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Michael Neal
03-18-2003, 11:57 AM
http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,81314,00.html

Hmmmmm could there other motivations to these guys other than inncocent pacifism?

George S. Ledyard
03-18-2003, 11:31 PM
http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,81314,00.html

Hmmmmm could there other motivations to these guys other than inncocent pacifism?
My God, you don't actaully believe that tripe? The money for the anti war protests has been coming from precisely people like myself all over the country, organized by internet outfitws like Truthout, Not In My Name, MoveOn, etc. I have recieved pleas for money with precise descriptions of what it would be spent on and afterwards reports on what that money acheived.

The Far Right would love to convince everyone that this is a fringe effort made up of all sorts of Lefties. Let's go back to the days when people could be black listed for being "pinkos" or "fellow travellers". The Workers World Party? What a joke! There are about twelve of those folks left and no one, and I do mean no one treats them seriously. The idea that they could come up with the kind of money that the anti war movement has needed is ludicrous.

This anti war movement is made up of all sorts of people. One of my newest Shodans is quite active, went to DC to protest the coming war. I do private lessons for a guy who has done martial arts since the sixties. He is a West Point grad, the former head of a security company and he is quite against what the administration is doing. I am hardly what you'd call a typical Leftie either. I make my living partially bt training law enforcement and security personnel how to defend themselves and I own and carry a firearm, hardly the stereo typical liberal the Right would like to portray. I have gievn my money twice this past year to help in various anti war advertising campaings and if I'd had more I would have given it. The last Workers World Party person I knew was way back in the eary seventies..or was it the Young Trotskyists, or the Socialist Workers Party, or the Weathermen, or the SDS? Gosh, all these LONG FORGOTTEN organizations whose legacy is to be trotted out by FOX news in an attempt to portray the anti war movement as something other than what it is, namely a spontaneous coming together of a huge segment of the population. Maybe even the majority, the next electio wil tell.

Neil Mick
03-19-2003, 04:24 AM
Hello George, my hat's off to you, for trying to reason with Michael.

I have long attempted to engage Michael in debate and face down his more egregious diatribes, but to no avail. His assumptions of the motives of the Left beggars the imagination; and his favoring of invective over debate is not a good sign of thoughtful consideration of the issues, either, IMHO.

What do you do with a person like Michael?

I post and debate online partly to understand the thinking of those not necessarily in agreement with my thinking. Michael has long been a puzzle to me. I'm not surprised that he's put me on "ignore," as it's easier to push aside an opinion that you cannot (or will not) accept, but still: he's puzzling. I try to virtually "blend" but I meet with resistance, and refusal to engage. He simply refuses to accept the idea that opinions not in accordance with his own are acceptable.

On the extreme end, I have debated an Israeli extremist, and a right-wing conservative (once described by another as a "Rush Limbaugh wannabee"). I managed a brief level of connection with the Israeli, before he descended to invective.

The conservative refused to accept the notion of online etiquette, and insisted on repeated insults in his posts, stating that he was "doing it for my own good."

Eventually, the thread (not on this website) was closed by the moderator, and he stopped flaming me.

Any thoughts?

Michael Neal
03-19-2003, 07:37 AM
Sorry, my experience working in politics tells me otherwise. There may be many who go to the protests who are not part of the socialist movement but the fact remains that these protests are organized and funded by socialist organization. This is a fact and there is no denying it.

Just read the signs at the protests, many of them flaunt their affiliations. They are not even hiding it so I can't really believe you can pretend this is not true.

ian
03-19-2003, 11:03 AM
What is wrong with the socialist movement? Although many people in the US have been indoctrinated to believe that communism and socialism are despicable things, if it wasn't for socialists the UN wouldn't exist (in fact many of the instigators of the UN were actually victimised later as communists). Indeed there is no full free-market capitalist economy in the world! Most governments try to balance the two. For example the U.S. is at one end of the scale and is wealthy as a nation but has a massive wealth division and the highest prison population in the world.

Much of the political motivations derive from a world view. For socialists they often want a more equitable society whereas most capitalists often want to be rich. It saddens me Michael that you've been involved with politics and have such a bigoted view.

I'm wouldn't be prepared to label myself in either way, and I think most people are more sensible than that and realise that situations are more complex than just towing party lines.

Michael Neal
03-19-2003, 11:22 AM
Just about every dictatorship that has tyrannized its population and the rest of the world were/are socialist regimes.

A few examples,

Germany under the Nazis

Soviet Union

Iraq under Hussein

I can go on if you wish, the list is long.

Judd
03-19-2003, 03:38 PM
I'd have to disagree with you there. Although socialism in practice has proven to be a failure, some of he underlying concepts are sound. Very Aikido-like, actually. The equality of the population, where there is no need for competition between one another, but rather a need for harmony. True, it is a utopian idea, but that doesn't make it a bad one. And to be a bit more spedific:

Nazi Germany was a totalitarian dictatorship

The USSR was a communist state

Iraq is a parlimentary dictatorship

In every case, the leaders of the countries used the ideas of socialism, which appeal to the common man, to seize power and rule aggressively. This does not prove that a socialist government could not exist, but proves the greed of men is the underlying problem, not socialism. As I see it, there hasn't even been a case of true socialism with which to judge the success. Capitalism is so successful because it EMBRACES the competition to obtain wealth. Not until we change ourselves can the governments we create follow suit.

Neil Mick
03-19-2003, 06:05 PM
I'd have to disagree with you there. Although socialism in practice has proven to be a failure, some of he underlying concepts are sound. Very Aikido-like, actually.

(snip)

Capitalism is so successful because it EMBRACES the competition to obtain wealth. Not until we change ourselves can the governments we create follow suit.
AND, IMA: the forces of Socialism within the US during the 1st half of the 20th C helped strengthen and provide a voice for the underprivileged in this country (the US), until the McCarthy-ite backlash silenced and drove away many of its leaders and spokesmen.

Worker-rights and unions arose from the Soicialist movements. It comes as no surprise to me that the actors and directors speaking up against the war (Martin Sheen, Spike Lee, etc) now are on a blacklist prohibiting them to speak at an awards ceremony, a process eerily reminiscent of the McCarthy blacklists of the 50's.

Erik
03-20-2003, 03:28 PM
Germany under the Nazis
I think this is incorrect. The Nazis were very anti-Socialist in the sense I think you are presenting it, despite the name. Your initial point is at least partly correct in that some of the sponsors have a pretty specific ideology. This is not necessarily new in that we saw the same thing prior to WW2.

However, the current anti-war protests, particularly in SF, are about the stupidest thing I've ever seen. I'm sure some brilliant soul sat around thinking...

"I wonder where we should protest? How can we piss off the most people in the place we've got the most friends? I've got it! Lets go, stop traffic, raise hell, in one of the cities where our ideas are liked. And, be sure to drink plenty of milk."

What a bunch of morons.

A few months ago I was fairly neutral on the war. After reading many arguments, the vast majority of which were attacks on the US and Bush, I went out and did my research. I doubt I'd have done that without all the hatred and lunacy perpetuated by many in the anti-war camp.

I do admire the dedication, but the methods are often poorly thought out. In fact, I think anti-war folks have done their cause, whatever that is precisely, far more harm than good.

George S. Ledyard
03-21-2003, 11:32 AM
I think this is incorrect. The Nazis were very anti-Socialist in the sense I think you are presenting it, despite the name. Your initial point is at least partly correct in that some of the sponsors have a pretty specific ideology. This is not necessarily new in that we saw the same thing prior to WW2.

However, the current anti-war protests, particularly in SF, are about the stupidest thing I've ever seen. I'm sure some brilliant soul sat around thinking...

"I wonder where we should protest? How can we piss off the most people in the place we've got the most friends? I've got it! Lets go, stop traffic, raise hell, in one of the cities where our ideas are liked. And, be sure to drink plenty of milk."

What a bunch of morons.

A few months ago I was fairly neutral on the war. After reading many arguments, the vast majority of which were attacks on the US and Bush, I went out and did my research. I doubt I'd have done that without all the hatred and lunacy perpetuated by many in the anti-war camp.

I do admire the dedication, but the methods are often poorly thought out. In fact, I think anti-war folks have done their cause, whatever that is precisely, far more harm than good.
I think it is both fair and important that people recognize that there isn't any such thing as "the anti war camp" in the sense that it represents some sort of cohesive group. The actions taken by a very small number of disaffected youth by way of stopping traffic, fighting with police, vandalizing property etc. are not representative of what the majority in the anti war movement are about. I think that those tactics are offensive and ineffective.

The vast majority of what has taken place as far as anti war activities are quite recognizable and traditional lobbying efforts of Congress, internet communications to get the viewpoints which run counter to the establishment media presentations out to the public, the virtual march on WA, peacefdul and orderly peace vigils etc. All of these efforts are an integral part of life in a democracy, in fact they are our constitutional rights.

The Right has put forth a steady stream of vindictive rhetoric trying to make these peoope appear to be fringe, Lefties, uninformed, unpatriotic, anything to discredit them. But the plain fact is that there are only a very small number of people on either the Right or the Left who are really fanatic believers in their causes, enough to spend their time in organizations, leading politically active lives trying to steer the counrty towards their point of view. When you start to see a hundred thousand people travelling across the US to go to DC to protest, you are seeing a real movement of people. Most of these folks have never done anything like this before. Most may not do so again. They have been moved purely by the frustration that comes from not feeling like they have any control over what their own government is doing. They feel the need to DO SOMETHING so they march. For every one of those folks that makes the effort there are many who feel the same way but don't quite get to the poaint of action.

So what you are seeing is truly a mass movement, not just a fringe group. I very much hope that the momentum generated by the build uop towards war will continue after the war ends because the real prpoblems are still ahead of us. The war was just a symptom.

Michael Neal
03-21-2003, 03:17 PM
I think it is both fair and important that people recognize that there isn't any such thing as "the anti war camp" in the sense that it represents some sort of cohesive group. The actions taken by a very small number of disaffected youth by way of stopping traffic, fighting with police, vandalizing property etc. are not representative of what the majority in the anti war movement are about. I think that those tactics are offensive and ineffective.

The vast majority of what has taken place as far as anti war activities are quite recognizable and traditional lobbying efforts of Congress, internet communications to get the viewpoints which run counter to the establishment media presentations out to the public, the virtual march on WA, peacefdul and orderly peace vigils etc. All of these efforts are an integral part of life in a democracy, in fact they are our constitutional rights.
Why is it so common for leftists to say that protesting is freedom of speech when I have not heard anyone say otherwise? This is always your answer to critisicm, "Its freedom of speech, you can't take that away." You seem to think that it is only you that has this right and if anyone challenges your words and actions that they are somehow suppressing you. But I understand because most of you really can not really provide an alternative course action to the current situation so you instead claim that the other side is suppressing your right to speech for even criticising you. This how you attempt to try and seize the moral highground.

Most Americans see these protests for what they really are; 1)An excuse for idiot kids to commit crime under the banner of "free speech" 2) A good way for far left socialist groups to fundraise, advance their many pet causes, and expand their membership 3) A way for Democrats to launch an anti-Bush campaign under the guise of oppposing the war.
The Right has put forth a steady stream of vindictive rhetoric trying to make these peoope appear to be fringe, Lefties, uninformed, unpatriotic, anything to discredit them.
No conspiracy here, middle of the road Americans are making the same observations about the protesters.
But the plain fact is that there are only a very small number of people on either the Right or the Left who are really fanatic believers in their causes, enough to spend their time in organizations, leading politically active lives trying to steer the counrty towards their point of view. When you start to see a hundred thousand people travelling across the US to go to DC to protest, you are seeing a real movement of people. Most of these folks have never done anything like this before. Most may not do so again. They have been moved purely by the frustration that comes from not feeling like they have any control over what their own government is doing. They feel the need to DO SOMETHING so they march. For every one of those folks that makes the effort there are many who feel the same way but don't quite get to the poaint of action.

So what you are seeing is truly a mass movement, not just a fringe group. I very much hope that the momentum generated by the build uop towards war will continue after the war ends because the real prpoblems are still ahead of us. The war was just a symptom.
Not buying it. It is mostly the fringe leftists that are protesting.

Where was all of this protest when Clinton went to war for regime change against Milosevic? And there was not even weapons of mass destruction invloved. There was absolutely no threat to national security but we did it to help prevent the slaughter of innocent lives. Well In Iraq we have WMD, threats to national security and the torture and killing of innocents and you say that the Bush is a war monger.

The anti-war folks are frauds.

Another interesting fact is how upper income white kids are trying to tell the Iraqis what is best for them while most displaced Iraqis in the United States are for liberating Iraq and returning home to the few loved ones that have survived the tyranny of Saddams reign. This is a fact.

There is a reason why most of these protestors are kids, it is because they don't know anything. Most of them probably dont even know where Iraq is.

Michael Neal
03-22-2003, 07:41 PM
Maybe more anti-war protesters need a similar dose of reality.
A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r

Neil Mick
03-22-2003, 09:11 PM
So what you are seeing is truly a mass movement, not just a fringe group. I very much hope that the momentum generated by the build up towards war will continue after the war ends because the real prpoblems are still ahead of us. The war was just a symptom.
Well-put, George. I think about the "what's next, after protests" often, too.

Many more thoughts, but I'm very busy right now.

"A war in the name of democracy must tolerate some dissent at home

22 March 2003

The assumption that the nation would unite in support of war in Iraq once its armed forces were engaged has proved unfounded. The appeal from the Prime Minister for the country to do so has been honoured more in the breach than in the observance.

We contend that this is no bad thing. It does not show disrespect towards the military personnel serving in the Gulf; overwhelmingly the opponents of the war recognise that their dispute is not with the troops but with their political masters. But even in time of military action overseas it is healthy and proper that a range of views should be given free expression."

http://argument.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/story.jsp?story=389509

George S. Ledyard
03-22-2003, 11:14 PM
Maybe more anti-war protesters need a similar dose of reality.

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r
My opposition to this war had to do with it being the wrong war at the wrong time and certainly not for the reasons stated.

If I have to watch the talking heads of the administration get all teary eyed about the "Iraqi People" I am going to be ill. This is focus group speak. This is the line that your average American will believe and support. Saddam is everything they say he is. He deserves to be deposed. I don't even care if we do it but this wasn't the proper time.

This stuff about it being to "liberate the people of Iraq" is absolute bull. These very same people who say this with a straight face were in the administration when Saddam was "our boy". They didn't give a **** about the Iraqi people then. Not when Saddam gassed the Kurds and we blocked sanctions against him in the UN, would not even allow an investigation by that body of the incident, not when the Kurds and the Shiites got massacred by his forces after the last Gulf War while we stood by and did nothing (he used copters and rockets that we allowed him to have.)

If these people are so all fired up by dictators who "murder their own people" then where was the upset when Suharto, our darling at the time, killed 500,000 of his own folks, or later when the Indonesians invaded and raped East Timor, when Guatemala killed over 50,000, when El Salvador, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina were torturing and murdering their "own people" by the tens of thousands using our American Aid money and training given them by American advisors from the School of the Americas?

If fostering democracies is such a high priority for us then why did we overthrow and murder Mossadeq in Iran, a popularly elected Prime Minister, and replace him with the Shah in a non-democratic government? Why did we arrange for the overthrow and murder of Salvador Allende in Chile, another democratically elected leader, by Pinochet who then turned around and tortured, mutilated, and murdered "his own people" by the tens of thousands with our whole hearted support (Kissinger is on record as having told Pinochet that he shouldn't pay any attention to the International uproar his actions were causing because we thought he was doing a great job!)

If overthrowing a murderous dictator was such a great priority of our government why were we so upset when the Nicaraguans threw out Somoza, every bit the creep that Saddam is, after he and his father had ruled the country by terror and torture? Why did we turn around and outfit the very same Guardia Civil that had maintained them in power, that had been responsible for mass murders "of their own people" and send them back into the country as terrorists, oops I'm sorry, freedom fighters to overthrow their revolution?

I am not a pacifist but I do not like my intelligance insulted by officials who think that I won't remember what has happened in my own lifetime, that I know no history, that I only get my information from Fox News. Many of these people are the very same ones that championed the worst types of authoritarian mass murderers in Latin America under the Reagan administration. This isn't even the first time we have invaded a country just to take out a dictator we supported in his rise to power. We went into Panama to take out Noriega, another sweet heart, who was our paid CIA informer, whom we had put into power when we helped him bump off Trujillo by bombing his plane. I have not forgotten these people in our government from the last time around so you will pardon me if I say that I am more than a bit skeptical when I hear that we are invading Iraq to liberate the Iraqi people. Americans are often quite niave about these things, their leaders have a history of taking their idealism and exploiting it for their own goals. This is exactly what is happening now.

I am fine with taking out Saddam now that we are in, might as well make a good job of it. Just do not tell me that this is about the "Iraqi people", that just doesn't square with history and the "facts" that you like to point to. Only about half our population (the not quite half that voted for him) believes that this is the administration's real motivation and outside of our country virtually no one does. Just remember, "fifty million Elvis fans can't be wrong".

Neil Mick
03-23-2003, 12:52 AM
This, from the war:

"From high-rise buildings, shops and homes came the thunder of crashing glass as the shock waves swept across the Tigris river in both directions. Minute after minute the missiles came in. Many Iraqis had watched ­ as I had ­ television film of those ominous B-52 bombers taking off from Britain only six hours earlier. Like me, they had noted the time, added three hours for Iraqi time in front of London and guessed that, at around 9pm, the terror would begin. The B-52s, almost certainly firing from outside Iraqi airspace, were dead on time.

Police cars drove at speed through the streets, their loudspeakers ordering pedestrians to take shelter or hide under cover of tall buildings. Much good did it do. Crouching next to a block of shops on the opposite side of the river, I narrowly missed the shower of glass that came cascading down from the upper windows as the shock waves slammed into them.

Along the streets a few Iraqis could be seen staring from balconies, shards of broken glass around them. Each time one of the great golden bubbles of fire burst across the city, they ducked inside before the blast wave reached them. At one point, as I stood beneath the trees on the corniche, a wave of cruise missiles passed low overhead, the shriek of their passage almost as devastating as the explosions that were

to follow.

How, I ask myself, does one describe this outside the language of a military report, the definition of the colour, the decibels of the explosions? When the cruise missiles came in it sounded as if someone was ripping to pieces huge curtains of silk in the sky and the blast waves became a kind of frightening counterpoint to the flames."

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=389497

50 civilians dead, says Arab TV

Massacre claim (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=389923)

Erik
03-23-2003, 01:38 PM
George, your comments require a long reply and it's beyond what I'm prepared to write. I would submit that right or wrong, now, was the only time this could have happened. It required a confluence of events including 9/11, the Bush administration, French intranscience and that Saddam just wouldn't come clean. Right or wrong, and I think it's the right decision given probably 20 or more factors, it was only going to happen now.

And, I admit a case can be made for not doing it also. I'd have likely been with the program either way.

I will also submit that hypocrisy is found in many places on this one, not just with the Bush administration. Many in the anti-war camp exhibit incredible levels of hypocrisy at times. A non-related example but I note that "human shields" were prepared to go to Iraq but I wonder where they are when it comes to Iraqi prisons? They go to Pakistan but where are they on Israeli buses, shopping centers or malls in regards to suicide attacks? As you said, you can't claim to be an agent of peace, choose a side, and neglect the crimes of your side.

It doesn't present well.

What has disturbed me more than anything was that the levels of disinformation practiced all the way around. You have Bush with Al Qaeda, for instance. Then, on the other end, you have someone like Neil describing the horrors of war and neglecting to describe the atrocities of Saddam and his sons.

Even on another level, we've heard about depleted uranium ammunition and the horrors therein. Well, it ain't so simple. Not everyone thinks it is dangerous to humans and the evidence isn't quite so clear. Therein lies another rub. We've endured claims of mold, power lines, breast implants, and much more when the evidence often doesn't support the claims. Sometimes things do happen and corporations have committed terrible crimes (Bhopal, for instance) at times. But eventually you lose credibility when you continually "cry wolf" and it's always against the same folks. Pretty soon you just tune them out because you realize not everyone in the government or running corporations is a devil-spawned satanist.

I do agree that many in the anti-war camp do so out of conscience as you appear to do. I think many, on the other hand, are like Neil who come off as something else. Neil, in fairness to you, my characterization may be inaccurate, but it's how you come off.

My point: perceptions count.

In the battle of perceptions, the protestors in SF on Thursday did not come off well.

Note: It may be shown one day that depleted uranium is dangerous. My point is that the jury is still out and I'm not trying to make a case one way or the other.

Neil Mick
03-23-2003, 03:38 PM
Erik:

My time is short, but I'll briefly respond.

The only ppl who dispute the dangers (and the clear effects) of DU-dust are the ppl who use it: the army.

I can provide lots of documentation to back my point (including the foremost authority on DU-dust, whose funding was dropped by the army when his studies became too uncomfortable), but a good start is http://nucnews.net/2000/du/dulv.htm

And Erik: I'm sorry if I "come off" as not acting from my conscience, I really am. My conscience is my major guiding star in this conflict.

But: I have repeatedly pointed out Hussein's atrocities in other websites. You can find more about it, on this website, for example:

http://www.firethistime.org/feariraqgovt.htm

But, this is not about preserving Iraqi lives. As the body counts start to rise, I suspect you will eventually agree.

http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=389918

I cannot change Hussein's policies, but I can change the bloody policies, here.

What else would you have me do? This war is illegal and will make the world a less safer place. The place to change conditions in Iraq is not on the battlefield, IMM.

Certainly not on a battlefield that is a human rights and relief disaster in the making, as I have amply documented.

Erik
03-23-2003, 11:06 PM
Neil, you missed my point. It's not what you say but how you say it. People are tired of it. There are apparently going to be more anti-war protests tomorrow in SF. All you guys are doing is creating a tremendous backlash. People are tired of it because of the vindictive nature of so much of it.

Michael Moore booed! (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030324/en_afp/oscar_war_iraq_moore_1)

You guys should mail checks to the Bush reelection campaign. It would be more effective at keeping him from being reelected than what you are doing.

By the way, on depleted uranium we don't know, precisely. There are lots of things we think we know, but don't. There are people who swear powerlines cause health problems despite no evidence. Mold is considered a major health problem despite no evidence. People consume massive amounts of health products despite no evidence that they help. Pesticides get a huge bad rap when they've saved millions of lives. Yes, saved lives.

Depleted uranium seems very dangerous because it's, well, uranium.

When I read up on it I realized it's not quite so simple. Not all uranium is created equal. While I'd rather not see it used I'm not so certain.

Neil Mick
03-23-2003, 11:40 PM
Let's just agree to disagree, OK, Eric?

Rising support for a President in wartime is expected.

...and, "vindictive nature?" You've got to stop looking to the mainstream media for your news, for the protests. There ARE some rabble-rousers, true: but the violent police reaction is eye-opening.

You're going to be hearing a lot about the vindictiveness about the protestors, and very soon. I just got off the phone with my dad...a man opposed to the Iraq war...and he was actually arguing that we protestors are just "Iraqi's in America!!" After discussing the points for a minute or two, he realized that we were just being good Americans, expressing our freedom of speech.

When this war heats up (if it lasts much longer), look to reports of police crackdowns, even deaths (possibly, but I pray it does not go there) because of "flaky protestor negligence."

Sure, some protestors are misbehaving, but on the whole I am very proud of this peace movement. Far more proud of them, than my government...but just as proud as the soldiers in Iraq.

And regarding DU: with respect, yes it is simple. Cancer rates go up 3-6x, where DU weapons are used. Birth defects increase 3x.

Sure, there are other explanations, but the studies show that DU is quite hazardous.

If you like, I could show you specifics, but www.nucnews.net is a good start.

P.S. (cannot access the story) Michael Moore booed? Excellent. The Hollywood "blackout" is shameful; a hearkening to the bad old McCarthyist days.

George S. Ledyard
03-24-2003, 12:05 AM
I will also submit that hypocrisy is found in many places on this one, not just with the Bush administration. Many in the anti-war camp exhibit incredible levels of hypocrisy at times. A non-related example but I note that "human shields" were prepared to go to Iraq but I wonder where they are when it comes to Iraqi prisons? They go to Pakistan but where are they on Israeli buses, shopping centers or malls in regards to suicide attacks? As you said, you can't claim to be an agent of peace, choose a side, and neglect the crimes of your side.

It doesn't present well.

What has disturbed me more than anything was that the levels of disinformation practiced all the way around. You have Bush with Al Qaeda, for instance. Then, on the other end, you have someone like Neil describing the horrors of war and neglecting to describe the atrocities of Saddam and his sons.
I think that many people in the US anti war movement do try to look at the whole picture. Certainly ornizations like Amnesty International have a strong following here and they lok at everybody's human rights record. But the fact is that the list of people we are all offended by on a deep moral level is simply too large. It so overwhelms us that we end up retreating in our minds, sometiomes completely and sometimes only to the point where we get to a perception of manageability.

Should we be demonstrating against dictators like Saddam Hussein? Sure but what about the Chinese, Syrians, North Koreans, Burmese, Russians, Colombians, etc. etc. The list goes on, seemingly forever. The real difference is that these other countries are (usually) not acting in our name. The actions taken by the US at this moment will creatte Karma that will be working itslef out as my three boys get older and hit military age. My grandchildren will have to live with the consequences of our current actions.

Am I offended by the actions of all sorts of evil dictators around the world, do I descry ethnic cleansing wherever it takes place, would I like to see social justice instituted all over the world? Absolutely! But I am an Aikido teacher, I have kids I am trying to raise. I can not pay equal attentio to every issue that raises my ire. I get active and uppity when my own government, acting in my name, paid by my tax dollars acts in ways that I believe are either reprehensible or duplicitous. Sure there is enough hypocrisy to go around. You don't think I believe the reasons given by the French for what they are doing? But I am not a French citizen, they have their own problems. When my own government acts in ways that I believe will in the long run harm my own country and therefore my own family and friends then I am compelled to say something, to do what evere I can to turn things around.

I think most Peace Activists are quite aware of the various sides of the complex issues that exist in world politics. Oft times I think they simply try to pick the side they think is the underdog and try to support them. This causes them to appear unaware or insensitive to the other side. The Palestinians are clearly the underdog in the Palestinian / Iraeli conflict. If at times it seems that people seem to be ignoring the suicide bombers and the terrorists it is only because it is clear that these problems can npot be solved as long as the Palestinians have nothing to hope for, nothing to lose by pursuing life denying strategies. Every time the Israelis build another settlement or bulldoze another Palestinian town, they virtually guarentee the continuation of the conflict. That's why the focus is there. It's not that the bombings are justified, it's that they won't stop until some other issues get dealt with.

Many of the so-called Peace Activists believe that our strongest defense is not in our military but rather in the moral high ground that comes from being the bastion of political freedom in the world. Certainly there are times when force must be used but I think that those times when it is really clear that it must be used, it is clear to the majority. In the current case it was not clear execpt to a small minority. So now we have to take the consequences of acting aginst the wishes of the majority of the people in the world.

I do not have a problem in deposing Saddam Hussein, he deserves it. But from the standpoint that this will increase our security in the future and make the world a safer place, I don't think so. I think it may do the opposite. I will be happy to see the Iraqis free of Saddam but I expect that we'll turn around and have to deal with Kurds killing Turks, Turks killing Kurds, Ansar Al Islam killing everybody, Shiites buddying up to Iran, Sunnis joining Al Qaeda, etc. and tha's just within the country itself.

You don't have to have read your Sun Tzu to know that sending several hundred thousand of your tropps to live in a country which is surrounded on all sides by countries which don't like you makes you highly vulnerable. I would not have done things this way. I will continue to oppose thiose aspects of the administrations actions which I think do not contribute to making our country safer, enhancing it's reputation as a bastion of freedom, and protecting the rights of not only our own citizens but those of other countries as well. That's the only way we are going to be safe in the long run.

Neil Mick
03-24-2003, 03:28 AM
And, I couldn't get to your link, Eric, but I did a quick search on Michael Moore, and the latest news. I found this, in the "LA Star:"

"Asked backstage why he made the remarks, Moore (http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1035779783772&call_pageid=968867495754&col=969483191630) answered: "I'm an American."

"Is that all?" a reporter asked.

"Oh, that's a lot," Moore responded.

He dismissed the jeers he received, telling reporters: "Don't report that there was a split decision in the hall because five loud people booed."

The only thing I have to ask is, when's the guy running for President...?

Facing down the Academy AWARDS?? That's guts.

This display of Michael's freedom to hold an opinion, to hold his integrity in a very tense time and and not be silenced by intimidation and censorship....what can I say, but...

YOU GO, MICHAEL!!! SHOW US HOW IT'S DONE!

Michael Neal
03-24-2003, 10:22 AM
What you say here offers no solutions to any of the problems we are facing.

Michael Neal
03-24-2003, 01:49 PM
Jaime I put Mick on my ignore list because he complains to the administrator of the site if you say anything negative. There is no point really in arguing with him, I am sure he has already complained about your post.

I could not disagree with Mr. Ledyard more but I honestly think his thoughts are more genuine and not as political charged as Neil. You have to understand that Neil actually goes over to Palestine to protest Isreal, he is like one of those human shields.

DanielR
03-24-2003, 03:24 PM
This display of Michael's freedom to hold an opinion, to hold his integrity in a very tense time and and not be silenced by intimidation and censorship...
Neil, I'd have to agree with Erik on this one. I think what you try to do in your posts is more constructive than Mr. Moore's remarks yesterday. To me, it felt like a scandalous escapade under completely inappropriate circumstances. I'm sure Mr. Moore doesn't think anyone's opinion can be "turned" with a 30-second slogan. I'm sure that it would do more good if he'd make a documentaty that would reflect his opinion - he must be good at it.

Jaime,
You should check out our volley on Aikidojournal it is classic I did, and all I would like to say at this point is that it would help this discussion very much if you could keep your comments regarding Neil's posts at the same level of civility you're planning to use in your discussions with Mr. Ledyard. Thank you.

Erik
03-24-2003, 04:18 PM
Snipped!
I don't disagree with much of what you said. Again, I'm just trying to make a point in regards to coming off as credible.

To me, the folks on Saturday came off as credible and I support their right to protest. I support anyone's right to protest. But the folks who came out on Thursday are, in my opinion, not credible.

For what it's worth, I think there are a lot of sides to this debate. If you've read any of Thomas Friedman's work you'll find that I fall pretty much in line with him. He's a very balanced presenter and he has a long history in the area.

Neil Mick
03-25-2003, 03:41 AM
Thomas Friedman?? EEK!! *Holding nearest religious symbol* Back! Back, I say!! :eek: :D

Neil Mick
03-25-2003, 03:46 AM
he is like one of those human shields.
Gosh, Michael: that's got to be the nicest thing I think you've said (including, IMA, the mistaken commentary about "reports for disagreements." Not that you're reading this, but I reported your comment for being rude, not for disagreeing with me).

...me? Compared to a human shield...? No, really. I do not deserve the honor... ;)

Neil Mick
03-25-2003, 04:43 AM
I'm sure Mr. Moore doesn't think anyone's opinion can be "turned" with a 30-second slogan. I'm sure that it would do more good if he'd make a documentaty that would reflect his opinion - he must be good at it.
Well, no Daniel: I expect that he wasn't trying to "turn" opinion. I might be projecting, but I imagine his comments were a reaction to the Hollywood blackouts to freedom of speech. Where ELSE can you expect some freedom to express your opinions, but at an acceptance speech for a recognition of your talents?

Especially, if those talents are artistic?

In a sense, Michael Moore was "playing to the choir." Yet, as an artist: I felt very proud of him for standing up to the censorship like that.


Jaime,

I did, and all I would like to say at this point is that it would help this discussion very much if you could keep your comments regarding Neil's posts at the same level of civility you're planning to use in your discussions with Mr. Ledyard. Thank you.
Thank you for pointing this out. I'm finding his posts approaching harassment, and I am considering the ignore function (an option I am loathe to use, as I like to hear most everyone's perspective).

Personally Daniel, I value the respect you accord my posts, even if we do not agree, most of the time.

Michael Neal
03-25-2003, 07:30 AM
My whole point made in a nutshell

http://brain-terminal.com/video/sf-2003-03-15/quicktime-hq.html

deepsoup
03-25-2003, 04:20 PM
I'm sure Mr. Moore doesn't think anyone's opinion can be "turned" with a 30-second slogan. I'm sure that it would do more good if he'd make a documentaty that would reflect his opinion - he must be good at it.
I believe he's doing just that.

I heard he's currently working on a documentary about the rapid erosion of American civil liberties in the aftermath of 9/11, the (tentative) working title is "Fahrenheit 9/11, The Temperature at Which Freedom Burns"

Sean

x

Kristian Miller-Karlsen
04-05-2005, 11:14 PM
Greetings to all,

I would like to make a simple observation in regards to this debate. What does it have to do with the practice or principles of "The Art of Peace"?

It is clear that war is abundant all around this small planet of ours. I believe that we who are practitioners of Aikido would do well to apply it's principles to all we encounter. I believe that this is what osensei was trying to achieve with his life's' work.

The argument for war, for any reason, is not in alignment with the principles of Aikido.

The time we spent arguing on this topic would have been used more wisely if spent training ourselves.

I do apologize if I sound sanctimonious. That was not my intention.

Neil Mick
04-06-2005, 04:40 PM
Greetings to all,

I would like to make a simple observation in regards to this debate. What does it have to do with the practice or principles of "The Art of Peace"?

It is clear that war is abundant all around this small planet of ours. I believe that we who are practitioners of Aikido would do well to apply it's principles to all we encounter. I believe that this is what osensei was trying to achieve with his life's' work.

The argument for war, for any reason, is not in alignment with the principles of Aikido.

The time we spent arguing on this topic would have been used more wisely if spent training ourselves.

I do apologize if I sound sanctimonious. That was not my intention.

HI Kristian,

You don't sound sanctimonious. In fact, you bring up a good point.

At first when I saw your post on an old thread that was basically an old "protestors = anti-American'ism = anti-aiki" diatribe, my first thought was "ehh gad, not again!" :rolleyes:

But you bring the "practice" and the "principles" of Aikido, into the discussion. Very interesting.

Let's look at the most strident Conservative voices in this thread, and consider their current practice in Aikido.

The thread originator, Michael Neal, had consistently expressed his interests in Aikido to be purely martial, and (looking at his other comments here) he seems to feel that Aikido as a greater life-philosophy is a pointless, prosaic exercise.

At this point, he does not practice Aikido and has since switched to Judo (Michael, if you're reading, please feel free to add. I hate speaking for others).

The mysterious "This certain person" sometimes quoted is this certain person (full name not listed per his demands upon poor Jun), who: upon failing to silence me here, has since gone on to more moderate pastures on aikidojournal (where, his constant irritation of the editor succeeded). Before he left, he asked Jun to remove all of his posts from this site.

This certain person doesn't practice Aikido either: he listed a defunct dojo as his home dojo (both here and in AJ) and is, last we chatted, "still looking" for a "good" Aikido dojo.

Now, my point is not character-assassination, but that the most strident Conservative voices online seem to be ppl who don't either practice, or view Aikido on a "deeper" level.

More "moderate" Conservatives, such as Erik, etc, actually DO currently practice (AFAIK): and so I'm not trying to make some rule of thumb. But it is interesting that these ppl do not practice, and they are the most pro-Bush.

Perhaps, ppl like Erik with Conservative views that study Aikido on a "deeper" level, with the philosophy in mind, actually ARE more "moderate" because of their study of blending (ya, Erik: that's a compliment, lol).

shadow
04-18-2005, 09:43 PM
http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,81314,00.html

Hmmmmm could there other motivations to these guys other than inncocent pacifism?


hahahaha
i cant get the article but anybody who believes anything that comes from rupert murdoch *cough* i mean fox.... is an imbecile. regardless of how much politics they are into... in fact that even adds to the case.

fox news (followed closely by CNN) is the biggest, most manipulated, load of garbage that exists on the planet.

watch "outfoxed" and see that every story that comes through has been thoroughly edited, changed and biased, and things that are allowed to be said are always decided upon..... by whom? by the big wigs at the top who are trying to keep everyone as dumb sheeples who support their increasingly blatantly obvious attempts at world domination.

iraq is just a part of this, watch as syria, iran and egypt go next (supported of course by their zionist friends in is-ra-el).

wake up.

Nathan Gusdorf
04-19-2005, 09:21 PM
Alright, first of all, regardless of ur politics, using news from Fox does not exactly legitimize your argument.

I have a term paper and an english paper to write so i wont rant about this however i would like to address the issue of depeleted uranium. I did a Model U.N. resolution on this a while ago and researched the issue.

There are two main uranium isotopes- Uranium 235 and Uranium 238. U238 makes up about 99.3% of uranium and U235 makes up about .7%. Nuclear Reactors use concentrated U235 for energy. Consequently there is a lot of left over uranium that is less radioactive than normal uranium (hence the 'depleted'). Some clever person decided that the best use for this 'depleted uranium' would be to shoot people with it. It is very good at this because of its high density. It is highly effective at piercing thick armor because it gains so much momentum. This obviously gives the government a good motive to say that there isn't conclusive evidence to support a ban because it works really well. The scientific community however would not in general support this conclusion. Britain's premiere science institution- The Royal Society- told the Pentagon that it needed to stop the use of depleted uranium but with no success. There is not really any question as to whether or not it's dangerous. Even though its the less concentrated uranium its still concentrated in the sense that 1)its uranium and 2)its all put together in the shape of a large bullet. DU ammunition is not dangerous if u were to touch it, however on impact that shell breaks into tons and tons of tiny patricles that can spread for miles. These get breathed in by everyone, including the people who fired the shellls, around the attack site. These inhaled uranium particles are what can cause major birth defects and other disorders. Also, they ignite on impact and often times what happens is they burn up all the oxygen inside a tank causing the crew to asphyxiate. This kind of sucks when one of our own tanks gets hit with DU ammunition.

Just felt like I'd contribute a little bit on that subject.

Another thing- Michael: You say 'My point in a nutshell' and then link to the video that shows all sorts of things. What exactly does this mean your point is? That America is turning communist? (that would explain why we elected Bush and tons of other very conservative senators and representatives) That all liberals are socialists? That all these Americans hate America? Just what are you trying to say?

Nathan Gusdorf

Short_Stack
04-20-2005, 12:54 AM
Kill 'em All Let God Sort Them Out!

Neil Mick
04-20-2005, 02:56 AM
Another thing- Michael: You say 'My point in a nutshell' and then link to the video that shows all sorts of things. What exactly does this mean your point is? That America is turning communist? (that would explain why we elected Bush and tons of other very conservative senators and representatives) That all liberals are socialists? That all these Americans hate America? Just what are you trying to say?

Nathan Gusdorf

If only he knew... :freaky:

Nice info on the DU, Nathan.

Michael Neal
04-20-2005, 01:08 PM
Another instance of someone continuing a brinig back a discussion from several years ago, get some new material.

Neil Mick
04-20-2005, 07:44 PM
Another instance of someone continuing a brinig back a discussion from several years ago, get some new material.

Fair enough: all of the original thread posts were written before F911 and "Outfoxed."

But, you cannot run away from your past. You've said some pretty provocative things here and in other threads on this site.

Personally, I stand by every word I have ever typed...even if I regret typing it, or if I have to admit it was a mistake, later.

Too bad you cannot do the same.

P.S. How IS that Aikido practice going, by the bye? Still at it, or are you just here "slumming," (see post #32, above) to show us poor dumb Aikidoka the "true meaning" of what "aiki" means? :hypno:

Nathan Gusdorf
04-20-2005, 10:59 PM
Alright, so the topic was old. But just to satisy my curiosity Michael, could u tell me what your point was? I don't see what showing that communists are anti-Bush (no surprise really) proves.

Michael Neal
04-21-2005, 08:13 AM
If you would go back and read my post you would see that I said "Hmmmmm could there other motivations to these guys other than inncocent pacifism?" As the video showed, the promotion of socialism seemed to be the central motivation of many of the protesters, not pacifism. That was my point and it is valid. I am not running away from anything. Many groups use protests such as these to promote themselves and their causes that are outside of the subject matter of the demonstration, it is marketing opportunity for them.

And what doeas the fact that the video is from Fox News have to do with anything? It is a video clip.

P.S. How IS that Aikido practice going, by the bye? Still at it, or are you just here "slumming," (see post #32, above) to show us poor dumb Aikidoka the "true meaning" of what "aiki" means?

I have an opinion about Aikido and it is different from yours, that is life. There are many active Aikidoka that share my view as well. I practice Judo now because I like it better but I still visit this site on occasion to read discussions because there are some aspects of Aikido that still interests me. I don't know why you have such a problem with that.

Kevin Leavitt
04-21-2005, 04:06 PM
Michael, How is the judo going? I have recently started studying BJJ with the Army and will be going to my first tournament on Saturday! Getting ready to turn 40 and messing around with 20 year olds! It is fun and learning alot.

Wish I would have taken some judo along time ago. I am sparring with a judo guy and his takedowns are simply amazing!

Don't always agree with your opinions, but certainly respect your right to post here, and frankly you always open my eyes to another side of the story that I did not consider. I have found your post to be intellegent and though provoking, not emotional or temperamental!

Good to see you are still here!

Nathan Gusdorf
04-21-2005, 06:30 PM
Ok Michael i won't go on and on but I'd just like to make two quick points:
1)the protestors were supporting communism and opposing the war, and typically socialists are pacifistic. They might be trying to recruit people while protesting and while i wouldn't be a socialist this is just called advertising. It does not mean that the motivation behind protesting the war is socialism for all or many or even some of the protestors. I suspect its a very very small number of people.

2) I personally hate fox news, some people love it. But regardless of how you personally feel about it the point is that it is not respected very well among a large number of people. I don't care if you cite Fox News however your evidence to support your point would be better if it were more highly regarded. Using news from Fox carries less legitimacy than if it were from The New York TImes or Wall Street Journal or even CNN.

Neil Mick
04-21-2005, 06:34 PM
If you would go back and read my post you would see that I said "Hmmmmm could there other motivations to these guys other than inncocent pacifism?" As the video showed, the promotion of socialism seemed to be the central motivation of many of the protesters, not pacifism. That was my point and it is valid. I am not running away from anything. Many groups use protests such as these to promote themselves and their causes that are outside of the subject matter of the demonstration, it is marketing opportunity for them.

Oh, please. When you turn on FoxNews, I am betting that you don't say "hmm could there be other motivations to these guys other than innocent journalism," even tho the NeoConservative backgrounds of the FoxNews'ters are evident.

Do the Socialists make their agendas as hidden as those of Fox, or even NPR? When you get down to it: NO one has a simple motivation to do anything. And the Left--whatever that means--is a generic term for many groups, with many motives. "Innocent pacifism" might not even BE on the list of some groups.

IMO, if you wish to look to the "hidden agendas" of ANYONE, you should first begin with Michael Neal, as I suspect your critique of the Left (whatever THAT is) is less than objective. You have an agenda.

I have an opinion about Aikido and it is different from yours, that is life. There are many active Aikidoka that share my view as well. I practice Judo now because I like it better but I still visit this site on occasion to read discussions because there are some aspects of Aikido that still interests me. I don't know why you have such a problem with that.

Good comment. I DON'T have a "problem," at all. Nor, do I have a problem with someone who does not train in AIkido posting here, not even if their opinion diverges from mine. It would be a pretty boring fora if we all had to agree, after all.

So, welcome, Michael. No one is saying that you have to toe the politically/martially-correct line. I'm with Kevin on this one: vive la difference! ;)

Short_Stack
04-21-2005, 09:58 PM
let me just say. THEY CAN'T KILL YOU IF THEIR DEAD! i would also like to say is when someone doesn't want peace they dont care if you want it. i think we should have killed them all, so it will never happen again. :D and if it did they would know what would happen to them!

Neil Mick
04-21-2005, 10:47 PM
let me just say. THEY CAN'T KILL YOU IF THEIR DEAD! i would also like to say is when someone doesn't want peace they dont care if you want it. i think we should have killed them all, so it will never happen again. :D and if it did they would know what would happen to them!

You can't expect anyone to take you seriously with this comment, can you?

Nathan Gusdorf
04-21-2005, 11:12 PM
let me just say. THEY CAN'T KILL YOU IF THEIR DEAD! i would also like to say is when someone doesn't want peace they dont care if you want it. i think we should have killed them all, so it will never happen again. and if it did they would know what would happen to them!

Im not sure whats more disturbing- You actually thinking that thats funny or you actually thinking thats true

Michael Neal
04-22-2005, 07:52 AM
Michael, How is the judo going? I have recently started studying BJJ with the Army and will be going to my first tournament on Saturday! Getting ready to turn 40 and messing around with 20 year olds! It is fun and learning alot.

Wish I would have taken some judo along time ago. I am sparring with a judo guy and his takedowns are simply amazing!

Don't always agree with your opinions, but certainly respect your right to post here, and frankly you always open my eyes to another side of the story that I did not consider. I have found your post to be intellegent and though provoking, not emotional or temperamental!

Good to see you are still here!

Thanks Kevin. I am glad you are having fun with BJJ and Judo, I wish I could have discovered it earlier as well.

Michael Neal
04-22-2005, 08:00 AM
Oh, please. When you turn on FoxNews, I am betting that you don't say "hmm could there be other motivations to these guys other than innocent journalism," even tho the NeoConservative backgrounds of the FoxNews'ters are evident.

Do the Socialists make their agendas as hidden as those of Fox, or even NPR? When you get down to it: NO one has a simple motivation to do anything. And the Left--whatever that means--is a generic term for many groups, with many motives. "Innocent pacifism" might not even BE on the list of some groups.

IMO, if you wish to look to the "hidden agendas" of ANYONE, you should first begin with Michael Neal, as I suspect your critique of the Left (whatever THAT is) is less than objective. You have an agenda.


Fox News does have a conservative slant but CNN has a liberal slant, every news source has one kind of slant or another. So you really can't single out Fox News, you just don't like them because they don't slant your way.

I also can't see how Fox News has anything to do with the video, it speaks for itself not matter who presented it.

And of course I have a slant I am a conservative and you have a left-wing slant Neil.

Neil Mick
04-22-2005, 01:11 PM
Fox News does have a conservative slant but CNN has a liberal slant, every news source has one kind of slant or another. So you really can't single out Fox News, you just don't like them because they don't slant your way.


It's one thing to "slant:" quite another to misinform. FoxNews makes daily attempts to spin the news in a NeoCon direction.

And CNN, Liberal? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Funny, if CNN is so Liberal: where were all of the anti-war commentators during the invasion? Why didn't they have on anchorppl trumpeting "x days before Kerry is elected," as Fox did for Bush?

I could go on and on, but "Outfoxed" documents the misleading non-news that passes for journalism, over there. As duPre (a former Fox journalist) noted: Over in Fox, we don't "broadcast" news: we "narrowcast" the target viewers expectations to compliment his own worldview."

FoxNews is little better than PR for the Right. CNN is little better. Sure, you can say that it's my "slant," but look at studies that show the number of Liberal guests on both shows (and no, I don't mean milquetoasts like Coombs), in comparison to Conservative guests.

And of course I have a slant I am a conservative and you have a left-wing slant Neil.

Yes, but I don't look at the Minutemen, say: and ponder what is their "hidden agenda," other than xenophobia and misinformation. I don't look at any mass-movement actions and suggest that there's some "alternative reason" for why they assemble.

I'm willing to bet dimes to donuts you got that off FoxNews, as well. Doesn't it disturb you that all these RightWing perspectives all originate from PR firms? BushCo is not singular in its use of PR (Clinton did it too); but they ARE singular in how MUCH they manipulate the media.

Remember the journalists paid to tout No Child Left Behind? I guess, to you: it's all a "few bad apples," while the eevel protestors lurk on the sidelines with their "hidden agendas." :rolleyes:

Short_Stack
04-22-2005, 04:13 PM
i dont know about you guys but i dont want to die. you guys might but i dont. and if i have to kill them first i would! i was serious on the statement about. It would work too

Neil Mick
04-22-2005, 06:26 PM
i dont know about you guys but i dont want to die. you guys might but i dont. and if i have to kill them first i would! i was serious on the statement about. It would work too

Only in the fevered imaginings of someone with no experience dealing with people on any complex level.

Look, son: bumper-sticker philosophy only works in the movies, where dead-people get up again when the director says "cut."

Short_Stack
04-23-2005, 01:56 PM
well would have rather gone to iraq and have 1,000 killed by trying to stop terrorist or something like 911 and have 2,000 killed by them? its one thing to come to our country and run a plane into our building. I'm just sad no one on the plane a good old american BEAT DOWN! See when people are running planes into building..............THEY DONT WANT PEACE!

Nathan Gusdorf
04-23-2005, 03:18 PM
Going into Iraq was for the purpose of taking their oil. It did not stop any terrorism, nor was it an attempt to do so. It was supposedly about those "hidden WMDs". Also, we killed way more than 1000 people and have lost a lot of our own troops. It has not done anything to fight terrorism, in fact it has made it worse. It is no longer only paranoid fundamentalists who think America is evil and want to destroy us. People in the Middle East have seen our abusive show of force and now there are a lot more people who hate the United States and want to destroy us. In addition almost all of the world hates us now for invading iraq, and regardless of how srtong we are militarily we still need good diplomacy. If you think that because we have a big army we can do whatever we want to whomever we want and forget about diplomacy then your are very naive.

Neil Mick
04-23-2005, 08:07 PM
Nathan addressed your points pretty well, but sometimes an alternative approach makes the point, too; so here goes.

well would have rather gone to iraq and have 1,000 killed by trying to stop terrorist or something like 911 and have 2,000 killed by them? its one thing to come to our country and run a plane into our building. I'm just sad no one on the plane a good old american BEAT DOWN! See when people are running planes into building..............THEY DONT WANT PEACE!

Let us clarify a few realities, shall we:

1. Neither the Iraqi's (whom I assume you mean by "them") nor Hussein had anything to do with 9-11.

2. Nor, as Nathan pointed out: did Hussein or the Iraqi's have wmd's, or anything more threatening to the US than having OUR oil underneath THEIR soil (are you noting the sarcasm? I hope so).

3. "They" (meaning the 9-11 terrorists) are not representative of the whole population within the Middle East. Do you believe that all American's believe what the US government says, or believes?

4. Are you sitting down, Randy? I hope so, because this next one might be a bit of a shocker. The Al Qaeda terrorists did NOT bomb the WTC on 9-11 because they "hate freedom," or even because they "hate American's." Osama bin Ladin (http://256.com/gray/blog/2004/11/09_1.html) was quite specific in his last speech as to why he planned 9-11:

Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar of human life and that free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom. If so, then let him explain to us why we don't strike for example - Sweden? And we know that freedom-haters don't possess defiant spirits like those of the 19 - may Allah have mercy on them.

No, we fight because we are free men who don't sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. So shall we lay waste to yours. No one except a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then makes himself believe he will be secure. Whereas thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again.

But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred. So I shall talk to you about the story behind those events and shall tell you truthfully about the moments in which the decision was taken, for you to consider.

I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.

The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.

I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy. The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond.

You see? OBL (whether you believe him or not) claims revenge as his motive. Now, if you're an intelligent, thinking human being: doncha think that it might behoove you to ponder exactly why he's seeking revenge, rather than take a "kill 'em all" approach?

5. OBL and Al Qaeda represents the whole fabric of Middle Eastern society and its peoples about as much as Timothy McVeigh represents the whole US. That is to say, not one little bit.

And yet, you want to kill innocents because there are terrorists in the Middle East. Newsflash: there are terrorists in our country, too. Homegrown, no less.

So, where do you wish to begin the killing? East Coast, or West? :crazy:

Short_Stack
04-23-2005, 08:55 PM
ok you guys are the dumbest tree huggers i know!!!!!! your right no one had anything to do with 911! ya ok LIBERALS :confused:

Neil Mick
04-23-2005, 11:50 PM
ok you guys are the dumbest tree huggers i know!!!!!! your right no one had anything to do with 911! ya ok LIBERALS :confused:

Yes, and so the troll is un-masked...move along...nothing to see... :straightf

Nathan Gusdorf
04-23-2005, 11:54 PM
I will admit to being somethign of a "tree hugger", but i don't think that even with the extremely intellectual and deeply analytical nature of your posts you have the right to call any of us dumb. Also, you don't know me. And the word 'liberal' might be an insult to your friends but it does not personally offend me, just for reference. The point that Neil and I both made was that going into Iraq did nothing for your supposed attempt to stop terrorism, not that no one was responsible for 9/11.
My only request is that you be more specific in your arguments; you typically use no antecedents and don't directly reply to anything.

Short_Stack
04-24-2005, 01:14 AM
i dont wanna talk to you stupid gay abortion gun hatting people!!!! if you guys wanna kill ever one cause you dont want to stop terroist! why do you think GOD gave us animals to eat and tree's to cut down for us. you stupid liberals care more about freekin tree's and animals than humans!

Kevin Leavitt
04-24-2005, 05:00 AM
Randy,

I believe you are basically a troll. but, for arguments sake, are you in a position to be a part of your so called solution? Are you in the miiltary? If not, then why not, not old enough? don't meet the criteria? what is your excuse if you are not.

Lets try and keep things constructive. If you have nothing to contribute in general, there are websites that are more in line with how you are posting.

Short_Stack
04-24-2005, 11:58 AM
first i am not old enough, i was actually planning on going into the guard but i do have a baby and i want my daughter to have a dad as long as possible but if they ask me i would be more than willing to go if my counrty calls me to war.

Nathan Gusdorf
04-24-2005, 06:44 PM
Randy- I could say so many things however I am not going to waste my time replying to your ignorant comments. Maybe you should remember that this is an aikido forum. If you practice aikido then maybe you should work on the parts about blending and being peaceful. If not then I wonder why you are posting ignorant offensive political messages here. This is not any old internet chat room where people lob pointless attacks on other people like calling them 'stupid' or 'gay' or 'abortion', if that can even be interpreted as an insult. Try to be constructive.

makuchg
04-24-2005, 08:26 PM
Very well said Nathan. Now I am in the military and have spent the last three years in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and most recently Iraq). I was at Abu Ghuraib Prison and have seen the effects of U.S. intervention in Iraq. Whether or not you agree with why we went into the country, the people (regular Iraqis, not the ruling class) are very welcoming of Americans. We are doing good for the people, although the argument will rage on about whether or not we were justified to initially invade.

Nathan Gusdorf
04-24-2005, 08:51 PM
Greg-

While I personally don't think we should be in Iraq I respect that you are there fighting for our country. I am interested in what you said about how the people feel about the American soldiers because there have clearly been many who claim they love us and many who claim they hate us. Obviously the Iraqis don't all feel the same way however I am interested in the perspective of someone who has actually been there that hasn't been filtered through the media. Especially because you were at Abu Ghraib. I can't imagine what it was like to be there during the whole torture scandal. Also, do u apply any Aikido principles to actual combat?

Kevin Leavitt
04-25-2005, 02:07 AM
It is interesting to see that many people who are engaged in the fight on terrorism approach it from a with great respect and the seriousness that it deserves.

The Army's values are exactly inline with those of aikido, so you might say that the "principles" apply 100%. They are: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

The challenge is not that the principles/values are not inline, it is making sure that soldiers understand, internalize, and apply them. The Army is a big machine with lots of personailties. Not everyone approaches things from the same perspective or applies them, unfortunately.

Stories of compassion, kindness, and positive things do not sell in the media as well as scandal, outrage, and controversy. For every example of negative, you can find 10 acts of compassion. I know that is probably hard for some to understand, but it is the truth.

As Nathan points out, we can discuss all day long about the politics, and how, and why, that is for the bureaucrats and voters to fight it out over. While I may not always agree with conservatives and liberals on all points....I am glad we have the polarities to keep things accountable.

What we don't need is people spouting of ignorance and hatred...it does no one any good.

Kevin Leavitt
04-25-2005, 02:09 AM
Oops..sorry Gregory, accidently gave Nathan credit for something you said!

makuchg
04-25-2005, 05:44 AM
No problem Kevin.

Nathan, as you know it is difficult to generalize about a population. On a whole, the Iraqis were a very oppressed people. They lived in conditions that would seem almost unimaginable (mud buildings, thatch roofs, and carpets for doors.) Most southern Iraqis and Kurds lived without electricity or running water. This was a spartan existance to say the least. The one thing they did have was fear. Saddam was very oppressive to these people. Now there are a lot of oppressive dictators on earth, so I am not going to use that as a justification for our invasion, nor will I use the human rights issues becuase we didn't invade Rawanda, I will use this to justify the feelings toward U.S. occupation.

Initially, the people were very hesitant and not trustworthy of the U.S. presence. You have to remember that any signs of support would be met with death if the Ba'ath party or Saddam remained in power. The other factor was the militants. They were killing or threatening anyone who supported U.S. efforts, even if they simply worked on U.S. funded contracts. For example, a construction company's employees would be killed for rebuilding a hospital in a downtown area. Now this wasn't a U.S. hospital, it was an Iraqi hospital but the rebuilding was funded by the U.S. Despite this, children still ran from their homes to wave to Americans driving by or at helicopters circling overhead. People showed either support or indifference on the most part. By the time I left (January 2005), Iraqis were working on almost all U.S. bases, incidents of militant activity was greatly decreased, national elections were about to be held, and quality of life was improving 100 fold. Now I'm not going to paint a picture of roses, there still are problems and there still are pockets of anti-American resistance, but the Iraqis are taking charge of their lives for the most part.

You have to remember that most Middle Eastern people are VERY welcoming and open with strangers. The beduoin communities of sheep herders and camel ranchers survived for thousands of years on the kindness of strangers. Such was life in a nomadic region. The British government established boundaries where none existed when the colonized the region via the Sykes-Picot Agreement (http://www.mideastweb.org/mesykespicot.htm).

With that said, most of the Iraqis have never been involved in politics, they simply lived the lives they had. The U.S. didn't change that, we improved most people's lives (electricity, running water, plumbing, schools, etc.) Seeing Iraqi children tending goats and sheep in January with ice on the ground and no shoes or coats is heart wrenching, especially since I have three children myself. These things are not completely gone yet, but they are improving.

While some may not agree with why were there, and there have been tragic losses of life both civilian and military, I don't think you can deny that the Iraqi people are better off than they were under Saddam Hussein.

As for the oil argument, and I've read most points of view, how can anyone truly believe we went into Iraq for the oil while they pay $2.00+ a gallon at the pump. OPEC still controls the world's oil market and this invasion did not line the U.S. oil coffers (sort-a-speak).

makuchg
04-25-2005, 06:44 AM
Nathan,

Sorry, I got rambling and forgot to address the Aikido in combat question. Bluntly-Yes. I am a big fan of George Leonard's blending and diffusion techniques he talks about in "The Way of Aikido-Life Lessons of an American Sensei" and have found these techniques very effective in diffusing all kinds of volitile situations. I have also found that working with cultures often very different from my own, blending with their cultural norms helps me get accepted and trusted. Finally I often teach Aikido when deployed. This helps the military members have a positive place to dispurse energy, frustration, and anger (see my photo of Abu Ghuraib Aikido). I also teach or study when overseas, I taught at the Powerhouse Dojo run by a Filipino instructor in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Through Aikido I have met some truly remarkable people in some truly remarkable locations.

Michael Neal
04-25-2005, 07:58 AM
It's one thing to "slant:" quite another to misinform. FoxNews makes daily attempts to spin the news in a NeoCon direction.

And CNN, Liberal? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Funny, if CNN is so Liberal: where were all of the anti-war commentators during the invasion? Why didn't they have on anchorppl trumpeting "x days before Kerry is elected," as Fox did for Bush?

I could go on and on, but "Outfoxed" documents the misleading non-news that passes for journalism, over there. As duPre (a former Fox journalist) noted: Over in Fox, we don't "broadcast" news: we "narrowcast" the target viewers expectations to compliment his own worldview."

FoxNews is little better than PR for the Right. CNN is little better. Sure, you can say that it's my "slant," but look at studies that show the number of Liberal guests on both shows (and no, I don't mean milquetoasts like Coombs), in comparison to Conservative guests.



Yes, but I don't look at the Minutemen, say: and ponder what is their "hidden agenda," other than xenophobia and misinformation. I don't look at any mass-movement actions and suggest that there's some "alternative reason" for why they assemble.

I'm willing to bet dimes to donuts you got that off FoxNews, as well. Doesn't it disturb you that all these RightWing perspectives all originate from PR firms? BushCo is not singular in its use of PR (Clinton did it too); but they ARE singular in how MUCH they manipulate the media.

Remember the journalists paid to tout No Child Left Behind? I guess, to you: it's all a "few bad apples," while the eevel protestors lurk on the sidelines with their "hidden agendas." :rolleyes:

Please provide an example of a news anchorperson on Fox news counting the days before Bush is elected, I say baloney.

You may not like Fox and think it is more innaccurate than other sources but I see just the opposite, I regularly see left wing media sources lie and distort to push their agenda.

Like I said before, it is matter of what perspective you are coming from. Given that Fox is the one and only TV media source that has a conservative slant, I think liberals really just need to watch one of the other stations if they do not like it. This is what is great about America, you have a choice.

Nathan Gusdorf
04-25-2005, 05:07 PM
Greg-

Thanks for your responses, they were very interesting. I am glad the Iraqi people are better off now and I am happy that Saddam is out of power. I have other issues with the Iraq situation but they are with our government, not our soldiers or the Iraqis or such. I would have to add that regardless of the positive effects of the invasion our governments motives are questionable considering the amount of circumstantial evidence that would support the idea that we went in for oil. But regardless, I am glad you are doing a good job overseas. Thanks for your comments on the application of AIkido principles.



Michael- If you haven't noticed the nature of this forum has become somewhat positive and I think it would be better to try and keep it that way than to start arguments about the "liberal media" because you will not be convinced that Fox News is severely biased and neither Neil nor I will be convinced that every other news network spreads liberal lies.

Neil Mick
04-25-2005, 06:24 PM
Please provide an example of a news anchorperson on Fox news counting the days before Bush is elected, I say baloney.

Yesp, you're right: my mistake...it was Hannity, providing the near-daily countdown's for Bush's re-selection.

But, find an equivalent person on the other "Liberal" stations, engaging in such partisan politics...not Maher, not ANYONE (and remember who declared Bush the winner in 2000 FIRST? Yep, it was his cousin, who works on Fox. Oh, just a coincidence, I'm sure... :rolleyes: )

You may not like Fox and think it is more innaccurate than other sources but I see just the opposite, I regularly see left wing media sources lie and distort to push their agenda.

Leave out the words "left-wing" and I would have to agree with you.

Quick quiz, Mike; ever heard of Maher Arar (no peeking on google)? No? He was considered the major story-maker in Canada, last year. It seems that the US gov't (with Canadian gov't's assent) sent Arar, a native Canadian, to Syria, where he claimed that he was tortured for 10 months before he was returned.

Why? Suspicion of terrorist activities. The result? Zilch: an innocent victim was tortured. Again (but, Bush received a guarantee that Arar wasn't tortured.

Just last week, Bush said in a speech that "torture occurs in Syria." Guess he's just a trusting soul, Our Beloved (mass murdering liar of a) President. Guess that he believes that they put Arar up in a nice, cushy hotel after he was "extroadinarily rendered" to a country that commits torture, as we have done with hundreds of other suspects.

Funny, how the "Left wing" media seems to ignore these stories that would look quite scandalous for BushCo, were they to be properly investigated.

Like I said before, it is matter of what perspective you are coming from.

Garbage. Bias is a quantifiable factor. We can sit down and count where and when there was a misstatement, paragraph by paragraph, in any given story. We can also compare the amount of Liberal vs Conservative guests brought on as news sources, on any station, to measure bias. This is why the notion of "Left-Wing media bias" within the mainstream is a myth: it is easily disproven. And, if you trace it back: you can find that it originates from one or two sources who have NO reliable scientific data to back up their claims.

It's not about "perspective:" it's about how far the media-source distorts or scrambles the information to present a distorted view of the world. And our mainstream media has a proven track-record of distorting the media, in a Rightward slant.

Consider these stories from "Project Censored." (http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2005/index.html) Now, if the mainstream media WERE simply Left-leaning while FoxNews was Right and it's all a matter of "perception:" this list would be irrelevant...all of the stories would receive ample coverage (since, why would a Left-leaning outlet regularly censor stories that support their "agenda?")

But Project Censored has been around for at least 10 years. MANY stories get swept under the carpet. And again: you failed to answer my question posed above...if the mainstream media is all so "Liberal:" why weren't anti-war protestors given their 15 minutes, on the news?

But that's all right, Michael: you go on and state that this is all irrelevant, that the protestors were all just hoodlums and that you're right, as usual, etc, ad nauseum.

It's your usual M.O., after all. :rolleyes:

Given that Fox is the one and only TV media source that has a conservative slant, I think liberals really just need to watch one of the other stations if they do not like it. This is what is great about America, you have a choice.

Yes, yes: back to sleepytime, now. I hear FoxNews is coming on soon...hey! Maybe they'll play some old reruns: and we can watch the "suspected WMD-sites" they showed in cool full-color graphics, circa the invasion! :dead: :dead:

And then you can cheer "Go USA! Let's Roll!" again, Bush can claim that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" (on the carrier of the "Abraham Lincoln," at taxpayer expense), and we can all pretend that the folly of invasion never happened.

Just like old times. :rolleyes:

Neil Mick
04-25-2005, 08:40 PM
Greg-

Thanks for your responses, they were very interesting. I am glad the Iraqi people are better off now and I am happy that Saddam is out of power. I have other issues with the Iraq situation but they are with our government, not our soldiers or the Iraqis or such.

Last week I trained with Iraqi's, in Cyprus (you can read about it in my blog, on this site). I had a golden opportunity to ask them their views on the Occupation, and the Invasion. To this day, I am not entirely sure why I didn't ask. But, the context did not feel right. We weren't there to talk about politics. And, believe it or not: I do not like to talk politics when I train. There is a time and a place for everything, and that Seminar, IMO, was not the place to air my political sentiments.

But, one or two Iraqi's DID air their views. They felt that the invasion may/may not have been appropriate, but now that they have democracy, it is far better than life under Hussein. Now, they are able to express their views, whereas before they would have been imprisoned (or worse) for the same thing.

Maybe so. Maybe things ARE better without Hussein. But, the truth of the matter is we don't know the full spectrum of Iraqi opinion about the occupation because our Army censors the press in Iraq. They are not allowed to freely criticize the Occupying Army.

Until Iraqi's are allowed to govern themselves free of foreign occupation, we will never know the true feelings of Iraqi's, regarding anything. What do the Iraqi's of Sadr City think of the Occupation? What about the former citizens of Fallujah?

We don't know, and the media blackout is ominous and disturbing. Not to mention, of course: how the torture at Abu Ghraib is only because of a "few bad apples," when it somehow seemed to also spring up at Gitmo, and in several bases in Afghanistan. Those "few bad apples" sure could get around, couldn't they? :disgust: And now, a recent Army investigation clears four of the five top officers in Iraq of any ties to the torture scandals. Tsk.

makuchg
04-25-2005, 09:25 PM
Neil,

We have definitely had conversations like this in the past, while I was in Iraq I think. Always nice to debate with someone who has the intelligence to at least listen to anothers view, even if they don't always agree. While I don't dispute the appearance of inpropriety can be just as damaging as actual inpropriety, I'm not convinced there was any intentional action by the U.S. government. Now there may have been, or not, but the beauty of our system is you have the right, as do I and any other American to question our government. Fortunately the Iraqis do now also.

As for your question about sentiment in Fallujah or Sadr City, look at the locations. The key to Saddam's rule was the oppression of the Shiite majority and the Kurdish. The locations you described were predominantly Sunni and thus looked out for by Saddam during his regime. With the majority of the oppression missing these people, there lot in life was dramatically better than the Shiites or the Kurds. As a result, they were more likely to be pro-Saddam or Ba'ath party and thus many fled to these supportive regions following the regime collapse. It is only natural that these are the locations of the most resistance.

I also agree the Iraqi's must govern themselves. We must allow this to take place and we must ensure international involvement to prevent the appearance of a U.S. puppet government.

Nathan Gusdorf
04-25-2005, 09:46 PM
Maybe so. Maybe things ARE better without Hussein. But, the truth of the matter is we don't know the full spectrum of Iraqi opinion about the occupation because our Army censors the press in Iraq.

Neil- This is exactly one of my questions about Iraq- How do they feel. I haven't had any firsthand experience with the matter and I don't trust the news to report accurately on the situation. I think its great the you and Greg had the chance to meet the actual people who's country we are occupying. I think the Bush Administration has many goals and motives in this invasion that are different from what many people think they are. I think that if we can effectively establish a working government for the people it would be great and present some hope for the middle east, However I am skeptical that we will completely get out

Neil Mick
04-25-2005, 10:57 PM
Neil,

We have definitely had conversations like this in the past, while I was in Iraq I think. Always nice to debate with someone who has the intelligence to at least listen to anothers view, even if they don't always agree.

Thanks. The sentiments are mutual.


While I don't dispute the appearance of inpropriety can be just as damaging as actual inpropriety, I'm not convinced there was any intentional action by the U.S. government. Now there may have been, or not, but the beauty of our system is you have the right, as do I and any other American to question our government. Fortunately the Iraqis do now also.

See, that's not the point. Whether it was intentional or not, is less important than whether or not we took steps to have a full and impartial investigation, to see how far up the chain of command it goes, and to prosecute those responsible.

This did not happen. Now, when we decry other countries' acts of torture, all they have to do is point to Abu Ghraib. The damage of our credibility in international law has not been addressed, and won't be unless the heads of state responsible are investigated.

As for your question about sentiment in Fallujah or Sadr City, look at the locations. The key to Saddam's rule was the oppression of the Shiite majority and the Kurdish. The locations you described were predominantly Sunni and thus looked out for by Saddam during his regime.

Sadr City, AFAIK: was (and is) a stronghold for Muktadr al Sadr because it is poor and had a long-standing, but underground, people's movement welling up since the days of Hussein.

With the majority of the oppression missing these people, there lot in life was dramatically better than the Shiites or the Kurds. As a result, they were more likely to be pro-Saddam or Ba'ath party and thus many fled to these supportive regions following the regime collapse. It is only natural that these are the locations of the most resistance.

Yes, and I have little faith that they support the Occupation any more, in the present: now that many of the former Fallujan's are watching from the sidelines of a refugee camp. We're not hearing very much about life inside Fallujah, you notice?

I also agree the Iraqi's must govern themselves. We must allow this to take place and we must ensure international involvement to prevent the appearance of a U.S. puppet government.

IMO, the US needs to get out of the Occupation business. Yesterday. And the sooner the Iraqi security can train themselves, the better. But if the Iraqi security forces are going to be anything other than insurgent-targets, they need to divorce themselves from the Occupation force, ASAP.

makuchg
04-26-2005, 03:39 PM
The investigation into whether the American's misled the public about the invasion is somewhat off cue. In reality, the American's did not need any "permission" to invade based on the United Nations resolutions (http://www.un.int/usa/sres-iraq.htm). The material breach outlined by the United Nations authorized the use of force to ensure compliance. The UN held Iraq in material breach, not the United States. The United States acted on the decisions of the UN. The problems arose when the UN again balked at enforcing their resolution and the US did not. Now we can argue all day about whether or not the US should have acted, but IMO once the UN declared the material breach and the resolution authorized the use of force to create compliance, as a UN member they acted within their right. Now I don't contend to be an expert in international policy or regulation, but it seems to me that once the resolution was signed and accepted by Iraq they knew the consequences of their actions. The fact that no one acted on the 10+ years of "material breach" prior to the US invasion is irrelevant, the reality is the Iraq government knew the requirements of the resolutions and that force was authorized. It is not like the UN thought Iraq was adhering to the resolutions and the US went anyway, the UN agreed Iraq was in material breach long before the arguments by the US before the UN prior to the invasion.

As for the Fallujah residents, you are right there isn't much news coming from them. I don't know why and not being in the region I can't even speculate. Oh what the hell I will anyway. My guess is the region has quieted down since the clamp down by the Marines. I would assume most insurgents moved to other areas or are staying low key due to risk of capture or death.

Neil Mick
04-26-2005, 08:01 PM
The investigation into whether the American's misled the public about the invasion is somewhat off cue. In reality, the American's did not need any "permission" to invade based on the United Nations resolutions (http://www.un.int/usa/sres-iraq.htm). The material breach outlined by the United Nations authorized the use of force to ensure compliance. The UN held Iraq in material breach, not the United States. The United States acted on the decisions of the UN. The problems arose when the UN again balked at enforcing their resolution and the US did not. Now we can argue all day about whether or not the US should have acted, but IMO once the UN declared the material breach and the resolution authorized the use of force to create compliance, as a UN member they acted within their right.

That's nice, and there's where we disagree. The UN laws specifically state that no member of the SC can unilaterally enforce the mandates of the UN. Period.

Now I don't contend to be an expert in international policy or regulation, but it seems to me that once the resolution was signed and accepted by Iraq they knew the consequences of their actions.

You also ignore that BushCo went right over the heads of the weapons inspectors, which were reporting positive, if somewhat guarded, results, at the time.

The fact that no one acted on the 10+ years of "material breach" prior to the US invasion is irrelevant, the reality is the Iraq government knew the requirements of the resolutions and that force was authorized.

Nope. Read the END of UN SC 1441. Especially read the caveat put in by Russia. The last words were "remains to be seized." What this means is that several SC members wanted to wait until the full story was in (a story that went through several convolutions, in the '90's), before they decided what form the enforcement should take.

It is not like the UN thought Iraq was adhering to the resolutions and the US went anyway, the UN agreed Iraq was in material breach long before the arguments by the US before the UN prior to the invasion.

That's right, but the UN SC did not determine WHAT "material breech" meant, exactly: and here is where the US went off the rails.

This is an old argument. The reality is that the US, in contradiction of the direction the UN SC was leaning, went off and violated the spirit and the nature of international law. This is why the international law situation is such a mess, today. It's also why the US has such a plummeting credibility image.

If the US was such a good international citizen in 2003: then why are so many international lawmakers opining that the US could possibly have been in violation of international law?

As for the Fallujah residents, you are right there isn't much news coming from them. I don't know why and not being in the region I can't even speculate. Oh what the hell I will anyway. My guess is the region has quieted down since the clamp down by the Marines. I would assume most insurgents moved to other areas or are staying low key due to risk of capture or death.

OK, that's one possibility. And, I imagine that that's all true. Here's my speculation: we turned Fallujah into an unliveable killing-field, and the US Occupation Force is clamping down on media sources in the same way that the IDF clamps down upon similar media releases whenever they engage in similar actions in Palestine. Makes sense, as it fits a pattern.

Neil Mick
04-26-2005, 08:07 PM
Neil- This is exactly one of my questions about Iraq- How do they feel. I haven't had any firsthand experience with the matter and I don't trust the news to report accurately on the situation.

No, IMO: you shouldn't. Funny, how we aren't hearing much about the "wonders of Iraqi reconstruction," isn't it? No, instead: Condi Rice squelches the figures about terrorist attacks, in the report to Congress.

I am skeptical that we will completely get out

Yep, me too. This folly will turn into a "long, hard slog," with President after President floundering in ways to "pull out, with honor."

As a nation, we might be whizzes of the world in making cool new gadgets, but when it comes to learning from past mistakes or keeping up with the social pulse of the world, we suck. :freaky:

makuchg
04-26-2005, 08:48 PM
Well we can continue to disagree. I can see an argument for both sides, but what all the resolutions have in common is they do not negate a countries right to self defense. Whether Iraq posed a threat or not is as hot a debate as any, but the reality is the U.S. used this as a premise for the invasion. Based on intelligence, the Bush administration argued that Iraq posed a threat to the security of the U.S.

As for "The UN laws specifically state that no member of the SC can unilaterally enforce the mandates of the UN. Period" I was unable to locate that in any UN Charter paragraph, specifically chapter VII which deals with these issues. If you can reference the chapter and article I'd appreciate it.

"That's right, but the UN SC did not determine WHAT "material breech" meant, exactly: and here is where the US went off the rails" Actually the resolution lists very specific violations that constituted material breach. For example from SC Resolution 1441:

". Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraq's failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the IAEA, and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 of resolution 687 (1991);" Seems specific to me.

Since the threads seem to focus on improper action by the Bush administration (and I'm in no way a supporter of this administration), I think it fair to look at the other players on the field. France and Russia, two of the most outspoken opponents of the war in Iraq were also recipients of very large sums of money according to the London Times, Washington Times, and other news sources in the "Oil-for-Food" programme. Additionally, the UN Secretary General's family was implicated in the scandal, called the Oil-for-Fraud by the Economist. I find it odd those most openly against the U.S. invasion were also those with the greatest hidden financial agendas which are now coming to light.

I find it odd we focus on the American ulterior motives, but no one else's.

Neil Mick
04-27-2005, 12:55 AM
Well we can continue to disagree. I can see an argument for both sides, but what all the resolutions have in common is they do not negate a countries right to self defense. Whether Iraq posed a threat or not is as hot a debate as any, but the reality is the U.S. used this as a premise for the invasion. Based on intelligence, the Bush administration argued that Iraq posed a threat to the security of the U.S.

Based on WHOSE intelligence? Certainly not anyone using their brain (OK, sorry: I hadda say it). :crazy:

But a poll shortly before the invasion had only the US and Israel as believing Iraq to be any sort of a threat. I'm sorry, but they hyped and cherry-picked the intel. Remember the Office of Special Plans?

They also interfered with due process, transparency, and resorted to bullying, bugging, and outright threatening, to push through a vote. Remember the bugged UN offices, the excised Iraq weapons report (about 6000 pages)?

In all senses, BushCo circa before the invasion acted like a thug-cop on the take. So, if it walks like a thug and talks like a thug...

As for "The UN laws specifically state that no member of the SC can unilaterally enforce the mandates of the UN. Period" I was unable to locate that in any UN Charter paragraph, specifically chapter VII which deals with these issues. If you can reference the chapter and article I'd appreciate it.

Articles 41 and 42 of the U.N. Charter declare that no member state has the right to enforce any resolution with armed force unless the Security Council decides there has been a material breach of it resolution, and determines that all nonmilitary means of enforcement have been exhausted (they weren't). Then, the Council must specifically authorize the use of military force, as it did in November 1990 with Resolution 678, in response to Iraq's
occupation of Kuwait in violation of Security Council resolutions passed the previous August. The Security Council did not authorize any use of force for subsequent violations involving Iraq.

". Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraq's failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the IAEA, and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 of resolution 687 (1991);" Seems specific to me.

Nope. Again, read the last words of 1441: "remains to be seized," meaning: the item is still on the table. Another Resolution was meant to be voted upon to decide how, exactly: to punish Iraq. The US jumped the gun.

Since the threads seem to focus on improper action by the Bush administration (and I'm in no way a supporter of this administration), I think it fair to look at the other players on the field. France and Russia, two of the most outspoken opponents of the war in Iraq were also recipients of very large sums of money according to the London Times, Washington Times, and other news sources in the "Oil-for-Food" programme.

I think I'd much rather point the finger of fraud at the country that makes profit by war, than the country that makes profit via graft, first. And, if you want to start looking at spreadsheets and who was sleeping with whom, the US is in deep, through most of it, all throughout the '80's and '90's. Note the oft-linked pic of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein.

the UN Secretary General's family was implicated in the scandal, called the Oil-for-Fraud by the Economist. I find it odd those most openly against the U.S. invasion were also those with the greatest hidden financial agendas which are now coming to light.

Oh, I suppose you mean the pope, Kofi Annan, and the Dixie Chicks, in that list?

There were a broad swath of folks opposed to the war. Profit may have been a part of the dissent, but the Oil for Food scandal is a red herring. The Secretariat's office made several complaints for mismanagement to the SC as it was happening, but the SC failed to act. The US was privy to these shenanigan's at the time, and said nothing. Now suddenly: it's shocked, shocked! to find corruption going on within their ranks.

Uh huh.

I find it odd we focus on the American ulterior motives, but no one else's.

Because, the footprint of a superpower is far larger, than any other, and casts a deeper shadow.

Britain also has its Abu Ghraib scandal. And India also made its version of the Patriot Act. Pakistan and Australia are attempting to jail immigrants, based upon claims of national security.

Guess whose tune, they're following?

makuchg
04-27-2005, 05:47 AM
While I don't dispute the "remains to be seized" part of 1441, I quoted the paragraph because you indicated the UN didnot identify what was a material breach. Obviously they did identify what actions or inactions by Iraq constituted a "material breach" in several paragraphs.

I also do not dispute the U.S. footprint is much larger, but if we truly want to look at culpability in this situation, we cannot limit it to the biggest player on the field.

As for the non-military options left, what were they? After 10+ years of defiance, look at all the Iraq and Kuwait resolutions on the UN SC homepage and everyone spouts about noncompliance with UN resolutions. We had sanctions, no-fly zones, UN inspectors (who were kicked out on numerous occasions), etc and nothing changed Hussein's mind. While in Iraq I marveled at some of the palaces and kept asking the same question, "why would someone give all this up when all they had to do was comply with the UN?" It didn't make sense to me. I could not come up with a logical explanation. Why risk everything, unless you didn't believe anyone would enforce the resolutions.

I also agree that other countries will model their national and international policies on U.S. policies. If the U.S. does something that works (at least in a government's opinion), those other governments will follow suit and now the policy is acceptable because the U.S. does it. I wasn't implying to ignore American actions, just to look at the entire picture not just the U.S.

Adam Alexander
04-27-2005, 03:55 PM
Did anyone catch the Frontline special that reported what the Bush people did to get the invasion going?

Neil Mick
04-27-2005, 04:18 PM
While I don't dispute the "remains to be seized" part of 1441, I quoted the paragraph because you indicated the UN didnot identify what was a material breach. Obviously they did identify what actions or inactions by Iraq constituted a "material breach" in several paragraphs.

Yes, they did: but they did not identify what actions should be taken in the event of the material breech. And the US, as a single SC member, has no legal basis to determine how to punish Iraq, for this breech.

Certainly, claims of self-defence are specious, even back then. Iraq could barely have hurt Iran, much less the US, in 2002.

I also do not dispute the U.S. footprint is much larger, but if we truly want to look at culpability in this situation, we cannot limit it to the biggest player on the field.

Sorry, but I disagree. Especially if you consider the volume of crimes and misdemeanors the US gov't is engaged. Just look at it from the perspective of enforcing and punishing soldiers who violate human rights for example.

1. First, W pulls out of the ICC, refuses to sign.
2. Next, he creates his own unique outlook on self defence, calls it "pre-emptive attack," a term with no basis in international law (if this policy WERE international law, then I suppose Japan merely was pre-emptively defending itself at Pearl Harbor, circa 1941. Certainly, they had far more evidence of US intents of aggression, than the US did for Iraq. The papers at the time were howling for Japanese blood).
3. Then, we have the mass detentions of Arabs and Arab-Americans, without charges, and some of them extroadinarily rendered to other countries with a torture record.
4. Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and Afghani torture cases are heard, but with the exception of a few scapegoats tried, no independent investigation is carried out. In fact, successive investigations exhonorated the military leaders from wrongdoing.
5. Then we have the Palestine Hotel bombings, and the shooting of the car of Juliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist, as her car was fleeing toward Baghdad Airport. The US Army report completely exhonorates the soldiers there, as well; in spite of Sgrena's and the surviving agent's testimony to the contrary.

Are you seeing a pattern, here? The US defines what it wants in regard to international law, it goes in and when the roof caves in, it does damage-control, to protect its own. No independent investigations are carried out, no reform, its all business as usual, for BushCo and the Pentagon. In fact, the Pentagon tried to claim that they were winning the war in Iraq, and Condi Rice tried to squelch the stat's on terror attacks.

Sure, the other SC members hardly have clean hands, either: but I am hard-put to recall such profligate denials and end-run's around international law on their side.

Certainly, no other Atty Gen'l (or equivalent) has yet to sink to the level of calling the Geneva Conventions "quaint."


As for the non-military options left, what were they? After 10+ years of defiance, look at all the Iraq and Kuwait resolutions on the UN SC homepage and everyone spouts about noncompliance with UN resolutions. We had sanctions, no-fly zones, UN inspectors (who were kicked out on numerous occasions), etc and nothing changed Hussein's mind.

The inspectors were not kicked out on numerous occasions. In 1995, the UN pulled them out before the US bombing, and Hussein did not allow them to return.

BTW, the no-fly zones were also illegal. And, we now know that after 1991: Hussein got rid of his cache of weapons...weapons that WE largely supplied.

Again, all of these fears and claims of wmd's places a whole lot of import upon poor Iraq. Now why is that, I wonder? Could it be...the oil?? Why not concern ourselves with Israel, which has 200+ nuclear bombs in defiance of international law. Israel is also building illegal settlements, also contravening international law.

So let's be honest, here: the US was not simply attempting to mandate Iraqi compliance with the UN mandates. The US first knowingly targeted civilian infrastructures in Gulf War 1, tried to force Hussein to the bargaining table throughout the '90's via mass-starvation, bombings and abortive coup's, elected a President with plans to invade Iraq hours after he was elected, and contravened international law himself, on several levels, when his attempts to bully the SC failed.

While in Iraq I marveled at some of the palaces and kept asking the same question, "why would someone give all this up when all they had to do was comply with the UN?" It didn't make sense to me. I could not come up with a logical explanation. Why risk everything, unless you didn't believe anyone would enforce the resolutions.

He played (in hindsight) short-sided game of bluff. But, be real, here: the US wouldn't have let him slide, even if he came completely clean in '91.

I also agree that other countries will model their national and international policies on U.S. policies. If the U.S. does something that works (at least in a government's opinion), those other governments will follow suit and now the policy is acceptable because the U.S. does it. I wasn't implying to ignore American actions, just to look at the entire picture not just the U.S.

Fair enough.

Neil Mick
04-27-2005, 04:19 PM
Did anyone catch the Frontline special that reported what the Bush people did to get the invasion going?

No, I didn't. What was the gist of it?

Nathan Gusdorf
04-27-2005, 10:00 PM
Neil-
Your point about pre-emptive defense was perfect. You also said that we shoudl be concerned with Israel. I think that we should be concerned abotu the whole situation. Israel is surrounded by countries full of people that have wanted to destroy it since its beginning. The answer is not to disarm Israel because this is an important card it holds. An excellent book on this subject is "The Case for Israel" by Alan Dershowitz. Maybe you have already read it. He discusses when the government has been too agressive and made bad decisions and also refutes many of the common misconceptions about Israel.

Onto Iraq:
The Bush Administrations reasons for invading Iraq have kept changin over time. First it was that there were definitely WMDs. Then when there was so much proof that this was false that even they couldn't cover it up with bribery or extortion they said that to the best of our knowledge that they had WMDs. Not only is this unacceptable foreign policy for the United States but it could be used by any country to do anything they want. Ironically the people who typically support this claim say that America is the best country in the world and we are better and stronger than anyone and everyone else so we can do whatever we want. We just arent smart and strong enough to figure out whether or not a country has WMDs and whether or not we should conduct a massive invasion of a country. Then there is the 'Saddam was a bad dictator" claim. Ok so basically we now have to invade every country with a bad leader who has killed his own people. Does anyone remember why the Roman Empire fell? Colonialism will not help us. We are not invincible. Just because we are extremely militarily strong doesn't make us better than everyone and give us the right to do whatever we want.

Adam Alexander
04-28-2005, 02:44 PM
No, I didn't. What was the gist of it?

The Bush adm. coerced and lied to get the intelligence community to say what they wanted to hear.

As I recall, they had interviewed a group of intelligence people and, if I recall correctly, folks from the White House who corroberated the story.


What was the name of the book and author who was close (or possibly in) the Bush camp when they were trying to get the war going where he does a "tell all?" He was on the Daly Show and testified in front of (I believe) congress.

Nathan Gusdorf
04-28-2005, 06:02 PM
Jean,

Are you referring to Richard Clarke? He was like the security director under 4 different adminsitrations wrote a book named "Against All Enemies" about how W. basically told them they had to show evidence that supported invading Iraq and that the invasion was on his agenda long before 9/11, I believe. So, of course, even though he is fairly hawkish and conservative and served under Reagan the Bush Administration said they were all lies and fiction just to make money. Funny how anyone who speaks out against suddenly becomes a lying greed motivated evil person. Or, as we see in the case of the diplomat who showed that there were no WMDs, when they cant find any dirt or anything to discredit him they just try to make that persons life miserable. And then in the rare case that it is clearly proven they did something bad like when they paid off the CNN reporters or no WMDs were found they justify it with 'it was the right thing to do' and people buy it. Its like J. Edgar Hoover is back.

Anyone remember in the debates when a woman asked Bush to name three mistakes he had made and he started out by basically saying 'no i wont admit any' and then said 'well there were some minor tactical errors that occured' or something to that extent.

Neil Mick
04-28-2005, 08:12 PM
Neil-
Your point about pre-emptive defense was perfect. You also said that we shoudl be concerned with Israel. I think that we should be concerned abotu the whole situation. Israel is surrounded by countries full of people that have wanted to destroy it since its beginning. The answer is not to disarm Israel because this is an important card it holds. An excellent book on this subject is "The Case for Israel" by Alan Dershowitz. Maybe you have already read it. He discusses when the government has been too agressive and made bad decisions and also refutes many of the common misconceptions about Israel.

Sorry, Nathan: but we're on different sides of the political fence, in regard to Israel. I think that the best way to achieve peace in the ME is first to massively disarm Israel. IMO, the most "important card" Israel holds is its superpower ally...no one will invade Israel, even disarmed, so long as the US retains its "special relationship."

And, regarding Alan Dershowitz and "The Case for Israel:" I can't really take a book seriously, where its author (and the pseudo-facts contained therein) were given a serious drubbing by Norman Finkelstein on DemocracyNow! He called Dershowitz a plaguerist, to his face.

Watch the episode: (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/24/1730205&mode=thread&tid=38) its highly enlightening (if a little painful to watch, out of sympathy for Dershowitz).

Onto Iraq:
The Bush Administrations reasons for invading Iraq have kept changin over time. First it was that there were definitely WMDs. Then when there was so much proof that this was false that even they couldn't cover it up with bribery or extortion they said that to the best of our knowledge that they had WMDs. Not only is this unacceptable foreign policy for the United States but it could be used by any country to do anything they want. Ironically the people who typically support this claim say that America is the best country in the world and we are better and stronger than anyone and everyone else so we can do whatever we want. We just arent smart and strong enough to figure out whether or not a country has WMDs and whether or not we should conduct a massive invasion of a country. Then there is the 'Saddam was a bad dictator" claim. Ok so basically we now have to invade every country with a bad leader who has killed his own people. Does anyone remember why the Roman Empire fell? Colonialism will not help us. We are not invincible. Just because we are extremely militarily strong doesn't make us better than everyone and give us the right to do whatever we want.

True enough.

Neil Mick
04-28-2005, 08:14 PM
Jean,

Are you referring to Richard Clarke?

Yep, I think it was he.

Funny how anyone who speaks out against suddenly becomes a lying greed motivated evil person. Or, as we see in the case of the diplomat who showed that there were no WMDs, when they cant find any dirt or anything to discredit him they just try to make that persons life miserable.

You almost have to admire the beauty of a really top-notch PR firm, when its running on at speed.


Anyone remember in the debates when a woman asked Bush to name three mistakes he had made and he started out by basically saying 'no i wont admit any' and then said 'well there were some minor tactical errors that occured' or something to that extent.


Yeah, that's another thing about Bush: he seems to be allergic to admitting error (maybe his nose will grow, or something: if he admits error).

deepsoup
04-28-2005, 09:57 PM
Going back to the question of whether the invasion of Iraq was legal, this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/frontpage/4494289.stm) story about the legal advice given to the UK government prior to the invasion might interest you. Its been in the news a lot over here for the last couple of days.

Sean
x

Neil Mick
04-28-2005, 10:53 PM
Going back to the question of whether the invasion of Iraq was legal, this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/frontpage/4494289.stm) story about the legal advice given to the UK government prior to the invasion might interest you. Its been in the news a lot over here for the last couple of days.

Sean
x

Yes, his unpublished advice sort of underlines my argument.

BTW, good luck in ousting the "poodle," on May 6. ;)

Nathan Gusdorf
04-29-2005, 01:16 AM
That debate between Finkelstein and Dershowitz did nothing. They merely argued about plaguerism, with Finkelstein essentially saying 'you copied joan peters' over and over again and Dershowitz repeating what was read in his book. Nothing was proven or accomplished. It seemed silly and I don't think Dershowitz acted with enough restraint (granted he was being accused to his face of plageurizing) or Finkelstein actually got anywhere with his agruments.

Neil Mick
04-29-2005, 02:16 AM
That debate between Finkelstein and Dershowitz did nothing. They merely argued about plaguerism, with Finkelstein essentially saying 'you copied joan peters' over and over again and Dershowitz repeating what was read in his book. Nothing was proven or accomplished. It seemed silly and I don't think Dershowitz acted with enough restraint (granted he was being accused to his face of plageurizing) or Finkelstein actually got anywhere with his agruments.

In the space of about 15 minutes (with many interruptions from Dershowitz), he pointed out 2 factual errors and duplicate quotes, from one particular book.

Plaguerism is a very serious charge: so how come Dershowitz has not since pressed charges? No, IMO: Dershowitz got slammed.

makuchg
04-29-2005, 06:24 AM
no one will invade Israel, even disarmed, so long as the US retains its "special relationship."

Neil, I have to take issue with this statement. History has shown the Egypt, Syria, and Jordan have invaded Israel while the U.S. supports her. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/mideast/timeline.htm

In the Six-Day war (http://i-cias.com/e.o/sixdaywr.htm) remember it was Russian intervention that kept Israel from capturing Cairo. This was after Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

In the Yom Kippur War (http://lexicorient.com/e.o/yomkipwr.htm) Egypt and Syria invade Israel again. Through U.S. brokered peace talks Egypt and Syria regain land lost in the Six-Day war.

While I agree there are huge problems in the Middle East and after living in Arab countries for the last three years, I have listened extensively to that side of the argument. Bring up the Palestinian-Israel conflict in an Arab country and prepare for a lengthy discussion. Unlike most Americans, the Arabs are very well versed in history of the region and the "occupation" by Israel (I use quotes to indicate neither support nor condemnation for the situation, just accuracy in the Arab view). What I found is most argue the same point, why give Israel that particular piece of land. While having no military or resource value, it does have extensive religious value. The Arab contention is the land was give to the Israelis almost as reparations for the haulacaust. While every Arab I talked to believes the Israelis deserve reparations, none felt it should have been at the expense of the Arabs. They continually point out the Germans gave up no land for an Israeli nation, yet the Arabs did.

Now I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that disarming Israel and allowing the Arab nations to remain armed will not solve this issue. I do believe a peace can be brokered, but I do not believe it will last as long as the Jeruselem is occupied by either side. Since both view this city as holy, I would think an independent state for Jeruselem (almost like Vatican City), with a representative government made up of Muslims, Jews, and Christians and the remainder of Israel being a country unto itself (perhaps a name change to represent both Muslim and Jewish settlers). The government would have to be equally represented by Arabs and Jews and the terror attacks against Jews, as well as the use of military force by the Israelis would have to be stopped.

Michael Neal
04-29-2005, 07:56 AM
Yesp, you're right: my mistake...it was Hannity, providing the near-daily countdown's for Bush's re-selection.

But, find an equivalent person on the other "Liberal" stations, engaging in such partisan politics...not Maher, not ANYONE (and remember who declared Bush the winner in 2000 FIRST? Yep, it was his cousin, who works on Fox. Oh, just a coincidence, I'm sure... :rolleyes: )



Leave out the words "left-wing" and I would have to agree with you.

Quick quiz, Mike; ever heard of Maher Arar (no peeking on google)? No? He was considered the major story-maker in Canada, last year. It seems that the US gov't (with Canadian gov't's assent) sent Arar, a native Canadian, to Syria, where he claimed that he was tortured for 10 months before he was returned.

Why? Suspicion of terrorist activities. The result? Zilch: an innocent victim was tortured. Again (but, Bush received a guarantee that Arar wasn't tortured.

Just last week, Bush said in a speech that "torture occurs in Syria." Guess he's just a trusting soul, Our Beloved (mass murdering liar of a) President. Guess that he believes that they put Arar up in a nice, cushy hotel after he was "extroadinarily rendered" to a country that commits torture, as we have done with hundreds of other suspects.

Funny, how the "Left wing" media seems to ignore these stories that would look quite scandalous for BushCo, were they to be properly investigated.



Garbage. Bias is a quantifiable factor. We can sit down and count where and when there was a misstatement, paragraph by paragraph, in any given story. We can also compare the amount of Liberal vs Conservative guests brought on as news sources, on any station, to measure bias. This is why the notion of "Left-Wing media bias" within the mainstream is a myth: it is easily disproven. And, if you trace it back: you can find that it originates from one or two sources who have NO reliable scientific data to back up their claims.

It's not about "perspective:" it's about how far the media-source distorts or scrambles the information to present a distorted view of the world. And our mainstream media has a proven track-record of distorting the media, in a Rightward slant.

Consider these stories from "Project Censored." (http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2005/index.html) Now, if the mainstream media WERE simply Left-leaning while FoxNews was Right and it's all a matter of "perception:" this list would be irrelevant...all of the stories would receive ample coverage (since, why would a Left-leaning outlet regularly censor stories that support their "agenda?")

But Project Censored has been around for at least 10 years. MANY stories get swept under the carpet. And again: you failed to answer my question posed above...if the mainstream media is all so "Liberal:" why weren't anti-war protestors given their 15 minutes, on the news?

But that's all right, Michael: you go on and state that this is all irrelevant, that the protestors were all just hoodlums and that you're right, as usual, etc, ad nauseum.

It's your usual M.O., after all. :rolleyes:



Yes, yes: back to sleepytime, now. I hear FoxNews is coming on soon...hey! Maybe they'll play some old reruns: and we can watch the "suspected WMD-sites" they showed in cool full-color graphics, circa the invasion! :dead: :dead:

And then you can cheer "Go USA! Let's Roll!" again, Bush can claim that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" (on the carrier of the "Abraham Lincoln," at taxpayer expense), and we can all pretend that the folly of invasion never happened.

Just like old times. :rolleyes:

Neil, I seem to remember that it was some the left wing media (CBS, New York Times) that got caught red handed in their attempt to falsely smear Bush with the National Guard story resulting in the "resignation" of Dan Rather and pretty much destroying the reputation of CBS news.

There is one examle for you, give me something comparable that Fox news did.

Michael Neal
04-29-2005, 08:30 AM
Folks, one thing you might want to know about Neil Mick if you haven't already figured it out. While he is definately very intelligent (but severely misguided) and likely a very nice guy, he is pretty fanatical. The way he tries to win arguments on forums is to inundate you with so many different arguments, going off in so many different directions, that it is impossible to keep up with argument unless you spend many hours a day on it.

You need to keep him on topic and not let him wander off too much or you will soon find yourself unable to keep up with the discussion. Remember it is the quality of the argument presented that is important not the quantity.

Neil Mick
04-29-2005, 01:37 PM
Neil, I seem to remember that it was some the left wing media (CBS, New York Times) that got caught red handed in their attempt to falsely smear Bush with the National Guard story resulting in the "resignation" of Dan Rather and pretty much destroying the reputation of CBS news.

There is one examle for you, give me something comparable that Fox news did.

He dodges to the left...he swerves to the Right...

Nooo, Michael: sorry, that was NOT an attempt to "falsely" smear Bush. Note that the detractors of this story did NOT attempt to discredit the meat of the story itself...they went after the evidence presented in the story itself. There is STILL some question about Bush's Nat'l Guard record, as there are other indicators that Bush went AWOL (or equivalent) during that time. Either Rather fell for a Carl Rove'ist red herring, or he was astoundingly inept in his fact-checking.

And, I'm willing to bet that were this done to Kerry, you wouldn't even peep (BTW, as I mentioned several times before: FOX DID erroneously misquote Kerry on a comment about his nails and being "metrosexual," and several newscasters went on about it all evening, before printing a teeny retraction on their webpage, later. Fox has done far, far more in misinforming, but please--let's stay on topic and not attempt to misdirect, shall we?)

Dan Rather was allowed to retire with some grace, while his staff were summarily dismissed, after a quick sit-down at the White House, with some CBS bigwigs.

Now, if a summary drubbing of a media source after they produced an extremely weak-tea critique of Bush's still-unanswered record of Nat'l Guard service equates to you as media bias, well: I guess that that answers the question of why you feel CNN to be Liberally biased.

And speaking of attempts to deflect...you AGAIN failed to answer the question put to you,,,here, allow me to remind you, again:

1. If the mainstream media is so biased, then why were anti-war sources not given any time, during the invasion?

2. If the mainstream media (CNN, et al) is biased, how can "Project Censored" exist? If there WERE a real bias, such a list would be irrelevant.

I sill await your reply, instead of your successive dodges. In the meantime:

Folks, one thing you might want to know about Neil Mick if you haven't already figured it out. While he is definately very intelligent (but severely misguided) and likely a very nice guy, he is pretty fanatical. The way he tries to win arguments on forums is to inundate you with so many different arguments, going off in so many different directions, that it is impossible to keep up with argument unless you spend many hours a day on it.

You need to keep him on topic and not let him wander off too much or you will soon find yourself unable to keep up with the discussion. Remember it is the quality of the argument presented that is important not the quantity.

This is why most of your arguments fall down, Michael: you resort to ad hominem. If you've noticed, I am simply responding to conversational points raised by several ppl. If the thread has wandered, it was a group effort. Your attempts to miscategorize my debating-style is truly sad...get a REAL argument, and in the meantime, try to respond to the above-two points without yourself resorting to misdirection, willya?

In short: NEXT!

makuchg
04-29-2005, 01:46 PM
Michael,

While I don't always (actually almost never) agree with Neil, I have to say his arguments are usually focused, referenced, and well thought out. I don't find he dodges subjects nor inundates the reader with multiple points. We have debated several issues and he stays on cue. I agree the redirection of posts has been a collective effort by the ppl in the forum, not a specific person.

When discussing any facet of Middle Eastern politics, it will almost inevitably come around to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the U.S. policy in regards to this dispute. I have had discussions on three different continents and it always comes back to this. I do not see Neil having any direct influence in this redirection, just the inevitable cycle of Middle Eastern discussion.

Neil Mick
04-29-2005, 01:48 PM
Neil, I have to take issue with this statement. History has shown the Egypt, Syria, and Jordan have invaded Israel while the U.S. supports her. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/mideast/timeline.htm

In the Six-Day war (http://i-cias.com/e.o/sixdaywr.htm) remember it was Russian intervention that kept Israel from capturing Cairo. This was after Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

In the Yom Kippur War (http://lexicorient.com/e.o/yomkipwr.htm) Egypt and Syria invade Israel again. Through U.S. brokered peace talks Egypt and Syria regain land lost in the Six-Day war.

That was then, this is now. The US wasn't the only remaining superpower, and Israel wasn't the US's primary "client state."

Now I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that disarming Israel and allowing the Arab nations to remain armed will not solve this issue. I do believe a peace can be brokered, but I do not believe it will last as long as the Jeruselem is occupied by either side. Since both view this city as holy, I would think an independent state for Jeruselem (almost like Vatican City), with a representative government made up of Muslims, Jews, and Christians and the remainder of Israel being a country unto itself (perhaps a name change to represent both Muslim and Jewish settlers). The government would have to be equally represented by Arabs and Jews and the terror attacks against Jews, as well as the use of military force by the Israelis would have to be stopped.

OK, we can agree on the last sentence. I am not suggesting total disarmament of Israel, BTW: but Israel is allowed such profligate uses of violence in the West Bank, while the US supplies the most weapons and ensures that no actionable mandates will pass the UN. The US kills any such measures in committee.

History is important to understand in relation to the present, but you cannot make a direct correlation between past adversaries, and the politics of today. By far, the worst and most grevious divide in the ME is the "Palestinian problem," as they call it. Many Israeli's themselves understand that the gov't policies of unrestrained aggression and allowance of illegal settlements is the major problem, in the West Bank. As the primary protector of Israel (if not the primary protector of her people), the US is perpetuating a problem, instead of providing solutions.

Sure, Israel needs to protect its citizenry, but let's be clear: Israel, as a political/national entity, is in no danger, at the moment. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

Michael,

While I don't always (actually almost never) agree with Neil, I have to say his arguments are usually focused, referenced, and well thought out.

I have had discussions on three different continents and it always comes back to this. I do not see Neil having any direct influence in this redirection, just the inevitable cycle of Middle Eastern discussion.

Thanks. ;)

makuchg
04-29-2005, 02:19 PM
Don't let it go to your head :D

I'll post more when I have time.

DanielR
04-29-2005, 02:26 PM
Sure, Israel needs to protect its citizenry, but let's be clear: Israel, as a political/national entity, is in no danger, at the moment. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.Hi Neil,
This is interesting - could you elaborate on why you think it is important to point out that Israel is in no danger, and how you define danger?

Adam Alexander
04-29-2005, 03:03 PM
Are you referring to Richard Clarke?

Yes, thank you.


So, of course, even though he is fairly hawkish and conservative and served under Reagan the Bush Administration said they were all lies and fiction just to make money. Funny how anyone who speaks out against suddenly becomes a lying greed motivated evil person. Or, as we see in the case of the diplomat who showed that there were no WMDs, when they cant find any dirt or anything to discredit him they just try to make that persons life miserable. And then in the rare case that it is clearly proven they did something bad like when they paid off the CNN reporters or no WMDs were found they justify it with 'it was the right thing to do' and people buy it. Its like J. Edgar Hoover is back..

That's what you get with a democracy of idiots. You'd think people never read a book...besides S. King.

So often, I'm refreshed to hear the opinion of some moron who has a clear view of how the world should be and when pressed for the basis of their opinion, it boils down to "that's just what I think." "So, why do you think that?" "Because." "Did you get that from any philosophers? Who or what philosopher/y counters that and what do you think about it?" "It's my right to have an opinion."

Maybe it's your right, but I doubt it's right.

Yeah, those are the days that I appreciate that every moron's vote counts just as much as mine.

Neil Mick
04-29-2005, 05:16 PM
Hi Neil,
This is interesting - could you elaborate on why you think it is important to point out that Israel is in no danger, and how you define danger?

We discussed this point, already.

Israel, as a national entity, is in no danger of being overthrown. No one is massing troops on its borders, nor is anyone even threatening to do so, at present.

Suicide bombers target individuals, and offer only symbolic threat to the political entity called Israel. Yes, I agree with you that Israel needs to take steps to protect its citizens, but the present course of policy is not doin' the job. IMO, it is achieving the opposite, in much the same way that the Iraqi invasion achieved the opposite of freeing Iraq from the presence of terrorist insurgents.

And, I define danger as "imminent peril of extinction, or irrevocable damage." Israel has not been in this condition since the '70's, AFAIK. Of course, I could well be wrong: but nothing I see in the media suggests otherwise.

No, from what I see (and from the Israeli's I talked to, earlier this month): the present situation only decreases the safety of Israel's citizenry, in sum.

Neil Mick
04-29-2005, 05:23 PM
Don't let it go to your head :D

I'll post more when I have time.

Awww...and here I was going to send you registration materials for the Green Party. ;)

DanielR
04-29-2005, 05:26 PM
Israel, as a national entity, is in no danger of being overthrown.Ok - just trying to point out that Israel has other potential threats, so I don't see where the claim that there's no immediate danger to the state of Israel leads your argument.

Neil Mick
04-29-2005, 05:52 PM
Ok - just trying to point out that Israel has other potential threats, so I don't see where the claim that there's no immediate danger to the state of Israel leads your argument.

Well, yeah: but there is no imminent danger to Israel's sovereignty.

makuchg
04-29-2005, 09:31 PM
Awww...and here I was going to send you registration materials for the Green Party. ;)

Libertarian, maybe, but definitely not Green :crazy:

dan guthrie
04-29-2005, 09:56 PM
Forgive me, but I don't have time to read the first few pages of this thread. This thread seems to be devolving into "the usual suspects."
Ignore this post if you've covered this already, but does it matter who funds or participates any protest?

If the Daily Worker and George Soros work together ( I'm just using this as a hypothetical example ) and spend millions to get people out on the street does it really matter? As long as no laws are being broken, I say "knock yourselves out."

Neil Mick
05-01-2005, 05:31 PM
I don't see where the claim that there's no immediate danger to the state of Israel leads your argument.

The major arguments for the high militarization of Israel and the West Bank is fears of security and hints of invasion. This is why it is important to point out that there is no threat to the sovereignty of Israel, at this point.

Nathan Gusdorf
05-01-2005, 08:33 PM
Sorry, I have been on a float trip so I havent been able to reply lately.

Anyways, the threat to Israel is the suicide bombers. They care solely about killing as many civilians as they can. Just because it has been a little while since the last large scale invasion (where Israel defended itself quite well) does not mean the surrounding peoples have decided to accept and tolerate Israel. Hence, there is a security issue. Israel goes to great lengths to be humane however when all your neighbors are trying to kill you its a hard thing to do. Most of the Israelis I've talked to (which is a lot, considering I go to a Jewish camp where half the counselors are Israeli) are just very tired of all the violence and want peace. They don't want to conquer any land, they just want the violence to stop. Now that Arafat is dead there might be some hope, however it is clear that it won't happen without a lot of help.

Neil Mick
05-02-2005, 01:44 AM
Sorry, I have been on a float trip so I havent been able to reply lately.

Anyways, the threat to Israel is the suicide bombers. They care solely about killing as many civilians as they can.

No question. But the state of Israel is unaffected, while the people are targeted. In other words, Israel's infrastructure is not disrupted. Certainly, not on the same level as an occupation.

cause it has been a little while since the last large scale invasion (where Israel defended itself quite well) does not mean the surrounding peoples have decided to accept and tolerate Israel.

Acceptance and toleration is one thing: cassus belli and the desire to go to war is another. Simply because Israel is not accepted and tolerated does not give it carte blanche to violate what int'l laws it feels appropriate to do, for whatever reason.

Hence, there is a security issue. Israel goes to great lengths to be humane however when all your neighbors are trying to kill you its a hard thing to do.

There is ample evidence to suggest that this is untrue.

Most of the Israelis I've talked to (which is a lot, considering I go to a Jewish camp where half the counselors are Israeli) are just very tired of all the violence and want peace. They don't want to conquer any land, they just want the violence to stop. Now that Arafat is dead there might be some hope, however it is clear that it won't happen without a lot of help.

Understand, the Israeli's are different from the actions of the IDF and the actions of the Knesset, in much the same way that what our gov't does is not necessarily the "will of the people."

Nathan Gusdorf
05-02-2005, 09:56 PM
No question. But the state of Israel is unaffected, while the people are targeted. In other words, Israel's infrastructure is not disrupted. Certainly, not on the same level as an occupation.

Ok fair enough so instead of trying to take over Israel the suicide bombers are just trying to destroy everyone inside the country. The reason they arent trying to occupy the area is because they don't have the resources and don't want to rule the Israelis, they want to kill them.


Acceptance and toleration is one thing: cassus belli and the desire to go to war is another. Simply because Israel is not accepted and tolerated does not give it carte blanche to violate what int'l laws it feels appropriate to do, for whatever reason.

While I do think that because of the hostility surrounding Israel it is hard to apply normal regulations, I don't think it should have the right to go and do whatever it wants. I think Israel needs to get rid of the settlements and just maintain their borders. Then the international community needs to help to create a two state solution. While I am skeptical of this because of the significant amount of anti-Semitism in the world it is what needs to happen. Without a third party force the Palestinians will not willingly cease attacks and the Israelis will not completely draw back their aggression.

Understand, the Israeli's are different from the actions of the IDF and the actions of the Knesset, in much the same way that what our gov't does is not necessarily the "will of the people."

Yeah, exactly. As you quoted me as saying, A lot of Israelis just want peace. Remember when Barak offered the Gaza Strip, almost all of the West Bank, and billions of dollars? Thats what we need now, but we need the Palestinians to accept it.

Anat Amitay
05-03-2005, 01:17 AM
Quote:
Hence, there is a security issue. Israel goes to great lengths to be humane however when all your neighbors are trying to kill you its a hard thing to do.



There is ample evidence to suggest that this is untrue.

Dear Neil,
You might say I'm not an objective point of view, but as a citizen who does want peace, I'd like to know where you have the ample evidence that what Nathan wrote is untrue? Is it the media? Well, if it is only the media, I have some things to say, especially about the CNN that keeps accusing the IDF of inhumane actions- like the picture taken and they wrote: "an israeli soldier standing and beating a palestinian" when actully he was standing over a wounded reporter and gaurding him until medical help could come. Somehow, when the right interpertation of the picture was revealed, the CNN did not see any need to apologize.
Don't count so much on the media, media can show you WW2 as an act of humanity from the german and japanise side, and I don't think you'd like to call "pearl harbor" an act of humanity...
I'm not saying the IDF is pure, but to judge it, you need to come and live in a situation. I've been in the army, does that make me evil? does it mean I don't have humanity in me? did I lose it while being in the army? I don't think so. If it will interest you, I'll explain futher.
Anat

Neil Mick
05-03-2005, 03:07 AM
Quote:
Hence, there is a security issue. Israel goes to great lengths to be humane however when all your neighbors are trying to kill you its a hard thing to do.



There is ample evidence to suggest that this is untrue.

Dear Neil,
You might say I'm not an objective point of view, but as a citizen who does want peace, I'd like to know where you have the ample evidence that what Nathan wrote is untrue? Is it the media? Well, if it is only the media, I have some things to say, especially about the CNN that keeps accusing the IDF of inhumane actions- like the picture taken and they wrote: "an israeli soldier standing and beating a palestinian" when actully he was standing over a wounded reporter and gaurding him until medical help could come. Somehow, when the right interpertation of the picture was revealed, the CNN did not see any need to apologize.
Don't count so much on the media, media can show you WW2 as an act of humanity from the german and japanise side, and I don't think you'd like to call "pearl harbor" an act of humanity...

My information is from multiple sources, but yes--mostly the media. And yes: I'd even go so far as to admit that it's heavily biased. Probably far more than you'd expect from CNN.

But, see: the things that I hear from these media sources are completely unreported in the mainstream media. And this is the issue, the mainstream media is the propaganda of the status quo. And the Occupational status quo is in violation of international law.

I'm not saying the IDF is pure, but to judge it, you need to come and live in a situation.

No, not really. With respect, if the IDF and settlers are violating international law, then what more need be said? We invaded Iraq for violating int'l law...what makes the Israeli gov't immune?

And its not just the actions of individual soldiers: it's a whole range of policies toward the Palestinian's. Take preferential water rights for settlers, for example.

I've been in the army, does that make me evil? does it mean I don't have humanity in me? did I lose it while being in the army? I don't think so.
Anat

No Anat: I don't think so, either. My critique is against Israeli gov't'l policy, and abuses that occur during the occupation. IMO, an alternative to Occupation is necessary. But, while individual soldiers must take responsibility for their actions, so are their commanders and the chain of command, with decides military policy (or lack thereof) .

Anat Amitay
05-03-2005, 03:38 AM
hi Neil,
I wish things would move faster and there would be two seperate countries here, so that we could finally live in some sort of peace.
I'm not saying laws are or aren't being broken, but it seems as if for years the world knows how to look at us without looking in their own back yard. Seems conviniate.
England isn't solving the problems with the Irish and the Scots, France thinks it has rights to do nuclear experiments on islands it "occupies" without regard for the people living there and that they will not be able to ever go back there in their life span, and on and on...
I'm kind of sick being the accused one all the time.
Please don't take this personally, but it does feel that for years we always had the fingure pointed at us, and only us.
I think the only time it lightened up was after the 11th of Sept. when the world understood that terror was not only in Israel, and that no one is immune.
And still, many countries will not put terrorist groups in the worldwide list of terror groups, so why are we blamed? they bomb, they commit suicide killing childern and civiliens, but they are not terrorists.
it seems a bit hypocritic from my point of view.
Anat

Neil Mick
05-04-2005, 01:46 AM
hi Neil,
I wish things would move faster and there would be two seperate countries here, so that we could finally live in some sort of peace.
I'm not saying laws are or aren't being broken, but it seems as if for years the world knows how to look at us without looking in their own back yard. Seems conviniate.

Personally, I go back and forth. Sometimes I think a 2-state solution is the way to go, sometimes I consider Palestine's dependence upon Israel, and I think that a one-state, or a state-and-a-half, might be the best thing. At least as an interim step.

England isn't solving the problems with the Irish and the Scots, France thinks it has rights to do nuclear experiments on islands it "occupies" without regard for the people living there and that they will not be able to ever go back there in their life span, and on and on...

No, no one's perfect. But I could easily make a list of the injustices the IDF/Knesset heaps upon the Palestinian's, and some of the other countries pale, by comparison.

But, OTOH: this does not excuse them either. Wrong is wrong, period.


Please don't take this personally, but it does feel that for years we always had the fingure pointed at us, and only us.

IMO, this is because the problem has not been solved, and it is a very long-standing problem. Of course, England occupied Ireland for hundreds of years, with the Irish struggling all the while.


And still, many countries will not put terrorist groups in the worldwide list of terror groups, so why are we blamed? they bomb, they commit suicide killing childern and civiliens, but they are not terrorists.
it seems a bit hypocritic from my point of view.
Anat

Don't ask me. I'm still puzzling over the news that we label the Sudanese gov't a supporter of terror, while on the other hand we have an acknowledged "relationship" with them. How did it go..."either with us, or with the terrorists...?"

So where does it leave us when we're "US," AND we support the terrorists?

Somewhere, I suspect that the ghost of George Orwell is laughing. :freaky:

Anat Amitay
05-04-2005, 02:33 AM
Quote:
No, no one's perfect. But I could easily make a list of the injustices the IDF/Knesset heaps upon the Palestinian's, and some of the other countries pale, by comparison.

Dear Neil,
Can you really make a list so easily? Are you totaly sure all the injustices you know of are true? I'm sure one could make a list, as I said- the IDF or the whole of Israel is NOT perfect at all.
But can you make a list of the good things in comparison (do you even know that good things are done between Israelis and Palestinians?), and can you make a list of all the things the Palestinians are doing compared to the Israelis list.
No one is perfect at all, and not even close to perfect, but people need to look at the whole picture.
What drives me crazy is that if you (not you specifically, just the term) would let the simple people DO- I believe peace would have come faster. For simple people want quiet, they want a home, a decent job more or less, so they can feed their families, and not much more. Couldn't be more simple, could it?
But always, the small radical groups are takeing charge, throwing it all to hell (sorry for the terms), and somehow, everywhere, the world lets them... instead of running them through.
But now there are many bridges to cross over, since hatered has put in roots over the years. Both sides need to swallow their pride and make a step forward, towards something better. I just hope it's still possible.

Neil Mick
05-04-2005, 01:39 PM
Quote:
No, no one's perfect. But I could easily make a list of the injustices the IDF/Knesset heaps upon the Palestinian's, and some of the other countries pale, by comparison.

Dear Neil,
Can you really make a list so easily? Are you totaly sure all the injustices you know of are true? I'm sure one could make a list, as I said- the IDF or the whole of Israel is NOT perfect at all.

Yes, I can. This list would have several sources, some eyewitness: some of them simple empirical data.

But can you make a list of the good things in comparison (do you even know that good things are done between Israelis and Palestinians?), and can you make a list of all the things the Palestinians are doing compared to the Israelis list.

The IDF has military superiority. As such, the onus of restraint falls on them, first.

No one is perfect at all, and not even close to perfect, but people need to look at the whole picture.

Sorry, but there are violations of international law...on both sides, yes: but Israel is the Occupying Power. They are there as a matter of gov't'l fiat. the Palestinian's are there because they've lived there for centuries.

What drives me crazy is that if you (not you specifically, just the term) would let the simple people DO- I believe peace would have come faster. For simple people want quiet, they want a home, a decent job more or less, so they can feed their families, and not much more. Couldn't be more simple, could it?
But always, the small radical groups are takeing charge, throwing it all to hell (sorry for the terms), and somehow, everywhere, the world lets them... instead of running them through.

We'll have to agree, to disagree. I see the world as allowing an intoletable situation to cascade out of control. The Israeli gov't should be brought to bear by UN mandate, and yet the UN is largely silent.

But now there are many bridges to cross over, since hatered has put in roots over the years. Both sides need to swallow their pride and make a step forward, towards something better. I just hope it's still possible.

Yes, on this point, we agree.

Nathan Gusdorf
05-04-2005, 04:28 PM
Sorry, but there are violations of international law...on both sides, yes: but Israel is the Occupying Power. They are there as a matter of gov't'l fiat. the Palestinian's are there because they've lived there for centuries.


Just because Israel has an army of soldiers with rules to follow instead of suicide bombers with no rules does not mean Israel bears more responsibility.

The Jews have been there for a long time as well, they just have not conquered the land hence many people (not necessarily you) think that every Jew in Israel just walked on over from Eastern Europe and told the Palestinians to move.

Neil Mick
05-04-2005, 06:17 PM
Just because Israel has an army of soldiers with rules to follow instead of suicide bombers with no rules does not mean Israel bears more responsibility.

The Jews have been there for a long time as well, they just have not conquered the land hence many people (not necessarily you) think that every Jew in Israel just walked on over from Eastern Europe and told the Palestinians to move.

These two paragraphs misrepresent my position (I never said the Jews just walked over and told them to leave), and so I'll try to clarify.

I was just listening to an interview with Eric Saar, (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/04/1342253) an former interpretor for some interrogators at Guantanamo.

In it, he makes some viewpoints that also reflect on my views of the Israeli Occupation, and a country's responsibility to international law:

And all of this, I'd like to say, was with someone that personally based on the intelligence I had access to was someone who was an individual that, to be honest with you, I hope never sees the light of day, and -- but of course, goes through some process of justice, in order to be -- to face a just punishment, but at the same time, what convinced me and what was so troubling was that, first of all, this was ineffective; secondly, even if it was effective, it was apparent to me that what we were doing there was not in keeping with the values we stand for as a country.

and

AMY GOODMAN: Erik Saar, was the words Geneva Conventions ever used at Guantanamo?

ERIK SAAR: One time, ma’am, I can say, when we were talked to regarding the Geneva Conventions, and there was a meeting that I describe where our leaders of the intelligence group explained to us that the Geneva Convention does not apply at Guantanamo Bay. And they gave us reasons as to why they rationalized that it did not, and that now the detainees, we should understand -- of course, we knew this beforehand, but this was in a meeting where they were explaining to us the reasons why -- we should understand that these individuals were enemy combatants and to be treated as detainees. And one of the frustrations regarding that is someone who interacted with and had friends who were interrogators, is that the essence of their training, ma'am, when they go through school, is that you were taught a couple of things about the Geneva Convention. First of all, all your training is under the umbrella of the Geneva Convention, and you are told that you never violate the Geneva Conventions as an interrogator, because – for two reasons: Number one, it's illegal; and number two, they're taught that it's ineffective. And if you need to use tactics outside of the scope of the Geneva Conventions, you are going to get bad intelligence anyway. But somehow, no one quite understood how it was determined that now those rules don't need to apply. Plus there's limited, if no training, for how these new rules should be implemented in the interrogation booth, and what is the rationale for why previously, I was taught as an interrogator or one of my colleagues was taught, that these techniques wouldn't work, but now we're saying that maybe they will?

The principles of Israel are reflected in what is tolerated in the Occupied Territory. Is the IDF obeying the law? If not, then it must stop. To do otherwise is flouting the law. Relativistic attempts to apologize for criminal behavior by saying: "Well, they're bad, too:" does not excuse or mitigate the fact that a laws are being broken...a set of laws that are there with good reason, in spite of the US Atty Gen'l calling them "quaint."

Worse, these policies of violence hurt Israeli's, as well as Palestinian's. No one wins in a brutal occupation. And after awhile, it becomes progressively more difficult to initiate actions other than violence. If you're armed with a hammer: all of the world's problems look like nails.

Nathan Gusdorf
05-04-2005, 11:40 PM
These two paragraphs misrepresent my position (I never said the Jews just walked over and told them to leave), and so I'll try to clarify.

Neil- I wasn't trying to suggest you were that ignorant, it was just a quick reply to ur comment of the Palestinians having been there for a long time.

I don't support the 'well they are worse argument' for anything because its just a way of deflecting the question. I do feel the situation must be more closely examined before we jump to conclusions about human rights atrocities however I don't think that whatever human rights violations you believe have happened are justifiable with 'oh well they were worse'.

Perhaps you could expand on your definition of occupation. I think Israel should pull back the settlements, if thats what u mean by occupation. If you mean something else please explain.

makuchg
05-05-2005, 07:31 AM
I believe the Israeli government has lost sight of a proportional response. While I condone the use of suicide bombers and I know what it's like to live in an environment where everyone could be a potential bomber, attacks against these forces must make every attempt to limit loss of civilian life. While Israel may be frustrated, their responses are often overboard.

Taliesin
05-05-2005, 08:05 AM
3 Cheers for 'Bomber' Harris his legacy lives on. - BTW can anyone explain why nobody was discussing the 'ethics of suicide bombings when Colombo was the suicide bombing capital of the world. (not so long ago)

As for the current debate - nobody is focusing on the big question why are so many people literally prepared to kill themselves to strike at Israel.

Anat Amitay
05-05-2005, 08:41 AM
I said before, I'm tired of haveing the fingure pointed at us all the time. I didn't see anyone so horrified about what was going on in Bosnia. I don't see anyone horrified at what's happening till this very day in Sudan and Ruanda, where people are being slautered every day.
As I said, some things the IDF do aren't right, but in other armies it takes alot less to start this kind of behavior.
The attack on Iraq was not "life treatening" to the USA and it took the American army just a few weeks to start abusing prisoners.
Should I go as far back as vietnam, or WW2 (automic bomb on civilians- hint, hint)?
Instead of standing and pointing a finger at us, it would be more useful if you did more to progress the peace process, just like I want it to finally be done.
I want the Palestininans to have their own country, with their own government, rules, borders etc... Maybe even share more- in agriculture, medicine, science etc.
But it's really annoying having blame always thrown at you.
So maybe start a new thread on how to help progress peace instead of this one?
Anat

Taliesin
05-05-2005, 12:12 PM
Interesting

The points I was attempting to make were

1. It was the British, in particular Bomber Harris, who pioneered the idea of bombing civilian population centers as a 'legitimate' part of war (BTW - he's a war hero with a statue and everything).

2. There is an arbitrary focus on atrocities - which is why virtually nobody seems to be aware the LTTE's (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam) Black Tigers (suicide bombers) make the Palestinians look like dilettantes in that department

3. The question also needs to be asked as to why people are prepared to give their lives to strike at Israel. - That's not necessarily an anti Israel jibe but it is a question you need an answer to if you do want peace.

As far as America's actions - I'm convinced the motivation was to get George Wanker Bush relected through his tried and tested 'corpses for votes' policy (kill lots of people you say are bad guys - get elected).

Taliesin
05-05-2005, 12:13 PM
PS - Make that the Black Tigers past actions.

Anat Amitay
05-05-2005, 12:55 PM
Dear David,
1. There is also alot that can be said about the British/English- from their own back yard (IRA) or the far away "back yard" of Africa and the aparthide (sorry if I mis-spelled that).
2. It is obvious that peace will have to be made with the suicide bombers still acting, because no one will change the brain wash they passed. But if we finish with the process, there will also be less backup for them from their own people and hopefully it will subside with time. Radicals are all over the world. The USA is still hunting Bin- Laden, but he has so many others in his organization that think just like him. There are radicals in all of the african countries going through civil war and so on and so on.
We need to make peace, for peaces sake, the rest needs to come later. If peace will be allowed only if bombers stop their actions, it will never happen. Let me remind you that those people want all jews out of Israel, for them the "occupied territories" is the whole map, without missing one centimeter.
You cant understand suicide, there's nothing to understand, it's fanatical.
Would you kill yourself because you're told that you'll get 70 virgins in heaven? the Koran does not call for murder. In past history, muslims and jews lived side by side in what is known the "golden tor" or the golden age. But when you have carismatic people who brain wash you, you do what they say (look at germany with Hitler, and we consider the german people educated, modern, aware...).
Don't try to understand fanatics, try to work around them and smolther their beliefs, if peace comes, their causes will not be accepted, the community will not want them any longer. This is what we should drive to.

makuchg
05-05-2005, 02:13 PM
While I condone the use of suicide bombers

Sorry I was typing fast and mistyped. I meant I do not condone...

Nathan Gusdorf
05-05-2005, 05:54 PM
3. The question also needs to be asked as to why people are prepared to give their lives to strike at Israel. - That's not necessarily an anti Israel jibe but it is a question you need an answer to if you do want peace.

I don't know why you are asking this and what your point is, but its a reason that causes many many conflicts throughout time. Why was the KKK created? Why were the crusades conducted? Why have we had so many pointless wars over small issues within a religion? Well, mainly because many people are full of hate and prejudice. Racism, Anti-Semitism, Mysogyny; they all cause people to do a lot of dumb stuff.

As Anat said, suicide bombers don't want peace, they don't want two states, they want to annhiliate every Jew in the area. Suicide bombing is fanaticism and cannot be rationalized. Accept that it happens; try to figure out a way to deal with it; don't try to figure out why they are doing it because no half sane person would think its a good means of attack, speaking from a humanitarian point of view and from a military point of view.

Taliesin
05-06-2005, 02:55 AM
Nathan & Anat

Whilst I give you both an 'A' for effort. You both get a big 'F' for analysis.

Your basic point as far as I can see is that suicide bombers are fanatics whom we cannot possible understand. You are both stating opinions as if they are irrefutable facts.

If I go back to my Tamil 'Black' Tigers parallel. The Sri Lankan Civil War is one that produced one hell of a lot of suicide bombers. Most of them were women who had lost, brothers, sons, husbands in the fighting. There was social support for their actions because they were striking at their oppressors. - I don't find it at all hard to understand this. (which isn't the same as condoning it). Which leads to the conclusion that whilst a people feel oppressed by another and lose loved ones to that 'other's' forces there is a strong likelihood that there will be those who will do anything including sacrificing their own life to strike back.

Yes hatred and wars go on all the time and at the root of it there seems to be a sense however absurd of 'injustice' being redressed - even by those who commit the most horrific atrocities. Sometimes it seems to be driven by those who want power and supported by those who value themselves solely on the basis that they are 'better' than members of some other group. And sometimes it is an attack on a genuine oppressor and sometimes it is a mixture of the two.

I appreciate that this is not as simple as the 'you can't understand suicide bombers - they're fanatics' point, It's just as simple as I can make it.


Anat

As far as my point 1 was concerned I was being ironic - I do not accept that bomber Harris was a war hero -so yes there is a hell of a lot that the British have to answer for including amongst other things - the introduction of concentration camps during the Boar War, and giving Native Americans the charming idea of scalping. But whilst we are talking historically what happened to the King David/John hotel - because I heard it was bombed by pro-Israel Jews back in the day.

dan guthrie
05-06-2005, 09:14 AM
Boer - as in the Dutch word for farmer - War and it's pronounced 'booer'. I thought the U.S. introduced concentration camps in the Philippines and although they shared the name with Nazi death camps they were more like the "fortified hamlets" in our war in Vietnam. Also, the British introduced the concept of bulldozing the homes of families if one of the family members committed a terrorist act in Palestine.

(Ducking back out)

Anat Amitay
05-06-2005, 01:00 PM
David, I know suicide bombers have reasons for their actions. I just don't think they use a useful technique in order to achieve anything.
In contrast to the suicide bombers you mentioned in Sri Lanka, here most suicide bombers did not lose any family members, and mostly they are boys, quite young (in their 20's or early 30's), with their whole family intact. There are some who had a family member injured or killed, but most didn't.
So what do they acheive?
they hurt their own family, they hurt those they kill and injure and they tense up the situation between Israel and the palestinians... leading where? to what goal? how did these actions get them closer to those goals?

Nathan Gusdorf
05-06-2005, 05:57 PM
Whilst I give you both an 'A' for effort. You both get a big 'F' for analysis.

Alright professor Chalk, why don't you enlighten me. So far you have basically said that there is a reason for the suicide bombings without giving what you think that reason is. Perhaps instead of telling me that I fail at analyzing the situation you could explain a few things:

What is this reason for the suicide bombings? Is it a form of war equivalent to using an army with rules of war?

Are you saying Israel is the opressor and the Palestinians are merely victims?

Personally I don't think your Black Tigers parallel works because the Palestinian suicide bombers are not women who have had their families massacred. Could you expand on this analogy? If this analogy works it would seem to suggest that suicide bombing is justified? If it doesn't- well why would you post an analogy you disagree with?

You have kind of talked around the issue, without really stating your position. Do you or do you not condone the use of suicide bombers, and if you do not then whats your point?

DanielR
05-06-2005, 06:28 PM
Suicide bombing is fanaticism and cannot be rationalized. Accept that it happens; try to figure out a way to deal with it; don't try to figure out why they are doing it because no half sane person would think its a good means of attackHi Nathan,
This article (http://www.therazor.org/oldroot/Summer02/sbombinterview.htm) offers a perspective you might find interesting. The former Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer interviewed two arrested would-be suicide bombers and then shared his thoughts. He admits to feeling compassion to one of the suicide bombers.

Taliesin
05-09-2005, 04:41 AM
Anat

What these individuals achieve is that they are striking back at their 'oppressors'.

BTW way I'm waiting to learn who bombed that hotel.

Dan

Fair point on the spelling (never my strong suit). - Even though I am British (but Welsh not English)I don't believe I've been hiding our own less than glorious past.

Nathan

You stated

"So far you have basically said that there is a reason for the suicide bombings without giving what you think that reason is"

Did you miss the bit where I said

"There was social support for their actions because they were striking at their oppressors. - I don't find it at all hard to understand this. (which isn't the same as condoning it)"

"whilst a people feel oppressed by another and lose loved ones to that 'other's' forces there is a strong likelihood that there will be those who will do anything including sacrificing their own life to strike back".

And since you have difficulty reading things in small type I put my next points in caps.

MY POINT IS THAT WHEN THERE ARE SUICIDE BOMBINGS THERE ARE REASONS.

IF YOU WANT TO STOP IT - YOU NEED TO ACCEPT THAT THERE ARE REASONS, ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY WHAT THEY ARE AND, IF YOU CAN, ADDRESS THEM.

THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS CONDONING THEM. (WHICH I DON'T)

AS FAR AS THE QUESTION OF WHETHER IT IS A FORM OF WAR - IT IS CLEARLY SEEN AND BELIEVED TO BE SO BY THOSE WHO DO THE BOMBING AND THOSE WHO SUPPORT THEM. - THEY CAN ARGUE THAT IT IS LEGITIMATE SINCE IT HAS BEEN MADE SO BY THE BRITISH AND AMERICAN GOVERNMENTS. - THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT OUR BOMBERS DON'T KILL THEMSELVES DOING IT.

Nathan Gusdorf
05-09-2005, 09:03 PM
Keep yelling, you'll convince me that way.

What do you think the reasons are (specifically, not just 'killed family members' im referring to specific evidence) and how do you think they should be addressed.

Again, do you believe that the Israelis are the oppressors and that the Palestians are simply victims?

Neil Mick
05-09-2005, 09:47 PM
I believe the Israeli government has lost sight of a proportional response. While I do not condone the use of suicide bombers and I know what it's like to live in an environment where everyone could be a potential bomber, attacks against these forces must make every attempt to limit loss of civilian life. While Israel may be frustrated, their responses are often overboard.

This says it all, very succinctly, IMO.

I want the Palestininans to have their own country, with their own government, rules, borders etc... Maybe even share more- in agriculture, medicine, science etc.

Yes: we agree. But, let's acknowledge that the Palestinian economy, at this juncture, is almost (70%) dependent upon the Israeli economy.

But it's really annoying having blame always thrown at you.
So maybe start a new thread on how to help progress peace instead of this one?
Anat

So sorry that it's annoying to have the "finger" pointed at you. But so far, all of your comparisons re: other countries WERE addressed on some level, albeit incompletely. Rwanda? Yep, but not thoroughly enough, IMO. Also remember, the genocide only lasted about 6 weeks: too quick to mount a sufficent response.

Bosnia? We still have US & UN troops stationed there.

How about Haiti? You forgot Haiti. We helped install an illegal gov't, conspired in a modern-day kidnapping/coup d'etat by shuffling off Aristede, and still support a violent suppression of Lavalas party supporters. In effect, the US supports murderers.

Or, what about Libya? Ignoring their past transgressions: there's that nasty business about the 9 Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death for supposedly spreading AIDS, processed in a hands-wiping show-trial.

No, Anat: no one's hands are clean. But, notice a pattern, here? In most cases, the gov't's listed (incl. Israel) have US tentacles slithering somewhere in the background. How long, do you think, would the IDF Occupation last, were the US to withdraw its support?

But, my short answer to your cry of "we're not the only ones with blood on our hands," is: no, you aren't. But, "you" (as in, the Israeli populace) are not the IDF..."you're" not even the Knesset, nor Sharon.

Just as "I" am not the US.

But, until that time when the IDF, the Knesset, and the Israeli's decide to end the Occupation: well,,,get used to the finger-pointing. Other people's wrongs do not a right, make.


Keep yelling, you'll convince me that way.

Yeah, you guys: come on...it's just a conversation. Next you'll have Jun coming down on us, quoting his mom and telling us to go to our virtual rooms (just kidding, Jun). ;)

What do you think the reasons are (specifically, not just 'killed family members' im referring to specific evidence)

Watch "Gaza Strip," and see if that question is not answered. The movie was banned in Israel (and one of the filmmakers threatened with death by an IDF soldier, BTW).

In the meantime...where shall I start?

1. Settlers' violent, near-daily attacks upon Palestinian's, including
a. direct physical assaults
b. confiscation of farmers' land
c. mass destruction of olive trees
2. Checkpoint murders and arbitrary disruption of Palestinian traffic
3. Illegal settlements, in violation of int'l law
4. Mass imprisonment of Palestinian's without due process (called "administrative detentions")
5. Withholding of medical treatment when prisoners protest detentions
6. Inappropriate response to things such as stone-throwing (see Gregory's comment, above)
7. Unfair distribution of water to settlements, vis a vis Palestinian cities (ex: settlements get to fill swimming pools, while Palestinian villagers down the road suffer from untreated water-borne diseases such as cholera, etc)
8. Slicing off the Palestinian land vis a vis the Apartheid Wall
9. Shooting peaceful Palestinian protestors; tying kids to jeeps; shooting kids in UN-schools, etc. (see #6)
10. Bulldozing of houses
11. Jailing and detention of family-members of suicide bombers...even if no apparent connection or collusion exists

I could well go on and on. But in short: Gregory said it better, and more succinctly. Some Palestinian's throw a rock or some extremists strap on a bomb, and the IDF goes on a military campaign.

Therein lay the difference.

and how do you think they should be addressed.

1. END THE OCCUPATION. A brutal, extended military occupation fans the flames of rebellion (cf, the Iraqi's) . This means a complete pullout to 1967 borders.
2. A total change of hands at the Knesset.
3. Regular UN inspections, into the West Bank
4. Complete nuclear disarmament of Israel
5. A total ban on equipment sent to aid the Occupation (to aid in #1)
6. Establishment of a bona fide PA security force (yeah, I know: they already have one. But it is filled with instability and hampered both by the Occupation, and divided loyalties. This needs to end).
7. A massive Truth and Reconciliation effort, on the South African model. Trials, investigations, the works.
8. Encourage joint Palestinian-Israeli goodwill peace efforts...Aikido events, cooperation ventures, et al (OK, so call me biased ;) )


Again, do you believe that the Israelis are the oppressors and that the Palestians are simply victims?

Nothing, ESPECIALLY the "Palestinian problem" (as many Israeli's put it), is ever simple.

Neil Mick
05-09-2005, 10:10 PM
P.S. Can we get back to the Original Post topic, now? I await Michael Neal's response to my questions, with baited breath (unless, as I suspect: he cannot answer these questions, and he's lurking in the virtual background, unable to answer).



1. If the mainstream media is so biased, then why were anti-war sources not given any time, during the invasion?

2. If the mainstream media (CNN, et al) is biased, how can "Project Censored" exist? If there WERE a real bias, such a list would be irrelevant.

Anat Amitay
05-10-2005, 01:33 AM
Dear David,
As far as I know, The king david hotel was bombed by a group called the "Ezel" (Eirgun Zioni Lohem- in english- a zionist fighting organization). This group split up from the bigger organization "Hahagana" (the defence) after deciding that the leaders of the Hagana were too subdude (weren't acting enough).
There were a few people killed, if I'm not mistaken also British officers, but I don't remember the names.
If you want more details, I'll look into it futher.

Neil, as for your last ideas, they're great, though I doubt that the idea about the nucliar unarming will ever work, especially as long as Iran and so continue to have public demonstations of their missiles along with the burning of Israeli flags...
I wonder that you don't think France or the united states needs to be unarmed also, after all they have caused much more damage with nuclear weapons than any other state up till now.

As for the rest, enjoy the rest of the debait, I think I'll look into other forums, since I see some people have found this one as a good ground to take their frustration out, and I want no more part in it, unless anyone wishes me to answer any question in specific.
As I said before, I want peace, but I am one person, I do my best to act towards it, but I'm not in the political field of work, so it's in pretty minor steps, but this is what I can contribute and it's much more than others give, so I'll continue to do, and hope that better days will come.
Hope you all enjoy yourselves.
Anat

DustinAcuff
05-10-2005, 01:50 AM
just my two cents everyone:

first off, i'd like to say that i am a 19 year old college student, and that I am the one who has a chance at getting drafted, and likely one of the few who is still of age to serve. one of my largest impressions of the anti war people (not organized, just the average person opposed to the war) is that they fear another Vietnam.

That is legitimate, and I understand the fear, but the majority of the people my age, the ones who's futures are truely going to be changed by this war, are in favor of it. I am not talking about the people on the left coast either, I am talking about most of the people in grass roots America who have faimly in the military. For every horrible picture i see on the media, i have a friend who's unit volunteered to stay for an extra tour. For every time i see a clip of flag burning, i see another clip of the Iraqiis trading with the troops. the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

the most intresting thing about this war/anti-war thing is that it really crosses party lines. my faimly is dominantly right, but all of them alive during vietnam oppose it. in many areas, the protesters are faimly members of the troops who want their husbands/wives/sons/daughters to come home. in some places they are simply pascifists. some are the far left who cry out "no more blood for oil" and in the next breath cry out for medical care and welfare for the poor, quite paradoxical to me to want the poorest and most destitute to remain that way instead of advocating programs to destribute food, construct shelters, and administer medicine to the people of Iraq......

while i am an advocate for the initial invasion/beat-down of Saddam's gov't, i have mixed feelings about staying there, but as a Christian, I feel that it is worth the cost to stay there for a bit. i feel that Bush is like a kid just learning how to play chess, and while I agree with him on some points, i feel he is more than slightly inept at handling war mainly because he is restraining the military instead of embracing it and letting them get their jobs done and come home.

I, personally disagree with some of th sentiments of the protesters, mainly the widespread use of propoganda rather than coherent, well formed thoughts, but i realize that the right is doing this too; however that does not make it right to support your actions with vauge statements that are only half true at best. and again, i know both sides use this.

frankly, i am glad we have the right to protest, but i am somewhat upset that the left feels that protesting and organizing is its sole privalige. when the left has a "peaceful" orginization that results in a riot, people speak of how patriotic they are. when the right organizes, peaceful or not, they are hailed as political activists, extremists, uneducated and, bloodthirsty. i truely do not understand this doublestandard.

the only point that truely &*((^( me off though is when people (and i realize they are the minority) are attacking the TROOPS rather than the PRESIDENT and CONGRESS who sent them there. at a local college recently, a fairly large group of anti-war people organized AROUND a US army display booth and started throwing things at the recruiters, shouting at them with megaphones, and actually had to be broken up before they attacked people who were just doing their jobs. this is unfair to the troops because if they disobey orders in such a way as openly and actively speaking out against the government or the president they could be faced with the charge of treason would, if found to be true, result in death.

on a side note, i realize that this has just been my personal experience, but the true right and left -wingers will get so passionate about their subject that they are practically frothing at the mouth anywhere you disagree with them. the right i have met are bad about this, but the left are much much worse. in my experience, they have refused to even have a reasonable debate or to express their ideas in a controlled fashion, often shouting over me if i try to speak, screaming when they disagree with any part of my comment and not letting me finish, and often using the defense "well, i dont care because this is what i belive" when given facts to evaluate and rebuttle if they wish.

DustinAcuff
05-10-2005, 01:51 AM
i apoligize, i think that was my dollar fifty...it looks soo much smaller in the quick reply box....maybe i should start using the post reply instead.....oops

DustinAcuff
05-10-2005, 02:09 AM
one other thing, as part of my current Cultural Anthropology class, i absoulutely MUST stirr this up.

from an Anthropological view, everything revolves around food. no food equals no people. therefore, every culture has some sort of 'control' to keep the population from outgrowing the available food. these 'controls' must take some form where they are socially acceptable, either through open birth control, religious things, war, or disease.

the suicide bombers could be construed as being a fufillment of the ideals taught under Islam that were origionally, possibly subconciously, meant to control the population by actually advocating war (see the story of Mohammad - i apoligize to any Muslims out there, i cant spell in any language but English and i'm still not too good at that) as well as the parts where it advocates dying in service to Allah.

they could also be classified as poor people who are simply too poor for everyone in their families to eat, so they become disgruntled for any reason, direct their anger towards any group who they see as above themselves (thus interfering with their faimilies food), and decide to attack via the way with the highest success rate, a suicide bomb. this lessens the number of people to feed in two ways: 1. there are less mouths in the family to feed and 2. there are less people in the imediate area to compete for the food.


NOTE: i am doing this because i am somewhat amused that this is how i am being taught to look at things, and doubly amused that it might be somewhat close to accurate.

makuchg
05-10-2005, 05:40 AM
Dustin, You thoughts are well-formulated and well articulated (even with a few spelling arrors, oops-errors). My only complaint is that everyone is affected by the war, not just the 19-25 year olds.

Neil, WOW-we agreed on something.

Now my tirade. Suicide bombers use terrorism to push a political agenda. While not condoning their methods, I understand their motivation. The Palestinians don't have the military might or ability to strike surgically, well unless you count the human bomb (quite possibly the most surgical ordinance available). This weapon can target specific areas and reason which targets will cause maximum damage. Just a note, when I say the Palestinians I am referring to the extremist militants, not the everyday people. As a result, they use the most sophisticated weapon they have. The problems arise when the suicide bombers target cafes, restaurants, night clubs, etc. These are not military objectives unless, "by their nature, location, purpose or use, make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers definite military advantage." (http://doctrine.army.mil/NATO%20Terminology/1601-009%20MILITARY%20OBJECTIVE.doc) As such the targeting to obvious civilian targets to cause panic and terror constitutes a crime under international law. Now I'm not saying the Israelis are in the right, but the Palestinians weaken their argument for a diplomatic solution every time a suicide bomber goes off.

Neil, as for media bias, I believe media is big business and as such follows the $ not the politicians. If thought "A" provokes an audience which translates to bigger profits, thought "A" will be broadcast until interest wanders. The embedded journalists were a prime example. No one cared what a news organization's politics were, they just wanted the most recent, clearest images from the War. Unfortunately, as a highly ignorant society, we (society) tend to watch one station (the one with the prettiest pictures) and formulate all our ideas and judgments off that. Sad really. The solution, IMO, is for adults to encourage children to question and research, never just accept somethings. I want my children to learn to formulate their own ideas and opinions, not mimic mine or someone else's. Finally, so long as we accept information geared to the lowest of intellects we will continue to receive the very minimal information that the station thinks we need to keep us watching.

Taliesin
05-10-2005, 07:58 AM
Nathan

You have made it clear you are not going to be convinced or even listen by anything I have put forward. The fact that you refuse to listen does not entitle you to take that high tone. If you dispute what I say try and come out with a real response. Disagreeing with me without considering what I say just makes you look ignorant.

Neil

As usual a very clear and well organized response.

Anat

Thanks for the info - but my point about the bombing of the King David Hotel was that it was at that time pro-Israel Jews striking at their 'enemies/oppressors - the same sort of action for the same sort of motivation as the current suicide bombers. But thanks for the info

Dustin

Interesting points

My own response to a few of the points you made

Your belief that people who want "no more blood for oil" but want more medical care & welfare. That is only a contradiction if you accept that establishing medical and food distribution is a priority and that US (Or maybe some of us Brits) Troops are the best to do so.

However it is hard to see any evidence of this and the indications that oil is the primary concern. It is also hard to accept that US troops are best placed to distribute food and provide medical care rather than ICRC or the various NGO or UN agencies. When you look at it like that there is no contradiction.

The idea that GWB is 'restraining the military' rather than letting them do their jobs is a frightening one. The problem stems from the fall of Saddam creating a vacuum that was filled with extremists. The problem with the current situation is that bombs and missiles are no good in what is effectives guerrilla warfare. I also hope you check you dictionary fro the meaning of the word restraint.

As far as criticism of the Troops - agreed totally unacceptable. Armies serve governments under the rule of law - they are obliged to obey the lawful orders of their superior officers.

Anat Amitay
05-10-2005, 09:10 AM
Dear David,
Since you refered to our previous question. I understood what you meant by bringing the bombing up, but there still are some major differences- That was a one time attack, not like today when you have quite a few each year. Then the jewish community did not (in majority) back up this action, and a bit later the organization mostly broke up. Today I don't say all palestinians agree to this actions and maybe not a majority either, but there are more than a few and they teach this hatered to their kids (you've got 13 year olds trying to get bombs out of Gaza, or even younger firing rifles, would you let your kids do that?). Third- the head of the Ezel and at least one of his helpers stood for death sentence after this, today Hamas leaders are running in the elections. Just a bit of a difference, though not too much...
Anat

Taliesin
05-10-2005, 12:43 PM
Anat

Thanks for the answer - it is a very clear response. However what I would say is that it is merely a distinction about degree rather than difference. I would also point out that previous Israeli leaders have also been accused of being terrorists before going on to take public office (eg m. Begin - if that how you spell his name). The point is not about blame or who is oppressing who, it's about equivalence of responsibility - neither side has a monopoly on victim-hood.

However whether we agree or not at least we are asking the key question of WHY?

DustinAcuff
05-10-2005, 05:26 PM
David, great post. I accept that my comments are not without flaws, and fully expect them to be pointed out, and luckily they were pointed out in an articulate manner.

In reference to the "no more blood for oil/health-care" comment I made, that is one that was made from what I have heard from friends and family who are actually over there. The last time I talked to someone I knew personally, they said that a good portion of their job in the non-militant extremist areas was trying to help rebuild the country through trying to provide some health-care, food, shelter (in some cases), and books/media that was formerly illegal in Iraq. Mostly the comment was meant to point out that the people that I (me specifically) see protesting the war are doing it more because of what they see on CNN and because they feel it is wrong rather than asking someone on active duty who has been there what their feelings are on the stability/progression of "freedom" (please, i know what i just said and all the associations that can be made, it is just the best word I can think of at the time) /quality of life for the people who are over there.

Also, I agree that the UN might be the better organization to do these things (I am unfamiliar with the others). I am not really happy that my friends and family are over there simply to run soup kitchens, but that is the way it is at the moment and the way things seem to be heading for the next four years.

I do not have a dictionary on me at the moment, but I am using the word "restraining" the context that I have always used it, meaning "to hold back." I am sorry if that is incorrect, but it is what I have at the moment. This is referencing that the Bush Admin. is keeping the US military from truly going in and really cleaning out the terrorists (a good example is only being able to fire when fired upon). I say this because living in an are infested with gangs, I know how the troops feel to be restrained from going after people who they know are doing wrong. For example, I can walk through the mall and point out the gang members by the gang specific tattoos, attitudes, dress, etc. but the police are restrained from doing anything. I could be wrong.

Nathan, I apologize for giving the wrong impression. I mean that under the current draft bill that is sitting in the House at this moment, ALL people ages 18-26 (it changed) will be eligible for the draft and/or a civil service program (very ambiguous). this would include current college students, even those enrolled in specialty programs, women, all children regardless of family organization, the married, those with degrees, businesses, and so forth. The current amendment has very little support, but my point was that IF passed then those Americans of draft-able age would have the most to lose, and a major draft would likely slow the economy even further. Once again, I am not trying to belittle anyone else, but I know that I am the one who could potentially be sent over to Iraq for (as specified in the new draft bill) "as long as is necessary". I realize that everyone is hit hard by a war, but I see myself as being fairly high up on the list considering my age. I apologize, I could simply not have the additional twenty years of life needed to realize just how far the repercussions reach.

Nathan Gusdorf
05-10-2005, 05:54 PM
Keep yelling, you'll convince me that way.

What do you think the reasons are (specifically, not just 'killed family members' im referring to specific evidence) and how do you think they should be addressed.

Again, do you believe that the Israelis are the oppressors and that the Palestians are simply victims?

Nathan

You have made it clear you are not going to be convinced or even listen by anything I have put forward. The fact that you refuse to listen does not entitle you to take that high tone. If you dispute what I say try and come out with a real response. Disagreeing with me without considering what I say just makes you look ignorant.

I actually didnt think i was stating an opinion there, i was just trying to understand what you thought we should do about the situation so that if i was going to argue i would have something to argue against. I got the impression that you were making Israel out to be some kind of harsh opressor and the Palestinians as innocent peacful victims of hate crimes. Also i wasn't sure what you meant by 'the occupation' as some people think Israel itself is an occupation and others think the occupation refers to the settlements. I do not know what i have done to anger you, normally when I piss people off its because i mean to. I do agree that we should get back to the original topic.

On that point, I think everyone (who supports the initial invasion) needs to remember the reason we went into Iraq in the first place- WMDs. Once it was discovered that there were none and the Bush Admin couldnt cover it up anymore the reason changed to 'well saddam was a bad dictator'. Since when is it acceptable foreign policy to take over another country because 'oh well we thought they had weapons' and then be wrong.

Neil Mick
05-11-2005, 12:40 AM
Neil, as for your last ideas, they're great, though I doubt that the idea about the nucliar unarming will ever work, especially as long as Iran and so continue to have public demonstations of their missiles along with the burning of Israeli flags...
I wonder that you don't think France or the united states needs to be unarmed also, after all they have caused much more damage with nuclear weapons than any other state up till now.

I think the US should be the first nation to disarm, to show the rest of the world how it's done.

I cannot state this point passionately enough: the US is STILL on hair-trigger alert for nuclear war, thanks to Clinton's refusal to dismantle our nuclear arsenal.

On 9-11, we were at one level below red-alert. We stand upon a hair-trigger away from total annihiliation. Now, BushCo wants to blur the distinction between "conventional" weaponry and nuclear weapons. :dead:

As far as Israel dismantling: it must, if it expects to survive in the MidEast. There is no other alternative: Israel is surrounded by enemies, several of whom likely are using Israel's nuclear arsenal to push forward their own nuclear programs. Even IF Iran gets the bomb: it is highly unlikely that it would threaten Israel with it, or even have the capability to mass-produce enough bombs to be a threat.

Israel to the MidEast is a mirror of what the US is to the world: an impending threat to human survival, because of its nuclear arsenal.

I want peace, but I am one person, I do my best to act towards it, but I'm not in the political field of work, so it's in pretty minor steps, but this is what I can contribute and it's much more than others give, so I'll continue to do, and hope that better days will come.
Hope you all enjoy yourselves.
Anat

Sorry to see you go. it was a pleasure discoursing with you. Gambatte!

Neil Mick
05-11-2005, 01:24 AM
the majority of the people my age, the ones who's futures are truely going to be changed by this war, are in favor of it.

Sorry Dustin: this is not my perception. If this is so, then why is the military recruitment down? (http://abcnews.go.com/US/BreakingItDown/story?id=569054&page=1)

The two major problems the military is facing in getting new recruits is waning public support for U.S. involvement in Iraq and fear.

Military Recruitment Numbers Down (http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=3321556&nav=8H3xZfZ1)

"The war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan are the two biggest challenges in recruiting new soldiers," Craft said. "The economy is also a big concern."

I am not talking about the people on the left coast either, I am talking about most of the people in grass roots America who have faimly in the military. For every horrible picture i see on the media, i have a friend who's unit volunteered to stay for an extra tour. For every time i see a clip of flag burning, i see another clip of the Iraqiis trading with the troops. the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

With respect: I disagree. The mainstream media does this "media correctness" dance where it takes great pains to make itself look objective by always attempting to take a middle-view...even when the points in question are overwhelmingly refuted (global warming, for example).

I heard one news analyst put it this way: if Bush claimed that the world were flat, the news headline tomorrow would be: "Bush Claims World Flat: Some Disagree." The mainstream news takes a weak, uncritical approach in its attempt to seem objective: when in reality, it has surrendered its important role in challenging authority and doing its job.

some are the far left who cry out "no more blood for oil" and in the next breath cry out for medical care and welfare for the poor, quite paradoxical to me to want the poorest and most destitute to remain that way instead of advocating programs to destribute food, construct shelters, and administer medicine to the people of Iraq......

You labor under a misunderstanding. If we are so busy building up Iraq: why is there little-to-no electricity after so long? Why is the water untreated in most areas (hint: Bechtel is in charge of getting the water purification plants up and running)? Why are there a lack of hospital supplies? What did the Army do during the second attack on Fallujah? It siezed the hospital, detained the doctors, and proclaimed that the hospital was a "source of propaganda."

Why have we seen very little footage of Fallujah (hint: it's not because we're having trouble deciding what parks to rebuild first, I guarantee you that)?

My point, Dustin: is that the news you're watching is not telling you the whole story. Nor, are the people in your immediate circle reflective of the view toward Iraq.

Where I live: bumper-stickers such as "No Blood For Oil," and "Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its Idiot" (just saw that one driving home today) are everywhere. But, I know that the story is very different in, say: Minnesota.

while i am an advocate for the initial invasion/beat-down of Saddam's gov't, i have mixed feelings about staying there, but as a Christian, I feel that it is worth the cost to stay there for a bit.

Pls explain: I have no clue as to what the Occupation has to do with Christian values, except for some Missionary purpose.

frankly, i am glad we have the right to protest, but i am somewhat upset that the left feels that protesting and organizing is its sole privalige.

I have yet to hear a single person on the Left argue that protesting is the sole province of the Left. Unless, you're speaking of lame groups such as "Protest Warrior" (http://www.protestwarrior.com/) who only appear to want to stop the protests of the Left. In their own words, they're the anti-protestors, not the Left.

when the left has a "peaceful" orginization that results in a riot, people speak of how patriotic they are. when the right organizes, peaceful or not, they are hailed as political activists, extremists, uneducated and, bloodthirsty. i truely do not understand this doublestandard.

You'll need to produce some specific examples, as the only Right-wing protests I know of were under-attended, put up by Right-wing radio stations (talk radio, et al), or vigilante-types such as the Minutemen (themselves numbering only a 150 or so, in spite of all the media attention they got. Compare that to the tens of thousands of protestors who turn up at anti-war marches, and the resulting news blackouts, that follow, to see my point).

Two days after the war started, I was one of 13 protestors who blockaded an army recruitment center. We were a diverse group: a Rabbi, a minister, a mother, a homeless advocate. We were greeted by a squad of police, decked out in full riot gear (to their credit, they were hyped up about the SF protests occurring at the same time, and they expected the same). When they gave the order to disperse, we sang "Amazing Grace." We gave no reistance to our arrest.

Several days later, all charges were eventually dropped. Protestors are as different as the many groups that comprise the "Left." You cannot box them into one neat package.

the only point that truely &*((^( me off though is when people (and i realize they are the minority) are attacking the TROOPS rather than the PRESIDENT and CONGRESS who sent them there. at a local college recently, a fairly large group of anti-war people organized AROUND a US army display booth and started throwing things at the recruiters, shouting at them with megaphones, and actually had to be broken up before they attacked people who were just doing their jobs. this is unfair to the troops because if they disobey orders in such a way as openly and actively speaking out against the government or the president they could be faced with the charge of treason would, if found to be true, result in death.

Those protestors were fighting military recruitment on colleges and efforts spearheaded by "No Child Left Behind," not the soldiers. And sorry, but the recruiters do more than "just their jobs:" recruiting efforts are reaching into every aspect of a young adult's life--I totally approve of college-kids resisting the efforts of recruiters to ply their wares on campus. They lie about the military life, they're disingenuous about what happens after your tour is done, etc.

Don't believe me: just go up to a recruiter and ask him about "Stop Loss" (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-01-05-army-troops_x.htm) orders.

on a side note, i realize that this has just been my personal experience, but the true right and left -wingers will get so passionate about their subject that they are practically frothing at the mouth anywhere you disagree with them. the right i have met are bad about this, but the left are much much worse. in my experience, they have refused to even have a reasonable debate or to express their ideas in a controlled fashion, often shouting over me if i try to speak, screaming when they disagree with any part of my comment and not letting me finish, and often using the defense "well, i dont care because this is what i belive" when given facts to evaluate and rebuttle if they wish.

Yes, mouth-frothers make life difficult to have a reasonable discussion: especially if they don't regularly brush their teeth. :cool:

Neil Mick
05-11-2005, 01:31 AM
Neil, WOW-we agreed on something.

*Looking to heavens for meteor-showers* ;)

as for media bias, I believe media is big business and as such follows the $ not the politicians. If thought "A" provokes an audience which translates to bigger profits, thought "A" will be broadcast until interest wanders. The embedded journalists were a prime example. No one cared what a news organization's politics were, they just wanted the most recent, clearest images from the War. Unfortunately, as a highly ignorant society, we (society) tend to watch one station (the one with the prettiest pictures) and formulate all our ideas and judgments off that. Sad really. The solution, IMO, is for adults to encourage children to question and research, never just accept somethings. I want my children to learn to formulate their own ideas and opinions, not mimic mine or someone else's. Finally, so long as we accept information geared to the lowest of intellects we will continue to receive the very minimal information that the station thinks we need to keep us watching.

Yes, and no. I partly agree with what you said: but this does not fully explain my two questions to Michael Neal.

Also, which media-figure said: "He's the President: when he tells me to line up, I just ask where?" Hardly the stance of a questioning, investigative media-mind, is it?

No, this whole war has been well-managed by the Army, from a media-perspective.

Neil Mick
05-11-2005, 01:35 AM
Once again, I am not trying to belittle anyone else, but I know that I am the one who could potentially be sent over to Iraq for (as specified in the new draft bill) "as long as is necessary". I realize that everyone is hit hard by a war, but I see myself as being fairly high up on the list considering my age. I apologize, I could simply not have the additional twenty years of life needed to realize just how far the repercussions reach.

One more thing: I teach Aikido (as a college course) as my major source of income. Every semester, I am told that next year may be the big axe due to the costs of the war.

War affects everyone, on all levels. You may have to go and fight (should you not choose to resist: and yes, it is your obligation to resist and refuse to follow immoral orders), but many others are affected in other, dramatic ways than having to join the military.

DustinAcuff
05-11-2005, 02:08 PM
On the Military Recruitment Numbers....this is what was explained to my by my uncle, a 1st Sgt in the USAF, a couple months ago on a diffrent topic: Bush is trying to push the military beyond its current limits. He raises the bar for the number of troops we need and makes it look like a draft is a must, even though he advocates an all volunteer military. The fact is that at the moment we are having trouble outfitting every man we have, and that in a number of places they have slowed or shutdown recruitment so the demand does not excede the supply with respect to the reserves. Just my understanding, but I realize that the articles you linked were very intresting and speaking of something else. I am not sure what the answer is and will have to look into it more. I apoligize, but I have one week left for this semester and am transfering to a real university from a CC and have alot to do, so i would not exepct any response there for a couple weeks.

I am in perfect agreement with you: the media is not doing its job. The media's job is to promote the TRUTH. If the world is round and bush declared it flat i would love to see a headline that was something like "BUSH DECLARES WORLD FLAT: NOBODY TELL HIM OTHERWISE!! SHHHH!!!!" just kidding. As I see it, the media is supposed to deliver the unbiased, hard to swallow truth on any topic, not their political views, not to regurgitate what the Republicans or Democrats tell them to.

A not on global warming: the earth naturally changes tempature by approx 10-20 degrees every 500 years or so ( this came from my current history class). this global warming could simply be a result of the last mini iceage that ended approx 1500 AD. It could also be a combination of the earth's natural temp change as well as the buildup of pollution (most likely). Just a blip, you can never know too much ^^.

My misunderstanding about the rebuilding of Iraq.....(one day i need to learn how to quote people >.<)..I am not sure what the main goal is in Iraq. It may be oil, it may be to estb. a democracy, it may be that Bush is bored and playing human chess. I simply dont know. What I have heard is simply what I have heard, i accept that it may not be representitave of anything that is actually happening.

Under Saddam's regime Christianity was illeagl. Freedom of religion is one of those things i belive that everyone should have. As a Christian I feel that it is my duty to do everything possible to spread my religion and get quite angry when i am locked out. But i also understand the implications of free will, and support everyone's God given right to do whatever the heck they want. It is a kind of joint Free. of Rel. and Christ. issue to me.

Right wing protests: I have heard a few examples of right wing protests over the years, and even in the deep south (TN, GA) they were criticized in that manner. I have paid only passing note to the news for the majority of the 19 years i have had on earth, so i cannot back this up. This belief could be flawed or a result of indoctrination or propoganda.

I do not care what the protesters were responding to, there is no reason to attack the military. Yes, recruiters lie, i have friends in the military who will attest to this. Yes, they take more than a fair role in they way they get people, my friend's recruiter used to bring him beer for his parties. But i still feel that it is wrong to attack people who are being peaceful. I am fully aware of the stop-loss orders and their implications; after my cousin's last tour in Iraq he had to fight for almost a year to get out of the service. They pulled him out of college during the last few months of his reserve contract and detained him for quite a while preventing him from getting his degree.

As I said, I am only 19 years old and expect that my opinoons are flawed, there are people who have been concidering things like this for longer than i have been alive. I understand that your program is in "danger" of being cut, but I am somewhat cynical about it. This is not a disrespect towards you, but rather the way our government works. The gov't has X money total, divided any number of ways, and every time some beandip lobbies for a new program, every time a soldier fires a bullet, ever time a homeless person gets a free bowl of soup, it cuts into that supply. Education is more of a bueracracy than most, and as such everyone is always underfunded and if you are not math, science, history you are in danger of being cut if another dept. needs a new overhead projector. It is BS screwing with people in that manner, war or not. It is also one of the reasons i am transferring to a private university.

thanks alot and i look foward to being ripped apart! ^^

Nathan Gusdorf
05-11-2005, 04:42 PM
A not on global warming: the earth naturally changes tempature by approx 10-20 degrees every 500 years or so ( this came from my current history class). this global warming could simply be a result of the last mini iceage that ended approx 1500 AD. It could also be a combination of the earth's natural temp change as well as the buildup of pollution (most likely). Just a blip, you can never know too much ^^.

However it is more likely that it is due to our burning of fossil fuels which releases carbon into the atmosphere which accumulates and refelects heat back towards the earth that is heading out towwards space. CFCs have an even stronger effect, and those were released when they used to be used as propellant in aerosol cans.


Under Saddam's regime Christianity was illeagl. Freedom of religion is one of those things i belive that everyone should have. As a Christian I feel that it is my duty to do everything possible to spread my religion and get quite angry when i am locked out. But i also understand the implications of free will, and support everyone's God given right to do whatever the heck they want. It is a kind of joint Free. of Rel. and Christ. issue to me.

Does this mean that one thing that legitimized the invasion was the spread of Christianty?? That sounds rather Crusades-eqsue.

Neil Mick
05-11-2005, 06:41 PM
I have one week left for this semester and am transfering to a real university from a CC and have alot to do, so i would not exepct any response there for a couple weeks.

Yes, don't neglect your RW duties. ;)

A note on global warming

Actually, I was just using global warming as an example. I'll refrain from getting into global warming, so as not to get too far afield.

My misunderstanding about the rebuilding of Iraq.....(one day i need to learn how to quote people >.<)

There are several ways to quote someone. The easiest is to hit the "quote" button on the lower right, of a given post.

..I am not sure what the main goal is in Iraq. It may be oil, it may be to estb. a democracy, it may be that Bush is bored and playing human chess. I simply dont know.

Who can really say what is in W's mind. But, Sy Hersh (who broke the Abu Ghraib scandal) suggests that Bush really does believe his own publicity, that he can bring democracy to Iraq, and that he can siphon off our oil out of their ground.

I don't think he's bored...I think it's much worse--he really DOES believe that God told him to attack Iraq. An ideologically driven President who cannot tolerate a dissenting opinion is a very, very dangerous thing. But, these are the times in which we live.

Under Saddam's regime Christianity was illeagl. Freedom of religion is one of those things i belive that everyone should have. As a Christian I feel that it is my duty to do everything possible to spread my religion and get quite angry when i am locked out. But i also understand the implications of free will, and support everyone's God given right to do whatever the heck they want. It is a kind of joint Free. of Rel. and Christ. issue to me.

Personally, it is not for me to judge religious intoleration, in other countries. I agree with Nathan:

Does this mean that one thing that legitimized the invasion was the spread of Christianty?? That sounds rather Crusades-eqsue.

It DOES sound Crusades-esque.

Right wing protests: I have heard a few examples of right wing protests over the years, and even in the deep south (TN, GA) they were criticized in that manner. I have paid only passing note to the news for the majority of the 19 years i have had on earth, so i cannot back this up. This belief could be flawed or a result of indoctrination or propoganda.

I'm not doubting you: I'd just be interested in reading/looking at your source.

I do not care what the protesters were responding to, there is no reason to attack the military.

Here, we shall have to agree to disagree. I think that there are very good reasons to attack the military (at least, nonviolently. And, nonviolence extends to destruction of propaganda, tresspassing, resisting arrest, yelling, and general disruption of business as usual. It does NOT include physical assault, nor does it include spitting on soldiers, or the like). But, by the "military," I don't necessarily mean individuals within it.

As I said, I am only 19 years old and expect that my opinoons are flawed,

There is no such thing as a "perfect opinion." Unless, of course: you currently hold the title of Commander-in-Chief.

At least, in his own mind.


thanks alot and i look foward to being ripped apart! ^^

Nah...I only rip into people who exhibit closed-minded, knee-jerk attitudes. Humility and acknowledgement of one's own imperfections are cool. :cool:

makuchg
05-11-2005, 10:13 PM
Does this mean that one thing that legitimized the invasion was the spread of Christianty?? That sounds rather Crusades-eqsue.

I've been waiting for an occasion to break out my tunic!

Nathan Gusdorf
05-11-2005, 10:15 PM
I don't think he's bored...I think it's much worse--he really DOES believe that God told him to attack Iraq. An ideologically driven President who cannot tolerate a dissenting opinion is a very, very dangerous thing. But, these are the times in which we live.


I think that this is completely true. I think that other officials in the Bush administration are more greed motivated and much more intelligent (in a conniving fascist way) than our president, and they are primarily in it for the oil. I agree that Bush actually believes that it is his god given right and duty to go in and 'free' the iraqi people from saddam. I imagine he also like the idea of bringing christianity to the country. What scares me is that in the process of attacking these fundamentalist ruled countries where dissent is not tolerated and religion rules the government, we are becoming one ourselves.

There is no such thing as a "perfect opinion." Unless, of course: you currently hold the title of Commander-in-Chief.

At least, in his own mind.


On that note, remember in the second presidential debate when a woman asked bush if he could name three mistakes he had made as president and the first thign he said was 'you people want me to admit attackign iraq was a mistake and i won't do it'. Hmmm, I guess Im being a terrorist with all this anti-bush talk.

dan guthrie
05-11-2005, 11:58 PM
Two days after the war started, I was one of 13 protesters who blockaded an army recruitment center. We were a diverse group: a Rabbi, a minister, a mother, a homeless advocate. We were greeted by a squad of police, decked out in full riot gear (to their credit, they were hyped up about the SF protests occurring at the same time, and they expected the same). When they gave the order to disperse, we sang "Amazing Grace." We gave no resistance to our arrest.

Several days later, all charges were eventually dropped. Protesters are as different as the many groups that comprise the "Left." You cannot box them into one neat package.



Those protesters were fighting military recruitment on colleges and efforts spearheaded by "No Child Left Behind," not the soldiers. And sorry, but the recruiters do more than "just their jobs:" recruiting efforts are reaching into every aspect of a young adult's life--I totally approve of college-kids resisting the efforts of recruiters to ply their wares on campus. They lie about the military life, they're disingenuous about what happens after your tour is done, etc.

Don't believe me: just go up to a recruiter and ask him about "Stop Loss" (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-01-05-army-troops_x.htm) orders.

:cool:


I was in the military and I don't have a problem with anyone engaging in the peaceful protest you engaged in. As soon as a rock (or cream pie) flies toward or away from one of the groups then a crime has been committed and serious consequences should follow, however. We'll have to agree to disagree on trespassing, yelling and chaining-together types of tactics. I would prosecute those as separate crimes.
"Resisting recruiters" = don't go down to sign up. I have successfully resisted recruiters since 1982.

I've known a few recruiters and my experience is that technically you are wrong about what they did (at least as far as I ever discovered) and probably what they are now doing.

No recruiter ever lied to me or was disingenuous about military life and nobody I knew ever claimed that. I actually had a great time, in retrospect, and I learned life lessons that most civilians will never learn.

You'll notice that I said "technically" about 10 sentences ago. Recruiters use the same techniques car salesmen use but the successful "buyer" is fully aware of what he/she is getting into. There was a time when the military would accept almost anything with a pulse but those days have been gone for 25 years or more.
People in the military strive toward professionalism and are well educated. Becoming an NCO was a surprisingly validating event for me.


I was held over my enlistment by about three months because I took an NCO course. It's not "stop loss" but it's just one of many surprises the military had in store.
Stop loss is pretty damned bad. I won't argue the point but I will say it'll probably be No. 1 in a hundred or so gripes you'll get from people getting out of the military.
For example: I know of 20 or so people who never got paid for lunch expenses because of their career field choice. Try that for a week and it's not so bad. Try living with that for three years, until you get a promotion to NCO and suddenly you're worthy of an extra $2 per diem. :mad:

DustinAcuff
05-12-2005, 02:28 AM
Just three quick comments:

I assume that by my RW duties you mean Right Wing. I have no such duties currently I'm equally disgusted with both sides. Until the frothies all get old and die (people like Bill the Angry Irishman O'Reily and Rev. Sharp) I doubt that I will have any agenda. I'm more of a Dennis Miller - George Carlin person.

And I am not really calling for a crusade, I just don't see why any given religion would be illegal.

I'm not sure of Bush's intellegence, but I reserve judgement on matters of public opinion until I have the same papers that pass across his desk every morning. He could be on a mission from God like Jake and Elwood Blues or he might actually be doing us a favor. He is either the sharpest tack in the match box or about three bricks short of a bakers dozen.

deepsoup
05-12-2005, 04:15 AM
Under Saddam's regime Christianity was illeagl. Freedom of religion is one of those things i belive that everyone should have.
Not so. Saddam Hussein is guilty of many things, but his was a secular, not a religious dictatorship. If it were illegal to be a christian under Saddam's rule, how long would Tariq Aziz have lasted as deputy Prime Minister?
I suspect you've swallowed a bit of propaganda there.

As a Christian I feel that it is my duty to do everything possible to spread my religion and get quite angry when i am locked out.
Tough. You have a right to practice your religion, not to travel the world shoving it down peoples' throats.

Sean
x

makuchg
05-12-2005, 06:44 AM
For example: I know of 20 or so people who never got paid for lunch expenses because of their career field choice. Try that for a week and it's not so bad. Try living with that for three years, until you get a promotion to NCO and suddenly you're worthy of an extra $2 per diem. :mad:

Dan this information is not correct. The Department of Defense bases per diem rates on location not rank. Career field also has nothing to do with rates. The only factor is what is authorized based on the mission. https://secureapp2.hqda.pentagon.mil/perdiem/pdrates.html

As for the Christianity being illegal comments, here is an interesting article from a Christian source that says Iraq has a rather diverse religious populace and over 14 Christian communities. http://www.worthynews.com/news-features/compass-iraq.html

Neil Mick
05-12-2005, 03:48 PM
Just three quick comments:

I assume that by my RW duties you mean Right Wing.

No...RW = Real World. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

He is either the sharpest tack in the match box or about three bricks short of a bakers dozen.

I would seriously question the former statement...there is no indication to suggest that he is "sharp:" unless, of course: you're referring to "sharp, like a guillotine," as in "deadly," or "dangerous."

There is ample evidence to suggest that he lacks the ability to think "outside the box," altho I WOULD go so far as to call him "cunning."

DustinAcuff
05-12-2005, 10:19 PM
Sean, I apoligize if I gave the impression that I am the type of person who would "shove my religion down people's throats". I respect that most people have diffrent beliefs than I do, in the same manner that I accept that not all martial artists are aikidoka. My choice is MY CHOICE. I may have indeed been fed propoganda, or have gotten my facts wrong; but I have NEVER advocated shoving your ideas/opinions/religious beliefs/traditional foods down someone else's throat. If you have ever tried to shove your slice of pizza down someones throat you will see that not only do they not chew, they throw up all over you. I simply am advocating religious tolerance where I (mistakenly) belived that none existed. I am all over the free exchange of ideas, but telling me something that could be concidered an "idea" is illegal is alot like telling me not to "push the little red button".

Looking back at my post I can see why I gave that impression. My bad.

dan guthrie
05-12-2005, 11:50 PM
Dan this information is not correct. The Department of Defense bases per diem rates on location not rank. Career field also has nothing to do with rates. The only factor is what is authorized based on the mission. https://secureapp2.hqda.pentagon.mil/perdiem/pdrates.html

As for the Christianity being illegal comments, here is an interesting article from a Christian source that says Iraq has a rather diverse religious populace and over 14 Christian communities. http://www.worthynews.com/news-features/compass-iraq.html

It is correct but I didn't give you all of the information because it's difficult to explain but here goes. I didn't use the term "per diem" correctly, either.
The airmen in question were mechanics who worked on the alert aircraft on one end of the flight line, about 20 minutes each way walking distance to the dining facility. The bus only ran once an hour.
Their jobs forced them to have a minimum "quorum" and to be available to work on F-15s within seconds so they weren't able to get people rotated through the dining facility in time. If the food had been 5 minutes away there would have been no problem.
There wasn't time for them to get food so they had to buy their lunches and bring them to the flight line or go hungry. Airmen weren't given extra pay for food because the Base Commander had to approve it and he wouldn't because he was a jerk.
As soon as they made NCO they could move out of the barracks and get money for buying all their meals.
It was only a few dollars a day but it wasn't fair and the flight line NCOs should have done more to protect the lower enlisted people. When the "scandal" hit the transportation CO got in trouble; not the base commander, not the guilty NCOs nor the guy who wouldn't allow more parking at the Alert hangar.

Did I mention that I wrote a story for the base newspaper about this? Did I also mention I had to apologize to the transportation CO for this story?

makuchg
05-13-2005, 05:37 AM
[QUOTE=Dan Guthrie]It is correct but I didn't give you all of the information because it's difficult to explain but here goes. I didn't use the term "per diem" correctly, either.
The airmen in question were mechanics who worked on the alert aircraft on one end of the flight line, about 20 minutes each way walking distance to the dining facility. The bus only ran once an hour.
Their jobs forced them to have a minimum "quorum" and to be available to work on F-15s within seconds so they weren't able to get people rotated through the dining facility in time. If the food had been 5 minutes away there would have been no problem.
There wasn't time for them to get food so they had to buy their lunches and bring them to the flight line or go hungry. Airmen weren't given extra pay for food because the Base Commander had to approve it and he wouldn't because he was a jerk.
As soon as they made NCO they could move out of the barracks and get money for buying all their meals.
It was only a few dollars a day but it wasn't fair and the flight line NCOs should have done more to protect the lower enlisted people. When the "scandal" hit the transportation CO got in trouble; not the base commander, not the guilty NCOs nor the guy who wouldn't allow more parking at the Alert hangar.[QUOTE]

Dan, every dining facility I know can make meals to order and have them picked up for personnel who can't get to the facility. In Iraq, the Sergeant of the Guard picks up pre-made meals for the soldiers standing duty in guard towers (don't want them leaving for a meal). So it seems some NCO did not step up and ensure his/her people were taken care of. I see the point, but paying the airmen isn't the answer, holding the NCO's who failed to provide adaquate leadership accountable and make them do their job is.

I don't think the base commander was a jerk, I think he assumed (obviously incorrectly) that his NCOs were doing their jobs-taking care of their people. As base commander I would be relieving a lot of NCO's of the obviously to heavy to wear stipes they have on their sleeves!

dan guthrie
05-13-2005, 11:15 PM
For whatever reason the meal delivery wasn't available, this was in the dark ages (1983). That would have solved the problem. We agree that the NCOs failed in their obligation. I've noticed the Army and Marine Corps are a lot less hung up on this kind of small stuff.
Law Enforcement and Military Police got rides to the dining facility and went to the front of the line, under arms, so they could eat in the shortest amount of time or on the run.
This situation had been brought to the base commander's attention well before it "hit" the newspaper. His predecessor knew about it as well. He had the power to fix the situation and chose not to.
I was transferred a few months later and, as far as I know, the airmen never got their lunch. The base closed sometimes in the early '90s.
Isn't it odd how relatively small injustices figure prominently in our memories? My main memories of The Netherlands are the good food, friendly people, rotten weather and the plight of some enlisted mechanics.

Kevin Leavitt
05-16-2005, 02:47 PM
This is off topic, but since it is running....

Missing meals or having to pay for meals is a leadership issue. Has been that way for many, many, many years.

Soliders, saliors, and airmen have plenty of avenues for getting "wrongs" righted. chain of command, IG, congressmen/senators.

This sounds like a leadership failure at some level and an isolated incident. with over a million members in the military, there will be issues and breakdown, they are not indicative of the entire system, nor reflective of leadership at all levels.

Taliesin
05-18-2005, 08:00 AM
Changing the subject slightly

What's the American Take on Mr Galloway's evidence to the Senate - just curious.