will die in Iraq and whichever country he chooses to go to war with next.

Williamross77
02-16-2003, 02:59 PM
IMHO, hussen is hoping to gas and nuke Isreal in an attempt to draw them into a conflict in which Iraq leads the Arab world in a fight with Isreal in the hopes that all the combined Arab states could do what the seven could not in the 7 day war. we know that Isreal would still win until Pakistan might agree to assist its Muslim neighbors with its nuclear arsenal, then... well , it is more than a grudge : Bush and Hussen fueds.

Neil Mick
02-17-2003, 12:32 PM
My feeling is that you don't really know where I'm coming from on these issues.
I'll be the first to agree with you here, Opher. My apologies for lumping your opinions in, with others. But, you have questioned my sources based upon their "feel," rather than their possible basis in fact. So, there you are.

OTOH, I'd like to think that I'm familiar with your stance on certain issues (such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), but your general philosophy still is a mystery, to me.


I need to maintain appropriate posture regardless of whether my uke is being a good uke. My job is not to judge my partners AiKiDo.
Unquestionably, we are in agreement here. However, I was referring to the case when uke might not be an Aikidoist, or uses "dirty tactics" in a conflict.

Also, I was attempting to use a metaphorical model of using Aikido to address a political issue (i.e., war), and I'd welcome any further thoughts you might have, in this vein.
Well, one of the few things I am sure about regarding this ongoing conflict is that the American policy towards Iraq has been the chief reason behind a return to a real inspections program.
We're just going to have to agree to disagree, here. My opinion is: maybe inspections could have worked without US threats to war, maybe not.

But, certainly the course of inspections do not need unilateral threats to go to war, massive build-up's of US troops in the area, an erasing of the distinctions between nuclear and conventional war, no-fly zones not sanctioned by the UN, or baseless chages of WoMD, do they?

How about a little moderation, such as a FEW more troops, a little sabre rattling, instead of cowboy diplomacy overkill?

opherdonchin
02-17-2003, 03:29 PM
OTOH, I'd like to think that I'm familiar with your stance on certain issues (such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), but your general philosophy still is a mystery, to me.I'd be very surprised if you know what I think of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I certainly don't remember ever saying what that is here on this site. My general philosophy, on the other hand, is fairly straightforward: I believe that questions teach us more than answers and that when two people disagree it is rare that they are not both right.
Unquestionably, we are in agreement here. However, I was referring to the case when uke might not be an Aikidoist, or uses "dirty tactics" in a conflict.Ah, but that's my point: the world is not an Aikidoist and it does fight dirty. If AiKiDo is to be effective (and I'm speaking metaphorically here, since I have no experience of 'real fights') we need to be able to apply it without first judging whether our partner is 'worthy' or a 'good aikidoka.'

When working with a beginner, it is my job to find the AiKiDo that they ARE doing and work with that. Similarly, when working out in the real world, I have to find the way to connect to my partner's intention and to find their good will. This is what creates the harmony that allows progress.
How about a little moderation, such as a FEW more troops, a little sabre rattling, instead of cowboy diplomacy overkill?I have some sympathy with this perspective, however it turns the question into a tactical rather than a strategic one. Some people would argue that Clinton tried this, with relatively little success. I'm not sure if that's right, but what I certainly notice is that what Bush did DID in fact succeed in the limited goal of reinstalling inspectors and encouraging Iraqi cooperation. Judging from the Iraqi brinksmanship, it is possible that the same could have been achieved with less, but it would have been tricky.

Of course, you could argue that the European good-cop has been just as important as the American bad-cop. Or you could argue that inspections in Iraq are not a very important goal. There are also lots of other legitimate reasons to criticize the Bush administration's approach. None of this takes away from the importance of noticing the success.

DaveO
02-17-2003, 03:40 PM
Side issue; having nothing to do with the conversation. Well; not much anyway. One of the things that's got me puzzled - really puzzled - is the demand for Iraq to allow US U2 reconnaissance aircraft to overfly the country. Not that I disagree with spy planes - they're necessary. But - why did the US ask? They've never asked before, and they've overflown plenty of places with much better SAM capability than Iraq. It doesn't make sense.

The only answer I can see, and I stress that I'm NOT using this to further my own argument, because I state outright that I don't know the answer, is that the US is using it as a negotiating tool - force Hussein to allow something he can't stop and has been going on anyway, thus creating an opening for the allowance of further demands. It also forces Hussein into a humiliating situation - the allowance of spy planes would be a truly bitter pill. From a strictly diplomatic point of view, that's a pretty agressive (and clever) move - essentially giving Hussein another cause to rebel against, thus provoking war.

opherdonchin
02-17-2003, 08:27 PM
I thought Iraq had shot down two of those spy planes over the last month.

Neil Mick
02-17-2003, 10:08 PM
I'd be very surprised if you know what I think of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Jeez, Opher, what happened? You get up on the wrong side of the bed today?

No, I suppose I DON'T know your every thought and view on the Palestinian conflict, but I can get a general picture. I also know that you and I have a different perspective on the issue, and that your perspective draws from personal experience, which is why I value your thoughts, even as they do not always complement mine.

I remember your first post I read of yours, in fact: you responded to how Palestinian and Jewish Aikidoists interact in Haifa. I was fascinated.

But, never fear, the great "mysterious" Opher is still, largely, a mystery, in the measure of yours truly :D
I believe that questions teach us more than answers and that when two people disagree it is rare that they are not both right.
No disagreement, here.
we need to be able to apply it without first judging whether our partner is 'worthy' or a 'good aikidoka.'
OK, we've gotten waay far afield of my original meaning of "evaluating" uke. You're reading too much into my words.

But, OTOH: I see where you got this idea. And, I am far from happy with my post on the "aiki" view of political thought.

To critique myself (which I have long wanted to do, lol), I neglected to point out there is a difference between political action, and appropriate political discussion.

But, I'm going to cede the point to you, because the more I think about it, the less I like the idea of judging uke to be "worthy."

It's not how I train, and it's not what I meant.

But, to turn the question around, let me ask you this: how do you deal with intolerance or abuse, from an aiki perspective?

What is the aiki way to deal with an abusive government, for example? Or, what if, as in your last post, the "beginner" is not expressing their aiki, sees you as the "enemy," and deals with you in a manner lacking etiquette, all the while pretending to act from a position of strength, or good aiki?

What is the aiki position of intolerance?
I certainly notice is that what Bush did DID in fact succeed in the limited goal of reinstalling inspectors and encouraging Iraqi cooperation.
Right.

And, I noticed that my forum posts, in fact, succeeded in reinstalling inspectors, too. :p

As you mentioned, merely because the inspections are working, does not mean that it's a result of the US "bad cop" strategy. Might as well blame it on the good weather; picking out one phenomena going on at the time and holding it up as a "raison d'etre" for the inspections working is deterministic rationalization.

Also, I find it amusing how, 2 weeks ago, a lot of conservatives are saying: "Inspections are no good!! They won't work!!"

And, what do we hear now? "Oh: it's all because of W's tough-guy act, that they're working now."

Yeah, that must be it. :rolleyes: And, if W actually DOES go to war unilaterally, I guess we'll hear next that he tried to play fair, but he had to go the "next step" to oust the bad guy who won't "play the game."

ANYTHING, to apologize for W flaunting international law, right?

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

So many response, so little time. It's great to see more interest in this thread; although I wish I could hear from a side central to the Iraqi conflict that is understandably silent: the view from an Iraqi, living in Iraq.

I type from a mac :p and my time is short. I'll respond to everyone who posted to me, tomorrow.

Erik
02-17-2003, 10:14 PM
I thought Iraq had shot down two of those spy planes over the last month.
Huh? Nope, no planes have been shot down that I'm aware of. Perhaps you've been reading the Iraqi press? :)

Erik
02-17-2003, 10:40 PM
So many response, so little time. It's great to see more interest in this thread; although I wish I could hear from a side central to the Iraqi conflict that is understandably silent: the view from an Iraqi, living in Iraq.
Since that is a death sentence I'm sure you'll understand their silence. Remember Kamel? He went back to Iraq. It was a bad choice.

By the way, one clarification on the inspectors. There are now UN inspectors in Iraq. They are there because of GW and the US military. That does not mean that the inspections are working. It simply means that there inspections happening. It's very important to differentiate that.

Jim23
02-17-2003, 11:04 PM
Neil, take a deep breath and count to 10? Are we there?

Inpections have largely failed. Or, am I missing something in wondering why the inspections ended in 1998? Oh, I forgot, in your world their ending in 1998 was part of a US master plan and had nothing to do with Iraq's intransienge.

Interestingly, in 1995 the UN inspectors thought things were progressing quite nicely. Yes, indeed, inspections were working nicely. Then along come Hussein Kammel's defection and oops, seems they were not doing quite as good a job as they'd thought.

Or, could part of the reason the inspections will fail is that France, Russia and China all have gained, and are continuing to gain, by dealing with Iraq? The missle gyroscopes Iraq illegally acquired in 1995 came from the USSR. Chinese firms have sold to Iraq. France is one of Iraq's largest trading partners and has been either the largest or second largest recipient of the oil-for-food program. Yup, sounds like folks that will put real teeth into an inspection program.

It's the funniest damn thing. Everyone rants about US involvement in the early years but no ever talks about how France, Russia and, to a lesser degree, China have been bought. All we hear is about how it's about Bush and oil when it's probably the exact opposite.

The one reason we are even talking about inspections is because President Bush sent the military over there. Inspectors are in Iraq because, and only because of the military threat.

Some history on inspections:

April 18, 1991: Iraq declares it has no biological weapons programme.

followed by

August 2, 1991

Iraq declares to the first biological inspection team that it had conducted "biological research activities for defensive military purposes".

then...

September 6, 1991

The first UNSCOM inspection team which intended to use helicopters is blocked by Iraq.

then...

September 21-30, 1991

IAEA inspectors find large amounts of documentation relating to Iraq's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The Iraqi officials confiscate some documents from the inspectors. The inspectors refuse to yield a second set of documents. In response, Iraq refuses to allow the team to leave the site with these documents. A four-day stand-off during which the team remained in the parking lot of the site ensues. Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents following a statement by the President of the Security Council, threatening enforcement action by members of the Council.

then....

March 19, 1992

Iraq declares the existence of previously undeclared ballistic missiles (89), chemical weapons and associated material. Iraq reveals that most of these undeclared items were unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991, in violation of resolution 687 (1991).

June 1992

Iraq provides its first full, final and complete disclosure for its prohibited chemical weapons programme.

then....

March 1995

Iraq provides the second Full, Final and Complete Disclosures of its prohibited biological and chemical weapons programmes.

oops, we did have an offensive program...

July 1, 1995

As a result of UNSCOM's investigations and in the light of irrefutable evidence, Iraq admits for the first time the existence of an offensive biological weapons programme but denies weaponization.

then...

August 1995

Iraq provides the third Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited biological weapons programme.

followed by....

August 8, 1995

General Hussein Kamel, Minister of Industry and Minerals and former Director of Iraq's Military Industrialisation Corporation, with responsibility for all of Iraq's weapons programmes, leaves Iraq for Jordan. Iraq claims that Hussein Kamel had hidden from UNSCOM and the IAEA important information on the prohibited weapons programmes. Iraq withdraws its third biological Full, Final and Complete Disclosure and admits a far more extensive biological warfare programme than previously admitted, including weaponization. Iraq also admits having achieved greater progress in its efforts to indigenously produce long-range missiles than had previously been declared. Iraq provides UNSCOM and the IAEA with large amounts of documentation, hidden on a chicken farm ostensibly by Hussein Kamel, related to its prohibited weapons programmes which subsequently leads to further disclosures by Iraq concerning the production of the nerve agent VX and Iraq's development of a nuclear weapon. Iraq also informs UNSCOM that the deadline to halt its co-operation is withdrawn.

March 1996

UNSCOM teams are denied immediate access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites after delays of up to 17 hours.

and....

June 1996

Iraq denies UNSCOM teams access to sites under investigation for their involvement in the "concealment mechanism" for proscribed items.

more...

April 8, 1998

The report of the biological weapons TEM is transmitted to the Council. As with the other TEMs, the experts unanimously conclude that Iraq's declaration on its biological weapons programme is incomplete and inadequate.

finally....

December 16, 1998

The Special Commission withdraws its staff from Iraq.

and about 100 other incidents along the way...

inspections aren't going to work.....

The full text of the above can be found here....

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_102926,001300180003.htm
Erik's the man!

Remember though, in the end, this is all politics. Ultimately, who's going to win and who's going to lose. Maybe we should win this one.

Williamross77
02-18-2003, 04:04 AM
the Iraqis shot down one drone, not the U2.

opherdonchin
02-18-2003, 01:38 PM
No, I suppose I DON'T know your every thought and view on the Palestinian conflict, but I can get a general picture.Again, I'd be surprised, although I could be wrong.But, to turn the question around, let me ask you this: how do you deal with intolerance or abuse, from an aiki perspective? What is the aiki way to deal with an abusive government, for example? Or, what if, as in your last post, the "beginner" is not expressing their aiki, sees you as the "enemy," and deals with you in a manner lacking etiquette, all the while pretending to act from a position of strength, or good aiki?These are excellent and hard questions. I don't have answers, but I have my attempts to deal with them, and I can share those with you.

My own answers begin in noticing that when I first started practicing AiKiDo, it didn't work. In fact, every new situation where I try to apply AiKiDo (two sword techniques and randori with shinai are two recent examples for me) it doesn't 'work' as well as it does in the situations I'm familiar with. When I look to carry my AiKiDo over to 'real world' situations, I guess I assume that it won't 'work' all that well either, until I've accumulated years of practice. Factor in that the real world is much more complicated and unpredictable than the dojo and that becames long decades of study before I feel like I have begun to be truly effective.

In the meantime, I will have to accept that I often allow my ego and my own desire to be powerful and right lead me into unnecessary struggles. Sometimes I am succesful in those struggles and other times I get beaten. More often than not, neither happens and I just get tired. Part of AiKiDo is learning to notice when I'm struggling. Even if I don't see alternatives, at least I train myself to be more aware of my own postures and habits. Perhaps with time, alternatives will become easier to see.

Of course, it is always possible to try carrying over the physical lessons of the dojoj directly to the metaphorical sphere. There are a couple that come immediately to mind:

[list=1]

Don't try to move from where you have been grabbed. In the world of political discussions, this translates for me into: don't try to change the other persons point of view about things on which you disagree. Instead, we learn in the dojo, movement begins from the parts of your body that are free to move. By moving your body around, you affect the point of conflict automatically.

Position yourself in a position of harmony. Move your body (your perspective, your presentation of your ideas, whatever) until you reach a point where you and uke are looking at the world from the same perspective. From there, it will be much easier to see what sort of movement uke is capable of.

Whenever uke is not moving, return your focus to yourself. Its almost certain (in the dojo, anyway) that your posture or center have been compromised. If you return yourself to good, centered posture, you will almsot always find that uke has begun to move. I think this works in political discussions. Its almost always a good habit, when things get stuck, to stop worrying about what I want my partner to understand and refocus on my own motivations and my own sense of internal balance.

[/list=1]

I've avoided the 'love and harmony' types of ideas because those can be very hard if your partner's attitude towards calls up strong feelings of defensiveness. If you can manage them, of course, I think they're still amazingly effective.

Most of this has to do with talking to people and not with influencing the policies of a country. That's mostly because philosophically I'm much more interested in interactions between real people and because your only affect on the country is through your interactions with real people. I also remember my first teacher telling me that all the one-point and unbendable arm in the world wouldn't stop a speeding train.

Neil Mick
02-18-2003, 05:47 PM
Yes, Eric, Jim's right! You da' man!

My congratulations for your last post; what can I say? Eqituette-wise, it is much improved...nary a single conspiracy-label or slur in sight. My hat's off to you!

Regarding your FACTS, however...
Neil, you should have mentioned the second, third and fourth articles.
There was a definite reason why I did not quote those articles. I wanted to use the PBS link as a starting-point for the views of Scott Ritter, chief UN weapons inspector from 1994-1998.

But, PBS itself is hardly unbiased. In fact, it has shown an increasingly rightward slant since its funding has come under question by the conservative camp:

http://www.fair.org/press-releases/pbs-factsheet.html

(In fact, Dr. Khidir Hamza, listed on the site as a "nuclear physicist, key to Hussein's nuclear weapons program, has come under attack for possibly overestimating his importance and casting wild and speculative assertions about Hussein's nuclear readiness).

But, let's get back to Mr. Ritter's perspective. Unlike you, me, and several of the viewpoints chosen on the PBS site, Mr. Ritter has had access to both Hussein Kamal's testimony, and the UNSCOMM process itself.

In fact, when you assert that "without Kamal, they would have never found the weapons" is a baseless leap in logic.

If, for example, we are going on a treasure hunt, and you get one of the judges to tell you where you can find 1/2 of the objects, it is ridiculous to claim that you wouldn't be able to find them, without this judge's help.

And Mr. Ritter seems to agree with me.

"Contrary to the myth propagated by Cheney, there were no "smoking gun" revelations made by Hussein Kamal regarding hidden Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Throughout his interview with UNSCOM, a UN special commission, Hussein Kamal reiterated his main point--that nothing was left. "All chemical weapons were destroyed," he said. "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons--biological, chemical, missile, nuclear--were destroyed. There is not a single missile left ... they [Iraq] had kept blueprints and molds for production, but all the missiles were destroyed."

Everything Hussein Kamal said about Iraq's undeclared weapons programs was confirmed, in parallel, through the ongoing analysis by UNSCOM experts of the chicken farm documentation alluded to by Cheney."

http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0910-04.htm

Try my link,
http://www.irak.be/ned/archief/exit_UN_%20weapons_%20inspectors_1998.htm
What can I say, Eric, but....thank you! It is rare that someone arguing against me provides a post that supports my position.

A chestnut from that same link, for example:

"I received a telephone call from US Ambassador Peter Burleigh inviting me for a private conversation at the US mission [...] Burleigh informed me that on instructions from Washington it would be 'prudent to take measures to ensure the safety and security of UNSCOM staff presently in Iraq.' I told him that I would act on his advice and remove my staff from Iraq."

Given that the chain of events is so well established, it is surprising that many commentators and politicians have claimed since 1999 that Iraq "expelled" the weapons inspectors in December 1998. This mistake has been made not only by hawks such as President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address ("the axis of evil" speech), Dick Cheney (before he became vice-president), Alexander Rose, the Canadian right-wing Washington correspondent of the National Post, and the editorial writers of the Sunday Times. It has also been repeated by those who have shown concern for the humanitarian situation in Iraq, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Liberal Democrats foreign affairs spokesperson Menzies Campbell, and the usually superb Guardian Middle East editor Brian Whitaker. The BBC often makes this mistake, and usually acknowledges its error when it is pointed out to them.

It was hardly unpredictable that the Iraqi regime would refuse after December 1998 to re-admit the arms inspectors who had been withdrawn so that Iraq could be bombed."
just wanted to make sure that certain facts got mentioned. These countries have a history with Iraq. If you and others feel it’s fair to mention our history, then their history needs mentioning.
Wow, Eric: you've got me, here. What can I say? OK, I'll come clean. Yes, I admit, other nations' hands are "dirty" in dealing with Iraq.

Whew, that felt better. Confession IS good for the soul.

What this has to do with the argument to wage war on Iraq, I have no idea. The fact that US companies in general, Brown & Root in particular, and the President-select in political, all have a stake in waging war on Iraq, IS, IMO, the point.

Also, attack helicopters and missiles from France and Russia, doth not chemicals, biological and nuclear material from the US make.

"A review of thousands of declassified government documents and interviews with former policymakers shows that U.S. intelligence and logistical support played a crucial role in shoring up Iraqi defenses against the "human wave" attacks by suicidal Iranian troops. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague.

Opinions differ among Middle East experts and former government officials about the pre-Iraqi tilt, and whether Washington could have done more to stop the flow to Baghdad of technology for building weapons of mass destruction.

'It was a horrible mistake then, but we have got it right now," says Kenneth M. Pollack, a former CIA military analyst and author of "The Threatening Storm," which makes the case for war with Iraq. "My fellow [CIA] analysts and I were warning at the time that Hussein was a very nasty character. We were constantly fighting the State Department.' "

U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup

Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds, By Michael Dobbs

Washington Post Staff Writer, 12/30/02

The Gulf war never intended to eliminate the weapons because no one really knew how much he had. More accurately, it wasn't the inspectors that did it. It was the big stick of the US and Great Britain that did it. I said it before; there would be no inspectors in Iraq today without 150,000 US troops in the region. When they leave, you will see a repeat of 1991 through 1998 all over again.
You may have said it before, Eric, but once again: a duck is still a duck, even if you try to dress it up as a bear.

It does not matter if Gulf War I wasn't intended to eliminate Hussein's WoMD. It is being cited as the main recourse for disarming Hussein, and as such it needs to be argued from that perspective. If you complain of a stomach ache and I suggest a hammer to your fingers, don't you think that pointing out hammering one's carpal's never works for gastrointestinal disorders, is a valid observation, hmm? (well, maybe not, sice you seem stuck on this mantra of "inspections don't work," in spite of the null-set of proof you've offered...)

And again: the inspectors, from David Kay to Richard Butler to Scott Ritter to Hans Blix, all say that inspections do work (they debate the total effectiveness of ridding Iraq of its threat, but none state that the program isn't effective, at all). Perhaps these "primary sources" know a bit more than you about the program...?

But, then again: I'm not surprised at your confusion. Even the media seems to possess an odd double-standard about historical events, even those of 4 years ago. It seems that Cheney is not the only person who likes to re-invent history:

http://www.fair.org/extra/0210/inspectors.html
It may also be that we will be safer because of it. Imagine a US military response that quickly removes Saddam from power. The US steps in and rebuilds the country. Everyone knows what Saddam is. His neighbors know what he is. His removal would be well received. In rebuilding the country we do it right. We provide the money, rebuild the infrastructure and provide Iraq with a democracy. That could conceivably go a long way towards improving our position in the Arab world and it could well make the US a safer place.
Reading this passage reminds me of the Wahnsee Conference. Remember that little dark splotch on history, Eric? No? Well, let me re-cap:

The Nazi establishment needed to figure out a better method to make the Jewish "problem" "go away." Apparently, they were somewhat successful in in rounding up the Jewish civilians and killing them by forcing them into trucks with gas exhaust piped into the back, but it was inefficient and didn't do the job, as systematically as they liked.

And so, they came up with a total system of detention, or concentration, camps.

The similarities lie in your blanket use of making Saddam, almost as if he were a pimple on the face of Iraq. The nasty fact of DU dust, a nation on its knees in medical and agricultural infrastructure, and the horrid estimated cost of US and Iraqi lives never seems to enter into the picture.

Many (with good reason), view the Sanctions as genocidal. And now you suggest that we "remove" Hussein by bombing and "invading" Iraq to "replace" him, forgetting all the bodies we'd have to step over, to get to him.

Not to mention, of course, that many ppl, from sources in the Pentagon to the Academy of Arts & Sciences, fer pete's sake, say that an invasion will make us LESS safer, not more.

And, of COURSE, once this whole charade is over (assuming we invade), we'll clean up our mess, just like we did in Afghanistan, right?

Yeah, right.

Sorry, Eric: you did better, this time, but that bear's still quacking,,,

But, of course: if I could document every square inch of Iraq and show you that there's no WoMD, you'd still be unconvinced.
The simple truth is that without a change, we will almost certainly wake up in 5 to 10 years with a nuclear-armed Iraq.
I'm still waiting for the beef, Eric. "Almost certainly?" Since neither you, nor Powell, nor Cheney, has come up with the evidence, I'm guessing I'll be waiting a loong time...

Neil Mick
02-18-2003, 06:02 PM
As horrible as this coming war wil be, it will be war, not mass slaughter of the helpless.
Great post, Dave, about Iraq's state of "war readiness."

I both agree, and disagree, with your statement. I think it will be BOTH, a war and a slaughter of the helpless. Even should the US army attempt to minimize Iraqi casualties (and I believe that they will), there will be a huge human cost of innocent, non-military lives.

Even today, the Iraqi's are paying the toll of Gulf War I, in human life and livelihood.

Neil Mick
02-18-2003, 06:08 PM
IMHO, hussen is hoping to gas and nuke Isreal in an attempt to draw them into a conflict in which Iraq leads the Arab world in a fight with Isreal in the hopes that all the combined Arab states could do what the seven could not in the 7 day war. we know that Isreal would still win until Pakistan might agree to assist its Muslim neighbors with its nuclear arsenal, then... well , it is more than a grudge : Bush and Hussen fueds.
Bill, you may be right about Hussein's hopes to attack Israel: but there is no proof that he can carry out his desires. None.

And, Israel is the #2 military power in the world, with the US ally as #1. Hussein is many things, but he doesn't tend to commit mass murder unless he feels he can get away with it. Unfortunately, he's not stupid.

The bulk of his evil-doings stem from when he had US support in the 80's, and US knowledge of his crimes. Right up to days before Kuwait, the US ambassador was assuring Hussein that the US will turn a blind eye to his atrocities.

Neil Mick
02-18-2003, 06:19 PM
Factor in that the real world is much more complicated and unpredictable than the dojo and that becames long decades of study before I feel like I have begun to be truly effective.

In the meantime, I will have to accept that I often allow my ego and my own desire to be powerful and right lead me into unnecessary struggles. Part of AiKiDo is learning to notice when I'm struggling.

Of course, it is always possible to try carrying over the physical lessons of the dojoj directly to the metaphorical sphere. There are a couple that come immediately to mind:

[list=1]

Don't try to move from where you have been grabbed. In the world of political discussions, this translates for me into: don't try to change the other persons point of view about things on which you disagree. Instead, we learn in the dojo, movement begins from the parts of your body that are free to move.

Position yourself in a position of harmony. Move your body (your perspective, your presentation of your ideas, whatever) until you reach a point where you and uke are looking at the world from the same perspective.

If you return yourself to good, centered posture, you will almsot always find that uke has begun to move.

[/list=1]

I've avoided the 'love and harmony' types of ideas because those can be very hard if your partner's attitude towards calls up strong feelings of defensiveness. If you can manage them, of course, I think they're still amazingly effective.

Most of this has to do with talking to people and not with influencing the policies of a country. That's mostly because philosophically I'm much more interested in interactions between real people and because your only affect on the country is through your interactions with real people. I also remember my first teacher telling me that all the one-point and unbendable arm in the world wouldn't stop a speeding train.
Excellent post!

But, detouring from political discourse for a second, into political action, how do you see Aikido fitting into one's own political perspective, within the realm of the personal, branching outward to the societal?

Put more succinctly: supposing the status quo (either through planning, or accident) is set up in a society to cause harm, simply by "business as usual" operations.

Aren't those individuals in that society guilty of the crimes that their gov't commits, by indirect complicity?

Sure, unbendable arm cannot stop a speeding train, but where does the Aikidoist's responsibility lay in attempting to halt this destructive progress?

Now, I'm speaking generally because you can apply this question to any society: WW2 Germany, 16th C England and slavery, etc.

Any thoughts, Opher?

Neil Mick
02-18-2003, 06:27 PM
Oh, yeah: a little quote for all you "US military build-up makes the inspections work," apologists:

“Successful disarmament of Iraq is possible without Baghdad’s active cooperation....”

Hans Blix, Chief UN Weapons Inspector

Feb. 7, 2003 Reuters

But, since some of you like to see numbers (as well as the Iraqi half of an inspections chronology :) ), here's a few numbers to kick around...

Millions March Worldwide on 2/15 To Denounce Bush's War Plans>>>

• Rome: 2.5 million
• Madrid: 2 million
• London: 1.5 million
• Barcelona: 1 million
• Paris: 800,000
• New York City: 500,000
• Berlin: 500,000
• Seville: 250,000
• Melbourne: 200,000
• Athens: 200,000
• Oviedo, Spain: 200,000
• Montreal: 150,000
• Baghdad: 100,000+
• Dublin: 100,000+
• Los Angeles: 100,000
• Brussels: 100,000
• Lisbon: 100,000
• Las Palmas, Spain: 100,000
• Cadiz, Spain: 100,000
• Amsterdam: 80,000
• Toronto: 80,000
• Stockholm: 80,000
• Los Angeles: 75-100,000
• Alacant , Spain: 70.000
• Glasgow: 60,000+
• Oslo: 60,000
• Seattle: 55,000
• Mexico City: 50,000
• Montevideo: 50,000
• Stuttgart, Germany: 50,000
• Thessaloniki, Greece: 40,000
• Copenhagen: 35-40,000
• Berne, Switzerland: 40,000
• Sao Paulo: 30,000
• Girona, Spain: 30,000
• Vancouver: 30,000
• Goteborg, Sweden: 30,000
• Tokyo: 25,000
• Budapest: 20,000
• Newcastle, Australia: 20,000
• Vienna: 20,000
• Lyon: 20,000
• Perth, Australia: 20,000
• Irunea, Basque Country: 20,000
• Montpeilier, France: 15-20,000
• Luxemburg: 15-20,000
• Buenos Aires: 15,000
• Rio de Janeiro: 15,000
• Helsinki: 15,000
• Canberra, Australia: 10-15,000
• Trondheim, Norway: 11,000
• Kolkata, India: 10,000
• Johannesburg: 10,000
• Minneapolis: 10,000
• Zagreb, Croatia: 10,000
• San Diego: 10,000
• Philadelphia: 10,000
• Edmonton, Canada: 10,000
• Auckland: 8-10,000

And other cities: Tel Aviv: 1500, Adelaide, Bellingen, Bregenz: 1500, Bratislava, Cape Town: 5000, Christchurch, Dunedin, Durban: 3000, Iraklio: 4000, Maine, Patras: 3500, Prague: 1000, Quito: 250, Rethimno: 2000, Rhodes: 2000, Santiago: 3000, Taipei, Tampere: 2000, Tudela: 5000, Turku: 5000, Volos: 3000, Warsaw, Wellington...


• Global Count of Protestors Hits Eleven Million

Erik
02-18-2003, 07:53 PM
I began writing a response until I realize that it was going to take at least a day, and it wouldn't matter. This is not worth it to me. Sometimes you just get off the line.

The facts stand on their own. There is a very strong case to be made for going to war.

So, I'm going to check out and leave you with the suggestion that you read Pollack's book. Read the introduction, perhaps the first chapter or two, the chapter on containment and the chapter on going to war. If nothing else, just the introduction will do.

He makes a better case than I can. His interpretations contradict yours. Which is natural because he's about 1,000 times less biased in his viewpoints than you are. It's worth noting that he used to argue for containment and changed his opinion.

From his book....

How Many Iraqis Have Died Since 1991?

Unfortunately, the answer is: we just don't know. . . . That said, there are a number of things that we do know and that are worth saying.

First, however many people have died, the numbers that the Iraqui regime is disseminating--and that many well-meaning people and even U.N. agencies are recirculating--are clearly wrong.[1] Iraq's claims are grossly contradicted by the regime's own demographic data. In 1997, the Iraqi regime conducted a census, and two years later it. . . . . . . stated that Iraq's population had increased from 16.5 million in 1987 to 22 million in 1997. Baghdad also claimed that had it not been for the U.N. sanctions, the population figure would have been 23.5 million but that 1.5 million people (1 million of them children) had died prematurely as a result of sanctions. Although this was the headline of the census, all of the other numbers in it controverted this lurid claim. The census figures indicate a population growth rate of 33 percent over ten years, a very high rate . . . by itself. If one were to add back the 1.5 million . . . (and the 500,000 who fled the country. . .), it would produce a ten-year growth rate of 45 percent--which is phenomenal and would have put Iraq among the fastest-growing populations in the world. However, Iraq was not know to be one of the fastest-growing populations in the world prior to the Gulf War. . . .

Amatzia Baram has demonstrated that the Iraqi figures themselves belie the assertions of the regime. . . . [T]he census figures show Iraqi population growth rates remaining stable over the last thirty years, and the decrease in population growth rates the regime claims was produced by the sanctions would not have been big enough to create the actual population increase had 1.5 million people already died. Thus, the census figures for population growth by themselves indicate that the Iraqi claims as to deaths from sanctions are significantly inflated. [2] To explain this discrepancy, Baghdad claims that there was a quantum leap in Iraq's birthrate in 1991-97, which not only offset the deaths but produced the growth. Interestingly, the census does not present any data to support this contention. . . . According to unofficial U.N. statistics, Iraq's birthrate continued to decline right through 1997. . . .

If the ludicrous assertions of the Iraqi regime are clearly false, it still leaves unanswered the question of how many Iraqis truly died. Unfortunately, all we have is a good guess. At present, the most comprehensive, thorough, and sensitive analysis has been conducted by Richard Garfield of Columbia University. Gardfield's research was exhaustive, and his methodology is the current gold standard. based on this work, Garfield concluded that between August 1990 and March 1998, anywhere from 106,000 to 227,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died as a rsult of the war, the intifadah [Various uprisings against Sadam which Sadam conducted punitive reprisals targeting women and children.--Ed.], and its aftermath. . . . [T]he number is probably closer to the high end . . . but . . . roughly 25 percent of those who died were killed during the Gulf War and the intifadah. [3] Since Garfield also estimates that 1,000 to 5,000 Iraqi civilians died during the Gulf War, the vast majority of the children under the age of five killed in combate were therefore probably killed in the intifadah--an estimate that squares with the numerous accounts of the brutality of Saddam's forces and their slaughter of women and children in suppressing the revolt. [4]

So the best estimate we have is that roughly 135,000 to 150,000 Iraqi children died in the first seven years after the war. . . . Regardless of whether one blames these deaths mostly on the sanctions or mostly on the regime's manipulation of and reaction to the sanctions, this is still a very heavy cost. Given that the Gulf War itself probably caused no more than 10,000 to 30,000 Iraqi military casualties and another 1,000 to 5,000 civilian casualties, it raises the question of whether full-scale combat is a more humane policy than draconian sanctions.

Pollack, KM. The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq. New York: Random House, Inc., 2002, pp. 137-139.

And I step off the forum.

Neil Mick
02-18-2003, 08:02 PM
The facts stand on their own. There is a very strong case to be made for going to war.

And I step off the forum.
The last gasp of a baseless argument...to claim that "the facts are out there," sans documentation.

Reminds me of "manifest destiny" :rolleyes:

Nice chatting with you, tho, Eric: it's been educational. I look forward to practicing with you, sometime.

opherdonchin
02-18-2003, 08:27 PM
Those numbers are, of course, the upper limits quoted by the organizers. Usually, the police numbers are around 1/2 to 1/10 of those numbers and the truth somewhere in between. Not that it matters.
how do you see Aikido fitting into one's own political perspective, within the realm of the personal, branching outward to the societal? ... Aren't those individuals in that society guilty of the crimes that their gov't commits, by indirect complicity?I'd say the notion of guilt is entirely foreign to my understanding of AiKiDo. Within the AiKiDo perspective, guilt and crime have no meaning. Still, I understand what you are asking.

Let me preface this by saying that these are my own thoughts on AiKiDo philosophy. I'm hardly qualified to be explicating the AiKiDo philosophy on anything, let alone politics. This is also not necessarily my own philosophy.

I don't know that AiKiDo -- which is essentially a personal and communal activity -- has much to say about political philosophy. If anything, an AiKiDo perspective says that politics is the wrong level on which to be thinking and working. Working at the political level implies an effort to change others and influence events. It implies having beliefs that you are holding on to and working to impose on others. This distracts from work on your self.

AiKiDo contains the notion that I do not need to fix the world, or my dojo, or my training partners. The most effective thing, according to AiKido philosophy, is to focus on fixing (or at least noticing) my self.

Of course, by working on my self and noticing my self, I also learn to notice other things. One thing I may find myself noticing is the opportunity to do the right thing or to help others. I don't have to seek these opportunities because the more I am present in the moment and aware, the more they will present themselves.

It is sheer ego to think that the world needs me in order to fix it. It is a fundamental misconception to project my own frustrations and dissappointments out on to a world which I then blame for not living up to my expectations.

(Ok, so I'm mixing some Zen into my description of AiKiDo philosophy, but I think that's legitimate.)

Now, occasionally opportunities to get involved politically might present themselves, just like opportunities to help people push their cars out of the snow. Nothing wrong with that. I think the idea is to engage in these political activities with the same balanced, centered caring that you bring to working with your training partners and helping your friends. The particular political issue, it seems to me, is less significant, from an AiKiDo perspective, than the way you conduct yourself and the caring and concern you bring to the people you work with. AiKiDo has much more to say about means than it does about ends.

I'm afraid this isn't the answer you are looking for, Neil, but it's the best I could do.

Erik
02-18-2003, 09:55 PM
The last gasp of a baseless argument...to claim that "the facts are out there," sans documentation.
OK, you made me mad and got one more post out of me. Neil, it's simply not worth discussing this with you. I'm going to leave it to Pollack to make the case. Read his book. It's all in there. 400 pages of solid facts from someone on the inside who knows what is going on. Every page is like the one quoted. It's one of the most fact packed books I've ever read. He knows his stuff.

Why I'm giving up.

Fact: No UN inspectors for 4 years. Bush holds a gun to Sadam's head. We get UN inspectors.

Neil: It's not because of GW. That's a fluke random chance. We didn't have UN inspectors because of the US.

Fact: France (who gave quite a boast to his nuclear potential until Israel decided otherwise)), Germany (who also helped Iraq's chemical program), USSR and China all have economic reasons for the stances they have taken.

Neil: It doesn't matter.

Fact: US supported Iraq in the 80's.

Neil: That does matter.

Fact: Iraq has resisted, lied (5 separate, final and complete declarations), deceived, forcibly stopped the inspections and effectively forced out UN inspectors. The UN said as much themselves. And, they did evict UN inspectors at one point. US inspectors specifically. The history is there.

Neil: Some dates are wrong, it was the US's fault and it doesn't matter.

Fact: In 1998 the US and Great Britain bomb Iraq because of Sadam's actions in regards to the inspectors.

Neil: The inspections were working.

Fact: Sadam has killed hundreds of thousands of people. Many with chemical weapons. His agents have tortured, raped, violated and brutalized his people in a manner that rivals Stalin in the aggregate.

Neil: It's all the US's fault.

Fact: Sadam invaded Kuwait.

Neil (or rabid anti-war fanatic): It's the fault of the US.

Fact: The US did not know he was going to invade Kuwait. They, in fact, totally botched it.

Neil (or rabid anti-war fanatic): The US did know and planned it that way. They did it because....well....uh....

Fact: Dozens of sources confirm that Kamel's information was valuable and completely changed the process. The most telling facts of all? He was killed by Sadam (do you get that he kills people) and the third (of five) complete and final biological weapons declaration which admitted offensive biologicals.

Neil: Ritter say's otherwise. Ritter is right, everyone else is wrong.

Fact: WOMD.

Neil: I know he doesn't have any because, I just know.

Reversing the process:

Neil: Israel is the #2 military power in the world, with the US ally as #1. Hussein is many things, but he doesn't tend to commit mass murder unless he feels he can get away with it. Unfortunately, he's not stupid.

Fact 1: He's incredibly stupid about world politics. Proven time and time again. He invades Kuwait. He invaded Iran. His noncompliance with UN sanctions proves it. A smart man would have complied. The sanctions would have ended a decade ago and he could have had all the WOMD he wanted. He'd be another North Korea, only worse.

Fact 2: Israel is far from the #2 military power in the world. Check the Arab Israeli wars. Check with China. Check with the USSR. Check with Great Britain. Check with France. Can you even see the slant you are taking?

Neil: But, of course: if I could document every square inch of Iraq and show you that there's no WoMD, you'd still be unconvinced.

Fact: The argument I have made is not about what he has today. And everyone (but a few that is) knows he has them, even France, it's what happens when he gets the nuke. His history is one of aggression and he absolutely sees himself as a leader of the Arab world. He'd love to toss a nuke at Israel. The standard of compliance is 1441. And, how come he never destroys his weapons in public? All of his problems solved in one fell swoop.

See why I'm done. I'm easily one of the most skeptical people you will ever meet but why would I want to take this on? I'm crazy but I'm not insane. :)

This is my second complete and final declaration of doneness. :)

See ya on the mat.

opherdonchin
02-18-2003, 11:12 PM
That was very amusing, Eric. I enjoyed it.

Neil Mick
02-19-2003, 12:25 AM
The last gasp of a baseless argument...to claim that "the facts are out there," sans documentation.
"Open mouth, in-fert footh. Mmm! Nife toeth!"

Darn this 15-minute edit rule, anyway!

I came back and re-read my post, just before class, and I realize that, in expressing my ego, I was being arrogant. Almost immediately I went to delete it, but it was too late. Please accept my apologies.

One thing I haven't stated earlier is that, really: neither one of us knows the "best" course of action towards Iraq, and it is arrogant to believe that your argument lacks credibility just because I can (or can't) out-argue you.

FAIK, an invasion could be the best course of action, saving millions of lives. I don't believe this, but it is arrogant to suggest that my viewpoint is infallable.

Again, my apologies.

Erik
02-19-2003, 11:21 AM
My third and final complete and total declaration of doneness.
Darn this 15-minute edit rule, anyway!
On this, we agree.
Please accept my apologies.
Done! And like I said, I'll do my best to be less sarcastic.
One thing I haven't stated earlier is that, really: neither one of us knows the "best" course of action towards Iraq, and it is arrogant to believe that your argument lacks credibility just because I can (or can't) out-argue you.

Correct! And I should note that I also recognize that, and, I recognize that inspectors might be the right course.
FAIK, an invasion could be the best course of action, saving millions of lives. I don't believe this, but it is arrogant to suggest that my viewpoint is infallable.
Let me point to someone who very accurately expresses my feelings on the whole topic. For the record, I'm not quite convinced Sadam can be deterred but it is an option. And, I also worry about the Bush team's competence at nation building.

Tell people the truth. Saddam does not threaten us today. He can be deterred. Taking him out is a war of choice — but it's a legitimate choice. It's because he is undermining the U.N., it's because if left alone he will seek weapons that will threaten all his neighbors, it's because you believe the people of Iraq deserve to be liberated from his tyranny, and it's because you intend to help Iraqis create a progressive state that could stimulate reform in the Arab/Muslim world, so that this region won't keep churning out angry young people who are attracted to radical Islam and are the real weapons of mass destruction.

Tell the Truth

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/19/opinion/19FRIE.html

You may need to register. If not so inclined, his column is carried nationally.

Neil Mick
02-19-2003, 04:43 PM
I'd say the notion of guilt is entirely foreign to my understanding of AiKiDo. Within the AiKiDo perspective, guilt and crime have no meaning.

I don't know that AiKiDo -- which is essentially a personal and communal activity -- has much to say about political philosophy. If anything, an AiKiDo perspective says that politics is the wrong level on which to be thinking and working. Working at the political level implies an effort to change others and influence events. It implies having beliefs that you are holding on to and working to impose on others.

It is sheer ego to think that the world needs me in order to fix it.

The particular political issue, it seems to me, is less significant, from an AiKiDo perspective, than the way you conduct yourself and the caring and concern you bring to the people you work with.

I'm afraid this isn't the answer you are looking for, Neil, but it's the best I could do.
That this is your personal perspective, of course, I'll take into consideration. But, I need to respond to a few points.

I cannot disagree more that working in politics is the desire to "impose your will on others." The political spectrum is merely an aspect of human nature. You put any 3 ppl in a room, and 2 of them will start to bond, at the expense of the 3rd.

Also, you mentioned that Aikido works on a communal level. I put to you that the political is merely a form of etiquette and governance tool for a community. For example, a dojo that has a rule against dating kumai is an aspect of the political spectrum of human nature.

Is the Sensei who imposes this rule in his dojo, "forcing" his will upon others? Well, yes and no. He is limiting an otherwise natural mode of conduct that may be counterproductive to training more positively, in his opinion.

Stanley Pranin has an online article called "Cultivating a Martial Spirit."

http://www.aikidojournal.com/new/article.asp?ArticleID=362 In the article, he states that Aikido should be approached with the intention to "protect life, liberty and property not to defeat an opponent in a match."

If an Aikidoist's goal is to protect liberty in a society, what is the personal or political "stance" or approach of an Aikidoka to inherent societal injustices?

opherdonchin
02-19-2003, 11:24 PM
I cannot disagree more that working in politics is the desire to "impose your will on others." The political spectrum is merely an aspect of human nature.
Maybe I can make what I'm saying a little clearer. I agree that politics is an integral part of the human experience. In fact, I talked about ways in which people can find themselves faced with political opportunities and what an AiKiDo approach to those opportunities might be. Still, working in politics is nevertheless FUNDAMENTALLY about imposing your will on others. Its possible, I suppose, to imagine someone working in politics who eschews having political opinions or working for political agendas, but this would be an exception that proves the rule. As soon as you play politics according to the rules then you have a political opinion and a political agenda and you work to effect it. This is a process of trying to impose your will.

Here's another way to see what I'm saying: in AiKiDo, we are encouraged to view things differently. What some people might call a fight, we choose to perceive as an interaction between two people with legitimate needs that should be respected. You can argue (and people do argue on this web site) that this is often deliberately naive. That may be true. Nevertheless, it's an interesting perspective to try on. Similarly, I would argue, AiKiDo would imply that viewing things as politics is a distraction from the reality of individuals trying to get their needs met. Most importantly, your own view of yourself as a political animal is just a distraction from the underlying you with needs that you project out onto the world. This may not be TRUE, but it is an interesting perspective, and I believe it is the AiKiDo perspective.
In the article, he states that Aikido should be approached with the intention to "protect life, liberty and property not to defeat an opponent in a match."The question is whehter you aren't trying to defeat an opponent after all. If your opponent is Injustice or Evil or Greed or Human Cruelty, then you are still in a fight that you are trying to win. You have been distracted from your self proclaimed goal. Another way of saying that is that perhaps according to this article (which I didn't read) we are supposed to protect life, liberty and property with no capital letters, rather than Life, Liberty and Property which are abstractions with capital letters. Protecting life means the life of someone you know or someone you can see. The 'inherent societal injustics' have nothing to do with the question.

Neil Mick
02-21-2003, 09:57 PM
I agree that politics is an integral part of the human experience. Working in politics is nevertheless FUNDAMENTALLY about imposing your will on others.

I would argue, AiKiDo would imply that viewing things as politics is a distraction from the reality of individuals trying to get their needs met. Most importantly, your own view of yourself as a political animal is just a distraction from the underlying you with needs that you project out onto the world. This may not be TRUE, but it is an interesting perspective, and I believe it is the AiKiDo perspective.

The question is whether you aren't trying to defeat an opponent after all. If your opponent is Injustice or Evil or Greed or Human Cruelty, then you are still in a fight that you are trying to win. Perhaps according to this article (which I didn't read) we are supposed to protect life, liberty and property with no capital letters, rather than Life, Liberty and Property which are abstractions with capital letters. Protecting life means the life of someone you know or someone you can see. The 'inherent societal injustics' have nothing to do with the question.
I think that we are working under different terms of what is political. A brief definition:

POLITICS: 1 a : the art or science of government b : the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy c : the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government

2 : political actions, practices, or policies

3 a : political affairs or business; especially : competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership (as in a government) b : political life especially as a principal activity or profession c : political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices

4 : the political opinions or sympathies of a person

5 a : the total complex of relations between people living in society b : relations or conduct in a particular area of experience especially as seen or dealt with from a political point of view <office politics>



I think you're viewing the aspect of politics covered in #1c, and #3. I'm thinking about #1b & #5.

I think of the political as "guiding, or suggesting" a course of action (either by a person, or a society). Picasso's "Guernica," for instance, was a political statement about war, but I think it's a bit strong to say that Picasso intended to "impose his will" on the viewer.

Recently, I was in a non-Aikido lobby, and I used the handle: "NoWarInIraq." It was not a lobby intended for discussion, and I wasn't interested in debating politics. This one fellow insisted on debating me, saying that my handle was intended to spark commentary.

I disagreed, saying that I was merely expressing myself, with no expectation of comment. If he felt challenged to comment, that was all "on him." I was definitely not interested in "converting" him to my cause; I just wanted to express myself.

You also factor in guilt, as part of the motivation for politics. Guilt is a poor reason to do anything, yet we are all motivated from guilt-tripping, etc, from time to time. A person can act out of altruism, with no guilt, and this can be political.

I think we are in the realm of both of us having accurate, but slightly different perspectives on the political. But I definitely do not agree that viewing a situation from a political lens as a distraction; sometimes it's the only feasible way to put a situation in perspective.

opherdonchin
02-26-2003, 10:26 AM
There's a lot of meat there, Neil, and I'm going to have to beg your forgiveness for not addressing all of it.

I do want to say, though, that what you're talkinng about now is how one can behave with AiKi in the political arena (influencing rather than imposing) where before you seemed more interested in what the appropriately AiKi political stance might be. I'm certainly comfortable with the idea that there are more and less harmonious ways to behave within the world of politics. This is can be analogized to saying there are more and less AiKi ways to conduct yourself in a fight (which certainly seems to be part of AiKiDo). The question of a more AiKi political stance would then be analogous to asking which of the pugilists is 'in the right.' As we all know, AiKiDo has litle to say about this. If it has anything to say, it is that both are wrong, but really the question is much less about the differences of opinion that got them into the fight than how each of them conducts themselves within it.

Neil Mick
02-26-2003, 06:43 PM
what you're talkinng about now is how one can behave with AiKi in the political arena (influencing rather than imposing) where before you seemed more interested in what the appropriately AiKi political stance might be.
Thanks for responding, Opher. Actually, I've been more interested in what is the aiki-approach to politics, rather than political "aiki" correctness, all along. I apologize for not making myself more clear.

In fact, ideas of PC, both conservative AND liberal, are simply methods to divide and establish a framweork of degrees of "wrong-ness," and "right-ness," IMO. It's why I have a problem calling a line of thinking "un-aiki," or even to try to define what is "anti-American," as the title of this thread suggests.

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

On a peripheral note: I briefly mentioned Picasso's "Guernica," earlier. A copy of the painting made the news: apparently, there was a copy of the painting where Powell was to reveal his great "proof" about the weapons in Iraq.

Apparently, the Powers That Be decided that a painting depicting screaming victims was not appropriate to the Powell-speech :blush: , and so they covered it up with a blue cloth.

Typical. First-lady-select Bush decides that poetry that focuses upon contemporary war-issues is inappropriate for an event honoring Walt Whitman, et al; while Picasso's "Guernica" is too controversial an artwork to frame the background of Powell's obfuscations.

Why does all this censorship not surprise me?

When Kathe Kollwitz won a medal in Germany for her piece depicting a weaver uprising, the Kaiser stepped in and withdrew the prize, saying that it was "proletariat art."

It appears that the Powers That Be feel threatened, by art with a powerful message of peace, or human rights.

Good. They should be.

Kevin Leavitt
03-01-2003, 07:01 PM
Mike,

What is the purpose of politics?

Once we get a good definition there...then we can discuss how "aiki" would apply.

We also have to have an understanding or common view on what is "aiki".

I aiki is a concept of reaching the utopian ideal of complete happiness, harmony, balance, nirvana, no conflict...or however else you want to define it.

Once we agree on these two concepts: concept of purpose of politics, and the purpose/intent of aiki....then we can dicuss the how they relate or can be applied to one another.

I submit that it can be aiki to use awesome force, and it can also be aiki to use no force. what really is aiki, is trying to mitigate and resolve the two diametrically opposed positions of force/no-force.

I think the greatest thing we are learning from the situation in Iraq is that there is not easy answer. I don't think at this point that their is any one non-violent solution as well as a violent one....it will take both sides of the spectrum of force to resolve it.

What is at debate is HOW MUCH is necessary and reasonable. I think in the end, what is important is that we as a world keep in mind that it will take a great deal of healing and compassion once all this is overwith to get Iraq on course with the rest of the world.

Neil Mick
03-02-2003, 01:31 AM
Fact: Dozens of sources confirm that Kamel's information was valuable and completely changed the process. The most telling facts of all? He was killed by Sadam (do you get that he kills people) and the third (of five) complete and final biological weapons declaration which admitted offensive biologicals.
I so LOVE it when I'm vindicated by Newsweek!

Here ya go, Eric: a nice double-BEEFY cheeseburger, no onions...just the way I (used to) like em....mmm mmm! :D

"On February 24, Newsweek broke what may be the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that "raises questions about whether the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist," the magazine's issue dated March 3 reported that the Iraqi weapons chief who defected from the regime in 1995 told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles, as Iraq claims.

Until now, Gen. Hussein Kamel, who was killed shortly after returning to Iraq in 1996, was best known for his role in exposing Iraq's deceptions about how far its pre-Gulf War biological weapons programs had advanced. But Newsweek's John Barry-- who has covered Iraqi weapons inspections for more than a decade-- obtained the transcript of Kamel's 1995 debriefing by officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the U.N. inspections team known as UNSCOM."

http://www.fair.org/press-releases/kamel.html

Neil Mick
03-02-2003, 01:56 AM
I'm not sure if you are talking to me, Kevin: but since your post address some of my points, I'll assume that you are.
Mike,

What is the purpose of politics?

Once we get a good definition there...then we can discuss how "aiki" would apply.

We also have to have an understanding or common view on what is "aiki".

I submit that it can be aiki to use awesome force, and it can also be aiki to use no force. what really is aiki, is trying to mitigate and resolve the two diametrically opposed positions of force/no-force.
Politics, by the definition above: is the art of science that deals with guiding, or influencing, human policy.

What is Aikido, now that is much harder, to define. And, getting to defining "aiki" is beyond the scope of a simple post.

I do not agree that we need to come to a common understanding on what is aiki. Since Aikido involves both moral, spiritual and physical disciplines of a wide stripe, it may be impossible to come to a mutually agreed-upon definition, even between ourselves.

(Also, there is a really good discussion going on in aikidojournal about the moral aspects of Aikido in the thread called "cool heroism." Peter Goldsworthy points out that any act of itself has no moral basis. As such, being an Aikidoist in and of itself is not a gauge for morality).

Furthermore, there is a difference between political discussion, and one's personal actions and philosophy in a national situation. Political discourse is a subset of political activism, but certainly more can be done...no matter your political stripe.

Where Aikido fits into your personal approach to politics is a long and interesting topic for debate...and has to be, by definition, a very personal choice.

But, while I do agree that Aikido COULD involve force in certain situations, I feel (again, my personal beliefs, here) that any action called aiki must (should? would be wise to?) take into account the sacredness of human life.

Michael Neal
03-05-2003, 09:13 AM
Have you heard of the "test" for pacifism?

Find a pacifist. Ideally he should be holding an anti-war sign at a rally. Ask him about his pacifist beliefs and while he is talking punch him in the face as hard as you can.

When he gets back up see if he is ready to defend himself. Keep hitting him until this happens. Explain to him that "violence never solved anything" and his retaliation toward you would only serve to escalate mindless violence. Once he starts to agree with you hit him again right in the nose as hard as you can. Repeat this scenario for as long as possible. Once they actually start to fight back beat the ever-loving crap out of them for being so stupid as to let you punch them around in the first place.

Find another pacifist and repeat.
I love this post from E-Budo, if you want to read the entire thread go here

http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17566

Erik Young
03-05-2003, 11:25 AM
Micheal,

As a pacifist myself, I have two possible responses to that type of action.

Clearly, a person who would try to beat me up for no apparent reason is, for lack of a better term....crazier than barrel full of Michael Jackson impersonators. This is a person who clearly needs decisive intervention...

So...let's say the first punch lands (Hey, I'm not expecting it...) as an Aikidoka I'm willing to bet the second and third punches don;t hit their mark. Furthermore, I'm willing to bet htat hte end result will be me sitting on this gentleman gently restraining him until such time as teh authorities can come take him to the hospital for a thorazine cocktail and a long session of hugging himself. :)

If I want to be vindictive, I could let him beat the tar out of me in fron of lots of sympathetic witnesses. After he gets out of jail for assault and battery I can then sue. With any luck he'll be in my debt for years to come. So really, who's the fool?

Seriously, I don;t want ot get into political diatribes here...but pacifism does not equal weaknedd or foolishness. IT takes a stronger than average man or woman to choose not to strike when thhat's the easy anwaer. It takes greater than average wisdom and intellect to see past the easy solution to better, longer-lasting alternatives.

'nuff said.

Peace, (seriously...it's a good thing)

Erik

Neil Mick
03-05-2003, 12:41 PM
I love this post from E-Budo, if you want to read the entire thread go here
Gosh, Michael: this is SO funny (original, too). What next, televised executions to a laugh-track?

You OK, over there in VA? I'm beginning to worry about you... :p

Michael Neal
03-05-2003, 12:58 PM
LOL! Seriously, I am interested in finding out how you would suggest applying an Aikido technique against a rogue nation. I have been waiting on an answer for this for many months, what Aikido techniques work in modern warfare?

I am also wondering why you are so positive that you could easily put anyone to the ground in a pin without having to resort to atemi and/or a throw which would likely result in bodily harm to the attacker. Using Aikido is not pacifism, running away would be pacifism.

Michael Neal
03-05-2003, 01:02 PM
Gosh, Michael: this is SO funny (original, too). What next, televised executions to a laugh-track?

You OK, over there in VA? I'm beginning to worry about you... :p
You guys on the west coast are so sensitive. :p

Erik Young
03-05-2003, 01:04 PM
I'm sure simply because I've done it in the past. Nothing mystical or magical. I work in a psotiion where occassionally, the people I serve try to take my head off. Generally, I can tlak said aggressor down and avoid teh altercation all together. Every once in awhile that doesn't work (or I get blind sided). In that case I have always been successful in restraining that aggressor. I've never suffereed serious injury and my client shave never sufferred so much as a bruise.

What is it about pacifism that makes you come across so angry? I don't see pacifism as a threatening position? What, exactly, is wrong with working towards a more peacful society?

Just curious.

Peace,

Erik

Michael Neal
03-05-2003, 01:08 PM
You didn't answer my first question, it is a little bit more difficult to answer.

There is nothing wrong with peace at all, however sometimes peace is achieved only through victory over ones enemies.

Erik Young
03-05-2003, 01:22 PM
You're right. I didn't answer teh question. I don't have an answer. However, that doesn't make my position wrong. What would've happened had our administration not made teh "axis of evil" declaration and finished it's business in Afghanistan (i.e. helping to rebuild the infrastructure shattered by years of war, drought and famine)?

I imagine that Saddam would still be contained. I imagine that teh Taliban would not be making inroads into Afghanistan again. I'm thinking there would be less warfare between various warlords in the conrtyside (last I hear, our troops have been sticking close to major cities). Might some more humanitarian stances on the part of the US might...jsut might...help to put us in a more positive light internationally. People who are not starving and frightened are make better allies and are less likeyl to follow the likes of teh Taliban.

What does this have to do with Iraq? As it stands, we didn't follow through with our promises in Afghanistan. We're taking on an even bigger challenge in Iraq. What makes anyone think we'll do any better there? Do you really tink marching in with guns blazing then marching out jsut as quickly will solve anything? Maybe we stay....still got that Taliban problem though.

What about other countries suffering equally harsh regimes? I don;t hear alot about the likes of Liberia. If we're going to be the global police force, why do we pcik and choose who is worthy of our wrath?

Liek I said, I don;t have any answers. This problem seems to be way too far out of hand. It saddens me. It's a situation that didn;t need to be so far as I'm concerned. Never the less, I will continue to struggle with the dilemma. That's all I can do. The world is a crazy dangerous place...but that does not mean that peace is not a viable alternative. It jsut takes a little more forseight and effort on the part of everyone. Would you be a part of that? It's hard to stare at someone (or someones) who seem hell bent on harming you and not try to land the first punch. It's even harder to stare into the face of hostility and not flinch, not do more than is necessary to resolve the situation. It's hard to back down...even lose face in the process. However, when one can do these things wondeful transformations can take place.

Peace is never achieved through victory over enemies (losers hold grudges)...but in coming into harmony with them.

This comes from personal experience. I can't quote chapter and verse from numerous magazine articles. I can only speak from my heart. Take it or leave it.

Peace,

Erik

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2003, 02:32 PM
Mike,

I would disagree with you that Pacifism in running away....that is cowardess.

I think it is sometime harder and takes much more courage to stand your ground and stand up to your convictions of non-violence.

Ghandi is a great example of a pacifist. So is Martin Luther King.

I have much respect for those that look deep inside themselves and "do what it right" even in the face of adversity.

This is what both pacifist and soldiers have in common, "doing what they believe is the right thing to do". I think both are necessary and while at opposite ends of the spectrum really only want one thing....peace.

It is interesting the dichotomies (duality or yin/yang) that exsist it the world.

So IMHO, it is possible to be a pacifist and be a hero and be a soldier. hopefully (all though I don't hold much hope for the current situation) we can find another way to resolve the current situation.

Mike, all do respect, if you are seriously looking for someone to demonstrate DIRECTLY how aikido TECHNIQUE would apply to world events or even modern warfare, then you will have a long wait.

Although if you want to see how it applies in daily living, come by and see the small group of "at risk" kids I teach aikido and karate to down near George Mason University. They are where TECHNIQUE gets applied in real life. If I can reach out and make a difference helping these kids channel there energy/KI in the right direction, then maybe one day the small ripple in the pond will amount to something!

It is the smal things that matter. We cannot solve big problems, we can only solve small ones...one at a time.

Along that line we must keep in mind that aikido can only be applied to yourself. It is individual and aikido solves nothing but what is inside YOU. You cannot magically manifest it onto anything or anyone directly. As Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world". I think he is implying that you change the world by changing yourself. That is what Aikido is all about....influencing others, by influencing yourself.

Michael Neal
03-05-2003, 03:19 PM
Kevin,

We are back to the original discussion we had many months ago, that Aikido philosophy can be applied on an individual basis but does not fit very neatly into world politics and war.

Erik and Kevin,

I think it is noble to strive towards peace I just don't think containment of a ruthless thug is the answer. I am not willing the risk the consequences of letting him continue on as the leader of Iraq. I think there is more humanity and compassion in removing him from power than letting him continue.

So my point is that I am striving for peace as well, I just choose a different road to achieve it. Negotiations and containment have failed and failed over and over again.

If someone is trying to punch you in the face and you can not react in your own defense without bringing harm to your attacker then I think you must defend yourself at his expense.

Neil Mick
03-05-2003, 06:52 PM
LOL! Seriously, I am interested in finding out how you would suggest applying an Aikido technique against a rogue nation. I have been waiting on an answer for this for many months, what Aikido techniques work in modern warfare?

Using Aikido is not pacifism, running away would be pacifism.
Aikido techniques probably would not work in a modern warfare setting. But, then again: why do you think that I expect they would?

Absurdist arguments generally don't work, Michael. Would you deride Kevin Leavitt's spiritual practices by suggesting that he try meditating in za-zen, on a battlefield, to defeat the enemy?

Sort of reminds me of the ordeal I underwent with one Faito Anto, on aikidojournal. He kept encouraging me to come to Israel, to try to iriminage a suicide bomber, etc. Absurdist, and pointless.

(BTW, I am not a pacifist. I just found that joke old, tasteless, and lacking any point, except to suggest that might makes right.

What a novel concept... :rolleyes: )

Neil Mick
03-05-2003, 07:04 PM
If someone is trying to punch you in the face and you can not react in your own defense without bringing harm to your attacker then I think you must defend yourself at his expense.
And so, the metaphors start to fly...

I'm still looking for the reference to Saddam's "punch." When, did he punch us? Was it when the US pushed the Sanctions, and he bloodied our reputation? Was it when he invaded Kuwait, without our explicit permission (only implicit)?

Or, perhaps he punched us with his evil oil, as Rumsfeld suggests, when he said that Iraq's oil is a danger to the US?

But, I guess you mean that "pre-emptive" punch, that punch he WILL give us, if we give him the chance. So, I guess police officers ought to throw out those annoying policies of miranda-rights, and probable causes, and just bludgeon the first person he sees that he KNOWS is going to commit a crime. Better he punch out a prospective robber, than actually deal with anything messy, like probable cause, or proof.

After all, the US is working the same logic with the UN, and Iraq: why not our police force?

Neil Mick
03-05-2003, 07:33 PM
That doesn't make my position wrong. What would've happened had our administration not made teh "axis of evil" declaration and finished it's business in Afghanistan (i.e. helping to rebuild the infrastructure shattered by years of war, drought and famine)?
In fact, a UNEP report states that after all the war and destruction, Afghanistan may well be beyond the point of rebuilding.



http://postconflict.unep.ch/pressafghanistanjan2003.htm
Might some more humanitarian stances on the part of the US might...jsut might...help to put us in a more positive light internationally. People who are not starving and frightened are make better allies and are less likeyl to follow the likes of teh Taliban.
Too true. All those refugees caused by the upcoming war...I suppose OBL is dancing for joy, right now.
What does this have to do with Iraq? As it stands, we didn't follow through with our promises in Afghanistan. We're taking on an even bigger challenge in Iraq.
In fact, if you look at all the other places we helped "bring democracy," you'll find a grimmer reality. Haiti comes immediately to mind, but I could find a list, easily enough.

The US likes to march in as the bringer of democracy, install an interim leader, and then leave the reconstruction half-finished, then act totally nonplussed when the country is overthrown by a right-wing dictator (Hussein, for example, was assisted to power by the CIA, in the '60's).
that does not mean that peace is not a viable alternative. It jsut takes a little more forseight and effort on the part of everyone. Would you be a part of that?
In a similar thread over at aikidojournal, I talk about the logical by-product of all this US-grandstanding: the Sanctions, DU-radiation, and the atrocities in Palestine.

Conservatives never like to talk about these nasty side-issues, it appears (altho Brian H. is doing well, IMM). It interferes with their comfortable fantasy of cheering Iraqi's dancing in the streets as the US rolls proudly down Baghdad.

But, what is "Shock and Awe?" Simply put, shock and awe is the orchestrated mass-murder of Baghdad's citizenry. Oh, it may well "get" some of Hussein's cohorts, but it definitely kill innocents. In fact, I can safely say that it will mostly kill civilians, and kill soldiers as a by-product.

Just as in every war, you have the propagandistic version propounded by both sides, and then you have reality.

Ask Kevin-- I don't know if he has "seen the hamburger on the hill," but he certainly knows that war is a terrible thing, and not some extension of foreign policy to remove a foreign leader, as if he were an annoying mosquito. Unlike certain other chickenhawk leaders who have never seen combat, yet seem quite comfortable pushing for war and conveniently ignoring the costs, in their speeches.
I can only speak from my heart. Take it or leave it.
I think you did well, but Michael would be the first to say that I'm biased (lol).

Michael Neal
03-05-2003, 08:10 PM
More of the same old melodrama.

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2003, 08:55 PM
Mike,

I would agree that it is stupid to stand by and recieve harm when someone wants to punch you in the face.

However, I think you do have many options depending on your training to "fix" the situation.

Not to get into a million "what if's"...but they can run the gamut from simply irimi to punching back. It is situational dependent.

The hard part is keeping your emotions and ego under control. I do think that many times that the return "defending blow" is many times done out of ego than a true need to punch your assailant.

Yes, I agree we are back to where we started from with aikido being an individual thing. (that is why I rarely respond to threads much...since we typically end up at the same point once again!).

Neil Mick
03-06-2003, 01:55 AM
More of the same old melodrama.
Yes, I totally agree: mass murder and genocide are melodramatic.

Michael Neal
03-06-2003, 12:08 PM
Yes it is melodrama because the only mass murder and genocide is being perpetrated by the people you constantly are defending.

Where is the US commiting mass murder and genocide? This is why I don't really find it useful to get into pitched arguments with you, you just make stuff up and pretend that it is real.

deepsoup
03-06-2003, 02:12 PM
Where is the US commiting mass murder and genocide?
On the road to Basra (again), coming soon?

Or you could cast your mind back to Chile, on that other September 11. Democracy is all well and good within limits, but if they would insist of electing a commie like Allende, what else could Uncle Sam do but sponsor the coup that replaced him with a murderous dictator?

Here's a good one, from Union Carbide/Dow Chemicals' website:

" The merger of The Dow Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation creates one company that is uniting to improve the essentials of life."

Do you think anyone has passed on this good news to the people of Bhopal (who are still suffering, still dying, and still waiting..)

And for anyone who'd like to sponsor a little terrorism:

Visit www.noraid.com, and continue decades of American money funding the largest terrorist organisation operating in the UK.

(Manchester city centre has just about been rebuilt now, and its much nicer than it was before you helped to demolish it, thanks guys.)

Don't get me wrong, our government is no better than yours, but they just don't have the clout to get as much done around the world as Uncle Sam.

Sean

x

Michael Neal
03-06-2003, 02:51 PM
Neil, if you are that sensitive that you have to go to Jun and complain about my "language" then I am just going to put you on my ignore list, seriously. So you really think that I am putting a damper on democracy while you actively attempt to censor people?

Bye!

Neil Mick
03-06-2003, 03:30 PM
you just make stuff up and pretend that it is real.
...and you call me a fanatic??

Check yourself in the mirror, Michael. You like to use smear tactics and provocative name-calling, yet balk at any real documentation to support your statements.

You call me a fanatic. Let's look at that, for a second.

fanatic: a person whose strong admiration for something is considered to be extreme and unreasonable.

The key-words are "extreme," and "unreasonable." While I suppose I could arguably have "extreme" viewpoints (and I would debate this, as many ppl around the world agree with my position on Iraq-- note the marches), I willingly accept that my opinion is fallable, and subject to mistakes in judgement.

Even so, I would stake my opinion in the arena of debate against any opinion that disagrees with me. In a few of these debates, I've been wrong, and have admitted my mistakes. In others, I have discussed issues with those who disagree, and we both ended the discussion, amiably. Hardly the stance of a fanatic.

OTOH, you balk at discussion, and have even suggested that I should move to Iraq, since I "hate" the US, so much.

Funny, how many conservative extremists like to use this line, no matter what stripe their conservatism.

But, you're entitled to your opinion (after all, everyone is born with 2 things: an opinion, and...that place from which opinions often issue), and if you think I am a fanatic, that is, well, your opinion.

But I resent your claim that "I make stuff up" just because you do not think that these events are real. If you like to go through life with your eyes closed to US actions in international arenas (or worse, have one eye closed and only seeing what you want), that is also your choice.

But don't think for a second that your choice makes you right, or that an opinion at odds with yours is false, merely because you choose not to debate it, or see it.

You also seem to shy away from documentation. IMM, an opinion is pointless if it lacks documentation to support it.

SO, just for you, Michael: a few sources broaching the US atrocities, in the world. I'll try to keep them mainstream, in case you feel inspired to lob a few more slurs, in a poor substitution for debate:

http://users.westnet.gr/~cgian/us-atrocities.htm

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/55a/099.html

http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/MiddleEast/TerrorInUSA/Backyard.asp

http://www.hrw.org/press/1999/apr/rwanda399.htm

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0103-08.htm

Neil Mick
03-06-2003, 06:39 PM
I am just going to put you on my ignore list, seriously. So you really think that I am putting a damper on democracy while you actively attempt to censor people?

Bye!
And so, yet another "brave" conservative runs into the safety of the ignore list, as a shield against debate.

Censor you, Michael? Au contraire: I am encouraging you to speak your mind. See, actually I have respect for your thinking.

I'm POSITIVE that there is more to your thoughts than pointless slander. I just want to see it posted.

But, like guns in action movies, when the invectives fly, all discourse ends.

Farewell Michael, we hardly knew ye.

Michael Neal
03-07-2003, 01:16 PM
:rolleyes:

This is to whatever response that you wrote. Hope to see ya on the mat sometime but I just find your politics insufferable. Good luck.

Neil Mick
03-07-2003, 03:07 PM
Oh, jeez, grow up.

Michael Neal
03-07-2003, 04:07 PM
Mike,

I would agree that it is stupid to stand by and recieve harm when someone wants to punch you in the face.

However, I think you do have many options depending on your training to "fix" the situation.

Not to get into a million "what if's"...but they can run the gamut from simply irimi to punching back. It is situational dependent.

The hard part is keeping your emotions and ego under control. I do think that many times that the return "defending blow" is many times done out of ego than a true need to punch your assailant.

Yes, I agree we are back to where we started from with aikido being an individual thing. (that is why I rarely respond to threads much...since we typically end up at the same point once again!).

I completely agree that it depends on the situation. And if the situation is that someone is trying to kill you then I think using alot of force is warrented and perhaps needed to protect yourself.

Ego is maybe not so important to preserve on an individual basis, however, sometimes dignity gets mistaken for ego and I believe that sometimes using force to preserve dignity is justified. For example, the little kid who stands up for himself in school and punches out the bully rather than shrinking away thus allowing the behavior to continue.

This become much more important on an international basis where having authority and strength behind your words makes all the difference.

In the case of Iraq I think that it is important that we both preserve our dignity and defend our people from future attack.

Kevin Leavitt
03-07-2003, 04:33 PM
Not applying this logic to iraq...cause it really is a different and more complex set of events than a playground bully....

but, I disagree with that analogy....a kid on the playground has other options to stand up for him/herself without losing "face" and dignity other than hitting back....the skill set is not as easy to obtain, or to employ...mainly cause we do not teach it in schools or the household.

I know cause I teach it to kids once a week. They have options.

Kevin Leavitt
03-07-2003, 04:35 PM
Oh also, diginity is never more important than human life. Sorry, Mike have to draw the line there. If that is why we would go into Iraq...then it is wrong.

What is important is to go into Iraq in order to prevent further lives from being lost, but not for "american values", dignity, or any other reason. To save other lives is the only reason to go in.

Kevin Leavitt
03-07-2003, 04:38 PM
one more!!! (sorry). I would agree that in order to be effective, you must be able to convince your enemy you can attack.

I think 300,000 Troops has gotten the world's attention. Hopefully we can resolve this with no force...but if not, well so far we've made more progress in disarming Iraq than we have in 12 years!

But, we must be prepared to back it up with action if necessary.

So agree with you on that one Mike.

Michael Neal
03-07-2003, 06:32 PM
I don't think saving face alone is a reason to go to war but it is a factor in the whole equation.

However, I would certainly fight for my liberties if someone took them away even if they had not used violence to do so. So there are circumstances in my view that would justify war to preserve American values.

deepsoup
03-07-2003, 06:54 PM
However, I would certainly fight for my liberties if someone took them away even if they had not used violence to do so. So there are circumstances in my view that would justify war to preserve American values.
Does that include the civil liberties you currently enjoy as an American citizen, but which are rapidly being eroded by your own administration in the wake of 9/11 ?

http://www.aclu.org/safeandfree/

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

-Benjamin Franklin

Sean

x

Kevin Leavitt
03-07-2003, 07:09 PM
I can certainly understand Mike's point of view on protecting basic freedoms as outlined in the constitution. (As a military officer I am oath bound to protect them and will.

That said, it is interesting the post that Sean has just made.

I am throughly intrigued that we are willing to take away some of those basic freedoms to protect others.

I think it is all fear driven. Regardless of how "free" we percieve we are...we are all prisoners of our own fears, ignorances, and delusions.

I have been reading Thoreau's Walden lately. He makes a very good case in Walden for the "slavery" we all commit ourselves to by trying to gain material possessions.

Fast cars, big houses, nice clothes lead all of us to do things, hold jobs, bend our values, and give up our ultimate freedoms in order to appease our inate need for comfort, status, and ego.

So while the constitution does seem to guarantee us freedoms, at least in concept, how free are we really?

in the past two years we have definitely given up certain freedoms because of our fear of terrorism.

Heck, I all but get strip searched several times a day going in and out of the Pentagon and other DoD buildings. I also must live in DC to earn a living to support my lifestyle.

I think it is something we must all decide as individuals about what what we are willing to give up in order to gain somthing.

I guess I will continue to put up with the loss of certain freedoms for now to have my family live in a semi-safe, warm, house.

However, I do think about it CONSTANTLY and think it is important to be mindful as we throw the concept of "FREEDOM" around though.

How free are we really???

Michael Neal
03-07-2003, 08:23 PM
We are very free compared to every other nation in the world

Neil Mick
03-07-2003, 09:25 PM
You all lost me, how this war with Iraq is "protecting" our freedoms. AFAIK, this war is eroding our freedoms.

Michael Neal
03-08-2003, 08:10 AM
I have the same freedom I had before 9/11, I am not a terrorist so I am not really worried about my civil liberties right now.

Neil Mick
03-08-2003, 06:56 PM
I have the same freedom I had before 9/11, I am not a terrorist so I am not really worried about my civil liberties right now.
Now, why am I stunningly unsurprised, since
I am more worried right now about a nuclear bomb being set off or a biological weapon being unleashed than I am about the possiblity of someone being wrongly accused of a crime.
Pardon me, while I trot down to the corner store, to get my plastic sheeting and duct tape (all to be stored in my nuclear bomb-shelter, of course. Just remember the Golden Rule: "Duck, and Cover!"). :rolleyes:

DanielR
03-08-2003, 08:21 PM
Michael,

If you're not of Middle-Eastern descent, you probably really don't have to worry about your civil liberties. However, I think you should worry about civili liberties of other people as much as you do about your own.

I was told about a case that was recently described in NY Times. I didn't read it personally, but the person who told me about it is, in my opinion, very objective and wouldn't make this up.

Anyway, a guy got arrested as a terrorism suspect after getting off a plane in NY. Some lawyer was assigned to defend him, and she showed up at a hearing in the court all sure that since no charges were presented, she would be able to get that guy out. The DA, however, told her that that person was turned over to the military, and the military can hold him indefinitely without any trials, hearings or lawyers. So, basically, there's no case to hear and they (the lawyer, the DA and the court) can all go home. The judge agreed.

I don't know if I got this right, but the bottom line is rather disturbing. You can get arrested, and then, without any due process (or maybe that's how due process looks these days), turned over to the military, who can basically do whatever they like with you. Isn't this a bit scary?

I imagine one could make an argument that the times are such that if the guy is a potential terrorist, the military should be able to do its thing. But what if he's not a terrorist and there was some sort of mixup? How do you ensure rights of innocent people? Do you want to sacrifice those rights for a greater good? If you do (and I think it's a legitimate standpoint), then you do have something to worry about. The next innocent civilian could be you.

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2003, 09:47 PM
Neil,

I think the current thought is that the war would eliminate 1 part of a major world threat from a regime that can mass WMD on not just the U.S. but the Middle East and Europe.

Neil Mick
03-09-2003, 01:21 AM
Neil,

I think the current thought is that the war would eliminate 1 part of a major world threat from a regime that can mass WMD on not just the U.S. but the Middle East and Europe.
With respect, Kevin: this is Orwellian double-speak.

I cannot say this enough: there is, simply, no proof that Hussein has WMD, nor is there proof that he is dealing in WMD, with other terrorists.

Powell said that there are links between Hussein, and al Qaeda. If he, you, Bush or anyone can produce any creditable evidence, I'll take a step back, apologize and proceed to settle down to my meal of tasty humble pie.

But, the proof just isn't there (or, if it is, it hasn't been produced. And with all the hoopla surrounding Powell's presentation where he was going to "show all," I doubt very much that proof exists).

I thought the idea was to "get" OBL, not gallavant around the world, blowing up "suspected" terrorists. After we turn Iraq into the next disaster area, I suppose that Iran will be next on the hit-parade.

And, I suspect that Bush (if he gets his way) will claim "new evidence" has arisen of Iranian leaders brokering dirty deals with OBL.

When will this violence end?

I'm sorry if I sound bitter, I really am. But I listen to Kathy Kelly (who is in Iraq, now), of Voices in the Wilderness describing the grim fatalism expressed by Iraqi's when facing the imminent war, I hear her incredulous dismay when she talks about Americans fearing a terrorist attack while Baghdad prepares for "Shock and Awe," and when I read about ppl like Michael Neal worrying more about bombs and anthrax than about his fellow Americans getting locked up and having their civil liberties denied, it sometimes makes me want to scream.

Neil Mick
03-09-2003, 01:57 AM
Anyway, a guy got arrested as a terrorism suspect after getting off a plane in NY. Some lawyer was assigned to defend him, and she showed up at a hearing in the court all sure that since no charges were presented, she would be able to get that guy out. The DA, however, told her that that person was turned over to the military, and the military can hold him indefinitely without any trials, hearings or lawyers. So, basically, there's no case to hear and they (the lawyer, the DA and the court) can all go home. The judge agreed.
Daniel,

It sounds as if the person you're referring to is Jose Padilla, none other than the famous "dirty bomber," himself. And yes, you have the basic facts correct: currently, he is still not charged, detained at a military prison and the gov't is still pushing to deny him access to his lawyer.

"While Padilla—a jailhouse Muslim convert with a rap sheet listing murder—is hardly America's sweetheart, his fate carries implications for all Americans. Newman has largely avoided saying so, fearful of grandstanding. But in an interview last week, she voiced the stakes that have prompted the ACLU and other civil rights groups to file papers in Padilla's name.

To the average American, says Newman, a Bush win would mean: "You can be locked up for the rest of your natural years based on [the president's] say-so. Based on your neighbor, who doesn't like you and reports you. Based on a combination of circumstances that together don't look too good. And you wouldn't have a chance to say, 'Hey, wait a minute. Let me explain.' "

http://www.refuseandresist.org/article.php/newresistance/db121402

http://www.chargepadilla.org/docs/NewsdayMukasey01152003.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A7833-2002Dec4&notFound=true

http://www.chargepadilla.org/

DanielR
03-09-2003, 06:35 AM
Thanks for the info, Neil. Again, I don't necessarily say it's not a legitimate anti-terror tactics, but I do think this comes at the expence of everybody's civil liberties.

Neil Mick
03-10-2003, 03:18 AM
Glad to be of assistance.

This case sort of reminds me of Harry Flynt, of Hustler magazine, when he went to court to protect free speech. Not the nicest man in the world, but not-nice-men are often the benchmarks for laws that protect social liberties (look at Miranda, for instance).

Michael Neal
03-10-2003, 02:37 PM
How do you ensure rights of innocent people? Do you want to sacrifice those rights for a greater good? If you do (and I think it's a legitimate standpoint), then you do have something to worry about
It is obvious that this guy was not an American citizen so I don't know how it applies to me.

George S. Ledyard
03-10-2003, 07:02 PM
I have the same freedom I had before 9/11, I am not a terrorist so I am not really worried about my civil liberties right now.
This is precisely the attitude which has astounded me about this whole civil liberties issue. "It's not my problem".

Well I have news for everyone. Every single loss of liberty that takes place now will still be there when the political winds change. When the swing towards liberal values takes place and these right wing folks are out of power they'll go back to screaming about the encroachment of Federal power. We'll hear about Waco, Ruby Ridge, allover again and then they'll really start screaming because those same oppressive powers which they voted for thinking it would only apply to those wired guys with turbans, brown skin, and funny looking churches all of a sudden will start applying to them.

Anyone think these guys will be in power forever? I certainly doubt it. If you read the text of the Patriot Act II which is under consideration by the administration, you will see a huge reduction in what constitutes "probable cause" which is what governs the ability of law enforcement people to detain you. It is the first line of defense aginst all other invasion of privacy. Essentially, the new law will make it possible to detain a citizen simply because a member of the security apparatus has deemed him a security threat. You are no longer guaranteed the right to a speedy trial, the right to face your accusers, the right to counsel. You can be detained and the authorities do not even have to tell anyone that you have been. They do not need to tell anyone where you are. These laws are designed to be used against "terrorists". But those of us who have been around for a while can remember how J Edgar Hoover resisted all attempts at control by using the information contained in the files he had collected over a lifetime in the FBI. We can remember how LBJ used the IRS to punish anyone who opposed his will. Nixon thought everyone who opposed the war was a communist or at least a sympathizer and used the intelligence services for all sorts of dirty tricks against citizens who merely disagreed with his policies. Democrat / Republican doesn’t matter. An administration will use whatever weapons it has to maintain power.

Do you think that the loss of liberties that you are so unconcerned about right now will automatically be restored when the political tides turn? Those of you who are convinced of the world wide liberal conspiracy better wake up as these same laws will be the ones used to round your folks up when they start getting uppity against some liberal administration. This is a sword that doesn't care who it cuts.

I can't believe that so many of the right wing folks who have screamed for years about the erosion of our civil liberties will stay silent as the biggest single reduction of our freedoms since the Alien and Sedition Acts takes place. Makes me kind of think that all their talk about Rights was only about Christian White folks and not for all citizens.

Well it'll come back to you. Use these weapons against the citizens you don't like now and you'll see them used against the ones you do and it'll be too late to do much about it then.

Michael Neal
03-10-2003, 08:39 PM
None of these laws apply to American citizens, the laws that many conservatives complain about are.

I also find it interesting to hear all of the stereotyping from you while complaining about its practice.

I do agee though that a future left wing adminstration will twist these laws and use them against political enemies, as we saw with the use of FBI files in the previous adminstration. So when the current threat has subsided much of these laws should be rolled back, and I am pretty sure the American public will demand it.

George S. Ledyard
03-10-2003, 10:29 PM
None of these laws apply to American citizens, the laws that many conservatives complain about are.

I also find it interesting to hear all of the stereotyping from you while complaining about its practice.

I do agee though that a future left wing adminstration will twist these laws and use them against political enemies, as we saw with the use of FBI files in the previous adminstration. So when the current threat has subsided much of these laws should be rolled back, and I am pretty sure the American public will demand it.
The laws that the Patriot Act II will make official should it not be opposed will in fact apply to citizens and non-citizens alike. No one believes that only non-citizens are terrorists so these laws apply across the board merely requiring a suspicion on the part of security personnel that one is somehow connected to terrorists to have ones rights disappear. Once enacted these laws can be applied to any citizen simply as a tool to oppose some group which opposes government policy. Groups from the old days like the SDS, the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement could easily have been classified as "terrorist" organizations and laws like these, if they had existed then, would almost certainly have been applied.

As for the American public demanding a rollback... historically, there have been periods of excess and yes, after tremndous damage was done to innocent citizens lives, there were infact reforms enacted. One should learn from the abuses that we should stand firm in advance rather than trying to reverse the abuses after they've taken place.

Finally, I would like to know what are the stereotypes I have been throwing around?

Michael Neal
03-11-2003, 08:38 AM
When the swing towards liberal values takes place and these right wing folks are out of power they'll go back to screaming about the encroachment of Federal power. We'll hear about Waco, Ruby Ridge, allover again and then they'll really start screaming because those same oppressive powers which they voted for thinking it would only apply to those wired guys with turbans, brown skin, and funny looking churches all of a sudden will start applying to them.
This is the stereotyping that I am referring to, the same old conservatives are racists propaganda and that all we care about is the unfortuante fate of a cult group under the Clinton Administration.

On a side note ... congratulations on 6th Dan!, I saw the promotions on the ASU website.

George S. Ledyard
03-11-2003, 09:32 AM
This is the stereotyping that I am referring to, the same old conservatives are racists propaganda and that all we care about is the unfortuante fate of a cult group under the Clinton Administration.

On a side note ... congratulations on 6th Dan!, I saw the promotions on the ASU website.
Thanks very much. I didn't realize it had been posted.

As for the stereotype, there are enough folks, some within my own family, that fit the bill that it isn't inaccurate although I will admit that it doesn't universally apply.

Neil Mick
03-13-2003, 05:02 AM
Well, George, you tried...A for effort. It's too bad you were deflected.

I was wondering if Michael would ever get to acknowledge the logical end of your argument: that eventually, all the harsh erosions of civil liberties (presumably aimed at suspected terrorists) will, someday: blow back into the faces of Mr. Average White American. I suppose not; but you presented the argument well.

It makes me wonder who taught Mr. Neal his American history.

Good try, tho.

Jappzz
03-25-2003, 10:51 AM
I don't know if i'm the only one who finds the promotion of armed force as a means of conflict resolving through a site like this is pretty tragic. I know this is a free forum and people may not share oppinions but hasn't it occured to anyone that this is a forum concerned with AIKIDO, a martial art created to help individuals resolve conflict and establish relative harmony.

I realize i'm propably just going to get beaten with names like "terrorist loving liberal" from mr. Neal for merely sticking my chin out. But im going to continue scince i :

1. ...live in a "free country" wich prohibits anyone from stating that my situation demands that i symphasize with "anti-american nations".

2. ...am not affiliated with any terrorist-organisation.

3. ...have the caucasian looks that keeps me and the majority of my countrymen from beeing seen as accepted collaterall casualties should we harbour any known international criminals.

4. ...Respect international law

5. ...Value human life in skyscrapers and mosques equal.

6. ...have a heart.

Peace

Jesper Arenskogh

deepsoup
03-25-2003, 04:28 PM
4. Acuse us of not following "international law" as prescribed by the U.N. even though 1441 gives us the coalition of the willing (40+ nations) the right to use force
The US has never been big on 'international law', surely even you can see that. George Ledyard gave plenty of examples in a recent post.

I'll add just 4 words to his: Geneva Convention, Guantanamo Bay?

Various commentators have been vociferously (and quite rightly) condemning the Iraqis for breaching Article 14 of the Geneva Convention by parading captured American personnel on TV. Any chance that the US will start honouring the Geneva Convention for the benefit of its own captives any time soon?

Sean

x

Neil Mick
03-25-2003, 08:24 PM
I don't know if i'm the only one who finds the promotion of armed force as a means of conflict resolving through a site like this is pretty tragic. I know this is a free forum and people may not share oppinions but hasn't it occured to anyone that this is a forum concerned with AIKIDO, a martial art created to help individuals resolve conflict and establish relative harmony.

Peace

Jesper Arenskogh
Yes, Jesper: I find it astounding, too. I mention it to non-Aikidoists from time to time in unbelieving tones. It certainly doesn't match my idea of harmony.

And yet: some ppl feel that the only realpolitik means of peace is through military strength, to preserve that peace.

I do not hold to this view (as overt military and superpower bullying are going to bring the world a great deal more violence than the momentary peace offered the American homefront, IMO), but they who believe this have their own reasons for holding this view, and I cannot fault them for this, unless I understand their perspective better.

My 2 cents...(I could say much more, but my time is short)

Michael Neal
03-25-2003, 08:41 PM
The US has never been big on 'international law', surely even you can see that. George Ledyard gave plenty of examples in a recent post.

I'll add just 4 words to his: Geneva Convention, Guantanamo Bay?

Various commentators have been vociferously (and quite rightly) condemning the Iraqis for breaching Article 14 of the Geneva Convention by parading captured American personnel on TV. Any chance that the US will start honouring the Geneva Convention for the benefit of its own captives any time soon?

Sean

x
Give a break, there is absolutely no comparison here. We are not beating, torturing, humiliating, and killing prisoners.

Your words are ludicrous and political motivated.

Neil Mick
03-25-2003, 08:54 PM
What blows me away is how W's blithe dismissal of the Geneva Conventions of War actually ENDANGER the captive American troops. If we don't abide by them, why should they??

And no, Sean: don't expect the US gov't to abide by the Conventions anytime soon. We're the US, the LoFW: "we" don't need no stinkin' Conventions, apparently...unless, of course, it suits our needs. :(

But I suspect that Michael is uninformed in the US disregard of Geneva Conventions for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Jappzz
03-26-2003, 02:07 PM
I feel sorry for you Mr.McGrath. It must be exausting to feel obligated to defend military aggression to the extent that you do.

I would watch my blood-pressure if i where you. ;-)

And while we sit here pondering our rights of free speach more people die.

Love to those still left

Jesper Arenskog

Neil Mick
03-26-2003, 06:19 PM
Don't feel sorry for me brother as I am on the side of right and truth. ;)

People would definatly die under Hussein this is fact, Will people die after Hussein, maybe, but at least it is an option that did not exist before.

Love that harmony.
Must be nice, always being on the side of right and truth.

As for me, I am questioning myself every single day.

I think that "respect" is still a term that you're struggling to comprehend, to judge from your posts ("lunatic fringe" moniker immediately comes to mind).

Neil Mick
03-27-2003, 12:38 AM
I feel sorry for you Mr.McGrath. It must be exausting to feel obligated to defend military aggression to the extent that you do.

I would watch my blood-pressure if i where you. ;-)

And while we sit here pondering our rights of free speach more people die.

Love to those still left

Jesper Arenskog
Yes, he DOES evoke a feeling of pity, doesn't he? Where does all this anger come from? No way to tell, as the internet only offers a narrow view of a person.

I think about something Rabbi Michael Lerner, of Tikkun, once said, about the Palestinian conflict...we all have two voices in our heads, the voice of love and the voice of anger (he also paraphrased from Zoroastrianist beliefs,,,wish I could remember his exact words). In a conflict, the voice of anger always tries to shout, while the voice of love is quiet.

When we are in an argument or feel wounded, the angry voice speaks from a place of being wounded, while the voice of love speaks from compassion.

Reaction, versus response.

Just my 2 cents.

Michael Neal
03-27-2003, 08:54 AM
I had the same thing happen to me, someone on this board registered on Aikido Journal and started attacking me using another name, then I noticed they had the same information in their portfolios. :) That must have been embarrassing especially because I let them deny it before I provided the evidence. This person has stayed clear from me since.

In Neil's case you have to understand that he so radically attached to his philosopy that he will use dishonest arguments and tactics in order to advance his agenda. He then freaks out and complains to the administrator when I use a word like "fanatic" to describe him.

Michael Neal
03-27-2003, 02:08 PM
I meant to say profiles, not portfolios

Neil Mick
03-27-2003, 04:35 PM
Oh, Jaime: you poor, sad little man: Your great "discovery" is rapidly taking on the nature of an obsession. Even WERE I actually ham, who really cares...?

Doesn't all that hatred just make you choke, sometimes?

IMM, you've long lost all perspective, and certainly lost any validity in your debate.

Regretfully, I must utilize my option to put you on ignore. I really HATE doing this, as I like to hear all sides of debate (the only other "ignored" poster for me is mah, who also suffers from expressing respect, when he posts).

So, enjoy your venom: you may sup from it, alone. I am not interested in sharing from that particular cup.

deepsoup
03-27-2003, 06:51 PM
Give a break, there is absolutely no comparison here.
Theres a very clear comparison. The Iraqis have paraded their captives on TV, and this is wrong, its also contrary to article 14 of the Geneva Convention.

The captives shipped from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay were bound hand and foot, they were wearing flourescent orange overalls, their hair and beards had been shaved off, they were blindfolded, they had headphones on, they'd been drugged and they were made to kneel in a line in the sand. I saw it all on TV, because it was televised world-wide.

See the comparison now? Its the whole humiliating prisoners on TV thing. How come its wrong when the Iraqis do it and right when Uncle Sam does it? Doublethink.
We are not beating, torturing, humiliating, and killing prisoners.
I'll give you two out of the four. I dont believe the prisoners at Camp X-Ray are beaten, and I dont think any of them have been killed. (A few have attempted suicide, but so far unsuccessfully.)[/quote]
Of course back in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance have cheerfully massacred scores of prisoners with tacit US approval, but thats not what we're talking about right now.

Humiliation, I think I've covered. As for torture; the inmates of Camp X-Ray are subjected to a kind of 'torture-lite', sleep deprivation, continuous solitary confinement, that kind of thing.
Your words are ludicrous and political motivated.Of course my words are politically motivated, so are yours, what other reason is there for taking part in a political discussion. Duh.

Sean

x

Neil Mick
03-27-2003, 07:39 PM
Or, to put it graphically (http://www.indybay.org/news/2003/03/1591808.php)...

deepsoup
03-28-2003, 03:43 AM
Which side are you on?

"Graphics" (http://www.shianews.com/hi/middle_east/news_id/0000756.php)
Nobody is denying that the Iraqi's have contravened Article 14 of the Geneva Convention here, and I have been at pains to say that what they have done is wrong.

My point is that the US is guilty of exactly the same thing, and if its wrong for the Iraqis to do it (which it most definitely is) then it is also wrong for Americans to do it.
I wanted to post the rest, I just can't (won't) post the other ones. What I saw I can't describe... I am out... Debating you morons seems so pointless now.... Just stay out of my way....
You are deliberately misunderstanding my position, I do not approve of the Iraqis treatment of their prisoners it is wrong, and I've said it repeatedly.

It is also wrong for the US to mistreat prisoners taken in Afghanistan. No amount of quivering of your bottom lip will change this.
Born and Bread American
In that case, I'm surprised you're not better at using your loaf! :D

Sean

x

Michael Neal
03-28-2003, 07:26 AM
I wanted to post the rest, I just can't (won't) post the other ones. What I saw I can't describe... I am out... Debating you morons seems so pointless now.... Just stay out of my way....

Born and Bread American
Don't let these guys get you bent out of shape, remember that they do not hold the majority position on this. They have already lost their argument, America decided they trust Bush more than people like Neil Mick.

I called Neil a fanatic and I stand by that statement because it is descriptive and relevant to my thoughts about his politics, but I would refrain from calling people "morons" and "loons" which hold no meaning except to insult people.

I am sure someone will resurrect the time I called someone a "wacko" but I did not direct that at anyone on these forums so I did not stray from respecting others rule of this board.

opherdonchin
03-28-2003, 01:09 PM
I thought that today's NY Times editorial by Nicholas Kristof was very good (registration required):

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/28/opinion/28KRIS.html

deepsoup
03-28-2003, 06:28 PM
I saw that on the "bread". I hate that 15 minute time limit.
I know what you mean about that 15 minute thing. It was a cheap shot, but I just couldn't resist, soz. :D
Don't let these guys get you bent out of shape, remember that they do not hold the majority position on this. They have already lost their argument, America decided they trust Bush more than people like Neil Mick.
I'm not sure how to break this to you Michael, but most of the world isn't even in America. You do know that, right?

Opher: Thanks for the link, an interesting (if slightly depressing) read.

On the offchance that anyone is still interested in Guantanamo and Geneva, here's (http://www.monbiot.com/dsp_article.cfm?article_id=569) a rather scathing column by George Monbiot.

Sean
x

Neil Mick
03-29-2003, 03:17 AM
"America DECIDED that they trust Bush more than ppl like ME???"

What planet is this guy on?? People like ME don't run the country. People like me are like people like Michael: none of us get a say in what the US does. Not even at election time.

Bush, versus Gore? Don't make me laugh!

I will not act as fortune-teller, but bad things are already happening from this war, and they are going to get worse.

I'm sure that when these things happen (in whatever form they arise), "people like Michael" will swallow whatever transparent paper-tiger arguments for more war that Bush will spew to the cameras.

Michael Neal
03-29-2003, 04:02 PM
Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan.

Here is a list from the beginning of the month of the nations supporting the war, there have been about 15 more additions since this was published but I can't find the updated list.

And this does not include the mnay nations supporting us unofficially,

Neil Mick
03-29-2003, 04:39 PM
As the crisis expands, Michael's sad listing of the "Coalition of the Less-Than-Willing" sounds more and more like the "Coalition of the Wishful thinking:"

"The reason the word ''coalition'' flows every five seconds from the lips of the Bush and Powell is because they do not want us to know that no such thing exists. The United States has 250,000 troops bearing down on Iraq. Britain is contributing 45,000. After that, the next greatest contributor is Australia, with a grand total of 2,000.

After that, it is a gathering of street-corner brothers, the kind who are legendary for loudly threatening to start a fight, but at the moment of truth runs back to his buddies and screams, ''Fellas, hold me back! You gotta hold me back before I kill this guy!'' "

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0321-06.htm

All the while he tallies the virtual allies and roots, football-style for "our side," he ignores the unfolding crisis:

"Raw, Devastating Realities That Expose the Truth About Basra" (http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0328-01.htm)

"A Disaster Unfolding in Iraq" (http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0328-12.htm)

Tijmen Ramakers
03-29-2003, 08:56 PM
... the Netherlands

...

Here is a list from the beginning of the month of the nations supporting the war,

...
As a matter of fact, yes, the Dutch Government says it supports the US invasion politically (and only politically, not by sending in troops). However, we are currently in the process of the formation of a new government after the elections in January. One of the main reasons why the two parties that won those elections haven't formed a new government yet, is because of their different views on the war.

Polls (from before the war started), showed that the majority of the population was against a war, even had it been approved by the UN.

As for my personal opinion:

Is Saddam a nice person to hang out with? No, of course not, the world would be

better off without him. But I don't think the current war is the best way to deal with the problem.

When I look at the reasons given to start it:

- Saddam Hussein oppresses the Iraqi people, and quite violently.

Yes he does, but he isn't the only one. Numerous other countries suffer the same

problem, yet there are no plans to liberate those as well. Saddam was actively supported in the past, apparently mass murder wasn't an issue then. Even worse, by the end of Gulf War I, the coalition forces allowed Saddam to control an uprising that might otherwise have been successfull, and when he noticed they wouldn't interfere, he took the opportunity to kill some more Kurds in the process. But then again, the outcome of a successfull uprising would most likely have been a country ruled by the shi'ites, and although they form the majority, we can't have that, now can we.

- Saddam Hussein is a threat to the US.

Is he? After GW I, his battle power had decreased dramatically (and the containment policy made sure it stayed that way), the country is poorer than ever, and no evidence of ABC weaponry has been found by the inspections. And that country was going to be a threat to the US, the only current superpower?

- Saddam Hussein supports Al-Qaeda.

Well, OBL and Saddam aren't exactly the best of friends, OBL sees Saddam as an

unbeliever, a bad excuse for a muslim. Yes, OBL is now calling onto the muslim world to revenge the invasion in Iraq, but that's certainly not because he's pro-Saddam. If the funding of Al-Qaeda were a reason, an invasion of Saudi Arabia might have been more appropriate.

- Saddam has weapons of mass destruction.

Where? The inspections couldn't find any. Besides, a whole lot of countries have them, and personally, I think the risk of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan is a more serious threat.

- The Iraqi people should get a democratic government.

Well, they should, but history learns that usually it's better to let such a government evolve, instead of having another country barge in, put some people in command, and then telling the country that's their democratic government. Besides, the US have, more or less forcibly, replaced other governments in the past (even if they already were

democratic), and the track record doesn't exactly show a 100% success rate in terms

of improvement in people's lives.

So, if the reasons given aren't quite convincing, what other reasons could there be?

The first that comes to mind, ofcourse, is oil. Considering the background of the

current US leadership, it would be very strange if oil didn't play some role in their strategy. The fact that the US is the world's largest consumer, and Iraq the second largest possible supplier also doesn't help much to avoid the association. Ofcourse, in the short run it would be far much cheaper to just buy the oil from Saddam, but what about the long run, say 10, 20 years from now?

Then, there's power. The US, as the only remaining super power, from time to time has to re-establish its status as the alpha-male. Also, an increased influence in the Gulf region always comes in handy. A government installed and controlled by the US would secure that influence.

There's also the weak economy of the US (and consequently, most of the rest of the world). Although warfare costs billions of dollars, part of that can be compensated for by lower oil prices. Then there's the rebuilding of Iraq. American companies are already signing multi-million-dollar contracts to do so, sometimes even to rebuild things that haven't been blown up yet. Again, the new Iraqi government needs to be controlled by the US to do this. Hey, maybe they could even invent some sort of 'liberation tax' :) Also, warfare is good for the defense industry (that, not

surprisingly, is well represented in the top of the US), and winning a war usually

has a good influence on the economy in general.

Maybe there are some other minor motives. Finishing daddy's job, hey, maybe even boredome? I mean, during the cold war, things were easy. You raced down the street with your enemy. First you just ran to see who's faster. Then you got a bicylce, so you could beat him. Then he got a bike too. You got a better, bigger bike. He got a scooter, you got a motorbike. Now you've got a whole garage full of Corvettes and Vipers, but your

buddy's gone. There's noone left to race. Now what? Isn't that frustrating?

Maybe, it's even been just some bad decisions instead of bad motives.

So, in short, I think that the main reasons for the invasion are neither concern for the Iraqi people, nor concern for US homeland security. The latter because Iraq isn't a threat, the first because it just wouldn't be worth the costs, especially during an economic downturn and domestic problems (and yes, that may sound crude). It'll probably be some mixture of all the above.

Are the anti-war stances of France and Germany purely because of humane concerns? Of course not, they also have large investments in the region, that they hope to benefit from in the future. An American government in Iraq would nullify current contracts.

However, I think the outcome of this is too unpredictable to have started the war. By outcome, I don't mean the current battles in Iraq. I don't doubt the US will win, although in the worst case it might take a few months and a large number of casualties.

But then what? What are you gonna do with the Sji'it majority? They might want sharia instead of 'western' law. What are you gonna do with the Kurds? Give them autonomy, what they've been asking for and fighting for for years? If so, how is, for instance, Turkey going to react to that? Or are you just going to keep them in the position they are in now? Noone wants them anyway. Is there going to be a civil war in the area? Like in

Afghanistan, the only allied troops left are in the capital, the rest of the country is a mess again?

What if Iran tries to take over Iraq after US presence in the Gulf has decreased to normal levels? When can US presence be decreased to normal levels?

What about terrorism? Will there be less? You just made a whole lot of people angry...

What about the UN? The US has rendered the whole Security Council thing just about useless, and replaced international law by martial law. What if other countries decide to follow that example? If that other country would be North Korea, you might be able to handle it,

although it would be very tricky considering the possibility of nuclear weapons. But what if it's India, or China?

Tijmen

Neil Mick
03-29-2003, 10:42 PM
Good post, Timjen. I concur.

Can you believe the magnitude of the Admin's shortsightedness, the complete disregard for considering the history, the complexity, of the Iraqi people and the political situation?

After the war, W wants to install an American general as head of Iraq. :eek: How many levels of blindness would you have to undergo to believe that the Iraqi's will EVER accept an American general as leader (for 2 weeks, let alone interim)?

And, if they were beaten down to a point that they were forced to accept this man, how deep their hatred, their desire for revenge?

America rallied around W, for 9-11. We are creating another 9-11, for the Iraqi's.

Neil Mick
03-31-2003, 01:02 PM
This statement pretty much expresses my view, of the unfolding crisis:

"They are positive that US warmakers will pay a lethal and grisly price for any attempts to overtake and occupy Iraq. "We will lose the battle, but the US is not the winner," she vowed. "The children talk about the monster coming. We will push back the

monster, with our hands." "

http://electroniciraq.net/news/492.shtml

But, who knows? Maybe it will all end tomorrow, with Iraqi's cheering the US as it marches into Baghdad.

It's no fun, playing Cassandra. I do not enjoy being correct in my predictions. I want to take a turn being the nay-sayers, still rooting the war-effort, cheering on the (illegal) invasion, and clinging desperately to the dissembling platitudes of the (increasingly scrambling) leadership.

OK, sure: it's only 12 days into this war; too soon to tell. But, doesn't it seem to you that things aren't quite going, according to plan...?

Michael Neal
04-01-2003, 11:03 AM
I will ask again the two questions that nobody seems to want to answer.

1)Where were these protests when Clinton went to war against Milosevic on purely humanitarian grounds, no weapons of mass destruction, no terrorist connections, no threat to US security?

2) What is your solution to the probelem in Iraq and the threat of its terrorism and Weapons of mass destruction to the United States and its aliies?

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 06:41 PM
I will ask again the two questions that nobody seems to want to answer.

1)Where were these protests when Clinton went to war against Milosevic on purely humanitarian grounds, no weapons of mass destruction, no terrorist connections, no threat to US security?
There were protests, though not as vibrant as the present outcries.

Part of the reason is the manner in which Clinton went to war: he tended to lob a few bombs, then pull back...probably to buttress his wavering support in the polls.

Oh, most Liberal's are no fan of Clinton. But, if you persist in this mistaken assumption about no protests in the Clinton era: just ask Brian Heanue. He was policing the protests in DC, at that time. He saw the Clinton protests.
2) What is your solution to the probelem in Iraq and the threat of its terrorism and Weapons of mass destruction to the United States and its aliies?
I am always amused by this question, as if bombing Iraq shall make us "safer." In reality, of course: it's accomplishing the opposite. Even the Bush camp says so.

Also, invasions have done nothing to stem terrorism. Al Qaeda has started more attacks in Afghanistan, this week. Where did killing 3-5000 Afghani's get us, in containing terror?

But, of course: I have not answered your question. The simple answer: the "problem" of Iraq is not its threat to terror. It's intricately tied in with our racist treatment of Arabs everywhere, and their dawning perception to this reality.

After this debacle, the US is going to have an uphill battle with its image, among the Arabs, for good reason. We illegally attacked Iraq, and the Arabs are seeing the nightly horrors of this war, right into their living rooms (images censored on US TV, IMA).

Already, I'm reading articles about "concerns" the US has over Iran's nuclear desires. Did I guess who the next winner of the "evil satan" club, or what?

No, if we're going to be honest here: the REAL threat to terror is taking away weapons of opportunity from those who desire it.

Right now that looks like Russia (among other places), from my perspective. They have a large arsenal, and they don't know what to do with it. There is great concern over former KGB agents selling these weapons to potential terrorists, but we do nothing.

We had better get on the stick and worry about that arena, before we go illegally (and obsessively) invading countries, on shadow-evidence.

Kevin Leavitt
04-01-2003, 07:31 PM
Neil: Didn't really answer Michael's question. I am always all ears for any solutions! Especially those that do not involve violence!

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 08:07 PM
Sometimes, the question is inherently WRONG.

"When did you stop beating your wife?"

"How long have you really wanted to dress up in women's clothing?"

These are "wrong" questions to ask, because the biased view of reality, is WRONG. Before we answer "how" to disarm Hussein, we have to know if he's armed, first. Not only was the jury still out (but reporting promising results), but the US illegally blew up the courthouse.

Saddam Hussein is a tin-pot dictator, one of many tin-pots with dispicable human rights records.

You want to find an evil leader in the MidEast who butchers his own? Get them all together and throw a stick in the crowd. You'll hit about 5, at least.

And besides, sometimes a method to accomplish something is worse than doing nothing. Blowing up a megalopis to kill one violent leader is not, IMM, the most effective method for doing much of anything, except make said citizens very rightfully enraged.

But oh yes: in all likelihood we'll "get" Hussein, but with a lot of blood on our hands, the probable anger of the Iraqi (and Arab) peoples, and a probable mess, in reconstruction (which, speaking of non-answers, I have heard zilch in terms of anything else but disturbing American colonialism (http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,927003,00.html).

Hussein must be stopped (but, I must add, the true story is not all black-and-white. I've read about some social and educational reforms that occurred under Hussein's reign).

And, I have several ideas for peaceful solutions, but the second I type them, someone like Erik or Michael will jump down my throat and attack my sources, my ability to think, and my character...in that order.

But, what the hay? Let's see where it goes:

Hussein should be tried, as an international criminal. He should be hauled before the ICC.

What's that, you say? Full of sh##, as one sensei so indelicately put it, to my face?

And THAT's why, why we're in this mess. We circumvent international process, and international law. If we didn't spend so much time twisting the process to our own, short-term ends, the whole international process, the ICC, the Security Council, the whole thing...if we even paid our DUES, fer chrissakes...the international legal process would succeed.

Or, at least: it would have a chance. ANYTHING other than this barbaric and genocidal travesty.

But, also couple this with enforced inspections. That, and other monitoring programs to enforce compliance (the nuclear monitoring program in N Korea, for instance: was completely successful. The UN knew exactly when N Korea was getting out of line).

Certainly, the UN is inefficient, but that should be a major component of US foreign policy, if we're so interested, right? Making sure the UN gets everything it needs.

Before the war, the UN asked for $140M in humanitarian aid, for Iraq. The US coughed up $40M. If I didn't know better, I'd say that the US was trying to choke off the effectiveness of the UN, through benign neglect.

Certainly, the latest invasion is a blatant gesture of defiance, and contempt, for it.

Very similar to the treatment the League of Nations received, near its end.

Neil Mick
04-02-2003, 01:00 AM
But this latest, from Noam Chomsky (yes, warmongers! Tremble in fear! Neil is quoting NOAM!):


The idea that the Iraqis can only be freed from a regime like Saddam's through bombing is really disturbing. This seems to be the message the US is sending through Operation Iraqi Freedom.What, in your view, are alternative policies America could have pursued to help Iraqis other than resorting to a violent and destructive "liberation"?

"Probably most of the population of the world regards the US as the major threat to world peace, which is a rather serious matter: a superpower threat to world peace is a threat to survival. If they're right, the world would be much better off (for example, there'd be a higher chance for the survival of the species) if the current regime were eliminated. Or maybe even the institutions of the society. Does it follow that we all ought to join al-Qaeda and try to achieve that goal?

There are a great many horrible regimes in the world. To take just one, the world's longest military occupation. There's litttle doubt that those under the military occupation would be much better off if the occupation were terminated. Does it follow that we should bomb Tel Aviv?

It's easy to continue. Such questions can, perhaps, be raised by those who regard themselves as God-like, entitled to determine how to use violence to "rid the world of evil," as in fairy tales and ancient epics. Are we so exalted that we have the right to make such decisions?"

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=3357

DanielR
04-02-2003, 08:09 AM
There are a great many horrible regimes in the world. To take just one, the world's longest military occupation. There's litttle doubt that those under the military occupation would be much better off if the occupation were terminated. Does it follow that we should bomb Tel Aviv?
Ahem... Well, if even the reknown Mr. Chomsky uses such simplistic and provocative reasoning, what chance do we stand in this forum to reach some sort of reasonable compromise?

Erik
04-02-2003, 11:45 AM
I'm a full-service provider. Neil, you want a workable solution, here's how it had to go.

UN to USA: What sort of inspection regime would be acceptable to you.

USA to UN: 600 Inspectors and Bulldog Chief Inspector Rolf.

UN to USA: We approve 1,200 inspectors and Super Duper Bulldog inspector Fritz.

Instead, the UN gave us Hans Blix and an inspection progrom with with clearly demonstrated false teeth.

USA to UN: We also want the UN to provide credible evidence that if Saddam doesn't cooperate there will be consequences.

UN to USA: Here's another resolution which will authorize force.

Instead, the UN gave us things like,

UNSCR 1137 - 12 November 1997

Iraqi travel restrictions outlined:

This measure condemned continuing violations of earlier resolutions by Iraq, and again demanded that Baghdad comply with the Unscom inspectors.

As a punitive measure, it imposed travel restrictions on Iraqi officials deemed to have obstructed the weapons inspectors.

Ow, it hurts! Stop it. Not travel restrictions! :eek:

UNSCR 688 - 5 April 1991

Condemns repression of civilians in Iraq:

The Security Council condemned repressive measures exercised by the Iraqi regime against civilians, and demanded access for humanitarian groups.

At the end of the war, uprisings against the regime by Kurds in northern Iraq and Shia Muslims in the south were brutally suppressed by the Iraqi military.

The Gulf War coalition did little to stop this, but the US, Britain and France created a northern 'safe haven' and a so-called 'no fly zone' under the auspices of Resolution 688.

A similar no-fly zone was set up in southern Iraq in 1992, and extended in 1996.

UNSCR 707 - 15 August 1991

Demands compliance with weapons inspectors:

This resolution emphasised the need for Iraq to allow Unscom and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) immediate and unconditional access to any areas they wish to inspect.

Iraq was also ordered to not to move or attempt to hide anything relating to its nuclear, chemical or biological programmes.

They talk tough.

UNSCR 949 - 15 October 1994

Orders Iraq to refrain from threatening its neighbours:

This resolution demanded that Iraq should:

* Withdraw forces recently deployed to southern Iraq to their original positions

* Not use any forces in a hostile or provocative manner to threaten either neighbouring countries or UN staff working in Iraq

* Not redeploy or enhance its military forces in the south of the country.

Iraq was again ordered to comply fully with Unscom inspectors.

More tough talk. So what were Iraqi troops doing in the Southern part of Iraq?

UNSCR 1284 - 17 December 1999

Unmovic established:

The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic) was created to replace Unscom.

Iraq was ordered to allow Unmovic teams immediate and unconditional access to any weapons sites and facilities.

The resolution also recognised the importance of a comprehensive approach to enforcing Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

It demanded that Iraq improve the humanitarian situation in the country - but also lifted the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports.

They recognize the importance? No! No! You are twisting my arm too hard. Alright now we're gonna puff and huff but....don't worry....we won't blow your house in. Wink! Wink!

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2246037.stm

The UN was never going to get this done and this is where Europe needs to take a hard look in the mirror. Not just France, but Germany, Russia and China all of whom were on some level in bed with Iraq. I don't doubt they ultimately have noble intentions but they were also all compromised.

For the UN to solve this problem it should have shown an extreme willingness to do it. No half measures.

So, let's suppose we do create a world court, and, we bring Saddam up on crimes. Do you think Saddam will show up? Just how do you propose that we haul him before the court without military action?
And, I have several ideas for peaceful solutions, but the second I type them, someone like Erik or Michael will jump down my throat and attack my sources, my ability to think, and my character...in that order.
Neil, this is exactly the level of debate you have engaged in from the beginning. You effectively began this whole process by calling the USA murderers and continue to do so. That is a full-on attack on my character since I'm an American. Then you've attacked every document I ever put out there, failing that you attacked the source. Quit whining when you are guilty as charged.

The peaceful solution was a unified UN with a clear willingness to use force. I don't like the idea of going to war in the Middle East but it has a lot of advantages chief amongst them is that Saddam Hussein and his son's will be removed, the Iraqi people will get a government of their choice and they will get a massive infusion of aid. They may screw it up, we may end up with someone worse, who can say, but it's certain that we will be rid of Saddam. I've never seen any solution achieving this without military force.

Neil Mick
04-02-2003, 04:26 PM
Ahem... Well, if even the reknown Mr. Chomsky uses such simplistic and provocative reasoning, what chance do we stand in this forum to reach some sort of reasonable compromise?
Well, Daniel, that all depends upon what you want out of these fora.

Ppl like Jaime and a few others think that a debate involves the capitulation of one side, or the other. Even in the RW, this rarely happens. Remember the presidential debates? Do you see the candidates say: "Gosh, you know you're right! I'll change myparty affiliation tomorrow!"

So, I see the forum as a means to test a belief, see how "the other side" thinks, measure and compare ideas with those who agree with my views, and learn how to communicate new ideas, in general.

Now, where compromise comes in: I don't know. Flat out, I think this war is illegal. I think we should immediately withdraw and send massive humanitarian aid, and turn over Bush & Co to the proper authorities as war criminals.

Anything else, IMM, is a capitulation of abiding by int'l law, to the rule of "might makes right;" or rule by thuggery, or force.

Something that, as an Aikidoist, I study on a daily basis, to avoid.

Is there any compromise, in this belief? I don't know, to tell the truth.

Neil Mick
04-02-2003, 04:35 PM
Neil, this is exactly the level of debate you have engaged in from the beginning. You effectively began this whole process by calling the USA murderers and continue to do so. That is a full-on attack on my character since I'm an American. Then you've attacked every document I ever put out there, failing that you attacked the source. Quit whining when you are guilty as charged.
Newsflash, again...in case you've noticed, I have repeatedly stated that "the rules have changed" when the US went to illegal war, with Iraq.

As I said to Jaime, I am no longer interested in long, rambling debates. The emotional tone is different, I am different, the rest of the country is different.

If you cannot acknowledge and respect the level of differences in our discussion, I have the ignore button ready, if it comes to that.

And, with respect...YOU are not the US, buddy!! I don't care WHAT you think is an "attack on your character;" I HAVE NOT ONCE CALLED YOU A MURDERER!!!

But, yesterday I heard a man describe watching the heads of his children blown off, as they attempted to race toward the US lines after they read US fliers talking about safety for Iraqi's.

That innocent family of 7 ppl were illegally murdered.

Did you pull the trigger? No?

Then, get a grip, quit your overidentification with a gov't that could care less about you, and, as I said to Jaime:

take a breath.

DanielR
04-02-2003, 07:12 PM
(some people) think that a debate involves the capitulation of one sideCan't remember the last time I witnessed something like that in a political debate.
Flat out, I think this war is illegal. I think we should immediately withdraw and send massive humanitarian aid, and turn over Bush & Co to the proper authorities as war criminals. Anything else, IMM, is a capitulation of abiding by int'l law, to the rule of "might makes right;" or rule by thuggery, or force.

Is there any compromise, in this belief? I don't know, to tell the truth.In this belief? No. The way you put it pretty much runs along the same lines as Chomsky's "Israel is a horrible regime", and I don't see neither room for compromise nor pragmatism there.

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 01:48 AM
The way you put it pretty much runs along the same lines as Chomsky's "Israel is a horrible regime", and I don't see neither room for compromise nor pragmatism there.
That's a pretty strong statement, Daniel: especially since we're talking about Iraq, mainly.

But yeah: the regime of Israel, in Palestine, is horrible, to put it mildly.

And, pragmatism? Respectfully, I see any occupation ruled by violence and repression as the antithesis of pragmatism, as it always bites the oppressor back, in the end.

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 04:06 AM
But, does this article seem eerily prophetic, to you? It does, to me (especially since it was written 2 years ago).

The algebra of infinite justice

As the US prepares to wage a new kind of war, Arundhati Roy challenges the instinct for vengance

Arundhati Roy

Saturday September 29, 2001

The Guardian

In the aftermath of the unconscionable September 11 suicide attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, an American newscaster said: "Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did last Tuesday. People who we don't know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee." Then he broke down and wept.

Here's the rub: America is at war against people it doesn't know, because they don't appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an "international coalition against terror", mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle.

The trouble is that once Amer ica goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.

What we're witnessing here is the spectacle of the world's most powerful country reaching reflexively, angrily, for an old instinct to fight a new kind of war. Suddenly, when it comes to defending itself, America's streamlined warships, cruise missiles and F-16 jets look like obsolete, lumbering things. As deterrence, its arsenal of nuclear bombs is no longer worth its weight in scrap. Box-cutters, penknives, and cold anger are the weapons with which the wars of the new century will be waged. Anger is the lock pick. It slips through customs unnoticed. Doesn't show up in baggage checks.

Who is America fighting? On September 20, the FBI said that it had doubts about the identities of some of the hijackers. On the same day President George Bush said, "We know exactly who these people are and which governments are supporting them." It sounds as though the president knows something that the FBI and the American public don't.

In his September 20 address to the US Congress, President Bush called the enemies of America "enemies of freedom". "Americans are asking, 'Why do they hate us?' " he said. "They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." People are being asked to make two leaps of faith here. First, to assume that The Enemy is who the US government says it is, even though it has no substantial evidence to support that claim. And second, to assume that The Enemy's motives are what the US government says they are, and there's nothing to support that either.

For strategic, military and economic reasons, it is vital for the US government to persuade its public that their commitment to freedom and democracy and the American Way of Life is under attack. In the current atmosphere of grief, outrage and anger, it's an easy notion to peddle. However, if that were true, it's reasonable to wonder why the symbols of America's economic and military dominance - the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon - were chosen as the targets of the attacks. Why not the Statue of Liberty? Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)? It must be hard for ordinary Americans, so recently bereaved, to look up at the world with their eyes full of tears and encounter what might appear to them to be indifference. It isn't indifference. It's just augury. An absence of surprise. The tired wisdom of knowing that what goes around eventually comes around. American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated. They can't possibly doubt that they themselves, their extraordinary musicians, their writers, their actors, their spectacular sportsmen and their cinema, are universally welcomed. All of us have been moved by the courage and grace shown by firefighters, rescue workers and ordinary office staff in the days since the attacks.

America's grief at what happened has been immense and immensely public. It would be grotesque to expect it to calibrate or modulate its anguish. However, it will be a pity if, instead of using this as an opportunity to try to understand why September 11 happened, Americans use it as an opportunity to usurp the whole world's sorrow to mourn and avenge only their own. Because then it falls to the rest of us to ask the hard questions and say the harsh things. And for our pains, for our bad timing, we will be disliked, ignored and perhaps eventually silenced.

The world will probably never know what motivated those particular hijackers who flew planes into those particular American buildings. They were not glory boys. They left no suicide notes, no political messages; no organisation has claimed credit for the attacks. All we know is that their belief in what they were doing outstripped the natural human instinct for survival, or any desire to be remembered. It's almost as though they could not scale down the enormity of their rage to anything smaller than their deeds. And what they did has blown a hole in the world as we knew it. In the absence of information, politicians, political commentators and writers (like myself) will invest the act with their own politics, with their own interpretations. This speculation, this analysis of the political climate in which the attacks took place, can only be a good thing.

But war is looming large. Whatever remains to be said must be said quickly. Before America places itself at the helm of the "international coalition against terror", before it invites (and coerces) countries to actively participate in its almost godlike mission - called Operation Infinite Justice until it was pointed out that this could be seen as an insult to Muslims, who believe that only Allah can mete out infinite justice, and was renamed Operation Enduring Freedom- it would help if some small clarifications are made. For example, Infinite Justice/Enduring Freedom for whom? Is this America's war against terror in America or against terror in general? What exactly is being avenged here? Is it the tragic loss of almost 7,000 lives, the gutting of five million square feet of office space in Manhattan, the destruction of a section of the Pentagon, the loss of several hundreds of thousands of jobs, the bankruptcy of some airline companies and the dip in the New York Stock Exchange? Or is it more than that? In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the US secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. She replied that it was "a very hard choice", but that, all things considered, "we think the price is worth it". Albright never lost her job for saying this. She continued to travel the world representing the views and aspirations of the US government. More pertinently, the sanctions against Iraq remain in place. Children continue to die.

So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice. How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? As we watch mesmerised, Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on TV monitors across the world. A coalition of the world's superpowers is closing in on Afghanistan, one of the poorest, most ravaged, war-torn countries in the world, whose ruling Taliban government is sheltering Osama bin Laden, the man being held responsible for the September 11 attacks.

The only thing in Afghanistan that could possibly count as collateral value is its citizenry. (Among them, half a million maimed orphans.There are accounts of hobbling stampedes that occur when artificial limbs are airdropped into remote, inaccessible villages.) Afghanistan's economy is in a shambles. In fact, the problem for an invading army is that Afghanistan has no conventional coordinates or signposts to plot on a military map - no big cities, no highways, no industrial complexes, no water treatment plants. Farms have been turned into mass graves. The countryside is littered with land mines - 10 million is the most recent estimate. The American army would first have to clear the mines and build roads in order to take its soldiers in.

Fearing an attack from America, one million citizens have fled from their homes and arrived at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The UN estimates that there are eight million Afghan citizens who need emergency aid. As supplies run out - food and aid agencies have been asked to leave - the BBC reports that one of the worst humanitarian disasters of recent times has begun to unfold. Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they're waiting to be killed.

In America there has been rough talk of "bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age". Someone please break the news that Afghanistan is already there. And if it's any consolation, America played no small part in helping it on its way. The American people may be a little fuzzy about where exactly Afghanistan is (we hear reports that there's a run on maps of the country), but the US government and Afghanistan are old friends.

In 1979, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA and Pakistan's ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) launched the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA. Their purpose was to harness the energy of Afghan resistance to the Soviets and expand it into a holy war, an Islamic jihad, which would turn Muslim countries within the Soviet Union against the communist regime and eventually destabilise it. When it began, it was meant to be the Soviet Union's Vietnam. It turned out to be much more than that. Over the years, through the ISI, the CIA funded and recruited almost 100,000 radical mojahedin from 40 Islamic countries as soldiers for America's proxy war. The rank and file of the mojahedin were unaware that their jihad was actually being fought on behalf of Uncle Sam. (The irony is that America was equally unaware that it was financing a future war against itself.)

In 1989, after being bloodied by 10 years of relentless conflict, the Russians withdrew, leaving behind a civilisation reduced to rubble.

Civil war in Afghanistan raged on. The jihad spread to Chechnya, Kosovo and eventually to Kashmir. The CIA continued to pour in money and military equipment, but the overheads had become immense, and more money was needed. The mojahedin ordered farmers to plant opium as a "revolutionary tax". The ISI set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA's arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets. The annual profits, said to be between $100bn and $200bn, were ploughed back into training and arming militants.

In 1995, the Taliban - then a marginal sect of dangerous, hardline fundamentalists - fought its way to power in Afghanistan. It was funded by the ISI, that old cohort of the CIA, and supported by many political parties in Pakistan. The Taliban unleashed a regime of terror. Its first victims were its own people, particularly women. It closed down girls' schools, dismissed women from government jobs, and enforced sharia laws under which women deemed to be "immoral" are stoned to death, and widows guilty of being adulterous are buried alive. Given the Taliban government's human rights track record, it seems unlikely that it will in any way be intimidated or swerved from its purpose by the prospect of war, or the threat to the lives of its civilians.

After all that has happened, can there be anything more ironic than Russia and America joining hands to re-destroy Afghanistan? The question is, can you destroy destruction? Dropping more bombs on Afghanistan will only shuffle the rubble, scramble some old graves and disturb the dead.

The desolate landscape of Afghanistan was the burial ground of Soviet communism and the springboard of a unipolar world dominated by America. It made the space for neocapitalism and corporate globalisation, again dominated by America. And now Afghanistan is poised to become the graveyard for the unlikely soldiers who fought and won this war for America.

And what of America's trusted ally? Pakistan too has suffered enormously. The US government has not been shy of supporting military dictators who have blocked the idea of democracy from taking root in the country. Before the CIA arrived, there was a small rural market for opium in Pakistan. Between 1979 and 1985, the number of heroin addicts grew from zero to one-and-a-half million. Even before September 11, there were three million Afghan refugees living in tented camps along the border. Pakistan's economy is crumbling. Sectarian violence, globalisation's structural adjustment programmes and drug lords are tearing the country to pieces. Set up to fight the Soviets, the terrorist training centres and madrasahs, sown like dragon's teeth across the country, produced fundamentalists with tremendous popular appeal within Pakistan itself. The Taliban, which the Pakistan government has sup ported, funded and propped up for years, has material and strategic alliances with Pakistan's own political parties.

Now the US government is asking (asking?) Pakistan to garotte the pet it has hand-reared in its backyard for so many years. President Musharraf, having pledged his support to the US, could well find he has something resembling civil war on his hands.

India, thanks in part to its geography, and in part to the vision of its former leaders, has so far been fortunate enough to be left out of this Great Game. Had it been drawn in, it's more than likely that our democracy, such as it is, would not have survived. Today, as some of us watch in horror, the Indian government is furiously gyrating its hips, begging the US to set up its base in India rather than Pakistan. Having had this ringside view of Pakistan's sordid fate, it isn't just odd, it's unthinkable, that India should want to do this. Any third world country with a fragile economy and a complex social base should know by now that to invite a superpower such as America in (whether it says it's staying or just passing through) would be like inviting a brick to drop through your windscreen.

Operation Enduring Freedom is ostensibly being fought to uphold the American Way of Life. It'll probably end up undermining it completely. It will spawn more anger and more terror across the world. For ordinary people in America, it will mean lives lived in a climate of sickening uncertainty: will my child be safe in school? Will there be nerve gas in the subway? A bomb in the cinema hall? Will my love come home tonight? There have been warnings about the possibility of biological warfare - smallpox, bubonic plague, anthrax - the deadly payload of innocuous crop-duster aircraft. Being picked off a few at a time may end up being worse than being annihilated all at once by a nuclear bomb.

The US government, and no doubt governments all over the world, will use the climate of war as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, deny free speech, lay off workers, harass ethnic and religious minorities, cut back on public spending and divert huge amounts of money to the defence industry. To what purpose? President Bush can no more "rid the world of evil-doers" than he can stock it with saints. It's absurd for the US government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out terrorism with more violence and oppression. Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Terrorism has no country. It's transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike. At the first sign of trouble, terrorists can pull up stakes and move their "factories" from country to country in search of a better deal. Just like the multi-nationals.

Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven's sake, rights. Instead, when Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, was asked what he would call a victory in America's new war, he said that if he could convince the world that Americans must be allowed to continue with their way of life, he would consider it a victory.

The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America's old wars. The millions killed in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel - backed by the US - invaded Lebanon in 1982, the 200,000 Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel's occupation of the West Bank. And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled and supplied with arms. And this is far from being a comprehensive list.

For a country involved in so much warfare and conflict, the American people have been extremely fortunate. The strikes on September 11 were only the second on American soil in over a century. The first was Pearl Harbour. The reprisal for this took a long route, but ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This time the world waits with bated breath for the horrors to come.

Someone recently said that if Osama bin Laden didn't exist, America would have had to invent him. But, in a way, America did invent him. He was among the jihadis who moved to Afghanistan in 1979 when the CIA commenced its operations there. Bin Laden has the distinction of being created by the CIA and wanted by the FBI. In the course of a fortnight he has been promoted from suspect to prime suspect and then, despite the lack of any real evidence, straight up the charts to being "wanted dead or alive".

From all accounts, it will be impossible to produce evidence (of the sort that would stand scrutiny in a court of law) to link Bin Laden to the September 11 attacks. So far, it appears that the most incriminating piece of evidence against him is the fact that he has not condemned them.

From what is known about the location of Bin Laden and the living conditions in which he operates, it's entirely possible that he did not personally plan and carry out the attacks - that he is the inspirational figure, "the CEO of the holding company". The Taliban's response to US demands for the extradition of Bin Laden has been uncharacteristically reasonable: produce the evidence, then we'll hand him over. President Bush's response is that the demand is "non-negotiable".

(While talks are on for the extradition of CEOs - can India put in a side request for the extradition of Warren Anderson of the US? He was the chairman of Union Carbide, responsible for the Bhopal gas leak that killed 16,000 people in 1984. We have collated the necessary evidence. It's all in the files. Could we have him, please?)

But who is Osama bin Laden really? Let me rephrase that. What is Osama bin Laden? He's America's family secret. He is the American president's dark doppelgänger. The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful and civilised. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think. Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable. Their guns, bombs, money and drugs have been going around in the loop for a while. (The Stinger missiles that will greet US helicopters were supplied by the CIA. The heroin used by America's drug addicts comes from Afghanistan. The Bush administration recently gave Afghanistan a $43m subsidy for a "war on drugs"....)

Now Bush and Bin Laden have even begun to borrow each other's rhetoric. Each refers to the other as "the head of the snake". Both invoke God and use the loose millenarian currency of good and evil as their terms of reference. Both are engaged in unequivocal political crimes. Both are dangerously armed - one with the nuclear arsenal of the obscenely powerful, the other with the incandescent, destructive power of the utterly hopeless. The fireball and the ice pick. The bludgeon and the axe. The important thing to keep in mind is that neither is an acceptable alternative to the other.

President Bush's ultimatum to the people of the world - "If you're not with us, you're against us" - is a piece of presumptuous arrogance. It's not a choice that people want to, need to, or should have to make.

© Arundhati Roy 2001

DanielR
04-03-2003, 08:36 AM
That's a pretty strong statement, Daniel: especially since we're talking about Iraq, mainly.

But yeah: the regime of Israel, in Palestine, is horrible, to put it mildly.

And, pragmatism? Respectfully, I see any occupation ruled by violence and repression as the antithesis of pragmatism, as it always bites the oppressor back, in the end.
Neil, I wasn't trying to drag the discussion away from the topic; I was drawing a parallel between Chomsky's and your ways to state one's belief in a discussion. IMO, formulating your argument like that is counterproductive in a dialog with someone who doesn't agree with that. It only irritates your opponent, and I don't see how any good can come out of it.

DanielR
04-03-2003, 09:47 AM
Well, the article is dramatic. Unfortunately, along with some sensible analysis of the role the US played in the rise of the islamist terrorism (which is IMO undeniable), it employs some arguments that do not particulalry appeal to me.
the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric... mobilised its army and committed (it) to battle.Indeed, there was a security and military buildup. Seems like a natural move to me after 9/11. "Rush of publicity", "embarassing rhetoric" - well, we had the "axis of evil" and the like, which, I agree, was probably unnecessary. So ok, the PR could've been handled better.
If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. I don't think it needs to. The list of terrorist organizations is rather long, and they do exist, so no manufacturing is necessary.
Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)?Could be. Does this mean the perpetrators shouldn't be punished or Iraq disarmed and Saddam ousted?
The tired wisdom of knowing that what goes around eventually comes around. American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated.Excellent. The alleged crimes of the US government that "went around", eventually "came around" to punish not the US military, not the CIA - innocent civilians who just happened to be in those buildings. And the american people should be comforted by "it's not you, it's your government".
However, it will be a pity if, instead of using this as an opportunity to try to understand why September 11 happened, Americans use it as an opportunity to usurp the whole world's sorrow to mourn and avenge only their own.Why can't both things happen? We can try and understand, that's important, but we also have the obligation to punish the murderers.
it would help if some small clarifications are made.Infinite Justice/Enduring Freedom for whom?Justice delivered to the terrorists, freedom for the rest of the world from the terrorists.
Is this America's war against terror in America or against terror in general?Define "terror in general". Besides, being in a war against terror in America seems like a good enough reason.
What exactly is being avenged here? Is it the tragic loss of almost 7,000 lives, the gutting of five million square feet of office space in Manhattan, the destruction of a section of the Pentagon, the loss of several hundreds of thousands of jobs, the bankruptcy of some airline companies and the dip in the New York Stock Exchange? All of the above.
Madeleine Albright...was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. Incorrect question. An argument can be made that those children died as a result of their ruler's policies.
How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? Dramatic but pointless and incorrect. The world will (arguably) be a better place when Saddam is gone, it's not about the Iraqi people that unfortunately die as a result of the current campaign. And the "an eye for an eye" rethoric is inappropriate, because the US doesn't seek that kind of justice in terms of "3000 dead Iraqis for the 3000 killed in WTC".
it's unthinkable, that India should want to do this (invite Americans). Any third world country with a fragile economy and a complex social base should know by now that to invite a superpower such as America in ...would be like inviting a brick to drop through your windscreen. Not when you have Pakistan as your neighbor.
Operation Enduring Freedom ... will spawn more anger and more terror across the world. For ordinary people in America, it will mean lives lived in a climate of sickening uncertainty: will my child be safe in school? Will there be nerve gas in the subway? A bomb in the cinema hall? Will my love come home tonight? And not going after the terrorists will eliminate those uncertanties ... how?
the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven's sake, rights.This is very touching, but how exactly does this stop the terrorist already on their way to blow up something else?
...the 17,500 killed when Israel - backed by the US - invaded Lebanon in 1982 ... the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel's occupation of the West Bank.Yeah, this one always works. The article wouldn't have been the same without it. Sure, there's no question about it - it's all the fault of the US. And Israel, of course. The author has it all figured out (ok, this particular part is probably not the most important in the article, but it is irritating when thousands of years of the conflict are squeezed into one biased sentence).

opherdonchin
04-03-2003, 05:19 PM
Man, these posts are getting too long to be read. I admire you, Daniel, for taking the time.

One thing that I wondered about here was the confusion between hating Americans and hating the government. Many people on the left put this Iraqi war in a context of decades (at least) of American misbehavor around the world and especially in Latin America and the Middle East. However, most 'liberals' would say that this war would not have been pursued, or would have been pursued very differently, if the election results had been a little different. This makes me confused about who exactly is supposed to be blamed.

Noam Chomsky, by the way, is someone who tries to drown opposition in an endless deluge of sources without being very careful about how good they are. Like Daniel has said any number of times, that is counterproductive because it causes people to tune out. At least, it causes people like me to tune out. I have no doubt that both sides can marshall an enormous number of sources to support their claims.

Kevin Leavitt
04-03-2003, 07:05 PM
didn't have time to read word for word the last day of disertation...but in my 15 minute scan....still didn't see anything resembling a alternative solution set to war.

Neil I think you did illude in one post that the point of studying aikido was to avoid conflict?

I don't think it is so much about avoiding conflict as establishing alternatives and gaining flexibility in resolving conflict that does not go from zero to full scale violence.

Avoiding conflict is the simply kicking the can down the road. solving/resolving conflict at the lowest most peaceful level is what the aim of diplomacy and aikido IMHO is all about....not avoidance.

One of my old Ranger instructors used to say to be successful as a Ranger you need to know the difference between Hooah and stupid.

Jumping out of an airplane with a parachute is hooah....playing mumbly peg is stupid.

Helping the poor and oppressed is hooah ...trying to win over an insane terrorist with a gun pointed at you with compassion and love is very, very stupid.

Noble idea...but stupid.

Erik
04-03-2003, 07:23 PM
I'll keep it short, err, shorter. :)

I encourage anyone interested to read Kenneth Pollack's "The Threatening Storm (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0375509283/qid=1049418787/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-4872652-9958458?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)". Read the reviews at Amazon if nothing else.

It's 400 pages of the most complete information I've seen on the topic. It's also some of the tightest writing that I've ever read.

opherdonchin
04-03-2003, 09:09 PM
I like that idea of how AiKiDo might be 'applied' to diplomacy and politics, Kevin. It struck a chord.

Erik
04-03-2003, 10:13 PM
Opher, after I made my earlier post I realized that I wanted to comment on short posts. I'll try to keep this relatively short compared to many of my missives.

When talking about Iraq and the invasion we are really talking about Saddam Hussein and the danger he presents. It isn't enough to say "he's a murdering bastard who is responsible for more than a 1,000,000 deaths". When someone says that it's easy to stop and say "gee, there are all kinds of those in the world" and leave it at that. It doesn't begin to do the man justice.

To understand Saddam, you have to understand at a bare minimum the following:

1. How he came to power.

2. His decision making process in 3 major areas: Iran, Kuwait and the inspections.

3. The destruction he's wrought on Iraq.

4. His grip on power in Iraq.

5. His pursuit of WMD and use of WMD.

6. How he see's himself in the Arab world.

7. How he see's Israel.

8. His actions in 2 wars and the wholesale destruction he wrought in them including the environmental catastrophe in Kuwait.

9. Why he started those two wars.

10. His manipulation of the oil-for-food program.

11. How he's used UN sanctions.

These are not simple issues and they paint a much different picture than, "he's a murdering bastard". He's actually a non-rational, somewhat delusional murdering bastard who see's himself as a great Arab leader and has not heard an honest status report or opinion in 20 years.

Kenneth Pollack in his book drives this point home. Saddam does not think about things the way you or I do and he is not controllable for a variety of reasons. At least that is the opinion of Mr. Pollack who was an Iraqi analyst.

That took 5 paragraphs. Just imagine if I tried to put that stuff into the detail needed to get to the guts of it. It would take a medium sized book. It's a complicated issue.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 12:48 AM
Daniel: Here, respectfully, we are going to have to disagree.

I could try to answer each of your points, but we have a clear ideological difference.

Saddam Hussein is a tin-pot wannabee regional superpower, sitting on a lot of oil.

Much of the gist of Arundhati Roi's article touches upon this sheer blindness that some of the American public seems to express, this rush to war without any real understanding of the people that they are proclaiming to "save."

This whole Hussein-evil-must-destroy deal stinks. It's been done, and it will be done, again. We just need to find an Arabic Satan on a supply of oil we want and point the cameras.

Clearly, our leaders view Iraq as a glorified gas station.

Did you know that Iraq has over 150 tribes, with 2000 clans? With no significant Arabic advisors (indeed, much of the State Dept feels shut out, in the decisions being made), do you really think that they care about the people of Iraq??

Has all this whole policy of toppling leaders and replacing them solved anything? Can you name one country that is now a democracy, which was bombed after WW2?

My favorite metaphor, invented after several posts:

you have a rabid dog, in a town, with a lot of families about. To get rid of the dog, do you a) bomb the town; b) starve the people until said dog surrenders; c) invade the town in street-to-street combat; inciting citizens not entirely forgiving of these sorts of forays, historically, into their cities?

Not, if you really care about the welfare of said people.

And, that's why this policy will fail. It's racist; it's genocidal. And, the rest of the world is beginning to see this.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 01:03 AM
Neil I think you did illude in one post that the point of studying aikido was to avoid conflict?
Yes.
Avoiding conflict is the simply kicking the can down the road. solving/resolving conflict at the lowest most peaceful level is what the aim of diplomacy and aikido IMHO is all about....not avoidance.
Respectfully, I think its semantics over what I meant by "avoiding" conflict.
Helping the poor and oppressed is hooah ...trying to win over an insane terrorist with a gun pointed at you with compassion and love is very, very stupid.
But we do not have a gun pointed at our heads. We are legitimizing an illegal doctrine (pre-emptive strike), by attacking illegally (around the UN).

Even the method of decision-making from the President, with his closed-cabal of insiders, stinks. Clearly, they are quite inflexible on any course but an illegal course.

What does that make them? That's right: got it in one.

So, which country is going to get the axe, next, once Iraq falls? It's almost like watching a cartoon, where this huge axe starts falling on all the (Arabic) cartoon mice, scrambling to get to the (nuclear) cheese so they'll be safe.

At least, certain leaders responsible for this atrocity will find themselves in court.

So, Kevin: you say you've seen no peaceful alternatives that would work?

Respectfully, I say that an eternal war on terror is not a viable option.

Erik
04-04-2003, 02:02 AM
Some Kenneth Pollack articles.

http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/02101611.htm

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20020301faessay7970/kenneth-m-pollack/next-stop-baghdad.html

DanielR
04-04-2003, 10:28 AM
Neil,
I could try to answer each of your points, but we have a clear ideological difference.Of course we do, otherwise this debate wouldn't go on ;)
Saddam Hussein is a tin-pot wannabee regional superpower..."tin-pot" = "small time" = "insignificant in performance, scope, or standing". You seriously think Saddam is insignificant? I think his record proves otherwise.
Much of the gist of Arundhati Roi's article touches upon this sheer blindness that some of the American public seems to express, this rush to war without any real understanding of the people that they are proclaiming to "save."I don't argue with that - it's only reasonable to assume that most people, not only Americans, do not invest too much thought in most of the things that happen in the world, including this war. This goes both ways though - it includes those that rush to condemn the war.
With no significant Arabic advisors (indeed, much of the State Dept feels shut out, in the decisions being made), do you really think that they care about the people of Iraq?I don't know - I guess we'll see. So far the actions of the US military tell me they do.
Has all this whole policy of toppling leaders and replacing them solved anything? Can you name one country that is now a democracy, which was bombed after WW2?There's always the first time ;)
you have a rabid dog, in a town, with a lot of families about. To get rid of the dog, do you a) bomb the town; b) starve the people until said dog surrenders; c) invade the town in street-to-street combat; inciting citizens not entirely forgiving of these sorts of forays, historically, into their cities?Well, c) looks kind of ok. I would correct it though: inciting some citizens, in hope that the rest will be thankful enough for eliminating the dog, and the not entirely forgiving ones will get to their senses once they see the advantages of living without the dog.

opherdonchin
04-04-2003, 12:03 PM
Erik,

I agree with you entirely on the complexities of the issues and the importance of taking the space to make sophisticated or (as you point out) multi-facted points. I didn't mean to make it sound so harsh. I guess I'm just expressing my own feelings of guilt that arise when I find myself skipping through a post that I have no doubt the author felt was very important.

Thanks for taking me seriously, though. :)

opherdonchin
04-04-2003, 12:33 PM
I poked around a little bit to see what people say about Kenneth Pollack. I found this article (http://slate.msn.com/id/2079705/) interesting. The author gives an interesting synopsis of what he thinks the book really says, claiming that the original subtitle of the book (The case for invading Iraq) is innappropriate and that the book would have been better subtitled: The Case for Rebuilding Afghanistan, Destroying al-Qaida, Setting Israel and Palestine on the Road to Peace, and Then, a Year or Two Down the Road After Some Diplomacy, Invading Iraq. He claims that Pollack has written that "toppling Saddam could "even be counterproductive [if the effort was] pursued in isolation."

Erik
04-04-2003, 02:29 PM
Opher, I don't disagree with your short synopsis or the article. This has been badly handled, in the extreme. I tend to cite the book because it contradicts, with facts, the vast majority of the hypothetical claims made by someone.

Pollack clearly argues for diplomacy and bringing the world community together on this one. I also think that Bush has paid the Palestinian / Israeli conflict little more than lip service. His recent policy has, if I remember correctly, a start date of 2005. Bush is 0 for 2 and has proven himself nearly incapable of diplomacy.

I'm not a Bush fan.

My thinking is that we are here and we should make the best of it. From what I can see, it's the best of the current alternatives. Ultimately, I hope we develop an alternative energy source or become far more environmentally sound. We are not dependent on Middle East oil and it's not about oil in the way it's made out to be but it sure would be nice to not have to deal with that part of the world. One of Pollack's arguments for war is that it will also get us out of the Middle East because we have to keep troops there to contain Saddam. Now, maybe, in time, we can get completely out of there.

opherdonchin
04-04-2003, 04:06 PM
I'm confused, Erik. What you are saying seems to me to be exactly what the article says Pollack is saying (and, implicitly, what the article thinks is right).

Where is the disagreement?

Erik
04-04-2003, 05:32 PM
I'm confused, Erik. What you are saying seems to me to be exactly what the article says Pollack is saying (and, implicitly, what the article thinks is right).

Where is the disagreement?
I don't think there is one. Maybe I'm so used to arguing with that other guy that I just have to make a point every time I post on the topic. :)

Kevin Leavitt
04-04-2003, 05:33 PM
Three issues Neil:

Rabid Dog analogy, gun to head "illegal war", and peaceful actions.

Rabid Dog: I think this is not a good analogy. A rabid dog is much easier to isolate and control than an enemy that you cannot identify that wants to use human shields, and heavily imbed into a "civilian" infrastructure. Again, I think the method of fighting we are using now is much better and more along the lines of trying to minimize civilian casualties than in the past. War is not clean and tidy, that is why we must do all we can to try to avoid it.

I certainly respect and appauld your efforts to avoid war, and prevent further wars....and I can certainly appreciate your anger that it is happening, but it is, and that is a fact!

One of the wisest things I have heard is give me the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to accept those that I cannot.

So, I accept it, and do the best I can to figure out how we can prevent things from coming to this in the future and minimizing civilian casualities.

We can argue about "who shot John" all day long...but in the end...he is still dead!

Gun to head-Illegal War topic:

Well you and I could argue all day long over the legitimacy of this war and we would never be able to unravel it, or agree on who was right! So I won't discuss this issue at all.

Same with the Gun to Head issue, The only point I am trying to make is that at some point diplomacy fails and you must accept that you cannot reason with someone who is not interested in reasoning. Again, we can argue until the cows come home on when you delinate and cut your losses...it is somewhat subjective in nature IMHO depending on your perspective, feeling, education, idealogy, and religion.

Did we exhaust all efforts? That we will never know cause we moved on to War as a means to the end. (not supporting any particular side...just stating a fact).

Peaceful Actions:

I have my own thesis and disertation on actions that could be taken, most I am sure you would agree with Neil, however, I think they are more strategic in nature and long term in application. They focus more on "Prevention" versus "Curing"

I like the lung cancer analogy...it is better to cure lung cancer by not smoking than to smoke 5 packs a day for 30 years and then try chemo and agressive treatment to cure it.

I personally think we committed ourselves to a war action in Iraq long before this issue. It goes back 12 years when we failed to institute change in our society, culture, and politics that would have prevented this from happening.

The best we can all do know is learn from our mistakes and figure out how we are going to solve them.

As a side bar: I am really disappointed that we are going to drill in alaska. It is wrong to do so if we are not willing to cut back on our consumption. I am willing to pay a higher price for gas, more taxes on non-fuel efficient cars, and give incentives for alternative fuel sources....but I really do not think Americans are ready to SACRIFICE for even our own good versus the good of the rest of the world.

No...they would rather side Me and My Fellow Soldiers into battle to solve problems that were created by the money raised by the oil that we are being held hostage over.

(No I do not subscribe to the War for Oil theory...just that the money we spent in the past for oil to support our habits is and will be used against us as a weapon.).

So if we are going to drill for oil, which I am willing to accept as a TEMPORARY solution to reducing foriegn dependency...it is only that TEMPORARY. What Sacrifices are we willing to make to become HARMONOUS with ourselves and our world which is STRATEGICALLY the real reason we have war.

I'll stop here for now!

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 07:55 PM
Your post requires a thoughful response, Kevin...I'll respond promptly.

Gosh, I wish Michael Neal could see this!!

His gosh, "I'm not a terrorist, so I'm safe," response looks weak when you consider this:

THIS MAN COULD WELL BE YOU, MICHAEL! (www.freemikehawash.org)

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 09:54 PM
Kevin:

We shall have to agree, to disagree.

I comdemn the use of cluster bombs, the bombing of Baghdad, the imminent humanitarian crises, and the wrongful death of every Iraqi citizen, under this illegal war.
So, I accept it, and do the best I can to figure out how we can prevent things from coming to this in the future and minimizing civilian casualities.

We can argue about "who shot John" all day long...but in the end...he is still dead!
Fine enough. It's reasonable to argue the present, rather than obsess upon past.

But, this is how all the military or political quagmires start. The leaders tell themselves that they CAN'T wihdraw NOW. And, they always miss some vital part of the equation in their mantra-to-war, and a lot of ppl die, on both sides.

All because some men couldn't allow themselves to appear "weak."

It's pretty assured that we're going to win this war. But, not without a lot of deaths.

And then...? Syria,,,,Iraq? N. Korea? Jordan? Egypt?
Same with the Gun to Head issue, The only point I am trying to make is that at some point diplomacy fails and you must accept that you cannot reason with someone who is not interested in reasoning.
Not entirely true. You can force a person to see reason, if you have 500,000 troops, waiting to attack.

But, we didn't try this, did we? We just attacked so that this whole mess will be forgotten, come election-day.
personally think we committed ourselves to a war action in Iraq long before this issue. It goes back 12 years when we failed to institute change in our society, culture, and politics that would have prevented this from happening.
I totally agree. Many of our problems involves a deep, societal and personal change on one level, and very little change, on another.

But, maybe it would start by stop being afraid of everything; what do you think?

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

Just heard a report of 61 dead, 450 injured (all civ's) at Al-Heela, all from cluster-bomb attack.

Question, Kevin: what are you thoughts on cluster bombs, on civilian populations? Why didn't the Pentagon paint them some other color (even tho they ordered it, it never happened), other than toy-bright yellow?

Just a few musings...

Neil Mick
04-05-2003, 09:02 PM
A Letter to the President of the United States from an American in Baghdad E-mail this

Print this

Kathy Kelly, Iraq Peace Team

1 April 2003

Dear President Bush,

I am quite out of the loop. The internet is down, the phones don’t work - just an occasional email can be sent through an obliging journalist. But I’d like simply to let you know that for the past two weeks of steady bombardment, I’ve yet to see any signs of liberation or of Iraqis eagerly awaiting your liberating wand. What we do hear, whenever a bomb explodes nearby, is a plaintive prayer chanted over a microphone at the local mosque: "Alah alahu akbar." God is greatest. "La il al allaha." There is no God but Allah.

The bombing has been very heavy for the past two nights, with blasts that cause the floors, windows and walls to shudder. Bombing continues during the daytime. Here at our hotel are two little girls whom I’ve grown to love, Zainab (1 and 1/2 years) and Miladh (age 3). They sleep in the bomb shelter with their mother, Umm Zaineb, while Abu Zaineb works as the night manager at the front desk. They laugh and play and sing and cuddle when I join them and their mother on the bed they share. But both little girls grind their teeth now. Miladh, a delicate child, often pretends that an airplane is coming toward her, and then she stiffens her back and flips backward, as though dead. It’s very difficult to distract her from this routine.

Last night, we heard a plane roar overhead and then bombs began falling. Following three deafening explosions, the electricity was suddenly cut. We hurried to supply Umm Zaineb with a flashlight as she guided her little ones, who were startled out of a sound sleep, down a staircase. After the children had settled down, Miladh began to play with the flashlight. I thought of creating "shadow shows" on the wall and of playing "Find Tinkerbell." But Miladh, whose beauty and sweetness would overwhelm you, wanted instead to target her mother, her sister and me with the flashlight and pretend to blast each of us. "All the time, now, you see," said her mother, "she wants only to play war."

President Bush, I promise you, little Miladh never wanted to play war until the sheer terror of it became part of her everyday life.

Could you kindly try very hard to imagine, from afar, what we hear and see here, at the Al Fanar Hotel in Baghdad? And could you please keep us in your prayers? Please pray that Miladh and Zaineb won’t be mutilated, maimed, crushed, or killed. And if you pray "The Lord’s Prayer," and if you utter the line "And deliver us from evil," pray that Iraq’s children will be delivered from the evil murder wrought by US weapons, day and night, here in Iraq.

Very sincerely yours,

Kathy Kelly

Baghdad

Kevin Leavitt
04-07-2003, 08:21 PM
Neil,

I cannot comment on a particular scenario involving cluster bombs since I don't have all the facts, nor can I be objective....

But, obviously it is immoral and wrong to use such weapons outright against civilians without a tactical or strategic plan to minimize loss. A good weapon used wrongly is not moral.

A good analogy would be me hitting you over the head with a bokken when your back was turned in the dojo.

Cluster bombs may have their place doctrinally, and obviously they have a much narrower application than precision guided weapons.

Just remember, guns don't kill people, people do! So it is not the cluster bomb itself that is wrong...just the application.

Kevin Leavitt
04-07-2003, 08:24 PM
Yea it sucks to get bombs dropped on your head. I hope that the little children of Iraq, (most of them), have the opportunity to grow up in a safe, unoppressive regime where their parents are not tortured, and they do not have to live in fear.

I hope that is turns out to be better that they have to endure this only for a short time versus a lifetime of death, destruction, and fear that they have endured for many, many years!

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 12:50 AM
Well, thanks, Kevin: I appreciate your response, even tho I think that it dodges the issue.

And the "opportunity to grow up in a safe, unoppressive regime...?"

Right now, I am wishing that for AMERICAN kids; they're not there, either...(at least, IMO)

Kevin Leavitt
04-08-2003, 08:13 PM
Yea we could argue that all day long Neil.

It is not up to me to define what "safe and unoppressive" is or is not.

From my own perspective I think that Americans on the large scale would tend to be less oppressed and much more safe than pre-war Iraq wouldn't you say?

But from a philosophical and cultural view,

Many in other religions and cultures would view the American way of life of captialism as a great "opate" and that we are a slave to our SUVs, big screen TVs etc.

How free is the guy who works for 20 years for the corporate american and dies of a heart attack at his desk trying to make the next mortgage payment on his 7000 square foot house?

At do think at least, that Americans (or at least I do) have the freedom to choose to not buy into the so called american dream, and for the most part, do what I want, and say what I want.

I think some people equate freedom with no responsibility....that is not the case. In order to attain at least some degree of freedom, their is a price to pay.

What we would argue about is what that price should be, and what is really worth fighting for!

Neil Mick
04-09-2003, 01:14 PM
You bring up several interesting points, Kevin.
It is not up to me to define what "safe and unoppressive" is or is not.

From my own perspective I think that Americans on the large scale would tend to be less oppressed and much more safe than pre-war Iraq wouldn't you say?
No, I don't. I have heard this Iraqi war called a "recruitment engine" for al Qaeda. Personally, I agree with this assessment, but only time (and hindsight) will be the true judge.

Since I have yet to be harmed by the actions of "pre-war" Iraqi's, I find no safety (or comfort) in knowing that my tax-dollars just bombed and invaded an ancient city. The initial evidence suggests the reverse is true.
Many in other religions and cultures would view the American way of life of captialism as a great "opate" and that we are a slave to our SUVs, big screen TVs etc.

How free is the guy who works for 20 years for the corporate american and dies of a heart attack at his desk trying to make the next mortgage payment on his 7000 square foot house?

At do think at least, that Americans (or at least I do) have the freedom to choose to not buy into the so called american dream, and for the most part, do what I want, and say what I want.
True enough: altho if you truly want freedom, freedom from all the negative aspects of American commcercialism, etc, you have to make a lot of sacrifices.

I remember once during the 80's, I substitute-taught a class in history. I decided to teach a class questioning the necessity to bomb Hiroshima, in WW2.

As you might imagine, the debates sounded a lot like some of the forum "discussions, here."

One fellow seemed particularly annoyed by the question itself. He equated the question with questioning "our way of life." I then asked him: what does it mean to have freedom, and democracy? Why is our system of governance so much better than, say: the USSR (this was during the late-80's).

After a lot of hemming and hawing, he said that we have the "freedom to watch, whatever we want, on TV."

In a sense, his answer was profound (which is why it stays with me). He equated freedom with the ability to choose which commercial product to consume; IOW, his ideas of freedom were completely framed by advertising, and commercialism.

(If you think I read too much into this, I asked him to define other aspects: he couldn't).

IMM, Americans don't even know the meaning of democracy, as they participate so little, in the process.
I think some people equate freedom with no responsibility....that is not the case. In order to attain at least some degree of freedom, their is a price to pay.

What we would argue about is what that price should be, and what is really worth fighting for!
I am reminded of a photograph: several ppl were sitting at a restaurant table, 3 African-American's, 2 white's. Around them were about six ppl, dumping food on their heads.

Of course, this picture was taken during the racist segregation struggles during the 60's.

The look on the ppl's faces: the embarrassment, the resolution: many of the complexities, all written on the faces of those ppl, struggling to end segregation.

That, IMM, is what "democracy looks like."

DanielR
04-09-2003, 02:51 PM
I am reminded of a photograph: several ppl were sitting at a restaurant table, 3 African-American's, 2 white's. Around them were about six ppl, dumping food on their heads.

Of course, this picture was taken during the racist segregation struggles during the 60's.

The look on the ppl's faces: the embarrassment, the resolution: many of the complexities, all written on the faces of those ppl, struggling to end segregation.

That, IMM, is what "democracy looks like."
This is interesting... One could argue that's how the absence of democracy looks like, under assumption that equal freedoms to all is an integral part of democracy as we understand it.

One other thought: US soldiers in Iraq - that's also a face of democracy, in a way.

opherdonchin
04-09-2003, 11:03 PM
People often equate the value they call freedom and the value they call democracy. I'm not sure that they are actually the same.

I also think that in the age of modern advertising, where popular opinion can be so easily predicted and manipulated, the old notion of democracy needs to be re-evaluated. It may no longer serve the same purpose it once did.

makuchg
05-07-2004, 11:44 AM
For those who have not read my posts, my name is Greg Makuch, I am stationed at the Abu Ghuraib prison in Iraq. I would like to comment briefly on this issue.

War is an ugly event, regardless of which side you are on. The ugliest side is the civilian casualties. However, I hope we all don't base our interpretation of the events in Iraq on the four or five stories run on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. I would like to talk a minute in response to the letter from Baghdad, posted above. While the scenario is extremely sad, so is the reality that if that little girl had grown up under the past regime, her life would have depended on whether she was Shi'ite, Kurdish, or Sunni. She would not have a choice to decide her future, her government would have.

It is hard to drive through here seeing people who live in mud houses and use donkeys to travel, because that is all they had, in a country with large oil reserves and vast wealth. I watched children herd sheep with no shoes and no coats in the middle of January (weather in January is like South Carolina). I now see children (boys and girls) walking to school in clean uniforms. I see houses that had no electricity now have ample power for a refridgerator. Yes there are alot of things that need to be done, and progress is slow in some areas due to insurgent activities, but support from the formerly opressed is high. I see it everyday.

Sorry, I only meant a short response, sometimes I get lengthy.

From Abu Ghuraib

Greg Makuch

Hogan
05-11-2004, 04:13 PM
...G-dSpeed..

Mc

Hey Jaime - quick question, and you don't have to answer, of course, but how come you deleted the 'o' from GodSpeed above ? Submitting to the p/c people ? C'mon, I had hope for you ! Your signature line says 'Diplomacy in the face of tyranny is appeasement' ! Don't appease the p/c folks !

;)
just kidding....

makuchg
05-11-2004, 06:21 PM
I do truly believe in the cause that we are here to support. I don't necessarily agree with the "political" reasons why we are here, however I do agree with assisting the Iraqi people with attaining a sense of liberty and freedom. I have children the ages of some of the kids I see and I would hate for my kids not to have all the opportunities in life that are available. If I can help one child achieve something that would have been otherwise unobtainable to them, I have been a success.

I have chose to end my military career for several reasons-
1. politics continues to overpower common sense
2. my children, who have spent far too much time away from me, deserve a Dad who is at home, not in the Middle East. I have deployed three times to this region in the last 2 years, I'll have 700+ days in the area at the end of this deployment.

Although I feel strongly about the good we have done, the reality is all the good in the world without a plan is for nothing. I support the decision to come here, regardless of the way it was verbalized, and I support what we have done for the Iraqi people, even if a few sh*theads acted like barbarians. However the reality is that in todays high tempo military, deployments are the norm and I don't want to be away from my family any more.

I appreciate the well wishes I have received. Thank you all!

Greg Makuch

MitchMZ
05-11-2004, 06:47 PM
Despite my feelings on the war, I think many of the basic freedoms we value as Americans are getting stripped away while people's attention is focused elsewhere.

Heres a quick look at an essay I was working on that explains a new direction to freedom of speech:

"Strong morals and a strong sense of freedom to say what we want have always been valued highly in our society. This country was founded on high moral standards influenced by Christianity, which obviously tend to creep into government values; this can be a good thing and a bad thing. This in turn, motivates many people to want to censor material if they don’t agree with it or find it morally offensive.
But, this is potentially very dangerous to freedom of speech as we know it. The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 (S. 2056) allows the government to impose larges fines on any material that the Federal Communications Commission deems “indecent.” This legislation would allow the FCC to also fine artists, comedians, and musicians. This is potentially the a large step in the direction of not having freedom to express what we want as a society. The definition of “indecent” can potentially mean anything the FCC wants it to. This is very vague legislation (ACLU).
Government control of free speech goes against our basic American values. Yet, it is happening as we speak with things such as this new legislation. There is no way to describe what offensive or indecent material is. All of these are norms created by society itself. Citizens of this country should never have to shy away from issues because fear of being fined or prosecuted.
Consider the case of a writing instructor at Forsyth Technical Community College in North Carolina. Elizabeth Ito has wanted the class to express their opinions on the Iraq War in a writing assignment after she explained her opposition to it. She provided a forum for the students to discuss opinions about the war. Ito was then scheduled to meet with the dean of the college after two of the students complained about her opinions on the war. The dean demanded a promise that she would never again discuss the war in class. She refused, but instead said that she would not express any of her opinions if the topic came up. Soon a letter came up that accused her of “insubordination,” yet, the letter also indicated that the dean had considered the issue resolved. This instructor was soon released from the college (FIRE).
Those students may have found that offensive. But, being able to express opinions in a fundamental right of having freedom of speech. Something we value highly in America. Whether you agree with a person’s opinions or not, our country and constitution was founded on the premise that everyone would be able to express them. Under our constitution, there is no such thing that states, “Opinions and values are not valid if you don’t agree with them, and if you don‘t agree you should take action to suppress that view through censorship.” Yet our government now has control over many of the elements of this freedom. Teachers as much as anyone, should not have to fear for their jobs if they express their opinions. In many ways, the students who were offended forced their beliefs onto Ito.
In the past few decades, the school system in America and around the world has also seen a plethora of books being banned in schools and being branded as “inappropriate” or “obscene.” These books range from “Black Beauty,” a story about a horse, to “Little Red Riding Hood.” Many of these were banned due to laws passed by the government in the past forty years. Once again, many of these laws prohibited “obscene material” such as these books from getting into schools (Banned Books Online). Once again, how can we as a nation clearly define obscene? It is a vague term in general, so one person’s perspective of what is obscene could be completely different than someone else’s.
Although censorship is a complex issue, there are some possible solutions. Organizations such as the Internet Content Rating Association are searching for balance on this issue. Instead of censoring material, they instead want to impose a stringent internet rating system to empower parents. But, these also want to freedom of speech. Simply, to allow people to have choice (ICRA).
There is no law that stating that a person has to view any type of media they don’t want to, so if someone feels a book or movie they are reading or watching in class is offensive, they should talk with the instructor to make special arrangements. Practically speaking, it makes no sense to censor most material because a minority of people oppose it. In turn, something also shouldn’t be censored because the majority opposes it.
Americans have a strong sense of freedom, and to keep freedom of speech from being corrupted any further, we must act soon. This could simply mean accepting different views and not handing out our freedoms to government. This is no easy task, though. We live in a world of fear, and when people see things that offend them its scary. And, when people are afraid to say things because it may offend someone its not good either. Freedom of Speech is the most highly valued of all the American freedoms, in my opinion. Ironically, this is also the freedom that has eroded most over time. Due to the actions of many Americans concerned with making America “better.” Forcing restrictions on opinions and content; whether it be the government or the people doing it, is not freedom of speech. I feel that freedom of speech has started to become an oxymoron in many cases. Censorship is contradictory to true American values."

Politics and propaganda are just business/marketing 101. If you understand business, you will understand world and American values, lol. There is no doubt in my mind if Kerry was in office right now pushing for the things Bush is, Bush would be totally against all of what he is pushing for now. That is the nature of most leaders; to be spineless. How many politicians relatives died at the World Trade Centers? ;)

MitchMZ
05-11-2004, 10:53 PM
Greg has a good head on his shoulders. People are so quick to try and discredit me and others for being cowards because we don't believe in this war, war in general, have family to tend to, etc. But, that would make them hypocrites, because most of the people that called me cowards are my age and believe in the supposed cause, yet arent willing to serve themselves. These people make excuses. I almost signed up not because I agree with the occupation; but rather so I could help stop the beatings of prisoners, try save Iraqi and American lives, etc. This is a romantic view. But, then I realize I don't need to be in the military to help people, I could just go over there as a merc, in which case I'd probably end up dead from either US forces or Iraqi forces. Especially because I can barely even kill a bug. Hell, I've been punhced by an angry drunk and just laughed it off. I think my views of peace are just as idealistic as someones views that are pro war. Because its almost impossible to gain anything good from war (unless you view resources or land as good reasons for it, which is materialism and ethnocentrism), just as its almost impossible to expect people to get along and live in harmony. Although logically speaking, it seems using peaceful means to acheive peace is a much more direct route. But, that is also an idealistic thought. When people say "love it or leave it" I cringe. If our forefathers wouldn't have challenged British authority, there wouldnt be a United States as we know it. If you have the view that America is the best or that there is no need for improvement; that is ignorance and ethnocentrism at its finest. For example; If you truly loved someone and you knew they had nasty habits, would you just ignore the habits and go about your life? No. You would criticize them or confront them. The only true Americans are the Native Americans who our government raped this country from. We also cannot forget that the industrial aspect of this country was built by immigrants from other countries. America is more of an ideal than an actual country, and I fear that ideal is being overshadowed by arrogance and ignorance by people living within its very borders.

MitchMZ
05-12-2004, 11:15 AM
http://www.notinourname.net/downloads/mejia.mp3

I totally agree with this man. And, I like that he is taking responsiblity for his choice. There have been other soliders such as the SSG that have been crucified by this administration. For example, a veteran of the Iraq war that spoke out against it was denied health care.

What about the nuclear materials left behind in the Iraqi people's country? The A-10s do use depleted uranium shells; which have and are making some GIs and Iraqis very sick. Did you know that one and four Gulf War veterans are now disabled? IMO, we are harming the country just as much as we are helping. For every picture or story I see of a US soldier helping someone, I see another one where soldiers are acting anything but honorably. Which is understandable, because war is a terrible thing. IMO, this is because half the people in the US military are really outstanding, and half are ignorant fools that just want revenge for something they don't understand. That is another thing that also made me lose my taste to serve. If someone wants to help me by bringing a full scale war to my country, I think I'd pass. I think a lot of Americans lose sight of how nasty war is because honestly, we are lucky enough to have a lot of gun toting citizens and a good place geographically in the world. Which has allowed us the fight most wars on someone elses soil.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5365.htm

Personally, I found this very gross. IF you support war, you have to support everything that happens in war. They don't venture out on the streets and touch each other magic wands. War turns people into killers.

MitchMZ
05-12-2004, 11:57 AM
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0412041memo1.html

IMO, its easy to use the sob story method as a logical fallacy for 9/11. It was a terrible event and a lot of people died, but, this administration took the sympathy the world felt, and turned it into hatred. Good job.

IMO, the government knew 9/11 was coming. My dad actually said that a lot of his clients and friends that do business in NY got calls that there meetings at the WTC were cancelled that morning before it happened. Seems kind of fishy...If Bush would have tried to prevent it and grounded all flights before anything happened, and nothing did happen, people would be pissed and it wouldnt have been any gain to him politically!

IMO, 9/11 has been used as A HUGE benefit politically to this administration. What better to TRY and justify wars in the middle east!? What better to focus the peoples attention elsewhere so you can strip away more rights? Should I also ignore that relatives of Bin Laden were flown out of this country while most planes were grounded? (I actually knew a kid in high school that was a distant relative of Bin Laden, he was a really nice kid, really smart.) I think there is something bigger than you and me going on here. Which is why I'm not planning on playing any role in it, if I want to help people I'll join the peace corps. Hate me as much as you want, I merely try and search for the truth, no matter how much it hurts me. One things for sure, I won't be voting for Bush or Kerry come election time. They are both spineless businessmen. Hell, they are even related.

Neil Mick
05-13-2004, 02:34 PM
And so, we see how one person (who may, or may not, be currently practicing Aikido, as his dojo-link announces the dojo as closed, and...quite possibly: is posting on a fictictious name) controls political discourse by encouraging dicourse when he wants to, and closes threads when he doesn't, by lobbing personal attacks--several of them calling into question my rank and standing in Aikido.

If this person is so "brave and patriotic," then why does he balk at publishing his real name, and the dojo where he trains? Normally, I'd say that it is irrelevant, but when my rank is ridiculed, then you are calling into question the judgement of Saotame Sensei, who awarded my rank.

I guarantee you, that he would take this issue very seriously. If this post'er cannot seem to engage in polite discourse without sabotaging the discussion, why is he here? Why does the moderator continue to lock ALL threads, whenever he posts a negative response?

Is this the essence of Aikido, for political discourse to be held hostage by the vitriolic ramblings of an online bully? A bully who may not even be an Aikidoist?

John Boswell
05-13-2004, 02:39 PM
Polite discourse?

I'm still waiting for your signature to go away.

It is rude and offensive, hence... so are you.

So who's the bully?

Neil Mick
05-13-2004, 02:55 PM
Polite discourse?

I'm still waiting for your signature to go away.

It is rude and offensive, hence... so are you.

So who's the bully?

Excuse me?? You show me where, in my sig: that I am directly insulting ANYONE. I am posting documentation, of my political views. I'm sorry that you fail to see the difference between a simple posting of fatalities, and referring to someone by disparaging names, or questioning rank.

I suppose you were offended when Dan Rather read off the names of the deceased. Sorry, but since I attack no one in my sig: I might suggest that your idea of my being "rude" is...partisan.

Certainly, nothing like posting my private emails on a public website (and, if I were to publish some of the more personal suggestions of HIS emails, this thread would be locked in a heartbeat).

Get a clue, John. We have never personally insulted each other, and if I saw you on the mat, your politics wouldn't matter.

If you question my RANK, either here or online: then that goes beyond personal. That insults my Sensei.

Now, you SURE you want to side with someone who commonly employs this tactic?


He means after barraging me with obnoxious insulting e-mails he cries to the moderators that people are being mean to him in the other thread and requests to have it locked...

which he seeks none of.

actually for him its about his soapbox and an ignore button to any dissenting views

I won't even mention the insults, the elitist wannabe new world samurai has posted on his own, or his tact of "I am done talking to you" only to attack in later posts, its all in that thread he had locked. its all there...

Unless its in a barrage of e-mails or if its done through your alter-ego Ham.

Hah the ego.... that pretty black belt you wear I think is too tight... the emporer welcomes continued thought... As long as he thinks he has a leg up on you.

A person can have differences of opinion, yet respect other aspects of his life. Can you?

akiy
05-13-2004, 04:24 PM
Please take personal discussions off of the public boards and into private messaging. Thank you.

-- Jun

MitchMZ
05-13-2004, 06:18 PM
It is much easier to be critical than correct. This goes for my view of things, as well as people's thoughts on my views. I'm just happy to have beliefs that don't require everyone to believe what I believe. Sometimes, I just like to make people think.

Neil Mick
05-14-2004, 04:04 AM
It is much easier to be critical than correct. This goes for my view of things, as well as people's thoughts on my views. I'm just happy to have beliefs that don't require everyone to believe what I believe. Sometimes, I just like to make people think.

Well-said. That's much the same way I feel, as well.

Taliesin
05-19-2004, 11:03 AM
Just out of curiosity, are there any plans to convert the USA into a Democracy rather than a Plutocracy (I ask now since the US Presidential auction appears to have begun). And will George W (by the way is it true his middle name is Walker with an 'n') ever learn the concepts of evidence, or rule of law or due process. Or will it be the same I'm President if you don't support me, you must be the enemy.

After all his war to promote terrorism seems to have eroded the freedoms he was supposed to be fighting for, and destroyed the security we had in the name of greater security. Lets hope he doesn't manage to buy the presidency.

Neil Mick
05-19-2004, 10:50 PM
Just out of curiosity, are there any plans to convert the USA into a Democracy rather than a Plutocracy (I ask now since the US Presidential auction appears to have begun). And will George W (by the way is it true his middle name is Walker with an 'n') ever learn the concepts of evidence, or rule of law or due process. Or will it be the same I'm President if you don't support me, you must be the enemy.

After all his war to promote terrorism seems to have eroded the freedoms he was supposed to be fighting for, and destroyed the security we had in the name of greater security. Lets hope he doesn't manage to buy the presidency.

Actually, the real worry I have about the upcoming election is a similar steal done in the same manner as in Florida, with the electronic ballot-boxes. Now, they're much more widespread, and their unreliability is well-documented.

Neil Mick
05-21-2004, 03:13 PM
The photos and news of abuse keep coming in from Iraq, not to mention Rafah. It's sickening; worse to read of the occasional opinion that "aww, it's not torture!" from the apologists.

As the moral barometer begins to slip for the USOA, so will the moral relativism slip down the scale for the apologists. It's a very sad time in America, with respect to world politics. :(

James Giles
05-21-2004, 09:27 PM
It's a very sad time in America, with respect to world politics. :(

Its also a very sad time in America economically. Everything is going up except for wages. In fact wages are going down. I wonder if Ralph Nader has any solutions in mind to help us get out of this mess.

Neil Mick
05-22-2004, 05:30 PM
Its also a very sad time in America economically. Everything is going up except for wages. In fact wages are going down. I wonder if Ralph Nader has any solutions in mind to help us get out of this mess.

You know? I really don't know what a Ralph Nader Presidentcy would look like. But, he'd be up against a very powerful bloc--the oil companies. To get us truly out of this mess, we'd have to convert the economy from a wartime, oil-intensive economy to one that focuses upon alternative sources of energy, to run it. And that's just for starters. He'd have to be teflon against the attacks from the usual Republican-smear's, to even get his programs going.

Most importantly, American's have to really WANT to change. And, they don't. Not yet, anyway.

James Giles
05-22-2004, 11:53 PM
Most importantly, American's have to really WANT to change. And, they don't. Not yet, anyway.

Hey Neil, perhaps when American's cannot afford to drive to work anymore, or better yet EAT(!!), they will decide it is time for a change!

Neil Mick
05-23-2004, 12:21 PM
Hey Neil, perhaps when American's cannot afford to drive to work anymore, or better yet EAT(!!), they will decide it is time for a change!

Hey James, good to hear from you. Yes, I think that when the cost of gas gets too high then things will begin to change (see "Peak Oil"). But, as that is happening we'll first have the mainstream media telling us all that the situation is "only temporary," with "no cause for alarm."

Things might even seem to go "back to normal" for awhile as the US taps into its reserves (depending upon how the Peak Oil phenomenon affects the US), but very quickly ppl will realize that there IS no "back to normal," after all.

Mainstream media is the propaganda-machine for the status quo. They're very good at telling us all theat "it is all cause for alarm; but our leaders know what they're doing and it will all be OK, soon."

James Giles
05-24-2004, 02:21 PM
Mainstream media is the propaganda-machine for the status quo. They're very good at telling us all theat "it is all cause for alarm; but our leaders know what they're doing and it will all be OK, soon."

Hey Neil, good to hear from you too. Yes, the way the U.S. media is used to condition the minds of Americans into complete submission reminds me of the mind-control tactics used by the Nazis in WWII. But Bush does not have the love for nation that Hitler possessed. This is proven by his amnesty initiatives and his desire to give outsiders free reign when they come to our country. His policy seems to be "put the American taxpayer last".

Neil Mick
05-27-2004, 01:28 PM
I dunno: I see Bush as acting on the wishes of the conglomeration of his supporters. He has a strong voting-bloc of Hispanic voters, and so he needs to make some measures towards resolving the migrant-worker issue. Certainly, just increasing the firepower on the borders doesn't do any good. So, he came up with this lame "temporary guest" program, that doesn't really solve anything. But, you don't hear much about this program anymore...I wonder what the status of it, is?

Frankly, all I hear from DC nowadays is damage control, about Iraq. That little speech about the "status" of Iraq was a real joke, certainly not intended for the Iraqi's. When it was given...4AM, their time...hardly anyone was awake to hear it.

Nowadays, it's all about how this or that policy affects the elections, in November. This is truly unfortunate, as our policy in Iraq is quickly taking on critical importance. It shouldn't be a political football.

James Giles
05-27-2004, 04:40 PM
I dunno: I see Bush as acting on the wishes of the conglomeration of his supporters. He has a strong voting-bloc of Hispanic voters, and so he needs to make some measures towards resolving the migrant-worker issue. Certainly, just increasing the firepower on the borders doesn't do any good.

Perhaps if he pulled the troops out of Iraq and stationed them at the borders it would do some good. That would be helping out the American people though, so Bush probably wouldn't agree to that.


Frankly, all I hear from DC nowadays is damage control, about Iraq......Nowadays, it's all about how this or that policy affects the elections, in November.

It really doesn't matter which globalist, Kerry or Bush, wins the election in November. Either way, the American people are going to get screwed.

Yes the whole situation in Iraq is becoming tiresome. Ever since Bush set foot in the White House a dark cloud has been cast over the U.S. I'll admit that the Clinton years plunged our country into a downward spiral of moral decline, but at least we weren't at war, people were working and gasoline was affordable. I hope that one day we will once again see happy times in America.

P.S. did you hear about the female officer that was abusing the prisoners in Iraq having the charges dropped against her? What is the deal with that?
[/QUOTE]

Ian Williams
05-29-2004, 07:32 AM
Here is my 2c. I am an Australian.

I wept on Sept 12. It was awful. It was unthinkable. It was scary. A few days/a week maybe later they had the changing of the guard in buckingham palace, and the band played "The Stars and Stripes" instead of God save the Queen out of respect. I wept again.

America had my sympathy, and it had my respect for the gutsy way the people picked themselves up and got on with their life.

Then along came Mr Bush. The axis of evil rubbish - the "if you're not with us, you're aganist us" threats and intimidation to the rest of the world. The corny childish "black and white" good versus evil battle rhetoric. The "War on Terror".. what a stupid stupid name for a stupid concept, but none the less, I supported the removal of the taliban in afghanistan. They did harbour and support Bin Laden.

but then............. the Mother of all Side Steps.. Iraq. The Bush family bugbear. What did this have to do with combatting world terrorism? Nothing. True to the vast majority of informed opion, it has ended up a disaster.

Both Afghanistan and Iraq are now basket case countries, racked by division and hot houses of terrorism.

The USA, mainly through the incompetent, amazingly narrow minded man in the white house has completely lost the majority of the sympathy that the world offered post September 11. The complete irony of a fundamentalist religious leader (Bush) going to war against fundamentalism seems to be lost on so many people.

I still weep for the victims of September 11, but now I also weep for what the USA has become since then.

Neil Mick
06-02-2004, 03:11 PM
Ever since Bush set foot in the White House a dark cloud has been cast over the U.S. I'll admit that the Clinton years plunged our country into a downward spiral of moral decline, but at least we weren't at war, people were working and gasoline was affordable. I hope that one day we will once again see happy times in America.



Considering that Kerry is offering up no exit-strategy for Iraq, I fear that happier days will be a long time coming, no matter who wins in November. :(

Neil Mick
06-09-2004, 05:47 AM
Shocking. The President can now torture whom he likes, says the Pentagon. This is incredible.

Could someone please explain, how we can call ourselves a democracy anymore? Consider: a person who is president of a democracy must be bound by laws, right? Isn't that the true test of a democracy? That the elected head does not have absolute authority?

I need a little help, in the rationale for keeping this yoyo in office, for one more day. :(

James Giles
06-10-2004, 01:12 AM
Shocking. The President can now torture whom he likes, says the Pentagon. This is incredible.

Could someone please explain, how we can call ourselves a democracy anymore? Consider: a person who is president of a democracy must be bound by laws, right? Isn't that the true test of a democracy? That the elected head does not have absolute authority?

I need a little help, in the rationale for keeping this yoyo in office, for one more day. :(

Hey Neil. Yes, it is very scary that so much power has been granted to the President and other government officials (law enforcement, etc.) in the name of the "war on terrorism". I can see where it would be very easy for them to abuse these powers and even turn them against U.S. citizens.

I even read somewhere that since the Korean war was never officially ended, every U.S. President since then has had the power to do all kinds of tyrannical acts to the American people (if necessary), because we are in a "state of war". I don't think it was the founding father's intentions to give so much power to one man either. The President is supposed to uphold the Constitution, but here lately, not many of them seem to care about that anymore.... :rolleyes:

Neil Mick
06-11-2004, 01:26 PM
HeI even read somewhere that since the Korean war was never officially ended, every U.S. President since then has had the power to do all kinds of tyrannical acts to the American people (if necessary), because we are in a "state of war". I don't think it was the founding father's intentions to give so much power to one man either. The President is supposed to uphold the Constitution, but here lately, not many of them seem to care about that anymore.... :rolleyes:

Too true, about the perpetual state of war, with N. Korea. Believe it or not, there's is STILL a WW1-era law that allows the President to jail ppl for speaking out against the draft, in wartime! :O

But, this flaunting of the Geneva Conventions is a first. Not even Hitler flaunted the Conventions--in my mind, Bush is mounting a defence for the real possibility of being brought up on charges.

We can only hope...

Hogan
06-13-2004, 08:42 AM
...But, this flaunting of the Geneva Conventions is a first. Not even Hitler flaunted the Conventions--in my mind, Bush is mounting a defence for the real possibility of being brought up on charges.

We can only hope...


One of the most ridiculous, ignorant statements I have ever heard. Countries REGULARLY violate the geneva convention.

Hitler - HA ! One of thousands examples:
The Great Escape - in revenge, the SS shot and murdered 50 of the escapees. VIOLATION. I am shocked to think that this is not a violation.... in YOUR MIND.

Irag War 1:
US prisoners regularly beaten and abused, including RAPE. VIOLATION. I am shocked to think that this is not a violation.... in YOUR MIND.

Vietnam:
US prisoners regularly beaten, abused, murdered. VIOLATION. I am shocked to think that this is not a violation.... in YOUR MIND.

WWII:
US prisoners regularly beaten, abused, murdered, by both Japan and Germany. VIOLATION. I am shocked to think that this is not a violation.... in YOUR MIND.

And of course, lets not talk about the millions of people Hitler and Hussein killed, or are you not worried about what dictators do to their own people ? Or are you just concerned what the US does in war ? A country that regularly tries NOT to hurt civilians, unlike others.

Suggestion:
You start reading and learning history before you make even more of an a$! of yourself, in OUR MIND.


ATTN JUN:
You have regularly spoken against people here insulting others, well this thread has insulted every american. I suggest you close this thread to be consistent with your own policies, before this site becomes a laughing stock, and before this site becomes known as not an aikido site but an anti-american site populated by people ignorant of history.

PeterR
06-13-2004, 08:04 PM
well this thread has insulted every American.
The scandal in Iraq has insulted every American. Except of those who did the dirty deeds.

Neil Mick
06-13-2004, 08:58 PM
ATTN JUN:
You have regularly spoken against people here insulting others, well this thread has insulted every american. I suggest you close this thread to be consistent with your own policies, before this site becomes a laughing stock, and before this site becomes known as not an aikido site but an anti-american site populated by people ignorant of history.

Ah, John: back for more, I see? Well, let's address your note to Jun, first. I cannot speak for him, but my understanding is that he (rightfully) takes umbrage to ppl insulting each other.

And my post insulted no one, as I am about to show you. Nor, do I plan to do it with this one. But, I shall take you to task. But let's be clear: no insults are forthcoming.

One of the most ridiculous, ignorant statements I have ever heard. Countries REGULARLY violate the geneva convention.

Now, let's close this in the bud, shall we? Particularly, your tendency to "vent, before you consider," the meaning of what you read.

Usage Note: Flaunt as a transitive verb means "to exhibit ostentatiously": She flaunted her wealth. To flout is "to show contempt for": She flouted the proprieties. For some time now flaunt has been used in the sense "to show contempt for," even by educated users of English. This usage is still widely seen as erroneous and is best avoided.

And so, I sit corrected. I MEANT to say: "flout." Thank you for (unknowingly) bringing the mistake to my attention.

Now, back to this:

Hitler - HA ! One of thousands examples:
The Great Escape - in revenge, the SS shot and murdered 50 of the escapees. VIOLATION. I am shocked to think that this is not a violation.... in YOUR MIND.

You see? It's this tendency to shoot first, and ask questions later in your posts, that's so...annoying.

No, obviously--I didn't MEAN that Hitler didn't violate the Geneva Convention. OBVIOUSLY, he did. As do, many other nations, including, presently: the US.

But, Hitler had never considered actually CHALLENGING the Conventions, or their merits. Bush's lawyers are doing this, by finding new definitions of what "is" is (or, what "torture" is/isn't).

OK? Now, if you'd asked for clarification instead of shooting off: I wouldn't be bringing you to task, would I?

Netiquette: it's not just a good idea...it's the Law! :)


And now you rev up into high gear, here:


Irag War 1:
US prisoners regularly beaten and abused, including RAPE. VIOLATION. I am shocked to think that this is not a violation.... in YOUR MIND.

Vietnam:
US prisoners regularly beaten, abused, murdered. VIOLATION. I am shocked to think that this is not a violation.... in YOUR MIND.

WWII:
US prisoners regularly beaten, abused, murdered, by both Japan and Germany. VIOLATION. I am shocked to think that this is not a violation.... in YOUR MIND.


Huh??? You see where misunderstanding leads you? Completely false statements, and misrepresentations. Tsk. I NEVER said these things, and how sad for you that you cannot the difference, between what I said, and what you think I meant.

And of course, lets not talk about the millions of people Hitler and Hussein killed, or are you not worried about what dictators do to their own people ?

Talk about them all you like, but try to remain roughly on-topic (um, what IS the topic again, now that we lost the IRaqi thread?? :freaky: )

Or are you just concerned what the US does in war ?

I am concerned what the US DOES, period. It's MY tax-dollars out there killing, maiming and destroying people. You might see this in an abstract, historical perspective: I do not. I feel OUTRAGED to see what this war is doing. Would you like to see, just a little sample? I'll be happy to send you a PM, because if I posted some of the pictures here, Jun would close this thread down in a minute (I know I would!)

A country that regularly tries NOT to hurt civilians, unlike others.

Unless, you're an Arab-American. Or, a Japanese-American, circa WW2. Or, an Amerindian. Or...

Suggestion:
You start reading and learning history before you make even more of an a$! of yourself, in OUR MIND.

Now that I have politely, and without insult, fully explained my position: please indulge me while I comment on this last statement.

:crazy: :D :D :p :freaky: :yuck:

Having said my humble remarks, I bid you a fond farewell. Bon chance! And, try to watch something else besides Fox, OK? 50%+ of its viewing-audience still doesn't know that there were no wmd's found. :blush:

Hogan
06-14-2004, 02:03 PM
...But, Hitler had never considered actually CHALLENGING the Conventions, or their merits. Bush's lawyers are doing this, by finding new definitions of what "is" is (or, what "torture" is/isn't).

While avoiding all else you say in this, and other ridiculous threads, this I will attempt to address.

Now correct me if I am "wrong", but I understand the admin to be trying to "challenge" the Conventions as what does apply to whom and what doesn't. Al qeada is NOT a signatory, nor are other terrorists, or "enemy combatants". This means, since they are not signatories, torture allowed. However, Iraq, I THINK, IS a signatory (please correct me if not), then the "abuse" is wrong and the "abusers" should be punished.

... And, try to watch something else besides Fox, OK? 50%+ of its viewing-audience still doesn't know that there were no wmd's found. :blush:


I am a card carrrying ACLU member and a democrat, and I don't watch FOX. This just shows you how wrong you are, as always.

Neil Mick
06-14-2004, 06:50 PM
While avoiding all else you say in this, and other ridiculous threads, this I will attempt to address.

Oh, how gracious...I am so honored. ;)

Now correct me if I am "wrong", but I understand the admin to be trying to "challenge" the Conventions as what does apply to whom and what doesn't.

You're wrong.

I don't know what you call the President consulting lawyers to redefine the term "torture," as anything else but underming the nature of the Geneva Conventions. Once you get to the slippery slope of juggling the basic definitions of the Geneva Conventions, then you also allow the enemy to make similar jugglings, for potential American prisoner's, as well.

So, shall we have, say: Iranian soldiers in the future, defending their treatment of US soldiers of sleep deprivation, sexual molestation, electricity, and threatening use of dogs as "not torture," or "necessary questioning, to save the lives of millions of Iranian's?" Surely, you see the problems this action engenders.

Do you really enjoy supporting a President who gets us into this sticky, thorny path? It's a double-sided sword we brandish--redefining torture--and it will bite us in the neck, in the very near future. Think about this, the next time you invect your outrage over the treatment of American's abroad.

Al qeada is NOT a signatory, nor are other terrorists, or "enemy combatants". This means, since they are not signatories, torture allowed.

Wrong again. You really ought to read the Geneva Conventions, instead of rote-repeating of Fox. There IS no such definition of "enemy combatants" in the Conventions. That category simply doesn't exist, and is a convenient dodge that Bush is using.

Consider, I break a law--say I rob a store. I do everything a robber does...steal, wave a weapon around, etc...but, when it's time to charge me, I loudly claim that I am not a "perpetrator:" I'm a revolutionary for the Communist rebellion, and the courts of the land hold no sway over me.

Can you imagine how quickly I'd be laughed straight into the pen? This, in essence, is what Bush is trying to do.

However, Iraq, I THINK, IS a signatory (please correct me if not), then the "abuse" is wrong and the "abusers" should be punished.

Respectfully, you do not understand the full elements of this issue. I agree: the abusers SHOULD be punished,,,as should all of the officers, politician's, and private contractor's who engaged in this travesty.

Did you know that Major Jeffrey Miller, the officer sent over to "Gitmo'ize" Al Ghraib, approving similar techniques used in Gitmo, over in Al Ghraib, and the other prisons.

Hello? "The same" techniques?? But, supposedly: the Gitmo prisoners are "enemy combatants," not subject to the Geneva Conventions. So, why use these same techniques over on the prisoners of Al Ghraib? A 6-year-old could tell, that something's fishy over in DC.

I am a card carrrying ACLU member and a democrat, and I don't watch FOX. This just shows you how wrong you are, as always.

It shows that you watch media and vote, outside the box. Congratulations. It also shows the futility of assumptions, on my part.

But, it also shows how much of a logical leap that you're comfortable with, as this proves NOTHING of whether I'm "usually" wrong/right. :confused:

I can almost imagine you now, in the first grade:

Johnny: Teacher, 2+2=5, right?
Teacher: (*Smacking Johnny with ruler*) WRONG, Johnny, wrong again!! You were WRONG on this problem, and you're ALWAYS WRONG!!! WRONG, WRONG,,,

{Two stern-looking men in white coats drag the teacher off, to a nice, padded, "burnout" room. Poor Johnny, however, is scarred for life, mixing life's morality lessons, and cheerleading a thug, in office}

The moral? Two wrongs, don't necessarily spell a successive wrong, in a series circuit. :crazy:

Neil Mick
06-14-2004, 07:20 PM
And, the fellows implicated in the torture carry disturbing, religious beliefs about this conflict:


[url=http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0520-03.htmThe Religious Warrior of Abu Ghraib
An Evangelical US General played a Pivotal Role in Iraqi Prison Reform[/url]

Saving General Boykin seemed like a strange sideshow last October. After it was revealed that the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence had been regularly appearing at evangelical revivals preaching that the US was in a holy war as a "Christian nation" battling "Satan", the furore was quickly calmed.

Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary, explained that Boykin was exercising his rights as a citizen: "We're a free people." President Bush declared that Boykin "doesn't reflect my point of view or the point of view of this administration". Bush's commission on public diplomacy had reported that in nine Muslim countries, just 12% believed that "Americans respect Arab/Islamic values". The Pentagon announced that its inspector general would investigate Boykin, though he has yet to report.

Boykin was not removed or transferred. At that moment, he was at the heart of a secret operation to "Gitmo-ize" (Guantánamo is known in the US as Gitmo) the Abu Ghraib prison. He had flown to Guantánamo, where he met Major General Geoffrey Miller, in charge of Camp X-Ray. Boykin ordered Miller to fly to Iraq and extend X-Ray methods to the prison system there, on Rumsfeld's orders.
*******************
Boykin is not unique in his belief that Bush is God's anointed against evildoers. Before his 2000 campaign, Bush confided to a leader of the religious right: "I feel like God wants me to run for president ... I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen."

I'm curious, John...do YOU see this conflict in religious undertones? As some sort of clash of religions, or (more broadly) a clash of civilizations?

If you do, then that doesn't leave much rooms for the poor victims of both sides of the conflict, does it? Sort of abstracts them, into "helpless pawns," in the grad chessboard of holy-war, doesn't it? This kind of thinking, to me: sounds pretty...extreme? ...fanatical? Just like, oh...certain other fanatical, quasi-Islamic organizations, don't you think?

Neil Mick
06-14-2004, 09:02 PM
Re-posting to get the link right (sorry!)

The Religious Warrior of Abu Ghraib
An Evangelical US General played a Pivotal Role in Iraqi Prison Reform (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0520-03.htm)

Neil Mick
06-15-2004, 07:26 PM
And, speaking of "dogs:" this just in, on the Abu Ghraib news:

Abu Ghraib General Says Told Prisoners 'Like Dogs' (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0615-03.htm")

LONDON - The U.S. general in charge of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was told by a military intelligence commander that detainees should be treated like dogs, she said in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

Janis Karpinski, the one-star general responsible for the military police who ran prisons in Iraq when pictures were taken showing prisoners being abused, said she and her soldiers were being made scapegoats for abuse ordered by others.

In the interview with Britain's BBC radio, Karpinski said Geoffrey Miller, a two-star general sent to Iraq from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, had ordered new procedures in cell blocs where Iraqis were interrogated.

"He said, at Guantanamo Bay we've learned that the prisoners have to earn every single thing they have," Karpinski said.

"He said they are like dogs, and if you allow them to believe at any point they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them."

Taliesin
06-17-2004, 10:56 AM
The story so far

it has now been demonstrated beyond reaonable doubt that 'President' George W Bush

1.

Taliesin
06-17-2004, 11:01 AM
The story so far

it has now been demonstrated beyond reaonable doubt that 'President' George W Bush

1. Lied about WMD
2. Lied about Saddam supporting al-quieda
3. Lied about being concerned about the human rights of the
Iraqi people.
4. Has complete comtempt for all International Law
5. Has managed to escalate the number of terrorist attacks
and increased the risks of westerners (Americans and
British specifically).
6. Supported benying his own citizens a fair trial.

Given that the 'moral' war on Iraq was supposed to be George's only strong point why does any one want to protect him. (apart from oil companies)

Hogan
06-17-2004, 01:07 PM
You're wrong. I don't know what you call the President consulting lawyers to redefine the term "torture," as anything else but underming the nature of the Geneva Conventions. Once you get to the slippery slope of juggling the basic definitions of the Geneva Conventions, then you also allow the enemy to make similar jugglings, for potential American prisoner's, as well.

Wrong again. You really ought to read the Geneva Conventions, instead of rote-repeating of Fox. There IS no such definition of "enemy combatants" in the Conventions. That category simply doesn't exist, and is a convenient dodge that Bush is using.

Neil -

The US is a singatory with reservations - stating that while the US signs the Convention, it follows US law, and if US law allows torture, well, then....

(Now don't get you panties in a bunch, I am not saying it/US law DOES allow torture, but this is what Bush is trying to so, to chg the definition of torture to allow what appears you might consider torture).


It shows that you watch media and vote, outside the box. Congratulations.

Republicans also think outside the box; democrats do not have a sole claim on it. Gee, Neil, I hope you are not one of those typical democrats that think they know best for everyone, and as a result try to control the behavior of everyone, thereby reducing freedom.....

Neil Mick
06-17-2004, 01:48 PM
The US is a singatory with reservations - stating that while the US signs the Convention, it follows US law, and if US law allows torture, well, then....

The Constitution states that if the US signs on, as a Signatory of other Conventions, organizations, or treaties: then those laws are as if they are part of the US Constitution. The President is not a king, even though he is trying to set himself up, as one. Sorry, but we are a signatory of the Geneva Convention, and not even His Majesty Bush XXXXIII can buck the Constitution!

While it is true that there are certain reservations to the Conventions, Bush is attempting to weasel the definition of torture to suit his political agenda, and to get himself out of thorny legal issues, nothing more. Torture does NOT aid in stopping terror, as the information extracted is often unusable.

Are you comfortable being a part of the "torture lobby," supporting this change in human rights? For me, it makes me, and evertything that the US stands for, feel degraded, lessened.

But, Bush is no stranger to extralegal attempts (http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Democracy_America/Assault_Constitution.html) to circumvent the law of the land.

Bush has arrogated to himself the right to apprehend "any individual who is not a United States citizen" and subject that person to a secret military trial and then impose the death penalty. So, even if you're a legal immigrant, he can round you up, try you, and fry you. Plus, he can go anywhere around the world, nab any citizen of a foreign country, and drag that person into his kangaroo court, which he can hold "outside or within the United States." He thus can become a globetrotting executioner.
Look at the broad definition of "terrorist" he has established for himself. He can get you if "there is reason to believe" (and Bush would be the one doing the believing) you have "engaged in, aided or abetted, or conspired to commit, acts of international terrorism, or acts in preparation therefor, that have caused, threaten to cause, or have as their aim to cause, injury to or adverse effects on the United States, its citizens, national security, foreign policy, or economy." And if there's reason to believe that you "knowingly harbored" such a person, you're also toast.

Republicans also think outside the box; democrats do not have a sole claim on it. Gee, Neil, I hope you are not one of those typical democrats that think they know best for everyone, and as a result try to control the behavior of everyone, thereby reducing freedom.....

Funny, I thought you said you were a card-carrying member of the ACLU, and a Democrat. :hypno: And no: I'm not a Democrat, either: so now we're even. :freaky:

Hogan
06-17-2004, 02:42 PM
...Wrong again. You really ought to read the Geneva Conventions, instead of rote-repeating of Fox. There IS no such definition of "enemy combatants" in the Conventions. That category simply doesn't exist, and is a convenient dodge that Bush is using.

Neil -

The Geneva Conventions do distinguish between lawful combatants, noncombatants, and unlawful combatants.

Unlawful Combatants. Unlawful combatants are individuals who directly participate in hostilities without being authorized by governmental authority or under international law to do so. For example, bandits who rob and plunder and civilians who attack a downed airman are unlawful combatants. Unlawful combatants who engage in hostilities violate LOAC and become lawful targets. They may be killed or wounded and, if captured, may be tried as war criminals for their LOAC violations.

And considering that terrorists and Iraq regularly violcate the conventions, I suggest you contact their ambassador.

Hogan
06-17-2004, 02:45 PM
Funny, I thought you said you were a card-carrying member of the ACLU, and a Democrat. :hypno: And no: I'm not a Democrat, either: so now we're even. :freaky:

I don't follow how our comment follws form my comment....

Hogan
06-18-2004, 08:16 AM
The story so far

it has now been demonstrated beyond reaonable doubt that 'President' George W Bush
... Lied about Saddam supporting al-quieda
...

"The Associated Press leads off its story on a new 9/11-commission report by saying the document -- "bluntly contradict[s] the Bush administration" by claiming to have no credible evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11th terrorist attacks.

In fact, the Bush administration has never said that such evidence exists. President Bush denied a connection to 9/11 as recently as last September, saying -- "we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th."

Bush went on to say, -- "there's no question that Saddam Hussein had Al Qaeda ties" -- an assertion that the commission's report actually supports."

Re: the rest of your opinions.... "bunk".

Erik
06-18-2004, 08:53 PM
Bush went on to say, -- "there's no question that Saddam Hussein had Al Qaeda ties" -- an assertion that the commission's report actually supports."

Does it, John? What I've read, from many sources, consistently states that there was not a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The report if I understand things correctly also states that.

The issue of the administration is more complex. If they knew there was not a connection then why didn't they say it long before they did? Is not telling the truth a lie?

Re: the rest of your opinions.... "bunk".

Actually, I couldn't agree more. There's been some awful niavete in this thread and some serious factual misrepresentations on the part of the usual suspects.

Erik
06-18-2004, 09:16 PM
But, this flaunting of the Geneva Conventions is a first. Not even Hitler flaunted the Conventions

I'm not sure who twists the facts moore?

Neil, Hitler did consider withdrawing from the Geneva conventions.

By the way, the Bush / Hitler comparison is a new low even by the very low standards found in these parts.

Goebbels?s alternative proposal was to execute one Allied prisoner for every German civilian killed in air raids. It would invite reprisals against German prisoners in Allied hands, but to Hitler this was not without its attractions. Since the renewed British offensive in the west, German desertions had assumed epidemic proportions ; not without reason the German infantryman was attracted to the carefree prison-camp existence and the Allies? humane treatment of prisoners. ?This constant sniveling about humanity will cost us the war,? Hitler complained. ?Neither the Russians in the east nor these hypocrites in the west stick to the Geneva Convention just look at their attacks on the civilian population !? According to the staff stenographer present, Heinz Buchholz, Hitler emphasized that the Russians had demonstrated what could be achieved by ruthlessly punishing enemy airmen. ?Our airmen couldn?t be persuaded to fly over Moscow or Leningrad for their lives, after the Russians began executing Luftwaffe airmen. They just published that ?enemy paratroopers had been found and exterminated.? ?

The idea of dropping the Geneva Convention appealed to Hitler, but not to the Party or the Wehrmacht. Keitel, Jodl, and D?nitz opposed it (the latter recommended that at least they should not announce publicly that they were going to disregard the convention). Ribbentrop?summoned by his horrified liaison officer Walther Hewel?ultimately talked Hitler out of the idea during a forty-minute stroll with him in the blitzed Chancellery gardens on February 21. But their conversation also revolved around Ribbentrop?s latest clandestine peace approach to the Allies?four days previously Ribbentrop had sent a sixteen-page telegram to certain German ambassadors outlining arguments to use in favor of an armistice. Germany proposed to fight on until her enemies realized she could not be defeated ; Stalin?s aim was to rule Europe ; he would abide by none of his solemn undertakings?already he was raising a Soviet German army. Ribbentrop argued that this was Europe?s last chance to unite against Stalin. But on February 21, after his talk with Hitler, he had to recall the telegram and tell his ambassadors to ignore it.

http://www.fpp.co.uk/books/Hitler/1977/html_chapter/42.html

My apologies for the lousy quotation.

Neil Mick
06-19-2004, 05:56 AM
Neil -

The Geneva Conventions do distinguish between lawful combatants, noncombatants, and unlawful combatants.

Unlawful Combatants. Unlawful combatants are individuals who directly participate in hostilities without being authorized by governmental authority or under international law to do so. For example, bandits who rob and plunder and civilians who attack a downed airman are unlawful combatants. Unlawful combatants who engage in hostilities violate LOAC and become lawful targets. They may be killed or wounded and, if captured, may be tried as war criminals for their LOAC violations.

And considering that terrorists and Iraq regularly violcate the conventions, I suggest you contact their ambassador.

Sorry, I think you're wrong..."enemy, or unlawful," combatant doesn't exist within the framework of the Geneva Convention.

I just checked. (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/geneva03.htm)

And also: there's this.

"unlawful combatants?" (http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/UnlawfulCombatants.html)

The Geneva Convention clearly states that prisoners taken in combat must be assumed to be POW's and under the protections unless an independent tribunal is held that would determine a different status for them. Officials claim that they are not POWs because they were not wearing uniforms or fighting on behalf of a nation state. This is disingenous. Many wars happen within nation states, for instance. Many forces fight without uniforms, including the American Revolutionary forces. They are called irregulars, guerillas, or resistance/freedom fighters. If the Soviets captured elements of the Afghan resistance in the 90's would they have been "unlawful combatants" for lack of uniforms?

There is a tradition in war to have disguised combatants dealt with summarily, such as spies or those who steal uniforms (considered a violation of the articles of war). This clever term, "unlawful combatants" makes them both criminals and combatants at the same time, and then provides the excuse to treat them as neither one. They have neither the rights of a POW nor of a criminal under international or US laws. In much the same way that those held for interrogation here in the US have their civil rights violated.

Neil Mick
06-19-2004, 06:05 AM
I'm not sure who twists the facts moore?

Neil, Hitler did consider withdrawing from the Geneva conventions.

By the way, the Bush / Hitler comparison is a new low even by the very low standards found in these parts.

Goebbels?s alternative proposal was to execute one Allied prisoner for every German civilian killed in air raids. It would invite reprisals against German prisoners in Allied hands, but to Hitler this was not without its attractions. Since the renewed British offensive in the west, German desertions had assumed epidemic proportions ; not without reason the German infantryman was attracted to the carefree prison-camp existence and the Allies? humane treatment of prisoners. ?This constant sniveling about humanity will cost us the war,? Hitler complained. ?Neither the Russians in the east nor these hypocrites in the west stick to the Geneva Convention just look at their attacks on the civilian population !? According to the staff stenographer present, Heinz Buchholz, Hitler emphasized that the Russians had demonstrated what could be achieved by ruthlessly punishing enemy airmen. ?Our airmen couldn?t be persuaded to fly over Moscow or Leningrad for their lives, after the Russians began executing Luftwaffe airmen. They just published that ?enemy paratroopers had been found and exterminated.? ?

The idea of dropping the Geneva Convention appealed to Hitler, but not to the Party or the Wehrmacht. Keitel, Jodl, and D?nitz opposed it (the latter recommended that at least they should not announce publicly that they were going to disregard the convention). Ribbentrop?summoned by his horrified liaison officer Walther Hewel?ultimately talked Hitler out of the idea during a forty-minute stroll with him in the blitzed Chancellery gardens on February 21. But their conversation also revolved around Ribbentrop?s latest clandestine peace approach to the Allies?four days previously Ribbentrop had sent a sixteen-page telegram to certain German ambassadors outlining arguments to use in favor of an armistice. Germany proposed to fight on until her enemies realized she could not be defeated ; Stalin?s aim was to rule Europe ; he would abide by none of his solemn undertakings?already he was raising a Soviet German army. Ribbentrop argued that this was Europe?s last chance to unite against Stalin. But on February 21, after his talk with Hitler, he had to recall the telegram and tell his ambassadors to ignore it.

http://www.fpp.co.uk/books/Hitler/1977/html_chapter/42.html

My apologies for the lousy quotation.

Nice to see you back, Erik: but please...don't even go there. I only mentioned Hitler briefly, in passing: and I was referring actually to Bush's attempt to challenge, to attempt to rewrite the Conventions...the definition of torture, etc.

Your point doesn't contradict me, BTW: Hitler CONSIDERED dropping them, but he didn't, after all. Bush is doing a lot more than "considering."

So, can we drop the Hitler references now, before someone screams Godfrey's Rule? lol