August 17, 2006 at 1:20 PM #7229
Here’s a Spiegel interview with Jimmy Carter.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Carter, in your new book you write that only the American people can ensure that the US government returns to the country’s old moral principles. Are you suggesting that the current US administration of George W. Bush of acting immorally?
Carter: There’s no doubt that this administration has made a radical and unpressured departure from the basic policies of all previous administrations including those of both Republican and Democratic presidents.
SPIEGEL: For example?
Carter: Under all of its predecessors there was a commitment to peace instead of preemptive war. Our country always had a policy of not going to war unless our own security was directly threatened and now we have a new policy of going to war on a preemptive basis. Another very serious departure from past policies is the separation of church and state, which I describe in the book. This has been a policy since the time of Thomas Jefferson and my own religious beliefs are compatible with this. The other principle that I described in the book is basic justice. We’ve never had an administration before that so overtly and clearly and consistently passed tax reform bills that were uniquely targeted to benefit the richest people in our country at the expense or the detriment of the working families of America.
SPIEGEL: You also mentioned the hatred for the United States throughout the Arab world which has ensued as a result of the invasion of Iraq. Given this circumstance, does it come as any surprise that Washington’s call for democracy in the Middle East has been discredited?
Carter: No, as a matter of fact, the concerns I exposed have gotten even worse now with the United States supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon.
SPIEGEL: But wasn’t Israel the first to get attacked?
Carter: I don’t think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that’s justified, no.
Under Bush, our nation has taken on the largest budget deficits. He is the first president in over 100 years to have 0 vetoes. The join Republican controlled government has increase the size of government in size, budget, and scope. The Medicare bill will almost guarantee a doubling of taxes. He strayed far from Republican ideals, A real disappointment. Why doesn’t someone call an impeachment hearing?
August 17, 2006 at 1:32 PM #32190rocketmanParticipant
Are you JUST starting to see the true side of this idiot and his cabinet? I wash my hands – I never voted for him.
August 17, 2006 at 1:43 PM #32192hsParticipant
Either did I.
“Why doesn’t someone call an impeachment hearing?”
That is my question, too.
August 17, 2006 at 1:47 PM #32194CarlsbadlivingParticipant
Too many people have been brainwashed.
August 17, 2006 at 2:18 PM #32201
Bush is a nutcase. He has walked away from all conservative ideas such as small government and low government intrusion on people’s lives for a police state that benefit his hard core followers.
We’ll all be paying for his misguided policies for decades to come.
It’s very interesting to me that his voters in the red states are low income rural folks who don’t benefit from his social policies (and whose children he’s sending to war). Why are they voting againts their interests?
A group of generals and diplimats are now calling Bush’s Middle East policy a major failure. George Soros is also speaking out against the Administration.
At least Nixon was a pragmatist and not a theocrat like W. Nixon (Kissinger) took a great ennemy like China and made it a friend. We should do the same with Iran.
August 17, 2006 at 6:38 PM #32228
Perry, let’s negotiate. I’ll be Iran, you be the US. What’s your offer?
August 17, 2006 at 7:03 PM #32230
I find it ridiculous that so many people point to GW as the originator of Islamic hate toward the US. What a short and selective memory! But I’m not surprised. Americans tend to be very stupid when it comes to knowledge of history.
Jimmy Carter is and always was a wimp. Although he certainly is flapping his yap like he knows something, he was singularly ineffective when faced with problems in the Islamic world during his presidency.
August 17, 2006 at 7:20 PM #32233
It’s funny that Real Estate is like Iraq. The bulls are hoping for a soft landing but we all know that the crash won’t be pleasant. The confluence of misguided decisions has made the situation beyond repair.
I’m just sitting back and watching the events unfold.
The world is sitting back letting America fail just like us Piggingtons are watching greedy buyers loose their shirts in the coming RE debacle.
Bush did nothing for Terri Shiavo? The Republicans did everything their could to interfere in a family matter. So much for little government intrusion.
August 17, 2006 at 7:33 PM #32238
“Terri Shiavo? The Republicans did everything their could to interfere in a family matter.” Her parents wanted her kept alive, her husband who was living with and had children by another woman wanted to pull the plug. Did you know that?
“The world is sitting back letting America fail” and don’t you think they should be helping the Iraqi people?
But come on, Perry- you said you wanted negotiations with Iran. Let’s hear it. What’s your proposal? Do you know what Bush’s is?
August 17, 2006 at 8:05 PM #32243
Bgates, I think that more could’ve been done concerning Terry Schiavo. He’s the stinkin’ President for crying out loud and his brother is the governor of Florida. If they wanted her to be put back on life support, it would have been done in a heartbeat. Family matter? My friend, there are no clear cut lines as you may be implying. Was not the Andrea Yates case a “family matter”? Perhaps we should just let people kill their own if they want. It’s THEIR own and not ours, afterall- right? What right do we have interefering?
August 17, 2006 at 8:08 PM #32244
Rank, I was responding to someone else. Read the thread.
August 17, 2006 at 8:48 PM #32247
I used to vote for Republicans because I thought that they were principled and stood for:
Pay as you go,
No nation building, etc…
It turns out I was wrong. Republicans are just opportunists who want to push their oppressive agenda onto others. Talk about flip-flop! The Republicans made a complete 180 on everything that they stood for.
As far as foreign policy is concerned, Kissinger (under Nixon) advocated the pragmatic policy of engagement. Brzezinski (under Carter) is the one who wanted a more interventionist approach to foreign policy. Kissinger has been speaking out a lot lately on Iraq. While he won’t directly criticize the Bush Administration, he’s making oblique remarks on how misguided the current policy is. I’m no particular friend of Kissinger (he’s a mean smart weasel) but he’s a brilliant pragmatic diplomat who can solve problems.
I don’t blame the rest of the world for letting us squirm in Iraq. We didn’t ask for their input when we went in and broke all the pottery. Why would they pickup the pieces?
On Terri Shiavo, her husband was the legal guardian. The state courts, all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, ruled in the husband’s favor. Family matters belong in State Courts. The Federal government and the Congress should stay out of family matters (remember state rights? ).
August 17, 2006 at 8:57 PM #32248
We asked for the world’s input. Bush went to the UN. Several nations (UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Italy, South Korea, to name the most prominent) joined us. Iraq was busted before, and it’s busted now. How is it in anyone’s interests to have Iraq in its current condition, except someone who wants to see the US weakened? And if a nation wants to see the US weakened, isn’t it foolhardy to try to get their diplomatic or military support?
For Iran, do I understand that your ‘policy’ would be, “send Kissinger”? Do you have an independent thought? You said earlier that you thought we should negotiate with our enemies. I’ve given you Ahmadinejad’s perspective. What’s your response? Terri Schiavo? Focus, buddy!
August 17, 2006 at 9:15 PM #32250
My bad, Bgates…Should’ve read more. I think I am the one to blame for bringing Terri Schiavo into this. I don’t know how much more I will respond to this thread because it is pointless trying to reason with people on certain issues. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
August 19, 2006 at 10:25 AM #32401AnonymousGuest
RandF : I am very sorry to hear about your horse not drinking any water even after you had led him to it. He must be very thirsty by now.
During other president times, any horse would willingly drink water even when Carter and Clinton, was in power. It must therefore be due to Bush’s environmental policy and lack of clean water. Either that or it is due to global warming and your water has evaporated.
Even horses have rights (and lefts come to think of it) and to quote the great Equinuine leader, Trotsky, “Horses of the world unit: You have nothing to loose by your reigns”.
August 19, 2006 at 12:33 PM #32407
Have you been to Tibet and Xingjiang? I always wanted to go there. I agree with you completely. I remember that in high school and in college, we had students from those regions (Xingjiang) who were on full scholarship. It was the government’s program to get the most promised youth better educated — even though they would not have been admitted otherwise. But there is still a lot of resentment among people in Tibet and Xingjing, I believe. In the end, there is a lot to say about independence and autonomy. Chinese government’s attempt was more serious, more competently carried out, with some cruelty along the way. (Compared to US’s Iraqi fiasco).
When Bush wants to spread “liberty and democracy” around the world, he perhaps didn’t realize that he’s invading others’ sense of independence, including their religious beliefs. (Well, their lifes too!) Plus, he only cares about people agreeing with him (or even worshiping him) anyway. So I don’t know if his version of “democracy” is democracy at all. I read that one of the things that he absolutely insisted on was that the new Iraqi government “thank” the US for “liberating” Iraq.
August 19, 2006 at 7:32 PM #32445
ybc, yes, I spent several months traveling in China last year. I went all the way to Kashgar. If you have time, just pack a bag; get a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide then go. I traveled by bus, coach train, luxury train. I saw how poor folks and how rich folks live. China is perfectly safe for solo travel and you can always find hotels (from nice to budget) along the way so you don’t have to make advance reservations or be on a schedule. Now, there’s even a new train through the mountains into Tibet. I’d like to go back and take that new train.
I’m happy I was able to appreciate China for the amazing diverse country that it is rather than a bunch of worker bees trying to steal American jobs. There are blue-eyed people in Western China! Some people are very beautiful with European features and Mongolian eyes (not to say that Han Chinese or other ethnicities are not beautiful).
What struck me most is how friendly people are. I don’t speak the language but I was always able to find help.
The way China approaches its minorities is not much different than how we do things in America. They have affirmative action programs for students from the autonomous regions; and while university admission is extremely competitive, they will find spots for bright students. I have a Uyghur friend who got a full scholarship to Beijing University and now works for the Foreign Ministry. He looks Hispanic with brown hair but he’s Uyghur Chinese.
The reason minorities in China feel oppressed is because they don’t speak Mandarin and they are neither part of, nor do they understand the establishment. But I can tell you that most of them are thankful for the jobs, the roads and the infrastructure and the consumer goods that the Han Chinese brought. There’s a big boom in Western China and Tibet now and local city folks are becoming wealthy on real estate appreciation. The most destitute people in China are the rural migrant workers, regardless of ethnicity, who have neither permanent jobs nor homes. They stream into the cities looking for work.
BTW, the real estate bubbles in Beijing and Shanghai are so much bigger than San Diego. Shanghai is reaching Manhattan levels but the median income there is relatively low.
As far as Iraq is concerned, now that we’re already there, I say, tighten our belts, make real sacrifices, send 1 million troops and really fix the problem, or get out. The current half measures of holding Baghdad while insurgents run amok everywhere simply aren’t working. Some have said that invading Iraq was America’s greatest gift to Iran.
August 17, 2006 at 9:17 PM #32249
BTW, most everyone, except the Brits, in the coalition of the willing pulled out. South Korea doesn’t even support us on North Korea.
I don’t think that Europeans and others want to see us weakened. They simply resent cleaning-up our mess and have us take the credit. Think about your bossy colleague at work. Would you want to help him so he can get a promotion at your expense?
Negotiating with Iran requires opening up diplomatic channels. That would be a good first step. Otherwise, we’ll continue to have fighting by proxy in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.
W is steadfast in his policy. We’ll see if he prevails. Those of us who disagree with the Bushies have not choice but to give them the benefit of the doubt.
bgates, Bush has the power now. So you have your way. You should be the happy one.
I’m willing to let history be the judge.
August 17, 2006 at 9:38 PM #32255
The fact that many nations have since pulled out doesn’t change the fact they supported us initially, which means you were wrong when you claimed Bush didn’t try to get world support.
You are disgustingly shallow when you compare the task of saving 25 million people from random terrorism and civil war with helping a bossy colleague.
“Negotiating with Iran requires opening up diplomatic channels,” on the other hand, is sheer genius. You really need to take that insight to the State Department, it could be just the breakthough we need. Once they know to open up channels, they will just need to fill in the minor details, like, oh, WHAT TO SAY.
‘My way’ is not to have Bush in power. ‘My way’ is to see America’s interests defended, which I think Bush has done imperfectly, yet far better than the alternatives. I would be happier if there were more alternatives, instead of circle-jerks about impeachment hearings that collapse into silence and an offer to “give them the benefit of the doubt” when confronted with even my meager debating ability.
But I accept that you recognize you’ve lost this argument, and yeah, I’m kinda happy about that.
August 17, 2006 at 11:14 PM #32280
THE BUSH QUIZ: THE TWENTIETH HUNDRED DAYS
by PAUL SLANSKY
Issue of 2006-08-07
1. Complete George W. Bush¡¯s quote: ¡°I believe that
my job is _____.¡±
(a) to protect life. And sometimes people have to die
in order to protect life, see? And that saddens me.
(b) hard. It¡¯s a heckuva hard job. It¡¯s difficult.
But I¡¯m doin¡¯ it, see, and I¡¯m gonna keep on doin¡¯
it, because that¡¯s the job of a President.
(c) to go out and explain to people what¡¯s on my
mind. That¡¯s why I¡¯m having this press conference,
see? I¡¯m telling you what¡¯s on my mind. And what¡¯s
on my mind is winning the war on terror.
(d) to construe the laws I sign in a Presidential way.
Because that¡¯s part of being a leader, see, is
construing with your gut.
2. Who is Peter Wallsten?
(a) The partially blind reporter whom George W. Bush
mocked (¡°Are you going to ask that question with
shades on?¡±) for not removing his sunglasses while
addressing the President.
(b) The wheelchair-bound senior citizen whom George W.
Bush mocked (¡°You look mighty comfortable¡±) for not
standing in the presence of the President.
(c) The C.I.A. employee who, after delivering the
¡°Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.¡± briefing,
was told by George W. Bush, ¡°All right, you¡¯ve
covered your ass now.¡±
(d) The Iraq-war amputee with whom George W. Bush
tried to bond by telling him about a scratch he got
during ¡°combat with a cedar¡± while clearing brush.
Match the number with what it quantifies.
3. At least 30,000.
4. More than 5,000.
6. Around 200.
(a) Dollars¡¯ worth of merchandise that the former
Bush domestic-policy adviser Claude Allen was alleged
to have stolen from Target and other stores through a
phony refund scam.
(b) Shotgun pellets embedded in the face and upper
body of Harry Whittington by Dick Cheney.
(c) National monuments or icons that Secretary of
Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said there are in
New York City.
(d) dollars donated by Barbara Bush to a hurricane
relief fund with the stipulation that the money be
spent on software bought from a company run by her son
7. Complete George W. Bush¡¯s quote: ¡°Nobody likes
(a) it when the press commits treason.
(b) being lied to.
(c) Osama bin Laden except the Democrats.
8. Three of these quotes were made by George W. Bush.
Which one was made by Donald Rumsfeld?
(a) ¡°Nobody likes war. It creates a sense of¡ªof
uncertainty in the country.¡±
(b) ¡°The plan [in Iraq] is to prevent a civil war,
and, to the extent one were to occur, to have the,
from a security standpoint, have the Iraqi security
forces deal with it to the extent they¡¯re able to.¡±
(c) ¡°Sometimes leaders show up who do a great
disservice to the traditions and people of a country.
(d) ¡°There are limits to how much corn can be used
for ethanol. After all, we got to eat some.¡±
9. John Green.
10. James B. Comey.
11. James E. Hansen.
12. Harry Taylor.
(a) The ¡°Good Morning America¡± producer who was
suspended after e-mails he sent, including one in
which he wrote, ¡°Bush makes me sick,¡± were leaked.
(b) The NASA official who said, ¡°It seems more like
Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United
States,¡± after the Administration began censoring
climate scientists who tried to speak about global
(c) The Justice Department official who refused to
authorize the National Security Agency¡¯s domestic
(d) The questioner at a Charlotte event who told
George W. Bush, ¡°I would hope, from time to time,
that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed
13. How did Dick Cheney say that the September 11th
attacks might have been prevented?
(a) If George W. Bush¡¯s father had taken out Saddam
Hussein in 1991.
(b) If the Bush Administration had been able to
eavesdrop on the hijackers¡¯ phone conversations
without court orders.
(c) If the National Security Agency hadn¡¯t waited
until September 12th to translate two messages warning
of the attacks which had been intercepted on September
(d) If even one of the F.B.I. agent Harry Samit¡¯s
more than seventy warnings that Zacarias Moussaoui was
a terrorist had been heeded.
14. Three of these quotes were made by George W. Bush.
Which one was made by Dick Cheney?
(a) ¡°I do want to give you some thoughts about what
I¡¯m thinking about.¡±
(b) ¡°They ought to learn to sing the national anthem
(c) ¡°We have all the legal authority we need.¡±
(d) ¡°When you turn on your TV screen and see innocent
people die day in and day out, it affects the
mentality of our country.¡±
15. What pair of men did George W. Bush refer to as an
¡°interesting cat¡± and a ¡°dangerous dude¡±?
(a) The Iraqi Defense Minister and the Al Qaeda leader
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
(b) Elvis Presley and ¡°Colonel¡± Tom Parker, during
the guided tour of Graceland that Bush gave to
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
(c) Owen Wilson and Matt Dillon, after a special White
House screening of ¡°You, Me and Dupree.¡±
16. What was George W. Bush talking about when he
declared, ¡°I¡¯m the decider, and I decide what¡¯s
(a) Pushing ahead with the Dubai ports deal despite
not having known about it until it appeared in the
(b) Blocking a Justice Department probe of the
Administration¡¯s secret domestic spying operation.
(c) Keeping Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary
despite calls by six retired generals for his firing.
(d) Vetoing a stem-cell-research bill.
17. What did George W. Bush say was ¡°the best
moment¡± during his years in the White House?
(a) ¡°The first day I sat at my desk in the Oval
Office and thought about all the history that happened
there and realized that now it was my turn.¡±
(b) ¡°When I caught a seven-and-a-half-pound
largemouth bass on my lake.¡±
(c) ¡°When they told me we caught Saddam in his
18. True or false: When Tim Russert, the host of
¡°Meet the Press,¡± said that ¡°there were a lot of
misjudgments made¡± regarding Iraq, his guest
Condoleezza Rice pointed out, ¡°There are also some
misjudgments that were not made.¡±
19. Which of these words were among the top ten
responses in a Pew Research Center poll that asked
voters for the first word that came to mind when they
think about George W. Bush?
(a) ¡°Decisive,¡± ¡°charming,¡± ¡°brilliant,¡± and
(b) ¡°Booze,¡± ¡°cocaine,¡± ¡°failure,¡± and
(c) ¡°Illegitimate,¡± ¡°simian,¡± ¡°hotheaded,¡± and
(d) ¡°Incompetent,¡± ¡°idiot,¡± ¡°liar,¡± and ¡°ass.¡±
(1) c, (2) a, (3) d, (4) a, (5) c, (6) b, (7) d, (8)
b, (9) a, (10) c, (11) b, (12) d, (13) b, (14) c, (15)
a, (16) c, (17) b, (18) True, (19) d
August 17, 2006 at 11:40 PM #32284
The soldier who was outed by the Secretary of Defense
On a TV magazine program (forgot which one), I learned how the soldier whistle blower who submitted those Abu Grib prison photos anonymously lost his cover. Donald Rumsfeld testisfied to the congress, and he named the soldier’s name! The soldier said that he was watching TV in Iraq, and was shocked to heard his name. Nobody knew at the time. He had to sleep with a gun under his pillow afterwards.
I feel sad for the soldier, and for the country.
August 17, 2006 at 11:46 PM #32287
7) The strategic benefit of the Arab world’s first reasonable government. A representative government is going to allow Iraq to be the first nation in the Arab world in which the citizenry shares in the oil wealth and doesn’t fear its government. That will help diminish the appeal of the fundamentalist lunatics over there.
Great — care to predict when that will happen?
August 17, 2006 at 11:50 PM #32289
Not soon enough. But it would happen faster if the enemy was confronted with a united America, instead of thinking they can chase us out or outlast us.
Do you have a link to that Rumsfeld story?
August 18, 2006 at 12:26 AM #32295
bgates, I’m not happy that Iraq is devolving into a quagmire.
I don’t think that American policy will change until we’re confronted with what we created. I’ve learned that people will learn only when confronted with the results of their own mistakes.
There’s no point in arguing with someone who thinks that real estate is always a good investment. I would say to that person to keep on investing away, and stop trying to convince me that RE is a good investment. Go ahead and make all the money for yourself.
With Iraq, I disagreed from the beginning but my fellow citizens went for Bush. What I’m saying now is that Bush had 3 years to show results but so far it’s negative cash flow all around. How long can you keep on sinking money into that house that you thought would appreciate for sure? Eventually, it’ll bankrupt the household, cause a divorce or family discord.
The thing is that the bulls always need suckers born every minute to keep their ponzi scheme going. That’s why they’re always out and about evangelizing.
I think that, by their actions, the Europeans (and increasingly the Brits) are telling us: well if you think your so right, then keep on doing what you’re doing, but don’t ask us to fix it when it goes awry. Remember when Rumsfeld banned the French and Germans from contracts in Iraq. They have nothing to gain if things goes well and nothing to loose if things go south. So they’re just sitting by and watching the show.
I find it interesting that America co-sponsored the UN resolution on Lebanon. The French are sending 200 troops. We’re not sending any (maybe because they’re all stuck in Iraq).
The son of someone I know wanted to join the military last year but couldn’t join because he flunked out of high school. At that time the Army was desperate enough for recruits that they sponsored him to get his GED. He could then enlist after completing his GED (which he could not pass). Six months ago, the Army called him and said that the GED requirement was lifted so they sent him to boot camp. This example shows how desperate things are. A former general said that the war could break the Army. I think it already is.
August 18, 2006 at 12:40 AM #32296
Your point about the Lebanon resolution makes a different point to me. France has a historical relationship with Lebanon. It was the crown jewel of their middle eastern colonies. There is UN backing for foreign presence there – due to a resolution that France wrote.
Yet they can only find 200 troops to send? That will make no difference. If that’s all they had to contribute in Iraq, their support there would have been meaningless as well.
You think Iraq is getting worse; I think it’s getting better. I think Europe wants to see us hurt, and that’s the main reason they’re not committed. We should probably offer them a cut of the reconstruction in the hopes that their greed overcomes their anti-Americanism. What Europe has to lose, of course, is that Iraq as a failed state is susceptible to Iranian influence. The EU doesn’t want Iran to have nukes; they’ve been negotiating for over 3 years and have gotten nowhere.
Maybe they don’t know to open up diplomatic channels.
August 18, 2006 at 8:05 AM #32307
Bgates, thank you for your thoughtful, rational, fact filled posts. Many posters here do not like Bush and do not like our policy but have nothing substantive to say when pressed. They respond by mocking Bush with anecdotes about public gaffs and college grades. Personal attacks on him are their only weapon, as they cannot offer any solutions. The Middle East is a hotbed of problems and has been for a very long time (long before GW came into office). PS thinks we can reason with terrorists and make them our friends. That is her solution, which is pure folly and betrays her lack of understanding of what makes radical Islam tick.
Throwing up our hands and quitting is not the solution. I am not sure that everything we have done was the right course, but being weak now in the face of difficulty gives them more power and hope that they can outlast us.
If we could go back and change what we have done in the last five years, would our present be any better or more secure? I doubt it. The Iraq war did not create the problem. Some will say that it exacerbated it, but I take issue with that. We have not had any major terrorist bombings (etc) here by outside extremists since 9/11. They are engaged elsewhere. This issue is long standing, extremely complex and a real and ongoing threat to the safety of our nation and citizens. Yet so many people want to quit, give up because it is hard. Then, when we have been hit by another 9/11, those very same quitters will be the first to point fingers and demand, “Why didn’t we do something!”
August 18, 2006 at 3:03 PM #32354
What the Brits are saying…
August 17, 2006 at 9:20 PM #32251salo_tParticipant
So all of a sudden Bush takes office and he’s ready to go to war with Iraq “there’s WMD’s there” and he tries to convince the world. The evidence is weak at best but he’s on a mission and pulls the patriot card. Next thing you know your either for the war or a terrorist. Then all of a sudden there we are involved in a major war in Iraq but to date no proof of WMD’s has been found but guess what? While Bush was wrapped up in Iraq north Korea goes ahead and develops the very thing Bush was trying to prevent. I’m waiting still for the logic? I’m prior military so I know a clusterf**k when I see one and this administration is the epitome of clusterf**k.
August 17, 2006 at 9:34 PM #32253
Anyone who uses the word clusterf**k is a friend of mine. 🙂
My best buddy who’s a naval officer supported beating the sh*t our of those Arabs. But now he can’t see anything but a clusterf**k — a quagmire we can’t extricate ourselves from.
August 17, 2006 at 9:55 PM #32258
Salo_t, another leftist with poor understanding of facts. quote from a member of Clinton’s NSC:
Other nations’ intelligence services were similarly aligned with U.S. views. Somewhat remarkably, given how adamantly Germany would oppose the war, the German Federal Intelligence Service held the bleakest view of all, arguing that Iraq might be able to build a nuclear weapon within three years. Israel, Russia, Britain, China, and even France held positions similar to that of the United States; France’s President Jacques Chirac told Time magazine last February, “There is a problem—the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq. The international community is right … in having decided Iraq should be disarmed.” In sum, no one doubted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
I won’t embarass you by asking for evidence that anyone in the administration claimed any citizen was either for the war or a terrorist – wait, yes I will, put up or shut up.
North Korea, meanwhile, has been working on nukes for over a decade. You’re ex-military, why don’t you explain to the class why a military solution there would have been much harder than in Iraq? And maybe Perry can help you with how negotiations should have worked – apparently, we’d just need to open diplomatic channels and our problems would be over, right, Perry?
August 17, 2006 at 10:10 PM #32259salo_tParticipant
bgates, your passionate about your views but you still havent explained how Bush’s take on things have been an improvement over anything ells we have had. the way i see it a lot of money and good American lives wasted on a pipe dream. If we had not gone to Iraq would things be different for us? And dont give me that crap that all of a sudden you care about the poor helpless people there. You never gave the people there a second thought before Bush decided to invade, and probably still dont. Yes Saddom was mean but I can name 10 or more leaders that are as bad or worse than him. You have to do better bgates, tell me how bush has improved something. thats what i need to hear.
August 17, 2006 at 10:33 PM #32263
salo_t, you asked “where’s the logic” while claiming the wmd evidence was ‘weak’. I think in demolishing your claim I answered your question. Also note that any criticism I’ve made of you has been based on easily obtainable facts, while you resort to claiming I’m indifferent to human suffering in Iraq, which is not only personally insulting and wrong but for which you can find absolutely no evidence. If you have any decency you’ll apologize.
If we hadn’t gone to Iraq, Saddam would still be undermining the oil-for-food program, scoring propaganda victories right and left by blaming any and all civilian deaths on us because of the sanctions. Iran’s wmd program would have continued at the same pace at least, because they were no more comfortable bordering Saddam’s regime than bordering a US-backed Iraqi government, and their dreams of empire would be the same. We would still have bases in Saudia Arabia at considerable cost and again lending propaganda to our enemies. To imagine that the pre-war policy was free of either financial or world-opinion consequences is the pipe dream.
Instead, Saddam is gone; al Quada’s murdering of Muslim civilians instead of Americans has cost them greatly in public support; there’s a fighting chance of a reasonable government in Iraq; and there are lots of troops on either side of Iran should they be needed. Oh, and the levels of violence against civilians, while horrible, are lower than they were before we got there, according to UN claims of the effect of sanctions and other human rights bodies’ description of the death toll during Saddam’s reign. Do you care at all about Iraqi civilian deaths?
You claim you can name 10 or more leaders worse than Saddam. Last time I asked for evidence, you came up with nothing, but I’ll try again: who?
August 17, 2006 at 10:52 PM #32269
bgates, yes, I’ll concede to you that your argument is stronger than mine (at least to the voters) so that’s why Bush is in power. He gets to implement his policy and run amok.
If you were so sure of the Bush Doctrine, you’d be confident in success; and you wouldn’t even care to debate with us dissenters. We are insignificant in Bush’s great scheme because he knows that he’s got the final answer.
Like I said before, Bush and his supporters have the upper hand. I’m happy to let history be the judge. My feeling is that, like Real Estate, Iraq will become an intractable problem. People will be brought back down to earth but they will still walk with their heads held high (at least in public when window shopping at the mall).
August 17, 2006 at 11:30 PM #32283
Perry, you’re pulling this “he knows he’s got the final answer” stuff out of your ass. He’s never said anything like that. And I don’t understand why you’re happy to let Iraq become an intractible problem. This is bigger than real estate. I’m debating with you guys because this is a critical issue for this country, and we need an honest, vigorous debate about what to do about Iran. It’s a problem that predates Bush by decades, and absolutely will not stop being a problem in January of 2009 (when Bush’s presidency absolutely will end).
My argument is stronger than yours because, unfortunately, you have no argument.
August 17, 2006 at 11:45 PM #32285
rankandfile, I’ve never been to Iran, and know nothing of the youth. I know as much about Iranians as my husband knows about Norwegians, since neither of us has visited our parents’ homelands. But from what I read, I think the extemists hate us because we are on their Holy Land.
August 17, 2006 at 10:39 PM #32265
This is an interesting response, and thanks to everyone for contributing. In defense of Bush, the pork barrel and budget deficit problems are due to having a Republican Congress and a Republican president; nobody vetoed the other, and spending got out of control. Insiders say Bush has a short attention span, preferring short memos over detailed reports. His management style is : either you agree with me or you shut up. I just read a book written by one of his Treasury officials, who was critical of Clinton, but had nothing good to say about Bush.
I’m curious for those of you supporting the Iraq war: what were your concerns about the Iraqi people before our invasion? How do you feel about us being a war-monger nation, i.e. pre-emptive? Why don’t we invade and bring peace to Nigeria? Aren’t their problems legitimate too? Why don’t we invade North Korea and bring democracy there? I guess I’m asking because it seems there was an ulterior motive for Iraq. What?
As far as how I would handle Iran: First, I would find out why they hate us so much. Then, I would learn how other nations get along with them. By then, I would have enough information to form a strategy. I assume a lot of the Middle East hatred has to do with our support of Israel. I would be willing to stop supporting Israel, and probably that would result in the terrorists losing interest in us. This goes back to finding out why they hate us. I once read it is because we are on their holy land. We should leave their holy land. That should go a long way in creating peace.
Also I am puzzled why a discussion like this creates such emotion. PD especially is a very passionate woman on this issue. Why do you get so upset just having a discussion?
August 17, 2006 at 10:53 PM #32270
Powayseller, I think this type of discussion raises so much emotion because it gets to the heart of people’s core beliefs: religion, life philosophy, etc. As for your strategy of understanding why our enemies, particularly Muslims, hate us so much, I couldn’t disagree with you more. It’s not because we are on their holy land and it is not because we support Israel. We are different than they are and I think we are a threat to their existence. It is their doctrine to convert all non-believers to Islam or kill them. No, not all Muslims feel this way, but many do…certainly the hardliners and Imams who rule the rest of the masses. They are in a holy war with us (Jihad), yet many of us in the West don’t even realize it.
You are of Iranian descent, perhaps you could answer your own question as to why “they hate us so much”. Maybe you could also tell us why there is a sweeping undercurrent of Iranian youth that are actually against their current administration there and are trying to push for more Western-style reforms such as more more freedom, less rule by religious fanatics, and more rights for women. I think you’d be the perfect person to enlighten us on these points.
August 19, 2006 at 11:44 PM #32456
Rankand file wrote:
… why our enemies, particularly Muslims, hate us so much, I couldn’t disagree with you more. It’s not because we are on their holy land and it is not because we support Israel. We are different than they are and I think we are a threat to their existence.
You are saying that they hate just because they do? How is it that by being different we are a threat to their existence? That is completely false and only incites more hatred and violence, from both sides. Let’s see a famous example. The leader of the nine-eleven atacks is thought to have been M. Atta, who piloted one of the planes. Unlike the average suicide bomber in occupied Palestine (who is young, uneducated, broke, unable to afford marriage and has no future), this Atta guy was an educated, upper middle class Egyptian who spoke many languages (English, German, Arabic) and had a Master’s degree in Germany. (BTW, how many languages do you speak rankandfile?).
Anyways, my point is that this guy grew up in the context of the Palestinian problem: First, Palestinians were forcefully removed from their homeland in order to make room for a theocratic state for European jews. Second, this new state received and continues to receive countless amounts of money and weapons from the USA, weapons that are used to repress the Palestinian resistance.
While our TV news shows gave us not much more than high-speed chases and celebrity gossip, Egyptian (and other countries’) TV shows have always had uncensored coverage of the atrocities committed in the name of defending Israel against those who want only to recover their homeland from the European jews who took it by force. It’s not surprising then, that even educated people like Atta would hate us, not because we’re different, but because of the extreme injustice commited against the Palestinians with the full support of the USA.
We all have a sense the good should prevail over evil, that even though there are thieves, rapists, and murderers in this world, we know, or at least we hope, that the bad guys are eventually caught, tried and locked up. We perhaps sleep a bit better at night thinking that the bad guys can’t continue to do evil for too long and that they are eventualy stopped. Contrast this with the situation in Palestine. Palestinians had lived in Palestine for centuries, even millenia, in the same way that the English in England or the Hopi Indians in Arizona. However, they were expelled from their country at gun point. It’s true that there was no Palestinian state before, as it had been a Roman province, later a province of the Ottoman Empire, and later a British protectorate. But there has always been a Palestinian nation, a group of people with traditions, customs, ways of life, and a territory that made them different from other Arabs.
But the zionists (jews, mostly Europeans, who want to establish a theocratic jewish state in Palestine by force) armed themselves, staged terrorists acts in the 1940s (they blew up the King David Hotel, killing many), and eventually succeeded in ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from a big chunk of Palestine and creating their new state.
Now, anybody who believes that evil cannot prevail over good, at least not for long, perhaps hoped that the injustice would be reversed, that perhaps the international community would intervene to prevent this mounstrocity from continuing. But it does continue to this day. Over the years we have been conditioned to think that Palestinian, Muslim, Arab, and terrorist are one and the same thing. But there was no violence there in the 1940s, except for that brought by the zionists. Even jews who had peacefully lived in Palestine for generations turned against their muslim neighbors and said to them: “you know you can be killed if you stay; you better give me your house and flee; I will not pay you but I’d be grateful”.
And that large scale theft has been perpetuated since 1948 by brute force and mostly with US funding. Is it a surprise that they hate us? And if they do, obviously is not because we are different. It is because of this great injustice. The Israeli lobby in the US is all-powerful and resourceful; it contributes millions to political campaigns. Do we gain anything by supporting Israel? If anything, we gain mortal enemies and nine-eleven.
We should do a better job of educating ourselves of these issues, and we shouldn’t let our foreign policy be hijacked by special-interest groups like the Israeli lobby.
August 20, 2006 at 12:05 AM #32457
PerryChase – thanks for sharing your experience traveling in China. You’re a sharp observer. Visiting Xinjiang was my childhood dream. I would volunteer myself as a translator the next time you go, although you do just fine without one.:-) I’m know that I’m off the topic, so thanks again. Next time I go to China, I will ask for tip from you!:-)
August 17, 2006 at 11:18 PM #32282
PS, you’re being disingenuous at best. You didn’t ask why people were getting emotional when posters were comparing Bush to Satan. I just had a guy write that it’s “crap” that I might be concerned about the well-being of people in Iraq. Are you puzzled why that would ‘create emotion’? Really? I think you’re smarter than that.
The #1 reason I didn’t vote for HW Bush in 92, or W in 2000, was that HW spent all of 1991 comparing Saddam to Hitler, encouraged the Iraqi Shia to rise up against him, then pulled back and let them get slaughtered. Bush did that in large part to preserve the big anti-Saddam alliance. I’ll say that again: many of the nations that joined us in 1991 but not 2003 pressured Bush to allow a mass slaughter of Iraqi civilians rather than remove Saddam from power when he was at his weakest. I’d ask those of you who are so fond of the ‘international community’ to keep that in mind.
In response to “how do you feel about us being a war-mongering nation”, I would note that I haven’t asked any anti-war poster “how do you feel about being on the terrorist side” because I don’t want to descend to personal attacks. I’d appreciate it if you would reciprocate. (I will aggressively point out where you are wrong, but like our Brit friend said, all part of spirited debate.)
Here’s a half dozen or so reasons why Iraq was different from the other nations you mention:
1) We were in low-intensity conflict with them already. American jets were shot at regularly, and returned fire. A large scale bombing strike on Iraqi targets was ordered as recently as 1998.
2) There were many outstanding UN resolutions – conditions of the ceasefire, not the peace treaty but the ceasefire – which Saddam had systematically violated for a dozen years.
3) We had to garrison large numbers of troops in KSA to deter Saddam, at considerable cost to the budget and our standing in Arab world opinion (our presence there was one of the reasons al Q came into existence).
4) The sanctions regime was falling apart due to Saddam’s bribery, largely of Russian and French contacts but also UN officials. Maintaining the sanctions fell to us and the UK, again at considerable cost to the budget and allowing Saddam to paint himself both as the brave Arab hero standing up to the west, and the Iraqi people as the poor victims of US aggression.
5) We could get to Iraq. Like I said, big bases in KSA; port availability in Kuwait, the hope of a second front through Turkey. We don’t have the operational infrastructure in Africa, and Seoul won’t let us mount an invasion from South Korea to North.
6) Getting to Iraq puts us closer to other enemies. This should be a bigger advantage than it is, since Bush has elected to allow Syrian and Iranian aggression go unanswered as far as I can tell, but if we do need to take action against either of those countries, we’re in a position to do so.
7) The strategic benefit of the Arab world’s first reasonable government. A representative government is going to allow Iraq to be the first nation in the Arab world in which the citizenry shares in the oil wealth and doesn’t fear its government. That will help diminish the appeal of the fundamentalist lunatics over there.
But what you really want me to say is that we did it because of oil. Can’t help you there. If we wanted oil, why not just cut a deal with Saddam, like the Russians and French? Yes, international community fans, nations besides the US had oil interests in Iraq, and they were willing to keep Saddam in charge to keep their oil coming.
As for why the Iranian government hates us, they see us as a threat to their theocracy and dream of regional empire. Also, some of them are nuts. I didn’t make up that idea of a green aura coming of the Iranian President. He claimed it happened while speaking at the UN, and it kept everyone spellbound without blinking for half an hour.
I’m curious why you don’t think it’s important for Iran to be equally introspective and find how they have offended us?
You’re right, our support of Israel is part of why they hate us. I think it’s really terrible that you would be willing to sacrifice 6 million Jews, who are living in their own ancient holy land, to placate murderous terrorists. But I have to admit it’s a plan. Better than anyone else has come up with, if morally bankrupt.
August 21, 2006 at 5:27 PM #32590sdrebearParticipant
“bgates” quote – “I won’t embarass you by asking for evidence that anyone in the administration claimed any citizen was either for the war or a terrorist – wait, yes I will, put up or shut up”
Well, you didn’t ask me to “put up or shut up” (very Bush-like of you by the way) but here it is anyway.
Admittedly, Bush wasn’t speaking directly to a “citizen” as you requested, but he did say the words and directed it to every government in the world (more or less). These governments, being the embodiment of it’s country’s citizens, is as close as I need for your silly “challenge”.
As a citizen, if you didn’t get the message loud and clear from statements like this, you were totally brain dead. This type of “cowboy” rhetoric resounded all over our country and was part of quite an impressive mental game to squash resistance to war both domestically and abroad.
August 21, 2006 at 8:30 PM #32597
This is the first year that Bush has been in Washington (and not on vacation) in late August (ABC News)
Only 35% of the public now supports the war. Finally the American people are coming to their senses after being bullied into compliance.
Now that the war is going awry, the GOP is turning to immigration as a wedge issue (Washington Post).
August 17, 2006 at 7:28 PM #32235
Come on, liberal smart guys!
Diego – “Saddam was a crook and a dictator, but he was no madman, and he kept order in his country.” How do you know that? Were there independent media reports from Fallujah about how safe it was in the 90’s? Have you seen Baghdad police records documenting crime rates? Or do you think that if the tv news and western newspapers didn’t tell you about something, it must not be happening?
ps – “I would prefer a president who had better than a C average in school. ” That’s what Kerry had. Bush got a Harvard MBA. What did you do?
“Many of his advisors have resigned,” and I’m sure you can come up with a list, because it’s so unlike you to make an unsupported assertion.
“his lack of intelligence and vision”
Have you read
it’s the first speech outlining his vision that comes to mind, but there are others.
“lack of ability and/or willingness to negotiate with our perceived enemy. ” OK, you guys can do much better. Step up. I’m Ahmadinejad. I want nuclear energy, and I want Israel moved to Denmark or Alaska or somewhere. I am sure you are paying attention to my arguments, because of the green aura coming from my head.
Counter-offers? How about speedingpullet, who complimented the level of discourse after reading comments no deeper than ‘idiot’ and ‘Satan would be proud’. Surely one of you wouldn’t mind a spirited debate.
August 20, 2006 at 12:18 AM #32459
Bgates, you asked me:
“Saddam was a crook and a dictator, but he was no madman, and he kept order in his country.” How do you know that? Were there independent media reports from Fallujah about how safe it was in the 90’s? Have you seen Baghdad police records documenting crime rates? Or do you think that if the tv news and western newspapers didn’t tell you about something, it must not be happening?
That’s no secret, and the “before” and “after” 2003 invasion status is well known.
BEFORE. Corrupt and crooked dictatorship in Iraq. Life was made difficult b/c of the UN-imposed sanctions. These sanctions were imposed b/c of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, so the Iraqis had no one to blame but themselves. No freedom of speech nor free press. Dissidents were harassed, jailed, or worse. UN arm inspectors frequently visited the country to search for biological or nuclear weapons, but never left satisfied b/c the iraqis always pretended to hide something. There was little crime in this police state that controlled everything, but people had running water, electricity, etc. Was I happy with this situation? Of course not, I think that only a full democratic system is acceptable. But this doesn’t mean that we are entitled to impose democracy on them at gun point.
AFTER. Widespread chaos and violence. Running water and electricty infrastructure were destroyed. The National Museum, that housed objects dating back 4,000 and 5,000 years, remnants of the earliest civilizations on earth, were looted in front of the US forces who didn’t care. Shiite and Sunni, who had some degree of coexistence and intermarriage, were suddenly fighting each other, blowing up mosques and people. The fact that the 2003 invasion had been based on lies has only served to recruit fanatics for al-qaeda who now flock to Iraq, which has become an ideal training ground for them. Even today, over 40 months after the invasion, the number of weekly deaths is shockingly high. In addition to sectarian violence among iraqis, and resistance against coallition forces, there is widespread organized crime.
All this is well known. I don’t see how you can suggest that Iraq today is no worse than before the invasion. Saddam, a despicable dictator, was more like a mafia boss than the madman that the dubya-cheney-rumsfeld axis wanted us to believe. He wasn’t completely open with the UN arms inspectors b/c he wanted to keep the Iranians (his enemies) guessing.
Now, to finish, how did Saddam get to achieve and stay in power for so long? After the Iranian revolution in 1979 (which brought down the anti-communist and US friend, the Shah), the Reagan administration thought it would be a good idea to support him to contain Iran. At the same time, in Soviet-invaded Afaganistan, the Reagan people thought it would be a great idea to fund and arm fanatics like Bin Laden to fight the communists. It’s interesting to see how us, in the name of fighting communism, have helped create something infinitely worse.
One lesson is that we should never let our leaders compromise with evil people abroad (even if they are enemies of our enemies). Another lesson is that we shouldn’t let our foreign policy be hijacked by special-interest groups at home.
August 20, 2006 at 2:27 AM #32461
Got it. Iraq was virtually crime free, because it was run by a mafia boss. You know there was little crime, because that’s “well-known,” not because there is any evidence you can cite. Now there is widespread organized crime, again unlike when the mafia boss was running things. You also know about the level of electricity production, somehow. Have you heard this from Iraqis? Or is it something ‘everyone’ knows?
Among the people who don’t think pre-war Iraq was covered very well is Eason Jordan, chief of CNN, who wrote in 2004:”Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported….” He didn’t seem to think the full truth of the pre-war environment was ‘well-known’. Maybe you have better sources than CNN used?
The Sunni and Shia had some degree of coexistence before. On the other hand, Saddam’s Sunni-dominated government killed between 70 and 230 thousand Shia and Kurds after the 1991 war, which I think qualifies as ‘sectarian violence’ (as does the Anfal campaign, which killed another 50-100 thousand Kurds.)
The fact that woefully ignorant people like you continue to slur our government with the unsupported and unsupportable accusations of lies probably helps our enemies’ propaganda. But they want to kill Americans anywhere they can; we’re just making sure the Americans closest to them are heavily armed.
The level of violence is still shockingly high. But it was shockingly high before the invasion. Another factor people like yourself never consider is that Saddam was mortal. If we hadn’t invaded and he died, would there have been no power struggle? Sectarian violence? Al quada trying to gain control? Of course all of those things would have happened, resulting in worse violence without us there to fight it.
And to finish. You claim Saddam was able to stay in power so long because of Reagan’s support. This must be another thing ‘everybody knows’, since that phrase apparently means “something I heard somewhere that is completely unsupported by evidence.” Wikipedia has data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on arms sales to Iraq 1973-1990. Guess how much came from the US.
Go on, guess.
10%? Closer, but no.
1%? Still too high.
0.5% is their estimate. You might want to tell ‘everyone’ they’ve been giving you bad information (widely known bad information – Peter Bergen from CNN:
Various books and multiple news reports have charged that the CIA armed and trained the Afghan Arabs and even bin Laden himself as part of its operation to support the Afghan rebels fighting the Soviets in the 1980s. They argue, therefore, that the United States is culpable in the jihads and terrorism those militants subsequently spread around the world. As we shall see, those charges are overblown and are not supported by the evidence.
One lesson is you should try finding a couple facts before you post.
August 20, 2006 at 10:22 AM #32476
bgates, Diego, looks like we won’t have agreement here. History will be the judge.
Diego I agree with you. I was just watching Meet the Press with Vali Nasr and General Barry McCaffrey and it looks like the prognostic for Iraq is not bright. It’s interesting that McCaffrey was a Vietnam and Iraq Hawk but he’s learned for the mistakes and he now says that “the Iraq war could break the United States Army”
While the preponderance of historians have pretty much decided that the Vietnam War was a terrible catastrophe, I would guess that hawks such as bgates would continue to argue that it was a worthwhile cause that was tactically won but lost politically because of wimps like us.
If only custumers would buy Ford cars American manufacturing will be strong. If only people continue to buy real estate, we’ll all be rich.
I’m afraid that Iraq will sufer the same fate as Vietnam. Some people will never learn.
August 20, 2006 at 11:19 AM #32486hsParticipant
“the Iraq war could break the United States Army”
I watched the same show. I was surprised that he made that comment. He sure sees farther than Bush and Cheney.
August 20, 2006 at 4:04 PM #32505
Perry – what changed?
On Aug 19, you said, “As far as Iraq is concerned, now that we’re already there, I say, tighten our belts, make real sacrifices, send 1 million troops and really fix the problem, or get out.” A day later, you want to give up.
Of course, the fact that you choose to start a post with the sentence “Diego I agree with you” right after I show why all of Diego’s points that weren’t a matter of opinion were factually insupportable suggests you’re not a serious person.
In comparing Iraq to Vietnam, you sound like John Kerry. In 1971, he estimated 3000 people might be driven from Vietnam if the Communists won. Drive up to Westminster (aka Little Saigon) and see if that number seems a little low. Once again people like you and Kerry think America can retreat from a fight with no adverse consequences. Yeah, some people never learn.
Last thing, your first post on this thread was supportive of Nixon because he made China “a friend.” In your last post, you put quote marks around a paraphrase of Gen McCaffrey’s comments. He said the diversion of money into ammunition and medical expenses has sapped the budget needed modernizing to face strategic threats in 10 to 20 years might mean the army ends up broken three years from now (Here’s the link ). The strategic threat he’s worried about? Your friend, China.
I’m done with this thread, so if you’d like to have the last word with another argument-free screed about how Bush is a criminal or I must think real estate is going up or my mother wears combat boots or something, feel free.
August 20, 2006 at 7:15 PM #32516carlislematthewParticipant
I’m done with this thread, so if you’d like to have the last word with another argument-free screed about how Bush is a criminal or I must think real estate is going up or my mother wears combat boots or something, feel free.
Yeah, those “last word” people are awful. I’m happy your “I’m done with this thread” statement wasn’t intended to be a last word. That might have been a hypocritical statement…
August 20, 2006 at 7:46 PM #32519
Carlislemattew’s post was a typical last word statement. It was a jab directed at bgates personally because carlislematthew has failed to refute bgates arguments.
Thank you, bgates, for your meaty posts. Everyone else is just shooting off the cuff but without anything substantive to back them up.
August 22, 2006 at 7:18 AM #32622carlislematthewParticipant
Carlislemattew’s post was a typical last word statement. It was a jab directed at bgates personally because carlislematthew has failed to refute bgates arguments.
PD, I’m not interested in refuting his posts, or anyone else’s on this topic. I was simply pointing out the absurdity in bgate’s post. I don’t *have* to address any of his other points in order to address the rediculous nature of the whole discussion.
I would also add that your empty “bgates is right!” sheep-like statements are almost sickening.
August 21, 2006 at 8:36 PM #32598AnonymousGuest
because he’s screwing our nation not Monica Lewenski.
August 17, 2006 at 1:55 PM #32196
Yes, impeachment. And Cheney and Rumsfeld should be tried for crimes against humanity. Their unprovoked, lies-driven invasion of Iraq has caused countless deaths (over 100,000). Even today, there’s almost daily carnage there. All that chaos was unleashed by the real axis of evil: dubya-cheney-rumsfeld. Saddam was a crook and a dictator, but he was no madman, and he kept order in his country.
Now we are in a Catch 22: we are damned if we stay in the hell we created in Iraq, but if we leave, the Taliban-style fanatics will take over. Either way we are infinitely worse than had Saddam stayed in power. And hatred of the USA increases by the day, because of these injustices. This certainly makes us less secure, for decades to come. Satan (if he or she exists) should be very proud of this axis of evil (see above).
BTW: The 100,000 deaths are based on conservative and scientific estimates published by The Lancet, a highly respected British medical journal.
August 17, 2006 at 2:09 PM #32200
I never liked Bush. I would prefer a president who had better than a C average in school. His poor public speaking and monkey face are not my main issue; rather, his lack of intelligence and vision is what I really dislike. His fundamentalist views, instead of making him more humanitarian, make him shut out all those who are not believers as he. I know the military and pro-gun people like him, because he gives a large military budget. Many of his advisors have resigned, he has no economic policy at all, and he has left a mess in positions and policies in his wake.
Here is more from Jimmy Carter:
SPIEGEL: One main points of your book is the rather strange coalition between Christian fundamentalists and the Republican Party. How can such a coalition of the pious lead to moral catastrophes like the Iraqi prison scandal in Abu Ghraib and torture in Guantanamo?
Carter: The fundamentalists believe they have a unique relationship with God, and that they and their ideas are God’s ideas and God’s premises on the particular issue. Therefore, by definition since they are speaking for God anyone who disagrees with them is inherently wrong. And the next step is: Those who disagree with them are inherently inferior, and in extreme cases — as is the case with some fundamentalists around the world — it makes your opponents sub-humans, so that their lives are not significant.
Another thing is that a fundamentalist can’t bring himself or herself to negotiate with people who disagree with them because the negotiating process itself is an indication of implied equality. And so this administration, for instance, has a policy of just refusing to talk to someone who is in strong disagreement with them — which is also a radical departure from past history. So these are the kinds of things that cause me concern. And, of course, fundamentalists don’t believe they can make mistakes, so when we permit the torture of prisoners in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, it’s just impossible for a fundamentalist to admit that a mistake was made.
SPIEGEL: So how does this proximity to Christian fundamentalism manifest itself politically?
Carter: Unfortunately, after Sept., there was an outburst in America of intense suffering and patriotism, and the Bush administration was very shrewd and effective in painting anyone who disagreed with the policies as unpatriotic or even traitorous. For three years, I’d say, the major news media in our country were complicit in this subservience to the Bush administration out of fear that they would be accused of being disloyal. I think in the last six months or so some of the media have now begun to be critical. But it’s a long time coming.
SPIEGEL: Take your fellow Democrat Senator Hillary Clinton. These days she is demanding the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. But she, like many others, allowed President Bush to invade Iraq under a false pretext.
Carter: That’s correct.”
The problem with Bush, as I’ve said many times, is his lack of ability and/or willingness to negotiate with our perceived enemy. He has alienated more countries and endangered American safety even more by thinking he is “too good to talk to them”. The Democrats are no better. Now, that the war is obviously going bad, they are calling for resignations. Why didn’t they make this call several years ago? Why did they allow the war to go forward? Hillary’s call for Rumsfeld to resign in politically motivated. She is not doing this in the best interest of the country; but in the best interest of her selfish plan for election.
Another thing we must all realize it is really a 2 party system. Although we have other party candidates on some ballots, the laws make it extremely difficult for a Libertarian, Natural Law Party (my favorite party), Communist, Socialist, or other politician to make it on the ballot. They have to gather tens of thousands of signatures within a few weeks timeframe (ONLY within those few weeks), to even get their name on the ballot.
The Republicans and Democrats basically control the system and make it impossible for any other party to get elected to President. If you ever read the ideas of other parties, you will realize that the difference between Republican and Democrate is like the difference between a Protestant and a Methodist; basically, they are the same. I would love to get a whole new set of ideas sometime, and a choice of more than 2 parties on the presidential ballot. Wouldn’t that be true freedome?
August 17, 2006 at 2:43 PM #32203
” I would love to get a whole new set of ideas sometime, and a choice of more than 2 parties on the presidential ballot. Wouldn’t that be true freedome? ”
Yes, it would be more freedom to have more political parties. However that would mean trying to build fragile coalitions to govern. I believe that one reason that the American model economic model is successful is because we have little discent. We have some rancor in our political debate but pretty much everyone eventually falls into line. That allows us to work, work, work more efficiently.
I think that, with technological advances that allows the government to track everyone, we might be headed to a Star Trek kinda life where everyone is “happy” but then again everyone has to ask for the captain’s permission to go to the “hollow deck”
Having traveled around the world, I notice that, in America, friends rarely disagree. If they did disagree they wouldn’t be friends anymore. In other parts of the world, friends and family would sit down at the dinner table and vehemently disagree. Yet they still love each other and remain friends. For example, in America, a socialist and a capitalist could never be friends.
August 17, 2006 at 3:21 PM #32210speedingpulletParticipant
I’m with you there PerryChase.
When the US first went into Iraq, I made the mistake of disagreeing with somebody about the ‘reasons’ behind it.
Oh.My.God….I seriously think the guy I was talking to would have shot me if he’d been able to. As it was, our co-workers had to seperate us…well him from me, anyway. I won’t go into the names and epithets he threw at me, except to say that my way of thinking was very ‘unpatriotic and unamerican’…
That was my first introduction to poltical ‘discussions’ over here. Now I normally keep my mouth shut – which is difficult for me.
Growing up in England, you’d quite often have an ‘argument’ – ie a discussion with another person who did not share your own views – that would be interesting and exhilhirating – views would be exchanged, hopefully each side would learn a little bit about the other’s, and after agreeing to disagree it would be time to get another round in 😉
Over here, I often find that my viewpoint is left of Stalin’s. My own fault for living in ‘socialist’ Great Britian, i guess. Consequently, due to my leftist leanings, and the lack of debating skills of many people here (present company on Pigginton’s excluded) I try not to open my mouth when things get ‘hot’. Being a card-carrying agnostic, I find the religiosity in the States both baffling and a little bit scary, as most of the UK has no religious leanings at all.
As for third/fourth/fifith political parties…you win some, you lose some.
On the other side of the spectrum, you get the kind of mess that plagues Italy and Israel – new parliaments almost every year. Proprotional Represtational politics is even more bloody than a two-party state, as you need to woo other parties to your ‘side’ in order to have enough representation to govern.
The UK almost makes it with three parties – Labour, Conservative and Liberal. however, Liberals have not had a good run of it in the last 50 years or so, so for all intents and purposes the main choice is either Labour or Tory (Conservative).
I wish that the parties over here would actually make a stand for what they think. So much time on both sides seems to be taken up with trying to cuddle up to the middle ground. Republicans and Democrats are now so similar in ideology that its hard to decide which party to vote for. Democrats seem to want the same electorate as the Republicans, and will throw away any signs of ‘leftist/socialst/liberal’ leanings, in order to be exactly like thier Republican counterparts.
My feeling on the coming vote is….’meh’.
August 17, 2006 at 7:22 PM #32234justmeParticipant
The 2-party system that we have is a result of
single-representative election districts, which makes it
pretty much impossible for a third party to get any
This fact is known as Duverger’s law in Political Science.
There are some interesting articles on this topic in
Wikipedia. The technical name they use is “single-member
district plurality system (SMDP)”.
What would it take to change election laws so that there is
at least 20 representatives per district? Nothing short of a
minor revolution, I think.
But if successful, parties down to 5% would then have a
chance to get represented, and we could have some real
democracy around here.
Add on a parliamentary system, and we would depose (!) the
president when necessary. The advantage of the parliamentary
system is that one can get rid of all the current members of
the executive branch by a simple vote of no-confidence,
unlike the need for impeachment trials, which are also
impeded by the implicit 2-party system.
Having at least a few (4-5) major parties ensures that each
party must actually stand for something to be
successful. Party list elections ensures that the system
cannot be corrupted one representative at a time, which is
what happens in the US. If a representative of some party
behaves corruptly or criminally, the party will lose votes,
and/or the representative will not be nominated on the next
party election list. Since there are >2 parties, there will
be competition for being the less corrupt party, unlike now
where both parties are corrupt and can get away with it.
I’m dreaming of something better than what we have — many
countries in Europe and other parts of the world are
successfully and peacefully governed within a system that
supports multiple parties and truly proportional
representation, down to a small level of granularity (5% in
Germany, for example).
August 17, 2006 at 1:59 PM #32198MANmomParticipant
Why are you posting this on this forum, start your own web sight if you want to talk politics…THIS IS A HOUSING BLOG…or did I miss something? Stick to the housing issues. PS, proof your writing before you post, it just looks like you don’t know what you are talking about and didn’t do your research – regardless of if you are right or wrong. Oh, and it is “Der Spiegel.”
August 17, 2006 at 2:02 PM #32199
Yes, MANmon, proof your writing. It is website, not “web sight.” And you did miss something: this is the Off Topic subforum.
August 17, 2006 at 3:05 PM #32207picpouleParticipant
Well, you guys are true blue Californians, which is absolutely dominated by Democrats. Yes, Bush has authorized spending a lot of money, but we’re fighting a war against Islamic Nazism. It’s money well spent to me. And anyway, spending — it’s a big yawner. What politician doesn’t want to spend money? It always kills me when I hear liberals complain about spending today. You guys love spending money! Let’s be honest, do you think there would be less spending with Democrats holding power? All you have to do is look at California, which is run by Democrats who control the purse, and see what a basketcase the state is in.
Bush is far from perfect, but Jimmy Carter was the absolute worst President we’ve had in recent history. He didn’t support the Shah of Iran — who admittedly, was no angel. But at least the Shah was friendly to the West and the people of Iran were not living under the crushing oppression of the Ayatollahs, Shariah law and the religious police. And Iran was funding terrorism around the world. Carter could have tried to persuade the Shah to adopt democratic reforms. But he didn’t even try. In my opinion, Jimmy Carter was an idiot wimp who had no idea what to do when Iranian “students” took over our embassy in Tehran and held 66 Americans for 444 days. Under Jimmy Carter, we got to see the failed Operation Eagle Claw, which caused the death of 8 of our servicemen who were trying to rescue the hostages. All the while, the Ayatollahs laughed at Carter’s wimpishness and took heart in how weak he was. Emboldened by his weakness, Iran became a state supporter of international terrorism, which the Ayatollahs unleashed around the globe enthusiastically. In my view, we’re in the fix we find ourselves in today because of Jimmy Carter and his weakness in the face of those despicable Ayatollahs who today are busy taking down satellite dishes, rounding up homosexuals and Jews, hanging young girls who can’t resist the advances of older men, and perpetrating other crimes and civil liberty violations on the Iranian people. In his Der Speigel article, Jimmy Carter shows us once again the utter nincompoop he is and always has been.
August 17, 2006 at 3:12 PM #32209CarlsbadlivingParticipant
Under Jimmy Carter, we got to see the failed Operation Eagle Claw, which caused the death of 8 of our servicemen who were trying to rescue the hostages.
I can’t wait until 8 of our serviceman die under the watch of George W. Oh wait, I think that might have already happened.
August 17, 2006 at 3:23 PM #32211picpouleParticipant
We’re in a war, so yeah, servicemen are going to die. Unfortunately.
August 17, 2006 at 6:34 PM #32227
More servicemen died during the last year of the Carter presidency than during any year of the Bush presidency. (I don’t think the last year was an aberration, but I don’t have the data available for 1977-79.)
What those deaths accomplished was the removal of two dictatorships. Some of the violence since the removal of Saddam and the Taliban has been due to Iranian agents, who would be less of a problem if the Iranian regime had been confronted earlier, by any of W, Clinton, HW Bush, Reagan, or, yes, Carter.
August 17, 2006 at 7:14 PM #32232
If anyone is a conspiracy theorist, it’s me. But some of you other posters make me look as pragmatic as Rich. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are the real axis of evil? George Soros is also speaking out against the administration? You’ve got to be kidding me. Believe me, I am ticked off at the current administration for many things; namely doing nothing on illegal immigration, doing nothing about Terri Schiavo, and not running a lean government. But those of you who criticize the things that are being done to combat terrorism are the same ones who criticize and say he did nothing when we were hit on 9/11. Hypocrites! When you start criticizing someone by commenting on their looks, you’ve already lost the argument. I expect a better effort than that from you, Powayseller.
August 17, 2006 at 11:00 PM #32274
Jimmy Carter more than any other President in recent memory should be held in contempt for the massive mistake in not backing the Shah. This emboldened the radical Islamfacists.
By the way there is such a thing as a greater evil.
Islamofacism is an idea that must be killed. The 13th century barbarians need to go through their reformation and if they do not we’ll continue to have bloodshed. PS wants us to turn their back on Israel, calling it Islamic “Holy Land”. Please the throat slitters storming Asia Minor killing and converting everything in site, and somehow Jerusalem is holy to these people. Thankfully they were turned back in Europe.
What needs to happen is for groups like CAIR to quit making announcements pleading with Americans not to judge all Muslims, and start bashing the mullahs.
August 17, 2006 at 11:06 PM #32277
Bruce Bawer, was the author, and I might look for this book myself, based on the following snip from Dan Simmons Site, his May-June essay.
While Europe Slept…and Slept…and Slept…and Slept:
Bruce Bawer ( While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within) seems to be an unlikely candidate for the labels of "racist" and "bigot" and "fascist" that so many enjoy applying to anyone who warns of the threat of militant Islam.
Bawer is gay and the author of such books as Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity and A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society and was best known in the United States before publishing While Europe Slept for his outspoken opposition to the likes of James Dobson and his Focus on the Family evangelical political organization.
Previously a lifelong New Yorker (and happy to be so), in 1998 Bawer and his partner packed up and moved to Amsterdam. Almost everything about their adopted country appealed to the two—the human scale of the skylines, the near absence of cars, the Dutch language, the love of books and culture, the European tradition of tolerance so emphasized in the major cities such as Amsterdam, and even the Dutch devotion to gezelligheid (small, daily pleasures)—but even in tolerant Dutch society Bawer and his partner became aware of the tradition of verzuiling, "pillarization," the division of society into religious and ethnic groups, each with its own schools, unions, political parties, newspapers, and even TV channels.
Bawer also became aware of the growing tension in Amsterdam and other European cities between the many groups living comfortably there under the umbrella of tolerance and much of the Muslim immigrant community, which seemed to benefit from, but show little or none of, the tolerance of the larger society around them.
In 1999, Bawer and his Norwegian-born partner moved to Oslo where they were soon legally married. Thanks to Norway’s "family unification" laws, Bawer had a right to residency and even five free months of language lessons (he’s good at languages and feels an obligation to speak the language of whatever country he’s visiting, much less residing in.) In their years together in Europe since 1998, as the dustjacket rather breathlessly explains—
"Across the continent—in Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and Stockholm—he encountered large, rapidly expanding Muslim enclaves in which women were oppressed and abused, homosexuals persecuted and killed, ‘infidels’ threatened and vilified, Jews demonized and attacked, barbaric traditions (such as honor killing and forced marriage) widely practiced, and freedom of speech and religion firmly repudiated.
"The European political and media establishment turned a blind eye to all this, selling out women, Jews, gays, and democratic principles generally—even criminalizing free speech—in order to pacify the radical Islamists and preserve the illusion of multicultural harmony. The few heroic figures who dared to criticize Muslim extremists and speak up for true liberal values were systematically slandered as fascist bigots. Witnessing the disgraceful reaction of Europe’s elites to 9/11, to the terrorist attacks on Madrid, Beslan, and London, and to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bawer concluded that Europe was heading inexorably down a path to cultural suicide."
What you may decide after reading Bawer’s book—decide about these extraordinary claims and about Bruce Bawer himself—may be quite different, but both Bawer’s personal anecdotes about gay-bashing from Muslims and his excerpts from various European media reactions and dialogues, especially those following terrorist attacks or the very public murders of Theo van Gogh, Pim Fortuyn, and others, should be of interest.
Early in the book, Bawer underlined the essential difference between the peculiar American form of fantasy-ideology religious fundamentalism he’d long fought, and the more pervasive and lethal Muslim variety he was encountering in Europe—
"The main reason I’d been glad to leave America was Protestant fundamentalism. But Europe, I eventually saw, was falling prey to an even more alarming fundamentalism whose leaders made their American Protestant counterparts look like amateurs. Falwell was an unsavory creep, but he didn’t issue fatwas. James Dobson’s parenting advice was appalling, but he wasn’t telling people to murder their daughters. American liberals had been fighting the Religious Right for decades; Western Europeans had yet to even acknowledge that they had a Religious Right. How could they ignore it? Certainly as a gay man, I couldn’t close my eyes to this grim reality. Pat Robertson just wanted to deny me marriage; the imams wanted to drop a wall on me. I wasn’t fond of the hypocritical conservative-Christian line about hating the sin and loving the sinner, but it was preferable to the forthright fundamentalist Muslim view that homosexuals merited death."
One can argue the cause and motivation for various observations in Bawer’s book, but the observations themselves can not easily be disputed—especially the fact so obvious to anyone who lives in a major European city today or who travels there, of elite, expensive central cities occupied by the natives of that country, but that city center often surrounded by rings of increasingly alien immigrant ghettos, most frequently Muslim immigrant ghettos in which neither the language of the host nation nor the laws nor the cultural mores nor the cultural traditions of that country are honored.
And anyone observing Europe’s reaction to events in the last half-decade will respond to Bawer’s itemizing of the cowardice of the governments, intellectual classes, and national media in the face of Islamic bullying and overt terrrorism.
Even the media’s reaction to terrorism in their own countries is disturbing.
"On July 7, 2005, suicide bombs in London ripped through three underground trains and a double-decker bus, killing fifty-six. Londoners handled the chaos with admirable composure, recalling the city’s legendary stoicism during the Blitz. When it turned out that the perpetrators had been born and bred in Britain, had been regarded as well integrated (one, a primary-school teaching assistant, had mentored immigrant children), and had been coverted to radicalism at a government-funded youth center in Leeds, astonishment reigned. How could British lads do this? It was as if the Madrid attacks (carried out by Spanish Muslims) and the murder of Theo van Gogh (committed by a Dutch Muslim) had never taken place.
"Watching the BBC that day, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that reporters were eschewing the usual euphemisms and actually using the words ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism.’ Might this signal a change in establishment attitudes? Alas, BBC news chief Helen Boaden soon put an end to this, ordering reporters to speak of ‘bombers,’ not ‘terrorists.’ Even the BBC’s 7/7 reportage, archived online, was retrospectively cleansed of the offensive words. Recalling that the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984 had been based on the BBC, Gerald Baker remarked in the Times of London that ‘I can’t think of a better example of pure Orwell than this painstaking effort at rewriting the verbal record to fit in with linguistic orthodoxy.’"
Speculative fiction, it seems, sometimes serves as memory even when civilization seeks forgetfulness.
August 18, 2006 at 9:55 AM #32333
“Joe Darby’s cover was blown by Donald Rumsfeld”
Joe Darby is the soldier who submitted those prisoner abuse photos and requested to stay anonymous.
“MICHAEL ROWLAND: The whistle-blower has told of how he slept with a loaded pistol once the graphic images became public, as Charles Graner and the other soldiers implicated tried to discover the identity of the leaker.
In the end Joe Darby’s cover was blown by none other than Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and it happened in the worst possible circumstances.
Specialist Darby was eating lunch in an army mess hall with 400 other soldiers in may 2004, when Mr Rumsfeld appeared on an overhead TV and dropped his name.
From that point onwards Joe Darby’s life was never to be the same.”
PerryChase, I think that you speak with reason and wisdom, thanks!
I never cared much about politics but I did care about policies and their impacts on people’s lives. The policies of this administration (foreign, economy, science, environmental, etc) made me care about politics; because the damages from such bad policies will have long,long lasting impacts. Democracy is highjacked by a very skilled political machine right now; and this political machine and its frat boy head believes in ideology and it’s also incredulous imcompetent (Iraq, Katrina). Still, I think that the US will be resilient enough to come back, although the peak probably is over.
August 18, 2006 at 12:21 PM #32338VCJIMParticipant
There are many posters on here that are way more knowledgeable about world affairs and politics than me, including you. In a few of your posts, you claim that the US was supported in going into Iraq. I remember it differently; my recollection is that we did NOT have UN sanction or approval, although certainly some of our allies agreed that we needed should go in. In my opinion, invading Iraq without UN approval accomplishes two things:
1) Emaciates the U.N.
2) Makes thet U.S. look like the sole aggressor (invader), even if we had support from other countries.
Without U.N. approval and a multi-nation enter and exit strategy, the whole event is and was doomed to failure. As an American, I am embarrassed that we have invaded another country without U.N. sanctioning. I have traveled to many countries before and since entering Iraq, and I can say from anectdotal evidence that America is viewed as the unjustified aggressor.
August 18, 2006 at 12:46 PM #32340anxvarietyParticipant
August 18, 2006 at 2:22 PM #32348rocketmanParticipant
Irrational Exuberance is both manifested in politics and economics as illustrated here in this topic. People are creatures of elevating fear and status seeking without regard to cost. Case in point: Fear of terrorism and the fear of not be being included in home ownership are two examples of this same manifestation. Read Noam Chomsky’s views on the influence of corporate mass media and politics along with Robert Schiller’s views of consensus seeking belief systems, and the reasons for our predicament politically and economically are apparent.
I remember Osama Bin Laden wrote a letter to George W. Bush outlining the reasons for the Sept. 11 attacks. I couldn’t find the letter in any local newspaper, so I went to the Aljazeera website, and of course it was headline news. The letter stated that Bin Laden witnessed American attacks against his Muslim brothers and that he would retaliate someday which produced the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York. He also stated in the letter that his goal was to bankrupt America just like he and his fighters bankrupted the Soviet Union fighting an endless war in Afghanistan.
My paternal family has been in America since 1790. Most of the men in my family have been fighting in just wars since the war of 1812. I was personally involved in the Viet Nam war – not as infantry, but as a 1A0 medic. I didn’t believe in that war just as much as I don’t believe in the war in Iraq. Do I believe we should be in Afghanistan? No. Do I believe we should cut and run from Iraq? Yes. Mission accomplished – right? Time to move out and move on.
There have been a thousand years of conquering going on in Asia and especially in the Mesopotamia Valley. The British were the last ones to get there asses kicked. Volumes of books have been written of their mistakes in trying to create a democracy in a theocratic civilization. Had George Bush studied up a little on this subject? Where are all the think tanks of great intelligence advisors? AS an average guy I knew before one jet flew a sortie over Baghdad what the out come was going to be – urban gorilla war fare amongst civilians! Say, maybe I should be getting paid what all the consultants in DC are being paid. Obviously unless you go along with the agenda, you’re out.
Personally I lost my job in Florida at post dot.com boom and right before Sept. 11th. The economy was at a stand still for three years. Instead of pouring Federal funds into security and technology in America, Iraq and Haliburton became the beneficiaries of our Republican tax disposal. I finally had to bail out and move to SF to find work. Luckily the speculators started flipping houses in Florida and I walked out with twice as much as I paid for the house I mortgaged in matter of three years.
As far as a two party system in America:. I have to agree with powayseller. I have been a Democrat all my life but now I switching to Independent. I can’t stand either of the two parties.
Fear is what is generated to bred compliance and consensus amongst the masses. It’s been done many times in history. Government becomes a police state. Freedoms are overlooked in lieu of “Protecting our Security”. Sound familiar? Why don’t we just throw out the Constitution and start over? Have you been to a place where Bush is visiting lately? How about to demonstrate your opposition to the Iraq War? The last one I was at they kept demonstrators one mile away from any motor pool or facility he was to speak at. You couldn’t get close. He’s afraid to be seen in Public – anywhere. Check it out.
Re Terri Shiavo. I was in Florida when this story was unfolding. I couldn’t believe that the Republicans made such an effort to save a woman, who was examined by top medical experts, who had no chance of recovery, who left the decision to her best friend, lover and husband to do what was in her best interest. Then I saw pictures of hundreds of innocent children and parents killed in Iraq and being called untargeted “collateral” on CNN. I think of my son and daughter, who I would take a bullet for and wonder… What is this? A fu*king nightmare or what?
August 18, 2006 at 2:32 PM #32350VCJIMParticipant
If one of my children were killed as “collateral damage” by an invading country, I would devote my life to causing that country’s political leaders severe bodily harm; this would be a purely emotional and uncontrollable response, carried out with laser-like precision and thought. Is it any wonder that our political leaders are under attack?
August 18, 2006 at 6:41 PM #32368
VCJIM, sorry if I gave you the impression I was claiming we had UN support. Bush asked for it, but it wasn’t given.
I think the UN is quite capable of emaciating itself. Case in point – France has decided to send just 200 troops to Lebanon, saying the “peacekeeping mandate is not explicit enough” – yet the mandate comes in a resolution which was written by France in the first place.
World opinion should not be ignored, but it shouldn’t just be obeyed either.
Why do you think the lack of UN blessing equals doom? The US ousted Milosevic with an aerial campagin that had no UN backing. In fact, the invasion of Afghanistan did not have formal UN support. Are you embarassed that we removed the Taliban from power?
There is no reason to think the war in Iraq is doomed. We haven’t lost. The enemy hasn’t won. The war is still going on. We’ve been in Iraq for 3 years trying to lift people who had been tyrranized for decades. In this country, terrorism against blacks continued for over 100 years past the end of slavery. Should we have given up after 3? 3 years after Pearl Harbor the Germans launched an offensive that killed 10,000 – three times more than have died in the entire Iraq campaign. Should FDR have given up? He had no exit strategy either. We’re still in Germany.
Finally, I’m curious about your anecdotes from overseas. I hear frequently from people I know in other countries that the US should act differently to improve its standing elsewhere. I’ve never told someone from another country that their government should change to suit us better. Have you? I’e never heard someone ask how their country could change to become closer to us. Have you? I understand the value of considering other points of view, but why is it always the US that should conform to another country, rather than them to us?
August 18, 2006 at 8:51 PM #32374
bgates, ever since the Monroe Doctrine, America has interfered around the world to shape it to our liking. We’ve resorted to some pretty awful ways to acheive our goals. I beleive that the world just wants us to leave them alone.
I want to best for America. I hope that the Bush way works because that’s what we’re operating by now. But my view is that it’s going down the wrong path.
You may beleive that real-estate is the best investment, but you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket then keep on doubling down as things go south. That’s a receipe for disaster and bankruptcy. Sure you can end up wildly rich also but what are the odds of that happening?
August 18, 2006 at 11:13 PM #32378
Do you even know what the Monroe Doctrine was? It was a statement of opposition to European colonialism. We were telling Europe to leave the Americas alone.
What kind of interference bothered you most?
The Marshall Plan?
Protecting South Korea from Communist aggression?
Our interference in WWI and II?
You want to compare our record to the Belgians in the Congo, France in Haiti and Africa, Britain in Ireland and India, Russia in eastern Europe, Japan in China, China in Tibet….You say we were pretty awful. Who was better?
August 19, 2006 at 12:59 AM #32382AnonymousGuest
Just curious, what do u know about China in Tibet?
August 19, 2006 at 9:03 AM #32391
I beleive that’s it works better if your talk people into cooperation than beat them into submission.
American has done a lot of good in the world. However, that in no way excuses the harm we’ve inflicted on people over the years. I beleive in doing what’s right. I won’t debate this point further because hawks will always believe in strong arms tactics.
I’ve been to China, while I don’t defend China, China’s actions in Tibet in the 20th century is very much like how we conquered the West in the 19th century.
While Tibetans might not like Chinese rule, China has brought relative prosperity to Tibet. People there live better than Tibetans in India. As far as Xingjiang (the predominantly muslin province) is concerned, people there live much better than in neighboring Uzbekistan and Takjikistan.
Sad as it sounds, Tibetans in Tibet, and Uugurs in Xingjiang will end-up like Hispanics in the American west — an underclass in their original land (but better off than they would be as part of Mexico or as an independent state? ).
August 18, 2006 at 11:20 PM #32379
If people like Perry were in power during WWII, all of Europe would be speaking German. It’s all greedy America’s fault, right? We should just hide behind our metal detectors and feel guilty for being successful. And the nations that want us to leave them alone are usually the first to bitch about us not doing anything when they get invaded or need financial aid. Hypocrites!
August 19, 2006 at 10:54 PM #32453
It wasn’t Mexico’s land originally. They also took it from the Native Americans. Mexico’s hands are just as dirty as America’s.
August 19, 2006 at 11:03 PM #32455
It wasn't Mexico's land originally. They also took it from the Native Americans. Mexico's hands are just as dirty as America's.
True and I am guessing Vincente Fox has some European Stock in him? He sure doesn't look like one of the little guys that make it across the border. Wasn't Mexico only in control of some of these lands for less than 30 years? I could be mixing up Texas, where it wasn't in control of Mexico for a long time before the Texans fought for independence.
August 21, 2006 at 12:22 AM #32534sdrebearParticipant
Personally, I feel that debating on “if” Iraq was or was not a good idea in 2003 is completely NOT the point.
What IS the point here is HOW we got there and how we as Americans were manipulated into supporting the action.
For eight months Bush “could” have done something about Iraq (had he REALLY cared so much). Pretty much every argument used to support the war in this thread was present from the day he stepped into office. Yet it seems he knew there was no real support for such an effort. Heck, he didn’t even USE any of the arguments offered in this thread. He needed something more.
Oops, then 9/11 happened. Bush woke up from his vacation and whipped the nation into a war on “terror” (can’t get much more vague than that) with Osama bin Laden as the “number one priority”.
So we started in that direction with great purpose and determination. Somewhere along the way we became distracted. Very quickly and deliberately, attention was shifted elsewhere (Iraq) with express connections to al Qaeda reported by the White House as a principal reason.
To refresh our memory, here is a clip referencing the 9/11 commission who made a deep investigation on the matter:
In January, Cheney repeated his view that Iraq was tied to al Qaeda, saying that “there’s overwhelming evidence” of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection. He said he was “very confident there was an established relationship there.”
The commission staff, in yesterday’s report, said that while bin Laden was in Sudan between 1991 and 1996, a senior Iraqi intelligence officer made three visits to Sudan, and that he had a meeting with bin Laden in 1994. Bin Laden was reported to have sought training camps and assistance in getting weapons, “but Iraq never responded,” the staff said. The report said that bin Laden “at one time sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan.”
At BEST they were incompetent. At worst they were lying to us in order to push their war agenda through with the wave of blind patriotic support behind them. (Apparently, some have still not taken off the blinders)
So, what ever happened to good ole’ bin Laden? Well, according to Bush, he’s just not a priority these days. So, the very person they explicitly named as the mastermind of 9/11 (and have NEVER backed off that statement) which killed well over 2,000 innocent Americans (and many other nationality’s) is no longer a “priority”. Hey, we were then building up for war in Iraq when he said this, so I can understand he had other things on his mind, but just how insulting were these statements to the loved ones of those killed in 9/11. How much of an idiot do you have to be to actually let these words out of your mouth, not once, but twice! This man (bin Laden) was (as identified by Bush himself) “likely” behind the worst attack on American soil probably since the Revolutionary War and in less than a year later HE ISN’T EVEN A PRIORITY?!!!! (please excuse the shouting, it just gets so ridiculous, that I can’t believe people still make excuses for him)
In case anyone forgot what Bush said or when:
“The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.”
– G.W. Bush, 9/13/01
“I want justice…There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive,'”
– G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI
“…Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he’s maybe in control of a cave. He’s on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we’re going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that’s what’s happening. He’s on the run, if he’s running at all. So we don’t know whether he’s in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open — we just don’t know….”
– Bush, in remarks in a Press Availability with the Press Travel Pool,
The Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford TX, 12/28/01, as reported on
official White House site
“I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
– G.W. Bush, 3/13/02
“I am truly not that concerned about him.”
– G.W. Bush, responding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts,
So I hear people say that the war on terror is being won (by Bush) because there haven’t been any terror attacks by al Qaeda since 2001. Umm, please forgive me for being jaded, but “so what?”. Before 2001, the last (major) attack was in 1993. That was 8 years. It’s only been 5 since 9/11. Are Neo-cons ready to say Clinton was “great” against terror during that span in the 90’s? I highly doubt it.
As long as we keep thinking of the “terrorists” as some country in the middle east that we can swoop in and squash with our military, we will NEVER win this “war”. It’s a joke. Your neighbor right now could be a terrorist and you’d never know it. These people don’t have a country or an army to beat with our military. They are an idea and a purpose (neither a good one mind you) and we’ve done nothing but fuel them both.
So, should we stop fighting terrorist? No, of course not. We just need a better strategy. No “bgates” I don’t have an exact detailed strategy for you to review. I actually agree with much of what’s being done currently, such as following their money (and blocking it) as well as infiltrating their ranks and blocking them when plans begin to come together (such as what happened in England). Those things actually seem to help. Dropping bombs on and around their “home” countries only seems to increase their recruitment efforts, so I don’t see that as a great addition to the real “war” on terror.
More than that, we should absolutely NEVER allow our leaders use our own fear of terror against us in order to push their personal agendas while stripping us of our personal liberties (whom MANY of our ancestors lost their lives to give to us) so they can further implant themselves in our personal lives and unfairly control America’s political system. When those things happen (you and I losing personal freedoms) then the objectives of the terrorists are being handed to them.
Supporting our troops and being a patriot has absolutely NOTHING to do with blindly following the leaders of the country. It has much more to do with questioning everything and demanding accountability for how they spend our money and much more-so, exactly why they are putting our best and brightest in harm’s way.
Is everything “wrong” with what we’re doing in Iraq? No, I don’t think so. It’s not about if things in Iraq were bad (they were) and “worthy” of our intervention (they are), it’s the way we were “sold” this war that I have issue with. If you had a list of the reasons we first went to war, I’d bet you’d find very few today that matched with why we are STILL at war there.
Poorly planned, poorly executed, and we were all duped into swallowing the whole thing.
Hey, look on the bright side, at least Halliburton made a little money on the deal!
August 21, 2006 at 10:32 AM #32555AnonymousGuest
bgates, you’re right on all the points, and stick by your guns. Good job using data, and not getting emotional.
It’s great that there are differences of opinion when it comes to business; it provides an opportunity to make money (e.g., are homes prices going to fall big-time or not). It’s painful when folks have widely divergent views on foreign affairs, because lack of early, forceful action causes greater suffering later.
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself” — John Stuart Mill
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